Apr
28
2014

Beat the Clock with Afternoon Slump-Busting Quinoa Salad

SHAKE IT UP!

Beat the Clock with Afternoon Slump-Busting Quinoa Salad

It's difficult to make good choices while hungry. Grocery shopping on an empty stomach is a bad idea, and to me, so is deciding what to have for lunch. It's just too tempting to succumb to unhealthy takeout options when my stomach is growling and I'm snappy and crabby due to low blood sugar.

Wouldn't it be nice if every day at noon, you could have a delicious, healthy, inexpensive lunch at the ready, to fight those takeout temptations? Well, with a very little forethought and advance preparation, you can!

Move Over Quinoa. There's A New Superfood In Town.

I love to prepare jarred salads - they are a snap to put together, and two or three days' worth of lunches can be assembled at one time. This bruschetta quinoa salad is so easy to make and it really incorporates the wonderful, fresh flavours of tomato and basil, with the added benefit of protein to keep you feeling full and satisfied all afternoon. No three o'clock crashes with this flavourful lunch! It will keep you going until dinnertime. Plus, it's the prettiest lunch on the block!

Ingredients

1/4 cup quinoa
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup chopped basil

 

  Prepare quinoa according to package directions. Allow to cool completely. *Make ahead: prepare the quinoa in advance and keep refrigerated until needed.*

  Whisk together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and garlic. Pour into bottom of jar.

  Spoon cooled, cooked quinoa over top the dressing in the jar.

  Add a layer of halved cherry tomatoes, topped by chopped basil.

  To eat, shake up and enjoy!

For more great lunch ideas, try my Quinoa Salad in a Jar or my Fiesta Quinoa Salad. Quinoa's not your bag? Try my Freekeh Greek-eh Salad.

Apr
21
2014

The Very Best Vegan Tofu Scramble

A VEGAN BREAKFAST DISH THAT PASSES THE CARNIVORE TEST

The Very Best Vegan Tofu Scramble

tofu scramble with waffles

Life can be full of surprises. Sometimes you can think you know someone, and then something happens that makes you question everything.

I’m talking, of course, about tofu.

Tofu, in its raw form, is less than appealing, especially to devoted meat-lovers, but its very blandness is its greatest attribute. Tofu is a perfect blank canvas for a wide variety of flavours and seasonings and adds a lovely protein-rich creaminess to any dish. This tofu scramble is a tasty alternative to scrambled eggs; it’s a deliciously savoury and simple addition to any breakfast or brunch. But more importantly, in my house, it passed the carnivore test.

I was creating this dish one day, adding sundried tomatoes and flavourings until it was just so. I offered up a taste to my husband, with low expectations as to his reaction. It's tofu, after all, and he was busily cooking a pound of bacon. To my surprise and shock, he devoured it with enthusiasm and asked for more. Who ARE you? I wanted to ask, but instead, I silently served up another helping.

Ingredients

1/2 cup white mushrooms, sliced
2 teaspoons oil from sundried tomatoes
1 12.3 ounce package firm silken tofu, crumbled
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder or dehydrated onion
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1/2 cup sundried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped (oil reserved for use)
1/2 cup spinach, chopped

 

  Using 2 teaspoons of oil from the sundried tomatoes, sauté mushrooms over medium heat until browned and soft, about 10 minutes.

  Add the crumbled tofu, garlic powder, onion powder, and nutritional yeast to the pan. Stir to mix, and sauté over medium heat until most of the moisture is gone and tofu has a “scrambled egg” consistency, about 10 minutes.

  Add the sundried tomatoes and spinach to the mixture. Stir and cook until spinach is wilted, about two minutes.

  Serve immediately and enjoy!

Yield: 2 large or 4 small servings

Nutritional Information (approximate, per serving based on 2 large servings): Calories 240, Fat 11 grams, Total Carbohydrates 23 grams, Fibre 6 grams, Protein 21 grams

Want more delicious vegan breakfast ideas? Try my protein-rich Breakfast Quinoa, my Maple Coconut Granola, or my Easy Tropical Green Smoothie.

Apr
14
2014

Tame That Sweet Tooth: Maple Coconut Tahini Treat Recipe

LITTLE BITES OF SWEET, SWEET ENERGY

Tame That Sweet Tooth: Maple Coconut Tahini Treat Recipe

maple coconut chocolate tahini treats

Do you have a sweet tooth? Apparently if you are always craving sweets, your diet may be deficient in protein. It seems a bit counterintuitive—want a chocolate bar? Go eat some almondsbut it is actually very true.

As a vegetarian, I need to be cognizant of my protein consumption—not consuming enough protein leaves me dizzy, hungry, and grouchy, so I make sure to monitor it pretty closely, for the good of the household. And generally that works well; when I have cravings, they are usually the salty or savoury kind, but on occasion I get the feeling that I need something sweet and I need it right now.

That's what makes these Maple Coconut Tahini Treats so great—they are sweet and delicious, and they are made with tahini (sesame seed paste), which has 6 grams of protein per 2 tablespoon serving. Not only do these little vegan energy bites hit the sweet spot, but with their protein-rich ingredients they also curb cravings from within. A pretty perfect way to satisfy a sweet tooth, if you ask me.

Ingredients:

1 cup tahini
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/2-3/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
 

  In a food processor, whirl together tahini, maple syrup, cocoa powder, and vanilla until very smooth and paste-like in consistency.

  Add coconut, 1/4 cup at a time, and process until the mixture becomes very thick and sticks together, like a ball in the food processor (see below video).

  Roll the mixture into bite-sized balls and refrigerate until firm.

  Tip: this recipe freezes well.

(Yield: 20-24 bites of energy)

Nutritional Information (approximate, based on one of 24): Calories 90, Fat 6.5 grams, Total Carbohydrates 7.5 grams, Fibre 1 gram, Protein 3 grams

Have a sweet tooth? Try my Gluten-Free Chocolate Almond Butter Blondies, my Decadent Dark Chocolate Truffles, or my Five-Ingredient Ten-Minute Chocolate Mousse Pie.

See for yourself how to make these sweet energy biteswatch below!