Garlicky Roasted Potato Salad

Every time I make something with potatoes I immediately want to know WHY I don’t cook with them more. Especially when they’re cooked with roasted garlic, fresh dill, and parmesan.

Roasted Potato Salad

It’s good to throw in something green once and a while too. Like green beans! I need to eat more of those too. I should probably just eat every single food each and every day. Whoa…or not. I’m too lazy.

Roasted Potato Salad

So if you’re feeling like getting down and dirty with a fabulous side dish – dig in!! I’ve got you covered. Roasting vegetables is always a good idea.

Roasted Potato Salad

To make this, chop sweet potatoes and yukon golds into uniform cubes and throw them in a bowl. Cut the fresh green beans in half and add them to the bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper. Using your hands, toss potatoes and green beans until all is coated.

Roasted Potato Salad

Spread them on a non-stick baking sheet. Take the garlic heads and chop off the top to reveal the top of each clove. Rub the head chopped side down in the oiled bowl to coat with olive oil. Place garlic heads face-up on the baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes, flip and bake for 15-20 more.

Roasted Potato Salad

While the potatoes are roasting, in a separate bowl combine 1/4 cup olive oil, parmesan cheese, dill and parsley and whisk.

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Once the potatoes are done, remove from the oven to cool and set garlic heads aside for 5 minutes. Once cool enough to touch, squeeze roasted garlic into the olive oil mixture. Using a whisk, smash and stir the garlic into the olive oil.

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Dump potatoes and green beans into a large serving bowl and cover with the garlic and olive oil mix. Toss to coat throughly and serve. I added a bunch of parmesan for the topping. Unreal!

Garlicky Roasted Potato Salad
serves 4-6
Recipe taken from How Sweet Eats

Ingredients:
2 medium sweet potatoes, washed, peeled and chopped
10 small yukon gold potatoes, washed, quartered, not peeled
1 pound of fresh green beans
2 heads of garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons fresh dill
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Chop the sweet potatoes and yukon golds into cubes and throw them in a bowl. Cut the fresh green beans in half to shorten each piece and add them to the bowl. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil and salt and pepper. Using your hands, toss potatoes and green beans until all is coated. Spread them on a non-stick baking sheet.

Take the garlic heads and chop off the top to reveal the top of each clove. Rub the head chopped side down in the oiled bowl to coat with olive oil (there should be some left in the bowl). Place garlic heads face-up on the baking sheet. Bake for 25 minutes, flip pan and bake for 15-20 more.

While the potatoes are roasting, in a separate bowl combine 1/4 cup olive oil, parmesan cheese, dill and parsley and whisk. Once the potatoes are done, remove from the oven to cool and set garlic heads aside for 5 minutes. Once cool enough to touch, squeeze roasted garlic into the olive oil mixture. Using a whisk, smash and stir the garlic into the olive oil.

Dump potatoes and green beans into a large serving bowl and cover with the garlic and olive oil mix. Toss to coat throughly and serve. I added a bunch of parmesan for the topping. Unreal!

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Rustic Sweet Onion Tart

The days are getting *cue Oprah voice* loooooongeeeeer!

Caramelized Onion Tart

It doesn’t seem like it today though, but I swear spring is coming. This week for the first time in a long time I gave the treadmill the finger and ran outside. Sure it was along an extremely busy street in Ottawa, and sure I had to wait for traffic lights, but I actually felt like I was moving! Such a triumph. I came home around dinner time without anything planned and decided to make something quick. I took out some refrigerated pie crust, caramelized some sweet onions, and threw some Gruyere cheese on top. Heaven, my friends!

Caramelized Onion Tart

All you need to do is preheat your oven to 425. In a dutch oven, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add onion, herbs, sugar, salt, and pepper. Stirring occasionally, cook 8-12 minutes, or until tender. Reduce heat to low and cover; cook an additional 5-10 minutes, or until onions are browned and caramelized. *Swoon*. Stir occasionally while cooking.

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Shape pie crust on a lightly floured surface by rolling out into a 12-inch circle. Do this on parchment paper to make the transfer to a baking sheet easier. Then transfer that beauty.

Caramelized Onion Tart

Brush with egg white, and sprinkle 1/2 cup cheese over dough.

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Top with onions, leaving a 2 1/2 inch border.

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Sprinkle remaining cheese, and fold the pie crust over the edge of the onions, pleating as you go. Leave a 4-inch wide opening in the center. Brush crust with egg white.

Caramelized Onion Tart

Bake at 425 for 17-19 minutes, or until crust is golden-brown and cheese has melted.

Caramelized Onion Tart

Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Yum!

Caramelized Onion Tart

Rustic Vidalia Onion Tart
adapted from Rustic Vidalia Onion Tart

Ingredients:
2 tbsp butter
3 large sweet onions, halved and thinly sliced
1/2 tsp rosemary
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp sugar (optional)
1/2 recipe pie dough, or 1 refrigerated pie crust (I used Pilsbury)
1 egg white, lightly beaten
1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese (can sub Swiss cheese)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 425. In a dutch oven, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add onion, herbs, sugar, salt, and pepper. Stirring occasionally, cook 8-12 minutes, or until tender. Reduce heat to low and cover; cook an additional 5-10 minutes, or until onions are browned and caramelized. Stir occasionally while cooking.

Shape pie crust on a lightly floured surface by rolling out into a 12-inch circle. Do this on parchment paper to make the transfer to a baking sheet easier. Transfer over to a baking sheet.

Brush with egg white, and sprinkle 1/2 cup cheese over dough. Top with onions, leaving a 2 1/2 inch border. Sprinkle remaining cheese, and fold the pie crust over the edge of the onions, pleating as you go. Leave a 4-inch wide opening in the center. Brush crust with egg white.

Bake at 425 for 17-19 minutes, or until crust is golden-brown and cheese has melted. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Smokey Vegan Mac and Cheese

One of the things on my list of 30 things to do before 30 was “to be vegan for a month”. An item I checked off in November.

Smokey Vegan Mac and Cheese // Warm Vanilla Sugar

It was hard when with friends, but really easy to do when I was by myself. I tried a lot of great recipes and have been making a lot of vegan meals since.

Smokey Vegan Mac and Cheese // Warm Vanilla Sugar

This recipe for smokey vegan mac and cheese is a total keeper, and one I’ll be making again. The “cheese” sauce is made with soaked cashews, almond milk, lemon juice, and nutritional yeast, giving it a smooth texture and cheese-y flavour. Also, this dish has brown rice noodles making it gluten free! I loved this meal, and I hope you do too!

Smokey Vegan Mac and Cheese // Warm Vanilla Sugar

Happy weekend!

Smokey Mac and Cheese {Vegan}
Adapted from Manifest Vegan

Ingredients:
16 ounces brown rice pasta, macaroni, penne, fusili, shells all work well
2 cups cashews, soaked in water at least 3 hours and drained
1 1/2 to 2 cups almond milk, to thin
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
4 cups chopped (and de-stemmed) kale
1/2 tablespoon coconut or olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika

Directions:
Cook the pasta according to package directions, undercooking just slightly by a minute or so. Drain well and rinse completely with cold water to remove any starch.

Transfer the pasta back to the pot and set aside.

Place the soaked and drained cashews, 1 cup almond milk, lemon juice, lemon zest,nutritional yeast, garlic, and 1 1/4 teaspoons salt into a food processor. Blend very well, at least 7 minutes, until completely smooth and silky, scraping down the sides as necessary. Add about 1/2 cup more almond milk until thinned, pulsing between each addition. Add the sauce to the pasta in the pot, and then stir in the remaining almond milk to thin. Warm up gently over medium-low heat, stirring often until desired temperature is reached. Sprinkle on the smoked paprika and fold just to combine.

In a small frying pan over medium-high heat, toss together the kale, coconut oil and sea salt and saute for about 3 minutes, or until bright green and slightly wilted. Stir into the pasta and serve immediately.

Egg Salad Sandwich with Crispy Leeks

January has been all kinds of crazy. My bank account got hacked, I realized my passport was expired 6 weeks before leaving the country, my dentist gave me sad news….and other, bigger, things that I’m keeping to myself. I don’t have triskaidekaphobia, but I’m starting to think I should, because 2013 pretty much hates me.

Egg Salad with Crispy Leeks

I’ve written about the importance of good friends before, but you never really realize how lucky you are until you need to call on them for support when life gets real. In one of my crazy lady moments, I called a friend crying and babbling about the goings on in my life, and she raced over with a bag of gummies, mini brownies, and Reese’s peanut butter cups. My other friend has been listening to me (not crying, I’m cool now) on the phone almost every night with offers of sleep overs and girlie movies. These two ladies know me, and when times are tough they have my back. I honestly couldn’t be happier.

Egg Salad with Crispy Leeks

Because of the wildness in my life, I’ve decided to give you something easy today. This is one of the best meals I’ve had all month. I love a good egg salad, I love the blog A Thought For Food, and I need things to be simple, so enjoy this magic piece of awesomeness. It’s the leeks that make it taste like heaven!

Egg Salad with Crispy Leeks

Egg Salad Sandwich with Crispy Leeks
Recipe taken from A Thought For Food
Serves 2

Ingredients
4 eggs
1 tsp fresh dill, chopped
1 shallot, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp Dijon mustard
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 fresh leek, green parts only, washed and sliced
1 tbsp butter
Slices of multigrain or whole wheat bread (I used a baguette)

Directions
Place the eggs in a pot and cover with cold tap water, until there is about an inch over the eggs. Set burner to high and bring the water to a rolling boil. Once it reaches that point, you can reduce the heat to low-medium. Cook for an additional 10 minutes. Once cooked, immediately remove from heat and run cold water over them, or immerse in an ice bath until completely cooled.

Peel the eggs and place in a medium-sized bowl. Begin mashing the eggs until the salad is fairly chunky. Add in the dill, olive oil, mustard, and shallot, and continue mashing until it reaches your desired consistency. Set bowl aside and begin working on the leeks.

In a pan, add the butter and set the burner to medium high heat. Once the butter has melted, add the leek greens and cook for 5-7 minutes, until browned.

To assemble an open-face sandwich: take one slice of bread and spoon half of the egg salad on top. Spread evenly across and then top with some of the crispy leeks. Repeat with other slices of bread.

Black Bean Burgers

School started up again this week and with the craziness of life sometimes it’s hard to eat right.

Black Bean Burgers // Warm Vanilla Sugar

During the holidays I didn’t fall too far off the wagon, but I find myself eyeing bags of Tostitos and big blocks of cheese at the grocery store instead of my regular hummus or almonds.

Black Bean Burgers // Warm Vanilla Sugar

With the craziness of life, whether it be back to work or school, I like having a bunch of black bean patties on hand so that I can grill/fry them up whenever I need a quick fix that satisfies both my healthy girl needs and that holiday chip devourer I was a few weeks ago. I hope you like them too!

Black Bean Burgers // Warm Vanilla Sugar

Place a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Combine the panko with 2 teaspoons of the olive oil and mix with a fork to blend. Add the mixture to the skillet and toast the panko, stirring frequently, until light golden brown. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.

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Place 3 cups of the beans in a large bowl and mash with a potato masher or a fork until mostly smooth.

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In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, 1 tablespoon of the oil, cumin, salt and cayenne. Whisk to blend. Add the egg mixture and toasted panko. Stir together until evenly combined.

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Place half of the mashed bean mixture in a food processor along with bell pepper and shallot and blend together until the red pepper looks nicely blended into the beans. Add this mixture back to the bowl with the mashed beans.

Black Bean Burgers // Warm Vanilla Sugar

Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions, about ½ cup each. Lightly pack into 1-inch thick patties, and they’re ready to cook. Enjoy!

Black Bean Burgers // Warm Vanilla Sugar

Black Bean Burgers
slightly adapted from The America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook
Makes 6-7 burgers

Ingredients:
Patties
1 cup panko
3 tbsp. plus 2 tsp. olive oil, divided
2 (15 oz.) cans black beans (3 cups), drained and rinsed, divided
2 large eggs
1 tsp. ground cumin
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and finely diced
1 shallot, minced

Toppings
Sharp Cheddar
Avocado
Tomato
Red onion slice

Directions:
Place a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Combine the panko with 2 teaspoons of the olive oil and mix with a fork to blend. Add the mixture to the skillet and toast the panko, stirring frequently, until light golden brown. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.

Place 3 cups of the beans in a large bowl and mash with a potato masher or a fork until mostly smooth. In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, 1 tablespoon of the oil, cumin, salt and cayenne. Whisk to blend. Add the egg mixture and toasted panko. Stir together until evenly combined.

Place half of the mashed bean mixture in a food processor along with bell pepper and shallot and blend together until the red pepper looks nicely blended into the beans. Add this mixture back to the bowl with the mashed beans.

Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions, about ½ cup each. Lightly pack into 1-inch thick patties. (At this point the patties can be covered tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 24 hours before cooking.)

To cook:
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Carefully lay half of the patties in the skillet and cook until well browned on both sides, about 8-10 minutes total. Transfer the cooked burgers to a plate, tent with foil, and repeat with the remaining oil and bean patties.

Serve with whatever toppings you have on hand!

Arugula Salad with Goat Cheese and Candied Walnuts

I didn’t make any resolutions for 2013, or maybe I just don’t want to call them resolutions.

Arugula Salad with Goat Cheese and Candied Walnuts // Warm Vanilla Sugar

Whatever the case, I do have a few goals:
I want to qualify for the Boston Marathon (high hopes), and I want to make this blog a bit more consistent – posting every Tuesday and Thursday, etc. Also I want to test out a few new segments. Running topics for example, and overall “favorite things” from the month. We’ll see how they go, but hopefully you like them!

Arugula Salad with Goat Cheese and Candied Walnuts // Warm Vanilla Sugar

I posted a big a beautiful cookie recipe last, but I wanted to give you some green stuff. This particular salad makes me swoon. It’s full of candied walnuts, goats cheese, buttered croutons and fancy arugula. Get in my belly! Also, it’s another recipe from Shutterbean, who has been filling my weekly menus lately. Thanks Tracy!

Arugula Salad with Goat Cheese and Candied Walnuts // Warm Vanilla Sugar

To start making this, get your candied walnuts ready. Combine brown sugar, water, butter and salt in a heavy large skillet. Bring to boil, whisking. Boil 1 minute. Add walnuts and stir.

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Toss until syrup forms glaze on nuts, about 3 minutes.

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Transfer nuts to sheet of foil sprayed with oil and quickly separate nuts with fork. Cool.

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Whisk oil and vinegar in small bowl. Season dressing with salt and pepper. Place arugula in large bowl. Drop in croutons, and goat cheese.

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Add the candied walnuts on top and then toss with enough dressing to coat lightly. Enjoy!

Arugula Salad with Goat Cheese and Candied Walnuts // Warm Vanilla Sugar

Arugula Salad with Goat Cheese and Candied Walnuts
Recipe adapted from Shutterbean
Serves 4

Ingredients:
Candied walnuts:
1/3 cup golden brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons butter
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups walnut halves

Salad:
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 5-ounce packages baby arugula
1 5-ounce packages soft goat cheese, broken into 1/2-inch pieces, chilled
4 tablespoons of packaged croutons (I used honey-butter flavour)

Directions:
For candied walnuts:
DO AHEAD: Can be made the day before or 1 hour ahead.
Combine first 4 ingredients in a heavy large skillet. Bring to boil, whisking. Boil 1 minute. Add walnuts; stir. Toss until syrup forms glaze on nuts, about 3 minutes. Transfer nuts to sheet of foil sprayed with oil and quickly separate nuts with fork. Cool.

For salad:
Whisk oil and vinegar in small bowl. Season dressing with salt and pepper.

Place arugula in large bowl. Drop in nuts, croutons, and goat cheese. Toss with enough dressing to coat lightly. Enjoy!

Kale Salad with Oranges, Almonds and Avocado

Yesterday was just another day for me. No Thanksgiving deliciousness, and a giant Kale salad on my dinner plate. I’m Canadian after all, so I ate my weight in mashed potatoes last month.

But with all the gorgeous Thanksgiving recipes that have been popping up all over the internet, I thought I’d give you guys a big kale salad to help detox the body and make you feel like all that binge eating never happened.

This salad is chalk full of goodness. The dressing is simple with fresh squeezed orange juice, olive oil and salt, and the salad itself consists of kale, juicy chopped oranges, almonds, avocado and pomegranate seeds. HELLO health food!

To make this make your dressing first. Combine the juice of one orange with olive oil, a pinch of sea salt and some pepper. Shake or stir until very well combined. Set aside.

To assemble the salad, cut the middle stem part off the kale and place it into a bowl. Peel your second orange and separate the sections. Chop orange sections roughly and place in a bowl with the pomegranate seeds, chopped avocado and almonds.

Drizzle 1/3 of the dressing over salad and toss well to coat. Enjoy!

Kale Salad with Oranges, Pomegranate Almonds and Avocado
Recipe lightly adapted from Eat Live Run
Makes one big salad (and dressing for 3 salads)

Ingredients:
1 bunch lacinato kale (“dinosaur” kale”), washed and roughly chopped
2 juicy oranges
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 avocado, diced
10 whole raw almonds
1/2 pomegranate (seeds, of course)
pinch of sea salt and pepper

Directions:
First, make the dressing. Combine the juice of one orange with the olive oil, pinch of sea salt and pepper. Shake or stir until very well combined. Set aside.

To assemble the salad, peel the other orange and separate the sections. Chop orange sections roughly and place in a bowl with the kale, pomegranate seeds, chopped avocado and almonds.

Drizzle 1/3 of the dressing over salad and toss well to coat. Enjoy!

Notes:
-I actually like to let the dressing soak into the kale for about 10 minutes before eating.
-Extra dressing will stay good in a sealed jar for a about a week.

Tuna Fish-Free Sandwich

Let’s talk lunch.

I get genuinely excited when 12:00pm rolls around. Usually leftovers are what works best for me, but sometimes I get in a situation where microwaving isn’t an option or I plain and simply want something different. I have a few fun salads that make the rotation once and a while. I recommend my lemony quinoa and avocado salad, my quinoa with roasted tomatoes, walnuts, and olives, my lentil feta salad or my kale salad with avocado and almonds.

Now I’m hungry.

This sandwich filling is definitely something I am going to add to my ever-growing list. It’s still vegan month, so this sandwich doesn’t actually have any mayo or fish in it. I crushed up a nori sheet for the tuna flavour, mashed some garbanzo beans, and threw in some veganiase. Hellooooo deliciousness!

To make this drain and rinse your beans. Add to large mixing bowl and mash well with a fork. Add in the hummus, lemon juice and some salt and pepper. Toss well and taste test. Add the rest of your ingredients until you get the texture that suits you. I like mine a bit chunky. Chill in the fridge until ready to serve.

Serve on toast or bread and enjoy!

Tuna Fish-Free Sandwich
vegan, makes about 3 cups
Healthy Happy Life

Ingredients:
1 16-oz can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed
1/2 large lemon (juiced)
3 Tbsp garlic hummus
1 large celery stalk, chopped
1 tbsp Vegenaise (or mayo)
1/4 nori sheet, crushed (for ocean-y flavor)(optional)
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
salt + pepper to taste
Good quality bread (I toasted mine)

Directions:
1. Open, drain and rinse your beans. Add to large mixing bowl and mash well with a fork.

2. Add in the hummus, lemon juice and some salt and pepper. Toss well and taste test. Fold in the rest of your ingredients and mix well.

3. Chill in the fridge until ready to serve.

4. Serve on toast or bread, with crackers or eat by the spoonful!

Saffron Rice with Golden Raisins and Pine Nuts

Today is one heck of a special day. Like jump up and down, and square dance like you did in high school (or was that just me?) kind of day. My friend Faith Gorsky from An Edible Mosaic just had her first cookbook released: An Edible Mosaic: Middle Eastern Fare with Extraordinary Flair!!

I was so pleased when Faith asked me to be a part of her virtual book launch party and share a recipe from the book with me. The book has over 100 Middle Eastern recipes, with a focus mainly on dishes from the Levant, but also a few recipes from other areas of the Middle East. After hearing Faith’s story, I am dying to go to the Middle East and eat the food. DYING!

Faith spent six months living in the Middle East, and after returning home, couldn’t stop going back to visit making sure to take in the culture and food more and more each time. Recipes in her book are authentic Middle Eastern (taught to Faith mostly by her mother-in-law, Sahar), but made totally easy for the home cook. Faith explains complicated dishes in an approachable, easy-to-follow way. I’m totally buying it, and am heading over to order it on Amazon right now! (you can also get it from Barnes and Noble).

After you check out the recipe for Saffron Rice with Golden Raisins and Pine Nuts, head on over to Faith’s blog to check out her virtual book launch party to see the other bloggers who are participating. Also, as part of her virtual book launch, Faith is hosting a giveaway of a fabulous set of prizes, which you will totally want to enter for! Even I’m entering…because I like free stuff. DUH!

This recipe for Saffron Rice with Golden Raisins and Pine Nuts is perfect for my November vegan month, but it would also be a perfect side dish for you meat eaters out there. Faith recommends serving it with chicken, beef, or lamb (or any curry dish).

Let’s make this, shall we? Soak the rice in tepid water for 10 minutes; drain. While the rice is soaking, put half a kettle of water on to boil.

Add the oil to a medium, thick-bottomed lidded saucepan over medium heat. Add the pine nuts and cook until golden brown, about 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

Transfer the pine nuts to a small bowl and set aside.

Add the onion to the saucepan you cooked the pine nuts in, and cook until softened and just starting to brown, about 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the rice and cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently.

Stir in the sultanas, boiling water, salt, and saffron (or turmeric), turn the heat up to high, and bring it to a rolling boil.

Give the rice a stir, then cover the saucepan, turn the heat down to very low, and cook until tender, about 10 minutes (do not open the lid during this time). Turn the heat off and let the rice sit (covered) 15 minutes, then fluff with a fork.

Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle the toasted pine nuts on top; serve.

Saffron Rice with Golden Raisins and Pine Nuts
“ROZ MLOW’WAN”
Recipe courtesy of An Edible Mosaic: Middle Eastern Fare with Extraordinary Flair by Faith Gorsky (Tuttle Publishing; Nov. 2012); reprinted with permission.
Serves 4 to 6
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes, plus 15 minutes to let the rice sit after cooking

Ingredients:
1½ cups (325 g) basmati rice, rinsed
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons pine nuts
1 onion, finely diced
4 tablespoons sultanas (golden raisins)
1¾ cups (425 ml) boiling water
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon saffron threads (or ½ teaspoon turmeric)

Directions:
1. Soak the rice in tepid water for 10 minutes; drain. While the rice is soaking, put half a kettle of water on to boil.
2. Add the oil to a medium, thick-bottomed lidded saucepan over medium heat. Add the pine nuts and cook until golden brown, about 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Transfer the pine nuts to a small bowl and set aside.
3. Add the onion to the saucepan you cooked the pine nuts in, and cook until softened and just starting to brown, about 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the rice and cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in the sultanas, boiling water, salt, and saffron (or turmeric), turn the heat up to high, and bring it to a rolling boil.
4. Give the rice a stir, then cover the saucepan, turn the heat down to very low, and cook until tender, about 10 minutes (do not open the lid during this time). Turn the heat off and let the rice sit (covered) 15 minutes, then fluff with a fork.
5. Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle the toasted pine nuts on top; serve.

OPTIONAL: Add two pods of cardamom, two whole cloves, and one 2-inch (5 cm) piece of cinnamon stick at the same time that you add the rice.

Quinoa with Roasted Tomatoes, Walnuts and Olives

After three full days of being vegan I can honestly say my my life hasn’t changed very much. I’m a vegetarian anyway, and all that’s really changed is that I haven’t been adding cheese to my food or baking with butter (which I can totally miss out on for a month).

Two questions keep popping up that I thought I would address:
1. “What do you eat for protein”?, and
2. “Don’t you run out of choices”?

I went out for dinner with my Grandparents last night and they asked “when are you going to eat normal again?” which pretty much translates to “if you don’t eat what we eat, how can you possibly eat at all?” It’s a bit annoying, buy hey! We can’t all understand each other. And I’d like to give answers to the above two questions, that might be helpful to you too!

1. Protein isn’t just meat, and I certainly do not only eat tofu. If I want a snack I’ll eat some hummus and carrots, peanut butter and banana, apple and almond buter or some raw nuts. For lunch and dinner I like eating as many different beans as possible see here, here and here. This recipe is also chalk full of protein! Protein can be found in grains like quinoa, lentils, beans (black, garbanzo, kidney, etc.), tofu, tempeh, nuts and so many more things than I can possibly explain. Hopefully this helps!

2. If you read the above answer, NO I do not run out of choices. That’s part of the reason that I’m doing this vegan month. I want to be able to cook with foods I haven’t before, explore different ways of cooking, and try new things. If you honestly thing vegans and vegetarians eat the same thing every day. You are so, so, so wrong. It’s like asking a meat eater how they eat chicken every day. Silly question right? Exactly.

Anyway, I’m excited for the rest of this month to progress, and look forward to all the exciting new recipes I’ll be making. Like quinoa….so good!!

To make this recipe, preheat your oven to 400. Spray foil with cooking spray and place cherry tomatoes on top. Roast tomatoes for 30 minutes. They will start to burst and char—you want this! After 30 minutes, remove tomatoes from the oven and place in a big bowl.

Spread the walnuts out on a foil-lined sheet try and toast for 3-5 minutes, until golden. Remove and place toasted walnuts in the same bowl as the tomatoes.

Combine the quinoa, bay leaves, water (or broth) and spices in a saucepot over high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes, or until quinoa has absorbed all the liquid. Add the quinoa to the walnuts and tomatoes and stir in the olives. Season with salt to taste. Serve chilled.

Quinoa with Roasted Tomatoes, Walnuts and Olives
serves 4 (or 6 as a side-dish)
Recipe taken from Eat Live Run

Ingredients:
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
3 cups water or vegetable broth
16 oz cherry tomatoes (mix of orange and red if you like!)
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, roughly chopped
2 bay leaves
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt (or, to taste)
1/2 cup walnuts, roughly chopped

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400.

Spread the walnuts out on a foil-lined sheet try and toast for 3-5 minutes, until golden. Remove and place toasted walnuts in a mixing bowl.

Spray foil with cooking spray and place cherry tomatoes on top. Roast tomatoes for 30 minutes. They will start to burst and char—you want this! After 30 minutes, remove tomatoes from the oven and place in the same bowl with the walnuts.

Combine the quinoa, bay leaves, water (or broth) and spices in a saucepot over high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes, or until quinoa has absorbed all the liquid.

Add the quinoa to the walnuts and tomatoes and stir in the olives. Season with salt to taste.

Serve chilled.