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!

Roasted Garlic Hummus

I’m going a bit crazy. In three days I’m running in the Ottawa marathon and have been relaxing my muscles this week by cutting my weekly running miles in half.

*sigh*…oh, the classic taper week. The week that all runners love to hate.

To clear their heads, some people have a therapist, some people are just plain angry, some people eat a lot of cake…and I run. It makes me feel strong and happy and free all at the same time. So naturally, a taper week (less running) doesn’t allow me to do that. It’s torturous!

During this week my boyfriend just happens to be on a fishing trip up north, so without him to keep me busy I’ve been visiting with friends every day, going for long walks and bike rides, doing the short runs I’m allowed, and making so, so, many salads and dips. With this hot weather, they carry me over so I don’t have to turn on the oven too much or do too many dishes. It’s a win-win situation really. Plus, dips and salads are healthy!

To make this roasted garlic hummus (the best hummus), start by roasting a head of garlic. Preheat your oven to 375°F. Cut off the very top of the garlic clove (about 1/4″) so that the tops of most of the cloves are exposed slightly. Coat with a little olive oil and wrap securely in tin foil. Roast garlic in oven for 1 hour.

Remove from foil and allow the garlic to cool.

Using your fingers, squeeze the soft, roasted garlic out of each clove into food processor (this is easily done when the garlic has cooled completely). Set aside 3 garlic cloves for later use. Rinse and drain chickpeas. Add them, and all other ingredients except olive oil and the 3 roasted garlic cloves you set aside, to the food processor and blend until completely smooth.

Scrape ingredients off the sides of your food processor to make sure it blends evenly. Finally add one tablespoon of olive oil at a time until you have reached the desired consistency. Add it very slowly, allowing the mixture to combine fully before adding more liquid. For a tasty garnish, mince the 3 roasted garlic cloves you set aside and toss in a tiny bit of olive oil and place on top of hummus.

Enjoy!

Roasted Garlic Hummus
Recipe taken from The Novice Chef

Ingredients:
2 cups canned chick-peas or cooked chickpeas
3 tablespoons tahini
4 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup warm water
1 extra large head of garlic
1 lemon, juice of
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375°F Cut off the very top of the garlic clove (about 1/4″) so that the tops of most of the cloves are exposed slightly. Coat with a little olive oil and wrap securely in tin foil. Roast garlic in oven for 1 hour. Remove and allow cool.

Using your fingers, squeeze the soft, roasted garlic out of each clove into food processor (this is easily done when the garlic has cooled completely). Set aside 3 garlic cloves for later use. Rinse and drain chickpeas. Add them, and all other ingredients except olive oil and the 3 roasted garlic cloves you set aside, to the food processor and blend until completely smooth.

Scrape ingredients off sides of food processor to make sure it blends evenly. Finally add a tablespoon of olive oil at a time until you have reached the desired consistency. Add it very slowly, allowing the mixture to combine fully before adding more liquid. For a tasty garnish, mince the 3 roasted garlic cloves you set aside and toss in a tiny bit of olive oil and place on top of hummus.

Serve at room temperature with pita, crackers, or veggies. Also you can add it as a condiment to a wrap! Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to a week.

Baked Chickpea Garlic Rice Pilaf

For the past week I’ve been having trouble knowing what to do with myself. Towards the end of October a pain developed in my left hip and it ended up being bad enough that I decided to take this week off from running in hopes it would get better. I thought is was an overuse injury – I’ve had this before in my foot, but it’s been a week today and I can still feel the pain anytime I have to run for the bus, or when I have to do things like “skaters” in my workout routine. I can still do strength workouts, yoga, and pretty much anything that’s not cardio….but none of it’s running. And running is a major thing in my life that makes me happy.

I’ve been running since high school, but I started running regularly when I was 19 and have pretty much been hitting the pavement 5-6 days a week since. It clears my mind, it hipes up my endorphins, it makes me feel strong. For those of you who do run, you know what I mean, but for those who don’t, trust me, it’s addicting. Not being able to do this simple 40 – 120 minute thing every day has really thrown me off. I feel lost. Yoga helps a bit. Long walks help a bit. But I still feel…weird.

I wish I could say something uplifting now. Tell you how I’ve gotten over it or tell you that I’m feeling better because of this awesome rice dish. But I think I just need time. Or advice. And I need to write these thoughts down because this is pretty much all I think about right now! I chose to share this particular rice dish because it is a favorite thing of mine. Like running, or chocolate chip cookies, or Nanny’s house. It’s something I’ve been making for a long time. It’s garlic-y, warm, and has a perfect blend of flavours that cook right into the rice. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

In a saucepan or skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat.

Add the garlic and let cook for about 1 minute.

Add rice to the pan and cook until both are golden brown, about 3-4 minutes.

Stir in 1 cup of the chicken broth or veggie stock, salt and pepper and bring to a boil.

Pour the mixture into the casserole dish, cover, and bake for 25 minutes.

Stir in the remaining 1½ cups chicken broth and bake, covered, for another 45 minutes.

About 15 minutes before it is finished baking, stir in a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

Eat up!

Baked Chickpea Garlic Rice Pilaf
Makes 3 main dish meals and 5 side dish meals
Annie’s Eats

Ingredients:
2 tbsp. butter
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 cup long-grain white rice
2½ cups chicken broth (or veggie broth), divided
1 cup canned chickpeas, drained
½ tsp. salt
pepper to taste
Squeeze of lemon juice

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 375° F. Have ready a covered casserole dish.

In a saucepan or skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat.

Add the garlic and rice to the pan and cook until both are golden brown, about 3-4 minutes.

Stir in 1 cup of the chicken/veggie broth, salt and pepper and bring to a boil.

Pour the mixture into the casserole dish, cover, and bake for 25 minutes.

Stir in the remaining 1½ cups chicken/veggie broth and bake, covered, for another 45 minutes.

About 15 minutes before it is finished baking, stir in a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

Note: This recipe can be doubled without increasing the baking time. I double this recipe almost every time I make it and it turns out just as yummy!

Coconut Curried Sweet Potato and Chickpea Soup

I just arrived back in Ottawa after a quick visit with my family. It’s funny how being home never changes. The same people work at the grocery store, the same smiling faces are on the street…it makes me happy.

Paul and I visited this particular weekend because my Grandparents were putting on a dance at their local Lions Hall. It was a riot! Tons of waltzes, polkas, two steps, and of course, square dances.

Now, Paul had never danced a day in his life before I brought him home. So, like every newcomer my Grandparents and I showed him a few of the basic moves for a square dance and gave him a few waltzing and polka lessons. He caught on great! And we ended up having a blast. Funny how something you dread can turn out to be fun!

We of course ate a lot of sweets this weekend, and after these sorts of indulgences I thought I would turn to something healthy, like this soup. It contains all the fixings of what I’ve been craving lately. Sweet potatoes, curry, and coconut milk. Great for fall, and great for my tummy. Plus it’s a nice thing to eat after all those sugary squares and brownies!

To begin, chop up your peppers and onions and mince your garlic.

Cook onions, jalapeno pepper, and bell pepper until softened, about 5 minutes.

Add garlic; cook 2 minutes more.

Add curry powder and cayenne and cook, stirring for about one minute.

Chop up your sweet potato and then add it and chickpeas.

Transfer your mixture to a soup pot and add chicken broth, water and coconut milk. Season to taste with salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until yams are tender, about 30 minutes. Stir in cilantro, reserving a bit for garnish if desired.

Coconut Curried Yam and Chickpea Soup
Recipe adapted from foodess
Serves 4

Ingredients:
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp curry powder
1/4 tsp cayenne powder
1 can chickpeas, drained (about 2 cups)
2 large sweet potatoes, cubed
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
1 can coconut milk (slightly less than 2 cups)
salt to taste
chopped cilantro, to taste

Directions:
Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium high heat. Cook onions, jalapeno pepper, and bell pepper until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic; cook 2 minutes more. Add curry powder and cayenne and cook, stirring, one minute. Add chickpeas, cubed yam, chicken broth, water and coconut milk. Season to taste with salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until yams are tender, about 30 minutes. Stir in cilantro, reserving a bit for garnish if desired.