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.

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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.

Kale Salad with Apricots, Avocado, and Almonds

I have been in a bit of a fall salad rut for a while. I had trouble coming up with anything other than roasted squash and beets on lettuce. A normal conundrum. One I have every year.

For me, having a salad for lunch is ideal, and I was so happy when I came across this simple salad on the Kitchn. Simple, easy, different, and awesome! Who knew I would be so into kale?

All you need to do is gather up your ingredients. Fold a piece of kale in half lengthwise and use your fingers to tear out the tough inner stem. Repeat with the other leaves of kale. Tear all the leaves into bite-sized pieces and put them in a medium-sized mixing bowl.

Cut the apricots into little bits and add them to the bowl with the kale, along with the almonds and the cheese.

Whisk together the oil and vinegar and pour the vinaigrette and a healthy pinch of salt over the salad and use your fingers to toss and rub everything together.

Transfer the salad to a bowl and leave the salad for about 10 minutes (this makes the dressing soak into the kale a bit). Slice the avocado into cubes and spoon them over the salad. Enjoy! And if you have any fall salad ideas, let me know! I’m always up for suggestions.

Kale Salad with Apricots, Avocado, and Almonds
Serves one
Recipe lightly adapted from The Kitchn

Ingredients:
6-8 ounces of raw kale
5 dried apricots
small handful of raw almonds (I used about 10)
1 tbsp of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 avocado
salt and pepper

Directions:
Fold a piece of kale in half lengthwise and use your fingers to tear out the tough inner stem. Repeat with the other leaves of kale. Tear all the leaves into bite-sized pieces and put them in a medium-sized mixing bowl.

Cut the apricots into little bits and add them to the bowl with the kale, along with the almonds and the cheese. Whisk together the oil and vinegar and pour the vinaigrette and a healthy pinch of salt over the salad and use your fingers to toss and rub everything together. Transfer the salad to a bowl.

Just before eating, slice the avocado into cubes and spoon them over the salad.

Note: This salad will keep for about 24 hours in the refrigerator.

Kale and Navy Bean Soup {Vegetarian Collection}

School started up again Tuesday, and I was sooo not ready for it. I want to continue eating fresh peaches and running outside in a tank top. I don’t want to do homework! YUCK!

I do love fall though – my favorite season, so there is a bright side to this whole September thing.

I’d like to say that I crossed every single item off of my summer bucket list, but sadly, I can’t. I didn’t go to a drive-in movie theater and I didn’t make homemade pickles…but I DID…go camping on a lake with my boy.

I also made strawberry jam with handpicked strawberries..

AND something unexpected, and not on my list at all…I got engaged!! So who cares that I didn’t make pickles!? They can wait until next year.

I’m also continuing with my 30 things to do before 30 list, and have it coming along nicely. On that list is to cook my way through a cookbook from front to back, and I have made soooo many awesome recipes from Canadian Living’s The Vegetarian Collection (my book of choice). This is a recipe from that book, and I’m excited to share it with you since it was so tasty. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

To begin, heat oil over medium heat in a Dutch oven; add onion, garlic, coriander, cumin, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until onion is softened, about 5 minutes.

Add broth, 4 cups of water…

And then add your potato, sweet potato and beans. Bring to boil.

Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until vegetables are almost tender, about 20 minutes.

Add kale and parsley, simmer, covered, until kale is tender, about 20 minutes.

That’s it! I highly recommend this soup. Enjoy!

Kale and Navy Bean Soup
Recipe from the The Vegetarian Collection
Makes 8 regular and 10 small servings
Per 1 of 10 servings: 202 calories | 10g protein | 4g total fat | 35g carbohydrates | 4g fibre | 5 WW points +

Ingredients:
2 tbsp (30 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp each of salt and pepper
6 cups (1.5 L) vegetable stock
4 cups water
2 cups (500 mL) diced peeled potato (about 2)
1 large sweet potato
2 cans (19 oz/540 mL) navy or white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
6 cups (1.5 L) shredded deveined kale or spinach
1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped fresh parsley
2 tsp (10 mL) lemon juice

Directions:
In Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat; add onion, garlic, coriander, cumin, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until onion is softened, about 5 minutes.

Add broth, 4 cups of water, potato, sweet potato and beans. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until vegetables are almost tender, about 20 minutes.

Add kale and parsley, simmer, covered, until kale is tender, about 20 minutes.

Note: To make-ahead: Let cool for 30 minutes. Refrigerate until cold. Transfer to airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Like this soup?
Try other Vegetarian Collection recipes like this Lentil Feta Salad!