Blueberry & Zucchini oatmeal bread

 

 

This is what happens when I stand in front of my fridge in the evening, looking for inspiration for my next recipe, and I see a beautiful zucchini just chilling there, all alone, somewhere between the romaine lettuce heads and a bag of carrots. It must have slipped my radar when I made my Indian inspired stir-fry the either night. But now, it’s staring back at me and I know I want to cook something with it, but I can’t figure out what exactly. I didn’t have enough to make zoodles for everyone, and it would have been pretty selfish of me to make zoodles just for myself. I could have chopped it and add it to a salad as is, but I wanted to do something with it. Since my fridge had provided me with limited inspiration, I looked into the freezer and saw a bag of frozen organic wild blueberries. Yup. There was the last little bit of inspiration I needed. I was going to make a blueberry & zucchini bread for breakfast the next morning!

Excellent idea I thought!

And an excellent breakfast it turned out to be. The loaf was gone in no time. I didn’t even have time to take out the coconut yogurt or the stewed apples I intended to serve it with. My toddler was begging for more while his mouth was still full and my husband was slicing pieces as he was eating them. Now that’s a winner in my book! Luckily, I was able to steal a piece (a large piece I must admit) for myself and I enjoyed every last bite with a hot cup of coffee.

This loaf has all you need to start your day off right: it’s got fruits, it’s got vegetables, it’s got whole grains and it’s got protein and some wholesome tasty fat. Pretty much all the good food groups are represented here. And did I mention it’s super moist and decadent tasting. You almost feel naughty eating it but you don’t because the ingredients are so good for you!

One of the ingredients I almost always add to a breakfast loaf is oatmeal. I’ve enjoyed eating oatmeal since I was a little kid. Ok, in all honesty, I didn’t enjoy it at all when I was a kid but nonetheless, I ate it every Tuesdays and Thursdays without fail. And my parents gave it to me for good reasons.

According to Adda Bjarnadottir, MS and Hrefna Palsdottir, MS over at healtline.com, oats are a very good source of fiber, especially beta-glucan (which provides us with digestive benefits), and are high in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Half a cup (78 grams) of dry oats contains:

  • Manganese: 191% of the RDI
  • Phosphorus: 41% of the RDI
  • Magnesium: 34% of the RDI
  • Copper: 24% of the RDI
  • Iron: 20% of the RDI
  • Zinc: 20% of the RDI
  • Folate: 11% of the RDI
  • Vitamin B1 (thiamin): 39% of the RDI
  • Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid): 10% of the RDI
  • Smaller amounts of calcium, potassium, vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) and vitamin B3 (niacin)

Oats are also the only source of a unique group of antioxidants called avenanthramides, believed to have protective effects against heart disease.

So yes, oats are a good thing to add to your diet. Even when I’m having a lower carb day, I include oatmeal either in my breakfast or as a snack. It provides me with sustained energy and leaves me feeling satiated, which is not something I can say about fruits which give me an immediate energy rush upon eating but then leave me hungry and lethargic shortly after. So to make sure I have good energy throughout my morning, I mix my fruits with my oatmeal: winner combination!

I hope you enjoy this loaf as much as my family did. Leave me a comment and let me know  if you ate it as is or if you enjoyed it topped with some whipped coconut cream or some home made jam.

Blueberry & Zucchini oatmeal bread
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 8 portions
This breakfast loaf is perfect to make the night before and keeps well at room temperature overnight. It makes for easy mornings, which we could all use a little more of. I made this recipe gluten free using Bob’s Red Mill GF flour mix but I’ve also made this bread with whole wheat flour and it turned out amazing. Also this bread is not very sweet. I didn’t feel the need to add too much agave nectar as the blueberries add natural sweetness.
Ingredients
  • 1 Tbs ground chia seeds
  • 3 Tbs water
  • 1/2 Cup agave nectar
  • 1/3 Cup coconut oil + 1 tsp for greasing
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 Cup gluten free flour mix (I use Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 1/2 Cup rolled oats (I used Quaker GF rolled oats _ not instant oats)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 Cup zucchini, shredded (do not wring out)
  • 1 Cup frozen bluberries
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease a loaf pan with the teaspoon of coconut oil.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the ground chia seeds and the water. Set aside for at least 5 mins.
  4. In the meantime, in a microwave safe bowl, melt the 1/3 Cup of coconut oil.
  5. Add the agave nectar to the melted coconut oil and mix well with a small whisk.
  6. Add the vanilla extract and set aside.
  7. In a larger mixing bowl, combine the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  8. Add the chia egg to the coconut oil mixture and stir to combine.
  9. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones and stir to combine.
  10. Add the zucchini and the blueberries.
  11. Gently stir to mix everything together.
  12. Pour into the greased loaf pan and bake for 50 to 60 minutes. Mine was done in 60 minutes but I’ve bake it at my parent’s house and it was done in 50 minutes. So check after 50 minutes and add time accordingly.

 

Mango & peach oatmeal bake

 

I’ve probably mentioned this to you before, at least once or twice, actually, come to think of it, I think I wrote an entire post on breakfast, but yes, food is what gets me up in the morning. And I don’t just mean it’s what gets me going. I literally mean, it’s what gets me out of bed…that, and a beautifully impatient 14 month old.

More often then not, I go to bed at night thinking about what I’m going to eat the next morning. And then I get all excited at the idea of having breakfast…as I’m getting ready for sleep!

This oatmeal bake is one of those breakfasts that I particularly can’t wait to eat. It’s creamy, rich, dense and oh so satisfying. And since it’s pretty easy to put together, it’s something you’ll get excited about too. And it’s very versatile… I chose mangos and peaches for this recipe because that’s what I had in my freezer (I pretty much always have mangos in my freezer and I’ll explain why in just a little bit…). But I’ve done it with blueberries and strawberries, pineapples and bananas… The combinations are deliciously endless! It’s only sweetened with just a little maple syrup as I like the natural sweetness of the fruits to shine through.

Now back to mangoes… One of the reasons I always have mangoes handy, other then for their obvious amazing taste and texture, is for their nutrition content. Mangoes are vitamin and mineral bombs and provide major health benefits including lowering blood sugar levels, boost brain and bone health, alleviate anemia and increase immunity, just to name a few.

Alleviating anemia is a very important factor for me, as it is for many people.  According to the World Health Organization:

  • 2 billion people are affected by anemia worldwide and 293 million of those affected are preschool age children;
  • 56 million pregnant women are anemic (41.8% prevalence globally);
  • 468 million non-pregnant women are anemic (30.2% prevalence globally)

Those numbers are scary, especially if you consider that iron deficiency (leading cause of anemia) is the most common nutritional deficit in the world.

Like many women, I suffered from anemia for years. I was told it was due to my vegetarian/vegan diet. I was continuously encouraged to eat red meat and calf liver to bring my iron levels back up… little did these people know about the power of plants!

Mangoes are just one of the plant foods that contain iron. If you think you have low iron levels (you can read on the signs and symptoms of low iron levels here), I would strongly suggest you get blood tests done and your results reviewed by a trusted and competent specialist.

Some other great plant foods that contain iron are:

  • spirulina (love this stuff!)
  • spinach, kale and swiss chard
  • dark chocolate
  • lentils
  • chickpeas and black beans
  • pumpkin, flax and hemp seeds

One important thing I learned when researching high iron plant foods, is that adding vitamin C when eating iron rich foods actually facilitates the absorption of the iron by the body. Hence, the peaches in my oatmeal bake. The vitamin C in peaches compliments the iron in the mangoes… Mind you, mangoes do hold quite a good amount of vitamin C on their own, but a little more, especially this tasty, doesn’t hurt!

I hope you guys enjoy this breakfast and leave a comment to let me know if you’ve ever suffered from anemia and what foods you include in your daily diet.

xx

This recipe was inspired by the amazing oatmeal bake from Cookie & Kate!

Mango & peach baked oatmeal
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6 portions
This oatmeal bake takes no time at all to put together and while it cooks, you have time to get yourself or your kids, or both, ready for the day. Enjoy with a steaming cup of coffee or tea and top with some vegan yogurt or additional maple syrup, if you wake up with a sweet tooth!
Ingredients
  • 2 Cups rolled oats, (I use Quaker GF large rolled oats)
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp fine Himalayan pink salt
  • 2 Cups pea mylk (I use pea mylk for its high protein content but any mylk will do)
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 2 Tbs chia seeds
  • 6 Tbs water
  • 2 Tbs coconut oil
  • 1 Tbs vanilla extract
  • 2 Cups frozen mangoes
  • 1 Cup frozen peaches
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Grease a 9-inch square baking dish.
  3. Pour the frozen fruits in the dish and set aside.
  4. In a small bowl, combine the chia seeds and water. Stir and allow to rest for at least 5 minutes.
  5. In a mixing bowl, combine the oats, ginger, baking powder and salt. Stir to combine.
  6. In another mixing bowl, combine the mylk, maple syrup, coconut oil, vanilla and chia mixture. Whisk until blended.
  7. Mix the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients and stir to combine.
  8. Cover the frozen fruits with the oatmeal mixture and wiggle the dish a little.
  9. Bake for 45 minutes, until the top is golden brown.
  10. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a 10 minutes.

 

 

Cheezy root vegetable casserole

 

One of the things I love most about food blogging is the possibility to create and share recipes with all of you. I won’t lie, it can be a very frustrating and time consuming task, with multiple trips to the grocery store to get the same items and tweaking ingredients down to the last 1/4 teaspoon. But even though I’ve had my fair share of epic fails, when I nail a recipe and get the smile of approval from my husband and my toddler, it makes it all worth it.

Food blogging for me is also about sharing more then just my passion for good food, it’s about sharing my passion for nutrition or should I say, nourishment, as a whole. For me, it’s all about how to feed you and your family so you can thrive. I read a lot (and I mean a lot!) of food blogs. Some have entire posts dedicated to explaining the posted recipe. And that’s great, I love reading those blogs, but I tend to always go back to the ones that bring me a little something more, that give me some added knowledge along the way. And that’s what this food blog is all about. Me, sharing with you, the knowledge I’ve gained over the years along with some delicious family tested and approved recipes that will have you crowned Queen/King of the Kitchen.

So I hope you guys are enjoying this blog and if there’s a topic you would like me to cover or some questions you have about this lifestyle or anything else that’s on your mind, leave me a comment, I’d love to know!

Now on to this recipe… and some B-12 info!

This root vegetable casserole gets it’s cheezy flavour from the nutritional yeast in the sauce. Now don’t worry, nutritional yeast won’t have you balloon up like a rising bread. It’s deactivated yeast that grows from fungi, so it can’t be used in baking, but it can be used in cooking to add a cheezy, nutty and even creamy taste to a dish.

It is often found in vegan dishes, like this one, for the taste and nutrition it provides. Nutritional yeast is of particular interest to vegans and vegetarians because of it’s nutrient makeup. According to Dr. Axe, it’s a source of complete protein and vitamins, in particular B-complex vitamins, including the very important B-12 which is a vitamin vegans need to supplement their diet with as it is not found in the plant kingdom. A very important side note here: nutritional yeast contains B-12 because it has been fortified. According to Diane Vukovic over at Plenteousveg.com, yeast, like plants, does not make vitamin B12.  Only bacteria can produce B12.  Theoretically, nutritional yeast could contain bacteria and thus have natural B12.  However, nutritional yeast is grown in conditions in which bacteria is not allowed to grow. So vegans shouldn’t rely solely on nutritional yeast to meet their recommended daily B-12 intake and should read the labels of their nutritional yeast brand carefully to make sure it has been fortified with B-12.

As a quick reminder, the RDA for B-12 is 2.4 mcg daily though many experts agree it ranges more in the 4mcg. I personally make sure I take around 4mcg a day.

That being said, nutritional yeast contains other great nutrients like folates, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, selenium and zinc. It’s low in sodium and fat, gluten-free, and doesn’t contain any added sugars or preservatives. It also preserves immune functions, holds antiviral and antibacterial properties, helps improve digestion and contains beneficial protein and thiamine. It definitely deserves to be tagged a Superfood!

And did I mention it gives dishes a great cheezy taste! Cheese is one of those foods I enjoyed the taste of back in the days but knowing what I know now, eating it is definitely not an option anymore…

This dish is also full of other good for you ingredients that are high in protein and nutrients like brown rice, brown lentils, carrots, parsnips, celery, onion, garlic and pea mylk. Pea mylk is my new “mylk” obsession because of its creamy taste and its high protein content.

Now I’ll be honest with you, this dish does take a bit of time to cook, but it’s inactive time, so while it gently simmers and bakes, you can sit down and read a book or my blog (of course!), set the table, help the kids with their homework…what ever you need to do for 1 hour.

I hope you guys enjoy this recipe and don’t forget to let me know what topic you would like me to cover next!

xx

Cheezy root vegetable casserole
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4 portions
This recipe is gluten free and uses Lundberg rice brand. If being gluten free is not a concern for you, then any rice brand will do.
Ingredients
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 medium carrots, shredded (should give about 1 1/2 cup)
  • 1 medium parsnip, shredded (should give about 2 cups)
  • 1 Cup brown rice
  • 1/3 Cup brown lentils, uncooked
  • 2 tsp italian herb mix
  • 1 tsp Himalayan pink salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 2 Cups of water
  • 1 Cup mylk (I used pea mylk)
  • 1/3 Cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 Tbs corn startch
  • 1 Tbs water
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1 tsp Himalayan pink salt
Instructions
  1. In a large pot, melt the coconut oil over medium high heat.
  2. Add the diced onion and minced garlic and cook for 2 mins.
  3. Add the shredded carrots and parsnips and cook for another 3 mins.
  4. Add the Italian spices, salt and pepper and stir.
  5. Add the rice and lentils and stir to combine.
  6. Add the water and bring to a boil over high heat.
  7. Cover and reduce the heat to low.
  8. Let simmer for 30-35 mins. It’s ok if the rice is still a little al dente.
  9. Preheat the oven at 350.
  10. While the rice and vegetables simmer, prepare the cheezy sauce.
  11. Add the mylk, nutritional yeast, Dijon mustard and garlic powder to a saucepan and whisk.
  12. Bring to a simmer over medium heat.
  13. In a small bowl, dissolve the corn startch in the water and add to the sauce.
  14. Allow to simmer for 5 mins while whisking a few times.
  15. Set aside.
  16. Once the rice and vegetables are cooked, pour into an oven safe dish.
  17. Pour the cheezy sauce over it and mix around.
  18. Pop in the oven for 30 mins.
  19. Allow to cool 5 mins before serving.

 

 

Biryani cauliflower rice stuffed acorn squash

 

Good morning friends,

The title of this post is a bit long but I wanted to fit as much description as possible in it because I want you guys to get excited about this recipe just from the title. And trust me, you won’t be disappointed. This recipe is just delicious spicy goodness in an acorn squash bowl.

I’ve been getting a lot of comments recently from friends that follow a low-carb or lower carb diet that shy away from plant based recipes because they either find them too high in carbs or they feel they are limited to eating only salads. Although I do agree that a lot of plant based recipes are heavier in carbs from all the beans, root vegetables or fruits, there are so many delicious ways to make a low carb plant based meal that isn’t only salad and that doesn’t rely on processed protein sources, which seems to be another area of concern that I’ll address in another post.

Now I’m not going to debate the pros and cons of high carb vs low carb diets. In one of my previous posts, I stressed the importance of eating a diet with a macro split that works best for YOU. Not what mainstream “experts” or “diet gurus” are saying or pushing onto the public, but what your own body is saying, what feels good for you. Personally (and I’m only sharing this with you guys here because I get asked this question a lot and not because I think this is how you should eat also), I eat a moderate-high carb, moderate protein, lower fat diet. What does that mean exactly? Well it means that I eat 50% carbs, 30% protein and 20% fat. Now for some, this is either too little or too much carbs, too much or too little protein or too much or too little fat. But again, this is what works for me.

And trust me when I say, I’ve tested all spectrum of diets. From pure ketogenic diet (up to 70% fat, 25% protein and 5% carbs) all the way to text book high carb/low fat (80% carbs, 15% protein, 5% fat) and lingering a bit in the high protein world (50% protein, 30% carbs, 20% fat), I can assure you that my current macro split is what works best for my body. But these are just numbers and I’ve learned with time that numbers are just that: numbers, and our approach to our food intake and our overall diet needs to be flexible to meet our body’s needs. For example, on weekends, I tend to eat more carbs because I’m outdoors playing with my 14 month old and my dog, I’m running errands and carrying very heavy grocery bags, I go to the gym or do an intense Ashtanga yoga class or go hiking with my husband… I’m a lot more active then during the week where I’m mostly sitting at a desk working or standing in my kitchen cooking. So I adapt what I eat because my body needs more energy.

On weekdays, I usually don’t eat that much carbs at night, simply because I don’t feel good going to bed on a full stomach and not only do I go to bed early (around 10pm) but again, I tend to be less active on weeknights. I’m not saying I eat low carb at night, I’m saying I eat lower carb. A perfect example of a weeknight dinner would be the following plate divided in three parts: 1/3 mixed green salad with raw hemp hearts with a drizzle of olive oil and apple cider vinegar, 1/3 oven roasted sweet potatoes and 1/3 vegetable and bean curry. If it was the weekend, the plate would be half potatoes, half curry and the raw mixed salad would be in a bowl on the side!

So this recipe is perfect for my weeknight dinners. And it’s gluten free. If however, you enjoy eating more carbs at night and that is how your own body thrives, then please, adjust this recipe and add rice instead of the cauliflower rice. The recipe will still be gluten free, as most rice brands are gluten free, and you’ll eat within your own macros.

It also makes great leftovers for lunch as the Biryani spices develop even more flavour overnight. In my family, spicy Indian food is always a huge hit so I make sure that I prepare plenty to have for lunch the next day, or if you’re like my husband, for breakfast!

I hope you guys enjoy this recipe. Leave me a comment and let me know what kind of dinners you like to have and what macro split works best for you.

xx

 

Biryani cauliflower rice stuffed acorn squash
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 8 portions
This Indian Biryani cauliflower rice is spicy and perfect for a lower carb dinner. The acorn squash is not only a pretty bowl but adds just the right amount of creaminess to the dish. Don’t be intimidated by the long list of steps. It does take a bit of time but it is totally worth it!
Ingredients
  • 2 acorn squash, washed and cut in half
  • 4 Tbs olive oil, divided
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 garlic gloves, minced
  • 2 Cups porcini mushrooms, diced
  • 1 medium zucchini, diced
  • 1 cauliflower head, cut into large chunks
  • 2-4 Tbs Biryani masala powder mix (depending on how spicy you like it)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven at 375°.
  2. With a spoon, remove the seeds from the squash and keep for a later use.
  3. In a sheet pan, place the acorn squash halves and drizzle with 2 Tbs of olive oil, salt and pepper.
  4. Place in the oven and cook for 35 minutes.
  5. While the squash in cooking, prepare the Biryani cauliflower rice.
  6. In a food processor with an S blade, pulse the cauliflower chunks until you get a rice like consistency. This may take 2-3 times, scraping the bottom of the processor with a spatula to get all the cauliflower chunks. Set aside.
  7. In pan, heat 1 Tbs of olive oil over medium high heat.
  8. Add the garlic and onion and stir. Cook for 3 minutes.
  9. Add the mushrooms and cook for another 3 minutes.
  10. Add the zucchini and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent the vegetables from burning.
  11. Remove the pan from heat and pour the vegetables into a mixing bowl. Set aside.
  12. Bring the pan back on the heat and add the remaining 1 Tbs of olive oil.
  13. Add the cauliflower rice and stir. Cook for 5 minutes.
  14. Add the vegetables back into the pan with the cauliflower rice and add the Biryani masala powder mix.
  15. Salt and pepper to taste and remove from heat.
  16. When the 35 minutes is up, remove the squash from the oven.
  17. With a large spoon, very carefully scoop some of the squash meat out to create a nice hallow bowl.
  18. Add the squash meat to the cauliflower rice and stir.
  19. Add the cauliflower rice into the acorn squash bowl and out back in the oven.
  20. Set the oven on broil and cook for 5 minutes, watching over carefully so the squash or cauliflower doesn’t burn.
  21. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes.

 

French lentil Cakes

 

Happy Monday friends,

Ah les lentilles françaises, un vrai délice! If you’re French is a bit rusty, that means: Ah French lentils, how delicious!

French lentils, sometimes called Puy lentils (from the Puy region in France where they are cultivated) are often my go-to bean when I need to make a soup, a salad or in this case, a patty cake. One of the reason is that those little gems are slightly smaller in size then their cousins the brown and green lentils and they also hold their shape much better. The taste is also slightly different. The French lentils tend to taste earthier, in contrast to the brown and green lentils that I find taste a bit more…peppery.

I also choose lentils over other beans, generally speaking, because of their nutritional makeup. These little guys are serious power houses. According to a great article written by Dr.Axe, lentils have been found to lower bad cholesterol and prevent heart disease, improve digestive health, help alkalize the body and regulate the pH level, help manage blood sugar levels, are high in protein and improve immunity. Not bad for such a little pod!

The nutritional data of one cup of cooked French lentils breaks down like this:

  • 230 calories
  • 18 grams protein
  • 15 grams of fiber
  • 3.5 grams sugar
  • less than 1 gram fat
  • 358 milligrams folate (90 percent DV)
  • 1 milligram manganese (49 percent DV)
  • 6.6 milligrams iron (37 percent DV)
  • 356 milligrams phosphorus (36 percent DV)
  • 0.5 milligrams copper (25 percent DV)
  • 0.5 milligrams thiamine (22 percent DV)
  • 731 milligrams potassium (21 percent DV)
  • 71 milligrams magnesium (18 percent DV)
  • 0.4 milligrams vitamin B6 (18 percent DV)
  • 2.5 milligrams zinc (17 percent DV)
  • 1.3 milligrams vitamin B5/pantothenic acid (13 percent DV)

I told you it was good stuff!

Fiber and protein are the two big winners for me here (along with folate, manganese, iron…but let’s stick to the basics).

When eating a plant based diet and living a very active lifestyle, you want to make sure your body is getting enough protein. The average recommended intake is 42 grams of protein, give or take a little depending on your lifestyle. So lentils here are a no brainer, providing 43% of your daily protein intake in just one cup! But fiber plays just as vital a role and is not nearly as talked about as protein. Sadly, very few people here in North America still meet their minimum daily fiber requirement.

According to Michael Greger, M.D. FACLM over at NutritionFacts.org, “less than 3% of Americans get even the recommended minimum adequate intake of fiber. On average, we get only about 15 grams a day. The minimum daily requirement is 31.5 [grams], so we get less than half the minimum. Men are particularly deficient. If we break down intake by age and gender, after studying the diets of 12,761 Americans, the percent of men between ages 14 and 50 getting the minimum adequate intake is zero.”

“This deficit is stunning in that dietary fiber has been protectively associated in population studies with the risk of diabetes, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and various cancers as well high cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugars. Therefore, it is not surprising that fiber is listed as a nutrient of concern reported by the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee.”

 

This is not good news my friends! But with just one cup of cooked lentils, you reach half your daily fiber intake goal. Add a pear, a banana and a nice oat muffin and you’ve easily met your total daily goal. Heck, you could even combine all of those in one meal. And you’ll feel so much better when you do!

This recipe for French lentil cakes easily allows you to meet your total daily fiber intake. I don’t normally calculate nutrition information for my recipes because I believe you should eat intuitively (promise I will write a post on that very soon) but I did calculate the fiber content per serving of this recipe and it adds up to 34 grams of fiber ( I used this calculator).

I hope you and your family enjoy these power house French lentil cakes. Leave me a comment and let me know how you make sure you have enough fiber in your diet.

xx

French lentil Cakes
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6 portions
These lentil cakes are easy to make, gluten-free and very versatile. You can eat them as is, served with a side salad or in a bun, sandwiched between some lettuce leafs, pickles, tomatoes and avocado slices! They also freeze well for up to three months.
Ingredients
  • 2 Cups cooked French lentils, canned
  • 1 Cup sweet potato, peeled and cubed
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cubed
  • 2 Cups parsnips, peeled and cubed
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 tsp olive oil – divided
  • 1 tsp Italian herb mix
  • 1 tsp roasted garlic, ground
  • 1/4 Cup fresh parsley
  • 1/2 Cup brown rice flour
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Add your root vegetables to a steamer basket and set over a pot of water. Make sure you’ve peeled and cut your root vegetables about the same size so they’ll steam in the same time.
  2. Bring the water to a boil and allow the vegetables to cook for 10 minutes or until fork tender.
  3. In the meantime, in a pan, heat 2 tsp of olive oil over medium high heat.
  4. Add the onion and the garlic and cook for 3 minutes.
  5. Add the Italian herb mix and stir.
  6. Remove from heat and add to a mixing bowl.
  7. Add the French lentils and the root vegetables once cooked.
  8. With a potato masher, mash the mixture until you reach a thick but smooth consistency.
  9. Add the brown rice flour, salt and pepper. Mix well.
  10. The mixture will get thick.
  11. Add the parsley.
  12. If you have a few extra minutes to spare, put in the fridge to set for 10-15 minutes. The cakes will be easier to form.
  13. Spray a plate with some oil.
  14. With an ice cream scoop, scoop out portions of the mixture and flatten with a spatula on the plate.
  15. Heat the remaining olive oil in a pan over medium high heat.
  16. Place the patty cakes in the pan and cook 3 minutes on each side until lightly brown.

 

Overnight festive oats

 

Good morning,

Did you sleep well, did you wake up fully rested and ready to start the day, was your morning rushed or flowing flawlessly?  Do you need a hearty breakfast to get your through the morning hustle or do you crave something creamy and cozy to go with that steaming cup of coffee or tea? Whatever your night or morning has been like, this breakfast will bring a little festive feeling to your day and I’m sure will put a smile on your face.

It’s no secret that I love breakfast. I always have. I think it has a lot to do with the fact that I wake up hungry most mornings but even more so with the types of food that is served at breakfast: protein smoothies, pancakes, waffles, fresh fruit bowls, warm porridge, overnight oats. I was never one to have dinner leftovers for breakfast. No, I crave breakfast food! I’ve actually been know to have breakfast for dinner many times, mostly when my husband is out and I’m home by myself. He doesn’t really fancy pumpkin pancakes with strawberries for dinner. Funny enough, I consider that a treat! Hahaha

That being said, I did, at one point in my life, try intermittent fasting or IF. It was all the craze back in early 2010, when the paleo/warrior/primal diet was all the rage in the dieting/health scene. After reading quite a bit on the subject, including the popular Eat Stop Eat book by Brad Pilon, I thought I’d give it a try. According to some scientific research, intermittent fasting has a lot of benefits for your body such as  improving biomarkers of disease, reducing oxidative stress and preserving learning and memory functions, according to Mark Mattson, senior investigator for the National Institute on Aging, part of the US National Institutes of Health. According to M. Mattson, there are several theories about why fasting provides physiological benefits. The one that him and his team has studied a lot, and designed experiments to test, is the hypothesis that during the fasting period, cells are under a mild stress,” he says “And they respond to the stress adaptively by enhancing their ability to cope with stress and, maybe, to resist disease.”

So what is intermittent fasting? According to an article written by Greg Nuckols over at Stronger By Science, Martin Berkhan, was one of the pioneers for bringing IF mainstream (Leangains, as he termed it),  and his approach is pretty straightforward: Eat all of your daily calories in an 8-hour window and fast the other 16 hours of the day. During the fasting window, you can drink zero-calorie beverages (and you can sip some BCAAs around your workout if you have to train in the middle of your fasting window), but restrict anything with any caloric content.

So how does this apply to your daily life? Well your day would look something like this:

6 am -7 am: wake up
8 am: water and coffee or tea but no sugar or vegan cream added (no calories)
12 pm: breakfast
3 pm: lunch
6 pm: dinner
7:30 pm: snack which is your last bite of food for the day
10 pm – 11pm: bedtime

Essentially, you’re skipping breakfast and eating around lunch time!

If you workout in the morning, you would do so on an empty stomach and could sip on BCAA during your training. If you workout later in the day, you’d have food in your belly to fuel your workout.

Now most people apply IF for weight loss purposes as some experts believe that working out in a fasted state forces your body to release fat stored in your fat cells for energy. This is still up for debate.

Now here’s the tricky part that very few experts discuss: you still need to eat within your caloric range and the proper foods if weight loss is your goal. If you are so hungry by the time the clock hits noon that you scurf down twice the size of your regular breakfast and can’t stop yourself from snacking the rest for the day because you are still so hungry, well you’re missing the point and you won’t see much result, at least in terms of weight loss. Improved health, perhaps. But weight loss, no. You might actually experience the opposite and notice your waistline is expanding instead of shrinking. IF is not about eating all you can shove in your mouth within a smaller window of time, it’s about eating the same things you would normally eat, or preferably less, within a set, narrower, timeframe.

And that was exactly my downfall: I would be so hungry by the time lunch rolled around, that I would eat twice and even three times the amount of food I would normally eat at one sitting and I would still eat my regular portion meals and snacks for the rest of the day. Actually, I was simply hungry all day.  As if I was never fully satisfied and my body was trying to catch up to my missed meal. The worst days were when I trained in the morning (which is pretty much the only time I have in my day to exercise!). Those days, I could eat continuously! And I felt like it was just not never enough food…

So after a few months (yes, I did stick it out for about 6 months – I wanted to see if my body would finally adapt to this new way of eating – it didn’t!) I came to the realization that this IF thing was just not for me: I need my breakfast in the morning, preferably within one hour or so of waking. I need fuel to start off my day and I need more fuel to sustain me throughout the day. So I would say my eating window is 11 hours: from around 8am to 7pm. That’s what works for me. And if there’s one things I’ve learned through my years of reading science articles on the latest diet and nutrition trend is that no matter what experts say, your body knows whats best. I’m not talking about your cravings, I’m taking about your actual body needs to strive. I’ll discuss Intuitive Eating in a later post.

In the meantime, if breakfast is as important to you as it is to me, here’s a festive overnight oats recipe to get your day started off right.

Hope you guys enjoy this recipe. Leave me a comment to let me know if you’ve tried intermittent fasting and if it worked for you.

xx

Overnight festive oats
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 4 portions
These overnight oats are super easy to throw together and make for an easy peasy breakfast on busy mornings. Get your children involved and let them choose and prepare their toppings the night before. Have some sliced fruits and nuts available and a few glass jars. It’ll make for a fun family activity.
Ingredients
  • 3 Cups gluten free rolled oats (I like instant oats better as I find they absorb liquid faster)
  • 2 Tbs chia seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon, ground
  • 12 drops of liquid Stevia
  • 4 Cups nut milk (I use pea milk for added protein)
  • 1/2 Cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1/3 Cup dried cranberries (try to buy sulphite free)
  • 1/3 Cup shredded coconut, unsweetened
  • 1 Cup fresh cranberries or other fresh or frozen fruits such a bananas, pears, peaches or blueberries
Instructions
  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the oats, chia seeds and cinnamon.
  2. Divide amongst 4 glass jars.
  3. Divide and add the milk and 3 drops of stevia in each jar. Stir to combine.
  4. Let set overnight in the fridge or at least for 4 hours.
  5. In the morning, top each jar with walnuts, dried cranberries, shredded coconut and your choice of fruit.

 

Sweet potato & red lentil soup

 

 

Good morning beautiful friends,

We are definitely in the midst of autumn now. The morning air is cool (I should actually say cold since it was 2°C – 36°F– overnight!), the grass has frosty little tips and it is now completely dark outside when I wake up at 4:50am. Yes, I wake up at 4:50am… most mornings, including weekends! I mainly do so because it’s really the only time I can get anything done before my son wakes up (he usually wakes up around 6am now which is a huge improvement from 4:30am!) and also because I enjoy waking up early. There is something about the type of quiet in the morning that is not the same as evening or night quiet. Morning quiet is full of mystery and promises. I also feel an immense sense of peace and gratefulness in the morning that I find gets cluttered by all the day’s events by the time the evening rolls around.

And yes I do enjoy the cooler weather. I find it adds to the mystery of the morning. And I find I am simply more productive during the day. When the weather is hot and humid, I find myself daydreaming about taking a swim in the ocean, chillin by the beach or hanging out poolside somewhere exotic…  When it’s colder, I’m just more focused! And because I love colder weather, I inevitably love belly warming food. Like this soup.

This soup…yes, this soup, is just as good as it gets when in need of some warmth on those cold autumn nights. It has a smooth and creamy texture and the mix of spices like coriander, cumin, cardamom and nutmeg warm up your heart and soul right away. The base for this soup resembles a lot the traditional red lentil soup I’ve had the pleasure of eating so many times over while traveling through the Middle-East. I won’t lie, the first time I had it was in Cairo, Egypt and it was love at first bite. Many countries I’ve visited, claim to be the originators of this soup but just like the origins of marinara sauce for Italians, it is a mystery that I’m afraid will remain unsolved.

I’ve diverged slightly from the traditional red lentil soup because I was craving something a bit creamier so I added some sweet potatoes. I also wanted to make good use of the celery I had in my fridge and boost the nutrient content of this soup. I hope you like these additions as much as I did!

Hope you guys enjoy this soup. Leave me a comment and let me know what traditional dish you enjoy but added your own twist to.

xx

 

Sweet potato lentil soup
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 8 portions
This soup is very similar to the one I ate while traveling the middle east. I did however add a few ingredients of my own, to make it a bit more creamy and nutrient dense. Sweet potato and celery are not usual ingredients for this soup but they do find a home here.
Ingredients
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 3 garlic gloves, minced
  • 2 celery stalk, diced
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and roughly diced
  • 3 Cups red lentils, dry
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds, ground
  • 1 tsp cumin, ground
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg, ground
  • 1/4 tsp cloves, ground
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom, ground
  • 1 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 bay leafs
  • 7 Cups of water
  • 3 Tbs lemon juice
Instructions
  1. In a large cooking pot, melt the coconut oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the spices and stir frequently to prevent burning. Cook for 2 mins. The spices will release an amazing aroma
  3. Add the onion and garlic and coat with the spices. Cook for another 2 mins.
  4. Add the celery and sweet potato and stir. Cook for another minute.
  5. Add the red lentils and stir everything together.
  6. Add the water and bring to a boil.
  7. Once the soup is boiling, stir and bring the heat back down to low and let simmer for 35-40 mins.
  8. Remove the pot from the stove top and let cool a few minutes.
  9. Remove bay leafs.
  10. When cooled, blend the soup using a hand blender. It will give a nice rich and creamy texture.
  11. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
  12. Add lemon juice and serve.

 

Breakfast Zucchini Carrot Cake

 

Good morning beautiful friends,

We have survived Monday and I think this deserves cake! A healthy, nutrient pack, breakfast cake that is… Something a little sweet and just naughty enough to accompany a hot cup of coffee or tea, whether you’re storming out the door with mug and cake in hand or just nestling down in your favourite chair to enjoy some me time before the day gets crazy. Either way, this cake is for you this morning!

I have the fondest memories of breakfast cakes. When I was growing up, my mom used to make her breakfast yogurt cake. On Sunday nights, my mom would make her own yogurt in a weird looking container that she probably owned since the early 70’s. The yogurt would ferment and “cook” all night then chill all day Monday. Then on Monday night, she would make her yogurt breakfast cake with the freshly made yogurt and fresh strawberries. It was a dense, thick and only slightly sweet cake, that kept us full and satisfied well until lunch time. My mom would always serve us a slice a cake with additional fruits on the side like a banana or an apple. And she insisted we eat the fruit. No fruit, no cake!

Needless to say, the cake was always a huge hit in our house and it didn’t last longer then that very morning… Although we always asked my mom to make it more often, she kept it as a treat for us and would never make it more then once a week or even once every two weeks. Looking back now, I understand how time consuming making that cake was since my mom always insisted on making her own yogurt. Being a mom myself now and juggling a crazy work schedule, I’m even more grateful of how well my mom fed us as kids and how she instilled in us the love of good wholesome, homemade foods.

So this cake is somewhat of an homage to my mom’s breakfast cake. Although I don’t eat yogurt anymore, this cake has the same dense, thick and only slightly sweet taste as my mom’s breakfast cake. And I think she would be proud as it is full of good for you ingredients like carrots, zucchinis, applesauce and coconut oil. Come to think of it, I might make it again today, in the gluten free version, and bring her a slice!

Hope you guys enjoy this cake! Leave me a comment and let me know what childhood breakfast you grew up loving…

 

xx

 

Breakfast Zucchini Carrot Cake
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 12 portions
This cake is perfect for breakfast on the go. I’ve made this cake with both a mixture of wholewheat and buckwheat flour and with Bob’s Red Mill gluten free flour. It turned out great both times. Since this is a breakfast cake, it’s a lot more dense then your usual airy and fluffy dessert cakes. I also don’t like my breakfast cakes to be too sweet. If you like sweet cakes in the morning, you can bring the sugar content up to 3/4 Cup instead of the 2/3 cup indicated in the recipe. Enjoy it with a side of coconut yogurt or a nice cup of hot coffee!
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 Cup grated zucchini
  • 2 Cups grated carrots
  • 1/2 Cup shredded coconut, unsweetened
  • 1/3 Cup applesauce, unsweetened
  • 1/3 Cup coconut sugar
  • 3/4 Cup milk alternative (I used cashew milk)
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2/3 Cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 3/4 Cups wholewheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 Cup buckwheat flour (replace both flours with 2 1/4 Cup GF flour if needed)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven at 350 degrees.
  2. Grease an 8X8 glass baking dish and set aside.
  3. In a bowl, combine your shredded zucchini, carrots and coconut.
  4. Add the sugar, milk, vanilla extract, applesauce and coconut oil and stir to combine.
  5. In a separate mixing bowl, combine the remaining dry ingredients. Whisk to combine well.
  6. Add the zucchini and carrot mixture to the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon to combine evenly.
  7. No need to overmix, the cake batter will be thick.
  8. Pour the cake batter into the greased dish and place it on the middle rack in the oven.
  9. Bake for 35 minutes. The top will be golden brown.
  10. Take out of the oven and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes.

 

Autumn Carrot & Turnip soup

 

 

Hello my beautiful friends,

It has been far too long… I had originally written almost an entire post (just not complete enough to publish it!) on Canadian Thanksgiving with more tips and tricks about hosting a stress free gathering, along with the soup recipe I was going to serve. Unfortunately, my son got very sick the week before Thanksgiving and everything came to a halt. And I mean everything came to a halt. At that moment, nothing else mattered other then figuring out what was going on with Adriano and getting him better. It is such a nerve racking experience to see your child get sick and feel so powerless… Because Adriano is only 14 months, he can’t tell me what’s wrong and it makes me feel completely at a loss and unable to help him. It’s quite a humbling experience…

That being said, I am happy to say he is now almost fully recovered but it was a very scary two weeks. When Adriano finally started eating and drinking again it’s a huge relief and I knew things would get better from there… And they did.

And so needless to say, we completely missed Thanksgiving! I did manage to serve this soup I had made and kept in the freezer, alongside some mashed potatoes, cranberry stuffing, marinated tempeh (for which I’ll post the recipe later on this week because it is completely to die for… or should I say, to be thankful for! lol) and a green salad. It was far from the celebration I had prepared for (I’ve been hosting Thanksgiving for years now and it’s one of my very favourite holidays alongside Easter!) but considering everything (did I mention I got pretty sick also, spending 2 full days barely being able to move from the couch!), I think it turned out pretty good.

What I missed the most this year was spending time with my family. Because Adriano was sick, and so was I, and doctors couldn’t figure out what was going on with him, we didn’t want to chance it and have my sister, her kids, my parents or my in-laws exposed to whatever virus or whatever else was going on. So we stayed home… I won’t lie, not being able to see my family or part take in our yearly post meal soccer game made me realize just how thankful I am to have such an amazing family. It made me realize how lucky I am to have so many great people in my life that I can count on, on a moment’s notice. It also made me realize how grateful I am for my husband and my son and how precious they are to me…

When something is taken away from you, regardless of how benign or little it is, it wakes something up in you and makes you realize just how lucky you are… Or at least that’s how I feel. Thankful and grateful. And even though my husband Chris and I didn’t get to have our traditional Thanksgiving, we were so thankful we were even able to even have a thanksgiving meal and that our son was home with us.

So even though this soup recipe won’t make it to your Thanksgiving table, it is totally worth making because it is easy, delicious, nutritious and heart warming… Oh and did I mention you can freeze it and keep it in the freezer for up to 3 months. Perfect for when you are pressed for time and need to crab something to feed your family. This soup is hearty enough to make a meal on it’s own, served with some crusty bread for dipping or a side salad.

I hope all of you had an amazing Thanksgiving, that you took the time to say thanks for everything you have in your life and be grateful for everyone that shared the day with you.

Leave me a comment and let me know what you guys did for Thanksgiving and what made it to your table!

xx

 

Carrot & turnip soup
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6 portions
This is such a versatile soup. If you don’t have turnips (or you don’t like them!), you can add squash or other root vegetable you have on hand and that your family enjoys. You can serve it topped with some vegan sour cream and chopped chives for a pretty finishing touch.
Ingredients
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 garlic gloves, minced
  • 1 leek, white part only, sliced thick
  • 2 celery sticks, sliced thick
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbs cumin, ground
  • 1/2 tsp all spice
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon, ground
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds, ground
  • 7 large carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 turnip, cut in cubes
  • 1 medium white potato, cut into cubes (I used a Russet potato)
  • 8 cups vegetable broth
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil on medium high heat.
  2. Add the diced onion, garlic and leek.
  3. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add the spices and coat the onion mixture. Cook for an additional 2 minutes until the spices become fragrant. Be careful no to burn the spices so stir frequently.
  5. Add the remaining vegetables and coat with the onion spice mixture. Cook for another 2 minutes.
  6. Add the broth and bring to a boil.
  7. Once the soup is boiling, bring the heat back down to medium low and let simmer for 20 minutes.
  8. With a fork, check to make sure the carrots and potatoes are well cooked (cooking time will depend greatly on how thick or thin you cut the root vegetables). Add another 5 minutes if not cooked through.
  9. Once cooked, allow the soup to cool slightly then with a hand blender, blend the soup until you reach a nice creamy consistency.
  10. Serve with vegan sour cream and chives or allow to cool completely, transfer to glass jars and freeze for alter use.

 

All vegetable stuffed peppers

 

 

Good evening beautiful friends,

I don’t know about you, but one of the reasons I enjoy cooking so much is to make other people happy. Yes, I’m a people pleaser. I like to make other people smile. It makes me happy when people are happy because of the food I made for them.  Since adopting a plant based lifestyle, my main focus has been to show my friends and family how amazing and flavourful, a plant based diet can be. I don’t force my lifestyle choices down their throats. But instead, I choose to show them how delicious it can be. And by offering them a delectable variety of flavours and tastes, I’m hoping they’ll be motivated to make more plant based meals of their own or “veganize” one of their favourite meals.

I’m always thrilled, and happily surprised, when my friends reach out to me for help on veganizing a family favourite dish or for help on how to make a vegan meal from scratch that everyone in the family will love, including the meat-eating partner or the very picky toddler. It means I’m doing my job well. That makes me super happy!

And this is what this recipe is: a veganized version of one of my favourite meals my mom used to make when I was younger. Back then, the peppers were stuffed with a mixture of ground beef, white rice, diced tomatoes, celery, onion and spices. And it was served with a nice green side salad. Now I haven’t changed the side dish and still serve the stuffed pepper with a green salad, but I definetly modified the filling.

I also wanted to make the filling gluten and grain free. Like I mentioned in a previous post, my mom went gluten free a few years ago, in a desperate attempt to cure her acute arthritis that kept her away from her piano. My mom has been playing the piano for over 50 years so for her to not be able to play, was devastating. Well, I can happily report that my mom is now back at her piano and her arthritis is almost completely cleared. I do have to mention that she cut out more then just gluten. She also cut out dairy (which I had been insisting on for years!), corn and other inflammation causing foods. The protocol she follows is the hypo toxic diet as described by Dre Jacqueline Lagacée in her book, “The End of Pain”. I would encourage you to take a look at her books if you feel you’re not operating on an optimum level and pain is part of your daily life. Although not plant based, her book does point out what foods to eliminate and for what reasons. She is a published immunologist so her books are based on tons of sound scientific research. I myself, implement a lot of her hypo toxic protocol while sticking to a plant based diet as I believe the lather is what keeps me at my healthiest and happiest.

So back to the stuffed peppers… To replace the grains and gluten, I made cauliflower rice. Now it’s not as intimidating or as weird as it may sound… Cauliflower rice is actually made of raw cauliflower that is passed through a grating blade or an s-shape blade of a food processor and pulsed until it looks like little grains of rice. To cook cauliflower rice, I add it to a hot wok-like pan with a little olive or coconut oil. I keep the pan hot so the rice doesn’t steam. I want it to be a bit crispy so I stir it constantly with a wooden spoon to prevent sticking and burning while keeping the pan hot. Cauliflower rice is a great replacement in many dishes that require rice or other grains.

I also added lentils in replacement for the minced meat to give it that extra boost of protein. Lentils are the power house of protein in the plant based world so I always find it’s a great addition to a dish. Salsa verde has replaced the diced tomatoes to give the dish a nice spicy kick. If you don’t like spicy food, you add canned diced tomatoes or mild salsa.

Once the peppers are stuffed, I pop them back into the oven for 40-45 minutes so they get that crispy top and soft outer shell. But you don’t have to! If you like your peppers crunchy, you can just fill them up and eat them right away or pop them in the oven under the broiler and let the top crisp up a few minutes.

I hope you guys enjoy this recipe. Leave a comment and let me know what family recipe you’ve transformed and veganized.

xx

All vegetable stuffed peppers
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4 portions
This recipe is a veganized version of a family favourite. I made it gluten and grain free for those that have eliminated these foods from their diet. However, if you have no problem with grains, you can add cooked rice instead of the cauliflower. This recipe calls for Montreal Steak Spice but trust me, it contains no steak whatsoever…I actually don’t know why that spice mix has that name!
Ingredients
  • 1 cauliflower head, washed and cut into chunks,
  • 1 Tbs coconut oil
  • 5 medium size peppers ( I use different coloured peppers to make it visually interesting)
  • 1 Cup cooked lentils
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 2/3 Cup salsa verde
  • 2 Tbs Montreal Steak Spice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Cilantro and vegan yogurt to serve
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven at 350 degrees.
  2. Wash and cut your cauliflower into chunks.
  3. Take your food processor out and insert a grating blade. Pass the cauliflower chunks through the feeder. The cauliflower should come out looking like little grains of rice.
  4. Set aside.
  5. Dice one of the five peppers, the onion, garlic and the celery.
  6. In a sauce pan, melt the coconut oil on medium high heat. Add the onions, garlic and celery.
  7. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until onion is translucent. Add the pepper and stir.
  8. Bring up the heat to high and add the cauliflower rice. Stir frequently and scrap the bottom of the pan to prevent burning.
  9. Turn the heat back down to medium and add the lentils, salsa and spices. Stir to combine.
  10. Take off the heat and set aside.
  11. Cut the remaining peppers in half and remove the core and seeds.
  12. Place peppers in an oven safe dish and rub a little coconut oil at the bottom to prevent burning.
  13. Place your peppers in the dish and stuff with the cauliflower filling.
  14. Place the dish in the oven for 40 to 45 minutes, until the peppers are soft and the filling is crispy.
  15. Serve with fresh cilantro and a dollop of vegan yogurt.