Posted in vegan recipes

Vegan Red Beans and Rice low fat no oil

Growing up in Southeast Texas, vegan was not even a zygote of a concept in my 1980s childhood world. In that Louisiana border region, I ate my fair share of po’ boys, boudin (don’t ask!), red beans and rice, jambalaya, hush puppies, corn pone, and gumbo. I wasn’t genetically from the south, being from a midwestern Scottish-English and newly American Italian East coast blend, but my foodie sensibilities were reared eating a plethora of cuisines from Creole to Mexican to African to Soul Food to Bavarian to Italian to French to the standard American diet, and more.
I live in Canada and am Canadian today, and it’s rare to experience a foodie encounter with anyone who knows true Creole cuisine, let alone a vegan who does! And better still, it’s rare to find a vegan foodie who goes for my preferred no added salt, no oil, no refined or high naturally glycemic sugars creations. Also, I don’t do most gluten. I’m a handful, but a healthy and fit feeling one!
So, I decided one morning while craving red beans and rice (I can still say it with that distinct Sabine River accent) that I’d try my finely tuned cheffie hands at an ingrained favourite. We can always fix it on the plate if it sucks in the pot, eh?
I used the slow cooker method with my beloved instant Pot (iPot), but you can use any method you like. I honestly don’t think it will come together as well in a traditional slow cooker unless you use a white rice, though.
Ready? Set! Here we go! [Don’t forget the Zydeco music for some spice-piration]

Fraser Valley Vegan’s Red Beans and Rice — low fat no oil friendly version

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You will need:
2 cups cooked red beans, no salt added (you can find these in most markets, but substitute pinto or kidney or any bean you love in your chilli that goes nicely with tomato and won’t be too bitter) * I prefer to cook all of my beans from dry in my iPot
1 large sweet yellow onion, chopped
1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, diced (optional) or 1/2 tsp red chilli flakes
4 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
2-4 stalks celery, diced
1 large can tomatoes with no salt added, or freshly chopped equivalent plus vegetable broth with no added salt
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp thyme or a handful of fresh sprigs de-stemmed
For Later:
Juice of 1 small lemon or 1 tbs lemon juice
1 cup rinsed long grain rice (I prefer brown, but add a bit more liquid when this is added later if brown is used)
Ground black pepper
Sweetener of choice eg. monkfruit based maple syrup, stevia, unsweetened applesauce, natural dehydrated unsweetened apple chips, etc… (optional if you like a really honey barbecue type flavour)
What you’ll do:
Turn iPot to low and set for 5 hours
Place above ingredients into the pot, stir, and check at 4 hours for softness of onions. If translucent at edges, go ahead and move on, but if not, leave for rest of the 5 hours.
Add the lemon juice and rice. Stir well, checking flavour and adjusting by adding any ground pepper or sweetness to offset the acidity if desired. Mine did not need it once it came together with all of the rice and bean starches.
Set slow cooker to high and timer to 2 hours, check after 1 hour and if soft/cooked well, you’re ready! My brown rice took the full 2 hours.
Serve with a side of smoked tofu, corn on the cob, or just by itself. It’s amazing like that too!
Mangia!
Posted in vegan recipes

Vegan Easy Lime Mini Pies

key lime tart - raw images - 2018-05-05--001

I loved these so much that I replaced my morning coconut yogurts with them until they ran out. It’s so yummy to scoop out a perfect bite of the ginger flax cookie mixture too because it’s sweet and nutty.  So good! I chose to make mine completely without sugar, using monkfruit and stevia instead. As a result, mine were under 100 calories a serving.

However you choose to make yours, they will be delicious and nutritious…perfect to welcome the warmer weather with zest!

What You’ll Need For the Soft Cookie “Crust”:

2 tbs ground flax seeds, additional tbsp. whole flax seeds or chia seeds if you want it to be crunchy

1 tbs freshly grated or 1/2 tsp ground dehydrated ginger (optional but it makes a huge difference as the pies sit over time)

1/2 tsp freshly ground cinnamon

2 tsp maca, lucuma, or mesquite powder

1 tsp sugar/replacement of choice

 

What You’ll Need To Do First:

-prepare above and line 4 x 4oz jars or ramekins with equal parts of the mixture

-set aside in the freezer to chill and receive pie fillings later

 

What You’ll Need For the Pie Filling:

1 box firm silken tofu, drained

1/8 cup freshly squeezed lime juice

3/8 cup sugar/equivalent (I opted to add an additional 2 tbs of Lakanto maple syrup for depth)

Dash Himalayan salt

1/2 tbs cornstarch, organic

 

Lime zest reserved (optional, use if organic)

 

What You’ll Need To Do Next:

~ Combine all ingredients in a food processor except for lime zest.

~ Pulse to shake tofu well into all ingredients, then process until very smooth (2 minutes or so as you want it creamy), stopping when necessary to scrape down sides

~ *If using lime zest, pulse in as much as you like for appearance and flavor (it will add zip against your sweetness), and save a few for garnish!)

~ Divide evenly and pour into your 4 jars or ramekins, adding some pretty lime zest if desired

~ Chill for at least 4 hours to set, and they taste better after at least 1 overnight in the refrigerator

~ Freezes well too!

 

Mangia!

key lime tart - raw images - 2018-05-05--004

Posted in Uncategorized

Oh! Canawa

48EC6A84-8E17-47E1-859E-CB540B24BF27A month or so ago, my wife brought home a new grain purchased at Whole Foods in Vancouver. I’d never heard of it and she had tasted a cold salad with an olive oil-lemon juice-parsley-garlic theme and raved about these little seeds.

I love sprouted quinoa (not a fan much of the seedier varieties unless I want hot and sweet breakfast cereal). I also find sprouted quinoa one of the quickest, easiest and most versatile lighter grains to work with. I’ve been on a kick of reducing my heavier/higher glycemic grain index consumption and decided to play with canawa yesterday.

We had precious little by way of fresh herbs (as in none!). So, this is just a rough draft and exercise for me of how this grain behaves. I couldn’t find cooking ratios online and had to just go with my quinoa knowledge of 1 parts grain to 2 parts water.

I would have let it rest far longer the the 8-12 minutes one does for sprouted quinoa. It was a bit dry and mealy for me immediately following preparation. I preferred the canawa texture after a night in the refrigerator, soaking in olive oil, lemon juice and the carrots/chickpeas/caraway seeds/onion/garlic/dried dill/thyme/turmeric/pepper/salt you see above.

I am excited to try this with green olives, fresh cilantro and parsley, tomatoes and other tabouleh-like recipes.

I prefer sprouted quinoa at this point, but I am always up for an adventure with an ancient grain!

Mangia!

-Fraser Valley Vegan 2011

Posted in Uncategorized

Easy Freshly Squeezed Pomelo Juice

Easy Freshly Squeezed Pomelo Juice

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I recently began consuming a new fruit in my diet — the honey pomelo. I eat several per week at times but am temporarily unable to chew due to an oral surgery that’s taking a while to heal. I had one soldier beginning to rot, and wanted to salvage as much as I could of my treasure. I cut away the rotten portion and tried my novice hand at this recipe .

I hope you enjoy!

You’ll need:

1 large pomelo, with flesh removed (seeds remaining is ok)
1 cup of cold water or more to taste
Up to 1 cup of simple syrup (I homemade a stevia version)

Serves: 4

-place the fruit into a blender with decent speeds
-pulse until well broken down
-blend using liquify or juice if your appliance has it until you see a clearer substance (DO NOT SMOOTHIE as you’ll end up cold pressing the whole thing through strainers by hand)
-pack the pulp as tightly as you can with the carafe REMOVED from the base of the blender for safety
-carefully strain through a fine mesh strainer as you scrape down the flesh for maximum juice
-pour into mason jars/s and add the water and syrup in quarter batches as you taste for desired sweetness
-serve cold over ice or chilled

That’s it! You did it!

Time for some vegan cookies!