Vegan Reuben.

Lunch

Reuben sandwiches have been a personal favorite of mine since I was a young child. Across from the Value Village in Langley, there used to be a bistro named Patsy’s Uptown Bistro and they had the ultimate reubens ever! I used to eat it with a New York Seltzer Rootbeer…sheesh, hello 1980’s! This particular reuben isn’t like the ones I ate as a child or like the ones I ate habitually when pregnant with our daughter, but this is the one we have been eating since Sean has radically changed everything about the way he eats. This reueben pairs well with a little extra sauerkraut, a few slices of pickles, and homemade fries….yummy….but don’t forget to some greens to the mix!

Rueben Sandwich

Inspired by: Thrive Energy Cookbook.

Ingredients:

2 Thick slices sprouted bread (Silver Hills)

Virgin Coconut oil

1 to 2 tbsp Reuben dressing (see below)

1 tsp organic stoneground mustard

¼ cup Daiya cheese, mozzarella style

¼ avocado

4 slices tempeh, or tofu grilled each side for 2-3 minutes

3 large red onion rings (optional)

1/3 cup sauerkraut

1 small handful organic spinach leaves

2 large pickles, quartered, for garnish

 

How To Play:

Press the bread slices together and lightly spread some virgin coconut oil on the outsides. Cook in panini press (or oiled skillet) on medium high until golden and lightly crisp.

Pull the slices apart. Spread Rueben dressing on the untoasted side of one slice. Arrange the cheese on the other untoasted side of the other slice of bread, covering the entire surface. The heat of the toast will melt the cheese….

Arrange the avocado, tempeh, and onion rings over the Reuben dressing, then top with sauerkraut, baby spinach, and the top slice of bread. Cut the sandwich in half diagonally and serve with pickles.

 Reuben Dressing:

½ jar Wildwood Zesty Garlic Aioli (or homemade)

1 tbsp finely chopped chives

1 ½ tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 ½ tsp organic ketchup

1 tsp vegan Worcestershire sauce

½ tsp prepared horseradish

1 tsp agave nectar (I used maple syrup)

Pinch of freshly ground pepper

How To Play:

In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients. Whisk together until smooth and creamy.

Enjoy.

 

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Swaying in Fall.

The lights are low. The candles are soft. The music is immediate. Fall is tapping on the windows of our home and yes, I welcome it with a warm embrace. This is the moment the oven is on for the most of the day roasting vegetables, pumpkins, and feta cheese garlic spread. The experimentation of recipes has begun. A fantastic dessert to be shared from Oh She Glows may just be the thing you are looking for this week. It is chocolate perfection, not too sweet, and great to be shared with a fantastic tea, friends, and Dean Martin, of course.

Chilled Chocolate Espresso Torte with Toasted Hazelnut Crust

From Oh She Glows

Makes 1 (9-inch / 23-cm) torte; serves 8–14

For the crust:
¾ cup hazelnuts
¼ cup coconut oil
3 Tbsp. maple syrup
¼ tsp. fine-grain sea salt
1 ½ cups, divided, gluten-free if necessary

For the filling:
1 ½ cups, soaked for at least 4 hours
¾  cup  pure maple syrup
½  cup coconut oil
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/3 cup dark chocolate chips, melted (I used chopped dark chocolate)
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract  
½ tsp. fine-grain sea salt
1 tbsp. espresso powder (optional)
shaved dark chocolate, for garnish (optional)
coconut flakes, for garnish (optional)

How To Play:
1. Make the Crust: Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Lightly grease a 9-inch (23 cm) pie dish with coconut oil.
2. In a food processor, blend ½ cup of the rolled oats on high until you have a rough flour, place a small bowl and set aside. Without cleaning the machine, process the hazelnuts into a fine crumb with the texture of sand. Add the coconut oil, maple syrup, salt, and oat flour and process again until the dough comes together. Finally, add the remaining 1 cup of rolled oats and pulse until the oats are chopped, but still have some texture to them. The dough should stick together slightly when pressed between your fingers. If it doesn’t, try adding a bit more maple syrup or processing a bit longer.
3. With your fingers, crumble the dough evenly over the base of the pie dish. Starting from the middle, press the mixture firmly and evenly into the dish, moving outward and upward along the side of the pie dish. The harder you press the crumbs into the dish, the better the crust will hold together. Poke a few fork holes into the bottom to let steam escape.
4. Bake the crust, uncovered, for 10 to 13 minutes, until lightly golden. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool on a rack for 15 to 20 minutes.
5. Make the filling: Drain and rinse the cashews. In a high-speed blender, combine the soaked cashews, maple syrup, oil, cocoa powder, melted chocolate, vanilla, salt, and espresso powder (if using) and blend on high until the filling is completely smooth. It can take a few minutes of blending to get it smooth, depending on your blender. If the blender needs more liquid to get it going, add a tablespoon (15 mL) of almond milk (or a bit more) to help it along.
6. Pour the filling into the prepared crust, smoothing out the top evenly. Garnish with shaved chocolate and/or coconut flakes, if desired.
7. Place the pie dish on an even surface in the freezer, uncovered. Freeze for a couple of hours, and then cover the dish with foil and freeze overnight, or for a minimum of 4 to 6 hours, until the pie sets.
8. Remove the pie from the freezer and let it sit on the counter for 10 minutes before slicing. This pie is meant to be served frozen.

I can not take credit for this photo, for we ate it before the camera could take a photo!

Chilled-Chocolate-Espresso-Torte-475x315

Photo Credit: Angela Liddon’s Oh She Glows.

A Piece of Humble Walnut Brownie…

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I am baking these right now as I listen to the Great Gatsby soundtrack. I have been very consistent with my 30 Day Challenge, however, today I really wanted to bake these and then freeze them. I have a pocket of time to do so. It seems as though there is never a pocket of time in which I can do much of anything these last few weeks. However, these brownies are really good and I am grateful to have stumbled across them when in a time of great confusion. I meant to post this a long time ago, but I just found it. Here is an old entry from a couple of months ago.

I run, I work out, and I eat well. I have an unfortunate tendency to pride myself on healthy lifestyle. I like to read, watch, and inform. It kind of has been a passion of mine since I was quite young. I remember in first grade, our teacher read us a book about a dragon who smoked. The book had an extensive list of all the chemicals that are in cigarettes. I ran with this. Every person I knew who smoked, I felt the utmost urgency to tell them all about what they were inhaling into their lungs. They didn’t seem to care. Anyhow, it has come to no surprise to my husband, that I have been fighting a cold for the last couple of weeks. I have had Laryngitis, a sinus infection, pink eye in both my eyes, and now what seems to be strep throat. Humble pie, no, but I will take a piece of Humble Gluten Free Walnut Brownie. I made this to comfort my bruised ego and my prideful blow. Judge not lest you be judged, so here I am with sincere apology. No more Judgey McJudgerson!

Gluten Free, Vegan, and Oil Free Walnut Chip Brownies

Inspired by Oh She Glows

Ingredients:
• 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce or finely grated apple
• 8 pitted medjool dates
• 1 medium ripe banana
• 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 1/2 cup brown teff flour
• 1/2 cup almond meal 
• 1/2 cup cocoa powder
• 2 tsp baking powder
• 1/2 tsp baking soda
• 1/4 tsp kosher salt
• 1/3 cup chopped walnuts 
• 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips 

How To Play:
1. Preheat oven to 350F and line an 8” x 8” pan with parchment paper so it overlaps on two sides. Lightly grease the parchment and sides of the pan with oil.
2. In the food processor, process the applesauce, dates, banana, maple syrup, and vanilla until almost smooth.
3. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the teff flour, almond meal, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
4. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix until just combined. Fold in the nuts and chips. Be careful not to overmix the batter.
5. Spoon batter into prepared pan and gently smooth out with a wet spatula. Batter will be very sticky! This is normal.
6. Bake for about 25-27 mins at 350F or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let brownies cool completely for at least 1 hour before slicing as they are VERY delicate and fall apart. It is suggested to cool and then freeze the brownies until firm, so you can slice them easier without them falling apart. Keep in a sealed container for up to 3 days.

 

Enjoy.

The Big, Big Kid…

Tonight when I was about to have a bath to “unwind” with my unbelievable awesome bath salts, 1 knocked on the door to use the bathroom.  As I waited for her to finish, she looked at the lit candle, stared at the bath salts thrown around in the bath and asked what I was doing.  I told her I was going to have a bath.  She looked at the bath again and saw her dolls and 2’s cars on the bath’s edge and asked if I was going to play with their toys.  I told her, “No, I was too big for toys, but I used to have toys when I was younger.”  She then told me I am a big big kid with kids, because I have a mom.  I liked this.  I haven’t thought of myself as a big big kid, ever, only when I was big in other ways, but yeah, being a big, big kid is a bit foreign to me.  I used to be way more easy going, but life happened.  Exams happened.  Deadlines, pressures, and bills happened.  Making dinners, budgeting and having to buy toilet paper and expensive gas happened.  I grew up.  I became wife, a mom, a role model.  Responsibilities happened.  However, I want my daughter to see me as a big big kid, because to me, that means things aren’t impossible, life isn’t difficult or challenging, and any thing is possible.  Now, I am not into Peter Pan, but I am into dreaming big.  I want my kids to dream big and to have big dreams.  I want them to believe for the impossible and to see the impossible become a reality, because of the belief they have.  I pray I become more and more of a big, big kid and that my kids grow up to be big kids, too, never losing their creative imagination and having faith to believe in the unseen world that embraces them and defines them.

Last week when Sean’s sister was here I made this for dinner with a fancy loaf.  To me there is nothing greater than eating a tasty Chili with a fancy loaf on a blustery day.  Like mentioned before, the West Coast can be a rainy coast, and that particular day was alright by me.  I hope you have time to make this chili one day.  It is from Post Punk Kitchen and it is delish!

Red Lentil Chili

(By Post Punk Kitchen)

Olive oil (1 teaspoon to 2 tablespoons, however much you feel like using)
1 large yellow onion, diced medium
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced medium
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 ½ lbs sweet potatoes cut into ¾ inch chunks
1 cup red lentils
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups vegetable broth
2 15 oz cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
1 15 oz can lowfat coconut milk
28 oz can diced tomatoes
½ cup fresh cilantro, plus extra for garnish
Limes for garnish (optional)

How To Play:

Preheat a 4-quart pot over medium heat. Saute onions and pepper in oil with a pinch of salt, for 5 to 7 minutes. Add garlic and saute a minute more.

Add chili powder, sweet potatoes, lentils, salt and vegetable broth. Cover and bring to a boil. Let it boil for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. When lentils are cooked and sweet potatoes are tender, add the remaining ingredients and heat through.
Taste for salt and seasoning, top with cilantro and lime and serve!

* Note: This tastes great the way it is, two things I am going to do the next time is add 2 pounds of sweet potatoes and use regular coconut milk, as spin instructor Lauri says, you need to eat fat to burn fat!

Enjoy!