Melon, fruit, and mint summer salad

Last week I had a homecooked dinner with my friends to celebrate the end of the semester and to welcome spring. I created a spring inspired menu, with fresh flavours. Here is a salad that is easy to pack for lunches and picnics and looks great because of all the colours.

You will need a round/spherical spoon (like a mini ice cream spoon) to make little fruit balls. You could also just cut the fruits but that makes them extra pretty. You can find them at any kitchen store I think!

I only used honeydew and strawberries from last summer (frozen, thawed, and cut in half) but you could use any of these fruits

  • 1 watermelons
  • 1 cantaloup
  • 1 honeydew
  • Strawberries
  • Fresh fruits in season
  • Frozen berries
  • A small bunch of mint
  • Not necessary but 1 tablespoon of organic canadian (quebec) maple syrup.

Method:

  1. Use the spoon to cut out melon balls
  2. Slice the strawberries
  3. Thinly slice the mint (chiffonnade)
  4. Mix everything in a big bowl (with the mint and maple syrup)
  5. Put in the fridge at least 1 hour before serving!

summerlunch

 

Other things on the photo: tomato tart, local brewed cidre, lentil soup, apple/walnut salad, mustard vinaigrette 

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Pizza toppings

Hi all, it’s been a while since I updated my blog. This is a special post about pizza toppings for my friend!

  • onions, roasted peppers, tomatoes, zucchini
  • spinach, seasoned cauliflower (cumin, paprika, thyme)
  • grilled asparagus, lemon, thyme
  • pesto, portobello mushrooms, spinach (on top, right before service)
  • aubergines, peppers, tomatoes, pesto
  • potatoes (mandoline, very thinly sliced), onions, rosemary
  • zucchini, squash, red onions, walnuts

these are all my ideas so far 🙂

Mocha spiced cupcakes and Maple Syrup Buttercream!!

I learned how to make roses icing, thanks to the videos on the internet!! I’m so happy and they make my cupcaks look a ton more professional. I’m so making this at our next gathering party!

Makes 12 cupcakes

Time to make the cupcakes: around 40 minutes plus baking time, an additional 25 minutes

Time to make the icing: around 15 minutes

Ingredients for the cupcakes:

  • 2 tbsp. flaxseed meal
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/3 cup non-dairy chocolate chips
  • 2 cups of freshly made coffee
  • 2 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ cup maple sugar
  • ½ cup vegan butter

Ingredients for the buttercream:

  • 1 cup of vegan butter (or margarine)
  • 4 cups (yes!!!) of powdered sugar (sucre glace)
  • 4 tsp of maple syrup

Method:

  1. Start by making 2 cups of coffee.
  2. Heat the oven to 350F.
  3. While it’s brewing, combine the dry ingredients: all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ground cloves.
  4. In another bowl, combin the hot coffee, cacao powder, maple syrup, vanilla.
  5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Do not overmix.
  6. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  7. I suggest to lightly oil the muffin tin instead of using cupcake cups.
  8. Separate the batter into a muffin tin (12).
  9. Put in the oven for 25 minutes.
  10. Remove when a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely before icing.

To make the icing:

  1. In a large bowl, mix the margarine until fluffy. Use a hand-mixer or stand mixer.
  2. Slowly add in the 4 cups of powedered sugar until light and fluffy. The mixture will double in size, or more. Be patient 🙂
  3. Add the maple syrup, one teaspoon at the time, for a total of 4. Don’t put in too much because it will liqufy your buttercream.
  4. It is now ready to use.

I suggest this tutorial to learn how to make roses: http://www.wilton.com/technique/Roses

Here are some pictures of the cupcakes I made!

buttercream

Maple syrup vegan buttercream icing

Vegan Mocha Cupcakes with Rose Detail Maple Syrup Buttercream

Vegan Mocha Cupcakes with Rose Detail Maple Syrup Buttercream 

 

 

Spicy Vegan Chili

Here is a winter favourite. Serve with hot thick slices of whole bread. Perfect for those nights in. The recipe has a lot of room for modification, add in whatever vegetable or legumes you have on hand.  Recipe adapted from A Cozy Kitchen.

Portions: 6

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 2 small zucchini, diced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cup of vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoons of cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne
  • 1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed
  • 1 15-ounce can kidney beans, rinsed
  • 1 small can of corn

Method:

  1. In a large pot, heat olive oil on medium heat. Add the onions and cook until soft. Add the red bell peppers, yellow bell peppers, zucchini, and jalapeño chili peppers. Cook for about 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  3. Add tomatoes and vegetable stock.  Add  spices: oregano, paprika, cumin and cayenne.  Let simmer for 20 minutes.
  4. Add the white beans and kidney beans. Stir in the corn. Add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Simmer for 5 minutes.
Prepping ingredients for the chili...

Prepping ingredients for the chili…

Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte

You know it’s fall when the PSL hits the cafĂ©s, Here’s a cheaper at home version, that taste really similar but without the additives and artificial flavors.

Portions: for 2 people

I suggest making a little jar of your own pumpkin spice mix: Combine:

  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoon of ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg

Now the actual latte:

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of soy milk
  • 2 tablespoon of 100% pumpkin
  • 2 tablespoon of sugar (or to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of the pumpkin spice mix (see recipe above)
  • 1 cup of dark coffee

Method:

  1. Heat 2 cups of soy milk, pumpkin and sugar in a saucepan.
  2. Meanwhile, make yourself 1 cup of coffee. Reserve.
  3. Once the milk is heated, remove from heat, add pumpkin spice mix.
  4. Pour in the coffee.
  5. Stir and pour into two pretty mugs.

Soft Pumpkin Cookies

It’s fall, which means…pumpkin everything!!! If you are into that, these would make a great base for whoopie pies!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powde
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 vegan margarine (or 1/2 cup applesauce)
  • 2 cups (500g) of tinned pumpkin
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Glaze ingredients:

  • 2 cups sifted powdered sugar
  • 3 tbs soymilk
  • 1 tsp melted margarine
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven at 350F
  2. Combine flours, baking soda, baking powde, cinnamon, nutmg, ging, clove and salt in a large bowl. (Mixing Bowl 1)
  3. In a separate mixing bowl, cream suga and vegan margarine until well blended. (let’s call it mixing bowl 2)
  4. Add in the pumkin, and vanilla to the mixture in mixing bowl 2 and combine until smooth.
  5. Gradually fold in the flour mixture (that was in mixing bowl 1).
  6. Grease a baking tray or line a baking with parchemin paper.
  7. Scoop 1 tablespoon portions of cookie mixture on the baking tray.
  8. Bake in the oven for 1-18 minutes until the sides are firm/medium brown.
  9. Remove from oven and let them side for 2-3 minutes.
  10. Transfer the cookies to a rack, to cool to room temperature.
  11. Make a glaze!!
  12. In a new mixing bowl combine: all the glaze ingredients (see above). ADD liquid LAST. Gradually add the liquide until the desired consistency is reached. Blend until smooth.
  13. Spread over cool/room temp cookies.

Roasted Veggies and Grilled Tofu on a bed of coucous

I think I’ve had this 3 days this week. It’s so good, and can easily be made under 30 minutes (30 minute meals with Patricia…anyone??). For 1. Double for two (obviously)

Ingredients

  • 1 pepper
  • half an onion
  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons of paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1/8 cup couscous
  • boiling water for couscous
  • 1 teaspoon of vegetarian oyster sauce (it’s mushroom based, also happens to be vegan)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vegetable oil
  • 1 block of firm tofu

Method

  1. Start by prepping your veggies. Quarter your onion, dice your pepper in about 1 inch pieces.
  2. On a baking tray,  lay your vegetables, paprika, cumin, cayenne and oil and toss. Use your hands and toss everything!! I usually eyeball seasoning and spices so feel free to do the same.
  3. Put the tray in the little oven at 400F for about 30 minutes.
  4. Use a boiler to boil water. Once boiled pour little by little on couscous, cover and wait until all absorbed. It’s better to add water after, because you obviously can’t remove it if it’s too wet.
  5. All things are cooking, steaming, off to do the tofu.
  6. The marinade is simple. Ratio of 2:1:1. Oyster sauce, maple syrup, oil.
  7. Cut tofu blocks in 6 slices and marinate them.
  8. On a grilling pan, heat medium-high, grill you tofu! Don’t move them around because you want those nice lines. After 2-3 minutes check if they have the right look. Turn them over, cook on medium heat.
  9. Done 🙂
Roasted Vegetables and marinated Tofu on a bed of Cousous

Roasted Vegetables and marinated Tofu on a bed of Cousous

Lentil/legumes soup with kale and swiss chard

Two weeks ago when I went to ontario I bought some really cute lentils and beans (yes cute!!) and I finally used them today. Additionally,we harvested so much kale and swiss chard at the garden. Organic, uni campus-grown veggies — can’t get more local than that.

Portions : 4

Ingredients

  • your favorite oil (i used grapeseed)
  • 1 finely chopped onion
  • 1 cup of mixed lentils/beans (i bought a 13 organic varieties mix) (soaked overnight, rinsed and drained)
  • 4 cup of organic veggie broth (1 pack — 2.50$)
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 big tablespoon of tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon of dried thym
  • 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 stalks of swiss chard (or more…to taste)
  • a few branches of kale (i still have so much at home, please share recipes!)

Method:

  1. Sweat off the onions in oil for 3-5 minutes until fragrant and brown and delicious looking.
  2. Add tomato paste and stir until well combined.
  3. Add lentil/bean mix and the veggies broth and water.
  4. Bring to boil and let simmer for 20 minutes.
  5. Add swiss chard’s stalk and cook for 5 minutes until partially cooked.
  6. Add kale leaves and swiss chard leaves for 15-20 minutes.
  7. Season with salt and pepper.
  8. Done! You now have a delicious, healthy, vegan, gluten free, filling , in other words…perfect.

Lentil, swiss chard and kale soup

Sushi

Simple and quick sushi recipe, makes enough for two (or three once i’ll improve my sushi making skills and be able to layer rice more..thinly.)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup botan sushi rice
  • 1 and 1/3 cup of water
  • 1/3 cup of white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • a little bit of salt
  • half a carrot
  • half a cucumber
  • half an avocado
  • nori sheets

Method:

  1. Put the rice and water in a rice cooker, cook as usual.
  2. When the rice is cooked, prepare the seasoning.
  3. On low heat (top stove), mix white wine vinegar, salt and sugar until sugar is dissolved.
  4. Transfer cooked rice in a large bowl and pout seasoning on top, mix with a wooden spoon. Use a little fan to remove moisture and cool it.
  5. Julienne carrot and cucumber.
  6. Cut avocado.
  7. Fun part now — sushi rolling! Use a mat, put some wrapping plastic on top, a sheet of nori.
  8. Prepare a little bowl of water for your hands to prevent rice from sticking too much.
  9. Put a thin layer of rice on nori sheet leaving about 1 in at the top.
  10. Put your veggies and avocado (which is a fruit by the way!!!) on the rice and use the mat to roll.
  11. Now that you have the roll, just slice it and eat!

Vegan French Lemon Cake

It’s the first time I’m using soy yogurt to bake a cake, I usually use bananas, flax seeds and water or applesauce. Using soy yogurt makes for an incredibly fluffly batter that’s delicious-looking and amazing to look at. This recipe is adapted from have cake will travel.

Cake (6 in. round cake, 2.5 in. deep)

Ingredients
1 cup (240 g) plain or vanilla soy yogurt
1 cup (120 g) powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 cup (120 ml) vegetable oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Juice of 1 lemon + zest of one lemon
1 1/2 cups (185 g) all-purpose flour, sifted
2 teaspoons baking powder

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C, or gas mark 4). Grease your cake pan with non-stick cooking spray. (It took mine 50 minutes to cook but check after 30-40 minutes with a toothpick)
  2. In a large bowl, whisk soy yogurt, sugar, oil, lemon juice, and zest.
  3. Sift flour and baking powder on top and stir until just combined.
  4. Pour batter into prepared cake pan.
  5.  Bake for 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean.
  6. Leave in pan for 1 hour on a cooling rack before attempting to remove. Chill overnight.

Icing

Ingredients

1/2 cup (60 g) powdered sugar
fresh lemon juice

  1. Mix sugar and droplets by droplets of lemon juice until extremely well blended. It should coat the spoon.Prepare just before decorating the cake so that the icing doesn’t harden.

Enjoy!

French Lemon Cake