THE BEST Southwest Dressing (Wholesome Ingredients, Vegan, & Delicious!)

I tried out Vegenaise for the first time back in December…. and fell in love! It is an egg-free mayonnaise. You can opt to use regular mayo or ..I would recommend trying out Vegenaise for this recipe. You won’t regret it. I think it tastes better than the traditional egg mayo. No need to be vegan to enjoy this dip.. it will be a hit with the whole family!

mayo

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Vegenaise “egg-free mayonnaise”
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp honey or agave
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp fresh minced garlic
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp lime juice
  • Pinch of cayenne

Directions: Mix ingredients together, in the order above, using a whisk. When all ingredients are combined, store in the refrigerator to chill. Serve cold.

*You can top this creamy dressing on salads, sandwiches, use it as a dip for chips, veggies, and much more! It is by far my favourite dressing I have created. Try it out!* This is the same dip that I featured in my sweet potato fry recipe. Great for dipping 🙂

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Vegan Chocolate Chunk Cookies (Gluten-Free)

Got a cookie craving?? TRY THESE OUT. They are a huge hit fresh, warm, and gooey out of the oven. Also, delicious from cold storage in the fridge! I made these gluten-free. However, if you do not need to use gluten free oats/flour you can substitute for regular oats/oat flour/all purpose flour.

BUT!!! Do NOT substitute out the almond butter. The almond butter MAKES IT!

Another tip, don’t cheap out on the dark chocolate. Choose a good quality dark chocolate bar (at least 55% cacao) because these cookies will be drooling with dark chocolate when they’re done!

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Ingredients: 

Wet Ingredients:

  • ½ cup natural smooth almond butter
  • ¼ cup + 3.5 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp unrefined Nutiva coconut oil, melted to liquid form (allow to cool before using)

Dry ingredients:

  • ½ cup gluten-free quick cooking rolled oats
  • ¼ cup + 2 tbsp gluten-free oat flour (**TIP at bottom of post**)
  • ¼ cup tapioca starch (Bob’s Red Mill)
  • ¼ cup gluten-free all purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon ground sea salt
  • 100g (1 bar) Camino 55% dark chocolate, chopped into pieces/chunks (or dark chocolate bar of choice)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine wet ingredients one at a time with mixing. Stir until completely combined.
  3. Begin to stir in the dry ingredients to the same mixing bowl one at a time until thoroughly combined.
  4. Chop up your chocolate bar into chunks. Fold into the mixture.
  5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  6. Form your cookies into desired size (small or large). Note! They will spread out a lot while cooking! See below photo of the original tiny size I made mine.
  7. Bake for 8-10 minutes on 350F (or until the edges are browning).
  8. Remove from the oven. Allow to cool for 5 minutes.
  9. Enjoy!

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UMMMM helloooo yum… look at the centre of how this cookie turned out… *drool*

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**Tip: Make your own oat flour by blending oats in your vitamix, blender, bullet, etc.*

Spicy Cauliflower “Wings” with a Ranch Dip (The perfect Superbowl Snack to keep you on track)

(Vegan, Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Paleo-friendly, Sugar-Free)

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Looking for a healthier snack to make for Superbowl Sunday?? Stay on track with your diet by snacking on these cauliflower “wings”! OMG they are so delicious…. and the ranch dip….omg again.  Adjust the amount of hot sauce used to suit the level of spice you can tolerate. I made them for staff and customers at our Sobeys today and they were a HUGE hit. Many found it so hard to believe it’s actually cauliflower.

Additionally, these guys are BAKED not fried. Let me know how you like them…

For the Cauliflower Wings:

Ingredients:

  • 1 head of a small/medium cauliflower, broken into large chunks (wing size)
  • ½ cup Silk unsweetened almond milk
  • ½ cup water
  • ¾ cup Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free White Rice Flour (or gluten-free flour of choice)
  • ¾ tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp of paprika
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp ground pepper
  • 3/4 cup frank’s red hot sauce
  • 1 tbsp Earth Balance vegan original butter spread

Instructions

  1. Line baking sheet(s) with parchment paper or grease very well with oil. Preheat your oven to 425-450 F depending on your oven.
  2. Wash and cut cauliflower head into bite sized pieces/florets.
  3. Mix the nut milk/water/flour and spices in a medium mixing bowl (set aside the hot sauce and butter for later). Mix until the batter is thick and is able to coat the cauliflower without dripping.
  4. Dip the cauliflower in the batter. You can do this one by one or in batches. shake off excess batter before placing cauliflower on the baking sheet. Lay the cauliflower single layer on the baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown, flipping the florets over half way through to get all sides golden brown and crispy.
  6. While the cauliflower is baking, get your buffalo wing sauce ready. In a small saucepan on low heat melt earth balance “butter” and mix in the hot sauce. Remove from the heat just as it starts to melt. Stir together and set aside.
  7. When the cauliflower is done its first bake in the batter, remove them from the oven and put all the baked florets into a mixing bowl with the wing sauce and toss to coat evenly. Return cauliflower to baking sheet and bake in the oven for another 20-25minutes. Broil for the last 5 minutes to improve crunchiness!
  8. While this is baking, start mixing up your quick and easy vegan ranch dip. It’s so delicious!

For the Ranch Dip:
1 cup Vegan Mayonnaise (Vegenaise)
1/8 cup Silk unsweetened original almond milk
2 tsp Bragg’s apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp parsley flakes
1 Tbsp fresh chives, chopped
1 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper

Instructions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a small mixing bowl and place in the refrigerator until consumption.
  2. Use for dipping for your “wings”, vegetables, chips, what ever you desire!

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Vegan/Vegetarian Quinoa Chili

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This recipe is warm and filling for those cool nights ahead of us. It is packed with various sources of plant-based proteins: quinoa, red kidney beans, chickpeas, and textured vegetable protein (TVP). This recipe also passed the test with my dad (a meat-eater)… he absolutely loved it! I calculated the nutrition facts based on 12 servings and you will get ~170 calories per serving/bowl.

You can also make this recipe not vegetarian by removing the TVP and swapping for ground chicken or turkey. Why not ground beef? Ground beef is higher in saturated fats and calories and I do not consider this a lean source of protein. However, everything in moderation is key to a healthy lifestyle! 

Note: If you are swapping to add ground meat to your chili instead of plant-based proteins, cook in a skillet first and then add into the large pot when it in fully cooked. Also, you may need to add a bit extra broth so that it does not get way too chunky.

What you will need: (Serves ~12-14 bowls)

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large green pepper, chopped
  • 1 large red pepper, chopped
  • 1 large yellow pepper, chopped
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 clove of crushed garlic
  • 1.5 cups sliced mushrooms

*Saute the above ingredients first.

  • 2 cans diced tomatoes (500 mL)
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp TVP (found at bulk barn)
  • 1.5 cup chickpeas
  • 2 cups red kidney beans
  • 3/4 cup frozen corn niblets
  • 3.5 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • Ground sea salt to taste
  • Ground pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder

Directions:

  1. Saute the top bundle of vegetable ingredients in a skillet on medium-high heat first (with regular mixing).
  2. While your vegetables are cooking, prepare a large pot. Add you tomatoes, veg broth, uncooked quinoa, and TVP. Let this sit on medium heat to begin to cook the quinoa and TVP.
  3. After ~10-12 minutes of sauteeing of the vegetables, when they are finished, you can add them to the large pot. Stir in with the other ingredients.
  4. Add in the rest of your seasonings and beans to the large pot.
  5. Lower the burner temperature to low after ~10 more minutes of cooking everything together.
  6. Allow the chili to simmer for at least an hour to bring all the flavours out.
  7. You can eat immediately, store in the refrigerator or freezer for later consumption. Enjoy!

Nutrition Facts per serving (based on 12 servings): 170 calories, 3.9g fat, 25g carbohydrate, 8g protein. 

 

 

Dark Chocolate Almond Oat Bark (Vegan + Gluten Free)

vegan dark chocolate oat almond

Ingredients: 

  • 1 cup packed/pitted dates, soften for 40 secs
  • 1/3 cup cashew milk (or milk of choice)
  • 1 cup gluten-free oats
  • 2 tbsp natural almond butter, softened
  • 2 tbsp shredded unsweetened coconut
  • ~3/4 cup dark chocolate melting wafers

Combine all ingredients except the dark chocolate in a Vitamix or food processor. Blend until evenly mixed. Spread into the bottom of a dish line with parchment paper. Spread it about 1/2 an inch thick. Put the dish in the freezer until bottom layer has hardened. 

Melt dark chocolate (~3/4 cup dark chocolate melting wafers). Remove the dish from the freezer. Spread dark chocolate on top. Put back in the freezer. When the dark chocolate has hardened they are ready to eat! 

Store in the freezer. Enjoy 🙂

Lemon Poppy Seed Bites by Genuine Health (No Bake)

Hi friends! Check out this Lemon Poppy Seed Bite recipe created by my friends at Genuine Health. I know I’ve preached about their amazing protein powder before….but I really wasn’t kidding. Also, I just tried their new chocolate protein powder. I shook it up with some almond milk….. and it was delicious just like that?! No need to add fillers and sweeteners. They sure know how to make great quality and tasty products.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 scoop fermented vegan proteins+ vanilla (vanilla Genuine Health protein powder can be found at Bulk Barn and Nutrition House)
  • ½ tsp poppy seeds
  • 1 lemon squeezed, and zest grated
  • 2 tbsp ground flax seed
  • ½ c coconut flour
  • ¼ c ground almonds (almond butter)
  • ¼ c ground pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 6 tbsp unsweetened vanilla almond milk

Coating:

  • ¼ c unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 2 tbsp poppy seeds

Directions:

1. Place almonds and pumpkin seeds in food processor. Pulse until  coarsely ground. Place in separate bowl off to the side.

2. Add coconut flour, flax seed, fermented vegan proteins+ and lemon zest to food
3. processor and pulse quickly to thoroughly mix ingredients.

4. Add in maple syrup, lemon juice, almond butter and almond milk. Pulse until doughy texture is achieved.

5. Mix in ground almonds, ground pumpkin seeds, and poppy seeds by hand and roll into bite size portions.

6. In separate bowl combine coconut and poppy seeds. Roll each bite in mixture to coat as desired.

7. Makes approximately 1 dozen. They freeze well and taste great when thawed 🙂

I also calculated the nutrition facts on their recipe for you:
Per 1 serving (recipe makes 12):
Calories: 87 calories
Fat: 5.1g
Carbs: 7.1g
Protein: 4.1g

No-Bake Vanilla Chip Protein Bars

I hope you all had a wonderful Easter weekend! I wanted to kickstart the week by making a healthy bar to have on hand when cravings hit after a chocolate-filled weekend.Nowadays with all the “protein bar” choices at the grocery store its hard to know which one to pick and also hard to investigate their LONG ingredient list on the back. It’s always nice to make some at home so you know exactly what you putting into your body. The Genuine Health Vanilla Protein powder has such a yummy smell… it reminded me of the Rainbow Chip cake mix we always used to make as kids!!!

These bars can be made in 10 minutes. Quick and easy and pack substantial protein per serving.

Nutrition Facts (per serving): 150 calories, 4.5 g (fat), 21 g (carb), 7.4 g (protein)No Bake Vanilla Protein BarsIngredients (makes ~8-10 bars):

2 cups oats (I used Hilray gluten-free oats)
1/3 cup vanilla protein product (I used Genuine Health’s Vegan Protein Powder …SO GOOD).
1/4 cup natural crunchy peanut butter, soften
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup Unsweetened Earth’s Own almond milk
1/2 cup dates, softened and mashed
1 tbsp natural honey
1 tbsp hemp hearts
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips

Directions:
1. In a mixing bowl, combine and mix oats, protein powder, and softened peanut butter. (See photo of protein powder I used below).

Genuine health protein powder
2. Put 1/2 cup of dates in the microwave with 1 tbsp of water for 30 seconds to soften. When complete, mash the dates and add them to the bowl. Mix.
3. Add the rest of the ingredients and dark chocolate chips as desired.
4. Line a casserole dish with parchment paper, spread the mixture evenly in the dish.
5. Store in the freezer until hardened (~1 hour).
6. Cut into granola bar sized squares.
7. Store in the refrigerator, eat, and enjoy!

 

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