LUPIN FLAKE NO OAT OATMEAL

Once upon a time I tried my very best to do plant based KETO eating. The verdict? It was very very hard – I was hungry all the time and could not for the life of me find adequate ways to up my protein to the levels that might sustain me without resorting to beans (which I couldn’t because they were high carb). One of the struggles was breakfast – I was sick of eating yogurts and missed the warm coziness of a nice bowl of oatmeal. Here is where I discovered the magical ingredient: lupin flakes.

I discovered these guys while roaming around my bulk food store and thought I’d give it a try. They are a strange ingredient that I had never seen before and it intrigued me to grab some and see what I could make with them. They look like cornflakes, but are not crispy or crunchy in any sense. The flakes are soft. Lupin is not something we see a lot of here in Canada, but in parts of Latin America and Spain it is common occurrence. Its commonly known as a bitter bean, but once its cooked with the added ingredients the flavour disappears.

The dish will achieve the warmness of an oatmeal bowl while also being low carb and keto friendly. And of course toppings are absolutely necessary to elevate this to the next level.

LUPIN FLAKE NO OAT OATMEAL

A low carb, keto friendly breakfast option
Course Breakfast

Ingredients

  • 1.5 c nut milk
  • 1/2 c lupin flakes
  • 1/4 almond flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp honey or stevia (sweetner)
  • 1 tbsp each of ground flaxseed, hemp hearts, chia seeds

Instructions

  • In a small sauce pan, combine all ingredients well. Bring to a boil, then switch to simmer for 5-10 minutes until the mixture resembles a thick oatmeal.

Just because we can doesn’t mean we should: Pig kidney transplant in humans

Yes, you read it right. US surgeons successfully completed a kidney transplant from a PIG to a human, without any immediate rejection triggered by the individuals immune system. We have reached a new level of scientific discovery that would have not even thought possible until just recently. I want to applaud the surgeons who accomplished a big feat, and made history today. On the other hand, I consider the moral and ethical complications this accomplishment will mean for the state of our relationship with nature, food and animals included.

The article, which can be found here, speaks on the decades of research behind the science to push science to this new discovery. The article also mentions the staggering number of people waiting for an organ transplant, as a clear ploy to appeal to some form of “reasonable” attempt to reduce the clear human suffering. Now the pig used for the transplant was no regular pig on the block. In fact, the pig was genetically modified for use as food for people with a meat allergy and as a potential source of human therapeutics. The new GM pig was altered to remove a gene that triggers rejection. Why wouldn’t someone with a meat allergy, you know, just stop eating meat? That would be insane! Instead, lets just GM a pig to fit our human needs. That seems reasonable.

I digress. The people envisioned to receive this pig kidney would be those with “low odds” of receiving a human one and a poor prognosis on dialysis. In other words, the most desperate and needy.

I will say that this article, after the initial repulsion, struck me as an attempt for a positive human advancement story. After exploring the specific so cleverly left out in the headline, the realization crept slowly, that the point of society we have reached prompted a new attitude: fear.

Our relationship with animals and nature is far from a symbiotic nature. We, humans, take as much as we can and leave them with less than what they began. We have raised animals for the sole purpose of food – does this mean we will now raise them to harvest organs? Why does prolonging human life take importance over any other species? This seems like another horrific science experiment, and the sad thing is that because they are animals it will go unnoticed.

Another consideration is the development of GM pigs for none other than human consumption. It is morally abhorrent that we have resorted to this measure so that people can eat meat? Is the standard of care of animals and nature so low or our need to exercise our oppressive nature of the world around us so high? Just for someone to eat meat? Such a simple change can be made overnight, and would benefit their health in the long run. Have we disassociated ourselves from the nature of our existence in our time: the bottomless pit of consumption, gluttony and greed? I am not religious and I believe the seven sins were right on the mark – and here we are putting those over all else, including other living beings.

My thoughts? Rather harsh – this teeters on something I would consider an abomination, almost criminal. The extents to which we have sacrificed the world around us to please our needs and wants has reached a new height. To the person who is more comfortable eating GM pigs instead of not eating meat: you need help. You are so far out left field that you need a true awakening. And if you can put two and two together and acknowledge your body DOES NOT WANT YOU to eat meat , get a grip and make a change. Your life is your responsibility. Nature and your body is not trying to kill you – you are killing you by the choices you have made.

I’ll end this with a famous saying – because we can, doesn’t mean we should. This “advancement” leaves us with more questions than answers, and a new distaste on the state of human nature in a post modern world.


BARLEY ROMANO BEAN SALAD

Delicious bean salad that is so versatile – beans can be substituted for whatever you’d like, and barley can be substituted well for couscous, and farro (which is my favourite).

Barley Romano Bean Salad

Romano bean salad with barley and a variety of veggies
Course Salad

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup cooked barley
  • 1 can (14oz) of romano beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cucumber, quartered
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 handful parsley, chopped
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 lemon and lime, juiced
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

  • Mix all ingredients in a bowl and refrigerate to marinate everything.

BLUEBERRY PLANT BASED/VEGAN CHEESECAKE

A great dessert to bring to a dinner party, or even just enjoy by yourself 😉 The combination of blueberry lemon is a nice contrast to the creamy fluffy texture of the cheesecake and not to mention the sweetness of the date and almond crust adds to the richness of this dessert that is sure to satisfy your sweet cravings.

I have made other desserts with a cheese cream base, and I have to say that Tofutti is by far the best brand I have yet to try. It does not have its own distinct flavour and when it is at room temperature it is very soft and incredibly easy to work with. It holds well when baked and it thaws nicely if you intent to freeze the cheesecake for later enjoyment. The biggest tip I can give to nail this recipe is get your hands on this brand!

Blueberry Plant Based Cheesecake

Delectable plant based blueberry cheesecake
Course Dessert

Ingredients

Crust

  • 6 pitted dates
  • 1 cup almonds

Cheesecake

  • 227g tofutti cream cheese (8oz) room temp
  • 1 cup non dairy yogurt
  • 2 tsp arrowroot flour
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tbsp vanilla

Blueberry Lemon Sauce

  • 400g frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup coconut sugar
  • 2 tsp arrowroot
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • Pit the dates and soak in boiling water for 15 minutes.
  • In a food processor, process the dates and almonds until a moldable crumble forms. In a small parchment lined tart pan, press the crumble down to form a crust.
  • In a clean processor, add the cheesecake fillings and process together just until its mixed together, about 10-20 seconds.
  • Pour the mixture onto the crust and smooth it out using a hot spoon.
  • The cheesecake will be cooked using a waterbath. In a separate medium sized baking pan or dish, fill half way with water. Place the pan on the lower rack of the oven and the cheesecake on top. Set a timer for 30 minutes and DO NOT open the oven until it is ready.
  • When 30 minutes are up, turn off the oven and let the cheesecake sit for 5 minutes, take it out and let it rest for about an hour. Stick in the fridge and let it cool over night.
  • For the blueberry lemon sauce, bring the blueberries, arrowroot, sugar and water to a boil. Turn to simmer for 15-20 minutes until it starts to thicken. Pour ontop of cheesecake when cooled and serve!

Wanted to give a thank you to Chocolate Covered Katie for the inspiration for this dish!


FERRARO ROCHER CHOCOLATE SPELT COOKIES

Alright alright alright. Cookies + Ferraro Rocher = a killer combo. I don’t know why any cookies exist in any other fashion to be honest with you. Whats more is that these cookies require minimal ingredients. I dont know about you but sometimes baking seems like a never ending process that results is a bottomless pit of dishes to be washed and surfaces to be cleaned. Okay maybe not that dramatic but sometimes when undergoing a baking journey I quickly regret it after seeing the big mess left in my kitchen.

What I love about these cookies besides the minimal ingredients and steps, is the spelt flour – something about this flour adds a nutty, earthy flavour that complements the chocolate very well. Spelt flour also has this ability to make cookies VERY soft and spongey while also allowing for a crust around the edges. These cookies are incredibly soft and almost resemble a cake in their center, especially fresh out the oven. Although not GF, I am unsure why substituting a GF flour blend would be a cause for concern. In any case, enjoy the accompanying video to help you make these treats!

Ferraro Rocher Chocolate Spelt Cookies

Soft and chewy chocolate spelt cookies topped with crushed ferrarro rocher
Course Dessert
Keyword cookies

Ingredients

Wet Ingredients

  • 1/2 c softened vegan butter*
  • 1 flax egg
  • 1/2 c coconut sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract

Dry Ingredients

  • 1.5 c spelt flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 heaping tbsp dark cocoa powder
  • pinch of salt
  • Crushed Ferraro Rocher pieces

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  • In a mixing bowl, add all wet ingredients and whisk to combine well.
  • Once well combined, add the dry ingredients and using a stand or hand mixer, combine everything well.
  • Scoop out a ball of dough in your hands and form a ball. Press down into a cookie shape on your baking sheet and top with crushed Ferrarro. They will not spread much so don't worry about too much spacing.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes until the edges begin to slightly brown.

Notes

*I find vegan butter melts much easier than normal butter. It is alright if the butter melts, but try to keep the ratio of melted and softened butter 50/50. The more the butter melts the more spread the cookie will have and won’t have the same soft, thick, chewy texture. 

CROCKPOT BBQ JACKFRUIT SLIDERS

One of the most surprising ingredients that I have explored since being plant based was jackfruit. Prior to this journey I had never seen, heard, touched, tasted or smelt ANYTHING jackfruit related and I have to admit when I saw what it actually looked like I was shocked. Me being me, I thought I would be able to tackle cutting and prepping the jackfruit myself but upon watching videos on how to prep it, I quickly decided to save myself and resort back to the canned version. To my discovery, I was able to snag a large can of jackfruit in brine for only $.130 which is incredibly cost effective.

Another thing I have to say about this dish is that I DESPISE my crockpot. It reminds me of the Titanic – it is unnecessarily large and I only bought it way back when I was still eating meat. I also find that I am sort of cheating when I use this because it does all the cooking for me – a pro and a con for someone who loves to cook. I will say that this is a great option for those busy days where you can’t spend too much time cooking.

Last point – LEFTOVERS! These are GREAT leftovers and I have used them for pizza toppings and next day sandwiches. If you want to double the recipe, you totally can and just freeze the left overs. I have thawed them and used them the next day and they are just as great as when they were first cooked. Don’t be shy 🙂

Crockpot BBQ Jackfruit Sliders

Tasty and juicy BBQ jackfruit sliders with minimal effort needed
Course Main Course

Equipment

  • Crockpot

Ingredients

  • 3 cans jackfruit in brine, drained and rinsed well
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1 cup bbq sauce
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tsp each, paprika, chili powder, red chili flakes,
  • 1 tbsp hot sauce (if you prefer)
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

  • Drain and rinse jackfruit well. Let it sit for 30 mins to let the water drain as much as possible.
  • In a large crock pot, add all the ingredients and mix to combine.
  • Turn the dial to high, and cover with lid. Cook for 4-6 hours, until the jackfruit soaks up the liquid. Stir a couple of times during the cooking process to ensure everything is mixed well.
  • When cooking time is over, remove the lid and using a fork in each hand, rip apart the jackfruit into smaller slices, similar to pulled pork. The jackfruit should easily rip apart.
  • Serve on slider burns with pineapple and red onions. This dish makes great left overs that freeze well.

CRISPY AND CRUNCHY CAULIFLOWER TOTS

Side dishes are really the name of the game in my day to day cooking. Inspired by a local plant based restaurant, these tots are incredibly easy and make a perfect side dish. They pair perfectly with a spicy mayo or a sage cream sauce and let me warn you, they are utterly addicting so beware!

CAULIFLOWER TOTS

Crispy and crunchy cauliflower tots made with few simple ingredients
Course Side Dish

Ingredients

  • 1/2 head of cauflower, chopped into florets
  • 1 medium yukon gold potato
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbsp all purpose flour
  • vegetable oil for frying

Instructions

  • Break down cauliflower into individual florets. Chop potatoes into quarters.
  • Boil cauliflower and potatoes until cooked through, check them with a fork
  • Drain vegetables and when cool, place into a cheese cloth or thin dish towel. Squeeze as much water as you can.
  • Mix all ingredients together and form into balls. If the mixture is too dry add a little bit of water until your able to form the shape.
  • You can either fry them in oil until they are brown (achieves the crunchy outside and soft inside texture) or bake them at 375 until crust forms (15-20 mins).
  • Serve with spicy mayo and vegan parm

FRESH CHICKPEA SUMMER SALAD

This is one of those salads I began making a loooong time ago. Why this in particular? Because to be honest with you I was never a “salad” person and the thought that I had to eat lettuce everyday as a vegan was one of those misconceptions I took with me when I began eating this way. I wanted to find an alternative to that that is packed with protein and would sustain me for longer in the day. Here it is!

FRESH CHICKPEA SALAD

Tangy and fresh chickpea salad perfect for summer
Course Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cucumber, quartered
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • juice of one lemon and one lime
  • olive oil
  • 1 handful chopped parsley

Instructions

  • Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate to allow veggies to saturated in the dressing.

Video


VEGAN SPANAKOPITA

Spanakopita was an absolute staple while I was growing up. My mom would usually make these with spinach and feta cheese, but I have enjoyed a wide variety of combinations that include cheese, meat, tomato and onion, leek and potato, just potato, cabbage, and butternut squash. Any which way you slice it, every combination was absolutely amazing. Usually spanakopita is made with homemade sheets of thin dough layers, but for the sake of my sanity I resort to the store bought phyllo dough. This option gives you a more crunchy spanakopita rather than the soft, thick layers of dough that comes with the truly homemade version.

I love this version of spanakopita – you don’t have labour with making individual sheets yourself, and these mini triangles are a great finger food or snack option for your plant based gatherings with friends and family.

Just a couple of pieces of advice as you make your spanakopitas:

  • Drizzle a good amount of olive oil on the individual phyllo pastries – this will help add moisture and keep the spanakopita’s soft while also allowing for some crunch. When you bake them, wash the tops with olive oil or butter so they don’t dry out
  • Don’t be afraid to stuff these little triangles. Since you are folding them multiple times they will keep their shape and the filling wont spill out.
  • Make sure you cook the leek greens to soften them before adding it to the mixture. Traditionally, a classic spanakopita is made with just feta cheese and spinach. I’ve added the leeks as I had some lying around. You can omit these if you would like
  • Watch the spanakopita as they bake – they turn brown rather quickly

Hope you enjoy the short cut version of this greek classic!

VEGAN SPANAKOPITA

A greek staple, spanakopita with a vegan filling of cashew cheese, spinach and leeks
Cuisine Greek
Keyword spanakopita

Ingredients

  • 1 box phyllo pastry
  • 1.5 c cashews
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 1/4 c nutritional yeast
  • 1/3 c non dairy milk
  • 1 handful of chopped dill
  • 2 c chopped spinach
  • 1 leek, dark green part only

Instructions

  • The night before take the phyllo dough out of the freezer and let thaw. Do not open it until you are ready to make your spanakopita
  • Soak cashews with boiling water for 30 mins.
  • Once cashews have softened, in a high speed blender blend together cashews, oregano, nutritional yeast, non-dairy milk and a pinch of salt. Pour mixture into a container and stick in the fridge to thicken, for an hour or so. You can make this the night before as well.
  • When cashew cheese is cooled, add to a mixing bowl. In a sauté pan, heat olive oil and add leeks and cook until they are soft. In the last two minutes of cooking, add the spinach and cook just until it is wilted. Add this to the cashew cheese, as well as the chopped dill and a pinch of salt. Mix to combine
  • Preheat oven to 375
  • Unroll the phyllo dough carefully. Take one phyllo sheet and sprinkle olive oil all over the sheet. Fold in thirds. In the corner of the folded phyllo add a tbsp of cashew mixture holding the corner bring to opposite end in a triangle, and fold into triangles as you go along.
  • Once you have used all of the mixture, brush spanakopita with olive oil or melted butter. Bake until they brown, about 15-20 minutes

LEEK, POTATO AND YELLOW SPLIT PEA SOUP

I believe that everyone, their mothers and grandmothers, have made a leek and potato soup. I always like to add a little bit of protein to my soups to sustain me throughout the day, and split peas make a perfect addition to this classic! I did not soak the split peas before hand so its a perfect time crunch soup as well.

For this soup you should not use the dark green parts of the leeks but you can save them for a later dish. Simply prepare all the ingredients and throw it into the pot to cook. I’ve made this early in the morning before I go to work because it requires very minimal effort and it can do its thing while you do you! The soup will naturally be thick because of the starchy potatoes and the split peas, but you are welcome to add a little bit of coconut milk if that is something you enjoy to have in your soups! I prefer to top the soup with a nice cool cashew creme and croutons.

LEEK, POTATO AND SPLIT PEA SOUP

A twist on the leek and potato soup for added vegan protein
Course Soup
Keyword soup

Ingredients

  • 2 medium sized yukon gold potatoes
  • 3 leeks, white and light green parts only
  • 1 c yellow split pea, rinsed
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 4 c vegetable stock (or water)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric, sumac, red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp thyme, paprika

Instructions

  • Wash and rinse the split peas really well a couple of times. This is important.
  • Sautee the onion with olive oil in a large soup pot until translucent.
  • Add the potatoes, leeks and peas. Mix, and add the spices. Let the spices and veg cook for 30 seconds and then add the stock. Add a pinch of salt as well.
  • Bring to a boil and let simmer for about 30 mins, or until the split peas are completely cooked.
  • Blend ingredients together using an emersion blender or stand blender. Top with croutons and cashew creme!

Hope you try this amazing, fulfilling dish! Please leave a rating and comment on your experience with this soup.