Tag Archives: vegan

Roasted Brussels Sprout, Kale, and Pear Salad (gf/v option)

When I think of fall, I think of crisp, fresh air and long walks exploring the changes of the forest. On Vancouver Island, it also means a lot of rain. After some outdoor time, I want to warm up with the fire and some wonderful food.

On one rainy afternoon while some of the children I take care of were napping, I decided we needed a heavy dose of warming greens with dinner to keep our bodies nourished. Something savoury, a little bit sweet, and most definitely comforting.

So I started roasting.

Roasting is one of my favourite methods of cooking because it has the ability to introduce textures, sweetness, creaminess, or crispness to fruits and vegetables when you may not expect it. Ingredients transform in that 350 degree box and leave the house with an arrangement of aromas that let who ever is next to come home know know dinner is going to be good.. even if it’s brussels sprouts.

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Yes, this salad will make you a brussels sprout lover. Yes, you will see that they become crispy and consume the delicate flavours of the basil balsamic tahini dressing and marry with the juices of a roasted pear.

You. Will. Love. Them.

Top with seeds (like pepita or sunflower) and a cheese of your choice like goat cheese, feta, parmesan, or white cheddar (aged white in the photo because that’s what we had on hand) or remove it and substitute the honey in the dressing for your favourite alternative to make it vegan.

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So for that next rainy day, warm up with a heaping bowl full of roasted vegetables and get your body greened up for the next storm.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Kale, and Pear Salad

Heat oven to 350 degrees.
3-4 cups thinly sliced brussels sprouts
3-4 cups ripped kale
1 pear, diced
Olive oil
Dash of salt, pepper, and onion powder.

In a bowl, toss the brussels sprouts in olive oil with a dash of salt, pepper, and onion powder. Lay out on a sheet pan and place in the oven for approximately 20 minutes  or until the edges are golden, stirring every few minutes to ensure they don’t burn.

On a separate sheet pan, place the kale and pears after tossing in olive oil, salt, pepper, and onion powder. Roast in the oven for approximately 10-15 minutes until the kale is slightly crisp on the edges and the pears are softened.

Remove sprouts, kale, and pears from the oven and let them cool on the sheet pans.

Basil Balsamic Tahini Dressing

2 tablespoons tahini
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon honey (or a sweetener of your choice if vegan)
6-8 leaves of basil
Dash of salt, pepper, onion powder, and nutmeg
1-2 tablespoons of water to thin

Add ingredients one at a time into a bowl in the order they are listed, whisking together after you add each one. Add water to thin to the consistency of a cream based dressing.
Place kale, pears, and brussels sprouts (and root vegetable if added) into a bowl and coat all vegetables in the dressing. Place in an baking dish or oven friendly pan. Top with seeds and cheese of your choice. Place back into the oven for 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

With Love, from Ficus.
http://www.ficusdoula.com

 

 

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Walnut Brownie Energy Balls (with a Divine superfood twist-vegan/glutenfree)

From breastfeeding to errands and work schedules, it can feel overwhelming to prepare snacks at home that are high in nutrition and easy to eat on the go. When I was making this Walnut Brownie Energy Ball recipe, I wanted to create something that was easy to prepare and tasted like a treat without the sugar crash to get myself through my daily errands. With only three steps to make, these energy balls are quick to assemble and even easier to eat!

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With the bitterness of walnuts and richness of chocolate, the base of nut butter and dates provides a creamy texture for these energy balls. The recipe itself is very versatile depending on your pallet. Try playing with the amount of walnuts and coconut flakes if you want something with less bitterness. There is also an option to add sweetener to the recipe if your sweet tooth desires!

energyballsss

You can also change-up the type of nut butter you use.  I used peanut butter when I made these but the possibilities are endless: cashew butter, pumpkin butter, or tahini.

I also wanted to try out Harmonic Arts new Divine Feminine Herbal Tonic Blend so this seemed like the perfect opportunity. With a rich amount of adaptogens and hormone regulators, the Divine feminine Blend is an opportunity to reset your body and create balance within the many cycles and systems of your body.

energyballss

As each person has different needs, the addition of this blend is not a required element of the Walnut Brownie Energy Ball recipe. If you are breastfeeding, you may be interested in adding Brewer’s Yeast to turn these into lactation energy balls, or maca if you want to stick to one herb.

energyballs

The key to a good energy ball is making something that is tasty, nutritious, and easy to prepare. Try exploring with this recipe as a guideline and create something that you’ll want to make again!

Walnut Brownie Energy Balls
½ cup chopped and soaked dates
¼ cup nut butter
½ cup chopped walnuts
¼ cup cocoa powder
¼ cup hemp hearts
¼ cup coconut flakes
1 tsp Harmonic Arts Divine Feminine Blend *if desired
1 tsp vanilla
½ tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt

*¼ cup chocolate chips if desired
* 1-2 tbsp sweetener like honey or maple syrup if desired

Using a hand emulsifier, pulse dates and nut butter together until smooth (If using a food processor, pulse walnuts until they are a desired consistency first and remove. Continue to use food processor on pulse setting as to not over-mix the batter once all ingredients are added).

Add in remaining ingredients and fold together using a spatula. Taste batter and add sweetener if desired.

Roll dough into teaspoon sized balls using the palms of your hand. Roll in coconut or hemp flakes if desired.

Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks or freeze.

 

With Love, From Ficus.

http://www.ficusdoula.com

 

 

Cocoa Banana Coconut Melties (or crisps)

Creamy, cold, and packed with lots of flavours and textures, Cocoa Banana Coconut Melties are the perfect way to cool down after an afternoon of fun in the sun. With a base of bananas, you can throw almost anything that you want—mine are filled with chocolate, nuts and dried berries.

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These treats are gluten free, dairy free, vegan and of course paleo so they can be a great dessert option for when you have guests over for the day.

The recipe for these treats came to me the day my dehydrator broke. Usually I take this recipe and press it into rounds on a parchment sheet at the meat jerky setting for 8-10 hours. The last time I went to set my timer, I heard the dreaded noise of the motor.

And then felt my life flash before my eyes.
“Re re re re ree.. ree.. ree… .. re…. r.. ..”
My beloved dehydrator had come to the end of its life. I was expecting it sooner or later, but never thought the day would truly come.
I had to think fast as to what I could do with my nutrient packed banana mixture. I debated gearing up the oven for the long haul but the house was already so so so warm.

So I started thinking:
The days are hot, the nights are hot, and everyone is reaching for something to cool down with. Popsickles, icecream, beverages—anything.
The thing about all these treats is that they are full of refined sugars and dairy that may not always agree with you. The spike in blood sugar leaves you extra tired and wanting more.. And hungrier than before. The latest trend is making “nice-cream” but I am all about convenience and don’t exactly like pulling out the blender every time I want a treat. What if I could make the dough into little macaroon sized mounds and place them in the freezer? As a child, I used to cut and dip bananas in chocolate with a toothpick for dessert, so this could turn into something amazing.

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And I was right.

They were creamy, crunchy, flavourful and cooling. The best part was, they were guilt free and easy to make, store and eat! Try making these with your children and explore with the flavours! Banana raspberry coconut sounds great to me and with all the fruits coming into season, the possibilities are endless.

Enjoy!

Chocolate Banana Coconut Melties

2 Bananas mashed
2 Tablespoons cocoa/cacao powder
2 Tablespoons coconut
1 Tablespoon flax seeds
2 Tablespoons gogi berries or any dried berries
2 Tablespoons Almonds
1 Teaspoon cinnamon
1 Teaspoon vanilla

Mix all ingredients into a bowl and drop onto a parchment lined cookie tray in any shape you desire. I prefer to drop them by the tablespoon. Place into freezer for a minimum of 5 hours.

*For crisps: place mixture onto parchment lined dehydrator trays by the teaspoon. Flatten the mixture and dehydrate for 8-10 hours on meat jerky setting.

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With Love, from Ficus.
www.ficusdoula.com