Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Saskatoon Lemon Crumble

 

This has been the summer of saskatoon recipes! I promise this is the last one you'll see on here for a while, as I think I've finally managed to put a dent in our huge stash. This crumble was perfect when I needed a quick dessert to whip up for the family one night after supper. The saskatoons were super juicy, and the lemon juice and zest gave it a bright, fresh tang. The crumble topping was everyone's favourite part because it's so crispy and sweet, and melts in your mouth. If you don't have saskatoons, then blueberries would be a perfect substitution in the recipe.

Filling Ingredients:

6 cups saskatoon berries - If using frozen berries, defrost them before using and drain the excess liquid
3 Tbsp. lemon juice
Zest of 1 medium lemon
2 Tbsp. white sugar
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon

Crumble Topping Ingredients:

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
pinch salt
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and place rack in the centre of the oven.

In a medium bowl, combine all the filling ingredients. Set aside while you prepare the crumble topping.

Place all the topping ingredients into a medium bowl and mix them together using a pastry cutter or two butter knives, until it is a coarse crumbly texture with no large pieces of butter remaining. 

Pour the saskatoon filling mixture into an 8x8" or 9x9" baking pan. Spread the crumble topping mixture evenly over the filling.

Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until bubbly and the topping is golden brown and crispy. Remove from the oven and cool slightly on a wire rack before serving. Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or fresh whipped cream. Cover and store leftovers in the refrigerator.


*Recipe by Brooke McMillan

Friday, August 24, 2012

Cookie Dough Pie with Chocolate Ganache

 

Biting into a piece of this pie is like biting into a giant slice of cookie dough! It's so so good! I brought it into work to share with my co-workers and all of them loved it. It's gluten-free and vegan, so in an office that has a few dietary restrictions it was the perfect recipe. Sorry if these are getting old by now, but it is also another sneaky healthy dessert, and I promise you can't tell. Don't get scared off by the addition of beans - they are flavourless and just blend into a super smooth, raw cookie dough-like texture. I didn't add chocolate chips to the cookie layer, but you definitely could add some in to make it more of a chocolate chip cookie dough pie.

Ingredients:

2 540mL cans white beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup quick oats - Use certified GF oats if making this gluten-free
1 and 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
3 Tbsp. canola oil
3 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and place the rack in the center of the oven. Lightly grease a 9" or 10" pie plate with canola oil or another non-stick cooking spray.

Add all ingredients to a food processor and blend together until very smooth. This should take about 5-10 minutes. Stop the processor and scrape down the sides of the bowl every few minutes to make sure everything gets evenly blended.

Pour the cookie dough pie mixture into the prepared pie plate and evenly smooth the top. Bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, until the top is firm to the touch and the edges are a bit cracked. Remove from the oven and let cool completely on a wire rack before frosting with chocolate ganache (recipe below).

After about 20 minutes of cooling on the wire rack, I placed the pie in the fridge to speed up the cooling. Once it was cool, I spread about half of the prepared chocolate ganache evenly over the top of the pie with a spatula, then placed the pie back in the fridge so the ganache could firm up. Slice and enjoy cold or at room temperature. Store leftover pie covered in the refrigerator.


*Cookie pie recipe adapted from Chocolate Covered Katie


Chocolate Ganache
 The chocolate ganache on top of this cookie dough pie is my new favourite thing. The ganache is so easy to make, and can be used in so many other desserts, as well as enjoyed straight off a spoon as I quickly discovered after making it. I made it using vanilla soy milk so it is dairy-free and vegan (if you use vegan chocolate), but feel free to substitute with cow's milk or cream and it will come out exactly the same. I can't wait to frost a whole chocolate cake with it or make some chocolate covered fruit.

Ingredients:
1 cup soy milk - I used Sweetened Vanilla So Good soy milk. Feel free to substitute cow's milk or cream or another type of soy milk
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips or chopped chocolate - Use dairy-free or vegan friendly chocolate if you need this to be vegan and lactose-intolerance friendly

Directions:

Pour the soy milk into a small saucepan and heat over medium-low heat. Slowly bring to a boil. Place the chocolate in a medium, heatproof bowl (glass works best). Once the soy milk is boiling, pour it over the chocolate and let sit for 2-3 minutes, until the chocolate softens. Whisk the chocolate and soy milk together vigorously with a wire whisk until all the chocolate is melted and a slight glossy sheen forms, about 2 minutes. Cover with plastic or a lid and place in the fridge for at least 1.5-2 hours before using. Stir before use to loosen it up.


*Chocolate ganache recipe adapted from You Won't Believe It's Vegan (Sher & Doherty, 2008)

Chocolate Cherry Protein Oatmeal

 
I love having a big bowl of oatmeal in the morning for breakfast, but I also go to the gym early in the morning beforehand. Instead of having a big protein shake to refuel after my morning workouts, I like to combine my protein powder with my oats to make this chocolate protein oatmeal! The oats get super thick and creamy in the microwave and come out like gooey chocolate cake. If you don't have cherry jam or jelly then you can substitute with strawberry or raspberry and it will be equally tasty. If you make this during summer cherry season then definitely add some pitted fresh cherries as well! 

Ingredients:

1/2 cup oat bran - You can use quick oats or rolled oats but I prefer the texture of oat bran, plus it is super high in fibre
1 scoop chocolate protein powder of your choice 
1 cup + 2 Tbsp. water or milk of your choice
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. dark chocolate peanut butter, Nutella, or regular peanut butter
1-2 Tbsp. cherry jam or jelly
*Note: Depending on how sweet your protein powder is and how sweet you like your foods, you may want to add in sugar or a sweetener of your choice to the oatmeal. 

The magic ingredients!

Directions:

In a small serving bowl, combine the oat bran, protein powder, water, and vanilla. Stir to combine until there are no large clumps of protein powder left.

Microwave for 60-90 seconds, until most of the water is absorbed. Stir to combine and thicken up the oat bran. It will get thicker the longer it sits.

Top with the chocolate peanut butter and cherry jam/jelly (or some pitted, fresh cherries if they are available)  and enjoy.


*Recipe by Brooke McMillan

Monday, August 20, 2012

Saskatoon Sour Cream Pie with Crumble Topping

 

This is a pie that I have made before using a mixture of strawberries and raspberries. You could really use any berry and it would turn out great. We have an abundance of saskatoon berries at my house from our bushes and the bushes along the trails we've been picking through all summer, so I've been putting them in everything. I love how bright purple the saskatoons make the pie filling! Don't be thrown off by the use of sour cream in this pie - it creates a creamy texture and almost cheesecake-like flavour. 


Ingredients:

1 unbaked 9" pie crust - Use my perfect pie crust recipe for a great homemade pie crust!
5 cups fresh saskatoon berries - If using frozen berries then thaw them beforehand
1 cup sour cream - If you don't have sour cream you can substitute plain yogurt
1 cup white sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. corn starch

Crumble Topping Ingredients:
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup cold butter, cut into small cubes

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, combine the white sugar, flour, and corn starch. Stir in the sour cream until no lumps remain. Place the saskatoons in a medium saucepan over medium heat on the stovetop. Add in the sour cream mixture and heat for 7-8 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and set aside while you prepare the pie crust and crumble topping.

Roll our your pastry and place in a 9" pie dish (a glass dish works the best so that you can monitor how the crust is baking and tell when it's done).

In a medium bowl, combine the crumble topping ingredients and cut together using a pastry blender or two butter knives, until the mixture is crumbly and no large chunks of butter remain.Set aside.

Pour the saskatoon berry and sour cream mixture into the prepared pie crust. Evenly sprinkle the crumble topping over the pie filling.

Bake at 450 degrees F for 15 minutes on a bottom oven rack, then reduce the heat to 350 degrees F, move pie to the middle rack, and continue to bake for another 35-40 minutes, until the fruit is tender and the pie crust is golden brown. Depending on your oven, you may just want to keep the pie on the bottom oven rack or a lower rack so that the crust bakes all the way through. I find with my oven I have to do this because the filling is so liquid-y that the middle of the pie crust will still be a little raw if I just keep it in the middle rack. If the crumble topping begins to get too brown then cover it with a piece of aluminum foil for the remainder of the baking time.

Cool on a wire rack, then chill for 1-2 hours in the refrigerator before serving.

 

*Recipe by Brooke McMillan

Friday, August 17, 2012

Vegan Caesar Salad Dressing


I made this salad dressing a few weeks ago when we had a big family dinner for my little brother's birthday. My mom was making her famous homemade caesar salad (with the traditional caesar dressing), but my vegan cousin was also coming to dinner and I can't eat dairy or anchovies. Rather than just serve her and I a plain salad with a different dressing, I wanted us plant-eaters to be able to enjoy a caesar salad with the rest of the family! Enter this awesome vegan caesar salad dressing. It is less creamy and white than regular caesar salad dressing but the flavours are spot on. The salad turned out great and I was really happy to be able to accommodate all the dietary preferences at the table. With a little extra effort it's not hard to turn your favourite "traditional" meals into tasty, vegan-friendly versions. 

If you wanted something that resembles traditional caesar dressing then I would recommend adding in 2-4 Tbsp. of silken tofu during blending to give it a creamier texture and whiter appearance. Make this into a hearty entree salad by adding in some sauteed, grilled, or baked tofu, or your favourite imitation chicken product (I like Gardein brand). You can make your own croutons by cutting vegan bread into cubes, brushing them lightly with oil, and baking in the oven for 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees F, or until dry and browned. For really quick croutons just toast a few slices of vegan bread and then cut the toast into small squares.

Ingredients:

1/4 cup lemon juice
2-3 cloves garlic
1/2 Tbsp. capers
1 Tbsp. yellow mustard
2 tsp. nutritional yeast
1 tsp. black pepper
1 and 1/2 tsp. soy sauce or tamari
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup canola oil
Sea salt to taste

Directions:

In a blender on the lowest speed, combine all the ingredients, except the olive oil, canola oil, and salt.

Combine the olive oil and canola oil in a small bowl or liquid measuring cup - anything with a pouring spout is ideal. With the blender still running on low, pour in the oils very slowly to emulsify the ingredients. Add salt to taste. 

Pour over chopped romaine lettuce. Add in croutons, a sprinkle of vegan parmesan, and a wedge of fresh lemon.


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Tropical Protein Macaroons


These coconut-packed macaroons are like a little bite of a tropical vacation! I bought some tropical fruit flavoured Vega protein powder and didn't really like the taste of it as a smoothie (nothing can really compare to chocolate!) so I needed to find another way to use it up. I came across a few protein macaroon recipes on the Internet and I knew instantly that the tropical fruit flavour and coconut would be the perfect delicious combination! These macaroons are a perfect light treat that are filled with healthy ingredients - not to mention they are gluten free and low fat. They are a little crunchy, chewy, and packed full of flavour. I like to have a couple for a pre- or post-workout snack, but you could pack them in your lunchbox for a snack, crumble them over oatmeal or yogurt, or serve them with ice cream or sorbet for a dessert. Feel free to experiment and use other flavours of protein powder if you'd like - chocolate and coconut is another winning combination!

Ingredients:

1/3 cup egg whites
2 Tbsp. maple syrup
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 scoop (20g) protein powder - I used 1 scoop of Vega Tropical Tango energizing smoothie powder
1 cup dried, unsweetened shredded coconut

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg whites, maple syrup, and vanilla. Add in the protein powder and shredded coconut and stir until combined.

Use a Tablespoon to scoop the batter onto the lined baking sheet. Try to pack it into the Tbsp. so that it stays in a mound shape once you scoop it onto the sheet. 

Bake for 23-25 minutes, until the coconut is lightly toasted and browned. Remove from the oven and allow the macaroons to cool on the baking sheet completely before transferring to an airtight container for storage. This recipe makes about 14-16 macaroons.


*Recipe by Brooke McMillan

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Vegetarian Sloppy Joes

These sloppy joes are one of my favourite new recipes. While some people may associate sloppy joes with bad cafeteria food, this recipe is packed with flavour and is a comforting meal that comes together in about 20 minutes - perfect for a quick weeknight supper. I made them for my family last week and they were amazing! My dad and little brother loved them, so they pass the boy test! It is definitely a recipe where you don't miss the meat. I would recommend serving these to any men in your life who may be skeptical of vegetarian or vegan cuisine.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup cooked red lentils, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed, roughly chopped
1 Tbsp. canola lil
1/2 cup onion, finely diced
1/2 cup finely chopped mushrooms
1 red bell pepper, finely diced
1 large carrot, peeled and finely diced
1 5.5-6 oz. can tomato paste
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
5-6 burger buns or kaiser buns
Mayonnaise or avocado slices for serving (optional)

Directions:

Heat the canola oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Saute the onion, mushrooms, bell pepper, and carrot until they are tender and fragrant, about 10 minutes. Drain and rinse the canned lentils and chickpeas, and roughly chop up the chickpeas so there are no large chunks,

In a small bowl, combine the tomato paste, Dijon mustard, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, and ketchup. Add the sauce mixture to the pan of vegetables and stir to combine. Add the lentils and chickpeas to the pan and simmer for 5 minutes. 

Lightly toast the buns and spread with mayonnaise, if desired. Spoon the sloppy joe mixture into the buns and top with the sliced avocado. Serves 5-6.


My mom thought that the sloppy joe mixture would be perfect for vegetarian tacos or a taco salad and I couldn't agree more. Try adding in some taco seasoning or chili powder and cumin to the mix and use in tacos, atop a salad, or over nachos.


*Recipe adapted from Skinny Bitch: Ultimate Everyday Cookbook by Kim Barnouin

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Cinnamon Sugar Bars (vegan, gluten-free, and healthy!)


Whenever I make a sneakily healthy dessert I always have friends and family try it before telling them what the secret ingredients are just to see their unbiased reactions. I brought these into work and the ladies in my office ate them up and loved them - one even went back for a second helping right away! These bars really are delicious and super moist without added fats or oils. They are made using chickpeas, so they are a great source of protein, and the addition of ground flax adds fibre as well. Overall, they're a healthy, energy-packed snack or sweet treat that happen to be gluten-free and vegan as well!

Ingredients:

1 and 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed - You can substitute with white beans as well; they will have a smoother texture.
3 Tbsp. nut butter - I used almond butter for a more neutral flavour, but you could use peanut butter if that's all you have. You could also substitute margarine or coconut oil.
1/4 cup ground flax
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 and 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. unsweetened applesauce
Turbinado sugar for garnish (optional) - Turbinado is a sugar that has a larger granule and is less refined than regular white sugar. A little sprinkle on top of these bars will add a bit of crunch, sweetness, and sparkle.

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8x8" or 9x9" baking pan with aluminum foil.

Add all ingredients to a food processor or high power blender, and blend until very smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. If you do use a blender then you may have to blend this in a couple batches instead of all at once.

Scoop the batter into the prepared baking pan and evenly smooth the top with a spatula or the back of a spoon. Sprinkle the top of the bars lightly with turbinado sugar if desired. Bake for 35-38 minutes. They may look slightly underdone when you take them out, but they will firm up as they cool. Don't overcook them otherwise they will become hard. Cool on a wire rack for 10-15 minutes, then cover and place in the refrigerator to continue cooling completely before slicing into bars.

These bars get better the day after you make them because they have time to set and firm up. Store in an airtight container or wrapped in plastic wrap in the refrigerator; freeze for longer storage.


*Recipe adapted from Chocolate Covered Katie