Monday, July 15, 2013

Vegetarian Beef and Broccoli (and peas?)

This is my super quick and delicious vegetarian adaptation of one of my favourite Chinese food dishes! Gardein makes amazing imitation meat products and their "beefless tips" are one of my absolute favourites - the texture and flavour is fantastic and they have been known to please even my meat-eating little brother.


1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp. water
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. flour
1/2 Tbsp. balsamic or red wine vinegar 

2 heads broccoli, chopped into florets and steamed
1/2 cup frozen peas, steamed
1/2 package of Gardein "beefless tips"
Cooked white rice, to serve


In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, water, brown sugar, garlic, flour, and vinegar.

Cook your rice and steam your broccoli and peas while you prepare the beef and sauce.

Heat 1 tsp. olive or canola oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Saute the Gardein "beefless tips" for 2 minutes. Pour the sauce mixture into the skillet and allow the beef to simmer for about 5 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened.

Serve the beef and sauce over the rice and steamed vegetables.

*Recipe by Brooke McMillan

Massaged Kale Salad


This is one of my favourite quick kale salads and a great way to enjoy these super nutritious greens! Massaging the dressing into the kale really helps to soften its characteristic chewy and rough texture, and allowing the salad to marinate in the refrigerator prior to serving also helps with this as well. Unlike most salad leftovers, this stores wonderfully in the refrigerator, so it's great for lunch the next day! Feel free to add in some quinoa, couscous, or rice, or a protein to make this a complete meal.


1 head kale
1 tomato, diced
1 medium carrot, grated
1/2 small red onion, diced or sliced
2 Tbsp. toasted sesame seeds
1 Tbsp. tahini
2 Tbsp. water
Juice of 1 lemon (approx. 2 Tbsp.)
1/2 tsp. chili powder or 1-2 tsp. red pepper flakes
2 tsp. garlic, minced
1/2 Tbsp. honey or pinch of sugar
salt and pepper, to taste


Wash the kale and pat dry. Remove the leaves from the tough centre stem by placing your fingers at the base and sliding them upward. Roughly chop or tear the kale into large bite-sized pieces. Place the kale in a salad bowl and set aside.

For the dressing, whisk together the tahini, water, lemon juice, chili powder/flakes, garlic,  salt and pepper, and honey/sugar. Taste and adjust the seasonings.

Pour the dressing over the kale and massage it into the leaves with your hands. This will help to soften the kale. Toss in the tomatoes and carrots, and onion if using.

Refrigerate for at least 10-15 minutes before serving to allow the dressing to further soften the kale.

*Recipe by Brooke McMillan

Puppy Chow


This treat is a classic favourite around the holidays, but that shouldn't stop you from making it all year round! It's crunchy and sweet, and ridiculously addicting. 


1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 cup butter
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
9 cups Chex or Crispix cereal
3 cups powdered sugar


Combine the peanut butter, butter, and chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high for 1 minutes, then stir to blend all ingredients thoroughly. If the mixture is not completely melted, then microwave in 30-second intervals until smooth. Stir in the vanilla extract.

Place the cereal in a very large mixing bowl. Pour the peanut butter/chocolate mixture over the cereal and toss gently using a large spatula or spoon, making sure the cereal is evenly covered.

Place the powdered sugar in a large plastic bag. Add the coated cereal to the bag, leaving room at the top of the bag for it to be shaken. You may have to divide the cereal into 3-4 smaller batches, coating one batch at a time in powdered sugar. Shake the bag vigorously to evenly coat each piece of cereal with powdered sugar. Place the puppy chow in a separate large bowl and repeat with the remaining cereal, adding additional powdered sugar as needed.

Store puppy chow in sealed bags or an airtight container.

Banana Oatmeal Dark Chocolate Breakfast Cookies

Lightly sweet, chewy and hearty, these makes great breakfast cookies or healthy highly-portable snacks! They freeze well so make a big batch to have tucked away for busy days.


1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup oats
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
pinch of salt
1 Tbsp. ground flaxseed
1/4 cup agave or honey
1/4 cup soy, almond, or dairy milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. canola or vegetable oil
1 very ripe large banana, mashed
1/2-3/4 cup roughly chopped dark chocolate


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or grease with non-stick spray.

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and stir until smooth and evenly blended.

Drop 1-2 Tbsp. sized mounds of cookie dough onto the prepared cookie sheets. These cookies won't spread much during baking so you may want to flatten the cookie dough mounds gently with your hand or fingertips.

Bake for 10-12 minutes. Allow the cookies to sit on the cookie sheets for 1-2 minutes before placing them on a wire rack to cool completely.

*Recipe by Brooke McMillan