Grilled Aubergine, Haloumi, Portabello Mushrooms

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Feb 052017

IMG_4262 Portabello mushrooms are kind of a staple here. My kids, who say they don’t like mushrooms, eat them every time and they gobbled this up! We didn’t have buns, so instead of my go-to Grilled “cheesy” Portabello Tabouleh recipe, I made up this one, and it was so, so good. We ate them alone but would be good with rice or pasta.

2T avocado oil (olive works too)
1T apple cider vinegar (or balsamic)
1t dried oregano
Himalayan salt
2 small or one medium/large eggplant
2 big cloves of garlic, chopped
4-6 portabello mushrooms
1 large can tomatoes
A block of haloumi cheese

How to:
Heat grill to 300 degrees, grease with avocado oil.

Prepare mushrooms: remove stems and chop them, and scoop out the inside of mushrooms. Mix the mushrooms with oil, vinegar, oregano and garlic. Let it marinate.

Prepare eggplant: slice eggplant into 1cm-rounds. Place them on a plate and cover with Himalaya salt. Let them sit.

Place mushrooms on the grill.

Put mushroom mixture in a fry pan and let it cook on medium.

Use a paper towel to get moisture off eggplant and put it on the grill.

IMG_4258Evenly distribute the warm mushroom mix into the portabello caps–right on the grill. In the same fry-pan you’ve been using, heat one large can of tomatoes. Add eggplant once it’s grilled.

Now there’s room to grill the haloumi.

IMG_4265Everything ends up ready magically around the same time. Serve the mushrooms by placing a mushroom on the plate, topping with the tomato-eggplant mix and a piece or two of grilled haloumi on top.

Easy Peasey “Cheesey” Parsley Pesto and Pinto Bean Pasta

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Jan 312016

pestoWell, the friends of mine who are professional food bloggers will probably cringe at the recipe name. I think it’s perfect.

It seems this mama has “gone veg” again. I was a vegetarian for most of my life, and started eating it around the time Papa and I got together. Then pregnancy, kids, life, I kept it up because it was easy and convenient. Recently, probably not coincidentally coinciding with the new Hatha Yoga teacher training I’m taking, I decided now was the time. I’ve been practicing following my gut and my gut said, let’s go.

Now, to be perfectly honest, I am curious as to what effect, if any, this is going to have on my health. I don’t think vegetarianism is for everyone, and I also don’t think Paleo is, either. I’ve made this decision for reasons that are far from the possible health benefits of vegetarianism. As a meat eater, I actually felt quite healthy. What I do know about Ayurveda, is that with as much fire (Pitta) as I have, vegetarianism will probably be a good fit. So, here I am, a week back to it, feeling very good.

There is still meat in the house, but I don’t imagine myself cooking it every night anymore. This week, the rest of my family has eaten meat a few times, mostly on nights when Papa is in charge of supper. Tonight I made another quick vegetarian meal. It was so quick and so good that I wanted to share it here. Everyone had seconds!

1-2 cups soaked and cooked beans (any kind, including chickpea would be great) a can is fine too!
2-3 cloves of garlic
1/4 – 1/2 cup pine nuts (I’ve used walnuts before, they’re cheaper and very yummy)
A big bunch of parsley (you can sub with anything green, or even a mixture of different greens)
Good oil (I used avacado)Nutritional Yeast
Salt, pepper
Pasta of choice. We tend to use Quinoa a go-go’s gluten-free macaroni

How to:
Boil water for pasta
Meanwhile, wash greens, removing stems if applicable
Put peeled garlic cloves and nuts in food processor and whirl it around for a while
Add greens and continue to pulse until everything is chopped finely
Drizzle in your oil as the food processor is on. After a little while it will become creamy and look like store bought pesto!

When pasta is almost ready, add beans in the pot to quickly heat them.
Strain beans and pasta
Put oil in the pot and return pasta and beans to the pot, adding the pesto to coat the pasta and beans
Serve with Nutritional Yeast, Salt, pepper or chili flakes if that’s what you’re into.


Ogre (okra) Stew

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Jul 162015

okra3Okra is a pretty cool veggie. It’s appearance alone is an entire blog post. The texture, a second post. It’d had been a while since I used okra and was honestly a little worried my non-picky kids would dislike it. It can be slimy. So before introducing them to this new vegetable, I took slime-reduction measures, and soaked it for a while in some water and apple cider vinegar.

The kids loved to hold and feel the okra before I chopped it– we decided they looked like ogre fingers and named the recipe ogre stew. Of course, no ogres were harmed in the making if tonight’s vegetarian meal. I love the way it looks when cut open– like little mandalas.
Not only did they not hate it, the whole family loved it. I hope yours will too.
okra23tsp ginger, peeled and grated or finely chopped

okra13 cloves garlic, chopped
One small onion, chopped
Coconut oil or replacement
1t cumin, turmeric
1T curry powder
1 big can diced tomatoes
2 cups chick peas, soaked and cooked, or one can
Handful of kale, washed and broken in bite-sized pieces
Salt and chili flakes to taste
A few cups of okra (I had 30 pods) chopped in less than one centimetre rounds
  2 T ACV
How to:
Wash and chop the pods. Leave them to soak in a big container of water and add the ACV. If you can do this ahead of time and let them soak for at least an hour, great.
okraMelt oil, fry onions, garlic and powdered spices
Rinse the okra. Rinse it again and again and again. I wasn’t able to get rid of all the slime. Babe watched it oozing out of the strainer. Definitely added to the ogre factor!
Add to the pan and fry a little while
Add tomatoes and chickpeas and let everything simmer until the okra is desired consistency
Add kale in at the very end and steam it until it wilts

Grilled, “cheesy” tabbouleh topped BBQ Portabellos

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May 212015
Tabouleh mushroom topper

Tabouleh mushroom topper

Are we the only ones who shop at Costco? I bet not. We love that they have some of our staples in this house– organic ground beef, organic chicken, gluten free pasta options, frozen organic produce, coconut oil, almond butter, nuts. I could go on.

We do not buy all of our groceries there. I mostly follow the EWG’s Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 list. If it’s pretty clean, I try to buy it at Costco. If not, I buy it elsewhere. To be honest, as far as clean, fresh produce goes, there aren’t that many options at this store, but Portabello mushrooms usually make it in the cart. I usually use them as I’d use regular button mushrooms, but being BBQ season, I wanted to give grilling them a fair shot. We’ll definitely be doing this again!
1-2 cups cherry tomatoes, cut in rounds
1 bunch green onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped small
5 portabello mushrooms
Olive oil
Balsamic vinegar
A big handful of parsley, chopped
Nutritional yeast
How To:
Put all salad ingredients, salt, pepper, oil and vinegar to marinate in a bowl for as long as convenient
"Cheesy" mushroom burgers

“Cheesy” mushroom burgers

Clean underside of mushrooms with a napkin

Use a spoon to gently scoop the meat of the mushroom out and add to salad mixture
Top mushrooms with the salad mixture and sprinkle with nutritional yeast
Grill on low, indirect heat for about 20 minutes
We had ours with barbecued sweet potatoes (cumin, cinnamon and coconut oil, in tin foil for about 30-40 minutes) and bean salad. A big hit!

Raw Kale Salad

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May 072015

kale1 This recipe came together when there was still snow on the ground and we were desperate for summer. I bought loads of kale and asked friends on Facebook what they’d use it for. One woman, Rowan, suggested kale, parsley and cabbage salad. So thus is what I came up with. I’d have added lemon juice and green onions if I had them. As with all my recipes, please use them to guide your creativity!

1 bunch kale

1 bunch parsley
3 carrots grated or spiralized
1 beat, grated
2 inches ginger peeled, grated
1 avocado, chopped
1 or 2 cups chickpeas
Handful each of raw cashews, pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup Chia seeds
Olive oil
Sea salt
kale2Wash and dry kale and parsley
Break or cut kale into bite sized pieces, removing the spine
Massage kale with salt and oil
Add the finely chopped parsley and mix well
Add all other ingredients and toss
You could also use the ingredients as an opportunity for people to decorate their own salad. All the good stuff tends to sink to the bottom so you can dish out the greens and let the other guys do the work of adding toppings