Moroccan Spiced Lentils

In a push to try and be as conscious of healthy eating as possible, I have been focusing my families dinners around the whole foods plant based lifestyle. Whole foods eating is free from anything processed and that includes oils and sugar, sounds like a challenge? Well, it wasn’t as bad as I thought and what resulted was delicious as a bonus.

I love a good cooking challenge so taking away a few common ingredients can certainly throw a wrench into dinner unless you know a few hacks!

  1. You can avoid oil completely and cook your onions and garlic in water, who knew?
  2. Did you know cinnamon is naturally sweet and can give your dish a hint of sweetness when you are craving a sugar fix?
  3. Combining tomatoes with cinnamon only brings out the sweetness of the tomato and creates a lovely ethnic flavour.

I was so pleased I wrote down this recipe when I created it because all six of my children loved it and asked for seconds! If you’re a parent you’ll appreciate a dinner that gets approval from all of the kids. Someone always has a complaint, but not this time!

I’d love to hear some of your whole food plant based hacks in the comments!

Natasha xoxo

Moroccan Spiced Lentils

Whole Foods Plant Based                Serves 6              Prep time: 10 minutes      Cook time: 30 minutes

Oil Free        Vegan      Gluten Free       Sugar Free

Ingredients

  • 1 Medium Red Onion
  • 2 Garlic Cloves Crushed
  • 1/4 Cup of Water (for cooking the onion and garlic in)
  • 1Tsp Paprika
  • 1/2 Tsp Cumin
  • 1/2 Tsp Ginger
  • 1 Tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 Tsp Sea Salt
  • 2 Tsp Salted Lemon Skins (optional, often used in Moroccan cooking)
  • 1 Can Diced Tomatoes (Large size, 796 ml)
  • 1 1/2 Cup Red Lentils
  • 1 1/2 Cup Water

Method

  • Dice onion and crush garlic.
  • Add 1/4 Cup water to pot with garlic and onion, cook on medium / high heat until onions are clear in colour.
  • Add Spices and salt and mix.
  • Add diced tomatoes, red lentils, and water. Stir.
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer and cook for 30 minutes until the lentils have absorbed the water.
  • Serve over jasmine rice and garnish with lemon and dill.
  • Enjoy!

 

Raw Mexican Cream Of Corn Chowder

After severely burning myself making breakfast this morning I decided that the rest of the days is going to be a raw day! I recall taking a Raw Vegan Challenge a year ago and thinking it was going to be torture; surprisingly, I discovered that raw vegan foods are bursting with flavour and can leave you feeling satisfied if done correctly!

During the month I took the Raw Vegan Challenge I realized I needed to adapt some of my favourite comfort foods to combat my cravings. This Mexican Creamy Corn Chowder was one of my most tasty combinations and was inspired by a base recipe by The Rawtarian! If you’re planning on going Raw Vegan her website is amazing!

Back to this fantastic soup! It’s absolutely delicious and will leave you craving more… thankfully it takes less than ten minutes to whip up so if you are looking for another bowl it won’t take long to make some more!

Enjoy!

Natasha xoxo

Raw Mexican Cream Of Corn Chowder

Raw, Vegan, Gluten Free                 Prep Time: 10 Mins                     Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Fresh Corn
  • 1/4 Cup Raw Cashew Pieces
  • 3/4 Cup Water
  • 3/4 Tsp Sea Salt
  • 1/2 Tsp Chili Powder
  • 1/4 Tsp Smokey Paprika

Method

  • Toss everything into a high-speed blender and blend until warm and smooth.
  • Garnish with spices, peppers, tomatoes, corn, onion
  • Enjoy!

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Creamy Vegan Mushroom Risotto

One of my favourite dishes as a vegetarian was a nice creamy risotto, and like many, before me, I was one of those people who said ” I’d go vegan, but I could never give up cheese, ” and with that, I believed I could never give up risotto. Giving up dairy initially felt like a major sacrifice but after learning more about the dairy industry, and the adverse effects dairy has on the human body it became easier.

I recall a year after going vegan I was at a Sunday brunch at a popular winery where I live, and I came across a massive plate of cheese. Smoked gouda…. one of my past favourites was calling to me, so after a year dairy free I figured what would one cheese cube hurt and I had love smoked gouda so much. So I took a small piece much to the surprise of my also vegan husband who asked if I was sure I wanted to break a year of solid veganism. I decided I just had to have that one little piece and I popped it into my mouth; the flavours startled me. The cheese that I had enjoyed for years tasted nothing like I remembered and had a more oily texture and to be honest really grossed me out.

That was my moment of confirmation, I no longer needed or wanted dairy. A funny thing happens when you go vegan, your taste buds change and natural flavours start to appear that are of such a beautiful quality it leaves you wondering how you’ve lived so long with a blind tongue. I always find it funny when I hear people refer to a vegan or plant based life style as bland when it is quite the opposite!

You don’t need to sacrifice your health or flavour to enjoy a beautiful risotto, this recipe has been a labour of love for me, and I have spend years trying to get it just right. I’m so excited to finally share it with you!

Natasha xoxo

Creamy Vegan Mushroom Risotto

Prep Time: 10 mins

Cook time: 22 mins

Vegan, Gluten Free, Dairy Free

Ingerdients

  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Small Onion Diced
  • 2 Cups Chopped Mushrooms (mix a variety for a gourmet flair)
  • 1 Large Garlic Clove Pressed
  • 1/2 Tsp Dried Thyme or Basil
  • 3/4 Cup Arborio Rice
  • 2 Tbsp Wine (any kind will work)
  • 1 Cup Vegetable Broth
  • 1 Cup Dairy Free Milk (I use Cashew Milk)
  • 1/8 Cup Nutritional Yeast
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Method

  • In a pot fry the diced onion in olive oil until it is clear.

  • Add pressed garlic and mushrooms and cook on med/low until the mushrooms have softened.

  • Add Arborio rice and fry on low until the rice is evenly coated in oil, then add wine and stir.

  • Once the wine has mostly evaporated add the veggie broth, dairy free milk, and nutritional yeast, and herbs.

  • Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer on low for 22 minutes.

  • Add salt and pepper to taste, serve and garnish with vegan parmesan.

ENJOY!