Quick and Easy Mediterranean Pasta

This pasta came together when we had a friend over for dinner this weekend and I wanted to make something special, that also wasn't too labour intensive. I had stored a batch of Slow-Roasted Tomatoes in the freezer and paired them with canned artichokes, roasted red peppers (from a jar) and organic baby kale. The dish comes together very quickly and is both satisfying and delicious. If you don't have a batch of slow-roasted tomatoes prepared you are welcome to swap them for sundried tomatoes. I love the feta cheese from Fresh Start Fauxmage, out of Charlottetown, PEI and available locally here in Halifax, but you are welcome to swap this for another cheese of your choice or leave it out entirely. Quick and Easy Mediterranean Pasta Ingredients 1/3 cup olive oil 2 cloves garlic, crushed large pinch sea salt 1 cup roasted red pepper, diced 1 can artichoke hearts,…

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Herbes de Provence Warm Olives

When we lived in Victoria one of our favourite places to eat was Be Love Restaurant. One of our favourite items on the menu was their warm olives, whose flavour changes with each seasonal menu. I have been missing the island of late and was inspired to make these olives, as a way to bring that west coast experience to the east coast. I have included a link for a simple Herbes de Provence recipe if you are unable to source it at your local grocery store. There are varieties with and without lavender, however, I find a bit of lavender really makes the blend. The leftover oil and seasoning can be mixed with some balsamic vinegar and used again as a bread dip. Enjoy! Herbes de Provence Warm Olives Ingredients 1/4 cup Olive oil 2 cloves garlic, crushed Zest from 1 Lemon 1/2 tsp Tarragon 1/2 tsp Herbes de…

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Cinnamon Apple Ginger Granola

I adore granola for breakfast, especially paired with homemade nut or seed milk. If you make a big batch over the weekend it leads to a quick and easy breakfast option throughout the week. I would recommend doubling (or even tripling the recipe) if you want to have leftovers, especially if you are feeding multiple people. If nuts are not an option for you, feel free to swap the walnuts for pumpkin or sunflower seeds. Enjoy! Cinnamon Apple Ginger Granola Ingredients 2½ cups rolled oats 3/4 cup walnuts, roughly chopped ¼ cup maple syrup ¼ cup coconut sugar 3 tbsp avocado oil 1 tsp vanilla extract 1 Tbsp fresh grated ginger ½ tsp cinnamon ¼ tsp sea salt ¼ cup dried cranberries ¼ cup dried apples Directions Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, stir together the rolled oats and walnuts. In a second bowl, whisk together maple…

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Cinnamon Sugar Walnut Milk

I love making my own nut and seed milk, I have found it cuts down on the amount of waste we are producing in a very big way, and by doing so I can avoid some of the added ingredients I am not fond of in pre-packaged milk (carrageenan, I am looking at you!) I have tried a variety of different nuts and seeds, including a recent foray into homemade oat milk. I have been curious about walnuts, it's not a variety of nuts I would think of immediately for milk, but the neutral flavour lends itself nicely to a latte. I have added some cinnamon and sugar to this recipe, it adds a hint of sweetness and flavour but you are welcome to add a bit more of each if you want to bump the flavour and sweetness up a bit. This recipe is delicious paired with my Cinnamon…

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Split Pea Stew

I created this recipe after we visited a Persian restaurant in Fredericton several years ago. My son fell in love with one of the dishes we had there called Gheymeh, which combined a delicious blend of split peas, eggplant, tomatoes, and potatoes. When we had it at the restaurant it was served with roasted eggplant on top, along with thinly sliced crispy potato fries. I decided to try my hand at doing something similar, in a one-pot format. I love that this recipe can be prepared in a slow cooker. When we have a busy afternoon I set the slow cooker (well in my case, Instant Pot) earlier in the day and dinner will be waiting for us when we get home. This dish (and a lot of Persian dishes) traditionally use dried limes, but I was unable to find any locally so I have substituted lime zest and juice…

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Spinach and Artichoke Dip

I absolutely love artichokes, fresh steamed with aromatic herbs and dipped in a sauce is my favourite, followed by artichoke hearts from a jar or can. The taste and texture are unique and add a special element to any dish. Spinach and Artichoke dip is a long-time favourite dip of mine, however, I find lots of the recipes available are heavily reliant on mayonnaise, vegan or otherwise. While I love vegenaise as much as the next person, I wanted to see if it would be possible to make something equally delicious minus the mayo. I decided to sub white beans instead, in this case, I used cannellini beans but navy beans would work equally well. I typically soak and pressure cook dried beans, but canned works too. This dip comes together relatively quickly and can be prepared ahead of time, up until the point of baking in the recipe instructions…

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Chai Spiced Squash Soup

I picked up a large Hubbard Squash at the Halifax Brewery Market and was inspired to put together this Chai Spiced Squash Soup Recipe, reminiscent of a recipe I tried years ago when we were living in St John's. Chai spices and squash work so well together, especially topped with some Sweet & Smoky Pumpkin Seeds (ok, technically squash seeds in this case) and a small drizzle of maple syrup. The smoked sea salt adds a lovely flavour note to this dish, however plain sea salt also works well in this recipe. Chai Spiced Squash Soup Ingredients 8 cups diced squash (I used a Hubbard Squash) 6 shallots, peeled and halved 9 cloves garlic, peeled ¼ cup olive oil 1 tsp smoked sea salt Fresh cracked pepper 1 cup cashews 1 cup filtered water 4 cups basic vegetable broth or water 1" piece ginger, grated 2 pieces star anise 1…

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Sweet & Smoky Pumpkin Seeds

I enjoy watching cooking shows with my kids, while the vast majority doesn't cater to our plant-based diet, I do find the creativity of the chefs profiled very inspiring and I often walk away with ideas I can adjust using vegetables instead of meat, fish or dairy. These pumpkin seeds were inspired by the flavours of candied bacon, a combination of sweet and salty that I thought would compliment my Chai Spiced Squash Soup. The original recipe I referenced for how to roast pumpkin seeds advised soaking and then drying your seeds, however, I was in the midst of making soup at the same time and didn't want to add the extra step in. I found that baking the seeds for half an hour provided enough time to get rid of any excess moisture and the end result was crispy and delicious pumpkin seeds. Depending on your oven you may…

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Bibimbap

My husband and I taught English in South Korea for a year, starting in 2003. While we were there we fell head over heels for kimchi, and a lovely rice dish called Bibimbap. My favourite version was called Dolsot Bibimbap and involved having all the ingredients served in a hot stone bowl. The rice at the bottom would crisp up and the ingredients would cook together a bit more at the table, allowing the flavours to come together in a really lovely way. I have not yet invested in a stone pot, however, the recipe below is delicious just as it is. I came up with a raw version of this recipe, using cauliflower rice as the base for a raw black box assignment when I was doing the Rouxbe plant-based certification a few years ago. I loved the combination of flavours but I don't do well with a whole…

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Chana Masala

I adore Chana Masala, and I have been playing around with this recipe for a long time, in order to find both the taste and texture I was looking for. My original test recipe had curry powder instead of garam masala and ground coriander, this flavour combination ended up being a happy accident when I was preparing the curry one night and I had run out of curry powder. I have an excellent curry recipe from The Undiet Cookbook that I could have pulled together quickly, however, I decided to experiment instead, and I am so happy I did! The second key element in this curry is removing the skins from your chickpeas. Yes, it is time-intensive, but the creamy softness you get from the beans when you do is well worth the time invested. The same goes for hummus. I like to buy and prepare dried chickpeas, however, I…

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