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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Hazelnut & Orange Pilaf

I created this recipe on a leftover night. Every week I try to factor in at least one leftover night, where we take whatever odds and ends are left in the fridge and put together a meal. In this case, I had some Get Grounded Fall Root Vegetable Soup in a container in the fridge, along with a head of kale that I intended to use in the stovetop method of this Cheesy Roasted Broccoli dish. I had a single orange left in our fruit basket, along with some fresh parsley and a jar of hazelnuts in the fridge. I consulted the Vegetarian Flavor Bible to see what other flavors might compliment what I had on hand, and added some garlic and ginger to the mix. Turmeric wasn't on the list, but I love to add it in wherever I can, as it is an anti-inflammatory powerhouse. I also love…

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Sautéed Chanterelles with Garlic

I am so thrilled when chanterelle season rolls around every year. Their meaty texture and hearty flavour are incredibly satisfying. There are so many things you can do with them, but my all-time favourite is a simple saute with some garlic and smoked sea salt. The garlic and smoked sea salt pulls out the mushroom flavour beautifully, but is subtle enough that you can still enjoy the flavour of the chanterelles themselves. I love serving these sautéed mushrooms as an appetizer when we have friends over for dinner, it comes together quickly and is absolutely delicious. Sautéed Chanterelles with Garlic Ingredients 2 Tbsp olive oil 4 cloves garlic 4 cups chanterelles, thinly sliced Pinch smoked sea salt Fresh cracked pepper Finely sliced chives Directions Warm olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add garlic, mushrooms, and a pinch of smoked sea salt and sauté until the mixture is…

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Kale and White Bean Curry

When we lived in Victoria BC we enjoyed eating at Sutra, a small cafe associated with Vij's restaurant in Vancouver. We frequently ordered samosas and kale and navy bean curry, which was rich, creamy and very satisfying. As much as I loved eating at Sutra, eating out adds up quickly and so I decided to try my hand at making the curry at home. I am so happy with how this curry turned out, and we find it is equally delicious with both navy and cannellini beans. Eating it brings me right back to our time on the west coast, food is really magical that way! Kale and White Bean Curry Ingredients ¼ cup coconut oil 2 medium onions, diced 4 garlic cloves, crushed 1 Tbsp curry leaves (optional) 1 Tbsp cumin 1½ tsp mustard seeds 1 tsp turmeric ½ tsp cayenne (or to taste) 2 tsp sea salt ½…

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Stuffed Squash

I wanted to create a stuffed squash recipe as part of my holiday dish series leading up to Thanksgiving, which for us here in Canada falls on the second Monday in October. I knew I wanted to incorporate wild rice and make the rice filling appealing for my middle daughter, who doesn't particularly care for squash. When it comes to our kids we don't force them to eat anything, but we do ask them to at least try a bite or two before they decide that they don't like something. We also try to present more than one food option for each meal, so that they have a choice. I stopped by Hutten Family Farm at the Halifax Brewery Market and immediately gravitated towards their Long Island Cheese Squash. I asked if this squash would be a good pick for a stuffed recipe, and was told that it would be…

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Basic Vegetable Broth

I love the Nourishing Vegetable Broth recipe on my blog, however I wanted to come up with a simple broth recipe that included ingredients I typically have in the fridge. This broth comes together in 15 minutes at high pressure in an instant pot or pressure cooker, and is chock full of amazing flavour. It is a wonderful way to make use of carrot tops, which we often bring home from the market. If you don't have a pressure cooker or instant pot you can easily make this broth on the stove top, it just takes a bit more time. But the resulting flavour is well worth the time invested, and making your own broth allows you to control the level of salt and ingredients included. Feel free to play around with the veggies you add, I tend to stick with these core ingredients but you could easily add any…

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