Category Archives: Vegetarian

Orzo Salad with Chickpeas and Kale

Orzo Salad with Chickpeas and Kale | real food. home made.

“Not Your Mama’s Pasta Salad”


  • 1 cup uncooked Delallo organic whole wheat orzo
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 t dijon mustard
  • juice of 1 small lemon
  • 2 T extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • big handful of kale, torn and stems removed
  • 1 can of garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/3 cup feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup roasted sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup chopped marinated artichoke hearts
  • sea salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste


  1. Cook your pasta according to package directions.
  2. In a medium sized bowl, combine all other ingredients except kale and 1 T olive oil.
  3. When the pasta is done cooking, strain it and add it to the bowl.
  4. Heat remaining olive oil in a large skillet with lid.  Fry/steam your kale until it both wilts and becomes slightly charred.
  5. Add the kale to the bowl and season to taste!

This is a great combination of textures and flavours.  You can subsitute rice, quinoa, farro or israeli couscous for the pasta if you’d like.  I like Delallo organic whole wheat pastas because they have only one ingredient.

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Filed under Dinner Ideas, Lunch, Salads, Vegetarian

Flourless Black Bean & Avocado Brownies

Snow day!  I just walked to the local Organic Market and bought ingredients for my black bean brownie recipe I’ve been working on.

Flourless Black Bean & Avocado Brownies | real food. home made.


  • 1 – 15 oz can of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 of a large extra ripe avocado
  • 2 large pastured eggs
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 2/3 cup organic raw cacao powder (or unsweetened cocoa powder if unavailable)
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup organic turbinado sugar (or light brown sugar if unavailable)
  • 1 t molasses
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup mini dark chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350º F and grease an 8×8 baking pan with coconut oil.
  2. Put everything except chocolate chips into a food processor and pulse until well combined.
  3. Stir in chocolate chips.
  4. Pour batter into pan and bake for 20-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean and the top begins to crack open.
  5. Cool pan on a wire rack, and then cut into 16 even squares.
  6. Refrigerate and enjoy throughout the week as a delicious and healthier chocolately dessert!!

Flourless Black Bean & Avocado Brownies | real food. home made.

I made these to bring to work for my dad’s birthday tomorrow.  I am debating whether or not to disclose the ingredients, or just to present them as “brownies”.  We’ll see!  😉

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Filed under Desserts, Gluten Free, Vegetarian

Sweet Potato Noodle & Quinoa Bowl with Roasted Onions

Sweet Potato Noodle & Quinoa Bowl with Roasted Onions | real food. home made.

This amazing creation was invented by the wonderful Ali at her inspirational Inspiralized blog.  I made a few changes, and have come up with one of the most perfect quick after-work dinners!  Most of the time I can make this without even going to the grocery store.

Sweet Potato Noodle Bowl with Quinoa and Roasted Onions

Serves: 3


  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and spiralized
  • 1 large carrot, spiralized
  • 1 large yellow onion, cut into large chunks
  • 3/4 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 1/3 cups free range chicken broth (buy this one from Trader Joe’s) plus extra, so get a 32 oz carton

For the sauce:

  • 3 T apple cider vinegar
  • 2 T tahini
  • 1 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 T maple syrup, grade b
  • 1 T chicken broth
  • 1 t garlic powder
  • 1/2 t turmeric
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat your oven to 425º.
  2. Spread onion chunks on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt & pepper.  Cook for about 20 minutes, until pleasantly roasted.
  3. Put quinoa and chicken broth in a medium sized pot with lid, bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat, cooking for 20 minutes.  (I time this so the onions and quinoa cook at the same time with the same timer).
  4. Use this time to mix your sauce ingredients.
  5. In a large skillet with lid on medium heat, pour in about a 1/4 cup of chicken broth and then add your spiralized veggies, seasoning with salt and pepper.  Alternate between stirring and steaming with the lid on, adding more chicken broth if necessary.
  6. When the noodles reach your desired tenderness, put a scoop of them in a bowl with a scoop of quinoa and a scoop of onions.
  7. Top with your delicious sauce and enjoy!’

Vegan Option: Use vegetable broth

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Filed under Dinner Ideas, Gluten Free, Lunch, Vegetarian

“Almond Russian” Cocktail with Cold Brew Coffee Recipe

"Almond Russian" Cocktail with Cold Brew Coffee Recipe | real food. home made.

Almond Milk White Russian -or- “Almond Russian”


  • 1 ice cube
  • 1 shot of vodka
  • 1 shot of kahlua
  • 1 shot of organic half & half
  • almond milk to taste

Try it!!  This creamy cocktail is sooooo good in the winter.

Cold Brew Coffee


  • 1 pitcher
  • 1 mesh strainer
  • 1 cup coffee grounds
  • cold water


  1. Add the coffee grounds to the pitcher.
  2. Fill the rest of the pitcher with water.
  3. Let it sit in the fridge overnight.
  4. In the morning, strain out the coffee grounds with a mesh strainer 2 or 3 times and return the coffee to the cleaned pitcher.
  5. (optional) Add more water until the pitcher is again full.  I do this because my coffee comes out very strong.  I suppose it will depend on your pitcher size and your desired coffee strength.  Again, experiment with this; it is not an exact science.

Since these recipes are super simple and made with ingredients you already have around the house,  I fully expect you to try them.

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Filed under Alcoholic, Breakfast, Brunch, Vegan, Vegetarian

Homemade Granola -and- Why Boxed Cereal is the Worst Breakfast

How is it that in the United States a bowl of Froot Loops™ is a widely acceptable way to start your day? Or any cereal for that matter. A bowl of sugar?  When they say that “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” they are certainly not talking about cereal.  I have learned to completely avoid the cereal aisle; there is only garbage down there. Cereal is a convenience food; what’s easier than cereal?  If you do not have time to prepare eggs in the morning, wake up earlier!  😉

When you eat cereal for breakfast, or doughnuts,  bagels, anything that is made of refined sugars and starches, “particularly alone, without fats or protein, they enter the blood stream in a rush, causing a sudden increase in blood sugar” (Nourishing Traditions, p. 24).  And don’t you notice, on days you eat cereal, you are hungry again well before lunch time?

The problem with cereal is not only its sugar content and added chemicals, but the extrusion process is equally harmful.  Many popular cereals are now boasting that they are “Whole Grain”, however “whole grains that have been processed by high heat and pressure to produce puffed wheat, oats, and rice are actually quite toxic and have caused rapid death in test animals” (Nourishing Traditions, p. 25).

If you need a crunchy bowl of something doused in milk, please stay away from the cereal aisle!  Even brands like Kashi®, Nature’s Path®, Cascadian Farm®, while they are better than Kelloggs® and General Mills®, are not the best.  The best is always home made!!!!

Always read the ingredient labels on your cereal/granola products (like everything else).  If the list includes items that you yourself would use to create a homemade version, then by all means, you deserve a little convenience every once in a while!  The best granolas usually come in plastic pouches and were crafted in small batches by people who care.  These can be quite expensive though! I suggest adding granola-making to your Sunday evening routine, and you will have cereal for the week, home-made.


  • 3 cups old fashioned rolled oats (make sure gluten free if allergic)
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup local raw honey
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 cup unsalted cashews, almonds, walnuts or pecans (or mixture of whatever you have), chopped
  • 1/2 t sea salt
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup raisins or chopped dates


  1. Combine all ingredients except raisins.
  2. Line a sheet tray with aluminum foil, and spread mixture out evenly.
  3. Place into a cool oven, turn the heat to 300°, and bake for 15 minutes.
  4. Take it out and give your granola a good shuffle, then bake for another 15 minutes.
  5. Let it cool completely, add raisins, and then transfer to an airtight container – store for 1 week.

Look at that list of ingredients!  Coconut oil/flakes, local raw honey, beautiful nuts and dried fruit, cinnamon, unprocessed oats.  Those are ingredients I can get behind starting my day with. “When sugars and starches are eaten in their natural, unrefined form, as part of a meal containing fats and protein, they are digested slowly and enter the bloodstream at a moderate rate over a period of several hours” (Nourishing Traditions, p. 24).

One of my favourite breakfasts includes greek yogurt, topped with fresh fruit and homemade granola.  This is a very nutritionally balanced braekfast (and did I mention it is delicious???)

Homemade Granola -and- Why Boxed Cereal is the Worst Breakfast | reak food. home made.

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Filed under Breakfast, Gluten Free, Nutrition, Snacks, Vegetarian

Sauerkraut, Mushroom & Onion Pierogies

Sauerkraut, Mushroom & Onion Pierogies | real food. home made.

This recipe has two steps.  First you have to make your sauerkraut.  This will be great to have on hand at all times.  It will store in the fridge practically indefinitely, so you can choose to make your pierogies at any time.  You can also feel free to buy pre-made sauerkraut.  Western Market in Ferndale has some incredible sauerkraut varieties, I noticed when I was there today.  I highly suggest making your own sometime, though.  There is something so magical about eating something that has fermented in your basement for a fortnight.  😉

Roasted Jalapeno & Garlic Raw Sauerkraut (from Practical Paleo)


  • 1 large head of green cabbage, sliced into thin strips (set large outer leaves aside)
  • 1-2 T sea salt
  • 2 large carrots, shredded
  • 2-4 cloves of garlic, finely sliced (2 if large, 4 if smaller)
  • 1-2 jalapeno peppers, roasted then sliced
  • Black pepper to taste


  1. Place 1/3 of your sliced cabbage into a large bowl and sprinkle 1 T of salt over it.  Using your hands, squeeze the cabbage until water begins to come out of it.
  2. Repeat this process, adding the remaining cabbage and salt 1/3 at a time to the bowl.  This will take time and will be a great workout.
  3. Add the shredded carrots, garlic, jalapenos and black pepper to the mixture and combine with your hands.
  4. Fill two 32 oz mason jars evenly, pressing the mixture down so that water releases and raises above the line of the vegetables with 2 inches of air space remaining at the top.
  5. Wedge the large outer cabbage leaves into the top of the jars so that the mixture is pressed below and the water level raises above the leaf.  A shot glass serves nicely as additional weight to keep the mixture held securely down.
  6. Store the jars in a secure, cool, dark place where they will not be disturbed.
  7. Check on your sauerkraut every few days to make sure that all the vegetables remain under water.  If needed, add some fresh water on top, but you should be okay, especially if you use a shot glass weight.
  8. After two weeks, your sauerkraut will be ready to eat!
  9. Store it in the refrigerator until you are ready to make your pierogies.

Sauerkraut, Mushroom & Onion Pierogies


For the dough:

  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 large pastured egg
  • 2 tablespoons organic sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup water

For the filling:

  • 1 tablespoon grass-fed butter
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 14-ounces home made sauerkraut
  • 8 oz baby bella mushrooms, coarsley chopped
  • Several grinds of black pepper

For cooking and serving:

  • more butter
  • the other half of the onion, sautéed
  • more sour cream
  • salt to taste


  1. Knead the dough ingredients together, and store it under a towel until required.
  2. Heat the butter in a frying pan over medium-high heat.  Add the onions and mushrooms, and cook until sufficiently wilted.  Add the sauerkraut, and cook for a few minutes.  Add the pepper, and taste for seasoning.  Add some salt if it needs it.
  3. Transfer the filling mixture to a bowl and let cool.
  4. Start a pot of water boiling.
  5. Flour your workstation.  Take out your dough, and roll it out until it is pretty thin.  I run the dough through my pasta maker, which makes it a bit easier, but I’ve made many a pierogi without one.  If you don’t have a rolling pin, use a pint glass or a 40.
  6. Use a glass or small bowl as a cookie cutter, to create multiple little dough circles.
  7. Taking one dough circle at a time, roll it out slightly bigger, add filling, moisten the edges, and crimp shut around the edges with a fork.
  8. Drop 6 pierogi at a time into the boiling water, letting them swim for about a minute.  Remove them from the water, and place immediately into an adjacent frying pan lined with butter set at medium-high heat.  Fry the pierogi on both sides until desired level of brown-ness has been achieved.  At the polish banquet hall I used to work at, they liked us to brown them ever-so-slightly.  I myself prefer them a darker golden brown.
  9. Serve with sautéed onions and sour cream.

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Filed under Appetizers, Dinner Ideas, Vegetarian

No Bake Carrot Cake Balls

No Bake Carrot Cake Balls | real food. home made.


  • 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats (make sure gluten free if allergic)
  • 1/3 cup cashews, chopped
  • 1 T ground flax seed
  • 3/4 cup natural peanut butter
  • 3 T honey or maple syrup
  • 1/4 t ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup (packed) grated carrot
  • 1/3 cup raisins


  1. Thoroughly combine all ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Form into comfortably sized balls, and refrigerate for at least one hour.
  3. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.  If there are leftovers, pop them in the freezer to enjoy any time at a moment’s notice!

I love these little guys.  They are perfectly satisfying when you feel like a quick, healthy snack.  Forget processed granola bars!  These are the real deal.

Adapted from Cookin’ Canuck

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Filed under Appetizers, Breakfast, Desserts, Gluten Free, Potluck, Snacks, Vegan, Vegetarian