Simple One Bowl Vegan Brownies

Vegan. One Bowl. Chocolatey. Fudgy. Ooey Gooey. Brownies!

Now that I’ve got your attention, join me in my excitement. There’s really nothing better (in my books) than super quick, easy, healthier alternatives to our loved favourites.  Take the brownie, for example.  You’ve eaten boxes and boxes of the packaged ones, right? Just me? Hope not…. 😉  Well, those were my younger years, and now that I’m older (and a bit wiser), with a little human who’s under my care, I like to create homemade versions.

Vegan One Bowl Simple Brownies

The little one was asking for a chocolatey treat, and I can’t deny that I was also craving something sweet.  So, I got in the kitchen and whipped up a bowl of dairy and refined sugar-free brownies.  They were pretty awesome, but not perfect.  Not fudgy enough.  As a blogger (and a bit of a perfectionist), I went at it again the very next night and really nailed it. Chewy edges, fudgy centers, lots of chocolate, chopped nuts, all combined to make a sweet little brownie indeed.

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Asparagus & Mushroom Quiche with Herbed Almond Meal Crust (GF, Vegan)

Vegan Asparagus Mushroom Quiche Gluten Free

I seriously dance around in my kitchen when I come up with healthy, delicious alternatives to much-loved less healthy counterparts.  Take this quiche for example.  Usually, we see quiche filled with tons of eggs and cream, on a buttery crust.  The sound of that wreaks havoc in my belly, but I still want and must have quiche!  Are ya with me?

asparagus

 

asparagus

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Mango Lentil Salad With Cilantro-Lime Dressing

One of the best things about salad is you can really try combining ingredients that you wouldn’t normally pair up, and it usually works wonderfully.  There was a time when my husband did all the cooking in our home, having a restaurant background, he just kind of fit the role.  He always came up with the best combinations of food, and I always asked, how did you think of that?  His response is, he likes these two foods, so why not pair them up?  Well, yesterday I had a perfectly ripe, juicy mango begging to be eaten, and I was really in the mood for a lentil salad.  So I cooked up some french lentils and started thinking up some awesome flavour combinations for this salad.  French lentils, also known as du Puy lentils, are really the best type of lentil to use in salads.  Green, brown, and red lentils are perfect in soups because they are soft and tend to fall apart, while du Puy lentils work better in salads than in soups and stews because they hold their shape really well when cooked properly.

Mango Lentil Salad

I find this salad very unique, with Indian flavours from the cumin and coriander, to Mexican flavours with the mango and lime.  All in all, a refreshing salad, with a great sustenance from the lentils.

Have you ever combined lentils with fruit in your salad? What did you think?

I wanted to add something funny, this morning as I was getting dressed, I actually found a french lentil in my hair.  It was a hippy moment, to say the least. 🙂

Also, I am submitting this recipe to Canadian Lentils Recipe Revelations Challenge!  I would love if you would head over to their Pinterest page and either like/share/pin my post to help a fellow lentil-lovin’ girl out. 🙂  Thanks so much!

Mango Lentil Salad

Mango Lentil Salad With Cilantro-Lime Dressing

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 4-6 servings

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup dry du Puy lentils (about 2 cups cooked)
  • 1 mango, chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons cold pressed extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves + more for garnish

Instructions

  1. Put the lentils in a fine strainer and pick through them, discarding any bits of stone that may be present. Rinse under cold running water. Place in a pot and cover with 3-4 inches of water, bring to a boil, reduce to simmer. Check lentils after 15-20 minutes, they should have slight tooth, you want them al dente. Remove from heat, drain and place under cold running water to stop the cooking process. Once cooled slightly, combine the lentils with mango and onion in a large bowl.
  2. In a small jar or bowl, combine the olive oil, coriander, cumin, lime juice and cilantro leaves. Pour over the lentils, mango, and onion. Toss to combine. Garnish with some more cilantro leaves. Serve.
http://loveandlentils.com/2015/01/29/mango-lentil-salad-with-cilantro-lime-dressing/

Mango Lentil Salad IMG_5223-2

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Roasted Sweet Potato Lentil-Quinoa Pilaf

The title should be even longer.  Roasted Sweet Potato Lentil-Quinoa Pilaf with Chili-Maple Vinaigrette.  But that’s a mouthful, right? I just want to mention every amazing flavour in this dish!

Sweet Potato Lentil Quinoa Pilaf - Vegan

So, January is almost over…how is your quest for healthy living going?  I, for one, am really focusing on eating the foods which will help me deal with my condition, PCOS.  I don’t want to bore you with a huge science lesson, but basically, this is a condition for which there is no cure.  The only treatment is medication or diet, or a combination of both.  I have chosen to work solely with my diet, and so far, so good.  The thing is, I am to avoid processed foods, wheat, sugar, and dairy (the most important ones).  Foods which cause inflammation are to be completely avoided.  Foods with a high Glycemic Index which contribute to type 2 Diabetes, also need to be kept off your plate because people living with PCOS are at higher risk for developing type 2 Diabetes in their lifetime.   I find the hardest one to really abstain from is sugar, but that’s only because it’s so darn addictive.  Like, truly, physically addictive.  So, I focused on eliminating it completely over the last two weeks, and, luckily – there are dates.  Nature’s candy.  To the rescue! 🙂  What does a PCOS diet consist of?  Lots of fruit and vegetables that are low in GI, beans, nuts, legumes, tofu, brown rice, whole grains, lots of high fiber foods, and good fats like avocado and nut butters.

So, all this has led to even bigger plates of veggies and whole grains, and truly, I know this is how I am supposed to eat.  I feel much better.  Less bloated.  My skin feels better.  I feel like I am exactly where I need to be.  If PCOS is something you are also living with, do feel free to share your experiences!  I am happy to discuss it with whoever is interested. 🙂 [Read more…]

Forelle Pear Green Smoothie

I could bet that today, four days after New Year’s, millions of people are starting their day off with a green smoothie of some sort.  Green smoothies are always associated with cleanses or detox or optimal health, but you know what, they can also be darn delicious.  Today I am sharing a very kid-friendly green smoothie that is sweet and fruity, and although green, no weird flavours here.

green smoothie with pear and apple

I used forelle pears for this smoothie, as they are cute and adorable and bite-size.  Okay fine, not only because of that, also they are quite sweet and have a bit of a cinammon spice flavour making them perfect for kid-friendly snacks or smoothies.  This variety is only available from about September until December.  I call this smoothie my winter blend; because of the pear variety and also because it’s not a freezing cold drink.  If you want to make it colder, go ahead and add a few ice cubes.

This smoothie is so easy to whip up and makes for a great addition to your healthy eating goals.  Let’s get blending.

IMG_8105 copy

Forelle Pear Green Smoothie

Yield: 1 large smoothie

Ingredients

  • 1 cup plain almond milk
  • 1 cup baby spinach
  • 1 forelle pear (or any small pear will do)
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/2 a small apple (I used gala)
  • 1 medjool date, pitted

Instructions

  1. Add all of the ingredients into your blender and blend at high speed until smooth.
http://loveandlentils.com/2015/01/04/forelle-pear-green-smoothie/

IMG_8113

green smoothie with pear and apple

I hope you all have a relaxing Sunday and if you aren’t already obsessed with Instagram, come join the fun.  Follow me here! 🙂

sophia