Vitamix S30 Personal Blender Review, Recipes & Giveaway!

Hello friends! I hope you are all doing great and keeping afloat in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.  This time of year usually means lots of time spent in the kitchen, cooking for family and friends and baking awesome treats.  I love giving the gift of food to my family and friends for Christmas, it’s always greatly appreciated and you can really get creative with what you bake, and how you package and present it.   My son, of course, has a list of toys on his Wish List. 🙂

I am beyond excited to tell you Christmas is coming early around here, folks!  I have a huge giveaway for one of my amazing readers!  I was lucky to be included in Vitamix’s Canadian launch of their personal blender, the Vitamix S30.  They very generously provided me with a blender to test, review, go crazy making recipes with, and ultimately, fall in love with.  I use my S30 almost every single day, for smoothies, dips, sauces, and also for my favourite Sunflower Seed Pesto recipe which I will be sharing with you all today.

Vitamix S30  

First, I want to tell you a bit about this little powerhouse!  Do not be fooled by its size.  The S30 is crazy powerful, with a 790 watt motor, which translates into super smooth greens (no chewing those smoothies anymore! 🙂 )

The Vitamix S30 arrived with a big book of recipes, in both English and French.  It’s filled with beautiful photos and recipes ranging from beverages, dips/spreads, dressings, soups, sauces and desserts.  This was a really nice added bonus to inspire new creations!  

IMG_7879-2

IMG_7880-2

 IMG_7882-2

I tried several recipes from the book, and today I’ll also be sharing one from it.  This delicious Cranberry Smoothie was so easy to make, not to mention delicious and nutritious.  

Vitamix Cranberry Smoothie
Write a review
Print
Ingredients
  1. 1/3 cup ice cubes
  2. 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
  3. 1/4 lemon, peeled
  4. 4 pitted dates, halved
  5. 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  6. 3/4 cup plain unsweetened rice milk
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients into the Vitamix 20-ounce container in the order listed and secure blade.
  2. Turn the dial to 1 and slowly increase the speed to 10.
  3. Blend for 40 to 45 seconds or until desired consistency is reached.
Love and Lentils http://loveandlentils.com/
Vitamix S30 IMG_7894-2 IMG_7904-2 IMG_7912-2

One of its greatest features is the portability of its container! In addition to the 40-ounce compact container which you would use for sauces, soups, etc., you get a 20-ounce personal container with a flip-top lid.  This is so convenient for blending smoothies on the go.  You can blend the smoothie directly in this container, remove the base, screw on the lid, and grab and go! It’s brilliant!  Honestly – in love with this feature!  

I’m not sure about you, but I have a pretty small kitchen, with limited counter space.  I like to keep my blender on the counter because I always notice I’ll slack on the smoothie-making if I store it and have to pull it out when I need it.  But, I hate the bulkiness and amount of room blenders normally take up.  The great thing about the S30 is its sleek and compact design which allows for keeping it on the counter without taking up a ton of room.  It measures approx 20”h x 9”w.  Also, the blender-base is removable and dishwasher safe, making things even easier. 

I made several of my own recipes using the Vitamix, including my homemade Hazelnut Spread, Berry Green Breakfast Smoothie, and a new recipe, Sunflower Seed Pesto.  I created this recipe to satisfy our love for basil pesto, but to make it nut-free.  My son started kindergarten this year, and his entire school is nut-free.  This has become a staple recipe in my house, the little guy loves it, and so do we. 🙂  It’s also vegan, to allow even more people the option of eating it! 

Vegan Sunflower Seed Pesto IMG_7926-2

So, here it goes:

Sunflower Seed Pesto

Yield: 1/2 cup

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 1/3 cup unsalted shelled sunflower seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • pinch of freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients into your blender. Blend at low speed for 30 seconds or until desired consistency is reached. You don't want to blend until it is a runny pesto, a thicker consistency is best.
  2. Serve this pesto with your favourite pastas, as a base for your pizzas, sandwich spreads, toss with veggies, and even mix it into your salad dressings.
http://loveandlentils.com/2014/12/14/vitamix-s30-personal-blender-review-recipes-giveaway/

 IMG_7946-2

Vegan Sunflower Seed Pesto 

Time for the fun!  Vitamix will be giving away one S30 blender to a lucky reader.  You must be a resident of Canada or the USA to enter.  This is a phenomenal value, worth over $400!  I’m so excited, guys!  Be sure to share this with your friends and family!  Enter using the Rafflecopter entries below.  Best of luck to you all. 

Thanks for being here,

sophia

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Walnut + Hemp Seed Pesto Pasta with Fresh Tomatoes + Olives

Thank goodness for pasta dishes that are ready in 20 minutes.  And that your child devours.  And that are super high in protein and omegas!  I love the simplicity of this dish, and how quick it is to make.  It’s one of those recipes I keep in mind for nights when I’m clueless as to what to cook up.  Sweet basil, cherry tomatoes and kalamata olives bring a Mediterranean summery feel that I think we’re all craving right about now!

Fresh Garlic

Traditionally, pesto is made with pine nuts, but I love using walnuts because, for one, they are much more affordable, and also a rich source of omega-3.  They are great for your brain health, and they kind of look like little brains, don’t they?

I also skipped on the parmesan cheese as I avoid dairy whenever I can (it really doesn’t make me feel well) and tossed in hemp seeds instead.  I know everyone has been loving hemp for a while now, I just recently jumped on the bandwagon, and I am obsessed! I love the nutty, almost sweet flavour (much like a pine nut actually), and their tender crunch.  They are very high in digestible protein and in omegas as well, along with other minerals and vitamins.  They work so well in pesto as they give a very similar texture to the dish as parmesan cheese would.  At one point I thought I even tasted cheese.  All in my head.  

Walnut Hemp Seed Pesto

 I can’t wait for my summer vegetable garden and my own fresh basil.  I love heading to the backyard, barefoot, and picking it while I’m making dinner.  Nothing better.

Fresh Basil

Walnut + Hemp Seed Pesto Pasta with Fresh Tomatoes + Olives
Serves 6
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 500 grams gluten-free pasta
  2. 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling pasta
  3. 2 bunches (approx. 2 cups) fresh basil, rinsed
  4. ½ cup walnuts
  5. 1 tablespoon hemp seeds
  6. 3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  7. 1 teaspoon sea salt
  8. 1 + 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, washed and halved
  9. 1 cup pitted kalamata olives
  10. 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Begin by cooking your pasta noodles according to packaging instructions. Remove from heat, drain, and pour noodles back into the pot. Drizzle with olive oil and set aside.
  2. Place olive oil, basil, walnuts, hemp seeds, garlic and salt in a food processor. Process all ingredients until well combined.
  3. Spoon pesto into your pot of pasta. Place pot on stove top over low heat. Add cherry tomatoes, olives and black pepper. Toss all ingredients well to combine.
  4. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Notes
  1. You can make larger portions of the pesto and freeze it for later.
Love and Lentils http://loveandlentils.com/
IMG_4349-2

 

Walnut Hemp Seed Pesto

Walnut Hemp Seed Pesto

Walnut Hemp Seed Pesto

 

If you’re new to Love and Lentils, subscribe by email so you don’t miss any healthy recipe posts!

Untitled-1

Lentil Mushroom ‘Meatballs’ (Vegan)

With spring teasing us and winter seeming endless in Montreal, I’ve been craving comfort foods and pasta seems to be on the top of that list.  One of my son’s favourite meals is spaghetti, so I thought it would be an interesting challenge to add meatballs to our spaghetti, minus the meat and in a super healthy way.   

I’m also entering these lentil mushroom meatballs in the Best of Main Dishes in Canadian Lentils Recipe Revelation Challenge! If you like this recipe, it would be so appreciated if you would go to their Facebook page and ‘like’ my recipe.  The prizes are incredible, the biggest one being $2000!  

Vegan Lentil Meatballs

Vegan Lentil Mushroom Meatballs

I thought back to the traditional recipes I recreated to be meat-free, such as my Good Shepperd’s Pie  and realized lentils are a delicious, healthy substitute that work really well.   These ‘meatballs’ are savoury and satisfying and can be incorporated into your spaghetti dishes or even in a pita sandwich or sub.  They also make delicious leftovers, tasting even better after a little while!IMG_4188-2

IMG_4196-2I took my time making these on a Sunday afternoon, since they yield about 15 meatballs, I figured they are perfect for weeknight meals and work lunches.  I still haven’t really mastered cooking up a storm on the weekends to make my weekdays a little easier, but with my son starting school this fall, I know I’ll have no choice but to start!

Vegan Lentil Meatballs

Lentil Mushroom Meatballs (Vegan)
Yields 15
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
40 min
Cook Time
30 min
Prep Time
40 min
Cook Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 flax eggs (2 tablespoons flax meal + 6 tablespoons water)
  2. 1 cup dried green lentils, rinsed and picked over
  3. 1 bay leaf
  4. 2 cups vegetable broth
  5. 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, washed and sliced
  6. ½ cup old-fashioned oats
  7. ½ cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
  8. 1 teaspoon dried sage
  9. 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  10. 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  11. ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  12. ½ teaspoon dried terragon
  13. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  14. 1 medium white onion, chopped
  15. 4 garlic cloves, minced
  16. 3 tablespoons red wine
  17. 1 tablespoon tamari soy sauce
  18. kosher sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Begin by preparing your flax egg. Grind flax seeds in a coffee grinder, you need about 1 1/2 tablespoons of flax seeds to end up with 2 tablespoons flax meal. Pour 2 tablespoons flax meal into a small bowl, top with 6 tablespoons of water and whisk with a fork for a few minutes. Place in the fridge for use later.
  3. In a small saucepan, combine lentils, bay leaf, and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. You want your lentils to be al dente.
  4. Remove from heat, drain, and discard the bay leaf.
  5. In a food processor, combine the lentils with the mushrooms, oats, parsley and spices. Pulse, making sure not to overdo it and end up with a mushy mixture. See photo for texture you want.
  6. In a large skillet over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the chopped onion and sauté for 5 minutes, or until translucent. Add the garlic and continue to sauté for another minute or two. Add the lentil-mushroom mixture to the skillet and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring often.
  7. Add red wine and soy sauce to skillet. Continue to cook, stirring often, until liquid has been absorbed. Add salt and pepper to taste, stir.
  8. Remove from heat and allow to cool until it is comfortable to handle.
  9. Remove flax eggs from the fridge and pour into a medium sized bowl. Add the lentil-mushroom mixture and mix well to combine.
  10. Use your hands to form a golf ball-sized ball. Place each 'meatball' onto the baking sheet, leaving an inch of space between each one. You should have about 15 'meatballs'.
  11. Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown.
Love and Lentils http://loveandlentils.com/
IMG_4253-2 copy

I hope you all had a nice, relaxing weekend, and a Happy St. Patty’s Day to you all today!   

If you’re new to Love and Lentils, don’t forget to subscribe by email so you don’t miss any healthy vegan and vegetarian recipe posts!

Untitled-1

twitter facebook pinterest instagram

 

Roasted Sweet Potato Mac and Cheese

Vegan Sweet Potato Mac and Cheese

I am way too excited about this recipe.  I have entered a time machine and gone back to my childhood.  The only difference is, I’m not eating yellow #5 and #6.  And it doesn’t come out of a box.  Even if you’re not buying Kraft Dinner, homemade versions of mac and cheese are usually loaded with butter, cheese and other unhealthy ingredients.  This mac and cheese is 100% vegan and so healthy!  I’m just smiling ear to ear knowing what I used to make it, and seeing how much my family loved it.  I think you’re all going to love this one just as much as we did.

The ‘cheese’ in this recipe is a combination of roasted sweet potato, mustard and nutritional yeast.  The result is a nostalgic mac and cheese with a grown up edge and a rich, creamy, and satisfying dish!  My son pushed the mushrooms aside, but I couldn’t resist them.

Roasted Sweet Potato Mac and Cheese
Serves 6
Write a review
Print
For the mac and cheese
  1. 500 grams gluten-free elbow macaroni
  2. 2 sweet potatoes (about 3 cups), cubed
  3. 2 cups unsweetened almond milk (or other milk of your choice)
  4. juice of 1/2 a lemon
  5. 1 teaspoon tamari (or regular soy sauce)
  6. 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  7. 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  8. 1 teaspoon dried chili flakes
  9. 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  10. 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil + more for drizzling
  11. 1 teaspoon sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  12. For garnish: a handful fresh parsley, roughly chopped
For the mushrooms
  1. 8 ounces mushrooms, washed and sliced
  2. 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  3. 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Place sweet potato cubes onto lightly greased baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper. Place in preheated oven for 35-40 minutes or until tender, turning once half way through.
  2. In the meanwhile, boil your pasta according to packaging instructions. Drain and place pasta back in the pot.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine lemon juice, dijon, garlic powder, chili flakes, nutritional yeast, olive oil, salt and pepper. Set aside.
  4. In a small pan, sauté mushrooms in oil on medium heat for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  5. Remove sweet potatoes from oven (don’t turn off the heat) and add sweet potatoes to the bowl with all your seasonings and almond milk. Mash well, combining all ingredients. Don’t worry if you have a few clumps. If the mixture is a little too thick, add another splash of almond milk.
  6. Add macaroni noodles to the bowl, and fold all ingredients together. Spoon all into a casserole dish, top with mushrooms and place in the oven for 10 minutes.
  7. Remove and sprinkle freshly chopped parsley overtop. Dig in!
Love and Lentils http://loveandlentils.com/
Untitled

IMG_3692-2

Vegan Sweet Potato Mac and Cheese

Vegan Sweet Potato Mac and Cheese

Vegan Sweet Potato Mac and Cheese

Creamy Vegan Basil Alfredo – Gluten & Guilt Free

Who doesn’t love (and need) a dose of creamy, rich pasta in their lives now and then?  I love creamy pasta dishes, but hate the after effects.  Bloatedness, tiredness, and guilt for the 239128947200 calories I just consumed.  I decided to attempt recreating a healthier, guilt-free alternative tonight. I was pleasantly surprised with its creaminess and overall flavour, which was very reminscent of traditional buttery, creamy alfredo, not to mention a whole lot fresher with my garden basil!  My little guy had two bowls of this tonight, which makes me extra happy.

If you are looking for a simple, go-to vegan creamy sauce recipe, I highly recommend this one.  It was all ready on the table within 30 minutes.

Vegan Creamy Basil Alfredo Recipe

Sauce makes enough for approx. 5-6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 350 grams silken tofu (soft)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened plain almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon gluten-free flour (I used chickpea)
  • 1 package (250 grams) gluten-free penne (I used rice and quinoa)
  • 1 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon kosher sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper to taste

Directions:

  • In a large saucepan, boil water, add pasta noodles and cook according to packaging instructions.
  • In a skillet over medium heat, heat olive oil.  Add onion and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes.  Add basil and continue to sauté for an additional 5 minutes.  Turn off heat.

IMG_9671-2

  • Place all remaining ingredients including onion-garlic-basil mixture into a food processor.  Give it a whirl for a few seconds until it is a creamy consistency.

IMG_9680-2

  • Strain pasta, then bring back to the saucepan over low heat along with alfredo sauce.  Gently stir to combine and allow it to heat through for a minute or two.
  • Serve, topped with fresh basil.
  • Enjoy!

Creamy Vegan Alfredo

Creamy Vegan Alfredo