Cauliflower ‘Risotto’

One of my favourite meals to make in the kitchen is risotto.  I actually don’t mind the laborious process, it’s quite meditative and helps slow you down.  A little splash of water, a stir, a sip of wine – so relaxing!  But it’s just not realistic on a weeknight when time is limited and there’s a lot going on (and you’ve been fighting a cold!).  I had heard about people using cauliflower as risotto, which is not only super quick, but also so much more nutritious.  It turned out so well, and unlike typical risotto which leaves you feeling a little guilty and heavy, this is incredibly satisfying, yet light and fresh.  We had our risotto with a side of roasted asparagus (chopping it and stirring it in is also an option) but you can easily adapt this risotto with ingredients you have on hand; add mushrooms,  peas, tomatoes, basil, or other veggies and herbs you may be craving.

Cauliflower 'Risotto'

Cauliflower 'Risotto'
Serves 3
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Ingredients
  1. 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  2. 5 cloves garlic, minced
  3. 2 green onions, chopped
  4. 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  5. 1 can (15 oz) white beans, rinsed and drained
  6. 1 cup vegetable broth
  7. 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast (optional)
  8. 1 head of cauliflower, chopped to small rice-like pieces in a food processor
  9. 2 cups spinach, chopped
  10. 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
Instructions
  1. Heat olive oil in a medium-sized pot over medium heat. Add garlic, onion and thyme and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes until fragrant.
  2. Add beans, vegetable broth (and nutritional yeast if you are using it, it gives a slight cheesy flavour) into the pot, stir, and simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Using an immersion (handheld) blender, blend the ingredients to a creamy consistency.
  4. Add cauliflower and spinach, stir. Cover with a lid and allow to cook for 10 minutes.
  5. Stir, spoon into bowls and garnish with toasted pine nuts.
  6. Enjoy!
Love and Lentils http://loveandlentils.com/
Cauliflower 'Risotto'

Cauliflower 'Risotto'

 

Cauliflower 'Risotto'

Maple Roasted Butternut Squash + Kale Rice Bowl

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Although we are nearing the holidays and I’d normally be dreaming up all kinds of chocolatey desserts, I have decided to take control of my sugar cravings and nip them in the butt before Christmas rolls in and the indulgences would start.  It really is unbelievable how little time it takes to kick the sugar habit, usually within 2-3 days I no longer crave it.  On this day though, I was trying to stick to my goal, but I wanted a little something sweet.  I decided rather than caving, I’d smother some squash in maple syrup and not beat myself up over it!  My husband said it was the best way he’s ever had butternut squash. I’d love to know what you think!

This meal went over well with my preschooler.  I’m always trying to sneak kale into his meals, and if you’re curious, I find the easiest most enjoyable way is to add it into soups.  That’s another blog post, though.  Back to the rice bowl.

The only pain in the butt about preparing this meal is peeling the squash.  I find the quickest way to do it is by cutting off the stem and bottom of squash, slicing the squash in half then placing it so a flat end is on the cutting board.  Then, using a vegetable peeler, peel in a downward motion.  Perhaps a tutorial would be helpful!  The rest of the process is very simple and fairly quick.

I also want to remind you all that there are five days left to enter my holiday giveaway.  Here is the link if you haven’t checked it out yet.  If you want your Vegan Bible, then I encourage you to enter!

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Maple Roasted Butternut Squash + Kale Rice Bowl

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1 tablespoon dried onion flakes
  • 1/4 cup cashews, lightly toasted
  • 1 cup brown rice (I used a mix of brown/wild rice)

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Directions:

  • Boil rice according to packaging directions.
  • Preheat oven to 425°F.
  • Place the cubed squash in a large bowl.  Add maple syrup, olive oil, salt, and cayenne.  Using your hands or a silicone spatula, mix all the ingredients making sure the squash is well covered in the maple syrup and seasoning.
  • Spread out the cubes on a lightly greased baking sheet.
  • Place in the oven for 20 minutes, or until fork tender.  Turn on the broiler and place baking sheet under the broiler for 1-2 minutes to really caramelize the squash.  Careful not to burn them!  Lower the heat back to 425°F and toast your cashews for approximately 5 minutes.
  • Steam your kale and top with onion flakes.
  • To assemble, scoop rice into bowl, top with kale, squash and toasted cashews.
  • Enjoy!

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Crispy Kale Rice Bowl With Spicy Peanut Sauce

You may have realized by now I love rice bowls of almost any variety.  I was thinking back to many years ago when I had an amazing crispy spinach peanut butter (and shrimp at the time) dish at a Thai restaurant in Montreal, and thought I’d like to replicate it with kale in a veg-friendly way tonight. My husband declared he doesn’t like peanut sauce, and that he’d eat whatever I make regardless because it sounded interesting.  Well, we have zero leftovers and it’s his fault.  I guess he takes it back.

Crispy Kale Rice Bowl With Spicy Peanut Sauce Recipe

Serves 2-4 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup brown rice, cooked
  • 1 bunch kale (about 1 pound), washed, stems removed, and torn into large pieces
  • 1 red bell pepper, washed, seeds removed, and sliced
  • 2 cups mushrooms (I used cremini), washed, cut into quarters
  • 1 tablespoon fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried chili flakes (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup chopped unsalted peanuts
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

For the peanut sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons natural smooth peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar
  • 1 tablespoon gluten-free tamari
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried chili flakes
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon fresh garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons filtered water

Directions:

  • Start by cooking your rice according to packaging instructions and also preheating the oven to 350°F.
  • In a food processor, add all ingredients for the peanut sauce.  Whirl.  Add a bit more water if you would like it to be a creamier consistency, or add more peanut butter if you want it thicker.
  • Lay out kale onto two lightly oiled baking sheets.  Once oven has reached desired temperature, place in the oven for 8 minutes, or until kale is crispy.
  • In a large pan or wok over medium heat, heat the olive oil.  Add garlic and sauté for a few minutes, making sure it doesn’t brown.  Add mushrooms, red pepper, chili flakes (optional), salt and pepper and sauté for another 8-10 minutes.
  • To plate:  spoon rice into bowl, top with red pepper, mushroom, and kale.

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  • Top with a couple of spoonfuls of peanut sauce and a sprinkle of crushed peanuts and sesame seeds.  Serve with a wedge of lime.

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  • Enjoy!

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Lemony Lentil + Kale Rice Bowl

One of my favourite meals to prepare and indulge in are rice bowls of almost any variation. My husband loves these as well. It’s one of the funnest things to experiment with, you can hardly ever go wrong. If you’ve got beans, greans, veggies, and rice – you’re all set. My little guy and I loved this one just the way it was, but my husband liked it a little spicier and topped it with a few dollops of sriracha sauce. It is gluten-free, vegan, low in fat, high in protein, fiber and antioxidants, and not to mention tasty and hearty. Here it is.

Lemony Lentil + Kale Rice Bowl Recipe

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups dry lentils, washed and sorted
  • 1 cup brown basmati rice
  • 3 carrots, washed, peeled, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, washed, seeds removed, diced
  • 1 onion, peeled, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled, minced
  • 1 bunch kale (approx. 1 lb), stems removed, washed, torn into pieces
  • 1 can whole tomatoes
  • 2 cups good quality vegetable stock
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried chili flakes
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • kosher sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Directions:

  • In a small saucepan, bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add rice, cover, turn down heat and let cook for approximately 35 minutes or until all water is absorbed.
  • In a large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat.
  • Add onions, garlic, carrots, and red pepper and sauté for approximately 10 minutes.
  • Pour in the can of tomatoes and vegetable stock. Add your spices and stir.
  • Bring to a boil, then pour in the lentils. Turn heat down to low, cover the pot and allow to cook for approximately 30 minutes, or until lentils are tender.

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  • Add the kale to the lentil mixture. Stir and let the kale wilt to your liking. It will only take a few minutes.

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  • Add lemon juice. Stir.
  • Do a taste test. Add a pinch more of sea salt or black pepper if desired.
  • To assemble: spoon rice into a bowl, top with kale and lentil mixture.
  • Enjoy!

Lemony Kale + Lentil Rice Bowl

Coconut Curry Bowl with Thai Red Rice

This is a rich, warming meal with a touch of spice for those evenings where you need a little comfort food.  I used a red rice simply because I love vibrant, colourful dishes.  Red vita rice is an ancient grain which has been harvested in Thailand since the sixth century.  It has a really nice nutty flavour, and a deep burgundy colour.

Coconut Curry Bowl Recipe

Makes 8 servings

Coconut Curry Bowl

Ingredients:

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 carrots, washed, peeled, and sliced
  • 2 zucchinis, washed and sliced
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 3 cups garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
  • 2 cups red vita rice (you can use basmati as an alternative)
  • Kosher sea salt to taste

Directions:

  • Rinse the rice under cold filtered water for ten minutes.
  • In a saucepan, bring 4 cups of water to a boil.  Add the rice, cover, and let cook on low heat for about 30 minutes, or until all liquid is absorbed.
  • Heat the coconut oil in a seperate large saucepan over medium heat.
  • Add the chopped onions, and sauté for 5 minutes.
  • Add the carrots, curry powder, and a pinch of sea salt and stir occassionally for 10 minutes.  Careful not to burn the curry, add a splash of water if it is sticking to the bottom of your saucepan.
  • Add the zucchini, chickpeas, and coconut milk.
  • Cook for another 10 minutes (uncovered) or until your carrots are completely cooked through.
  • Serve on a bed of rice, and enjoy.