Raw Vegan Lasagna Bites (gluten free, vegan)

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It’s hard not to love a good raw lasagna. It takes all the best elements of a quintessential comfort food and turns them on their head, transforming a typically heavy, calorie-laden dish into something light, summery, and delightfully unexpected.

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Spaghetti Squash + Fiddlehead Pasta Primavera (gluten free, vegan)

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I’m absolutely in love with this dish. I’ve been making a variation of it for the last year or so, and it always makes for a perfect dinner. Satisfying, wholesome, and flavourful, it can be ready in under 40 minutes but tastes (and looks) like it took two hours. The marriage of classic Italian flavours – parsley, basil, olive oil, and sundried tomatoes – with the rather more Canadian textures of the squash and fiddleheads is really quite exciting. On weeknights it makes for an indulgent-feeling meal, but since there’s no pasta, it’s hardly an indulgence in the usual sense of the word. You’ll be full without feeling overly stuffed, which is something I will always endorse.

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Sweet Potato Frittata with Asparagus and Salted Ricotta (gluten free)

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“A box without hinges, key, or lid,
yet golden treasure inside is hid.”

Eggs are pretty amazing. They’re beautiful little nutrition powerhouses, packed with protein, vitamins, and minerals, and with a little ingenuity they can be transformed into an endless variety of dishes. They are a vegetarian and an athlete’s dream! Despite being low in calories (one medium egg only contains around 70 calories), they boast an impressive amount of protein and healthy fats, helping to keep you feeling satiated for longer. Starting your day with some eggs will help prevent you from snacking later on, and will boost your mental performance throughout the day. Evidence also suggests that eggs help regulate your metabolism and, despite containing cholesterol, actually help reduce the absorption of cholesterol in your body. The protein in eggs also helps lower blood pressure.

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Romanesco and Crispy Tofu Quinoa Bowl (gluten free, vegan)

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Quinoa bowls are kind of amazing. Endlessly versatile, packed with nutrients, and incredibly satisfying, they make for an ideal packed lunch, especially on days where you’ve hit the gym before even getting to the office.

They’re also a lot of work.

Okay, let me rephrase that. Making all of the individual elements which make up your bowl is a lot of work, but it’s a labour of expediency. Put in the time to pull everything together on the weekend, and you’re set for lunches for the rest of the week. I would never make a single-serving quinoa bowl – it takes the same amount of time to make a small batch as a large, so why not do future you a favour and avoid having to make a lunch every night?

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Lentil Mushroom Bolognese (gluten free, vegan)

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Let’s keep things short and sweet today, shall we? This sauce is good. You will like it. Nom. Nom.

Okay, I’ll give you a little more than that! I wasn’t lying though, this sauce is pretty fantastic. Hearty, flavourful, and decidedly meaty (in the best possible veggie way), it’s great for a casual dinner any night of the week and sure to please even the most ardent meat lovers in your life. The directions look a little long, but it really is fairly simple and quick to pull together.

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Winter Rebellion Salad (gluten free, vegan)

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The fruit of rebellion often bears the sweetest yield. There is something tangibly more enjoyable and exciting about engaging in an illicit behaviour – even if it’s something you’ve done a million times before. I just never imagined that rebellion could take the form of a salad, or that it would taste like some ambrosial gift from the gods. One never knows what the future holds in store is the lesson I’m going to take away from this experience.

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Quinoa Tabbouleh with Pomegranate and Pistachios (gluten free, vegan)

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People ask me all the time where I get inspiration for my recipes, and of course, that ends up requiring a bit of a lengthy reply. Cookbooks and food blogs of course inspire me, as do my own taste buds and whatever happens to be in the fridge when I decide to cook, but more often than not it’s a simple trip to the farmer’s market or grocery store. I sometimes ignore what’s in season to feed a craving, but it’s always much more rewarding to work in tandem with what nature has to offer. It forces you to get those creative juices flowing and perhaps cook with unfamiliar ingredients – I made a lasagna with celeriac noodles the other day and… mind blown! Plus, seasonal produce tastes WAY better and lets you feel good (and just a little smug) about doing your part to support local farmers.

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Asian Fusion Noodle Soup (gluten free, vegan)

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I thought about calling this post “Conor’s Favourite Soup”. It is, in fact, his favourite and most asked-for soup, despite my best efforts to convert him to whatever new soup I bring out of the kitchen. His longtime response, “They can’t all be my favourite!,” might just be one of the wiser things I’ve heard spoken in my life.  I suppose I should simply be content with his passion for this soup rather than continually try to tempt him with a new favourite. The point is, as much as this soup is inextricably linked to Conor in my mind, naming it after him does little to inform you lovely people of the aromatic magic happening within.

Let’s take a trip to flavour town, shall we?

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Squash and Chickpea Burgers with Beet Aioli (gluten free, vegan)

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I haven’t been posting as frequently as I’d like over the last two weeks. First it was the new job, and then this week I was bedridden with a nasty stomach virus. Between the two, I haven’t had any time for recipe development or even the energy to cook or desire to take photos when I’m hungry (seriously, it’s tough enough on a good day). Fortunately, I had this little gem saved up for just such a time. Perfect for fall, these burgers are sure to be a hit with veggie lovers and meat eaters alike. The thing is, these don’t try to taste like meat.  They are what they are, and the result is pretty fantastic. Continue reading

Harvest Salad with Tahini-Mustard Dressing (gluten free, vegan option)

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I’m just gonna go ahead and say it. This salad is pretty awesome. As I’m sure you know by now, I’m a huge fan of the meal salad, and this one definitely falls into that category. It’s inspired by the incredible salad I had at Avoca cafe in Belfast, which I mentioned in my first travel post last month. The base ingredients are almost the same, with the addition of some almonds for crunch and some goji berries for sweetness, but the dressing is all my own. This is an incredibly hearty, satisfying, and flavourful salad that will leave you feeling full but not overly stuffed – just perfect for this cool fall weather we’ve been having. And it’s pretty. Continue reading