Friendly Dinner

Yesterday night one of our friends came over for dinner. As it was really hot, I didn’t want to prepare anything that needed lots of cooking. After going through our fridge, this is what we made, and it was delicious! I love the kind of meals where you can pick from and variety of dishes, mixing and matching flavours and textures. They are also perfect for when it’s super hot outside because you can make different types of salads. Everyone was happy and well nourished!

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Last night, we made some forest mushrooms, a tomato salad, a lazy guacamole, a simple coleslaw and a yummy hummus. We served everything with some freshly made bagels and olives. It was great!

forest-mushrooms

Forest Mushrooms

This is the only cooked dish of the lot. Some mixed mushrooms sautéed with some pumpkin seeds and rosemary: it reminded me of fall and a walk in the forest. This would be perfect with mashed potatoes or in a sandwich. It was great with the hummus.

Here is what you need:

  • 1 tsp oil
  • 4 cups mushrooms, use the variety you like or a combination of different types
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste

Here is what you do:

  1. In a large sauce pan set on medium-high heat, warm up the oil.
  2. Add the pumpkin seeds and stir until they have a nice golden color.
  3. Add the mushrooms and stir until most of the water is evaporated.
  4. Add the herbs and season to your liking.
  5. Mix well and cook until all the water is gone.

quick-tomato-salad

Tomato Salad

This was fresh and so summery. The walnuts added a bit of crunch to the soft tomatoes, while the sesame seeds added a subtle flavour.

Here is what you need:

  • 5 ripe tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds: you can toast them if you want a more intense flavour
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 tbs soy or tamari sauce
  • 1 tbs maple syrup
  • pepper to taste

Here is what you do:

  1. Dice the tomatoes and place them in a a large salad bowl with the walnuts and sesame seeds.
  2. Mix together the lemon juice, tamari, maple syrup and pepper. Pour the sauce on the tomatoes and give a nice stir.

cabbage-salad

Simple Coleslaw

This is my current favourite salad. I love red cabbage, but it’s even better once is has been tenderized in some lemon juice. Add some grated jicama, and you have the freshest salad in town!

Here is what you need:

  • 2 cups shredded cabbage
  • 2 cups grated jicama
  • juice on 1 lemon
  • 2 tbs sesame seed oil
  • 1 tbs soy or tamari sauce
  • pepper to taste

Here is what you do:

  1. Mix all the ingredient together and let sit for 30 minutes before eating.

 

I hope these recipes will inspire you for your next dinner with friends. We had a lot of fun mixing and matching everything! It was fresh, simple to prepare and amazing to eat! Let me know if you try any of these out! Oh, and, if you love movies and read French, check out our friend’s blog, Hallu-ciné! It’s amazing!

 

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Lazy faux-falafel collard wrap

When I came back home today, I was craving falafels. However, the warm weather makes baking falafel completely out of the question. So, I made a thick and chunky hummus that I used on some fresh collard greens. The result: the great falafel’s taste in a fresh and crunchy wrap. Perfect for summer!

collard-wrap

Here is what you need for the hummus:

  • 1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • the juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tsp tahini (sesame paste)
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 cup of mustard greens or cilantro
  • 1/3 cup water
  • salt and pepper to your taste

Here is what you do:

  1. Place everything in your food processor and process until smooth to your liking. The mixture should be thicker that hummus, but still smooth.

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Here is what you need for the vegetable garnish:

  • 3 carrots, peeled
  • 5 celery stalks
  • 1 zucchini
  • 10 button mushrooms
  • 1/3 cup sesame seeds
  • 2 tbs mirin or rice vinegar
  • 1 tbs tamari or soy sauce
  • pepper to taste

Here is what you do:

  1. Shred the carrots and celery and place in a large salad bowl.
  2. Shred the zucchini and mushrooms. Place in a large pan on medium-high heat and add the sesame seeds, mirin and tamari. Stir until well combined and let sit until most of the water is evaporated.
  3. Transfer the cooked vegetables to the salad bowl and mix with the carrots and celery.
  4. Taste the mix and add pepper if you like.

To eat:

  1. Wash and cut the stem out of some collard green leaves. Pat them with a towel to remove the excess water.
  2. Place some hummus, some vegetable garnish and fresh herbs or tomato slices in the middle of a leaf.
  3. Fold the sides and bottom of the leaf on the garnish to form the wrap and enjoy!

collard-wrap-3

Collard greens are great to make wraps because they are large, pliable and  tender. As many cruciferous greens, this vegetable is rich in iron, vitamin K and A. It’s a great alternative for kale and it is much easier to prepare as it is much more tender and soft. It went really well with the hummus: the cumin flavour was amazing! The vegetables bring a nice saltiness to the wrap and a contrasting texture. This is really fun to eat as you can wrap as you go and is perfect to share. Let me know if you try it out!

Simple Aubergine Spread

I really like aubergines or eggplants. The texture is so spongy, it is a lot of fun to cook with because it will absorb any sauce while keeping a nice slightly chewy texture. My boyfriend, on the other hand, is really not a big fan of this ingredient. I really wanted to find a recipe using eggplant that would be good enough for him to appreciate. Well, I found it.

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This aubergine spread is inspired by baba ghannouj, but I removed the olive oil because I thought that the tahini was enough. Anyways, this is super easy to prepare, and you can cook the aubergine ahead of time and whip this up in 5 minutes.

Definitively a crowd-pleaser, this spread is a great substitute for hummus, goes great with vegetables, and is a great addition to any sandwich. Did I mention it was great? You can also add any spice you like to make it extra flavorful.

Here is what you need:

  • 1 large eggplant
  • 2 tbs apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbs tahini (sesame seeds butter)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • optional additions: red pepper flakes, fresh garlic, fresh cilantro, roasted sesame seeds, thyme, rosemary, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, and anything else you think will work!

Here is what you do:

  1. Wash the eggplant, and cut out the stem. Cut the eggplant in two lengthwise. Score the flesh diagonally. Rub some salt and pepper on the flesh. Rejoin the two halves and tightly wrap the eggplant in foil.
  2. Bake the eggplant for 40 minutes at 350F. Wrapping the eggplant up will help keeping the white color of the eggplant flesh. If you don’t mind the change of color, you can just place the eggplant halves on a cookie sheet.
  3. Once the eggplant is cooked, let it cool until you can handle it with your hands. Unwrap the eggplant and place the two halves in a colander to drain. Once the eggplant is completely cooled, follow the recipe to the end, or place the eggplant in an air-tight container in the fridge until you are ready to continue.
  4. With a big spoon, scrape the eggplant flesh out into your food processor bowl. Be careful, we don’t want any skin in there.
  5. Add the vinegar, tahini, salt and pepper, and process until smooth. Taste and season to your liking. Keep in the fridge in an air-tight container.

This is really good! The texture is more light than hummus while still having that really nice tahini flavour. The best thing is, my boyfriend loved it! Let me know if you try it out and what extras you put in.

Spicy Bean Purée, a nice sub for hummus!

I love hummus! It goes great with everything:  bread, veggie sticks, salads, soups, by the spoonful… I really like adding hummus everywhere as it adds great flavour to any dish: it makes a nice substitution to salad dressing, adds protein to vegetable soups and is (of course) great in sandwiches. However, sometimes it gets old, despite all the different things you can add and all the flavours that are popping up in stores.

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Here is what you need:

  • 2 cups of mixed cooked  legumes (I used a mix of green lentils, black beans, and red kidney beans)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbs paprika
  • 1 tbs turmeric
  • 1 tbs ground coriander seeds
  • 1 tbs ground curry powder
  • hot pepper flakes to taste
  • salt to  taste

Here is what you need to do:

  1. Add all of the ingredients in your food process and process until smooth.

I love this! The Indian spices are a nice addition to any dish for us, so this really hits a sweet spot. It brings out any dish and makes it more special. It goes great in salads and can be used everywhere hummus can. I usually make a big batch of this and keep it in the fridge. Like this I can add it everywhere for a week or so.

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Here we ate this with lettuce, shredded carrots, preserved beet roots, sweet fried tofu and a little bit of pistachio oil for a delicious salad! Seriously, try it out!

Our Hummus-in-the-blender Recipe!

We were so happy when we heard that it was possible to make hummus in our blender! You have to know that our blender is our main kitchen equipment… so yeah! We were trilled!

This is so easy!

This is so easy!

To make sure we would not run out of hummus, we used this practical trick: Instead of buying cans of chickpeas (that contain a lot of salt) we bought dried chickpeas. You want to let those puppies soak in water (make sure you leave at least one and a half-inch of water above the dried peas) overnight. Then, rinse them thoroughly and cook them for around an hour in boiling water. You should taste the chickpeas time to time to make sure you don’t overcook them, as they will keep longer and better if they are not too soft. Then, measure portions of three cups (with one bag we got 3 portions plus 2 cups) and freeze them up! Make sure you drain them well before putting them in the freezer. When you are ready to use them, just let them sit in your fridge for a few hours (or in your counter if you have less time), and voila!

I don’t think we will ever buy cans of chickpeas again, since this trick makes is healthier but also cheaper!

For our awesome recipe,

Here is the broth cubes we used. They are vegan and gluten free and yeast free! hooray!

Here is the broth cubes we used. They are vegan and gluten free and yeast free! hooray!


Here is what you’ll need:

– 3 cups cooked chickpeas
– 1 cup lukewarm water
– 1 cube of vegetable broth
– 3 cloves of garlic
– 1/4 cup tahini
– juice of 2 lemons
– 1 tsp cumin seeds
– 1 tsp paprika powder
– 1/2 cayenne pepper powder (adjust to taste)

Here is what you will do:

1) Before you start, put your vegetable both cube in the water to let is soften.
2) Once your cube is soften (no need to make it melt), pour all the ingredients in your blender and blend away!
3) Enjoy!

This hummus has the perfect texture: not too runny, not too thick!

This hummus has the perfect texture: not too runny, not too thick!

You can adjust the amount of garlic, lemon juice, cumin, paprika and cayenne pepper to your taste. We found that these quantities made our taste buds very happy! In mason jars, this humus stays good for a week and a half in the fridge.

Let us know if you tried this recipe!

Vegan resolutions

Following our very expensive visit to the grocery store, the duo has decided that it would be nice to have some cooking resolutions.

We like to keep it simple.

1) Make our own hummus: we have tried a couple of recipes, which were good but not exceptional. Still working on our own, but we will keep you updated when we get to a golden one!

2) Make our own bread: we recently acquired a retired bread machine that is very big and takes a lot of space on our kitchen counter. It is time we have her come back into the working force and make so yummy bread!

3) Make our own soy yogurt: Before we took the vegan turn, she loved to make her own yogurt and kefir. Indeed, sitting next to the bread machine, there is the yogurt machine (which is basically an electric thermos). We think this machine must be missing all the TLC we used to give her.

We will keep you update on these resolutions and will, of course, share our recipes with the world! Because sharing is better!

What are some of your resolutions?

You know it!

You know it!