Meal Prep Hack: Chia Pudding

As I’m a student again and pretty busy, we have consistently meal prepped our food. We’ve very good and successful in doing this almost every week. This has reduced the amount of food we waste to almost nothing, but, more importantly, it has reduced my level of stress dramatically. I hate the feeling I get when I get home from school after a busy day, hangry, nervous and stressed, only to find that there’s nothing ready for me to eat.

One of the things I consistently prep every week is my chia pudding. I’ve been liking this a lot, and my friend La végé d’à côté suggested that I tried this as a healthy snack. Because I’m extra lazy, I prep an entire batch for the week, so that I’m always prepared in case I get hungry.

Here is what you need:

  • 8 tbs of chia whole chia seeds
  • 3 cups of plant milk (I use unsweetened vanilla oat milk)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Simply mix everything up in a clean glass container and place it in your fridge overnight. I give it a shake when go into the kitchen to make sure everything is doing ok during the first evening. After that it’s ready!

What I do once this is ready and waiting in the fridge: Every night when I prepare my lunch, I place 1/2 cup of chia pudding (it’s about 5 tablespoons) in a small mason jar and fill up the rest with frozen berries (my favourite is frozen dark cherries that I get from Costco: so fancy and delicious!). The next morning, it’s ready to enjoy! I really don’t miss the sugar because of the fruit and vanilla (a nice trick I learned when I went sugar free for two months). I find this super filling, and it makes the perfect snack to bring with me at school. I like that it provides a healthy dose of omegas and fiber. Mainly, I just love how delicious this is!

Let me know if you try it out!

Anne

Simple Pumpkin Cookies!

Pumpkin, pumpkin, pumpkin! It seems to be everywhere these days, and for good reasons! It’s seasonal, comforting and so versatile. We’ve been having some pumpkin soup every week for a while now, and I don’t get tired of how smooth, sweet and nutritious it is. If you know anything about me, however, you know that I have a clear sweet tooth. So, here come the simplest, most delicious and satisfying pumpkin cookies!

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Here’s what you need for 12-15 cookies:

  • 1 cup of oats (I used quick because that’s what I have, but use the kind you prefer)
  • 1/2 cup of unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/4 cup of chia seeds
  • 1 tbs cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp cloves powder (optional, but really nice)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup of pumpkin puree (I used a can. Make sure it’s just pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie mix)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds

pumpkincookies3

Here’s what you do:

  1. Prepare a cookie sheet: lightly oil it. Preheat your oven to 350F (180C).
  2. Place the dry ingredients (oats, coconut flakes, chia seeds, cinnamon, cloves powder and salt) into your food processor or blender, and mix until you get a smooth powder. Transfer to a mixing bowl.
  3. Add the wet ingredients (pumpkin puree, maple syrup and tahini) to the dry mix and mix until well combined. Mix in the chocolate chips, pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds.
  4. Use one spoonful of the cookie dough and form your cookie shapes. These won’t spread so you can prepare them in any shape you like.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes or until they are slightly golden. These will be soft when they come out of the oven, so let them rest for 10 minutes before you enjoy them!

I really hope you give these a try because they are delicious and so quick to make. Let me know if you try this recipe out!

 

 

Cinnamon Swirl Muffins

A few days ago, Vegan Richa’s picture of her cinnamon swirl cake showed up on my Facebook wall, and it looked amazing! Of course, I had to try it out. I made a gluten-free batter and divided it to make muffins for a great breakfast-to-go option, and here we are!

cinnamon swirl muffin2

I won’t copy out her recipe here, but please visit her amazing blog to check it out. You’ll find my modifications bellow to make it gluten-free. The resulting muffins a super soft and flavourful. They are the perfect partners if you are looking for a break, a pause from the world. Curl up with your favourite book, a cup of tea and one of these muffins to be transported into cinnamon dream-land.

cinnamon swirl muffin1

Here’s what I changed:

  • 1 cup of non-dairy milk: I used 1 1/3 cups of oat milk instead of soy or almond. I added the 1/3 cup once everything was mixed together because I thought the batter was a bit too thick for muffins. It turned out perfect for 12 muffins.
  • 2 cups of flour: I used 1 cup of millet flour and 1 cup of sorghum flour
  • I included the 1 tbs of corn starch.
  • For the muffins, I placed 2 tbs of batter before sprinkling on some of the cinnamon sugar. I topped each muffin with another 2 tbs of batter and some more cinnamon sugar.
  • I baked these for 25 minutes.

I hope you’ll give these muffins a try as they are really yummy and so simple to make! I love that you find the surprise cinnamon sugar layer in the middle. They are not too sweet but just sweet enough. I think they might be new favourites, so try them out and let me know what you think!

 

 

Simple and Fresh Pesto

I love basil! And this year is the first year we actually have happy basil plants. It can only mean one thing: PESTO TIME!

Pesto is so fresh and delicious it’s always very exciting to have some in the kitchen. The traditional recipes call for pine nuts, but, hum, these are really expensive! I kept things simple using ingredients that are always in my pantry, and I’m more than satisfied with the result. Here’s my simple, simple, simple pesto recipe!

Here’s what you need:

  • Enough fresh basil to fill up your blender, about 5 cups (leaves and tender stems)
  • 2 tbs tahini
  • 2 tbs almond butter
  • 1-2 cloves of fresh garlic
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tbs nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 whole lemon, rind removed
  • 1 tsp salt (I used coarse sea salt)
  • pepper, chipotle pepper flakes, or red pepper flakes to taste

Here’s what you do:

  1. Wash the basil and pat dry.
  2. Transfer all the ingredients, but the olive oil, into your blender and blend.
  3. Slowly add the olive oil until you get your desired consistency.
  4. Transfer to an air-tight container and keep in the fridge.
  5. Enjoy on everything!

I love this pesto because it is great on everything: sandwiches, as a salad dressing and, of course, pasta. I used raw kelp noodles for a lighter no cook meal, and it was delicious! Let me know what your recipe for pesto is!

 

Simple dumplings and a special collab!

Dumplings are my favourite to make (and eat) because you can pretty much put anything you like inside, and they’ll turn out amazing. They are also so fun to prepare and feel like origami in the kitchen. As tomorrow is my birthday, I wanted to bring something a bit special: ahoy all crocheters out there, not only will you get a recipe, you’ll also get an amazing crochet tutorial for your very own fantastic yarn-dumplings! This special tutorial was made to order by my cousin over at Yarntastic Vibes. Go check her out: she’s a pretty amazing lady!

dumplings

For the recipe, I pretty much use whatever is in my fridge to make the filling paste in my food processor. Of course, you can chop everything up by hand, but I prefer to use my food processor for a faster solution. I’m sharing my basic recipe here, but you’ll also find a list of great additions below.

dumplings2

Here is what you need:

For the filling:

  • 1/2 block firm tofu (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1 carrot
  • 2 green onion stalks
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 cup cabbage
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • salt, pepper and chili flakes to taste

For the wrapping and cooking:

  • Dumpling wraps, rounds: I find these at my local Asian grocery store. They are very cheap, vegan (flour and water) and very convenient.
  • 1 tbs sesame oil

For the dipping sauce:

  • 1 tsp vinegar (I like to use balsamic, but of course Chinese black vinegar would be ideal)
  • 3 tsp soy sauce

Other possible add-ons:

  • mushrooms: oyster mushrooms give a really nice shew, but any kind will work
  • cooked beans: great substitute for the tofu, if you prefer to go soy-free
  • spinach or other leafy greens: dumplings are a perfect way to hide our greens!
  • kimchi: for dumplings with a kick
  • nuts: for a bitier bite

Here is what you do:

  1. Cut out the ends of your carrot, and pulse in your food processor until you have small chunks. You want to stop just before you get a smooth, homogeneous mixture so that your dumplings have a bit of crunchiness. Transfer the carrots to a bowl.
  2. Place the rest of your filling ingredients in your food processor and process until you have a smooth paste. Transfer to the carrots and mix well.
  3. Form your dumplings by placing one teaspoon of filling in the centre of your wrapper. Circle the rim of your wrapper with some water to help it stick and fold one side over the other. Press firmly to seal, or pleat for a more traditional look. Check out Mary’s Test Kitchen’s tutorial. Repeat until you are out of filling.
  4. To cook, place your sesame oil in a non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Once the oil is warm, place your dumplings. Let cook for a few minutes, and add 1/2 cup of water to the pan. Cover and let cook until all the water has evaporated. You might need to add more water depending on the size of your pan. You know your dumplings are cooked once the wrapper is slightly more translucent on the rim. At that point, uncover and let your dumplings grill until they are nice and golden on their bottoms. Serve hot and enjoy with the dipping sauce!

dumplings4

Making dumplings might be intimidating, but it’s actually very simple. I find that you don’t really need to cook the filling before you make the dumplings: the vegetables maintain a nice crunch that way! I love how versatile and impressive this looks. Let me know if you try this out!

dumplings3

If cooking is not quite your thing, check out the following crochet tutorial for another fun dumpling night!

Hi there my Lighthearted friends, it’s SO nice to meet you all! Before we get started with today’s appetizer, I would like to thank my cousin for letting me be her guest on her blog for the day…thank you cousin <3! Anyways I would like to introduce myself to you all before we get started with this delicious appetizer. My name is Annie, and I am the behind the scenes person of Yarntastic Vibes. I love to knit and crochet but mostly am a full-time crocheter. I love to watch my imaginations come to life with the hooks and create my own colour works with the needles. However, I only knit seasonally since knitting takes a little longer for me. Well with that being said, let’s get started with the appetizer, shall we! Don’t worry friends this dish is fairly easy to cook up and it’s delicious as well ;). I will walk you through it step by step, I promise! 

annies dumplings1

Here are the main ingredients that you will need in order to make your dumplings:  

  • A size 4.25 hook (or US size G) 
  • A couple of grams of tan coloured yarn  
  • Some stuffing  
  • Yarn needle  
  • And scissors 

Some abbreviations that you will need to know: 

  • ML = Magic Loop  
  • SCS = Single Crochets  
  • DCS = Double Crochets 
  • INC = Increase  
  • CH = Chain  

Now that you’ve gathered all of your ingredients and knowledge, it’s time to make the dumpling wraps!  

annies dumplings 2

Dumpling Wraps (Make 4):  

Round 1) Create 6 scs in ML (6) 

 [[or you could also chain 2 and then make 6 scs into the second st from the hook]] 

 Round 2) Create 2 scs in each st around (12) 

Round 3) *1 sc in next st, 1 inc* around for 6x (18) 

Round 4) *1 sc in next 2 sts, 1 inc* around for 6x (24 

Round 5) *1 sc in next 3 sts, 1 inc* around for 6x (30 

Round 6) *1 sc in next 4 sts, 1 inc* around for 6x (36 

We’re not done yet, we still have to do the detailing of the fork’s imprint! To do so, fold your dumpling wrap with the tail end on the inside like so… 

annies 3

 Now take your hook and insert it into the next st then chain 3 and then turn your work over. 

 annies 4

Next, yarn over, insert your hook into the next st and pull through, yarn over once more, and pull through for your first double crochet…  

 annies5

annies6

annies7

annies11

annies8

Since you made the first two double crochets with the chain 3 and your first DC, you would want to make 3 more DCs for a total of 5 DCs for a single bobble stitch.  

 You would want to make a total of 8 bobble stitches along with a sc around the seem to make the dumplings look like this…  

annies9

Remember to stuff your dumpling before you close it off with your last bobble stitch!  

annies10

Here’s my favourite part of crocheting. Cut off about 5 inches of yarn and thread it through your yarn needle. Take the yarn needle and pass it through the stitches on the inside of the dumplings to hide the tail, and voila! You have your very first side dish of dumplings :D! Congratulations you!  

annies dumplings1

Well, that was fun! Thanks again Anne for letting me be your guest blogger today :). I’ll pass the baton over to you now so you can sign us off <3.  

Thank you so much for sharing this amazing tutorial, Annie! Go visit her page, and let us know if you try our dumplings out!

Chocolate Overload, Cheat Day Brownies

I love chocolate. If I could, that’s the only thing that I would eat. This is why I’m always trying new chocolate recipes. Well, this one is perfect if you’re looking for a rich, cakey brownie. Seriously, it’s delicious and not too sweet, which makes it perfect for the dark chocolate lover of your life… oh, and they’re gluten-free too!

brownies2

Here is what you need:

  • 1/3 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/3 cup sorghum flour
  • 1 tbs arrowroot starch
  • 1 tbs potato starch
  • 1/4 cup black bean flour
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 3 tbs cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 6 tbs unsweetened apple sauce
  • 3 tbs chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup olive or coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1 tsp vanilla powder or extract
  • 1 handful of chocolate chips
  • 1 handful almonds

Here is what you do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F (180C). Grease your brownie pan.
  2. Melt the 3 tbs of chocolate chips and mix in the apple sauce, and oil. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, mix the different flours and starches, sugar, cocoa powder and salt.
  4. Add in the liquid chocolate mix and vanilla, and mix well. Add in the warm water until you have a smooth batter.
  5. Fold in the remaining chocolate chips and almonds.
  6. Pour the batter into the brownie pan and bake for 50 minutes. Remove from the oven and let the brownie cool down for 30 minutes before cutting it. Store in an air-tight container. Enjoy!

brownies1

This is glorious! I cut this up to make 16 brownie bites that are easy to take with me in case I might be craving chocolate. This is super simple to prepare and so delicious. You just have to try it out!

 

 

Blueberry Cheesecake – A raw vegan treat

It’s blueberry season over here, and they have been so good. I love that blueberries are so tasty and so beneficial for the digestive system. This cake is slightly tart, creamy and purely delicious! The hardest part is really just waiting for it to set overnight. It’s perfect for a family dinner or an end-of-summer picnic.

blueberry-cheesecake

Here is what you need:

For the crust:

  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 1 cup pitted dates
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Process the almonds in your food processor until they form a loose flour.
  2. Add the dates and the vanilla and process until the mix is smooth and starts to stick together. If you take a small handful of the mixture, it should stay together after it has been pressed.
  3. Spread the mixture at the bottom of a springform pan. Use a glass to even it out. Let sit in the fridge while you prepare the rest of the cake.

For the cheese layer:

  • 1 1/2 cups raw cashew nuts, soaked in water for at least 1 hour
  • 2 tbs coconut oil
  • 2 to 4 tbsp maple syrup
  • the juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • a little almond milk, as needed
  1. Place all of the ingredients in your food processor and processor until you get a smooth cream. You might need to add a little bit of milk to help smooth everything.
  2. Pour over the crust and put the cake back in the fridge. Let sit for 15 minutes.

For the blueberry layer:

  • 2 cups of fresh blueberries
  1. Process 1 1/2 cups of the blueberries in your food processor until completely smooth.
  2. Pour over the cheese layer and sprinkle the rest of the blueberries all of the cake.
  3. Place the cake back in the fridge overnight. Enjoy!

blueberry-cheesecake2

I really hope you try this recipe because it’s so delicious! I’m always amazed to see how thick the blueberry layer sets to be all naturally.

blueberry-cheesecake3

The cake is very refreshing and perfect to end a meal. Let me know if you try it out!

The simplest banana pudding \\ Le pudding de banane le plus simple

A few days ago, I really craved yoghurt. However, I haven’t found a vegan yoghurt that I enjoy, so I needed to be creative. This is so simple, and the banana flavour is incredible. You might think that I have gone back to the baby-food stage, but, trust me, it’s really delicious!

banana-pudding

Here’s what you need:

  • 1-2 bananas
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Toppings: nuts, seeds, fruits or granola to your liking

  1. Place the banana, lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla extract in your blender and blend until smooth. Garnish with your favourite toppings and enjoy!

banana-pudding2

This is so simple, but I promise, it’s a great substitute for yogurt. The texture is very similar, and the lemon juice adds a nice tanginess. Plus, this is naturally sweet, so it makes for a perfect no-guilt dessert. Let me know if you try it out!


Il y a quelques jours, une grosse envie de yaourt m’a prise. Cependant, je n’ai pas encore trouvé de substitut végane qui me plaise, alors j’ai essayé quelquechose. C’est si simple, et la saveur de banane est incroyable. Vous pensez peut-être que j’ai régréssé au stage de la bouffe pour bébé, mais, faites-moi confiance, c’est vraiment délicieux!

banana-pudding3

Voici ce dont vous avez besoin:

  • 1-2 bananes
  • 1 c. à thé de jus de citron
  • 1/2 c. à thé de zeste de citron
  • 1 c. à thé d’extrait de vanille

Garnitures: Noix, graines, fruits ou du granola à volonté!

  1. Placez la banane, le jus, le zest de citron et la vanille dans votre robot et mélangez jusqu’à ce que le tout soit bien lisse et onctueux. Garnissez et savourez!

banana-pudding4

C’est tellement simple, c’est presque ridicule de partager cette recette, mais c’est vraiment une bonne alternative au yaourt. La texture est très proche et le jus de citron ajoute un coté acidulé très agréable. En plus, c’est naturellement sucré alors c’est un dessert sans culpabilité parfait. Dites-moi si vous essayez!

Soft marinated tofu \\ Tofu soyeux mariné

When I shared my quinoa bowl featuring this soft marinated tofu on Instagram, someone asked for the recipe, and I shared it there. However, this is so good, it really deserves its own blog post. I updated the recipe a bit, but it’s still terribly easy and delicious.

soft-tofu2

Here is what you need:

  • 250g soft tofu
  • 2 tbs light tamari sauce or light soy saue
  • 2 tbs vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 2 tbs sesame seeds
  • 1 tbs wakame flakes
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • pepper or red chili flakes to taste
  1. Cut the soft tofu in medium size cubes. Make sure not to cut the tofu in small pieces as this tofu is very tender and will break during the cooking process. Place your tofu in a saucepan.
  2. In a small bowl, mix the rest of the ingredients and add to the tofu. Gently mix until each piece of tofu is well coated.
  3. Let simmer on medium heat until the tofu is warm all the way through. This should take less than 10 minutes. Remove from the stove and enjoy!

This is so quick to prepare and so delicious! It’s really good with some quinoa and even better with some rice and grilled veggies. The sauce is savory and has something from the sea with the wakame which is really good. It’s a great way to prepare tofu if you’re out of time. Let me know if you try this out!


Lorsque j’ai partagé un de mes bols de quinoa avec du tofu soyeux sur Instagram, quelqu’un m’a demandé la recette que j’ai postée en commentaire. Cependant, cette recette est tellement bonne qu’elle mérite vraiment son propre post. J’ai un peu retravaillé la recette, mais elle est toujours terriblement facile et délicieuse.

soft-tofu2

Voici ce dont vous avez besoin:

  • 250g de tofu soyeux
  • 2 c. à soupe de sauce tamari légère (moins de sel) ou de sauce soja légère
  • 2 c. à soupe de sauce Worcestershire végane
  • 1 gousse d’ail émincée
  • 2 c. à soupe de graines de sésame
  • 1 c. à soupe de flocons de wakame
  • 1 c. à thé de sirop d’érable
  • poivre ou flocons de piment au goût
  1. Découpez le tofu en cube de grosseur moyenne. Tenez compte du fait que parce que ce tofu est très mou, il se désagrégera un peu durant la cuisson. Placez le tofu dans une petite casserole.
  2. Dans un petit bol, mélanger le reste des ingrédients pour former la sauce. Incorporez-la au tofu et mélangez doucement jusqu’à ce que chaque morceau soit bien nappé de sauce.
  3. Laissez mijoter sur feu moyen jusqu’à ce que le tofu soit bien chaud. Cela prend moins de 10 minutes. Retirez du feu et savourez!

C’est tellement facile et rapide à préparer! Ce tofu est délicieux avec du quinoa et encore meilleur avec du riz et des légumes grillés. La sauce est savoureuse et légèrement océane grace aux flocons de wakame. C’est vraiment une façon délicieuse de préparer du tofu alors j’espère que vous allez l’essayer!

What I’ve been eating for the last 2 months!

When I work on my blog, I like to experiment with new recipes, try out new products, invent new ways to eat ordinary foods. This worked for me for the last year or so. However, about two months ago, I started craving the same dish. Over and over again. So much in fact, that it’s starting to be a running gag in our house. My boyfriend will come home from work and say things like: “Can’t wait for my quinoa-tofu-broccoli tonight!” Yeah. That’s what I have been craving every day for two months now. Not chocolate cake (although I’ve had my days), not fancy and exotic fruits, not my mom’s food. Nope. Just quinoa, tofu and some kind of grilled veggies (it’s not my fault broccoli is so cheap), or salad greens if I want something fresh.

quinoa-broccoli-tofu

Now, here’s the issue. I have been feeling completely satisfied eating those quinoa bowls every day. There is something reassuring and structuring in preparing big batches of food and just having to plate your daily servings. No fuss, no rush. However, it’s difficult to blog about the exact same bowl you’ve been having. Now that the temperatures have been going up (finally), I’m hoping to crave something else and to hopefully have some variety back in my kitchen. I’m sure grilled broccoli, tofu and quinoa will stay in my heart for long though! Here’s a few tips if you are stuck in the same rut as me.

For your grilled veggies:

  1. I’ve been loving using infused olive oils to add an extra kick of flavour. Try lemon or rosemary infused oils for a fresh taste, or go for the classic chili oil. I usually rub about 1 tbs onto the vegetables before placing them in the oven. Yum!
  2. I’ve also like sprinkling some freshly ground pepper on the baked veggies. I know, it’s nothing groundbreaking (you see what I’ve done here, right?), but it’s a classic for a reason. Why not go crazy and try different types of peppers? I love white pepper for its spiciness, but pink pepper brings a whole different range of flavours. Experiment with kitchen staples!
  3. Add some lemon juice and lemon zest! Fresh lemon zest gives such a nice aroma to the most simple dishes. Plus, it makes me feel like a fancy chef when I zest lemons. You zest have to try it out!

For your tofu:

  1. Vary the type and bite size: I tend to go for extra firm tofu because I like how it crips up when you pan fry it. The smaller the pieces, the crispier they will be. If you feel like having some bacon, you can cut your tofu into small cubes and add a few drops of liquid smoke to your marinade or sauce. Soft tofu can also be a great option to mix things up a little. I love to gently cooking soft tofu in some soy sauce. Very simple, but so good.
  2. If you really don’t feel like cooking, you can simple cube your firm tofu and mix it with the vegetables. Put everything in the oven, and that’s it! Bing, bang, boom.
  3. If you really, really don’t feel like cooking, you can also substitute the tofu for canned beans. Rinse them well, and they are ready to go, but you can also cook them in some tomato sauce or curry spices for something a bit more elaborate.

For your quinoa:

  1. Make sure that you cook it in enough water. I usually use 4.5 cups of water for 2 cups of quinoa. I place everything in a pot on high heat. I then reduce the heat to medium once it starts boiling. I put a lid on the pot and let everything simmer for 15 minutes. Then, turn off the heat and let it sit until you are ready to eat. The result: light and fluffy quinoa! Yum.
  2. Add some stuff: I like adding some corn, chopped carrots or peas to the quinoa as it is cooking. It adds some bite to it and makes it extra yummy. Plus it adds a touch of colour to the mix.
  3. Make sure that you don’t add salt to the cooking water as it will harden the quinoa.

That’s it! This is perfect for meal prepping because you can prepare big quantities of everything and save your food in the fridge. It’s so quick to plate up and makes for great lunches to bring at work. Plus, you can add fresh veggies or sauces according to your daily cravings. So, yeah, that’s what has been going on in my kitchen lately. And guess what? I’m now heating up some quinoa, broccoli and tofu for lunch. Cannot wait!