Monthly Archives: October 2013

Vegan Royal Icing (Eggless)

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-VEGAN-

Yay! I tried for the first time today to make Royal Icing without eggs and it was a success! I’m very glad, for now on I will always be making it that way! I was even able to convince my mom to switch her old recipe for that one (1point for me, hehe)

Mmmm  mine taste just like almond paste, *evil laugh*

Servings

1 batch

Ingredients

* 1 cup confectioner’s sugar

* 3 teaspoons unsweetened almond milk

(you can use any other dairy-free milk, on Internet you can see a lot of recipe where they say to use 2 teaspoons, but I prefer 3, so you can try the way you want)

* 2 teaspoons clear corn syrup (light, clear.. just not the kind of brown corn syrup)

* 1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract (or any other extract)

* food coloring (optional)

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Directions

* In a bowl, combine sugar and almond milk until they are ”kind of” smooth. Add the corn syrup and the almond extract and mix until all the icing is smooth and glossy.

* Divide into bowls if you add some colors.

* Decorate cookies 😀

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It tend to dry fast so when you are not using it, cover the bowl to prevent your icing to be hard.

Also, if the icing is too thick, add few drops at a time of almond milk, if it is too liquid you can wait few minutes  without a lid on, hehe, or add a little bit of sugar in it.

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I used the icing to decorate my Vegan Gingerbread cookies (Recipe HERE)

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Vegan gingerbread Cookies

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-VEGAN-

I had fun baking cookies with my daughter Dalie (oh boy the picture is cool but I look like if I’m having a super huge arm, haha this is not the case, it’s just a super bad camera angle *super shame* hahaha!, but hey I still love the picture, there is not plenty of those kinds since it’s always me who is taking the picture.. but today my husband was there to took it. Yay!) and she had fun decorating them too, awww i love being a mom 🙂

These cookies are just incredible! the best gingerbread cookies I ever eat!!! Even my husband thinks the same. In fact it was a big hit with our big girl too! Wow! I was impressed!

Gingerbread cookies are so great, they are the perfect October treat, in fact they are good in November and December too, well now that I baked those, I think I’ll be making them all year round, hahahaha!!

Seriously.. if you always hated gingerbread..try those, you’ll like them! they are not too spicy and intense!

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Servings

12-16 cookies (depend on the size of the cookie cutter)

Ingredients

* 3/4 cup sugar

* 1/3 cup vegetable or canola oil (I used canola)

* 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk (or any other kind of non-dairy milks)

* 1/4 cup blackstrap molasses (I used organic blackstrap but you can use regular molasses too)

* 2 cups whole wheat flour

* 1/2 teaspoon salt

* 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

* 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

* 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

* 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

* 1 teaspoon ground ginger

Directions

* Whisk sugar and oil together for few minutes, then add the almond milk and the molasses. Mix.

* Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Mix until a dough is formed. Now it’s the waiting part, you have to wrap it and put it in the refrigerator for few hours, mine was there all night. Remember to let the dough sit for 5-10 minutes on the counter before rolling it.

* Preheat oven to 350’F

* Roll the dough to the thickness you like then cut shapes with cookies cutters. (I used some Halloween cutters because Halloween is tomorrow and they were funny, hehe)

* Bake for 7-8 minutes.

* Remove from the oven and let cool a few minutes before putting them on a cooling rack.

* Enjoy or decorate (with vegan royal icing, to keep the cookies 100% vegan) (Recipe HERE)

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Couscous Salad (Vegan)

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Oh first of all, I don’t have color issues in my picture.. the couscous is really bright yellow because I added turmeric in the cooking water, hehe!

Just a simple and delicious recipe for busy people 😉

Servings

6 or more

Ingredients

* 1 cup vegetable broth

* 1 cup water

* 1 teaspoon ground turmeric

* 1/4 cup lemon juice

* 1/4 cup +2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

* 1 1/2 cups uncooked couscous

* 1 large English cucumber, seeded and cut into small dices

* 2 large tomatoes, seeded and cut into small dices

* 5 scallions, chopped

* salt/pepper to taste

* 2-3 cups of loosely packed Italian parsley (then chop it)

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Directions

* In a pot, combine water, vegetable broth, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons lemon juice and the turmeric. Bring to boil. Remove from heat and stir in the couscous. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes.

* Fluff the couscous with a fork and let cool down.

* In a very large bowl, stir together cucumber cubes, tomato cubes, chopped scallions, 1/4 cup olive oil, 2 tablespoons lemon juice and salt/pepper. Let it stand for few minutes.

* Add the couscous and the parsley then mix.

* You can put it in the refrigerator for an hour or serve it warm..it’s up to you.. both ways are delicious!

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Romano Beans & Broccoli Baby Puree

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Big boy turned 6 months old on Oct 17, still can’t believe my kids are growing that fast! (My big girl will turn 3 years old in less than 4 months, the next thing I’ll know she will be starting school!) I love them so much!they are my everything! Each time they smile, they laugh, they giggle, I know for sure I’m doing a great job 🙂

I started the other day a new round of fertility treatments to get pregnant with a 3rd child, hope it will work as fast as when I did it for Auguste. Wish me luck!

He’s eating like an ogre, he is always hungry and love everything! I gave him some kiwi and WOW it was spot on with his tastes, he love kiwis.. A  LOT! He doesn’t eat meat, only tofu, beans and few times white fish. My girl is the same she don’t like meat, only tofu, beans (she’s a big fan of both) and fish. Now he eats tiny pieces of food like bread, ripe fruits, steamed veggies, baby cookies…

Beans are always a big hit with my kids! Beans are a good source of iron, proteins and many vitamins, they are cheap, you have tons of varieties, you can find them everywhere.. awwwwww I’m a big bean fan myself, hahaha!

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Servings

6 servings (of 1/3 cup)

Ingredients

* 1 medium size broccoli

* 1 cup cooked Romano beans

* water (if needed)

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Directions

* Wash and cut the broccoli.

* Steam cook the broccoli for about 5-7minutes or until they are tender. (I prefer steam cooking over regular boiling water)

* Put them in the food processor with the cooked beans. Mix. You can add some water to adjust the texture if you want to.

* An effective method of preservation is freezing. The ice cube trays are very useful, inexpensive and reusable as many times as we wish. Simply place the puree in the trays to freeze it and once it is frozen, removed from the mold and put the cubes in a freezer container. Don’t forget to write the date on it. you can keep it for at least 3 months

How to cook Romano Beans (Slow cooker)

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Romano beans have multiple names.. you can call them Romano, Cranberry or Bortelli Beans.  You can recognize the beans with their kind of light brown color splashed or streaked with red, dark red, pink or even black.

Like every other kind of beans it’s a good source of protein. In 1/2 cup of cooked beans (and hey it’s not a lot!) you have around 8grams of proteins. Yay! 1 good point for beans! In the same 1/2 cup of cooked beans you have 15% of your iron daily intake.

The funny thing about this bean.. when you cook it it kind of loose it stripes, hehe

Like I always says, buying dried beans is way cheaper than canned beans. There is no added salt when you cooked them yourself, also you can buy them in bulk (even cheaper) and you can store them for a long time too. So.. GO! Make the switch from canned beans to dried beans!

-SLOW COOKER-

Servings

 3 cups cooked Romano beans

Ingredients

* 1 cup dried Romano beans

* 3 cups water

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Directions

* Rinse beans under water.

* Let the bean soak in water for few hours (minimum 4-5 hours, here I let them soaked all night and cooked them the next morning)

* Rinse the beans and put them in the slow cooker, add water to cover them (in fact you can put more water just to be sure), On low settings it took around 5 hours.. I know on internet you can read up to 8-9 hours, but you should try with your slow cooker, they are not all the same, so just try! After 5 hours I tasted them and they were perfect, maybe in yours they will be ready after 6-7-8..

* To check if the beans are done is simple, just taste them. Cooked beans are not too mushy but are easy to eat. If they are overcooked they will turn all mushy and will not be eye appealing anymore, the taste will be the same but they would not be very cute in a bean salad for example.

* Remove from heat, rinse (optional, but I love to rinse them first)  and serve or use in a recipe.

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Sweet Potato and Chocolate Chili (vegan)

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It’s Meatless Monday so tonight we were having a chili made of beans. It was delicious! (as always, haha, I’m such a big fan of beans and chili!)

Yep, you read it correctly, there is chocolate in my recipe.. and it really gives the chili a funky taste. I’m so glad it’s finally comfort food season, haha!! Yay! Soups, pot pies, chili, awwwwww!

Last week we went to Vermont to spend some time alone with our big girl (Grandma was watching little guy) and let me tell you, I already can’t wait to go back to USA… I’m almost addicted, I love going there.. each time we go, it’s the same.. I just want to stay, hahaha! Well for sure I love Canada, my heart and roots are here, but I don’t know the people in USA are great! Also it was kind of our last food excess.. hahah! My husband started training more seriously (Power90 program) and I started fertility pills again to get pregnant with baby #3, not that we usually eat like crazy, we good healthy foods, but we love food WAY TOO MUCH and he tend to eat.. way more than me, hahah! So I convince my husband to eat LESS meat! YAY!!!!!!!!! So more vegan/vegetarian dish for him (I’m super glad!)

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Each time we go we buy fun grocery items that we cannot find here.. still wondering what I will do with the two cans I bought..Any ideas? hehe!

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This is a recipe for slow cookers.

-VEGAN-

Servings

6 servings

Ingredients

* 1 large sweet potato, diced

* 1 3/4 cups cooked mixed beans

* 1 3/4 cups cooked chickpeas

* 2 small onions, chopped

* 2 bell peppers, diced (I used one large green and one large yellow)

* 3 1/2 cups diced tomatoes

* 5 garlic cloves, minced

* 1 cup water

* 1 1/2 tablespoons pure cocoa powder

* 1 tablespoon chili powder

* 1 tablespoon ground cumin

* salt & pepper

* 1 1/2 cups corn niblets

* Rice (optional)

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Directions

* Wash and cut veggies. I don’t peel the sweet potato because the skin is very thin and all the good vitamins are there so.. why peel it? 😉

* In the slow cooker, combine all the ingredients except for the corn then Mix.

* Close the lid and cook for 7-8 hours on low or until the sweet potato is tender. Add the corn, continue to cook for 10-15 minutes.

* Serve and Enjoy!

(I served it over rice.. yeah I know it’s bright yellow.. but it’s only because I cooked my rice with vegetable broth (instead of water) and turmeric)

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Pear & Apple Crumble

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We went apple picking in September and we have so many apples to eat.. haha, but we also finished with pears, my mom bought two giants boxes of fresh pears (They come from the same orchard we went to) and she gave some to us.

It’s so fun to go to that orchard, we go to the same place for the past 4 years, we even do each year a family picture at the same exact spot, awww, life is great! Also, we’re trying to do as much cool activities as possible with my mom since she will never be able to get rid of brain cancer (she did with bladder, kidney, uterus cancer, yay!). Life is short and precious, I want my kids to spend quality time with their grandparents (since they are still all alive) to create beautiful memories they will carry with them all their lives. I never had the chance to have grandparents, I will never know that feeling.. They are lucky to have great people around them.. As for my part, I want to spend time with my mom, because one day, I’ll be missing her a lot… It’s kind of hard to deal with my mom being super sick, but I’m trying to find peace inside my heart.. and my kids are helping a lot. They are my ultimate reason to live, each morning when I wake up, I’m thankful to be able to spend another day with them, each night when they go to sleep, I just can’t wait to be the next morning to see their smiles again.

Being a mom is truly the best thing in life.

Apples

I changed my original crumble recipe and there is the result, it’s sooooooooo good! It’s hard to explain but the brown sugar and the maple (and the resting time) kind of transform into a caramel while cooking, it’s so intense, hahaha, my husband is sooo happy I changed my recipe, I guess that means it’s good! Yay!

Servings

About 6 servings

Ingredients

* 4 ripe pears (I left the skin on), cored and diced

* 2 apples, peeled, cored and diced

* 1/3 cup brown sugar (packed)

* 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

* 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

* 1/4 cup pure maple syrup

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* 1 cup old fashioned oats

* 1 cup whole wheat flour

* 1/2 cup brown sugar

* 1/2 teaspoon  ground cinnamon

* 1/2 cup margarine, softened

(To be really vegan, make sure there is no ingredients related to milk in your margarine!)

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Directions

* Preheat oven 350′F

* Toss the diced pears and apple in a bowl with maple syrup, 1/3 cup brown sugar, 1 tablespoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg and maple syrup. Set aside for at least 30 minutes.

* In a large bowl, combine flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and margarine. Mix with your hands.

* In a baking dish, pour the pear’s mixture on the bottom.

* Put the oat mixture on top to cover the fruits completely.

* Cook for 30 minutes.

* Serve and enjoy!

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Apple & Parsley Dog Cookies

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MEYA

Here, my big boxer dog Meya is a member of my family. I love her a lot, even if she’s an eternal baby, haha! (She’s 3 years old) She’s like the perfect dog with both of my kids, she’s very VERY protective with them. she’s always very near them, she watches them.. I even saw her go in the basement (where both our kid’s room are) just to sleep between the rooms to have an eye on the kids while they are asleep. Dalie and Auguste love her very much! Auguste is still young, but he love to touch her face, laugh when she’s around.. Dalie is fighting with her, chasing her around, love to give her cookies, what a long love story! We have her since my big girl (she’s 2 years and 7 months old) is only 4 months old. She’s so attached to Meya, it’s incredible! I cannot imagine the day she will not be with us anymore.. damn!

Funny thing.. during my pregnancy with Auguste she was following me EVERYWHERE!!! The day before giving birth to him, she was acting soooo weird. Awww I love my dog!

Servings

24-26 medium cookies

Ingredients

* 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

* 1/2 cup cornmeal

* 1 cup fresh parsley, chopped (It’s good for the breath!)

* 1 cup grated apple (I used 1 large and one small, I left the skin on)

* 1 large egg

* 1/3 cup vegetable oil

* 1/2 cup water

Directions

* Preheat oven, 350′F

* In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients. Mix (with your hands, it’s easier!).

* Roll out the dough without making it neither too thin nor too thick. Cut out biscuits with a cookie cutter or just with a knife. (I used a maple leaf cookie cutter because it’s Fall and we have maple trees everywhere. In my backyard I have a big maple tree who’s turning red right now and in front of my house I have a red maple tree)

* Place cookies on a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes. Turn off the heat but let the cookies in the oven for another 30 minutes, they will be crispier that way.

* Serve to your furry friend!

(You can keep them few days at room temperature in an airtight container or in the refrigerator. You can also freeze them! )

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How to cook Green Lentils

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Since a lot of people don’t know how to cook dried beans, I thought I would write posts like this one, hope it will be useful.

The two most common lentils are the green lentils and the red lentils.

What exactly is the difference between green lentils and other kinds of lentils..

They have a color from pale green to green-brown. They usually have a robust flavor, it can be described as more earthy. They are usually available as whole. (You can sprout them and use them raw) they took longer to cook than red lentils and they keep a firm texture, they don’t become all mushy.

In 1/4 cup of dried green lentils you have around 9 g of proteins. It’s a very good source of proteins, it’s a very good alternative to meat (Green lentils contains no fat, not like meat..). It’s also a good source of fibers. They are generally used in salads, warm dishes such as casseroles. My family and I love to eat a lentil macaroni (RECIPE HERE) or an Indian style curry made with lentils, potatoes, coconut milk (RECIPE HERE).., they are both sooooo good! When my big girl was still a baby, she was such a fan of a green lentil dish made with lentils, parsnip and pear (RECIPE HERE).

Green lentils (well here in Quebec) are cheaper to buy than red lentils, for around 2$ I had an enormous bag (the red lentils was about 6 cups) of around 10-12 cups. So if you do simple maths.. 12 cups become over 24 cups of cooked lentils for 2$.. a can is 2 cups and cost 1$.. it would cost around 12$ to have the same amount of lentils that I can have for 2$. Like I always says, buying dry beans is way cheaper!

Servings

2 1/2 cups cooked green lentils

Ingredients

* 1 cup dried green lentils

* 3 cups water

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Directions

-Lentils do not require soaking!-

* Rinse lentils under water.

* To cook on a regular stove, combine green lentils with water in a saucepan. Use 3 cups of water for each cup of green lentils. Use a large saucepan, as lentils will more than double during cooking.

* Bring to a boil, cover tightly, reduce heat and simmer until they are tender, it can take around 30 minutes.

* To check if the lentils are done is simple, just taste them. Cooked lentils should be very easy to eat.

* Remove from heat and serve or use in a recipe.

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How to cook Red Lentils

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Since a lot of people don’t know how to cook dried beans, I thought I would write posts like this one, hope it will be useful.

The two most common lentils are the green lentils and the red lentils.

What exactly is the difference between red lentils and other kinds of lentils..

The have a color range from gold-orange to red, these are the sweetest of all the lentils and have a nutty taste. They are available split, that means they are not whole, so they cook faster! Since they kind of get mushy during cooking, they are perfect to use in dishes (not in a beam salad) like curries, dals, soups, chilis, well any kind of dish that you like.

In 1/4 cup of dried red lentils you have around 13 g of proteins. It’s a very good source of proteins, it’s a very good alternative to meat. The only thing is that red lentils have half the quantity of fibers that you find in green lentils, but heh they are still good for you!

Cooking beans instead of buying them in cans is way cheaper. You can have a big bag of lentils (well in Quebec) for around 2$CA, and there is around 6 cups of dried lentils, so 12 cups cooked. We can buy a can of 2 cups for 1$, so 6$ for 12 cups instead of 2$.. you can still buy in cans, there is no problems there, but if you do, remember to rinse the beans before using them to remove all the salt. because beans are canned in a brine.. and we all know what brine is made of.. SALT!!!! The other thing is that you cannot find all the beans in cans, here I never saw canned red lentils, only green.

Here lentils are used everywhere, I even make lentil cookies. My big boy is also a big fan of sweet potato and red lentils puree.

Servings

2 cups cooked red lentils

Ingredients

* 1 cup dried red lentils

* 2 cups water

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Directions

-Lentils do not require soaking!-

* Rinse lentils under water.

* To cook on a regular stove, combine red lentils with water in a saucepan. Use 2 cups of water for each cup of red lentils. Use a large saucepan, as lentils will double during cooking.

* Bring to a boil, cover tightly, reduce heat and simmer until they are tender, removing before they become too mushy. With the red lentils it’s really hard to finish with perfectly round and neat lentils, they tend to get mushy when cooked.

* To check if the lentils are done is simple, just taste them. Cooked lentils should be very easy to eat.

* Remove from heat and serve or use in a recipe.

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