Vegan Maple Glazed Tofu with Soba



This recipe was a do it yourselfer after trying to learn a few new ones – that never ended up working out. I have slowly begun to leave the realm of food creativity fear when following a recipe – some recipes aren’t for everyone. I’m ok with that. 

Soba has a *bit* of an acquired taste, so if you’re not sure you like it you could substitute with any long noodle of your choice, that is of course if it’s healthy, right? 

Enjoy this one. It’s great served hot or cold I find. 


Ingredients: 

  • cucumber
  • carrots
  • 2 green onions
  • block firm tofu
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar 
  • 2 tbsp grated ginger
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 bag soba noodles
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 bunches spinach
  • 2 tsp tamari/nama shoyu

Method: 


               Start with a marinade of syrup, rice vinegar, ginger and sesame oil. Coat     
               thickly sliced tofu in this mixture and set aside. 

               Put a large pot of water on the stove to boil. 
  • Slice cucumber and carrot into thin sticks with a sharp knife or a mandolin. Thinly slice green onions diagonally. Set aside. 
  • Toast sesame seeds until lightly golden in a small frying pan set over medium. Set aside. 
  • Add marinated tofu to pan and grill until browned on all sides – you can also opt to eat this cold. 
  • Heat coconut oil in a large frying pan on medium. Add garlic & stir for one minute. Add spinach in small handfuls until it is all wilted. Ensure you stir often to avoid sticking. Add tamari/nama shoyu and cook for another minute or two. Set on low/warm. 
  • While you are working with the spinach add soba noodles in a large pot of boiling water. Cook until tender, about 3 to 4 min. 
  • Rinse with cold running water to cool and remove starch. 
  • First add noodles to bowl, then top with tofu, onion & veggies. Sprinkle all with toasted sesame seeds. 
  • Serves 4. 
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Vegan/Vegetarian French Onion Soup

For most of you, it’s probably NOT snowing like it is here in YYC…..lucky you. However, it’s realistically still cold in most of Canada. 
I scoured the cupboards to try and figure out what to make for dinner tonight – and all the ingredients seemed to be here for a DELISH homemade French Onion Soup. 
You need about 1.5 hours to get this ready at least…….enjoy. 
Ingredients:
2 tbsp butter OR earth balance
2 tbsp coconut oil
5 large onions sliced thinly
8 cloves of garlic pressed or minced
2 tbsp all purpose organic flour
6 cups homemade veggie broth (or store bought) here is a RECIPE from another blog post
1 heaping tsp dijon mustard
2 tbsp red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar
1 cup grated gruyere OR vegan cheese substitute (smoky cheese preferred)
Sourdough bread sliced & toasted
Cracked pepper
* I don’t add salt to this recipe as I add salt in my broth however, you can if you wish
Method: 
Melt “butter” & oil
Add onion & garlic. Cook for 5 minutes on high. Turn down to around #2 or simmer and continue to cook for 60 minutes or until onions are browned & tender
Add flour to mixture and stir well for around 3 minutes
Add 6 cups of broth, vinegar, dijon & stir well

Simmer covered for 15 minutes

Toast sourdough bread & grate cheese

Ladle out into oven safe dishes, top with toast & cheese. Broil on high for 3-5 minutes or until cheese is bubbling. 
Set aside to cool for 5 minutes, top with cracked pepper & serve
**This recipe will make at least 6 of these soups. 1/2 the recipe if need be. I like to save/freeze the mix to make at a later date. 

Are you breathing just a little – and calling it a life?

I fell out of touch with my Yoga. I know, that everyone does at a certain point ~ or maybe not everyone starts. In my heart, so much healing came from giving myself the gift of a whole person challenge at least 1.5 hours each day.

For a while now, I’ve only been able to muster up 1 hour per week. Some weeks – nothing.

Lately, that has shifted and I’ve been blessing myself with inspiration and comforting solitude. Today, a poem inspired me to write this blog post to in turn, try to pass on the inspiration to you.

After all, who on earth would equate the involuntary act of breathing to living?

HAVE YOU EVER TRIED TO ENTER THE LONG BLACK BRANCHES
~ Mary Oliver~

Have you ever tried to enter the long black branches of other lives —
tried to imagine what the crisp fringes, full of honey, hanging
from the branches of the young locust trees, in early morning, feel like?

Do you think this world was only an entertainment for you?

Never to enter the sea and notice how the water divides
with perfect courtesy, to let you in!
Never to lie down on the grass, as though you were the grass!
Never to leap to the air as you open your wings over the dark acorn of your heart!

No wonder we hear, in your mournful voice, the complaint
that something is missing from your life!

Who can open the door who does not reach for the latch?
Who can travel the miles who does not put one foot
in front of the other, all attentive to what presents itself
continually?
Who will behold the inner chamber who has not observed
with admiration, even with rapture, the outer stone?

Well, there is time left —
fields everywhere invite you into them.

And who will care, who will chide you if you wander away
from wherever you are, to look for your soul?

Quickly, then, get up, put on your coat, leave your desk!

To put one’s foot into the door of the grass, which is
the mystery, which is death as well as life, and
not be afraid!

To set one’s foot in the door of death, and be overcome
with amazement!

To sit down in front of the weeds, and imagine
god the ten-fingered, sailing out of his house of straw,
nodding this way and that way, to the flowers of the
present hour,
to the song falling out of the mockingbird’s pink mouth,
to the tippets of the honeysuckle, that have opened

in the night

To sit down, like a weed among weeds, and rustle in the wind!

Listen, are you breathing just a little, and calling it a life?

While the soul, after all, is only a window,

and the opening of the window no more difficult
than the wakening from a little sleep.

Only last week I went out among the thorns and said
to the wild roses:
deny me not,
     but suffer my devotion.
Then, all afternoon, I sat among them. Maybe

I even heard a curl or tow of music, damp and rouge red,
hurrying from their stubby buds, from their delicate watery bodies.

For how long will you continue to listen to those dark shouters,
caution and prudence?
Fall in! Fall in!

A woman standing in the weeds.
A small boat flounders in the deep waves, and what’s coming next
is coming with its own heave and grace.

Meanwhile, once in a while, I have chanced, among the quick things,
upon the immutable.
What more could one ask?

And I would touch the faces of the daises,
and I would bow down
to think about it.

That was then, which hasn’t ended yet.

Now the sun begins to swing down. Under the peach-light,
I cross the fields and the dunes, I follow the ocean’s edge.

I climb, I backtrack.
I float.
I ramble my way home.

You can’t suck & blow.

It’s Monday. I know that for some people it means an overwhelming feeling of dread…most especially today because I’m sure quite a few folks had their green drinking caps on yesterday. 

Alas, Mondays (and any day for that matter) should be an inspiration. For a few reasons: 

1 – you woke up 

2 – you have the entire day (and the rest of your life) ahead of you

3 – you are exactly where you need to be right at this moment

Though inspiration isn’t always obviously butting you in the head, it is all around you. 

From the wrinkles in your bed sheets when you wake up, to the traffic jam on the way into the city. All of these things carry a lightness with them than can outweigh the dark. The playful side of life that isn’t left to be enjoyed alone by children and animals. 

In the name of awareness, and childlike animal behaviour I invite all of these grown up and monotonous pressures in to be observed, and then released. 

Today, the straw will not break this camels back ~ I’m taking a big long sip of liquid life ~ and so should you. 

Happy Monday. 


S

Lentil "Pakoras" In Traditional Tomato YUM Sauce

I love Indian food. It’s no secret. I love any foods that have a dramatic representation of spice. This dish, folks, has it. Flavour, texture and heat ~ my three food loves. 
Vegan, Vegetarian, cleanse friendly & easy to store for later, you will NOT regret trying out this recipe. 
This food boosts your immunity, brings down inflammation, helps your heart health and is packed full of dietary fibre. 
INGREDIENTS
“LENTL PAKORAS”

  • Soaked lentils (2 hours) – 1 cup
  • Fennel Seeds – 2 tsp
  • Onion – 1 medium, chopped
  • Cilantro – 1/4 cup chopped
  • Curry powder – 1.5 tsp
  • Salt – pinch


BUTTERY “NO CHICKEN” SAUCE


  • Onion – 1 medium chopped
  • Tomatoes – 3 large
  • Garlic – 6 cloves
  • Grated Ginger – 1tbsp
  • Super hot spicy Thai Chilis – 2 
  • Lime juice from 1 whole lime
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • Turmeric Powder – 1/4 tsp
  • Coriander Powder – 3 teaspoons
  • Cinnamon  – 1″ stick whole
  • Clove – 1 tsp
  • Fennel Seeds – 1 tsp ground/whole
  • Chopped cilantro leaves – handful
  • Curry powder – 2 tbsp
  • 1 cup water or veggie stock
  • Grated Coconut – 3 tablespoons
  • Cashews – handful

For “Pakoras”


Add lentils to food processor and break down for approximately 1 minute. Add rest of ingredients and process until mixed well and whole lentil beans cannot be seen. 
Set mix aside while you prepare the rest. 
For buttery sauce

Add onion, garlic and ginger to sauce pan and heat for 3-5 minutes on medium.
Add tomato & peppers to mix and sautee until mushy. 

Add everything up to water/veggie stock and bring to low boil. While this is happening…..
Place coconut & cashews in food processor and blend until mixed well. Add to sauce and cook for another 10 minutes or until your pakoras are done. 
Roll up “Pakoras”, heat oil in skillet and fry on medium heat until heated thoroughly. Do not heat until they are too hard or the sauce will not absorb well. 

Place in bowl or on plate and cover with sauce. 
This easily will feed 4 adults. 
~ENJOY~

Raw Vegan Chocolate Coconut "Pudding"

This one was a whip together because of the cleanse and not being able to eat much. Delicious, light and craving worthy. Try it.

INGREDIENTS:

2 medium sized avocados
3 tbsp cacao powder
1/2 tsp vanilla bean powder
1/4 cup coconut flakes
1/4 cup agave (or honey)
1 tbsp lemon juice

METHOD:

Combine all ingredients in food processor or small blender, blend and eat!

Adzuki Bean Soup…flavours of Japan, on a cleanse.

As many of you know I’ve got a penchant for creation ~ that only STARTS in the kitchen. Following a strict diet can be difficult at first especially if you don’t know your way around spices, or the kitchen. Not to mention running into ingredients you’ve never heard of.

I’m trying to make wholesome, delicious recipes for you to enjoy without too much sufferation. (I KNOW that’s a word, the dictionary just has yet to adopt it).

This soup is filling, lovely and warming especially in the winter months, and especially if you’re feeling a little woozy on a cleanse.

New to Veganism? Try this bad girl out. It doesn’t break the bank and you can make a tonne of it in advance to freeze or pack into multiple meals for family/lunches etc.

Yours in health,

Sasha

ADZUKI BEAN SOUP – with modifications for non-cleansers

**Important note: please soak your dried beans for at least 24 hours before you commence this recipe. Soak for 12, rinse and soak for another 12**

1 cup adzuki beans (soaked)
1 1/2 tbsp coconut oil
1 small onion diced
4 cloves garlic diced
1 tbsp fresh grated ginger
4 carrots chopped
4 stalks celery chopped
2 tbsp dulse flakes
7 cups homemade veggie stock or water

If not on week 1 cleansing:

2 tsp sea salt
4 shitake mushrooms sliced
1 tsp miso (soy & gluten free)

Garnishes:

cilantro
hot sesame oil
rice vinegar

Method:

Sautee diced onion & garlic as well as grated ginger in coconut oil until softened. Add in celery and carrots and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes. Stir in beans and sautee for 1-2 minutes. Add veggie stock/water, then dulse flakes and simmer on stovetop for 50 minutes.

Beans should mash easily once fully cooked. Continue to cook until beans are mashed before serving.

Add garnish, serves 4.