No-bake chocolate mocha cream cups

Post by Megan Stulberg

Last year I went to a naturopath because I had a hunch that something I was eating daily was unknowingly making me sick. Turns out I have to avoid amaranth and sesame, but honestly I breathed a sigh of relief because I was worried that I might be allergic to chocolate or coffee. Chocolate and coffee are two of my favourite flavours, so it only makes sense for me to combine them into one super dessert.

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Ingredients…

For the base:

  • 1 cup honey dates, pitted
  • 1 cup almonds, soaked 1 hour
  • 1/4 cup raw cacao powder
  • 2 tbsp ground coffee
  • Pinch of sea salt

For the cream:

  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight (if possible, or at least 2-3 hours)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp 100% maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp ground coffee
  • 1 tbsp organic vanilla extract

For the topping:

  • Sprinkle of additional ground coffee
  • Approximately 20 whole coffee beans (optional)

Directions…

  1. Combine all “base” ingredients in a high-speed food processor or blender.
  2. Line cupcake sheet with long strips of wax paper or cling wrap. Press mixture into base of each cup firmly with fingers or fork to create an even layer.
  3. Set tray aside in freezer for at least 30 minutes.
  4. While waiting for base layer to set, blend together all “cream” ingredients until, well, a cream-like consistency has been reached!
  5. Remove tray from freezer. Scoop dollop of cream onto each cup, then smooth out evenly with back of spoon. Sprinkle additional ground coffee on top, then garnish with 2 whole coffee beans per tart.
  6. Let cups set in freezer overnight, or at least 1 hour. Remove and let thaw before serving.

Makes approximately 9 tarts. Serve chilled, store chilled.

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Mushroom Gravy Poutine (Vegan, GF)

Post by Megan Stulberg

I’m Canadian. Like, grandparents-are-from-Nova-Scotia Canadian. That being said, I don’t mess with boring poutine! This poutine recipe is a delicious, healthy alternative to the OG dairy version.

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Ingredients…

For the gravy:

  • 2 cups gluten-free vegetable stock
  • 1 cup chopped cremini mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup gluten-free brown rice flour
  • 1/4 cup almond or soy milk
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 red onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tbsp ground sage
  • 2 tbsp vegan butter-style spread
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • Cold-pressed EVOO, as needed

Other:

  • 3 large potatoes
  • 1/2 bag shredded vegan mozzerella “cheese” of your choice (I used Daiya)
  • Sea salt and black pepper, throughout

DIRECTIONS…

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Scrub and wash potatoes to remove any dirt, then peel. Cut length-wise into long, thin strips. Toss in 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, sea salt and black pepper.
  3. Line a baking pan with aluminium foil or parchment paper smothered in olive oil to prevent burning and sticking. Lay fries out in an even layer on baking pan.
  4. Bake in oven for around 35 minutes, flipping every 10 minutes or so.
  5. While the fries are baking, prep the gravy:
  6. Heat EVOO in large skillet over medium-high heat.
  7. Add onion and saute for 3 minutes until browned. Add sage, garlic, mushrooms, almond milk, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper. Cook until mushrooms are browned, stirring regularly.
  8. Add vegetable stock and vegan butter-style spread, lower heat to simmer. Once most liquid has evaporated, add vegetable stock and brown rice flour. Stir occasionally and cook for an additional few minutes. For thicker gravy, feel free to add additional flour by the tbsp.
  9. Reduce heat to low simmer, stirring occasionally, to keep gravy warm.
  10. Remove fries from oven and wait to slightly cool. Plate the fries, take a handful of vegan “cheese” and sprinkle it on top, then pour the hot gravy over everything.

Serve hot! Makes approximately 2 servings.

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Tomato Glaze-Crusted “Meat”loaf Casserole

Post by Megan Stulberg

I’ve been working like a crazy person lately, hence the delay in writing up recipe posts. But hey, a girl’s got to eat! If there’s a silver lining from this, it’s just that I have tons of recipes up my sleeve for y’all in the near future.

This was my Christmas day feast, yum yum. Being the only vegan in a family of carnivores is both good and bad. The bad is that they don’t want to eat the food I make, the good is…more for me! I ended up eating leftovers for breakfast, lunch and dinner on Boxing Day. Not a single regret.

I paired this dish with my sweet potato mash that’s already up on Vegan Girlfriend here, as well as some roasted asparagus! I also paired it with a gravy/stuffing hybrid that I’ve nicknamed “gruffing” that was oh-so-good but honestly was an accident so I don’t have a write-up for that.

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Ingredients…

For the loaf: 

  • 1 1/4 cup gluten-free vegetable broth
  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • 1 cup canned lentils
  • 1/4 cup cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/4 cup roasted nuts of your choice (I chose walnut)
  • 1/4 cup 100% maple syrup
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1/2 carrot, chopped
  • 1/2 white onion, diced
  • 3 tbsp gluten-free soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbsp cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp dried thyme
  • 1 tbsp basil
  • Cracked pepper and sea salt, to taste
For the glaze: 
  • 1/2 cup organic ketchup (or tomato paste)
  • 1/4 cup 100% maple syrup
  • Pinch of sea salt

Directions…

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Rinse canned lentils. Set aside.
  3. Heat olive oil in large saucepan on medium heat. Once oil begins to sizzle, add garlic and onion. Sauté 5 minutes until brown, then add carrot, celery and mushrooms. Add broth at this point.
  4. Use a high-speed blender or food processor to chop toasted nuts into small pieces.
  5. Add sautéed veggies to blender, along with rice flour, flax, maple syrup, nutritional yeast, soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, thyme, basil, sea salt, pepper and of course, the lentils! Pulse until coarsely combined. If the mixture needs to be thickened, add additional brown rice flour by the tbsp and combine by hand. Be careful not to over-process, you want some chunks of veggies and stuff to stay intact for texture.
  6. Coat casserole dish with olive oil to prevent sticking. Use large spoon to transfer mixture from food processor to casserole dish, then flatten out.
  7. Bake casserole dish in oven for a total of 40 minutes.
  8. During this time, make the glaze! Simply whisk organic ketchup, maple syrup and sea salt together in bowl.
  9. Remove casserole dish from oven after 15 minutes, add glaze in a thin layer on top, then place back in oven covered and let bake for remaining 30 minutes.
  10. Wait for dish to cool, then slice and serve with side dishes accordingly.

Dig in! Serve warm, makes 4-6 servings.

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Vanilla Chia Pudding Parfaits (gf/v/raw)

Post by Megan Stulberg, Photos by Jenn McNaughton

These parfaits were perfect! I’m good friends with Jenn McNaughton, fashion blogger extraordinaire. Seriously though, check out her work at ethcsofstyl.com. Jenn recently interviewed me for the Ryersonian, and we discussed how the Human Rights Commission of Ontario has legally recognized veganism as an ideology with protection against discrimination. I headed over to Jenn’s apartment last Saturday, equipped with groceries and a hearty appetite, to whip up these treats for Jenn to photograph to accompany the article.

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Ingredients…

  • 3 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 cup fresh strawberries,chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh whole blueberries
  • 1/4 cup 100% maple syrup
  • 9 tbsp (0.56 cups) white chia seeds
  • 2 tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened coconut flakesIMG_6221IMG_6232Directions…
    1. Whisk together almond milk, maple syrup and vanilla in large bowl or plastic storage container.
    2. Add chia seeds by the tbsp, stirring vigorously with spoon to prevent unwanted clumping.
    3. Cover bowl with cling wrap and leave in fridge overnight.
    4. Next morning, stir chia pudding then place back in fridge for 1-2 additional hours to help it further thicken.
    5. When ready to serve, scoop chia pudding into mason jars by the tbsp. Layer with fresh fruit and coconut flakes, or simply add after as toppings.

    Serve chilled. Makes 2 meal servings or 4 snack servings. Enjoy!

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Lentil “Meat”balls and Heavenly Homemade Tomato Sauce 

Post by Alexandra Courts 

There’s something special about fresh tomato sauce that doesn’t come out of a jar or a can. It’s aromatic, rich in flavour and incredibly versatile. This time around I’ve paired this homemade sauce with some nutrient-dense lentil “meat”balls. Whether it be served overtop a bed of pasta or sandwiched in bread, these two are a match made in heaven!

Keep reading to find out how you can recreate this lovely and comforting meal at home.


TOMATO SAUCE:

Ingredients…

  • 2 cans of diced tomatoes (14oz each)
  • 1 sweet onion (diced)
  • 4 cloves of garlic (minced)
  • 1/2 cup tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp dried basil
  • 1 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper

Directions…

  1. Sauté the onion and garlic in coconut oil on medium heat in a saucepan until tender.
  2. Stir in the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, soy sauce, pepper, coconut sugar and basil.
  3. Simmer sauce on low heat slightly covered for about 20-25 minutes.
  4. Allow the sauce to sit while you prepare the lentil “meat”balls.

LENTIL “MEAT”BALLS:

Ingredients…

  • 2 cups chopped kale
  • 2 cups chopped mushrooms
  • 1 1/2 cups brown rice (cooked)
  • 1 1/2 cups lentils (cooked until very tender)
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup raw walnuts
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 sweet onion (diced)
  • 5 cloves of garlic (minced)
  • 2 tbsp basil (fresh/dried)
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper

Directions…

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees farenheit. Coat an aluminium foil-lined baking pan with coconut oil.
  2. Sautée the onion and garlic in coconut oil on medium heat in a deep skillet pan until tender.
  3. Pulse mushrooms and kale in a food processor/blender. Ensure that the pieces aren’t too fine.
  4. Add the kale and mushroom blend to the pan. Sautée the combination for a couple of minutes before adding the soy sauce, brown rice and lentils. Mix the combination together throughly and then add in the tomato paste, nutritional yeast, basil and pepper.
  5. Continue to cook the mixture on low-medium heat. Pulse the raw walnuts and rolled oats in a food processor/blender. Ensure that the pieces are only coarsely combined. Mix into the “meat”ball mix. Allow this to cool before rolling.
  6. Roll the “meat”balls in your hands so that they are about 1.5 inches in diameter. Place them onto baking sheet.
  7. Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until they are golden brown.
  8. Enjoy!

Makes 2 servings.