Breakfast Fajitas

Recipe by Aine Davis

Honestly, I’m pretty boring when it comes to breakfast. Every morning I have granola and almond milk or granola and vegan yogurt, or if I’m feeling a little adventurous, hummus on sourdough. Exciting. Every day. Wow. But I recently had a friend stay with me for a few nights and I wanted to impress her with my ~cooking skills~, so I whipped up this quick and healthy breakfast in less than 30 minutes so we still had time to go see the beautiful blossoming Sakura Trees in High Park. Here’s my recipe for my quick and easy breakfast fajitas:

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 2 yellow bell peppers
  • 2 red onions
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 tbsp tamari
  • 1 tsp Adobo seasoning*
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup chopped scallions

METHOD:

  1. Slice bell peppers and onions into long, thick strips.
  2. In a large pan, heat avocado oil on high heat. Once the pan is very hot, stir in the bell peppers and onions. It’s going to be very hot so make sure to stir often so it doesn’t burn!
  3. Stir in soy sauce, adobo seasoning, garlic powder and juice of half a lemon.
  4. Once cooked to your desired texture (I like the peppers to have a little bite and to be a little blackened), remove from heat and top with cilantro and scallions.
  5. Serve on your favourite corn tortillas with favourite sauces! I like mine with Mad Mexican Chunky Guacamole and Valentina Hot Sauce. Enjoy!
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Spicy Italian Arrabiata

Post by Aine Davis

Full disclosure: I’m not Italian. Not even close. But I am #1 Big Time Italian Food Fan Extreme. That being said, this is one of my favourite Italian dishes, I learned it when I was in Italy and over the years its grown into my own delicious concoction. If you’re looking for a carb-filled splendor well then look no further, and feast your eyes on my spicy Italian Arrabiata.

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INGREDIENTS

  • 660ml strained, crushed, organic tomato puree
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh basil, divided in half
  • 1/2 cup chopped Kalamata olives
  • 1 tbsp dry red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp dry oregano
  • 1 tsp dry thyme
  • 1 tsp dry parsley
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pasta of your choice, to serve 2

METHOD

  1. In a large, heavy bottom pot with a lid, over medium-high heat, heat olive oil. While the olive oil is heating, thinly slice the garlic cloves and rough chop the fresh basil.
  2. Once the olive oil is hot, add garlic, dry red pepper flakes, and freshly ground black pepper. Once the oil is fragrant and a little red from the dry red pepper flakes, add half of the fresh basil. Saute for about a minute.
  3. Add the tomato puree, olives, oregano, thyme, parsley and salt. Stir together until combined. Put the lid on the pot and simmer over medium-low heat, making sure to stir it every so often so that the bottom doesn’t burn.
  4. If you want extra yummy sauce, simmer for a few hours. If you’re in a time crunch, no problem! Prepare your pasta and by the time it’s ready, your sauce will be ready too.
  5. Once ready to serve, stir in the other half of the chopped basil. Serve immediately over pasta.

Enjoy! Serves 2.

Vegan Mozzarella Sticks

Guest post by Amanda Spinosa

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One of the first questions I am always asked when someone finds out I’m vegan is “Don’t you miss ____?” And the short answer is no. This is often a surprising answer because A. “How can you live without cheese?!” and B. I am a born and raised New Yorker living in a multi-cultural foodist’s mecca.

However, there are some foods that I don’t miss in a traditional sense, but rather the personal associations I have with them or the feelings I get from eating them, and one of those is mozzarella sticks. It’s one of the ultimate junk foods for people of all ages, and can make the worst marinara sauce taste great. I went to Champ’s Diner in Brooklyn, and to my obnoxious delight, they had mozzarella sticks on the menu! For me, vegan cheese is a hit or miss, so I was skeptical to say the least. To make a long story short, they were out of this world and I knew I had to try to replicate them. Here’s my recipe for delicious vegan mozzarella sticks
INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 block vegan mozzarella*
  • 1/2 C flour + 1/4 C
  • 1/2 C water
  • 1 tbsp corn starch
  • 1 C vegan seasoned Italian bread crumbs**
  • 1 C panko
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • Neutral frying oil
* Although we all love Miyoko’s mozzarella, it’s too soft so I opted for Follow Your Heart
**Most seasoned Italian breadcrumbs contain milk, so be careful! If you can’t find vegan, just use panko in its place and give it some extra seasoning
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METHOD:

  1. Mix 1/2 C flour, water and corn starch in a large bowl to create a batter, then on a separate plate combine the breadcrumbs, herbs and spices. Place the remaining 1/4 C flour into a ziplock bag and set aside.
  2. Cut the mozzarella block into 1/2 inch sticks – I very annoyingly ended up with nine, so after it was fried I immediately ate it to make it an even number.
  3. Place all mozzarella pieces into the ziplock bag with the flour and give it a good shake to ensure they’re all evenly coated.
  4. Shaking off the excess flour, one at a time, dip each piece into the batter and allow the excess to drip off. Toss it in the breadcrumbs, leaving no breadless spots.
  5. Repeat step four until each mozzarella stick is breaded, lay them out on a small cookie sheet and place it in the freezer for at least one hour. I would imagine these can be prepped the night before.
  6. When it comes time to cook them, if you’re like me and don’t have a deep fryer, heat an inch of neutral oil (I used canola) in a deep pot. To see if it’s hot enough I like to throw in a few bread crumbs to see if they sizzle right away.
  7. Once hot, fry mozzarella sticks in batches for 2 minutes on each side until golden brown and a tiny bit of melted cheese peeks out, then place on a paper towel to drain off the excess oil. Keeping the oil hot is what keeps them from falling apart.
Serve immediately with hot marinara sauce. The cheese stretches like the real thing, so you’ll want to show it off to everyone. If you’re like me, it serves one, but I guess it could serve two people if you really want it to.

Raw Chocolate Avocado Mousse Tarts 

Post by Megan Stulberg, Alexandra Courts and Aine Davis

We’re back! With another video, you lucky dogs you.

Remember when we made that pad Thai? And those mimosas? Well we made raw chocolate avocado mousse tarts afterwards, and filmed that too. These are the perfect “something sweet” to enjoy after an afternoon of food and fun with your best gal (or guy, or non-binary) pals.

These tarts are raw, gluten-free, vegan, soy-free and artificial sugar-free. They’re SO easy to make too! All you need is some handy ingredients, a blender, a muffin tray and a freezer. Being fuelled by mimosas is also beneficial, but not a requirement.

Watch the video, then follow our recipe! Enjoy.

 
 INGREDIENTS:

For the Tart Bases…

  • 2 cups pitted dates
  • 1/4 cup raw almonds
  • 1/4 shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1/4 cup raw cacao powder
  • Pinch of pink Himalayan salt

For the Mousse…

  • Flesh (lol gross) of 2 ripe avocados
  • 1/2 cup raw cacao powder
  • 1/4 cup 100% maple syrup or blue agave
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch of pink Himalayan salt

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Line a muffin/cupcake tray with plastic wrap or strips of wax paper, as shown in the video.
  2. Blend the dates, raw almonds, shredded coconut, raw cacao powder, and pink Himalayan salt until mixture is fine in texture and thoroughly combined.
  3. Press the tart mixture into the base of each muffin base. 1/4 inch of the way full is ideal. Set aside tray with tart bases in freezer for time being.
  4. Blend all ingredients for the mousse together until smooth and creamy in consistency.
  5. Spoon the filling overtop of each tart base until each muffin cup is full. Pat down mousse with back of spoon for a flat look.
  6. Allow the tarts to freeze for 1-2 hours before serving.
  7. Garnish with your toppings of your choice. We chose frozen raspberries and raw pecans.

Serve chilled. Makes approximately 8-10 servings.

Cashew Cream Alfredo with cremini mushrooms and kale     

Post by Megan Stulberg

On my way home from the gym one day last week, I decided to quickly do some grocery shopping. Before I knew it I found myself in front of a boxed macaroni and cheese display, lost in a daydream-like stupor for at least five minutes. Finally I managed to fight the craving and tear myself away, then opted to make this similar (but healthier) comfort food instead.


Ingredients:

  • 1 cup gluten-free penne pasta of your choice (I prefer corn)
  • 2 cups chopped kale leaves
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1/2 cup cremini mushrooms, sliced thinly
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tbsp vegan butter (I used Earth Balance)
  • 2 tbsp paprika
  • 2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp cold-pressed EVOO
  • Dash of sea salt and black pepper

Directions…

  1. On stovetop, bring medium pot of water to a boil. Reduce to simmer.
  2. Add pasta, cover, then let cook for 15 minutes or until all water has evaporated and pasta is soft.
  3. Drain pasta, then put back in pot and set aside.
  4. In high-speed blender or food processor combine cashews, nutritional yeast, paprika, salt, pepper, butter and milk. Blend until a thick sauce has been created. If desired, add more milk for a creamier texture.
  5. In large saucepan, heat oil until it sizzles. Reduce heat and add mushrooms. Cook for 5 minutes until browned. Add kale and continue sautéing until leaves have wilted and shrank down in size.
  6. Stir sauce into pasta in pot. Add mushrooms and kale, then mix thoroughly until incorporated. Top with additional paprika and salt before serving.

Serve hot and enjoy immediately! Makes 2 large portions.

Raw Frosted Chocolate Brownies 

By contributor Alexandra Courts

If you crave chocolate as much as I do (probably impossible, but let’s go with it) then it’s always a good idea to have something sweet on hand. Make a batch of these and tuck a few into the freezer in case of emergency!

  

INGREDIENTS:

For the brownie…

  • 2.5-3 cups pitted dates
  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 1/4 cup raw cacao powder
  • 1/4 cup hemp seeds
  • 2 tbsp flax meal

For the frosting…

  • 1 cup pitted dates
  • 1/4 raw cacao powder
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • Water, as needed

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a high-speed blender or food processor chop dates, almonds, cacao, flax meal, and hemp seeds until thoroughly combined.
  2. Press mixture into an 8-inch square cake pan lined with plastic wrap.
  3. Set in freezer for about 30 minutes.
  4. Separately process dates, cacao, syrup and water until smooth and spreadable.
  5. Remove cake pan from freezer. Slice, then slather icing on top of each brownie.
  6. Finish up these beauties with any toppings you like! I paired mine with shredded coconut and fresh raspberries.

Chocolate drizzle pancakes 

Post by Alexandra Courts  

Thinking about going out for brunch this weekend? Fuhgeddaboudit! Stay in and make these in your pyjamas instead.


INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 gluten-free all purpose flour (Bob’s Red Mill brand)
  • 2 flax eggs*
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk (I used almond milk)
  • 1/4 cup raw cacao powder
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 4 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Whisk together all dry ingredients (flour, coconut sugar and baking powder) in large bowl.
  2. *Make flax eggs by combining 2 tbsp ground flaxseed with 6 tbsp hot water in small bowl. Set mixture aside for 5 minutes to set.
  3. Add non-dairy milk to dry mix and whisk together until smooth. Add flax and whisk until combined to thicken batter.
  4. Heat 2 tbsp coconut oil in a large frying pan on medium heat. Scoop or pour batter onto pan, using approximately 1/4 cup batter for each pancake. When brown on one side, flip and continue cooking. Repeat step and cook each pancake individually with remaining batter.
  5. To make chocolate sauce: Melt coconut oil in microwave or stovetop. Add maple syrup and raw cacao powder, then whisk together until smooth. Allow sauce to cool entirely.
  6. Serve pancakes hot with chocolate drizzle poured on top, as well as additional garnishes if desired (shredded coconut and fresh raspberries shown in photo).

Serve immediately. Makes approximately 6 pancakes (2 servings)