Roasted Brussels & Squash

There is a certain restaurant in Palo Alto, California that I really like. They have an everything menu, a gluten-free menu & a vegan menu. It really makes life so much easier =) They have a ton of, what my husband calls, “Kimmy-friendly” eats and it’s not a far trek from where we live. I made fun drink by reproducing their chia water. And now I’ve been inspired to recreate this dish and make it into a Thanksgiving Stellar Side.

Roasted Brussels & Squash (serves 6-8 as a side)

1 small butternut squash, peeled, de-seeded & chopped into bite-size pieces (my squash probably weighed between 1-2 pounds)

4 cups of brussels sprouts, ends trimmed

2-4 tbsp of olive oil (coconut would work well too!)

salt & pepper to taste

1/4 cup of dried cranberries

Preheat your oven to 375 and toss your prepared squash in an oven-safe dish. Add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and some salt & pepper and place it in the oven. While your squash is roasting, trim your brussels and place them in another oven-safe dish, adding a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and some salt & pepper. Once the squash has cooked for 15 minutes, add your brussels sprouts and continue cooking (stirring once or twice) for another 40 minutes, until both squash & brussels come out tender. Allow them to cool. Once they cooled to room temperature, I added the brussels sprouts to the dish with the squash and added the cranberries and stirred it up. This is a pretty plain recipe – feel free to dress it up with a nice dressing or some more herbs. I drizzled some balsamic vinegar on mine for a little more oomph.

This is a fantastic side for a feast! It could also work as a main on it’s own, or adding some cooked chickpeas (yum!). Either way, it makes a great addition to the table.

I hope you have a super fantastic Thanksgiving =) I will spending the morning running a 10km Turkey Trot before I cook up a storm for a small, intimate gathering.

What are your plans?

Blog Dog – Anniversary

I can’t believe it was a year ago that I got my sweet dog Sunny. It was a little nerve wracking at first as it was our first dog together (I had grown up with dogs, Terry had never had one) and she was a rescue and seemed to have a bit of a rough start to life. It took her awhile to get comfortable with us and she has definitely tested my patience. A lot. But I honestly can’t imagine life without her. Yesterday we celebrated the day we became a family =)

I wanted to do all of her favourite things, so we started the morning off with a hike in a new spot (new spots are very exciting for her – so many new smells!).

In the afternoon, we checked out a new park and ran around like crazy!

Look at that happy puppy!!

She was pretty tired afterwards.

Then we took her to our favourite dog store, to pick up a special treat. She is never too tired for treat.

Omnomnomnom

She has brought us so much happiness, and we’d like to think we have done the same for her.

Healthy Vegan Friday #23

It’s Friday! And a very special Friday indeed. It is the last Friday before next week’s big event. I’m talking Thanksgiving people =) Robin and I are looking forward to your holiday-themed food. Especially since I haven’t quite finalised my menu and am looking for some inspiration.

New to HVF? Check out the info here.

But before we drool over your contributions this week, let’s take a recap of last week’s favs.

Broccoli Bolognese from Vegans Eat Yummy Food Too:

Not only is the recipe title an alliteration (LOVE!), but it’s one of my all time favourites loaded with green things. YUM =)

Matt’s Tofu Florentine from Health, Balance, Happiness:

I was never much of an egg person in my pre-vegan days, but I love me a fake, tofu-y breakfast from time to time. And since my hubby used to really enjoy the not-so-vegan version, I would love to show him how delicious the vegan one can be with this awesome recipe.

Veggie Fried Rice from Sandi’s Allergy Free Recipes:

Aren’t Sandi’s pictures always gorgeous? She could make anything look amazing – even a simple bowl of fried rice =) I am digging the sound of this lightened up version using cauliflower!

This week, I’m sharing my Cashew Butternut Mac n’ Cheeze. The pictures do not do it justice… it was really tasty! Too bad it’s getting so dark so early now. 

Link on up friends! Don’t forget to link back =) And have a stellar weekend!


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Cashew Butternut Mac n’ Cheeze

I have perfected my mac n’ cheeze recipe!!! Terry and I were licking our bowls after eating this – we had seconds… maybe even thirds. Maybe there was absolutely none left even though I made a pretty big casserole of it. It is that good. And if your squash is already cooked, it comes together pretty quickly.

It’s ooey and gooey and although untraditional – I would consider it an awesome thanksgiving main.  I think this will be on our table next week for the big day!


1 medium butternut squash, roasted (**see note below)

1/2 of a package of shell noodles (I used Tinkyada gluten-free rice noodles)

3/4 cup cashews, soaked 4-8 hours

2 tbsp plain coconut yogurt

the juice of half a lemon

1/4 cup of nutritional yeast

1/2 cup of frozen peas (unless you can score some fresh ones!)

1/2 bunch of spinach, roughly chopped

2 slices of gluten-free bread, processed into crumbs (or 3/4 cup of bread crumbs)

salt & pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 350. Start by cooking your pasta. While the pasta is cooking, make your cheeze. Drain the cashews and throw them in a high powered blender along with the yogurt, lemon juice, nutritional yeast and half of the cooked butternut squash. Be sure to reserve half of the squash. Blend your cheeze. I added some almond milk to help it blend and thin it out a bit. When there is 1 minute of cooking time left on your noodles, add the spinach and peas (only frozen, if you have fresh, just throw them in the casserole at the end). Drain the noodles, spinach & peas and put them in a glass lasagna dish along with the half of the squash you put aside. Add your cheeze sauce from the blender and mix it up. Sprinkle your bread crumbs on top and season with a bit of salt & pepper. Bake for 20 minutes and broil for 3-5 minutes.

**For the squash (prep ahead of time, it’ll make everything else quicker & easier)

Preheat the oven to 400. Slice the ends off of the squash and peel it. Cut it in half lengthwise, pull it apart, scoop out the seeds and discard them. Cut the squash into cubes and place in a glass lasagna dish. Pour on a bit of olive oil, sprinkle on some salt & pepper and bake for 45 minutes.

Hearst Castle & Carrie

Could you imagine living here??

My hubby and I recently made the trek out to Cambria, California to check out Hearst Castle. I’m glad we finally got a chance to do this, as it was on my to-check-out list for awhile now. Totally worth the trip!

They have different tour options to choose from and we chose the Grand Rooms Tour. We would like to go back at some point to see some of the other tours as well.

Can you imagine having this view from your house? Just gorgeous…

And check out this pool! There was an outdoor pool, but I really liked this indoor pool. I would love to have this =)

And what would a fun road trip be without good food???

We met my friend Carrie and her husband Alan for lunch at Robin’s restaurant in Cambria before the four of us checked out the castle. The restaurant is not vegan, but is very accommodating and has a few vegan options. I tried Robin’s Chow and it was so good! It was very heavy on the ginger, which I loved =)

Terry and I split the soy ice cream sundae for dessert.

And after visiting the castle and walking around, we had supper at a local falafel place in Pismo Beach.

Good sights and good food and even better company =)

Healthy Vegan Friday #22

Good morning!! Hope you are having a wonderful week =) Robin and I are so super excited to see what recipes you will share with us this week!

New to HVF? Check here for info.

Next week we would love to see your Thanksgiving recipes!
Last week you guys submitted some stellar recipes – let’s check out your favs.

Chocolate Berry Cheesecake from Vegans Eat Yummy Food Too:

Oh… you had me at berries and chocolate… yum!!! I especially love the recommendation to have this for breakfast – sounds like a good idea to me!

Butternut Squash, Carrot & Quinoa Nut Roast from Gluten Free SCD & Veggies:

I’m loving the sound of this nut roast! I’ve been staying away from these as my hubby is currently avoiding lentils and beans, but this one is filled with squash & quinoa. Great protein-rific meal!

Double Apple Cinnamon Pancakes from Sandi’s Allergy Free Recipes:

Hello breakfast! I’m loving this fall-icious food – and it’s gluten-free too =)

This week I’m sharing my celebratory blogiversary (2 years this week!) Raw Chocolate Mint Grasshopper Pie: 

Link on up with your recipes and don’t forget to link back!


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Raw Chocolate Mint Grasshopper Pie & Blogiversary

Image courtesy of Confessions of a Serial DIYer

Happy Blogiversary to me! Happy Blogiversary to me! Happy Blogiversary to meeeeeeeeeee…. Happy Blogiversary to me =D

Today marks the 2nd anniversary of my blog. Although I don’t have a ton of readers or regular followers, I do feel like I have grown a lot in the past couple of years. I feel much more comfortable in the blogging sphere and have met so many amazing people. I feel like I’ve made a little blogging family and look forward to many more years of writing. I had high hopes of doing a complete revamp of my blog and have some great ideas, but I’ve devoted more time to volunteering and feel a good where I’m at. The revamp is put on hold, but definitely in the works. Instead, you’ll have to settle for this AMAZING raw pie =D

Raw Chocolate Mint Grasshopper Pie (serves 4-6)

See raw pie crust instructions here (or make your own favourite raw crust)

Filling

2 cups of cashews, soaked 4-8 hours (the longer, the easier to work with)

1 small handful of fresh mint leaves (if you can get your hands on the fresh stuff, try a few drops of extract)

1/4 cup + 2 tbsp of agave

1/4 cup of water

2 tbsp of coconut oil

1/4 tsp of spirulina (makes that gorgeous green colour!)

Prepare your crust and press it into the bottom of a lightly coconut oiled 6-inch spring form pan (I’m sure a regular pie plate works too – or an 8-inch glass dish – whatever you have on hand). Place in the freezer to harden.

Drain your cashews and add them to a high powered blender along with all of the other ingredients. Remove your prepared crust from the freezer & pour the filling on top and smooth it out. Place in the freezer and allow to set for at least 4 hours. Ideally, you would make this the night before and have it set over night (or first thing in the morning and have it set during the day).

Once it’s set, you can remove and enjoy as is, or dress it up a bit. Try coconut flakes, chopped fresh mint, etc. I made a ganache out of equal parts coconut oil and cacao powder with a bit of agave. I placed a cookie cutter in the center and pressed it in gently and poured the ganache in ensuring it smoothed out into the entire cookie cutter. I placed this in the freezer for about 30 minutes. I took out the cake and garnished with cacao nibs.

I have shared this with my fav bloghops: Healthy Vegan Fridays & Plant Based Potluck Party & Virtual Vegan Linky Potluck

D.C. Trip

Last week I shared all of the delicious food I had in D.C. This week is all about the sites. It’s pretty cool there! Tons of museums, lots of parks and so much beautiful, historical sites.

Our first stop was the Air & Space Museum:

We also checked out the Newseum:

Part of the Berlin Wall

View from the top of the Newseum (I’m wondering if the building next door is the Canadian Consulate)

We saw the National Geographic Museum:

We saw some cool sites:

Beautiful fall weather

And last, but certainly not least, the White House. I may have been able to see a little more than the average person from my awesome connections =)

I really enjoyed my visit! And looking forward to my next great adventure =)

Healthy Vegan Friday #21

Good morning lovelies! I hope you are as excited for some healthy & awesome recipes as Ms. Robin & I are! We loved your recipes last week and are always looking forward to them each & every week! Thank you for your continued contributions =)

New to HVF? Check out the info here.

Before we get to sharing this week though, let’s take a peak of your top recipes from last week.

Quinoa Stuffed Eggplant from Vegans Eat Yummy Food Too:

I am not an eggplant lover. Or even liker. But this kind of reminds me of stuffed peppers. Maybe if I try stuffing delicious things in eggplant and bake it, it will taste good. I’m willing to give it a shot ;)

Nutty Coconut Raisin Quinoa Porridge from Urban Naturale:

Ok – fun fact for you. Deborah was a quinoa porridge virgin before she concocted this amazing sounding breakfast. Can you believe it? I still remember the first time I made quinoa porridge. It was boring and bland, but I loved. We have come along way and this sounds absolutely awesome!

Monster Cake & Monster Rice Krispies from Green Giraffe Gourmet:

First Prize for cutest. cake. ever. I totally want to chow down on these adorable vegan & gluten free rice krispies too!!! Props for the awesome themed food Johanna =D

This week, I’m sharing my Butternut Squash Soup. It’s squash season. Live it. Love it. Eat it.

Link on up – and don’t forget to link back!


Hope you have a fantarific weekend!

Don’t forget to check us out on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter & Instagram

Ginger Butternut Squash Soup

It’s Squash Season! I love squash. Spaghetti, acorn, butternut… yum! It’s so versatile, you can enjoy it so many different ways.

We have been eating spaghetti squash for awhile now, but just came across our first butternut recently. I had a hankering for some butternut mac n’ cheeze, but Terry recently came down with the flu so I thought I would make him some soup.

Ginger Butternut Squash Soup (serves 4-6)

Roasted Squash

1 medium butternut squash, peeled, de-seeded & chopped into bite-sized pieces

2 tbsp olive oil

salt & pepper to taste

Preheat your oven to 400. Combine ingredients in a glass lasagna pan and place in the oven. Allow the squash to cook for about 30 minutes. Pierce a piece of squash with a fork to make sure it’s cooked, it should go through easily, but not fall apart.

Soup

1 handful of cashews (soaked in warm water for 4 hours)

3 small stalks of celery (or 2 medium), roughly chopped

1 1-inch piece of ginger, minced

2 cups of water

1 vegetable bouillon cube

Add a bit of olive oil to a pot, put on medium heat and add the celery and ginger. Sautée for a few minutes.

Once your squash is done, remove from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes. Add most of the squash (leave 1/4 of it) to your blender along with the celery, ginger, drained cashews & water. Blend until smooth. Add the remaining squash and blend slightly to add a little texture to the soup. Put your mixture in the same pot you sautéed your celery in and add your bouillon cube. Bring to a boil (keep an eye on it as it’ll splatter since it’s a thick soup), reduce the heat and allow it to simmer for 10-15 minutes.

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