Category Archives: recipes

a minimalist in the kitchen: easy vegan oatmeal cookies

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A minimalist in most areas of my life, except the food department.  I love food and eating, and am on an adventure this year to eat better and healthier than ever before.  As much as I love food, I am all for simplicity in the kitchen – I like simple recipes with simple, whole food ingredients.  I’ll be posting a few of my favourites in the coming months, so stay tuned!

These cookies are so delicious.  In a word: yum.  Even if you aren’t vegan, you will appreciate the chewy, crispiness that these cookies offer.  And they take about a minute to put together.  Awesome.

The recipe below is my own adaptation of this recipe from Paris Pastry, who adapted their own recipe from Alicia Silverstone’ Kind Diet cookbook.  Once you get started doing a fair amount of cooking and baking, you might want to start making your own adaptations to recipes you find in cookbooks or on the internet – it’s a great way to eliminate ingredients you don’t have on hand or want in your diet, and add in other healthy alternatives.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of oats
  • 1 cup of whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup of maple syrup (I made these cookies with 1/2 cup, and I found them pretty sweet, so I will use less syrup next time!)
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup of vegetable oil (I used 1/2 cup on the first go round, and will likely use less for my next batch)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line one baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Combine oats, flour, baking powder and baking soda in a medium sized bowl.
  3. Add maple syrup and vegetable oil, and stir to combine.
  4. Drop Tablespoon-sized amounts of cookie dough evenly spaced onto parchment lined baking sheet.  Be sure to keep the dough balls small, because these babies flatten out!  Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes.
  5. Remove cookies from oven when they are golden brown and allow them to cool completely – I know this is hard, but they are so much crispier when they are completely cooled!
  6. Enjoy!

This recipe makes 24 cookies.

a minimalist in the kitchen: najib’s special cauliflower

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A minimalist in most areas of my life, except the food department.  I love food and eating, and am on an adventure this year to eat better and healthier than ever before.  As much as I love food, I am all for simplicity in the kitchen – I like simple recipes with simple, whole food ingredients.  I’ll be posting a few of my favourites in the coming months, so stay tuned!

I will admit, I have never been a huge fan of cauliflower.  In fact, I have only eaten it a handful of times in my adult life.  That is until recently.  A couple of years ago, a Lebanese restaurant specializing in vegan cuisine opened its doors around the corner from me.  All of the food super tasty, but my favourite item on the menu is a cauliflower dish that goes by the name, “Najib’s Special.”  Najib’s Special is essentially deep-fried cauliflower, tossed with a splash of lemon juice and a pinch of salt.  Words cannot express how delish this cauliflower is, but the idea of eating deep-fried anything on a regular basis is a bit of a turn-off to me.  So I decided to try another method, and pan-fried up some cauliflower in a little oil.  And, although not quite as amazing as the original, my own take on Najib’s Special turned out pretty yummy.  I highly recommend giving this recipe a try – not only is it delicious, it is truly minimalist, requiring only two ingredients!

Najib’s Special Cauliflower (inspired by Nuba‘s deep-fried version)

Najib's Special Crispy Cauliflower - photo courtesy of Sherman's Food Adventures

Ingredients:

  • One small head of cauliflower or half of one large head of cauliflower
  • 2 Tablespoons of vegetable oil (I like canola or olive oil)
  • 2 teaspoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice – optional
  • 1 pinch of salt – optional
Directions:

  1. Add 1 Tablespoon of vegetable oil to frying pan, warming over medium heat.
  2. After about a minute, add freshly washed cauliflower to frying pan and toss to coat with oil.
  3. Allow cauliflower to cook for about 15 minutes, tossing every 1-2 minutes to ensure even distribution.  Add second Tablespoon of oil about halfway through cooking time if you feel the cauliflower needs it.
  4. After cauliflower is suitable cooked and golden brown on all edges, remove from heat and transfer from frying pan to a bowl.
  5. Add lemon juice and salt to cooked cauliflower and toss to ensure even distribution (this step is optional as the cauliflower still tastes great without the lemon juice or salt!)
  6. Plate and enjoy!  Delicious served with a side of tahini sauce (2 Tablespoons) – the tahini gives the cauliflower a lovely, smoky flavour.
Serves 3 as a side, or 2 as an appetizer (or 1 if you are a fried cauliflower addict like myself).  Can also be incorporated into a wrap or a sandwich for an extra little pizzazz.  Also yummy with a sprinkle of cumin if you are feeling a little daring.  If you are in doubt, give this a try – I promise you will starting giving cauliflower a second look in the produce section.

a minimalist in the kitchen: pumpkin apple muffins

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A minimalist in most areas of my life, except the food department.  I love food and eating, and am on an adventure this year to eat better and healthier than ever before.  As much as I love food, I am all for simplicity in the kitchen – I like simple recipes with simple, whole food ingredients.  I’ll be posting a few of my favourites in the coming months, so stay tuned!

Pumpkin Apple Muffins

These muffins are SO easy to make and are amazingly delicious!  These would probably taste great with some shredded carrot too, but I haven’t tried that variation yet.  Recipe adapted from allrecipes.com here.

Ingredients:

  • 2 and 1/2 cups flour – I like to mix it up, so I use half all-purpose flour and half whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup of sweetener of your choice – I like using maple syrup, but plain ol’ white sugar works too!
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 can of pumpkin puree, 398 mL size (I use organic)
  • 1/3 cup oil of your choice
  • 2 cups of apple, cored and chopped (I use my mini-processor to chop these into pretty small pieces)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).  Line two baking sheets with 24 paper muffin liners.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together flour, sugar, cinnamon and baking soda. In a separate bowl, mix together eggs, pumpkin, oil and chopped apples.  If you are using a liquid sweetener, add it to the bowl with the wet ingredients instead of the dry ingredients.
  3. Add pumpkin mixture to flour mixture; stirring just to moisten.
  4. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean.

One alteration I like to make to this recipe is to make muffin tops or scones instead of muffins – line a baking sheet with parchment paper and drop 1/4 cup size amounts of muffin batter onto the baking sheet, evenly spaced.  Baking time is about the same for this method, but be sure to check them around 30 minutes – you’ll know by checking the bottoms of the scones to ensure they aren’t getting too dark!

a minimalist in the kitchen: an ode to kale chips

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A minimalist in most areas of my life, except the food department.  I love food and eating, and am on an adventure this year to eat better and healthier than ever before.  As much as I love food, I am all for simplicity in the kitchen – I like simple recipes with simple, whole food ingredients.  I’ll be posting a few of my favourites in the coming months, so stay tuned!

Image courtesy of feastie.com

Kale chips.  So simple to make, so delicious and so healthy.  What better way to get your greens in?  I usually use an entire head of kale and end up eating it all in one day.  Oops.  I’m trying to get my three year old turned onto kale chips too, because he’s mostly repulsed by vegetables but will tolerate potatoes in chip form – so I figured why not give kale chips a try?

Delicious Kale Chips

  • 1 Tablespoon of tahini
  • 1 Tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon of water
  • 1 Tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 head of freshly washed and chopped kale (think bite-size pieces, and be sure to remove the stems!)

Not only is this recipe simple, but even the ingredients are simple!  Put all ingredients (except kale!) in a blender or food processor, and set to pulverize.  Once everything is fully blended into a salad dressing-like consistency, pour over your freshly washed and chopped kale.  Toss kale to ensure leaves have an even and thin coating of dressing on them.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, and place kale on baking sheets, being sure to spread it out so that each piece has its own place on the baking sheet (if you have multiple pieces of kale lying one on top of another, kale will not bake well and may turn out soggy instead of crispy!).  Place baking sheets in the oven and bake at 200 degrees for two hours – don’t be tempted to turn up the heat or your kale chips will end up brown in colour, rather than green.  After 60-90 minutes, toss kale on baking sheets and place back in oven for final 30 minutes.  When two hours is up, take baking sheets out and enjoy your kale chips!  If your kale is not sufficiently crispy (or is still soggy) after two hours, don’t be afraid to toss it again on the baking sheet and bake for another half hour or so.