Easy Nutritious Lunches- Salads

I’ve been on quite a salad roll for lunches lately! I used to think that salads alone were unsatisfying and would leave me hungry in a hour or so.  That is until I learned the right stuff to put in a salad! I love eating a big plate of veggies topped with other nutritious add ons! Very filling, satisfying, healthy and delicious!

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Here is the salad I had today for lunch: Romaine lettuce, cucumber, radishes, spinach, carrots, seaweed tofu, and quinoa. I dressed it with my favourite homemade salad dressing, which I will post later with recipe!  I love salads! So simple, quick to throw together and so versatile….and scrumptious!

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Salad in a jar… genius! A great way to take your salad on the go.

This salad consisted of: Black beans, sunflower seeds, broccoli, homemade lime coleslaw (cabbage, rasins, carrots, lime juice, olive oil, salt, pepper), spinach, sweet onion sprouts, and hummus. I find that hummus provides a pretty good dressing! I also added a splash of apple cider vinegar. It is best to put dressing at the bottom along with beans and nuts. Keep the greens near the top to avoid becoming soggy.

Eat up!

Cinnamon Huckleberry Muffins

These vegan muffins were a hit! Hope you enjoy. I was unable to take very many pictures of these because they were eaten too quickly! Yum yum… fresh out of the oven!

Makes 1/2 dozen muffins

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Ingredients

  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 2 Tbsp. Agave nectar or honey
  • 1/2 C. soy milk or other milk of choice
  • 1/4 C. soy yogurt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 C. whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 C. sunflower seeds. (Could be replaced with other nut or seed of choice)
  • 1/2 C. huckleberries. (Again, could be replaced by other fruit of choice…  I think blueberries or apples would also be great!)

Directions

  • Pre heat oven to 400 degrees F
  • In large mixing bowl mix together banana, agave nectar, milk, yogurt and vanilla.
  • In separate bowl , mix together baking powder, nutmeg, cinnamon and flour.
  • Add dry ingredients into wet and mix until just combined.
  • Fold in sunflower seeds and huckleberries to batter. Do not over mix – or batter could turn blue!
  • Pour batter into greased muffin tins.
  • Bake for 16-20 mins.
  • Enjoy! 🙂

I topped mine with shredded coconut and slivered almonds before baking. Great for breakfast on the go, dessert, or an anytime snack!

 

Addicting Avocado Tofu Sushi

Does everyone love sushi as much as I do? I love the creaminess of the avocado and the crunchiness of the raw veggies in this recipe..and of course the tofu for a satisfying protein! All my taste testers love this one! Even my sushi disliking boyfriend said “I’ll eat this sushi any day!” Success!

Makes 3 sushi rolls

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Ingredients

  • 1 C. uncooked sushi rice
  • 1 1/3 C. water
  • 3 nori rollers (seaweed papers)
  • small block extra firm tofu.
  • 1 med. grated carrot
  • 1/4 red pepper, cut into strips
  • 1/4 small cucumber, cut into strips
  • 1/2 ripe avocado, cut into strips
  • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. fresh grated ginger
  • 1 Tbsp sesame seeds – optional
  • Wasabi, soy sauce and pickled ginger for serving – optional

Directions

  • Cut tofu into long strips and place in bowl with fresh ginger and soy sauce. Let sit for an hour or as time allows.
  • Place rice in a strainer and rinse until water becomes clear to remove starches.
  • Place rice in pot with water and set over high heat.
  • Continue to stir every minute until the water boils.
  • Turn down to med low heat and cover.
  • Check after 6-8 minutes. The water should be absorbed if not, leave it a little longer but make sure not to burn!
  • Place nori on bambu mat or cutting board ( I don’t find the mat to be necessary).
  • Cover entire surface of seaweed with warm rice.
  • At one end of seaweed place all veggies and tofu along edge – see picture below.
  • Begin at the end with veggies and begin to tightly roll your sushi…as you would roll up a yoga mat!
  • Slice sushi roll into bit size sushi and enjoy!
  • Serve with pickled ginger, soy sauce, and wasabi if you desire.

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Have a great Sushi Sunday!

Chocolate Almond Zucchini Loaf

This mouth-watering vegan loaf can curb a sweet tooth any day! I really enjoy the soft moist texture combined with the crunchy almonds. Mmmm Mmmm good!

Modified from this recipe.

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Ingredients 

  • 2 C. shredded zucchini
  • 1 C. whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 C. cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. all spice
  • 1 large or 2 small bananas
  • 1/4 C. agave nectar or honey
  • 1/2 C. vegan yogurt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/4 slivered almonds
  • handful or rasins or dried cranberries…or chocolate chips!

Directions

  • Pre heat over to 350 degrees F
  • Mash banana and combine in bowl with agave nectar (or honey), yogurt and vanilla.
  • In separate bowl mix together flour, cocoa powder, b. soda, b. powder, cinnamon and all spice.
  • Add zucchini to banana mixture and combine.
  • Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until combined.
  • Stir in almonds and rasins.
  • Pour into greased bread load pan and bake for 45-50 mins.

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Best part about vegan baking?   You can eat all the batter and dough you want!!

Hope you enjoy this sweet loaf as much as I did!

Fresh Vegetable and Oregano Tofu “Omelette”

Rise and shine!! Here is a great recipe to start your day right. This vegan omelette is packed with protein and a great way to get in your vegetables.

Serves 1

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Ingredients

  • 1/4 block soft or firm tofu
  • 1 Tbsp. soy milk
  • 1 Tbsp. chia gel – see note below
  • 1 tsp. nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tomato
  • 1/2 small zucchini
  • 1/4 red bell pepper
  • 1/2 C. kale, spinach, or other green of choice
  • 2 tsp. oregano
  • 2 tsp. caraway seeds

Note: To make chia gel use 1 tbsp. chia seeds and 3/4 water. Let stand for 1 hour minimum. If you do not have chia seeds , you can probably  make do without the chia gel or try putting in 1 Tbsp of ground flax in instead.

Directions

  • In food processor, place tofu, yeast, soy milk, and chia gel.
  • Blend until smooth.
  • Chop vegetables into small chunks
  • Over medium heat, place vegetables in a frying pan and cook until soft. Approx 5 mins.
  • Remove vegetables and set aside.
  • Oil your frying pan and pour tofu mixture on to it. (May have to spread out over pan with spatula if it is thick)
  • Cook until it is browned and holds together. Approx 6 minutes. Season raw side with 1 tsp. oregano and 1 tsp. caraway.
  • Flip over, as you would a pancake. Repeat cooking process and season with oregano and caraway.
  • Once cooked, top with your veggies.
  • Serve with toast, salsa, or your favourite sauce.
  • Eat up!

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Spiced Sesame Kale Yam Salad

I made this salad for dinner tonight and it was a hit! The sweetness of the yams and the tartness of the kale danced beautifully together. The colours make this not only a delightful dish to eat but also to look at…so bright and wonderful!

Serves 8

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Ingredients

  • 5 small-medium yams
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 small yellow onions
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 large bunch kale
  • 4 Tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1 tsp. dried or fresh thyme
  • 1/2 tsp-1 tsp. chili powder
  • 5 Tbsp. sesame seeds
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  • Pre heat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Cut yams into small 1 inch cubes.
  • Place yams on to baking sheet and drizzle with 2 Tbsp. olive oil, toss to cover all yam cubes.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Place in oven for 20 mins.  Flipping half way though. Make sure not to over cook to prevent yams from becoming mushy.
  • While yams are cooking, cut onions into thin strips and and mince garlic.
  • Place onions and garlic in sauce pan with olive oil over medium heat.
  • Continue to stir till onions become transparent.
  • Turn to low and cover. Allow onions to caramelize while the yams are roasting.
  • Add kale to onions with a splash of water. Cover and cook until kale is tender and wilted. About 4-5 minutes.
  • Remove yams and onions from heat and allow to cool.
  • Once cooled, combine yams, kale mixture, vinegar, sesame oil, chill powder, thyme and sesame seeds.
  • Toss salad until mixed.
  • Enjoy your tasty creation!

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I paired my salad with a homemade chickpea curry.

I think it would pair wonderfully with your favourite tofu recipe and a fresh green salad or spring rolls!

Happy cooking!

Rosemary Balsamic Roasted Vegetables

Lately roasted veggies have been my go to for lunches and dinners. They’re are simple to make and packed with flavour. You can roast a wide array of vegetable types so feel free to switch it up!

Prep time: 10 mins         Cook time: 20-35 mins (depending on chosen vegetables)

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Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tsp rosemary, dried or fresh
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • zucchini
  • yellow onion
  • asparagus spears
  • brussel sprouts
  • carrots
  • beet

I have not listed amount of vegetables because it depends what you want! I usually do enough to cover a 11×17 inch baking sheet. I have just listed veggies I have used for this meal pictured above.

  • OTHER OPTIONAL VEGETABLES
  • yam, broccoli, cauliflower, sweet peppers, etc.

Directions 

  • Pre heat oven to 420 degrees F.
  • Cut vegetables into large chunks or sticks.
  • Combine balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and rosemary in large bowl.
  • Place vegetables in bowl with oil mixture and toss until all veggies are coated.
  • Place veggies on baking sheet and place in heated oven.
  • Bake for 25 minutes – flipping and tossing half way through.
  • Note: If roasting hard vegetables such as beets, carrots, and yams timing may be longer.

 

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I served with Curried Lentil Wild Rice Salad and a simple spinach and tomato salad.

I believe roasted vegetables could pair with almost anything!

Terrific Tofu Spring Rolls

I absolutely LOVE fresh spring rolls! They are quick to make and so so tasty…as well as healthy! Pair them with a delicious dipping sauce and you’ve got yourself a meal that will make your mouth water.

Makes 5 spring rolls

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Ingredients

  • 5 spring roll wrappers (rice wrappers)
  • 1/2 block tofu, cut into thin strips
  • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp. cider vinegar
  • 1 ripe avocado, sliced
  • 1/4 red onion, finely chopped
  • 3 medium carrots, grated
  • 1/2 beet, grated
  • 3 Tbsp. sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cilantro, chopped

Directions

  • Marinade tofu for 1 hour in soy sauce, sesame oil, and vinegar.
  • Heat up frying pan and place marinated tofu on it to warm, flipping every so often for even cooking.
  • Prepare rice wraps as directed on package (usually soak for 5 seconds in warm water).
  • Place 1/5 of each: tofu, carrot, beets, avocado, onion, sesame seeds, and cilantro onto the middle of the prepared wrap.
  • Wrap as directed – seen on wrap’s packaging.
  • Pair with your favourite dipping sauce. I served mine with a sweet chill sauce and a peanut sauce.

Now dig in and start dipping!

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Deconstructed Almond Date Tart, Topped with Fruit and Whipped Coconut Cream

Date and Almond base topped with fresh fruit and whipped coconut cream

This is a great dessert to make if you are crunched for time. It’s quick to make without sacrificing appearance or flavour! These tarts score a 10/10 in both categories!  These tarts have minimal sugar added- they are sweet enough with the dates and fruit.  I have made them with strawberries and banana but any fruit topping would work!

Serves 5

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Ingredients

  • 1 C. raw almonds
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 C. dates, pitted
  • 1 tsp. honey or maple syrup (more if desired)
  • 5 ripe strawberries
  • 1 large banana
  • 1 can full fat coconut milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Directions

  • Chill can of coconut milk in fridge. Preferably overnight but I find that sticking it in the freezer for an hour or so also works!
  • Add almonds and salt to food processor and process until finely chopped.
  • Add dates and honey and process until everything is finely chopped and combined, resembling a crumbly dough.
  • Use hand to arrange almond date mixture on chosen dishes, pressing together to compact the mixture into desired shape.
  • Slice fruit and place on top of date tarts.
  • Top with freshly whipped coconut cream! (for directions on coconut cream, see below)

Directions for whipped coconut cream

  • Once can is chilled, open it up!
  • The milk has separated into two parts. It is the thick creamy part on top that you will be whipping. Pour clear portion of can into separate cup to be used for something else…a smoothie perhaps!
  • Place white coconut cream into bowl with vanilla and whip until fluffy.
  • Easy as that!

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Now sit back and enjoy your decadent dessert! You’ve slaved all day in the kitchen making it…or so everyone who is eating it thinks!

Simple Brilliant Bruschetta

Looking for a great side for your meal? You’ve come to the right place! This simple recipe is summer-y and garden fresh!

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Ingredients

  • 4 ripe medium tomatoes, diced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 C. fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
  • Whole wheat baguette, sliced
  • 2-3 Tbsp. margarine or oil of choice

Directions

  • Combine tomatoes, garlic, basil, vinegar. Toss together until mixed.
  • Heat up frying pan over low-medium heat.
  • Spread margarine or brush oil on each side of sliced bread.
  • Place bread on heated frying pan until crispy and browned. Approx. 4 mins.
  • Repeat on opposite sides of sliced bread.
  • Top toasted bread with fresh tomato mixture.

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Untoasted                                                                 Toasted…Yum!

Hope everyone enjoys this simply delicious recipe!

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