Posts in sauces
G-Ma's Chilli Meatballs Re-Invented
 

From a young age (7 or so) I was a black sheep in my family and I stopped wanting to eat meat. To my parents I was a challenging child, head strong and a picky eater. On my 11th birthday, my mom sat me down and gave me a book on vegetarian nutrition and told me if I could stick to the principles in that book, I would not have to eat meat anymore. Well, when I found out I'd have to eat beans... I turned my nose up and said no! (I have since changed my tune on that one.)  We struck a compromise however, and I no longer had to eat red meat or pork. 

At the same time my grandparents were very involved in our lives and I was particularly close to my paternal grandmother (whom I affectionately called G-Ma). She was an amazing cook, and the only way she could convince me to eat beef was in her legendary CHILI MEATBALLS. She would make the meatballs from scratch, and slow simmer them in a simple sauce made from tomato soup and some spices. Then she would serve them with rice or mashed potatoes and my favourite, steamed broccoli. (Told you a was strange kid!) 

Today I have crafted a whole food, vegan, gluten free chili meatball recipe reminiscent of her delightfully tasty classic. Protein packed and high in fibre, Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium, Phosphorus, Iron and Folate. I'm sure she would approve if she were around today. This one is for you G-Ma, I know you are smiling wherever you are! 

Just look at these tasty little guys... no one can resist their magnetic pull...   Photo courtesy of Miaou Photography

Just look at these tasty little guys... no one can resist their magnetic pull... 

Photo courtesy of Miaou Photography

G-Ma's Chili Meatballs

Sauce Ingredients

  • 2 large red bell peppers
  • 1 cup canned crushed tomatoes 
  • 3 large garlic cloves, peeled
  • olive oil for drizzling
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt or more to taste
  • pinch of cayenne (optional)

Meatball Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked black beans or one can
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/2 cup grated zucchini
  • 1/3 cup gluten free breadcrumbs
  • 2/3 cup cooked quinoa
  • 2 tbls Taco seasoning mix (You can use store bought or make your own. I use the taco seasoning recipe from "Yum Universe" By: Heather Crosby- page 202)
  • 1 tbls Tamari or coconut aminos
  • 1 Tbls fresh chopped parsley or Cilantro
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 Flax egg (1 Tbls ground flax seeds + 3 tbls warm water)
  • 1-2 tbls olive oil

For the sauce

  1. I recommend making the sauce first, while it simmers, through the meatballs together. 
  2. Crank the oven up to 400 and line a cookie sheet with parchment. Cut the peppers in half and place cut side down along with the peeled Garlic cloves, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt ans pepper.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes.
  4. Remove Peppers from oven and allow to cool. once cooled. peel all the loose skin off the pepper. 
  5. Transfer peppers and garlic to a food processor or a Vitamix. Add the tomatoes and blend until smooth. 
  6. Transfer the mixture to a small sauce pan, add remaining seasonings and bring to a boil. Reduce heat ans simmer for at least 20 minutes. 

*This sauce freezes well, make in advance and warm when needed. 

For the Meatballs

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Drain and rinse black beans, and place in a large mixing bowl. Smash the beans with a potato masher or a wooden spoon. 
  3. Add all other ingredients and mix well.
  4. Line a baking sheet with parchment or reusable non-stick silicone pad. 
  5. With damp hands, for the mixture into 1-1 1/2 inch balls and place on prepared cookie sheet. 
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes, flipping gently partway through. 

*Serve with quinoa, mashed potatoes, salad, coleslaw or your favorite steamed veggies. 

*Meatballs store well in the Freezer #mealprep

 

 

 

 
Magic Christmas Jam

When I was young I always admired my Grandmother, Jean. She was a rock-star cook. Her cookies and squares were beyond compare.

At Christmas time she would spend hours making her delicious treats. I always admired her patience and attention to detail.

She would package all those delightful sweets with home made pickles, jams, jellies and salsas in lovely baskets to give away to extended family and neighbours for Christmas.

These perfectly packed baskets of love were more valuable than anything money could buy... especially the “Christmas Jam”. This jam became infamous in our family, and you could only get it once a year. Gramma only made it in small batches, and only gave it out at Christmas.

So what made this jam so special? It was the right combination of sweet and tart, cranberries and strawberries, plus sugar and love!

I knew I had to create a whole foods, refined sugar free version of this jam to share with my friend and loved one's too!

This one's for you G-ma! <3

Magic Christmas Jam

Ingredients

  • 2 cup strawberries
  • 1 cup cranberries
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tbls chia seeds
  • Juice from half a lemon
  • pinch of salt

Method

  1. Place the strawberries, cranberries and maple syrup in a small saucepan over high heat. Bring them to a boil.
  2. Once they boil, reduce heat to low, add chia seeds, stir well and simmer for 15-20 minutes until thickened.
  3. Once thickened, add a pinch of salt, and the lemon juice. Stir well and remove from heat.

*Enjoy this one all year round!

*Try it on your oatmeal, chia pudding, or ice cream.

*Batch fills two small mason jars, one for you and one to share!

*Keeps well in a tightly sealed mason jar in the fridge up to 10 days.  

*Freezes well. 

Creamy Cashew Ranch
 

I don't think anyone of you would be surprised if I told you that I was kind of an odd kid. As a child I actually LOVED vegetables! My parents never had trouble getting me to eat broccoli, cauliflower, salad and the like. When it came to veggies, I was a BIG fan! Top those veggies off with ranch dressing, and you got yourself a real winner! 

I'm very excited to introduce you to my my very creamy, oh so dreamy whole food ranch dressing. Packed with fibre, healthy fats, protein, and essential minerals (manganese, potassium, iron, zinc and selenium).  Enjoy this dip with your favourite veggies! 

Photo courtesy of  Miaou Photography &nbsp;

Photo courtesy of Miaou Photography 

ingredients

  • 1 cup raw cashews (soaked and drained)
  • 1/3 cup coconut milk
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbs finely chopped onion 
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt (or more to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp fresh cracked pepper (or more to taste)
  • 2 tbs finely chopped chives
  • 1 tbs finely chopped parsley
  • 1 tbs finely chopped fresh dill

Method

  1. Soak cashews in boiling water for at least 1 hour. Drain and rinse.
  2. Add cashews, coconut milk, garlic, chopped onion, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, salt and pepper to a high speed blender and blend on high until creamy and smooth. 
  3. Pour into a small mixing bowl and fold in the chives, parsley and dill.

*This recipe is best for dipping, or as part of "Supreme Veggie bars". For a runnier, more pourable ranch, simply add a bit more coconut milk while blending. 

** For best results refrigerate for at least one hour before serving to allow the flavours to develop. 

*** Store in a well sealed mason jar in the fridge for up to 10 days. 

 

 

 

 

 
Chai Spiced Cranberry Sauce

Not Just A Tofurkey Topper...

If you've only been using cranberry sauce to top your turkey or your meat substitute, I hate to break it to you...

But...

You're doing it WRONG! I kidd, I kidd. But seriously, what if I told you cranberry sauce could be more than just a turkey topper... Put that nasty canned cranberry sauce down and listen up! This chai spiced cranberry sauce Will. Change. Your. Life! Trust. Use it for your holiday meal of course, but I dare you to try it atop your favourite non-dairy vanilla ice cream, or let it grace your morning oatmeal... or just eat it with a spoon right out of the jar, I won't judge, and anyone who does is just jealous! 

Chai Spiced Cranberry Sauce

Photos courtesy of  Miaou Photography

Photos courtesy of Miaou Photography

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cranberries (fresh or frozen)
  • The juice from one orange
  • I tbls orange zest
  • 1 bag of your favourite chai tea
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 tbls pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract 

Method

  1. Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat, except the tea bag. Tie your tea bag to a wooden spoon and place the spoon across the pot, so that the tea bag dangles in. (This way you can pull up the tea bag to stir the sauce without the risk of puncturing the bag and spilling its contents into the sauce. This will also make it easier to remove later)
  2. Bring the sauce to a slow boil, reduce heat to low and simmer until thickened, 20 minutes. 
  3. Remove tea bag and cinnamon stick. Stirr well and smash some of the cranberries with your spoon. Voila, a new favourite is born!

*Serve at Thanksgiving or Christmas or whenever your little heart desires!

*Pairs perfectly with Butternut lentil Meatballs and non-dairy vanilla ice cream!

Creamy Lemon Garlic Dressing

When I embarked on my whole foods journey, a whole world of dips and sauces opened up to me. I love experimenting with different oils, seeds, and seasonings to give our salads, buddha bowls and roasted vegetables a little extra "Je ne sais quois".

This recipe is just that, a beautiful addition to already perfect delicious whole foods. It is now one of our weekly staples, and I can't get enough! I use it on salads, on roasted veggies... I've even drizzled it on spectacular gluten free toast topped with fresh greens, mashed Butternut squash, chickpeas and pumpkin seeds. Try it on your sandwich, dip your sweet potato fries in it, and you will fall in love too!

Photos courtesy of  Miaou Photography

Photos courtesy of Miaou Photography

Creamy Lemon Garlic Dressing

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup cold pressed olive oil
  • 1/4 cup hemp hearts
  • 2 tbls water
  • juice of one lemon
  • 2 tsp maple syrup
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt (or more to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp ground pepper (or more to taste)

Method

  1. Add all ingredients into a high speed blender, blend on high until creamy and smooth. It's that simple folks!

*keep in a sealed mason jar in the fridge for 10-14 days.