Going Vegetarian (almost Vegan!)

So we have come up with the idea to go vegetarian (almost vegan) for one month to find out two things:

1. How this will change our bodies and how we feel.

2. Challenge ourselves to come up with new recipes and stick to a meal plan.

Obviously this will take some planning and persistence. We have given ourselves one day a week where we can venture beyond the restrictions (if we feel the need). Otherwise here is our restriction list:

Eliminiate: Meats (beef, pork, chicken, game etc.); Seafood (fish and shellfish) and some Dairy (cheese, milk, cream)

Limit: some Dairy (yogurt) and Eggs

Focus: Fruits, Vegetables, Nuts, Seeds, Legumes and Grains

We are both excited to try this out and I’m looking forward to writing about this to all of you! We have a BBQ with friends on February 17th so we have agreed we will start this experiment on February 18th.

***Please share with us some of your favourite vegetarian/vegan dishes!!***

I will update at the end of every week with examples of recipes we used 🙂

So stay tuned!

Your,
Natural Groove Gal

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Roasted Parsnip and White Bean Soup

New Year starting off with a fantastic winter soup recipe to keep you warm during this extra cold and snowy January!

I decided I would make my own vegetable broth for this soup. A nice slow process to go with my “slow down and relax” theme of 2018…not everything should be rushed all the time. I am using cooking as a way to help myself do that.

Super simple process here. Chop up your standard veggies for broth (onion, carrots and celery aka ‘mirepoix’). And I mean chop coarsely no need to be fancy here. Leave those onion skins on too. More flavour and goodness. I threw in some peppercorns, fennel and fresh parsley but it’s not necessary.

Add water until veggies are well covered. Bring to a boil and then turn down super low and let simmer overnight, uncovered! Yes I said overnight, uncovered. You want the liquid to reduce leaving the flavours.

Et voila! This is after 12 hours. Time to strain.

After scooping out the large pieces I fine strained the spices out. This broth turned out darker than I thought but still a great veggie broth. I had enough for this recipe plus 3 more litres that went into the freezer for future use.

And now for the main attraction:

Roasted Garlic, Parsnip and White Bean Soup

Ingredients:

• 4-6 large cloves Garlic, skin intact, left whole

• 1lb Parsnips (about 4-5), cut into 1-inch pieces

• 1 Onion, cut into rough pieces

• 2 tbsp extra-virgin Olive Oil, plus more for drizzling

• 1 tbsp dried whole or fresh Rosemary

• Sea Salt and Ground pepper, to taste

• 1 can (approx 15oz or more) White Beans, drained and rinsed OR 2 cups cooked white beans

• 6 cups no salt added Vegetable Broth

• 1.5 tbsp lemon juice (about ½ – 1 lemon)

• Pumpkin seeds, to serve

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400ºF. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss garlic, parsnips, onion, oil, rosemary, salt (to taste), and pepper. Roast for 45 to 55 minutes, until garlic and parsnips are tender and turning golden.

2. Once cool enough to handle, squeeze garlic from skins into a large pot along with roasted vegetables, beans, broth, and lemon juice and purée with an immersion blender. Alternatively add all ingredients into a blender (this may need to be done in 2 batches) and purée until smooth, adding more water or broth if too thick (depends on dryness of parsnips).

3. If you used a blender, transfer blended soup to a large pot. Heat over medium, stirring frequently so bottom doesn’t scorch. Season with additional salt, if desired. Serve hot with a sprinkle of pumpkin seeds and drizzle of olive oil.

Thank you to Yummy Beat for this wonderful recipe! We served it with warm bread and cheese. Certainly warmed us up for movie night on the couch 🙂

Your,

Natural Groove Gal

Vegan Zucchini Bread – moist and delicious!

Head over to Show Me The Yummy for this amazing vegan zucchini bread recipe. No dairy and loads of flavour! 

Using Chia seed “egg”, coconut oil and almond milk…it’s delicious and nutritious! Super moist and an instant favourite around here.

Love your food 🙂

Your, Natural Groove Gal 

Lemon Cashew Cake (Vegan “Cheesecake”)

This cake is un-f**king believable. Now I LOVE my cheese and I couldn’t believe my taste buds!

And yes it’s vegan. Get over it already. Food is delicious. Try everything.

IMAG1851

Recipe:

Crust:
1 cup dates
2 cups raw almonds
Surround the inside of a cake pan with wax paper or plastic wrap. Pulse dates and nuts together in food processor until you get a rough, sticky mixture that you can pat down with your hands into the bottom of the cake pan. Do so. Set in fridge.
 
Cheesecake:
3 cups raw cashews (preferably soaked for 3 to 4 hours)
3/4 cup lemon juice
2/3 cup maple syrup
3/4 cup melted coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Seeds from 1 vanilla pod

 

Blend all ingredients, EXCEPT coconut oil, together until smooth and creamy. Add coconut oil and make sure it blends completely. Taste it. Yes. Pour onto crust in cake pan and set in the fridge until it has the hardness you want (probably 3-5 hours or overnight). Take out of cake pan holding the wax paper or plastic wrap and put on your favourite plate. Slice and enjoy, or eat it like a wild animal.

I didn’t have vanilla bean handy for this trial but it was still scrumptious! Thank you to This Rawesome Vegan Life for this amazing recipe!

Until next time! Get natural!