Quinoa Almond Burger

13341958_10156943609235075_58110973_n.jpg

Prep Time:  ~5 mins    Cook Time: ~45 mins    Total Time: ~50 mins     Servings: 5 Patties

Ingredients:

13349089_10156943609655075_1421440431_n.jpg
  • 2 Avocados
  • 1 Tablespoon Lime Juice
  • 1 Cup Alfalfa Sprouts
  • 2 Cups Mixed Greens
  • 5 Hamburger Buns/Lettuce Cups

What You Need: 

  • Pot
  • Food Processor
  • Large Mixing Bowl
  • Baking Sheet

 

 

 

 

Step 1: Bring 1.5 cups water to a boil and add quinoa. Cook for 15-20 minutes or until soft.

Step 2: Heat oil in a pan on medium - high heat. Mince garlic, chop onion, slice mushrooms, and sauté for 5 minutes.

Step 3: Combine flax seed with 5 tablespoons water and let sit for 5 minutes to make 2 flax eggs.

img_92861.jpg
13342057_10156943608950075_1503895455_n.jpg

Step 4: Empty almonds into food processor and pulse until you reach a crumby consistency as shown below. 

Step 5: Empty almonds into a large mixing bowl, and combine with quinoa, cooked mushrooms, flax eggs, cranberries, nutritional yeast, sage, nutmeg, rosemary, salt, and pepper. Stir until all ingredients are mixed evenly.

13296078_10156943608820075_689849963_n
13296078_10156943608820075_689849963_n

Step 6: Preheat oven to 350 F, and lightly grease baking sheet. Form mixture into 5 patties, ~ 1 inch high, and place on baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes, flipping patties halfway through.

13335286_10156943609155075_825631063_n.jpg

Step 7: Thinly slice red cabbage and tomato. Mash avocado into guacamole, sprinkling with lime juice, salt, and pepper to taste.

13330357_10156943609255075_8569859_n.jpg

Step 8: Garnish burgers with mixed greens, cabbage, guacamole, tomato, and alfalfa sprouts. I like to drizzle mine with balsamic glaze!

13342511_10156943609180075_1561461612_n.jpg
13335252_10156943609620075_623339223_n.jpg

Try replacing your burger bun with mixed greens to create a tasty quinoa patty salad!

13296182_10156943609635075_191618909_n.jpg
13349089_10156943609655075_1421440431_n.jpg

Enjoying my first homemade burger of the summer!

13335453_10156943609605075_242131357_n.jpg
 

Sweet Potato Tofu Scramble

13081622_10156827687220075_1192714182_n.jpg

  Prep Time: ~ 15 min      Cook Time: ~30 min      Total Time: ~ 45 min       Servings: 2-3

Note: Majority of prep can be done while potatoes bake, bringing your total time down to ~ 30 minutes!

Ingredients: 

  • 2 Sweet Potatoes
  • 4 Tablespoons Oil 
  • Potato Seasoning:
    • 1/2 Teaspoon Paprika
    • 1/2 Teaspoon Chili Powder
    • 1/2 Teaspoon Cayenne 
    • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt & Pepper
    • 1 Small Onion
    • 1 Red Pepper
    • 1 Yellow Pepper
    • 1 Green Pepper
    • 3 Cloves Garlic Minced
    • Salt & Pepper (to taste)
    • 1 Cup Cremini Mushrooms
    • 1 Head of Broccoli
    • 1 Block Firm Tofu
    • Tofu Seasoning:
      • 1 Teaspoon Paprika
      • 1 Teaspoon Cayenne
      • 1 T chili powder
      • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
      • 1/2 Teaspoon Pepper
      • 2 Tablespoons Hot Sauce
      • 1/2 Cup Milk
      • 1/2 Cup Nutritional Yeast 
      • 1/2 Teaspoon Basil
      • 1/2 Teaspoon Paprika 
      • 1/4 Teaspoon salt 

What You Will Need: 

  • Baking sheet
  • Sautee Pan
  • Large Bowl
  • Small Pot

Step 1: Preheat oven to 425 F. Cut potatoes into cubes and spread onto a baking sheet. Massage potatoes with 2 tablespoons of oil, and sprinkle with potato seasoning. Bake for 20 minutes.

13082018_10156827686275075_1677534961_n.jpg
13081705_10156827686355075_1007182974_n.jpg

Step 2: Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a pan on medium heat. Julienne onions, and peppers, and toss into your pan with garlic. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and let cook until onions become translucent.

13081710_10156827686520075_1491098122_n
13081710_10156827686520075_1491098122_n

Step 3: Chop broccoli into small florets, and add mushrooms and broccoli to pan. Cover and let cook for 3 minutes on medium heat.

13084149_10156827686685075_1565960582_n.jpg

Step 4: Remove contents of pan and empty into a large mixing bowl. Crumble block of tofu into your sautee pan and let cook on medium heat for ~ 5 minutes. Oil isn't needed to cook tofu, because we are trying to dry out some of the moisture in the tofu.

13101063_10156827686885075_1750845312_n.jpg

Step 5: Evenly coat tofu with tofu seasoning, and combine with cooked vegetables.

13115637_10156827687055075_1595912726_n.jpg

Step 6: In a small pot, heat milk on medium - high heat. Add nutritional yeast and stir until completely blended. Reduce heat to low and add basil, paprika, and salt. Allow cheese sauce to thicken for a few minutes, then combine your potatoes with your tofu & vegetable mix. Top with cheese sauce, and garnish with cilantro (optional).

img_9662.jpg
13082065_10156827687175075_602208486_n.jpg
13077162_10156827687270075_944923000_n.jpg
13081622_10156827687220075_1192714182_n.jpg
 

Double Chocolate Black Bean Brownies

Double Chocolate Black Bean Brownies recipe

          Prep Time: ~ 5 min             Cook Time: ~35 min             Total Time: ~ 40 min

img_9526.jpg

Ingredients: 

  • 1 Can Black Beans
  • 1/2 Cup Oats
  • 1/2 Cup Grape seed Oil
  • 3 Tablespoons Ground Flax Seed
  • 1/4 Cup Cocoa Powder
  • 1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Vanilla
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Himalayan Salt
  • 1/4 Cup Almond Milk
  • 1/2 Cup Chopped Dark Chocolate

Directions:

Step 1: Preheat oven to 425°F. Rinse and drain black beans and empty into food processor. Combine with oats and oil and blend.

Step 2: Combine 3 tablespoons of ground up flax seed, and stir in 7.5 tablespoons of water. Let sit for 5 minutes until a thick egg-like consistency forms. Flax eggs act as a great vegan binding ingredient!

Step 3: Add flax eggs, cocoa powder, brown sugar, vanilla, baking powder, salt, and almond milk to food processor and blend until smooth.

Step 4: Finely chop dark chocolate (or chocolate of your choice), and combine with brownie mix.

Step 5: Grease baking pan and pour in brownie mix. Bake for 35 minutes, and let stand for ~1 hour, then store in fridge (this allows the chocolate chunks to harden, adding a bit of a crunch).

img_9529.jpg
img_92861.jpg
img_9530.jpg
img_9427.jpg
img_9426.jpg
img_9428.jpg
img_9429.jpg
Double Chocolate Black Bean Brownies recipe

Coconut Curry Pad Thai

img_9533.jpg

Prep Time: ~ 5 min             Cook Time: ~15 min             Total Time: ~ 20 min

img_9539.jpg

Ingredients: 

  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 Can Coconut Milk
  • 1/4 Cup Golden Curry Powder
  • 2 Teaspoons Table Salt
  • 1/3 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons Hot Sauce
  • 4 Cups Chopped Vegetables (Fresh or Frozen)
  • 1 Can Chickpeas (2 Cups)
  • Thai Rice Noodles

Step 1: Heat oil in a small pot, whisking in coconut milk, curry powder, salt, brown sugar, and hot sauce. Bring curry sauce to a boil for one minute, then let simmer on low.

Step 2: Cook vegetables on medium-high heat in a large pan. I use frozen vegetables for a quicker and more cost efficient option. Just pour a cup of water over the vegetables and let boil in the pan until cooked. This takes about 5 minutes, and you won't need to use oil!

Step 3: Once vegetables are cooked through, drain any excess water, and pour in curry sauce. Rinse and strain chickpeas, and add to your pan. Mix contents and let simmer on low heat.

Step 4: In a fresh pot, bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Remove pot from heat and add rice noodles. Let sit for 3-4 minutes then strain.

Step 5: Combine noodles with curried vegetables, and let simmer on low heat until ready to serve.

I like to add chickpeas for protein, but white kidney beans taste great as well if you're looking for something different!

Keep in mind that the longer you let the curry sauce cook into the vegetables, the more flavourful your dish will be. Store any leftover curry pad thai in the fridge overnight, and reheat in a pot over medium heat when ready to serve. I usually add about a 1/4 cup of vegetable stalk when reheating.

Enjoy!

img_9536.jpg
img_9537.jpg
img_9538.jpg
img_9539.jpg

Healthy Fruit & Nut Granola Topper

img_9478.jpeg

Making your own granola might just be you and your pantry's saving grace! I always keep my homemade granola on hand, because it's extremely easy to make, much healthier than some of the sugar filled store bought brands, and it gives me lots of options in the kitchen. I love to use fresh granola to top off smoothie bowls, eat as cereal, or I even bring it out with me as an on the go snack! Mind you, that last one applies to walking in and out of the kitchen too... The best part about this recipe is that you can make it your own! Have some walnuts or pecans leftover from another recipe? Toss them in as well! Not a fan of cranberries? Substitute chopped dried cherries!

Prep Time: ~ 5 min             Cook Time: ~ 35-40 min             Total Time: ~ 40-45 min

img_92951.jpg

Ingredients: 

  • 2 Ripe Bananas
  • 1/4 Cup Maple Syrup
  • 1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 2 Cups Oats
  • 1/2 Cup Slivered Almonds
  • 1/2 Cup Cranberries
  • 1/8 Cup Chia Seeds
  • 1/2 Cup Unsweetened Shredded Coconut 
  • 1/2 Cup Chopped Dark Chocolate
  • 1 Teaspoon Fresh Grated Nutmeg

Directions:

Step 1: Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large mixing bowl, mash bananas, and combine maple syrup and brown sugar. If you prefer, substitute agave syrup for maple syrup. However, I find that maple syrup adds a little extra in the flavour department.

Step 2: Mix in all other ingredients and stir until contents are combined evenly. Feel free to substitute different nuts, seeds, hemp hearts, dried fruit, etc to make your granola your own creation. Just be aware of your measurements so that the consistency remains similar.

Step 3: Spread contents onto a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Move granola around, breaking up any clusters, and bake for another 15-20 minutes.

Step 4: Store and enjoy! Or enjoy then store, and enjoy again!

img_92931.jpg
img_92961.jpg

Roasted Garlic & Lemon Hummus

Roasted Garlic & Lemon Hummus

When practicing a vegan diet, it is essential that you find protein sources that work for you. This lemon garlic hummus is a simple and flavourful recipe that I like to incorporate into so many of my meals. In just half a cup of chickpeas, you consume 19.5 grams of protein!

Prep Time: ~ 5 min                  Cook Time: ~ 25 min                    Total Time: ~ 30 min

Ingredients:

  • 1 Can Drained & Rinsed Chickpeas (2 Cups)
  • 1/2 Cup Grape Seed Oil
  • 1  Bulb of Garlic
  • Pinch of Table Salt & Pepper
  • 1 Lemon Squeezed
  • 1 Teaspoon Himalayan Salt

Directions:

Step 1: Preheat oven to 350°F. Drain and rinse chickpeas in a strainer, and empty into food processor. Add oil and blend until contents are somewhat smooth.

Step 2: Slice off the top of your garlic and place on a sheet of tinfoil facing upward. Lightly drizzle grape seed oil on openings, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Step 3: Wrap garlic in tinfoil, folding sides upwards and pinching at the top to close any openings. Place on baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes.

Step 4: Squeeze one whole lemon into a separate bowl. I used a fork to insert into each lemon half and twisted until I had gotten a majority of the juice out. Be sure to sift through the juice to remove any seeds. Add juice to the food processor and blend.

Step 5: Once garlic has finished baking, remove from the oven and unwrap the tinfoil. Your garlic bulb should be browned (and smell amazing). Let sit for a minute or so to cool down before handling.

Step 6: Carefully open up the bulb and remove each clove; they should pop out fairly easily without you having to pull off layers of the skin. Just be sure to remove any skins before adding your garlic to the processor.

Step 7: Add Himalayan salt and blend until smooth. Feel free to add more salt or other herbs and spices depending on your personal preference!

Hummus is a great source of vegan protein! I like to add it to wraps, sandwiches, on stir-fries, with crackers or cut up veggies!

Roasted Garlic & Lemon Hummus recipe
roasted garlic and lemon hummus recipe
img_9420.jpg
img_9421.jpg
img_9422.jpg
img_9423.jpg
Roasted Garlic and lemon hummus

50 Reasons To Adopt A Vegan Diet

screen-shot-2016-01-25-at-9-26-00-am.png

Ask any vegan why they made the switch, and they will most likely say something along the lines of; "it started out because...," and give you one solid reason. But that one reason will soon turn into a collection of positive impacts veganism has had on their life. Here are 50 reasons to switch to a vegan diet:

1. Weight loss

Alternative sources of protein such as beans, tofu, and nuts contain healthier fats than the alternative, which help to promote weight loss. Vegan diets also contain high levels of fruits and vegetables. This aids in weight control, because fruits and vegetables are low in calories but high in water content, creating the sensation of being full.

2. It’s cheaper

Save the planet while saving your bank account! Vegans save ~$750 a year on an average daily recommended caloric intake of 2000 cals.

3. No more “mystery food”

Those without dietary restrictions will often consume anything; just look at the fast food industry!  Vegans are known for constantly checking labels, inquiring about ingredients, or simply cooking meals themselves. Although it may seem like a daunting task, we prefer knowing exactly what is going into our bodies!

4. To be a part of a progressive movement

The world of veganism is on the rise! More and more countries are embracing veganism; this movement cannot and will not be ignored! Either hop on the train now or live in denial a little longer.

5. Self awareness

We are constantly considering our impact on the world around us, which promotes a conscious connectedness to our surroundings.

6. Lower blood pressure

Veganism and vegetarianism has been linked to lower blood pressure due to a lower consumption of saturated fats and sodium.

7. Reduced risk of heart disease

Lower saturated fat consumption decreases the risk of clogged arteries and obesity, lowering the risk of possible strain placed on the heart.

8. Saving the lives of animals

This one is a no brainer! However, what many people don't realize is how the industry for producing animal byproducts has become extremely inhumane as Westernized cultures continue to over consume. Check out Vegucated, a documentary featured on Netflix (don't let the first minute fool you!). Vegans not only save the lives of animals, but also save the quality of life that many animals sacrifice for the dairy industry.

9. Being a part of a community

As vegans, we have the opportunity to support local markets, restaurants, and bakeries. We have an endless supply of social networking tools that provide support, inspiration, and education! Some communities even hold monthly vegan dinners at local community centers!

10. A sense of pride in your values

Vegans are proud of their lifestyle choices, and they should be! Veganism not only benefits the individual practicing, but it also promotes many environmental and ethical gains.

11. The "captivating" conversations you are bound to have at family dinner parties

Let your freak flag fly because you will most likely be the only one at Thanksgiving dinner eating a soy version of our festive friend, and EVERYONE will remind you! My advice; read up before company comes over; family debates can get heated!

12. Learning a new set of skills

We as humans are constantly growing, so why not use this as an opportunity to teach yourself how to adapt in a vegan diet. You'll learn countless new recipes, in which I can assure you that you can find a vegan version of anything!

13. Energy booster

As long as your vegan diet is balanced with the proper amount of carbs, fats, proteins, and proper vitamins and nutrients, you should feel energized throughout your day. Vegans tend to eat foods in their more basic or natural form, eliminating added refined sugars, which can cause a sluggish behaviour.

14. Lower risk of consuming added hormones

Because the act of selling animal meat has become so industrialized, "factory farmed animals" are being pumped with hormones to speed up the growth process. And guess where those hormones end up! That's right, on your dinner plate. This also applies to the production and consumption of animal byproducts!

15. Lower risk of cancer

With added hormones, animal products have been linked to increasing the risk of cancer growth in consumers. Bowel cancer has recently been linked to the consumption of red meat.

16. Higher fiber intake

Vegans usually have higher fiber intake due to a diet primarily made up of grains, fruits, vegetables, beans, etc. Fiber can be broken down into two types; soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber lowers cholesterol and glucose levels, keeping us feeling full longer. Insoluble fiber helps to clear out the large intestine, which keeps us regular!

17. Encouraged to eat more fruits and vegetables

Fruits and vegetables make up a large part of our diet, which means a large variety of nutrients! The more variety in colour, the more range in nutrients we gain!

18. Eating guilt free

If animal ethics is something you care about, now you have a way of working that passion into your diet. Once you educate yourself on the procedures performed in factory farms, it will be a no brainer.

19. Decreased PMS symptoms 

Milk has a high hormonal content, which can impact the severity of PMS. A percentage of women who have cut dairy products out of their diet, have found noticeable improvements.

20. Lower refined sugar intake

Vegans tend to eat less processed foods, which usually contain higher amounts of refined sugars. These sugars can lower energy levels, increase cravings, increase risk of Type II diabetes, cause abdominal upsets, and much more. Check out the book Sugar Blues, written by William Dufty, or this summarized article for more information.

21. Decreased negative environmental impact 

Vegan diets cut down on the use of many resources that are used to farm/factory farm animals, including water usage, electricity used to power the extensive "manufacturing" processes, and grains used for feeding. Not to mention the environmental issues that arise due to major deforestation, methane gases released into the atmosphere, and overflowing landfills used for waste "disposal." I mentioned Cowspiracy in a previous article, but I'll link it again, because it really is a great source.

22. Decreased consumption of antibiotics 

Many animals brought up in the industrialized production of meat and dairy products have been pumped with antibiotics to promote growth and limit infection.

23. Lower carbon footprint

The combined greenhouse gas emissions produced by animal agriculture, transportation, and gas produced by livestock and their byproducts has an extreme environmental impact. Detailed percentages can be found here.

24. Sustainability

Vegans make a great contribution to sustaining the world's resources, from fresh water, to forested areas, to areas of unpolluted land.

25. Decreased famine 

Growing animals consume A LOT! If grains that were used to feed animals, were fed to humans instead, we would be able to feed 10 billion people! Yet, 1 in 9 people are not able to thrive, due to famine.

26. You can still maintain a high intensity fitness regiment if you choose

As long as you maintain a healthy balanced vegan diet, you can still lead an extremely active life. Many professional athletes maintain a plant based diet.

27. Lower risk of Type II diabetes

Can be linked to a decrease in visceral fat, otherwise known as abdominal fat, which is one of the precursors to Type II diabetes.

28. Boosted immune system

Following a diet high in fruits and vegetables helps to ensure that we consume a wide range of nutrients. The more variety of colourful foods you consume, the more vitamins and minerals your body is gaining. Some immune boosting foods include mushrooms, sweet potatoes, broccoli, teas, garlic, spinach, berries, citrus foods, and turmeric. Eliminating animal sources in your diet also lowers your risk of disease, which is a great place to start!

29. Decreased arthritis symptoms 

Cutting dairy products from your diet has been found to decrease symptoms of arthritis; particularly rheumatoid arthritis. Healthy fat alternatives such as extra virgin olive oil, have anti inflammatory properties. However, it is important to use at a low heat, otherwise these benefits dissolve.

30. Longer lifespan

Studies have found a link between having a vegan diet, and longer telomeres. This results in a longer lifespan of the cell, implying a longer lifespan of the overall organism. Basically, disease causes telomeres to shorten, but vegan diets ave been proven to lower risk of disease.

31. Decrease in body odor

Your body odor is a partial reflection of what you put into it. Plant based compounds (phytonutrients) such as chlorophyll act as cleansers! (Read more). Look to zero in on aromatic herbs, as well as celery, mint, cilantro, and parsley.

32. Healthier skin

You are what you eat! If you're constantly providing your body with clean natural nutrient dense foods, your skin will follow suit. Some who have made the switch to veganism have experienced a noticeable decrease in acne, which can be related back to cutting out dairy products.

33. Opportunity to explore new cuisines

Many ethnic cuisines include popular vegan and vegetarian dishes. Look for authentic Indian, Thai, Chinese, Japanese, and Ethiopian.

34. Experimenting with flavour

Let's face it, vegans are often forced to think outside the box. So why not have some fun experimenting with new flavours! I'm now a huge fan of curry; something I may not have been so willing to try if I stuck to my old roots.

35. Becoming knowledgable about your food consumption

Veganism is a balancing act! It's all about learning what your body needs, and more importantly, how to get it. In my mind, being knowledgable about how your body operates is one of the most valuable life skills a person can have.

36. Finding beauty in natures creations 

Whether that be animals, fruits and vegetables, or your own body; you will come to appreciate things in their most natural form.

37. New experiences

You’ve welcomed yourself into a new world of dining, cooking, shopping, ethical debates, and more. Living is growing, so why not step outside your comfort zone. 

38. A greater appreciation for ALL animals

Once you take the time to value animals as living beings, it becomes impossible to hold one above another. Look at this appreciation as a rare gift.

39. New relationships

You will without a doubt bond immediately with strangers over your shared dietary preferences.

40. Less likely to binge out on junk food

This one depends on how committed/resourceful you are! There are vegan substitutes available in terms of "treats," they just aren't always readily available like other more common dessert foods. 

41. There's a supplement for that!

Vegans do have to be careful when balancing their diet, but over the counter supplements are available to ensure that everything is accounted for! Common supplements to look for include Vitamin B12, Calcium, Vitamin D, and Iron, but talk to your physician before consumption. 

42. Over eating becomes a little more guilt free

It’s quite difficult to punish yourself for over doing it on the beet chips or last nights’ leftover quinoa salad.

43. You can describe your eating habits as “cruelty free”

This one speaks for itself!

44. You have every excuse to pass gas without it being considered “rude”

Vegans often experience an increase in gas due to a higher fiber intake, so now you have an excuse! But hey, know your audience. 

45. Lower risk of food related illness

Most of which are carried by red meat, poultry, seafood, and fish. 

46. Relieve menopausal symptoms

Again, we come back to the hormone levels in meat and dairy products. These rapid hormonal fluctuations can worsen the menopausal symptoms women experience.

47. Avoidance of unknown chemicals

Animal farming has become quite the elaborate production. Whether you're eating straight steak or a processed frozen dinner, I guarantee you never really know what chemicals are going into your body.

48. Inspiring friends or family to eat vegan friendly

Word of mouth is the strongest form of advertising! Once people see first hand how manageable a vegan diet is, they will be more inclined to try it with you. And what a great feeling it is knowing that you've made a positive influence on a friend's/family member's lifestyle.

49. Spreading awareness

Informed vegans are the best kind! Learn up and spread the word, because this my friends, is how change happens.

50. It’s easier than you think!

It's really not that difficult! If you're skeptical, then try it out for a week or maybe even a month and just see what you think! Like any lifestyle change, it takes time, effort, and motivation.

Comment below to share how a vegan diet benefits you!