Monthly Archives: April 2014

Truffled Risotto with Mushrooms, Peas and Spinach (Paleo, Vegan)

When friends first started telling me I should start a blog, it had nothing to do with yoga and everything to do with wanting to steal my recipes.  I’m a wannabe vegan who can’t say no to cupcakes regardless of how they’re baked, or the occasional egg-laden brunch, and am definitely not paleo. How can anyone follow a meal plan that excludes peanut butter? Not this girl.

This recipe uses riced cauliflower in place of rice and cashews for creaminess.  I had seen a post by one of my favourite local vegan-ish bloggers Laura from The First Mess using riced cauliflower and was dying to try it.  I don’t think carbs are the enemy, but if you can replace essentially nutrient-devoid white rice with a vegetable….why not?

First order of business is to turn the cauliflower into “rice”!  You can do this by hand, either finely chopping or with a grater but a food processor makes it quick and effortless. Cut the florets away from the stems, and pulse a few times until your pieces are about the size of a grain of rice.  I found it best to do this in a few small batches to keep from pureeing too much.Image

Veggies

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Fresh peas! I had such a hard time not eating all of these straight out of the pod!

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Writing out recipes is really challenging for me, because my method of cooking is pretty “throw in some of this, equal amount that, a bit of this and cook til it looks right” so bear with me!

Truffled Risotto with Mushrooms, Peas and Spinach

1 large head cauliflower, riced

about 4 cups mixed mushrooms (this batch used white and cremini but oysters are awesome in here too), half chopped, the remaining half sliced

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup onion, chopped

1 cup vegetable stock

1/2 cup white cooking wine

1/4-1/2 cup nutritional yeast, to taste

1 cup fresh peas (frozen would work too)

2 cups baby spinach

salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup cashew cream (see below)

truffle oil for finishing

Add your riced cauliflower to a medium sized pot along with the vegetable stock and wine.  Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer to cook your cauliflower.  If it looks like it is drying out, add a bit more water as needed.

While the “rice” is cooking, sauté garlic, onions and chopped mushrooms (reserving the larger sliced ones) in a bit of oil or water until garlic and onions are translucent and mushrooms have released their liquid.  Add this mixture to the “rice” mixture and continue simmering.

Saute larger sliced mushrooms in a bit more oil until they have released their liquid.  Most of the liquid should have boiled off your “rice” mixture by now.  You don’t want it to be dry by any means, but there shouldn’t be a puddle of water in the bottom of the pot.  If there is, continue simmering until it evaporates off a bit more.

Add the mushroom slices to the “rice” along with peas, spinach and nutritional yeast.  Cook a few minutes, until spinach has wilted.  Stir in cashew cream and season generously with salt and pepper.

Remove from heat, and allow to thicken for about 10 minutes.  If it looks too dry, you can add a splash of unflavoured, unsweetened almond (or other non-dairy) milk to moisten.

Spoon into dishes and drizzle with truffle oil to taste.

Makes 3-4 servings, depending on how much you eat straight out of the pot during various stages of cooking (This is the best part of vegan food – taste testing every step of the way).

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This is one of those dishes that tastes even better the next day.  Even cold, straight out of the fridge.  Doubling the recipe is recommended!

On cashew cream:

Cashews are amazing.  They are hands down the best way to get a creamy, velvety texture in vegan cooking.

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First, soak RAW cashews for a couple hours, or overnight.  Once soaked, you can drain them and keep them in the fridge for a few days if you’re not ready to use them.  Alternately, if you want to make this RIGHT NOW and don’t want to wait, you can boil cashews for about 15 minutes to get the same results.  I use my Vitamix to get the best texture, but before I had it, I got okay results from extended time in a food processor.  Blend cashews with a bit of water until you get a sour cream-like consistency.  Add water slowly so you don’t end up with a cashew milk instead.  I find a ratio of about 1 cup cashews to a scant 1/2 cup water works nicely.

You can make cashew sour cream by adding 1 tsp apple cider vinegar, a dash of salt, and the juice of one lemon to one cup of cashews and 1/2 cup water.  The cream will thicken a bit in the fridge.

This should keep for up to 10 days in the fridge.

Enjoy!

 

 

Oops

I didn’t really mean to disappear like that! There have been lots of big things going on, on pretty much every level of my life right now.  First off….I’M GOING TO BALI!!!  I was accepted into the yoga teacher training that I applied to and I couldn’t be more thrilled.  And nervous and anxious and excited and pretty much every other feeling you might expect.  The course lasts for the entire month of June at the Pranashama Yoga Institute in Bloo Lagoon Village in Bali.  It looks so beautiful….I can’t wait for my yoga selfies to look like thisImage

Speaking of yoga selfies…I’m still working on the 30 day yoga challenge.  I’ve been (mostly) doing well, and have definitely managed to post each of the poses, just not usually in a timely manner.  Once a procrastinator, always a procrastinator. I caught up on days 19 and 20 Image

 

Day 19 was supposed to be King Dancer, but neither my shoulders nor my hips are open enough to get anywhere near the full expression.  Dancer is one of my favourite poses though! I love the heart-opening aspect of it.  Day 20 is an advanced version of camel.  One day my head will rest on my feet…..one day.

I’m also doing well with green smoothie April….as I had hoped I’m finally having a nourishing smoothie every.single.day.

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Even if some days they’re purple.  This one was kale, broccoli stumps (fact: I only like to eat the florets), beets, banana and mixed berries.  Plus the usual Vega, hemp, chia and flax.

I’ll leave you with a typical outtake of Kaylee “helping” me with my yoga challenge

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thirty

As I mentioned, I was in this crazy motivated and productive mood yesterday.  I committed myself to a couple more (much smaller) goals.  The first is a 30 day yoga challenge, hosted by Dashama and Vitamix.  Every day a new pose is posted, and everyone participating posts a picture of themselves doing it.  Day 1 was Warrior.

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I already have a Vitamix, so I’m not really interested in the prize, just in pushing myself out of my comfort zone.

I also committed to Jen’s 30 day green smoothie challenge!

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As of right now, I’m in a really good habit of having a green smoothie on every “working” day (as a server I definitely do not work a normal or predictable schedule).  My Vitamix has honestly been life-changing when it comes to this.  And no, Vitamix isn’t sponsoring me.  Not that I’d say no.  Heyyyyyy Vitamix.  Anyway, I can throw in pretty much whatever’s in the fridge and call it breakfast (or lunch, or dinner…).  This one contains kale, spinach, cucumber, carrots, frozen mixed berries, a banana, hemp hearts, chia seeds, flax seeds and Vega protein powder.  I usually make a big batch in the morning and enjoy it for breakfast plus a snack or 2 throughout the day.  I would like to start doing this EVERY day, not just working days.  Hopefully openly taking on this challenge is just the kick I need!

 

I can’t decide if these challenges are a ramp up to or a distraction from the biggest 30 of April….my 30th birthday!  I’m trying really hard to have a positive attitude about entering a new decade, but it’s a little bit terrifying.  My life is definitely not anything like the way that I thought it would be at this point 15, 10, or even 5 years ago.  That’s not to say that I don’t (mainly) love everything about it.  Just that there are some big goals that I have in mind for the next couple years and that I need to get moving!

You can follow me on Instagram to see all my 30 day challenge pics!

Humble Beginnings

Finally.

I’ve been saying it forever.  I registered this web address almost a full year ago.  But master procrastinator that I am, this is the first “real” post.

April has this feel to it this year.  I can’t really explain it, other than that it feels like a shift. Something is changing.  Today, on the last day of March, I felt this intense surge of motivation.  I did things I’ve been meaning to do for months.  I bought a new pair of running shoes.  Shopped for a new bike.  Cleaned up my old rust bucket of a bike for the interim before said new bike is acquired.  Took on several cooking projects.  Cleaned out my fridge and my closets and the overcrowded cupboard under my bathroom sink. All of this could probably be attributed to the fact that it finally feels like spring in Toronto.  Except this last thing:

I submitted my application for yoga teacher training.

Another thing I’ve been saying I’m going to do since forever.  And it’s huge and it’s scary and exciting and all of those things it could possibly be all at once.  It’s just the first step.  I may not get accepted.  But I’ll apply again.  Because now that I’ve finally taken the leap, I know there’s no going back.  And that big thing inspired me to finally do this other big thing: write a post.

I hope this gets to be a space where I can document my journey from aspiring teacher to ohmygod I’m a yoga teacher.  If not, there will always be pictures of this little peanut

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