Category Archives: food

Vegan Creamed Cauliflower Soup

This soup.  Damn.

Sometimes I forget how awesome cauliflower is.

I bought a huge head of it at the market the other day, and it’s been sitting in my fridge making me feel guilty ever since.

I’ve been huge into grab-and-go meals lately and I just haven’t been able to be bothered creating something out of the poor cauliflower.

When I bought it, cauliflower crust pizza visions were in my head.  Have you tried it yet? It’s so good!  Last time that I was visiting my parents we had a pizza night and I made one of the pies with cauliflower crust and even my dad thought it was awesome.  I loosely followed The Detoxinista‘s recipe.

Anyway, as I was going to bed last night, I decided that I was going to do a juice and smoothie-only day today.  I used to do this every Monday, and I loved it.  Such a great way to set the tone for the week.  I don’t really know when I fell off the wagon with this habit, but I’d like to reintroduce it.  So today was the day.

I woke up feeling a little on the miserable side.  Achey, stuffy nose, headache.  But, as planned, I drank a beet, carrot, lemon and ginger concoction and went about my day.  To help fend off whatever it is that might be ailing me, I sliced 2 lemons and a bunch of ginger, covered it with water, added a healthy dash of chili peppers, brought the mixture to a boil and have been refilling my mug all day.

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I went to a Yang Yin class with one of my favourite teachers, and then came home to a kale, banana, berries and hemp seed smoothie for lunch.  I pushed on with my day, running errands and doing laundry to prepare for being away for the rest of the week.  And then it started raining.  Like a lot.  And I got cold and wet and all I wanted was a warm and hearty and satisfying meal.  No more stupid juices (have I ever mentioned how cranky I get when I’m hungry??).  So this soup was born.

I cleaned and chopped the entire head of cauliflower and put it in a pot to steam.  Sliced up some onions and garlic and got those sauteeing.  Meanwhile I made a cashew cream to blend in.  After the cauliflower was soft, I pureed it with the garlic and onions in the Vitamix and poured it back into the pot.  I was about to add in the cashew cream when I realized that I absolutely didn’t need it.  The pureed cauliflower was so thick and creamy and….luxurious that it was totally unnecessary.  Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not someone who thinks we should eat everything fat free, especially when those fats are healthy nut fats, but when it’s just as good without? Why bother.

Creamed Cauliflower Soup

Vegan and gluten-free

1 large head cauliflower, roughly chopped into florets

1 medium sized onion, sliced

2-3 cloves garlic, sliced

1 tbsp coconut oil

Thyme, about 1 tsp, to taste

Salt and pepper, to taste

Nutritional yeast, about 1-2 tbsp, to taste

Directions:

Lightly steam the cauliflower.

While steaming, heat the oil in a pan, and saute the onions and garlic until they are lightly browned and fragrant.

Once cauliflower is fork-tender, run under cold water to cool a bit, then begin to puree with the onion and garlic mixture until very smooth(I did this in 3 smaller batches), transferring pureed soup back into pot as you go.  In the last blender-full, add about 1-2 tbsp nutritional yeast and 1 tsp thyme.

Season with salt and pepper to taste, and bring back to a simmer.

Delicious served immediately, and probably even better the next day.

SBC: Day 10

10) A day in your life

My days are sooooo all over the place.  I happened to be off this day (last Wednesday….just a tad late).

7:30am – Kaylee wakes me up.  She needs to go outside like NOW.  I was at work until after 1am the night before so I’m less than impressed.  We quickly go out, and initially I planned on going back to bed for another hour or so but I happened to look at the schedule for my yoga studio and decide to go to an early class instead.  We come back upstairs, and eat breakfast (a smoothie bowl for me, the usual for her) and then head to the dog park.

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9:15 – get back home, grab my mat and head to the 9:30 Level 2 class at moksha.

11:15 – grab a quick shower, chug a bunch of water and eat a banana with peanut butter then quickly bike to an appointment

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I stop off at Bunner’s, a local Toronto vegan and gluten-free bakery, on the way home for a couple cupcakes to share with a friend later.

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(I was so excited to eat them that I forgot to take a before picture, but there was carrot-coconut and marble with strawberry frosting)

1:30 – my friend comes by for a private yoga session.  He’s training for his third marathon and I’ve finally convinced him that some flexibility and body work would do him wonders.  We spend one hour doing asanas followed by an hour of Thai yoga massage.  And then obviously eat cupcakes (apparently this was my lunch that day? Less than nutritionally sound).  Lucky guy!

4:00 – walk Kaylee over to a nearby pet shop that has a DIY dog wash.  This girl haaaaates baths, but she waded into a creek a couple days prior and needs it badly.

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5:30 – get home and quickly get cleaned up to go meet a friend for dinner.  It’s raining, but we meet at our usual corner and walk anyway.

6:30 – arrive at Bent.  It’s a little early for dinner for me, but my lovely friend has to be up at 6am for work these days so I’m happy to adjust to her schedule.  We’re at Bent for their special Veggielicious menu that.  It’s a 5 course seasonal tasting menu that I’m beyond excited about because there are NEVER SPECIAL VEGETARIAN MENUS.

Everything is delicious.  I was going to write “in particular the…” but then I realized that really just everything was super good.  Even my carnivorous friend gave it two thumbs up.

10:00 – arrive home, full and happy.  I’m supposed to go meet a bunch of my coworkers to celebrate someone’s last day at work, but they’re not quite done shift yet so I take Kaylee for her nighttime walk, then make the mistake of sitting down on the couch.  By the time I get the call to go to the pub at 11, I’ve changed into pyjamas and am reading the latest Yoga Journal in bed.

12:30 – lights out.  This is a pretty early bedtime for me, but it was so necessary after getting so little sleep the night before and a busy day.

SBC: Day 4

4) Thankful Thursday

Today I woke up verrrrrry tired.  So thankful for coffee.

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For balance.  Vegan donuts // Smoothie bowls

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For a strong and able body, that can power through runs and ease into asanas

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(gratuitous Bali memory)

For finally keeping a scoby alive and nailing a new kombucha recipe

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For making the best of things with silly friends

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For these two

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Jailhouse cuisine

Don’t be mistaken – I am definitely NOT likening my amazing month of YTT to being in prison. I am (very) willingly here of my own free will and loving it.

We are fortunate to have a great restaurant that takes care of our meals for us, but I looooove cooking and baking and generally just getting creative in the kitchen. My roommate is the same way. So we’ve been working with the rather limited resources of our villa’s kitchen to create snacks and treats (please don’t tell our teacher about the amount of treats).

Grocery stores essentially don’t exist here, so food-making also involves a certain degree of swiping ingredients. This is where the “jailhouse cuisine” thing comes in. Anyone read/seen Orange is the New Black? It totally reminds me of the prisoners coming up with these prison specialties with the few items they can buy from the dispensary and steal from the cafeteria then cobble together with little more than a microwave. We have a stove top instead of a microwave, but you get the idea.

So far, we’ve made an awesome hummus (it took over an hour), vanilla-infused cocobiotic (think kombucha, but with coconut water instead of tea), and oh-so-much raw vegan chocolate. The chocolate has morphed from a basic coconut oil, cacao and chia seeds to peanut-butter-dipped-chocolate-covered-frozen-banana-bites and almond butter cups made in an ice cube tray. You heard.

Anyway, if you’re ever dying for chocolate and only have some basic pantry ingredients, a bowl, a freezer, and 2 minutes plus some waiting time, you’re in luck. And technically, none of these ingredients are bad for you. They’re all even in the superfoods family. You probably just shouldn’t eat the whole thing in one sitting.

All the measurements are really approximate because ummm I don’t have any measuring tools. But you can eyeball it.

Super Easy Raw Vegan Chocolate
1 cup organic cold-pressed coconut oil
4 heaping tbsp raw cacao powder
2 tbsp chia seeds
Optional:
1-2 tbsp vanilla or chocolate or chai (do the chai!) protein powder (this acts as a sweetener)
Chopped raw almonds, raisins or whatever else you can pick out of the breakfast granola
1 pod worth of vanilla seeds
Pinch of sea salt

Make sure your coconut oil is liquid. This happens at above 21•, which is always in Bali. Stir in everything else, making sure to get any lumps of cacao smoothed out. Taste. A lot. Put the whole bowl in the freezer. In about 15 minutes it will be hard enough to roughly chop into pieces and devour.

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!