Watermelon Salad

I got to spend a week on the Greek Island of Crete feasting on vegetarian meals prepared by incredible chefs while on a yoga retreat. Most evenings the conversation revolved around how amazing each dish was and the sharing of other recipes. This one was shared by a fellow moksha yoga member and, to quote her, “it tastes like summer in a bowl”

  

Ingredients

  • 4 slices of watermelon
  • 1/2 of a large or 1 small cucumber
  • feta cheese

Method

  1. Dice watermelon and cucumber and toss in a large salad bowl
  2. Top with as much feta cheese as desired
  3. ENJOY ūüôā

Apple Cinnamon Kale Salad

This was inspired by a craving for a meal replacement salad on a hot summer’s day, while using some leftover cooked chicken. Vegetarian? Omit the chicken

  
Ingredients

  • 1/2-1 cup diced chicken
  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup walnut pieces
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • Dash of sea salt
  • 4-6 kale leafs
  • 1 large or two small apples, cored and chopped 
  • 4-6 celery stalks, diced
  • 1/4 cup raisins

Method

  1. Cook quinoa as directed
  2. Prepare dressing by combining oil, vinegar, syrup, salt and cinnamon and set aside
  3. In a skillet, heat 1 tbsp oil and sauté the walnuts, tossing constantly for 2-5 minutes in low heat
  4. Turn off the heat, add cinnamon and toss until well coated
  5. At this point, I removed the cooked quinoa and added it to the skillet, stirring it with the nuts and cinnamon
  6. Clean and chop kale, celery and apple and combine in a large salad bowl with the raisins
  7. Toss with dressing, adding quinoa and walnuts 

Serves 2 for a main course or 4-6 as a side salad


Coconut Kale & Quinoa Salad

After a hectic year teaching and a summer backpacking through Europe, indulging on amazing bread and cheese, it’s great to be back in the kitchen cooking with farm fresh whole foods. This was inspired by a craving for a coconut infused quinoa dish and a mashup of recipes based on the ingredients that I had handy.


Serves: 2

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 can coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1 tsp tahini
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • Juice from half a lemon
  • 1/2 tsp honey, optional
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup coconut flakes
  • Diced onions, to taste
  • 4-6 kale leafs
  • Diced avocado, optional

Method:

  1. Bring coconut milk to a boil, add quinoa, reduce heat to low and simmer, covered for 15-20 minutes until liquid is absorbed
  2. Combine tahini, soy sauce, lemon juice and honey in a small dish, set aside
  3. In a skillet, heat coconut oil, then add coconut, stirring frequently until golden brown
  4. Add onions, kale and dressing sauteing until soft
  5. Toss the cooked quinoa into the skillet for a minute
  6. Serve with diced avocado if desired

Morning Glory Muffins

Here’s a delicious muffin recipe that you can play with. Substitute fruit, nuts and dried fruit for your favourite flavours. These muffins freeze excellently….if they last that long!

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Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup raisins
  • 2 cups¬†flour of choice (I used 1 cup whole wheat, 1 cup oat)
  • 1 cup¬†brown sugar
  • 2 tsp¬†baking soda
  • 1 tbsp¬†cinnamon
  • 1 tsp¬†ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp¬†salt
  • 2 cups¬†grated¬†carrots¬†
  • 1 large apple, grated (with or without skin)
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
  • 2/3 cup chopped¬†nuts (I used 1/4 sunflower seed & 1/4 pumpkin to keep them nut-free for school)
  • 1/3 cup wheat germ
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup greek yogurt
  • 2 tsp¬†vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup orange juice

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375¬įF and grease a muffin pan
  2. In a small bowl, cover the raisins with hot water and set them aside
  3. In a large bowl, sift the flour, brown sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and salt.
  4. Stir in the carrots, apple, coconut, nuts, and wheat germ.
  5. In an extra large bowl, whisk the eggs, oil, vanilla, and orange juice.
  6. Slowly incorporate the flour mixture into the wet mixture with a wooden spoon, being careful not to over mix
  7. Drain the raisins, squeezing out any excess water with your hands, and stir them in.
  8. Transfer batter to your muffin pan
  9. Bake for 25 to 28 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean
  10. Place muffin pan on a rack to cool for about 5 minutes.
  11. Turn the muffins out onto the rack to cool completely.

Chocolate Quinoa Brownies

There’s nothing like I like more than baking while stuck home during a blizzard. I found a recipe for German Chocolate Quinoa Brownies on one of my favourite websites, and by substituting sunflower butter for cashew butter, and sunflower seeds for pecan pieces, I came up with this nut-free, school-safe snack, that’s full of protein and fibre.

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For the Brownies:

  • 1 1/4 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sunflower butter (or peanut butter, cashew butter, almond butter, etc)
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil¬†(or oil of choice)
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
For the topping:
  • 1 cup unsweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds (or pieces of pecans, almonds, etc)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 and line an 8×8 glass baking dish with parchment paper
  • Put all the brownie ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth
  • Pour the batter into the¬†dish and bake for 30-40 minutes
  • Meanwhile, combine all ingredients for the topping in a small bowl and mix well
  • Allow brownies time to cool before applying the topping
  • Slice and serve

Homemade Raspberry Jam

Here’s a great Sunday morning project for a cold winter’s day. If you’ve never bottled your own jam before, this recipe will take you through the home processing steps. From start to finish – this recipe took me a little over an¬†hour.

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Ingredients

  • 1 kg of raspberries (I took mine of the freezer the night before and left them in the fridge to thaw)
  • 1/2 juice of a lemon or 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 tsp vanilla
  • 250 g sugar*

*The original recipe I started with called for double the sugar. If you like your jam sweet, like store bought jam, and thicker, like a jelly, I recommend using 500 g. Reducing sugar to 250 results in the jam pictured above. It tastes like fresh picked raspberries and is has the consistency of stewed fruit.

Procedure

  1. Fill your hot water bath three quarters of the way with water, cover and bring to a boil (this will take approximately the same time you need to prepare jam)
  2. To sterilize the bottles, place six 250 ml mason jars in a large pot, fill with water and bring to a boil
  3. Once boiling, remove from heat and cover
  4. In a medium saucepan, add raspberries and lemon and simmer on medium heat for about 5 minutes until juice begins to flow from the berries
  5. Next, add vanilla and bring to a gentle boil for about 5 minutes
  6. Reduce heat, add sugar, stirring until it has dissolved
  7. Return to a boil from another 2 minutes
  8. Remove from heat and using a spoon remove any scum (foam) from the jam
  9. Let sit for 15 minutes to thicken
  10. Now, remove mason jars from the pot, one at a time and fill three quarters of the way with jam
  11. If any jam spills on bottle rim, remove with a clean, damp cloth before placing lid
  12. Screw the lid tightly and repeat until all bottles have been filled
  13. Now, place bottles in the hot water bath and pour the water from the bottle sterilization on top to ensure lids are covered by about an inch of water
  14. Cover and boil for 10 minutes
  15. Remove cover and let sit for 5 minutes before removing bottles from bath
  16. Carefully remove bottles without tilting and place them upright where they can stay, undisturbed, for 12-24 hours
  17. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO RETIGHTEN SCREW BANDS
  18. You can check to ensure proper sealing the next day by pressing down on the lids. They should not move. If any lids need to be tightened, you can do so now
  19. Store for up to one year and refrigerate after opening each bottle

Quinoa Oat Granola Bars

After a few attempts at homemade granola bars,¬†this will definitely be my staple. Aside from being quick (neither the oats nor the quinoa have to be pre-cooked), the great thing about this recipe is that you can play with flavours. I’ve included some suggestions below but I encourage you to experiment with your favourite dried fruit and nut combinations.

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa, uncooked
  • 1 cup large flake oats, uncooked
  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 cup dried fruit/nut combination

Procedure

  1. Grease a square dish with butter & preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Combine oats and quinoa and place in dish
  3. Toast in oven for 8-10 minutes
  4. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine peanut butter, honey, oil and sugar over low heat
  5. Stir and bring to a boil, stir and remove from heat
  6. Next, toss coconut and dried fruit/nut combination, as well as the toasted quinoa and oats into the saucepan to combine all ingredients
  7. Transfer to baking dish and bake for 15-20 minutes
  8. Place on a wire rack to cool before cutting

Variations

You can also melt 1/2 cup chocolate chips/peanut butter chips with 1 tbsp coconut oil in the microwave at 30 second intervals, stirring in between until completely melted. Dip granola or spread on top of granola bar, place on parchment paper and allow to cool

Try changing the peanut butter to almond butter or sunflower seed oil to compliment your flavours.

  • 1 cup diced dried figs (feature picture)
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries & 1/2 cup¬†dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup peanuts & 1/2 cup peanut butter chips
  • 1/2 cup pecans & 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds &¬†1/2 dried apricots
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds, 1/4 cup pecans, 1/4 cup sunflower seeds & 1/4 cup¬†pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup dates,¬†1/4 cup chia seeds & 1/4 cup sliced almonds

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