My favorite part of going to Montreal is deciding where to eat. Dinner is usually saved for trying a new restaurant but for lunch we have a family tradition that takes place on boulevard Saint-Laurent – Together we go, but not for long, we say ’Au Revoir’ to Gordy as Yale and I don our scarves and walk north to lunch at the vegan restaurant Aux Vives and Gordy south to Schwartz’s for their famous smoked meat sandwich, ordered medium, what a surprise! Yale and I usually eat the California Salad with grilled tofu or grilled tempeh, and always with their amazing house salad dressing.
The California Salad at Aux Vives.
Schwartz’s Smoked Meat Sandwich.
On the drive home I know Gordy is dreaming about when he will eat his next smoked meat sandwich and my thoughts turn to salad!
Can I recreate Aux Vives salad dressing?
So now I am back in my kitchen experimenting and here is what I came up with. I am pretty sure that the salad dressing at Aux Vives does not have avocado or kale, but I am sure that it has green onion and lots of dill. Thank you Auv Vives for inspiring me and for your delicious healthy salad. I will be back soon.
My dressing with avacodo and kale.
My recipe for Avocado Kale Salad Dressing:
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 small ripe avocado
- 1 to 2 green onion
- 1/4 cup fresh dill
- 1/4 cup flat leafed parsley
- 2 large kales leaves
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/2 tsp salt (or more to taste)
- Blend all ingredients until smooth.
- Make-ahead: Refrigerate in airtight container for up to 3 days.
I bought purple asparagus today and guess what when roasted they turn green!
When cooking fresh asparagus, I’ve found that simple recipes are best. A quick roast in a hot oven and a drizzle of dressing is all that’s needed. Purple asparagus is more tender and sweeter than the green variety and it is not often found in a supermarket, you may need to make a trip to your local farmers market .
I like to think that purple asparagus is special because,well, it is purple!
I found some today at Fiesta Farms.
This recipe is so simple.
For the asparagus:
2 pounds asparagus (trimmed and cleaned)
1 tablespoon olive oil
For the drizzle:
1 – 2 tablespoons maple syrup ( to taste)
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
Coarse salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup almond , roughly chopped by hand(you can lightly toast them if you like).
1. Toss the asparagus in the oil.
2. Arrange the asparagus in a single layer on a baking sheet.
3. Roast in a preheated 400F oven until tender, about 15-20 minutes. (Note: Roasting time can vary greatly depending on how thick your asparagus is).
4. Mix the maple syrup, mustard, salt and pepper in a small bowl.
5. Toss or drizzle the asparagus with the maple dijon dressing and serve garnished with the almond slices.
Yesterday Yale and I went to the Toronto Raw/Vegan Festival, we tried zucchini pasta, drank coconut water from fresh young coconuts and met raw chef Douglas McNish, author of a new cookbook EatRaw, Eat Well and bought organic raw chocolate! OK, I can see some of you now rolling your eyes (Gordy) – wondering what will I be eating next! Well it is almost lunch time and Yale and I have been busy in the kitchen…
The wrap before we wrap.
Yale’s hand written recipe.
Makes enough chickpea beet spread for 4 collard wraps. I like to mash up the avocado instead of stacking slices because it gives a nice creamy texture. The bigger the collards the better. This recipe is from the food blog Honest Fare. Thank you for such a delicious recipe.
- 8 large collard leaves
- Veggies of choice (avocado, sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, sprouts, etc.) and even quinoa or sunflower seeds are nice in there too!
- Chickpea beet spread
For Chickpea beet spread:
- 10 oz soaked or canned garbanzo beans, ( we used dried and soaked over night) – if using dried you need to ccok them for about 20 minutes.
- 1/2 a med-sized beet, peeled
- 2 carrots, peeled
- Juice from one lemon
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 3 teaspoons olive oil
- Salt to taste
- Cracked black pepper to taste
- 1-2 tablespoons agave nectar
- A few sprigs of fresh parsley
- 1/4 fresh garlic clove
- Place carrots into food processor and pulse until consistency of rolled oats. Remove and set aside. Put garbanzos, beets, parsley, garlic, olive oil and lemon juice in food processor and pulse until creamy. Add a little water, one tablespoon at a time, if necessary to thin a little. Scrape sides of food processor and add salt (like 1/4 teaspoon), some pepper, tahini and agave and pulse again a few times. Taste and add any additional salt or pepper. Fold in carrots until well combines. Place in fridge to chill.
- Remove the healthiest looking collard leaves from the bunch and trim off the white stalk that does not have any green leaves attached. Soak leaves in warm water and vinegar bath for a few minutes to clean and bring to room temp.
- Dry leaves completely. Place leaves flat (rough side up) on a cutting board and gently glide a sharp paring knife across the length of the stem, shaving it down to the same thickness as the rest of the leaf (refer to image in post). Do this for each leaf. Careful not to nick or tear the leaf with the tip of your knife.
Each wrap will require two leaves for rolling. Place two leaves head to foot (with stalks at opposite ends) and overlapping about half way (refer to image in post). Apply a good amount of spread at the center where the two leaves overlap and pile up veggies of your choice. Fold in sides and tightly roll like you would a burrito. Leave whole if traveling or saving for later, but cut through center before eating.
Yale with her coconut.
My sister-in-law Jill and my niece Laura have been on a spring detox all week. I thought they could use a little something sweet to keep them on track and I have just the treat for them. Like most raw foods, these are healthy and will help when you get that craving for something sweet.
Tahini Almond Date
Raw Carrot Cake
These keep really well when stored in the fridge or freezer.
Tahini Almond Date Bites
- 12-14 large dates, pitted
- 1/2 cup raw almonds
- 1/3 cup tahini
- pinch sea salt
- 1-2 tablespoons water
- 1/4 cup sesame seeds to coat
In food processor, pulse almonds until crumbly, partly smooth. Add dates, tahini and salt, continue to process. Texture will still be slightly crumbly – add water (1 tablespoon at a time) and dough should quickly form. Form into 1 inch rounds, roll in sesame seeds to coat, and roll in hands to flatten sesame seeds into ball. Store in the fridge.
Vanilla Bliss Balls
- 2 cups raw walnuts
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla
- pinch salt
- 1/2 cup cashews
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts for rolling
Put walnuts in the processor and process until smooth. Add maple syrup, vanilla, salt and process until well combined. Add cashews and raisins and process until evenly distributed but not completely smooth. Form into 1 inch rounds, roll in crushed walnuts. Store in the fridge.
- 2 cups of walnuts
- 8 pitted dates
- 1/3 cup of cacao powder
- 1/2 cup dried cherries
- ½ tsp of vanilla extract
- 1 TBS maple syrup or honey
- Pinch of salt
- 2 tsp of water
Place the walnuts in the food processor and process into small chunks. Hold back 1/4 cup of walnuts. Add the salt to the chopped walnuts and process until finely ground. Add the dates and process until the mixture becomes sticky. Add the cacao and vanilla and process again. Add the water if needed. Add in 1/4 cup of the remaining walnuts and stir through the mixture. Form into 1 inch round balls. Roll in cacao powder. Store in the fridge.
Raw Carrot Cake Balls
- 1 cup raw almonds
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1/4 cup carrots
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1 1/2 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon raisins, chopped
- unsweetened shredded coconut for rolling (optional)
Combine almonds & oats in a food processor and pulse until almost flour consistency. Add carrots and process until finely chopped and incorporated. Add remaining ingredients except raisins and process until dough comes together and almost forms a ball in the food processor.Transfer mixture to a small bowl and fold in chopped raisins. Roll into balls. They look really pretty when rolled into shredded coconut. Store in the fridge.
Curious, so was I!
And so was Gordy, well actually he was a bit scared knowing that being the official in-house taster, he had a job to do… you are not going to make me try these are you?
Ok, the truth is I was a bit wary so just in case I had a pot of water boiling on the stove for a back up dinner of pasta.
Here is my report…
Made of only kelp (a sea vegetable), sodium alginate (sodium salt extracted from a brown seaweed), and water, Kelp Noodles are fat-free, gluten-free, and very low in carbohydrates and calories. Best of all, no cooking is required. Just rinse and add the noodles to any dish and they are ready to eat!
So, what do they taste like? They are neutral in taste, clear in colour and a have a crunchy texture, but once you cover them in a sauce they become much softer and soak up all the flavour. They make a great alternative to pasta and rice noodles.
I did get Gordy to try them and he was quite surprised at how good they tasted, but he ended up eating the pasta with Rowe Farms sausage. I ate the pad thai. We were both happy.
This is definitely not a traditional pad thai recipe, but I think you will like it.
- 1 package raw kelp noodles
- 2-3 heaping tablespoons raw almond butter or any other nut butter you like. I sometimes use raw hemp butter.
- 1 small cloves garlic
- ½ onion
- 2 tablespoons sriracha
- 4 tablespoons shoyu or tamari sauce
- 2 to 3 Medjool dates
- juice of 1 lime
- 1 carrot, shredded
- 1 cup cabbage, shredded
- ½ cup baby spinach
- 3 green onion, diced
- ½ Cilantro, chopped
- ½ Cashews, crushed
- lime wedges
- bean sprouts
Feel free to use any veggies you like.
- Place the almond butter, garlic, onion, sriracha, shoyu, dates and lime juice in the bowl of a food processor.
- Process until everything is well mixed.
- Taste for sweetness. If you like it a bit sweeter add another date.
- If sauce is to thick you can add a bit of water.
- Toss the sauce with the kelp noodles and mix well.
- Add the carrots, cabbage, spinach, green onion and cilantro and toss again.
- Garnish with the bean sprouts, cashews and lime wedges.
3 to 4 servings
Kelp Noodles from the Sea Tangle Noodle Company.
I bought these at Fiesta Farms.
An entire bag of these kelp noodles contains only 18 calories (yes, the entire bag)!