Dinner Time Nom-nom-noms

I had a surprisingly excellent run with recipes this past week, so I figured it would be an ideal time to start sharing some of these compassionate recipes with you all!

happy cow

Keep cows happy- go dairy free.

Let’s start with dinner. The weather in KW lately has been horrible– OK I’m exaggerating; but, when you’ve come from Windsor (Canada’s ‘down South’), you don’t have much tolerance for the ‘real’ Canadian Fall/Winter. Snow in October is simply unacceptable! In light of this cold weather, I was feeling like some traditional comfort food and for me that’s mac ‘n cheese. Now, in trying to live more compassionately (and financially friendly!) I’ve been trying to give up dairy. It’s not easy– I LOVE cheese and at one point I definitely said I could never live without it. In any case, I found an interesting looking recipe for vegan ‘cheeze’ sauce, dairy free and enriched with pureed pumpkin. I’d recently baked two sugar pumpkins and pureed the flesh, so this was a perfect opportunity for me to use up some of that goop in my fridge (goop = appetizing vegetable goodness!).

Here is the recipe I used to make a delicious pumpkin cheeze sauce, courtesy of Angela Liddon at Oh She Glows:

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp Earth Balance (or other non-dairy butter replacer)
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened and unflavoured non-dairy milk (I used coconut milk)
  • 1 tbsp arrowroot flour (I use whole wheat)
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 6 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 tsp mustard (your favorite– I used honey dijon)
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • Kosher salt & black pepper, to taste (I used 1/2 tsp salt)
  • herbs/seasonings, to taste (sage or cinnamon would be nice!)

1. Melt Earth balance in a pot over low-medium heat.

2. Whisk together milk, flour and garlic powder until clumps are gone. Add into pot and whisk.

3. Stir in nutritional yeast, mustard, salt and pepper and whisk over low heat until thickened (about 5-7 minutes or so). Lastly, add in 1 cup of canned pumpkin and stir until combined and heated through.

Mix with two cups of cooked pasta (we used traditional whole wheat elbow macaroni) and dig in! I was SO surprised by this recipe– when I was describing what was in it to Bill when he got home from work, his reaction to every described ingredient was ‘that sounds gross’. Mine was too, but it was honestly SO delicious I don’t even know what happened there. I think the nutritional yeast, which really does have a sort of ‘cheesy’ flavor, really brought everything together. And it added some much-need vitamin B12. SCORE. (Another friend of mine said that my description of this dish sounded like ‘feet’– I’m telling you, nutritional yeast may sound gross but it’s really good!)

To go with this dish, I also picked up a baked maple lentil recipe from the same site, and altered it a bit to my taste. The result was this recipe:

Baked Maple Lentils 

Ingredients

1 can of lentils
1 sweet onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 sweet apple, peeled and diced (I used Gala)
1/2 of an acorn squash, baked and cubed
2.5 tbsp pure maple syrup
2 tbsp blackstrap molasses
2 tsp regular mustard
1/2-1 tsp fine grain sea salt + ground pepper, to taste
1-2.5 tbsp red wine vinegar

1. Preheat oven to 375F.Rinse and drain lentils. In a glass baking dish, add lentils along with onion, garlic, apple, squash, maple syrup, blackstrap molasses, mustard, salt, and pepper.  Stir well to combine. Add the vinegar and cover with tin foil

3. Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven, uncover, and stir. Bake for another 8-12 minutes, uncovered, until the onions and garlic are cooked through.  Season with salt and pepper to taste before serving.

I also sauteed up some delicious purple kale with garlic as an extra side and here is the finished result!:

mac n cheeze

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