Monday, September 30, 2013

Vegan MoFo - Day 30

Wow. This is it! 30 days (minus a few here and there...I'm a mom of three and was out of town!) of hempy foods...never thought I'd be able to blog about so many!

Smoothies, dips, bread, cookies, seitan...the possibilities are endless! 

Today I have an ultra hempy post. First up is dinner - Chloe Coscarelli's Avocado Pesto Pasta. Being nutfree here, and free of many other foods that are allergens to my son, pesto is normally off-limits due to pine nuts. But swap in hemp seeds and you not only have a safe dinner, but also a much healthier one too! Blended with an immersion blender with avocados, garlic, olive oil, basil and my touch, a big handful of spinach, and they are magically transformed into creamy deliciousness. After mixing with hot pasta, I topped with sundried tomatoes.

Next up is a healthy and yummy energy bar. I love this recipe because the combos are endless because it's based in ratios - you can read about it here:

Here's my combo:
  • 1-pound can of beans - black beans
  • ½ cup binder - chia/water
  • ¼ cup sweetener - agave
  • ¼ cup soft sweet fruit - applesauce 
  • 1 teaspoon of extract (optional) - vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon of dry spice (optional) - cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1.5 cups of oats
  • 1 cup dry base ingredient - hemp pro 70/ some cocoa
  • 1 cup stir-ins - choc chips/coconut/hemp seeds

I then topped the baked and cooked bars with 1 1/2 times the recipe of frosting from Dreena Burton's B-raw-nies. I could just make it and eat it out of the mini food processor. Thick and fudgey!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Vegan MoFo - Day 29

It's breakfast time!!!

Great way to use the many apples we picked last week + get in lots of hemp!

My fave waffle recipe is actually a Dreena Burton pancake recipe from Let Them Eat Vegan. I always double the recipe and use hemp milk as the nondairy milk of choice. It's great because the only sweetener in the waffle is the apple (which I grate) and hemp I feel a little less guilty about that drizzle of maple syrup. And each waffle gets about two tablespoons worth of hempseeds...what a healthy way to start the day!

I would have embellished with more fruit but I had to snap a pic, gulp it down, then feed a little hungry 4-month-old...


Saturday, September 28, 2013

Vegan MoFo - Day 28

Here's another salad dressing...this one is way more 'hempy' than the last be honest, I didn't really like it. I just found it was missing something. 

I think you could have made this, then tossed in a big handful of sundried tomatoes. Would have made something like a 1000 Islands style dressing, but it would have given it more punch!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Vegan MoFo - Day 26

I love adding hemp seeds to baked goods...can you see them in my crackers?

Look hard...How about now?

I always double a batch of Chloe Coscarelli's Goldfish Crackers (I use homemade marg and whole wheat flour as subs) then add in about 1 cup of hempseeds to the dry ingredients. So noochy and flaky!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Vegan MoFo - Day 25

There are times that you think you have a great recipe already, and then you get schooled.

Take, for instance, my vegan French toast: I was completely happy mixing up rice milk, flour, nooch, vanilla and cinnamon. That is, until I tested Dreena Burton's recipe for Cinnamon French Toast from her forthcoming new cookbook. 

I, of course, followed her instructions to make it nut free by using hemp instead of cashews, but her recipe also calls for chia...BRILLIANT! I'm not yet completely sold on the chia pudding thing yet, but it's application in French toast is perfect! The hemp plus chia combo (plus my own toss-in of nooch!) really bumped up the nutritional profile and tasted awesome! And I used my homemade Quinoa-Hemp-Oat Bread (blogged about earlier) so it made this an even more healthy dinner!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Vegan MoFo - Day 24

Boost bread dough AND pizza dough with hempseeds!

Sprinkle in 1/2 cup per batch!

Adds pretty flecks!


Pizza Dough

1 cup warm water
1 tbsp yeast
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp agave
1 1/4 cups unbleached flour
1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup hempseeds

Mix water and yeast in stand mixer bowl and set aside 10 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and mix on low speed using dough hook for 2-3 minutes. Remove hook and bowl from mixer, swirl in a little more olive oil to coat dough, then cover bowl with a towel and set in a warm place for 1 hour. Divide dough into 6 pieces, flatten and brush each side with olive oil. Ready to bake or BBQ!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Vegan MoFo - Day 21

I love subbing hempseeds for nut butters when they are intended for thickening this Sugar-Free Brownie Batter Dip from Chocolate Covered Katie!

Hello...nice boost of complete protein and omegas to boot! Love serving it with Farm Boy Cinnamon Chips and some cool coconut whipped cream and cocoa nibs.

Ps - I use black beans instead of chickpeas:

Friday, September 20, 2013

Vegan MoFo - Day 20

How else to use hemp in a way that you'd never guess?

In bread!

Based on Vegan Lunch Box's Blue Ribbon  Bread. Makes three loaves, but I double batch it to make 6 loaves at a time! Thank goodness for lots of loaf pans and a double wall oven :)

Quinoa-Hemp-Oat Bread

2 cups warm water
2 tbsp yeast 
1 tbsp salt
1/2 cup agave
1/2 cup light olive oil
2 cups cooked quinoa, room temp
3 cups whole wheat flour
3 cups unbleached flour
1 cup gluten flour
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup hemp seeds
Coconut oil for greasing pans

Mix water and yeast in stand mixer bowl and let stand 10 minutes. Add salt, agave, oil, quinoa and whole wheat flour. Stir, cover with tea towel and let sit in a warm place for 2 hours. 

Add unbleached flour, gluten flour, oats and hempseeds. Mix in stand mixer on lowest setting until dough forms a ball. Add a little olive oil to the bowl and swirl loaf around. Cover again and let sit 1 hour. 

Grease loaf pans and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Divide dough into three sections, flatten, then roll each into loaf shape and place in pan. Repeat with remaining dough. Cover again and let rise for 30 minutes. Place loaves in oven and bake 40 minutes. Remove from pans and let cool on a cooling rack then slice!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Vegan MoFo - Day 19

Well, I missed another day but I was distracted by a big bus-train crash in my community that has been major national news. My condolences to those who lost their loved ones, and I wish a speedy recovery to the many injured. 

I just can't be too lighthearted about today's entry...again testing for Dreena Burton and this time it was for Healthy Caramel Apple Sauce (Dip? Can't remember the exact name and recipe isn't close). It's meant to be a healthier version of the caramel on a caramel apple:

Clearly this is not smooth and glossy. But man, is it ever tasty! And I don't have to worry about the kids burning themselves on a hot syrup as they decorate. Now I've never tried a caramel nor candy apple, but these were yummy. This sauce/dip would be great to dip any fruit into.

The toppings were the fun part - chocolate chips, coconut and candied hempseeds! Just combine 1 cup hempseeds with 1 cup sugar in a frying pan with a couple of tablespoons of water. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently until sugar is almost dried and mixture doesn't seem overly wet, then pour onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment and cool. Makes a great snack too!


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Vegan MoFo - Day 17

Add hempseeds to cooked rice or risotto to bump up the protein, plus to add a little extra colour.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Vegan MoFo - Day 16

Warning: This is an epic post!!!

Here is my recipe for cookies chock full of hemp. Forget those other cookies that pretend to be healthy because they call for 1 cup of oats to go with the piles of butter/margarine and sugar. I don't feel all that guilty for eating these, and they are allergy-friendly to boot!

These require a high speed blender or food processor to pulverize the hemp seeds, as well as a stand mixer to blend the thick dough (unless you really want a sore arm).

Best Chocolate Chunk Cookies Ever

2 cups hempseeds
2/3 cup maple syrup
3 tablespoons oil (I use light olive; coconut is yummy too)
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups oat flour (use Only Oats brand for wheat-free)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cardamom
2 1/2 cups rolled oats (use Only Oats brand for wheat-free)
1 1/2 cups chocolate 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (I like my convection bake setting foe this, so i can bake them all at once). Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

In a high speed blender or food processor, blend hempseeds, maple syrup, oil and vanilla until thick and smooth, about 1 minute, scraping down sides if necessary. Scoop mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer.

With the mixer running on low, add oat flour, soda and spices and mix until combined. Alternate adding in oats and chocolate chips. 

Use a medium scoop to form mixture and place onto prepared cookie sheet, leaving 2 inches between mounds.. Once the sheet is full, wet the palm of your hand and flatten each cookie. Bake for 10-12 minutes.

You can also shape them into bars! Spread mixture on parchment lined cookie sheet and shape to a rectangle. Score lightly into bars with a pizza roller and bake for 25-30 minutes. Once golden, remove from oven and slice deeper along score lines. Let cool and slice along lines into bars.

Don't feel like making these? Check out my biz ( to order some for pick up here in Ottawa!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Vegan MoFo - Day 15

I'm tired.

I have a 4-month-old who is now waking in the night more than ever, so forgive me for this short post.

I'm even too tired to really cook anything.

Enter my version of fast food! From nothing to done in 15 minutes :)

Fast Pasta

1 375g box pasta (I like fusilli - hemp seeds stick well!)
2 tbsp olive oil
4 shallots, chopped
1 can artichoke hearts in water, drained
1 28oz can diced tomatoes, drained
1 19oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp dried oregano
3/4 cup hemp seeds

Add pasta to pot with boiling water. Cook to package directions. Meanwhile, heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and cook 2 minutes. Add artichokes, tomatoes, chickpeas and seasonings. Bring to a boil then lower heat to a simmer and cook until pasta is cooked. Drain pasta then add to sauce and mix. Turn off hear and add hemp seeds and serve...easy! I like mine with a little balsamic vinegar.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Vegan MoFo - Day 14

What is wrong with this lunch?

Ah, chips and salsa. I normally snack on this but felt like eating it for lunch today. The problem? I don't find it to be all that nutritionally sound. How to fix it? 

Ta-da! Toss in a serving of hempseeds and you add great protein, omegas and fibre to help feel fuller! Although its not authentic Mexican, it is super tasty and was easier than opening a can of beans, with a greater health punch!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Vegan MoFo - Day 13

Here is a not-so-guilty pleasure:

You may be totally wondering what on earth these are...but if you like whole foods à la Dreena Burton like me, then you would know that these are Cocoa Cookie Dough Balls - delicious mounds of dates, cocoa, raisins, oats, chocolate and - standing in for almonds - hemp seeds! As I mentioned many times before, hemp seeds are a perfect stand in for ground nuts!

These are a wonderful treat without all of the refined sugar and can be dolled up by rolling the soft dough in any coating before chilling. Or you can be like me and count yourself lucky that some of the soft dough can actually be rolled and not all eaten straight out of the food processor bowl :/

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Vegan MoFo - Day 12

Yes, this is another recipe-tester-teaser post.

I tested the tangy Mango-Hemp Dressing recipe from Dreena Burton's upcoming cookbook. This dressing is remarkable because there is no added oil! But it's also remarkable because there are hempseeds!!! It's so smooth and rich like a creamy salad dressing, but with a great added dose of protein! Try adding hempseeds to any creamy salad dressing!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Vegan MoFo - Day 11

I totally missed Day 10 :( 

Anyways, on to Day 11! This is my fave fast food! Wonder Pasta! Everything cooks in one pot in less than 15 minutes!

I modify the original recipe by adding piles of baby spinach to the mix, then, once cooked, I toss in a can of rinsed beans and top with...hempseeds!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Vegan MoFo - Day 9

Ok, I've been a little behind...and my ideas haven't been super out-of-this-world since I had to skip out of town.

But what are out-of-this-world are Dreena Burton's recipe for No-Bake Granola Bars from her upcoming cookbook, for which I am a lucky recipe tester. These are delicious, easy and allergy-friendly - hooray! I had to make these again after my first batch was devoured and this time added goji berries, cacao nibs and of course, hemp seeds!

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Vegan MoFo - Day 8

Okay - I really need to get home to my kitchen!

Quick and easy - no nut butter sandwich with hempseeds sprinkled inside!

Saturday, September 07, 2013

Vegan MoFo - Day 7

I'm currently out of town for my grandpa's funeral. It's a small town and I'm not expecting to find any real vegan fare, nor do I want to be a pain at mealtime. But I want to ensure that I'm getting the nutrition I need while away from my kitchen.

Enter a ziploc sandwich bag filled with hempseeds. It's a great, shelf-stable way for me to ensure that I can get protein on the go without having to resort to hummus.

Why buy soy-based versions of ground beef when you can add a generous helping of hempseeds to take its place? I love adding them to pasta sauce for enhanced texture and nutrients! Easy!

Friday, September 06, 2013

Vegan MoFo - Day 6

Hemp seeds can easily be blended into dips and spreads!

You totally can't see the black bean spread in the no-queso quesadilla in this pic, but I promise it's there! I always sub hemp seeds for tahini since I don't trust any brand to be nut free :( but hemp seeds are a perfect sub for sesame for those with nut and sesame allergies!

Here's the great recipe courtesy of VegNews:

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Vegan MoFo - Day 5

This is a no-brainer post. 

What do you see? Hemp seeds? 

No! You don't! A couple of tablespoons blend so easily in any smoothie that they are almost invisible!

I'm fond of rice milk with banana, frozen pineapple, frozen mango and hemp seeds. A yummy snack packed with protein, vitamins and fibre!

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Vegan MoFo - Day 4

Hempseeds are awesome to throw into baked goods! 

In this case, I threw them into Dreena Burton's Homestyle Chocolate Chip Cookies. Delicious! I had intended to make itty bitty cookies using my smallest scoop but man, these puppies really spread out. Oh well, I thought, I'll just go ahead and make ice cream sandwiches since they were the perfect size! I thought I was being so novel.

But what I didn't realize was that the bottom of the recipe gave instructions for doing just that. Next time I will a) refrigerate the cookies to avoid bending them and squishing chocolate chips all over my hands and b) not forget about the softening ice cream so that it doesn't get as soft as soup. Ah well. I gave the sides a little roll into hempseeds and chocolate chips. Delish!

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Vegan MoFo - Day 3

Not only are hempseeds great to sprinkle in oatmeal and on any salad for an extra protein boost, but they are a wonderful nut substitute for those with allergies. 

For instance, I adore Dreena Burton's Umami Almond, Quinoa and Sundried Tomato Burgers. Clearly, the name alone makes it a no-no for those with nut allergies. But swap the almonds for an equal amount of hempseeds and - Ta-da! - great allergy-friendly burgers, or meatballs, or crumbled into ground round.

These are GF and also soy-free (using coconut aminos) and so darn easy. I always keep tubs of cooked quinoa in my freezer so that I can make these quickly. I usually do a double batch and freeze half in a tub so that I'm good to go. Its so good and versatile that I vow to never make another mushy vegan bean burger again!

This time I made the mix into meatballs and topped my pasta with them. Yum! Omnivores give rave reviews!

I served it alongside a fennel salad - this was much second time eating fennel and I loved how fresh and crisp this salad was. I'm annoyed that I only discovered it at the end of summer. Of course, I mixed in some hempseeds!

 P.S. Any tips to bring my blog from 2006 to 2013 would be totally helpful :)

Monday, September 02, 2013

Vegan MoFo - Day 2

Wow, I'm off to a good start! Another entry! 

Another Oh She Glows recipe - Eat Your Greens Chickpea Medley. This is my second time making this...I modified it by adding hempseeds (my MoFo theme) and cooked quinoa since I had some lying around. Love this! Next time I will scrap the quinoa and toast up some garlicky pitas to crumble on top.

Here's the link that has way nicer pics than my blog:

Vegan MoFo!

Let's see if I can actually post daily! Given that my first post is on September 2nd, I'm afraid I'm not off to a good start.

My theme this year is...wait for it...hemp seeds! Should be interesting to see the many ways I consume hemp seeds every day!

I buy my hemp seeds directly from Manitoba Harvest in large quantities, but they are so widespread in Canada that they are available at Costco and Loblaws, as well as natural food stores.

Chock full of complete protein, omegas and iron, these babies should be part of every vegan's diet! Also great for food allergies, as they make a great substitute for nuts.

Here's my first entry: Blueberry Banana Pie Overnight Oats from Oh She Glows:
Crappy mobile blogger doesn't let me embed links and just changed my font size!

Anyways, here they are with hemp seeds instead of nuts!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Oh My Amaranth!

I have had a package of amaranth in my cupboard for a couple of months now - I had heard about this iron-rich, gluten-free supergrain and decided to give it a go in a recipe that called for it to be cooked in a chowder-like soup. I have to admit, I thought it was disgusting. I then wondered - how on earth am I going to use this stuff up?

Enter my issue of Fresh Juice! It mentions to pop it - like mini popcorn! I was pumped! I found a great video tutorial online (I'd link to it but mobile blogger sucks) - the technique was beyond putting kernels in a brown paper bag and microwaving, like I do for popcorn. The instructions in the mag seemed to suggest topping it with a little oil and eating by hand. Perfect! I thought. Except maybe these people have miniature fingers since there's no way you can shove this popped stuff in your mouth without making a giant mess - the puffed kernels aren't much bigger than the grain itself!

But the taste is much better - I've found myself sprinkling the puffed grain on steel cut oats, salads, and on pasta. But it was begging for something more.

I remembered seeing something on the Fresh Juice blog about mixing it with chocolate. Kyle sold it to the kids as a 'chocolate bar'. I fear that this sort of trickery is like a form of mini tree-hugger child abuse. But seriously it's so good, and the kids were none the wiser and begged more more! It's a new staple in this house.

Chocolate Amaranth Bars
(Gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free)

1 cup melted chocolate (Enjoy Life)
1 1/2 to 2 cups popped amaranth (google search it!)

Mix! Spread onto parchment lined cookie sheet and spread to same thickness as if you were making bark. Chill in the fridge at least one hour, then break into pieces. 

Plan to make this often - it doesn't last long!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Surprise Cookies

I really like cookies. They are easy to grab, less crumby than muffins and have a certain appeal as their namesake is often synonymous with a 'treat' of sorts. 

But I have a real issue making or eating a cookie that contains unnecessary vegan margarine and loads of sugar. Yeah, I get that it's supposed to be a treat and all, but if the last two years dealing with my son's food allergies have taught me anything, it's to make the most nutritionally sound choices for anything that goes into our mouths. So what that a cookie is vegan because it contains Earth Balance and organic sugar - you're no further ahead!

Well, these cookies stick to my principles, but you would never know it. As a result, I had to call these Surprise Cookies. If you've read any of my blog posts over the past year, although sparse, any recipe seems to involve hemp. So I'm being sarcastic alluding to the 'secret' surprise ingredient. But what's more surprising is what else is in them, and even more so, what's not!

Those avoiding wheat could enjoy these since they use oat flour and rolled oats (Only Oats brand could be used). Sweetness comes from puréed raisins and a few chocolate chunks (dark chocolate would also be a great sub), while body comes from puréed hemp hearts and shredded coconut. Iron-rich cocoa powder, hemp milk, vanilla, a touch of coconut oil and baking soda round out the rest of the ingredients. Take that, recipes that call for mounds of butter, sugar and wheat flour.

The key to making these look like regular cookies is to purée the crap out of the hemp seeds and raisins. I used to do this in my Vitamix, but its hard to scrape everything out away from the blade. Since getting my Breville Sous-Chef food processor, I've had a much easier time scraping out the mix while getting everything just as blended as I would have in the Vitamix. I can't vouch for regular blenders or food processors as to whether or not they have the power to pulverize the ingredients.

Surprise Cookies
(Wheat-free, nut-free, soy-free)
Makes about 3 dozen

2 cups hemp seeds (I use Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts)
1 1/2 cups raisins
3 tbsp coconut oil
1 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
1/4-1/2 cup hemp milk
2 1/2 cups oat flour
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 cups rolled oats
1 1/4 cups chocolate chunks or chopped dark chocolate

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line three cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Place the hemp seeds, raisins, coconut oil, vanilla extract and 1/4 cup hemp milk in a high-powered blender or food processor. Purée until a smooth brown blob forms, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a mixing bowl or to the bowl of a stand mixer (preferred! It's tough to mix this stuff by hand!). 

Add oat flour, cocoa powder, coconut and baking soda and mix. Add a little hemp milk if the mixture is dry. Carefully add the oats and chocolate chunks and mix until well-incorporated.

Drop by medium-sized scoops (heaping tablespoon) onto parchment, leaving 2 inches between blobs. Flatten with the palm of your hand, then bake for 10 minutes. Let cool completely on pans.

Monday, April 01, 2013

Baked Yeasted Vegan Doughnuts

I have owned my donut pans for quite some time. I have excitedly made lots of vegan baked doughnuts, but all definitely on the 'cakey' side. While they were good, they just tasted like a cupcake in a different form. I wanted something that didn't taste like a grocery store donut, but rather like something from Tim Hortons, but vegan, not fried and of course, allergy-safe!

I finally got around to making these:

I subbed in rice milk, used coconut oil instead of shortening, and ground chia instead of flax. The result? A delicious, moist dough. I separated into 12 pieces and pinched tubes into my ungreased pan. I followed the same baking instructions but put two pans in at once on convection (I had two very eager kiddos!). Worked perfectly!

We topped with vanilla and chocolate glazes, allergy-free natural sprinkles, hemp seeds and coconut flakes. Lots of fun for the kids to decorate! Too much fun to eat :)

Thursday, January 03, 2013


Being vegan is great these days with so many cookbooks and convenience foods, but dealing with life-threatening allergies with your kid sucks.  I've been in a rut lately trying to find ideas for lunches that would appeal to the world's pickiest 2-year-old...the same kid that has several life-threatening food allergies.  It's not fun.  And I like to cook. 

Lately I've been extra bitter that I can't just whip out peanut butter (life-threatening allergy to peanuts and tree nuts), or the supposed allergy-safe Sunbutter (severely allergic to sunflower plus it may contain soy, which is life-threatening), nor pea-based butters (despite growing out of legumes, some pulses bother him).  How I long to just make a quick sandwich with one of those, with some fruit.  I remembered how as I kid I ate Nutella sandwiches in ridiculous quantities - so much so, that my mother ended up with a complete set of drinking glasses (they used to be packaged that way - great recycling idea back in the day!).

And then I had an epiphany today - I use hemp for everything under the sun!  Surely I could make a spread with it!  And this is pretty much what I did: I threw all of this stuff in the Vitamix and blended.  Easy!  And somehow, it doesn't have that grassy hempy taste...somehow it tastes like hazelnuts!  It's totally weird!

Hempella (Nut-free, Dairy-Free, Soy-Free, Gluten-Free)

1 cup shelled hemp seeds (I use Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts)
1/2 cup agave nectar
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup rice milk powder
2 tablespoons coconut oil, room temperature
Optional: piece of vanilla bean or scraped seeds

Put liquids in Vitamix jug first, then dry ingredients, ending with hemp seeds.  Blend, using the plunger to help mix everything up so it's consistently smooth, about 1 minute.  If mixture looks a little dry, add a little more agave until it gets running more smoothly. Scrape into a jar with a lid. 

I used this as a spread on a wrap with bananas, but can also see this plopped into homemade ice cream in the last few minutes to make fudge chunks, or to sandwich two cookies together.  It's pretty rich and nutty tasting!