Profuse apologies that my Monday Make has been set aside a lot these days. I’m thinking I may need to re-think the weekly thing and go to bi-monthly? Just so much going on with school work and blah blah blah, as you’re hearing it (just like Charlie Brown’s teacher). I do love recipes, and I do love to post, so bear with me as I figure it out.
Today, I thought I’d make it up to y’all with a pile of recipes I’ve done lately that are new to me, and we’ve so enjoyed. I am all excited by two new cookbooks I’ve come across: One, “Oh She Glows” by Angela Liddon, and two, Livwise: Easy Recipes for a Healthy, Happy Life, by Olivia Newton John. I always wondered what became of her? And there she was, on the library display stand looking very well and healthy. To my great surprise, when I started reading the introduction sections to each chapter, I learned at the publishing of the book she was 62 years old!!! I kept staring at the photos and thinking, goodness, either they did a great photoshop job on her, or really I should maybe be trying to eat like her so I can look that good at 62! I’ll let you know if any of my wrinkle lines start to disappear.
We discovered the author of “Oh She Glows” lives in a city not too far away in Ontario which is always exciting to find out. Not that we’re going to get invited for tea and one of her famous glow bars or anything, but just neat to know a fellow Ontarian had a hugely successful book published (I’m not jealous).
Let’s start with those very famous glow bars she has put into print. I learned from her book that she made 500 of them herself on a weekly basis for her customers! That’s one driven woman. They are quite delicious, and I love the little tips she gave to wrap each individually in saran wrap and store in the freezer. It sure makes it easier to pull out for the children’s’ snack break mid-morning or afternoon. I don’t think I’ll, however, be mimicking her beautiful display of them wrapped in red and white checked paper (or is it fabric?) and tied with brown string. It’s from the freezer to the table to the mouth for us.
Line a 9-inch (2.5 L) square cake pan with two pieces of parchment
Combine oats, rice crisp cereal, hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, coconut, sesame seeds, chia seeds, cinnamon, and salt, and mix.
Stir brown rice syrup (I used honey) and peanut butter until well combined. Cook over medium to high heat until mixture softens and bubbles slightly, then remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
Pour peanut butter mixture over the oat mixture, using a spatula (to get all last bits). Stir well with metal spoon until all oats and cereal are coated in the wet mixture. If you add chocolate chips to this, make sure you allow the mixture to cool slightly first before folding in the chipits so they don’t melt.
Put the mixture in the prepared pan and spread it evenly around. Wet your hands and press down the mixture. She suggests using a pastry roller to compact the mixture better and more firmly down.
Put the pan in the freezer, but don’t cover it. Leave for 10 mins or until they’re firm.
Lift out the square oat mixture from the pan using parchment as handles, and cut them into the size of bars you want on a cutting board. She suggested using a pizza cutter and I highly recommend this. It worked great! It should produce 12 bars.
Wrap the bars individually in saran wrap and store in an airtight container in your fridge for up to 2 weeks. She also mentions you can just store in the freezer for up to a month.
One more recipe from this amazing cookbook and maybe you’ll want to click that purchase bar or hit the nearest bookstore or library to check it out. This one is called 10 Spic Vegetable Soup with Cashew Cream. It’s hard to find a recipe in our home that all six of us can say we like. This one actually did the trick. One of the tricks to make it do the trick, was not just the delicious flavour, but pureeing it for two of mine who like soups smooth. The other four of us preferred it chunky. We do what we have to do in the house to make it work, don’t we?
3/4 C raw cashews, soaked first (overnight or for 4 hours)
6 C vegetable broth
2 tsp Olive oil
4 cloves of garlic
1 sweet or yellow onion, diced
3 medium carrots, chopped
1 1/2 C peeled and chopped sweet potato, regular potato, or butternut squash
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes, with their juices
1 Tbsp 10 Spice blend (recipe below)
Fine grain sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 bay leaves
1-2 C baby spinach or stems removed baby spinach (I used celery tops since we had lots from a friend’s garden)
torn kale leaves (optional)
1 15 oz can of chickpeas or other beans, drained and rinsed (optional)
Blend the soaked and drained cashews with 1 C of the veggie broth and blend the highest speed until smooth. Set aside.
Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and sauté for 3-5 mins.
Add carrots, bell pepper, potato, celery, diced tomatoes, remaining 5 C of veggie broth, cashew cream, and 10 Spice Blend. Stir well to combine. Bring mixture to boil and reduce heat to medium-low. Season with salt and black pepper and add the bay leaves.
Simmer the soup, uncovered, for 20 minutes until veggies are tender. Season with salt and black pepper. During last five minutes of cooking, stir in spinach and beans. Remove and discard bay leaves before serving.
*The author suggests if you don’t have all the ingredients for the 10 Spice Blend, to just use your favourite store bought Cajun or Creole seasoning mix. I happened to have all the ingredients for the 10 Spice Blend and I highly recommend using it. It sure was a wonderful mix of flavours, and is really what makes the soup so tasty!
Don’t you think this soup would make a great one to have done Sunday night and use at least 2 days in a row for a hot lunch with the kiddos? It has that autumn feel to it, and the desire to warm up our insides mid-day. Only problem is, it may make us feel like having a siesta after the satisfactory feeling of fulness and warmth. Maybe you ought to leave it for the weekend in that case.
Next, let’s get to the Grease is the word girl’s cookbook. My eldest was in charge of dinner the other evening and she made both the salad and the main dish out of this cookbook, and five of the six of us were highly impressed. I’m sure many of you already guessed it was littlest, with her looks of disdain over trying new foods, who was the one turning up her nose. She is encouraged to try new foods, though, so we had her half convinced with part of the salad, but not quite sold over the falafels. To each his own I guess.
Olivia Newton John’s Falafels:
1 small yellow onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 C flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon
1/4 C olive oil
1 C sprouted chickpeas (or just use from a can of them like we did)
1/2 C sesame seeds, soaked in water for 1 hr, then drained
1 C almonds, soaked in water for 1 hr, then drained
1 C walnuts, soaked in water for 1 hr, then drained
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
sprouted hummus dip (or just store bought hummus or some you’ve made yourself but forgot to sprout. ha!)
Preheat oven to 350 F; line a baking sheet with parchment paper
Put onion, garlic, parsley, lemon juice, and oil into a food processor and process until combined. Add remaining ingredients but not the hummus dip and tabouleh and 1/4 C water and process until well combined and the mixture comes together to form a thick paste. She says you may need to add a little more water if your mixture is too dry.
Take big Tbsps of the mixture at a time and roll into neat balls. Repeat to make 30 falafels. Place them on prepared sheet and bake for 25 mins, turning once during cooking. They should be lightly browned and firm to the touch.
Serve with plain yogurt and some Tabouleh and Avocado salad (recipe to follow…)
Tabouleh and Avocado salad:
1/2 C bulgur
1 celery stalk, thinly sliced
1 Lebanese (short) cucumber, cut into 1/2 inch cubes (or whatever cukes you have in your garden)
2 large plum tomatoes, seeded and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 large avocados, peeled, stones removed (of course) and flesh thinly sliced
8 scallions, thinly sliced
1 bunch of flat-leaf (Italian) parsley finely chopped (not sure why this matters what kind? We prefer the curly kind)
1 bunch mint, leaves finely chopped
Lemon Vinegar Dressing:
1/2 C olive oil
freshly squeezed juice of 2 lemons
finely grated zest of 2 lemons
2 1/2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1 garlic clove, crushed
pinch sea salt
pinch xylitol (a natural alternative to sugar available in most health stores; it’s a substance taken from fruit, vegetables, and birch trees). We just used a pinch of sugar to be honest (or leave it out altogether)
Put the bulgur in a bowl and pour over enough boiling water to cover by 2 inches. Set aside to soak for 10-15 mins, or until tender. Drain well.
Make the lemon vinegar dressing by putting all ingredients in a jar and shake well to combine. Set aside until needed.
Put the drained bulgur in a bowl with celery, cukes, tomatoes, avocados, scallions, parsley and mint. Add 1/3 C of the lemon vinegar dressing, and toss gently to combine.
Divide the salad between serving bowls and drizzle with the remaining dressing to serve.
That’s it for the Monday Make. Sorry for the lack of pics today but I hope you enjoy trying some of these delicious recipes. We’ve enjoyed them and wanted to share our recent new tries with you. Happy Monday Make to y’all!