Super Simple Vegan Banana-Oat Cookies.

A super quick and simple cookie recipe I like to make when I have friends coming around. I usually use gluten-free oats, since my sister has Celiac and we live together, but you can use regular oats as well.

This recipe makes 16 small cookies, and within this recipe, you can add your favourite spices, dried fruits, etc. The only important thing is to use 1/2 cup of oats for every 1 banana you mash up.

Gluten-free
Prep time: ~15 minutes
Serves: 8

Ingredients:

  • 3 very ripe bananas.
  • 1.5 cups oats (use gluten-free oats if making the gluten-free version).
  • 2 large handfuls vegan chocolate chips.
  • 1 large handful chopped dates.
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon.
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract.
  • pinch of salt.

Cooking Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 325 F. Get a large mixing bowl, and peel your bananas. Mash them using a fork or a potato masher until they’re nice and smooth, with no lumps.

Add in the vanilla, cinnamon, and salt, and stir until combined. Next, add in the oats, mixing until the banana mixture coats the oats nicely. Toss in the chocolate chips and the dates, and stir until combined.

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. place small spoonfuls of your cookie dough onto the sheet, and squish them down slightly to form little disks. You can place them fairly close together, they don’t puff up of spread out much at all.

Bake for about 8-10 minutes, until the cookies are no longer wet to the touch and have started to crisp up nicely. Allow to cool before serving.

Kale and Cauliflower Salad

Another salad that incorporates roasted vegetables. A little more effort than usual, but I find that mixing the salad while the roasted vegetables are still warm helps the kale tenderize a little bit more and taste better. This particular salad uses cauliflower, red peppers, and carrots – only the cauliflower is roasted, though!

Gluten-free
Serves 6
Prep time: ~30 minutes.

Ingredients:

  • 8 large handfuls of chopped kale.
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely diced.
  • 1 head of cauliflower, cut into small florets.
  • 2 large carrots, peeled if desired, finely grated.
  • 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar.
  • 1/2 cup olive oil.
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard.
  • 1 tsp agave syrup.
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and finely grated.
  • salt and pepper, to taste.

Cooking Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 400 F. Line a baking sheet with some parchment paper. Tumble all of your cauliflower florets onto the baking sheet, and season well with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until soft and cooked all the way through.

While the cauliflower cooks, it’s time to make the dressing. Mix together the olive oil, vinegar, mustard, garlic, agave syrup, salt and pepper. You can blend everything together using an immersion blender, food processor, or standing blender, but you can also just mix it all by hand if you don’t mind the dressing being a little less smooth and uniform.

Once the cauliflower is done, remove it from the oven and allow it to cool slightly. This is a good time to dice up your red pepper and grate your carrots.

When the cauliflower is mostly cooled, but still a little bit warm, place all of your kale into a large bowl and mix in the cauliflower. This will allow the kale to wilt down slightly and become tender and easier to eat. Add in the bell pepper and carrots, and mix those through as well.

Dress well and serve immediately, or serve with dressing on the side to allow everyone to add as much or as little as they like!

Sage and Squash Soup

Butternut squash and sage: a classic combination. And one of my very favourites. If I learn how to make vegan pasta, you can bet I’ll be coming up with the best sage-and-butternut ravioli ever!

Gluten-free
Serves 4-6
Prep time: ~60 minutes.

Ingredients:

  • 1 butternut squash.
  • 3 tbsp olive oil.
  • 3 shallots, peeled and finely diced.
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed/minced.
  • pinch of ground nutmeg.
  • 1 small handful fresh sage, leaves removed from the stalks and chopped.
  • 4 cups vegetable stock.
  • salt and pepper, to taste.

Cooking Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 425 F. Slice the butternut squash lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds and pulp. Rinse as much pulp off of the seeds as you can, then set them aside. We’ll roast those off later when the soup is almost ready!

Line a large baking tray or dish with foil, and place your squash on it. Rub the squash generously with olive oil, salt and pepper, then roast in the oven for 30-45 minutes, until the squash is tender and cooked all the way through.

Take it out of the oven, then turn the oven down to 275 F.

When the squash is ready, start heating a large pot on medium heat with 1 tbsp of olive oil in the bottom. When the oil is hot, add in the shallot and the garlic. Cook, stirring often, until the onion begins to caramelize slightly.

Scoop all of your squash into the pot, along with the nutmeg and sage. Mix well to combine, then add in the vegetable stock. Bring to a gentle simmer, and allow to bubble for about 15 minutes.

While the soup bubbles, make some roasted squash seeds: take the seeds you rinsed off earlier and pat them dry. Line a baking tray with some parchment paper. Toss the seeds with a bit of olive oil, salt, pepper, and any spices you desire.

Pop them in the oven for 10-15 minutes, until they’re nice and toasty and begin to pop a little bit.

Once the soup’s been simmering for 15 minutes, season well with salt and pepper, and puree with an immersion blender. Serve with some of the roasted seeds and a sage leaf on top as a garnish!

 

Spiced Roasted Nuts

A great snack for low-energy days, these roasted nuts are full of protein and flavour! I’ve included two different ways to season them – one sweet, one savoury.

These also make a nice little appetizer/snack for dinner parties.

Gluten-free
Serves 8
Prep time: ~40 minutes.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups walnuts.
  • 2 cups pecans.
  • 2 cups almonds.
  • 1 cup cashews.
  • 1 cup peanuts.

For the sweet:

  • 2 tsp vegetable oil.
  • 1/2 cup sugar.
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup.
  • 2 tsp cinnamon.
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom.
  • generous pinch of salt.

For the savoury:

  • 2 tsp vegetable oil.
  • 1 tbsp sugar.
  • 2 tsp ground cumin.
  • 1 tsp ground coriander.
  • 1/4 tsp ground cayenne.
  • 1 tsp salt.

Cooking Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 300 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (depending on the size of your oven, you might need to do this in two batches). Mix together the nuts, oil, and all of the spices.

Pop them in the oven for at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the oil has dried up and the nuts are crispy and toasted.

Allow to cool completely before serving. Store in an airtight container.