Easy Mulled Wine

A wonderful, cozy drink for fall and winter, this has always been a big hit at Thanksgiving and Christmas parties!

Mulled wine is popular all over Europe, and for a very good reason! It’s warm, deliciously spiced, and makes those chilly grey days feel a little brighter.

I’ve included a recipe for both red mulled wine and white mulled wine! The red is a bit heavier in flavour and spices, the white is a bit lighter and sweeter, but both are delicious!  For a white, I’d suggest a Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc and for a red, a Pinot Noir or a Merlot.

Prep time: ~20 minutes
Gluten-free
Serves 8-12

Ingredients:

For the white mulled wine:

  • 1 bottle (750 ml) white wine.
  • 1 orange.
  • 5 cloves.
  • 3 star anise.
  • 2 cm fresh ginger, peeled and sliced thinly.
  • 3 tbsp white sugar.
  • 1/2 cup water.

For the red mulled wine:

  • 1 bottle (750 ml) red wine.
  • 1 orange.
  • 1 lemon.
  • 5 cloves.
  • 2 star anise.
  • 2 cinnamon sticks.
  • 2 cm fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced.
  • 3 tbsp white sugar.
  • 1/2 cup water.

Cooking Instructions:

For the white wine:

Rinse the orange well under warm water. Using either a vegetable peeler or a zester (one that cuts the peel into thin strips), remove as much of the peel as you can without getting any of the pith. Juice the orange.

In a pot over medium-low heat, mix together the sugar, water, orange juice, orange peel, and spices. Once the sugar has dissolved, add in the wine, reduce the heat to low, and cover the pot to prevent the wine from evaporating. Allow to mull for at least 5 minutes, then reheat on medium-low until the wine is nice and hot.

For the red wine:

Rinse the orange and lemon well under warm water. Using either a vegetable peeler or a zester (one that cuts the peel into thin strips), remove as much of the peel as you can without getting any of the pith. Juice the orange.

In a pot over medium-low heat, mix together the sugar, water, orange juice, orange and lemon peel, and spices. Once the sugar has dissolved, add in the wine, reduce the heat to low, and cover the pot to prevent the wine from evaporating. Allow to mull for at least 5 minutes, then reheat on medium-low until the wine is nice and hot.

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Watermelon Mint Lemonade

A super refreshing drink perfect for hot, sunny, summer days! One of my personal favourites as well.

Prep time: ~20 minutes
Serves: 10-12
Gluten-free

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 watermelon, cut into small chunks.
  • 1 large bunch mint.
  • 1 cup white sugar.
  • 250 ml water.
  • 1 pinch salt.
  • 250 ml lemon juice.
  • 2 liters cold water.
  • sprig of mint for garnish (optional)

Cooking Instructions:

First, we’re going to make a watermelon-mint syrup. Place the sugar, water, watermelon, and mint in a pot on high heat. Stir occasionally, until all of the sugar is dissolved and it comes to a boil.

Take it off the heat and remove the mint leaves. Allow to cool, then place the syrup and watermelon chunks in a blender and blend until smooth.

Take a large pitcher and pour the lemon juice in. Strain in the watermelon syrup to avoid any seeds getting in the lemonade. Add the cold water. You may want a little more or a little less water, depending on how strong you like your lemonade!

Stir the whole thing up, then serve over ice, garnished with mint if desired, and enjoy!

Cucumber and Dill Salad

A delicious and refreshing salad for the hot summer months. Super quick and easy, this is a perfect side dish for anything you throw on the barbecue, like veggie kebabs!

Prep time: ~10 minutes
Serves: 4-6
Gluten-free

Ingredients:

  • 2 English cucumbers, very thinly sliced.
  • 1 large handful dill.
  • 1 small handful mint.
  • 2 tbsp olive oil.
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar.
  • salt.
  • pepper.

Cooking Instructions:

Pick the leaves off of the dill and mint, leaving the larger stems behind. Tear the dill into smaller fronds, then finely slice the mint leaves.

In a large bowl, mix the cucumber with the oil, then add in the herbs, salt, and pepper. Toss well to coat, then stir in the vinegar. Give it one last toss, and it’s ready to go! You can also leave this salad in the fridge for a few hours to pickle in the vinegar if you’d like.

Vegan Chocolate and Coconut Truffles

These are deliciously creamy and rich, with a lovely hint of coconut! Incredibly easy to make, though they do take a while to set in the fridge before you can eat them. If you can’t have dairy for whatever reason, these are a great option.

Prep time: ~4 hours, largely inactive
Serves: 8-10
Gluten-free

Ingredients:

  • 300 g dark chocolate.
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil.
  • 1 can coconut milk (240 ml).
  • 1-2 tbsp icing sugar.
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract.

Heat the coconut milk on low heat on the stove, or in the microwave, stirring often to make sure it’s heated evenly. Break the chocolate into small pieces and place in a large bowl with the coconut oil.

Once the coconut milk is hot, pour it over the chocolate and oil. Leave it for a moment to begin melting, then stir well, making sure all of the chocolate and oil has completely melted. Pour in the vanilla extract, then sift in the icing sugar, being careful to keep the truffle mix completely lump-free.

Place the chocolate mixture into a shallow bowl or a casserole dish (this will make it easier to scoop into balls later), then cover with plastic wrap and leave in the fridge for 4 hours.

When the truffle mix has set, use a tablespoon to scoop out the desired amount, then roll with your hands to form smooth balls. Decorate them however you like: toss them in powdered sugar, cocoa powder, chocolate sprinkles, desiccated coconut, chopped nuts… the possibilities are endless! Pop them back in the fridge for a few minutes to firm up again, then enjoy!

Roasted Potato Galettes

Crispy, herby, delicious little stacks of sliced potato. This recipe is a lovely little side for dinner parties, or if you’re cooking to impress someone special!

Prep time: ~45 minutes
Serves: 4-6
Gluten-free

Ingredients:

  • 4 large potatoes, peeled if desired, scrubbed well and cut into very thin slices (a mandoline or food processor with a slicer attachment works best).
  • 3 tbsp olive oil.
  • 1 small handful fresh thyme, leaves stripped off the stems and finely chopped.
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely minced.
  • salt.
  • pepper.
  • sea salt (optional).

Cooking Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 425 F/220 C.

In a large bowl, mix the potatoes with the olive oil, making sure to coat each individual slice. Add in the herbs, garlic, and season well with salt and pepper. Toss to coat.

To make the galettes nice and precise, take a cupcake/muffin tin and grease the cups. Layer up the potato slices in the cupcake cups, pushing them up the sides slightly so they’re taller around the edges. If you don’t have a cupcake tin, use a baking sheet with some parchment paper – the galettes won’t be quite as precise, but they’ll still taste delicious!

Sprinkle on top with a tiny bit of sea salt, and pop them in the oven for 30-40 minutes, until golden and crispy on the edges, and soft in the middle.

Enjoy!

Sweet Potato, Coconut, & Lime Soup

A soup I’ve had (and made) many a time at my work! It’s super creamy, a little bit sweet, and has a nice tang from the limes. Very easy to make, too! Served with a little sprig of coriander (if you like coriander, that is), it’s lovely and fresh.

Serves: 6-8
Prep time: ~45 minutes
Gluten-free

Ingredients:

  • 1 large onion, peeled and diced.
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and diced.
  • 1 tbsp ginger, peeled and diced.
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil.
  • salt.
  • pepper.
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped.
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped.
  • 2 cans coconut milk.
  • 4 cups vegetable stock.
  • zest and juice of 2 limes (add more if you want it super limey!).
  • 1 small bunch coriander (also called cilantro), finely chopped,plus more for garnish (optional).

Cooking Instructions:

In a large pot over medium heat, add the coconut oil, and once it’s hot, the onion, garlic, and ginger. Place the lid on and fry, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, until everything becomes soft and fragrant.

Next, add in the sweet potatoes and the carrots, and cook them for a few minutes with the lid on, just until they start to soften a little bit. Season well with salt and pepper, then add in the coconut milk and the vegetable stock. Bring the whole thing up to a boil, then reduce the heat slightly and allow to simmer for at least 15 minutes.

Once the vegetables are soft enough that you can break them up with a fork, puree the soup until smooth. Add in the lime juice, zest, and coriander, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with a leaf or two just before serving, and enjoy!

 

 

Pea and Tarragon Soup

A lovely, refreshing soup that’s just as good served cold as it is hot. Don’t be scared off by the coconut milk – it doesn’t add much coconut flavour, just a lovely creaminess!

Prep time: ~45 minutes
Serves 6-8.
Gluten-free

Ingredients:

  • 1 large onion, diced.
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed/minced.
  • 2 tbsp olive oil.
  • 3 stalks celery, diced.
  • 500 g frozen peas (let defrost before adding to the soup).
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon (save a bit of the zest for garnish).
  • 2 cans coconut milk.
  • 4 cups vegetable stock/water.
  • 1 large bunch tarragon, finely chopped (save a few leaves for garnish).
  • Salt and pepper, to taste.

Cooking Instructions:

Heat a large pot over medium heat with the olive oil in the bottom. Once the oil is nice and hot, add in the onion and garlic.

Fry them off until soft and fragrant, then add the celery. Cook until the celery has softened and the onions and garlic have begun to caramelize slightly.

Next, add in all of the peas, the lemon juice and zest, the coconut milk, and vegetable stock.

Bring the whole thing up to a boil, then toss in the tarragon. Reduce the heat and allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes. Season well with salt and pepper.

Puree the soup, strain if desired, and serve with a little extra lemon zest and tarragon as a garnish.

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!