BBQ pulled tofu tacos

BBQ Pulled Tofu Tacos with Citrus Avocado Sauce

Here is a life hack: find (BBQ tofu) taco-loving people and surround yourself with them. Then you can have Taco Tuesday all week long, and you will have SO. MUCH. FUN. Your taste buds will be pretty dang happy all the time, too.

I’m pretty obsessed with tacos these days, and with spring and summer on their way, I’ll definitely be creating lots more recipes of this sort. You can also check out my other taco recipes: Pulled Sweet Potato Tacos and Ethiopian Berbere Lentil Tacos!

I don’t mean to sound cocky, but I believe that this is my best taco creation yet. Spicy, smoky, and sweet barbecue “pulled” tofu, crunchy cabbage slaw, buttery roasted squash, and citrusy avocado sauce are piled high onto flour or corn tortillas- your choice! This is my idea of the ultimate fun meal, especially when you pair it with beer or even a margarita! (Yessss margarita season is coming, woo hoo!)

And I know that pulled jackfruit is all the rage, but tofu has this little thing going for it that jackfruit doesn’t, and that is the fact that tofu is packed with complete protein! As I’ve said previously, I try to include all protein, fat, and carbs in balanced proportions in my recipes, and that is why I went with tofu. While tofu is typically prepared in cubes or triangles, why not grate it to simulate pulled meat? It works!

In life news, I think something has finally clicked in my half-marathon training. After months of struggling, running is starting to feel somewhat effortless again. It’s hard to believe that my first race of 2019 is in 19 days. I can’t wait! I love taking the train to Toronto, and having a race is the perfect excuse to eat at all of my favourite vegan restaurants and take in some of Toronto’s sights, like the waterfront, High Park, and its many vibrant neighbourhoods. 🙂 I also just finished watching the Boston Marathon, and my resolve to qualify for 2020 is stronger than ever. Let’s go!

BBQ Tofu Tacos
BBQ Tofu Tacos

BBQ Pulled Tofu Tacos with Grapefruit Slaw, Butternut Squash, and Citrus Avocado Dressing

These tacos are crave-worthy! Pulled tofu cooked in an addictive barbecue sauce, roasted butternut squash, grapefruit cabbage slaw, and citrus avocado sauce combine to knock Taco Tuesday out of the park! 
Course Dinner, Entree, Main Course
Cuisine Mexican, Vegan
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4

Ingredients

Barbecue Pulled Tofu

  • 1 block (454 g) firm or extra-firm tofu
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium red or yellow onion
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp Spanish paprika
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 3/4 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp hot sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp vegan Worcestershire sauce (Wizard brand is my favourite)

Roasted Butternut Squash

  • 4 cups peeled and 1- inch cubed butternut squash (about 1 medium)
  • 1/2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • Pinch each fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Grapefruit Cabbage Slaw

  • 4 cups shredded red cabbage
  • 1 large grapefruit, peeled, white pith removed as much as possible
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro (optional)
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp each salt and freshly ground black pepper

Avocado Citrus Dressing

  • 1 large avocado, pitted and flesh scooped out
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (from 1 large orange)
  • 1/3 cup parsley or cilantro
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup water, plus more as needed

Everything else:

  • 8 small corn or flour tortillas (sprouted grain are my favourite)
  • Cilantro for garnish
  • Hot sauce

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the butternut squash on the baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast for 35-40 minutes, or until fork tender and crispy. 
  • Press the tofu if desired (I skipped this step and it turned out perfectly, but pressing the tofu will result in a firmer texture). 
  • Grate the tofu on a cheese grater and set aside until ready to use. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Chop the onion, mince the garlic, and add it to the skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, for five minutes. Add the salt, pepperto taste, and the paprika. 
  • Whisk together the barbecue sauce, Dijon mustard, tamari, hot sauce, and Worcestershire sauce in a medium bowl. Add the tofu to the skillet, followed by the barbecue sauce mixture. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes, or until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Cover and set aside until ready to eat. 
  • To make the Grapefruit Cabbage Slaw, place the cabbage, grapefruit, and cilantro into a medium bowl. Measure the olive oil, lime juice, apple cider vinegar, garlic, maple syrup, salt, and pepper into a glass jar, screw the lid on tight, and shake vigorously to combine. Pour the dressing onto the slaw and toss to coat. 
  • To make the Avocado Citrus Sauce, place all ingredients into the jar of a blender and blend until smooth. Transfer into a glass container and cover until ready to serve. 
  • Warm the tortillas if desired. To serve, divide squash, tofu, slaw, sauce, and cilantro evenly among eight tortillas. Garnish with additional hot sauce, if desired. 

If you make these BBQ pulled tofu tacos and post them on Instagram, be sure to tag me @holisticallie and #holisticallie so I can see!

BBQ Tofu Tacos
BBQ Tofu Tacos

Date Night Vegan Penne with Tempeh Chorizo and Red Pepper Cream Sauce

It’s still early spring, which means it’s perfectly acceptable to share this cozy pasta recipe, right?

Pasta is the ultimate date night meal. And if you gussy it up with tempeh chorizo and a creamy cashew red pepper sauce, you’ll most definitely succeed in impressing your person. As my dad always says, “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach!” Actually, the way to anyone’s heart is through their stomach. So even if you’re not making this for your special someone, you can still make this for your siblings, parents, that neighbour you just met, or even yourself (spoiling yourself with a pasta dinner like this is the best form of self-love!).

Almost every savoury recipe that you see on this blog has a balanced macronutrient ratio, and this one is a perfect example: tempeh chorizo provides protein, whole grain pasta provides carbohydrates, and the cashew red pepper sauce provides an ample amount of healthy fats. The sauteed kale adds micronutrients like calcium, vitamin K1, manganese, and cancer-fighting compounds. Cashews are also rich in micronutrients, including copper. Copper helps the body utilize iron, eliminates free radicals, and plays a role in the development of bone and connective tissue and in the production of melanin.

It actually makes the perfect meal to enjoy the night before a long run or hard workout. And aside from being healthy, this pasta tastes divine.

It comes together in just a few simple steps. First, you’ll make the tempeh chorizo, which is a recipe I developed in the very early days of blogging. However, instead of making 6 large patties, you’ll make 18 smaller ones.

Then, you’ll make the creamy roasted red pepper sauce. It’s a combination of soaked and drained raw cashews, roasted red pepper, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, garlic, vegetable broth, salt, and pepper.

The final step is cooking the pasta and sauteeing onions, garlic, celery, and kale, and tossing it all together.

All that remains to be done is serve the pasta and pour yourselves a glass another glass of wine.

We enjoyed this pasta with a simple salad of radicchio, escarole, and a creamy avocado dressing that I’ll be sharing soon. The bitterness of the greens provided a really wonderful contrast to the richness of the dish.

Tempeh Chorizo
Tempeh Chorizo
Roasted Red Pepper Cream Sauce
Tempeh Chorizo
Date Night Penne with Tempeh Chorizo and Red Pepper Cream Sauce
Date Night Penne with Tempeh Chorizo and Roasted Red Pepper Cream Sauce

Date Night Penne with Tempeh Chorizo and Red Pepper Cream Sauce

Penne, tempeh chorizo, and a creamy cashew red pepper cream sauce combine to create the perfect date night meal. 
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Dinner, Entree, Main
Cuisine: Italian, Vegan
Servings: 4

Ingredients

Cashew Red Pepper Cream Sauce

  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked in cold water for at least 4 hours or hot water for 1 hour, drained
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 cup chopped roasted red pepper
  • 3/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

Pasta

  • 1 batch Tempeh Chorizo, made into 18 small patties (see note for recipe)
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium red or yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 1 medium bunch kale, chopped
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 4 cups dry penne, rotini, fusili, or rigatoni pasta

Instructions

  • If you have not yet made the tempeh chorizo, do so before beginning anything else. 
  • Make the cashew cream sauce: Blend together the soaked and drained cashews, tomato paste, roasted red pepper, vegetable broth, salt, pepper, garlic, lemon juice, and nutritional yeast in a blender until very smooth and creamy. Transfer to a jar until ready to use. 
  • Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium. Add the onions, garlic, and a pinch of salt. Saute for 5 minutes, until lightly browned. Add the celery and cook 3 minutes more. Then add the kale, followed by the red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Cook until the kale is just bright green. Remove from heat. 
  • Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to the package directions, drain, and return to the pot. Add the sauteed greens and tempeh chorizo to the pot, followed by the cashew cream sauce. Toss to coat. Divide between bowls and enjoy with a glass of fine wine and a green salad. 

Notes

My Tempeh Chorizo recipe can be found here.
Red pepper cream sauce inspired by The Full Helping
Date night pasta idea inspired by Pinch of Yum

Did you make this recipe? Tag @holisticallie on Instagram and hashtag it #holisticallie.

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Superfood Hot Chocolate (Vegan)

This superfood hot chocolate is my favourite afternoon pick-me-up or healthy dessert when I’m craving something warm and sweet and the end of the day. It’s packed with good for you ingredients like cocoa, reishi mushroom, cashew butter, coconut oil, cinnamon, vanilla, and is sweetened with a Medjool date. Reishi mushroom helps with relaxation and a healthy stress response, and I find that it helps me wind down in the evening. It’s also believed to benefit heart health.

Warm drinks like this one are a crucial part of my self care rituals. There’s something really meditative about sipping a warm drink, made with intention, in the peace of your own home. I enjoy going out to cafes, but I would take a homemade drink like this one any day.

I don’t have grand plans for the weekend- brunch with a good friend today, then working on a paper for the rest of the day and work tomorrow. I’m trying to find ways to incorporate little things that bring me joy into every day, and that seems to be helping to get out of the slump that I seem to have fallen into. In other news, I impulsively registered for the Ottawa Marathon earlier in the week, so I’ll be in training mode for that for the next seven weeks or so. I ran 25 km on Thursday, and it was a real wake-up call that I’m not where I want to be as far as stamina goes. I’m tempted to set a lofty time goal, but then again, I don’t feel that my fitness is where it was in October when I ran 3:25:54 at the Toronto Marathon. I’m not going to put too much pressure on myself, but I’m a competitive person and I REALLY want to run under 3:25 to get a guaranteed entry at Boston 2020. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t at least a bit disappointed with myself for not pushing harder in October- I mean, what’s 54 seconds? Had I known how close I was going to be, I definitely would have gutted out a stronger finish. Run and learn, though!

Well, that’s all for today. I hope you love this healthy hot chocolate!

Superfood Hot Chocolate (VEGAN)

A healthy hot chocolate made with cashew butter, coconut oil, cocoa, cinnamon, reishi mushroom, and sweetened with Medjool date. The perfect cozy tonic for your body and soul. 
Prep Time2 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Total Time7 mins
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: Vegan
Servings: 1 mug of hot chocolate

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups unsweetened non-dairy milk
  • 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tbsp Botanica Reishi Hot Cocoa (see note)
  • 1 tbsp cashew butter or other nut/seed butter
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 pitted Medjool date
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch of fine sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp virgin coconut oil (makes it ultra frothy)

Instructions

  • Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. 
  • Pour into a small saucepan and heat over medium, whisking occasionally, until hot. Pour into a mug and enjoy. 

Notes

I used Botanica Reishi Hot Cocoa in this recipe (not sponsored, just a product I really enjoy). If you are unable to find this product, simply use an additional 1/2 tbsp of cocoa powder instead! 

Did you make this recipe? Take a photo and post it to Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook with #holisticallie and @holisticallie!

Green Ginger Ale

Welcome to the second weekend of spring! Whether or not things are greening up where you are, I think we can all agree that this green ginger juice is an awesome seasonal tonic. It’ll wake you right up in the morning, and it’s equally good as an afternoon pick-me-up.

Now that I no longer work or go to school near Bliss in Victoria, British Columbia, and because the beautiful cookbook somehow got lost in my travels, I’ve started to create inspired recipes in my own kitchen. One of my favourite juices from Cafe Bliss was Green Ginger Ale, and I’m so pleased with the delicious result of my ‘blender juice’ version. Have you made blender juice before? All that you do is blend the ingredients together with a bit of water and strain through a fine mesh sieve or nut milk bag. It’s the poor man’s/woman’s juice/juice for people who live in small apartments with limited storage space. 🙂

I love the subtle spice, sweetness, and freshness of this juice. It doesn’t taste ultra green, but it isn’t too high in sugar, either: there’s just one apple in an entire 16-oz juice!

I’m keeping things short and sweet today, but I have a delicious black bean burger recipe coming your way on Tuesday. Have a beautiful weekend, all!

Green Ginger Ale

This green juice is great for digestion and really wakes you up. Made with kale, apple, celery, lemon, and ginger. 
Prep Time5 mins
Total Time5 mins
Course: Juice
Cuisine: Raw Vegan, Vegan
Servings: 1 16-oz juice

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup filtered water
  • 1 large sweet apple (Ambrosia or Gala)
  • 1/2 lemon, peeled
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 1 4-inch knob ginger, peeled
  • 2 kale leaves (green kale results in a green juice- I photographed purple kale but used green kale)

Instructions

  • Place all ingredients in a high-speed blender (Vitamix or Blendtec work best) and blend until almost smooth. 
  • Strain into a large bowl through a fine-mesh sieve or nut milk bag. Pour juice into a jar or glass and enjoy. Juice is best fresh, but should keep in the refrigerator for 24 hours or more. 

Notes

Recipe inspired by Green Ginger Ale from Bliss

Did you make this recipe! Share a photo on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram and tag me #holisticallie and @holisticallie.

Vegan Banh Mi Sandwiches

Vegan Banh Mi Sandwiches make the perfect lunch or dinner! They are ultra flavourful thanks to the addictive baked tofu and sriracha mayo, and they are ridiculously easy to prepare.

Well, I ran my farthest all winter on Saturday. Eighteen kilometres of slip sliding, sun shining fun along the rivers. It wasn’t fast or pretty, but I did it and it can only get better from here. Running is an interesting beast. In all my years of running, I have yet to figure out how, in a matter of a few months, I can go from being in excellent cardiovascular shape, capable of running a sub-3:30 marathon, to a mediocre runner who struggles to run half that distance at that pace. On the plus side, this very issue continues to teach me the value of patience and putting in the effort required to reach my goals.

I know that in a few more short months, with consistent effort, I will reach that sweet spot once again where running feels effortless and my goals will once again be within my reach.

Speaking of goals, I’m now one step closer to reaching a life goal that I haven’t yet shared on the blog. I can’t say anything about it yet, but stay tuned as I will be revealing it in the next few weeks. I can’t wait!

What does all of this have to do with the recipe at hand? Well, to be honest, not a whole lot. But I did enjoy this Banh Mi after a long run, so there’s that. I always try to include a hearty, macronutrient-balanced meal following any intense workout. Anecdotal evidence has proven that doing so reduces hanger and makes runners much nicer people to be around.

Banh who? Banh Mi!

Have you ever eaten Banh Mi? I hadn’t, until I created this recipe. I’d always wanted to, but I’d never come across a joint that serves it in my city. And then I thought, Why not just make my own?

Banh Mi is a French-influenced Vietnamese sandwich typically served on a baguette and stuffed with savoury ingredients. Non-vegan versions usually use pork as the protein, but I opt for the decidedly more ethical, nutritious, and delicious baked tofu in my version. I also add quick pickled carrots, avocado, a delightfully spicy sriracha mayo, and as many vegetables as you can fit your mouth around for one satisfying sammie! You could serve yours on the traditional baguette, but I actually prefer a more typical sandwich presentation using slices of sourdough bread. You can even use pitas.

You’ll notice that I’ve included beverage pairings in my recipe notes! I’m going to start doing this regularly, because as some of you know, it is my firm belief that a meal is only as good as the drinks that accompany it. I’ll include a beer, wine, and non-alcoholic drink recommendation!

With all that being said, let’s get our Banh Mi on!

Step 1: Slice and marinate the tofu in an addictive mix of tamari, lime juice, garlic, ginger, maple syrup, hot sauce, and sesame oil. Then, bake it.

Step 2: Pickle your carrots.

Step 3: Whip up some sriracha mayo.

Step 4: Gather additional toppings: I recommend thinly sliced cabbage, lettuce, and avocado.

Step 5: Toast some bread.

Step 6: Assemble your sandwiches.

Step 7: Om nom nom.

Vegan Banh Mi Sandwiches

Healthy, delicious vegan Banh Mi with baked tofu, ginger pickled carrots, lots of veggies, and sriracha mayo. 
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Marinating time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 40 mins
Course: Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: Vegan, Vietnamese
Servings: 4 sandwiches
Author: Allison

Ingredients

For the tofu:

  • 1 block (454 g) firm or extra-firm tofu, pressed if desired
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 tbsp reduced-sodium tamari
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp sriracha or hot sauce
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp finely minced or grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tbsp pure maple syrup

For the Ginger Pickled Carrots:

  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and sliced into matchsticks
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup ume plum vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
  • 1 tbsp coconut sugar or pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup filtered water
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 3/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 2 tbsp minced fresh ginger

For the Sriracha Mayonnaise:

  • 1/3 cup vegan mayonnaise (such as Vegenaise)
  • 2 tbsp sriracha or other hot sauce

Everything else:

  • Lettuce
  • Thinly shredded purple cabbage
  • Sliced avocado
  • Vegan cheese
  • 8 slices sourdough bread, 1 large baguette, or 4 pitas

Instructions

  • Prepare the tofu: Slice the tofu into six equal rectangles (see photo), then slice each rectangle in half to create 12 equal triangles. Place tofu in a 9×13-inch baking dish. 
  • Whisk the marinade ingredients together in a small bowl and pour over top of the tofu. Marinate tofu for at least 1 hour and up to 8 hours, flipping after 30 minutes or halfway through to ensure even marinating. 
  • Prepare the Ginger Pickled Carrots: Place the carrot matchsticks in a 500 mL jar. Combine vinegar, water, coconut sugar or maple syrup, red pepper flakes, and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a low boil. Remove from heat and add ginger to the pot. Pour over the carrots, cover jar with lid, and allow them to ‘pickle’ for at least 30 minutes, or longer if you have time.
  • Bake tofu at 375 F for 20 minutes, or until most of the marinade has been absorbed/evaporated.  
  • While the tofu is baking, prepare the sriracha mayonnaise by whisking together the mayonnaise and sriracha in a small bowl. Set aside until ready to use. 
  • If using bread or baguette, toast it if desired (this step is unnecessary if you are using pitas). If using a baguette, slice it in half lengthwise and then cut it into 4 equal pieces. 
  • Gather up additional toppings: I used lettuce, shredded cabbage, and avocado. 
  • To assemble a sandwich: Spread 1 tablespoon of sriracha mayonnaise on a slice of bread. Top with 2-3 triangles of tofu. On a second slice of bread (or on the other half of the baguette section or the other half of the pita), layer lettuce, cabbage, avocado, and pickled carrots. Put the sandwich together and repeat until you have 4 sandwiches. Serve. 

Notes

As always, if you make these Banh Mi (why wouldn’t you?), post a photo on Instagram with #holisticallie and @holisticallie!

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookie Shake

Good morning! Popping in with a drink recipe and a few reads again. Hopefully you’ve fared all right during this emotional week of two heartbreaking tragedies, and that you were uplifted by the climate action protests around the world on Friday. As senseless and heartbreaking as these tragedies are, they make me extra grateful for this life, and remind me of its fragility. And the climate action protests are yet another reminder that we all can, and must, treat Mother Earth with more care and respect. Be kind to the earth, be kind to yourself, and spread love to all beings–human and non-human alike.

With that, I leave you with a smoothie recipe that is kind to your body and the earth. It doesn’t hurt that it tastes just like a peanut butter cookie in smoothie form, too! Of course, you can use whichever nut or seed butter you like.

Here are some reads that caught my eye this week:

  1. How to wake up with more joy.
  2. We are unstoppable. Another world is possible.” The youth are rising in 112 countries and counting.
  3. Tiny Costa Rica has a Green New Deal, too. And it matters for the whole planet. The country wants to wean itself from fossil fuels by 2050.
  4. Have you heard of Loop? Now, similar startups are popping up, aiming to all but remove plastic from the consumption equation by offering products in refillable containers. But unlike zero waste stores, the refilling is done by the company itself. I’m really hoping this goes mainstream.
  5. I love my car-free lifestyle and am a pretty outspoken car-free advocate. George Monbiot expresses it so succinctly : “Let’s abandon this disastrous experiment, recognise that this 19th-century technology is now doing more harm than good, and plan our way out of it. Let’s set a target to cut the use of cars by 90% over the next decade.”



Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookie Shake

A delicious smoothie that tastes just like a peanut butter oatmeal cookie! It packs a serious punch of fibre, potassium, and healthy fat. 
Prep Time5 mins
Total Time5 mins
Course: Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine: Vegan
Servings: 1 500 mL/16 oz smoothie
Author: Allison

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
  • 1/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1 large frozen banana, chopped
  • 1 pitted Medjool date, soaked for 10 minutes if hard
  • 2 tbsp natural peanut butter
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 1 pinch fine sea salt
  • 1 ice cube

Instructions

  • Place ingredients in a blender and blend until very smooth. Pour into a glass and enjoy. 

Notes

If you do not have a high-speed blender, I recommend soaking the oats and almond milk together for 10 minutes before proceeding with the recipe. 

If you make this recipe, tag your photo #holisticallie and @holisticallie on Instagram!

tofu scramble

The Ultimate Tofu Scramble

A common refrain I get from non-vegetarians is, “Tofu is gross- it doesn’t taste like anything.” My response: that’s the point. It’s a blank slate for us to gussy up however we like! I happen to be part of the tofu loving camp: it’s versatile, easy to digest, affordable, and high in protein. It works as well in Asian dishes as it does in Mexican, Thai, and American ones. And yet, I can empathize with the tofu haters because I was once one myself. If you have only ever tasted plain, slimy tofu, I think your dislike of the stuff is entirely justified.

All of that is about to change, my friends, once you dig in to this tasty tofu scramble. My scramble is full of flavour thanks to my heavy hand with the seasonings: ample amounts of onion, garlic, spices, nutritional yeast, salsa, and tahini combine to take tofu from ho-hum to OMG yum! If you have only ever had scrambled eggs, I encourage you to give tofu scramble a try.

Perhaps the best thing about it is the speed at which it can be whipped up, making it the perfect dish to serve to unexpected brunch guests or your hangry family (or self!) at dinner.

Simply chop onions, garlic and red pepper. Saute for a few minutes, add spices, tofu, nutritional yeast, salsa, tahini, and heat through.

While it’s heating, pop some bread in the toaster for avocado toast, and throw some kale into the steamer or throw together a fresh green salad.

Ten minutes later, sit down to a delicious, healthy, home-cooked meal.

It’s as simple as that. Healthy eating isn’t complicated. More often than not, it isn’t glamorous or Instagram-worthy. But it is an act of self-care–and that is reason enough for us to make time for it.

If you love this scramble and are hungry for more, check out my other tofu and tempeh recipes!

Tempeh Reuben

Tempeh Chorizo

Homemade Beyond Meat Burgers

Ravishing Rainbow Veggie Wraps

Hawaiian Kale Salad with Peanut Butter Tempeh

Tempeh Meatballs

tofu scramble
tofu scramble

The Ultimate Tofu Scramble

A tofu scramble that’s ultra-flavourful thanks to generous amounts of nutritional yeast, salsa, tahini, and spices. Serve with avocado toast and greens for a well-balanced vegan meal. 
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: American, Mexican, Vegan
Keyword: Tofu Scramble
Servings: 4 people
Author: Allison

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, avocado oil, or coconut oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 (454 g) block firm tofu (organic and non-GMO)
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/3 cup salsa
  • 3 tbsp tahini
  • Freshly ground black pepper, cayenne, and additional sea salt, to taste
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric (optional, for colour)

Instructions

  • Heat oil in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Add salt, cumin, chili powder, smoked paprika,coriander, and red bell pepper. 
  • Crumble in the tofu and cook for five minutes. 
  • Stir in nutritional yeast, salsa, and tahini, and cook five minutes more, or until heated through. Taste and add pepper, cayenne, additional salt, and turmeric, if desired. 
  • Serve with avocado toast and greens of your choice. 

Tag your photos #holisticallie and @holisticallie on Instagram!

Slow Rise Saturday: Salted Caramel Latte

As I write, the intoxicating aroma of freshly baked spelt bread wafts out of the oven. I’m sipping on my salted caramel latte and listening to a beautiful folk/indie playlist. The sun is shining onto the kitchen table. I feel completely content in this moment.

This winter, I have made a conscious effort to slow down. I’d preached it for years, but never fully stepped into the space myself. Every time I dipped my toes into the waters of slow living, guilt would creep up on me. I always felt that I had to be working hard at something in order to be worthy approval from both myself and others.

In my previous post, I mentioned that I was itching to set a new goal and strive to achieve it. And I am. But at the same time, I feel content in the present moment, and I have surprised myself by how naturally a slower, more mindful way of life has come to me. Society has done an excellent job at conditioning us to believe that we are successful only when we are ‘busy.’

Now, I fully recognize that not everyone has the means to live this way. I am lucky that I have a light course load that allows me to schedule my days with as much or as little work as I please. I was able to save some money last year, alleviating the need for me to work while in school this semester. There’s no denying that there are complex social and economic forces at play when it comes to determining who can afford the luxury of slow living. How ironic is it that what was once the norm-a life lived at a natural pace- is now thought of as a luxury that only a select few have time and money for?

If you can afford to take even an hour for yourself this weekend, I can’t recommend doing so enough. And what better accompaniment than this drink?

My salted caramel latte could not be easier to make: you can whip it up in far less time than it would take to buy one at the local coffee shop. It’s more economical, too, as well as being made with whole food ingredients like dates and almond butter. Yes, you can have a rich, decadent-tasting caramel latte without the sugar crash afterwards.

This drink pairs perfectly with my weekly roundup of reads/videos below!

Here’s what caught my eye this week:

  1. A giant dam in the Ecuadorian jungle, financed and built by China, was supposed to help lift the country out of poverty. Instead, it has engulfed the country in debt.
  2. Vandana Shiva urges us to decolonize the mind and wrap our heads around a regenerative agricultural model. Definitely worth watching.
  3. An often forgotten aspect of environmental sustainability is its spiritual aspects: “There is now a single issue before us: survival. Not merely physical survival, but survival in a world of fulfillment, survival in a living world, where the violets bloom in the springtime, where the stars shine down in all their mystery, survival in a world of meaning.”
  4. The calming effect of sewing can help relieve inner turmoil.
  5. A comprehensive guide to freezing food in glass jars. I’m definitely bookmarking this!

Salted Caramel Latte

A healthy salted caramel latte made with dates, almond butter, almond milk, and strong coffee or espresso. 
Prep Time5 mins
Course: Beverage, Dessert, Drink, Snack
Cuisine: Vegan
Keyword: Latte
Servings: 1 latte
Author: Allison

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup hot strong brewed coffee (or sub 2 shots of espresso)
  • 1 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • 1 pitted Medjool date
  • 1/2 tsp virgin coconut oil
  • 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • Fat pinch of sea salt
  • Dash of cinnamon

Instructions

  • Warm the almond milk in a small saucepan over medium heat until hot, whisking occasionally. 
  • Place almond butter, date, coconut oil, vanilla, salt, and cinnamon into a blender. Add hot coffee and almond milk. Blend until very smooth and creamy. Wait 20 seconds to allow froth to form on top before pouring into a mug. Enjoy! 

If you make this latte, tag me #holisticallie and @holisticallie on Instagram!

Have an awesome weekend!

Vegan Banana Spice Cake with Cashew Buttercream

I’ve been feeling restless lately. Anyone else? I’m ready to shake things up, yet I can’t decide where to go or what to do. It’s not to say that I’m unhappy with my current situation. However, I feel as though I’m caught in my comfort zone, where I’m not actively chasing a goal that scares me. Sad though it may sound, I have allowed myself to become content with mediocrity this winter. As someone with perfectionist tendencies, it does feel strange to be utterly content doing less–and I suppose, in a way, it’s been freeing. And yet, I haven’t done anything that scares me since I completed my first marathon in the fall. I don’t think there is necessarily anything wrong with not having a big, scary goal at all times– in fact, I’d wager that it’s healthy not to be constantly in pursuit of bigger and better– but I think it’s time for me to set a new big, scary goal. More on that as I figure it out. 😉

But THIS Vegan Banana Spice Cake. (Was that transition awkward enough for you? Writing is hard sometimes.) While it might not hold all the answers, I’m almost certain that it will make your day a little brighter. Behold the veganized and spiced up version of my favourite birthday cake. It’s moist, lightly spiced, sweet, and the equal parts dense and fluffy. The cashew buttercream really takes it over the top–imagine a veganized cream cheese icing using only whole foods and natural sweeteners! It blends up into creamy bliss in a high speed blender, and after about an hour in the freezer, it’s ready to be whipped and put onto the cake. I iced this cake generously, as you can see from the photos, because that is how I roll. Go big or go home, baby!

Banana Spice Cake

A moist, dense cake that’s perfect for both snacking and special occasions. 
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: Vegan
Keyword: Banana cake, Vegan cake
Servings: 9 slices
Author: Allison

Ingredients

  • 1 flax egg (1 tbsp flax plus 2.5 tbsp water)
  • 1/4 cup virgin coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup raw cane sugar or coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 3/4 cup mashed ripe banana (about 2 medium)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups light/white spelt flour (or 3/4 cup all-purpose flour + 3/4 cup whole spelt flour)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/8 tsp cloves
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 batch Cashew Buttercream (recipe follows)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 F and lightly grease a 8×8-inch square baking dish with coconut oil. 
  • In a small bowl, prepare the flax egg and set it aside to ‘gel.’
  • In a large bowl, cream together coconut oil and sugar. Mix in maple syrup, flax egg, and vanilla. 
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together dry ingredients. 
  • Pour the dry ingredients over the wet ingredients and stir just until flour is incorporated. Fold in the rolled oats. 
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 30-35 minutes. 
  • Allow to cool completely before frosting. 

Cashew Buttercream

A vegan cream cheese-style frosting made in your blender. 
Prep Time5 mins
Freezing time1 hr
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Vegan
Keyword: Cashew Buttercream, Vegan Frosting
Servings: 1 1/2 cups, enough for one 8×8-inch cake

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cashews, soaked in cool water for 8 hours or hot water for 1 hour, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tbsp virgin coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 118 mL coconut cream (1 small can)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Pinch sea salt

Instructions

  • Place all ingredients into a high-speed blender, such as a Vitamix or Blendtec, scraping down sides as needed, and blend until very smooth and creamy. This may take a few minutes. 
  • Place icing in a glass container, cover, and place in the freezer for at least 1 hour, until beginning to firm up. 
  • Empty the icing into a mixing bowl. Beat until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use. This icing does not remain firm at room temperature, so it’s best to frost cake right before serving. 

If you make this cake, take a photo and post it on Instagram with #holisticallie and @holisticallie!

Vegan Chocolate Chip, Pecan, and Cranberry Cookies

Rich chocolate. Buttery pecans. Chewy cranberries. The perfect trifecta, yes?

When life hands you these three ingredients, there is only one thing to do: You make cookies.

And not just any cookies. Rich, chewy, buttery-tasting vegan cookies that are actually good for you.

Yes, my friends. The universe loves us and wants us to be happy.

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I have a gigantic sweet tooth that requires nourishment every day. While I do my best to enjoy desserts that are made with whole foods, I also think that treats are one of life’s simple pleasures. Why should we deny ourselves the joy that comes along with savouring something sweet with people we love?

I think that there is a lot of unnecessary guilt and shame wrapped up in people’s dietary choices, and it doesn’t have to be so. My food philosophy continues to evolve as I move away from years of restriction and obsession with a particular way of eating, but for now, Michael Pollan’s adage, “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants,” continues to resonate quite strongly with me.

I enjoy a wide variety of foods. I eat vegan 95% of the time, with the odd organic egg or goat/sheep dairy thrown in when I’m craving it. I believe that ethics, the environment, and macronutrient balance are important considerations to make in our food choices, but I believe just as strongly that eating socially and for pleasure are important variables of the equation– variables that are often left out of the discussion about nutrition. You can eat what on paper appears to be the healthiest food in the world, but if you’re not enjoying it–if your soul isn’t being nourished by your food and the people you are eating with–you probably won’t enjoy radiant health.

If you are already eating a diet based on plants and whole foods to begin with, you definitely have plenty of wiggle room to enjoy something sweet at the end of the day, if that is what makes you feel good- no guilt required!

And on that note, let’s bake cookies!

These cookies have a lot going for them. They’re:

Vegan
Crisp on the outside and perfectly tender on the inside
Buttery-tasting
Made with spelt flour
Perfect for dunking into a tall glass of almond milk

These are my new go-to when I’m in the mood for a quick and easy treat. I think they’ll become one of your favourites, too!

And, if you love sweet treats as much as I do, check out these recipes:

Oat Fudge Bars
Peanut Butter Cup Muffins
Cranberry Swirl Loaf
No-Churn Chocolate Raspberry Ripple Ice Cream
Chocolate Chunk Cashew Butter Blondies
Fabulous Fudge Pie

As always, if you make this recipe, tag #holisticallie and @holisticallie on Instagram!

Vegan Chocolate Chip, Pecan, and Cranberry Cookies

Chocolate chips, pecans, and cranberries combine into one drool-worthy cookie! Tender on the inside, crisp around the outside, and buttery-tasting, these are sure to become your new favourite treat. Best enjoyed with a glass of almond milk or coffee. 
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: Vegan
Keyword: Cookies, Vegan
Servings: 10 large cookies
Author: Allison

Ingredients

  • 1 flax egg (1 tbsp ground flax + 2.5 tbsp water)
  • 1/4 cup virgin coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup raw cane sugar
  • 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup light/white spelt flour*
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips or chopped dark chocolate
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup pecan halves

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. 
  • Prepare the flax egg in a small bowl and set it aside to thicken. 
  • In a large bowl, cream together the coconut oil and almond butter with an electric mixer. Alternatively, you can whisk it by hand. 
  • Add the flax egg, brown sugar, raw cane sugar, maple syrup, and vanilla extract to the coconut oil/almond butter mixture and mix to incorporate. 
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and rolled oats. 
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix, either with an electric mixer or a wooden spoon. 
  • Chop the pecan halves. Add the chocolate, chopped pecans, and dried cranberries to the cookie dough and stir to incorporate. The dough should be soft but workable. You should be able to roll it into balls without it sticking to your fingers. If the dough seems too wet, add a couple more tablespoons of flour. If it seems too dry, add almond milk or water, a tablespoon at a time, until the proper consistency is achieved. 
  • Roll dough into 10 equal balls for large cookies or 15 equal balls for smaller cookies and place on the baking sheet. Flatten slightly with the palm of your hand. 
  • Bake for 12-18 minutes. Baking time will vary depending on the size of your cookies, whether you like your cookies soft and chewy or crispy, and the type of baking sheet that you use (I use a stone pan from Pampered Chef, so my cookies take a bit longer to bake). 

Notes

*I prefer light spelt flour to whole spelt flour in dessert recipes because it is lighter and more closely resembles all purpose flour. I purchase it in the bulk bin at my local health food store. If you are unable to find it, you can use whole spelt flour in a pinch! 

Enjoy these cookies to the fullest. Let’s meet back here on Saturday, when I’ll be starting a new weekly post series called Slow Rise Saturdays. Each post will feature a drink recipe and a roundup of interesting articles for you to savour on your weekend mornings. I can’t wait!




Vegan Chili with Sweet Potato and Beans

This chili recipe is a classic that I hope you will turn to again and again to warm your belly and nourish your soul. I know it’s been keeping me cozy and happy in these final weeks of winter here in Canada.

I got to thinking last week about some of my favourite childhood dishes (see my fudge pie), and one that stood out was a sweet potato and kidney bean chili on polenta from Rose Reisman Vegetarian Cooking. I requested that chili often for the entire winter of grade 6. While that cookbook has long since found a new home, I have never forgotten about my beloved chili.

I was surprised by how many of you responded in the affirmative when I took a poll on Instagram a couple of weekends ago to gauge interest in a chili recipe. I guess we’re all still in need of some winter comfort food!

Knowing that I wanted to keep this within the realm of a weeknight meal, I’ve kept the prep time and ingredient list short. The chili really only needs about 10 minutes of active prep and 30 minutes of cooking. It makes 4 large or 6 moderate servings, and can be accompanied by quinoa, avocado, nacho chips, cilantro, lime juice, cashew sour cream, pickled jalapenos, cornbread… the sky really is the limit with this versatile recipe.

Even though the ingredient list is short, this chili has complex flavours thanks to plenty of onion and garlic, fire-roasted tomatoes, smoked paprika, chili powder, cumin, and coriander. A couple tablespoons of maple syrup mellows the acidity of the tomatoes and really rounds out the dish.

What I love most about this chili is that it’s thick and stew-like. Sweet potatoes add heft to the dish, which makes this recipe friendly to all eaters– even those bean skeptics.

I think that this recipe works perfectly with kidney beans, but it is open to experimentation. You could use cooked green lentils, black beans, or pinto beans with equally delicious results.

Make this chili for a crowd, or make it on the weekend for easy lunches throughout the week. However you choose to enjoy it, I hope that it keeps you warm and cozy through this final six week stretch of winter. We’re almost there!

Smoky Sweet Potato and Bean Chili

A thick, hearty vegan chili made with warming spices, kidney beans, and sweet potato. Smoky, flavourful, and rich in protein and fibre, it’s the perfect plant-based meal for cold nights. 
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American, Mexican, Vegan
Keyword: Chili, Meatless Mondays, Sweet Potato, Vegan
Servings: 6
Author: Allison

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced or grated
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 large red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 4 cups peeled sweet potato, diced in 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 28-oz can fire-roasted diced tomatoes (I like Muir Glen organic)
  • 3 cups cooked kidney beans
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 tbsp pure maple syrup

For serving:

  • Cooked quinoa
  • Diced avocado
  • Hot sauce
  • Cashew sour cream
  • Pickled jalapenos
  • Freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Cilantro

Instructions

  • Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven pot over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, and salt and saute until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Season with plenty of freshly ground black pepper. Add the red pepper and spices and cook 3 minutes more. 
  • Next, add the sweet potato, tomatoes, kidney beans, broth, and maple syrup. Turn heat up to high and bring chili to a rolling simmer, stirring often. 
  • Turn heat down to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until sweet potato is fork-tender, about 25 minutes. Taste and add additional seasonings, if desired: salt, pepper, or spices. Flavours deepen the longer it sits, so feel free to make this ahead of time. 
  • Serve in bowls with desired toppings: quinoa, avocado, cilantro, lime juice, cashew sour cream, and pickled jalapenos. 

Notes

Make ahead: This recipe keeps for at least five days in the refrigerator. 
You can find a recipe for cashew sour cream recipe here: https://cookieandkate.com/2018/vegan-sour-cream-recipe/

If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment below, and be sure to tag #holisticallie on Instagram!

Fabulous Fudge Pie (VEGAN)

I love fudge pie, and I cannot lie.

This recipe takes its inspiration from a certain nostalgic childhood treat: mud pie. Growing up, it was my favourite dessert. As I recall, my family’s recipe featured an Oreo cookie crumb crust, a whipped topping filling, and gummy candy adornments. So sweet, but so good. Oh, to be a kid again!

These days, my preference is for food that’s free from animal products and a tad more redeeming from a nutritional standpoint, but no less delicious.

I set out on a mission to re-create mud pie in plant-powerful fashion, and the result is tastier than the original and (surprise!) secretly healthy. Whether or not you reveal to your dinner guests the last point is entirely up to you. What matters is that you make this now.

This vegan fudge pie features just a handful of ingredients. The base is a simple press-in crust made with rice crisp cereal, coconut nectar or brown rice syrup, cocoa, coconut oil, and a pinch of salt. The filling is made with avocado, Medjool dates, melted dark chocolate, maple syrup, cocoa, almond milk, vanilla extract, salt, and arrowroot.

After a quick freeze, you can top it with an optional almond butter “caramel” drizzle. Or, you can add coconut whipped cream and berries. The choice is yours.

I have a feeling this would be a hit at a dinner party, especially if there are kids present! It would also be a fun date night dessert. You could even forego the crust entirely and serve the chocolate/avocado filling in small bowls garnished with berries and coconut whip for a fudge pudding treat.

Fabulous Fudge Pie (VEGAN)

This decadent-tasting dessert comes together quickly. A press-in crust is topped with a rich and creamy chocolate avocado filling and drizzled with a maple-almond butter ‘caramel.’ 
Prep Time20 mins
Freeze time2 hrs
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American, Vegan
Keyword: Dessert, Fudge Pie, Kid-friendly, No-Bake, Vegan
Servings: 8
Author: Allison

Ingredients

Crust:

  • 2 cups brown rice crisp cereal
  • 3 tbsp coconut nectar or brown rice syrup
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt

Filling:

  • 2 avocados, pitted
  • 3/4 cup pitted Medjool dates (about 10)*
  • 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup almond milk
  • 1 tbsp arrowroot starch**
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp fine grain sea salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped dark chocolate or chocolate chips, melted

Maple Almond Butter Topping:

  • 1/2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch of fine sea salt

Instructions

  • Combine the coconut nectar or brown rice syrup, coconut oil, cocoa, and salt in a small saucepan over low heat, whisking occasionally, until melted. 
  • Place the rice crisp cereal in a mixing bowl and pour the melted coconut nectar mixture on top. Stir to coat the cereal. 
  • Lightly grease a 9-inch pie plate with coconut oil and line it with parchment paper. Make sure that there is sufficient parchment paper to allow you to lift the pie out of the pan later. 
  • Pour the prepared rice crisp cereal crust into the prepared pie plate. Place another piece of parchment paper on top and flatten the crust with your hands. Place the crust in the freezer to chill while you prepare the filling. 
  • Prepare the filling: Place all ingredients EXCEPT the melted dark chocolate into a food processor. Process until very smooth. It may take up to five minutes for the dates to blend, so be patient. 
  • Add the melted dark chocolate and process again until smooth. By this point, you should have a luscious mixture similar in consistency to a thick chocolate pudding. 
  • Remove the crust from the freezer and scoop the filling on top. Smooth with a spoon and place in the freezer for 1.5 hours. 
  • Prepare the maple-almond butter topping: In a small saucepan, melt the coconut oil over low heat. Whisk in the almond butter, maple syrup, vanilla, and sea salt. Remove the pie from the freezer and drizzle the topping all over. 
  • Freeze for an additional 30 minutes, or until ready to serve. 
  • Remove the pie from the freezer 5-10 minutes before serving. Carefully remove it from the pan and place on an even surface for slicing. Cut into 8 even slices and serve. 

Notes

-This pie freezes beautifully. Keep it in a covered container for up to two weeks. 
-Crust adapted from Oh She Glows
*I soaked the pitted Medjool dates in hot water for about 15 minutes before proceeding with the recipe. If your dates are on the hard side, I recommend soaking them in hot water for at least 15 minutes and draining them before you make this recipe. This helps the dates blend easily!
**Arrowroot starch seems to help this filling maintain its mousse-like texture, even when frozen. I wouldn’t recommend skipping it unless you are unable to find it! 

If you make this, tag it #holisticallie and @holisticallie on Instagram!

The Best Vegan Meatballs

I kind of have a love affair with Italian food. It’s a lot like my love affair with Greek, Indian, Thai, Ethiopian, and Mexican food. (What can I say? I guess I just have a thing for food.)

But sometimes, nothing can compete with a gigantic bowl of spaghetti topped with steaming homemade marinara, tempeh meatballs, and vegan Parmesan cheese.

Yes, you can eat enjoy Italian food, minus the eggs, meat, and dairy. Let me show you how!

To start, gather your ingredients together. For this recipe, you’ll only need a handful of items: Tempeh, vegan Parmesan cheese (homemade or store-bought), tamari, dried herbs, fresh parsley, ground flax, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, tamari, balsamic vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce.

Then, you’ll throw everything into a food processor and pulse until crumbly.

Next, form 12 equal balls and bake them for about 25 minutes!

And voila. Now your meatballs are ready. From here, the possibilities are endless! I opted to serve them with homemade marinara sauce and pasta, but I can’t wait to try them on sandwiches, pizza, and more!

These vegan tempeh meatballs are legitimately meaty, packed with protein, and so flavourful. I hope you love them as much as I do.

As always, if you make this recipe, don’t forget to share a photo on Instagram! Tag @holisticallie and #holisticallie.

The Best Vegan Meatballs

Simple, healthy vegan meatballs made with tempeh. Perfect on spaghetti, sandwiches, pizza, and more. 
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Dinner, Entree, Main Dish
Cuisine: American, Italian, Vegan
Keyword: Tempeh Meatballs, Vegan Meatballs
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 8 oz temeph (1 package), cubed
  • 1/4 cup vegan Parmesan cheese*
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, minced
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • Pinch each sea salt, red pepper flakes, and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp ground flax
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp tamari
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp vegan Worcestershire sauce (I use Wizard’s brand)

For serving:

  • Cooked spaghetti or other pasta/grain of choice
  • Marinara sauce (homemade** or store-bought)
  • Additional vegan Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. 
  • Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until combined and crumbly. You want these balls to resemble meat in texture, so don’t over-process. 
  • Divide meatball mixture into 12 equal balls, each about the size of a golf ball, and place on the prepared pan. 
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes, until lightly browned and fragrant. 
  • Serve with desired amount of pasta, warmed marinara sauce, and vegan Parmesan cheese. 

Notes

*You can use whichever vegan Parmesan cheese you like. You can find my recipe here. Note that you can use any nut or seed in this recipe! 
**I recommend the marinara sauce recipe from Oh She Glows Everyday

Tempeh Chorizo

This tempeh chorizo is guaranteed to please vegans and omnivores alike! It’s intensely flavourful and can stand in for the “real thing” on pizza, breakfast burritos and sandwiches, quesadillas, salads, and more! Rich in complete protein and without a single processed ingredient, I can’t think of a healthier (or more delicious!) faux meat! 

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Ravishing Rainbow Veggie Wraps (Vegan)

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Hello and happy long weekend to my Canadian friends! I couldn’t be happier to have three full days away from work: all the more time to create new recipes and fit in the first couple runs of my marathon training plan.

I will eat almost any combination of foods wrapped up in a soft, floury tortilla. It’s the ultimate comfort food and oh so versatile. I have been known to eat some version of this wrap recipe several days in a row; I just never tire of it! There are so many flavours and textures at play here, and I have a feeling you are going to love it. Better yet, this recipe doesn’t require you to turn on the oven once. It’s basically the perfect summer meal! I’m counting on it to fuel me through this long, hot summer of marathon training.
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Chocolate Cake Batter Smoothie

Hey, it’s almost Friday! Let’s celebrate the end of the week in style, shall we?

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It appears as though I am on both a smoothie kick and a chocolate kick, and I cannot be stopped. Can you blame me? With summer in full swing and the humidity showing no signs of abating in these parts, it was only a matter of time before I combined the two.
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