For me, January was full of changes. Paving the road for the year ahead. Deciding where to place my focus, what direction to take and how to fill my energetic plate. Some of that took the form of decluttering... closets, cupboards, drawers... making space for the new.
Last weekend I spent an entire day at a Vision and Intentions Day Workshop. This is the second year that I took a whole day in January to get clear about when I wanted to attract. I find this so useful. It helps me decide what is important, what I want and what to focus on.
After making space with all my 'letting go', I don't want to just let any old thing in to re-clutter my space. I want to make sure that I'm only inviting in those things that fit with my vision for the year.
One of the things that I have decided to focus on more this year is self care. As a business owner, there is always something to do and rarely does everything get done. So one of the things that has been neglected is 'me time'. In my vision board, I put self care front and centre. To me that means more yoga classes, more down time, taking time for meal preparation, and spending time with the people I love.
Not surprisingly, food is very important to me. Most of my meals are prepared at home. And I love to try new recipes. Brunch is one of my favourite things. One day a week it's nice to be able to take my time in the morning and eat something a little more special for breakfast than my usual oatmeal.
So I have decided that February is all about the BRUNCH!! Bout the brunch. No trouble.
The first recipe that I have for you is Broccoli Quiche. Excluding cooking time, it only takes about 15-20 minutes to pull this together. You can make it the day before and just warm it up in the morning.
Quiche doesn't have to be just for brunch though. This makes a great lunch or dinner with a nice side salad. I served a variation of it for dinner last night with a massaged kale salad with pink grapefruit, toasted pine nuts and an orange vinaigrette.
1 9 inch vegan pie crust
1 Tbsp. olive oil or vegetable broth for sautéing
1 yellow onion, minced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
3 cups of broccoli florets chopped into small pieces
1 tsp. salt
pepper to taste
1 pound firm organic tofu, drained
1/2 package Zengarry Garlic and Fine Herbs Cashew Cheese
1 tsp. dijon mustard
1/2 tsp. turmeric
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Once preheated poke the pie crust with a fork a few times and cook for 10 minutes.
In a large frying pan sauté onion and garlic in olive oil or veggie broth over medium heat until onion is translucent. Add broccoli, thyme, salt and pepper and continue to cook another 5 minutes or so until broccoli has softened.
In a food processor crumble the tofu and pulse until all the large pieces are gone. Add Zengarry Garlic and Fine Herbs Cashew Cheese, mustard and turmeric and process until smooth. Add about half of the onion and broccoli mixture to the food processor and process until combined, but not completely mushed. You want to leave it a bit chunky.
Scrape the tofu mixture into a large bowl, add the remaining broccoli and onion mixture and mix until well combined.
Scoop the tofu mixture into the partially cooked pie shell and smooth the top. Decorate with cherry tomato halves or a sprinkling of paprika. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Allow it to cool for about 15 minutes before slicing.
Replace the broccoli with mushrooms, spinach and artichokes and the thyme with red chill flakes for a spinach, artichoke dip quiche.
Replace the Garlic and Fine Herbs Cashew Cheese with Sun Dried Tomato and Basil Cashew Cheese.
It's been a big week here in the Zengarry kitchen! If you haven't heard, we launched our newest cashew cheese flavour... Smokey Jalapeño! It is now available at most of our stores from Montreal all the way over to our newest retailer, Foodsmiths in Perth, Ontario! We also welcome Herb and Spice on Wellington to our growing family!
Last Saturday we were at the Ottawa Health and Wellness Expo in Orleans. It was our second year participating and it's fun to see how a sense of community develops at these shows. It was great to see some familiar faces and local businesses that we know and love... like Pantry Plus and our neighbour from last year's show, My Body, who stopped by to say she missed us! I think was she actually missed the free snacks more than us though. ;)
One of my favourite things about these shows is being able to connect with people, to get to put faces to the names I see on Facebook, Twitter and Pintrest. One woman actually took the time to stop and tell me that my recent post on decluttering had inspired her!! That warmed my heart! As a business owner, we put stuff out there into cyberspace and wonder if it just goes unnoticed or if people just yawn and scroll on by... So to hear that people actually read my posts and are even once in a while (gulp) inspired by something I wrote... well that inspires ME to keep on keeping on, even on those sucky days when I just want to crawl back into bed. Because in all honesty, making cashew cheese alone in my kitchen at 10 pm is not always glamourous.
There were so many wonderful new friends and familiar faces that stopped by our booth. I gave myself a little high five inside my head when Natasha Kyssa (from Simply Raw) came by and bought some of my cheese, because let's face it.... she is Ottawa's queen of raw cuisine!! And then who should come to visit but Kathy Smart!! She actually said this: "I've been following what you're doing! I love your business!" Of course the exclamation points are my embellishment, but she is so enthusiastic and sweet that to me everything that she says sounds like it should have exclamation points. And I, the starstruck teenager, just went 'Wow!' blink - blink. Very sophisticated Lynda. Two days later when my phone said: call - from - Kathy - Smart in a monotone voice, I screeched like a school girl.
When I picked up the phone she said: "I don't know if you remember me. I saw you at the Expo this weekend..... I bought some of your cheese..... we had our picture taken together." So adorable. Like I wouldn't remember meeting Kathy Smart. She was so humble and gracious. Of course I gushed and made a complete ASS of myself. After I hung up I beat myself up and thought of all the clever things that I should have said. Sigh. I won't share the photo here for fear of looking like a total dweeb (and also because it was the end of a long day and I look like I've been through the ringer). But I did share it on Facebook, just sayin'. ;)
So down to business. If you happened to pick up one of those new Smokey Jalapeño Cashew Cheeses and managed to keep it in the fridge for longer than a couple of days (I've heard it tends to disappear quite quickly... some have even been known to go through the whole container in a day. But we won't mention any names.... right CARLY?????) you may want to try this recipe for Mexican Mac and Cheeze. It is kid tested and easy enough to make on a weeknight. If you're lucky enough to have leftovers, it's also great in the kiddie's lunch box the next day! Sometimes I add cooked broccoli and cauliflower to this recipe at the end, just to sneak a few more veggies in there.
I'd love to hear how you enjoy your Smokey Jalapeño!! Feel free to leave your ideas in the comments below! Thanks for visiting!
Mexican Mac and Cheeze
1 package whole wheat (or gluten-free) macaroni noodles cooked according to package directions
1 package Zengarry Smokey Jalapeño Cashew Cheese
1 yellow onion, minced
1 cup of vegetable broth
2 tsp. corn starch
1 cup of salsa
1/2 tsp. salt or to taste
pepper to taste
In a large sauce pan, sauté onion in a bit of vegetable broth until translucent.
Add Zengarry Smokey Jalpeno Cashew Cheese and vegetable broth (reserve 1/4 cup) and mix until smooth.
Add corn starch to reserved vegetable broth and whisk until all the lumps are gone. Add corn starch mixture to pan and bring the mixture to a boil. Stir constantly until it has thickened.
Add salsa and salt and pepper and mix well. Simmer until the sauce has thickened to the desired consistency.
Add cooked macaroni noodles, mix to combine. Sprinkle with a pinch of paprika and serve immediately.
Welcome to a brand new year! Do you make resolutions this time of year? Have you over indulged and feel the need to get back to your healthy habits after the holidays? I do. So I plan to be hitting the salad pretty hard in the next few weeks. I find that packing my dish with raw veggies is the perfect way to fill me up, and get all my nutrients which helps the body feel satisfied. And when I top my salad with this quick and delicious raw ranch dressing, there is no sacrifice of taste involved!
You can also use this as a veggie dip. When I use it as a dip I usually reduce the amount of almond milk in the recipe for a thicker consistency that clings to your veggies. I love fresh dill, so this recipe calls for quite a bit of it, feel free to mix things up with other fresh herbs like parsley, tarragon or sage!
Zengarry Raw Ranch Dressing
1/2 container of Zengarry Garlic and Fine Herbs Cashew Cheese
1/3 cup of unsweetened almond milk
Juice from 1/2 a lemon
3 green onions chopped finely
2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp. fresh dill chopped
1/2 tsp. salt or to taste
Freshly ground pepper
Place all ingredients into a bowl and whisk until well blended and smooth. Store refrigerated.
Note: To use as a dip for vegetables add a little less almond milk (1/4 cup) for a thicker consistency.
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