Ready for Spring!

Spring was here in Ottawa, but then there was a snow storm and it went away. Now it might be coming back. That’s the weather of Canada in a nutshell.

It’s been a long time, I don’t even know where to start! In fact, I just decided I will write this in several parts so that I can keep track of all the things. Basically, I’ve got you covered for awesome vegan springtime side dishes. Here’s the list of topics/recipes:

  1. My Soup & Smoothie Cleanse Week 
  2. Asparagus Lemon Orzo – Jo Cooks
  3. Blueberry Crumble Bars – The Pretty Bee
  4. Bean Salad– Vegan Everyday
  5. Summer Vegetable Pasta Salad – Flavorite
  6. Rainbow Quinoa Power Salad – Apple of my Eye
  7. What’s next…

1) Soup & Smoothie Cleanse Week:

A couple weeks back, I realized I had been feeling kind of heavy and bloated for awhile, and just wanted some kind of detox for my body. Someday I’ll attempt a juice cleanse… today is not that day.  Instead I planned a soup and smoothie “cleanse”. Before beginning, I had a “last meal” at Table. The Table Restaurant is an amaaaazing vegetarian / vegan buffet in Ottawa. Proof:

Everything on my plate(s) tasted great, there were only two or three things I didn’t absolutely love. We ate so much at dinner but fortunately (or not) they have takeaway containers for dessert, PHEW!

Now onto the soup and smoothies! Overall this went really well, I had a lot of energy and my digestion improved by the end. I chose to do this for four days, originally I planned for three days but couldn’t give up making any of the soups I found so it became four. I’ll start with the smoothies which I had for breakfast or snack each day.

All smoothie recipes were found in either the Oh She Glows cookbook or on her website. The first day I made a Classic Green Monster which I’ve posted about before, they are delicious and good for any time of day in my opinion. The second day, I made an Everyday Green Juice (I know, not technically a smoothie but still really tasty), and below are pictures of the rest of the smoothies I tried! My favourite, hands down, was Morning Glory but the Cheerful Chocolate smoothie is really good if you are craving some intense chocolate taste.

L to R: Cheerful Chocolate Smoothie, Morning Glory Smoothie, Pink Detox Smoothie

As for the soups, surprisingly they were all winners! Perhaps the very last wasn’t one I’ll make again, but it was still very good. The first soup was my old reliable favourite, Spiced Lentil Kale Soup. It’s perfect, the end. After that we have Carrot Soup (made with coconut milk, very creamy and flavourful) Cream of Broccoli & Potato soup, Creamy Tomato Soup, and Creamy Cauliflower soup with greens. Yes, although most of these contain the word ‘creamy’ right in the name, they are all completely vegan. All of the soups were delicious in their own ways, but the carrot and cream of broccoli/potato were my two favourites – obviously not including my favourite soup of all time.

I did not remember to take pictures of all these soups, but here are the ones I did:

IMG_20160314_200623~3
Creamy Carrot
IMG_20160315_174215~3
Cream of Broccoli & Potato (tastes much better than this picture looks!)
IMG_20160317_204231~2
Creamy Cauliflower with Greens

 2) Lemon Asparagus Orzo

A fairly simple, light, spring side dish. It wasn’t too difficult to make, really just focused on the lemon and asparagus flavours. It was a delicious combo that I haven’t experienced before this. I would definitely make it again, it would be really great to bring to Easter or a BBQ as a side.

IMG_20160322_195420~3

3) Blueberry Crumble Bars

These are perfect. Just the perfect quick and easy blueberry dessert. I crave blueberries pretty regularly, but I like having them in interesting ways. There are so few ingredients in these bars, I actually had every single ingredient in my kitchen when I found this recipe which in my world means it’s meant to be and I have to make them.

IMG_20160316_195609~3

4) Mediterranean Bean Salad

Another winning Mediterranean style salad from the Vegan Everyday cookbook! Earlier I posted about a wonderful and easy pasta salad from the same book, and this one lived up to the high bar set by the pasta salad. Easy, flavourful, makes a decent amount, and it keeps well. A very yummy and healthy side for spring and summer!

received_10154110388510649
Bean Salad + Herb Roasted Potatoes

5) Summer Vegetable Pasta

Very good pasta salad. I prefer Greek style pasta salads but that’s because I love olives. So my sister much preferred this salad since she hates olives. This had a lot more veggies and a really great flavour from the dressing. Easy to make, lots of chopping of all the veggies, I actually didn’t use a summer squash but just added an extra zucchini. A perfect salad for the summer for sure.

received_10154159022000649

6) Rainbow Quinoa Power Salad

I LOVE THIS – and I’m not the only one! The first time I made this salad, I tasted it and thought it was perfect and knew I would be making it again. Then when I needed a salad to make for Easter dinner, I was pretty sure it would be this one. Unfortunately that day, my quinoa did not cook properly (in my opinion anyway) it was much fluffier/wetter than I usually make it. But no one in my family noticed, and instead several of them asked for the recipe. My family is full of nice people, so it was possible they were just being polite. But then when my younger cousin asked to have some to take home with her, I knew they truly loved it. None of them are vegan or vegetarian, but they said the flavour was amazing. That’s what it’s all about I guess! The mushy quinoa didn’t phase them, they loved the taste. Highly recommend this one, I added green onions for flavour and a nice pop of spring green on the top since I used red peppers 🙂

IMG_20160321_195639~2

7) What’s next…

You would think after all of that I would just give it a rest already…but no, I will not. But I am slowing it down a bit, this week I’m only trying two new recipes: Asparagus Soup and a Hash brown Casserole. I love hash brown casserole and was slightly devastated after becoming vegan that I could never eat it again. So I am really hoping this replacement works out for me, if not I’ll have to keep searching. Not a problem since these days I am really obsessed with Pinterest, I just CAN’T STOP! I’m loving all these fresh tasting spring recipes, I can’t wait to find more to try 🙂

 

– L

Advertisements

One Comment Add yours

  1. Barb Fulton says:

    Hi there Leitisha! Love your blog with all the great recipes! Healthier options for sure. Thanks from Barb (Madelaine’s sister;)

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s