Top 9 Posts of 2013

2013 has been a big year for One Small Vegan. And for me. It’s amazing to see things slowly building up for One Small Vegan and I probably wouldn’t be on my way to being a holistic nutritionist if it wasn’t for the blog!

This blog is continually a work in progress, and I don’t always have as much time to devote to it as I would like, but I am continually thankful for it. And for you! While One Small Vegan is my means of sharing my passion for healthy plant-based eating and living, it wouldn’t be nearly as fun or rewarding if it wasn’t for all of you wonderful readers. I’m hugely thankful for all of your support through 2013. YOU are the reason I’ve continued this blog, through some tough personal times and major changes, and plenty of times when I just didn’t feel like posting. I am truly grateful for each and every view, like, comment, pin, share, etc.

THANK YOU!!!

Anyway, I thought I’d share with you the Top 9 Posts on One Small Vegan from this past year. Some of these are favourites of mine as well!

Top 9 Posts 2013 title

  1. Basic No-Mayo Coleslaw
  2. Frozen Greens Cubes
  3. Baked Vegetable Spring Rolls
  4. Lemon Coconut Energy Bites
  5. Dark Chocolate S’mores Brownies
  6. Butternut Squash Black Bean Burritos
  7. Nacho Cheez White Bean Spread
  8. Blueberry Oatmeal Scones
  9. Easy Hot & Sour Refrigerator Pickles

That’s it for 2013. I hope everyone has a safe and happy New Years! For me, tonight will be a low-key one spent with my favourite little man, my 4-year-old nephew. Then tomorrow is a big family brunch.

See you in 2014!

Have you tried any of the Top 9 Recipes? Which would you like to try?

What are you doing for New Years?

Is there anything you’d like to see more of on One Small Vegan in 2014 (original recipes, recipe reviews, restaurant reviews, product reviews, beauty tips…)?

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Nacho Cheez White Bean Spread

Yesterday when I started hearing things about it being National Grilled Cheese Day (in the U.S. I’m assuming) I knew exactly why I’d been craving a grilled cheese for two days, and exactly what I should have for lunch! The only problem: I didn’t have any Daiya on hand. Or hummus. Or avocado. Nothing creamy, rich, and even remotely cheesy! Major problem! Until I realized how quick I could make a cheesy hummus with canned beans and nutritional yeast!

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This Nacho Cheez White Bean Spread is what I came up with. Spread thickly between 2 slices of whole grain bread this made for a great grilled ‘cheese’. Totally satisfied my craving! Plus, it is super quick to throw together, uses ingredients you most likely already have on hand, and unlike any store-bought vegan cheese, is oil free (tahini doesn’t count). This spread is also soy free, and gluten free (as long as your mustard is).

Nacho Cheez White Bean Spread (Yields 2 cups)
1 19 oz can white kidney beans (or other white beans), drained and rinsed
3 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp water
1 tbsp tahini
1 tbsp prepared Dijon mustard
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/8 tsp cayenne
Salt & pepper to taste

Just blend together all ingredients in a food processor, blender, or with a hand/stick blender. You may need to add a little more water for it to blend smoothly, but you want the result to be a thick spreadable consistency.

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This spread is nice and cheesy with some smokiness and spiciness. You could definitely add some more spices to round out the ‘nacho’ flavour, but the two spices do the trick if you want to get a quick cheesy fix. And if you don’t have smoked paprika (though you really should) just use regular paprika. You won’t get the smoky flavour, but it should still taste great.

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Obviously you don’t just have to use this spread for grilled cheese. I made a quesadilla with it for lunch today, with just some parsley and pickled jalapeños, and I’ll be using it as a veggie dip for the next couple days.

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I’ve shared this post with Healthy Vegan Friday #38, Gluten Free Fridays #35, and Wellness Weekends (Apr11-15).

You May Also Enjoy:

Butternut Squash Black Bean Burritos

Butternut Squash Black Bean Burritos

Smoked Paprika Lentils

Smoked Paprika Lentils

Cheezy Tahini Sauce (On Kale Millet Croquettes)

Cheezy Tahini Sauce (On Kale Millet Croquettes)

 

 

Blueberry Blackberry Chia Jam

In case you haven’t noticed yet, I really like using frozen berries and chia seeds to make quick sauces for oatmeal, pancakes, waffles, and desserts.

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Instant Cranberry Sauce, Sugar-Free Blueberry Sauce, Dark Chocolate Cranberry Tart

Once I realized that I could make delicious healthy sauces like this, I knew that it would also be possible to make jam in the same way. It would just have to be a little thicker. I’ve also started seeing some recipes for chia jams spreading through the web.

The other day I was making soup and biscuits for dinner and was upset to find that I was all out of jam (an absolute must for me with home-made biscuits), until I realized it would be the perfect opportunity to try making some of my own. Now I only wish I’d tried it sooner!

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Now this is healthy home-made vegan comfort food! I’ll be posting about the soup (it’s kind of like minestrone) and the biscuits (from The Joy of Vegan Baking) soon.

This jam is super simple to make, as the chia seeds to most of the work for you, and has only a few ingredients. The results won’t taste exactly like store-bought jam, mainly because it will taste a lot more like fruit and a whole lot less like sugar. I don’t know about you, but jam that actually tastes like fruit, sounds like a great idea to me. Your home-made chia jam will also be free of additives, preservatives, and processed sugars and full of antioxidants, omega 3’s, calcium, iron, protein, and lots of fibre. This is guilt-free jam!

Title, Berry Chia Jam

I’ve been devouring this jam all week on biscuits, toast, oatmeal, and even vanilla ice cream. This recipe makes approximately 1 cup of jam, and I had no problem using it up in about four days.

When deciding how much to make, keep in mind that because this jam has no preservatives, additives, or massive amounts of sugar, it will not keep forever like store-bought jam. I don’t know for sure, but I wouldn’t want to leave it any more than one week.

Blueberry Blackberry Chia Jam (Yields 1 cup)
2/3 cup blueberries, fresh or defrosted from frozen
2/3 cup blackberries, fresh or defrosted from frozen
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tbsp ground chia seeds
1 tbsp coconut sugar (or to taste)

1) Using a blender, food processor, or hand blender, process the blueberries, blackberries, and vanilla just until there are no whole berries left. This took me about 2 seconds with my hand blender, which I’d recommend using if you have one, as it will leave  you with a lot less clean up than a blender or food processor.
2) Stir the chia seeds and sugar into the berry mixture. If you used a food processor or blender you’ll need to transfer the berry mixture into a different container first. You can use the sealable jar or container you’ll be storing your jam in.
3) Make sure the jam is in a sealed container (a mason jar works perfect) and place in the fridge overnight, or at least for a couple of hours. The chia seeds will soak up the liquid, gelatinize, and turn this into a jam-like consistency for you.
4) Keep your chia jam in a sealed container in the fridge. Enjoy!

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Notes:
– I prefer the texture of ground chia seeds in my jam, but whole chia seeds will work as well. As I also prefer the texture of ground chia in things such as smoothies and puddings, I buy whole chia seeds, grind some with my coffee/spice grinder, and keep a small jar of this in my fridge. 
– While I’m sure that other berries or fruit could be substituted for the blueberries and blackberries, keep in mind that different fruits have different levels of moisture, which means you might need a different amount of chia to achieve a jam-like consistency.

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Silver Hills toast with almond butter and Blueberry Blackberry Chia Jam. Yum!

I’ve shared this recipe with Healthy Vegan Friday #37Raw Food Thursdays (4/4/13),  Gluten Free Friday #34Wellness Weekends (Apr4-8/2013), and Meatless Monday A-Z #29 (Create w/ Blueberries.

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Chunky Hummus Dip & Baked Corn Chips

As I know is common for vegetarians and vegans, I almost always have hummus in my fridge. Especially when I had first turned vegan and was still sharing a kitchen with my omnivore family, having hummus available gave me instant options in terms of quick meals and snacks. I use it as a dip for veggies, crackers, crisp breads, and chips. I spread it on toast and in my sandwiches and wraps. I use it as pasta sauce. I thin it out with water and use it as salad dressing.

I also like making this Chunky Hummus Dip to eat with crackers and crisp breads. Instead of dipping vegetables in the hummus, I dice them up and mix them into it, creating a great chunky dip/spread. I usually use whatever veggies I have, almost always using cucumber and bell peppers, but I’ve also added olives, fresh herbs, spinach, cabbage, and zucchini. Obviously this would work with any flavour of hummus. I especially like roasted red pepper, or spicy ones such as chipotle, jalapeno, or chili pepper.

Chunky Hummus Dip
1 1/2 to 2 cups diced mixed vegetables (cucumber, red bell pepper, carrot, artichoke hearts, banana peppers)
1 tbsp hemp hearts (or chia seeds)
1-2 tsp lemon or lime juice (whichever will go better with the flavours of your hummus)
about 1/2 C hummus (just enough to make the veggies stick together)

Put diced vegetables, hemp hearts, and citrus juice in a small bowl and mix well. Add hummus and mix until everything is sticking together. I don’t usually measure this, so you may need some more hummus. Feel free to add anything else that seems good to you. Serve with crackers, crisp breads, or chips.
I find that this recipe is enough for one meal for me if this is all I’m having, so if making for multiple people you may need to double or triple it. Enjoy!

Before hummus.

With hummus.

 As you can see in the first photo, I had my dip this time with some baked corn chips. These were homemade in the sense that I cut up some bought corn tortillas that needed to be used up and baked them in the oven.

Baked Corn Chips
Cut some small corn tortillas into triangles.
Arrange the triangles on a baking sheet and mist them with oil (I use olive oil in a Misto).
You could add some salt or spices at this point, but I left mine plain.
Bake in a 375° oven for 10-12 minutes.

Before baking.

After baking.

These chips were much thicker and crunchier than store-bought taco corn chips. They were also really quick to do. It only takes a minute to cut them up and I made the humus dip while they were in the oven. I really enjoyed them and can definitely see doing this again.

Questions
Do you also have a hummus addiction?

Do you use hummus in any ways I didn’t mention?

Do you ever bake your own chips?
I’ve tried baked potato chips a couple of times, and I love making kale chips. This is the first time I’ve turned tortillas into chips.