Date Squares are probably one of my favourite sweet treats ever, so after some trial and error, I'm glad I finally have a veganized recipe that I am happy with and can share with you! This is a classic date square with a twist. I added cardamom to the crumb mixture and the zest and juice of an orange into the date filling. These ingredients are totally optional, if you want to keep it plain just omit the cardamom and replace the orange juice with a bit more water. I happen to LOVE cardamom, of which orange is a good friend....though you could totally keep the cardamom in the recipe and ditch the orange part too.
I don't add sugar to my date filling. My feeling on this is that dates are already sweet, it's not that a couple of tablespoons of brown sugar wouldn't be a good addition to the filling, I just don't feel the need to add extra to an already sweet treat. But if you want to, just add a bit to the date filling while you are cooking it. It will be good.
I also use 100% whole wheat flour in my date squares. I haven't tested it with white flour, but I can't see how it wouldn't be delicious. My theory is if I can make a treat that uses 100% whole wheat flour and still taste great, why wouldn't I do that? At least it has some extra fiber, and honestly whole wheat flour has a delicious nutty flavour that works really well in these date squares. If you don't typically have whole wheat flour on hand and feel like picking some up, just keep any unused portion in the freezer. Whole wheat flour tends to turn rancid fairly quickly compared to white flour so storing it in the freezer will preserve it.
Crumble Base & Topping
Base & Assembly:
This African Sweet Potato Peanut Stew is an impressive dish made with humble ingredients. It's creamy, bright & slightly spicy. Sweet potatoes, chickpeas and tomatoes make up the bulk of the stew which is then flavoured with natural peanut butter, lime juice, cumin, coriander and chili. I like to serve this with brown rice, fresh cilantro & chopped toasted peanuts. Serve extra lime wedges on the side if you want to add a bit more brightness. I really really love this stew, I first made a version of it probably 8 years ago now. It's a tasty bowl of comfort you can make any time of the year. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!!! Much love. 💜🌱
THESE!!!!! I have gone and impressed myself with this dish and am pumped to share it with y'all.
Involtini is an Italian word for small bites of food consisting of an outer layer wrapped around a filling. Traditionally the outer layer can be meat, seafood or vegetable based. Obviously I went the veg route, and chose zucchini, though eggplant or lasagna noodles would work here too.
For the filling, I made the most lovely vegan ricotta with soaked cashews, a bit of tofu, lemon, nutritional yeast and fresh basil. The zucchini is sliced on a mandolin and given a quick sear in a cast iron pan so they are pliable. You then just spoon some of the filling onto the end of each zucchini slice, roll em up and bake them on top of my easy & delicious marinara sauce. To finish the dish I garnish it with garlicky panko crumbs and extra basil. I served whole wheat aglio e olio on the side and greens dressed with a balsamic vinaigrette. SO GOOD. Some crusty bread on the side would be a good addition...or even I could see serving the baked cheesy zucchini JUST with crusty bread. Really any combination would work. I would totally just smash the cheesy zucchini rolls onto my bread and dunk in marinara. yum. yum. yum.
I'm going to say this recipe serves 3-4 people. I usually make double the amount of ricotta because I like to have leftovers and smear it on toast for breakfast or lunch. Throw some sauteed mushrooms or roasted red peppers on there? Hell ya.
If you are feeding a family though, it probably wouldn't hurt to just double everything. (ricotta, sauce, number of zucchini needed.) Especially if, like me, leftovers are your jam. You could bake them in two small round or square pans like pictured, or just use a large rectangle/ lasagna pan.
Cashew Tofu Basil Ricotta
Zucchini & Assembly
Rainbow Veg Salad with Beet, Brown Rice & Walnut Balls, & a creamy horseradish yogurt dressing. (vegan)
This was a really fun salad to make and eat. I was making my beet, walnut and rice mixture to make veggie burgers, then I couldn't stop myself from rolling them into little meatballs. Perhaps the recipe is better suited to this anyway. The texture isn't really meaty, they are more soft and the taste is of sweet beet with a bit of smoky earthiness from the paprika & cumin.
Immediately when I made these I thought about the chopped veg salads that are ubiquitous in Switzerland. A rainbow of colourful vegetables, (typically straight up cooked beets are part of the equation.) and a sweet creamy dressing. So this is my spin on that salad. I added horseradish to the dressing because I love horseradish and it is good friends with beets. If you aren't a fan you can absolutely omit it. I didn't have any fresh herbs to add to my dressing but I'm confident subbing the horseradish with fresh chopped dill and parsley would be a welcome addition to the flavour profile of this salad. (Or add along with horseradish in the dressing...whatever you prefer.) Whatever dressing you decide on I do think some sweetness somehow balances everything.
What you use in your salad is up to you. Anything goes. Just keep it bright and fresh and have a good variety. I really wanted to add fresh sprouts, I just didn't have any at the time. I really do like the addition of toasted walnuts. This is what went into my salad for the photo.
Beet, Brown Rice & Walnut Balls
Yield: 30 beetballs
Creamy Horseradish Dressing
Yield: 2 cups dressing
Bircher Muesli is a traditional Swiss breakfast invented in the 1900 by Swiss physician Maximilian Bircher-Brenner. Basically an overnight oat breakfast that typically consists of more fruit than oats. I just soaked the oats in water over night, then strain any remaining liquid and stir together with grated pear or apple, almond yogurt, maple syrup, toasted nuts & seeds and fresh berries. It's a nice change from cooked oatmeal! This recipe serves 1 hungry person or 2 people who are lighter eaters in the morning. The recipe can easily be doubled. I love adding oats to my diet either in a recipe like this or blitzed into my morning smoothie bowl. Add maple syrup to this recipe to taste. I always try to get away with the least amount possible to avoid added sugar....and feel free to mix it up, add dried fruit and different combinations of nuts and seeds. The possibilities are endless!
Hey! I'm Trisha