Recipe Difficulty: Easy
History of Pina Colada
The Pina Colada is a tropical cocktail that is believed to have originated in Puerto Rico. The exact history of the drink is somewhat disputed, but it is generally agreed that it was first created in the 1950s or 1960s.
One version of the history of the Pina Colada is that it was invented by Ramon "Monchito" Marrero, a bartender at the Caribe Hilton Hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico in the early 1950s. He is said to have spent three months perfecting the recipe, which was originally served in a pineapple and called the "Piña Colada" (strained pineapple in Spanish).
Regardless of its origin, the Pina Colada quickly became a popular drink in Puerto Rico and throughout the Caribbean. In 1978, the Puerto Rican government declared the Pina Colada the official drink of Puerto Rico.
The traditional Pina Colada is made with pineapple juice, coconut cream and white rum. However, there are many variations of the drink, including the addition of other fruits and flavors.
Healthy Pina Colada Smoothie Bowl Recipe Notes
Take yourself to the tropics with this tasty smoothie bowl. The flavours of a Piña Colada blended together for a healthy breakfast treat! Frozen Pineapple and Banana are blended together with the cream from a can of coconut milk. It's rich and delicious, but if you wanted to use coconut yogurt you could definitely do that with yummy results. I always add 1/2 - 1 scoop of my vegan vanilla protein powder to my smoothie bowls. It's a no brainer, adds a lot of good for you things and imparts a flavour that I find enhances the sweetness of the fruit. Even though I don't typically consume alcohol, my brain can't help but think RUM, probably not a smart breakfast idea....but if I was drinking, I would probably want to make a boozy version of this some hot summer evening and have it in a nice glass, garnished with the same things.
For the garnishes, a couple of fresh cherries, coconut chips, fresh banana, mint, and a scoop of frozen Coco Whip. I buy the So Delicious Brand of Coco Whip in the organic freezer section at Super Store. It's a product I love because you can scoop it out frozen to garnish whatever you'd like, or thaw and use a substitute for whipped cream. It's delicious, versatile and you can thaw and refreeze with no trouble.
Pina Colada Smoothie Bowl Recipe
Recipe Difficulty: Easy
What is Pan Bagnat exactly?
I'm glad you asked! Pan Bagnat is a traditional sandwich that originated in the South of France. It is often made with round, rustic day old bread called "pain de campagne," which is split in half and filled with the ingredients found in the classic French "Salade Niçoise". Often times the bread will be rubbed with garlic cloves before adding in the remainder of ingredients.
Typical ingredients seem to vary a bit, and my guess is, as with many dishes around the world, that what goes into it depends on the region, who is cooking, and what ingredients are available. Generally though, Pan Bagnat includes some variation of tuna, hard-boiled eggs, black olives, tomatoes, red onion, and greens such as arugula or watercress.
The sandwich is typically seasoned with a vinaigrette made with olive oil, vinegar, and herbs such as basil and parsley. Then, it is pressed or weighted down for a few hours to allow the flavours to meld together and the bread to become moistened by the dressing. This makes the Pan Bagnat a great make-ahead sandwich that can be prepared in advance, perfect picnic fare.
Pan Bagnat is thought to have originated in the 19th century, as a way for fishermen and others in the working class in Nice to enjoy a portable and filling lunch. It became a popular street food in Nice and the surrounding region, and is now considered a traditional dish of the Provence region.
Pan Bagnat isn't typically vegan, but I am.
As I shared above, traditional Pan Bagnat is not vegan, but, I am. I love to explore foods from all over the world, and I enjoy putting my own spin on things to share with others and of course to suit my own diet and lifestyle. I think it is a myth that veganizing a dish means you are losing something or taking something away from it. It's important to understand the origins, history and culture of a dish, but veganism is an ethical movement that not only won't go away, it is consistently growing, and I think the best way I can show my appreciation and love of globally inspired food, is to make my veganized version of things taste amazing. I wasn't always vegan, and I wasn't vegan when I first started making and eating pan bagnat, but I love this plant based version just as much, if not more. I am certain there are plenty of vegans in France, and I can only hope they would approve of my homage to this classic sandwich.
Pan Bagnat, love at first bite.
This sandwich is close to my heart. I used to make my original version years ago in late summer, when sun ripened tomatoes were bursting with flavour. Along with the tomatoes I added olives, red onion, fresh basil & hard boiled egg. Then, dressed everything with a simple red wine vinaigrette.
I've since replaced the egg with smashed white beans seasoned with kala namak. It's a delicious and convincing alternative. Kala Namak is a sulpheric sea salt which provides an eggy taste to whatever you sprinkle it on. I am certain some would take a bite and would assume they were eating egg.
Pan Bagnat translates to "bathed bread", which describes perfectly the essence of this sandwich. My veganized version of pan bagnat has tomatoes, onion, shaved fennel, olives, white beans & basil. The veg is all dressed with a red wine vinegar and olive oil based vinaigrette. The idea is to drizzle additional olive oil all over both sides of a split baguette that has bread torn from the middle to hollow it out. Then you add the juicy marinated veg (don't avoid the liquid, ADD the liquid) and other ingredients (basil, olives). The bread soaks up all the juices. The result is a gorgeous flavourful marinated sandwich. Baguette is really chewy so allowing the moisture to soak in not only makes for the best flavour, it makes it easier to eat too.
This recipe makes enough to dress 1 standard size baguette that you get at the supermarket. I get 3 sandwiches out of it. You could do 4 if you want them a bit smaller.
I start most of my mornings with some variety of smoothie bowl. They are healthy, vibrant and delicious - plus I feel like I'm eating sorbet or ice cream so there's that.
This strawberry watermelon smoothie bowl is simple, tastes lovely and is a fun change from my default mixed berry smoothie bowl with blobs of peanut butter. I garnished the top with fresh watermelon, fresh strawberries, a squeeze of fresh lime & some chia seeds.
I use Silk brand almond yogurt in this recipe. This yogurt has a higher fat content and is also high in fiber. I think you could use a different vegan yogurt, I just know I would want to add something with some fat in it for flavour and body. A low fat yogurt wouldn't be my choice here.
I use vega vanilla protein powder in this, for me, it just doesn't taste the same without it. If I wasn't using this protein powder I would probably want to add a splash of maple and something else for protein.
This is the first time I tried using Goji Berries. They have an interesting flavour that I really enjoy. They were really chewy before adding to the smoothie bowl, but then once they sit in the frozen fruit for a few minutes they turn crispy!!! I was delightfully surprised and enjoyed how the texture changed.
Recipe: Strawberry Watermelon Smoothie Bowl with Almond Yogurt & Gogji Berries
Recipe Difficulty: Easy (Ready in 5 minutes!!)
Recipe Keywords: Avocado, Tofu, Chocolate Pudding, Healthy, Vegan
My 5 minute Chocolate Pudding Recipe Notes
I can't put into words how delicious this chocolate pudding is!!! It is perfectly creamy, slightly sweet, chocolatey, and doesn't taste one bit like avocado or tofu. Just perfect chocolate pudding that actually has some health benefits. If you haven't considered desserts made from healthy ingredients, this pudding might be life changing...some kinda vegan avocado magic happening over here. Make this for an impressive yet simple dessert with coconut whipped cream and fresh raspberries, or you could use it in trifles, crepes, or spooned into pie crusts. I'm not a parent, but if I was, I know I would be trying to find ways to make treats healthier. So much garbage in store bought chocolate pudding, this avocado based chocolate pudding happens to taste as good or better...and it took me literally 5 minutes to make in a food processor.
Adding Plant Milk
Lately I have been buying oat milk, but any plant milk should do the trick. I always buy unsweetened.
If you want your pudding to be on the thicker side for spooning into tart shells or crepes, just add less plant milk. Add more one tablespoon at a time until the pudding is the texture you prefer. I haven't tried it yet, but I'm tempted to add milk until the pudding is drizzly, and use it as a chocolate sauce. Something to keep in the back of my mind until I get around to trying it!
Vegan Whipped Cream
There are several options when it comes to vegan whipping cream. You can make it yourself from a can of coconut milk, buy it pre made/frozen and thaw to serve, or buy a plant based whipping cream like the one pictured above. I really love this Silk dairy - free whipping cream in many contexts. It doesn't taste like coconut, which is my preference in many instances. Perfect on top of this chocolate pudding. Use it just like you would regular whipping cream, adding icing sugar to taste.
The fun thing about the frozen coco whip I have tried is that you can also serve it frozen! A scoop from the freezer makes a perfect garnish for a tropical smoothie bowl. How about on top of a warm fruit crisp or piece of pie ?? I love the contrast of hot and cold. Warm pie and cold ice cream is an incredible combination.
This was a fun and tasty breakfast to make and eat!! Honestly it tastes kind of like a delicious sorbet. I find pineapple and mango when frozen and pureed add gorgeous texture to smoothie bowls. I love the addition of ginger in this particular pineapple and banana smoothie bowl. If that seems a little out of your comfort zone, I say just give it a shot anyway! It just adds a bit of complexity, not over powering at all. You can start with a small amount and add more to taste. To garnish I couldn't help myself from dipping fresh banana and pineapple in chocolate and then rolling them in chopped toasted cashews. Peanuts would be good too. Mint on top looks pretty, but I also like the flavour. If you don't want to bite into big leaves just chiffonade the mint and sprinkle it on top that way.
***Chiffonade is a term used to describe a method of thinly slicing herbs or leafy greens. You simply stack the leaves, roll them up tightly and then slice perpendicularly.
Serves 1 - 2
The amounts are approximate and forgiving. Just sharing more as a guideline. As long as it's thick and sorbet like and has a ginger factor that suits your taste, everything is good!
Recipe Difficulty: Easy
Keywords: Fattouch, Dukkah, Ancient Grains, Salad, Dinner
Fattouch Recipe Notes
Fattouch is a middle eastern salad made with fried or baked pita to make pita croutons, then tossed with a variety of chopped veggies and fresh herbs. Typically tomato, cucumber, onion, romaine and mint and or cilantro. The dressing bright, often with the addition of sumac. A really beautiful salad that would be a great addition to a feast of falafel or other vegan middle eastern inspired fare.
I ate this salad for days and it evolved into a heartier version that can stand alone as a meal. The addition of ancient grains adds a nutty taste and great texture. I think whatever you have on hand or prefer works here. I tried it with Freekeh and Farro, both good, but feel free to use quinoa or even cooked lentils. I had Dukkah on hand so that ended up in the recipe too. It was just too tasty to leave out and fits the middle eastern inspired dish perfectly. Then lastly I added avocado, the dressing is bright so a bit of creamy rich avocado is a good contrast to that.
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Recipe Difficulty: Easy
Raspberry Smoothie Bowl Notes
Smoothie Bowls barely need recipes. When you are blending up beautiful frozen fruit, regardless of the variety it is pretty hard to go wrong. With that being said it is fun to see all the combinations of fruit concoctions out there to keep one inspired. Eating a variety of whole plant based foods is good for your health, and important for the billions of micro organisms that live in our bodies and make up our microbiome. (not a glamourous thought, but it is the truth!) I start my day more often than not with a smoothie bowl. My goal is always flavour but I also try to get in lots of fiber, protein and other nutrients. This raspberry maca smoothie bowl is simple and delicious. A loose recipe for 1, of course you can double it or more as needed.
I use a food processor to make my smoothie bowls. Blenders can work too, but typically you need to add more liquid to get everything blended together so it wouldn't be as thick as your smoothie made in a food processor, but you can probably make it work.
History of Maca Powder
Maca powder is derived from the root of the maca plant, which is native to the Andes Mountains of Peru. The plant has been used for thousands of years by the indigenous people of the region for both medicinal and nutritional purposes.
The Incas, who ruled the region from the 13th to the 16th century, considered maca to be a sacred food and used it to enhance strength and endurance. They also believed it had aphrodisiac properties and used it to improve sexual function and fertility.
After the fall of the Inca empire, the use of maca declined, but it was still used by local people for its medicinal properties. In the 20th century, interest in maca was renewed, and it began to be exported from Peru to other countries. Today, maca is widely available as a dietary supplement in powder, capsule, and liquid form.
Maca root is also used for culinary purposes, mostly in powder form for smoothies, baking, and puddings.
It's important to note that most of the studies of the benefits of Maca powder are based on traditional knowledge and small scale studies, more research is needed to confirm the health benefits of Maca powder.
What are the Benefits of Maca Powder?
I always take health claims with a grain of salt. Maca has been used for centuries, but I'm not an expert on the science. Anyhow, these are some of the claims.
Maca powder is believed to have a variety of health benefits, including:
Raspberry Maca Smoothie Bowl Recipe
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