Creamy Peanut Tomato Stew (Vegan!)

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Hi friends! Who here has shovelled yet this year? Yup, winter is here, and I for one am all about it! To warm up your evenings, here’s a new easy recipe! This is a super hearty, cozy, rich, thick stew made from tasty tomatoes and a bizarre but amazing pairing of peanuts! West African cooking is known for amazing peanut tomato stew combinations, which inspired this dish. Add some heat with chilli pepper flakes and smooth it out with amazing peanut butter and a puree of sweet potato and zucchini. All vegan- creamy yet no dairy, no animal products whatsoever. Super filling and very, very high in protein, this is a complete meal in itself.

There are even red lentils snuck in there to thicken the soup up (a great way to sneak them into your diet).  Serve a small portion of stew as an appetizer (be warned it’s really filling), or with a salad or crusty bread. You can also up the lentils to 3/4c and serve this very thick stew over rice as a meal. It’s great leftover and freezes well too. The stew has a really unique but incredible flavour- a new favourite just in time for the chilly winter.

Creamy Peanut Tomato Stew 

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Chanterelle White Wine Pasta with Basil

Do you have any special ingredients that are decadent to you? Treat ingredients, whether they be expensive ingredients that you treat yourself to every now and then, or maybe they’re staples and it’s worth it? Maybe a certain dish that you make only a couple of times a year or save for special occasions, or maybe you buy that really expensive cheese and savour it over time? Maybe you gorge and eat it all at once! There’s a particular ingredient that many chefs and food lovers around the world covet, and for good reason. They’re supper expensive to buy, are only available fresh very limited times during the year, they have never found a way to successfully cultivate them so you can only find them in the wild, plus they’re incomparable in flavour, versatility and amazingness. I’m referring to chanterelle mushrooms, and lucky for us, you just may find them in your backyard here in Newfoundland.

Raw Chanterelles- Cleaning them can be tricky, as can picking them, but so worth it!

Raw Chanterelles- Cleaning them can be tricky, as can picking them, but so worth it!

Chanterelles have a distinct trumpet-shaped cap with gilled-edges and a gorgeous golden colour (ranging from a bright yellow to a deep orange, gold shade). They can be found in the wild throughout the world. Sometimes they have a sweet or woodsy scent and often a bit of a peppery kick in taste, but can be used in so many dishes as they have a meaty, chewy texture. They’re best cooked as it brings out their flavour, but you can also dry them to save some of that tastiness throughout the winter! If you find a place to pick chanterelles, keep it on the down-low as many people won’t dare share their chanterelle patch location! I’m telling ya, they’re a hot commodity. A friend of mine, owner of a wonderful new gourmet restaurant in St. John’s called The Reluctant Chef, recently bestowed me with the wonderful gift of a full grocery bag of these bad boys. I was so happy that I immediately cooked them up in this very simple but delicious dish that allows the mushrooms show themselves off! I’m no expert in these mushrooms at all and this was an experimental recipe to say the least, but I really enjoyed it and hope you will too, or you have fun adapting it to your taste. Choose any pasta that works for you, or make your own!

Chanterelle White Wine Pasta with Basil

Chanterelle Pasta

Chanterelle Pasta sans cheese

Vegan pasta love! Fresh basil love!

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Rosemary Zucchini Bean Burgers

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It’s been so long! TOO LONG! I’ve been working crazy hours and my job caters our meals so I’ve hardly been cooking these days it seems, except for the weekends or maybe snacks after work. However, during yesterday’s gorgeous summer afternoon I wanted to heat up the ol’ BBQ and get some tasty treats cooking. And of course, I wanted to share them with you!

This is BBQ season, and being meat-free is pretty darn easy with a grill. Everything tastes great BBQ’d- just brush some veggies with a bit of oil or put on a skewer and it’s awesome, or grill a pineapple, corn on the cob, garlic bread, pair things with a nice salad or fruit and there you go. Hell, you could throw an old shoe on a bbq, but sauce on it and the smell would still entice folks! Disclaimer- don’t grill boots. . . Steam them instead. 🙂 It can be that simple.

One of the classic BBQ meals is a good ol’ burger. I chose black beans because that’s what I had on hand, but white beans would be really great in this recipe too. I have some different herbs growing in containers and pots both in and outside of my house- which is a great way to have super fresh and tasty additions for all of your meals. It’s also much cheaper than buying at a grocery store. Plus, using super fresh ingredients in your meals makes everything better.

Rosemary is one of my favourite herbs for both taste and scent, so I decided to create a burger that is healthy, super easy to make, uses some savoury rosemary, is full of protein, and has some gorgeous and really versatile yellow zucchini in it. This is a great way to sneak some veggies into your meals. I threw in a few other herbs I picked from the yard, some oats and voila! Vegan burgers, ready and waiting to be enjoyed in the yard, patio, or while camping in the woods. Share them with friends, get creative with your toppings and make a pitcher of sangria while you’re at it! Enjoy!

Rosemary Zucchini Bean Burgers


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