Berry good breakfast oatmeal and Tofu-veggie spring rolls

Hello everyone!

Little by little I’m starting to sit down a bit more and write you guys the recipes for the food we eat. I take advantage of the time when our new puppy Mikko sleeps. I do not have any kids (yet) but I am glad to have started by adopting this little guy. He is helping me develop the virtues of sacrifice and responsibility and teaching me the art of patience and love at another level. It is fun to have another beautiful, playful and always happy living being around the house!

It is only the beginning of September and out here in northern Alberta we have been waking up to coolish temperatures already. This morning it was 1ºC when I took Mikko outside for his business and frost was covering the ground. Days are getting shorter, kids are back in school, leaves are turning and falling and more and more I am thinking of warmer meals to prepare. So in this post you will find a recipe to prepare a great warm oatmeal breakfast and to continue with the summer energy, I prepared my awesome Tofu spring rolls.  I hope you enjoy!

OATMEAL  (serves 2)

Ingredients:

  • 1 c. of oats (I try to buy it organic, so when I have the opportunity, I buy them bulk)
  • 2 c. of water20140816_110117
  • 1 tsp. of coconut oil
  • Pinch of salt

Toppings:

  • 1/4 c. each of raspberries, blueberries, blackberries (or any other berries you have that are in season; BTW, I wish I had the opportunity to try out those Saskatoon berries, they look delicious! http://globalnews.ca/news/1526393/saskatoon-berry-found-under-different-name-in-usa/ )
  • 1/4 c. raisins
  • 1-2 Tbsp. Maple Syrup OR 1-2 Tbsp. Coconut sugar OR 2 pitted dates soaked in warm water for at least 10 minutes.
  • 1/4 c. shredded coconut
  • 2 Tbsp. Goji Berries
  • 1-2 Tbsp. of raw cacao nibs
  • 1/2-1 C. of Dairy-free milk of your choice (I normally use either homemade almond or Brazil nut milk, although I have also used Canned full fat coconut milk and it was delicious too)

Method:

  1. In a covered saucepan bring the 2 c. of water, the pinch of salt and the cup of oats together to a boil. As soon as it starts to boil, turn the heat down to medium-low simmer, add the coconut oil and cook for another 2-3 minutes until the majority of the water is absorbed by the oats.
  2. Immediately serve in a deep bowl, add toppings, milk and ENJOY!!  Whole grain oat helps reduce cholesterol, which is a risk factor for heart disease; plus a 1/2 cup of oat grains provides 45% of the daily amount of fibres shown to help reduce cholesterol.

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Here in northern Canada I will be having this for breakfast from Autumn right up until the spring thaw, so until sometime in April. Oatmeal is a great breakfast choice. Play with the toppings and enjoy a warm hearty morning meal that will keep you satisfied until lunch time.

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Tofu-veggie Spring rolls

Ingredients:

Dipping sauce

  • 1/4 c. of tahini, peanut or almond butter
  • 2 tbsp. Braggs soy sauce alternative GF
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced and crushed
  • 1 thai chilli pepper (optional), extremely finely minced or 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 lime juice
  • 2 Tbsp. of maple syrup or brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. of warm water to thin the sauce to desired consistency

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Mix all the ingredients well. I put them in my nutribullet and pulse a couple of times, but you can definitely do it by hand. I recommend mixing up the sauce first, so while you are building your rolls, the flavours blend together. Trust me, it just tastes better after sitting for a while.

Spring-rolls fillings

  • 8-10 Rice spring-roll papers20140828_165842
  • 1/2 c. each of julienned carrots, zucchini, bell pepper
  • 1/2 head of iceberg lettuce or any other broad leaf green
  • 1 avocado, sliced in slim strips
  • 1/4 of a bunch of Cilantro or Coriander sprigs
  • 1/2 pack of thin vermicelli rice noodles
  • 1 pack of smoked tofu
  • 1 tsp. of toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tsp. Braggs Soy sauce alternative GF
  • 1 Tbsp. Sesame seeds (toasted or not, mine weren’t)
  • Other options: Any kind of sprouts you like, cooked Quinoa, Mint, Cucumbers, radishes, purple cabbage, Basil, etc. Use what you like!!

20140828_165847

Method:

  1. I start by boiling 3 cups of water, place the noodles in a bowl and completely submerge the noodles with the water. Leave them there for 15 min, then strain the, return them to the bowl and add the sesame oil, soy sauce and sesame seeds. Move them around enough to smother the noodles with oil and seeds.  Leave them there until we build the rolls.  20140828_165857
  2. Cut tofu into strips and pan-fry it for 5 minutes. Set aside.     20140828_171010
  3. Now to assemble rolls, place a cup of hot water in a shallow bowl and immerse rice paper for 10 sec. to soften them a bit (Don’t over soak them). Then transfer them to a wooden cutting board. (Some like to dampen the board, It makes it easier to peel-off the paper if you got it TOO soaked.)  20140828_171022
  4. Place in the bottom part of the paper your fillings: Start by putting some iceberg lettuce, then place on top of it the “hardest” pieces of food that could pierce the paper, like carrots, cooked tofu, avocado, peppers, herbs, and I finished by adding the noodles and covering again with a small piece of lettuce.
  5. Carefully fold over once, tuck in the edges and continue rolling until it seems closed. Transfer them to a serving platter and cover with a damp towel, to prevent the rice paper to dry off and so the towel doesn’t stick to the paper.   Repeat the process until your fillings are finished.

Depending on your rolling skills, you want to put in it only a small amount of food to prevent it from being broken. DO NOT get DISCOURAGED if some of your rolls get pierced, or the roll doesn’t look like a roll and it ends up looking more like a taco. It doesn’t matter. It will all taste amazing and it will all end up in the same place: your belly.  It all takes practice. I am sure that by the 6th or 7th roll you make, they will be tighter, chubbier and your technique will have improved dramatically. You can store them in the fridge for a day individually wrapped in plastic film.

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I hope you enjoy these ideas. I get inspiration from many sources, vegan and non vegan as well. I just then adapt them to my life style and my taste.  That is what is all about: trying, adjusting, adapting and perfecting to your taste and beliefs.

May these recipes serve you well in your continuous path of a healthier, happier life path.

Love and health to you all. And remember, If it’s good for the Gut, it’s good for the Soul.

Song of the day: What I got- By AWESOME Cali Band (Badly missing my sandy, warm weather beach lifestyle in Mexico when listening to Sublime)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Uc3ZrmhDN4

 

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