I have to tell you the story of this dish…because it was inspired by something I ate in Ottawa. Holy cow, I cannot believe it has been six weeks since I wrapped on Urban Vegetarian. It seems like yesterday and forever ago. Actually, that’s the story of my 2016 in a nutshell.
Anyway, my last day on set was a photo shoot and when we finished, I felt like I needed to do something to celebrate. But I was also so bone-tired that being social seemed entirely out of the question (introvert alert!).
So, after debating the point in my head for a half hour, I ventured out at 5:30PM to this little wine bar that was literally around the corner from my home-away-from-home and proceeded to celebrate. By myself. In blissful silence. I think the server probably thought I was insane. I ordered a ridiculous amount of food and wine for one person (and almost finished it all!!)
In the midst of the feast, I ate this Bollywood-spiced chèvre that was like other level good. So I decided to recreate my own version for the holidays…because who doesn’t like a good cheese plate around the holidays???
Never fear, my plant-based friends. This recipe works no matter what your poison: goat cheese, cream cheese or a lovely nut-based option would all be delicious. This is holiday entertaining, Desiree-style: lovely flavour, crazy easy to make.
Happy Holidays everyone…I hope you have the most wonderful close to your year.
This will be my last post of 2016 as I start gearing up for a jam-packed January. My new show will air on Gusto early in January, the paperback edition of my book launches January 3rd and I hope you’ll join me for a totally diet-free January mindful eating challenge, starting January 2nd. xo
Moroccan-inspired Spiced Chèvre
Super simple and easily adjustable chevre! A great dish for the holiday parties!
Bring orange juice and spices to a boil. Reduce temperature to a gentle boil until the orange juice is reduced to the consistency of light syrup (about ten minutes). The mixture will reduce by half but still look like liquid.
Let cool to room temp and the mixture will thicken further.
Spread your fave cheese across a serving bowl or plate, drizzle with orange reduction and top with dates and almonds. Serve with your favourite bread or crackers.
Note: if using vegan ricotta, whip in a little more water as it processes to have a lighter, creamier texture!
Buttery vegan pecan snowball cookies just in time for our first snow day here in Vancouver ❄️ ❄️
I created these tender, just sweet enough cookies for #goodforyourgutbook and they were the surprise hit of the photoshoot. We couldn’t stop eating them!
So…why aren’t they in the book? Cuz I wrote too damn much and choices had to be made. But now they’re on the blog so you can make them anytime you want!
These little beauties are SO good you’re going to want to make a double batch.
Who doesn’t love a cookie that you can whip up in 30 minutes using just one bowl?
Plus, they make an awesome last minute addition to any party spread or hosting gift because they are accidentally gluten free, grain free, low sugar and yes, low FODMAP so almost everyone can enjoy them no matter their dietary needs.
Recipe is on www.desireerd.com or click the link in my profile…and if you don’t want to miss a single recipe, be sure to sign up for my free newsletter when you’re on the site! Hope you love them 🍪
How to make the BEST roasted Brussels sprouts (AD)
Without a doubt, Brussels sprouts are my favourite vegetable. Like, it’s no contest. I could eat a whole pound of these roasted Brussels sprouts to myself!
These tiny “little cabbages” are deeply flavourful and loaded with nutrition: as a member of the cruciferous veg family just like kale and broccoli, they’re packed with anti-inflammatory sulfur-based phytochemicals called glucosinolates. What’s more, they’re also high in fibre; one cup of cooked sprouts contains 6 grams!
So, I’m partnering with @halfyourplatecanada to help you make perfect Brussels every single time! In my opinion, it’s the best way to cook Brussels to bring out the natural sweetness and tone down any sulfur-notes that might have you cringing about all the mushy Brussels you ate as a kid.
How to perfectly roast Brussels sprouts in 4 EASY steps:
🔥 Use a higher heat: crank that oven to 425.
🌱 Trim + halve 2 lbs (900g) of sprouts and toss with 3 tbsp avocado oil, plus ½ tsp each of salt and garlic powder, and some pepper on a rimmed baking sheet. You need more oil than you think to get the browning and crispness you’re looking for.
👩🏻🍳 Flip them cut side down. Roast for 20-30 minutes, checking after 20 minutes, and every 3-4 minutes after. Smaller sprouts will likely be done in 20!
💥 Taste and adjust any little flavour boosters you like. I like a pinch of chile flakes. And to round out any bitterness you taste, a little drizzle of maple syrup will make it disappear! But you could also add a bit of lemon zest, or extra flaky salt, or even some almond parmesan!
Shopping tip: Look for sprouts that are bright green with firm, tight leaves. When roasting, choose sprouts that are about the same size so they cook evenly, without the too small ones getting burnt.
For the full recipe, with the almond parmesan, head to the link in my bio!
This peppermint bark is so yummy and soooo easy, it makes a great holiday hosting gift! (AD)
I really love gifting homemade goodies around the holidays, so whenever I can, I am mindful to make allergen-friendly treats so that everyone can enjoy them, like this peppermint chocolate bark made with @enjoylifefoods new Chocolateriz - Ricemilk baking morsels and white baking mini chips!
It’s fun to make with the kiddos, plus, it’s a school-safe treat for end-of-year celebrations!
Did you know that 1 in 2 Canadian households is impacted by food allergy?
Enjoy Life is made in North America’s largest dedicated nut- and gluten-free facility, and all of their products are free of the top 14 common food allergens, like wheat, egg and dairy (so yes, they’re vegan!) and perfect for those with intolerances, too.
Peppermint Holiday Bark
255 gram bag of Enjoy Life Chocolateriz - Ricemilk Morsels
255 gram bag of Enjoy Life White Baking Mini Chips
½ cup (125 mL) mini candy canes
¼ teaspoon (1.25 mL) peppermint extract
Method is in the comments!!
Visit enjoylifefoods.ca to learn more about the new products 🍫
Confused about what serving sizes on the nutrition facts actually mean? (AD)
You know that I’m not a big numbers person: nutrition should be simple! Eat mostly whole and lightly processed plants like vegetables, canned beans and sprouted grain bread and don’t sweat the rest of it.
But what if you want to check in on your fibre intake? Or see how you’re doing with protein?
That’s when understanding the nutrition facts panel matters. So let’s talk serving sizes…which don’t really tell you how much you SHOULD eat. Instead, they make it easier to COMPARE different products by telling you how much nutrition is in a reference serving.
And this year, the reference serving for bread in Canada changed to help make the labels more consistent. Soon, if you haven’t already, you’ll see that the serving size for breads is now 2 slices because, based on stakeholder feedback, that’s the most commonly eaten serving.
When the serving sizes are the same, it is easier to compare things like fibre, protein and minerals between breads.
So next time you pick up @silverhillsbakery Sprouted Grain Breads take a peek! You’ll notice that 2 slices of most varieties contains 10 grams of fibre, more than 10 grams of protein and higher levels of some minerals like iron, zinc, magnesium and selenium than many other whole wheat breads.
But that doesn’t mean YOU need to eat 2 slices. We all have different body sizes, activity levels and appetites. You might only need 1 slice…or you might need 3! If that’s the case, remember to do the math on the label,cutting values in half to see the amount in one slice.
Have a question about label reading, sprouted grains or fiber? Drop it in the comments!
The information on this site is intended as educational only and cannot replace one-on-one consultation with a registered dietitian.
We respectfully acknowledge that we live and work on the ancestral and unceded lands of the Coast Salish peoples–Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), Stó:lō and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Nation.