My Favourite Green Smoothie (Vegan, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free and Raw)

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I’m a sporadic smoothie drinker. Something about using the blender creates a mental block for me. Hmmm… Anyhow, as I’ve said before spring means green and the tricky bright colour of this smoothie belies the delicious fruity fun underneath. Plus side, my husband is able to have all the ingredients in this smoothie with no troubles at all.

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My Favourite Green Smoothie
Makes 4 cups

1 cup green grapes
1 cup fresh or frozen mango
Several handfuls greens of your choice (I think baby kale is best)
1 cups water, plus more for thinning to desired texture or to get your crappy blender to work
2 tablespoons ground flax (optional)
Lemon wedges (optional)

Throw all ingredients together in a blender and let them go. If you have a weak blender, reserve some water and pour that in, whenever it needs to get moving. I love a squeeze of lemon on top, but this is already a little tart, so take caution.

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Scrambled Tofu and Greens (Vegan and Gluten-Free)

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Given my husband’s endless food allergies, we really have to be creative when it comes to vegetables. I have my weekend morning tofu scramble down to a science by now, so why not jazz it up with a huge pile of greens? Dinosaur kale, in this case. I’m really into it because it retains a great deal of its texture once cooked and that’s not true of most leafy greens. Today’s tofu is seasoned with spices reminiscent of breakfast meats but in now way. shape or form tries to imitate them.

Serves 4

Scrambled Tofu

1 tablespoon non-dairy margarine (oil is fine but the flavour of margarine is better)
1 small yellow onion, peeled and diced
1 lb firm tofu, crumbled with your hands
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1/2 teaspoon sage
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
Pinch of turmeric
1/4 cup shredded vegan cheddar (optional)

In a large skillet, melt the margarine over medium-high heat. Add the onions and a dash of salt. Add the tofu, garlic salt and nutritional yeast. Let it sit still in the pan until the tofu starts to brown, then turn the heat down the medium and add the vinegar and remaining spices. Once the kale is done, add that and stir to combine.

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Sauteed Kale

2 bunches dinosaur kale, stems removed, cleaned and roughly chopped
1 lemon, juiced
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Sprinkle of salt

In a large skillet or non-stick wok, over medium heat, add the washed (and still damp) kale. Pour the juice of one lemon over the kale and stir to coat. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes and a little salt and sautee until the kale has softened and darkened in colour a little. Add to the tofu. taste for seasonings, and then serve hot with potatoes, toast, baked beans or whatever your breakfast favourites are.

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Copycat Dragon Bowl

All right. There’s this yuppie vegan restaurant in Montreal; It’s always very busy and they run a very tight ship. Their immensely popular Dragon Sauce is a rite of passage for anyone living or visiting this interesting island. I’ve seen one or two copycat recipes online but let me tell you – they vastly overestimate the quality of ingredients that make up this delectable sauce. I suppose because it’s vegan, served over healthy ingredients and chockful of nutritional yeast, they go out on a limb and guess it has maple syrup and a whole host of other expensive items. Nah, I’m here to tell you as someone who knows someone who worked there and someone who has worked in industrial sized kitchens – that is not the case.

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What it is is sweet, tangy and full of rich umami flavour. This is a quick sauce to whiz up and what you put it over is up to you, but this is my no-fail suggestion for your first tries.  The most skilled part of the preparation is the tofu and I’ll guide you right through that. This is very satisfying while remaining fresh and not too heavy on your stomach. It’s absolutely a stunner, too. Sure to impress with very little effort.

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Dragon Sauce

Covers at least 4 brown rice bowls

2 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup tamari soy sauce
1/4 cup  granulated sugar (yep, sorry to break it to you, this sauce is made with copious amounts of sugar)
2 cloves garlic, peeled and diced

Combine all ingredients in a blender. Pulse until thickened. Taste and adjust any of the ingredients for the balance you like (more salty, sour, etc).

Golden Brown Tofu

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1 lb firm tofu, 12 equal slices (quartered, then each quarter into thirds)
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

Heat the oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium high. Add tofu slices, laying them all flat. Sprinkle with garlic salt and let tofu brown on each side, for about ten minutes.

Dragon Bowl Ingredients

Brown rice
Steamed broccoli
Sliced radishes
Shredded carrots and beets
Romaine lettuce

Assemble as you like. Let your imagination run wild: you can add anything you want to this bowl. Smother with as much sauce as you like. Eat often.

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