Grilled Hummus Sandwich

I have been getting into grilled sandwiches a lot lately. Think gourmet grilled cheese, but not necessarily with cheese, and filled with lots of veggies and other delicious things. The possibilities when you’re making sandwiches are pretty much endless, but it’s easy to fall into old routines and get bored quickly, which is why I think grilling your sandwiches adds a new and exciting dimension to the whole process!

This particular grilled creation is packed with healthy spinach, avocado, and homemade hummus, with a touch of sundried tomato pesto for extra flavour. I try to stick to whole grain breads as much as I can, to ensure I’m getting healthy fibre and keeping my refined flour intake low. Plus, the texture of grainy bread goes so nicely with the smooth avocado and hummus.

The great thing about this recipe is that you can substitute a different type of bean dip (white bean dip is an awesome sandwich filling!) and totally different veggies, depending on what’s in your fridge and what suits your fancy at the moment. It’s an awesome vegan/vegetarian lunch option for any time of year.

I would love to throw a lunch or dinner party someday with a huge array of breads and fillings, where everyone could build their own sandwich and then have it grilled. Don’t you think that would be fun?!

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Foodie Friend Friday #4: Annemarie’s One-Pot Chunky Chili

I can’t believe we’re already at week 4 of my Foodie Friend Friday experiment… March has seriously flown by! Today, my friend Annemarie is sharing her recipe for stove-top beef chili, which sounds and looks absolutely deeeelicious!

Annemarie and I met in our first year of undergrad and have remained friends ever since. She and I share a love for knitting, tea, and good food (she’s actually been on my blog before!), as well as the occasional bout of shopping, glass of wine, and chick flick. We used to take turns making one another lunch back in the day, and I still dream about this spicy black bean and corn soup she made for me once — it was to die for. Her family has also been wonderful during my time at school, welcoming me into their home for Easter and Thanksgiving celebrations when I couldn’t fly all the way home to BC. We have had a really great 5 years together so far!

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(Slow Cooker) Vegetarian Chili

When I’m trying to plan my meals for a busy week, I like to prepare a dish that is a complete meal — no need for a side dish means I can grab my food, eat it, and go!

Chili is a classic meal-in-a-bowl because it’s full of vegetables, protein, and — most importantly — flavour. If you can make the time to put everything together, the quick leftovers are totally worth it.

I personally prefer vegetarian chili because I find I’m more creative when it comes to protein source selection; there’s no meat to rely on, so I think about it more and end up with a more balanced, less fatty meal. Generally, I try to aim for 4 to 5 types of beans, plus texturized vegetable protein (TVP), which has a consistency similar to ground beef and works perfectly in vegetarian chili, meatloaf (lentil loaf, anyone?), etc. Even if you are a meat eater, you should consider adding TVP to your diet. A little extra variety never hurt anyone!

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White Bean Dip with Rosemary and Sage

I love delicious fresh recipes that literally take 5 minutes to make. This is one of them! White kidney beans (otherwise known as cannelloni beans) are naturally soft, so you don’t even need to get out the food processor to make this chunky and creamy dip; a fork and some elbow grease will do.

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Moroccan Chickpeas with Mint

One of my absolute favourite restaurants in Kingston is a café-bakery called Pan Chancho. Everything they serve is impossibly fresh and absolutely bursting with flavour. Whenever my parents come for a visit, we try to make a stop there, and last time they were down, they bought the Pan Chancho cookbook. This recipe is adapted from their own Moroccan chickpea salad.

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Pickle Juice Stir Fry

I know this sounds really weird and potentially gross, but bear with me on this one. I promise it is far from whatever you’re imagining right now. Unless you are imagining something totally delicious. In which case… right on.

When I was living with my housemates in between our second and fourth years of university, we had upwards of six jars of pickles in our fridge at any given time. It was just one of those things we had way too much of, and to top it off, one of my housemates couldn’t bring herself to throw out the pickle juice when the jars were empty. So, she had the brilliant idea of using the liquid to cook her vegetables in, and a legendary, inexpensive, and flavourful dish was born.

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Slow Cooker Southern Style Chicken with Okra, Black Beans, and Rice

My aunt gave me some birthday money back in September that I couldn’t decide what to do with. I knew I wanted something for my teeny tiny student kitchen, but I didn’t quite know what my new toy would be. As my schedule got busier and busier, with a part-time job consuming most of the “free” time I had when school was over and done with, I realized that a slow cooker may be a great fit for my increasingly hectic life. So, in December, I got my hands on my very own crock pot and got busy right away with a yummy recipe from scratch! I hope you like it as much as I did! I think I’ll be making a vegetarian chili next…

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Spicy Chickpea, Lentil, and Kale Soup

I really get into soup once Fall and Winter set in. There’s nothing quite like sitting down to a steaming bowl of comforting soup on a chilly day.

I like my soups hearty, chunky, and filling. I also constantly tinker with my recipes to make sure that I’m hitting as many food groups as I can in one meal.

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