Marfigs' Munchies

Adventures in vegan eats and feats


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Baked veggie nacho stack

Whenever we go out to eat at restaurants there is always a lot of modification that takes place or else I call ahead to arrange a special vegan dish. Sometimes you simply cannot modify a meal to be vegan, because what makes that meal so unique is the different elements that you inevitably have to remove.

nachoprofile1Case in point, nachos! They are by far one of the more popular vegetarian dishes on most menus and leave me uber sad about not being able to munch down a whole plate. It was my awesome MIL’s birthday on Saturday and I was looking online at the menu for the munch place when I saw nachos and knew that I had seen it once to often. It was time to make my own.

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Baby shower munchies: baby carrots in a blanket, apple-pear cake, and wrapped falafel bites

Yesterday was the big day! The awesome lasses at work hosted a surprise baby shower for their colleague and one of my former students. I managed to collect my brother’s excess baby clothes, went and bought a few trinkets myself, some chocolate for the mother-to-be (because she needs all the comfort food she can get!), and we also pooled money together for a bunch of gift cards. When I heard that we were going to be about 15 people my brain immediately started jumping back and forth until I sat down and jotted down some ideas. For what? Food, of course.

Since I had to admit to myself that even I couldn’t stomach just endless sweet treats at a table, I decided to do my best and include savoury noms. I love these sorts of things where you can bring things because my brain goes into glee mode, rubbing its greedy hands and sing-songing “guinea pigs!” Of course, I count myself in that number, because even if I make something I’ve attempted before, each time is different; a new food memory is created.

Shall we start with the savoury?ballswrapped2-1

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Banana, pumpkin, and carrot bread (GF)

Sometimes there really is nothing else to do with squishy bananas than to make a delicious sweet bread. I was debating whether to do a raw dessert but a few pokes told me what lay beneath the skin was well beyond that. Plus, it’s April soon, meaning we’re edging closer to winter. The leaves are falling and crunching underfoot, the doors have to be closed earlier in the day, and I’ve brought out my big, white and puffy gown from seclusion. All in all, banana bread weather. I decided that this would go perfectly with the decadent and delicious cauliflower soup I made yesterday, and it also gives Man-thing something to swoon about during tea-time.

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Banana carrot tahini buckwheat scones (g-f)

My colleague came back to work yesterday, so to celebrate, and to offer comfort food, I decided to whip up some scones. Seriously, on the scale of easiest food ever, this ranks along the lines of “peeling a banana”, which, coincidentally, is one of the steps. :p

Scones are one of those foods where I ask myself whether it’s worth it, but after having a nibble at a corner of this, then more thorough “testing” bites, I can confirm that yes, this is pretty awesome 😀 With just a light drizzle it’s instantly a big snack unto itself, fitting of tea-time, or else it can be incorporated into a larger lunch effort with flanking spinach and strawberry salad. Or just eat it straight-up, because honestly, these things are like rustic royalty.

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Energizing power bars

So last week I made some raspberry sweet potato brownies for a colleague who was feeling poorly. Well, today I was home sick with an infected stomach (oh yay!), so I decided it was the perfect time to share another treat I had made for her – it didn’t need blabbing all over the internet back then because it’s the best kind of treat there is – freezer happy!

I wanted to make her some energy bars to feel good but also to indulge over her week-long absence. Freezer-happy treats are the best because you really just pop one out when you’re keen and leave the others for another day. Treats with a time limit make me nervous and leave me sharing everything for fear that we’d all overdose in our home in the effort to wolf down fresh goods. Anyhow, these noms are a slight variation of my no-bake fig and prune bars which I adored.

Dried apricots and prunes and very good sources of dietary fibre, which helps to combat post-surgery stomach blues and blockages with all the glunky medications one gets given to soothe the very real pain. Added to that the health benefits of cashews and sunflower seeds, what’s not to adore? I also added lots of ginger to this because my colleague is the only other ginger monster I know, and it’s also good for nausea, which is often a bugger on its own post-surgery.

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Raspberry and sweet potato brownies (GF)

Sometimes people enter our lives and completely transform them for the better. A year or so ago I started working at the library and got to know my colleague (also a family friend) much better. What a treat! She and I are very similar in many ways and get along rather famously. I really have been blessed with such a great co-worker and friend!

She has to go in for surgery on Friday so I decided to make something for her to munch on in her week off for recovery. I decided to use the basis of a recipe I know she’s eaten of before and enjoyed. This is based on Deliciously Ella’s sweet potato brownies which I made a while back to much approval. I decided to change it up slightly to add in some raspberries with the idea that it would introduce some key nutritional properties pertinent to a post-op recovery situation. My colleague is very conscious of what she eats for health reasons, so I try to always keep my goodies non-abrasive and explain why I use certain ingredients. Since I’m always amazed by the benefits of different foods, I thought I’d share:

Sweet potatoes – a good source of vitamin A, which is beneficial to healthy skin and tissue. It also contains anti-inflammatory properties which aids in recovery. Also, for the rest of us – it plays a key role in regulating blood sugar levels – diabetic friendly!

Dates – contains dietary fiber, good to minimize the impact of post-op medication on the digestive system. They also contain iron and potassium, as well as other minerals essential to the promotion of red blood cells and for regulating blood pressure.

Almonds – high in dietary fiber, they also contain anti-oxidant properties, as well as the usual troopers of iron, calcium and other wonderful elements to help maintain and restore your body post-op.

Raspberries – contain anti-inflammatory properties and are also high in dietary fiber. Best of all, they aid in maintaining a healthy circulatory system and in strengthening the veins.

Maca powder – among other things, Maca aids in restoring red blood cells, which is great for treating/regulating anemia and also helps wounds to heal faster!

With all those health benefits, what’s not to love, especially when there’s chocolate involved? These brownies are made for sharing and happiness!

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Green power oats (GF)

Sometimes one craves a healthy ka-pow in your gut which has the added benefit of being filling. As much as I love my morning smoothies, if I leave out the banana in favour of “lighter” fruits, such as pears, and then further reduce the amount of fruit altogether, the smoothie becomes little more than a really tasty superfood drink. Because it’s still the best way to get the day started, however, I’ve devised one of many strategies to get some substance in the belly by teatime, since dashing up and down to grant patrons access to our area of the library is at least a bit of exercise, and thus requires fuel. A while back I saw a recipe for zucchini bread oatmeal which completely blew my mind in its elegance and with the incorporation of veggies into a breakfast meal. Any opportunity to introduce veggies into a meal is a delight, so with that in mind I messed around in the kitchen and whizzed up the treat below.

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