Roasted Vegetable Pasta w/ Lemony Shallot Oil Sauce

This pasta was born on a road trip. And when I say that, what I really mean is that after about six hours of driving I looked over to my friend Adam and said, "What should I make for my blog this week?" And he told me about this shallot oil dressing that he had at his work, and I thought roasted veggies, and then it all sort of came together. Probably in about three minutes. I actually meant to make this last week when I got back from Bonnaroo, but of course what with hanging up wet tarps and feeling a lil sad about missing my new pals, actually cooking anything was pretty much out of the question. Now that tarps and dusty clothes seem to have dissipated slightly from my life, I am getting back on the recipe testing train (train?) and trying to find my groove. 

Kind of a side note, but is summer not just the best thing? The other night I had an earl grey sour cocktail (YEAA) and then lay on the grass with my friend and just watched the stars and talked. I really do love that I get to experience all four seasons where I live, but this year summer seems to be extra magical and constantly keeping me on my toes searching for new adventures <3 

Anyways, I am so glad that I finally did make this pasta because it is one of my favourite pasta recipes I have ever made. It has this deep richness from the shallot oil, just the perfect zing from the lemon juice, and a creamy almost sweet base from the dijon mustard. It is such a perfect summer dish because you can totally pack it up and take it to the park for a picnic, or just have it with a cold drink after a long day of work. I hope you love it as much as I do, and if you make any of my recipes you should totally tag @spiceandsprout so I can see! Love ya xo 

roasted vegetable pasta w/ lemony shallot oil sauce

Serves 4

One of my favourite things about this pasta is that you can substitute most of it for what is in your fridge. The eggplant and tomatoes can easily be subbed out for different or more veggies, and the type of pasta you use is completely dependant on your preference! 

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Ingredients

Pasta

  • 1 package gemelli pasta (454 g) 
  • 2 small eggplants (whichever variety you have/like)
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 3 - 4 sprigs fresh basil, washed and roughly chopped
  • olive oil, salt, and pepper for roasting

Lemony Shallot Oil Sauce

  • 4 shallots, diced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste 

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Notes

Preheat your bbq to 500 (if using an oven 400 or 450 will work, but cooking times may vary slightly). 

Slice your eggplant lengthwise into 1/4 - 1/2 inch slices. Drizzle each slice with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place all of the cherry tomatoes onto a baking sheet or any pan with raised sides. Lay each piece of eggplant onto the bbq (as pictured above) and place the pan with the cherry tomatoes onto the grill if you have room (if not you can cook them after the eggplant). Roast for 5 minutes with the bbq closed and then flip each piece of eggplant, they should have dark grill marks on one side now. Roast for another 5 minutes and then remove from the grill. They should be pretty dark and crispy looking, with nice grill marks across both sides. Slice the eggplant into thin strips and set aside. Cook the cherry tomatoes for a total of 10 minutes, moving them around the pan at the halfway mark. Set aside.

While the vegetables are roasting, cook the pasta and make the sauce. Bring a large pot of water to boil and cook the pasta as per instructions on the package. In a medium sized cast iron pan, heat the 1/4 cup of olive oil over low-medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the diced shallots and stir continuously for 5 minutes, or until the shallots start to turn a golden brown. Remove from heat and pour the shallots and oil into a high speed blender. Add the lemon juice, dijon, salt and pepper, and blend on high until smooth. 

To assemble toss together the pasta, roasted vegetables, shallot oil sauce, and fresh basil. Serve immediately! It will last in the fridge for about 3 - 4 days. 

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Spicy Sesame Cucumber Noodles w/ Mango + Black Beans

Baaaaaaabes! How are you? It has been a while. I've been off adventuring and having one of the best times of my life! I don't really know how to start. Bonnaroo has been a life changing experience, but I think when I say that the realness of the experience gets a bit lost. Saying that a music festival changed your life can come off as a little flaky, or just a bit bullshitty. The thing is, and any of you roo goers out there will understand me, it is just completely magical and filled with so much happiness and friendship and love. I can say with complete confidence that I have never been in a situation that is so filled with people who want OTHER people to be as happy as they are. I don't think I can detail the whole trip here, and besides, the actual everyday activities and shows aren't what I will hold with me. It is the friendships I made and every person who I shared a smile with that will keep that positivity radiating through me until I make it back to the farm. 

I am going to keep it short today because to be honest, I am feeling a little deflated. I spent eight days travelling across the country (well Canada and the U.S.), camping in a field, dancing with new friends, listening to music, and loving everything. Coming home is amazing because it brings me back to my loved ones, clean clothes, a bed, and a shower, but there is a definite feeling of sadness permeating the comforts. I made this dish last night when I got home, and I really want to share it with everyone - to Zeke and Adam who brought me along on this crazy adventure, to all of my new friends who (fingers crossed) I will get to see again next year, to everyone at Bonnaroo because you are all awesome, to YOU all of my readers for sticking it out here and always being lovely, and of course to Sebastian who has patiently listened to all of my stories again and again and again xo 

spicy sesame cucumber noodles w/ mango + black beans

Serves two as a main and four as a side

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Ingredients

Noodles

  • 2 large cucumbers, spiralized
  • 2 mangoes, thinly sliced
  • 1 can of black beans (15 oz), drained and rinsed 

Spicy Sauce

  • 1/4 cup sesame oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1.5 tbsp sriracha 
  • 1 tbsp miso
  • 1 tsp maple syrup

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Notes

To make the sauce combine all of the ingredients in a jar and shake until smooth and combined. Set aside. 

In a large bowl toss together the spiralized cucumber noodles, mango slices, and beans. Toss with as much sauce as desired (you will likely have leftover sauce) and serve! It is best when fresh, but the sauce can last in the fridge for up to a week. 

Minty Chocolate Shake // What I'm Reading

Sitting down to finally write out this post has been harder than usual. Don't get me wrong, I love the process of putting together each post - testing the recipe, taking the photos, EATING the recipe, editing, writing etc. This week has just been more challenging than others. For one, it is just so FREAKING beautiful outside that I can't seem to find a time that I would rather be inside on my computer than outside enjoying the world. I've also been sick this week, work has been very busy, anddddd I stupidly spilled water on my laptop, which almost prevented this post from coming out at all! Anyways, nothing too dramatic really, just a busy and full week which I am grateful for (besides the computer issues). 

Over the last few months, I have become obsessed with reading medical memoirs. This book, The Secret Language of Doctors by Dr. Brian Goldman, is the sixth medical memoir type book that I've read in three months. I finished reading his first book, The Night Shift: Real Life in the Heart of the ER, and was totally hooked. I have always been pretty fascinated by hospitals and doctors, and this book gives an amazing insight into that world. Goldman's writing is so honest, and his goal to unveil hidden truths about the culture of hospitals and medical professionals is something that I find fascinating and admirable. Of course, not being a medical professional myself I don't know what is left out of this book, but he covers such a wide range of topics with a huge scope of research and at least for now I feel like I can trust what I am reading and feel like I am getting a multiplicity of perspectives. There is just something so fascinating about delving into a world you don't know a lot about, and discovering that each little pocket of our existence has a code and a language that people abide by. I think that exists in the food blogging world just as much as anywhere else, and it is awesome to get a peak inside someone else's space. 

Next week, I am heading out on a little road to Bonnaroo (the music festival)! I am super stoked about it, and will definitely tell you stories when I get back. I hope that I will get it together to have a post for next week while I am away, but if not I promise there will be something the week after. I hope everyone is enjoying the sun, and takes the opportunity to kick back and relax with this cold, creamy, sweet drink and a book in a cool patch of grass. xo

Minty Chocolate Shake 

Serves One

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Ingredients

  • 2 cups frozen banana slices
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup water (or more coconut milk)
  • 2 tbsp cocoa OR cacao powder
  • 2 sprigs mint (apprx. 18 leaves)
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp cacao nibs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp lucuma powder (optional) 

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Notes

Combine everything in a blender and blend on high until smooth! Enjoy immediately :) 

Maple Tamari Roasted Tempeh Brunch Bowl

This post was created in partnership with Amano Foods

Hello friends! This week has been more like summer than spring, but I have to say I am enjoying the excuse to start wearing shorts and sipping on iced almond milk lattes! The sudden change in weather has definitely caused an upswing in the amount of people who need their gelato fix, so work has been busier than ever these past few days. Honestly though, I prefer when it is busy and there are just crowds of happy people looking for a sweet + cold treat. 

I don't think I spoke about it much in this space, but during the school year in Montreal I started going to the gym and began a (simple yet totally awesome) weight training routine. I'd seen a few people around the internet demonstrating their weight lifting routines and it really inspired me to try it out. The program that I was doing was hard, sweaty, effective, and really fun! I hardly ever had to force myself to get up off the couch and work out, I loved it so much. A few months and a season later here in Toronto, and things feel different. I am still craving the active routine that I was doing in Montreal, but the vibe of the YMCA here just isn't the same. Maybe it is because I got so used to the space I was in, but when I tried it out in Toronto it just didn't click in the same way. Which is totally fine! Lately, I've been running outside and doing a few yoga classes here and there. It is what my body is craving, and to be honest it feels a million times better to be running outside along beautiful shaded streets (or by the lake!) than it does to be stuck on a treadmill in the gym. It has been a good lesson in flexibility and really listening to what I want, instead of what I think I am supposed to be doing. 

So. This recipe. I AM SO STOKED TO BE SHARING IT WITH YOU! I have been using Amano Foods' products for a few years now. I love every one of their products that I have tried, and ALWAYS have a container of their miso in my fridge. About a month ago I posted this recipe, and the Amano team was kind enough to reach out to me about a possible collaboration. I was so excited! I am a big supporter of local small businesses, and Amano is just that. It is a family business that has expanded since its initial creation, but remains within that same family to this day. The tamari I used for this recipe is excellent. It has the familiar salty/umami taste, but with complex undertones and a short, legible ingredient list. I love this company, they really embody my own philosophy about food.

This brunch bowl is the perfect quick fix if you want something kind of fancy, but don't feel like going out. It is simple to put together, and just so delicious. I can see it becoming a staple around here, especially for those lazy Sunday mornings when you don't even want to put on pants. Also, big shout out to my Dad for providing the space, prop help, and recipe testing for this post (and also for being an awesome Dad). Love you!

If you make one of my recipes, tag @spiceandsprout in your photo! Also, follow me on snapchat (mayadria) for sun filled adventures <3

Maple Tamari Roasted Tempeh Brunch Bowl

Serves Two

*This post is sponsored by Amano Foods. All opinions are my own and I think that their products and company are totally awesome! 

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Ingredients

Maple Tamari Roasted Tempeh

Sweet Potato Fries

  • 1 small sweet potato 
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika 
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne 
  • salt and pepper to taste

To serve

  • a handful of arugula per bowl
  • drizzle of olive oil
  • squeeze of lemon juice
  • chives and hemp seeds to garnish (optional)

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Notes

Start marinating the tempeh at least one hour before cooking (or for up to 6 hours in the fridge). Slice the tempeh into thin strips. In a small mixing bowl or flat bottomed dish, mix together the maple syrup, tamari, and sesame oil. Fully coat the tempeh strips in the mixture and then allow them to marinate in the fridge for at least one hour. 

Preheat the oven to 375 and line two baking sheets with parchment paper, set aside. Chop the sweet potato into thin fry like pieces and then toss with olive oil, smoked paprika, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Arrange the sweet potato fries on the baking sheet so that they are not touching. Put the tray in the oven and bake for 20 - 25 minutes, until crispy brown. As the sweet potatoes begin to bake, lay out the marinated tempeh strips on the second prepared baking sheet. Place the tempeh in the oven once the sweet potatoes have been baking for about 10 minutes. Bake the tempeh and sweet potato fries for an additional 10 - 15 minutes, or until the tempeh is golden brown and the fries are crispy. You should rotate and flip both the tempeh and the fries halfway through baking. 

To serve, place handfuls of arugula in each bowl. Distribute the fries and tempeh between the bowls and garnish with fresh chives and hemp seeds. Drizzle some olive oil and lemon juice over each bowl and serve warm! 

Roasted Broccoli + Sauerkraut Quesadillas

I was recently in a yoga class where the teacher spoke about our inhales and exhales as a kind of radiating energy. She instructed us to inhale and feel as if we were bringing everything into ourselves - into our heart's centre. When you exhale, she continued, imagine that your exhale is radiating outwards past the the people around you, out of the studio, reaching out to the ends of the city, country, and world. That exhale can stretch out to your friends and family, push the boundaries of what you know and extend far from your body. Sitting in the midst of that stillness, I felt an intense and tangible force emanating from the people gathered there. It was silent, but an active and buzzing silence that made me sure every person in the room was fully engaged. It is a rare thing to find yourself in a space where it feels like everyone is paying attention. Each mind was focussed and alert, but in an individual and quite personal way. I don't often find myself receptive to these kinds of situations, but this moment felt true to me, and left a lasting impact on the way I engaged with my own body and breath at that moment. 

To be honest, I have never really been into astrology and energy practices in a serious way, it just isn’t my thing. Lately though, I’ve been thinking a lot about the transfer of energy between people. It can be a simple thing, like the way you outstretch your arm to reach someone or the sudden moment of connection as you meet eyes. Or, it can simply be your breath, extending the radius of your person far past your physical being. There are so many conversations and spoken practices about energy that have never reached me in a true way, but really feeling that breath in my body, passing over the stillness of the room as everyone collectively exhaled, THAT was something I could feel deep within myself and knew to be my own truth. 

These quesadillas are another simple gesture. Getting back into the routine of working full time and spending my days serving other people food can make me less engaged with my own eating habits. I wanted to make something that was easy, filling, healthy, but also comforting. I had been planning a sort of gluten free savoury crepe situation (still coming soon I hope) but it was turning out to be more complicated than I had time for. Then, I saw these beautiful sourdough naans at one of my favourite grocery stores and it all sort of came together. These quesadillas are crispy, fresh, gooey with vegan cheese, and all around a crowd pleaser. Trust me, you are going to love them once you give them a try. You can even see how excited my brother was about them that when I asked him to hand model for me (thanks Sasa!) he couldn't resist just taking a bite! Let me know if you try out a recipe, and have a great week friends :) 

Roasted Broccoli + Sauerkraut Quesadillas

Makes 8 triangular pieces

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Ingredients

Miso Cashew Cheese

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 4 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp miso paste
  • 1 tsp tapioca starch
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tsp salt 

Quesadillas

  • 1 medium sized head of broccoli, cut into florets
  • 1 bell pepper, julienned
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 4 pieces of naan (tortillas work too)
  • 1/2 cup sauerkraut (or to taste)
  • salt and pepper to taste

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Notes

Preheat the oven to 400 and line a baking tray with parchment paper, set aside. 

Combine all of the ingredients for the cashew cheese sauce in a high powered blender and blend until smooth (about 2 minutes for me, but it depends on the blender). Pour sauce into a small pot and place over medium heat. Whisk the mixture continuously. After about a minute, the sauce will start to form clumps and become very lumpy, don't panic! This is good. Continue whisking until the clumpy mixture forms a smooth, thick paste. The cheese will start to come away from the sides of the pot and form a mass in the middle, when this happens it is finished. Remove from heat and set aside. 

Toss the broccoli florets with sesame oil, salt, and pepper and transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes, or until crispy.

To assemble the quesadillas, heat a cast iron pan over medium heat. Take one piece of naan and spread about 2 tbsp of cashew cheese on one side. Layer the roasted broccoli, sliced bell pepper, and sauerkraut and then drizzle with more cheese sauce. Place the other piece of naan over top like you are making a giant sandwich. Place the quesadilla onto the cast iron pan and press it down with a pot lid. Cook on each side for 2 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from heat and slice into four pieces. Serve hot! These will keep in the fridge for a couple of days, but they are best when fresh. 

Spiralized Beet Noodles w/ Arugula Almond Pesto

How many cookies are too many cookies to eat at once? I came home from work today and my brother had just pulled a batch of oatmeal chocolate chip cookies out of the oven (THESE cookies actually). I am pretty sure I gobbled down four cookies before promptly hopping on my bike and heading over to the park to meet my friend. We walked around the Trinity Bellwoods Farmers Market for a while, I had a bourbon cider popsicle (!!!!) and then we settled down in a patch of sunshine in the grass. Suffice to say, Toronto is treating me well :)

I feel like I have so much to share, but at the same time nothing to put into words. It is the simple things that are bringing me so much joy lately: enjoying a rainy afternoon at work, biking to various markets across the city, making dinner as a family, sipping beers at the picnic table in the backyard, feeling the crisp spring air breeze gently against my bare ankles as I walk down the street. I am so stoked for patio sangria and even more friends to come back to the city! I know this may seem like an obvious/universal sentiment, but one of my favourite things about summer is the long stretches of daylight hours. I can spend all day at work and then get off and still have a whole evening of sunshine and outdoor strolls to enjoy. 

Without a better transition, I will now tell you a bit about this recipe. It is REALLY easy and REALLY yummy. Okay, that's all, bye. But actually, it is really tasty and literally takes 20 minutes to put together. I've been wanting a spiralizer for so long, and the promise of farmers market veggies finally convinced me to get one. I love it! When my Amazon box arrived the only vegetable in my fridge worthy of spiralizing was a beet, so this recipe was born. It is perfect for a spring evening when you're not feeling something heavy but still want a substantial meal. The earthy flavour of the beets pairs so well with the fresh, garlicky pesto. I am super excited to share this one with you, it is one of my favourites yet. 

If you make one of my recipes, tag @spiceandsprout in your photo! Also, follow me on snapchat (mayadria) for sun filled adventures <3 

Spiralized Beet Noodles w/ Arugula Almond Pesto

Serves two as a main, and four as an appetizer

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Ingredients

Arugula Almond Pesto

  • 4 cups packed arugula 
  • 1 cup packed basil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 cup almonds 
  • 1 tsp salt 

Beet Noodles

  • 4 medium sized beets, peeled
  • Optional: slivered almonds and nutritional yeast to serve

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Notes

To make the arugula almond pesto add all of the ingredients to a food processor and pulse until combined. I found that pulsing until the almonds were chopped and then blending on high worked the best and yielded the smoothest results. Set pesto aside. 

To make the beet noodles spiralize your beets and then steam them for 5 minutes. The steaming is optional, but I found that it made them more noodley and took away some of the intense raw beet flavour. 

Place the steamed beet noodles on a plate and top with pesto, slivered almonds, and nutritional yeast. The beet noodles are best when fresh, but they store reasonably well in the fridge for a couple of days. The pesto can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week.