Basic Chia Pudding*
RAW, VEGAN! original recipe by allison sklar
what you’ll need
4 tbsp ground chia seed
1 cup unsweetened almond milk**
2 tbsp agave nectar
1 tbsp vanilla (optional)
**Note: soy, coconut or hemp milk would work too, all yielding different flavours.
how to do it
whisk all ingredients together in a medium mixing bowl.
allow mixture to sit and thicken, about 10 minutes.
Serve immediately, or refrigerate and keep for later.
*This is a basic recipe. On it’s own, it has a very mild flavour. For added flavour and pizzazz, I recommend incorporating one of the following variations:
BANANA – Add one pureed banana to the mixture
CHOCOLATE – Use chocolate almond milk instead of unsweetened. Reduce agave nectar by 1 tbsp. Top with cacao nibs.
TROPICAL – use coconut milk in place of almond. Add 2 tbsp shredded coconut, and 1/4 cup crushed pineapple.
BERRY – Add in the puree of about 1/2 cup of your favourite berries. Add 1/4 more ground chia seed if pudding becomes too watery.
I’d like to take this opportunity to extend my warmest welcome to my most desired season: springtime. While blooming flowers begin to paint the city with their limitless palette and scent the warming air with their intoxicating perfume, while the days get longer and the skirts get shorter, and while the sunshine begins to lend my chalky skin a warm glow, my two favorite elements of springtime are, unsurprisingly, food-related.
I’ve never liked lettuce.
Being a vegetarian for so many years, this fact has often startled people. Each time that I tell someone that I dislike lettuce, the reaction that I receive generally follows the same pattern. It begins with a baffled, “but how could you not like lettuce?” And is often followed by ” So I guess you don’t eat salad, then?”
Ah, how I love receiving that follow-up question. Each and every time, I’ll respond with, “actually, I love salad.” I then adore watching the person’s facial transformation – twisting mouth and furrowing brow – as he or she becomes even more confused. If the person does not immediately conclude that I am simply delusional, I will begin my usual – salads-don’t-need-lettuce rant.
Salads do not (always) need lettuce.
Now, you may have heard that you don’t make friends with salad, but I think that that is only because most people are doing it all wrong. There are so many vegetable possibilities out there – all you need is two or three of them, and you’ve got yourself a salad. Lettuce-free.
My two favorite salad combinations are: 1. Cucumber, tomato and celery and 2. Spinach, dried cranberries and almonds. Lately, however, I’ve been on a more exotic/experimental gourmet salad kick. I started the week off with a fabulous concoction of pan-seared red pear slices, brie and chopped walnuts. And then, yesterday, I picked that – as I discovered today at lunch – is even tastier once it’s been marinating for a while. Unlike lettuce salads that become soggy a day later – this salad maintained it’s crunch beautifully.
Go ahead and make some friends.
what you’ll need
for the dressing:
1/8 cup rice vinegar (any other light-tasting vinegar will do)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp mustard powder (acts as an emulsifier)
1 tsp dried crushed oregano
1/2 tsp garlic or onion powder (or both, if desired)
for the salad:
1/3 fennel bulb, chopped into thin slices
1 carrot, coarsely grated
2 lebanese cucumbers, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
handful toasted almond slices
how to do it
Combine all dressing ingredients and whisk until well blended. Toss vegetables to coat. Marinate for at least one hour – the longer, the better. If you desire lettuce, add some shredded iceberg just before serving.