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Photos by Stephanie Chan of The Pauhaus

I’m super excited to give you the deets about my shiny new website, which is launching on Friday, May 10.

The domain will be www.sondibruner.com – if you look there now, you’ll see my ugly writing website, but soon it will transform into something awesome.

Due to techie stuff I can’t understand, I’m not able to automatically switch all of you over via email and RSS. I don’t want you to miss out on great content (pssst – and a free launch gift), so please update your bookmarks. You’ll be able to subscribe again once the new website launches.

In the meantime, why don’t you join me on my Facebook Page (yes, I finally have one), where we can chat and have some fun!

The new site will still feature tons of gluten-free, dairy-free, plant-based and allergen-friendly recipes, along with:

– free PDF resources

– helpful articles, links and information

– more healthful tips and tricks

– expanded nutrition services (available remotely or locally – I can help you no matter where you live!)

To celebrate the launch of my new website, I’m giving away a free gift – a copy of my new e-cookbook, Five Ingredient Recipes.

See you all on Friday!

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Pot Pie 2

Why am I posting a recipe for a filling, instead of one for an entire veggie pot pie?

Because it’s amazing. The best ever. It elicits the comforting sensations induced by roaring fires, molten chocolate lava cakes and puppies.

You’ll want to eat this on its own. I sure have.

(Also – I’m not good at creating original recipes for gluten-free, vegan crusts. That’s why I used one from Flying Apron’s Gluten-Free & Vegan Baking Book. )

The Ultimate Pot Pie Filling
gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, vegetarian, soy-free, egg-free

1 small onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, finely diced
2 stalks celery, finely diced
1/2 a red bell pepper, finely diced
1 small sweet potato, finely diced
1 crown of broccoli, finely diced (including the stalks)
1/4 cup red lentils
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried sage
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp Himalayan salt, or more to taste
1 1/2 cups water
2 tbsp brown rice flour

In a pot over medium heat, sauté the onions in a bit of water until slightly softened. Add the vegetables and spices, and gently sauté for another 4-5 minutes or so, until the rest of the veggies start to cook.

Add the water and lentils and stir. Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes, until everything is tender. Add a little bit more water if needed, but you don’t want it too soupy.

Add the brown rice flour and stir until the mixture is thickened. This will probably take about 5-8 minutes.

Put the filling in a greased baking dish and cover with your favourite gluten-free/dairy-free crust, or serve atop a whole grain.

Cream of Asparagus 1

(Looking for healthy dessert recipes, or tips for how to eat deliciously on a budget? Then check out my e-books here.)

I wholeheartedly believe that if you can read, you can learn to cook.

However, I appreciate that preparing food is intimidating and daunting for some people. Plus, the popularity of gourmet cooking shows has left many of us feeling insecure about what we create. There’s no need to be Martha Stewart, people.

For those of you who still feel inept in the kitchen, this soup is foolproof. I mean, it’s basically got three ingredients (salt and water not included). You really can’t mess it up.

You’re making this. No excuses.

Easy Cream of Asparagus Soup
gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, soy-free, egg-free, five ingredients or less

3/4 cup chopped onion
1 bunch of asparagus (about 12-15 spears)
1/4 cup cashews, soaked for a few hours and drained
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups of water

In a few tablespoons of water, sauté the onions for a few minutes until they soften. Add the asparagus and two cups of water, then simmer until the vegetables are tender – about 20 minutes.

Put the vegetables, cashews and salt in a blender and whirl until smooth (be careful blending hot liquids). Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, or add more water if you’d like a thinner consistency.

Mint Smoothie 1

When I was growing up, my Grandpa brought us Baskin Robbins every single Wednesday night. We were never allowed to actually eat it when he arrived. This wasn’t parental torture – it was too late in the evening to eat ice cream, so we enjoyed it on Thursday nights for dessert.

I always chose the same flavour: mint chocolate chip. Chocolate and mint has always held a magical pull on me.

I have dreamy, fond memories of Baskin Robbins, but now I realize that its mint chocolate chip ice cream is filled with corn syrup, artificial flavours and my ultimate nemesis carrageenan – a thickener that aggravates symptoms of IBD.

This smoothie is like drinking my childhood. Minty, chocolatey heaven. Decadent? Yup. But in the best possible way, because it bathes you in healing nutrients.

Spinach is like eating a multivitamin, avocado is packed with good fats, peppermint aids digestion and cacao nibs flood you with antioxidants. This isn’t a smoothie you’d eat every day, but it was the perfect weekend treat.

What childhood favourite would you like to recreate?

Mint Chocolate Chip Smoothie
gluten-free,dairy-free, vegan, soy-free, egg-free

1/2 cup coconut milk
3/4 cup water
large fistful of spinach (about 1 lightly packed cup)
1/2 an avocado
1 drop of food grade peppermint oil
sweetener to taste (I used dates)
1 tbsp cacao nibs or vegan chocolate chips  (I used both!)

Put the coconut milk, water, spinach, avocado, peppermint and sweetener into a blender and blend until smooth.

Stir in the chocolate by hand.

Broccoli Bites 2

(Looking for healthy dessert recipes, or tips for how to eat deliciously on a budget? Then check out my e-books here.)

Basil is one of those herbs I don’t use enough. It has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, along with a healthy dose of nutrients that fight pesky free radicals. Sounds like a super-herb to me.

My husband didn’t like these because he thought the basil came on too strong, but that is exactly why I found these surprisingly delightful. I was expecting an overwhelming broccoli flavour – which would have been awesome – and ended up with sweet, fragrant basil highlights.

Eat these on their own as a snack, fold them into a wrap or plop them onto your salad for an extra protein boost. Want to elevate the deliciousness factor? Daub them with my new obsession: roasted garlic tahini sauce. You won’t regret it.

Broccoli Basil Bean Bites
gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, soy-free, grain-free, five ingredients or less

2 cups cooked cannelini beans
2 crowns of broccoli, chopped finely (about 3 cups)
1/4 cup basil, finely chopped
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)

Note: you can make this recipe without a food processor. Just finely chop the broccoli and mash the beans with a fork or potato masher. You’ll need a little more elbow grease, but you can get ‘er done.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a food processor, finely chop the broccoli, then set it aside.

Place the beans in the processor and pulse them until they are well mashed, but still have some texture to them.

Add the broccoli, basil, salt and nutritional yeast (if you’re using it) to the processor and pulse everything together. You may need a tablespoon or two of water to bring everything together.

Using a tablespoon measure, scoop the mixture onto a prepared baking sheet and flatten slightly into patties.

Bake for 20-24 minutes, until patties are firm and lightly golden on the outside. They will harden as they cool.

Creamy Lentil Dip

Lentil Dip 2

Somewhere on the internet, I read the secret to creating ultra-creamy hummus is blending the liquids with tahini before adding the beans.

I wish I could remember whose blog it was that enlightened me, so I could give her due credit. Because this tip changed. my. life.

Yes. Changed my life. Other people are transformed by their first love or giving birth to children, while my world is rocked by new and innovative kitchen tips.

This isn’t the most attractive looking dish, with its ghastly gray-ish hues. But I know your taste buds will love the luxurious and creamy texture, while your insides will adore the protein, fibre and minerals.

Do you have any unusual kitchen tips to tell me about?

Creamy Lentil Dip
gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, soy-free, five ingredients or less

2 cups cooked green lentils (this is about 1/2 cup dried)
1/2 cup water, or more as needed
1/4 cup tahini
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 small cloves of garlic, minced or crushed
1/2 tsp Himalayan salt, or to taste

In a food processor or blender, combine the tahini, water and lemon juice. Blend until the mixture is smooth.

Add the cooked lentils, garlic and salt, then process again until smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.

Beet Sliders 1

(Looking for healthy dessert recipes, or tips for how to eat deliciously on a budget? Then check out my e-books here.)

Beets are an incredibly healthful, detoxifying food.

Their gorgeous, deep pigment comes from a set of phytonutrients called betalains, which support the second step of liver detoxification by triggering the enzymes that neutralize toxins. Beets also have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties as an extra bonus.

Don’t worry if your pee or poop are tinged red after eating them – this is normal, you’re not bleeding internally. Well, you’re probably not bleeding internally. Check with your doctor if your poop is red and you haven’t been snacking on beets, okay?

Beet and Avocado Sliders
gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, soy-free, five ingredients or less

1 large beet (about half a pound)
1/2 an avocado, sliced
salt to taste

In a steamer basket, steam the beet for about 30-40 minutes, until it can be easily pierced with a fork.

When the beet is cool enough to handle, cut it into slices about 1/2-inch thick. Use a cookie cutter to stamp out uniform rounds (save the scraps for snacking). I got about four pretty rounds from my beet, and plenty of scraps to snack on later.

Top each round with a slice of avocado, then sprinkle with salt.

Serve immediately.