Cooking with color is fun and healthy

Blue is the color of calm. Cooking, in itself, can be calming too! Here, we celebrate the color blue with healthy and delicious recipes that are sure to wow.

Creamy Wild Vegan Mushroom Toasts

This is an amazing vegan creamy wild mushroom topping, if you can imagine cream and vegan in the same sentence!

1/3 cup (80 mL) soft tofu
2 Tbsp (30 mL) almond milk or other nondairy milk product
3 Tbsp (45 mL) nutritional yeast
2 Tbsp (30 mL) fresh lemon juice
1/2 lb (230 g) crimini mushrooms

1/2 lb (230 g) blue foot mushrooms (or other mushrooms of choice)

3 Tbsp (45 mL) olive oil, divided
1/4 tsp (1 mL) sea salt
3 Tbsp (45 mL) finely minced shallots
1 Tbsp (15 mL) chopped fresh thyme
1 Tbsp (15 mL) chopped Italian parsley

18 toasted regular or gluten-free crostinis or baguette

1/4 tsp (2 mL) freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup (60 mL) pine nuts, toasted

In high-speed blender, combine tofu, almond milk, nutritional yeast, and lemon juice. Whirl until smooth and creamy. It should be like a very thick yogurt. Add a splash more milk if needed. Set aside.
Gently brush mushrooms clean and trim off any woody stems. If necessary, wash and blot dry. Thickly slice.
In large skillet, heat 2 Tbsp (30 mL) oil over medium heat. Add mushrooms and sprinkle with salt. Cook for about 10 minutes or longer, stirring often, until liquid has evaporated and mushrooms are golden.

Remove from heat and transfer mushrooms to cutting board to slightly cool. Coarsely chop.
Heat remaining oil in skillet. Add shallots and thyme and sauté until shallots are soft and golden, about 3 minutes. Turn off heat. Add chopped mushrooms to pan along with tofu mixture. Fold together. Mixture can be made ahead and refrigerated.

To serve, gently reheat mushroom mixture. Fold in chopped parsley. Spoon on fresh, warm crostini and season with freshly ground black pepper. Sprinkle each with a few pine nuts.
Makes 18 toasts.
Each serving contains: 98 calories; 3 g protein; 5 g total fat (1 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 11 g total carbohydrates (1 g sugars, 1 g fiber); 149 mg sodium

Blueberry Patch Salad with Curry Cashew Dressing


Give your health an antioxidant blue boost this season.


1/4 cup (60 mL) raw cashews

1/4 cup (60 mL) olive oil

1/4 cup (60 mL) water

1 Tbsp (15 mL) nutritional yeast

1 Tbsp (15 mL) lemon juice

1 large garlic clove, smashed and minced

1/2 tsp (2 mL) hot curry powder

1/4 tsp (1 mL) sea salt

1/4 tsp (1 mL) freshly ground black pepper


6 cups (1.5 L) baby spinach leaves, washed and spun dry

3 cups (750 mL) bite-sized broccoli florets, blanched but crisp

1 1/2 cups (350 mL) blueberries, fresh or frozen, thawed

1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and sliced

1/3 cup (80 mL) dried cranberries

1/3 cup (80 mL) sliced natural almonds, toasted

1/4 cup (960 mL) crumbled goats’ blue cheese or nondairy substitute, optional

In blender, combine dressing ingredients. Whirl until smooth. Add a little more salt to taste, if you wish. Transfer to a jar with a tight-fitting lid and refrigerate. Can be made several days ahead. Simply shake before using.

Assemble spinach, broccoli, blueberries, and avocado in a large serving platter. Scatter with dried cranberries, almonds, and crumbled cheese or cheese substitute, if using.

Shake dressing well and drizzle overtop. Serve immediately.

Each serving contains: 240 calories; 5 g protein; 19 g total fat; (2.6 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 16 g total carbohydrates (5 g sugars, 5 g fiber); 136 mg sodium

Roasted Yam Cakes with Blackberry Salsa


These delicious patties topped with fresh berry salsa are chock full of vitamin C and fiber.


1 large yams, peeled and diced

2 Tbsp (30 mL) grapeseed oil, divided

1/2 sweet onion, diced

1/4 tsp (2 mL) sea salt

1/4 tsp (2 mL) freshly ground black pepper

1 large garlic clove, smashed and minced

1/4 cup (60 mL) soft bread crumbs

2 Tbsp (30 mL) ground flaxseed

1 Tbsp (15 mL) nutritional yeast

2 Tbsp (30 mL) minced Italian parsley

2 Tbsp (30 mL) minced fresh cilantro

Blackberry ginger salsa

2 cups (500 mL) blackberries

1/4 cup (60 mL) finely minced sweet onion

1 Tbsp (15 mL) balsamic vinegar

1 tsp (5 mL) lemon zest

1/4 tsp (2 mL) sea salt

1/8 tsp (1 mL) crushed red pepper flakes

Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C). On parchment-lined baking sheet, spread out diced yam. You should have about 2 1/2 cups (625 mL) diced yam. Bake in preheated oven for about 15 minutes or until tender when pierced with a fork. Alternatively, steam in a large saucepan until tender. Remove to a large bowl and set aside to cool. Keep oven temperature at 350 F (180 C).

In large skillet, heat 1 Tbsp (15 mL) oil. Sauté onion over medium heat until soft. Add to baked yam in bowl along with salt, pepper, garlic, and bread crumbs. Mash mixture together using a large fork.

In small bowl, place flaxseed. Stir in 1 Tbsp (15 mL) water until flaxseed is absorbed. Stir in nutritional yeast, Italian parsley, and cilantro until blended. Add to yam mixture, working in with your hands until evenly distributed. Shape mixture into 4 evenly sized patties. Place on parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush with remaining 1 Tbsp (15 mL) oil. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until patties are crisp on the outside.

Meanwhile, in bowl, place salsa ingredients and gently fold together. Set aside.

When patties are done as you like, remove and serve with salsa overtop. Delicious served on a bed of wild rice blend.

Each serving contains: 278 calories; 5 g protein; 10 g total fat; (1 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 44 g total carbohydrates (6 g sugars, 10 g fiber); 358 mg sodium