Friday, December 18, 2009

sautéed mushroom soup

oh my, how i love sautéed mushrooms. there is something divine in those tender little fungi all buttery and warm. when i was young, my family would always make them with steak and brown bread, and the mushrooms were my favourite part of the meal (although brown bread rocks pretty hard). i hadn't made them in years, but thanksgiving left me an abundance of mushrooms and i decided to incorporate that awesome flavour into a warm and filing soup.

  • 3 cups veggie broth
  • 2 cups mushrooms
  • *i used half button and half baby bella
  • 2 tablespoons vegan margarine
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1½ teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 tablespoon of corn starch (optional)
in a food processor combine the veggie broth and 1½ cups of the mushrooms. process the mushrooms until they well blended are no large pieces are left behind. when i made my soup, the mushrooms were almost nonexistent after i was finished blending.

add the mushroom broth into a large sauce pan, and place on burner set to medium-high. when the broth starts to simmer, add in onion powder and soy sauce and reduce heat to medium. let simmer lightly, stirring occasionally.

meanwhile, in a small non-stick skillet, sauté 1/2 cup of the mushrooms with butter and garlic on medium-high heat. after approximately 4-5 minutes, or when the mushrooms are tender, remove from heat and add to the mushroom broth. continue simmering on medium for approximately 5-7 minutes. add the coconut milk, and allow soup to return to a simmer for 5 more minutes. at this point, you can add in the corn starch as a thickener if needed. if adding the corn starch, keep saucepan on burner for a few additional minutes. otherwise, remove from heat and let cool at least 3-5 minutes before serving.

serves 3-4.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

vegan carne asada

i finally found young jackfruit at my local asian market! i had been hunting it down for a while now, as i have seen many recipes that use it for pulled pork sandwiches. it has a nice shredded texture, which i thought would lend itself well to some cruelty-free carne asada. the result was pretty good - not spot on, but a nice substitute. be sure and get the young jackfruit in brine - the ripe kind will be sweet and not a good match for this recipe.

  • 1 20 oz. can young jackfruit
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon bragg's aminos
  • 1 cup water
for the marinade:
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup lime juice (1-2 limes)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tablespoon onion powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 tablespoon orange juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • small handful cilantro, shredded
mix the marinade ingredients together in shallow dish and set aside. in a non-stick skillet,
sauté the garlic in the olive oil on medium heat. when garlic starts to brown, add in the drained jackfruit and continue sautéing for another 2 minutes. add in the water and braggs, lower the heat, and let simmer for approximately 45 minutes (or until liquid has evaporated).

move the jackfruit to the marinade dish, and let sit for several hours. before serving, fire the skillet back up to high and sauté the jackfruit (no marinade). if it hasn't started to shred, use a fork to pull the jackfruit apart so it resembles carne asada. i added a pinch of turmeric and cumin at this point to give it a little color, but that's completely optional. continue cooking until the jackfruit starts to brown a little on the ends - the crunch is totally worth it.

i served over spanish rice with salsa, but next time i will try tacos!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

lentil and tempeh stroganoff

stroganoff is one of those dishes i never had growing up... so my recipe mimics what i *think* it should taste like. luckily, i had a another tester who agreed that it was pretty similar to the traditional one. i've been on a major tempeh kick lately. i don't purchase it that often since it can become a costly ingredient, but i recently made my own homemade batch and have been swooning over some new recipe ideas.

  • 8 oz. tempeh
  • 1¼ veggie broth
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1¼ tablespoon lemon juice, divided
  • 1½ cups cooked green lentils
  • 1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 6 oz. silken tofu
  • 2+ tablespoons reserved marinade
first break tempeh into smaller strips or cubes and steam for 12 minutes. mix vegetable broth, garlic and onion powders, paprika, black pepper and 3/4 tablespoons lemon juice in a flat bottom bowl or dish. marinate the steamed tempeh for several hours (at least 2).

after tempeh has marinated, drain and reserve liquid. in the magic bullet or food processor, combine tofu, apple cider vinegar, the rest of lemon juice and two tablespoons of reserved marinade. pulse until tofu mixture is thick and creamy... if needed, add a little more marinade by the teaspoon.

heat olive oil in skillet on medium and add cooked lentils. sauté until they start to brown and get a little crunchy, much like a lentil hash. after crunchy bits have formed, add in rest of the marinade broth (at least 1 cup) and simmer on low for 2-3 minutes. do not let all the liquid evaporate. finally, kick heat up just a notch and add in the creamy tofu mixture. cook for approximately 2-3 minutes, until it's a nice stroganoff consistency (like a thick gravy).

server over flat pasta noodles, or brown rice.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

vegan thanksgiving

adopt turkeys, don't eat them! i did just that from farm sanctuary this year. there are plenty of other ways to celebrate the holiday meat-free. here are a few recipe ideas.


holiday faust:
this is my go-to thanksgiving recipe. after a few adjustments, i would suggest that you definitely use low-sodium soy and cut it with a little water to reduce the saltiness (unless you are using a really weak broth).

vegan pot pie:

i made this for easter last year, but it would be equally yummy as a t-day meal. like any good pot pie, the best part is cracking the shell.

mock meatloaf:
maybe it doesn't scream 'thanksgiving meal', but it's still hearty enough to stand up to a turkey platter. plus you get awesome meatloaf sandwiches the next day.

side dishes

roasted garlic mashed potatoes:
isn't t-day all about the sides? and what feast would be complete without potatoes of some sort? here is a little garlic twist on an old favourite.

creamy kamut salad:

if you haven't tried kamut, it's a nice little grain similar to orzo or buckwheat. this is a slightly more modern dish, loaded with tons of fresh asparagus.

poor girl's green bean casserole:
i made this during one of my pantry clean-out modes. saltines and canned green beans - super cheap and pretty delish.


blog mom's zucchini custard pie:
my 'blog mom' sent me this recipe last year. i made it for thanksgiving last year and it was a hit. definitely don't let the 'zucchini' part scare you off of this recipe.

simply cinnamon apples:
very easy and healthy - a perfect ending to heavy day of eating. be sure to use organic apples though... apples can carry some of the highest pesticide counts.

chocolate almond biscotti:
there is nothing like an italian cookie dipped in a warm cup of coffee. comforting, and not too filling... a perfect way to end a long day with those you love.

happy thanksgiving!

Monday, November 16, 2009

raw matchstick salad

after the last couple of 'heavier' recipes, i decided to lighten up a little bit with a raw dish. one of my favourite offbeat flavor combinations is sauerkraut and avocados. i know it sounds a little questionable, but it's actually a party in your mouth. it must be something about the zing of kraut melded with the creaminess of avocado. i call this a matchstick salad because i julienned most of the veggies into small matchstick slivers. the recipe below yields one really filling salad.

  • 3/4 cup raw sauerkraut, drained
  • 1 carrot
  • 1/3 red bell pepper
  • 1/3 medium zucchini
  • 2-3 medium button mushrooms
  • handful of mung bean sprouts
  • 1/3 avocado
julienne all your veggies (except kraut, sprouts and avocado) into small matchstick size pieces. cube your avocado. layer the drained sauerkraut first, then add each vegetable in subsequent layers. or, the wiser person would just dump everything in a bowl. as you can see, this was my realization after i took the first picture and tried to eat it.

i didn't use any dressing on this because the avocado and kraut were moist enough. however, feel free to use your favourite dressing - i bet one with ginger would pair especially well.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

frito pie

so it's not the healthiest dish in the book, but when i made soyrizo breakfast burritos i was reminded of this childhood dish. frito pie: a simple culinary concept the likes of which make every child to college student coo with delight. is it just me, or does it seem like after our early twenties this dish disappears from our conscious? maybe because it's full of processed foods, but i say that even the healthiest of adults has to indulge their inner child every once in a while. go buy a bag of fritos, and you too could be enjoying the satisfying crunch of corn chips, loaded with nice warm chili beans, and topped with cool vegan sour cream.

  • 1 bag original fritos
  • 1 can chili beans
  • 1 soyrizo link
  • 1 can (15 oz.) fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 can (11 oz.) southwest style corn
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon cumin powder
  • vegan sour cream
to make your soyrizo chili, crumble your soyrizo and place a large nonstick skilled on medium heat. drain the chili beans and add to the skillet along with the garlic, cumin, and onion powder. use a spatula to sauté for approximately 2-3 minutes. drain corn completely and slightly drain fire roasted tomatoes and pour both into skillet. (to slightly drain the tomatoes, open the can but keep the lid on. turn over in the sink one time, but don't compress the lid to force liquid out.) continue simmering chili mixture for approximately for about 5 minutes, or until liquid from the tomatoes has evaporated.

sometimes i buy tofutti vegan sour cream, but i found this recipe for tofu sour cream on with a couple extra dashes of lemon juice, it really makes a nice cheap substitute for mexican dishes.

even though my pictures shows a plate, take my word for it - use a bowl. place a nice thick layer of fritos (original and bbq are vegan) on the bottom and spoon several scoops of the chili mixture on top. top with a few dollops of sour cream and chow down on some yummy nostalgia.

Friday, November 6, 2009

warm sesame cabbage slaw

i love the bagged dole/generic slaw mixes you can buy at the grocery store - usually for 99 cents! i usually keep at least one or two in my fridge at all times for quick lunches or dinner additions. if you check my tags for cabbage, you'll see quite a few recipes because it can be used in so many genres of food. this recipe is just a nice warm sesame slaw that i make for small lunches or dinner sides.

  • 1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 pkg. dole slaw mix (about 2 1/2 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1½ tablespoons bragg liquid aminos
  • 1 tablespoon vegan butter (earth balance)
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, minced
  • 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds
heat sesame oil on medium-high heat in a large non-stick skillet. add in the cabbage and sauté for 1-2 minutes on medium-high heat. mix in the rest of ingredients except sesame seeds (the margarine is optional, but gives it more savory flavor). continue sautéing for about 5 minutes, until the cabbage is tender. add in the sesame seeds and give it a couple more tosses before removing from heat.

serve warm. i really like to give it a light coat of the ginger-miso dressing from matthew kenney's everyday raw. the book is awesome, so you should definitely pick up a copy. in the meantime, you can find the dressing recipe here.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

german chocolate sandwich cookies

i don't make a ton of sweet treats, but it's halloween and about time i posted one! this recipe was inspired by two of my long-time blogger friends: megan at megan's munchies gave me the idea for the german chocolate chip cookies, and mandy at eat repeat has recently been making sandwich cookies for her guilty vegan cookie business. the two came together for me, and voilà - a german chocolate chip sandwich cookie was born. it may not be a halloween spooktacular recipe, but it sure tastes good!

for the cookies*:
  • 1 box vegan german chocolate cake mix
  • 1/3 cup vegan chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup coconut shreds
  • 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1½ teaspoon non-hydrogenated coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 2 tablespoons coconut shreds (for topping)
  • *note: i made a few changes to megan's cookie recipe - see the original here.
for the icing:
  • 1/2 cup soymilk
  • 1/3 cup organic vegan sugar
  • 2 teaspoon vegan margarine
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 teaspoons ener-g egg replacer
  • 3 tablespoons warm water
  • 1/2 cup coconut shreds
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

in a large mixing bowl, combine all the cookie ingredients and mix by hand. the dough will seem a little dry at first, but after mixing for at least 30 seconds, the dough should start to have a uniform moisture. if it's still too dry, add another tablespoon or two of applesauce, but note that the dough should remain fairly stiff. drop tablespoon-sized balls and on greased cookie sheet and press press a pinch of coconut in the top of each ball. bake at 360°f for 11 minutes. the cookies will be a little puffy when they come out, but will flatten out nicely. let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for a couple minutes before placing on wax paper or cookie rack to cool completely. even after they have cooled, the cookies will remain soft and flexible. match up two cookies of approximately the same size.

the german chocolate icing is pretty standard. i used walnuts because that is what i had, but pecans work as well. heat all ingredients but the coconut and nuts in a small saucepan, stirring constantly. once it starts to bubble and thicken, remove from heat, and stir in the the walnuts and coconut shreds. let the icing cool considerably - i put it in the freezer for 10-12 minutes.

spoon 1-2 teaspoons of icing on top of one cookie, and gently press a second cookie on top. repeat for all cookies, keeping the icing fairly thin in between each one. put the cookies to chill for at least an hour before serving - they are much better when served slightly chilled. optionally, you can freeze them, thawing 1 hour before serving.

makes approximately 30 cookies, or 15 sandwich cookies.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

smoked chicken & spicy red pepper pasta

i wish i could give my mom an award for being such a great vegan supporter, and i know a lot of my fellow bloggers feel the same about their moms. she brought me hot mustard from ireland, buys vegan mozzarella when we make our xmas lasagna every year, and also bought me pappardelle's mild spice red pepper pasta for my birthday this year. pappardelle's is all natural, small-batch pasta and it makes me one happy vegan italian!

  • 1/2 pound pappardelle's mild spice red pepper pasta
  • 1 cup roasted red peppers
  • 4 slices of jalapenos
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 cup of veggie broth
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened soy milk
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1 tablespoon hickory smoke
  • 2 tablespoons low sodium soy
  • 1 batch seitan cutlets from vcon
after prepping your seitan cutlets, place them on a pre-heated cast iron grill pan. baste one side with 1 tablespoon liquid smoke mixed with 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce. grill on low or bake at 375 for 5 minutes on each side. when flipping, baste other side with smoky mixture.

while cutlets are cooking, combine red peppers, jalapenos, garlic and veggie broth in a food processor. if using jarred roasted red peppers, be sure and drain oil/water before adding. once everything is well blended, transfer to a large deep skillet (or a sauce pan will work in a pinch). cut up the cooked cutlets into strips and place in the skillet as well. simmer the cutlets on low to medium for approximately 15 , stirring often- turn heat down if the mixture starts to boil.

after sauce is thoroughly heated, add soymilk and cornstarch to thicken. continue heating for another minute or so, then remove from heat and allow to sit for 5 minutes. serve cutlets and sauce over pasta. i know the picture isn't all that glamorous, but trust me, this is one tasty dish.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

roasted garlic mashed potatoes

recently i was making the delicious chickpea cutlets from veganomicon for a little down home dinner. i was trying to come up with good comfy side, and i thought mashed potatoes sounded super comforting. to make them a little more sexy, i decided to add in some roasted garlic. if you have never had the pleasure of roasting your own garlic (and then eating it), you are missing out on something dreamy.

  • 8 baby red potatoes
  • 1 bulb roasted garlic (see below)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (for garlic roasting)
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened soymilk
  • 3 tablespoons vegan margarine
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • gravy (optional)
first you will need to roast the garlic. peel off the outer layer of papery skin and then cut approximately 1/4 inch off the top. you should be able to see the exposed cloves all packed neatly in the bulb. place on a 6'x6' piece of foil, and pour 1 tablespoon of olive oil into the exposed cloves. using your fingers, massage the oil into the crevices and on the outside. wrap the foil up around the garlic into a closed pouch and put on a baking sheet. bake at 400°f for approximately 35 minutes. once cooked, the individual cloves will slide out of the remaining skin. wait for it to cool a bit before you remove the cloves. :)

while the garlic is baking, chop and boil the potatoes for 20 minutes. drain, and combine all ingredients including the garlic cloves (skins removed). using a potato masher, mash them until they are chunky and no whole cloves of garlic remain. if you don't like your mashed pots chunky, you could add in a little more soy milk and margarine and whip them until they are creamy.

if you want to top with gravy, try jessy and dan's white bean gravy. i kid you not, this is my go-to gravy going forward. it is so tasty and has a nice little bite from the miso. the only thing i did different was to mash the white beans up a little before adding them. this would also rock with some vegan mock meatloaf.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

chipotle tabasco thick burgers

as i have blogged about before, i am a huge heat-freak. i love spicy food and usually have at least three or four different kinds of hot sauces around. recently, tabasco has come out with a couple new sauces, and i'm totally addicted to the chipotle one. it's not as spicy as the original, but it lends fantastic flavour to these veggie burgers. also, be sure and use short grain brown rice, as it is much stickier - i'm not sure how well these would hold up with the regular long-grain.

  • 1 can black beans (15oz)
  • 2 tablespoons hickory bbq sauce
  • 3 tablespoons chipotle tabasco sauce
  • 3/4 tablespoon vegan hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons beets, minced
  • 2 teaspoons beet juice
  • 1 tablespoon jalapenos, minced
  • 1/3 cup oat bran or ground flax
  • 1/3 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups cooked short grain brown rice
  • 1/4 cup vital wheat gluten
in a small saucepan, bring 3/4 cups uncooked brown rice and 1¾ cups water to a boil. stir once, cover, and turn the heat to low. simmer for approximately 35-40 minuets, keeping an eye on the water level. when finished, pull the rice off the stove and uncover. *note: this will make just a little over 2 cups. i actually measure out 2 cups for the recipe, but you could add it all in, with maybe a dash more liquid.

while rice is cooling, drain black beans and put in a large mixing bowl. mash the beans with a fork or potato masher - they should be mashed well enough to stick together. add rest of ingredients except the rice and wheat gluten. mix thoroughly, and then add the rice and wheat gluten. mix once or twice more, just enough so it's incorporated.

spray a 8x11 casserole dish with non-stick spay. using the mixture, form individual patties and place in dish. the mixture will be wet and may seem like it won't stick together well. if you can't get patties formed, you may need to add some more bread crumbs. try to keep the mixture fairly moist for cooking though.

preferably, place the patties in the refrigerator to set up. you can baste them with bbq sauce or more tabasco if you'd like. it's best to let them chill for at least a half an hour before you bake or grill these.

to grill: if patties are chilled (preferable), first bake patties in casserole dish at 350°f for 10 minutes. then grill on top rack of grill for 15 minutes on medium grill heat. if patties are at room temperature, you can move straight to grilling.

to bake: place casserole dish in the oven and bake at 400°f for 35 minutes, flipping once.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

spicy ambercup squash soup

a friend at work gave me a ginormous ambercup squash. the first half was devoured in a mash, but for the second half, i decided to challenge myself to make a savory dish yet still let the natural sweetness shine through. the result is a creamy spicy soup with surprise bites of chili beans. a great fall recipe.

  • 1/2 large ambercup squash (~4 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1¼ cups veggie broth
  • 1/2 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon bragg's aminos
  • 1/4 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/8 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened soy milk
  • 1 can chili beans in sauce
preheat oven to 400°f. scoop out the seeds and peel the skin. the skin is edible, but i don't prefer it in this recipe. dice squash up into large cubes and place on a foil-lined cookie sheet. drizzle olive oil on top and use a basting brush or clean hands to coat each piece evenly. bake for 45 minutes, flipping once halfway.

after squash has cooled considerably, chop into several smaller pieces and put in a food processor with the vegetable broth. pulse until the squash becomes thick and creamy, much like the consistency of mashed potatoes. be sure there aren't any large pieces remaining. use a spatula and pour mixture in to a 2-quart sauce pan. add in all the spices, aminos and soymilk, and turn heat to medium temperature. stir often. drain your chili beans, reserving the liquid. after 2-3 minutes, add in 1½ cups of chili beans and 3/4 cup of the reserved chili sauce. continue stirring until small bubbles begin to appear on the surface. serve warm. for presentation, drizzle a little of remaining chili sauce on the surface.

makes 3-4 hearty bowls.

Friday, September 25, 2009

creamy dill pasta salad

i have never found a store-bought vegan ranch that i like, so i have taken to the habit of making my own. there are plenty of recipes you can google - i just use a pretty typical combo of mayonnaise, red wine vinegar and spices. one day i was mixing up a batch and was feeling a little dilly, and it put me in mind of a creamy dill pasta dish. this is super easy to make, and perfect for potlucks and parties. and because it's so creamy, it doesn't make a big production of being vegan.

  • 12 oz. uncooked macaroni noodles
  • 10-12 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 medium cucumber, diced
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 6 oz. of vegan mayonnaise
  • 1 ¼ tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon soy milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried dill
  • 1 ¼ tablespoons pickle juice
boil the macaroni noodles according to package directions. while noodles are cooking, halve your cherry tomatoes and dice your cucumber. once the noodles are done cooking, drain and rinse with cold water. pour into a large bowl, and add the olive oil. this will help keep the noodles from sticking together and prevent them from sucking up all the dressing. toss in the tomatoes and cucumber with the noodles.

to mix the dressing, you can use a magic bullet or blender, or you can whisk by hand in a jar. combine the dressing ingredients (mayonnaise through pickle juice) and blend/whisk together. i prefer to use nasoysa nayonaise, but feel free to substitute you favourite vegan mayo. after it's mixed, test the dill flavour. sometimes i add more pickle juice - remember that the flavour will mellow a bit once combined with the noodles. if the dressing is too thick, add a little more soymilk or lemon juice, but be sure and rest test for the dill quality.

add half of the dressing with the noodles, cover and refrigerate for at least an hour. also chill the remaining dressing. during this time, the noodles will suck up a lot of the dressing so only adding half the dressing at first will yield a creamier result. before serving, add in the rest of the dressing and toss.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

double decker B-L-FGT

i've always loved the BLT, but with the cooler weather all summer, my garden tomatoes didn't ripen like i'd hoped. when life gives you lemons, make lemon drop martinis! i used the fried green tomato recipe from vegan yum yum, the shiitake bacon that bianca blogged about, and made a big fat double-decker bacon, lettuce, and fried green tomato (B-L-FGT) masterpiece.

  • 1 medium green tomato
  • 6-8 shiitake bacon strips
  • 3 large leaves of lettuce
  • coarse ground mustard
  • nasoya mayonaise
  • 3 slices whole wheat bread
first make your shiitake bacon. in addition to this great recipe, i like to grind up vegan bacon bits into a fine powder with a mortar and pestle. i add about a teaspoon of that to the wet soaking mixture for the mushrooms, it lends just a smidgen more of a bacon flavor.

while the mushrooms are cooling, go ahead and start making your fried green tomatoes. you'll want four tomato slices, which is about one green tomato. once they are fried and draining, pop your whole wheat bread in the toaster. for a double decker, a thick multi-grain is necessary to handle the size of this sandwich. on two of the toast pieces, coat one side with nasoya nayonaise and coarse ground brown mustard.

next, assemble your sandwich: lay one toast slice with mayo/mustard up, half the bacon, two fried green tomatoes, and half the lettuce. place a second slice of toast with mayo/mustard up, remaining bacon slices, two fried green tomatoes and remaining lettuce. top with your final slice of toast.


Monday, September 14, 2009

curry in a hurry

work has been crazy for me lately, and i've honestly not felt like cooking complicated meals when i get home. i've been eating a lot of easy meals, and i thought this one was one of the more blog worthy. the only catch is that for an quick and easy meal, you'll want to have your curry powder made ahead of time, or buy some. i made my several months ago and keep it in a spice jar.

  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 3 cups sliced cabbage
  • 1 carrots, julienned
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice

for the curry powder:
  • 2 tablespoons cumin seed
  • 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon cardamom seeds
  • 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
  • 3/4 tablespoon cloves
  • 3/4 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 3/4 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
to make the curry powder, put all seeds (everything through the fenugreek) on a cookie sheet and place in the oven on 300 for about 15-20 minutes. alternately, you can put it in a cast iron skillet and heat on a medium stove top. once seeds begin to pop, wait about another 20 seconds before you remove them. put the toasted seeds along with the rest of the powdered ingredients into a magic bullet or the old fashioned mortar and pestle. grind into a curry powder.

cook brown rice according to directions. meanwhile, slice all the veggies up and place in a non-stick skillet. heat on medium high for one or two minutes, until the garlic starts to brown a little. add in the curry powder and onion/onion powder. the juices from the tomatoes and veggies should provide enough liquid to make a thick sauce. if not, add in 1/4 cup of water or coconut milk. when the green peppers are tender and cabbage is translucent, remove from heat. serve over brown rice.

make 2 dinner servings.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

hot mustard asparagus

my mom is a pretty cool chick. she is super supportive of my vegan lifestyle, and that's saying a lot considering we live in the heart of meat and potatoes land. she's always willing to go out for a vegetarian or vegan meal, and even requested veggie sushi for mother's day. this year she went to ireland and managed to bring back some vegan hot irish mustard from avoca pantry - which rocks because i love mustard and i love spicy foods. so hats off to my mom and all her rockin'ness.

  • 1 pound asparagus
  • 2 tablespoons hot irish mustard*
  • 2 tablespoons hot scottish mustard*
i saved a few pounds of the asparagus that my brother gave me, so i this made from thawed asparagus (notice they are less stiff). however, i can say that i'm mighty impressed with how well they taste after a month or two of being frozen. cut the woody ends off your asparagus and coat with at least three tablespoons of hot mustard (*work with what you have, but make it spicy)! i also had some hot scottish mustard from arran, and the two worked very well together. if you are using fresh asparagus, you may need to add a little olive oil if necessary or reduce baking time.

if using frozen (and thawed) asparagus, bake for 25 minutes on 375°f, flipping once. kick the broiler on high for about 5 minutes and spread a little additional mustard on top before serving.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

grilled pizza

this was a fun foodie experiment that turned out awesome! i had heard of grilled pizza sometime in the past year, and was determined to make it this summer. i was not disappointed. nice crispy pizza with a wonderful grill flavour - you can't beat it! the timing on the grill is the most difficult part, and i've typed up detailed instructions below.

  • 1 batch of pizza dough
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • yellow squash
  • zucchini
  • green bell peppers
  • red bell peppers
  • marinated artichoke hearts
  • mushrooms
  • black olives
  • banana peppers
  • vegan cheese (optional)
for the pizza sauce (makes two):
  • 2 small cans tomato paste
  • 1/3 cup water
  • onion powder
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • pinch of salt
make your sauce and dough first. the sauce is super easy and thick. for the dough... well, i'm not going to lie. i used a package mix, which is usually not my style. however, my kitchen was torn up because i'm getting new counter tops and a new sink, so there wasn't any working room and everything was covered in dust.

while your dough is resting, prep your toppings by chopping them into pizza-sized bits. put them in a vegetable grill tray and cook over medium-high heat for about 4-5 minutes. if you don't have a grill pan, you can create a pouch out of foil and cook them in there, but they won't have as much of the "grilled" flavour.

when your toppings are done cooking, roll out your dough into a circle or square, about 9 inches in diameter and about 1/4 inch thick. if your tough gets too thin, it will tear on the grill. put some flour on a plate and lay your dough on top. coat the top with a thin layer of olive oil - about one tablespoons worth. keep your grill on medium high heat and spray with olive oil or another nonstick spray. in one quick motion, flip your plate over so the crust lands oil-side down. while it's cooking, coat the top side with the other tablespoon of olive oil. check the bottom often for burning and flip as needed. you will likely only need to cook the crust for 1-1½ minutes on either side.

once crust has cooked, remove from grill. spread sauce, toppings and whatever cheese substitute you are using. i opted to forgo the cheese during this test run since i typically have a hard time getting it to melt. once pizzas have been assembled, carefully place them back on the grill on low heat this time. to really accentuate the grill flavor (and melt any cheese you are using), close the lid. continue to cook on low until they start to brown a little on the outside of the crust, approximately 4-5 minutes.

it may seem a little complicated for pizza, but the flavour is so worth it.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

vegan explosion: the diablo dog

as a child, i always had an aversion to the taste of hot dogs. and a kids in the hall skit confirmed my distaste when they claimed that hot dogs were composed of yucky animal parts, mixed with old phone books and wieeeeener flavour. (i still firmly believe this is the original recipe for hot dogs). and truth be told, i've never liked the vegan hot dogs all that much either. then behold, the diablo dog. ms. jewbacca and ms. crunk both had me intrigued, then salivating, and then running to the store. i snatched up the jumbo dogs and some seriously awesome vegan hoagie buns. i kid you not, this is a little (er, huge) piece of sinful heaven.

my diablo dog consisted of:
  • huge hoagie buns
  • jumbo vegan hot dogs
  • jalapenos
  • chopped tomatoes
  • regular mustard
  • hot scottish mustard
  • chopped pickles
  • chopped green peppers
  • vegan queso
  • chili beans
  • hot sauce
  • ketchup
  • sauerkraut
first get your prep out of the way, because when those dogs are done, you aren't going to want to be cutting tomatoes and pickles.

split the hot dogs down the center and pop them on the grill (about medium heat). then split the hoagies and grill them for a minute or two as well so they are nice and crunchy. pile all the fixins on, smush everything together and do your best to get it in your mouth.

definitely a three or four napkin dish.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

vegan mock meatloaf

jen of that pain in the ass vegan and i must have been on the same mock meat vibe, because we both came up meatloaf recipes around the same time (i just took a little longer to get mine posted). i've had a couple of tries at mock meatloaves since becoming vegetarian, but i always forget to write down what i put in it. i finally remembered this time, and luckily, the meatloaf was tasty! it seems really wet in the beginning, but once cooked it firms up nicely and you can easily cut it into pieces.

  • 1/2 cup cooked lentils
  • 1/2 cup cooked yellow split peas
  • 1/2 cup cooked green peas
  • 1 can kidney beans, drained
  • 2/3 cups short grain brown rice
  • 2 pieces of whole wheat toast
  • 1/4 cup ground flax seed
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tablespoon liquid smoke
  • 1/2 tablespoon vegan worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 ½ tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup hickory bbq sauce
cook lentils, peas and rice according to directions. after the lentils and peas have cooled considerably, pour them into a food processor along with the drained kidney beans and jalapenos. after blending, put the mixture into a large mixing bowl, and add the rest of ingredients (crumble your toast) except for the rice and barbecue sauce. mix thoroughly, and finally add in the rice and bbq sauce as desired. i found the bbq flavour really enriched the flavour, so be sure to add your favourite sauce.

preheat the oven to 375°f. if you like a crispy crust, divide the mixture into to loaf pans. cook both pans for approximately 30 minutes. the result will be less thick, but you'll have a nice proportion of crispy exterior and soft inside. i haven't tried cooking it all in one pan, but i imagine you'll have to extend the cooking time.

i like to serve mine with a trio of dipping condiments (see background of picture). i put one dollop of ketchup, one dollop of mustard, and one dollop of bbq sauce side by side. plus this gives it fancy-pants presentation.

Friday, August 14, 2009

pulp pasta (raw)

i love zucchini pasta in the summer. not only is it nice not to have a big pot of boiling pasta on your stove, but it's lighter in calories. and who doesn't have a ton of zucchini right about now? this recipe uses tomato-veggie juice pulp, because i'm always looking for creative ways to use it up. waste not, want not, right? of course, if you don't make juice, you could just as easily sub marinara.

  • 1 zucchini, spiralized
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 clove garlic
  • 1/4 whole onion
  • 1/3 cup fresh basil
  • 1 dash sea salt
  • 1 dash fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup water
  • pulp from tomato fusion juice
use a spiralizer to make noodles from your zucchini. combine tomato juice pulp (or something similar) and rest of the sauce ingredients into a food processor and pulse a few times. i like my sauce a little on the chunky side, but you could add more water or olive oil for a smoother sauce.

pour over noodles and serve. it doesn't need to be heated up unless you want to - i like mine at room temperature in the hot summer.

Friday, August 7, 2009

fire roasted soyrizo burrito (breakfast burrito #3)

breakfast burritos. good for those ravenous mornings when fruit or pastries just won't cut it. i never had 'real' chorizo when i was an omnivore, so i'm not sure how soyrizo compares. i really like the spicy flavour of the soyrizo - both the homemade and pre-packaged. add in some fire roasted tomatoes, and you have a big sloppy delicious breakfast. :)

  • 1 soyrizo link
  • 1 can fire roasted tomatoes (14.5oz)
  • 1 small can mexi-style corn (11 oz.)
  • 1/2 small zucchini, diced
  • 1 tablespoons cumin
  • 10 inch flour tortillas
  • tofutti sour cream (optional)
roughly chop soyrizo in large non-stick skillet on medium heat. i find that soyrizo tends to crumble by itself, so larger chunks are fine. drain the corn, and add it in along with the cumin. saute for about 2 minutes, and then add in slightly drained fire roasted tomatoes. to slightly drain, open the can but keep the lid on with your hand. turn over once in the sink, but don't compress or try to force liquid out. once you added in everything, continue cooking mixture for approximately 5 minutes, or until tomato liquid has mostly evaporated. serve on heated flour tortillas. if you want to cool the spiciness down, you can add a big dollop of tofutti sour cream.

makes about 3 or 4, depending on size.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

fruit salad green smoothie

being the only veggie in my office, i always get offered the remains of the fruit trays from pot lucks and parties (which i totally love). leftover fruit salad is great - if you can eat it quickly. sometimes it may be a few days before i can polish it off, and a bowl of mushy fruit doesn't sound that great. here is the solution, my friends. if the fruit is still good, maybe just not in peak form, throw it in a blender with a some greens. it's delicious, nutritious and you won't let anything go to waste!

  • 1 1/2 cups fruit salad
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 4 ice cubes
this was a bit of fruit salad leftover from my belated birthday party (i ate most of it before it started to get mushy). thanks to the true family for making it with tons of fresh fruit - just how i like it. it was a delicious combination of cantaloupe, bananas, strawberries, green grapes, and peaches.

put all ingredients in a regular blender for about 30-45 seconds. if you have a lot of watery fruits, you may not need a full 1/3 cup water... just start with a little and add enough to get it blending.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

green bean & peanut stir fry

i tend to make solo meals more spicy than when i'm cooking for others. this particular evening i was craving a stir fry, and had some fresh green beans lying around. i decided to add in some peanuts and give it healthy dose of chili oil. the green bean and peanut combination was fantastic!

  • 1 ½ tablespoon chili oil
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 1 tablespoon veggie hoisin
  • 1/4 cup party peanuts
  • 1 large handful green beans (about 25)
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 3/4 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup water
add oils, peanuts and garlic into a wok or large non-stick skillet. sauté on high for 1 minute. then add in the fresh green beans and stir fry until oil has almost cooked off. it's likely that your green beans are probably not very tender, so at this point, add in the water and hoisin and turn down heat to medium. let the water steam/cook the beans for while, stirring often. as the water starts to cook off (about 5-7 minutes), you'll find a nice glaze from the oil and soy starts to coat the beans and peanuts. this glaze is what i find so tasty about this dish. remove from heat when glaze is at your desired consistency. i think a thick coating with very little liquid, so i cook the full 7 minutes. if you are serving over rice, you might want it a little bit more fluid.

the measurements above were for a single-serving meal, so double or triple as necessary.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

fresh veggie pasta

summer produce makes my world go round. farmer's markets, local gardens, roadside fruits and veggies... i love being able to incorporate all this freshness into my meals. sure, i use a can of this or that along the way, but the bright colours and crisp flavours take center stage.

  • 8 oz. pasta
  • 1/2 medium zucchini
  • 1 medium sunburst squash
  • 1/4 head of cabbage
  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • *or three fresh tomatoes
  • 1 half can tomato paste (3 oz.)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon black pepper
cook pasta according to directions on package. chop all veggies into bite size pieces, and shred cabbage. in a large skillet or saucepan, pour in the entire can of tomatoes (including liquid!) and add veggies and spices. if you use fresh tomatoes, you may need to add 1/2 cup a water because this liquid really helps soften the veggies and cabbage. cook on medium heat for about 15 minutes, until cabbage is tender. add in the tomato paste around the 10 minute mark - the tomato paste serves as a thickening agent for the sauce, so you may need to add more than 3. oz if sauce is still thin.

pour chunky veggie sauce over your pasta noodles of choice - here with elbow macaroni.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

lettuce wrap burritos

i love the combination of hot and cold with these burritos - you don't often find lettuce wraps stuffed with a warm inside. not to mention that these burritos are pretty healthy, and serving them lettuce-wrap-style gives them a fun crunchy texture you wouldn't get with a regular tortilla. be sure and have lots of napkins around - if these are overstuffed, you might run into some messy eating. :)

  • 1 head fresh broccoli
  • 1/2 large zucchini
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 can kidney beans, drained
  • 1/2 can rotel
  • 1/2 tablespoon cumin
  • 1/2 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon taco seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 4-5 large romaine leaves
  • fixins: guac, olives, salsa, jalapenos
heat coconut oil in large non-stick skillet on medium-high heat. chop the broccoli, zucchini and pepper down and toss them into the skillet. saute for 1-2 minutes, then add in the water to help soften the veggies. when veggies start to become tender, add the kidney beans, rotel and spices.

saute/simmer for approximately 10 minutes, or until the liquids have cooked off. remove from heat and let cool a little before spooning mixture into the lettuce leaves. add your favourite burrito fixins' and enjoy!

Friday, July 10, 2009

crusted tofu and sautéed chard

i'm no gourmet vegan chef, but sometimes i put my fancy pants on. i love to make these crusted tofu cutlets because they are simple, and you can easily glamorize them. plus they are baked, not fried, so they are definitely on the healthier side. to give the tofu a firmer texture, you can freeze it after pressing. just be sure to give it enough time to thaw, though. i've made that mistake a few times!

  • 1 block of extra firm tofu
  • 1 bunch gold chard, chopped
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 tablespoon vegan butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1½ cups balsamic vinegar
for the marinade:
  • 2 cups veggie broth
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
for the batter:
  • 1 cup unbleached flour
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon adobo seasoning
press your tofu and slice into thick slabs. mix marinade ingredients in a bowl. lay tofu slices in a 8x11 casserole dish, and pour marinade over top. place dish in the refrigerator for at least four hours.

mix batter ingredients on plate or in a bowl. take each tofu slab and place in them mixture. coat both sides. place a layer of foil on a cookie sheet, and coat with nonstick spray or use a little olive oil. bake tofu in oven for 30 minutes at 440°f, flipping half way through.

while tofu is baking, place the balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan on medium heat. once balsamic is heated up, turn burner to low and stir often. the heat causes the vinegar to thicken up into a nice glaze. some people add sugar to their reductions, but i don't think it needs it.

put butter in non-stick skillet, and sauté garlic. once garlic starts to brown, add the chard and tomato. continue sautéing on medium-high until chard is tender. sometimes i will add a tablespoon or two of water to assist the wilting process.

make a bed of greens with the chard and place two tofu cutlets on top. drizzle with balsamic reduction sauce, and enjoy and an easy 'gourmet' dinner. :)

Thursday, July 2, 2009

barbecue veggie kabobs

i live in the midwest, and have grown up eating grilled barbecue food for most of my life. i love portabello mushrooms, stuffed green peppers, homemade brats, and everything in between. i really love veggie kabobs because you can use a variety of veggies to mix it up each time. this isn't really a 'recipe', per se, but an idea of how us veggie folks grill non-meat style. trust me, it is so filling! pardon my non-plated picture, but i was just too hungry!

veggie varieties:
  • mushrooms
  • tomatoes
  • potatoes
  • bell peppers, any color
  • zucchini
  • yellow squash
  • cactus
  • corn cob sections
cut all your favourite produce so it is close to bite-sized. find some wooden or metal skewers, and mix and match all your veggies. i use a basting brush, and coat everything heavily in bbq sauce. if you have too many veggies, toss the remainders in a grill basket with seasoning salt. make sure to put things like corn and potato slices on their own skewer as they need longer amounts of time to grill. after starting those kabobs, add the skewers with more tender veggies - they finish up in about 7-10 minutes on grill-medium heat.

when everything is grilled, pull all veggies off and eat up. optionally, serve on a bed of rice.

on a side note, i kept wanting to spell 'kebab' - but i guess that is traditionally more meat oriented. if i would google just 'kabob', it would ask me if wanted to spell 'kebab' instead. but i would google 'veggie kebab', it would ask me to spell 'veggie kabob'. interesting....

Friday, June 26, 2009

creamy cashew tomato sauce

when i set out to make pasta for dinner, i often have the southern vs. northern italy debate with myself. my great grandfather was from garda in northern italy, a region known for creamy white sauces. my great grandmother was from naples in the south, which favours hearty red tomato sauces. i love the flavours of both cuisines, but what i love most is combining the best of both worlds to create a nice creamy red. add some cashews to the mix, and you've got some crazy italian goodness!

  • 8 oz. penne pasta
  • 1 head broccoli, chopped
  • 1 ¼ cups raw cashews, soaked
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 fresh tomatoes
  • 2 basil leaves
  • 3 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 small can tomato paste (3 oz.)
  • 1 teaspoon bragg's liquid aminos
  • 1 tablespoon soy milk powder
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
soak raw cashews at least 4 hours, and then blend them up very fine in a magic bullet or food processor. set them aside. cook pasta according to directions. while pasta is cooking, steam the broccoli florets. in the food processor, blend up the two tomatoes and basil leaves.

in a medium saucepan, add olive oil and saute the garlic until it starts to brown. on medium-low heat, add the tomatoes and rest of sauce ingredients. simmer for 10 minutes, adding in additional water if the sauce is too thick. add in the broccoli florets and continue simmering for 5 minutes more.

remove from heat and serve over pasta. this recipe makes two small servings, so double as necessary.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

garlic roasted asparagus

i love my cast iron grill pan. it puts those fun grill marks on sandwiches, roasted vegetables, and anything in between. i've had it for a little over a year, and it has become one of my favourite cookware pieces. the recipe here is one of the multitude of ways i cooked my 28 pounds of asparagus.

  • 1 pound asparagus
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
cut the woody ends off asparagus, and marinate the edible ends in olive oil, garlic and red pepper flakes. if you are sensitive to heat, you might choose to use less pepper flakes. on the other hand, if you are a heat fiend, sub chili oil for the olive oil. place a cast iron grill pan in the oven, and preheat to 425°f. preheating the cast iron not only provides a lovely satisfying sizzle, but helps keep things from sticking (and cleanup much easier!). once heated, pull the skillet out and place your asparagus lengthwise in the pan. bake the asparagus at 425°f for at least 25 minutes, flipping once or twice to get nice grill marks on all sides of the stalks.

when the asparagus starts to develop brown roasting spots, it is done. i've roasted anywhere between 25-40 minutes before, depending on desired tenderness.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

POM-orange vegan cocktail

i think sometimes there is a misconception that all vegans are super health driven or won't put anything toxic in their body. while i won't put anything from a living animal in my body, i freely admit that i do drink. some people (vegan or not), choose not to drink, and i respect that. but i'm on the other side of the fence, and all too happy to kick up my heels with an adult beverage now and again. mainly, i'm a beer girl, but i have enjoyed a few girly drinks in my day. this is my POM wonderful green smoothie's evil twin.

  • 1/3 cup soy ice cream
  • 4 oz. POM wonderful juice
  • 1/2 medium orange, peeled
  • 3 oz. high quality rum
drop everything in a blender, and blend up for about 25 seconds until it's smooth and creamy. taste test, and add a little POM juice if it's too powerful. of course, if it's too weak (or if you aren't driving anywhere), add a little more rum.
evil, i know. :)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

high raw salad (from lettuce wraps)

i wanted to make these lettuce wraps again, but i didn't have any large enough pieces of lettuce that would serve as a wrap. so i compromised with a salad, and it was so good i had to share! it's basically the same recipe, except in a bowl. :)

  • 1/2 zucchini
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 2 carrots, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons bragg's aminos
  • 1 ½ teaspoons dulse flakes
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 2-3 roasted red peppers
  • almond cheese
  • shredded lettuce
peel and julienne the veggies, then let marinate in the liquid aminos, dulse and minced garlic.

combine the rest of the ingredients in a bowl and serve as a salad. i didn't make a separate dressing because my red peppers came from an oil-packed jar. that plus the almond cheese made the salad rich and creamy. if you don't use oil-packed peppers, you may want to add a little something for creaminess... depending on taste.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

creamy kamut salad

my dearest brother, aka 'produce boy', recently brought me an exciting foodie gift - 28 pounds of fresh asparagus. yes, i said 28 pounds. needless to say, i have spent the past several weeks cooking and eating asparagus a variety of ways - roasted, grilled, baked, steamed, boiled... i even made asparagus guacamole (not bad!). i thought this dish was perfect for a potluck, as a twist on the traditional pasta salad.

  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked kamut (3 cups cooked)
  • 10 cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 pound of asparagus, cut to bite size
  • 1- 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • about 5-6 fresh basil leaves, chopped/shredded
  • 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice (optional)
  • 1 batch of buffalo mostarella cheese**
  • **with modifications
  • 1/2 tablespoon liquid smoke

basically, you could try any vegan dressing. i wanted one that was a little cheesy flavoured so i tried the buffalo mosteralla from the ultimate uncheese cookbook. however, i omitted the agar and halved the onion powder and cornstarch in the recipe because i wanted it to be thick, but not set up like a cheese. i also added half a tablespoon of liquid smoke. if using this recipe, put all your dressing ingredients in a blender for 1-2 minutes (until the mixture is smooth). pour into a saucepan and heat on medium for about 4-5 minutes... until it starts to thicken. put in a 4-cup pyrex container (or anything glass really) and put in the fridge to cool overnight.

once you are ready to make your salad, pull your dressing out of the fridge to bring it to room temperature. steam the asparagus, quarter your tomatoes and cook your kamut. after your kamut has cooked, drain and combine w/ the dressing in a large bowl. because the kamut will still be warm from cooking, the dressing should soften up and coat the grain very well. add in the tomatoes, asparagus, basil and olive oil. toss a couple more times. i added a couple dashes of lemon juice at this point because i thought it needed it.... but that just depends on the dressing you use.

serve slightly chilled or at room temperature.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


who loves falafel? i do, i do! although this recipe looks really long, the process goes fairly quick once you've soaked your chickpeas (about 8-10 hours). just get all your spices out, plus your measuring spoons and you'll have falafel patties in no time at all. serve with vegan tzatziki or hummus.

  • 1 ¼ cup soaked chickpeas/garbanzos
  • 1 ½ tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seed
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon parsley
  • 1 ½ teaspoons onion powder
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper *optional
  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • 1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1-2 tablespoons water
after chickpeas have been soaked (not cooked!), blend up them up in a food processor. add the rest of ingredients and pulse a few times until well-mixed. be cautious with the crushed red pepper - this does add quite a bit a spice. the consistency should be fairly thick - you should be able to roll the falafel patties without any sticking to your hand. if it's too wet, you can add a little whole wheat or chickpea flour in to thicken it up again.

personally, i like to let my falafel sit for a few hours before cooking (to let the flavours meld), but you can also just cook them right away. roll into balls about the size of a golf ball, using a little flour if needed to prevent stickiness. sometimes i will flatten balls into patties if i plan on stuffing them in a pita wrap. spray a standard 8x11 baking dish with non-stick oil, and bake for 30 minutes at 380°f, flipping the patties halfway through.

i eat falafel in pita, on salad, or as you can see, made into lettuce wraps. i think lettuce, tomato and cucumbers go perfectly!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

veggie and kraut pizza

pizza has long been one of my favourite foods. another one my favourites is sauerkraut, and when i went vegan, i found that kraut made a tasty substitute for cheese on pizza. it's not exactly apples to apples in terms of taste, mind you, but it's really worth giving it a shot (if you like kraut). the best part - it crunches up perfectly on the edges.

  • 1 batch of pizza crust
  • 2 handfuls baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup artichoke hearts, quartered
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 tomato, sliced and halved
  • 5-6 mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 cup vegan sausage crumbles
  • 10-15 black olives, chopped
  • 1 cup of sauerkraut, drained
for the pizza sauce:
  • 1 small can tomato paste (6oz)
  • 3/4 small can tomato sauce (6oz)
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1-2 teaspoons black pepper
  • pinch of salt
jessy of happyveganface recently blogged about her whole wheat pizza dough and i had been dying to give it a shot. the verdict - absolutely perfect! i will definitely use this dough more often.

the pizza sauce recipe listed is my go-to recipe when i haven't really 'planned' on making pizza. i prefer a nice combination of fresh and sun dried tomatoes for my sauce, but sometimes a girl just doesn't have all the fresh ingredients she needs. and it's simple - just whisk up all the ingredients in a bowl. also, i really love black pepper in my sauce. i learned this from my italian grandmother, who i once watched make pizza sauce with a heavy hand of black pepper. her sauce tops mine of course, but i haven't forgotten the special black pepper ingredient. :)

i think everyone knows how to make pizza, so i'll just skip to the best part. after layering your sauce and veggies, drain and hand-squeeze your sauerkraut. spread it thinly over the top of your pizza - much like you would with shredded cheese. if you want the kraut to crunchify, make sure you can still see the veggies below. i've tried it both ways, and i say 'thin to win'...

pop it in the oven at 425°f, and let cook for at least 12 minutes. usually i just eyeball it after this, depending on how thick it is, and how crispy you like it.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

broccoli and white beans

this was a side dish i whipped up when we needed something to go with our main course and the pantry was pretty bare. originally, i wasn't sure about the crunchiness of the broccoli with the texture of the creamy white beans. however, by the end of the bowl, i was looking forward to each green floret as it really created a nice contrast.

  • 1/2 head of fresh broccoli, chopped
  • 2 cups cooked white beans
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
whisk the apple cider vinegar, sesame oil, garlic and ginger and pour over the chopped raw broccoli florets. allow broccoli to marinate for at least 4 hours, tossing occasionally.

in a large saucepan, add the two cups of cooked white beans and nutritional yeast and bring burner to medium heat. add the broccoli and marinade and cook entire mixture for about 10 minutes. the dish will be slightly creamy, but the broccoli should still have a bit of crunchy texture. add a dash or two of hot sauce if you like heat. serve as a side dish - about 4 servings.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

POM wonderful green smoothie

to pom or not to pom... that was my question. many may know that POM (makers of the flavourful POM wonderful juice) once had a shady past with animal rights. thankfully, through the urging of PETA and many other animal lovers, they decided to cease those practices. i originally wasn't sure if was ready to accept them back, but i believe that they deserve kudos for changing their ways. i once ate meat, and i would hate to be punished for my former transgressions. so, thanks POM! now let's drink!

  • 2 oranges, peeled
  • 6-8 strawberries
  • 1½ cups baby spinach leaves
  • 3/4 cup POM Wonderful juice
as with my typical green smoothies, you could use any other green, but i like the baby spinach most often because it doesn't overpower the fruit. however, when i'm feeling up for a more 'green' juice, i'll use kale, romaine, etc.

put everything in a blender for about 45 seconds. so easy! i find that this recipe is so filling that when i mix it up for lunch, i'm not hungry again until dinner. beyond awesome!