Sunday, September 26, 2010

Greek Roasted Vegetables & Dijon-Dill Potato Salad

I based this vegetable recipe loosely from a Briam recipe in The Essential Mediterranean Cookbook. It's a greek vegetable casserole with assorted veggies flavoured with olive oil, garlic, oregano and dill. It's supposed to consist mainly of potatoes, tomato and zucchini but I added eggplant, onions, red peppers and carrots. They baked up beautifully.

Served with pita and potato salad. This potato salad is one of my favorites. The dressing is a mixture of olive oil, lemon juice, Vegenaise, dijon mustard, whole grain mustard, a pinch of sugar, chopped dill pickles, capers and dill. So tangy and tasty!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Kale Salad

Kale Salad with Spicy Peanut Sauce

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 tsp minced ginger
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
pinch of salt
1 TB or more of red wine vinegar
1 TB or more of agave nectar or sugar
1 TB or more of soy sauce
water (to help thin out sauce if too thick)
1/8-1/4 tsp cayenne
extra red pepper flakes

Whisk all ingredients together or blend. The measurements for the vinegar, agave, soy sauce etc. are loose because I was basically adding them from the bottle a bit at a time while whisking all together. I also tasted it as I went along until it was just right. You should do the same. It should be creamy, peanutty, slightly tangy and sweet with a spicy kick. The consistency of the dressing should be smooth, creamy and not too thick where you can't pour it.
Chop up a big bunch of kale and blanche in boiling water for 2-3 minutes. Remove kale and submerge immediately in ice water. Squeeze out all the water from the kale and put into a bowl. Pour sauce over the kale and toss. Add chopped cucumber, red peppers, scallions, red onions etc... Chill for a few hours.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Moroccan Black Bean Stew

You can tell it's fall by looking at my dinner. This is the Moroccan Black Bean Stew recipe from The Vegan Family cookbook. It was so simple to throw together. I added 2 TB of tomato paste and some cumin (which I love!) and I decreased the sugar to 1 tsp. Came out just perfect. Looking back I should have added ras al hanout as well which is a Moroccan spice blend. Next time! This was very warming and tasty served on a bed of rice with a dollop of harissa (North African chili paste) on top. This will also go well with couscous or quinoa.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Rigatoni with Lentil Sauce

All I wanted today was a big bowl of comforting pasta. I made the Lentil Sauce recipe from Vegan Italiano and put it on rigatoni. It was very tasty though not as "saucy" as I was hoping. Next time I will add some tomato sauce to thicken it up. I sprinkled a little nutritional yeast on top as my "parmesan".

Friday, September 17, 2010

Autumn Chowder with Dumplings

Ah Friday... I've had a looooong week! I'm so happy it's the weekend. Still feeling a little "off" so I'm still in soup mode. I made this delicious Autumn Chowder that I got from the all-creatures recipe site. So comfort foody and hearty! I added summer savory, white miso, a drop of liquid smoke and dumplings! Dumpling are becoming my favorite thing to plop into soup!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Fricot n Dumplings

Been feeling under the weather since yesterday and thought soup might be a good cure. I made my vegan fricot recipe without the tofu and added dumplings instead. Dumpling recipe here.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Grilled Vegetable Marinara Spaghetti and Yogurt Parfait

Sorry about these awful night time pics! We didn't eat dinner until late because we went for our run first. My husband whipped up a marinara spaghetti and I heated up the grilled vegetable salad from last night and added them to my plate. I also added a clove of crushed garlic. It was delicious and very much welcome after an hour of pain!

Dessert was a soy yogurt parfait with strawberries, granola and coconut. I drizzled a bit of date syrup on it too because the yogurt was unsweetened.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Grilled Vegetable Salad

Sometimes I get really overwhelmed by the amount of veggies I have in my fridge that I usually want to throw them into a stew pot and call it dinner. I forget that simple preparations like grilling can get the job done too. I had one japanese eggplant, a red and green pepper that was nearing it's due date. I cut them into slices, brushed them with olive oil and grilled them until they were soft with charred marks. Then I cut them into bite size pieces and tossed them with a simple dressing of olive oil, garlic, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Was really easy and delicious!

Served with mashed potatoes and Heinz british baked beans.

For dessert we had root beer floats!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Split Pea-Chickpea Burgers, Pear Upside Down Cake

Burgers I made out of leftover curried split pea soup and chickpeas. Also has onions, cilantro and cumin.

For lunch I had them in a pita with lettuce, tomato and tahini sauce.

For dinner, I had them as a burger in a whole wheat english muffin with Vegenaise and ketchup. This was yummy.

I made an upside down pear cake for dessert! It was really pretty and good except it didn't cook all the way through in the middle! I swear I did the toothpick test twice and it was fine. But when I cut into the middle, it was all gloppy! Good thing vegan cakes don't have eggs!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Silk Road Peanut Noodles

I have this beautiful cookbook called "Silk Road Cooking" and I've only made a few things from it. I always look through it and am inspired by all the exotic flavors but never get around to actually cooking from it. I decided to open it up today. This recipe is not too far from home for me because it is very Thai in style. It's the "Vietnamese Peanut Sauce" recipe which for me feels more Thai because of the thai chilies, coconut milk, peanut butter, lime juice and curry in it. I tossed ramen noodles and freshly cut vegetables with the sauce and garnished with Thai basil.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Granola: Breakfast of Champions.

Granola is a great breakfast to get you going in the morning. I was inspired by my friend's granola picture on her Facebook page and I knew I had to make some right away. Mine has rolled oats, ground flax seeds, sunflower seeds, slivered almonds, walnut pieces, pumpkin seeds, coconut, raisins, sultanas, cranberries, cinnamon, a "touch" of sunflower oil and sweeteened with date syrup.

And it all fit into the new jar I bought from Ikea! Can't wait for breakfast tomorrow. Going to have this with hemp milk, mmm...

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

H.L.T. and Curried Split Pea Soup

Do you remember the curried roasted chickpeas snack I made the other day? Well, they didn't stay crunchy after a day or two and I didn't want to throw them out. I decided to revamp them by pouring boiling water over them to rehydrate them then I drained them and put them in the blender with tahini, garlic, lemon juice and water and made a curried hummus spread! It was pretty yummy in this H.L.T. sandwich. (Hummus Lettuce Tomato)

I spread a little Vegenaise on Ezekiel bread and assembled my sandwich. This would be good in a pita too.

Curried split pea soup from Vegan with a Vengeance cookbook. My favorite.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Corn Tortilla Quesadillas, Tofu Stir Fry

After that gigantic English breakfast you probably thought I couldn't eat anything else but it's a holiday after all and I felt like cooking! Made these as a snack mostly for my husband but I had a little. I had a container of Daiya vegan cheese that I had to use up so I made these quesadillas with corn tortillas instead of flour. I've never tried this before and it worked wonderfully. Really yummy these were.

When dinner rolled around, I whipped this up out of the leftover tofu and mushrooms that I didn't use at breakfast. This is the "Tofu Stir Fried with Vegetables and Hoisin" recipe from "The Power of Ancient Foods" cookbook. Very simple and very satisfying with a bit of rice and a side salad.

"Full English", Vegan Style.

I've always loved the idea of the full english breakfast. Before I was vegan, I had one once in London. It had bacon, eggs, sausage, grilled tomato, mushrooms, beans and toast. I think there were potatoes or "bubble and squeak" too, I don't remember. Now that I don't eat meat or eggs, I have to improvise. Mine has scrambled tofu with onions, sauteed mushrooms, heinz beans (a british product), LightLife brand vegan sausage patties with some HP sauce on the side and tomatoes. I'm missing the bacon aspect because I really didn't want to add another protein to my dish! It was way too much food as it was!

Also included, hot ceylon tea and white toast with Earth Balance and apricot jam. This was a nice treat on my patio on this fine Labor Day holiday.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Kichadi Soup, Carrot Raisin Salad, Ginger-Date Cake

Enjoying my new Ayurvedic cookbook. In front is kichadi soup. Kichadi is a simple stew of basmati rice and split mung dal which is the core of Ayurvedic nutritional healing. This is a watered down version, cooked very plainly to make a soup. I didn't have split mung dal so I used masoor dal (red lentils) which turned yellow in the soup. The only ingredients in this soup are sunflower oil, basmati rice, lentils, cumin and mustard seeds, sea salt, ground cumin and water. I added minced ginger root, green hot chili peppers and coriander leaves (cilantro) as a topping. The dish in back is also from the cookbook and it's a simple carrot salad with raisins.

I was dying for sweet but didn't want to indulge in something sugar laden so I made this vegan date cake and used extra dates and also date syrup to sweeten. I added lots of grated fresh ginger root for some spiciness. It turned out so moist, almost like gingerbread (without the molasses) and lightly sweet. It's perfect with tea.
Recipe is here. In place of sugar, I added about 9 more dates and used about 1/2 cup date syrup and maybe a tablespoon of grated ginger. I also added a touch more spelt flour to make up for the extra liquid. I'm sure if you up the date syrup, it would be sweeter. Oh, and sub soymilk for the milk of course!

Saturday, September 4, 2010


We're going to the movies tonight and instead of buying popcorn and candy (which probably aren't vegan anyway), I decided to make homemade snacks to bring with me. In front are curried roasted chickpeas (YUMMY) and in the back, plain toasted sunflower seeds. Got the recipes from 'The Ayurvedic Cookbook'. I've only started reading about Ayurvedic holistic healing recently and from what I understand, there are three types of biological energy called 'doshas' that rule our physical composition as well as our reactions and sensibilities to our environments. The three doshas are 'vata', 'pitta' and 'kapha'. In order for our bodies to be in complete health and harmony, one must have a balance of the three. We all have unique proportions of the three doshas and will have one that dominates. According to my ayurvedic constitution, I am predominantly kapha in nature and certain foods will calm this dosha instead of aggravate it. These snacks are a good example. I've been reading a little bit about the right foods for kapha and it's a little alarming that a lot of my favorite foods are supposedly not good for my nature like bread, pasta, sweets, sweet potatoes, rice, kidney beans, tofu, bananas, dates!!!!! So I'm not sure how seriously I will take all this but it's good to have some healthy and mindful food choices if I need to feel "balanced". :) There are times when I crave simple, healthy, no-frills food and I think this cookbook will do me good during those times.

If you want to know more about Ayurveda, this is a good site.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Veggie Tortilla Soup

Yummy tortilla soup with a sprinkling of fried corn tortillas and Daiya vegan cheese. This was really good!

Veggie Tortilla Soup

2 TB olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 small zucchini or other summer squash, diced
2 ribs celery, diced
1 14oz. can diced tomatoes, drained
4 cups vegetable broth
1 cup corn, frozen, fresh or canned
1 14oz. can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 tsp. low sodium soy sauce
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste

corn tortillas, cut into strips and fried in canola or grapeseed oil
lime wedges
Daiya cheese shreds

Heat oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Saute onion, garlic, carrot, red bell pepper, zucchini and celery until semi soft. Add drained tomatoes and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil and then lower heat to simmer. Add corn, kidney beans and seasonings. Let simmer for 15-20 minutes until all vegetables are tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste. I like to drizzle a little olive oil in at the end for a little more richness. Serve in bowl and top with fried tortilla chips and Daiya cheese.