Sunday, 7 October 2012

Thanksgiving Recipes for Hannah

Pear, Apple, and Cranberry Salad
Spinach, pear, apple, dried cranberries, candied pecans, and balsamic vinaigrette  

Autumn Soup


1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup red quinoa, uncooked
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 medium sweet onion, finely chopped
1 medium zucchini, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 vegetable bouillon cube (not low sodium)
6 cups water, boiled
One 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
1.5-2 cups cooked black beans (about one 15oz can)
1 tsp good-quality curry powder
Pinch or two of cinnamon
Pinch of ground nutmeg
2 cups baby spinach leaves, well rinsed and roughly chopped
1/2 tsp kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Pinch of saffron threads (optional, but tasted amazing)

Directions: Heat the oil in a large soup pot. Add the chopped sweet onion and sauté over medium-low heat until translucent. Add the chopped carrots, chopped zucchini, and minced garlic, and continue to sauté for about 5-7 minutes.

Place your bouillon cube into a medium sized bowl. Boil 6 cups of water and pour over the bouillon cube. Stir well to dissolve. Add bouillon mixture, tomatoes, red quinoa, black beans, and spices + seasonings. Bring to a boil and then simmer gently for 15 to 20 minutes.

Add the roughly chopped spinach, stir well, and cover. Simmer on low for about 15-35 minutes. The longer you cook it the more the flavours will develop. Taste test and adjust seasonings if necessary. I also have a feeling this soup will be even better the next day! Garnish with nuts of choice if preferred.

Makes about 8-10 cups.

Pumpkin Maple Baked Bean Cornbread Casserole
Yield: 6 servings

Pumpkin Maple Baked Beans:

3 (15oz) cans navy beans, drained and rinsed
1 sweet onion, chopped finely
1 large garlic clove, minced
3 tbsp blackstrap molasses
4-5 tbsp pure maple syrup, to taste
1.5-2 tbsp regular mustard
1 tbsp ketchup
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 tsp kosher salt, or to taste

1. Preheat oven to 400F. In a pot, add a splash of oil along with the chopped onion and garlic. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes.

2. Now add in the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Cook over low heat until thick, about 10-15 mins. You can make this the night before and leave it in the fridge like I did.

Vegan Cornbread (I don’t suggest making this on its own as cornbread, it works as a topping only)

1 cup cornmeal
1 cup flour (I used 1/2 cup oat flour and 1/2 cup almond flour successfully, but other flours should work)
2 tbsp ground flax
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1 tbsp baking powder
1/4 cup organic cane sugar
1 cup almond milk
1/4 cup + 1 tbsp light-tasting extra virgin olive oil (or canola)

3. In a bowl, mix the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, mix the wet ingredients. Add wet to dry and stir until combined.

4. Grease a casserole dish (I used 2.3 L), spread in the maple beans, and spoon the cornbread mixture over top. Bake at 400F for about 35 minutes until golden and a toothpick comes out clean. Serve immediately with a bit of Earth Balance on top if desired.

Apricot, Cranberry, Pecan Wild Rice Pilaf 
Yield: 4.5-5 cups

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1.5 cups chopped celery + 1/2 cup, divided
1 heaping cup chopped sweet onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 & 1/2 cups uncooked wild rice
2 cups vegetable broth (be sure to use gluten-free if required)
1 & 1/2 cup water
1 bay leaf
3/4-1 tsp kosher salt (or to taste) + black pepper as desired
3/4 cup pecans, chopped
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup dried apricots, chopped
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup fresh cranberries, thinly sliced

1. Preheat oven to 325F and toast the pecans for about 7-8 minutes. Remove and set aside.

2. Sautee onion, oil, and garlic in a skillet over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes, stirring often. Add 1.5 cups chopped celery and cook for another 5-7 minutes.

3. Add wild rice, broth, bay leaf, and water. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low-medium and then cover with lid. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring once half way through.

4. After 30 minutes, uncover, stir, and continue cooking for 20-30 minutes until the liquid is absorbed and rice is tender. Note that wild rice cooking times can vary a lot so keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn.

5. Remove bay leaf and stir in the dried fruit. Season to taste and stir in the sliced fresh cranberries and 1/2 cup chopped raw celery. Stir in toasted pecans.

Note: Dish can be made 1 day in advance. Do not add pecans until just before serving. Allow to cool then place in an air tight container in the fridge. Reheat in a skillet just before serving and stir in pecans.

Sweet Potato Casserole 

4 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cooked
2 tablespoons vegan butter (I used Earth Balance)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 tbsp pure maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon fine grain salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 cup Earth Balance
1/2 cup Sucanat (or brown sugar)
1/3 cup white or spelt flour (or gluten-free)
3/4 cups chopped pecans (I didn’t have- optional)

Directions: Preheat the oven to 350 F and lightly grease a 2 quart casserole dish with canola oil. I wipe a bit on with a paper towel. Peel and then boil sweet potatoes until tender. Mash the sweet potatoes with the margarine until smooth. Add the vanilla, maple syrup, sea salt, nutmeg and cinnamon. Pour into casserole dish. Next, mix the topping ingredients together until well-combined. Sprinkle topping mixture over the casserole and bake for approx. 50 minutes, checking it every so often.

Makes 10 servings at approximately 215 calories per serving (without pecans)


Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Taking a break...

Hey everyone! sorry for my absence things are really picking up both school-wise, work-wise, and extra-curricular- wise. I will be taking a break from blogging until Feb 18th. I hope you guys have an amazing day and I'll see you back here on the 18th!

p.s. if you have any questions I will be replying to comments!

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Veganomicon Chickpea Cutlets

Hey everyone! This is the first recipe I ever made when I became vegan and I really enjoyed it so I hope you guys do to!

Veganomicon's Chickpea Cutlets
    1 cup cooked chickpeas 
    2 Tbsp olive oil 
    1/2 cup vital wheat gluten 
    1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs 
    1/4 cup vegetable broth or water 
    2 Tbsp soy sauce 
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    1/2 tsp lemon zest 
    1/2 tsp thyme 
    1/2 tsp paprika 
    1/4 tsp sage 
    Grapeseed oil for pan frying 

1. In a mixing bowl, mash the chickpeas together with the oil until no chickpeas are left. Add the remaining ingredients and knead together for about 3 minutes, until strings of gluten have formed.
2. Preheat a large heavy-bottomed nonstick or cast iron skillet over medium heat. Meanwhile, divide the cutlet dough into 4 equal pieces. To form cutlets, knead each piece in your hand for a few moments and then flatten and stretch each one into a roughly 6 by 4 inch rectangular cutlet shape. The easiest way to do this is to form a rectangle shape in your hands and then place the cutlets on a clean surface to flatten and stretch them.
3. Add a moderately thin layer of grapeseed oil to the bottom of the pan. Place the cutlets in the pan and cook on each side for 6 to 7 minutes. Add more oil, if needed, when you flip the cutlets. They're ready when lightly browned and firm to the touch. 

Makes: 4
these freeze really well so you can make a whole bunch and freeze them for a later date. ENJOY!

p.s. I heard back from the burger bar I reviewed on Crescent and they are going to implement some of the changes I suggested!!! We will definitely be going back there (and if they start serving my carrot cake it might be the place of our birthday celebrations!). 

Friday, 27 January 2012

Restaurant Review: Burger Bar Crescent

Hello Everyone! So on January 19th I was followed on twitter by @burgerbarmtl. I thought this was weird seeing as I am vegan and this is a burger restaurant (must have been a fault of their tweetadder program or something like that). Just for curiosity sake I tweeted them back saying I was probably not a part of their customer base... in response I got back:

Well if they are vegan friendly I had to go check them out!

Prior to going I did check the reviews of the restaurant on Urbanspoon (I like to know what to expect) and found that although the omnivore's out there enjoyed the restaurant I could not say the same for my fellow veggie's out there who had somehow found their way to the restaurant.

Part of a review from urbanspoon:  

Even with this review I was feeling optimistic as the person over twitter had seemed very informed and their response time had been speedy and efficient.

I also went to their website to check out their menu. Their website has some formatting issues:
(all the text is shifted and their scroll bars are in the wrong place)
But I was able to see the menu and the options they had available. (NOTE: NONE of their salads were vegan unless you made changes to them when ordering.)

Upon arrival at the restaurant my roommate and I really liked the atmosphere of the restaurant. The staff (only 1) was friendly and knowledgable about the menu and how the food was prepared. He did have a lot on his hands trying to serve and satisfy all the customers in the two floor building but overall he did a great job. We quickly found out that the black bean veggie burger I had been tweeted about is NOT vegan (it has egg in it) so we settled for the:
 and the:
(without the goat cheese)
we also had sweet potato fries on the side.

The sandwich was my favourite and had a nice presentation, and the salad had great flavour (my roommate liked this one the best). The fries were good, just like any sweet potato fries at any restaurant I've been to. Overall we really enjoyed our meal. 
All done! (we were so hungry having come straight 
from the gym that we had forgotten to take a photo)

A few suggestions I would have for the Restaurant in terms of becoming more Vegan/Vegetarian Friendly are:

1) offer a Vegan burger like a roasted portobello mushroom burger as a substitution for the beef burger or black bean burger. (Also make sure the burger buns are vegan friendly)

2) make a note on the menu that you are happy to accommodate allergies/dietary restrictions as some people don't think that substitutions can be made. (also note if an option can be made vegan/vegetarian with symbols on the menu to make it more comprehensible for the customer)

3) offer a vegan dessert such as fruit, sorbet, or something like my easy vegan carrot cake (of course this may be asking a little too much for an omnivorous restaurant)

Overall I would like to thank the restaurant for trying to become more vegan friendly and hope they think about the suggestions I made. I wish all food establishments were as accommodating as they were and encourage all of you to go check it out when you are in Montreal... who knows maybe they will start getting more Vegan's heading their way!

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Strawberry Shortcake

Hey everyone! So tomorrow is my friend Erika's birthday and she asked me for a strawberry shortcake recipe so here it is!

Vegan Strawberry Shortcake

Serves 12
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup margarine
  • 2/3 cup belsoy cream (found in the organic/health aisle)
  • 1 overripe banana, mashed (can put in microwave to soften it up if it is not an overripe banana)
  • 3 cups sliced fresh strawberries
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, mix flour, 1/4 cup sugar, and baking powder. Cut in butter with two knives (or by hand). Stir in belsoy cream and mashed banana. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead 2 minutes. Press into a half-inch thick sheet. Cut into squares (or roll into balls). Place on baking sheets.
  3. Bake in preheated oven 20 minutes, or until golden. Sprinkle 3 tablespoons sugar over sliced berries (more if you want).
  4. Let shortcakes cool before splitting and filling with sugared berries. (can add Strawberry Banana Soft Serve [3 strawberries + 1 frozen banana, processed in food processor] on top)
  5. ENJOY!

Friday, 20 January 2012

Vegan Shepherd's Pie

Hello everyone! So today is a vegan shepherd's pie recipe.... ENJOY!

Serve's 6-8
Mashed Potatoes

3 lb. potatoes, peeled and chopped
2 Tbsp Margarine
1/3 cup + 2 tbsp non-dairy milk
1 tsp salt, or to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 tsp garlic powder


2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 medium carrots, peeled & small dice
2 parsnips (or other root vegetable), peeled & diced
4 celery stalks, diced
1 cup, vegetable broth (or more as needed)
1/4 cup red wine (or more broth)
2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2-3/4 tsp salt, to taste + black pepper
3 tbsp flour

1. Preheat oven to 425F and lightly oil a 2.5 quart casserole dish. 
2. Place peeled and chopped potatoes into a large pot and add water, 2 inches above potatoes. Bring to a boil and then simmer on low for about 30 minutes until very tender.
3. Meanwhile, prepare the vegetable filling. Chop the onion and mince the garlic and add to a skillet along with the oil. Cook on low for about 5-7 minutes. 
4. Now add in the chopped carrots, parsnip, and celery to the onion and minced garlic skillet. Cook on medium-low heat for about 15 minutes.
5. When the potatoes are done cooking, drain and add back to the pot. Add the margarine, milk, and seasonings and mash well. Set aside.
6. In a small bowl, whisk together the liquid ingredients (broth, red wine (optional), thyme, and flour). Add this liquid mixture to the vegetables in the skillet and stir well. Add your salt and pepper to taste. Cook for another 5-10 minutes or so until thickened. Season to taste.
7. Scoop vegetable mixture into casserole dish. Spread on the mashed potato mixture and garnish with paprika, ground pepper, and Thyme. 
8. Bake at 425F for about 35 minutes, or until golden and bubbly. Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Have a great day everyone! See you on Tuesday!

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

I'm Back!!!!

Hello everyone! So now that things are starting to settle down a bit I can get back to blogging! Thank you so much for all your support and feedback on my blog... you guys inspire me <3

I will be following a schedule of blogging Tuesdays and Fridays this year.

If you guys have any questions or suggestions I would love to hear them so please comment!!!

Now onto my first recipe in 2012...

Red Lentil Curry
1 tsp of olive oil (or grape seed oil)
1 onion (chopped)
3 garlic cloves (minced)
1 Tbsp Curry Powder
4 cups of Vegetable Broth
1 cup of red lentils
3 cups of mixed vegetables (ex. broccoli, cauliflower, squash, pepper, peas, ect.)
a handful of spinach
2 tsp ginger
salt and pepper to taste

1. In a large pot, add oil and chopped onion and minced garlic. Sautee for around 5 mins.
2. Stir in curry powder and cook for another couple minutes.
3. Add broth and lentils and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook for 10 minutes.
4. Stir in the veggies and spinach. Cook for 5-8 mins. add salt, pepper, and ginger.
5. Enjoy!

P.S. please let me know if you have any ideas for improving my blog... you also may have noticed I have now included a search bar on my blog :) See you back here on Friday <3.