Category Archives: recipes

Spring is in the Air! – Tatziki Dip

The weather has been amazing this weekend, and I can’t wait for summer!  My food preferences tend to change from less heavy, hot meals, to lighter, “fresher,” meals.  I had a craving for tatziki sauce, so I decided to make my own.  It is pretty easy to make it yourself, and the results are worth it.  It is great with veggies and rice, dolmades, as a salad dressing, or even falafel.

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Here is how I made mine:

Ingredients:

  • 1 454g tub of plain coconut yogurt (not the single serve size, the bigger one)
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • about 2/3 rds of an english cucumber
  • 1 T of fresh dill (optional)
  • pepper and salt, to taste
  • half of a fresh squeezed lemon

Directions

Peel and seed the cucumber.  Roughly chop it until you have a cup.  Put in a colander and salt with a couple of generous pinches of salt.  Let it drain for about 20 minutes (This takes out the extra moisture in the cucumber, so the resulting dip is thicker).  Once the cucumber is ready, combine in a food processor with the rest of the ingredients and process until desired consistency.  For some reason, my yogurt was super thick in the container, so my dip came out incredibly thick and I had to thin it out with a bit of water.  If you are using a regular non-dairy yogurt but you want a very thick dip, you could experiment with draining the yogurt in a fine colander lined with a couple of layers of cheesecloth over a bowl until it thickens.

I served my dip with a feta that I made out of extra firm tofu, crumbled and marinated in olive oil, lemon juice, lots of salt, pepper and Italian seasoning.  I also made a salad with the feta, onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce and parsley.  I bought some black olives to put in the salad but completely forgot about them until now.  I also grilled some eggplant, red peppers and onions.  I made some of my baked falafel as well.

The other day, I used my leftover beanballs with some spinach and brown rice pasta, tomato sauce and garlic bread.

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I am really looking forward to the spring and summer, and the accompanying fresh fruits and vegetables that come with it!

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Baked Falafel, Lentils and Rice and Caramelized Onions

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I absolutely love falafel, but since being unable to eat wheat, I’ve found it challenging to find out whether or not the falafel in restaurants is truly gluten-free.  The fact that they are deep fried also makes them more of a rare meal for me.  Fortunately, it is pretty easy to make your own! You can make them fried or baked, but I prefer to bake them.  I was hoping to have kale with my falafel, but my grocery store rarely has kale.  Instead, I made lentils and rice and caramelized onions.

Baked Falafel

Ingredients

  • 1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 c of parsley
  • 2-3 T of chickpea flour
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil, for brushing

Directions

Preheat oven to 375.  In a food processor, blend onion, garlic and parsley until finely minced.  Add the chickpeas, flour and salt and pepper and pulse until mixed.  There should still be chunks of chickpeas left for texture.  Role the mixture into balls (I used about 2T of falafel mix per ball).  Flatten slightly and brush with olive oil.  Bake at 350 until lightly browned on the outside, for about 20 minutes, flipping after 10 minutes.

To make the lentils and rice, I rinsed and drained 2 cups of rice and 2 cups of lentils and put them in a pot with 8 cups of water.  I added some coriander and cinnamon, and prepared the mixture like I would normally do so for regular rice.  I covered the pot, brought it to a boil, stirred it once, and then simmered it until the rice and lentils were soft.  I then stirred in some minced parsley.

For the caramelized onions, I sliced four small onions and cooked them in a frying pan on medium heat until softened.  I then turned the heat down, stirring them every few minutes and adding a bit of water to prevent them from drying out.

I wanted to make a tahini sauce, but tahini is another thing my grocery store rarely has.  Instead, I made a lemon garlic sauce.  In a blender, I blended a couple of cloves of garlic with a cup of lemon juice.  I then added 2 cups of olive oil while the blender was running. It was an ok sauce, but I still wish it was tahini!

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Avocado Chocolate Pie

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When Costco gives you avocados, make pie!  The crust consisted mostly of some failed graham crackers, which I mentioned a couple of days ago.   I saved them and ground them into crumbs, and mixed with a little Earth Balance and agave, they made a good crust.  The filling was 3 avocados blended with some cocoa powder, agave and some baking spices (cinnamon, cloves, lemon, etc.).

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Tofu, Quinoa and Grilled Mushrooms With a Tahini Miso Sauce

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Dinner! – Baby spinach, leftover quinoa, leftover jerk tofu, grilled mushrooms and a tahini miso sauce.  To make the mushrooms, I marinated them in a mix of olive oil, red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper and various spices and let them sit for about 15 minutes.  I then grilled them on my cast iron grill pan.  The sauce consisted of about 2 parts tahini, to 1 part miso and 1 part lemon juice, whisked together and thinned with water.  The tofu was pressed and then baked in the oven with jerk sauce.  I bought a giant container of mushrooms from Costco the other day, so I anticipate mushrooms making their way into every meal for the next little while.

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Chopped: Vegan MoFo Edition

I’ve been cooking away in my kitchen today to create my entry for the Vegan MoFo Chopped challenge (Think Food Network Chopped, but without the weird animal ingredients).

The required ingredients!

The requirements for the challenge were to create a vegan brunch dish using popcorn, rosemary, butternut squash and apricot preserves.

I decided I would make a tart, because that sounded “brunchy” to me, and a salad with an apricot vinaigrette to go along with it.  It was surprisingly delicious.

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Dinner: Salad with Peanut Lime Dressing

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This was a clean out the fridge kind of salad, so I used roasted cauliflower (chop, drizzle with oil and bake at 450) and assorted veggies.  The dressing is from, where else, Fresh! I also added some marinated tofu cubes, based on Fresh’s recipe as well (tamari, apple cider vinegar, sunflower oil and some water).  I got the dressing recipe from vegangela.  My new blender sprays the contents of the jar everywhere, even on the lowest setting, so I wasn’t able to open the top and slowly add the oil, so I didn’t get a real emulsified dressing happening.  It was still pretty tasty, though!

I’m planning out my entry for the Vegan MoFo chopped event happening.  I need to use popcorn, butternut squash, rosemary and apricot preserves AND make a brunch dish.  Stay tuned for what I get up to!

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Thanksgiving Pie Fest

I’m home after a long weekend of food and fun, and thought I’d share what I made. First up, an apple tart with a sour cream filling.

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I saw something similar on the Food Network, and thought “I could make a vegan and gf version of that!”.  It was really easy and doesn’t have much sugar.  I think it would look a lot better in a fancy tart pan, but I’m not always a fancy person.  It also means that if you bring them to someone’s house, you don’t have to worry about getting the pan back when you’re done.

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To make the tart, you will need:

Crust

12 dates

1/2 c ground almonds

1/4 c of sorghum flour

1/8 t nutmeg

1/4 t cinnamon

2 T brown sugar

For the filling:

2/3 c sour cream (I used Tofutti brand)

1 T brown sugar

1 t vanilla

1 apple (I used McIntosh because it was what I had)

1-2 t of agave (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Celsius.  Cover dates with boiling water, and let soften, about 10 minutes.  Drain the water and puree the dates.  I used a food process because that was all that I have, but a hand immersion blender may also work.  In a food processor, combine dates, almonds, sorghum flour, nutmeg, cinnamon and brown sugar.  Process until blended.  You should have a crumbly, slightly dry crust.  Press into a greased pan (I used a pie plate) and bake for 20 minutes.  Let cool for a few minutes while you assemble the filling.

For the filling, mix the sour cream, brown sugar and vanilla in a bowl and set aside.  Peel, core and then slice the apple into thin slices.  As you slice, place in a bowl of water and lemon juice to preserve the apple’s colour.

To assemble, spread the sour cream filling over the crust and then top with the apple slices.

Bake for about 30 minutes at 350.  Once it comes out, drizzle with a little bit of agave.  Let cool and serve!

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I also made a pumpkin pie with a Patsy Pie crust and the filling recipe from Welcoming Kitchen.  It was really good!

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I topped it with Healthy Top, a delicious whipped cream style topping.  The package made a giant bowl, but it kept for several days in the fridge.

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I also made Dreena Burton’s Festive Chickpea Tart from Let Them Eat Vegan!.  I actually made this twice over the weekend for two different dinners.  I also made the rosemary gravy from this book as well, but I didn’t get any pictures of it.  It was delicious, though.

Well, that just about sums up my weekend.  Now I’m going to spend the week eating as many Honeycrisp apples as I can from the giant bag of them I bought at the market.

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Maple Bacon Donuts!

Well, I’m finally home after being in India (without a kitchen!) for 3 months.  Why not make something over the top to reacquaint myself with my kitchen?

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I’ve been aware of this whole bacon and maple craze for awhile now.  I finally decided to try my hand at a gluten-free and vegan version of a maple and bacon donut and the results were pretty delicious.

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For the donuts, I used this recipe from the Gluten-Free Goddess.  For the bacon, I used this recipe which combines coconut flakes with maple, soy sauce and liquid smoke.  For the icing, I mixed together 5 tablespoons of maple syrup, 4 tablespoons of Earth Balance and 2 cups of powdered sugar.

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Shepherd’s Pie and Potato and Celery Soup

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Shepherd’s Pie

For the bottom layer:

an onion, 3 chopped parsnips, a carrot, 2 cups of cooked lentils, half of a red pepper, 5 small cloves of garlic, 2 stalks of celery, a tomato, spices…. a cup of vegetable broth and a couple of tablespoons of arrowroot powder

For the top layer:

mashed potatoes!

I baked it at 350 for about 30 minutes.

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I had lots of extra mashed potatoes, so I made a quick soup: vegetable broth, a carrot, 3/4s of a bunch of celery, half of an onion and a head of roasted garlic blended with mashed potatoes and some almond milk.

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Kale Pesto and Plantains

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I had some kale in the fridge, so I decided to make some pesto! It was really kale-y tasting, in a good way, as kale is delicious.

In a food processor, combine these one by one in order of the list:
– 1 clove garlic
– 1/2 c sunflower seeds (mine were raw)
– 1/4 c nutritional yeast
– 4 cups of packed, chopped kale
– 1/4 c lemon juice
– 1/8 c of olive oil
– salt and pepper, to taste. I also added a pinch of red pepper flakes

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I also baked up some plantains! The ones that have black spots are the best. All I did was slice them diagonally, brushed them with oil and baked them at 425, maybe for 15 minutes?

Then I made some pasta with my pesto sauce, because why not?

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