the taste space

Raw Mango Paradise Bars

Posted in Desserts, Favourites by Janet M on February 22, 2012

Just when I thought my week in the kitchen couldn’t get much worse, I broke it. Broke the unbreakable.

The indestructible blender stopped working. My Vitamix became silent.

Thank goodness they have a 7-year warranty. We’ll see how the repair process goes.

Pray tell, what the heck was I doing that broke my blender?

A Valentine’s Day dessert for Rob.

Innocent mangoes in paradise.

I was whipping up Mango Paradise Bars from Radiance 4 Life. I originally planned on making Tess’ Raspberry Star Bars, in the shape of hearts, pink for the cheesy day, but I didn’t have enough strawberries. Switching to mango bars was probably more in keeping with Rob’s tastes, so it all worked out ok.

After an overnight soak for the cashews, I decided to mix everything else together in my food processor. Since I wasn’t sure I could fit everything into my food processor, I transferred it to my Vitamix. Everything was going well….. the cashews and juice were a creamy pulp. I added everything else – agave,  melted coconut butter and the frozen mango. My blender was pretty full, so I turned down the speed, and used the plastic stick to help mix in the mango. It was mostly blended, but then it suddenly stopped working. I checked the plug. I checked the socket. The on/off was not working. Gah. Back into the food processor (two batches) for the final whipping.

I layered it into a large tupperware container and set it to freeze while I went to work. While they still needed to be frozen, I already knew the recipe had turned as I did a very thorough cleaning job (aka licking both blenders clean!).

After work, it had hardened into a delightful creamy bar. Basically a rich but still light-tasting cashew cheesecake, sans nut crust. For best results, let it thaw just slightly before devouring.

And you know what, it was better than the vegan Mango Cheesecake with a Raspberry Coulis from Prime.

Maybe my lackluster cooking streak has taken a turn for the better? If anything can turn your cooking into a positive experience, it is a Tess recipe!

(And thank you so much for all the encouragement, guys! It really means a lot to me!)


This is being submitted to this week’s Weekend Herb Blogging, hosted by Fragovila and to this week’s Weekend Wellness.

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Mango, Black Bean and Quinoa Salad

Posted in Mains (Vegetarian), Salads by Janet M on February 18, 2012

I don’t know any blogger that doesn’t relish receiving comments.

The food blog community is very supportive, leaving mostly positive comments about recipes and photographs.

I also love comments when I have questions or ones that are constructive. One of my very first posts, about our family’s rouladen, stemmed such interesting comments. Everyone thought we were rolling them backwards! As you can see, we roll the beef slices along their short axis, making long and thin rolls. However, in the comments, in seemed like everyone else was rolling them on the long axis, producing shorter, stumpy rolls.

I told my mom we were rolling them wrong. She told me that was how our grandmother always did it. There was nothing wrong.

We are just a backwards family…

To be honest, we wouldn’t want the short and stumpy rolls… the longer the roll, the more you get to savour the mustard, pickle and caramelized onions on the inside! (Not that I am eating rouladen any more, although a veganized dish is on my bucket list combining those 3 ingredients)

And then the other day, I received the most odd comment. I honestly thought it was spam, but there was no link to a website. So, I hit accept and posted a reply.

I didn’t really think twice about its validity, but it was really odd. The short comment slammed my style of recipes and specifically directed me to a “good” recipe. One that I have made before and really didn’t like.

I was really excited about the dish, too. Black beans, quinoa and broccoli in a raspberry chipotle sauce. From Isa, whose recipes I adore. I was so happy when I finally found chipotle in adobo at Sunny’s, that Rob went out to buy fresh raspberries specifically for this dish.

However, it was so bad that I was nauseous within thirty minutes. It was my first time using chipotles in adobo, so I started making the sauce with a limited amount of chile. I increased it as I tolerated it. But it didn’t taste that great, even after I added agave to sweeten the sauce. And then my stomach started to give me problems…. I called it quits.

But I hate wasting food. Especially the primo fresh raspberries.  If I didn’t get nauseous, I probably would still have eaten it. But I just couldn’t swallow it!

Rob has an iron tummy and tongue already scorched by years of eating spicy food, so he offered to finish it. Even though it was definitely subpar and (not even that spicy).

But, before I burdened Rob with heaps of the dish, I snatched half of the base of the salad. The good parts: the black beans, the quinoa and the steamed broccoli.

I veered towards an alternative route, towards a mango, black bean and quinoa salad with a sesame orange dressing, that I ended up adapting from Eating Well. Bonus broccoli, of course.

After trying the first dish, this was a much better alternative. Light and fresh. Bright with the mango with subtle flavours from the fresh orange juice, toasted sesame oil and cilantro. I added toasted sesame seeds to highlight more of the sesame flavour.

Let me assure you, I won’t be trying chipotles in adobo again anytime soon.

What do you do when you make something that doesn’t taste good? Do you still eat it or try something new?


This is my submission to Deb for this week’s Souper Sundays and to this week’s Weekend Wellness.

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Moroccan Curried Carrot, Mango and Lentil Salad

Posted in Mains (Vegetarian), Salads by Janet M on September 2, 2011


I thought I had been curried out, but in truth, curries have now infiltrated my life. I made a curry without even knowing!

As I was cooking it, Rob walked into the house and proclaimed it smelled like curry.

It must have been the garam masala.

Should I call this a Moroccan curry or a salad? How about a curried salad?

(I am no stranger to renaming things as curry, as scary as it may originally appear).

It is kind of an Indian/Moroccan version of my Latin-Spiced Mango Lentil Salad.

Maybe Moroccan fusion cuisine would better describe this dish. I have to call it Moroccan, though, because I found the original recipe for stir-fried carrots with mango and ginger in Moroccan Food & Cooking by Ghillie Basan.

Of course, I took it into my own direction.

I opted for a longer braise for the carrots, to give them a nice caramelization.

Then I added lentils, to make this a more substantial dish. In retrospect, couscous (or millet) would have kept this more aligned with its Moroccan routes.

I didn’t have ras el hanout, so I substituted garam masala which has a lot of similar spices.

Regardless of its name, the end result was a delicious warm lentil dish, filled with caramelized carrots and onions, with heavy savoury notes from the cinnamon with more complexity from the garam masala. Ginger adds a subtle, but nice heat. Mangoes add the finishing touch, as well as a squirt of fresh lemon juice. If your mangoes aren’t ripe, you may consider adding some agave or honey to the dish.

To recap my week of curries, these are some great curries that I have made that are perfect for both the beginner and the expert. I am sure I will be sharing may more as we both explore curries in our new kitchen.  I bet this year will not only be the year of the bean, but the year of the curry. ;)

Dal Bhat (Nepalese Mountain Lentil Curry)

Cauliflower, Spinach and Chickpea Balti

Indian Lentils with Spinach (Dal Palak)

New Potato, Cauliflower, Chickpea and Green Bean Thai Curry with a Cucumber and Coriander Salsa

Quinoa and Red Lentil Kitchari

Vanilla Sweet Potato and Kale Curry

Tempeh Tikka Masala posted by Rob

Creamy Broccoli Dal by Vegan Yum Yum (Rob has made this a few times already, recipe here)

What are your favourite curries?


This is my submission to Deb for this week’s Souper Sundays, to this month’s Simple and in Season and to Ricki’s Wellness Weekends.

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Grilled Eggplant and Mango Noodle Salad with a Sweet Chili Dressing

Posted in Mains (Vegetarian), Salads by Janet M on August 24, 2011


The topic of the best mango can bring up heated discussions.

My allegiance had originally been for the Indian Alphonso mango, but a ripe Mexican Ataulfo was a more economical standby that had a longer season.

While travelling in Morocco, I met a cute British couple that originally hailed from Pakistan. They urged me to try Pakistani mangoes, as they were even better than those from India (is there always such fierce rivalry between India and Pakistan?). To be honest, I had never even seen Pakistani mangoes, but I knew that Bestwin routinely carried an assortment of mangoes, many of which I hadn’t yet tried.

Last week, my co-worker, again, urged me to try Pakistani mangoes. They are nearing the end of the season and she assured me I wouldn’t be disappointed.

As it turned out, when I did my weekly trip to Sunny’s, they had small cases of honey mangoes (chok anon) from Pakistan. Just like Alphonso mangoes, they are definitely a splurge purchase.

Let me assure you, though, that these are some nice mangoes. Creamy and sweet, yet with a subtle tanginess, that mellows the sweetness. They didn’t seem to have as much stringiness near the pit, either.

Personally, I am content with any ripe mango, but I may concede that Pakistani mangoes reign in my kitchen. It is that tanginess that I appreciated the most, adding that extra level of complexity. I may no longer have that sweet tooth I used to, it seems, although these are still uber sweet mangoes.  Enjoy them unadorned, or use them in a salad such as this (any ripe, sweet mango will do, though).

The original salad with eggplant, mango and soba noodles is compliments of Ottolenghi, but I took it in my own direction. Instead of pan-frying the eggplant in gobs of oil, I Rob offered to grill it on the barbecue (alongside his perogies, at that!). This allowed me to use much less oil, with the addition of a soft smokiness to the dish. Some grilled asparagus was thrown in as well, for good measure. To make this a more substantial dish, I took Ottolenghi’s advice to add fried tofu, which I had marinated briefly in ponzu sauce and sesame oil. I also opted to use half of the sweet-chili dressing, since it seemed like a lot. And finally, while soba noodles would be lovely, I chose to spiralize two zucchinis as my noodle base. Don’t worry, I left the mango in there, and even used 2 honey mangos for the dish. ;)

The result was a wonderful merriment of flavours. You have the grilled, creamy, smoky eggplant pairing beautifully with the sweet, tangy mango with a slightly spicy sauce, all overtop zucchini noodles. The tofu added a nice, satisfying crunch.


This is my submission to Deb for this week’s Souper Sundays, to this week’s Presto Pasta Nights, hosted by Honeybee of The Life & Loves of Grumpy’s Honeybee, to this month’s Healing Foods featuring zucchini, and to Ricki’s Summer Wellness Weekends and to this month’s Simple and in Season.

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Latin-Spiced Mango Lentil Salad (aka Lentil Mango Picadillo)

Posted in Mains (Vegetarian), Salads by Janet M on August 5, 2011

I am not sure why, but I feel the need to apologize for my overuse of mango in my recipes.

In the spring, Rob will treat himself to a case (or 2!) of Alphonso mangoes and savour each one, unadorned, possibly over top his breakfast oatmeal.  The King of Mangoes does not come cheap, though. They also make Rob a mango snob.

At Sunny’s, they have 3 mangoes for a $1. They are not Alphonso, nor Ataulfo, rather the Tommy Atkins mango. I can’t help myself, though. 3 for $1!

You will notice the difference if eating the mangoes raw (they aren’t as sweet nor as creamy and luscious), and Rob has no interest in eating them for breakfast. But for me, they are a guilt-less way to cook with the mangoes.

In this meal, you have Mango Gazpacho diving into French lentils with an earthy undertone from the cinnamon and cumin, frolicking with the coriander, thyme and oregano. Joanne called it Lentil Mango Picadillo, based off of the Latin Pork Mango Picadillo, but that means nothing to me since I am a novice to Latin foods.  Whatever the name, this is quick, easy and healthy. It is a lovely, light lentil salad infused with a savoury tomato-mango salsa. I loved the background of the cinnamon and the bite the French lentils imparted to the salad. Delicious, despite using Tommy Atkins mangoes. ;)

This is my submission to Deb for this week’s Souper Sundays, to this month’s My Legume Love Affair, hosted by Preeti, to Ricki’s new Summer Wellness Weekends and to this month’s No Croutons Required featuring lentils.

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Mango Gazpacho

Posted in Appetizers, Soups by Janet M on August 1, 2011


My mom judges how good a dish tastes by whether there are leftovers. No leftovers means it must have been tasty, right?

So when she made Spanish Chickpea Salad with Capers and Roasted Red Peppers for a potluck, I asked her how she liked it. “It was all gone!” But how did you like it? “It was great!”

When she made Bulgur and Cantaloupe Salad with Hazelnuts and Mint for her barbecue, I asked her how she liked it. “It was all gone!” But how did you like it? “I didn’t even get to try it, it was gone so fast!” Wowzas!

Personally, I don’t subscribe to the if-there-are-leftovers-they-didn’t-like-it camp. It all depends on how much food is available. I tend to err on the side of too much food so that no one can say they left hungry. Granted, this means I make dishes that will make great leftovers for me, and usually a large batch of the recipe, at that.

Recently, my brother and sister-in-law were over for dinner while Rob was out-of-town and trust me, I erred on the side of more food. I included this soup as an after-thought, after I had already decided to double the recipe for the main dish. They still demolished the meal, which was sad for Rob, because he wasn’t able to try any of the leftovers. Because I definitely had Rob in mind (mango lover extraordinaire) as I prepared this last-minute mango gazpacho.

Adapted from The 30-Minute Vegan, this is a wonderful chilled soup with summer salsa flavours. Gazpacho is a Spanish chilled soup typically filled with tomatoes, peppers and onions that is partially pureed to give it a chunky soup-like consistency. In this Thai-fusion version, mango is added to the traditional tomatoes and bell peppers, along with cilantro and parsley. The sweetness from the mango is countered beautifully by the zippiness from chili flakes and chile powder. It took me a bit longer than 30 minutes to chop everything for the soup, but it was a very simple soup to prepare. I found it tasted best after a long chill, almost 6 hours, which is a perfect make-ahead summer appetizer.

This is my submission to Deb for this week’s Souper Sundays, to My Kitchen, My World for Spain, to E.A.T. World for Spain, and to this month’s Simple and in Season, to Ricki’s new Summer Wellness Weekends and to this month’s No Croutons Required for raw salads/soups for Lisa’s birthday (I’d also serve this with Savoury Hemp Crackers as a side, Raw Tacos with Walnut Taco Meat, Cashew Sour Cream and Tomato Salsa as our main and Raw Tropical Mango Pie for dessert).

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Raw Mixed Berry Crisp

Posted in Breakfasts, Desserts by Janet M on July 25, 2011


If I thought the label vegan was stigmatizing, never mind what people think when you tell them you are eating raw food! I have had friends flat out refuse to go to a raw restaurant with me (where’s the meat? where’s the heat? they exclaimed).

Eating raw foods could be as simple a summer salad, or snacking on some fresh fruit, which are not too horrific in the slightest. For those eating only raw foods (not me, don’t worry), this would quickly become boring! This is when it becomes exciting, because the experimentation in raw foods has created some luscious treats, perfect during the hot summer when you don’t want to turn on your stove or oven.

Summer berries are at their prime right now and I know the virtues of eating berries, plain, unadorned, in all their glory.

Let me fill you in on a secret: there is food synergy at play. 1+1 does not equal 2. Combine your favourite summer berries and top with a nutty topping for a delicious crisp. No oven required.

If it were that simple, it wouldn’t as phenomenal.

This is the second secret: macerate your berries. Blend your berries. Use a portion of your berries to create a sweet juice, just as if you baked your crumble and it is oozing those lovely fruit juices. I cringed when I mashed my blackberries (my beautiful blackberries!), but it is what brings this dessert to the next level. It isn’t just berries and nuts.

I was inspired by the recipe in Radiant Health, Inner Wealth and Raw Food Made Easy to create my own Raw Mixed Berry Crisp. I used blackberries and raspberries, which were a wonderful combination, but choose your favourites (blackberry-peach? raspberry-mango? blueberry-pomegranate?). The cinnamon-almond-date topping would work with any fruit!  If you don’t plan to eat everything at once, I suggest keeping the topping separate from the fruit. Sprinkle over top just prior to serving… because if you aren’t going to eat it for dessert, you may as well have it for breakfast! :)
This is being submitted to this week’s Weekend Wellness, this week’s Weekend Herb Blogging, hosted by Anh from A Food Lover’s Journey.

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The New Best Salad Ever (Roasted Garlic Tofu Salad with Cilantro Rice, Black Beans and a Mango Salsa)

Posted in Favourites, Mains (Vegetarian), Salads by rszumlak on July 6, 2011

Hi! It’s Rob again. I know that I haven’t posted here in a while. A few months ago I was worried about Janet’s blog when she was going through a really busy time at work. I’ve realized, however, that Janet has many dozens of recipes on deck waiting to be posted and she always had things well in hand. I knew that The Taste Space would forge on boldly without my extra help.

I’m back, though. A couple days ago I made a salad which both Janet and I agreed was the best salad we’d ever had in our lives. It was simply amazing. There was a cacophony of bold flavours bursting with every bite. There were so many things going on. Every portion was enhanced for extra action and pleasure. I knew that I had to share it here.

The salad is the Uptown Salad, adapted from Radiance 4 Life by Tess Challis. Janet suggested it to me as something that was up my alley. It only took me a few seconds of looking at the recipe for me to decide that I had to make it. It hit many of my ingredient buttons: mangoes, coconut, tofu, cilantro, citrus, and chilies. And that’s the just the beginning.

The recipe suggested that it would take 30 minutes (or less!) to prepare the recipe. No way. It took me an hour and a half of chopping, shredding, soaking, slicing, and frying. I was getting cranky by the end. This salad was more work than advertised. The verdict was going to come when we finally got to try it.

Janet occasionally uses some swear words. She’s generally a good girl, though, and restrains herself. However, when she tried the Uptown Salad there was a foul concoction of some four swear words in a row. These words were not uttered in anger. They were the stunned response of a girl eating the best salad she’d ever had in her life. These words were an emotional response of extreme awesomeness. This is a salad with the power to move you.

This is being submitted to Deb for this week’s Souper Sundays, to this week’s Healthy Vegan Fridays, to this week’s Potluck Party for Best Dish and to Ricki’s new Summer Wellness Weekends. (more…)

Blueberry Mango Quinoa Salad with a Lemon Basil Dressing

Posted in Mains (Vegetarian), Salads by Janet M on June 24, 2011


I swear, I don’t eat mangoes every day (Rob could take that honour for the past few weeks, though). It may seem like it, though, since I happen to be posting those recipes more quickly. While I don’t share all my recipes, I have a treasure trove of half-finished posts, some with photos, others with a story, and most of them with an ingredient list and a scribbling of my thoughts about the dish.

There is something about meals with mango that makes me want to share the recipe right away. Adapted from Veggie Belly, this is savoury use of fresh mango in a beauty of a salad. Red quinoa is combined with fresh blueberries, chopped mango and dried cranberries and chopped snow peas for crunch. It is then tossed in a subtle lemon-basil dressing and topped with toasted pecans.  Nothing is overpowering, nothing screams at you. Everything works well for a simple, yet flavourful salad. A great way to highlight different summer produce in a healthy salad.


This is my submission to both Ricki and Kim’s vegan SOS challenge featuring blueberries, to Deb for this week’s Souper Sundays and to this month’s Simple and in Season.

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Thai Tempeh Lettuce Wraps with Mango Ginger Sauce

Posted in Mains (Vegetarian) by Janet M on June 20, 2011

My mom was mad at me the other day.

Because of me, she was buying expensive things in the grocery store.

After we shared some Alphonso mangoes, ala mango shrikhand, she was hooked. Granted, Alphonsos are hard to find, but she went with the next best thing: Ataulfo mangoes.

I know I buy some pricy ingredients, but a little goes a long way. I try not to eat out too often, and find it hard to rationalize the high prices. I could buy so much fresh (expensive) produce, tempeh, and spices for the price of a meal in a restaurant. It can be hard to justify sometimes.

Anyways, back to the mangoes. When I was home last weekend for the Rideau Lakes Cycle Tour (aka the ultimate cycle), my mom had picked up some mangoes for breakfast. Rob and I stole some of the extras to fuel us later in the week.

After really enjoying the Chickpea Salad with Mexican Mango Dressing earlier, I wanted to try a variation of the mango dressing with ginger. Earlier, I had bookmarked this tantalizing Thai lettuce wrap with sesame-soy baked tempeh and a zippy mango ginger sauce in The 30 Minute Vegan’s Taste of the East (recipe here).

I adapted the recipe slightly, causing it to take more than 30 minutes to make, but I think that steaming tempeh is important. Since steaming in the microwave is so simple, I try not to forget that step.

Initially I was a bit disappointed, because the sauce was really zippy. Almost overpowering, but I was so pleased with the leftovers. Finally, a tempeh dish, a salad at that, that tastes great as leftovers!

First the sauce: fresh mango was pureed with freshly grated ginger, along with lime juice and soy sauce. I also added a touch of chili flakes, but add to taste since the ginger is fairly zingy. I found this mellowed out much better the next day. It still had a kick but not as pungent. Just whirl in your blender and you have a fabulous sauce.

Next, the tempeh is marinaded in a simple sesame oil and soy sauce marinade, and feel free to marinade it as long as possible. I was only able to marinade it for 5 minutes, but longer is always better. After baking, the marinade was completely absorbed. The steaming helped to keep the tempeh pieces moist, even as leftovers. Because the mango sauce is the main star of the wrap, the loss of sauce around the tempeh is not detrimental to the dish (which had been our problem previously).

Those are the main ingredients to the wrap. Next find yourself some large Romaine lettuce leaves, top with cucumber, sliced tomatoes, some chopped mint, add your tempeh, slather with the mango sauce, wrap, roll and eat!  For the wrap in the photo, my eyes were bigger than my mouth, and I had to split it into two wraps for all that filling! :P

I also like the idea of tossing the dressing with zucchini noodles, as in this Mint and Mango Marinated Zucchini Spaghetti. This dressing would need to be thinned out a bit with water if you wanted to use it overtop a traditional lettuce salad.


This is being submitted to this week’s Weekend Herb Blogging, hosted by Chris from Mele Cotte and to to this week’s Wellness Weekend.

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Mango BBQ Beans

Posted in Mains (Vegetarian), Sides by Janet M on May 25, 2011


What’s in a label? Call something vegan and people assume it doesn’t taste any good. Somehow it will deprive them of something they “need”. (Me? Bitter? Much?)

This weekend, I was planning a menu since I was hosting guests. I initially thought my challenge was finding something I could make or reheat in a kitchen devoid of all my usual ingredients and utensils.

No, that was not my challenge.

“I don’t like vegan food,” said one guest.

Oh my gosh, what to do?!

I would obviously have to figure out a way to appeal to everyone’s palates with our limited kitchen possibilities.

If meat was somewhat prominent, perhaps a vegan dish could be stealthily incorporated into the menu.

In the end, we opted to use the barbecue for some quick meals with side dishes I made at home earlier.  We served barbecued wild boar sausages with a side of (vegan) coleslaw.  For dessert, we made mango shrikhand or simply unadorned Alphonso mangoes for those averse to yogurt.  The following day we went entirely vegan with mango BBQ beans, leftover coleslaw, cucumber slices wrapped inside a tortilla, or with a side of multigrain bread.

I heard the sausages were nice, but there were resounding compliments for the mango BBQ beans. Red kidney beans are simmered in a tomato sauce spiced with coriander, allspice, liquid smoke and mango. Smoky, sweet, zippy and saucy. A perfect combination for barbecue flavours. Don’t be fooled by the mango, though. It adds sweetness as opposed to authentic mango flavour, although some of the frozen mango chunks were still present within the sauce. While the original recipe from Appetite for Reduction calls for red kidney beans, I think pinto beans would be better next time. This way, it would be more similar to baked beans. Or black beans since they pair so well with mango.

The great thing about these beans, though, is that they are easy to whip up in advance. After an overnight sit, they tasted even better. Just reheat prior to serving and you’ve got some smokin’ mango BBQ beans! :)

I bit my tongue as my guest said these were one of the best baked beans she’s eaten. They were vegan and she knew that, too. I just won’t label anything in advance to ward off any undue prejudice. ;)

This is my submission to this month’s My Legume Love Affair, hosted by Smitha of Kannada Cuisine.

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Tropical Mango Pie

Posted in Desserts, Favourites by Janet M on May 23, 2011


As I said, Alphonso mango season is here. Rob and I have been devouring the Alphonsos, savouring each one, and we both thought this was a wonderful dessert to share. Any sweet mango will do, even frozen chunks. If you love mangoes as much as we do, you will swoon over this. So do not hesitate, go get yourself some mangoes!

I have been exploring more raw cuisine and have been smitten by the raspberry raw cheesecake at The Beet and the chocolate banana raw cheesecake at Rawlicious. The server at Rawlicious told me it was to-die-for, and she was right. However, since I know it is filled with cashews, it isn’t the most healthy dessert.

This is why I jumped at the chance to make this dessert, because it is healthy, flavourful and filled with some of my favourite ingredients. The star of the pie is a mango pudding with pureed sweet mangoes. The flavour really pops because it is combined with dried mango slices. The mango pudding is poured over a coconut-almond-date crust, and topped with your favourite fruit. We chose blackberries, but strawberries, kiwis, bananas, anything!, could be used. Together, everything works well. Tropical bliss.


I adapted the recipe from Radiant Health, Inner Wealth, by only making half the recipe and preparing individual servings in ramekins.  I thought this worked much better actually, because the crust is a bit crumbly. Since it was in a ramekin, you didn’t need to worry about scooping out each piece of pie. Oddly enough, although this served 3, Rob and I didn’t fight over the last piece. I let him win this battle without a whimper on my side. Because as much as I love mangoes, I know that Rob loves them even more.  ;)

I now have one Alphonso mango left. What should I do with it?? I was considering combining it with raspberries, but we’ll see what I create. :)

This is being submitted to this week’s Weekend Wellness, to this week’s Raw Food Thursdays, to this week’s Weekend Herb Blogging, hosted by Graziana from Erbe in Cucina (Cooking with Herbs).

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Mango Pistachio Steel Cut Oatmeal (aka Mango Shrikhand Oatmeal)

Posted in Breakfasts by Janet M on May 21, 2011

Alphonso mango season has arrived.

Last year, Rob and I devoured the Indian Alphonsos as soon as they arrived in Little India. Succulent, sweet, smooth and sweating with juice (sap? cider? to go with my alliterations..), this is one of the best mangoes out there (although, no, I have yet to try Pakistani or Filipino mangoes). Ataulfos are my second favourite.

Rob jumped at the chance to get a crate of mangoes last weekend and shared his bounty with me.  I mean, you could easily just eat the Alphonso plain, in all its glory, but I recounted all my favourite mango recipes from last year: Thai Sticky Rice with Mango, Mango Shrikhand and Coconut Rice Pudding with a Mango Puree.  I was brought to the tropics just thinking about it.

Mango Shrikhand, man that was good. A mango and cardamom-infused yogurt is topped with mango and pistachios. Sounds simple, but works so well.

However, I am not eating yogurt right now, so I figured I would try to merry those similar flavours together for breakfast. With my morning oats, no less. This was how Mango Pistachio Steel Cut Oatmeal (aka Mango Shrikhand Oatmeal) was born.

Unlike my previous Mango Oatmeal, spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg, I did not cook the mangoes in the oatmeal. I consider the Alphonso mango too precious to let it disintegrate. If I had an Ataulfo, then I’d certainly throw that in the pot, though. ;) I let the mango shine overtop the oatmeal, sprinkled with pistachios. With the creamy base with cardamom and saffron, this was a delicious breakfast.

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Chickpea Salad with Mexican Mango Dressing

Posted in Mains (Vegetarian), Salads by Janet M on May 5, 2011


My most popular post, as assessed by page views, is for my Mexican Salad with a Creamy Avocado Dressing. It is a big leafy salad with black beans, tomatoes, tortilla chips smothered in a creamy avocado-based dressing. Since today is Cinco de Mayo, it has seen some extra hits recently. Cinco de Mayo: a celebration of Mexican culture (with lots of great Mexican dishes). Who needs an excuse to get together with friends over guacamole?

This weekend, I will be attending a Cinco de Mayo party. The twist: the party is in Kitchener. Weather-permitting, I plan to commute from Toronto by bike. I am not joking. It will be over 120km each way. Never fear, I plan to sleep over on Saturday before heading home.

Suffice it to say, I try to pack light while cycling. This means,  not only do I plan to wear my pyjamas at the party, but sadly, I won’t be bringing a dish for everyone to eat. If I were to share a dish, I would likely make this chickpea salad with a Mexican mango dressing (the rehearsal was a success!).  I adapted it from My New Roots, where chickpeas are tossed with crispy carrots, crunchy red bell pepper, hidden slivered spinach and fresh cilantro in a creamy, zippy dressing made from pureed mango and lime juice. Similar to my previous Mexican salad with a fruit-based dressing, this one tastes best fresh. The zing from the chili flakes is most pronounced the day it is made and it mellows as it sits as leftovers. I simmered my chickpeas with a few cinnamon sticks and really found that cinnamon complemented the salad well. Feel free to use any assortment of crunchy vegetables and your favourite green for the salad. Don’t skip the cilantro, though.

This is my submission to Deb for this week’s Souper Sundays, to this week’s Weekend Wellness, to this month’s Veggie/Fruit A Month, featuring spinach and to E.A.T. World for Mexico.

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Mango Oatmeal

Posted in Breakfasts by Janet M on April 20, 2011


Since I will be moving in a few months, I am more determined to eat through the backlog of stuff in my freezer and pantry.

I have a bit of frozen fruit, including frozen mango, in my freezer and I have found it hard to be inspired. Mango, so succulent and juicy is best fresh and I rarely cook or bake with it. Frozen mango deserves a special place in my kitchen, but so far I have been stumped. Until now.

My morning oatmeal is a great place to experiment and this did not disappoint.

I simmered my steel-cut oats and chia seeds with a bit of leftover mango nectar as well as these juicy frozen mango pieces, spiced it with cinnamon and freshly grated nutmeg and found myself in the tropics for breakfast. It couldn’t have been easier, especially since I used the quick-cook steel cut oats from Trader Joe’s.


While I could try to eat this all week, I have other baked mango dishes that I am contemplating:

Lentil Mango Picadillo from Eats Well With Others
Black Bean and Mango Curry from Branny Boils Over
Raw Mango Sorbet from Everyone is Vegan
Brazilian Black Bean Stew from 1000 Vegan Recipes
Mango BBQ Beans from Appetite for Reduction

This is my submission to this month’s Veggie/Fruit a Month, featuring mango.

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