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Archive for June, 2015|Monthly archive page

Vegan Blueberry Blintzes + Mastering the Art of Vegan Cooking GIVEAWAY

In Book Review, Desserts, Mains (Vegetarian) on June 30, 2015 at 6:40 AM

Vegan Blueberry Blintzes + Mastering the Art of Vegan Cooking GIVEAWAY

Desperate times call for desperate measures. Our house is still in shambles a week after our move. With 3 days off work, I thought we’d be near completely unpacked but it is anything but. The kitchen appliances are working but my pantry is still dissembled, packed in quite a few boxes. I am thinking of sharing some of my simple meals, but until then, I’d like to talk about a new cookbook, Mastering the Art of Vegan Cooking.

Mastering the Art of Vegan Cooking GIVEAWAY

This cookbook is about mastering the classic meals, vegan-style, while also attempting to teach you how to save money in the kitchen. Borne of a time when Annie and Dan Shannon were dealing with infertility and mounting costs, they have put together their favourite recipes while trying to keep their budget low. [Of note, nothing like buying a house to make you feel poor!]

The recipes are both creative yet classic. Instead of plain waffles, they share a recipe for banana churro waffles. Instead of classic tabbouli, there is a lemon-tahini fattoush inspired salad which mixes Middle Eastern flavours together. The Korean Kimchi BBQ burgers (see below) are also fusion cuisine in its finest.

I made the red lentil soup, which was homage to every red lentil soup they have eaten and tinkered with their slow cooker jambalaya to make it in the pressure cooker. They were very good, if not subdued in their spices. The red lentil soup reminded me of my Turkish Red Lentil Soup with Sizzling Mint, with a swap for fresh mint which changes the flavours.

I have chosen to share their vegan blueberry blintzes with you, instead.

Rosemary Chickin Dumplin Stew_credit Annie Shannon

Classic crepes are not vegan, with reliance on eggs for their supple texture. I have shared a few non-traditional crepe-like recipes before (raw chocolate banana crepes and raw grasshopper crepes). This is my family’s traditional recipe and while that one was with Nutella and kiwis, it was not uncommon for my family to fill them with cottage cheese, cream of wheat and eggs and top it with a blueberry compote and serve them as blintzes. We would eat them for dinner as they were mostly savoury despite the fruit.

Instead of cottage cheese and eggs, this recipe is more dessert-style. Or breakfast/brunch-style. The filling is sweeter with a base of vegan cream cheese and tofu and topped with fresh blueberries and a sprinkling of sugar.

It would have been nice to see a recipe that didn’t include vegan faux cheese, especially if one of the cookbook’s aims was to offer cheaper recipes. However, I can appreciate the shortcuts to help make delicious foods faster. The cookbook has plenty of recipes with pantry staples but a sizeable minority call for specialty ingredients. As an example, the Korean Kimchi BBQ Burger recipe calls for 2 cups of Lightlife Gimme Lean Burger or Match Vegan Meats Burger and store-bought kimchi. The cost was $2.68/burger and I wonder how much cheaper it would be to use plain (and uber cheap) TVP instead. Of note, that same recipe has a recipe for homemade Asian-style BBQ sauce which looks great.

Korean Kimchi BBQ Burger_credit Annie Shannon

Thankfully, the publisher allowed me to giveaway the cookbook to a reader living in the US or Canada. To be entered in the random draw for the book, please leave a comment below telling me how you like to save money in the kitchen. The winner will be selected at random on July 9, 2015. Good luck!

Other recipes from Mastering the Art of Vegan Cooking spotted elsewhere:

Simple Korean Kimchi BBQ Burgers

Rosemary Chicklins and Dumplins Stew

Tuesday Night Dinner

Yankee Doodle Macaroni

Rustic Pesto and Heirloom Tomato Tart

Cinnamon Peach Skillet Rolls with Peach Glaze

PS. I am sharing this with Meat Free Mondays.

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Balsamic Asparagus Quinoa Salad with Baked Tofu

In Mains (Vegetarian), Salads on June 25, 2015 at 7:00 AM

Vegan Protein Bomb Salad (aka Balsamic Asparagus Quinoa Salad with Baked Tofu)

This is totally the Vegan Green Power Bowl.  Let us count the green ingredients: spinach, cucumber, asparagus and avocado. Balsamic baked tofu and cooked quinoa round this out as a hearty salad. I drizzled some mosto cotto overtop as a quasi-dressing. With its sweetness, it balanced the rest of the bowl perfectly.

Vegan Protein Bomb Salad (aka Balsamic Asparagus Quinoa Salad with Baked Tofu)

Posts will be a bit sporadic over the next few weeks. Rob and I are moving across town and work has been keeping me hopping, so I have barely had enough time to squeeze in cooking, let alone blogging.

While I realize it is likely too late to grow anything at our new place (heck, we don’t even have a garden dug out yet), I am still dreaming of what to plant. I am going to try to my hardest to get an asparagus plant going. They are perennials and can live for over 50 years. It takes a few years until they are productive, so we will be patient. We plan to settle for down for many years. For the last five years, Rob and I have moved every.single.year. It will be nice to unpack our boxes for the last time.

Which vegetable do you like the most in your garden? Do you have any asparagus?

Vegan Protein Bomb Salad (aka Balsamic Asparagus Quinoa Salad with Baked Tofu)

 

I am sharing this with Meat Free Mondays. Read the rest of this entry »

Apple Coconut Muffin Top Cookies (gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free, vegan)

In Desserts on June 23, 2015 at 6:46 AM

Apple Coconut Cookies

Guys, I figured out a problem with drying our clothes outside.

Other than the potential for rain. We have been known to run outside and save our clothes before the storm rolled in.

This weekend, we hit another pitfall. Or poopfall, as a more accurate term. (Rob loves my blog puns!)

Yes, birds pooping on the clothes. The latest debacle meant a possibly permanently stained shirt. We’ll have to see how it comes out in the second round of the wash.

Otherwise, here is a super fun cakey cookie that actually reminded me more of muffin tops. It is gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free as well as being vegan, so could I really expect cookie cookies? Instead they are muffin cookies.

The shredded apple keeps them super moist but the chickpea flour makes this more nutritious than flour-based treats. Enjoy!

Apple Coconut Cookies

I am sharing this with Tea Time Treats.

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Avocado Chimichurri

In Appetizers on June 20, 2015 at 9:49 AM

Avocado Chimichurri

This is another great dish to come out of our cottage escapades.

It was a true pleasure to know that I did not have to worry about vegan options. I brought a few veggie burgers for the grill, but otherwise, the vegetables were plentiful. And avocados. All avocados at the cottage. When you get tired of guacamole (is that possible??), this is a fun dish.

Avocado Chimichurri

I had been thinking of trying to make chimichurri for a while but hesitant with the amount of parsley in most recipes. Parsley is possibly my least favourite flavour, right up there with celery which is slightly more tolerable. This was great, though. A nice amount of spice that was not overrun by herbs. Chuimichurri is a green typically used for grilled meats but here, the chunks of avocado substituted to make a fabulous dip. The original recipe suggests using it as a bruschetta topping but everyone simply lapped it up by the spoonful. Because it is simple to prepare the chimichurri sauce in advance, this is a fancy looking dip but also very portable and simple to make. I can see this becoming a staple around the barbecue this summer. Enjoy!

What do you like to make with avocado?

 

Other dishes avocado fans will love:

Guaca-Chi (Guacamole with Kimchi)

Green Velvet Guacamole (aka Guacamame or Edamame Guacamole)

Pineapple and Cucumber Guacamole (Guacamole Con Piña y Pepino)

Tofu Avocado Salad

Cucumber Avocado Sandwiches With Dill and Mint

Avocado Chimichurri

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Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Bites

In Desserts, Favourites on June 18, 2015 at 6:32 AM

Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Bites

We made these delicious raw cookie dough treats at the cottage.

Let’s just say the cottage was a tad rustic….. so when there was no vanilla, Bailey’s Irish Cream was the substitute. Have no fear, the cottage is stocked with all the essentials.

Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Bites

The recipe is based from Oh She Glows but we added the Bailey’s and added some ground flax seeds for more good stuff. It actually stuck together without it as well. In fact, the dough was so smooth, it honestly reminded me of real cookie dough. With a touch of baking soda/powder, we were actually wondering whether they really would turn into cookies. While we made a double batch, there was no time to experiment since we gobbled them down. We had a few that we packed for home, but we ate them all during our traffic-thick ride home.

In all honesty, it was hard to detect the Bailey’s but I think I had one which was more boozy. I wonder if it helps keep it less icy after being frozen. I think that’s why alcohol is added to homemade ice cream, right?

What kind of essentials do you keep at your cottage?

Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Bites

You may also enjoy these recipes:

Peanut Butter and Jam Energy Balls

Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls

Maca Chip Energy Balls

Raw Cinnamon Raisin Balls

Spiced Acai Energy Bars

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Soba Noodle Salad with Mango, Red Pepper and Cashews

In Mains (Vegetarian), Salads on June 16, 2015 at 6:53 AM

Soba Noodle Salad with Mango, Red Pepper and Mint

Whups, I was hoping to get back to sharing three recipes a week but plans changed. At the last minute, Rob abandoned his plan to bike to Niagara Falls (I was planning to stay at home and relax) but instead, we both headed out to a friend’s cottage for the weekend. It was a doozy of a stressful week and it was wonderful to relax amongst the water, forest and a touch of biking the hills.

Soba Noodle Salad with Mango, Red Pepper and Mint

Unseasoned cottage goers, we were stuck in Sunday traffic and forgot that grocery stores close early (at least our favourites close to home) so we had to make do with limited produce and a lonely mango. Soba noodles to the rescue! Tossed with a pleasantly sweet lime dressing, this is a summer pasta salad sure to please the masses.

Soba Noodle Salad with Mango, Red Pepper and Mint

I am sharing this with Meat Free Mondays, Bookmarked Recipes and Cooking with Herbs. Read the rest of this entry »

Homemade Vegan Butter + Homemade Vegan Pantry GIVEAWAY

In Book Review on June 11, 2015 at 6:50 AM

Homemade Vegan Butter

Guys, I am so excited to tell you about the latest adventures in my kitchen.

My title spoiled the surprise, but yes, I made vegan butter.

In my home. Without any dairy.

And it was ridiculously easy.

5 ingredients only. 4 if you ignore the salt.

Blend it and then let it solidify.

Creamy, melty, butter. Drippy and oozy. All vegan.

Homemade Vegan Butter
Full disclosure: the butter was mostly solid but a few seconds in the microwave brought it to its glorious self. Perhaps if we had a toaster with warm bread, we wouldn’t have needed the extra help.

The recipe is from Miyoko Schinner’s latest cookbook, The Homemade Vegan Pantry. She revolutionized at-home vegan cheesemongering with Artisan Vegan Cheese and she is breaking ground again with this book. My weekend was such a pleasant playground in the kitchen. First, I tried her homemade barbecue sauce, which was to-die-for. The perfect merriment of salty, tangy and sweet barbecue sauce (my liberties were omitting the chipotles in adobo and swapping in blackstrap molasses) and making her unribs. Holy moley, they were yummy.

Homemade Vegan Pantry

Next, and super simple, we tried the butter. Rob agreed. It tasted like butter. Despite adding the salt, it was not a strong component and tasted unsalted to both our palates. We both agreed that, indeed, it was glorious butterless butter. Pictured both on the cover of the cookbook as well as below, you can appreciate how beautiful the cookbook is, too.

Glorious Butterless Butter

I must admit, I wasn’t sure I would be too keen on making kitchen staples, but I kind of want to make everything in the cookbook.  There are condiments and I have my eye on the recipes for 3 different types of mustard (Remember that mustard tasting party? Homemade mustards are the next level in mustard party land). Next, Miyoko has replicas of dairy staples (think thick yogurt, flax seed egg whites and oil-free melty cheeses). She has many recipes for soup stocks and bouillon. You can even pull together a complete meal with some of her faux meat recipes (unribs, unpork, veggie dogs, etc) and also how to make your own tofu and tempeh. Need a sauce for your fake meats? How about a 15-minute rustic pasta sauce or a spinach and caper sauce. Want a side of bread? She includes recipes for focaccia and pumpkin dinner rolls. And not to forget about dessert, her homemade baking mixes are all sweet to allow the ease of making vegan cakes, cookies and brownies at all times of the day. Not sure how to use your butter? How about lemon curd, custard or caramel sauce?

Homemade Vegan Butter

This is definitely how you would stock your whole foods kitchen, all from scratch. The ingredients are standard in vegan cooking, although the lecithin may be a bit cumbersome to find. I use lecithin as an emulsifier to make The Best Chocolate Truffles.

Want to try a lecithin-free vegan butter recipe? This one here looks great, too. Of note, the recipe in Miyoko’s cookbook is different than the recipe she has shared previously; notable for the lack of acid/vinegar.

Happy buttering!

Homemade Vegan Butter

Recipes from The Homemade Vegan Pantry spotted elsewhere:

15-Minute Rustic Pasta

Ale and Brown Sugar Mustard

Almond Feta

Basic Ice Cream Base (with a Mint Chocolate Chip variation)

Chocolate Cake and Baking Mix

French Buttercream Frosting (with uses this butter recipe)

Well-Crafted Macaroni and Cheese Mix

Pancake and Biscuit Mix

Umbrian Tartufo Sauce

Unribs with Zippy Barbecue Sauce

Thankfully, the publisher allowed me to giveaway the cookbook to a reader living in the US (sorry to all my non-US readers). To be entered in the random draw for the book, please leave a comment below telling me which kitchen staple you would like to learn how to make. The winner will be selected at random on June 20, 2015. Good luck!

PS. I am sharing this with Credit Crunch Munch.
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Walnut Miso Soba Noodles with Asparagus

In Mains (Vegetarian) on June 9, 2015 at 6:21 AM

Walnut Miso Soba Noodles with Asparagus

I am kind of digging the white background in these photos. On with the recipe, though.

Munching through more asparagus, this is a fairly simple combination of asparagus, soba noodles and a walnut-miso dressing. The dressing reminded me of this Asparagus and Carrot Salad with a Walnut-Miso Dressing so I think carrots would work equally as well here. I like how the water from the noodles was used efficiently to also cook the vegetables. Score!

The dressing is pretty luscious. Use as much as you like.

I am sharing this with Meat Free Mondays, Bookmarked Recipes and Pasta Please.
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Sweet and Salty Tahini Asparagus and Quinoa Salad

In Book Review, Mains (Vegetarian), Salads on June 5, 2015 at 6:32 AM

Sweet and Salty Tahini Asparagus and Quinoa Salad

I wait patiently for the few weeks every year when local asparagus finally makes its way to my kitchen. A late start to spring, and perhaps an early start to summer, meant I had to wait a little bit longer. Asparagus is cheaper than our beloved broccoli, at least right now, so we’ve been stocking up. Stalking up, is probably more correct. HA!

Sweet and Salty Tahini Asparagus and Quinoa Salad

This was a simple salad completely worth sharing. It is multi-component, but each part is simple and completely malleable to what you have in your kitchen. I picked quinoa as a fluffy base to the salad and seasonal roasted asparagus as my green. It is topped with candied nuts and seeds, oven roasted with maple syrup and everything is balanced with a tangy lemon-tahini dressing. Avocado would have been a nice accompaniment, too.

Sweet and Salty Tahini Asparagus and Quinoa Salad

The recipe is adapted from Anna Jones’ A Modern Way to EatOriginally published in Britain, it was updated for a North American audience. The cookbook is vegetarian with plenty of vegan or vegan-friendly recipes, and I love this cookbook so far. The recipes highlight vegetables with seemingly simple ways to create meals without being boring. She has worked with Jamie Oliver and Yotam Ottolenghi, if that gives you an idea of her recipes: flavourful unique combinations with a touch of simple.

Sweet and Salty Tahini Asparagus and Quinoa Salad

Recipes from A Modern Way to Eat  spotted elsewhere (I found many of them!):

Any night of the week pizza
Autumn roasted root panzanella
Avocado and lemon zest spaghetti
Banana, blueberry and pecan pancakes
Brown sugar meringues with sticky apples and pears
Butterscotch chocolate chip blondies
California miso, avocado and lima bean salad
Cardamom and carrot cakes with maple icing
Celeriac soup with hazelnuts and crispy sage
Cherry and rose water macaroon tart
Cherry poppy seed waffles
Double chocolate cloud cake
Double greens and filo pie
Elderflower and pistachio cake
Farro with roasted leeks and smoky-sweet romesco
Figs with sticky date dressing
Full of greens fritters
Goodwill rainbow pie
Honey-roasted radishes
Huevos rancheros
Laura’s herbed green quinoa
Lemon-roasted feta with traffic-light tomatoes
Lemony lentil with crispy kale soup (totally on my to-make list)
Light tart of butternut squash and kale
Lime and chipotle black bean tacos
Maple peanut California wraps (totally on my to-make list)
The New Eggs Benedict with a Healthy Hollandaise
Overnight bircher with peaches
Pan-dressed noodles with crunchy cabbage and crispy tofu
Raw brownies
Raw thai citrus crunch salad
 
The really hungry burger
Roasted spring vegetables with watercress vinaigrette
Seeded pistachio and squash galette
Strawberry poppy seed crisp
Sweet potato quesadillas
Sweet red onion and hazelnut pizette
Tomato and coconut cassoulet (totally on my to-make list)
Turkish fried eggs

PS. I am sharing this with Eat Your Greens, No Croutons Required and Meat Free Mondays.

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Mexican Soy Curl Saute with Lime and Cilantro

In Favourites, Mains (Vegetarian) on June 2, 2015 at 6:46 AM

Mexican Soy Curl Saute with Lime and Cilantro

I recently finished reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and OrganizingRob put it on hold at the library in December and we finally made it to the front of the list. Just in the knick of time, too, as we start to pack our house again for our (hopefully) last move ever. Have any of you read it and started tidying? I have seen a few reviews around the blogosphere (example), so I knew the premise to declutter was to only keep things that brought you joy. I am waiting for Rob to finish reading it (at least the first part on purging) prior to beginning to tidy. It will be easier if we are on the same page (said the one that has been slow to adopt the minimalism).

Rob has already packed my cookbooks, and I wouldn’t want to undo his efforts, so we’ll keep them all for now (HA!). Honestly though, one of my favourite cookbooks (definitely one I would keep) is Isa Does It (see my review here). Quick and simple, creative recipes that deliver loads on flavour. This is one such example. This was definitely more than the sum of its parts. Mushrooms and corn are pan-fried with soy curls and then spiced with chilies, lime and cilantro. Isa uses seitan but I think chickpeas could work well, too. She also recommends black beans which would fit with the Mexican theme.

So, please tell me, which cookbook brings you the most joy?

Mexican Soy Curl Saute with Lime and Cilantro

I am sharing this with My Legume Love AffairMeat Free Mondays, Cooking with Herbs and ExtraVeg.

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