janet @ the taste space

Archive for the ‘Appetizers’ Category

Mesquite Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

In Appetizers, Sides on November 1, 2016 at 4:36 PM

Mesquite Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Nothing like having a baby to bring you into the spirit for Hallowe’en. Not that my little guy knew what was going on, but we dressed him up and introduced him and ourselves to our neighbours on our street.

This was also the first year we made pumpkin jack-o-lanterns!

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Orange Wakame Cucumber Salad + The Organic Cook’s Bible giveaway

In Appetizers, Book Review, Salads, Sides on October 8, 2016 at 8:45 AM

Orange Wakame Cucumber Salad + Organic Cook's Bible giveaway

Is it still salad season? I am loving the lingering warm weather, especially since it is no longer sweltering. I try to make it a daily goal to go for a walk with my baby every day. At least every weekday. At first, he was content with the stroller, but it can be hit-or-miss and result in a crying fit, so we’ve gravitated to wrapping. I never thought I’d be into hardcore babywearing. I knew I’d want to do some babywearing since skin-to-skin is so important, but my guy is a snuggle monster and loves to be wrapped. Or as Rob says, he demands to be snuggled. For now, I am delighted to oblige as I can still walk around and do simple things around the house. Read the rest of this entry »

Quick Roasted Tomatoes on Toast

In Appetizers, Mains (Vegetarian) on September 10, 2016 at 8:13 AM

Quick Roasted Tomatoes on Toast

So how about more tomatoes? Ooey, gooey, melt in your mouth roasted tomatoes. But you don’t have 45 minutes to an hour to wait, or even 3 hours for a  super slow roast. Because you might have a baby that doesn’t leave you much time between his eat-sleep-poop cycle.. How about 20 minutes? Maybe that’ll work, just maybe.

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Japanese Edamame and Arame Salad

In Appetizers, Salads on February 13, 2016 at 8:18 AM

Rob was really nice about getting me a new laptop to replace my dying desktop computer. The only problem was the new device had less storage than my old computer.  I used to keep my all food photos on my hard drive, but now they are harder to locate on an external device. Please excuse my blog absentia as I work through this. Read the rest of this entry »

Roasted Maple Rosemary Almonds

In Appetizers, Desserts, Favourites on December 29, 2015 at 7:00 AM

Roasted Maple Rosemary Almonds

Looking for an easy snack? Perhaps for your next holiday party?

Allow me to suggest these Roasted Maple Rosemary Almonds and Cashews.  Read the rest of this entry »

Mediterranean Pesto Chickpea Salad

In Appetizers, Mains (Vegetarian), Sides on September 29, 2015 at 7:51 AM

Mediterranean Pesto Chickpea Salad

Rob started a new experiment last week: Bring back the homemade lunches.

Not that Rob doesn’t bring lunches to work, but this time, he is making meals specifically earmarked for lunch. And they are sandwiches.
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Quick and Easy Black Bean Dip + tip for ultra creamy bean dips

In Appetizers, Favourites, Sides on September 27, 2015 at 8:21 AM

Quick and Easy Black Bean Dip

Sometimes I have no clue which recipe will appear next on my blog.

I didn’t even think I would post anything this weekend, to be honest, but I made this wicked awesome black bean dip for my cousins and it was gobbled up. I knew I had to share it soon. Read the rest of this entry »

Sesame Carrot Rice Paper Rolls with Peanut-Orange Sauce

In Appetizers on August 18, 2015 at 7:52 AM

Sesame Carrot Rice Paper Rolls with Peanut-Orange Sauce

Rob and I have been fine tuning our hosting skills this summer. Rob tends to the grill and I make the sides and dessert. If I am lucky, I also try to make an appetizer. Sometimes we don’t realize how long it will take to grill everything and we don’t want hangry guests, so we always try to have something to nibble on.

Hummus and carrots usually work very well. Complete honesty here, we have been purchasing hummus this summer even though it only takes 5 minutes to whip up delicious dips like our favourite hummus, this Hummus-Tzatziki Fusion or this Spinach Miso Dip.

Sesame Carrot Rice Paper Rolls with Peanut-Orange Sauce

Bite-size veg filled treats for the win. Although a bit labour intensive, these rice paper rolls are perfect as a light appetizer. They keep well although should not be made too far in advance (the rice paper will get gummy).

I liked this version with just cooked carrots with ginger-sesame flavours and combined with fresh and colourful vegetables and cilantro. The Thai inspired flavours paired well with the peanut sauce spiked with orange zest, garlic and ginger.

I hope to share some delicious desserts next.🙂

Sesame Carrot Rice Paper Rolls with Peanut-Orange Sauce

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BBQ Roasted Chickpea Summer Salad + Abundance Diet GIVEAWAY

In Appetizers, Book Review, Mains (Vegetarian), Salads, Sides on July 28, 2015 at 7:33 AM

BBQ Roasted Chickpea Salad

As the hot summer persists, let us marry the perfect summer eats. BBQ and salads. And for those without a BBQ, have no fear, this one is for you.

No BBQ needed, the BBQ flavour is completely from the roasted chickpeas. A bit more complex than my bacon-flavoured chickpea croutons, but definitely not any harder than pulling out a few more bottles, these roasted chickpeas are awesome. Smoky, savoury and delicious. You could just eat them with your hand (totally guilty) or add them to a salad for a more complete meal. Here I paired it with salad with mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, purple cabbage, shredded carrots and avocado with a splash of lemon juice. Mix it all together for a fabulous meal.

BBQ Roasted Chickpea Summer Salad

The smoky roasted chickpeas comes from Somer McCowan’s new cookbook, The Abundance Diet. Somer blogs at Vedged Out and is the originator behind the vegan extra sharp cheese ball and fresh vegan moxarella (a revised version of the mock mozzarella is in her book). The cookbook was borne out of her previous Green Smoothie Challenge. 

I am always anxious of leafing through cookbooks marked with words such as ‘diet’, ‘detox’, or the like, but I have no reservations about this cookbook. Somer’s recipes are all gluten-free, plant-based vegan recipes and also, to the astute eye, also free of oil and refined sugars. (The tip-off are the lack of oil in the soups and stews, as I am accustomed to sautéing my onions in oil). Otherwise, the recipes are filled with an abundance of vegetables for creative meals that are relatively easy to make, too.

*BBQ Roasted Chickpea Summer Salad + Abundance Diet GIVEAWAY

The recipes span the entire day (breakfast to lunch to dinner including snacks) because there are meal plans that span 28-days (they can be found here if you want a preview). She includes recipes for 26 salads and dressing.  The Lentil taco salad was fabulous (even without the roasted red pepper dressing) and her Ultimate Lentil Salad reminds me of my own 11-Spice Lentil Salad with Capers and Currants (and always a hit). Her soups are equally enticing, with meal-type soups like Quinoa Minestrone and her Smoky Split Pea Soup. Others are more vegetable-based which are more suitable as appetizer.

I enjoyed her Moroccan Lentil Soup even though I substituted a handful of fresh dill for the parsley/cilantro. She also has a main dish section with recipes I have been eyeing, such as Chiles Rellenos Casserole Bake with Smoky Chipotle Enchilada Sauce and Homestyle Mexican Casserole. Green smoothies, juices, snacks, dips and desserts round out the cookbook to keep you full throughout the day.

*BBQ Roasted Chickpea Summer Salad + Abundance Diet GIVEAWAY

I remember when cookbooks were mostly text, but it is so nice to see excellent photography. Ann Oliverio photographed most of the recipes and they are a treat throughout the cookbook. Just look at the delicious cover photography highlighting the Funeral Potatoes. A funeral for your fat?

Of note, while this is a diet based on vegan abundance, Somer’s narrative highlights the potential ways to expedite weight loss. Some people may not like this tone and I suggest simply enjoying the recipes. Not a fan of stevia? (Me, neither). Simply substitute dates instead for the smoothies or all coconut sugar in other desserts. Or in my case, add some beans to the vegetable-centric meals. In all, the recipes look great and only on closer inspection do they jump out as diet food.

BBQ Roasted Chickpea Summer Salad

Want your own copy?

Thankfully, the publisher allowed me to giveaway the cookbook to a reader living in the US. To be entered in the random draw for the book, please leave a comment below telling me what you like to eat in abundance. The winner will be selected at random on August 7, 2015. Good luck!

Recipes from The Abundance Diet spotted elsewhere:

Apple Pie Green Smoothie

Cheesy Cauliflower and Potato Bake

Cherry and Chocolate Soft-Serve Ice Cream

Moroccan Lentil Soup

No-Bake Cookie Bites

Raw Cashew Horchata

Raw Pad Thai

Rawkin Rainbow Kale Salad

Tomato Basil Bisque

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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Simple Carrot Ginger Soup

In Appetizers, Soups on April 21, 2015 at 9:37 AM

Simple Carrot Ginger Soup

Long time no chat. A quick turn of events had me in the operating room over a week ago and recently returned home. I was incredibly grateful to be back in Canada when this happened and could only imagine what would have happened in Guatemala with my nearly non-existent Spanish.

In any case, after a surgery, it is normal to progress your diet from clear/full fluids before resuming your regular diet. My mom threw together this soup, not once, but twice, for me to nosh on while in the hospital and once I returned home.

Super creamy from the blended carrots, the ginger is a natural pairing (and possibly helps reduce nausea and vomiting). The addition of the lemon rind (without juice) kept this light and not too acidic (which has been a problem for my belly since surgery). But perhaps most of all, I hope you can see how brightly coloured this soup is. More yellow than orange, it was positively vibrant. It reminded me of Nigella’s happiness soup but this one tasted better. And had no turmeric. I wonder if the nutritional yeast helped to make it more yellow.

As well, thank you for all the positive feedback on the wedding photos. Our photographer had another teaser this week. I cannot wait to see the find photo album.

Carrot soups shared here previously:

Carrot Soup with Ginger and Lemon

Carrot Ginger Lime Soup with Sweet Potato Hummus

Moroccan Carrot Soup

Roasted Carrot and Lentil Soup with Harissa and Mint

Simple Carrot Ginger Soup

I am sharing this with Simple and In Season and Credit Crunch Munch.

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Raw Cauliflower Nigiri Sushi

In Appetizers on October 25, 2014 at 7:49 AM

Raw Cauliflower Nigiri Sushi

I was going to write a post for Thursday but somehow after the shootings on Wednesday, I didn’t feel like blogging. Thankfully everyone I know is fine and it is mostly back to business.

These are a cute appetizer if I ever saw one. Displaying cauliflower’s prowess in the kitchen, it lends as a fun rice substitute for these mock sushi nigiri. I like parsnip’s sweet undertones for sushi (see here and here) so I used a ripe mango to offset the dish with more sweetness. Although the biggest trick for these is definitely how to keep it all together.

Raw Cauliflower Nigiri Sushi

The secret is psyllium. There was a time when I made microwave chocolate psyllium cakes fairly regularly (pun unintended) but mostly because they were easy and single-serve. These are a bit more labour intensive (but too cute), so I understand if you turn them into regular sushi rolls, too. I can see myself adding psyllium to raw sushi rolls next time, simply to help them keep their shape better, especially after cutting.

Are you tired of cauliflower yet? I have a lot more recipes to share.🙂

Raw Cauliflower Nigiri Sushi I am sharing this with Vegan Linky Potluck. Read the rest of this entry »

Peacefood Cafe’s Chickpea Fries & HappyCow Cookbook Giveaway

In Appetizers, Book Review, Sides on October 21, 2014 at 7:10 AM

Peacefood Cafe Chickpea Fries Recipe

I may not have promoted it here but I am a complete fan of Happy Cow. When travelling, I consult the reviews (and then leave my own) to find the best vegan eats around the world. Not only across Canada and the US, I chronicled my eats while travelling in Germany, Iceland, Mexico, Colombia and South Africa. Rightfully so, there are zero entries for Madagascar.

In any case, I was thrilled when I heard that Eric Brent and Glen Merzer were creating a cookbook featuring recipes from top-rated vegan restaurants, The Happy Cow Cookbook.

Peacefood Cafe Chickpea Fries Recipe

The neat part of this compilation was each restaurant’s profile, highlighting their popular and favourite dishes, important lessons as a restaurant owner/chef, and the future of plant-based food movement. Each restaurant shares one, two or more recipes, along with some photographs. As expected with a compilation, the recipes vary with respect to level of difficulty, recipe instructions and photographs. On the whole, the recipes seem solid. Millenium’s Pistachio-Crusted Eggplant Napoleon is way too complex for me to recreate, but makes me want to visit this San Francisco eatery.  There is also a recipe for Coconut Tofu and Blackened Tempeh with Grapefruit Yuzu (courtesy of Green in Tempe, AZ) that definitely beyond my reach. However, Lettuce Love Cafe’s Tempeh Reuben looks easy to recreate at home, as well as Netherlands’ Veggies on Fire’s Lemon Cheesecake with Raspberry Sauce.

The book is ordered alphabetically, based on the name of the restaurants, which makes it difficult to find recipes. However, the breadth of recipes seems vast with little repeats (although you will certainly find many recipes for vegan cheese!). Recipes vary from Kimchi Nori Maki Rolls and Peruvian Leftovers Pie to Avocado Apple Tartare with Walnut Bonbons to Chicken Fried Tempeh and Carrot Cake with a Vegan Cream Cheese frosting. Sadly, what I was most disappointed, was the abundant use of vegan substitutes (ie vegan cream cheese, sour cream and Vegenaise), although that probably helps prep time for restaurants.

While I have never been to Peacefood Cafe, I was itching to make their “Award-Winning Chickpea Fries” which is basically an Indian-spiced baked fry made with chickpea flour. They were quite easy to make although I regret adding the bay leaf to the spice mixture. It became a predominant flavour and bothersome since I didn’t grind it to a fine powder. I didn’t make the Caesar Dipping Sauce as the recipe perplexed me. I was not sure why there was fermented bean curd in the sauce without directions to pulverize it with a blender. In any case, the recipe below is as seen in the book. Enjoy.

Peacefood Cafe Chickpea Fries Recipe

Thankfully, the publisher allowed me to share the recipe AND giveaway the cookbook to a reader living in the United States or Canada. To be entered in the random draw for the cookbook, please leave a comment below telling me what your favourite vegan-friendly restaurant is (and where). Bonus entry if you share your link to your review on HappyCow. The winner will be selected at random on November 7, 2014. Good luck!

PS. HappyCow Cookbook recipes spotted elsewhere:

Beet Salad with Shallot-Thyme Dressing (from Blackbird Pizzeria in Philadelphia, PA)
Cherry Royal (from Veggie Grill in Hollywood, CA)
Granada Chai
(from El Piano in Malaga, Spain)
Kimchi Nori Maki Roll (from Real Food Daily in West Hollywood, CA)
Moroccan Tajine (from SunCafe Organic in Studio City, CA)
Nutloaf (from Wayward Cafe in Seattle, WA)
Pasta with Pumpkin Curry Sauce (from Counter Culture in Austin, TX)
Pickled Beets (from Zen Kitchen in Ottawa, ON)
Pistachio-Crusted Eggplant Napoleon (from Millennium Restaurant in San Francisco, CA)
Pumpkin Cheesecake with Bourbon-Brown Sugar Cream (from True Bistro in Boston, MA)
Quinoa Tabbouleh
(from Chaco Canyon in Seattle, WA)
Raw Lime Parfait (from Plant in Asheville, NC)
Roasted Spaghetti Squash, Cauliflower, Garlic and Mashed Potatoes with Porcini Mushroom Gravy (from Peacefood Cafe in New York, NY)
Skillet Cornbread (from Cornbread Cafe in Eugene, OR)
Spicy Cha Cha (from The Loving Hut in Houston, TX)
Swiss Bircher Muesli (from Luna’s Living Kitchen in Charlotte, NC)

Other recipes from restaurants I have made:

Candle Cafe’s Paradise Casserole with Black Beans, Millet and Cinnamon-Miso Sweet Potato Mash
Fresh’s All-Star Salad
Fresh’s Miso Gravy
Gorilla Food’s Strawberry Bliss Up Shake
Live Organic Cafe’s Raw Pad Thai
Peacefood Cafe’s Raw Key Lime Pie

I am sharing this with the Virtual Vegan Linky Potluck.

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Buffalo Hummus

In Appetizers, Sides on September 11, 2014 at 6:29 AM

Buffalo Hummus

Allow me to be honest with you. I may have lost my cooking mojo.

I haven’t really been too interested in cooking lately. My life has slowed down a lot (physically, mainly) and my heart no no longer sings in the kitchen. One must still eat, so I am still cooking… although finding it a challenge to continue to blog consistently.

And then I made this hummus.  I knew I had to share it right away.

I am no stranger to strange hummus concoctions but this one was really good. Spiced with sriracha with a depthness from red peppers, I really liked it. It wasn’t too spicy (for me!) so feel free to add more sriracha for your palate. I found this had a taste reminiscent of cheese but without any nooch, I think it was from the red pepper paste. This was nice and silky straight from the food processor. Sadly, it stiffened slightly as leftovers so either eat it all at once or add some more liquid as needed.

Buffalo Hummus

I am sharing this with My Legume Love Affair hosted by Valli and Bookmarked Recipes.

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Vegan Deviled “Eggs” & Cookbook Giveaway

In Appetizers, Book Review on March 27, 2014 at 6:35 AM

Vegan Deviled "Eggs"

Onwards with the 30 vegetable challenge. Instead of using an abundance of vegetables in a single dish, I am focusing on possibly the most popular vegetable. A vegetable that I rarely eat at that: the humble white potato.

White potato has its critics.  A high glycemic starchy vegetable that is typically consumed deep-fried or slathered in oil. I actually don’t like the taste of white potatoes, either, preferring its colourful cousin, the sweet potato. In any case, not all white potatoes are created equal and it was most apparent while we travelled in Colombia and enjoyed their local favourite: papas criollas. A small, creamy potato, perfect to eat after a simple boil, although it was also common spotted after a toss in an oiled skillet. Other small potatoes can be reasonable substitutes. I spotted these at our favourite (Mexican-flavoured) farmer’s market and brought them home to make a vegan twist on devilled eggs.

Vegan Deviled "Eggs"

No eggs, no problem. The creamy potatoes are a fun twist for the cooked egg white base and a creamy mustard-hummus filling with a touch of black salt is very reminiscent of the real deal. Sprinkled with a touch of smoke paprika and you have an easy, pretty appetizer. If you have some mad piping skills, you could make this even more fancy.

Vegan Deviled "Eggs"

This recipe is from the latest in the Happy Herbivore cookbook series, Happy Herbivore Light & Lean. For some reason, I have never really warmed up to Lindsay’s earlier cookbooks but this one was different. First of all the photos are gorgeous. Secondly, the recipes appeal to me more.

Her recipes, even if from previous cookbooks, have been lightened up and spruced up with bolder flavours. She has a bigger emphasis on vegetables and less reliance on ketchup and mayonnaise. More complete meals, instead of sides. All her recipes are oil-free and low-fat which I don’t necessarily advocate but did not mind trying out temporarily. Her recipes prove you do not need oil to make food flavourful but I like a bit more fat for satiety. Even if for no other reason, yes, you need some fat to absorb fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K.

The third part of the book includes an introduction to basic strength exercises. She includes good photographs and descriptions of each move with modifications for beginners and those who want a challenge. I like that she included another aspect of healthy lifestyles, beyond nutritious food.

Vegan Deviled "Eggs"

First and foremost, I enjoy sharing delicious food and this cookbook delivers. These deviled eggs are only one recipe but I also recommend the garden vegetable chili, cheater pad thai noodle bowl, breakfast tacos and scrambled tofu.

Thankfully, the publisher allowed me to share the recipe (with one of the gorgeous food photos by Jackie Sobon from Vegan Yack Attack, too) AND giveaway the cookbook to a reader living in the United States or Canada. To be entered in the random draw for the cookbook, please leave a comment below telling me what you think about no-oil meals. The winner will be selected at random on April 7, 2014. Good luck!

Happy Herbivore Vegan Devilled Eggs

Recipes from Happy Herbivore Light & Lean elsewhere:

Thai Crunch Salad
Caribbean Bowl
Meatloaf Bites
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Pumpkin Pancakes
Blueberry Yogurt Muffins
Breakfast Tacos
Lentil Joes (with a video)
Spinach Love Wrap
Soba Peanut Noodles
Deviled “Eggs”
Microwave Peach Cobbler

PS. This is my submission to this month’s Anyone Can Cook Fabulous Vegetarian Food.

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