janet @ the taste space

Archive for the ‘Favourites’ Category

Magical Grilled Peaches

In Desserts, Favourites on August 20, 2015 at 7:29 AM

Magical Grilled Peaches

I wish I wrote down what Rob said when he first tried these grilled peaches. I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to photograph them since it was a crazy (simple) concoction I put together. However, they were pretty with their grill marks and I left Rob with a peach half as I photographed the others.

It may have been something like: “OH MY GOD. THESE ARE THE MOST DELICIOUS THINGS I HAVE EVER EATEN.” I am paraphrasing but Rob never controls his positive adjectives. If he had his way, this recipe would be “Magical Incredible Grilled Peaches”.

Magical Grilled Peaches

In any case, these were delicious peaches. I was lusting grilled peaches after seeing this beautiful post and pulled out my latest (not-so-secret) weapon in the kitchen. A mix of melted coconut oil, Sweet Mesquite Seasoning and a touch of coconut sugar was slathered on firm yet ripe peaches and then grilled to perfection. Spicy, salty, sweet and juicy. It is a bit reminiscent of fresh mango spears with chile and salt and I could see this working well with pineapple, too, once local peach season subsides.

Looking for another grilled peach idea? How about this fun spin on Grilled Peach Melba aka Grilled Peaches with a Sweet Raspberry Sauce. Happy End of Summer!

Magical Grilled Peaches

I am sharing this with Simple and In Season. Read the rest of this entry »

Smoky Apple Bourbon Barbecue Sauce

In Favourites, Sides on August 6, 2015 at 7:26 AM

Smoky Apple Bourbon Barbecue Sauce

Toronto had a wicked storm this past weekend.

#torontostorm #junction

A photo posted by Neille Brockie (@neillebrockie) on

Yeah, that one. (Sorry for the rain tease for those in California!)
The next one is a video:

If you saw a plane trying to land at the Island Airport at that time (I didn’t see us in the video), I was there. We circled back and forth between Toronto and St Catharines as we waited for a clearing to land. The landing was probably the most rocky I had endured and it was only afterwards, gawking at the photos in the comfort of my own home, did I realize what we had missed.

(Hopefully they got some awesome wedding pictures)

Smoky Apple Bourbon Barbecue Sauce

Anyways, Rob and I had a very quick weekend trip over the long weekend out to New Hampshire for some relaxation and hiking in the White Mountain National Forest. Rob was in Boston for a conference but when I flew down, we opted to head outside the city instead. If you like outdoors, this is a great place to visit. We stayed with a host through AirBnB and it was almost like our own piece of heaven.

I had been talking about making Bourbon-spoked barbecue sauce for a while, but we had no Bourbon nor whiskey. Our trip to duty-free solved that and I quickly followed through with my promise of homemade barbecue sauce. Earlier this year, I made Miyoko’s zippy barbecue sauce (fabulous, by the way) and found it oh, so easy and was equally delighted with this concoction.

Smoky. Apple-infused although I couldn’t really taste the apple. And the Bourbon was in there, too. The Bourbon is more of an aftertaste after the alcohol is simmered away, adding depth to the sauce. A bit on the spicier side but I loved it. So, even if you do not like whiskey (hello, me!) and even if you do (hello, Rob!), you will love this. I imagine this will be gone by the end of the weekend. Veggie burgers really do better with something saucy slathered overtop.

Enjoy! Please let me know how you like it. Do you have a favourite barbecue sauce recipe?

Smoky Apple Bourbon Barbecue Sauce

I am sharing this with Healthy Vegan Fridays and Credit Crunch Munch.

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Creamy Lemon-Dill Roasted Potato Salad

In Favourites, Salads on July 18, 2015 at 7:26 AM

Creamy Lemon-Dill Roasted Potato Salad

This may very well turn out to be the summer of potatoes and mushrooms. While not everyone likes the mayo-heavy potato salads, everyone seems to like the non-mayo salads from this summer so far.

Rob said this was his favourite potato salad yet.

Creamy Lemon-Dill Roasted Potato Salad

His Polish roots may be particularly partial to fresh dill.

Creamy Lemon-Dill Roasted Potato Salad

The dressing is a creamy, but not heavy, lemon-tahini sauce with a touch of mustard which I tossed with salt-and-pepper roasted potatoes and fresh dill. The recipe makes a lot of dressing, which was great throughout the week to dress up some of the leftover grilled vegetables. The dressing was also great when I added in some extra chickpeas.

What is your favourite recipe for potato salad?

Creamy Lemon-Dill Roasted Potato Salad

I am sharing this with Bookmarked Recipes and Tea Time Treats.

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Portobello Carpaccio with Grilled Tofu Steaks

In Mains (Vegetarian), Sides, Favourites on July 16, 2015 at 7:07 AM

Portobello Carpaccio with Grilled Tofu Steaks

Onwards with the BBQ experimenting.

My natural instinct when I hear BBQ is to buy portobello mushrooms. As I said, I love salads and dishes I can prepare in advance, and the Portobello Carpaccio in But I Could Never Go Vegan sounded perfect.

Portobello Carpaccio with Grilled Tofu Steaks

Similar, but not identical to my grilled balsamic portobellos, these portobello mushrooms are marinated and roasted in the oven. The marinade is Italian-inspired with dried herbs and a red wine vinaigrette. I suppose the barbecue could work, too, but the barbecue was for later in the day. Once the mushrooms were cool, you slice them super thin (and had I known what on a bias meant, I would have done more of a diagonal to the horizontal plane). Then I popped them in the fridge for a few hours prior to serving. A sprinkle of capers and rosemary finished this as a really fun appetizer, with portobello mushrooms masquerading as rare meat.

Portobello Carpaccio with Grilled Tofu Steaks

Because mushrooms alone do not make a meal, and I had used up most of my culinary energies, we opted for something so simple, I was worried it might not work.

I had seen Tiffany’s post about tofu cheeseburgers where she simply grilled slabs of tofu and called it a burger. She isn’t even vegan and loved it. I was intrigued so we tried something similar.

We cut up a package of super firm tofu into four slices, cut longitudinally, and grilled it. Nothing added, not even salt and pepper. Rob said it stuck a bit on the grill but otherwise it was perfect. Slightly smoky and a blank canvas to work nicely against the vibrant portobello carpaccio.

Portobello Carpaccio with Grilled Tofu Steaks

Next time, we might try oiling the grills or brushing the tofu with some oil before placing it on the grill.

What do you think? Have you grilled plain tofu before?

Portobello Carpaccio with Grilled Tofu Steaks

I am sharing this with Meat Free Mondays.


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Smoked Paprika Potato Salad + Complete Guide to Even More Vegan Food Substitutions GIVEAWAY

In Book Review, Favourites, Salads, Sides on July 11, 2015 at 8:03 AM

Smoked Paprika Potato Salad + Even More Vegan Food Substitutions GIVEAWAY

As Rob and I hone our BBQ hosting skills, we have divvied up the work. Rob tends to the BBQ and I work on the sides. I have never liked the stress of cooking while guests are over so I have gravitated to the make-ahead salads. And guys, this potato salad is wicked awesome. Seriously.

Smoked Paprika Potato Salad

I took some small potatoes and roasted them with paprika (the regular stuff works – I was all out of the smoked variety) along with dried tarragon, onion and garlic granules. When they came out of the oven, Rob and I had to peel ourselves from the pan. We could have eaten the whole batch together before our guests had arrived.

In the back of my mind, I was worried about ruining the most perfect roasted potatoes by adding more dressing, but I continued with the potato salad recipe which called for a white balsamic dressing with a touch of fresh dill and marjoram. Only a touch because my plants were just seedlings. I tasted again. A bit hesitant. Fabulous. No need to worry, I stashed it in the fridge to marinade even longer. We all loved it.

Smoked Paprika Potato Salad

This gem of a recipe comes from Joni and Celine’s latest cookbook, Complete Guide to Even More Vegan Food SubstitutionsI don’t have the first of the series, Complete Guide to Vegan Food Substitutions, but this is a fabulous resource for people who want to create their own spins on vegan foods. Joni and Celine explain (with examples) how to replace meat and dairy from other recipes with the latest advances in vegan cuisine with an emphasis on whole foods based ingredients (barring aquafaba).

The Complete Guide to Even More Vegan Substitutions

At the heart of the book are recipes for kitchen staples. Milk substitutes and vegan butter (different than Miyoko’s homemade vegan butter). There are countless recipes for different kinds of cheese (American Cheese, Cheese Balls, Chia Seed Cream Cheese) and even how to replace eggs in different scenarios

They explain how to replace eggs while in baking versus in a dish such as shakshouka, where the eggs are prime and centre, as well as in baking. Meat substitutes, including chicken broth powder, are included.

However, in addition to the staples, there are applications of the recipes. There are examples of how to veganized a recipe, comprehensive lists with substitutions but also recipes that have taken the guess work out of it for you. Personally, I prefer recipes that do not try to mimic dairy/meat recipes which is why I gravitated to this potato salad. Mayo-free, it is perfect just the way it is, without any substitutes at all.

Smoked Paprika Potato Salad

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 what you find the hardest to make vegan. The winner will be selected at random on July 20, 2015. Good luck!

Recipes from Complete Guide to Even More Vegan Food Substitutions spotted elsewhere:

Sweet Potato and Avocado Sushi
Vegan Bánh Mi Scramble

I am sharing this with Cooking with Herbs and No Croutons Required.

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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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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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Sweet Potato and Broccoli Bowl with a Miso-Sesame Sauce

In Favourites, Mains (Vegetarian) on March 15, 2015 at 7:38 AM

Sweet Potato and Broccoli Bowl with a Miso-Sesame Sauce

Love does not consist of gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction.
~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Even when you think everything is ready to go for the wedding, little things keep popping up. Rob needs to buy a belt; maybe I should get my nails done before we leave; we should pick some readings for the ceremony; we each need to write our vows. So while I have been silent on the blog, life has been anything but.

Rob and I want a short and sweet ceremony. We didn’t even discuss readings until I sat down to write my own vows.  I was inspired by some absolutely fabulous quotes. So much so that I wanted them a part of my ceremony. So now we have readings.

I kind of want to tell you all about our choices (I am that excited about them) but I don’t want to ruin the surprise for my guests who also read my blog. So, you will have to wait (sorry for the tease). If you want some vegan wedding porn, this one looked super cute (eco friendly on a farm!).

Sweet Potato and Broccoli Bowl with a Miso-Sesame Sauce

Otherwise, as we try to eat the remainder of our perishables before we leave, this is a perfect way to chow down. I consider these as almost non-recipes since it is basically roasted vegetables, beans, rice and a sauce. Here I returned to our staples, sweet potatoes, broccoli, chickpeas and brown rice. We love steamed broccoli but since I was roasting the sweet potatoes, in went the broccoli as well. The sauce is a lovely pantry-friendly creation (ignoring the ginger and garlic) with a heavy dose of miso and toasted sesame oil with a tahini base (although certainly not overpowering). Humble or not, this is a great meal to have on hand.

Miso and/or tahini dishes shared here previously:

Buddha Veggie Bowl with Ginger-Miso-Lime Dressing

Braised Tempeh and Green Beans in a Sesame Sauce

Macro Veggie and Tempeh Bowl with Miso Tahini Sauce

Simple Sesame-Miso Soba Noodles with Kale & Red Pepper

Wild Rice and Edamame Salad with a Lemon-Miso Dressing

Yam, Zucchini and Chickpea Salad

Sweet Potato and Broccoli Bowl with a Miso-Sesame Sauce

I am sharing this with Bookmarked Recipes.

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Tofu and Kale Bowl with a Curried Peanut Sauce

In Favourites, Mains (Vegetarian) on March 10, 2015 at 7:04 AM

Tofu and Kale Bowl with a Curried Peanut Sauce

You guys are too kind. Based on the responses from my last post (and my post earlier this year about non-recipes), here’s to sharing some of my simpler eats. I will share my blog sabbatical during my honeymoon and hopefully come back rejuvenated. This is actually an easy recipe to share and I could not wait to share it with you.

I have made this two weeks in a row. Its first debut was when my parents came down last weekend and I threw it together for a late Sunday meal. Everyone devoured it, returning for seconds soon after polishing off their first bowl. After one bite, my Mom declared she loved it and proclaimed I could serve it for her anytime. Big win! YEAH!

Tofu and Kale Bowl with a Curried Peanut Sauce


While there have been glimmers of sun before and after work, I decided to continue to deliciousness into this week. It is rather a humble bowl of vegan goodness (brown rice, pan-fried tofu and kale) but the star of the bowl is the glorious peanut sauce. Sweet, spicy and saucy with a hint of curry powder. Mix it all up for a delicious meal.

Our veg staple in the fridge is broccoli and our protein of choice are chickpeas, which I contemplated for my second iteration. Worried it would be a tad repetitive (broccoli + chickpeas + peanut sauce is a common occurrence on this blog), I stuck with kale and tofu. To be honest, I don’t think I have ever made simple steamed kale and I was surprised how sweet it was. It was also ridiculously easy to make, so I definitely consider this meal a kitchen success.

What is your go-to simple meal?

Peanut sauces and dressings spotted here previously:

Broccoli and Pineapple Udon Bowl with Pineapple-Peanut Sauce

Broccoli and Spaghetti Squash Noodle Bowl with a Peanut-Miso-Sesame Sauce

Chickpea and Broccoli Quinoa Bowl with a Peanut-Miso Sauce

Mango and Snap Pea Noodle Salad with a Tangy Peanut Dressing

Noodles, Baby Bok Choy, Broccoli and Red Pepper with a Coconut-Peanut Sauce

Spicy Peanut Udon Noodles with Tofu and Broccoli

Thai Chickpea & Kale Salad Rolls with Peanut Dressing

Tess’ Ultimate Peanut Sauce

Tofu and Kale Bowl with a Curried Peanut Sauce

I am sharing this with My Legume Love Affair, Bookmarked Recipes and ExtraVeg. Read the rest of this entry »

Orange Red Lentil Soup with Coriander and Star Anise

In Favourites, Mains (Vegetarian), Soups on February 23, 2015 at 11:00 AM

One can never have too many soup recipes, especially during the heart of this very cold winter.

However, this isn’t your standard red lentil soup. Have I ever shared a standard recipe? Probably not.

The red lentils are infused with coriander and star anise, spiked with orange juice and a touch of fresh ginger gives you a bit of a bite. This split pea soup has also has ginger and coriander, but the orange and star anise were a refreshing twist. Flavours that seemed a tad unusual but worked very well.

Not as unusual as some of your chocolate suggestions, though. I am totally intrigued by Gabby’s homemade chocolate shampoo! I love reading them, so please keep them coming!

Red lentil soups shared here previously:

Creamy Red Lentil, Spinach and Lemon Soup

Cozy Red Lentil and Kale Soup

Red Lentil and Lemon Soup

Red Lentil Soup with Spinach and Lime

Tomato Red Lentil Soup with Dill

Orange Red Lentil Soup with Coriander and Star Anise

I am sharing this with Souper Sundays.

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Bengali Squash with Black Chickpeas

In Favourites, Mains (Vegetarian) on February 17, 2015 at 7:04 AM

Bengali Squash with Chickpeas

Desperate times call for desperate measures.

This weekend was a doozy of a cold fest. With the long weekend, I briefly contemplated using the snow in my favour by breaking out the snowshoes… until I realized just how cold it was. With temperatures near -40C with the wind, Rob and I opted to stay inside most the weekend.

We actually had a plan. We needed to study.

We are working to becoming PADI scuba certified. Since our wedding in one of the best places to go scuba diving, we decided to capitalize on the uniqueness of the location. 5 hours of videos, 300 pages of a manual and multiple questions, we spent the majority of the weekend tucked away reading. Next weekend, we will attempt our pool portion of the training. Sadly, outdoor dives here will not resume until June, so we won’t be certified before we go, but it will make it much easier to go scuba diving.


Bengali Squash with Chickpeas


Around this time of year, it is probably a good idea for us to go through our pantries and cold rooms. Please tell me I am not the only one with winter squashes that always seem to linger throughout the winter. No better time to use the winter squash along with a new variety of bean. Especially in curry form.

Susan gifted me these black chickpeas awhile back and I will admit, I prefer regular chickpeas. However, this curry was spectacular. There were a multitude of spices, added at different times to the curry, which created a rather optimally spiced dish. The fennel and panch phoran make this Bengali-inspired and a bit different from our typical curries. The black chickpeas made for a beautiful visual contrast but regular chickpeas could work, too.

How did you stay warm this weekend? Any scuba divers with beginner tips? :)

Bengali Squash with Chickpeas

I am sharing this with Deb for this week’s Souper Sundays and Extra Veg.

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Coconut Cabbage and Lentil Soup with Cilantro

In Favourites, Mains (Vegetarian), Soups on February 10, 2015 at 7:59 AM

Coconut Cabbage and Lentil Soup with Cilantro

Howdy! I don’t have much to say today… other than to highly suggest making this soup. Bonus points if you make it and you don’t have snow outside. It will still taste delicious.

The coconut-infused broth is silky smooth with spicy hints of sriracha and ginger, balanced by the lime juice and cilantro and packed with good-for-you veggies like sweet potato and cabbage. Oh, and there are red lentils in there to make this a complete meal. The cabbage was fun because they were inadvertently like noodles with their long strands.

Dig in!

Coconut Cabbage and Lentil Soup with Cilantro

I am sharing this with Souper Sundays and No Croutons Required.

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Sweet-and-Sour Tofu Veggie Bowl + Keep It Vegan Review+GIVEAWAY

In Book Review, Favourites, Mains (Vegetarian) on February 3, 2015 at 7:01 AM

Sweet-and-Sour Tofu Veggie Bowl

Full disclosure: In the fall, I had a full-blown case of cooking ennui. It probably evolved from a combination of immobility from my fracture, beginning my new job and the stress of starting to plan for our wedding.

I ended up buying a lot more prepared foods than ever before. At the farmer’s market close to our house, they would sell flavoured tofu and would easily at least 2 packets per week. My favourite was the miso-flavoured tofu. They also have a sweet and sour one, but miso was the best. When I tried this recipe for “sweet and sour marinaded tofu” is was a close approximation to the miso tofu (and not sweet and sour). Go figure. A bit more salty but you only notice it if you eat it cold from the fridge. Added to a bowl of vegetables and some quinoa, you have a seriously delicious and balanced meal.

Sweet-and-Sour Marinaded Tofu Veggie Bowl + Keep It Vegan Review+GIVEAWAY

This recipe is courtesy of Aine Carlin’s new cookbook Keep It Vegan. Another blogger that I have been following for a while, it is my pleasure to share her recipes with you. She blogs at Pea Soup Eats and her British influence is obvious throughout her book of comfort vegan foods: Morning Oat Jacks, Shepherdess Pie with Sweet Potato Topping, Chana Masala, Mexican-Style Lasagna, Red Lentil and Spinach Lasagna, Braised Red Cabbage with Apple, Chocolate Chestnut Pie, Summer (Bread) Pudding, and Banana Peanut Butter and Chocolate Sauce Sundae. Her recipes are approachable without too many esoteric ingredients (beyond what is normally found in a vegan pantry) but she also includes unusual and creative ideas like Bloody Mary Bruschetta, Breakfast Brownie with a Strawberry Bottom, Rosemary-and-Pear-Stuffed-French Toast and even Sweet Potato and Kiwi Soup.

Sweet-and-Sour Tofu Veggie Bowl

Rob made the Hole Mole Black Bean Chili which was excellent, although we skipped the chocolate part. And we snuck in some leftover tamarind chickpea curry from Vegan Without Borders. But is was still excellent.

Sweet-and-Sour Tofu Veggie Bowl

But these tofu bites were spectacular. A strong-flavoured miso-based marinade infused the tofu for a few hours and then they were lightly pan-fried for a delicious crispy crust. It reminded me of old-school vegan eats (aka this classic tofu dish dubbed Sweet and Sour, Hot and Spicy Tofu) and I added it to a bowl of almost roasted red peppers, sliced avocado, quinoa, arugula/spinach and hemp seeds. Basically, another version of a Dragon Bowl with the vegetable remnants from my fridge. Astute readers might realize a lot of the ingredients were leftovers from the Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad with Hemp and Orange. :) If you have extra marinade, it could be used to drizzle overtop but I let mine soak into the leftover tofu.

Sweet-and-Sour Tofu Veggie Bowl

The photo below is the one from the cookbook. Feel free to cut the tofu into bigger slabs and serve with the green bean salad, as suggested.

Sweet-and-Sour Tofu Veggie Bowl + Keep It Vegan Review+GIVEAWAY


Recipes from Keep It Vegan spotted elsewhere:

Baked Eggplant with Lemon-Infused Couscous

Bloody Mary Bruschetta

Carrot Cake Bites

Crusty No-Knead Carrot and Courgette Bread

Fudgy Brownies

Hole Mole Black Bean Chilli

Indian Spiced Tacos with Mango Salsa

Macaro-no Cheese with Crispy Kale

No Bake Strawberry Vanilla Cheesecake

Pea and Lemon Risotto with a Mint Oil Drizzle

Rosemary and Pear Stuffed French Toast

Stuffed mushroom burgers and dijon-coated potato wedges

Super Green Smoothie

Winter Squash and Couscous Salad

Sweet-and-Sour Marinaded Tofu Veggie Bowl

Thankfully, the publisher allowed me to giveaway the cookbook to a reader living in the United States. To be entered in the random draw for the book, please leave a comment below telling me about your favourite vegan comfort food. The winner will be selected at random on February 12, 2015. Good luck!

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Cozy Red Lentil and Kale Soup

In Favourites, Mains (Vegetarian) on January 6, 2015 at 7:59 AM

Cozy Red Lentil and Kale Soup

I don’t know how many of you were working last Friday. Friday, January 2nd. It was a weird sensation. Both a Monday feeling, with a mountain of work, combined with the excitement by the time it was 4:30pm and I realized the weekend was so close!

But yesterday was a brutal Monday. I missed my bus because I shovelled the snow that morning, all the time freezing in the cold gust of wintry air. Work was mostly back to usual and the gym, well, let’s say we nearly doubled our gym goers.. you know, from the regular 5 people to over 10. I had to learn to share.

Cozy Red Lentil and Kale Soup

Suffice it to say, I was a bit cranky by the time I returned home. Thank goodness I knew it would be a delicious week. This is another one of my new simple recipes. I figured I already have a ton of red lentil soups that I have shared, this time, I winged it with what I had in my kitchen.

I loved your encouragement to share the recipe inspirations. Unlike the last time, this time I have a recipe. Red lentils, carrot, tomatoes and kale were combined in a flavourful broth made with smoked paprika, Old Bay Seasoning and Worcestershire sauce. I don’t know what made it so flippin fantastic, but it was a nicely sweet soup (from the carrots??) that was balanced by the Worcestershire sauce and fresh garlic finish. It worked really, really well. And it was perfect to comfort me after my first day back.

Cozy Red Lentil and Kale Soup

Red lentil soups spotted here previously:

Red Lentil, Spinach and Lemon Soup

Red Lentil Soup with Spinach and Lime

Turkish Red Lentil Peasant Soup with Sizzling Mint

Red Lentil and Spinach Curry (Vegan Tikka Masala)

Greek Red Lentil Soup with Lemon and Rosemary


I am sharing this with Souper Sundays and No Croutons Required.

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My 12 Favourite Recipes from 2014

In Favourites on January 1, 2015 at 11:10 AM

If I thought 2013 was filled with change, it was nothing compared to 2014. Moving from Houston back to Toronto was bittersweet, leaving a community and friends I still miss dearly. However, I am finally working at my “forever” job, and it only took 14 years of school after high school. After a somewhat heart-wrenching vacation in Madagascar and South Africa wherein I broke my leg, and now lengthy rehab process, my health has remained important. In the kitchen, this has meant more simple recipes and now that I am back in the gym, I only go a few times a week. 2015 is going to be a wonderful year. At least the first part will be spent preparing for our upcoming wedding. Best wishes for all of you this upcoming year as well, wherever that may bring you.

These were my favourite eats from 2014:

1. Roasted Cauliflower and Mustard-Hummus Rice Bowl with Garlicky Spinach & A Vegan Mustard Tasting Party

As we embrace more minimalism, I certainly don’t have enough mustards to host a party right now, but this bowl of my favourite foods was a delicious result.

Roasted Cauliflower, Garlicky Spinach and Mustard-Hummus Rice Bowl (& A Vegan Mustard Tasting Party)
2. Laotian Larb Tofu Lettuce Wraps

Perhaps an odd choice for recipe #2, but I veritably feasted on these wraps in Houston and this is a way to bring a small part of Houston wherever I may be.

Laotian Tofu Larb Lettuce Wraps

3. Roasted Creole Cauliflower

Another fabulously oft-repeated recipe. A flavourful tomato-based marinade for roasted cauliflower.

Roasted Creole Cauliflower

4. Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Fried Capers and Pickled Currants

It is no surprise that 2014 was year of the cauliflower (Rob thinks it was year of the taco), but this was a delicious salad with roasted cauliflower, creamy avocado and my newest obsession: pickled capers!

Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Fried Capers and Pickled Currants
5. Cali-Coco BLT Quinoa Salad

Another favourite salad combination from this year: coconut bacon, creamy avocado and smoked tofu with quinoa and arugula.

Cali-Coco BLT Quinoa Salad
6. Cuban Beer-Infused Black Beans

One cannot forget to include beans and this was one brew that was utterly delicious.

Cuban Beer-Infused Black Beans


7. Mango Chana Masala

Certainly not authentic (my Indian Chickpea Curry with Mango Powder is more traditional), but this curry uses mangoes instead of mango powder for a fun twist on chickpea curry.

Mango Chana Masala

8. Manchurian Chickpea Bowls

Probably the quintessential 2014 dish with both beans and roasted cauliflower, the spiced saucy sauce made this a wonderful bowl of goodness.

Manchurian Chickpea Bowl

9. Coconut Chana Saag

While I only shared this a few days ago, this has been repeated a few times over the year and it has yet to disappoint. Hearty leafy greens like kale work well against the flavourful broth.

Coconut Chana Saag
10. Raw Brownie Cake with a Chocolate Avocado Frosting

In my quest to use massive amount of coconut flour, this was a delicious no-bake cake that was a deliciously decadent dessert.

Raw Brownie Cake with a Chocolate Avocado Frosting

Bonus: 11. Angela’s Glo Bars

This recipe was the beginning of a relove of granola and granola-type bars. This was my favourite of the bunch packed with oats, chia seeds and sunflower seeds.

Ange's Glo Bars

Bonus 12. Chai Spiced Rice Pudding

These are a bit labour intensive to make (which is why they are a bonus favourite) but the flavours cannot be beat. A luscious dessert that is sure to please.

Chai Spiced Rice Pudding


What were your favourite finds from the year? Did I miss any of your favourites?

Here’s to a happy new year!

Favourite here, previously:

My 10 Favourite Recipes from 2010

My 11 Favourite Recipes from 2011

My 12 Favourite Recipes from 2012

My 13 Favourite Recipes from 2013

Top 13 Reader Favourite Recipes from 2013

My Ongoing List of Favourite Recipes