Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Vegan Pumpkin Scones

I love autumn, I love winter. But I do miss having at least some natural light to take photos! I wanted to post about this pumpkin scone recipe while you guys are still (hopefully) enjoying pumpkin! I used to love the pumpkin scones from Starbucks and pumpkin scones are something I've always wanted to make but just never did. Until I saw these vegan pumpkin scones on cupcakes and kale and felt immediately inspired to make them about 10 minutes after reading her post! And they are amazing.

I don't usually put glazes on scones or cakes but in this case I followed her suggestion. The glaze is the perfect complement to the scone, which is biscuity but not super fluffy and flaky (this is a good thing). I did find the dough to be extremely dry and it was sort of difficult to form the dough into rounds. She does say that the dough will be dry, but next time I might add 1/2 tbsp more milk. My glaze was more liquidy than hers, maybe because I used a natural sugar?

And can I just confirm something with you guys - whole wheat pastry flour is the same thing as white whole wheat flour right? That's my understanding of the flour situation.

If this sounds good, you might also like:
Pumpkin Ginger Molasses Cookies
Pumpkin Muffins
Pumpkin Cheesecake
All-In-One Holiday Bundt Cake

Vegan Pumpkin Scones
Adapted from cupcakes and kale

Makes 1 dozen small scones

2 cups white whole wheat flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp cup cold earth balance margarine
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
2 tbsp non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened almond milk) - next time I would try using 2 1/2-3 tbsp milk
5 tbsp brown sugar

Preheat the oven to 400F. In a large bowl sift together all of the dry ingredients. Using a pastry cutter cut the cold earth balance into the mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs. In another bowl, mix the pumpkin, milk & sugar. Add this to the flour bowl and mix to combine. You'll end up with a fairly dry dough. Turn this out onto a lightly floured surface and divide it into 3 equal balls. Flatten each one into a round disk that's about 6 inches across and 1/2 inch thick. Using a sharp knife, cut each disk into quarters and place them on a parchment or silpat-lined baking sheet. Bake for 15-16 minutes. Remove from the oven, allow the scones to cool and then drizzle them with spiced glaze.

Spiced Glaze
5 tbsp sugar
1/2 tbsp flour
1/4 tsp molasses
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp ginger
pinch cloves
1 1/2 tbsp non-dairy milk

Mix everything together in a small bowl and drizzle onto the scones either with a spoon, or from a plastic bag with the tip cut off.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Asian Kale Salad

The first time I made this salad I thought it was perfect. The second time, I found the dressing a bit strong. I think I just had more kale the first time so it may be best to err on the side of densely packing the kale when measuring (versus lightly packing). The dressing is full of flavour with lime juice, toasted sesame oil, orange juice, garlic, ginger and sesame seeds.

If this sounds good, you might also like:
Know Your Roots Salad
Apple Fennel Celery Salad
Mediterranean Couscous and Lentil Salad
Broccoli Slaw

Asian Kale Salad
Adapted from The Two-Week Wellness Solution

Serves 3

6 cups kale (lightly packed), washed well and drained (about 1 1/2 bunches)
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
4 tsp agave nectar
1 tbsp orange juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp minced ginger
1 tbsp sesame seeds
1/4 tsp sea salt

1. Remove the stems from the kale and chop the kale leaves into thin ribbons. Place in a large bowl.

2. Add the lime juice, sesame oil, agave nectar, and orange juice. Using your hands, stir well to combine. Continue to work the liquids into the kale with your hands - "massaging" the marinade into the kale. Once the kale turns a darker shade of green and is softened, you're done.

3. Add the remaining ingredients to the kale mixture and stir well.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Tamarind Tofu Cabbage Bowl

I recently discovered this really awesome website called goodreads. I've been obsessed with reading recently and with this website you can organize all the books you've read (and rate them), get recommendations for books to read, and have a list of books you plan to read. So much better than my method of randomly writing emails and notes to try and remember. And such a great resource to help me decide on what books I must read next! Very exciting. Let me know if you're on there and we can be book buddies. :)

I don't think I've ever bought tamarind. Not that I don't like it, I just never know what to do with it. And now I have an open package of it in the fridge with no ideas for its use in the future. Well aside from making this tamarind tofu cabbage bowl again, which I should do. Because it was really good. I love sauteed cabbage and really enjoyed it paired with a sweet tangy tamarind sauce in this dish. The tofu and brown rice make it a complete meal.

My only complaint, and really a very small one, is that there wasn't enough sauce. But you'll have leftover tamarind chutney to make extra sauce. I think we ended up using the whole amount of chutney actually, but not with the full amount of soy sauce.

If this sounds good, you might also like:
Udon Noodles with Peanut Sauce and Seitan
Spicy Indian Chickpeas/Chana Masala
Sunflower Rice Bowl
Sweet Potato Badi

Tamarind Tofu Cabbage Bowl
Adapted from Vegan Yum Yum

Makes 3-4 servings

12 ounce block extra firm tofu, cut into cubes
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 cups cooked brown rice (about 3/4 cup uncooked)
1 carrot, grated
7 cups cabbage, thinly sliced
2 tbsp Tamarind Chutney (recipe follows)
2 tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup almonds, toasted and chopped

1. Fry the tofu in 1/2 tbsp of oil in a wok until browned on at least 2 sides. Set aside.

2. Combine the rice and carrots in a large bowl and toss well.

3. In a wok, saute the cabbage over high heat in 1/2 tbsp oil until slightly softened and browned in some places. Add the cabbage to the rice and carrots.

4. Make a sauce by mixing the tamarind chutney and soy sauce. Add the sauce and the tofu to the cabbage mixture and gently toss. Top with almonds and serve warm.

Tamarind Chutney

Makes 1/2 cup

2 cups water
2 tbsp tamarind paste
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp red chili flakes
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp cumin

In a small saucepan, bring the water, tamarind paste and sugar to a boil. Let the mixture boil for 30 minutes until reduced and thickened. Add the salt, red chili flakes, garam masala, and cumin. Cook for 1 minute more, thenr emove from heat and let cool completely.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Peanut Butter Rice Crisp Treats

These are a great alternative to the traditional rice crispy treats made with marshmallows. Though I must admit that seeing the box of red and green rice crispies does make me want to buy them. But I know I'd be much happier eating these healthier tastier treats. When I made these, I omitted the salt and didn't feel like it was missing anything. But I know that sweet treats often do need a bit of salt so if you want you can add that 1/2 tsp of salt (or maybe 1/4 tsp would be better).

If you guys are into tea at all or know someone who is, I highly recommend checking out David's Tea Advent Calendar!! I had to pick one up for myself. I'm a tea addict and can't wait for December 1 to open my first tea door. (Updated Nov 25: Oops sorry I didn't realize this was sold out already. :( I should have posted about it sooner. Maybe they have some in stores though?)

If this sounds good, you might also like:
Granola Bars
Cocoa Nibbles
Coconut Raspberry Walnut Power Bars
5 Minute Chocolate Peanut Butter Chews

Peanut Butter Rice Crisp Treats
Adapted from Oh She Glows

1/2 cup chunky almond butter
1/2 cup brown rice syrup
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
1 tbsp Earth Balance
3 1/2 cups brown rice crisp cereal
Chocolate drizzle: 1/3 cup chocolate chips + 1 tbsp peanut butter
Shredded coconut, to garnish

1. Prepare an 8 inch by 8 inch square pan, by lining it with parchment paper on both sides.

2. In a large pot over low-medium heat, add the brown rice syrup, Earth Balance, and peanut butter. Stir well until combined and heated through. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract.

3. Stir in rice crisp cereal until thoroughly combined.

4. Scoop into pan and spread evenly. Press down with fingers or roll flat with pastry roller. Place in freezer to set for 5 minutes while you make the chocolate glaze.

5. In a microwave safe bowl, add the chocolate chips. Microwave for about 60 seconds, stirring after 30 seconds. Be careful not to burn. Stir in the peanut butter.

6. Remove pan from freezer and drizzle or spread with melted chocolate mixture. Sprinkle with coconut and place in the freezer until firm, about 15 minutes. Slice into squares. Bars will hold their shape quite well at room temperature, but you can store in the fridge to ensure the chocolate stays solid.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Tex-Mex Stuffed Portabellos

I found out yesterday that I passed my certification exam! Hurray! I'm sure there are more stressful certification exams but the oral situational exam was definitely tough for this one. But it's over. I'm so happy!! :)

The green in the green onion looks too bright and kind of out of place, but it definitely adds to the deliciousness. (The green onion, not the green.)

I'm sharing this recipe with you not because I thought it was the most amazing food ever, but because I love the idea and think with some tweaks it would be really yummy. Mostly I would just increase the level of spices (coriander, cumin and paprika). I love the combination of onions, bell peppers, toamto, cheese, mushrooms, and green onions.

If this sounds good, you might also like:
Swiss Rarebit
Red and White Tortellini
Black Bean and Zucchini Chilaquiles
Southwest Brunch Bake

Tex-Mex Stuffed Portabellos
Adapted from The Moosewood Restaurant Cooking for Health

Serves 4

1 1/2 cups chopped onions
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tbsp chipotle powder
1 yellow and 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped (2 to 2 1/2 cups)
1 tsp ground coriander (I would use 2 tsp next time)
1 tsp ground cumin (I would use 2 tsp next time)
1/2 tsp paprika (I would use 1 tsp next time)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 fresh roma tomatoes, seeded and finely diced (about 1 cup)
6 oz monterey jack cheese, grated (about 2 cups)
4 large portabello mushrooms (4 to 5 inches in diameter)
minced green onions

1. Preheat oven to 350F.

2. In a skillet on medium-high heat, cook the onions and garlic in the olive oil for a couple of minutes. Add the chipotle powder and bell peppers and cook for 2 minutes. Add the coriander, cumin, paprika, salt and pepper and cook, stirring often, until the peppers are tender but still firm. Remove from the heat. Stir in the cilantro and tomatoes and two-thirds of the cheese.

3. Break off the stems of the portabellos and save them for another use or discard. Rinse the caps (gently so they don't break), and place smooth side down in a lightly oiled baking dish large enough to hold them in a single layer. Mound each mushroom with about a cup of the filling. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top. Cover the baking dish with foil folded lengthwise to form a little tent so that the foil won't stick to the cheese.

4. Bake in a preheated 350F oven for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake until the cheese browns, 10 to 15 minutes. Serve topped with green onions.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Remember when I said that I have two new favourite vegan cookie recipes? Well this is the other one. I love that they're thick and don't spread much. These ones are softer and maybe a bit chewier than my other favourite. Having one or two after dinner is the perfect satisfying dessert, and they're great straight out of the freezer.

I've made them with whole wheat pastry flour and also with spelt flour - and I would definitely recommend only using whole wheat pastry flour. Spelt made them too soft and they spread more. I thought it would be a great idea to make them with cacao nibs instead of chocolate chips - bad idea!! I have a huge container of the spelt cacao nib peanut butter cookies that has been in my freezer for months. I'm trying to work my way through them (this is a clear indication that it was a bad experiment) but it's taking forever.

I love Abby's little pink nose.

If this sounds good, you might also like:
Peanut Butter Squares with Milk Chocolate and Oats
Lazy Girl's Chocolate Chip Blondies
Dark and Dangerous Triple Chocolate Cookies
Peanut Butter Chocolate Pillows

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from 101 Cookbooks and (never home)maker

Makes 24

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup natural peanut butter
1 cup maple syrup
5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Place racks in the top third.

In a medium mixing bowl combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. in a separate larger bowl combine the peanut butter, maple syrup, olive oil, and vanilla. Stir until combined. Pour the flour mixture over the peanut butter mixture and stir until barely combined - still a bit dusty looking. Stir in the chocolate chips, but don't overmix. Let sit for five minutes, give one more quick stir, just a stroke or two. Now drop by heaping tablespoonfuls onto parchment-lined baking sheets. Press down on each one gently to flatten a bit, with a silicone spatula or the back of your hand (if the dough is sticky then wet your hand). Bake for 10, maybe 11 minutes - but don't over bake or they will be dry. Let cool five minutes and transfer to a cooling rack.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Apple-Miso Tofu

Last night was our first snow!!! Probably less than an inch and I'm sure it will be gone soon but I'm so excited and love how the world looks with snow!

I love tofu. A lot. I would much rather eat some plain pan fried in a dry pan tofu than beans. I try so hard to love beans, but unless they're mixed with a bunch of other things or pureed/mashed (hummus, refried beans, soup), I end up having to cover them in something or swallow without tasting. I know I talk a lot about my dislike of beans - but I'm just baffled by people who love beans. How can you love them? And why can't I??

So tofu - it is my favourite. Well lentils are good too. But tofu is first. And this apple miso tofu is something different from other tofus I've made before. You marinade the tofu in miso, mirin, ginger, garlic and soy sauce. Then slice up some apples, add them, and bake the tofu, apples and marinade together. Very flavourful. Very saucy. I like crispy fried tofu, but I also love saucy tofu like this one.

If this sounds good, you might also like:
Orange Sesame Tofu & Coconut-Lime Basmati Rice
Sweet and Spicy Cashew Tofu
Lemon Herb Tofu
Honey-Mustard Marinated Tofu

Apple-Miso Tofu
Adapted from Appetite for Reduction

1/4 cup water
5 tbsp miso (I used red)
1/4 cup mirin
1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce

Everything Else:
1 block extra firm tofu (about 14 oz)
1 pound apples (about 2 large), cored and cut into 1/2 inch thick slices

Mix the marinade ingredients together in a 9x13 inch baking pan.

Cut the tofu into whatever shape you like - I went for squares, but cubes, triangles or slabs would be good too. Add the tofu and let marinate for at least an hour, or up to 12 hours, flipping once in a while to make sure things get coated.

Preheat the oven to 375F. Add the apples to the pan; it;'s okay if they're not all submerged. Cover the pan tightly with tinfoil and bake for 30 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven and remove the tinfoil. Bake for another 20 minutes. The tofu should be lightly browned and the apples should be nice and soft. Serve over rice if desired.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wheat Berry Salad with Zucchini and Mozzarella

There was a time when I used to try to take better photos for my blog. I had a white piece of poster board that I would always get out. Not that my photos are amazing, but I did try to make them decent. However now it's just taking a photo as quick as I can. I thought it might be interesting to take a photo on my dining table. At the time it was covered with cookbooks to protect the puzzle underneath from Abby's curious paws. There's a laptop in the corner, our house phone (how many people even have one anymore?), and a recipe I printed out in the top left corner. A little piece of my world.

While I made this salad in the summer, I think it'd be great this time of year too. You can have everything warm and then put it on top of the lettuce. My favourite things about this salad are the radishes (which I never think to buy or add to salads but add such a nice crunch and flavour) and the wheat berries (oh how I love the chewiness). The salad also has walnuts (originally pine nuts but holy those are expensive), zucchini of course, roasted bell peppers, lettuce, garlic, dill, mozzarella cubes (yum) and vinegar. It was best on the first day - probably because I didn't keep the lettuce out, which I would highly recommend you do if you aren't going to finish the whole thing in one day.

If this sounds good, you might also like:
High Protein Quinoa Almond Fruit Salad
Warm Roasted Pumpkin & Shallot Salad
Know Your Roots Salad
Back On Track Wheat Berry and Chickpea Salad

Wheat Berry Salad with Zucchini and Mozzarella
Adapted from Eats Well With Others who adapted from The Food Matters Cookbook

Serves 4-5

1/4 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
2 lb zucchini, halved lengthwise
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and black pepper
1 cup raw wheat berries
3 roasted red bell peppers, cut into strips
6 radishes, sliced thinly
1 head romaine lettuce, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup fresh dill, chopped (I would add more next time)
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 cup cubed mozzarella

1. Add 2 1/2 cups water to a pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add the wheat berries. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for about 45 minutes, or until tender but still a bit chewy. Drain any excess water and set aside. This step can be done in advance and the wheat berries can be refrigerated.

2. Turn on the broiler. The heat should be medium-high and the rack about 4 inches from the fire. Brush the zucchini with the 1 tbsp oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and broil, turning as needed, until lightly charred on both sides and beginning to soften, 5 minutes or more. When they're cool enough to handle, cut the zucchini into chunks or slices.

3. Toss together the zucchini, wheat berries, roasted red peppers, radishes, lettuce, and dill in a large salad bowl. Add the vinegar. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss again. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Toss with mozzarella. If you don't plan on finishing the salad the day you make it, keep the lettuce out and add it just before serving.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Pumpkin Ginger Molasses Cookies

While I love pumpkin loaves, muffins, cakes and cheesecakes, I do not like pumpkin cookies. They're too soft and cakey - something I don't think cookies should ever be. But these pumpkin ginger cookies were too intriguing to resist. They're not the chewy ginger molasses style cookie. And while they are definitely soft, they're not too cakey. I've now found a pumpkin cookie I can say I really do enjoy.

I bought a sugar pumpkin this year (which was used half for soup and half was roasted and put on Halloween night nachos). You know what I've discovered? I don't like pumpkin on its own. In baked goods yes. But it's too watery and not quite the right flavour for me. (I seem to have a lot of rules as to when I do and don't like pumpkin, eh?) I think the thing I love most about pumpkins is the idea of it. I love how cute they are. I love the spices that usually go with it. I love that it makes me think of fall and Halloween and homey comforting things.

But my favourite winter squash to eat is definitely kabocha, followed by butternut and delicata (which I tried for the first time this year). I love being able to eat the squash skin - and I can't believe I didn't know you can eat the skin of butternut squash (thanks Joanne.) Why do recipes always tell you to peel it then?? Silly loss of nutrients and deliciousness.

If this sounds good, you might also like:
Pumpkin Cheesecake
Pumpkin Muffins
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Loaf
All-In-One Holiday Bundt Cake

Pumpkin Ginger Molasses Cookies
Adapted from Two Peas & Their Pod

I used Earth Balance butter instead of regular butter (as the original recipe calls for), and I'm wondering if I maybe should have added a touch more salt to the recipe to compensate for that. I'm not sure if the original recipe used salted or unsalted butter. But I thought this recipe could use a bit more salt - maybe 3/4 tsp instead of 1/2 tsp.

Yields 3 to 3 1/2 dozen cookies

1/2 cup Earth Balance butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar, plus 1/4 cup for rolling the cookies
1/2 cup pure pumpkin
1/4 cup molasses
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/3 cups white whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until creamy and smooth. Add the pumpkin, molasses, egg, and vanilla extract, mix until well combined.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, spices, and salt. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until combined. Refrigerate the cookie dough for at least 1 hour. The dough can be chilled for 2-3 days.

3. When you are ready to bake, preheat oven to 350° F. Line a baking sheet with a Silpat or parchment paper. Place sugar in a small bowl. Roll tablespoon-sized balls of dough in sugar until well coated and place on prepared baking sheet, about 2 inches apart. Bake for 10–12 minutes, or until cookies look cracked and set at the edges. The cookies will still be soft. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for a 2-3 minutes after removing them from the oven, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Asparagus and Chickpea Stir-Fry with Hoisin Sauce

So many vegetarian stir fries use tofu as the protein (or tempeh - when will I begin to love you), so I was really excited that Janet had the idea to swap out tofu for chickpeas in this one. Spinach, asparagus and cashews are combined with the most perfect mix of lime, basil and hoisin sauce. I did not know those 3 things would be so delicious together but yum. I still see asparagus in the grocery store but you could use broccoli instead.

I was just looking to see if hoisin sauce is vegan (I think it is), and found out that literally translated, hoisin means "seafood". This may explain why when we go to Chinese restaurants, E's dad always tells me that the hoisin sauce has fish/seafood in it and E always shakes his head and says no this is hoisin sauce it doesn't.

If this sounds good, you might also like:
Pureed Sweet Potato & Peanut Stew with Chickpeas
Thai Chick-Un Pizza
Swift, Delicious Bean Salad
Orzo Salad with Chickpeas, Dill and Lemon

Asparagus and Chickpea Stir-Fry with Hoisin Sauce
Adapted from the taste space who adapted from 101 Cookbooks

Serves 4

1.5 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups cooked chickpeas, or a 19 oz can, drained and rinsed well
1/2 cup green onions, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 lb asparagus, ends snapped off and cut into 1-inch pieces
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup cashews
1 bunch of spinach (300g), coarsely chopped
zest and juice from 1 lime
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
2 tbsp fresh basil, thinly sliced

Have all your ingredients prepped and within arms reach of the stove. Heat olive oil in a large pan, or wok over medium high heat. Once hot, add the onions, ginger, red pepper flakes, asparagus, and salt to taste. Stir fry for about a minute, then add the garlic, cashews, and spinach and stir-fry for another minute, or until the spinach wilts. Add the chickpeas to the pan, stir for about a minute until the chickpeas are warm. Stir in the lime zest and juice and the hoisin sauce. Cook for another 10-20 seconds, stirring all the while.

Remove from heat and stir in the basil. Taste and add a bit more salt and/or lime juice if needed.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Pineapple Carrot Ginger Muffins

I love carrot cake, especially when there's pineapple in it. These muffins are healthy carrot cake you can have for breakfast! The ginger is prominent (freshly grated) but not too strong. I found the texture a bit wet, but that could be because I used flax eggs instead of regular eggs - and maybe I should have just added 2 tablespoons of ground flax and no additional water instead? Something to try for next time.

Random personal tidbit for the day - Thursday is my favourite TV day. I love Grey's Anatomy, Vampire Diaries and Secret Circle. More so the first two, but I'm a sucker for any supernatural show.

If this sounds good, you might also like:
Healthy Carrot Cake Power Scuffins
Garden Harvest Cake
Morning Glory Muffins
Spiced Carrot Muffins

Pineapple Carrot Ginger Muffins
Adapted from The Muffin Myth

Makes 12 muffins

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup oat bran
1/3 cup loose packed brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tin (398ml) crushed pineapple – don’t drain!
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 flax eggs (2 tbsp ground flax + 6 tbsp water, let it sit for 5 minutes)
2 tbsp fresh grated ginger
2 cups grated carrot (about 3 carrots)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare muffin tins and set aside.

In a medium bowl, sift dry ingredients together. In a slightly larger bowl, whisk together crushed pineapple, flax eggs, olive oil, and grated ginger. Add the dry ingredients all at once, and stir until just combined. Add grated carrot and walnuts, stirring to distribute evenly through the batter. Spoon into prepared muffin tins. Bake for 30 min, rotating the tins half way through. Gently release the muffins from the tins, and turn onto their sides in the tins to cool.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Red and White Cauliflower Bake

I've tried various vegan cream sauces but I don't like most of them which is why I never post them on here. I think it's the nutritional yeast and the soy milk. I used to always drink Silk unsweetened plain soy, but have just switched to Silk unsweetened almond and am really enjoying it. (So much better than Almond Breeze, which I know tons of people love.) I'm hoping that in future vegan cream sauces, the almond will blend more smoothly versus standing out like the soy milk. Anyway, I made this cauliflower bake with soy milk and while I could taste the soy, it was a really nice homey dish that I'd happily eat again. I love when tomato sauce is combined with cream (or in this case tofu, cauliflower, soy milk and nutritional yeast). This photo was taken the day after, so it cut out a nice slice, but it'll be a bit of a soft (delicious) mess when you serve it hot from the oven.

Sunday night we were lucky to be invited to the Cirque du Soleil Michael Jackson Immortal World Tour! Cirque is my favourite and we always go when they come to town. I haven't been to Vegas but when we go I plan on watching as many as I can. I don't have any pictures of the show but it was amazing. They did such a great job given that Cirque is usually in small tents, and the venue they had this time was huge in comparison. I tend not to share a lot about myself and my life (aside from food related things) on my blog, but I always love reading random tidbits about other people's lives on their blogs, so I'm going to try and share more than just Abby photos. We'll see how it goes! :)

Abby likes to squish herself into any boxes we leave around.

If this sounds good, you might also like:
Red and White Tortellini
Lentil Veggie Burrito Casserole
Cauliflower and Parmesan Cake
Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie

Red and White Cauliflower Bake
Adapted from Vegan Yum Yum

Makes 4 servings

Simple Marinara
1/2 tbsp olive oil
3/4 tsp dried basil
3/4 tsp dried marjoram
3/4 tsp dried oregano
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (14.5 oz) stewed tomatoes, blended
1/4 tsp salt
4 cups cauliflower, chopped small and steamed

Herbed Tofu Ricotta
1 pkg extra firm tofu, crumbled
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp dried marjoram
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
2 tbsp cornstarch mixed with 2 tbsp water

White Sauce
1/4 cup Earth Balance butter
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tbsp tahini
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp stone ground mustard
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 cup unsweetened plain soy milk
1/2 tsp salt
Pepper, to taste
1 cup bread crumbs (I toast whole grain bread then grind it up in a food processor)

Preheat the oven to 400F.

Heat the olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Once hot, add the herbs and saute for a minute or two, being careful not to burn. Add garlic and saute for 30 seconds. Add tomatoes and salt. Simmer for 10 minutes.

While the sauce is cooking, chop the cauliflower into very small pieces and steam.

Herbed Tofu Ricotta
Mix together the tofu, salt, basil, rosemary, marjoram, lemon juice, yeast, pepper and the cornstarch/water mixture.

White Sauce
Whisk the margarine in a saucepan over medium-low heat until melted. Add the flour and whisk into a paste. Add the tahini, lemon juice, mustard, and the yeast and whisk well. Slowly add the soy milk, whisking well to make a smooth sauce. Add the salt and pepper and whisk over medium-high heat until mixture is thickened; it should coat the back of a spoon thickly.

Assemble the Casserole
Place the tofu ricotta in a 1 1/2 quart casserole dish - shallow and long works better than deep and narrow. Press it down to form an even layer.

Mix the cauliflower with the white sauce and spread it over the tofu in an even layer. Add the tomato sauce on top of the cauliflower, top with bread crumbs, and bake at 400F for 20-25 minutes until bubbly and browned.

Let stand at least 5-10 minutes before serving sot he casserole can set.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

High Protein Quinoa Almond Fruit Salad

I know I'm terrible for posting dishes that involve out of season fruit or vegetables. But things can always be substituted or recipes can be saved for next year! I thought this quinoa fruit salad was really interesting. It's such a unique way to combine fruit and protein for a great snack. I used yellow plums, blueberries and cherries but I'm sure other fruit like apples, oranges (mandarin oranges!) and persimmons would be good too. Whatever you like, really.

If this sounds good, you might also like:
Cocoa Nibbles
Apple Fennel Celery Salad
Coconut Raspberry Walnut Power Bars
Sunny Jungle Bars

High Protein Quinoa Almond Fruit Salad
Adapted from Oh She Glows

Makes about 4-5 snack size servings

3/4 cup dry quinoa
3 cups plums
2 cups fresh blueberries
1 cup cherries, pitted and sliced
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
Pinch of kosher salt
1/2 cup almonds, chopped

1. Cook quinoa according to package directions.

2. Meanwhile, chop the fruit and place in a large bowl.

3. Mix the dressing ingredients (maple syrup, balsamic, lime juice, salt) in a small jar and adjust to taste if necessary. Note: You may have to double the dressing recipe if your salad is quite large.

4. Fluff cooked quinoa with a fork and add to large bowl with fruit. Combine. Pour on dressing and mix well. Serve immediately or chill in the fridge until serving time.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Vegan Homestyle Chocolate Chip Cookies

I have two new favourite vegan cookie recipes. I know there are a million chocolate chip cookie recipes but these are too good not to post about. Not to mention ridiculously easy to put together. They don't spread too much, don't puff too much. They have nice crisp edges, and soft but not cakey middles. I've tried them with all purpose flour and with spelt (all purpose was better with crispy edges, spelt resulted in a cookie that spread more and was softer - light spelt might work well though). I've tried them with chocolate chips and with M&Ms (not vegan, I know). It's a great base cookie recipe to add in whatever you like.

If this sounds good, you might also like:
Chocolate Dipped Cherry Shortbread
Chocolate Oatmeal Coconut Cookies
Chocolate Marble Chunk Cookies
Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Vegan Homestyle Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from Vive le Vegan!

Makes 8-10 large cookies

1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup unrefined sugar (I use sucanat)
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup oil (I usually use olive oil but safflower or canola would be good too)
1/3-1/2 cup non dairy chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a bowl, sift in the flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Add the sugar and salt, and stir until well combined. In a separate bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, vanilla and oil. Add the wet mixture to the dry, along with the chocolate chips, and stir through until just well combined (do not overmix).

Place large spoonfuls of the batter on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a Silpat, and flatten a little. Bake for 11 minutes, until just golden (if you bake longer, they'll dry out). Let cool on the sheet for no more than 1 minute, then transfer to a cooling rack.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Spicy Potato & Corn Salad

I love potato salad, as I'm sure most of us do. I don't eat it often and never make it though, as I don't want to eat tons of mayonnaise. But this potato salad has no mayonnaise and just 2 teaspoons of oil. And I love that it has beans, chipotle peppers, cilantro and of course my favourite corn.

It's a nice twist on traditional potato salad and makes a great meal salad. I liked eating it warm better than cold. It's too bad I didn't post in the summer when corn was in season! But I've added in instructions for using frozen corn which I'm sure would be just as good.

If this sounds good, you might also like:
Know Your Roots Salad
Back On Track Wheat Berry and Chickpea Salad
Quinoa Corn Salad
Spiced Squash, Lentil and Goat Cheese Salad

Spicy Potato & Corn Salad
Adapted from Appetite for Reduction

Serves 6

3 ears corn, shucked (or about 1 1/2 cups frozen corn)
2 pounds potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces (I used red, white and blue)
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 canned chipotles, mashed into a paste
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp agave
2 tbsp water
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic, grated on a Microplane grater or minced very finely
2 cups pinto beans, cooked (a little less than 1 cup dry or a 16 oz can drained and rinsed)
2 tbsp finely chopped red onion
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Mixed greens, for serving

Prepare your steaming apparatus while you prep your veggies.

First, if using fresh corn, steam the corn for about 5 minutes. Remove from the steamer and set aside until cool enough to handle. If using frozen corn, warm it in the microwave or on the stove with water, drain, then set aside.

Place the potatoes in the steamer, and steam for 7 to 10 minutes. The potatoes should be tender enough to pierce with a fork, but not falling apart. Remove from the steamer and set aside to cool.

In the meantime, prepare the dressing. In a small mixing bowl, stir together vinegar, chipotles, oil, agave, water, and salt. Grate in the garlic.

When the corn is cool enough to handle, cut it from the cob: Place it directly in a large mixing bowl, pointy side up, and use your chef's knife to cut down the sides. Once all the corn is in there, just break it up with your fingers. If using frozen corn, add the drained corn to the mixing bowl. Fold in the cooled potatoes, pinto beans, and red onion.

Add the dressing and toss to coat. Mix in the cilantro and taste for salt. Add more chipotle if desired. Either serve immediately over mixed greens, or if you want it cold then chill until ready to serve, then serve over mixed greens.