Vegan nighttime routine: My longtime go-tos

Night Routine

If you asked my partner, he’d probably tell you that my “nighttime routine” involves reluctantly washing my face and then falling asleep on the couch while watching a rerun of Rick and Morty/Brooklyn Nine-Nine/The Office/something equally silly. However, for the past year or so I’ve actually been trying harder to get a more definitive nighttime routine down because helping myself actually ease into sleep and relaxation makes it way easier for me to fall asleep. Continue reading


Crispy cauliflower tacos with avocado slaw

cauliflower tacos

Is there anything easier, more fun and more colourful than taco night? Probably. But dammit, I’ll still get hella excited for taco night, because the possibilities are always endless with tacos.

A couple months ago in Toronto we went through a cauliflower crisis. Scary stuff. Basically, cauliflower, one of the cheapest (and most nutritious) vegetables out there became impossible to find and very expensive when you could find it. Multiple factors contributed to this — as it turns out, cauliflower can be really hard to grow (harvest literally a day too early or too late and it’s no good). So combine that with this year’s drought in California and, also, the fact that vegans and plant-based dieters are waking up to just how amazing cauliflower is (I recently saw it labelled as a “superfood” at a grocery sore) and, well, these smelly little heads might as well have been pure gold.

I’m glad those days are over, because I usually have a head of cauliflower on the go at home, but it did really open my eyes to what happens when food trends combine with environmental and economical trends — an utterly perfect shitstorm.

Anyway, that little rant really had nothing to do with this dish except that this dish is comprised mainly of tender, crunchy, blessedly cheap cauliflower.

And by god I hope it stays that way.

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Crispy cauliflower tacos with avocado slaw

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 20 minutes
  • Serves: 5-6
  • Allergen info: Gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free option
  • Kitchen tools needed: Knives and cutting board, large bowl, microplane (optional)

Ingredients

Crispy cauliflower

  • One medium head cauliflower
  • 83 ml (1/3 cup) chickpea flour
  • 15 ml (1 tbsp) nutritional yeast (optional)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 15 ml (1 tbsp) soy sauce, tamari or Braggs (coconut aminos for soy-free)
  • 15 ml (1 tbsp) sriracha (optional)
  • Enough water to create a runny batter from the chickpea flour — about a half cup*

* I normally try not to be so vague with my measurements, but I would truly recommend just adding this one tablespoon at a time until you’ve reached the ideal volume and desired consistency. We like a thinner batter, and we estimate that it was around a 1/2 cup

Avocado slaw

  • 375 ml (1 1/2 cups) thinly sliced red or green cabbage
  • 125-208 ml (1/2-2/3 cup) thinly sliced red onion
  • Two small/medium ripe avocados
  • Juice from 1 1/2 limes (about 3 tbsp)
  • 30 ml (2 tbsp) vegan mayo (use Just Mayo or soy-free Veganaise for a soy-free option)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or grated on a microplane
  • 2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) coriander seeds or ground coriander (seeds preferred)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

To assemble

  • Fresh cilantro (for garnish)
  • Jalapeno peppers
  • Any creamy vegan sauce (optional — I used Earth Island’s horseradish sauce)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 420 degrees Fahrenheit (chuckle at the fact that it’s 420).
  2. Chop the cauliflower into bite-sized pieces.
  3. In a large bowl, mix your chickpea flour, nooch, cumin, salt and pepper.
  4. Add the soy sauce and sriracha, if using, and then add the water one tablespoon at a time until the desired volume and consistency is reached. Know that this might not give a full, thick coat to your cauliflower — the goal is to give it a little extra texture without being pancake-thick (not that there’s anything wrong with pancake-thick).
  5. Add your cauliflower florets and toss to coat.
  6. Arrange on a large baking tray lined with parchment paper and cook for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.
  7. While the cauliflower is cooking: Prepare the slaw. Slice your cabbage and onions and mix in a large bowl together.
  8. In a separate bowl, mash your avocados until most of the chunks are gone. Add in your lime juice, stir, and then do the same with your vegan mayo and your garlic. Keep stirring really hard until it’s almost whipped.
  9. Add the avocado-mayo to the veggies, and mix thoroughly.
  10. Sprinkle in your coriander seeds, salt and pepper and mix.
  11. You can store this coleslaw in an airtight container for several days — the lime juice will keep the avocado from browning right away (I enjoyed it for about three or four days after we made it).
  12. Before the cauliflower finishes cooking, warm a few tortillas on a skillet or in the microwave.
  13. Assemble your tacos, make them as pretty as possible, and don’t forget to take a shameless Instagram picture on #tacotuesday.

I’d love to see any pictures that you guys come up with — hit me up on Instagram with the hashtag #urbangarlic and show me what you’ve made!


No-banana berry soft serve

no banana soft serve

Don’t hate on me: I’m not the biggest fan of banana ice cream.

Which might seem crazy coming from a girl who has a banana in every smoothie, who was addicted to banana Popsicles growing up, who would fake sick just to get banana penicillin and whose nickname was — surprise — Breanna Banana. Yes, I do sing the high praises of bananas.

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Roasted cabbage with creamy sriracha dressing

roasted cabbage

One thing I love about travelling for work is all the new food to try. This year was my second time travelling to Santa Monica for our company’s conference and marketplace, and I was lucky enough that Jarrod came with me, too!

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Vegan 101: Smoky heirloom tomato and carrot sauce

tomato sauce

It’s been an exciting few weeks for Urban Garlic. I’ve been making more food than ever, taking more pictures than ever, and having more fun than ever. This blog is now more lined up with how I’m living my life — and life is exciting right now!

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What’s in my (vegan) bag: Ballet class edition

WIMB Ballet

If you’ve known me for five minutes, you probably know that I’m a dancer. I’ve been dancing since I was 11 years old and I’ve never really stopped. I also teach dance at a few different studios, which keeps me feeling so happy and connected to the art.

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Aqua-fabulous peanut butter cookies

Peanit Butter Cookies

I have a feeling that joke has probably been made a ton now, but in the immortal words of Eric Cartman, wha-evah, wha-evah, I do what I want!

I’m a bit late to the aquafaba train, but I’m making up for it lately. One of the reasons I was hesitant to post any aquafaba-based recipes is because I’m never sure how much I want to contribute to growing “superfood” trends. I’d hate to see the price of canned chickpeas skyrocket because people suddenly believe the brine in it can, like, cure cancer or something.

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Female vegan influencers that I love (and so should you)

Vegan Role Models 3

It’s always important to throw a nod to the masters — and these nine amazing women are currently some of my biggest vegan inspirations.

When I started out as a vegan I only knew of the “big” vegan blogs out there like Oh She Glows and Thug Kitchen. I knew of some vegan YouTubers, but they weren’t my style. So for the most part, veganism was very private and personal — just me and some books.

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Blueberry cardamom smoothie (bowl)

Blueberry Bowl

I never thought I’d see this day, but I’ve grown a little tired of chocolate smoothies. I’ve had a million variations on chocolate smoothies — zucchini, hemp, avocado, the glorious days back when I could stomach a couple dates — but let’s face it, it’s all just chocolate ice cream for breakfast.

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What’s in my (vegan) bag: cyclist edition

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Have I mentioned I’m kind of an active person? Between cycling, lifting, climbing, dancing and yoga, if I have a day where I don’t do some form of physical activity, I feel really weird.

At the very least, I ride my bike every day (even in the winter), to and from work. It’s only about 10K each way, but it’s enough to get me pumped and energized — and to turn me into kind of a hot mess. I’m a sweaty person, and because I’m devoted to safety (i.e. wearing a helmet) my hair is always a total tragedy after a ride.

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