Tag Archives: 30 minutes or less

Freshened up green smoothie

I know what you’re thinking: “Ugh, another vegan with a green smoothie!” I bet you’re picturing the classics: banana (nope!) spinach or kale (nnnnnope!), protein powder (nope), non dairy milk (nahhhh).

This green smoothie is for people who aren’t really interested in drinking their meals but want something nice and light as a snack or side. It combines the peppery taste of celery (calm down, it’s not a savoury smoothie) with lightly sweet pineapple and the light taste of green tea and mellow matcha.

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Lightened up gluten-free pancakes

I found myself in a dilemma recently: I had a lot of random gluten-free flours in my cupboards (I eat gluten, but I have a lot of GF flours to experiment for more inclusive recipes). I was trying to free up some much-needed kitchen real-estate, so I thought, “Today would be a perfect day for gluten-free pancakes.”

The thing with GF cooking that I find is that it doesn’t take much for dishes to feel very dense. The natural elasticity that gluten gives wheat flour is distinctly missing when it comes to things like oat flour and buchwheat flour, which is why the best GF chefs know to combine the perfect mix of gluten-free flours. Take, for example, Bunner’s in Toronto: one glance through their cookbook shows that creating the perfect cupcake usually relies on a delicate balance of flours ranging from garbanzo and fava flour to buckwheat flour. Complex — but yummy!

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Super veggie one-pot pasta

I’m not going to pretend that I’m the first person to come up with a one-pot pasta concept – or even that a one-pot pasta is a super innovative concept to begin with.

But a one-pot pasta does speak to everything that I always wanted Urban Garlic to be: a source for simple and uncomplicated meals that aren’t eaten faster than they’re cooked (for the most part). And this one-pot pasta is filled with so many delicious vegetables, it feels like I’m eating my (nonexistent) garden… with some carbs thrown in there.

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Harissa BBQ sloppy Josephines

When I was a kid, I only went to traditional summer camp once. The summer camps available in my area weren’t amazing, and we didn’t learn new things or have cool activities like the ones in movies (did anyone else watch The Parent Trap and think camp was way cooler than it actually was?) so one summer was really all I needed.

(Of course, I did go to orchestra camp a couple times as a teen. Yup, take your best shot).

Anyway, one thing I remember about camp was that the food was different than I expected. I thought it would be hot dogs, crusty mac and cheese and, of course, sloppy Joes! That was what I was most looking forward to since I, an apparently sad and disadvantaged child had never had a sloppy Joe before.

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Mushroom and tempeh mince

When I first went vegan, I wanted to avoid using a lot of mock meats. This wasn’t necessarily out of health concerns (frankly, you’re a vegan whether or not you’re “healthy,” so put that to bed), but more because I really really like cooking on my own and developing my own recipes and alternatives. Particularly once I started Urban Garlic (yep, back in the low-light, 5 a.m. blurry breakfast snap days), I wanted to be a from-scratch vegan. I preferred my tacos to have things like black beans instead of “beef” crumbles, or to add mushrooms instead of vegan “bacon” to my breakfasts.

Unfortunately, for too long I missed out on how lovely and handy it was to have a handy mince substitute. Whether it was to throw in a chickpea omelette, toss on top of some pasta or just eat straight out of the jar (shut up…), I am now convinced that everyone needs a vegan mince in their life.

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Maple whisky freezer fudge

Freezer fudge is the lazy girl’s perfect dessert. No, it’s not rich and dairy-decadent like traditional fudge (and there is more “traditional”-textured vegan fudge out there, for sure), but with a few simple ingredients you can create a dessert that is creamy, melt-in-your-mouthy, satisfying and adaptable to so many flavours!

I wanted to do something St. Patrick’s Day-themed, and originally planned on stout cupcakes, until I remembered that I’ve never been a cupcake girl. I don’t even own a small cupcake tin! My friend Alex can tell you about the time I brought cupcakes to his birthday (made from the Bunner’s cookbook) that I tried to make with cupcake papers but no cupcake tin. Well, they were chocolate, so they looked, well, you can imagine…

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High-protein overnight n’oats (grain-free!)

Disclaimer: I am not grain-free (as a vegan zombie, I love graiiiiiins). But just as I don’t eat gluten-free, soy-free or (entirely) sugar-free, I like to provide as many alternates as possible for a diverse readership. I also just think it’s fun to eat differently sometimes!

I have always found overnight oats a little boring (just one big giant “meh” from me) but I do love how high in protein they are without a ton of effort. I told myself I’d never do an overnight oats recipe on Urban Garlic because it just seems way too basic, but I got the idea to come up with an alternative that’s 1) higher in protein and 2) grain-free for people who need the alternative.

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Salted caramel squash smoothie

Heyo friends! Jarrod and I sticking to a meal plan is going very well these days — Jarrod is eating breakfast more at home and giving less of his money to Tim Hortons and their  breakfast sandwiches. Woo hoo! We’re also both finding we’re keeping fuller throughout the day.

Even though we don’t often prep ahead for meals (except for lunches), just knowing what you’re going to eat makes a huge difference — stocked fridge, logical plan, clear head. What’s not to love?

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Almond-crusted tofu

What’s the one meal you always remember being a go-to, weeknight meal at your house?

For me, it was chicken with Shake ‘n’ Bake. Oh, and not just any Shake ‘n’ Bake, Zesty Italian Shake ‘n’ Bake. What can I say — we were cultured kids.

I never grew up actually knowing how to bread anything. Shake ‘n’ Bake was the closest I ever came. As a result, I really don’t like heavy batters very much.

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Colourful curry chickpea salad

When I was a kid, I was so picky that the only sandwich I’d take to school for the longest time was peanut butter and jam. My mom tried different meats and veggies, but the only thing I liked was PB&J. And nothing grossed me out more than the thought of a chicken salad or a tuna or ham salad — just looking at the weird mounds of meat pile seemed so bizarre to me, I couldn’t tell you where the appeal was.

Now that I don’t eat meat, I still obviously don’t think there’s any appeal to, well, meat piles. But I do love a good salad sandwich. You see, the older I got, the more I started liking sandwiches for their texture. When I make a sandwich, there’s generally two kinds I like: 1) the piled-high, million-toppings, every-taste-and-texture-you-can-find kind, or 2) a mashed mixture of soft-but-firm protein combined with juicy crunch and flavourful spice.

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