Tag Archives: plant-based

Pad Thai burgers

One thing I would love to talk about more on this blog about — if given the chance — is the evolution of how I went from an extremely picky eater to a decidedly unadventurous eater and then finally a total food daredevil.

Here’s a short version: Growing up, I had a lot of weird taste and texture sensitivities to food that would seemingly develop overnight, and I’d go from totally loving a food one day to having a terrible aversion to it. The fear, anxiety and embarrassment only made things worse, and I’d be too afraid to even take a bite of something. It certainly made things difficult for my parents for a long time. In high school, I started to outgrow the full-blown aversions, but I definitely didn’t branch out and try a lot of new things. The main reason for this was that I simply hadn’t been exposed to a lot of foods beyond a typical meat and potatoes diet. My town was very French-Canadian and, well, super white. The most diverse food we had was grocery store sushi.

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Sugar-free protein pancakes for one (in one bowl)

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I’ve always been pretty happy with the day I eat, but the older I get the more I’m craving food that provides me with sustained energy for longer periods. I haven’t made any broad-sweeping, absolute cuts to anything like carbs or sugar, but I’ve certainly moved away from carby snacks (even vegan-friendly ones) and more toward foods rich in fibre and vitamins. I’ve also tried to get more protein in at the beginning of the day, and have given myself a “one more veggie” rule when cooking dinner and lunch — when I think it’s good, add one more vegetable!

Anyway, there’s still room for fun things like pancakes in my life. Everyone who reads this blog knows that I love a good pancake recipe, and I really dig all sorts of different varieties, from more rustic grain-and-nut-based pancakes to fluffy, buttermilk flapjacks.

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Easy tempeh nuggets with Szechuan dipping sauce

I never really post tempeh recipes on here because to be perfectly honest, I’m not a huge fan of tempeh. Yes, I, the girl who would live off of Bloomer’s tempeh reuben sandwich if she could, think that tempeh can be kind of blah. And that, I will fully chalk up to me not being that great at cooking tempeh. Also? Tofu is cheaper.

But sometimes you’re in Noah’s and you see a nice brick of tempeh on sale for just over half of what you’d normally pay for it and that fermented bean cake is lookin’ pretty good to you, isn’t it?

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Double-banana pancakes (no added sugar)!

If you’re wondering why I haven’t posted a smoothie recipe here lately, I’ve been kind of thinking of it in a cruelty-free version of “teach a man to fish.” We all know how smoothies work, right? Liquid (probably non-dairy milk), something creamy (banana? Sweet potato? You decide), something sweet, something healthy, maybe protein… whatever. At this point, I think posting my favourite combinations of Things to Blend Together and Pour Into a Jar and calling it an original recipe is kind of self-congratulating. You guys can figure out smoothies for yourself. I’ll tackle the important stuff.

Like pancakes!

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Nut-free cookie dough bites

I was definitely a cookie-dough eater as a kid. And as an adult. In university, my roommate Jenn and I would make cookies and usually end up eating about half the dough ourselves. Let’s just say one of my favourite unexpected benefits of going vegan is being able to eat the raw cookie dough with pretty much no consequences (I say “pretty much” because I have been known to become quite miserable when I eat too many sweet things, much as I don’t want to admit it).

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Five-minute BBQ chickpea mayo

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When I was a kid I hated mayonnaise. I couldn’t tell you why — I was one of those kids who would wake up one day and decide they hated something they once loved. One time I even decided that with my mom’s meatballs and I went almost a year without eating them (at this point I guess that was a good thing?). Anyway, even though my mom insisted that mayonnaise was in tons of things I liked, like her vegetable dip, I couldn’t stand the sight of mayonnaise on a sandwich or burger.

How things have changed! I’ve even become one of those people who puts (vegan) mayonnaise on their fries or (un)chicken fingers.

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Seven last-minute Christmas gifts for vegans (that aren’t Lush giftcards)

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Sigh. So here’s the thing: I’m never going to turn down a Lush gift card. I could indeed be pretty comfortable with spending $50 on bath bombs in one go. But sometimes, when you’re taking your third jasmine-scented, deep-green tinted bath that week right after you finished scrubbing golden glitter off of your tub, you start to wonder if there’s more to life than bath bombs, y’know man?

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Red-handed beet smoothie

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It finally happened – I finally have come around to beets. Beets, besides bell peppers, are pretty much the only vegetable I’ll turn down. I don’t hate them, and in fact have enjoyed spiralized beets on salads quite a few times, but chunks of beets, slices of beets or whole beets have been real losers in my book. I dislike the flavour, so adding them to smoothies has been done in limited quantities — generally, I’ll only do it if the ratio of beet to berry is generous on the berry side.

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Vegan round-up: Five easy recipes that will make you want to eat in

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If you follow me on Instagram (and, on that topic, why aren’t you?) you’ll know that last week I had a goal to not eat out a single time. I actually will admit right off the bat that I failed once — on Tuesday, I had an unplanned event to attend at OCAD after work. None of the apps were vegan, so by the time I left, I was starved and knew that if I wanted to make it to the climbing gym, I’d need some calories in me. Sorry, folks, Mucho Burrito had my heart.

Other than that, I was able to stick to the goal quite easily by keeping my fridge well-stocked with my favourite staples, prepping as much food as I could ahead of time and, of course, taking soup to work (a technique I discussed in my recent post on The Financial Diet, seven budget-friendly tips for transitioning to veganism).

I find I depend most on take-out when I’ve got a case of the blah’s — there’s stuff in my fridge, but I don’t care about it. I’m hungry, but I don’t want to put in the effort. I find the best thing to do in this situation is to plan out meals that require minimal prep but make you feel really excited to eat.

Seriously, guys, these are easy, and they have the vibe of “comfort food” without feeling like “messy, sticky, regret it within 15 minutes food.”

  1. BBQ Pulled Jackfruit (It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken)
    OMG, this recipe actually changed the way I look at jackfruit! I’ve worked with jackfruit on UG before, but I actually always found it to be a huge chore because of the way you have to shred it with a fork. Sam’s method of warming and them mashing the jackfruit changed everything! Jackfruit is now in my top-three “lazy” meals to make thanks to this method. PS — for a fun and yummy change-up, swap the BBQ sauce with teriyaki!
  2. Creamy cremini one-pot pasta (Jenny Mustard) (pictured above)
    I love a good pasta dish, and I’ve previously kind of shied away from vegan creamy pastas. I’m not a big fan of cashew-based sauces (cashews are a bit expensive here) and things like cauliflower generally don’t end up having that creamy of a texture. This dish, however, which combines plant milk, tahini, miso and nooch is perfectly creamy, coupled with delicious green vegetables that make it suitable for any season.
  3. Street corn (Vegan Stoner)
    My sister can probably tell you a great story about a frequent argument she would get into in university about whether or not corn on the cob was considered a meal or not. In my family, it wasn’t terribly uncommon for corn on the cob to be a main course, so we’re pro-corn as a meal in my apartment. Anyway, this street corn is really easy and fun, and even though it’s definitely a summery treat, because it’s baked you can enjoy it year-round, and just feel like you’re at a summer street festival.
  4. Tofu pad Thai (Vegan Girlfriend)
    When I was in university, pad Thai became my favourite thing to eat when I had even the smallest amount of fresh veggies in my sad little fridge. Tofu is such an easy dinner because once you press it (which really should only take 10-20 minutes with a heavy enough cookbook), if your pan is already hot (plan your meal prep, yo!) it crisps up in no time. I like this recipe for “blah” nights because it requires such minimal prep and I usually have most if not all of these ingredients on hand.
  5. Meaty potrobello sliders (The Edgy Veg)
    One of my favourite things about going vegan is that I now love almost all of the foods I used to hate (still not a fan of bell peppers). For example, I not only love pickles now, I love everything But we’re supposed to be talking about portobello mushrooms here (which for the record I did sort of like prior to going vegan, but I didn’t love them). A portobello burger is actually one of the easiest treats you can make yourself, but something about it feels inherently fancy. There are many ways to play around with the recipe for the marinade, but I find the Edgy Veg gets it just right.

“Everything Good” green smoothie.

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New year, new me!

Oh wait, it’s the end of October.

I wrote a few weeks ago about how August was a bit of a nightmare for me. Although the initial panic of Ben’s medical condition did indeed fade as September trudged on, trying so hard to keep my head above water while really started to take its toll.

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