Tag Archives: recipes

New smoothie alert: The green mess

Well, my summer hiatus is officially winding down (can a hiatus actually wind down?) and I’ve started putting the finishing touches on some new content. I tend to use the summers as a way of sitting back and thinking about what direction I want the blog to go in and what milestones I’d like to hit.

This year I’ve set a fairly reasonable intention: don’t be so closed off to inspiration from other blogs and bloggers. Yeah, everyone wants to be original, but when you’ve read as much Adorno as I have, you start to realize that no one’s all that original (of course, you could also let that lead you into a far more fatalistic approach… but let’s keep it light and airy for the sake of enjoying the ride).

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

Processed with VSCO with a8 preset

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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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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Quick “fish-ish” tacos with two-minute slaw

Let’s talk about let-downs.

Jarrod and I have been following our New Years Resolution to cook more at home and we are loving it. Every day I tease him about being a “salad guy” at work because he’s always so proud of bringing in a big, colourful salad full of tomatoes and zucchini and carrots and greens. Then at night we come home and usually have a nice big grain and veggie bowl, or some soup for our souls.

But the past couple weekends have been a bit stressful — Jarrod’s train club had its winter open-house two weekends in a row which meant that I didn’t really get to see him all weekend, including on the long weekend.

Missing Jarrod on weekends is hard. We are both so busy during the week that our weeknights together end up being pretty quiet, but we love taking walks, making food and going on dates during the weekend. So on the third day of Family Day weekend, we decided that Jarrod would leave his train show early and we’d go to Bloomer’s for a limited-time special they were hosting — eggplant “fish” and chips.

Jar’s British, so as you can imagine, he was pretty excited for the idea.

So excited, in fact, that we forgot to check the time that Bloomer’s was open until. After about a half-hour subway ride, we emerged from the underground to find Bloomer’s in darkness, having closed before we even left our place. With no one to blame but ourselves, all we could do was laugh all the way back home.

Fortunately, when you have a well-stocked fridge and a good imagination, there’s no telling what you can and can’t do. Could we make a facsimile for breaded fish and chips? Well, not quite yet. But we did manage to pull together an easy, slightly “fishy” flavoured tofu filet and a classic purple ‘slaw to make what I’m calling “fish-ish” tacos without the heavy breading. I’ll leave that to Bloomer’s!

Fish-ish tacos with two-minute slaw

Prep time: 20 minutes passive (tofu pressing), 10 minutes active
Cook time: 10 minutes
Yield: Four tacos
Allergen info: Nut-free, gluten-free (depending on choice of taco wraps)
Alternate options: For a grain-free option, use lettuce wraps instead of wheat or corn tortillas
Kitchen tools required: Knives and cutting board, mixing bowl, frying pan and spatula

 

Ingredients

  • 2/3 of a block firm or extra-firm tofu
  • 7.5 ml (1/2 tbsp) onion powder
  • 0.62 ml (1/4 tbsp) kelp granules
  • Dash of Old Bay seasoning (optional)
  • One lemon, cut into wedges
  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) shredded carrot
  • 250 ml (1 cup) finely sliced purple cabbage
  • One shallot, finely chopped
  • Scant 63 ml (1/4 cup) vegan mayonnaise
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Press the tofu (about 20 minutes) and slice into eight “nuggets” down the short side of the block.
  2. Rub the tofu lightly with a lemon wedge.
  3. Sprinkle on the onion powder, salt and pepper, kelp granules and Old Bay Seasoning if using.
  4. Cook in a frying pan over medium-high heat using only a bit of oil for five minutes per side or until golden and crispy.
  5. Make the slaw: thinly slice the cabbage and grate the carrots, toss with the chopped shallot and mix thoroughly with vegan mayonnaise and salt and pepper.
  6. Assemble the tacos — two tofu nuggets per taco, a generous heaping of slaw and whatever else you feel like. We added avocados and cilantro, but get creative!

You want my advice? Enjoy this on a patio if you’re one of the lucky Torontonians experiencing above-10-degree weather! Okay, bring a sweater, but still — don’t let these sunny days pass you by!


Slow-cooker tofu bulgogi

I never thought I’d see the day when I’d find those irritating one-minute cooking videos (you know, the kind people share on Facebook that usually feature an entire brick of cream cheese?) useful to me. But lo and behold, one of my foodie cousins shared a video that must have started autoplaying before I was playing attention (when the first frame says “2 lbs of flank steak” I’m likely to feel ill before I even consider moving forward in the video) because I actually found myself thinking, “Hmm, I could veganize this.”

We don’t use our slow-cooker very much (Jarrod has pointed out that it’s older than me), but after getting a ton of shit done on Saturday, I decided I’d earned a less “involved” dinner. To the slow-cooker!

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Cooking with leftovers: Zucchini pakoras

Zucchini Pakoras

So, how are everyone’s New Years resolutions going? Believe it or not, I actually kind of made some this year after a lifetime of dismissing resolutions as stupid. I didn’t set out specific goals (which I realize is what everyone tells you you should do), but I did tell myself that I would take steps to be more organized — planning ahead more, taking an inventory of the things I have, tracking my habits, not allowing myself to get away with laziness.

We’re only 18 days into the new year and I can already see some payoff — of course, this might  mean that we’re totally capable of falling off the wagon. But let’s just take some time to celebrate some positive changes Jarrod and I have made, which include:

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Budget-friendly golden curry

golden curry

Would you believe I’d never tried curry until after I was almost ready to head off to university? Chalk that up to growing up in a small town where the most diverse food you could find was a Chinese buffet and maybe sushi at the grocery store. I’ll admit that growing up in such an environment often made me scared to try new foods, and the first time I tried curry (I was 16 and touring a Sikh temple with my classmates) I was so scared. Would it be too spicy? Would it be too weird of a combination of foods? Would I offend people if I made a weird face?

But the curry — and the whole meal, to be honest — turned out to be one of the best experiences of my life. Turns out, curry is one of the easiest ways to get in a ton of nutrients for cheap when you’re a student, so I loved making curries when I was in university, particularly potato and tofu-based ones (and I wasn’t even a vegan back then).

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Five-minute BBQ chickpea mayo

chickpea-mayo

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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Baked BBQ Yuba sandwich

yuba-bake

Several months ago, a Toronto institution closed. I’m talking about Porter House, a small pub in Toronto’s Little Portugal neighbourhood that specialized in amazing pub food that just happened to be cruelty-free — like their amazing charcuterie board featuring miso-cured tofu and chestnut-mushroom confit, their cauliflower curry fries and the warm and inviting lentil-ale pie.

Porter House was special because it didn’t fit the mold of the typical juice cleanse/grain and veggie bowl/clean eating vegan places (Kupfert and Kim, Rawlicious), nor did it fit in with the super-indulgent, faux-meat type places like Hogtown Vegan and Doomie’s.

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