Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Sugar Free Spelt Shortbread

If you read yesterday's post than you have already seen the gluten free, sugar free shortbread. Well, I figured I would make a regular shortbread as well! While I do have a wheat sensitivity, I am not bothered by gluten so I thought spelt flour would make for a nice hearty shortbread and I was right! These bad boys are amazing!!! When they first came out of the oven I worried about them tasting a little too healthy for my omni family but once they cooled down and I had another bite, you couldn't even tell that they weren't made with all purpose flour. The recipe is pretty much the same as yesterday's post, derived from my Mom's recipe that she has used for years. I hope you enjoy!

 Sugar Free Spelt Shortbread
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup xylitol (ground into powder)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening*
  • 1/2 cup vegan margarine*

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. In a magic bullet or high speed blender, grind the xylitol into a fine powder so it resembles icing sugar, this is what helps give the cookie that melt in your mouth texture. You will want to remeasure the xylitol after this step. Sift together the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Cut in the margarine & shortening with a pastry blender until the mixture becomes crumbly. At this point you can either roll the dough into 1 inch balls or roll out to 1/2 thickness and cut out using your favorite cookie cutter. I like to roll them into balls, place on baking sheet and press a pecan into each cookie. Bake for 20 minutes. You have to be very careful when you take them out of the oven, if you try to transfer them to the cooling rack too soon they will likely fall apart. Let them cool on the pan first and then transfer to cooling rack.

* You could also use 3/4 cup Earth Balance buttery flavoured sticks instead of the shortening/maragine combo.


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Gluten & Sugar Free Shortbread Coookies

Shortbread cookies are my all time favorite Christmas treat. I love the buttery flavour and melt in your mouth texture. I used my Mom's recipe as a guide and really didn't change anything other than using rice flour instead of all purpose and xylitol in lieu of icing sugar. Most gluten free baking requires a binder such as xanthan gum but shortbread is known for it's crumbly texture so I would advise against it. I also wouldn't use any strongly flavoured gluten free flours such as chickpea or even the Bob's Redmill mix, rice flour is the perfect, light flour to use for these cookies.

Gluten & Sugar Free Shortbread Cookies

  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup xylitol (ground into powder)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening*
  • 1/2 cup vegan margarine*
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. In a magic bullet or high speed blender, grind the xylitol into a fine powder so it resembles icing sugar, this is what helps give the cookie that melt in your mouth texture. You will want to remeasure the xylitol after this step. Sift together the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Cut in the margarine & shortening with a pastry blender until the mixture becomes crumbly. At this point you can either roll the dough into 1 inch balls or roll out to 1/2 thickness and cut out using your favorite cookie cutter. I like to roll them into balls, place on baking sheet and press a pecan into each cookie. Bake for 20 minutes. You have to be very careful when you take them out of the oven, if you try to transfer them to the cooling rack too soon they will likely fall apart. Let them cool on the pan first and then transfer to cooling rack.

* You could also use 3/4 cup Earth Balance buttery flavoured sticks instead of the shortening/maragine combo.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Coconut Almond Sautee

One of my biggest goals for 2011 is healthier eating. Upping my veggie intake and making sure I am eating a  wide variety of foods. One thing I miss is being able to eat at a local Thai inspired restaurant, Noodle Box. My favorite was the Spicy Thai Peanut box with Tofu. When I found out it had fish sauce in it I was crushed, but luckily I came up with my own version which is also okay for anyone following the Anti Candida Diet.

Coconut Almond Sautee
  • 1 cup brocolli florets
  • 1/4 white onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1/4 yam, peeled and diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsps minced ginger
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup chunky almond butter
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsps olive oil
  • 1 tbsp Braggs liquid aminos
  • 2 tsps lemon or lime juice
  • thin ribbon rice noodles
In a shallow dish, soak rice noodles in hot tap water for 25-30 minutes. While the noodles are soaking, heat the sesame & olive oil over medium heat. Stir in the carrots, onions & yams. Cover and cook until tender, approx 5-10 minutes. Add in the brocolli, ginger & garlic, cover and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Add in the coconut milk, almond butter, spices, Braggs & lemon or lime juice. Stir together, add rice noodles and simmer on medium high heat for 5 minutes.

I was really pleased with how this turned out. I will definitely be making future variations!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Sauteed Veggies & Roasted Chickpeas

The last thing I felt like doing today was cooking. I lived off of toast & edamame hummus all morning and knew I just needed some good food to kick my butt into high gear. I didn't feel like going to the grocery store so I made do with what I had and I think it worked out pretty darn good! I give you a very simple, quick sinner that is gauranteed to please. Sauteed Veggies & Roasted Chickpeas! This took under 30 mins to make, prep and all.

Sauteed Veggies & Roasted Chickpeas!

Roasting the chickpeas is super easy and you can use whatever spices you like. I didn't measure anything so I don't have a recipe to post, but it is pretty straightforward. Preheat your oven to 425. Rinse a can of chickpeas and dry off in a tea towel. Throw beans into mixing bowl and add your favorite oil (I used sesame), give a few shakes each of turmeric, garlic salt  & garam masala. Toss the beans so they are coated easily and transfer to a baking sheet. Cook for 10 mins, remove from oven and gentlty shake pan to flip beans, making sure not to spill them on the floor. Cook for an additional 10-15 mins. That's it!

While the beans are roasting, heat some olive oil (a tsp or two) over medium heat. Chop up half an onion and two medium size carrots into small-medium pieces. The smaller the pieces, the faster they cook. Stir and cover for 5-10 minutes. Once your veggies are tender, remove from heat and add two handfuls of spinach. Cover and once the chickpeas are done roasting your spinach will be nicely wilted. Toss the veg into a bowl and sprinkle with roasted chickpeas!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Knitting & Crochetting

I am determined to learn how to knit & crochette after viewing this thread on the PPK. Last year my friend, Danielle, bought me this super rad book called Crobots!

It's been sitting on my shelf for quite some time, quietly teasing me. I think I need to learn a few basic chrochette patterns first before I attempt these. But they are so cute and the awesome scarves, socks, sweaters that PPKers have made are really inspiring me. I am not even sure where I can get synthetic wool but my guess is Walmart or Fabricland might have something. So, if there are any knitters/crochetters out there that have any tips for me, post a comment or better yet, come and teach me!!!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The good just keeps on coming...

I've noticed quite a lovely trend in the past few weeks. I have been winning a crazy amount of shitake through MoFo blogs. I guess keeping a positive outlook and taking things as they come really does pay off; not to mention entering said contests also boosted my chances. I have always been into free stuff but since MoFo I have been really on top of entering for free swag and I figured I would share all of those lovely blogs with you folks so you could not only follow them but possibly win things in the future! I am sure those having had giveaways are likely to have more and have really inspired me to do my own little giveaway soon!

Let's start with the first winning care of Alicia A Simpson and her blog Vegan Guinea Pig. I got a copy of Quick & Easy Vegan Celebrations and is quickly becoming a favorite of mine. As mentioned in a few posts before the Mac & Cheeze has been made easily 6 times since I got it. I highly suggest you pick up a copy or try Quick & Easy Comfort Food, another one of Alicia's books.

Second on the win list is a specially designed for me food care package. Thanks to Grey Eye Designs which is extra exciting for me because even though Victoria is a pretty vegan friendly city, a lot of the items are really expensive, there is no vegan gum and so many other items are not coherent to my Anti Candida Diet.

Third is a huge pile of awesome coupons from Vegannifer. This wasn't a contest but I still feel like I won something. She sent me coupons for Seventh Generation, Organic Valley, Earthy Friendly Products, Revolution Foods, Plum Organics, and CleanWell. Some of the products are not available here but there is still plenty of time to share so I will post soon what they are and if they are available in your city I will send them to you!

Fourth is an original Art Print from Boober The Fraggle. A really cool hand drawn rat mosaic style picture. I will post a pic when it arrives!

Fifth is from Exploits of a Vegan Wannabe. I will soon be the proud owner of Why Animals Matter and it's even signed by the author. Too cool!

Sixth is three e-cookbooks care of The Whole Gang. The main reason I entered this contest is for the Anti Candida e-book and was super stoked when I found out yesterday morning that I had won 1 copy of Sweet Freedom, 1 copy of Desserts without Compromise, 1 copy of Anti-Candida Feast Book from the Gluten-Free Holiday event.

So that's my loot so far, we'll see if my luck stays with me through to the new year and be sure to keep your eye out for a giveaway in early January!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Sugar Free Almond Butter Cookies

*Edited to add: I am almost tempted to call these Marzipan cookies, they have that taste to them without the salt.

I am back on the sugar free wagon! No natural sugars or artificial sweeteners other than Xylitol and Stevia. I am not a huge fan of Stevia because it has a weird aftertaste and I also find it hard to figure out the proper ratios in some recipes. If something calls for 1/2 cup of sugar, that's maybe a tsp or two of Stevia but that is a huge difference, what will it do to the texture, moistness, etc...I just recently found Xylitol at the health food store as well as the regular grocery store so I this is my first recipe with it. It looks just like sugar and has the same ratios, it's not crazy swet like Stevia so I have high hopes. I chose Almond Butter Cookies because I cannot have peanut butter due to the Candida and I am still trying to rid my body of it naturaly rather than with antibiotics. It's taking a lot longer because I had a bit of a binge the past two months. I stray easily from routine when I have no obligations which is exactly what happened recently but back to the cookies.

I seem to have misplaced my recipe holder which had a great 3 ingredient recipe for peanit butter cookies, I figured I could easily convert it but I remembered it had egg and I'm not sure how flax eggs, almond butter & Xylitol would end up as a cookie so I googled "easy peanut butter cookies vegan" and found this recipe. I`ll just sub the pb for almond butter, Xylitol for sugar and use spelt flour.

After I made the cookies I realized the recipe had no salt in it, they were very sweet. I think partly because there was no salt and the almond butter (which I subbed for pb which is much saltier); I also used was raw and naturally on the sweeter side. The second batch got a sprinkle of salt on top so they weren't so overwhelmingly sweet. I would recommend adding a tsp of salt if you make these. Other than those few hiccups I would say these are a hit!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Jump start on Resolutions! Yaaay December!

I don't know about you but I like to get a head start on my resolutions! I feel like if I get right to it in December I don't feel overwhelmed or bummed out that I haven't stuck with it come January. I am hoping, scratch that, I know 2011 is going to be way better than 2010. I had a lot of shit thrown my way and now that I look back it was a good thing. It gave me the opportunity to change a few things about where I was headed that I didn't like. Somewhere along the way, I got really lost and became a very angry, sad person which is so crazy because that is not who I am. People have always described me as fun, spontaneous, crazy, funny; that's who I want to be again. The 14 year old me ;) The one who did what I wanted and let no one stand in my way. I had ideas, most of them pretty out there but that never stopped me. This year I have a huge list of wants but I don't think that any of them are unacheivable. In fact I know they are all a lot closer than I think and I already have a few under my belt.

VOLUNTEERING being one of them. I have been volunteering at the SPCA for a month now and I absoluetly love it. I am working with the cats for now and hope that once I get my 3 month probabtionary perios under way that I can also do some dog walking and perhaps even work with the small animals (guinea pigs, bunnies, rats etc). It's pretty amazing having the opportunity to enhance the lives of these cute little furballs and of course I have a few favorites. I love going there, it gives me something to look forward to and I know that they look forward to seeing me and the other voluteers as well. I have only had a few incounters with unhappy kitties, usually when I brush them too much or try to get the mattes out but that is to be expected and certainly has not detered me from going back.

Cactus & Shelbey
Oliver, lounging outside

COUNSELLING is another thing new to me and I love it! I was lucky enough to have an amazing friend refer me to this woman who has been the best thing (next to Vince) for me through all of this.  If you know me that I don't need to indulge or complain about all the crap I have endured. It has been a long time coming and I have known for a while that I needed to talk to someone knowledgable about what was going on with me but I have seen so many therapists/counsellors in my time that I just didn't mesh with, I was really nervous to give in another shot. It's awesome how much better I feel after just an hour a week with this woman. She has changed my life and given me so many tools to work towards my goal. As I write this I have a huge grin on my face and am laughing a little about be being such a "princess".

SCHOOL is number two on my list. I start in January, just doing some part time upgrading which is a great start that only took me 10 (yikes) years to get to the point where I felt comfortable and ready to go back. Math has always been fairly easy for me so I am not too worried but Englsh on the onther hand...frightening! I'm not terrible or anything but I am not good at writing essays or poetry and things. It will be good though, a chance for me to exercise my brain after so long. I need that. Then I can finally start to pursue my dreams of having a job that I love! Leaning towards working with animals (veterinary assistant or receptionist) or making even working with Mental Health & Addictions. Who knows where my school days will lead me but I know it is a good step!

I hope I look this good doing Math
Add caption

So those are the two I have my head start on, now for the rest of my list :)
  • Exercise & Nutrition- I want to start walking again and  get back to my Anti Candida Diet
  • Positive Outlook- I really need to be more aware of my attitude and I really don't like being a negative nancy
  • Less Stress- This one goes hand in hand with the previous two as well as my counselling, I need to stop worrying about things out of my control and maybe if I am ucky my headaches will go away as a result.
I have more that I can't seem to think of right now but enough about me, I hope I inspire others to pre-resolute and get that little jump start so when January rolls around you've got it all under control.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

MoFo is Over :( But that doesn't mean the fun has to stop

December is here already and MoFo is over. Although I didn't blog everyday, I still think I did a great job for my first year. I posted more in the last month than I have in the lasy year. It was a lot of fun and I had no idea of how much work it would be but that aside I did enjoy sharing recipes, seeing new followers (still baffled by that one) and reading other's blogs. Next year I plan on being a little more organized, pre writing a few posts, stockpiling pictures and doing some giveaways. In fact, I may do one before the year is over granted that I can pull it off (don't hold your breath though).

I want to thank everyone that took the time to read my posts and those who commented as well. It means a lot that you guys actually enjoy what I have to say and like the recipes I have to share.

I hope to continue posting consistently throughout the new year and look forward to more feedback from you guys. Also, feel free to join my facebook fanpage for the blog, just click HERE!

Thanks again to all my readers, see you again soon!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Mofo Day 28! Thanksgiving Spread, Breakfast & Office Xmas Party Dinner!

Vince and I got up super early to have breakfast with our friends before they headed home to LA and Saskatoon. It was so nice to finally meet Asheligh after all the amazing things we had heard about her. Never have I met such a fun, sweet, honest, charming gal. I really liked her and she seems like a great match for our friend Dan. In the 5 years that I have known him, I have never seen him like this about a girl; totally smitten and real. It makes me so happy to see other people enjoying what Vince and I have; true love. Awwww, ok you can all quietly throw up in your mouths now while I get to the real goods. The Food.

I am going to back track a bit here because I realized I haven't yet posted our Thanksgiving feast! Well, it's actually just a realy crappy, dimly lit photo of my plate because I was  the only one enjoying a cruelty free me. Let me tell yo, it was flippin' amazing. I out did myself, the seitan was to die for, the onion gravy was super delicious, the stuffing rocked and the roasted squash & rutabaga were seasoned to perfection. You know, not to toot my own horn or anything but I follow directions beautifully. I honsetly cannot take full credit for the meal since most of my recipes were found online, well I guess it was really only two, the seitan and the onion gravy  (scroll down to Angie V's post). The stuffing I made a while ago and had it frozen in the freezer so I just thawed it for a bit, then cooked it for 30 mins with the seitan and the veggies were super easy, cubed them into 1 inch peices, tossed in some garam masala, garlic salt, extra cinnamon, ground ginger and olive oil and baked for 60 mins. Over all it was a pretty simple dinner but it really hit the spot and I cannot wait until morning because Kelly and I are totally making this for breakfast, smothered in gravy.
Turkeyless Thanksgiving Dinner!
Ok now back to our breakfast with Dan, Asheligh, Dave, Marijane, Myself and Vince. Shine cafe has always had a vegan option but they had changed their menu since I was there last. It was so much better, more to choose from and they all sounded fantastic. I had the Bean&Rice "sausage", sauteed spinach and garlic, sweet chili sesame tofu and hashbrowns. All of the flavours went so well together and aside from the sweet chili sauce it was totally candida friendly; yay! I am trying to get back to my diet since my body is ever so grateful when I follow it.
Shine Cafe; Karin's Brunch
Now for my office Christmas party dinner which we had at the Delta Ocean Pointe Resort. I was kind of dreading going since I haven't been at work in 2.5 months and was really nervous to see everyone. I was also nervous to have to ask for my own special food even though my boss told me ahead of time it would be no problem for me to do so, I just get anxious about silly little things like that. Anyways, I decided to call ahead of time and notify the banquet staff that I would require a seperate meal. I explained to them that I was vegan, have some food allergies and other than that I am really not picky so whatever they could come up with, I would be alright with that.

I was pleasantly surprised with what I was served, it far exceeded my expectations. I thought I would end up with a salad or steamed vegetables. The rest of the party was buffet style so as everyone got up to get their food, I sat and waited for mine to be served to me. Kind of awesome, really. When the waitress came out with a tiny ass salad I had a moment of my head I am thinking "Are they for real, this is all they are going to serve me" (I have learned to not expect much in these types of situations) but as she set the plate in front of me I heard her say "Here is your appetizer, let me know when you are ready for the main dish". I squeeled inside a little.
Springs Green salad atop golden beets with a lemon, olive oil drizzle
I wanted more of that salad. It was so delicious and I could have eaten 3 or more platefuls. Onto my main dish, as I saw it coming all I could see was a bowl full of what looked like peas and was a little worried. I am not a huge fan of peas but they were sweet peas which I do quite enjoy. The dish had a lot of flavour and was very creamy, I was a tad frightened by that thinking maybe they had put butter or something in it but I think risotto is just like that naturally? At least I am hoping so. ;)
Sweet Pea Risotto garnished with Pea Shoots
Last but not least is my dessert plate. The one thing I forgot to mention on the phone was that I couldn't have any type of sugar, even natural sugars but I didn't want to say anything when they set the plate infront of me filled with fruit. The staff there were amazing, they did everything they could to ensure I enjoyed myself and had plenty to eat. I am so thankful that I was able to eat alongside everyone else and not feel the the weird girl who just drank tea all night ;) Even though I wasn't supposed to have fruit, I did anyway. I have been pretty bad at following my diet lately and figured some fresh fruit wouldn't kill me and I have missed it dearly.
Fruit plate with raspberry puree
There you have it, all this delicious food went in my mouth over that past 2 days. The best part is I only cooked one of the meals. One of my favorite things is when I don't have to cook for myself, I love making food but I hate cleaning up. The other day Vince asked me if I was super rich would I love to have a personal chef? While it does sound tempting, I would much prefer a personal assistant or dishwasher.

With only two more days of MoFo left, I am getting a mild sense of relief but also a wee bit sad. I have quite enjoyed blogging almost daily, acquiring more followers and reading so many other awesome vegan blogs. I even found another vegan blog in my city MyWholeDeal, so I thought that was pretty neat.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Mofo Day 26. 3 Raw Dessert Recipes!

How was everyone's Thanksgiving? Enjoying the leftovers I imagine. Tired of cooking and don't want to think about food? I know I would be if I has spent the day slaving away in the kitchen, then stuffing my face with a delicious turkey free dinner! I thought I would post some nice light recipes with no cooking required. These are I would typically classify as summer desserts but I thought I would share anyways.

Sunshine Bars

1¼ cups cashews
1¼ cups almonds
¼ cup walnuts
¼ cup sunflower seeds
1 cup flax seeds
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons agave

2 mangoes
2 lemons
½ cup coconut oil
¼ cup agave
2 cups fresh coconut, shredded
½ teaspoon vanilla extract


Blend the cashews, almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds and flax seeds in blender or food processor if you have one. Once it is a very fine consistency, transfer to a large mixing bowl,add 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract and 2 tsps of agave, this will hold the base of the bar together. Press evenly in the bottom of a pan.

Lemon Top:
Combine in blender, diced mangoes, zest and juice of 2 lemons, along with 1/4 cup of agave. Remove from blender, add shredded cococnut, 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract and warmed coconut oil. Mix together and spread evenly over base mixture in pan. Freeze and enjoy!!!

Rawcolate Balls

1 cup almonds
1 tablespoon flax oil
1 tablespoon carob chips
1 pinch sea salt
⅛ cup raisins
¼ cup sunflower seeds
¼ cup flax seeds
1½ tablespoons flax powder

Start by chopping almonds in a food processor until finely ground, add flax oil and salt, continue to mix. Add in carob chips, process until they are smooth. Transfer to dish, fold in sunflower seeds, flax seeds, raisins and flax powder. Roll into small balls and place on a plate in the fridge. Once they set, they are ready to eat! Enjoy

These measurements are APPROXIMATE, as I did not measure anything. You may need more or less nuts depending on how well it is staying together.

Sugar Free Raspberry Pie

1 1/4 cups shredded coconut
1/2- 3/4 cup chopped dates
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
pinch of sea salt

Blend ingredients in a food processor until it clumps together. Then spoon out on a pie plate and press and spread to form a crust.

1 bag of thawed frozen raspberries or 2 lbs of fresh raspberries
3/4 chopped dates ( I added some toasted coconut as well)
1 Tbsp coconut oil
1 Tbsp psyllium husks (I used up to 3 Tbsp for a thicker consistency)
1/4 tsp vanilla

Blend in the food processor until well mixed, pour on top of the pie crust. Set in refrigerator for 30 minutes. Garnish with fresh mint and fresh raspberries if desired.
*I make a strawberry pie following the same recipe


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving American Friends! MoFo Day 25

Even though Thanksgiving in Canada has already passed, I still like to celebrate. I don't need an excuse to make a good hearty meal , but joining in on festivities is always fun! You won't get to see my goodies until Sunday since we are having dinner on Saturday night but I will tell you all about it! Since I am just cooking for myself, it's not a huge spread but there will be enough to share. Omni's seem to love my food, which is a good  freaking great thing. So here you go, something to look forward to in my Sunday post, delicious food porn (and of course, some recipes too!)

Main Course
  • Seitan Turkey Roast
Side Dishes
  • Mashed Rutabaga
  • Roasted Baby Spaghetti Squash
  • Butternut Squash & Pecan Stuffing
  • Carmelized Onion Gravy
  • Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Squares
  • Coconut Macaroon Muffins
Well, there you have it. That is what I will be making for myself. I am really looking forward to it as this will be my first ever Thanksgiving dinner where I have cooked a whole meal for myself. Other years I have made do with having just side dishes that my mom made sure I could have; corn, my own stuffing, mashed potatoes sans butter/milk and maybe some yams. I cannot get over the fact that I just made seitan for the first surely will not be the last! Bye for now ;)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Squares & Creamy Broccoli Soup. MoFo 24!

As Amercian Thanksgiving nears, all I see everywhere are delicious recipes. I am starting to think I will probably make myself a small feast when the day comes. I didn't really do much for Canadian Thanksgiving and I don't care where the holiday is celebrated, if it involves food, I am in! Pumpkin desserts are always a holiday staple, since I didn't want to go through the hassle of making a pie or cheesecake I decided to do a cookie or bar when I came across this recipe on the PPK forums. I said I was going to stop baking since I need to get back on track with my anit-candida diet but what the hell, the year is almost over and I want to enjoy some treats. Afterall, pumpkin is one of my favorite baking items and tis the season. I highly recommend giving this recipe a try,!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Squares
I also made the Creamy Broccoli & Cauliflower soup from Quick & Easy Vegan Celebrations this morning. It was pretty good. Not my favorite as I like a true creamy soup and I think it could have used more salt. The not enough salt thing seems to be a trend with this cookbook in my opinion, but I guess you can always add more right? Next time I make this soup I think I will use 1/2 veggie stock, 1/2 rice or soy milk for a creamier texture and maybe even some almonds, cashews or macadamia nuts.

Creamy Broccoli & Cauliflower
Only 6 more days of MoFo. Can you believe it? I wish I would have done a post everyday but I think for my first year participating and my last minute decision to do so that I have done fairly well. Next year I plan on preparing for MoFo, I really had no idea what I was in for. I think I will do a theme of some sort or at least organize my posts ahead of time, maybe even bank or pre write a few things :) I also want to do some giveaways, I would have loved to this year but it's not really in the budget, although I might be able to make something happen. If anyone has any ideas of a special something you would like to win, let me know and I'll see if I can somehow pull it together in the next few days. See you all tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Mofo Day 23. Macaroon Muffins!

Lately I have been on a serious baking binge! So far this week I have pounded out 2 different types of cupcakes and these amazing muffins! I haven't even really cared to eat any of it either (which is strange because I have a crazy sweet tooth) but my boyfriend, roommate and family sure loved everything!

There are many things I don't know/understand about  using gluten free flours...I used a mixture of spelt (I know it's not GF) & gluten free flour (both Bob's Red Mill Brand) for the macaroon muffins and they looked beautiful and puffy when they came out of the oven. I figured I would wait to photograph them since I hate it when my lens gets all steamy and I came back to these :(

All cracked and caved in :(
They were supposed to look like this.

Photo from

They still tasted amazing, I will be making these again, next time I will follow the recipe exactly and I will stick with one or the other; Gluten Free or Regular Baking...I am guessing the caving of my muffins had everything to do with the gluten free flour. Good thing my guinea pigs aren't picky ;) I'm not even sure why I have gluten free flour in the house...I think I may have been trying something out for my Mom because she has a wheat sensitivity and I always associate wheat with gluten. I think Iw ould like to try more gluten free baking but I need some solid recipes, I hate throwing things out. So if anyone knows a good blog or cookbook and could point me in the right direction, I would be ever so grateful.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Mofo Day 22. Mexican Bean Dip & More Cupcakes!!!

I totally forgot about the Mexican Bean Dip that I made the other night. I meant to blog about it yesterday but I guess it slipped my mind. It is basically a lazy version of seven layer dip. I got the idea when my boyfriend spent two days eating a store bought omni version. I'm not gonna lie, I felt a little left out so I decided to make my own (with the secret agenda to make it better!).  It's just as tasty, very simple to make and literally takes seconds.

Way better than store bought ommi dip
Mexican Bean Dip:

1/2 can Amy's Chili with Vegetables
1/2 tub Tofutti Cream Cheese or Sour Cream
4 tbsps Soy Yogurt*
1 tbsp Taco Seasoning
1 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp mustard powder
1/4 cup Daiya shreds (Mozza or Cheddar, I used Mozza)
1/2 avocado, cubed
*If using sour cream you can omit the soy yogurt

Pour half a can of Amy's Chili with vegetable into serving dish. In a seperate bowl, mix the tofutti, soy yogurt and spices. Layer the mixture over the chili. Sprinkle with Daiya Shreds and avocado. That's it! Serve with taco chips and enjoy.

Cooled, un-iced and ready for some action!
Now for the cupcakes! These smelled so awesome while they were in the oven, it was hard not to dive right in when they came out. I actually ended up butchering one as it came out of the muffin tin so I ate it, and burnt my mouth :( Once they cooled I iced them with what was left of the cookie n cream frosting and there was still some left! I'm serious, the recipe could frost 3 dozen cupcakes. Now I know for next time to at least half it, if not more.

Frosted and topped with crushed oreos :)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Stanley Chase...Chasing his dream. Watch this video.

Check out this super awesome video by Stanley Chase. It's really inspiring to see how amped he is about this project especially since it's something that I have been dreaming of lately.

MoFo Day 21. Macaroni and Cheeze!

If you read yesterday's post than you know I was really excited to make the Macaroni and Cheeze from Quick & Easy Vegan Celebrations by Alicia C. Simpson. Well let me tell you, it did not disappoint! Even though it has no cheese in it at all, its is super rich, creamy and oh so delicious. In fact, so delicious that I ate half of it before I realized I hadn't taken a picture. So the pic below is not mine but it's the same idea.

This recipe was very easy to make and everyone I shared it with loved it too. It is certainly one I will make again and again. I think next, I will try the Creamy Brocolli & Cauliflower Soup and hopefully I will remember to snap a pick first.

Currently I am baking the golden vanilla cupcakes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World and they smell sooo delicious! I had some left over frosting from the Cookies n Cream Cupcakes so that's what I will use to decorate these and maybe crush a few oreos overtop for added goodness. I will post those tomorrow along with...well I am not quite sure yet but there is always plenty to choose from in the wonderful world of vegan cooking.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

MoFo 20! Quick & Easy Vegan Celebrations.

I left the house fairly early yesterday morning, checked the mail on my way out and to my surprise, my copy of Quick & Easy Vegan Celebrations had arrived!

I couldn't wait to rip the package open and thumb through all the recipes to figure out what I would make first. A few things caught my eye, the Au Gratin Potatoes (Pg.124), the Tempeh Cakes with spicy Remoulade (Pg.34), the Creamy Brocolli and Cauliflower Soup (Pg.122) and the one I am most excited about making is the Classic Macaroni and Cheeze (Pg. 174). I promptly made a trip to the grocery store to make sure I had all the ingredients and also picked up a little extra so I could make the brocolli soup as well. It is getting really cold here, in fact we had our first snowfall last night so all that is on my mind lately is warm, comfort foods. I am so excited to make so many recipes out of this book and am very grateful to Alicia C. Simpson for not only writing such a kick ass cookbook but for allowing me the opportunity to win it! She even signed it for me :) Unfortunately I did not have a very productive day and didn't actually get to making anything but I will leave you with this droolworthy photo of the Mac n Cheeze I plan on making very soon!

Macaroni and Cheeze

Friday, November 19, 2010

Chick'n Caesar Salad. MoFo Day 19.

I love garlic! One of my favorite ways to eat it is straight up, roasted with some margarine. Sooo good. My second favorite is in caesar salad. I like my dressing so garlicy that I have to tame it down if I'm going to share with anyone so unless you are a garlic fiend like myself I suggested starting out with half the garlic I use in the recipe. When I think of caesar salad I think of chick'n, be it nuggets, fillets, burgers or other form; they go hand in hand in my mind. The best chick'n substitute out there is Scheinder's Meatless Chick'n products.
Way better than Yves. This is a super easy side for dinner or small meal, very quick to make and very satisfying. I am always trying to find lower fat versions of my favorite comfort foods so for the dressing I use an almond base. Also very simple and a good support for the rest of the flavours. I find using plain soy yogurt, you can really taste the soy and even though it is plain, it has a subtle sweetness to it that I don't think belongs in a caesar salad.

Caesar Salad Dressing:

1 cup almonds, soaked and peeled (you can leave the skins on for a more textured dressing)
2-3 large cloves garlic
1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
garlic salt
mustard powder

Soak almonds in water overnight. The next day the skins should pop off quite easily, just squeeze between your fingers. You can save the skins and dehydtrate them to make almond flour. Put the almonds in a food processor or high speed blender. Blend until smooth, this can sometimes take a while. Slowly add water to get the right consistency. It all depends on how thick or thin you like your dressing, I usually use anywhere from 1/2 cup to just over 1/3. While the almonds are blending, finely dice up the cloves of garlic, if you don't like your dressing too spicy I would suggest starting with just one clove. Add to the almonds along with the lemon juice and a couple shakes each of garlic salt (or powder), mustard powder and pepper. If using garlic salt, start with just a dash, you can always add more but too much salt will leave a bad taste in your mouth. Keep running processor or blender (I use a magic bullet) until super smooth. Now it's time to taste your dressing and see if there is anything you would like to add. Nutrional yeast is always a nice addition, as well as avocado!

I hope you enjoy this as  much as I do.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Soup n Burgers. I'm no food critic...MoFo Day 18!

I'm no food critic but I know what I like! Being vegan can be challenging at times when it comes to pre-made and fast foods. There are a lot of "misses", luckily I have come across a few "hits". I have been on a search for a flavourful, moist veggie burger. I still don`t know why so many companies market the burgers with egg or milk or cheese in them. They would be reaching a much larger demographic by not including any animal products but I guess that just makes the vegan finds even more special.

Today I putting the Sol Veggie Burger and Amy's Lentil Soup under the microscope.

Let's start with the burgers. What I like about these most is the fact that there aren't a whole bunch of ingredients I can't pronounce. A nice simple, clean burger that has a nice flavour, not eerily tasting of beef and not your traditional, rice or mushroom based burger. I ate the burger on a peice of sourdough with a but of kethcup, while not very exciting, I felt the burger held it's own, not needing the typical burger dressings to make it edible. However, with all the fixings I think this could please veggie's and omni's alike.

Next up is Amy's Lentil Soup. I have always been a fan of their products, while some are still not vegan friendly it is the one brand widely carried in my city that has more options than the latter. I feel like this soup is a good start but could use a little something. Salt comes to mind, as does garlic and maybe some more vegetables. It is much better than a lot of soups out there but I still think my favorite is the Black Bean Soup, perfect with diced avocados on top.

Like I said before I am no food critic, I think that's apparent but I do know good food. I give the Sol Veggie Burgers a 7.5/10 and the Amy's Lentil Soup a 6/10. Not bad for a quick lunch when you don't really feel like putting any effort into it. I'll be back tomorrow with a chick'n caesar salad and possibly some sweet treats!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Happy Birthday Kelly! Let's celebrate with cookies&cream cupcakes! Mofo 17!

Good afternoon! On this fine day, 35 years ago, my dear friend and roommate was born! In honor of this momentous occasion I decided to whip up some cupcakes. What better recipe to use than one from VCTOTW! Oreo's were on sale for 1.49 so I went with the basic chocolate cupcake with cookies  cream frosting. I even got all fancy and piped the frosting using the age old "cut hole in corner of ziploc baggie" technique. I know right! Pretty intense.
These are the first vegan cupcakes I have ever made and I must say I am very pleased. I was a little worried at first because the battery was quite thin and I thought maybe I had forgotten an ingredient. After double checking I knew I hadn't left a thing out and trusted in Isa's recipe knwoing it would be nothing short of amazing. Then I had a momentary frosting meltdown but thanks to the PPk that got sorted out real quick. I hope you will join me again tomorrow. I will be doing some product reviews. Amy's Soups & Sol Veggie Burgers. Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Mofo 16. Cajun Chickpea Cakes from VeganDad

I love chickpeas and am always looking for new ways to use them. Besides hummus (let's admit it, it's everyone's fave) this is the ultimate use of chickpeas. This recipe is from

* I omitted the parsley, used 1/3 each of green pepper & onion, 19oz can of chickpeas and add 1/2 tsp of garlic salt and you definately need more cornstarch than listed, I used approx. 3 tbsps.

To easily form patties, use a small square of saran wrap of wax paper inside a small shallow bowl, put in mix, fold over wrap and press firmly until your cake forms, remove and plop in pan!


- 1/4 cup diced onion
- 1/4 cup diced green pepper
- 1 celery stalk, diced
- 1 28oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1 tsp paprika
- pinch of cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp hot sauce

- 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- 2 tbsp flour
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- salt and peppper to taste
- oil for frying

The Finished Product
1. Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Saute onion, green pepper, and celery for 5-7 mins, until softened. Remove from heat.

2. Place chickpeas in a food processor along with the onion mixture. Pulse until chickpeas are no longer whole, but dont process them too much. Place chickpeas in a bowl and add spices, hot sauce, and parsley. Mix well. Add flour and cornstarch and mix well. Place in the fridge for 30 mins.

3. Heat oil in a frying pan over med/med-hi heat (around 350 degrees). Shape chickpea mixture into 12 patties and fry in batches, about 2-3 mins per side, or until crispy and browned. Flip a few times if they are browning too quickly. If you have trouble forming the patties, add some more cornstarch to hold it all together.



Monday, November 15, 2010

Savory Squash Soup! MoFo 15

I love making soups. I spent the day boiling veggie scraps to make vegetable broth. This was my first time doing it and I honestly don't know why I have never done this before. It's genius! Not only do you save money by not having to buy broth, but you cut down on waste by using veggie scraps that would otherwise be thrown out and you don't have to worry about recycling tetra packs. Win, Win, Win! Making your own broth is super easy. All you do is save all the scraps you would usually compost or throw out in your freezer. I'm talking EVERYTHING! Onion skins/nubs, carrot peels/ends, garlic ends, pepper seeds, caulfiflower stalks, celery greens/ name it. The only things you don't really want to use in your broth is brocolli, cabbage and any other veggies that might overwhlem the flavour of the other vegetables. Cook on low heat, skimming the foam off the top as needed. This makes for a nice clear broth. The longer you cook it the more flavour you will get.

While my broth was simmering away I realized I had 1/2 of a squash and a lone carrot in the fridge that needed to be used up so I decided to make a nice creamy soup. First I  preheated the oven to 375. Then I peeled the squash & carrot and cut into 1 inch cubes. I then cut a medium onion into quarters and split the layers up. Next I tossed them in olive oil, garlic salt, sage & thyme. I layed them all out evenly on a baking sheet, popped them into the oven and set the timer to 30 mins. Then I had the pleasure of watching episode 3 of The Walking Dead. Holy fork, I don't ever want this show to end...EVER! It is so good, if you haven't tuned in do yourself a favor and dedicated a few hours to watching it, you will not regret it. Ok, back to soup. Once the veggies were done roasting, I let them sit out to cool and finished watching my show. Once it was over I headed back into the kitchen, put the veggies into the food processor with a bit of water and added some salt. That was it. Soup's on!


1/2 squash of your choice, cubed into 1 inch peices
1 medium onion*, quarted, break apart layers
1 carrot, peeled and cubed into 1 inch peices
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp crushed sage
1/2 tsp crushed thyme leaves

2-3 cups water or vegetable broth
salt & pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375. Toss squash, onions & carrots in olive oil and spices. Roast in oven for 30 mins. Once veggies are cool enough to handle, put in food processor with 1 cup of water or broth. Blend on high until smooth and gradually add more liquid until it is as thick or thin as you like. Add salt & pepper to taste.

*You could use just 1/2 an onion as it does have a strong flavor in the soup. (I love onion!)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Maharagwe My Way! Mofo 14

In my second MoFo post I introduced you to my friends The Vegan Police, now let me introduce you to my favorite recipe posted on their forums. MAHARAGWE!!! This is such a super cheap, quick, easy meal that honestly makes so much and last for days :) I vamped it up a bit and added some more spices but this here is the original recipe it is based off of.

1 medium onion, chopped
1 19oz chickpeas
2 cans diced tomatoes (reserve the juice for a sauce or stew, I put mine in the freezer to be used later)
1 can coconut milk
2 tsps turmeric
1 tsp chili powder
3/4 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp mustard powder
1/4 tsp sea salt

Heat the oil in a deep pan and cook the chopped onion until it is soft and golden. Mash the beans with a fork(not too much, you want to leave som whole) and then throw them in with the onion. Add the chopped tomatoes as well. Now put in the spices. After that pour in the coconut milk and stir the ingredients*. Cover the pan and leave to simmer for 10 minutes. Serve with quinoa & garlic naan.

*Another great addition to this dish which makes it really awesome is a few handfuls of spinach & cubed tofu.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Bakemania! Vegan Mofo 13 in which I use too many !!!

I intended on getting up nice and early this morning but a bad dream kept me in it's trance for too long :( I finally dragged my butt out of bed around 9:30, the boyfriend and I hopped in the truck and headed to our friend's place! While the men worked on their trucks, us ladyfolk had a funfilled day of baking! It's been a long time since I did any baking since I am on this whole no sugar dealy, but I figured one day of fun with sweet treats in the kitchen wouldn't kill me. On the agenda, rice krispie Treats[plain & chocolate covered], snickerdoodles, chocolate peanut butter pillows and carrot muffins. We wanted to do oatmeal chocolate chip cookies as well but we ran out of time. First up are the rice krispie treats, originally the plan was to do a nice chocolate drizzle on one batch but we kind of failed at the drizzle aspect and ended up making a thin layer on top instead.
These are always a crowd pleaser and a no brainer since the recipe is right on the box! The only substitutions you need to make them vegan are dandies (or any other vegan mallow) and vegan margarine. With only 4 ingredients total and minimal time needed these are a nice quick treat! and here are the choco treats!

Next up are snickerdoodles, my favorite cookie of  them all! I first discovered these when I was 13, my Dad's wife used to make them all the time! These too are super easy to veganize, we used this recipe.
Here they are all ready to go into the oven! I like to leave out the fork smush, I find they are fluffier that way.

All puffy and ready to eat!

Next up are the Chocolate Peanut Butter Pillows which I have made a number of times! We used Isa's recipe, pretty sure it is the only one (that matters anyway).

We also ended up making a chocolate peanut butter sushi type roll with the leftovers, it cracked and broke a little but still tasted great. Unfortunately the photo does it no justice so I shall leave that to your imagination :)

Last but not least our carrot muffins that turned into carrot, apple, pecan, raisin muffins topped with coconut! We used this recipe (omitting the oil, using 2 cups of applesauce, 6 rounded tsps flax powder for the egg replacer, 1/2 cup pecan peices, 1/2 cup golden raisins, 3 cups carrot, 1 large granny smith apple). They turned out beautifully!

Of course what baking date is complete without a picture of your fabulous bakers!!! That's me on the left and Kayla on the right :) Sweet dreams >.<

Friday, November 12, 2010

vegan and so forth: Vegan MoFo: Vegan Essentials Giveaway!

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MELOMEALS: $3.33 A DAY: $65 CSN Store Giveaway!!! Enter here to win!! and ...

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Who wants macaroons? (contest)

I have a serious sweet tooth so this contest really spoke to me :) Head on over to Bitt of Raw for your chance to win some Emmy's Organics raw macaroons. OMG I am literally drooling just thinking about these delightful little balls of yummy coconut!!!

Chick'n Salad Sandwiches- MoFo Day 12.

I just recently found out that Schneider's Oh Naturel line is now vegan! Can you hear me screaming, singing, rejoicing? The chick'n nuggets were a favorite of mine when I was vegetarian, they taste so close to the real thing it is almost hard to believe. I was really sad when I realized that I could no longer eat them but thanks to a friend I met on the Vegan Forum  I was able to rekindle my love with these little golden nuggets of joy! They are amazing on their own, but since I discovered the awesome yeast free sourdough from Bubby Rose's Bakery  I have been obsessed with sandwiches.

Chick'n salad was the first thing that came to mind. Instead of the traditional mayo base, I used plain soy yogurt for a lower fat version. I have also recently become obsessed with turmeric and find a way to incorporate it in almost every dish so that's why my mixture is a tad on the orange side.
10 Schneiders Oh Naturel Meatless Chick'n Nuggets (cooked and cooled)
1 stalk celery
1/4 white onion
1 green onion
1/2 single serving size of plain soy yogurt (use 2/3 for a creamier mixture)
1 tsp flax oil
pinch of garlic salt
couple shakes of mustard powder
1/4 tsp turmeric
couple shakes of dried dill
pepper to taste

Cut up the chick'n nuggets into small peices. Mince the celery & onion (you can do larger chunks if you like, I prefer mine to be small). Put veggies in a bowl, add the flax oil, garlic salt, pepper, turmeric, mustard powder and dill. Toss in your chick'n bits, then add the soy yogurt and mix thouroughly. At this point, taste the micture and add any spices you feel it may be missing. Spread onto your favorite bread, toasted if you like.

You could also add dried chopped cranberries or pumpkin seeds to give it a warm, winter flavour!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

MoFo Day 11- Shepherds Pie

I spent my morning at the SPCA, hanging out with the kitties. It was a lot of fun, so much fun that it kinda wiped me for the day. I knew I needed some comfort food. Something warm, filling and full of flavour. What better to satisfy those needs than Shepards Pie. I came up with this recipe last year during a very cold Autumn/Winter. I am not a huge fan of potatoes unless they are mashed, garlicy, buttery and a top some veggies & faux meat. I think the mushroom cream sauce is the icing on the cake for this dish. The best part about this dish is it does not require baking, just throw under your broiler to crisp the top and it is ready to serve!

You will need:

Chopping Block
Sharp Knife
Frying Pan
Large Pot
Small Pot
Casserole Dish


1 pkg Yves Veggie Ground Round
1/2 pkg Taco Seasoning
1 1/4 cup Mixed Vegetables

1/2 cup Mushrom Broth
1/2 cup Rice Milk (Almond or Soy will work as well)
1/2 cube veggie bullion
2-3 tsps cornstarch

6-8 Baby Yukon Gold Potatoes
1 tbsp Earth Balance
1/4 cup Tofutti Cream Cheese
1/3 cup Rice Milk
Garlic Salt to taste


In frying pan heat Veggie Ground Round, add taco seasoning with 1/4 cup of water. Heat thoroughly.

Heat mixed vegetables in microwave or on stove top.

In small pot, bring mushroom broth, rice milk and veggie bullion to a gentle boil. Add cornstarch and stir unter thickened. Keep on low heat.

Chop potatoes into quarters. Boil in salt water until soft. Mash potatoes, add margarine, tofutti & rice milk and mix until creamy.

Add mixed vegetables and creamy mushroom broth to the ground round. Pour into casserole pan. Top with potatoes. Sprinkle with garlic salt. Stick under broiler for a few minutes to brown top. Serve and enjoy :)