Thursday, 21 January 2016

Vegan Cornbread

     A southern classic. Ryan's grandfather was from the deep south and absolutely loved cornbread, so Ryan's grandmother used to make it all the time. They seemed to pass on their love of cornbread to Ryan because we eat cornbread all the time now!

Papa Ed and (tiny!) Ryan
      I can remember the first time I had cornbread, some 10 or so years ago. I hadn't ordered it, but it was at the table. I remember being really confused at why there was cake at the dinner table. To my surprise, it was cornbread. So needless to say, I am not a fan of a super sweet cornbread (but I don't need the extra calories anyways!). So this recipe is a play on the classic cornbread, made in the cast iron and everything, but with less than half of the usual sugar and vegan, of course. The subtle sweetness of this cornbread goes perfectly with a spicy chili (I love the heat, but sometimes, I just can't handle it, so cornbread is the perfect solution).

     Give this recipe a try next time you want a starch to accompany a southern soup or a chili. The recipe is much easier than traditional breads, and there is no wait time before baking. Mix and bake, it's that easy!

Time: 10 minutes + 35-40 minutes (bake)
Serves: 8 (~4" wedges) to 12 (~2.5" wedges)


  • 1 1/2 cups (300g) cornmeal (white and/or yellow)
  • 2 cups (275g) all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup (140g) white sugar
  • 1 Tbsp (30 ml) baking powder
  • 1 tsp (5ml) salt
  • 2 cups (500ml) non-dairy milk, unsweetened*
  • 1 cup (250ml) water
  • 1 tsp (5ml) apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) canola oil


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F/200°C.
  2. Mix all the dry ingredients.
  3. Mix all wet ingredients and then combine with the dry ingredients.
  4. Pour batter into your large cast iron pan.
  5. Bake at 400°F/200°C for 35-40 minutes.
  6. Let cool for 10-20 minutes before serving with margarine over a bowl of chili!

Monday, 21 December 2015

Beetroot Risotto

     Happy holidays friends! I hope everyone is catching up on their much needed holiday baking! I know I have a long list of all my holiday favourites. But when planning and cooking for Christmas dinner is clouding you brain, it can be hard to think of what to make tonight, or tomorrow night for that matter. So I thought I'd give you a little help.

     I created this recipe as part of a project for one my nutrition courses, Thought that I might as well share it with you as well. This is a perfect winter risotto as it features beets, one of my favourite winter root vegetables. This is a pretty classic risotto. Make sure you have a real flavorful broth as this is what is really going to season your dish. 

Serves: 4 approximately a 1.5 cup portion
Time: 40 minutes


  • 4 cups (1 L) vegetable stock
  • 2 Tbsp (30 mL) olive oil
  • 1 onion (100 g), finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 350g (12 oz) fresh beetroot, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup risotto rice
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) white wine
  • 2 Tbsp (30g) margarine
  • ½ Lemon, juiced or 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp thyme leaves, plus a couple leaves to garnish
  •  Black Pepper, to serve
  • 1 lemons, sliced into 6 wedges each, for garnish


  1. Heat the stock in a saucepan until almost boiling, then reduce heat until barely simmering to keep it hot.
  2. Meanwhile, gather all other ingredients. Chop onions, mince garlic, peel, wash and dice beets, wash and de-stem thyme and wash and cut lemons.
  3. Heat the oil in a large pan. Sauté the onion, garlic and beetroot until softened (about 6-8 minutes). Add the rice and stir well until the grains are well coated and glistening.
  4. Pour in the wine, stir. One absorbed add a ladleful of hot stock. Simmer, stirring all the time until it has almost all been absorbed, then add more broth. Continue to add the stock at intervals and cook as before until the rice is tender but firm.
  5. Add the margarine and lemon juice and thyme leaves and stir gently.
  6. Plate with a wedge of lemon and freshly ground black pepper. 

Monday, 23 November 2015

30-Minute Vegan Dahl (Dhal/Dal/Daal)

    There comes a time when you realize that you've been using a recipe religiously for years.....but have yet to share it with all your friends. So greedy, right? Well, thanks to my friend Nicole who asked for my Dahl recipe the other night, I've taken the recipe off my fridge to share it with all of you wonderful people!

     I guess part of the reason it has taken me so long to publish this recipe, is that Dahl really isn't the prettiest of dishes. A delicious ladle-full of yellow slop anyone? But served with rice, chapati or naan and perhaps some other dishes like aloo gobi or a vegetable curry and you can have a pretty darn tasty meal.

     Dahl is a thick stew made of split pulses, typically split red lentils, that originates from South Asia. Variations of this dish can be found throughout India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal. This version, being vegan, omits some traditional aspects, like Ghee, a type of clarified butter commonly used in India. But rest assured, this recipe is still just as delicious!

Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4 x 1 cup portions (as a main) or 8 x 1/2 cup servings (as a side)


  • 2 Tbsp olive or canola oil
  • pinch of red chili flakes
  • 1/4 tsp cumin seeds (optional)
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped (can put through the food processor)
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp minced fresh ginger (about a 1/2" knob)
  • 1 tsp turmeric 
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 tsp salt (reduce if using tomato juice, as appropriate)
  • 2 cups dried red lentils 
  • 4 cups water (or part tomato juice)
  • Juice of half of a lemon, to finish (optional)


  1. In a medium pot, heat oil with chili flakes and cumin seeds over medium heat. When warm and fragrant, add onion. Sauté for 2 minutes, then add the garlic and ginger.
  2. Sauté for 3 additional minutes, meanwhile, rinse red lentils under cold water. Add spices and salt to the pot. Then stir in the lentils. One the lentils are coated with oil and spices, add water (or tomato juice) and stir. 
  3. Cover and bring to a boil. Once at a boil, uncover and reduce heat, and let simmer for 15 minutes, or until lentils are cooked and the majority of the water is absorbed (will continue to thicken as the dahl cools).
  4. Remove from heat and stir in lemon.
  5. Serve with rice or naan

Monday, 16 November 2015

The Perfect Fall Soup: Celeriac, Leek and Potato Soup

     Oh so creamy, without an ounce of cream! Can you believe it? Well I can!

     This recipes features one of the so called 'monsters' of the garden -- Celeriac. Celeriac is gnarly looking root vegetable that can get to about the size of your head. Typically this veg is harvested late in the fall, after the first soft frost, but before a hard frost (just in case you feel like growing some yourself next year!). Celeriac is a really cool root, also known as celery root, it has the texture of a potato but tastes like the most delicious celery imaginable! We cut one up raw on the rooftop garden the other day, and it was amazing! So don't let the crazy appearance dissuade you from picking a celeriac up from your local market or grocer.

     I've been waiting to cook up this soup all season! Ever since I saw the roots sticking out from under what I originally mistook as celery. Through in some Rye's HomeGrown leeks, garlic and my last couple potatoes, and we have the makings for a delicious soup. The hardest part of making this soup is cutting up the celeriac, once that's done, it's smooth sailing. Spice up this soup a bit with some pesto or an herb oil.

Serves: 8
Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes


  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 celeriac, peeled and cubed
  • 2 large (4 small) leeks, white and light green only, roughly chopped 
  • 2 large white or russet potatoes, peeled and chopped 
  • 3 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • Black pepper and salt to taste 


  1. In a large, thick bottomed soup pot, heat oil on medium heat with the bay leaf.
  2. Add celeriac, leek, potato and garlic. Let sweat for about 10 minutes.
  3. Add vegetable broth. Cover, increase heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until celeriac is tender.
  4. Let cool for 20-30 minutes. Remove bay leaf, and blend soup in blender (may need to to blend in batches). If I have to blend in batches, and I know that there is going to be left overs, I usually put the first batch into Tupperware containers for tomorrow night's dinner.
  5. After blended, return the soup to the pot, and warm over medium heat, for about 20 minutes, or until warm.
  6. Serve will a dollop of pesto or a couple drops of an herb oil.

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Seitan "Beef" and Broccoli Stir-fry

     When I was growing up, I used to love beef and broccoli! I have been dreaming up a vegan alternative for years now. I've tried it with tofu, but it's just not the same. After recently starting to experiment with seitan, I've developed a tasty dish that does a pretty good job of mimicking beef.

     Ryan has always had this perception that seitan is this crazy time consuming and an impossible process. Now if this is your perception of seitan, forget about it! It really isn't as hard as some recipes make it seem. Yes it takes more time than tofu, but the options are endless! I'll keep on experimenting and see what other creations I make up!

Time: 45 minutes
Serves: 5-6


      Seitan "Beef"
  • 1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • 2 Tbsp (30 mL) soy sauce
  • 1/2 Tbsp (7 mL) vegan Worcestershire sauce (if unavailable, substitute with more soy)
  • 1 Tbsp vegetarian oyster sauce (optional)
  • 1/2 Tbsp (7 mL) peanut or canola oil
  • 1 1/8 cup (190 g) vital wheat gluten
  • 2 Tbsp (30 mL) nutritional yeast
  • 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 Tbsp (7 mL) Chinese 5-spice powder
  • 6 cups (1.5 L) broccoli fleurettes, about 3 large heads
  • 1-2 Tbsp peanut oil

  • 3 Tbsp (45 mL) vegetarian oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) rice wine vinegar or dry sherry
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) sesame oil
  • 3 Tbsp (45 mL) soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch


  1. Start out by making the seitan "beef": Mix together broth, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, Worcestershire, and oil in a large measuring cup. In a medium bowl, mix gluten, nutritional yeast, flour and Chinese 5-spice powder. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until all dry ingredients are absorbed and the dough forms a rough ball. On a clean surface, knead the dough for about 3 minutes, then form the dough into a uniform ball, and let rest for 10 minutes. 
  2. Prepare a steamer basket in a large pot with a couple inches of boiling water. 
  3. Divide seitan dough into 4 equal wedges. Stretch until dough is roughly 3/4" thick . Wrap each piece of seitan loosely in tinfoil (you'll want room so that the seitan can expand).
  4. Place packages of seitan in the steamer basket, cover and steam for 30 minutes. Check back periodically to make sure all the water hasn't evaporated.
  5. Wash and trim broccoli. Cut into fleurettes. If using the stems (I don't like wasting, either), cut into matchstick-like pieces, approximately 2 inches long.
  6. In the last 3 minutes of your seitan steaming, toss in the broccoli to par-cook.
  7. Remove from heat, and cool broccoli and seitan"beef" stakes.
  8. Mix together all the ingredients for the sauce.
  9. In a wok or large frying pan on medium heat, warm the peanut oil.
  10. Slice beef into long thin strips. Sear seitan on both sides. Add broccoli and sauce. and heat until sauce is thick and the broccoli is tender.
  11. Remove from heat and serve over rice.

Have you experimented with seitan? What have you made? Let me know what crazy things you've made by commenting below!

Monday, 19 October 2015

Tofu Scramble

      Sometimes I surprise myself. Like last weekend when I went to find my tofu scramble recipe on my blog and realized it didn't exist. Well that is just unacceptable. I've been using this recipe, and variations of it, for years now. It's a brunch staple in our house and a great way to get your protein first thing in the morning.

     Paired with some toast and a couple slices of tomato, or over a bed of quinoa with some avocado, this recipe is sure to please. 

If you're like me, and enjoy eating breakfast for dinner, this is a great option! Add a teaspoon of curry powder and a pinch of cayenne and you're on your way to a quick and delicious dinner. 

Serves: 2-3 3/4 cup servings (one serving of protein)
Time: 25 minutes


  • 1-2 Tbsp olive or canola oil
  • Pinch of chili flakes (optional)
  • One small onion or 3 green onions, diced (about 1/2 cup/125mL)
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp cumin 
  • 1/4 tsp coriander 
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 package firm tofu, 350-450g, rinsed and patted dry
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 cup of greens (spinach, Swiss chard, beet tops, arugula, cabbage....), ribboned
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • Salt and pepper to taste 


  1. Heat oil with optional chili flakes in a pan over medium heat.
  2. Sauté onions until translucent (about 5 minutes), then add garlic and spices. Sautee for one minute or until fragrant.
  3. With clean hands, crumble tofu into the pan and stir to coat tofu with seasoning.
  4. Drizzle soy sauce on tofu and stir. 
  5. Let sauté until most of the liquid in the pan from the tofu has cooked off, 7-15 minutes depending on the tofu' sweater content.
  6. Add the greens and cover. Let cook for 5 minutes.
  7. Stir in nutritional yeast and taste for seasoning. 
  8. Remove from heat and let cool for a couple of minutes before serving.

Monday, 14 September 2015

Vegan Pumpkin-Beer Bread

     These past few days have been feeling very fall-like. Between classes back in session and the cool autumn breeze, and even the release of Pumpkin Spice Lattes at Starbucks (not that it's vegan appropriate) I figured I should re-post one of my favourite fall recipes. This Vegan Pumpkin-Beer Bread is one of my all-time favourite fall recipes.

     We made this last night and were very satisfied, once again. This bread is moist but hearty. If you made my chocolate zucchini bread last post, this bread is definitely more of a bread than a cake, I promise this time. This pumpkin bread is just subtlety sweet with pumpkin-pie like aromatics. It makes for a perfect breakfast or a snack for school or work.

     This recipe was inspired my a recipe on Slate. It's not vegan but you can check it out here

Serves: One 9-inch loaf, serves 12


  • vegan margarine for greasing the pan
  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour,can use a mixture of white and whole-wheat
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 heaping teaspoons pumpkin pie spice OR
    • 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
    • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
    • Pinch ground nutmeg (optional)
    • Pinch ground Asian 5-spice (or allspice)
  • 3 tablespoons margarine
  • 1 cup pumpkin purée (a third of a can)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup pumpkin ale, I suggest "St-Ambroise Pumpkin Ale"; alternatively, use mulled apple cider


  1. Heat the oven to 350°F. With margarine, grease a 9" loaf pan. Combine the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices in a large mixing bowl.
  2. In a medium sauce pan over low heat melt margarine. Stir in the pumpkin and brown sugar until smooth. Pour the pumpkin ale or cider into the sauce pan and mix until smooth. 
  3. Add the wet pumpkin mixture to the dry ingredients and mix until combined, then transfer the batter to the greased loaf pan.
  4. Bake at 400°F for 45 minutes to 1 hour. If you can smell the bread from the living room, it's probably done! Otherwise, bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes in the loaf pan, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Leftovers should be covered and stored at room temperature for up to 5 days, although I've never seen it last that long....its normally finished in 3 days.