Saturday, 30 June 2012

What to do with beets? Vegan options.

Aren't these beautiful.

These are veggies that are easy to turn into a snack.

Boil them and cut the tops and ends off.

You can either slice them and put them in water and vinegar and make a pickled beet, or just keep them plain.

I like to eat them cold and plain,or you can warm them up with a bit of Earth balance margarine and salt and pepper.

They are really a great veggie that you can do lots with.

1) Roast them with a bunch of potatoes and the potatoes will absorb their colour.
2) Have them pickled on the table to add colour to your meal.
3) Can shred them and add them to salads, pasta salads, bean salads.

Boil some beets and see what you can create. I have seen them in two colours a deep redish/purple colour or the yellow/orangish colour above.

Enjoy being creative!

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Roasted eggplant

This is an eggplant that looked purple and was in the oven for about 20-30 min. 

I cut it open and the eggplant was still firm and not mushy. I would put this in curries, or stir fries. When I made the dip I put it back in the oven for a bit more cooking.

Flavor of eggplant isn't strong. It really needs different spices, or garlic, or other ingredients to give it a punch of flavor. 

I also love eggplant grilled and in sandwiches as well.

Try roasting some eggplant and see what you can do with it. It makes a great dip. I took a picture of it, but it didn't look very good even though it tasted great. 


Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Vegan Lasagna

So, it was my husband's birthday and he wanted vegan lasagna. I have never cooked it before so it was all new to me. I had my Mother's recipe for lasagna in the back of my mind, and I heard that using soft tofu replaces the cottage cheese, so away I went. These are the steps I took, and I was very happy with how it turned out. Delicious!

Step One: Boil the wheat lasagna noodles and follow the instructions on the box.

Step Two:

3 ground veggie "meat" packages
4 cans of tomato paste (plain/garlic/Italian flavored) any kind is fine
1/3 cup mix Italian spices (oregano, parsley, basil)
1/3 cup of garlic spice

Stir all ingredients together and leave to sit in a bowl.

Step Three:

1 pkg of smooth tofu. In the one pkg of tofu they had 2 big pieces.
1/4 cup of Italian spices
1/3 cup of garlic spices

Mash with a potato masher and then just stir with a fork. It amazed me how much this looked like cottage cheese, and when tasting it there was no tofu flavor.

Mix with about 1 cup of Daiya cheese - mozzarella

Stir all ingredients together and then sit in a bowl.

Then you are just layering your lasagna.


Tomato mixture
Cheese mixture
Tomato mixture
Cheese mixture
Tomato mixture
Sprinkle with Daiya cheese and garlic powder

You can sprinkle with fresh parsley when it's done if you like.

This lasagna is actually easier to make because you don't have to cook any ground beef before you make it.

Have it bake for at least 30 min at 350 degrees.


Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Channa Masala but with beans- vegan, gluten free and soy free

Everyone's life is busy and sometimes putting food on the table can be just plain crazy. My kids HATE beans, I love beans and my husband tolerates them. So while I had a separate dish in the oven for them, I had this on the stove, and the kids were playing outside in the backyard with all of the other neighbor kids and I was popping in and out. This dish is really a dish you don't need to pay attention to while it's cooking.

First just get the ingredients into a pan.

1) Rinsed white kidney beans from a can
2) Chopped red onion
3) Fresh cilantro

4) Add some tomatoes 
5) 1-2 cloves of garlic
6) Put in some olive oil (1-2 tbsp)
7) Add your spice mix 3 tbsp
8) To make it creamy I added 1/4 cup of ketchup

I had it cook for about 15-20 to soften the beans and let the flavors blend. 

This mix is a popular mix and can be found at many common grocery stores. It is typically made with chickpeas but you can really just add the spice to anything. It's yummy!

I made a mixture of brown rice and Quinoa. I always make tons of this when I make it and use it with other meals through out the week.

My husband liked having Tofutti sour cream with this, and pita bread.

Monday, 25 June 2012

Sunflower seeds a great vegan snack.

Feeling like you want snack on something during a scary movie? Or while doing homework? Or reading a good book?

Grab some sunflower seeds!

You can get them flavored in BBQ, dill, salted and unsalted.

They can get very addictive. :)

Here are the health benefits to eating sunflower seeds. A great vegan snack.

Sunflower seeds are packed with vitamins, including vitamin B1 and B5, vitamin E and folate. They also provide a healthy dose of copper, magnesium, selenium and phosphorous–important minerals. Just a quarter of a cup–four tablespoons–of seeds holds half the daily requirement or more of these important nutrients. The fats present in sunflower seeds are also good quality, heart healthy fats that can help increase “good” cholesterol and protect the heart and cardiovascular system.
Of these nutrients, vitamin E in particular is a powerful antioxidant, helping preserve cardiovascular health. Sunflower seeds are quite high in vitamin E, with ninety percent of the recommended daily allowance of this vitamin in a quarter cup. Also helpful to cardiovascular health and cholesterol maintenance are lignans, arginine and phenolic acids. While these substances are less well-known to most people, studies increasingly show benefits from increasing their intake.



Friday, 22 June 2012

Steaming greens. How not to create mush! Vegan and gluten free!

You can use many kinds of leafy greens and stuff them with anything you like. For example, my previous post was the meal below and I cooked it two different ways. One way in a NAPA cabbage wrap and the other way (see previous post). 

 A super easy way to steam any green is to place them on top of whatever you are cooking.

Then they are soften enough to fold and eat, and not mushy and you can watch them cook so you know when exactly you want to take them off. It can take just 1-2 min to steam the greens. Then you have a great wrap.

My favorite greens to steam are KALE and NAPA CABBAGE.

They are two kinds of green that are common in grocery stores and don't go mushy! I have a sensitive gag reflex and I hate mush.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Gluten free, soy free and vegan. Simple and fast! 10 min meal.

So how can vegan food be quicker to make than food that comes out of a box?

Opening up a can of chickpeas and tossing them in a stir-fry or curry or something is always going to be faster than washing, cutting, and cooking meat. It's also cheaper!

I took leftover brown rice. RULE - ALWAYS make tons of rice and keep it in the fridge. You can add rice to almost anything and meals or snacks are done in a flash.

I put in a pan brown rice, a can of rinsed chickpeas and then added some salsa and hot peppers. It took 3 min to heat up.

I then sprinkled raw red onions on top, which added a nice crunch. Melted the cheese on top and I was done.

What took the longest was the asparagus that boiled in a pan of water with Earth balance margarine and salt and pepper. But even that didn't take longer than 10 min.

A 10min meal. Gluten free, soy free and vegan. Healthy for your body, gentle on the environment and all of the animals and people connected with the food industry.

** The cheese is Daiya cheese that is gluten free, dairy free, soy free and vegan. Daiya can be found in most grocery stores.
** Earth balance is vegan margarine that has soy free margarine options. Earth balance can be found in the larger grocery chains, or local smaller chain stores, Eg. Planet Organic and Choices, etc.


Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Vegan pasta dish.

So this is for the wheat eaters of the group.

My husband every now and then just needs to have some wheat. This sometimes means he is boiling pasta after the kids go to sleep and making a lunch with it. There were some leftovers in the fridge so I made this for my husband and daughter who can eat wheat and my son and I ate a sushi rice dish and we were dipping away instead.

Vegan pasta dish

1/2 pkg of Yves ground veggie "meat"
White bow pasta
3 tbsp crushed pepper spices
Chopped broccoli - cut supper small - add as much as you like
3 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp Earth balance
salt and pepper to taste

Fry up the Yves ground veggie "meat" with the cooked pasta and add in all of the ingredients at once. Just stir and keep adding a bit of water if needed so the pasta doesn't dry out. 

I also just steamed some veggies to go with both meals (wheat and gluten free.) 

I just tossed these in Earth Balance * soy free margarine with salt and pepper. They were gobbled up.


Monday, 18 June 2012

Breakfast ideas

I have tried this and I really like it. It's local, it's healthy and it makes me feel good.

I use this as part of my breakfast because if I only eat the cereal I get too hungry before lunch. I need a snack.


Friday, 15 June 2012

Kids veggies

Do you ever watch cooking shows where they show you "cute" ways to get your kids to eat their veggies? I always think...yeah right...I don't have time for that.

Well last weekend I was puttering around in the kitchen and making lunch. I decided to do make them this and they inhaled it. They were laughing the whole time thinking it was really funny to eat the parts of the face.

My goal was to get them to eat cucumber. My kids hate cucumber and I can't figure out why. Anyways, they were willing to have one taste and then declared YUCK! But then ate everything else. :)


Thursday, 14 June 2012

Vegan Gluten free cupcake with icing

I used the Rob Mills chocolate cake mix and used flax seed instead of eggs. Just follow the directions on the bag, it will tell you how to use the flax seed as an egg replacer.

For the icing...

Earth Balance margarine that is soy free
Double the amount of icing sugar and food colouring
EG. 1 cup of Earth balance with 2 cups of icing sugar (it's fluffy)
* Use a mixer/blender to mix the margarine with the icing sugar. 

Kid friendly and Earth friendly. :)


Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Is this Masterchef worthy? Vegan appetizer.

This is a roasted portobello mushroom with garlic vegannaise spread on top. Then basil leaves and roasted shredded yellow beets.

Using a fork and knife for this dish is highly recommended. Spread out the crispy shredded beats so that each bite you get that crispyness with the soft mushroom and sauce. Yummmmmmm

It took maybe 15 min to roast the mushroom and shredded beets.

The beets I boiled previously and was wondering what I wanted to do with them.

After I roasted everything I just mixed the Vegannaise with garlic and spread it on. (To make this soy free just make sure your Vegannaise is the soy free version). It was really quick to assemble. And the roasting wasn't work either. I made this while I was cooking dinner so it couldn't have been much work. :)

You want to get really fancy-pancy I would serve the mushroom on some raw shredded carrot or red peppers just for the colour.


Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Taco salad - vegan and gluten & soy free

Canned beans 1/2 cup
Tortilla chips - a couple handfuls - depends how much you want
Vegan cheese
Green onions

** The amounts of the ingredients are up to you. Depends on how you like it. 

Mix and enjoy

Tip: The chips can get soft if you leave the salad too long, so I suggest you add them within 5 min before eating. 

I ate this as a dinner one night, and it was very filling. Granted I made a huge salad. :)

And vegan cooking is hard work, yeah right! It's as easy or as hard as you want it to be.


Friday, 8 June 2012

Vegan falafel and tips for kids


The mix came from a pre-made mix pack. It was a very simplified way of making a vegan dish.

My son really liked these too. My daughter loves to dip things in plum sauce and a lot of dipping sauces in different countries like to use fruit as dips.

SO....for those who are introducing a new food, why not let them dip their food in jam or plum sauce. It's cheaper too! A lot of the pre-made fruit chutneys are really expensive.

My son also ate chickpea patties and that was helped with some Daiya cheese melted on top. He inhaled that. :)

This was the mix that I used. 

** You need to let it sit for one hour after you add the water. I see no reason why you couldn't mix it the night before and let it sit in the fridge. Come home from work and plop in the pan.


Thursday, 7 June 2012

Vegan and Gluten free side dishes

Fried mushrooms
* Olive oil and garlic

* Earth balance butter, salt and pepper

Roasted carrots and zucchini strips
* Slices of carrots and zucchini rolled in olive oil, and then in the dry mix
* The dry mix is corn flour and Greek seasoning mix

Below is also baked kale with a bit of sea salt sprinkled on top, rubbed with a bit of oil oil

* Vegannaise and garlic

This meal is a bunch of sides put together for one meal. It was filling!

This meal was a treat because it includes a lot of my favorites. The zucchini slices turned out much better than what I thought. Mush zucchini is not a sell for me, but I cut the strips twice the size of the carrots and the dry mix seemed to help too. It was great! Plus I love dipping my food.

Any of these sides are options to add to meals.


Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Indian food - chickpeas, vegan, gluten free and soy free.

These were so easy to make.

I just chopped up onions, garlic and a few tomatoes. Stirred them around in some olive oil and added the spice mix. The spice mix is for Aloo Ghobi but any spice mixes go well with chickpeas as far as I am concerned.

This was a mix that I bought at the Farmers Market from a family business and they sell spice mixes. They are called Ace Curries to Go, and they are very good. Their email is and they are located in North Vancouver, BC.

There is no MSG, SALT, or PRESERVATIVES. It's lovely to support a family business and eat healthy at the same time. :)

It took the chickpeas 10 min to fry up and absorb all of the flavors.


Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Vegan Taco's

Here is the mix. This can be the base for all sorts of things. You can top this on brown rice, Quinoa, taco shells, or nacho chips, pasta, you can even turn it into a soup.

Vegan veggie "meat"
Green onions
Daiya chese
Taco spice
Aji gourmet products - spice mix - 2 tbsp

I then added vegan sour cream

It was yummy.


Monday, 4 June 2012

Coffee ice cubes

I saw this on Pinterst and cool idea. Pour leftover coffee into ice cubes and use them in soy milk or almond milk.

And for the adults add liquor. :)