October 21, 2014

Apple Cinnamon Quesadillas

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This delicious snack or lunch is based on a recipe I saw on the Rachael Ray Show. I omitted the cheese. The thought of having melted cheese and apples together just does not appeal to me. You can use her original recipe and add vegan cheese instead.  I thought it be a good idea to add some cinnamon to the apples. I was right because after it was cooked, the taste reminded me of apple pie! You don't taste the jam used in this recipe. It's used more like a glue to keep the apples in place in the quesadilla...so don't omit the jam. These are great as a dessert with vegan vanilla ice cream on top.
 
  

4 large tortillas (gluten free)
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 Tbsp strawberry jam, divided (or other all-fruit spread may be substituted)
1 apple, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
cinnamon
 
Preheat oven to 250ºF. Wrap tortillas in a damp kitchen towel and cook in the microwave for a minute. Lay the warm, pliable tortillas out on a clean, flat, work surface. Spread one tablespoon of jelly over each tortilla. Put a few sliced apples on one half of the tortillas. Sprinkle cinnamon on top the apple slices. Fold the quesadillas in half to create half moons.

Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Place the quesadillas one at a time in the hot pan and heat them on both sides until they are crispy and golden brown about 1-2 minutes per side. Transfer each cooked quesadilla to a baking tray in the oven to keep warm as you finish the others. Cut each quesadilla into quarters.

 

September 25, 2014

Roasted Red Pepper Black-Eyed Pea Salad

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I've made many different types of bean salads before and they were just ok but this one is amazing....I never thought I would become addicted to a bean salad...but I am! I love the convenience of this salad.  Sometimes finding a vegan meal for a celiac can be challenging when travelling, but not anymore! This dish is GREAT for traveling with since it's quick to make, filling and it can go a long time without needing to be refrigerated. I'm looking forward to bring it to the next potluck I go to. This was the fastest I ever posted a recipe on my blog after trying it. (Tried it last night and posted it the following day).

This recipe comes from The Sweetest Vegan. I just recently discovered her videos. I love watching her videos because she is just so adorable. I made 3 of her recipes so far and everyone has been tasted great and easy to make...
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SmN2OCVDzzE

The only change I made from her original recipe was that I added 2/3 cups of roasted red peppers instead of the pimentos (I've read its a good substitute for pimentos. I never add the fire roasted tomatoes because my supermarket doesn’t them. I feel it even gets better the longer you let the flavours marinade together. Make it the day before and let it sit in the fridge over night if you can.

2 15 ounces cans black eyed peas, drained and rinsed or *dried black eyed peas
2/3 cup roasted red peppers, drained and chopped 
1/4 cup light tasting olive oil
1/2 cup fresh chives or 1/4 cup green onions, chopped
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp dried parsley or cilantro
1 tsp hot pepper, minced or 2 tsp Sriracha sauce
1 tsp salt
1 tsp Cajun seasoning
1 clove garlic, minced

Put all the ingredients into a large bowl and mix.

 
How to cook black-eyed peas:

Soaking is not essential for black-eyed peas, but cooking time can be shortened if they get a quick soak in hot water (as opposed to a longer one in cold water, like other beans). Place dried peas in a pot, cover with water, and bring to a boil for 2-3 minutes. Remove pot from heat and allow to stand for 60-90 minutes. Drain water and replace with fresh, cold water for cooking - or if you skipped the hot-soaking step, just rinse and add cold water. Place on stove and bring to a boil in a pot with a lid. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer, cover but tilt the lid slightly to allow steam to escape, and leave to cook for up to an hour, or until tender.
 

September 4, 2014

Mock Maryland Crab Cakes

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If you have made mock fish dishes before and been disappointed, like me, because they have lacked that fishy/seaweed flavor then this is the recipe for you. The trick is adding a lot more seaweed and old bay seasoning than you think should be added.

I wish this recipe was not so time consuming for me to make, but every time I remember just how dame good it tastes, I break down and make it. It wouldn't be so labour intensive if I didn't have to make everything from scratch. It wouldn't take you that long to make this recipe if you can buy the vegan mayo, Old Bay Seasoning and kelp powder or granules need for it.  My supermarket does not carry these items. 

The kelp you can use instead of having to grind nori seaweed sheets. I don't know how much kelp you would use in place of the nori seaweed. I do know that kelp powder is much more concentrated so don't add as much as you would of the nori seaweed. Kelp glandules are less concentrated than kelp powdered but still stronger then nori seaweed. In the future, I'm thinking about ordering kelp powder or granules online to make for this recipe. If anyone knows how to convert the amounts of nori seaweed to kelp powder or granules, please mention it in the comment section for this recipe...thanks.
 
I have is a food processor. I wouldn't even suggest making this recipe without one or a mini chopper. Unless your into lots of tedious, mincing of vegetables by hand. I switched out the firm tofu to extra firm. That way, I didn't have to bother with draining and pressing the firm tofu.
 

2 tsp virgin olive oil
1/2 cup celery, minced (2 stalks celery)
1/2 cup carrot, minced (1 large carrot)
1/2 cup onion, minced (1 small onion)
1/2 cup green or red pepper, minced (1/2 small pepper)


1 block extra firm, NOT pressed, crumbled like cottage cheese
1 cup chickpea flour
1/2 cup vegan mayo (recipe below)
3 sheet nori seaweed (fold sheet many times then grate on a grater)
1/3 cup water
1 Tbsp Old Bay seasoning (recipe below)
2 tsp dry mustard
2 tsp black salt or regular salt

1/2 cup chickpea flour (to coat crab cakes)



Preheat the oven to 350F. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the celery, onion, carrot and pepper; sauté until softened but still firm. 

In a large bowl combine the sautéed vegetable, tofu, flour, mayo, seaweed, water, Old Bay seasoning, mustard, salt (don't add the 1/2 cup chickpea flour it's for coating) and mix very well with your hands. Shape into patties.

Using a 1/3 cup measure, shape the mixture into ten 1/2 inch thick cakes. Spread the 1/2 cup chickpea flour on a plate. Carefully dredge the cakes in the chickpea flour to coat.

Heat some oil in a frying pan over medium heat. In batches, gently place the cakes in hot oil and cook on one side, until they’re golden brown about 8 minutes. With a spatula, gently flip the cakes and cook until golden brown on the other side. Pour tarter sauce on top then serve. Makes 10 small patties.

 
Vegan Mayo
 
1/2 cup firm tofu
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp wet mustard
1/2 tsp sea salt


1/2 cup light tasting olive oil (any light tasting oil)

Place everything in a food processor (except the oil) and blend. While it’s still running very slowly pour in the oil using a very thin stream of oil.

 
Tartar Sauce

1/2 cup vegan mayo
2 Tbsp relish
1 tsp wet mustard

In a small bowl, mix all ingredients together. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. It tastes better the longer you let the flavors marinade.

 
Old Bay Seasoning
 
1 Tbsp ground bay leaves (grind first)
1 Tbsp celery salt
2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp dry mustard
a pinch of each nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice

Mix all the ingredients. Store in an airtight container in a cool dark place. 

August 11, 2014

Chive Vinaigrette

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The timing could not have been better when I found this recipe in an old edition of a Canadian Living magazine. I had tons of fresh chives in my herb garden but I never had any ideas on what to use them in. What I love about this vinaigrette is that it has a subtle flavor allowing the flavors your fresh from the garden veggies to come through.
 

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup finely chopped chives or green onions*
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 1/4 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp salt and pepper
1/4 to 1/2 tsp thyme

Mix all ingredients in a bowl. I make mine the day before I plan to have it because I think it tastes even better the longer you let the flavors mix together.

* I prefer to use chives instead of green onions because they don't have as strong a flavor as green onions.
 

June 12, 2014

Buffalo Chickpea and Kale Loaded Potato

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 A quick, easy, inexpensive, healthy meal (if made with sweet potatoes) is coming your way….

Well, I knew I had to make this recipe the minute I saw the words Buffalo and Potato together. Next time I make this I'll use sweet potatoes instead. That is really the only thing I would change from the original recipe. You can also add lots more kale if you like because even kale haters like my guy won’t mine because they really can’t taste if over the Buffalo wing sauce. It’s just one more way to sneak in some veggies. 

http://www.thatwasvegan.com/2014/02/07/buffalo-baked-potatoes-with-chickpeas-kale/


4 medium sweet potatoes or white potatoes

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 bunch kale (5 stems or more)
1/2 cup Franks Buffalo wing sauce (yes, its vegan!)
Vegan sour cream or Mayo dressing (recipe below)


Either bake or microwave your potatoes. Nuke on high for about 4 minutes on each side or bake them on 400F for 60 minutes.
 
De-stem, wash and chop kale into small pieces. Add chickpeas, kale and buffalo sauce and set aside. Once your potatoes are cooked remove from micro or oven. Heat your ingredients in the small pot on medium heat until warm, stirring to make sure everything is coated. Open the tops as you would with any baked potato and then mix some of your sour cream/mayo dressing into your buffalo mixture (according to taste). Adding the mayo dressing will mellow out some of the strong flavour of the wing sauce. Serve immediately.

 
Mayo Dressing

 
1/2 cup firm tofu
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp of apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp wet mustard
1/2 tsp sea salt
Black pepper, to taste
 


1/2 cup light tasting olive oil, NOT extra virgin olive oil* 
  (or any light tasting oil such as canola oil)
 
 
Place everything (except the oil) in a food processor or blender and blend well. Then while it's still blending take the lid off and very slowly pour in the oil. You need to pour it really slowly for it to emulsify.

* I made the mistake of using extra virgin olive oil and it made the dressing taste awful. Extra virgin olive oil has a strong taste so it just over powered everything.
 

May 3, 2014

Cajun Roasted Tofu on Wild Rice and Lentil Pilaf

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I found this recipe in a Vegetarian Times Magazine. The original recipe called for slicing the tofu in thick slices but I find when you do thinner slices it allows more of the marinade flavor to come threw. I also, never bothered making the Jade Pesto. I just never thought it would go well with the Cajun Tofu. Instead, I paired it with Wild Rice and Lentil Pilaf.

http://www.vegetariantimes.com/recipe/spice-roasted-tofu-fillets-with-jade-pesto/

http://www.food.com/recipe/rice-cooker-pilaf-with-brown-rice-lentils-and-wild-rice-461517

This recipe may take a long time to marinade (over-night) but the fast part is in the prep time and cooking time. The pilaf is also quick to prepare. I usually double the Cajun tofu pieces recipe because they are so good added to anything at room temperature or hot. You can use it in a salads, wrap or whatever. 

Unlike the many, many marinated tofu recipes that I have tried this has one has tons of flavor. It's not bland. To save time used the extra firm tofu so you don't have to press out the water. The reason why I use the firm tofu is because it cost less.

Sorry folk's this is not a weight watchers recipe so try to workout a little longer and don't indulge in this too often (I know it will be hard). 

 
1 package extra-firm tofu, drained OR
1 package firm tofu, drained and PRESSED
    then cut into triangle pieces

1/4 cup light oil (I use light tasting oil)
3 Tbsp dry Cajun spice blend (Club House brand is gluten-free)
2 Tbsp soy sauce (gluten free)
2 tsp sesame oil

In a small bowl whisk together the light oil, Cajun spice blend, soy sauce and sesame oil. Place tofu pieces on a large shallow baking dish. Pour over tofu, coat both sides, cover and chill in fridge overnight.

Next day…. Preheat oven to 400 F. Flip over tofu pieces. Saturate with a brush or hands the tofu with the marinade surrounding the tofu. Bake tofu for 12 minutes. Brush on the marinade one more time then serve over rice. Serves 4

Wild Rice and Lentil Pilaf
 
1 1/8 cups brown rice
1/4 cup lentils
1/8 cup wild rice
2 cups water
1/2 vegetable stock cube dissolved in 2/3 one cup of boiling water
1/2 cup onion, chopped
fresh ground pepper, to taste

Rinse rice’s and lentils thoroughly. Add all ingredients to a rice cooker and stir.
 
Start slow cooker. Once it switches from “cook” to “warm”, I leave it in there for 45 minutes. Your rice cooker may vary.

April 30, 2014

Pink Flamingo

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Cool down with this delicious drink.
 
1 cup watermelon
1/4 cup banana
1/4 cup orange juice 
6 strawberries

Put into a blender. Mix until smooth. Makes 1 1/3 cups 

January 24, 2014

Hoppin John with Red Hot Tahini

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I wanted to wait to post this recipe until I had taken a more appetizing picture but I just don't think I can wait any longer to share it with you. I also, have friends that have tried it and they want me to send them the recipe so I'd like to just send them the link.

I have been seriously addicted to this ever since I tried it. In fact, the morning after I had it the first thing I thought of when I woke up was I can't wait to eat the leftover Hoppin John for lunch.

What's not to love.... it's super healthy, great to bring to potlucks because it doesn't contain the common ingredients that people have allergies with. Made with ingredients most vegans always have in there house.

My contribution to this recipe is that I made it more faster to make because when I want my Hoppin John I don't want to wait for long! I also added 1/4 cup more water and stopped adding the garlic clove. I make a large amount of rice ahead of time and freeze it so I always have some on hand. I'm addicted to the sauce and when you look at the ingredients you will say the same thing as me...."Why didn't I think of that". I have already made some new recipes using just the Red Hot Tahini sauce which I will definitely share with you in the future.  Hey lots of times I don't even bother adding the tomatoes and onions...It's great just with the rice, beans and sauce!

This recipe comes from Isa Chandra. Make sure to see her picture of this recipe it's so much nicer than my plain one.  I really want you to get inspired so you will try this one


http://www.theppk.com/2012/12/hoppin-john-bowl-with-red-hot-tahini/



The Hoppin’ John:
 
1 (19 oz) can of black eyed peas, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 tsp hickory liquid smoke or 1 tsp mesquite liquid smoke

In a bowl with a lid add the black eyed peas and liquid smoke and mix well then put aside.

The Red Hot Tahini:

1/2 cup tahini
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup Louisiana Hot Sauce (like Frank’s Red Hot)
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
 
 (certified gluten-free)

Simply blend everything up in blender until smooth.  

The Tomatoes and Onions:

2 cups tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup green onions, finely sliced
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
Several dashes fresh black pepper, to taste
Dash salt
 


Toss tomatoes and green onions with red wine vinegar in a bowl.

Also:)  

6 cups cooked rice for serving (I used red rice mixed with some brown rice)

To Assemble: 
 
Place rice on place. Add some black-eyed peas. Heat rice and beans then drizzle with some sauce (you will probably will have left over sauce) Top with the tomatoes and onions. Serve 6 

December 7, 2013

Asian Grilled Vegetables

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If you have been following my blog you may have notice I have never posted any recipes for grilled vegetables before. Until now, I just hadn’t found any that I really loved. The recipes that I have tried just ended up tasting bland or having an over powering taste of balsamic vinegar.

I found this recipe in a Longos Supermarket recipe magazine. Talk about versatile these vegetables taste great cold, at room temperature or heated. They're perfect to bring to a potluck or picnic. They're going to be my side dish for my Christmas dinner this year. 


Feel free to add any type of vegetables you would like. The original recipe called for shitake mushrooms, stemmed, but there quite expensive so I left them out. It also called for one daikon, peeled and sliced but our supermarket does not carry that so I add 2 extra eggplants instead of those vegetables. You can also cook these vegetables using a grill pan or a frying pan on your stove top instead of using a barbeque.


 Vegetables:

3 Chinese eggplant, cut lengthwise, then thick sliced
2 cup snow peas or snap peas
1 large red pepper, quartered
1 large orange or yellow pepper, quartered

Marinade: 

1/4 cup Asian chili garlic sauce
1/4 cup soy sauce, gluten-free
1 1/2 Tbsp brown sugar (Redpath brand is vegan)
1 Tbsp vinegar
1 Tbsp grapeseed oil or which ever oil you like
1 1/2 tsp sesame oil


 In a large bowl combine veggies. In a small bowl, which together all the ingredients for the marinade. Pour over the veggies and stir gently to coat. Let marinate for 15 minutes.

Lift vegetables out of the marinade; save or discard any leftover marinade. Place vegetables on greased grill basket or pan (to keep smaller items like snow peas from falling through the grate. Put grill basket or pan on a medium-high heat and grill for 2 to 4 minutes per side, turning occasionally. Remove from heat and place on a large serving platter.  Serve warm, room temperature or chilled.  Serves 6

Tip: Because the vegetables vary in size be sure to keep an eye on the smaller vegetables as they will not take as long to cook. Remove them from the grill first. Or you can do what I do just limit the different types of veggies you use and only grill each type on the grill pan at one time.

 

We've Come A Long Way Baby!

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Wow I feel old, it’s hard to believe when I was in my early teens there was no tofu, non-dairy milk or any meat substitutes in any supermarkets…there was NOTHING. You had to go to a health food store to get non-dairy milk and tofu. Vegan meat and cheese substitutes did not even exist! I never heard the word Vegan used back then. I can’t get over how much things have changed in my life time. I’m now 50 years old. Not only are there tons of vegan products in supermarkets but Germany has opened up the first totally Vegan supermarket called Veganz. They plan to open up 20 more stores in the next 2 1/2 years! (a new store every 2 months) Check out this video of Veganz you’ll probably be like me and see tons of products or brands you never knew existed.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yrw20E3458E

When I was young there were no computers! With the invention of the computer came access to fellow vegans, ending that dreaded isolation many of us can feel. We have access to all the many wonderful vegan blogs online. There were not many vegetarian restaurants when I was young…I don’t remember any vegan restaurants.

One the best things to come along for me was Daiya cheese. Until Daiya came along there were some pretty gross vegan cheeses out there so I just gave up thinking I could ever enjoy a cheese pizza again (since turning vegan). I can now make a cheese pizza at home or pick one up from a Mammas Pizza. Yes…. a gluten-free with vegan cheese (Daiya brand) pizza is now available from a Major Pizzeria Franchise. I highly recommend trying the Vegan Primavera at Mama’s Pizza (that's the pizza pictured above). I will be bring one over to my guys, sisters place for my Christmas dinner along with a side dish of some yummy grilled vegetables (recipe for those will be my next post)

http://mammaspizza.com/menu/vegan-pizzas

I'm grateful for many things each year…good health (well except for the Celiac disease of course…lol) having a wonderful my guy in life….blah blah  blah…This year I would like to add that I'm grateful there are so many delicious vegan products out there especially Vegan Primavera pizza from Mama’s Pizza.
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