May 12, 2015

Lentil and Mushroom Sloppy Joes

I tried the mushroom sloppy joes recipe from the food blog, Restless Palate. 

They were really good but I then I thought I would decrease the mushrooms and add lentils. I also, changed the ingredient amounts and of course I had to add my favorite ingredient...chipotle powder. The results were great! I'm not a huge fan of green peppers but in sloppy joes, their a must add ingredient.

These make a nice alternative to veggie burgers and veggie hotdogs during barbeque time.  Don't forget to toast your buns on the barbeque. These are also great with melted vegan cheese on top such as the Daiya cheddar slices...yum! There not very sloppy, the neat freak in me just couldn't do

1/2 cup lentils

1 Tbsp olive oil
3 cups mushrooms sliced
1 cup green pepper, chopped
1/2 cup onion, chopped small
3 cloves garlic, grated
3/4 cup tomato paste
1/2 cup water
2 Tbsp soy sauce (gluten free)
1 Tbsp grainy mustard
1 tsp maple syrup
3/4 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp chipotle powder 
6 toasted hamburger buns or bread (gluten free)
vegan cheese (optional)

Put the lentils in a medium pot with 3 cups water. Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, until lentils are tender. Drain and set aside.

Heat a large pot over medium heat. Sauté the mushrooms, pepper and onion in the oil for about 10 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic and sauté a minute more. Add tomato paste, water, soy sauce, mustard, maple syrup, smoked paprika, chipotle powder and cooked lentils.  Cook for about 10 minutes.  Pour sloppy joe mixture onto each bun. If your adding cheese then put that on top and heat in the oven or on the grill till cheese has melted. Serves 6

March 24, 2015

Spring Salad with Maple and Lime Vinaigrette


I love this salad. I have it almost every day. Although, it’s a favorite of mine it has everything in it that my guy doesn't like in a salad.... kale, citrus and nuts….more for me! In the picture, I did add some cucumbers and peppers just to pretty it up. When I make it I only have it with chopped kale or mixed greens, maple and lime vinaigrette and lots of roasted almond slices. The vinaigrette recipe came from the website 86 lemons. I renamed it, changed the ingredient amounts and I used maple syrup instead of agave. I did make the recipe California chipotle chop that goes with this dressing and it was good.


Once you have the ingredients below just mix and enjoy!

kale, chopped or mixed greens or a combination
sliced natural almonds sliced, roasted (the kind with the skins still on)
maple and lime vinaigrette (recipe below)

Sliced Natural Almonds Roasted

You can roast the almonds in the oven but I prefer pan fry. Put them in a frying pan on low to medium. Stir often, making sure they don’t burn.

Citrus Vinaigrette

1/4 cup lime juice
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
3 Tbsp maple syrup

Put all ingredients into a dressing bottle and shake well before using.

January 29, 2015

Red Hot Tahini Mexican Dip


I hear people love to eat nachos while watching the super bowl. So what better time for me to add this recipe since the super bowl will be on this Sunday. Why have the same salsa with your nachos all the time when you can step out of the box and try something new. This dip/sauce is also great to pour over bean burritos!

Regarding heat level of this dip....even though the name indicates that it will be really spicy it's not. So please don't skip trying this recipe because you may have adults or children in your family who don't like spicy foods. Frank's red hot sauce is used in the making of this dip but once the salsa and mayo is added to it it does mellow out the heat. Of course, if you like your dip with heat you can always add a bit of cayenne pepper to it. Either way your really going to enjoy it.

I came up with this recipe after falling in love with Isa Chandra’s Red Hot Tahini Dressing which she used in her Hoppin John recipe. I’m still addicted to it.

1/2 cup hot tahini sauce (recipe below)
1/2 cup vegenaise (or recipe below)
1/2 cup chipotle salsa
Combine dip ingredients above into a clear glass bowl; stir to combine. Garnish with green onions and cilantro.

Red Hot Tahini:
1/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup water
2 1/2 Tbsp Louisiana Hot Sauce (like Frank's Red Hot)
1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
Simply blend everything up in a food processor until smooth.


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 sea salt
1/2 tsp wet mustard
black pepper, to taste

1/2 cup light tasting olive oil or canola*

Place mayo ingredients 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. Keep blending and occasionally, stop the food processor to scrape down ingredients from the sides. Mayo will thicken when kept in the fridge.
 *DO NOT USE extra virgin olive oil to make the mayo dressing. It has too strong of a flavour and will make the mayo taste awful.

November 28, 2014

Southwestern Bean and Tofu Scramble

This dish has so much flavor that when I asked my guy if he wanted hot sauce or ketchup for it he said no it's good just as it is. This is a high compliment for him.
I feel like the person that wrote this recipe. I wasn’t really impressed by tofu scrambled recipes I made in the past. I do have one that I posted on my blog that was pretty good but I like this one way better. What’s not to love…it’s inexpensive, easy and quick to make. Oh and it's healthy too!

I did make a lot of alterations to the recipe based my personal taste but the credit goes to Morgan for coming up with the original recipe. I think just adding black beans to tofu scramble alone is genius! (yes I get impressed very easily…lol)

I omitted the celery, carrots and corn. I didn’t serve it over potatoes which I think is a great idea it’s just that I try to limit how often my guy eats white potatoes. Instead of adding 2 roma tomatoes I added one can of chili seasoning diced tomatoes (that was suggested by someone in the comments section on her page). I love the smoky flavor of chipotle chili powder so much I had to add 1/4 tsp of that instead of a pinch of cayenne powder. Black salt instead of regular salt. Finally, 2 cloves of garlic instead of 1.

2 Tbsp olive oil
1/3 cup red onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced

1 block of extra firm tofu, crumbled by hand
1 19 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed (2 cups)
1 1/2 tsp salt or black salt*
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp chipotle chili powder
freshly ground black pepper

1 can diced tomatoes with chili seasonings, loosely drained
5 Tbsp nutritional yeast
1 1/2 Tbsp prepared mustard (wet)
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chives or green onions (optional) 

In a large frying pan skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion. Sauté for about 7 minutes until softened. Add the garlic; cook for 1 minute.

Add tofu, black beans, salt, cumin, paprika and chipotle powder in the frying pan. Sauté for 3 minutes to incorporate the spices well and gently cook the beans and tofu.

Add diced tomatoes, nutritional yeast, mustard and cilantro, and stir to incorporate. Taste and add any additional salt and pepper if needed. Tastes great with some hot sauce on top. Serves 4. 

*Black salt can be found in Indian grocery stores or online.

October 21, 2014

Apple Cinnamon Quesadillas


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 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
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


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...

The only changes I made from her original recipe was that I added 2/3 cups of roasted red peppers instead of the pimentos (I've read it's 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


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)

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


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


 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.

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.
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