Last night I was doing my nightly Instagram creeping when I came across the profile of Joel Rosa (@JDABIG1) a vegan firefighter/paramedic from Maryland who’s also big into crossfit and did I mention, a total hottie? Joel’s instagram was filled with all kinds of plant-based food porn – and more specifically, great meal ideas for vegan athletes and bodybuilders.
This one in particular he titled the “Perfect Pick Me Up” but since it’s very much a salsa-based meal and I’m of course Salsa Sam and this is MY post, I’ve cleverly renamed it “Salsa Sam, Let’s Make a Meal.”
Wanted to try something new and we were craving cauliflower and it led to this. It’s seriously good, we’re already planning when we’re going to make this dish again. Rosemary, juniper, sumac, fennel, garlic…mmm tempted yet? It has three main components, but with a bit of multitasking it shouldn’t take longer then 40 minutes to put together. Give it a good read through and you’ll be set! It’s well worth it.
Vegan Smoky Walnut Lentil Loaf
The ‘lentil walnut loaf’ I saw at the deli last week looked less than awesome. And it had margarine in it. As if! So I set about creating my own version – free of hydrogenated fats – and much more packed with nutrition.
Made this Coconut Lime Curry Chickpea Stir-Fry from Thrive Fitness last night and it was delish! Once all the veggies were cut, it was just a matter of a few minutes in the pan, serve over quinoa and voila! (more…)
This is a recipe that was inspired by my (Erica) time spent in Greece. Last summer I spent a couple weeks island hopping and exploring local culture. This included eating A LOT of food.
I don’t cook with tempeh very often, however after making this quick Barbecue Tempeh last night to complete a classic dinner of roasted potatoes and vegan caesar salad, I will be adding it to my weekly shopping list.
Our favourite dish in the world is a falafel wrap. When they are done right that is, but often, they aren’t! We are obsessed with finding the most delicious falafel and figuring out what makes it the best. While we were living in London we stalked down local falafel joints and tasted, examined and critiqued their falafel wraps. We think we’ve decided what a falafel needs in order to be amazing and we’re willing to share that with you. (You’re welcome!)
These Lasagna Roll Ups have been named ‘one of the best dishes ever’ by my boyfriend, which says a lot, because he is a man of few words when it comes to food. There are a couple of different steps, but onces everything is made, assembly is a cinch. I use Tinkyada Brown Rice Lasagna Noodles and they handle really well!
I saw this delicious recipe for Quinoa Black Bean Stew in Alive Magazine, and knew it would be perfect for an easy weekday meal…and I was right! It was REALLY simple to throw together, so hearty, and high in protein and fibre, which satisfied my post workout appetite.
Dreena Burton, author of ‘Let them eat vegan!’, which included this exciting recipe for Jerk Chickpeas, was kind enough to send us a copy of her book to delve into. Since we already had a copy ourselves, we want to pass a copy onto one of you!
This vegan sausage recipe is a variation on our holiday themed Cranberry and Fennel Sausage, which originally hails from the Post Punk Kitchen. This version has a very ‘chorizo’ like flavour, with a pop of garlic in every bite! I encourage you to play around with different beans, or lentils and a variety of spices, to keep things interesting.
Ever since I can remember, I’ve admired the athletic bodies of models who graced the pages of fitness magazines and always wondered just how possible it was to sculpt a perfect physique like theirs.
You know how trendy little catchphrases that go viral over social media like ’just sayin’, and ‘true story’ can get super irritating once everyone and their middle aged co-workers start parroting them?
Well, as much as I try to avoid them in my daily speak, one of the little bugs instantly popped into my head when I was making lunch today. But instead of thinking my quick creation was ‘amazeballs‘, I thought ‘Wow, this is an Amaze Bowl‘.
Super cheesy, yup.
And as much as we don’t want a million different variations of the rice bowl on The Vegan Project, it’s such a go-to for me that I just have to share.
Plus, this particular version really is … amazing.
So we’ve made an Asian inspired dish tonight. We made a Pad Thai and put our own personal spin on it. What does that mean? Well we threw in a bunch of veggies basically. Now, don’t freak out when you first look at the recipe. It does seem a bit daunting with so many steps, but it’s really not. Make sure you give it a good read through and have your ingredients prepped and it’s really not that bad. Basically you you’ve got three things to do: sauce, veggies & the tofu. If you follow the instructions you’ll be fine, and trust us, it’s worth it! We’ve made a lot of Pad Thai’s and we’ve finally created one we love. Hope you guys enjoy it as well!
Hungry + hurry = recipe for disaster.
Having food available that you can eat on the run will save you from eating quick processed food, junk food, or other less than awesome options. This quick curried lentil stew is very easy to prepare, uses simple ingredients, and you can keep it in the fridge for 3-4 days for ongoing sustenance through your busy days.
Sweet Potato Gnocchi
Hello again! Thanks for the warm welcome we’ve received already, we are very excited to share our cooking and baking adventures with you guys. Hopefully you enjoy it as much as we do!
Considering most pasta is made with wheat, eggs and other off-limits ingredients, I am very excited to have found GoGo Quinoa pasta with its two ingredients: quinoa and brown rice. Their fusilli was satisfying and lacked the ‘goopy’ texture I’ve experienced with other gluten free vegan pastas.
I love looking looking through the daily local newspapers, and I turn straight to recipe of the day when I do. For the most part, these recipes are not veg-friendly, however modifying is always an option. This past weekend’s edition of the Metro had a page dedicated to to Fall’s fragrant spices, and including this recipe for Curried Pumpkin, with the tagline ‘Transition pie staple to savoury dish’. Sounded good to me.
I had just had to share with you how much I enjoyed Field Roast’s Hazelnut Cranberry Roast En Croute. I made my Thanksgiving dinner a little late this year (two night’s ago) and am still enjoying the leftovers – very happy. On the menu: This ‘just like Mom’s’ stuffing recipe, minus the tempeh, mashed potatoes, roasted maple carrots, and the Hazelnut Cranberry Roast En Croute, all drizzled with a coconut-miso gravy – yum!
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, I LOVE CHEF CHLOE! If you don’t have her cookbook, Chloe’s Kitchen yet, I highly recommend you pick it up. Every recipe I’ve tried so far, is fantastic. I made her recipe for Mac & Cheese completely gluten free by using brown rice noodles, Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free All-Purpose Flour, and subbed out bread crumbs on top, for a Crunchy Almond topping that I will list below. The result was an ooey, gooey Mac & Cheese casserole that really took me back to childhood.
Whoever invented these incredible little smokey/savoury pieces of heaven is a genius! It is VERY yummy and easy to make. There are a lot of different versions of Coconut Bacon online, and after sifting through them all, I decided to tackle this one at Vegan Good Things (great site!). I liked the ratio of ingredients, and the advice about baking at a lower temperature, which I thought made a lot of sense. Don’t be fooled by the name – it is not bacon! It just resembles some properties of that breakfast staple, without all the heart clogging properties – yay!
When I was growing up, my mom Val was reputed to have the best potato salad ever. My whole extended family eagerly awaited her creamy, mayo and egg rich dish at summer barbecues and potlucks. She’d sprinkle a bit of paprika on the top, and we’d all stand in line with our paper plates, watching carefully to make sure no one took more than their share from the large communal bowl. That’s just how my family used to roll.
I replicated it last weekend with no animal ingredients, and the result was a flavourful, creamy salad accented with smoked paprika to give it that homestyle, ‘just like Val used to do it’ feel.
Have you tries this delicious and nutritious Sprouted Bean Trio from TruRoots? It is one of my favourite products to keep in my pantry and is very reasonably priced at Costco. It is a mix of sprouted lentils, mung beans and adzuki beans, that cooks up in only 15 minutes!
I don’t often impress myself with a meal. I ho-hum and receive the praise of others graciously, but more often than not, I think I could have done something better. That is not the case with this recipe! It was an amalgamation of a non-vegan Mushroom Tart recipe on epicurious, and a recipe for Basil Cashew Cream from the Millennium Cookbook, which I altered slightly. The combo was to-die-for! Flakey puff pastry (what an incredible product!) and wild mushrooms from Hui’s Organic Mushrooms in Aldergrove (available at the Vancouver Farmer’s Market) were SO DELICIOUS!
After coming home from a solid workout last week, I found beets, spinach and avocado were all the veggies that I had available for lunch, so spinach salad it was!
If you don’t already receive the VegNews Magazine emails, I suggest you sign up, because they have source out some of the yummiest recipes around. This Kale Slaw recipe graced my inbox a few days ago, and I just knew it would be perfect for entertaining friends. It was such a crowd pleaser; delicious & flavourful, and gone in mere minutes! I highly recommend this for your next ‘do’, or tonight’s Meatless Monday dinner. A big thanks to VegNews for this one!
This came together really easily and was such a fresh and light summer dinner. We eat A LOT of quinoa in my house, so finding new ways to spice it up is always a good thing. The coconut was so yummy mixed in with the quinoa! A squeeze of fresh lime and lots of cilantro was the cherry on top.
I made this for a super fantastic beach day some friends and I had this past Sunday! It was light, refreshing, and held up in the heat. The sweet, soft mango was by far the most popular ingredient, complimenting the crunchy red pepper and cuke. You can hold back on the red pepper flakes, or amp them up, to your liking.
This is my go-to salad after the gym or a yoga class. It’s really quick to make, ample portion of protein and greens, and is tossed in a simple and flavourful dressing. It really helps to replenish my body with iron, b-vitamins, and essential fatty acids after a rigorous fitness session, and it tastes GOOD! If you’re not a fan of tofu, replacing it with more hemp hearts, sunflower seeds, or chickpeas would be nice.
Have you ever had a collard wrap? They are the low carb answer to enjoying rolled up food. I love eating yummy ingredients stuffed into a delightfully handheld vessel, usually of the flour tortilla kind, or naan, or any any other starchy goodness. But with the summer season officially here, I am urged towards lighter lunch fare that still has some flavour, and girth. Not just for vanity’s sake, but because eating water dense food in warm weather helps you stay hydrated, and provides energy for those long summer days, and nights.
I struggled to come up with a name that differentiated this veggie burger from all the rest, but decided to just call it what is was – a Veggie Burger! Not just any veggie burger though, it’s an easy to assemble, ‘meaty’-like burg that would be a good starting point to experiment with a bunch of different flavour combinations.
Ok, this isn’t really a recipe. It’s just a few awesome vegan products thrown together to make an incredibly comforting, and kid-friendly meal. Over the weekend we visited Karmavore Vegan Shop for our regular vegan haul, and to show a recently vegan friend, this little gem New Westminster has to offer. We dined on veggie burgers, eggless sandwiches and peanut cups in the deli downstairs, and picked up some favourite vegan products to enjoy at home.
Edible flowers have long been used in cooking for decoration and flavoring. They make a beautiful garnish, but they can also be an integral part of any recipe. Different flowers bring unique flavors and colors to a dish. Some flavors are just the thing for sweet dishes, while other flowers are more suitable to savories. While some vegetable flowers and wild plant foods might require a foraging expedition or a visit to the local health food market, many edible flowers are available for convenient home delivery. Clever cooks can get flowers delivered in the evening so that they are fresh and in time for dinner.
I’m always on the lookout for ways to make salads more funky and different…because I eat a whole lot of them. Adding a nice crispy veggie patty adds texture, taste and depth to regular ol’ salads, as well as a whole host of nutritional content. Fortunately, I had a batch of pre-made lentil burger stuff ready to rock, so I designed a dressing that complimented the flavours of the burger patty, added some steamed beets, and made this lovely salad for a special lunch guest.
You can always tell the success of your veggie burger by the amount that has (or has not) spooged out the back end after a couple bites. I’ve been feeling some serious burger envy lately, as my man has been concocting different veggie patties for himself packed with eggs and cheese, and the spooge-factor has been very low. These enviable binders, although effective, can be mimicked quite effectively using the amazing flax egg. So I whipped up these simple veggie patties to enjoy with him tonight on our lovely patio, and they successfully held their form after the telling first bites. You can never have too many varieties of veggie burgers on a vegan food site, I always say.
Another instalment from my Cookbook Challenge and another sample of the amazing vegan recipes Chloe’s Kitchen has to offer (I also shared Pineapple Not-So-Fried Rice). But that’s it- you’ll have to go buy the book yourself! This meal was proclaimed to be ‘one of the best vegan meals he’d ever had’ by my dinner guest. It is perfect for your omnivorous friends, and perfect for a Meatless Monday Meal!
To keep with my recent pledge of delving into my cookbook collection and expanding my culinary knowledge, I decided to start with this sweet and salty Thai rice dish from Chef Chloe Coscarelli’s cookbook, Chloe’s Kitchen. This rice dish was so freakin’ delicious! It took about 1 hour from start to finish, as there are a few different steps, however you can bake the tofu and cook the rice simultaneously to save time.
If you’ve never seen her in action, Nigella Lawson is the absolutely mesmerizing, gorgeous and passionate cook with a remarkable ability to make food porn borderline x-rated. Her Linguine with Lemon, Thyme and Garlic Mushrooms has long been one of my go-to recipes for entertaining because it’s super simple and addictively delicious. I usually make it with whole wheat linguine, but this version is even easier since it’s made with raw zucchini noodles, so there’s no cooking required! To make the zucchini noodles, you need a fancy piece of kitchen machinery called a spirooli (aka spiral vegetable slicer like this one), which is easy and fun to use!
Keeping with the theme of Jen’s idea for a Quickie Lunch, I made this rice bowl in about 30 minutes, and had tons left over for even quicker lunches/suppers/snacks in the future. To save time, you could omit the toasting of the pumpkin seeds but it really does add incredible flavour to the pesto. And try different nuts/seeds and herbs. All a pesto is is the combination of a nut or seed, herb, garlic and oil – the possibilities are endless!
The Vegan Project ladies, plus our friend Salsa Sam, are heading south of the border at the end of February, real south…to Mexico!
I made this quick lentil salad to accompany my bowl of Smokey Potato Soup with Roasted Garlic (which I will post later this week!). It was the perfect, protein-packed side, full of crunchy veggies (use what you have in your crisper) and tossed in a creamy, sun dried tomato dressing. If you’re cooking the lentils yourself, make sure to cook to al dente so it doesn’t become a mushy mess.
A warm and satisfying stir fry is one of a few reasons why I wouldn’t want to eat an exclusively raw diet, especially in the winter.
This stew is hearty, low in fat and full of nutritious winter veggies. The fresh herbs and lemon juice/zest add a lovely freshness that shouldn’t be omitted. This stew is also gluten free by using brown rice flour as a thickening agent. Simple one-pot dishes like these just get better over time, so doubling the recipe is recommended. AND, almost all the ingredients are organic, ringing up to around $10-$15 for the whole batch. Gotta love that!
In this new year, I would like to experiment more with ingredients I often pass by in the grocery store. I received the most wonderful culinary tools (including a Le Crueset pot!) for Christmas and would like to put them to good use. I remembered seeing this Celery Root and Fennel Gratin while thumbing through the Skinny Bitch Ultimate Everyday Cookbook and connected the dots when I saw a celery root at Whole Foods last night.
How do you people not snap at the millionth time some well-meaning carnie asks you where you get your protein? As someone who has a difficult time controlling her facial expressions, I have been known to emasculate a steak-eater or two just for that question. It’s not their fault; they’ve been conditioned to believe protein only comes with a face, but it’s hard to answer the same question with a smile so damn often.
Have you guys heard of Veganseatpencilshavings.com? It is a gourmet vegan recipe site run by our good friend Jenny Duffy, who shared her vegan plight with The Vegan Project as a guest writer. She jumped off the vegan train for a while there, but has since hopped back on and is taking the vegan world by storm!
There are many versions of vegan Mac and Cheese out there on the internet. This is a simple, no fancy ingredients version with a crispy breadcrumb topping that is a real cinch to make. This was my first time trying mustard greens (can you believe it?!) and I LOVED them! They add veggies to a rather carb heavy meal and they have an awesome tangy bite to them, complimenting this creamy casserole.
I got inspired to make a vegan version of hamburger soup by my friend Katherine who shared this recipe from allrecipes.com on her Facebook page. It sounded delicious and easy to make – she has two young children and they liked it too! So with a couple packages of veggie ground leftover from an event, this was the perfect one pot meal!
I was inspired to make a savoury fall dish using mostly local, organic ingredients, by Jessica’s Halloween 100-Mile Potluck at ethicalDeal.com. This dish doesn’t meet all requirements but it does come pretty close. Most of these ingredients are grown locally, seasonally and organically.
Lately, salads are just not cutting it for me. With the grey skies and cold weather, my body seems to be requesting more hearty, salty and warm fare that will fill me up and make me feel comfortable. Homemade hashbrowns are exceedingly successful at meeting this criteria, but in an effort to stay on track with my nutrient to calorie ratio, I’ve been busting out the rice bowls. Yesterday, Choices had two bundles of rainbow chard on for $3, so my post-yoga lunch craving was a no-brainer.
My first memory of cassoulet is watching the legendary Miss Julia Child prepare one on a Saturday morning. Cassoulet is french for casserole, usually comprised of white beans, ham or sausage, chicken and french herbs. This vegan, whole food version is very flavourful while being low in fat and cholesterol. It’s a win-win!
The flavours in this salad are out of this world! Creamy peanut sauce, exotic coconut and crunchy beans, married perfectly. Kind of like an Indonesian Gado Gado salad minus the egg, it has definitely ensured repeat appearances in our home.
This meal was soooo good! The corn turned out better than expected (it was my first time doing corn on the bbq), the beans were light and crunchy, and the risotto, well, it was sublime.
I love pasta salad! This one is full of veggies and definitely a complete meal. It also makes A LOT. I love making lots of food at one time, partly because it’s just easier and I have no problem eating one thing for a few days, and partly because my boyfriend is an eating machine. The recipe can easily be cut in half if you don’t need a bucketful.
A typical Salade Nicoise is comprised of boiled new potatoes, hard-boiled eggs, steamed green beans, tomato and topped with tuna and anchovies, then drizzled with a vinaigrette. Purists from the Nice region in France state that no cooked vegetables are to be used in a traditional Salade Nicoise. Either way, the vegan-version was bound to have modifications. This is our take on a great, big salad, that is sure to impress. A mixture of grilled veggies, raw veggies, and a topped with a fresh herb dressing, even Elaine Benes would be be proud.
This slaw is full of so much friggin’ fibre! It’s a bit of a mashup between a quinoa side dish and a classic coleslaw – minus the creamy dressing. And it’s bright colour is not only beautiful but really good for you too! It’s really fresh and light, and keeps really well so I recommend making a ton and snacking on it for a few days. Tip: A small electric chopper is really handy for this dish. I chopped about a thousand vegetables in 10 minutes!
I made these this weekend for brunch and they were just perfect! The combination of the crispy corn tortilla, just cooked veggies and creamy melted daiya on top was delicious. I always like to have a package of corn tortillas, and a can of refried beans (Eden Organic Spicy Pintos are my fave) on hand. Toss in any veggies you want and you have the fixings for several meals, with endless possibilities.
My dear sister Lindsay recently completed her first Wild Rose Detox, so we enjoyed a flurry of preparation and cooking to get her ready and keep her on track. Our biggest success was the following falafel recipe from the cleansing cookbook (with some modifications) that I’ve been wanting to make for years but was intimidated for some reason (possibly my strong reverence for falafel balls). Shame on me! It was simple, and now I’m a falafel making machine. I whipped up the tzatziki myself, and used dill instead of mint, which turned out just lovely with the warm salty balls. Mmm-mm!
I finally got my own barbeque, and I am happier than a pig in sh*t! I purchased the Weber 100 from Home Depot for $149. It was easy to assemble and heats up in mere minutes. Grilling vegetables is such a fabulous way to enjoy the season’s harvests, and I find the simpler, the better when it comes to flavouring or marinades. You don’t want to mask those fresh flavours at their peak.
I am on huge soy chorizo kick lately! On a recent trip to Portland, I stocked up on vegan goods that I haven’t been able to find here in Vancouver, including a variety of vegan chorizo substitutes (you may remember my gnocchi with chorizo-style seitan). This dish I whipped up last night uses Trader Joe’s soy chorizo, although any vegan sausage or soy ground would be fine. If you’d like to avoid soy altogether, try a sturdy legume like chickpeas, black-eyed peas or adzuki beans. This soupy-stew is a tad spicy but is nicely balanced with the sweet potato and corn. It is deliciously paired with crispy pan-fried polenta, full of flavour and surprisingly light. Serve with a fresh green salad tossed in a light vinaigrette for a perfect summer meal.
There’s something so comforting about the combination of noodles and cheese, and many may be ashamed to admit having enjoyed some Hamburger Helper at some point in their lives. Perhaps because it brings back memories of childhood, or a more innocent time when we just ate the yummy things put in front of us without thinking about their composition.
You may not believe it, but it IS possible to make a vegan version of Hamburger Helper, and this one has a Mexican kick. The Pepper Jack Daiya sauce is gooey and good, and the veggies and whole wheat pasta make this version a lot healthier than its nostalgic counterpart. (And yes, we are aware the title sounds funny.)
Last week the boy and I took a little trip down the stunning Northwest Coast, stopping in Cannon Beach and then cutting over to the vegan motherland, Portland, Oregon. Now I could go on (and on) about all the reasons why I love this culture-rich and vegan-friendly city, and probably will in a couple more posts in the future. However, the most exciting part of visiting Portland is the all-vegan strip mall on SE Stark Street that houses Sweet Pea Bakery, Herbivore and Food Fight Grocery. Here are a few must-tries: The Bacon-Scallion cream cheese and macaroni salad from Sweet Pea and JJ’s Sweets Cocomels (the fleur de sel is sublime) and Upton’s Naturals Seitan products from Food Fight. And that’s just what I’ve tried so far!
Not long ago, we had the pleasure of doing Julie Beyer’s Whole Food Challenge, which included devouring some of her amazing (and amazingly good for you) recipes. Her RedLentilDelicious Soup was one of our favourites, and she’s letting us share the recipe with you!
Grilled vegetables are so delicious and easy to prepare. I like them best tossed with kitchen basics such as olive oil, salt and pepper. I don’t actually own a BBQ, but I did find a neat little disposable hibachi at Wonderbucks for $5 (better deal than on the commercial!). I was skeptical, but the saleswoman assured me with her first hand experience of it and gave me some tips for lighting. The ‘Lil “Tail” Gator‘, worked like a charm! No more annoyingly large barbecues at your next tailgate party.
A long-time supporter (and friend) of The Vegan Project, Krystle Charlton, contributed this next recipe after repeated requests from us to share her amazing dishes we are always seeing on her facebook page. She just made this one up the other night to satisfy her craving for portobello mushrooms and coconut milk. All this amidst an exciting hockey game, and she forgot to take a picture. So I made these last night so I could capture its essence on my iphone and, was very impressed!
A couple weeks ago, Whole Foods had a sale on red rice, also know as Bhutanese rice, in the bulk section. Although I didn’t know anything about this grain, I love experimenting with unfamiliar ingredients – you never know what you’ll come up with! After some internet research, I came across this recipe, and with a few modifications, I had a delicious vegan side dish full of iron, B-vitamins, fibre and calcium!
I recently picked up one of my favourite cook books to date, Vegan Diner by Julie Hasson. Fancied up comfort food is my specialty and diners are my weakness, so I snatched this book off the shelf at Chapters and headed to the kitchen to test it out. My first go was this quinoa burger recipe. I don’t make burgers very often, and thought that should change with the summer bbq-ing season not far ahead. I chose this one in lieu of the other two burger recipes in the book (Mushroom Burgers and Brown Rice Hazelnut Burgers) simply because I had all the ingredients on hand.
Fortunately for me, my colon hydrotherapist was running 15 minutes behind last night, so I had to sit in the waiting room and flip through the old naturopathic magazines. I found a recipe for a lentil flatbread, and was inspired by its simplicity, especially since my belly has been giving me grief lately and I’ve found ease with less ingredients in my dishes. There is a ton of fiber in this meal, so if your tubes are a little plugged up, this is a delicious way to get things moving.
I am not a fan of fake meat, in part because it’s really processed. However, when I’m having an emotional upset that can only be resolved by stuffing my face with a hot dog, I can justify almost anything, except meat of course.
The best veggie dogs I have found (and the only ones that don’t resemble pink styrofoam) are the Yves Bavarian Veggie Sausage. They also don’t make my tummy ache, which is nice. This loaded dog is a somewhat healthy version of your standard pimped-out hot dog. It has some nutrition, but mostly it’s good old fashioned comfort in an organic bun.
I was watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles the other day and realized how long it’s been since I had a good slice of pizza. So I pulled my sprouted grain tortillas out of the freezer, grabbed a couple juicy tomatoes and got to work on a homemade pizza sauce that I found in raw executive chef Ani Phyo’s ‘Ani’s Raw Food Kitchen’. When it was ready, I warmed it quickly in hopes of preserving all the enzymes. This recipe is raw for the most part, sufficiently filling, and totally righteous!
Above: Marinated Artichoke Salad
As you already know we LOVE Spanish tapas, especially from our favourite Vancouver Spanish Restaurant La Bodega, which Jessica G recently reviewed here. Well, as I was perusing through Taste Magazine available at your local BC Liquor Store, I came across recipes for Patatas Bravas and Mushrooms with Parsley Sauce, the very items we love at La Bodega! Added a quick marinated artichoke salad to the menu and a crusty loaf of bread and we brought the delicious tastes of Spain right into our home.
Chili cross-bred with curry…sounds kind of weird hey? This quirky fusion (a PPK remix) initially sounded a bit conflicting, but coconut milk, thai red curry paste and kidney beans in the same ingredient list piqued my playful curiosity. I’m glad I took the chance, because this dish has become a recurring hit, and it is deee-licious.
Talk about alliteration!
I made this the other night for the boy and I, and we loved it! It’s packed full of veggies that, of course are interchangeable, and has a really simple homemade flavour base (I’ve never been a fan of store bought sauces.) I forgot how easy a stir fry can be to make and how it just gets better the more you add. I mixed in a box of Buckwheat Soba noodles because I’m a noodle maniac, but brown or jasmine rice would be lovely as well.
In case you didn’t already know, Daiya recently released a new flavour of vegan cheese – Pepperjack! We are extremely excited about this! I treaded lightly into my experimentation with this new flavour. I wanted to get a feel for it first and access it’s spiciness factor before going head on into more complicated recipes. The shreds are a bit larger than the cheddar or mozza varieties and i’d rate the spice factor at a 5, maybe 6. Keep in mind though that I like really spicy, burn your tongue kinda spice so…
This Chana Masala recipe was a combination of different versions I found on the internet blended with my desire to have yummy curried chickpeas in a timely fashion. Perhaps not so timely if you soak and cook your own chickpeas, but so much better for you and full of flavour! I like adding green to everything, so I added peas and spinach, but feel free to add any veggies you want. A leafy green is nice because it wilts in nicely and frozen veggies can be so handy sometimes.
Black Bean Soup has always been one of my favourite one-pot-meals. There are so many variations of this global staple, but my number one flavour combo is when black beans are combined with exotic spices and a little heat, creating a sumptuous union. Now, this soup does take a while to complete, though the prep is minimal. It’s perfect for making on a Saturday morning while you do some things around your house and when you’re done, the soup is done. You will see pumpkin pie spice blend on the ingredients list (kinda weird, I know) as it happened to have all the sweet, fragrant spicing I was looking for in one package. And lastly, this soup is cheap! It couldn’t have cost more than $6 to make with the beans ringing in at $2.16.
I recently discovered corn pasta and was very pleased with how it turned out. It cooked to al dente in 7 minutes, tasted great and it’s gluten-free! I paired it with a fresh fennel-tomato-caper sauce with cannellini beans tossed in for added protein, and kept the seasoning simple with a bit of garlic, s&p, fresh parsley and some capers for a little tang. The result was fresh and flavourful, and came together in under 30 minutes.
I know, I know, another quinoa recipe? We’re going quinoa crazy over here at The Vegan Project! But seriously, it is so friggen cheap, versatile and so easy to make that we just can’t help eating it at least 2-3 times a week. What makes this quinoa salad special is the aromatic coconut oil in the vinaigrette combined with fragrant madras curry powder. The greens are once again tenderized by the massaging technique as well as the warm quinoa poured over top. Fresh lemon flavour and cayenne pepper give it a tangy heat, making this salad very appealing to the senses. Makes about six cups.
1 cup quinoa
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 large chard leaves (or kale/spinach), torn into bite size pieces and stem removed
1 celery stalk, finely diced
For the dressing:
1 roma tomato, finely diced
2-3 tablespoons sweet onion, finely diced
juice and zest of one lemon
2-3 teaspoons curry madras curry powder
1/4 coconut oil
1/4 cup water
salt and pepper to taste
cayenne pepper (optional)
1 inch piece of ginger, minced (I didn’t have any, but I think it would be really nice in this dish)
Place quinoa and two cups of water into a small saucepan, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes or until water has been absorbed. In the meantime, whisk together the ingredients for the vinaigrette. Let sit while you prepare the rest of the salad. In a large bowl add, diced celery, chard, chickpeas. Add the vinaigrette and mix well. Get right in there with your hands and rub the chard and toss everything together. It can be a very soothing and meditative experience to get more intimate with your food. Add the cooked quinoa and season with salt and pepper to taste.
~The Vegan Project
Inspired by an informational afternoon with Adam Hart and his Power of Food workshop this past Sunday, I’ve been eager to jazz my recipes with his top two Superfoods. Hemp hearts and quinoa…boy were we happy to hear that he considers these two staples some of the healthiest foods on the planet!
So after teaching a yoga class, and less than two hours before taking one myself, I wanted a quick, energy packed mini-meal that could digest quickly and power my asanas. With my pre-cooked quinoa on hand and an arsenal of key ingredients, I threw together the following dish in less than 3 minutes. Yes, I timed it. I wanted to make sure the clever alliteration of the title was valid, alright?
Ingredients: (for 1)
3/4 cup of cooked quinoa
1 stalk of chopped celery
1 tbsp of organic hemp oil
2 tbsp of hemp seeds
1/4 chopped avocado
1/4 cup of dulse, ground in coffee grinder
cracked salt and pepper
In a bowl, combine all ingredients, pouring oil and squeezing lemon last. Mix thoroughly and top with s&p. Adjust to taste.
The dulse is rich in nutrients, and adds an earthy, salty flavor. The celery gives it some crunch, and the quinoa and hemp hearts are both COMPLETE PROTEINS…So important for all you vegans out there!
Thanks for a great time Adam Hart!
~The Vegan Project
I don’t know if you all understand what a magical technique it is to rub fresh kale with oil and salt to soften, as the base for an incredibly delicious and nutritious salad. We recently featured Jen’s Super Powered Sesame Kale Salad, which is where we first learned of this brilliant tenderizing technique. It’s such a great way to incorporate raw greens into your diet. Yesterday, Capers on Robson had 2 bunches of Kale on sale for $3 (deal!) so I just had to make another kale salad. This time though, I was pressed for time, so I also purchased some marinated vegetables from the deli; roasted garlic, roasted tomatoes and kalamata olives. Tossed in some fresh avocado and a handful of hemp hearts and I had a really easy, super yummy meal!
I’ve been going through a lot of changes over the past couple of weeks and am finding these last few months of winter exhausting. While I was working over at Jessica’s place this morning, I felt myself in dire need of some comfort – a warm hug from mom at just the right moment. Unfortunately, my mom didn’t happen to be standing outside the door with open arms (but wouldn’t that have been cosmic if she had?) so I jumped in the kitchen and started to prepare the next best thing: tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich.
This salad is light and fresh, and I love the size of israeli couscous, or Ptitim. The toasted almonds give this dish a smokey crunch, while the turkish apricots round out the fresh lemon flavour with their sweetness. Super easy to make and feel free to substitute the parsley with different herbs such as mint, basil or tarragon. If you don’t have green onions, sub 1/4 cup of chopped red onion or shallots. Get creative!
1 cup israeli couscous
1/2 cup toasted sliced almonds
1 roma tomato, chopped
2 green onions, chopped
zest and juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup parsley, choppped
1/4-1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
2-4 dried turkish apricots, chopped for garnish
Place the israeli couscous in a medium saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat slightly and cook about 8-10 minutes or until tender (like pasta). Drain and rinse under cool water.
While the couscous is cooking, toast the almond slices in a dry skillet over medium-high heat till golden around the edges-watch carefully! Remove from heat and set aside.
In a large bowl mix together tomato, green onion, lemon juice and zest, salt. pepper, olive oil and cumin. Add drained and rinsed couscous and stir gently. Add chopped parsley and toasted almonds and stir to combine. Distribute into two bowls and top with chopped turkish apricots. YUM!
~The Vegan Project
Truly the breakfast of champions! This hearty and delicious meal will give you slow releasing energy all day long. The blueberries are bursting with antioxidants (which fight off signs of aging!) and the walnuts and flax provide nearly a days worth of Omega-3s. The high fiber content helps get things moving, and the maple syrup gives you the warm, comfort feeling of home-cookin’ in all its wholesome goodness.
Most of you know, if there’s one thing we love here at The Vegan Project, it’s ‘quick and easy’. But if there’s another thing we love (and there are lots of things we loooove) it’s wasting as little as possible. That’s precisely why we try to construct as many yummy dishes as possible using what we already have…oh, and we are also kind of cheap, so there’s that too.
This recipe was so simple I almost hesitated to post it. But that is part of our mission: to make delicious vegan food easy and accessible. So, using stuff that was already sitting in my fridge, I created the following rice bowl. Despite how easy it was, it’s turned out to be a VERY satisfying dinner!
Ingredients: (for 1 quick meal)
1 cup of cooked organic brown rice
1/4 cup of homemade pesto (I used this soaked almond version)
1 tbsp pumpkin seeds
About 1/6 of a pkg of SoyaNovu Smoked Tofu chopped into cubes
1/4 semi-ripe organic avocado
A handful of garlic sprouts
A dash of sea salt and fresh ground pepper
Mix rice, pesto, tofu and pumpkin seeds together until they’re creamy and blended well. Then add the sprouts, but make sure you pull them apart and disperse evenly so they don’t get all bunched together. Top with avocado and s & p, and enjoy!
This dish gets points for its vegan protein and fibre content, as well as its high alkalinity… and impressive yum factor!
~The Vegan Project
Who is Lauren Mote?
Lauren Mote has been an intricate part of the food and beverage industry for over 10 years. Spanning her knowledge and enthusiasm between Toronto and Vancouver, she has devoted her expertise to Le Select Bistro, Lumiere, Goldfish Pacific Kitchen, Hawksworth Catering and Chow Restaurant.
Lauren is an accomplished writer, the founder/editor of Poivre Media Company, and recently added both Certified Sommelier and Niche-Beverage Consultant titles to her resume, while launching her newest company, Lauren Mote Productions.
Also an award-winning mixologist, Lauren is currently at the helm of The Refinery’s critically-acclaimed cocktail program. The Refinery is quickly becoming one of several Canadian establishments well-known for its contribution to contemporary cocktail culture innovation. What Lauren’s program is most known for are cocktail construction styles as well as homemade bitters, vermouths and alcoholic tinctures – totaling 23 as of today.
Lauren’s specialties move across edible borders – she is an avid vegetarian and cook, and has developed some super innovative and healthy recipes that embrace contemporary vegetarianism for her site www.laurenmote.com and others including The Vegan Project.
Lauren’s Winter Squash Lasagne Recipe
I may not be a raw-vegan anymore, but it’s important to note that my life is 70% vegan. I still create innovative dishes all the time. What I noticed from my time spent during specific diets like raw and vegan was that I was anxious to create, and while not having access to particular ingredients, it made the quality level and my imagination level high.
This recipe was created a couple of days ago, and celebrates the flavours of winter comfort foods and flavours. It is most certainly rich and delicious.
1L Unsweetened Almond Milk
4 tbsp Spelt Flour
4 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 sprigs Fresh Thyme
4 cloves Garlic, minced
1.5 cups seed/nut topping**(recipe below)
Method: On Medium heat, cook olive oil, minced garlic and spelt flour together – this is the base for a roux. Add the almond milk and thyme sprigs, and whisk ingredients together. Cook gently over medium heat for about 25 minutes – gradually as the water in the almond milk evaporates, the roux will work to thicken the sauce. Salt should only be added towards the end of cooking, and just enough to balance the sauce. Reserve 1 cup of sauce for the squash puree.
**Only once you’re ready to build the lasagne should you add the seed/nut topping to the sauce and stir to really thicken – this gives the illusion of a super rich cheese sauce. Amazing. Feel free to blitz this mixture after removing the thyme sprigs to give a smoother consistency, I did.
1 medium Winter Squash
1 medium Leek
2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper
1 cup Almond Bechamel Sauce**
Method: Peel and chop squash and large pieces of leek. Add both with some olive oil, salt and pepper to a roasting pan, and throw in a 400F oven for 30 minutes. After roasting, reserve the leek pieces for another use. The squash should be fork soft at this point. **Add squash to a saucepan on low heat with 1 cup of almond bechamel sauce, and puree with a hand-blitzer. Stir in chopped sage.
1 LB Kale
1 LB Spinach
1 clove Garlic
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 tsp Dry red chillies
1 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Blanch vegetables in salted water, sautee with garlic, salt, pepper, and chillies.
1 box Organic Brown Rice Lasagne Noodles
Method: Follow cooking instructions.
200g Raw Pumpkin Seeds
200g Raw Sunflower Seeds
200g Raw Almonds
200g Raw Walnuts
200g Raw Cashews
Method: Natural oils will seep out of the ingredients with the introduction of heat in the food processor. Blitz all ingredients together until the desired crumb consistency is reached.
Using a medium 1-2″ deep pan, rub with a bit of olive oil.
Start with a layer of squash, then vegetables, then noodles. Repeat.
At the top, pour the almond milk bechamel over the lasagne, make sure to cover everything in the pan!
Top the lasagne with the seed/nut topping and throw uncovered into the oven for 25 minutes on 400F or until top is browny-gold.
When you take it out, it’s nuclear hot. Rest it for 10 minutes then consume!
Long live the extended Orthodox holiday season! For those of you who may not know, the Orthodox religion celebrates Christmas on January 6/7th instead of the 25th, following the gregorian calendar of yore. Quite a few members of our little group have some Ukrainian in them, among other things, thus, we all grew up a on pierogies and cabbage rolls, and look for any excuse to indulge on the dairy heavy cuisine of our ancestors. Our challenge this was to satisfy our friends with a vegan Ukrainian Christmas Feast that could hopefully be comparable to Baba’s. Those were big orthopedic shoes to fill but I think we did it!
Here’s the recipe we submitted for the CBC Radio 3 vegan holiday recipe challenge:
This is the ultimate winter comfort food dish. The spicy eggplant bolognese sauce is rich and savoury, while the fried polenta slices are crispy and golden on the outside and creamy on the inside.
I often make this Tomato Basil Cream Sauce that I got off the Become the Voice website, that she got from Vegan Yum Yum (kinda like the recipe telephone game). Well, not much has been lost in translation here. I follow the recipe almost exactly because it is divine! I did however have a spaghetti squash laying around, coming close to the end of its days, so I incorporated it into the mix for a new and improved version. The slight sweetness from the squash complemented the tanginess of the fresh tomatoes perfectly. Thank you to both the websites above for introducing a new family favourite into my life.
I medium spaghetti squash, cut in half and seeded
1/2 box of spaghetti (mixed with the squash is enough for four servings)
2 ripe roma tomatoes, roughly chopped
1/2 cup raw cashews
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
2-3 tablespoons water or wine, to thin out (I’ve also used vodka in the past)
1 large handful of fresh chopped basil leaves
Preheat oven to 375F
Place spaghetti squash on a baking sheet, rind up, and bake for about 40 minutes.
In a blender place the tomatoes, cashews, tomato paste and water and blend until very smooth.
Cook spaghetti according to directions.
In a large skillet saute garlic in olive oil over medium heat until golden, careful not to burn. Pour the sauce from the blender into the pan and bring to a simmer for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. You may add water/wine/vodka now to thin if you like.
When the spaghetti squash is done, take your fork and scrape out the ‘noodles’ form stem to stern and add them to the pan, along with the cooked spaghetti noodles. Toss to coat, add the fresh basil, cracked pepper and salt. Serve immediately (it’s best when warm). Enjoy!
~The Vegan Project
These portobello mushrooms are stuffed with a mixture of wild rice, reconstituted dried lobster mushrooms and tomatoes, and herbs de provence for that french flair. The result is earthy and sumptuous, and just ‘meaty’ enough for that non-vegan dinner guest. Pairs perfectly with these roasted veggies and your favourite robust red.
2 portobello mushrooms, wiped clean with a damp cloth and de-stemmed (dice stems to add to filling)
1/2 cup wild rice blend
1 cup water
1 teaspoon vegan margarine
1/2 cup dried lobster mushrooms
1/2 dried tomatoes
1 large shallot
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 teaspoons herbes de provence
1/2 teaspoon each of sea salt and pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Chili flakes to taste
A sprinkling of Vegan Parm
Preheat oven to 400F
In a small saucepan bring to boil rice, water and vegan margarine. Reduce and simmer until all water is absorbed (about 40 minutes).
Rub portobello mushrooms with a bit of olive oil and place on a baking sheet and pre-bake for 10 minutes. Remove and set aside. You can leave the oven at this temp.
Place the dried lobster mushrooms and tomatoes in a small bowl and pour boiling water over to cover. Let sit for about 10 minutes. Remove from liquid (don’t throw this out! You need it to moisten rice mixture later) and dice.
Saute diced shallot in olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add diced stems, lobster mushrooms and tomatoes, herbes de provence, chili flakes, salt and pepper. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. When the wild rice is done, add to skillet and stir until mixed. Add chopped parsley. Now add the leftover liquid from earlier until mixture is well moistened, not soggy. Scoop 1/2 cup or so of the rice mixture into each cap and sprinkle vegan parm on top. Bake for 20 minutes and serve fresh out of the oven.
~The Vegan Project
Hey, it’s vegan Jessica again! I spent this past weekend with my family at our cabin on Saltspring Island where forced some delicious vegan food on my relatives. I made Jen’s Chili Non Carne, which we enjoyed again and again all weekend, the Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Avocado Icing, and this next recipe, which is a vegan take on Food Network chef (and local hottie) Anthony Sedlak’s World Famous Burger. Check out my mom’s funny blog post on a cooking class she took with him.
As you may or may not know, I (Jessica) am probably the least vegan of the VP bunch. Since we started this thing back in September 2009, I’ve kept a vegan kitchen at home, while wavering to the vegetarian side (gasp) while dining out. I’m also the least culinarily (new word) gifted, opting most of the time to make sandwiches, stirfries and veggie ground round pasta. But enough self deprecation.
The Vegan Project was recently asked to review a book! Jessica was sent a copy of Melisser Elliott’s hot new book, The Vegan Girl’s Guide To Life. I was browsing through it the other day at J’s house, going straight to the recipe section (of course), and had to snatch it up to try some of Elliott’s unique creations, with the promise that I would return it soon for a complete review. My first attempt was a pasta dish that sounded right up my alley: creamy cashews blended with fresh lemon juice and zest-yes please! This recipe calls for asparagus, which I didn’t have, so I substituted spinach instead, everything else is the same.
This dish is great as an appetizer or a light supper. The bright citrus dressing, creamy lima beans, and delicate tomatoes perched atop the smokey grilled portabella make this dish as beautiful as it is delicious.
This dish is great as an appetizer or a light supper. The bright citrus dressing, creamy lima beans, and delicate tomatoes perched atop the smokey grilled portabella make this dish as beautiful as it is delicious.
1 ripe firm roma tomato, chopped and seeded
¼ cup canned lima beans
1 chopped green onion
Small handful chopped white onion
1 portabella mushroom cap, trimmed of stem
Juice of half a lemon
Juice of half a lime
1 tbsp Red wine vinegar
1 tsp olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Grill Portobello cap on a grill pan (or a non-stick pan) for 5 to 7 minutes on each side.
Warm lima beans in a bowl (30 to 45 seconds in the microwave should be fine.)
Mix tomato, white onion, green onion, and warmed lima beans in a bowl.
Dress lima bean salad with olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon and lime juice.
Season with salt and pepper
Place warm salad on top of Portobello cap and serve!
*Courtesy of Jenny Duffy
~The Vegan Project
As far as the fake meat debate goes, I’m skeptical. The long list of suspicious ingredients in the super-processed wannabes makes me nervous. So, you’re not going to find any ‘facon’ in this BLT! It’s made with beets, which, when fried, take on a crispy/chewy balance that resembles bacon in a non-creepy fashion.
These stuffed peppers are beautifully colourful and have such a great blend of flavours. The sweet corn balances out the hot and smokey cajun spices perfectly. They are pretty filling on their own, but made with smaller peppers or cut in half, could be a lovely first course at a dinner party.
1/2 cup dry red quinoa
4 large peppers, similar in stature (cut off the tops and chop up to add to the filling. Scoop out the seeds and white lining to make a little bowl.)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 crimini mushrooms, finely diced
2 scallions, chopped
1/2 cup canned corn
1 cup black beans
2 teaspoons cajun spice mix
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Preheat your oven to 350F
In a small pot mix 1/2 cup of dry red quinoa with 1 cup water and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat and simmer, covered for 15-20 minutes.
While the quinoa is cooking, saute the onion and garlic on medium heat with the olive oil. Add the mushrooms, pepper tops and cajun spice mix and let cook for 10 minutes or so. When the quinoa is done, fluff it up a bit and toss it in the pan and mix well. If your pan will fit the black beans and corn, go for it and mix it all up. If not, put everything in a large bowl (including cilantro) and mix well. Place the peppers in a square baking dish (this helps to keep them close together to avoid falling over) and stuff the peppers right up to the top. If there is any mixture left over, eat it! Bake for about 30 minutes, but of course times may vary according to pepper size. Remove from the oven and sprinkle fresh cilantro on top. You might want to let them sit for 5 minutes as they are really hot coming out of the oven.
~The Vegan Project
This hearty open faced sandwich is perfect for brunch or even a light supper. The creamy, cheesy mushroom sauce is savoury and comforting, and is a perfect counterpoint to the bright and fresh tomatoes and smoky tempeh bacon. Putting the salt and pepper directly on the tomatoes brings out their lovely, rich flavour.
1 firm ripe organic roma tomato
1 cup sliced mushrooms
6 slices Turtle Island Foods Smokey Bacon Tempeh
Two thick slices organic Ancient Grain (whole grain) bread
1 heaving tablespoon Asano Miso
1 tbsp Earth Balance Vegan Buttery sticks (vegan butter)
Handful of Daiya cheddar shreds
1 tbsp minced garlic
A splash or two of almond milk
Salt and Pepper
Melt earth balance in a pan on high heat. Add chopped mushrooms and brown til golden.
Turn pan to medium heat and add garlic. Sweat garlic and mushrooms for 2 minutes.
Mix in miso and Daiya shreds. Add a splash of almond milk to bring the sauce together. Turn down to low heat let sauce thicken, stirring occasionally.
Toast bread in toaster.
Brown tempeh in non-stick pan.
Slice tomato and place on toast. Salt and pepper the tomato slices to taste.
Place tempeh on tomato slices.
Smother entire sandwich with the creamy mushroom sauce.
*Courtesy of Jenny Duffy
~The Vegan Project
This recipe is a variation of The Post Punk Kitchen’s legendary vegan sausage recipe. We thought some poultry seasoning and dried cranberries would give this version that holiday feel. The backbone of the vegan sausage is the vital wheat gluten and mashed beans. From there the possibilities are endless! Check out these ones at the PPK sausage forum.