Cooking Delights

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

BBQ'd stuffed red peppers and Quinoa Salad

Now this was a tastey dinner. I made Dreena Burton's Quinoa Salad from Vive le Vegan and stuffed red peppers from Vegan with a Vengance. Both were delicious.

I was especially impressed with the peppers which were fantastic. It was so hot yesterday that I wrapped them in tin foil and did them on the bbq rather than putting them on the oven. They were delicious this way. The combination of black beans, quinoa, mushrooms, chile powder and garlic was fantastic - and no cumin!! Yay! Funny, I was having this talk with a girlfriend yesterday about how she hates cilantro and I love it and how I hate cumin and she loves it. Taste really varies from person to person.

I am glad I gave Quinoa a second chance because I had made it before and really felt that I didn't like it. Let's face it, made plain without seasonings it is pretty unimpressive. Yesterday I really enjoyed it in the salad. Also, I made a nice breakfast cereal for myself yesterday with the quinoa. It was so hot here I actually had it cold and really enjoyed it. I added frozen raspberries, pecans, a touch of maple syrup and cinnamon and a little bit of silk soy milk. I should have taken a picture. This actually satisfied my craving for a brown rice pudding recipe for breakfast. Perhaps I will have it again this morning and take a picture this time.

Pad Thai

This pad thai was OK. I used the recipe from Vegan with a Vengance. I really prefer a lighter pad thai. I also don't like pad thai with any tomatoe in it - sometimes the sauce tastes like ketchup to me... this pad thai had tomatoe paste in it. I absolutely adore the recipe in 125 Best Vegan Recipes. So, the next time I am craving pad thai, I will stick to that one.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Just like my mumma used to make them!

I have been craving peanut butter cookies for a while. Lately I have been having memories of my the peanut butter cookies my Mom used to make us when we were kids. I was getting totally nostalgic for these cookies. Dreena Burton's Peanut "Better" Cookies to the rescue. These are from Vive le Vegan! These were fantastic. I loved the use of maple syrup in these cookies as a sweetener. I also used spelt flour. I love spelt flour in cookies. I think because the spelt flour is so elastic it makes for a nice and chewy cookie. Dreena you sure know how to create a delicious cookie... not just like my mumma used to make them, but tastes just like I remember them!

Mmmmm cherry almond muffins

These are from Vegan with a Vengance. I knew they would be good because they have almond extract in them. I substituted 1/2 cup of apple sauce for the 6 oz soy yogurt. I'm glad to know this substitution works, because she asks for those 6 oz. soy yogurts quite a bit! I also substituted fresh cherries for cherries that were already pitted and canned in a glass jar. This worked out fantastic, plus I didn't have to pit any cherries. The almonds on top were a nice touch. They tasted so good because they were toasted.

Scrambled Tofu

Well, I really wanted to like this recipe. It is from Vegan with a Vengance. Unfortunately, I really did not like it at all. I think the spices weren't right for me. I always think I will like cumin, but I never do....well almost never, I quite like it in small portions in mexican food. Also I don't think I really liked the thyme in it either... good for soups, not so tastey for scrambled tofu. I thought maybe if the spices had been different that I might like it more. Also I thought it needed about a half a cup of salt... but, even when I added the salt it didn't taste that much better. Any suggestions on re-spicing this one?

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Summer Rolls

I finally was able to get groceries today. It has been a while with an empty pantry. These summer rolls are from Vegan with a Vengance. We love the summer rolls at Cafe 668, so it was great to find a version that I can make at home for our mid-week cravings. They made a perfect light dinner. I was pretty impressed at how easy they were. The rolls turned out pretty loose on my first attempt. Any tips on getting a tighter, more compact summer roll - you know, the way they are able to do it at the restaurant?


MMMMMMMmmmmmm, I love my waffle iron. These waffles turned out great. I added raspberries on top which was a little messy in the iron (but definitely worth it). This was breakfast a couple of mornings ago.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Roasted Vegetable and Couscous Salad

After a weekend of being with our meat eating family it was definitely time for a vegan dinner. I made this visually stunning salad to nourish our bodies and bring us straight back to our prefered method of eating. This salad starts with a layer of couscous (I used whole wheat couscous). It is followed by roasted vegetables. Today I roasted red and green peppers, chinese eggplant, zucchini, asparagus, and a little bit of tomatoe. I put a bed of fresh lettuce on top. The dressing was a combination of blended tomatoe, olive oil, cumin and cayene pepper. I served it with grilled corn on the cob. We finished with Presidents Choice Raspberry Gelato - one of my daughter's new favourites. All in all a delicious and nourishing meal. Boy, it sure is great to be home!

Wedding Cupcakes

My sister in law got married this weekend to a wonderful man who complements her perfectly. She had these beautiful cupcakes as her wedding cake. I thought they were adorable and they tasted absolutely delicious. I had one this morning for breakfast with fresh berries! I think I need to change my occupation and get into catering.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Ooey, gooey, chewy goodness

Ok, the carob brownies are a total hit. Man the icing really makes the cake! I might eat the whole pan trying to get this abstract right.

Dreen's Chewy Brownies

These are from Dreena's Vive le Vegan cook book. I made the brownies with carob powder and carob chips so we will see how they taste. I put in less sugar because carob is sweeter than chocolate and I also cooked them for a shorter amount of time because the last time I made these they were dry and crumbly. I also took Dreena's suggestion from her blog and melted carob chips and soy milk together to make a beautiful topping for these brownies. They look great. I hope they turn out well.

Lunch Yetserday

I made this yummy cucumber and hummus pita sandwich for lunch yesterday. It was delicious! The key to making it taste so good was using the mandolin to thinly slice the cucumbers. For some reason they taste better when they are really thinly sliced.

Soup's On!

I often make soup when the pantry is getting low. It is a great way to use up leftover vegetables. This is a black bean, mexican style soup with corn, sweet potatoe, green and red peppers. I whipped up some corn bread to have with it. I don't know if I just don't like corn bread, or if it is this recipe. It never seems to get eaten. If anybody has a good corn bread recipe let me know. I think I like a chewier corn bread, not so cakey like this one. Kind of like the cakey vs. chewy brownies.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Chocolate Chip Cookies: Healthy and Vegan!

Yesterday when I had my hair cut, my friend, and hair stylist, Karen made cookies for us to enjoy. They were delicious...of course, loaded with sugar, chocolate, butter and eggs. She inspired me to try a chocolate chip recipe from Vive le Vegan this morning. I made chocolate chip cookies from Dreena's book with carob chips, maple syrup, molasses and spelt flour. I love spelt flour. They were chewy and delicious and didn't taste like second prize by any stretch of the imagination.

Thai Green Curry

I served this green thai curry with zucchini, red pepper and green pepper over a bed of brown basmati rice. Now this was a double cheat. I used the PC green curry sauce from a can, which has fish sauce in it. Not very vegetarian. The thing that I am proud of is getting the long juliened strips of zucchini in it. That is something that I have been trying to do for a while. It was absolutely delicious... although it could have used some tofu.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

What can you do with leftover coconut milk from coconut heaven cupcakes?

You can make coconut cream pancakes!!! These come from another one of my vegan cookbooks, La Dolce Vegan. I use this cookbook quite often. I also made a blueberry sauce for it from blueberries, orange juice and maple syrup. Yummy.

I'm getting the hang of eggplant!

I made this stir fry on Tuesday afternoon. I think I am finally getting the hang of cooking eggplant. I peeled and salted the eggplant in the morning. When it came time to cook the stir fry I cooked the eggplant first at a high heat until it was soft. I think it turned out really good for an eggplant stirfry.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

"C"upcakes: It's the missing "C" in A.B.D.

These cupcakes were lovingly made by meg and DragonSlayer for all of our phriends on PhinisheD. We felt that, especially at this time of year, Ph.D.'s get too much attention and fuss. All the balloons, all the presents. Really, it's too much. We know the real people in need of celebration are the A.B.D.'s So, these cupcakes are to celebrate all the A.B.D.'s You guys ROCK!!!!!

The Trusty Old Cupcakes: Lemon Gems!

A New Cupcake: Coconut Heaven Cupcakes

These are taken from Vegan with a Vengance. They were perfect! Delicious! I love the frosting.

Speedy Turtle Tacos

I made these quick tacos for the hungry cupcake makers. We called these turtle tacos because they are made with black beans, or "turtle beans." They were tasty, fast, and inexpensive to make.

olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tbsp. oregano
2 cans black beans
1/2 cup frozen corn
1 can chopped tomatoes

Heat up, put in taco shells, garnish with shredded cheese and avacado.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Friday lunch

This is one of my favourite dinners... pizza!!! The salad that went with it was really good too. It is called something like "really green salad" or "all green salad" It has lettuce, broccoli, celery, and green grapes. The broccoli in it makes it taste quite substantial. It is really tasty.

On Saturday I made pizza with a peanut butter sauce (peanut butter, soy sauce, water and cayene pepper) I then loaded it with zuchini and green onions. I love that one!

Overnight French Toast

For Sunday morning brunch I prepared an overnight french toast. On Saturday I baked a loaf of honey oat bread in my bread machine. Saturday evening I constructed the layered french toast with raspberries in the middle. On Sunday morning I popped it in the oven for forty-five minutes. I forgot that I was supposed to sub a yoga class this morning until I took the french toast out of the oven and realized that I had to be teaching Susan's yoga class for her in less than 15 minutes! I didn't get to eat the french toast until much later - and cold- but I still thought it was delicious! I think I will make it for Mother's day for my Mother.

Cupcakes made healthy

I took these apple and cranberry cupcakes from my new cupcake book and made them healthy. I felt better about replacing the flour with spelt and whole wheat and the butter with a little bit of canola oil and applesauce. I also greatly reduced the sugar content. It was surprisingly simple to do and I thought they still tasted very good. These cupcakes/muffins were loaded with walnuts too! Walnuts are recognized as being able to reduce cholesterol and can also reduce heart disease and inflamation. Walnuts are also loaded with omega threes and a great source of proteins for vegetarians.

Friday, May 05, 2006

My favourite company food

When I have company I love to make Buddha Bowls. This recipe comes from Fresh's Juice for Life called Fresh at Home It takes quite a bit of prep work, but I do it all the night before and then it is a cinch to serve for dinner on the day of.

My Grandpa's favourite pie

We all love raspberry pie in our family, but I think my Grandpa loves it the most. Last summer we made several raspberry pies from the raspberries in our backyard. We hope to have lots more raspberries this year!

Apple Streudal

We love this one in the winter. It is easy to make and a lot healthier than apple pie. It is in Dreena Burton's Vive le Vegan.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

My Favourite Vegetarian Cookbooks

When I became vegetarian I found it very difficult to find cook books that I actually liked! Here are two of my absolute favourites. Vive le Vegan has the added bonus of being authored by a Canadian. Vegan with a Vengance rocks in a way that only a post punk cook book could!

My latest cookbook purchase

After getting excited about the lemon gems in Vegan with a Vengance I had to get an entire cookbook dedicated to cupcakes. This book is adorable! Stay tuned for my own creations of these cute little cakes!

Mushroom and Eggplant Satay with Asian Salad

Tim loved this one. The salad was inspired by our favourite vegetarian restaurant in Toronto "Cafe 668"

Recipe for Mushroom and Eggplant Satay

18 mushrooms
1 large eggplant

6 tbsp. olive oil
3 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tbsp. rice vinegar
1 clove garlic, crushed
salt and pepper

salt the eggplant to tenderize. Mix marianade and cover mushrooms and eggplant. These are supposed to be skewers. If it was for company I would have done skewers, but instead I just bbq'd them in the veggie basket.

Asian Salad

Juliened cucumber and carrots, cashews

olive oil
soy sauce
rice vinegar
sesame oil

more cUpCaKes!

Trinity and I made these cupcakes today. They are sooo cute!

Lemon Gems

I made these little gems on Tuesday. Every bite was pure bliss! A little piece of heaven.

Here is the recipe. It is taken from Vegan with a Vengance.

Lemon Gem Cupcakes

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup canola oil
2/3 cups sugar
1 cup rice milk (I used soy milk)
1 tsp. Vanilla extract
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tbsp lemon zest (I used the zest from one lemon)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line twelve muffin tin with paper liners.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl combine the oil, sugar, rice milk, vanilla, lemon juice and lemon zest. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until smooth. Fill each muffin cup about 2/3 full; bake for 17 to 20 minutes., Remove the cupcake from muffin tin and place on cooling rack. Frost when cooled fully.

Lemon Frosting

1/4 cup nonhydrogenated soy margarine softened (I used butter)
1/4 cup soy milk
2 tbsp. Lemon juice
2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

Whisk the margarine with a fork until fluffy. Stir in the soy milk and lemon juice’ add the confectioners’ sugar and mix until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use.