Saturday, November 27, 2010

Faux Deli Slice Sandwich & Oven Fried Potatoes

So the man went out and bought some fake meat slices.  Something I have never done.  Why have I never done this I ask myself?  Why self, it's because your dad judges fake meat.  In that case, it's a bit of a fake meat judging complex I gained from my father.  I'm willing to go for veggie burgers, bacun, and even tofurky sausages... but when it comes to deli slices, they just seem the fakiest of all.  So this was my first try, at a fake deli slice sandwich.  My evaluation: don't judge it till you try it - tastes pretty good to me (it must be all those delicious chemicals).

The Faux Beef sandwich consisted of rye bread, mustard, smoked hickory deli slices, tomato, and cucumber.  Toast the bread and pret-ty good.  Next time I might try frying up the slices for a minute and using hot mustard. 

What isn't good with a side of fried oven taters?  Potatoes are friends with everyone.  I take potatoes, slice them up, toss them in oil, to this batch I added garlic powder, cumin, and a big dose of the southern fried tofu mix from Mondragon - or just adding nutritional yeast would be good.  Cook up up at around 400 in the oven around 15 minutes a side.  You'll have to flip half way through.

The end result - good enough for a dinner of just taters


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Food Fast: Hoisin Portobello Noodle Soup

Snow, snow, snow, when will it stop?  Tonight I wasn't feeling 100% and cooking for one isn't always motivating for me.  I didn't want to go out... so rather than take-away I made up a quick slurrpy asian style soup.   Took less than 10 minutes before I was happily slurping away.

1 stick of rice noodles
1 veggie cube (I use mushroom)
Soy Sauce
Hoisin Sauce
1 Portobello mushroom
The two main ingredients

Cook the Rice Noodle - the key is Rice noodles don't like to be boiled - first boil the water - then turn off the heat and soak the rice noodle in the veggie cube water.  Use a nice deep fry pan for this.  Cover the noodles & let sit 5-7 minutes.

Slice up the Portobello and add to fry pan with a touch of oil.  After about 3-4 minutes, when the mushroom starts to cook,  add a small spoon full of hoisin sauce to a few tablespoons of soy sauce (mix that up), than pour that over the mushroom.  Cook another 2 minutes or so.
Hoisin - simply great on anything - find it at the Asian market nearest you

Add the noodle and some broth to a bowl.  Dump the mushroom mix on top.  Slup it up.

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Banana Bread

So I've been looking for the perfect vegan banana bread recipe for quite sometime.  My dad used to make it - and I loved it - not too dry and not too wet.  I found this recipe online (Link to Original Recipe) and made a few tweaks to get just the right texture  - and it was good - real good.  I made a double batch each time - two loafs are better than one.
Smothered in Earth Balance Buttery Spread.  Bananas love Butter.

3 medium-small bananas, mashed (make sure very ripe, BLACK bananas)
.75 cup honey
1/2 cup oil (I used grape seed oil)
1 3/4 cups Whole Wheat Flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup Nuts like Walnuts (or try something else)

*Preheat oven to 350 F
1.  In a bowl, mix sweetener, mashed bananas and oil.
Use bananas that you rot and then froze!  The blacker the better.
2.  In a separate bowl add dry ingredients and mix (what's with all this sifting business, no need for a good bread)

3.  Mix dry and wet batter together. Add walnuts.  Mix again.  Don't over mix.

4.  Pour into an oiled and floured loaf or cake pan (this will be thick!). Bake in a pre–heated oven at 350° for 45–60 minutes, or until a paring knife/toothpick comes out dry.  And eat it up.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Oh Yes I did! Home-Made Mondragon's Southern Fried Tofu Sandwich

Every year we go to Winnipeg Folk Fest and every year we cannot help but feast on Southern Fried Tofu Sandwiches from the Mondragon stand.  These are so addictive.  I tried making a version myself with breadcrumbs... it was good but not quite right.  So when I was checking out the latest options at the Mondragon Cafe Grocer and I came upon not only a free recipe for how to do it but ALSO a premixed topping I cannot express my excitement.  I tried these out this weekend... and boy was I surprised when I realized the Southern Fried... is not actually fried... it's baked!  These turned out well.  I've included a copy of the recipe for the topping in case you want to try your hand at these but don't have a Mondragon Cafe near at hand.  PS Thank you to Mondragon & Dana Gresswall who are so willing to share recipes with all.

Take the extra firm tofu and slice into thin squares.  From the package I use (see photo) I get 8 little tofu cutlets.
Ingredients for the Southern Fried Batter - if you don't buy it (Like I did!)

Dredge each Tofu cutlet first through the liquid

Next bread each cutlet

Place cutlets on an oiled baking pan and bake at 350 F.  Bake 10 minutes one side & then gently flip.  Bake another 10 minutes (until firm).  

Serve on a bun with a slice of tomato, some lettuce and nayo-mustard sauce (take some nayo or veganaise, add some mustard, add some hot sauce - voila - this is also a good dipping sauce for just the Southern Fried pieces).
Southern Fried. mmmmm
Nayo-Mustard Sauce

Saturday, November 20, 2010

What's for breaky? Mondragon Breakfast Burrito

Ok, Saturday morning and we are off to Mondragon Cafe (Winnipeg in the Exchange) to taste test the Breakfast Burrito one more time... well, one more time for this weekend.  I can't say enough how good this thing is.  I'm determined to make my own version.  But first, for more taste testing.

Totally Vegan and Totally Delicious

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

What's for dinner? Thai Veg, Curried Potato, and Bok Choy

I had the cravings for a dinner with a bit of an Asian influence.  One of my all time favorite ingredients has to be coconut milk.  You can find it everywhere now - but it's the cheapest at Asian grocers.  I bit the bullet and bought some organic stuff this week.  I wouldn't say it always tastes better (especially canned stuff)... but somehow buying organic, fair-trade, and/or local ingredients gives me that 'comfort food' kinda feel.  And something about eating with chopsticks is just so fun.  With good tasting eats - this made for a good meal.

My quick dinner tonight was:

Pan-Fried Curried potatoes - chopped them up, boiled the pieces until mainly cooked, and then pan fried them with oil, added curry paste, and tossed in some Franks hot sauce.

Hoisen Soaked Bok Choy - chop the bok choy into large pieces, add a bit of water to a fry pan, bring to boil, add the bok choy, sprinkle with soy sauce, and then a dd a spoon full of hoisen sauce.  Takes about 5 minutes to cook up; just until the bok choy starts to wilt.

Coconut Milk Curried Veggie - Take one mini-can coconut milk, add some soy sauce, brown sugar, and lemon (balance the three out until you get the right flavor).  Chop up zuchinni, onion and portabello.  Add everything to a fry pan and cook up for about 8 minutes.

I served this with a side of grilled naan bread.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Ideas for Dinner: Carrot Soup & Hummus Naan Pizza

Look in the fridge and make something out of what you got.  I made this dinner the other night.  Pretty easy and delicious.  A basic tomato based soup and hummus spread on a toasted naan bread was pretty much it.

Carrot Soup - I added 1 jar of tomatoes, 1 bag of frozen carrot pieces, a square inch of fresh ginger (processed through a garlic press), celery chunks (cooked a bit in a pan first) and some left over spinach.  I blended everything but the spinach and then simmered around 20 minutes.

Naan Hummus Pizza - it's one of my theories in life that hummus can make a meal.  For this open faced hummus pizza -  I took naan bread & brushed it with oil & then broiled it around 5 minutes.  I had one extra veggie burger - so I sliced it thin & fried it up with some Portobello. From there I spread on some hummus and then added the veggie burger, mushroom, & some tomato.

Dinner is served.

Later I added a can of coconut milk to the carrot soup.  This was fantastic.  Although my husband didn't seem to agree - I thought it was creamy perfection with the ginger & carrot.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Really Good Vegan Granola Bars

Sometimes it's a challenge to find a product that is vegan to replace other products I used to use.  Finding a good granola bar has been one of those things.  The ones I found that were vegan often were not very tasty.  So I started searching for a recipe.  I make a batch of these and we have lunch snacks for the whole week.  After some experimentation this is the recipe I settled on.  It's a little tricky to cook it for the right time and removing them from the pan - but once I did a few times I figured out the tricks.  Here's my version of this recipe (I found somewhere online).


  • 1 cup organic wheat flour
  • 2.5 cups organic rolled oats
  • 3/4-1 cup unpasturized honey (other options: Organic Maple Syrup, Brown Rice Syrup)
  • 2/3 cup organic peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup wheat germ (other options: Chia Seed)
  • MIXES: 2 cups of your choice - you can mix up any ingredients like these (I try for organic where available) - her are some ideas for your combos:
    • Coconut (one of my favourites)
    • Dried Fruit (I like dried cranberries)
    • Almonds, Peanuts, Walnuts, Cashews, etc.
    • Raisins 
    • Hemp Seeds
Heat oven to 350 - cooking time is 15-20 minutes depending on oven - bake until barely brown on top.

1. Mix the honey (unpasturized) and peanut butter until smooth.  
I do this right in the pot - if it's hard to mix I turn the heat on low until ingredients warm up a little
2. Blend the Mixes in a food processor.  I used 1 cup coconut, 1 cup nuts.

3. Add the mixes, oats, flour, and wheat germ (or Chia Seed) - mix this all up really well.  If it's too dry add some water a teaspoon at a time - if too wet add some oats a tbsp at a time.  
This will need to stick together - fully blend it 

3. Grease a lasagna pan & pack the granola down hard into the pan. 
Use your hands to pack this down

4. Bake around 15-20 minutes - keep checking - it should just be dry on the top - if you overcook they will crumble apart (you'll recognize that's what happened).  Immediately cut & remove from pan when you take them out of the oven.  Get into sealed container as soon as they are cooled a bit. You can freeze these too - but we always finish them too fast for that.  I use wax paper to layer them in a rectangle container.
Trick to cutting - I use a fry pan lifter with a sharp edge as my knife and lifter.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Curried Lentil Cashew Veggie Burger

Once all the toppings are on it all tastes pretty good
Testing out veggie burger recipes again last weekend and tried this one suggested by my aunt - you can read the recipe from the Canadian Living site.  I didn't exactly follow the recipe on this one so it ended up being a lot mushier than I think it should have been.   I definitely preferred the Quinoa Veggie Burgers (see my blog) I cooked up the previous week.

Easy to Make?   4/5 - they were pretty easy to make - and my new large food processor came in handy ($100 purchased at Sears, Black & Decker).

Taste & texture? 3/5 I may have over processed these - there wasn't enough texture - although Kris seemed to really like them.

Would I make them again?  I might try again and follow the recipe better.

        1/2 cup cashews
        1 Tbsp oil
        4 cups sliced mushrooms
        1 onion, chopped
        1 clove garlic, minced
        salt and pepper
        1 cup green lentils, soaked 2 hours & rinsed
        1 tbsp curry paste
        1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
        1/2 cup frozen spinach

        1. Toast the cashews in a fry pan at medium low around 5 minutes - until they start to brown - add to food processor.

        2. In fry pan on medium-high cook mushrooms, onion, spinach, garlic until liquid is evaporated.  Add to food processor.

        3. Rinse the lentils.  Add lentils & curry paste to food processor.   Pulse to combine the ingredients and then add the coriander.

        4. Shape into whatever sized patties you like & fry around 8 minutes per side.  Add them to a bun or bread with the selected toppings and enjoy.

        Cashews/ Mushroom, Onion, Spinach on the go
        I made the patties really thin - a bit too thin
        I fried them as much as I could - they were kinda mushy

        Saturday, November 6, 2010

        What's on a Veggie Sandwich?

        Over my time as a vegetarian I found that many of my friends were really truly interested - or maybe intrigued/ freaked out, in my eating choice.  I've faced a number of interesting questions.  One of the most common questions is "What's on a Veggie Sandwich?"  Wow, what isn't on a veggie sandwich?  When faced with the no meat & no cheese option the only thing to do... is look at all the many other choices that are out there - avocado, tomato, onion, bacun, fried tofu, pickle, jalapeno, cucumber, roasted peppers, mushroom, spinach, lettuce, hummus, veggie spread, mustard, pepper, salt, a huge variety of breads/ buns - and more.

        So for all the people out there that ask "What's on a veggie sandwich?" I made a great one today and here's what was on it:

        Ingredients for a Veggie Sandwich:
        • Tomato Bread
        • Mustard
        • Veggie Spread
        • Cucumber slices
        • Tomato slices
        • Red Pepper slices
        • Fake Bacon Slices by Yves
        • Garnish: Home Made Pickles 
        And here's the delicious results:

        Cinnamon Bun Biscuits

        This recipe starts with the base Baking Powder Biscuit recipe (on my blog, here's the link, you can read the detailed instructions there if you like: Blog on Biscuits) and adds a twist to make cinnamon buns!  This is a quick and easy way to make a super yummy cinnamon bun biscuit.  I made these for a charity bake-sale at work the other week - really quick - don't need to have a lot of ingredients around.  These are darn good right out of the oven.

        3 Cups Flour
        1.5 Tbsp Baking Powder
        1 Tsp Salt
        2 Tbsp Raw Sugar
        2/3 Cup Vegan Butter or Margarine
        3/4 Cup Soy Milk

        1/2 cup softened 'butter' (or however much you like)
        1 cup brown sugar
        1-2 Tbsp Cinnamon (or as much as you like)

        Pre-Heat Oven to 425 F - Bake 15 minutes in a muffin tin.

        1. Make the basic Baking Powder Biscuit recipe (see: Blog on Biscuits). Roll the dough out into a rectangle around 1/2" thick - I use my hands.  Don't forget to flour the surface or it will stick.
        Flour the surface
        2. Mix the filling together (you may want to add a little water) and then spread across the dough.
        Yum - Butter & Brown Sugar mix

        3. Roll the dough up. 

        4. Slice the cinnamon buns so you have enough for 12.  Place them directly into the muffin tin (no need to grease it up, the butter will do it all for you).

        6. Bake 15 minutes at 425.  Immediately remove from tin and put on wax paper and a baking rack.  Enjoy.
        Best fresh from the oven.