Thursday, 26 December 2013

Nanaimo Bars!

Nanaimo Bars. AKA food of the Gods. Chocolatey, Icingy, Coconutty goodness. I love the way the top layer slides all over the icing layer forcing you to cram the whole thing in your mouth in one bite. Maybe that's just me? 

Anyway, PC came out with a "kit" for Nanaimo Bars and much to my surprise, the base ingredients are vegan! Which means if you're so inclined you can add some Earth Balance, non-dairy milk and egg replacer when you get home and complete the vegan goodness. I used almond milk and flax egg. 

I'd say the results were awesome. In total it only took about 20 minutes (thanks to the icy conditions out back which I used as my fridge/freezer). Well done PC!

My only suggestion with these would be to give as many away as possible so you don't eat the whole tray. At 300 calories a pop (damn you!) you should limit yourself to one and savor the hell out of it. 


Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Banh Mi Chay!

I apologize if the spelling is off on the title of this delicious comfort food, but I am relying on Google :)

I'm sure at this point you all think that I love most of what I make. This is totally untrue. Only about 1/4 of what I make ends up on the blog. I'm a touch neurotic and sometimes if I can't get a good picture, or if it's too much of a hassle I don't bother. I want to post easy and delicious meals. Not stuff that will make your left eye twitch. 

So, having said that... SANDWICHES, am I right?? There is something about a stuffed to the brim, slopping everywhere, practically a meal left on your plate at the end sandwich that is just awesome. 

That is exactly what Banh Mi Chay is. A vegan version of a Vietnamese sandwich. (They typically come with pork from what I gather...) 

I was unable to find the pickled daikon and carrots so I made my own. (Salt and sugar the matchstick veg, rinse, and brine with a mix of vinegar and sugar)

For the sandwich, the other ingredients:

1 large crusty baguette
Cucumber, thinly sliced
Starch (I used potato)
Vegan mayo 
Lime juice
Green onion 

First mix the vegan mayo with cilantro and a dash of lime juice. Then spread on both sides of the baguette, which has been sliced in half and rationed into sandwich size. 

Then heat a flat bottom pan with oil. Take your tofu and slice any way you'd like. You can to strips, or flat rectangles. Coat evenly in starch and dry until golden brown; about 2 minutes per side. Then set aside on a paper towel. I threw in some green onion for fun.

With your sandwich sauced on both sides, start assembling! (This sandwich gets awfully full, a helpful hint is to hollow the bread out of the middle and just use the crust!) 

I layered as follows (bottom to top):

Bread /sauce/ tofu/ green onions/
pickled carrots and daikon/ 
cucumber/ sauce/ bread

Hold on tight and enjoy! 

Monday, 9 December 2013

Baked Mac 'n Cheese!

Sometimes, we just want carbs. Cheesy starchy carbs. And on those days, make this dish. Baked Mac 'n Cheese. 

-2 tbsp vegan butter
-1/8 cup flour
-1 cup non dairy milk (warmed)
-1 cup shredded cheese (I used soy mozzarella. It melts and strings and bakes well)
-1/2 tbsp mustard (I used hot mustard)
-1/2 tbsp nutritional yeast

-1 cup panko
-1 cup shredded cheese
-1 tbsp oil
-1/4 tbsp nutritional yeast
-salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 375. Boil elbow macaroni for 7-8 minutes until it's al dente. 

In a heavy bottom saucepan melt the butter on medium heat. Whisk in the flour. Slowly add the milk a little at a time mixing well. It will be splashy! Look out! Eventually it should be smooth and lovely. Then while it's at a low bubble add in the mustard and yeast, mix well and then add the shredded cheese. 

Now. Add your pasta and coat well. If you just want plain Mac and cheese once coated you can now transfer to a baking dish and make the topping. I like spice and flavour so I added in a 1/2 cup of hot salsa, some garlic and chili spice. 

For the topping, in a bowl mix the panko, salt, pepper and nutritional yeast. Then mix in the shredded cheese. Hand mix and add in the oil to coat well. Then spread on top and bake for 20 minutes. 

I have to score this a solid 9/10. It was amazing!! 

Friday, 6 December 2013

Vegan 'Egg' Nog

I have never been a big fan of egg nog. Rum, yes. Nutmeg, yes. Festive drinks, Heck yes. The egg part of the nog has always creeped me out. 

I stumbled across a vegan egg nog recipe online (Linked below). It is super easy and tasty, provided that you like rum and nutmeg.

- 1 Frozen Banana
- 1/2 cup of non dairy milk (I used almond)
- Rum, to taste. (I used half a bottle ;))

Blend all ingredients in a blender, add ice if the banana isn't frozen enough or all that rum thinned it out. Ha! 

The picture isn't necessarily an accurate representation of the colour- it's in a caramel brown coloured glass and topped with nutmeg. But dang it's good!

I said this sh*t is bananas!

Ok, so maybe that's not really an appropriate title but I've been listening to Sirius XM 90's on 9 and I've heard more Gwen Stefani now in 2013 than I ever did in the 90's. 

Moving along, since I presume you want to know exactly what IS bananas. Well friends, let me tell you. VEGAN ICE CREAM CAKE. Oh god. So good. 

And as you've probably figured out by now, I love no bake dishes and it doesn't get much more no bake than ice cream cake. 

-6 frozen bananas
-3 tablespoons almonds
-6 teaspoons of cacao powder
-3 tablespoons of hazelnut agave nectar
-8 Oreo cookies 

Start by crushing the Oreos in the food processor and set aside. Then mix all remaining ingredients in the processor. In a spring form pan, pour half of the "batter". Then cover the surface with the Oreo crumbs. Pour the remaining "batter" and put in the freezer to freeze overnight. 

To get the cake out of the pan it took a little bit of SMRT smarts. I put the pan open side down on the platter that I wanted the cake on. Then I slid it under low broil in the oven with the door open. After a minute or two it slid right down and onto the plate. I garnished the top with banana chips and voila! DONE! 

New England 'Glam' Chowder

Ok, so Faith requested that I make a vegan clam chowder and had she not also included a recipe (compliments of the awesome Post Punk Kitchen) I would have told her to go eff herself. Nicely, of course. :D

This recipe in particular uses mushrooms in place of seafood and nori for the "sea" aspect of things. My personal opinion is that mushrooms are nothing more than fungus grown in shit and there is no way I'm ingesting them voluntarily. However, I respect that for some reason people like them, and I'm quite fond of Faith so away I went. 


· 1 cup cashews, soaked for 2 hours

· 2 cups vegetable broth

· 4 teaspoons organic cornstarch

· 1 tablespoon olive oil

· 1 large yellow onion, diced medium

· 2 medium carrots, peeled, sliced into 1/4 inch thick half moons

· 3 stalks celery, sliced 1/4 inch thick

· 4 ounces shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced

· 8 ounces white button mushrooms, sliced 1/4 inch thick

· 2 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4 inch chunks

· 3/4 teaspoon salt, more to taste

· Fresh black pepper

· 1 to 2 nori sheets, finely chopped 

· 3 cups vegetable broth

· 2 tablespoons tomato paste

· 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

You can find the full recipe and instructions here: 

So the verdict! The cashew cream was a really nice consistency and easy to make. That's all I tasted to be honest. 

However, a direct quote from Faith might sum it up more positively for the fungi lovers out there; "The combination of ingredients almost perfectly simulated the taste of a New England style clam chowder. Texture and flavour wise the mushrooms truly enhance the dish. Awesome winter dish." 

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Sunday Dinner

After a super hectic few weeks, it is nice to be back to some semblance of normal. Today was laundry and some other "Sunday Chores" but other than that was pretty laid back and relaxed. Faith and I decided that a great way to reconnect would be a formal Sunday dinner at the dining room table. :)

On the menu, sweet and sour veggie meatballs, garlic and herb mashed potatoes and balsamic glazed brussel sprouts. 

Sweet & Sour Sauce:
-Icelandic Bilberry & Chilli Sauce (Sub for Apricot Jam)
-SoHot Bareback Berries Cranberry Hotsauce (Sub for hot pepper sauce)
-1/4 Cup Vegetable Oil
-1/4 Cup White Vinegar
-1 Cup Ketchup
-1/4 Cup Minced Onion
-1 tsp dried oregano

Mix all ingredients and pour over veggie meatballs (I used PC brand) in a crock pot. Set on low for 4-6 hours and enjoy as your house starts to smell like heaven! We used a few subs because we had them. The Bilberry sauce was from our trip to Iceland, and I'm a little devastated that it's gone now!! 

The hot sauce is a from a company owned by a friend of Faiths. They're all delicious! You can check them out here:

For the potatoes:

After cutting into cubes and boiling, I mashed them (skin on) and added the following:

-Vegan sour cream
-Vegan butter
-Chopped fresh parsley
-Minced garlic
-Almond milk

Use a hand blender to mix thoroughly and resist the urge to eat the entire bowl.

I served the meatballs on top of the potatoes and it was amazing.

For the brussel sprouts I steamed them first and then tossed them in equal parts balsamic vinegar and olive oil. I then put them on a cookie sheet with parchment paper and broiled for 3-5 minutes. 

French Toast!

For the last few weeks I've been making hash browns and chick pea hash for breakfast. Partly because I had a ton of potatoes and chick peas to use and partly because it's delicious! This morning I wanted something simple. We had company last night and I had left over baguettes to use. They go stale pretty quickly so I figured I'd make French toast. 

2-3 ripe bananas
2/3 cup non-dairy milk (I use almond)
1.5 tsp cinnamon 
1 tsp vanilla
Earth Balance, or other vegan butter sub.
Bread of your choice 

Blend all ingredients, pour into a bowl and set aside. Pre-heat a frying pan to medium high heat and melt Earth Balance. Dip both sides of the bread into the mix and place in pan. 

When brown, flip and done! 

I like my French toast sweet and salty so I also sprinkled mine with sea salt before flipping. Because I made a large batch I set the oven to low broil and lined a cookie sheet with parchment paper. 

This made the toast nice and crisp! Serve with fruit and syrup (I used agave drizzled) and inhale!!