Sunday, 31 August 2014

Maple Smoked Tempeh Facon!

I know very little about bacon other than the obvious. It comes from pigs (😔), the smell is so strong it's nauseating and overwhelming and it is really, REALLY popular. I have never eaten it and I don't really get it. 

I bought some tempeh at the grocery store and decided to make one slice (literally) of tempeh facon (fake bacon). My wife is always my guinea pig for these types of experiments and she immediately asked for more. I played around with different marinades, different thicknesses of tempeh slices and different baking temps and times. What I came up with is this little slice of facon heaven...

Warning: There are literally NO measurements, sorry. (Kind of) The measurements will depend on how much facon you're making. It needs to marinate in a single layer and you want the marinade to cover the top. I suppose you could use something more small and shallow but I havent tried that so I cannot confirm or deny... Moving along! 

A generous pour of olive oil
A half as generous pour of cider vinegar
An equal pour of maple syrup 
A medium sized splash of liquid smoke (I used hickory)
A medium sized splash of tamari 
A good amount of smoked paprika 
A good amount of cumin 
A healthy dash of black pepper 
A healthy dash of salt 

Mix all ingredients in a large shallow dish and then add in your sliced tempeh. You can cut it to whatever thickness you prefer.) Cover tightly and refrigerate for 24 hours. 

When you're ready to bake your facon you'll need to preheat the oven to 300 degrees. On a parchment lined sheet lay each slice of tempeh side by each and bake for 7-10 minutes or until they're toasted nicely. Keep a close eye though because the maple can make the edges burn quickly! 

Once done, remove from the oven and let cool. Once cooled, crumble on salads, add to sandwiches or just eat on it's own! Enjoy!

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Chocolate? Peanut Butter? Pretzels?

No one is going to believe me anymore that I don't like sweets. Especially if they just saw me make sweet eating love to this cupcake. 

This all started when I saw waffle shaped pretzels on sale at the grocery store. The only thing I love more than salt is a good bargain. Salt on sale? SOLD!

I've been doing lots of chocolate lately so I guess you could say it's been on my mind. Then it happened. Chocolate dipped pretzels. Before I knew it I was melting away over a double boiler and dipping away. To be clear, I'm not sorry. I'd do it again. LOOK AT THESE BEAUTIES! 

So in the fridge they went and back to life I went. The idea of un-hinging my jaw and dropping the whole tray in crossed my mind, but I thought that they were too pretty to devour in such haste. 

So naturally, I thought of cupcakes. Vanilla? Caramel? Chocolate? YES! Chocolate! But what about icing? I thought about the same old; chocolate, vanilla, caramel.  And then I remembered my old friend Reese's. Peanut butter! 

Once I have my mind set, I just DO. So when I came home from work today I whipped up a quick batch of chocolate cupcakes so that they could cool while I was a hollering soccer mom and be ready to ice and decorate. 

While it did take some prep work and planning these are SO worth it. Without further adieu, the recipe to the best of my recollection! 

For the pretzels: 
1-1 1/2 cups vegan chocolate chips
1/2-1 tsp coconut oil 

Melt over double boiler (or microwave in 30 second increments in a microwave safe bowl), dip and lay on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Move to fridge to set and voila.

Chocolate cupcakes:

1 & 1/4 cup unbleached flour 
1 cup organic sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cacao powder
1 tsp baking soda 
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup warm water 
1 tsp vanilla 
1/3 cup vegetable oil 
1 tsp apple cider vinegar

Mix your dry ingredients, add your wet and combine. You can do this in two bowls if you insist, but one is just fine so long as you whisk the dry ingredients first and create a divot in the middle. 

Bake at 350 for 17-20 minutes or until a test stick comes out clean. Then set aside to cool and start your icing!

Whipped peanut butter icing:

Ok, sorry to my measuring friends but this is LITERALLY a 2:1 recipe. I used approximately...

1/2 cup earth balance
1/2 cup peanut butter 
1 cup powdered sugar 
Splash of almond milk

It is ridiculously hot today. 40+ Celsius with the humidex. It's gross, but it did make icing prep easy! Combine the earth balance and peanut butter until smooth. Add the powdered sugar and mix well. Add a splash of milk until the icing is thinned out but not watery. Then using your electric mixer go to town. 

When you're ready, pipe the icing onto the cupcake and then angle the chocolate pretzel on top. 

Make sure you have friends to share with or you may eat them all. Enjoy!


Sunday, 24 August 2014

Ganache, Nuts & Requests!

99% of my food requests come from my other half. Sometimes they're easy ("Babe, I want a salad!") and sometimes they're uh...not. ("Babe, I want a vegan lamb stew!") 

I have been making hella truffles lately which means I have hella ganache sitting in the fridge. Tonight's blog post is brought to you by, "Babe, I want Ferraro Rocher!"

Admittedly, this first round is SO delicious, but not 100% where I want it to be. I have some ideas to mimic the cookie wafer shell. I'll update when I get around to it. 

In order to make ganache, it's a bit finicky but so worth it. You'll need:

1 cup of vegan chocolate chips
1/2 cup of full fat coconut milk
1/2 tbsp vegan butter, melted

Bring the coconut milk to a boil and pour over the chocolate chips in a bowl. Let sit for two minutes and then stir until well combined. Then stir in the vegan butter and transfer to a shallow dish to cool. (I used a glass lasagna dish.) After a few hours, it should be cooled completely, now you will have to cover and refrigerate over night. (I tried every possible cheat. It won't work unless you follow these steps. Drats!) 

Fast forward 24 hours and you now have endless possibilities with your ganache! You can roll it into spheres and top with cacao, chopped pistachios or pecans and you've got killer truffles. 

Or if you want to make someone you love happy and take a lot of time making something amazing, make THESE!

You'll need:

Whole hazelnuts 
Coarse chopped hazelnuts 
Vegan chocolate chips
Coconut oil 
Parchment lined cookie sheet

"Wrap" the hazelnut with the ganache. Roll in the spheres using the palm of your hands. If the ganache gets too soft just take a break and throw them back into the fridge to firm up. 

Next, roll them in the coarse chopped nuts. Then in a small bowl heat chocolate and coconut oil until it is fully melted. Roll the spheres in the chocolate mixture and spoon them out onto the cookie sheet to set. Sprinkle with chopped nuts if desired. Let firm in the fridge and enjoy!! 

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Besan Omelettes

Brunch. That gluttonous massive meal when you've slept in and want to eat your weight in something, anything. Preferably something greasy and carby to help you forget that you made the mistake of opening and finishing that second bottle of wine (and bag of chips) the night before.

Ok, maybe that's just me. But even people who don't often suffer the morning after the night before like a good brunch. Which brings us to Besan Omlettes.

Like any good vegans, we always have heaps of onions, peppers and other veggies on hand. I also really REALLY like spices. Not just the ones with heat, but ones that add dimension and flavour, too.

Besan, is ground chick peas for those who don't know. Chick peas can do no wrong in any form. That's not just my opinion, it's actually 100% factually true. They're perfect for everything from mock tuna, burgers, salads and yes - even flour.  It has a great binding ability and the flavour is everything you'd expect from a ground chick pea. 

I'm going to make up measurements as close as possible to what I actually did for a certain friend who doesn't like a simple "2:1" explanation. 

Besan Omelette Batter
1 cup besan flour 
2-3 teaspoons of your favourite spices. I used 1 each of roasted red pepper flakes, roasted garlic and powdered habanero
1/2-2/3 cup of milk (I used sunflower)

Mix your spices into the flour and then add the milk slowly while stirring to avoid lumps. You want your batter to be thick enough to fold. It should stick to a fork for 1-2 seconds before slowly running through.

Set aside the batter and work on your filling. I used fried onions, red peppers and spinach in mine. When your filling is ready remove it from the heat and start the omelette. 

Preheat a frying pan (with a lid) to medium-low heat. Melt a good dollop of vegan butter into the pan and when it's melted pour or spoon in the batter. You'll want to swirl the pan to make sure that you just get a nice 1/4" coating on the bottom of the pan. Cover with the lid until the top is no longer shiny and looks cooked. Add a generous amount of your toppings on one side, use a spatula to fold in half and voila! An amazing, savoury besan omelette. 

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Sunday August 10th at Studio.89!

I am so excited to be doing another pop-up, this time in Mississauga at Studio.89!

Studio.89 is a great space, with great people and a great mission! Great! :D 

For more info on them and their mandate, check out their website: