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Four Ingredient Vegan Chocolate TrufflesVegan Tofu Sliders with Tangy Purple ColeslawMaking Better Hummus at HomeSpicy Vegan Chipotle Mayo SauceTasty Vegan Grilled Salad with Tofu and PortobellosVegan Turkish Red Lentil KofteSpicy Tofu-Mushroom StirfryRich Vegan Mushroom Linguine with Basil

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Grilled Tempeh Bowl with Vegan Mushroom Gravy

In many North American meat-eating households, family celebrations almost always feature turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy and veggies. A lot of us grew up participating in these celebrations and the memories are deep-seated. KFC taps into these memories quite effectively by marketing a bowl consisting of mashed potatoes, corn, chicken and gravy. What if we could make a vegan version of that bowl with a good source of protein and a vegan gravy that actually tastes good? More

Filed under: Recipes > Main Dishes

Tags: comfort_food, tempeh, gravy, potato, mushroom, sauce

East Meets West Black Bean Burrito

Vegan burritos deserve to have daring and exotic ingredients that complement eachother and leave you satisfied. I was at a local burrito place not too long ago with just such a vegan offering, one that actually seemed more appetizing to me than anything else on their menu. It was chock full of interesting flavours and textures to the point that every bite was different than the one before. I left pleasantly full with my mouth slightly burning and my mind percolating ideas about concocting something similar at home. Toronto's vast cultural mosaic inspires me yet again. More

Filed under: Recipes > Main Dishes

Tags: burrito, Mexican, Chinese, noodle, bean

Hummus Wrap with Homemade Pita Bread

I work in a hospital during the week and I (very) occasionally have to avail myself of the trucked-in meals. The one thing in this factory-supplied, mini-cafe nightmare that I can count on for flavour, freshness and even nutrition is a pita wrap with hummus, romaine lettuce and shredded carrot. Inexplicably, the pita is always soft and fresh, the hummus tastes homemade and the raw veggies are crisp and abundant. Rather than tempt fate by becoming dependent on this pita-wrapped oasis in the desert of institutionally outsourced "food," I decided to try to duplicate it at home. Last week, I bought one and took it apart to reverse engineer it. More

Filed under: Recipes > Light Meals & Snacks

Tags: healthy, hummus, pita, wrap, carrot, chickpea

Big Soft Pitas for Wraps

I have a recurring need for big, soft pita bread that I can use for wraps. We're talking twelve inches in diameter, thin enough to wrap around the wrap's goodies, and strong enough to do so without falling apart. As usual, I turned to the internet for inspiration and then started experimenting. More

Filed under: Recipes > Bread

Tags: pita, bread, healthy

Chipotle Refried Black Beans from Scratch

Let's be honest, we're just talking here, would it be fair to say that our past experiences with refried beans from a can have been somewhat ho-hum? That's the way I feel about it, but I can't be sure whether my memories of refried beans past have been blandified by the flavour dynamite that I experiences with this recipe. The source of the explosion is not difficult to pinpoint: it's the smoky heat of chipotle. More

Filed under: Recipes > Light Meals & Snacks

Tags: Mexican, chipotle, bean, healthy, spicy

Vegan Black Bean Tacos from Scratch

A few months ago, I set a little challenge for myself. I love the black bean tacos at the local Mexican burrito place. The challenge was to duplicate these beauties at home using just the basic raw ingredients. And by that, I mean starting with a pound of dry black beans and two cups of corn flour. Well, the last few months have included a few, umm let's call them learning experiences. More

Filed under: Recipes > Main Dishes

Tags: taco, healthy, bean, avocado, corn, tortilla, Mexican

Low Carb and Vegan: Spicy Tofu with Roasted Veggies

Vegetarian cooking, and especially vegan cooking, requires conscious attention to key nutrient levels, including protein. The good news is that most vegetarians quickly develop the skills needed to manage their nutritional needs. That's not to say that there aren't challenges. It can be a struggle to design vegetarian meals that have enough protein but don't cause unintentional carbo-loading. Examples are all around us. This meal combines tofu with roasted vegetables, for all the flavour without all the carbs. More

Filed under: Recipes > Main Dishes

Tags: healthy, tofu, broccoli, mushroom, sweet_potato, brussels_sprout, spicy

Vegan Fried Noodles with Lots of Veggies

I've always wondered about the magical flavour combinations that make up chow mein. When I see it in restaurants here, it's usually a very simple noodle dish with nothing but beansprouts and green onions as accompaniment. But whenever I've had it, there's always been this mysterious synergy going on between the noodles the sauce, which I've never been able to duplicate at home. Well, the internet has satisfied my curiosity and my appetite at the same time. Again. More

Filed under: Recipes > Main Dishes

Tags: noodle, Chinese, soy, comfort_food

Corn Tortillas are Easy to Screw Up, but also Easy to Get Right (And I've Done Both)

Making corn tortillas at home. It sounds simple, doesn't it? Needless to say, my own learning curve has not been a slow and steady climb. I've made some barely recognizable, practically inedible corn frisbees out of what seems like a very straightforward recipe. Along the way, I've also learned a couple of simple techniques to make them properly, which I want to share with you. More

Filed under: Recipes > Bread

Tags: corn, tortilla, Mexican, taco

Vegan Grilled Portobello Mushroom Sandwiches

We all know that grilled portobello mushrooms are great in a sandwich. That's why I wasn't too upset when the portobello panini was literally the only vegetarian option at a friend's favourite pub. With the first bite, it was clear that I would be having a great meal. I know this is going to sound strange, but what put this sandwich over the top was a bed of wilted spinach. It just worked. More

Filed under: Recipes > Light Meals & Snacks

Tags: mushroom, grill, healthy, hummus, spinach

Quin-Bean Hash is Nothing Like any other Hash

You can call me Quin-Bean and baby I'll ruleeee... More

Filed under: Recipes > Main Dishes

Tags: healthy, quinoa, kidney_bean, bean, chickpea, cashew, nutritional_yeast

Warm your Bones with Three-Lentil Dal Tadka

Like many large cities, Toronto has special neighbourhoods where specific ethnicities are concentrated to the point that they form the predominant character of those neighbourhoods. Slightly east of downtown, there is a stretch of one of the major east-west roads known to Torontonians as Little India. You know that you're in Little India when you start to smell an intoxicating combination of incense and spices wafting from the storefronts. I've come to associate the aromas of the neighbourhood with the waistband-stretching satisfaction of truly outstanding vegetarian food. After a few visits to Little India as a tourist, a natural curiosity starts to develop. How do they do it? Is there any possible way that I could reproduce these flavours in my kitchen? More

Filed under: Recipes > Main Dishes

Tags: dal, Indian, lentil, curry, healthy, spicy

Decadent Yes, Vegan Also Yes!

I have a confession to make. When I worked downtown, I was hooked on the ##link(http://www.starbucks.ca/menu/food-list,Starbucks fruit and oat cookie). I tried to fight it, but in the 15 minutes after lunch, the temptation of a nice stroll outside, a hot coffee and one of these beautiful cookies is just too strong. I knew I would try to make something similar eventually. I also knew I would stay away from the usual cookie ingredients and make it vegan. More

Filed under: Recipes > Desserts

Tags: oatmeal, fruit, coconut, dessert, maple_syrup, raisin, tahini, cookie

Deluxe Vegan Macaroni and Fake Cheese with Spinach and Mushrooms

That would be a yes -- a big, emphatic "you betcha." In fact, I had been feeling like the earlier vegan macaroni and no-cheese recipe needed something more, something to make it a little more interesting to eat and also something to give it a little more nutritional oomph. Something like baby spinach. I also think sauteed mushrooms play nicely with the lemon in the sauce. More

Filed under: Recipes > Main Dishes

Tags: spinach, macaroni, pasta, comfort_food, nutritional_yeast

Sesame Ginger Noodles with Tofu

Cliches are sometimes cliches for good reason. The combination of sesame and ginger in Japanese cooking is so tried-and-true that its absence is more noticeable than its presence. Add some soy sauce, rice vinegar, some form of sweetener, and a little heat, and you've got a delicious cliche. This magical mixture provides the much needed personality for otherwise bland tofu and udon noodles. Crisp carrots and sugarsnap peas make it a well-rounded meal. More

Filed under: Recipes > Main Dishes

Tags: sesame, ginger, Japanese, tofu, carrot, pea, noodle

Warm up with Some Potato Leek Soup

My quest for warmth and comfort in the form of thick soup continues. This time, I'm looking for a creamy-but-vegan potato leek soup. Will I be satisfied? I can't wait to find out. More

Filed under: Recipes > Soups

Tags: soup, potato, leek, comfort_food

New England (No-)Clam Vegan Chowder

The craving for soup, commencing as soon as the temperature starts edging toward the freezing mark, is so universal that it must be coded somewhere in our DNA. This is actually a good time of year for vegans, because soup is one craving that is relatively easy to satisfy. This recipe is a vegan chowder with a pureed cauliflower base, flavoured with nutritional yeast. And it actually tastes good. More

Filed under: Recipes > Soups

Tags: nutritional_yeast, cauliflower, chowder, soy, soup

The Veggie Burger that Ate Manhattan

I'm not going to lie to you -- making this vegan burger requires a bit of a commitment. It's not something you can whip up between work and dinner time. On the plus side, the recipe makes a 10-12 patties depending on how big you like them, and they freeze well. You can eat half now and freeze the rest for later, which would make your effort now a partial investment toward your future eating. More

Filed under: Recipes > Main Dishes

Tags: tofu, healthy, flax, lentil, burger, tex-mex

Get your Quinoa and Beans with a Side of Flavour

The internet tells us that quinoa has been around as a basic food staple in parts of South America for three or four thousand years, but has only recently become popular in other parts of the world. And there are plenty of good reasons for its rise in popularity: nutritionally, quinoa is a bit of a rockstar. This recipe combines quinoa with classic Tex-Mex flavours. Technically, it's a side-dish, and you can definitely serve it as a small part of a larger meal, but I find it fills a plate well by itself and always makes a satisfying meal. Part of the reason for that satisfaction is the high protein content for sure, but the emotional comfort of the combination of beans, onions, corn, cumin and cilantro is definitely part of the draw. More

Filed under: Recipes > Side Dishes

Tags: quinoa, bean, healthy, tex-mex

Vegan Macaroni and (No) Cheese

I don't think it's any kind of exaggeration to call macaroni and cheese the ultimate childhood comfort food. I'm always on the lookout for jazzed up variations that can satisfy my inner seven year old while offering my adult mouth something a little more interesting. In this vegan take on the classic, the no-cheese sauce is based on ground cashews combined with a mix of harmonious flavours and textures that perfectly complement the elbow macaroni. More

Filed under: Recipes > Main Dishes

Tags: nutritional_yeast, cashew, soy, nuts, comfort_food

Spinach Fatayer Panzerotti

One of my earliest and most delicious memories of the move to Toronto was made one morning riding shotgun in my boss' car. He had grown up in Lebanon, but had been in Toronto long enough to know the hidden treasures of its food establishments -- the places you don't see in tourist guides. We were driving along, talking about the upcoming meeting, when he suddenly made a U-turn, saying something in an excited voice about the fatayer being made fresh on Tuesdays. He was mostly talking to himself because I had no idea what fatayer were. He ducked into a little shop and emerged ten minutes later with a couple dozen little pastry miracles. I was hooked. More

Filed under: Recipes > Light Meals & Snacks

Tags: Lebanese, spinach, panzerotti, fatayer

The Flavour Explosion that is Tapenade

I think of tapenade in somewhat the same way that I think about pesto. Both are fairly simple to make -- you just combine a bunch of interesting ingredients in a food processor and let them mingle with eachother. Another similarity is the richness of the the flavours, flavours so rich in fact that you might be a little put off by their intensity and unfamiliarity the first time you taste them. Foods that start out being too intense to love often become my favourites with repeated tasting. More

Filed under: Recipes > Light Meals & Snacks

Tags: olive, appetizer

Stir-Fried Veggies can be the Whole Meal

In his interesting book, Eat to Live, Joel Fuhrman challenges the typical notion of what constitutes a meal. His plan emphasizes nutrient-rich foods like whole fruits and vegetables over the high-calorie, low-nutrient staples of the typical western diet. Here is a simple vegetable stir-fry that does just fine as a meal all by itself, without any extras like rice or noodles. More

Filed under: Recipes > Main Dishes

Tags: stirfry, vegetables, healthy

A Couple of Sweet Potato Grilling Ideas

Sweet potato is one of the foods that the diet gurus are always trying to get you to eat. You'll hear terms like anti-oxidant, beta carotene and complex carbohydrate. I don't dislike them, but I can't say I've ever come home from work with a sweet potato craving. Since I started making a serious effort to improve my diet, I've been looking for ways to work more of these "good" carbs into my regular menu. More

Filed under: Recipes > Side Dishes

Tags: grill, sweet_potato, vegetables, healthy

Simple (but Delicious) Ordinary White Bread

I guess it's a bit of a guilty pleasure, but I really enjoy plain old white bread fresh from the oven.... Homemade bread really has a bit of an undeserved reputation of being a time waster. The initial work is probably about 30 minutes, and then most of the rest of the work is done by the yeast while you're off doing other things. The sight and smell of freshly made bread on a cooling rack makes the time seem completely irrelevant. More

Filed under: Recipes > Bread

Tags: bread