Category Archives: Recipes

Congratulations to our cookbook giveaway winner!

Congratulations to Cynthia Bennett for winning a copy of The Rawsome Vegan Cookbook from our cookbook giveaway contest! I hope you enjoy the cookbook, Cynthia. 🙂

Thanks to everyone who entered. To those of you who did not win the cookbook but still want some great vegan recipes, there are plenty of excellent vegan recipes that you can find online for free. If you prefer a traditional hard-copy cookbook, there are also many vegan cookbooks available at local bookstores and in online stores. There is also a large selection of vegan cookbooks available at the Ottawa Public Library!

Happy cooking (or raw-food preparing)!

The Rawsome Vegan Cookbook

This week, enter to win a copy of The Rawsome Vegan Cookbook by Emily von Euw!

In celebration of World Vegan Month this November, the NCVA is giving away one copy of The Rawsome Vegan Cookbook by Emily von Euw.

The Rawsome Vegan Cookbook

Here is the description of the cookbook:

Be Happy and Healthy with Scrumptious, Wholesome Plant-Based Meals

Emily von Euw is back and better than ever, this time with mouthwatering raw and lightly-cooked savory recipes to delight any palate, whether you’re vegetarian, a raw vegan or just looking for something healthy, interesting and delicious to add to your dining. The wide selection of stunning main dishes are easy to make and so tasty, you’ll be celebrating veggies instead of missing meat and dairy.

With her spectacular photography and witty banter, Emily envelops all of your senses with this collection of over 80 enticing recipes, each paired with a beautiful photo. Choose the raw chapter for light, hydrating and colorful meals including Rawsome Pizza, Epic Portobello Yam Burgers and Zucchini Noodle Lasagna. Or choose the lightly-cooked chapter for hearty, nourishing and grounding dishes like Mac + Cheeze, Freedom Falafel and Pumpkin Soup. Emily’s comforting, creative and phenomenal eats will wow your taste buds, and make you feel energized and nourished from the inside out.

The giveaway is open to anyone who lives in the Ottawa-Gatineau area, and it will be open until the end of the day on Saturday, November 26, 2017. To enter for a chance to win the cookbook, please head on over to the Rafflecopter page.

However, comments can be made below this blog post; thanks!

Try Veganuary this January!

December is here! At this time of year, many people start thinking about what resolutions they want to make for the New Year. For those who have been thinking about going vegan, a website called Veganuary can help make that transition easier!

Veganuary (vegan + January) is a worldwide movement that supports people to go vegan for the month of January—the idea being, of course, that once you’ve tried veganism for a month, you’ll realize how easy it is and will want to continue as a vegan after the month is over. Veganuary’s colourful, user-friendly website shares the personal stories of other vegans, debunks common myths, and provides an online Vegan Starter Kit, recipes, and advice. They also have a support group on Facebook for participants to get advice, as well as a mailing list that provides additional support during the month of January. Oh, and did I mention that participants can get all this for free?

If you’ve been considering trying vegan but don’t know how (or when) to start, why not sign up for Veganuary right now?

If you’re already a vegan but still want to get involved, there are numerous ways to volunteer with the organization online—just send them a message using their contact form and ask for more information on volunteering. And don’t forget to spread the word about Veganuary a couple of weeks before January starts!

Recipe: Lasagne

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This lasagne recipe is fairly simple to put together. It’s a bit more time-consuming to prepare than a regular pasta dish of course, but it’s well worth the extra time and energy as far as I’m concerned! Feel free to swap out the veggies I used for your favourite ones, omit the tofu if you’re avoiding soy and use gluten-free lasagne noodles if needed.

Homemade Lasagne
Vegan | Nut-free | Gluten-free option

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 9 whole wheat lasagne noodles (or brown rice/gluten-free noodles, if needed)
  • 2 small cans (15 oz) tomato sauce
  • 1 package organic firm tofu (or Yves Veggie Ground Round)
  • 2 tsp dried basil
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp grapeseed oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 3 cups chopped veggies (I used carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, kale and rainbow chard)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup grated vegan cheese (I used Daiya Cheddar Style Shreds so the grating wasn’t necessary)

Directions:

  1. Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil on the stove. Add the noodles and cook until they are al dente, then rinse them in cold water. Set aside.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, crumble the block of tofu into small pieces (or if using the Ground Round, empty that into the bowl instead). Reserve a half cup of the tomato sauce, then pour the rest of it over the tofu.
  3. Add the basil and oregano, as well as salt and pepper to taste, into the tofu/tomato sauce mixture. Stir and set aside. IMG_4124
  4. Heat the grapeseed oil in a large saucepan. Add the chopped onion and a dash of salt and sauté on medium for about 3 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook for another 2-3 minutes, until the onions are translucent.
  5. Put a couple of tablespoons of water in the pan and slowly add in your veggies, starting with whatever will take the longest to soften. I started by adding the carrots and letting them cook for about 2 minutes, then added the broccoli and cauliflower and let the mixture cook for another couple of minutes, and finally added the kale and chard.
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  6. When the veggies have started to become slightly tender, remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the chili powder and a bit of salt and pepper. 
  7. Prepare your casserole dish by spreading about 1/4 cup of the reserved tomato sauce around the bottom of the dish. Layer 3 of the cooked lasagne noodles lengthwise overtop of the tomato sauce.
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  8. Next, spoon half of the onion and veggie mixture overtop of the noodles, spreading the veggies around to create an even layer.
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  9. Pour half of the tofu/tomato sauce mixture over the veggies, distributing it as evenly as possible.
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  10. Lay 3 more of the cooked noodles lengthwise over the veggie layer. Top with the remaining veggies and the rest of the tofu/tomato sauce mixture, spreading both mixtures out as needed.
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  11. Lay down the last 3 noodles and cover with the 1/4 cup of tomato sauce you still have set aside. Sprinkle the cheese over the tomato sauce.
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  12. Cover the casserole dish with a layer of foil, and poke a few holes in the top so some of the steam can escape. Bake at 375 F for 40 minutes, then uncover and bake for another 5 minutes or so until the cheese starts to brown slightly.
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  13. Cut into squares and enjoy, perhaps with some homemade garlic bread and a side salad.

Tips: For a subtle “kick” to the lasagne, try topping it with Daiya Pepperjack Style Shreds and adding a bit of cayenne pepper to the tomato sauce. For a bit of extra richness, try making a simple cashew ricotta and spreading it on top of the first two layers of noodles, before you add the veggies and tofu/tomato sauce mixture.

Recipe: Curry in a Squash Bowl

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Here’s one of the easiest, healthiest, and yummiest recipes I have in my roster. It’s also a great way to use up veggies that have passed their prime.

Buttercup squash. Delicious potato-y goodness.
Buttercup squash. Delicious potato-y goodness.

Curry in a Squash Bowl (makes 2 very generous servings)

Ingredients:
1 small buttercup squash. See the adjacent picture and don’t use another type of squash because all other squash are tasteless, watery slop. Buttercup squash have a mild, sweet taste and a texture similar to a baked potato. They’re also called “kabocha” squash.

ButterNUT. Watery slop. Avoid.
ButterNUT. Watery slop. Avoid.

1.5 cups tomatoes. Any type will do, including canned.

1/2 cup each of sliced carrots, cauliflower, onions, peppers, mushrooms and/or whatever other veggie you like.

Pepper or Acorn. Vomitous. Avoid.
Pepper or Acorn. Vomitous. Avoid.

1 cup of canned beans – I usually use garbanzos (chick peas)

3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp curry power
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
1/4 tsp salt (more to taste)
few dashes of pepper

2 tbsp earth balance buttery spread (optional but highly recommended)

1 tsp lemon juice

Instructions:

Chop all the veggies (not the squash) and put in some sort of shallow dish. I use a glass loaf pan. Throw in a few pinches of the salt and the olive oil, then stir to coat.

Put in a 400 degree oven and set your timer for 45 minutes

NOT like this. I coudn't find a single damn picture where someone did it right.  You don't even want to know what will happen if you cut it like this.
NOT like this. I coudn’t find a single damn picture where someone did it right. You don’t even want to know what will happen if you cut it like this.

Cut the squash around the equator if the stem and….what’s the opposite of the stem end, the bum? Yes, the bum. Cut the squash around what would be the equator if the squash was the earth and the stem and the bum were the poles.

Scoop out the seeds and place the halves cut-side down on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Put the squash in the oven.

Go amuse yourself until the oven beeps.

When it does, take the dish of veggies out. Add the lemon juice, salt, curry powder and optional cayenne and earth balance. Stir vigorously – the idea is to smoosh up the tomatoes so they turn into a sort of sauce. Then add the beans.

Return your veggies to the oven and cook for an additional 10 minutes.

By the time they are done, the squash should be too.

Put each squash half into a bowl (I don’t suppose I have to tell you to pick a bowl into which the squash will fit?). Sprinkle the squash with salt and pepper (and smear on some more earth balance if you’re a badass), then fill it with the curried veggies.

Serve and enjoy!

Recipe: Homemade Chocolate Bark

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This recipe is super simple but creates elegant-looking pieces of chocolate bark that you can serve at a party, give as a gift or use to satisfy a chocolate craving.

It’s also highly versatile so feel free to play around with different mix-ins. If you’re a fan of the popular Peppermint Pretzel barkTHINS for example, you could use chopped pretzels, candy cane pieces and a pinch of sea salt. If you like the pecan-caramel combination, try chopped dates and pecans and a handful of toffee pieces. If you prefer fruit and nut chocolate bars, try adding chopped almonds, peanuts and cashews and raisins.

Enjoy!

Homemade Chocolate Bark
Vegan | Gluten-free | Soy-free | Nut-free option

Makes one large baking sheet of bark

Ingredients:

  • 500 grams good quality dairy-free dark chocolate
    (baking chocolate, molding chocolate and chocolate chips/bars should all work well)
  • 1/2 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
    (Costco sometimes carries Sunblest brand, which I love because it doesn’t have sulphites)
  • 1/2 cup seeds and/or nuts
    (I wanted a nut-free version so I used sunflower, pumpkin and chia seeds)
  • 1/3 cup dried fruit
    (I used unsweetened cranberries and wild blueberries)

Directions:

  1. Melt the chocolate in a saucepan over low heat, checking it often and stirring frequently so that it doesn’t burn. While the chocolate is melting, prepare 1 large (or 2 medium-small baking sheets) with a layer of wax paper or a silicone baking mat.
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    Start heating the chocolate slowly…

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    … until it’s fully melted.
  2. Once the chocolate is fully melted, remove the pan from the heat and add in your mix-ins. Stir gently until they’re well incorporated.
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    Add all of your mix-ins into the saucepan.

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    Stir gently to combine.
  3. Spread the mixture out onto the wax paper or baking mat, ideally in the shape of a rectangle, so that it’s about half a centimetre thick. Place your baking sheet in the fridge and let the chocolate cool until its hardened (about 30 minutes).
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    Spread the mixture out evenly into a rectangular shape.

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    Chill for about 30 minutes until the chocolate has hardened.
  4. When the chocolate is fully cooled, gently peel it off the mat/wax paper and break it into medium-large chunks. Try to work quickly so that the chocolate doesn’t melt – it needs to stay cool to ‘snap’ nicely into pieces of bark.

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    Break into various-sized pieces to create your ‘bark’.
  5. Store the chocolate in the refrigerator until you’re ready to enjoy. If you’re going to give it as a gift, just package it in some cellophane or a glass jar, add a ribbon and you’re good to go!

Recipe: Apple Bundt Cake

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A few weeks ago, Neil and I went apple picking in the Ottawa Valley. The apples were pretty terrible, but we bought a 20-pound bushel of them anyway. You had to choose your bushel size before you went picking and if we came out without 20 pounds of apples they’d know it’s because we knew their apples sucked which we would only know if we’d illegally eaten some off the trees, which we had.

Then last weekend, I was visiting family in southern Ontario and they wanted to take the kids apple picking. The kids were so enjoying ferreting out the apples that met my random, changing, and entirely arbitrary criteria that I didn’t have the heart to tell them to stop. So now I have 40 pounds of apples.

As you see, there are still more apples lurking.
As you see, there are still more apples lurking.

As a result, I’ve spent the last few days finding recipes that call for lots of apples, then modifying them to use even more apples. Here’s one of my more successful efforts…

Apple Bundt Cake

Ingredients:
3.5 cups peeled, sliced apple
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup whiskey
2 tsps powdered egg replacer (probably optional)
4 tbsps water (probably optional)
3/4 tsp salt
half a grated nutmeg (1/4 tsp powdered stuff, but grating your own is fun!)
1 tsp cinnamon
2/3 cup coconut oil

Directions:
1) Whisk flour and baking soda together in a large bowl
2) Combine all remaining ingredients except for 3 cups of apple in a medium sized bowl with tall sides. Whizz them with a hand blender for 2 minutes. Or you can do it in your regular blender, but those suck and you should toss yours and get a hand blender instead. Unless it’s a Blendtec or Vitamix, in which case you have my approval and bitter envy.
3) Fold the blended stuff into the dry mixture, until the two are about halfway incorporated.
4) Fold in the remaining 3 cups of apple, very gently, until you can’t see any more dry flour.
5) Pour into a bundt pan greased with coconut oil and/or lined with parchment paper.
6) Bake at 350 degrees for about 70 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
7) Cool completely and turn onto a plate, dust with icing sugar, then serve.

BUNDT!
BUNDT!

Recipe: Easy Blueberry Lemon Scones

Français

Blueberry & Lemon SconesThese scones are fluffy and fragrant, slightly sweet with fresh bursts of blueberry and a hint of lemon. With the help of Bisquick, this recipe comes together in a snap.

Easy Blueberry Lemon Scones
Vegan

Makes 6-8 scones

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Bisquick mix
  • 2 tbsp sugar (organic cane sugar, sucanat, coconut sugar, etc.)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Earth Balance or other vegan margarine (chilled/not melted)
  • 1/3 cup non-dairy milk of choice (almond, soy, rice, hemp or oat)
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 3/4 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Mix Bisquick, sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl.
  3. Using a fork or pastry cutter, cut in the Earth Balance or margarine until the mixture is crumbly. There should be no large pieces of Earth Balance left.
  4. Next, add the non-dairy milk, vanilla extract and lemon zest, stirring to combine. Add the blueberries and stir gently.
  5. Drop large spoonfuls of the batter onto an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 9-12 minutes, or until the scones are a light golden brown.
  6. For extra sweetness, create a glaze by mixing 1 tsp lemon juice, 1 tbsp water and 1/4 cup vegan icing sugar together in a small bowl. Brush the scones with the glaze immediately after removing them from the oven.
  7. Allow to cool slightly, then serve warm.

Recipe: Curried Sweet Potato, Carrot and Coconut Soup

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Soup

This is a great recipe for fall. Not only is the soup warming and delicious, but it’s also simple – you can throw everything into one pot. The recipe also works really well with squash (I recommend butternut). Feel free to play around with the spices.

Curried Sweet Potato, Carrot and Coconut Soup
Vegan | Gluten-free | Soy-free

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 1 onion, chopped finely
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil (or other oil)
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp minced ginger
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup crushed tomatoes or 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne (or to taste)

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan on medium heat. When the oil is heated, add the onion and cook for 3 minutes, stirring once or twice to prevent burning. Add the garlic and ginger and continue cooking until the onion is translucent.
  2. Add the vegetable broth, sweet potatoes and carrots. Cook on medium heat until potatoes and carrots are tender, about 15 minutes.
  3. Add the coconut milk, crushed tomatoes or tomato paste and spices (adjusting to taste).
  4. Stir and reduce heat. Simmer on low for about 10 mins.
  5. Turn the stove off and let the soup cool for at least half an hour. Purée in batches in a blender until smooth (if soup is too thick to blend easily, add a bit of extra broth or water).
  6. Serve warm with bread or crackers and a side salad.

Fabulous Falafel Salad

Neil and I have decided that this is our new favourite meal, so I thought I’d share it with y’all.

The first time, try it exactly as it’s written here. The combination of the crunchy lettuce, tomato, falafel, lemon-tahini dressing and baguette must be tasted to be believed. After that, start adding greens or swapping out whole wheat bread or whatever else you feel you’ve gotta do.

This makes two meal-sized salads….

Salad:

1/2 head iceberg lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces
1 cup cauliflower florets
1 large tomato, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup chopped cucumber

Lemon-Tahini Dressing*:

1/2 cup tahini
3/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (about 3 lemons)
3/4  teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2-3 cloves garlic
3/4 cup chick peas

*You may recognize this “lemon-tahini dressing” as essentially hummus. I didn’t call it that because, if I did, you might just use bought hummus instead of making it yourself, and bought hummus ruins everything.

Extras:

8 falafels, cooked according to instructions (I used PC falafels, which you can find in the “boxed meat” section of the grocery store)

8 slices white baguette (Ace are nice, especially the “bake yourself” ones). Put some Earth Balance on ’em if you’re feeling really decadent!

Directions:

1) Divide the veggies onto two large plates.
2) Put the dressing ingredients into a large jar and whiz with a hand blender for one minute.
3) Arrange 4 falafels and 4 bread slices around the veggies on each plate.
4) Scoop about a 3/4 cup of dressing onto each salad and serve.