3 Sprout Salad

3 Sprout Salad

So, I think it was just two days ago, I was having dinner with my friend, sipping wine and enjoying laughs, when I proudly stated “I’m not one of those weird sprout-y vegans!”

…well apparently I lied.

The very next day I went to the farmers market and picked up, not one, not two, but three kinds of delicious sprouts.

Sunflower sprouts, are kinda fat, juicy, and mild.

Buckwheat sprouts, are thin, light and have a bit of spice

and Pea shoots, (my favourite) are crisp and sweet

sprouts

As soon as I got home from the market, I whipped up this simple lemony summery salad. If you only have one kind of sprout, that could work, or even if you have no sprouts, try this salad dressing on your favourite lettuce.

Dressing Recipe:

Dijon Mustard

Olive Oil

Zest of half a Lemon

Juice of Half a Lemon

Honey (or rice syrup, agave, or other sweetener)

Pepper

Salt (optional)

Salad Ingredients:

Pea Shoots

Buckwheat Sprouts

Sunflower Sprouts

(or other sprout or lettuce combos)

Red Onion

Mango

Dried Cranberries

(or whatever other toppings you like)

lemon salad dressing

Get out your salad bowl, and begin making the dressing right in the bottom of the bowl.

Add the mustard, oil, zest, lemon juice, honey (or sweetener of choice), a couple good grinds of pepper, and salt if you like (I didn’t use any).

lemond salad dressing 2

Mix it all up, and taste. It should be quite tart and lemony. The sprouts, mango and cranberries will add more sweetness.

sprout salad

Toss in your sprout combo and pile it high!

Slice up your mango and onions, add them to the sprouts, and toss to dress the salad.

sprout lemon salad

It will look all yummy like this. Get ready to taste summer!

sprout salad mangoeBon Appetegan!

Creamy Vegan Mushroom Risotto

creamy vegan mushroom risotto

Mmmm…. So creamy… so vegany.

I made this recipe for a table of 12 non-vegans, and they all loved and devoured it. Non-vegan approved!

The wonderful thing about risotto is, you really don’t need the mounds of cheese or butter to make the dish creamy. It magically does that all on it’s own.

Try it and see for yourself!

Recipe:

A big pile of mixed mushrooms (or all one kind would work too)

1 quart veggie stock

olive oil

half a big onion

a few stalks of celery

3-4 cloves garlic

a few cups of arborio rice

a splash of white wine or white vermouth (optional)

 Few pinches of thyme

few pinches of chili powder

a few spoonfuls of nutritional yeast

A spoonful of vegan butter (optional)

half a lemon juiced and the zest

handful of parsley

salt and pepper

Parmegan (optional)

mixed mushrooms

I chose 4 different kinds of mushrooms, shiitake, king oyster, button, and enoki mushrooms. If you have different varieties available those will do as well, or even if you only have regular old button mushrooms and nothing else, this recipe will still work out. The most important part is to have lots of mushroom! They cook down a lot!

chop mushrooms

To start, pour all your veggie broth in a sauce pan, and heat it up to a simmer on the stove. You will leave this simmering the whole time as you use it. Chop up your mushrooms, remove stems if need be.
sautee mushrooms

Sauté the mushrooms in a bit of oil. You will have to do this in batches, so that they have a chance to brown. Don’t crowd the mushrooms. I did 4 batches (but I also made this for 12, so you may have fewer).

Each time you finish a batch, dump them out of the pan into a bowl and set aside. Add a bit more oil to the pan and move onto the next batch of mushrooms.
celery and onioin sautee

Once finished with the mushrooms, chop up some celery and onions and sauté that in the same pan you just had the mushrooms in. Don’t worry about all the brown bits left on the bottom of the pan from the mushrooms, those are delicious flavour bits, and they will work their magic in the risotto. When the onions start to golden, toss in the garlic, thyme, and some salt and pepper.
sautee rice

When that is looking all delicious add your rice. About 1/2 cup of rice is good for one person, this recipe is roughly for four, so toss in around two cups. (I don’t bother to measure).

Now comes the non-stop stirring part of the recipe. You want your rice to soak up some of the onion celery juice, but it is important not to brown the rice! So keep moving it! Do this for about 1-2 minutes and the rice will start looking a bit translucent. Now add your splash of white wine or vermouth, and let that absorb into the rice. Then, take a ladle-full of your broth and add it to your rice. Keep it moving.

yummy

The broth will begin to be sucked up by the rice. Once it is all sucked up, add all your mushrooms, and another ladle-full of broth. Keep stirring. Once broth is absorbed add more. Do this until the rice is cooked. About 15-20 mins. If you run out of broth, just use a bit of water. It will start looking all creamy and delicious. Have a taste and when it is al dente it is done.

Now all you have to do is season with nutritional yeast, chili powder, vegan butter, salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Taste and adjust as you like.

mushroom rissotoGarnish with the lemon zest, chopped parsley, and a sprinkle of parmegan.

Bon Appetegan!

Peanut Butter Kale Salad

peanut_butter_kale_salad

If you are like me, you would think… Peanut Butter Kale Salad, eh?..well that sounds odd.

But you (and I) would be wrong, it is so, so, so good.

Well at least I think so. Whenever I am home alone, I tend to make a giant bowl of this salad and eat the whole thing for dinner.

In fact, I don’t actually think I have ever made it for anyone else…it is my secret salad.

Secret no more!

Dressing:

Peanut butter

Tahini

Nutritional Yeast

Soy Sauce

Maple Syrup (optional)

Hot Sauce (optional)

Water

Salad:

Kale

Red Onion

Avocado

Dried Cranberries

Sesame Seeds

You may have noticed, I didn’t provide any measurements. Unless baking, I think measuring cups and spoons are a nuisance. You make a simple dressing and before you know it you have dirtied 17 dishes, and lost all creativity in the kitchen. I recommend, just eyeballing it, and then most importantly, tasting it! Adjust as needed. So instead of giving you measurements, I am giving you an eyeball guide…

peanut_butter_dressing_1

I like to mix my salad dressing directly in the bowl I want to toss my salad in. Again, no extra dishes!

So, blob in some peanut butter, a smaller blob of tahini, hot sauce if you like, and a drizzle maple syrup. I use natural unsweetened peanut butter so maple syrup is a good addition, but if you use the sweetened kind, it is probably not needed.

peanut_butter_dressing_2

Now add two spoonfuls of nutritional yeast, and splash of soy sauce (not too much!) looks like a lot because it blended with maple syrup. Start small, you can always taste and add more if the dressing needs more saltiness.

peanut_butter_dressing_3

Stir that up. It will probably be a bit thick and goopy, so add small amounts of water until it is nice creamy consistency.

kale

Prepare your Kale by ripping the leafy part from the stem, and tear those pieces into bit sized pieces.

kale2

Make an enormous pile like this.

Now get in there with your hands. Clean hands only please! You want to massage the kale. rub the dressing into it, and rub all the leaves. This removes the bitterness from the kale.

kale3

The kale should be all saucy and about half the size as it was when starting.

kale_salad

Slice some red onion thinly, cut up some avocado, toss in some dried cranberries, and lightly toss.

Finish with a sprinkle of black and white (or whatever colour you have) sesame seeds.

kale_salad_2

Bon Appetegan!

If you make this recipe, let me know if you devour it like me!

Simply the best Tomato Sauce

tomato-Sauce

Hello!

This is the first recipe I learned from my mom, the first recipe I cooked living on my own, my go to recipe for any dinner with friends or date, even the first recipe I taught my boyfriend, so I thought it would be perfect as my first recipe for my blog.

It always surprises me that people buy that canned tomato sauce, it really is rather dull, and it’s so easy to make yourself.

This recipe is so simple to make, and so yummy, that I had a roommate who would eat the leftovers with a spoon like soup.

If done right, even simple pasta can make a choir of groans come from the table.

 The Recipe:

2 Cans of Whole Tomatoes (not crushed!)

1/2 a Large Onion

2-4 Cloves of Garlic

Glug of Olive Oil

Spoonful of Sugar

Salt & Pepper

Chilli Flakes, Oregano, Basil, or any other spice you like

Vegan Parmesan (click here for recipe)

onions-garlic

To begin: Chop up onions and garlic. I personally like larger chunks of onion as I am pro texture, but you can chop them into smaller pieces, if you like.

sautee

Heat olive oil over medium high heat, in a large flat pan with high sides (it will cook better and faster than in a small tall pot).

When the oil is hot, toss in the onions and let them sizzle.

(Adjust temperature if they start to burn or if they are just looking soggy).

Sautee until they are lovely and brown. About 5-10 mins.

Then add garlic. Garlic is so small and sugary it burns quickly, which is why I add it later.

Sautee for about a minute until the garlic is looking delicious and brown too.

Note: right about now is when you will hear someone from the other room say something like

“ohhhh! What are you making, it smells so yummy!”

masher

Now before stuff starts burning, toss in the cans of tomatoes, liquid and all.

Now you get out your secret tool, a potato masher! If you don’t have one of the squiggly ones pictured above, I highly recommend getting one.

They are not only awesome for potatoes, but work much, much better with this recipe.

smash

So get your masher in there and mash up all those tomatoes! Make sure you find each and every one and give it a good smoosh.

Now I don’t go crazy with the masher as I love texture, but if you don’t want as much texture…well I give you permission to go crazy.

sugar

Let that pot simmer away, for maybe… 20 – 40 mins ish. Yes, it takes some time, but all you will be doing is giving it a stir every now and then.

So pour yourself a glass of wine, put on some music and dance around.

Once it’s starting to look all saucy and yummy, season with some salt, pepper, your spoonful of sugar and your spices, if using any. (This is my secret ingredient that helps cut the acidity of the tomatoes).

thick

Eventually your sauce will get thick and delicious, as seen in the photo above, taste and season more if needed.

Boil up some water and cook your pasta. Extra tip: when boiling water for pasta, always use the biggest pot you have!

Pasta needs room to breath. It will cook better, and you wont have any of that sticking to the bottom of the pan nonsense to deal with.

Once pasta is cooked, BEFORE you drain it, add a ladle of the pasta cooking water to your sauce.

This will help loosen the sauce, as well as the starch in the water will help the sauce stick to the pasta!

yum

To serve, add a spoonful of sauce to the bottom of the dish, before you put the pasta in.

The pasta wont stick to your bowl, and you wont run out of sauce when you get to the bottom of your dish.

Top with the pasta, then the sauce (as much or as little as you like, but I am a saucy kinda person).

Top with a grind of fresh pepper and some vegan parm.

Bon Appetegan!