Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies

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I made these cookies for a board game night at my place and was happy to see how quickly they were devoured. I had struggled with the recipe to get the cookies the right consistency but my adjustments paid off. The next time around they should be much easier, but just as good with a cup of almond milk!

INGREDIENTS

3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup vegan margarine
3/4 cup of oil
4 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup chocolate chips
1) Preheat oven to 375. In a small bowl stir the sugar, margarine, oil, water and vanilla.
2) In a separate bowl mix the flour, baking soda, and salt.DSC_0001
3) Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients along with the chocolate chips and mix.
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4) Scoop dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes (or until the edges start to brown). Let them cool before removing from the cookie sheet.

 

Yield: 1 dozen cookies

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Banana Pancakes

There’s a reason Jack Johnson wrote a song about banana pancakes. They are the most amazing wake-up-late-on-a-Sunday morning comfort food with no real competitor. This coming from someone whose favourite meal is brunch and who is incredibly picky about brunch foods. But unfortunately, as good and easy as banana pancakes are to make, they are so often poorly prepared. Results range from too moist to too thin to “ugly” (the often thick batter can make them difficult to shape in the pan). I have the perfect recipe for you!

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup flour (you can substitute all purpose gf flour)
1 pinch of salt
1-2 tablespoons of sugar
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
2 tablespoons of baking powder
3/4 of a cup of almond milk or soy milk
1 small – medium ripe banana, mashed
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1) To prepare the pancakes, sift the flour with the sugar and salt in a large bowl and slowly add the baking powder and cinnamon making sure they are well mixed.

2) Mix mashed banana with dry ingredients and then pour in the almond milk and oil and stir until well blended and the consistency is even. Add more almond milk as needed for consistency.

3) Heat stove over medium and grease the pan with oil. Pour mixture into pan – you may need to use the back of a spoon to even out the pancake if the dough is thick. Turn pancakes once.

4) Serve and enjoy!

And then spend the rest of the afternoon rubbing your tummy! mm!

Meghan’s Risotto

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I think this might be Meghan’s all-time favourite dish that I have ever made for her. It’s creamy, rich, and complex and most importantly, does not contain mushrooms.
INGREDIENTS
5 cups of vegetable stock
1/3 cup of raw pumpkin seeds
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 cup of cipollini onions, finely chopped (or shallots)
1 tablespoon of minced garlic
3 cups of chopped squash (I used butternut), cut into cubes
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1/2 cup white wine
2 tablespoons of tamari (or soy sauce)
1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper
sprigs of cilantro for garnish
Daiya cheese to taste
1) Preheat oven to 375.  In a large pot, simmer vegetable stock on low.
2) Heat a large sauce pan over medium high heat and add the olive oil.  Introduce pumpkin seeds all at once.  Stir constantly being careful not to allow the pumpkin seeds to burn.  You will start to have some seeds that “pop” – do not be alarmed, this means the pumpkin seeds are nearly done.  Once most of the seeds have started to brown and before any of them have gone black, remove from the seeds from the pan (but leaving the oil in the pan).
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3) Using the same oil as was used for the pumpkin seeds, sautee the garlic and onions for 2-3 minutes.
4) Add half a cup of vegetable stock and the butternut squash then reduce heat to low.  Cover and let simmer for 20-25 minutes until the squash is tender.  Remove lid from simmering squash once tender and let the liquid cook off.
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5) Add another tablespoon of oil, the arborio rice, and saute 2-3 minutes.  Add toasted pumpkin seeds, wine, tamari, salt, pepper, oregano, and thyme.  Continue to add the vegetable stock, half a cup at a time, constantly stirring the risotto.  Once the risotto is soft and the sauce is creamy, the risotto is ready.
Serves 2, with plenty of leftover risotto for another 2 meals for 2 people.

Citrus Glazed Tempeh

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This was my first foray into tempeh – and it turned out spectacular!  The sweet thick sauce with a little bit of tang goes wonderfully with the nutty soy texture of the tempeh  – topping on a bed of quinoa and kale and you have a perfect meal!
INGREDIENTS
Sauce:
3/4 cup of sweet citrus juice, freshly squeezed (tangerine or oranges)
Juice from half a lime (or lemon in a pinch)
1 tablespoon of fresh ginger, grated
2 teaspoons of tamari (or soy sauce)
1 1/2 tablespoons white vinegar (I used champagne vinegar for this recipe)
2 teaspoons of pure maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon of dried ground coriander/cilantro
2 small garlic cloves, crushed
Other ingredients:
1 package of tempeh (around 300 grams)
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 bunch of kale
2 cups cooked quinoa

1) Mix all sauce ingredients together in a small bowl.

2) Cut tempeh into thin slices as seen in the picture below.  Heat olive oil in a large sauce pan over medium-high heat and add the tempeh.  Allow to brown for approximately 5 minutes on each side.

3) Pour sauce mix into the pan and simmer for approximately 10-15 minutes until the tempeh is coated in a thick glaze.  Turn tempeh once during this process.

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4) Heat a kettle of water.  While heating, removed kale leaves from stem and rip into bite size pieces.  Wash and place in a large bowl.  When water has boiled, pour over the kale leaves and let soak for 1 minute.  Drain water.
5) Serve the tempeh over the kale over a bed of quinoa and enjoy.
Serves 2-4 people.

Chilaquiles

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Chilaquiles are one of my favourite comfort brunch foods – There are almost as many ways to make chilaquiles as there are mexicans… you can make the totopos (fried tortillas) more crispy, more soaked in salsa (soggy), cut them triangular, into thin strips, etc. Often chilaquiles are served with a fried egg on top, but this vegan version omits the egg. Thanks to Miguel for his guest contribution to this recipe!

INGREDIENTS
3-4 tortillas per person, cut into triangles or strips (see picture below for one option)
1-2 cups of canola oil depending on the size of your pan (there should be about 1/2 inch depth of oil)
3-4 tablespoons of Salsa per person (see Green Salsa and Red Salsa recipes below)
2-3 tablespoons Mushy beans per person (see Mushy beans recipe below)
1 tablespoon sour supreme per person (Tofutti brand is best)
1-2 tablespoons daiya (cheese substitute) per person
Rings of fresh cut onion for garnish
1) Heat oil in a deep frying pan over high, make sure the oil is sizzling hot. Cut tortillas in pieces (if you have the time, let tortilla sit for a couple of days in a dry place after cutting) and place tortilla pieces little by little into to the pan.
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2) Let the tortillas cook, stirring occassionally until they are hard and look much like the ones you buy in the supermarket (yes, they are this easy to make – but if you’re worried you can use store bought chips).
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3) Put aside in a bowl (using paper towel to soak excess oil if you’d like).

4) Prepare dish by placing a serving of totopos on a plate. Place a side of mushy bean beside the chips. Top the chips with a generous amount of (hot) salsa (if you’re using salsa you’ve made before, make sure you heat it before serving). Add a dollop of sour supreme, cheese substitute and garnish with onion.

Enjoy!

Fresh Salsa

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This is one of my most requested recipes… and it is SO EASY to make! Fresh salsa goes with pretty much anything you can think of… I serve it with tortilla chips, molletes, any mexican dish, beans, rice, you name it!

INGREDIENTS
2 large ripe tomatoes, finely chopped
1/2 onion, finely chopped (I used a white onion)
1/2 – 1 cup of chopped cilantro (to your taste)
1-4 jalapenos, finely chopped (depending on how spicy you want it)
1/2-1 tablespoon of coarse salt
1/2-1 lime, squeezed juice
1) Cut all ingredients. When cutting jalapeno I recommend removing the white part and seeds from the inside as they add a different texture and unpredictable spiciness.
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2) Mix well and let sit at least 10 minutes to marinate. Serves 2-4 people.
Yum!

Red Salsa (Salsa Taquera)

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This is the sister recipe to the one previous – RED salsa! This salsa can also be used in pretty much any recipe and has a little more sweet and less acidic taste than the green salsa. It is easier to make because red tomatoes are more available (note: there are tomatillos are on the pan in the above picture but are not a requisite for this recipe). Thanks to Miguel for his guest contribution of this recipe!

INGREDIENTS
5 medium ripe red tomatoes (this recipe used heirloom tomatoes)
5-6 fresh serrano peppers (or jalapenos if you can’t find serranos)
1/2 onion (of your choice, this recipe used 3 shallots)
1 cup of fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon of coarse sea salt
1 teaspoon of oregano
2 tablepoons canola oil
1-2 cloves of garlic (optional)
1-2 dried arbol peppers (optional)
1 cube of vegetable stock (optional, only if tomatoes are not very ripe)
1) Using a flat, thick pan (could be a wok, cast iron pan, etc that you are willing to stain the surface. DO NOT USE TEFLON), bring the pan on high with NO OIL
2) Wash tomatoes and peppers. Peel and cut onion into quarters, placing half the onion, all tomatillos, whole peppers and tomatoes on the hot pan.
3) As with the recipe for green salsa, you will need to burn them on the pan, turn them once while burning them. As an alternative, you can boil the tomatoes in a pot of water if you prefer not to boil them.
4) Remove the peppers first before they become too burnt and place in the blender. When the other ingredients are ready, place in the blender. Do not add water (as tempting as it may be).
5) In addition to the tomatoes, peppers, and onion, put cilantro, salt, oregano, and optional ingredients. Blend to your preference of consistency – don’t blend too long or it will be too liquid.
6) Heat oil in a large stock pot on medium. Add the contents of the blender and let boil for 5-10 minutes. Turn off the heat and let thicken in pot.
7) Taste your salsa – if it’s too spicy feel free to add more tomatoes. The reverse, if it’s too mild, this is the time where you could add more peppers, but you need to return at least a portion of the salsa to the blender.
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