Friday, April 17, 2015

Rigatoni, Vegan Sausage, and Broccoli Rabe Bake


Give me pasta any day and I'll be a happy lady! This is a colourful and hearty dish and it's sure to please anyone to which you serve it. Veggies, sausage, and cheese. What could be better?


I'm not a huge fan of Tofurky sausages so I probably would've enjoyed this dish more had we made our own sausage but sometimes life doesn't grant you the luxury of making homemade vegan sausage. C'est la vie! 

But, without making your own sausage this dish is fairly quick to prepare and the payoff is substantial! Full stomachs all around the table! (whoa, why does stomach look like such a weird word right now?)


Enjoy!!

Rigatoni, Vegan Sausage, and Broccoli Rabe Bake

Ingredients
1 large bunch of broccoli, chopped and using the upper half of each stalk
1 package of rigatoni
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 red pepper, thinly sliced
1 large can of diced tomatoes
3 tbsp tomato paste
½ tsp salt
freshly ground pepper
1 package of Daiya Mozzarella shreds
2 -3 vegan sausages, like Tofurky Italian Sausage, cut in half lengthwise and then into bite-sized pieces

Directions
Preheat oven to 350° F. Lightly grease a 9x13 inch casserole dish with olive oil.

Boil a large pot of water. Add the broccoli rabe and blanch for 1 minute. Remove with a spider or slotted spoon. Rinse in cold water. Add the pasta to the pot and cook according to the package. When it’s done drain and return to the pot.

Add the sausage to a pan over medium heat. Toss them around until heated through.  Remove from heat and set aside.

Add the olive oil to a pan and heat over medium heat. When the oil is heated add the onion and pepper, cook until tender. Add the can of tomatoes and break up the tomatoes further with a wooden spoon or a spatula. Cook for 10-15 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and make sure it is completely dissolved. Add the salt and pepper to taste.

Transfer the sausage and veggie sauce to the pot with the pasta. Add in 3/4 of the bag of Daiya cheese shreds. Mix it about so that everything is evenly distributed. Place it in the casserole dish and then in the oven.

Bake for 25-30 minutes. Top with the remaining cheese and bake for another 5 minutes or until the cheese on top is melted.

Let sit for a bit before serving.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Oatmeal Berry Smoothie with Cocozia 100% Organic Coconut Water Ice Cubes


I would like to start this post by asking a question. Why are glass straws so gosh darn expensive? I mean can you help a sister out and bring down the price tag a few notches?

I know when you think of the benefit to the environment ten bucks for one straw is really an insignificant price to pay. Plus, it's basically a one time investment deal. But on the flipside, in order to incentivize people to make environmentally-wise choices I think a drop in price would be beneficial for all, planet and wallets. 

Okay, I'm done with the glass straw talk.

Now, let's talk about coconut water.

Have you tried coconut water? We all know Rihanna has. I tried some variety once at Costco, very glamorous. But have you tried Cocozia coconut water? I hadn't until they contacted us. It's pretty good, very refreshing. We got a 12-pack of the on-the-go type containers. Very handy for those busy working folk. Each container comes with a straw, but not a glass straw ;)

It's readily available on Amazon, which is really helpful. No scrounging the shelves of your local health food store.


To be honest I'm not the biggest fan of coconut water, in general. The flavour is just something I can't quite get into. I know there are great benefits to it so, I find other ways to incorporate it into my daily life. My preferred way to enjoy coconut water is to freeze it into ice cubes and then use them in a smoothie. I find that it rounds out the flavour of any smoothie. It's hard to explain but it adds this great icy yet creamy texture to smoothies. I just love it! 

I just noticed on the website that Cocozia has chocolate coconut water!! Oooh and a pineapple one. Those sound intriguing! 


I like thick smoothies. None of this thin, juice-like stuff for me thanks. I want some substance! The addition of oats is essential in making a nice thick smoothie. They add protein and fibre too so, what's not to love?


You may be wondering, do you really drink your smoothies with that narrow little straw? And the answer is yes, yes I do. I like the challenge. The challenge of trying not to slurp down my smoothie in 0.005 seconds.

Oatmeal Blueberry Smoothie
Ingredients
1 to 1 ½ cup(s) non-dairy milk + more if needed, I used Silk Original Soy Milk
2 tbsp oats (certified gf for those gluten-free)
1 tsp chia seeds
1 tsp hemp hearts
2-3 Cocozia 100% Organic Coconut Water ice cubes 
1 scoop vanilla vegan protein powder
1-2 tsp nut butter, I used peanut butter
¾ cup frozen fruit, I used a mix of strawberries and blueberries with a piece of frozen watermelon
½ banana, frozen

Directions 
Add your non-dairy milk to your blender followed by the oats, chia seeds, and hemp hearts. Let those sit in the milk to soften for 5-7 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth.

Sidenote: We recently got a Ninja Duo Blender with Auto IQ and although it sounds like a rocket launching, it's been serving us well. It's a heck of a lot cheaper than the almightly Vitamix but blends pretty darn well (the chia seeds were completely blended away). I'll say it's quite a step-up from the Magic Bullet!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Vegan Thai Tofu Noodle Soup



There is something magical about noodles and tofu together. Thai dishes are where I get my fix when I'm looking for some tofu-noodle love. Sometimes I find pad thai too heavy and starchy so this soup is the perfect alternative. The fresh, crunchy snow peas, carrots and pepper in a coconut milk broth finished off with a squirt of lime make my heart and belly happy. You can put in more or less noodles to your taste. I put in a lot... like the whole package because I just felt like it. This soup comes together so quickly so it makes for the perfect weeknight dinner but it's delicious enough to serve at anytime. 



Thai Tofu Noodle Soup

Ingredients:
block of tofu, cut into triangles
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 sweet onion, roughly chopped 1 cup carrots, chopped into bite sized pieces 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 cup snow peas4 tbsp red curry paste (we used Thai Kitchen brand) 1 can coconut milk 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth thin brown rice noodles
1 tbsp red pepper flakes squeeze of half a lime



Directions:
In a non-stick frying pan, fry tofu triangles until golden on both sides. Approximately 5 minutes per side will do the trick. Once done, set aside.

Pour 2 tbsp of coconut oil in a large pot, then sautee yellow onion until golden. Add carrots, red bell pepper, and snow peas. Stir 4 tbsp of red curry paste and let it cook with the vegetables for a minute. Pour in coconut milk, vegetable broth and bring to boil. 

Once boiling, add noodles and turn down to a simmer. Let the noodles cook in the soup until softened, usually about 4-6 minutes. 

Garnish with red pepper flakes and fresh lime juice and serve hot!





Thursday, April 2, 2015

Vegan Apple Butter Spice Cake


THIS. CAKE.

That's seriously all I can say about this cake because it is so incredible I'm speechless. 

Okay, okay maybe I can expand a little more.


First off, this is quite possibly the best thing we've ever baked. Possibly! So, you must bake this cake, too.

If it's too seasonally inappropriate for you, stash this recipe in your back pocket because, trust me, you NEED to bake this. 


Let me give you the low-down on what makes this so good.

I'll start with the texture. It's unlike any I've experienced before in a cake. It's soooo soft and moist yet doesn't at all taste dense, heavy, or wet. 

Next, flavour! This cake is sooo flavourful; it has the perfect mix of spices. This is a warm and comforting cake and I think that's thanks to the spices.


Finally, the glaze just puts this cake over the top! It adds a little sweet crust that compliments the overall softness of the cake.

This cake is a dream. MMmmm!


Vegan Apple Butter Spice Cake
 adapted from At the Immigrant's Table

Ingredients
2 cups AP flour
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ground cloves
½ cup cane sugar
¼ brown sugar
½ cup vegan margarine, room temperature
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp water
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup apple butter
½ cup vegan yogurt

For the glaze:
1 ½ cups powdered sugar
2-3 tbsp unsweetened original almond milk, like Silk

Directions
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a loaf pan.

In a medium bowl mix together the flour through to the spices.

With an electric mixer cream together the margarine and sugar in a large bowl.

In a small bowl mix together water and vinegar then add the baking powder. Stir until the mixture froths and is well-mixed. Add the baking powder-water mix to the large bowl with the margarine and sugar then add in the apple butter. Stir to combine.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet alternating with the yogurt. Make sure to end with the dry ingredients. Fold the ingredients together but don’t over mix.

Transfer the batter to the greased loaf pan. Bake for 55 minutes (long but worth it). Once you remove the cake from the oven allow it to sit for 5-7 minutes before removing it from the pan and placing on a wire rack.

To make the glaze, mix the powdered sugar with the milk until you have a nice viscous mixture. Pour over the cake while it is still warm. To avoid a mess, place the cake on a plate before glazing.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

VEGAS BABY! Vegan Meatloaf, Fries, and Bordelaise inspired by Switch Steak

Today. we have a delicious recreation of one of the vegan dishes offered at the Wynn Resort in none other than Las Vegas, Nevada, baby! We chose to put our own spin on the Vegan Meatloaf dish from Switch Steak, which is served with mashed potatoes and a vegan bordelaise.


We've never been to Vegas and while I'm not the gambling/drinking/partying kind of lady, I do like sun and warmth. Vegas had a high of 27 degrees celsius today, doesn't sound bad. It's sunny here, which is nice, but we're far from reaching 27 degrees! 


This meatloaf has great texture and is full of flavour. The fries are too; nice and garlicky! I've made this meatloaf quite a few times before. It's virtually fat-free but very hearty. The lentils, steel-cut oats,  and regular oats give this meatloaf a protein punch. So, you won't have to worry about people accusing your vegan diet/lifestyle of lacking in protein if you keep this recipe on rotation.

 We've never had a bordelaise sauce before and... it was different. Not bad, just not my cup of tea. It looks pretty though!


This is such a meat and potatoes dish, literally. It's comical to me. We don't eat like this on the regular, not even veganized versions, and we never really have. But it's nice to switch it up every now and then. That's why we chose this dish to recreate.


And for a little more Nevada-born charm, here's Brandon Flowers' new song. It just came out today so I thought it was very apropos for this post.
(let's just forget the whole Mormonism thing while we listen)


Hearty Vegan Meatloaf
Adapted from Let Them Eat Vegan via FatFree Vegan Kitchen

Ingredients
½ cup red lentils
1 cup veggie stock
1/3 cup water
1 dried bay leaf
¾ cup steel cut oats
1 cup water, boiled
¼ cup ketchup
1 cup rolled oats
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
2 tbsp ground flaxseed
2 tbsp vegan Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp almond butter
2 tsp molasses
1 tsp Mrs. Dash original seasoning
½ tsp dried oregano
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions
Add lentils, veggie stock, 1/3 cup water, and bay leaf to a large pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and cover for 25 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed. Add steel-cut oats and boiling water to same pot, cover, and cook for 8-9 minutes over medium-low heat.

Preheat oven to 375˚ F. Grease an oven-safe glass loaf dish. When steel-cut oats are cooked or the liquid is all absorbed, add the remaining ingredients. Mix well to make sure all of the seasoning is evenly distributed, and press into the prepared dish.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 25-30 minutes, remove foil and bake for another 7 minutes. 

Take it out of the oven and let it hang out for 15 minutes, before serving. 

Garlicky Baked Fries
Adpated from Brand New Vegan 

Ingredients
7-8 medium sized potatoes
1 tbsp flour
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp chili powder
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Directions 
Clean and slice potatoes into 1-inch thick strips. Add to a large pot of water so the water just covers the potatoes and bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes.

Preheat oven to 425˚F and line a baking sheet with parchment. When the potatoes are done boiling drain the water and return potatoes to the pot. Add the seasonings to the pot and shake it all around. Make sure all the potatoes are covered in coating.

Spread evenly on the baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes.

Vegan Bordelaise Sauce
Adapted from Meet the Shannons

Ingredients
2 tbsps margarine
1 red onion, one slice and dice the rest
1 cup red wine
2 tbsp AP flour
½ cup veggie stock
1 tsp fresh parsley, chopped
2 dried bay leaves
1 tsp soy sauce
Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Directions
Melt margarine in skillet over medium heat. Add the slice of red onion and cook until browned. Remove the slice. Stir in the flour, you can use a whisk if you’d like. Lower heat and add the stock and wine. Stir, or whisk, in the parsley, onion, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil while whisking for one minute. While whisking, add the soy sauce and black pepper. Remove from heat.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Happy International Women's Day + Lemon Cake


HAPPY INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY (or night)!!!! 


I was trying to decide on which recipe to share today when it struck me, I can't share any other recipe than this one for lemon cake. There's nothing particularly special about this specific recipe for lemon cake (although it is good), it's the lemon that's key. I think lemons share an affinity with Women's Day. What do I mean? Well, lemons have that tangy kick to them not wholly unlike the swift kick to the groin that the patriarchy deserves... followed by a complete takedown. See the connection now?


This is a delicious cake but do make sure you bake it in a metal loaf pan because otherwise it will take longer to bake through or it just won't bake through. We learned the hard way so, take it from us.

Vegan Lemon Cake or Loaf
adapted from Audrey's

Ingredients
1 ½ cups AP flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp lemon zest
½ cup non-dairy yogurt; soy, almond, cashew, whatevs
½ cup organic sugar
½ cup silken tofu, blended
½ cup canola oil
Juice of 1-2 lemons

Directions
Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease loaf pan with oil.

In a small bowl sift the dry ingredients, set aside.

Blend tofu, sugar, yogurt, oil, and lemon in a blender or food processor, until smooth. Pour this batter into a medium bowl. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet. The batter will be thick and luscious.

Transfer the batter to the prepared loaf pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted. 

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Pizza Nova has Dairy-Free Cheese!


We looooooove Pizza Nova and have for a very looooong time. This love goes back through the generations! But it has been a while since we've eaten pizza from Pizza Nova because ya know it uses dairy cheese....until now!!


Yes! Pizza Nova now has a dairy-free cheese option (Daiya) and it is fantastic. 


I know it is quite simple to make your own pizza and we have many times before but the convenience sometimes just can't be beat.


Plus, we have yet to make a homemade pizza that can compare to Pizza Nova. Sad but true.


The dairy-free cheese isn't specific to any location. It's available at ALL Pizza Nova locations!

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