All posts tagged: vegan

vegan raspberry rhubarb buckle cake

raspberry rhubarb buckle

Normally this is the time of year when I’m so ready to bust out of my winter cocoon and flip on the extroverted switch. Usually I’m feeling so prepared to go out and socialize after months of hibernating, to host a BBQ, and plan some fun summery adventures. But I haven’t hit that mode yet. For the past while I’ve been more focused on looking inward rather than outward, trying to figure out how to feel healthier and happier. Part of that has materialized in a lot of cleaning and organizing around the house (I guess that’s why they call it spring cleaning?). I can’t feel relaxed if our house seems cluttered or messy, which maybe is a reflection of how my brain feels most of the time; it makes sense that there would be a connection between our physical surroundings and mental/emotional state. So before I can address my cluttered/busy brain, I address what’s in front of me, because making a to-do list of chores is infinitely easier than resolving the stresses in one’s …

vegan bagel fattoush with fava beans

everything bagel fattoush with fava beans

As a result of our continued eagerness to spend time outside, we grilled our dinner on the deck one night last week, each wrapped in a blanket huddled next to the BBQ. The weather here hasn’t been terribly chilly, but after spending so much time soaking up the sun on vacation I became accustomed to walking around in birks and shorts, no sweaters in sight. I can’t wait to sit on the deck with a cold radler, eat dinner straight off the grill, and relax while the warm sun fades to dusk and my new twinkly patio lights blend in with the starry night. This recipe came about as an attempt to use up a few things that have been lingering in the fridge a little bit too long. Even though I had used them for a few recipes, I still had leftover turnip, radishes, and half a pomegranate counting down the days til their demise. Rounded out by the sourdough bagels I had stashed in the freezer and the ever abundant mint and lemon balm …

vegan artichoke penne with leeks and ricotta

artichoke and leek penne with ricotta

Seems the April showers are a bit delayed this year, but I really don’t mind. I love the gloomy grey skies, getting to wear big boots and my bright yellow rain jacket, and how fresh all the rain makes the air feel. Plus it definitely helped our garden along: I came back from a week-long family vacation in the Dominican Republic only to discover some giant rhubarb, loads of mint and lemon balm, and some asparagus and garlic sprouting out of the earth! There still isn’t much in the way of local produce yet, but the few ingredients for this meal feel fresh and bright like a spring meal should. The bright pops of colour from asparagus and arugula mimic our surroundings, the greenery slowly emerging from its winter hibernation. We are definitely looking forward to more abundant farmers’ markets and the (small) bounty that awaits us in our very own backyard. Happy spring time friends! artichoke and leek penne with ricotta (vegetarian, vegan) serves 2 380 g whole grain penne salt 6 asparagus stalks, trimmed …

vegan pistachio olive oil loaf

pistachio date olive oil loaf

We have recently been getting into a good stride with meal planning. It’s something we’ve tried off and on for a while but it never really picked up momentum until now. It’s such a game changer, seriously. Even if we don’t follow the plan to a T (cause you know, life happens), it’s still made our lives a heck of a lot easier. I’ve started batch cooking a grain and a pulse/legume/bean/whatever at the beginning of the week, as well as making granola, yogurt, and date energy bites on an as-needed basis. This planning has also streamlined our grocery list and helped to trim our grocery bills and food waste –> double happy dance. It also means my cooking is slowly but steadily improving, and that we are covering a lot of territory in our cookbook collection. Often times we will each grab a couple cookbooks, sit down at the kitchen table, and bookmark a few things we each want that week. This totally prevents a cooking rut: a wide array of spices and a couple different …

spelt collard roll with roasted red pepper sauce

spelt collard rolls with roasted red pepper sauce

Lately I’ve been getting my dose of world news from an unexpected place: the gym. I’ve been trying to get into running, so a couple days a week I find myself running in place staring at a TV (best case: watching the CBC, worse case: watching one of apparently a million poker tours). Throughout the process of piecing together the headlines, sublines, and closed captioning, I’ve become increasingly aware of my minor outbursts while watching the news. And by outbursts, I mean the occasional gasp or very audible “UGH” in disbelief at whatever asinine views or proposals the Trump administration is presenting that day. His plan to better fund the Department of National Defence (aka build the border wall) in his just-released budget means drastic cuts across the board, most significantly to the Environmental Protection Agency. His budget chief said that climate change efforts are a waste of time. A WASTE OF TIME YOU GUYS. The whole thing is so infuriating, and yet I keep moving. I guess the anger pumps my blood faster and propels …

vegan chickpea walnut pomegranate stew

chickpea walnut and pomegranate stew

A favourite past time of mine is reading my favourite food blogs and flipping through our ever-expanding library of cookbooks. I love the glossy photos, learning the story of how a recipe came to be, just completely immersing myself in someone else’s kitchen. I love the insight into other people’s everyday lives, even the seemingly mundane details of what’s in their pantry. I imagine how perfect their lives are, how the light falls perfectly into their kitchens; how they just uncorked some spectacular vintage while an incredible meal is simmering away on the stove; and it’s all captured in an effortless yet perfectly styled Instagram photo. At which point I proceed to curse the lack of light in our kitchen and living room, the continuous clutter despite the constant organizing and cleaning, and my inability to take a proper freaking picture (ie my major frustration with photographing this stew). Thankfully I have a partner who knows how to be encouraging, but is also able to calmly tell me to get a grip. I’m teaching myself new skills. Some …

mushroom pot pie with olive oil biscuits

mushroom and lentil stew with olive oil biscuits

I’m finding it a bit startling that it’s already mid-February. It seems like my winter hibernation is flying by. On the one hand, I can’t wait to step outside one morning and remember what it’s like to feel the sun’s warmth, not wear quite so many layers, and stop feeling this constant chill in my bones. I keep thinking about how beautiful our yard looks when everything is in bloom. We are taking turns flipping through the seed catalog, deciding on how to improve on last year’s garden, and we just signed up for our CSA.  But truthfully I’m also really savouring this time of year. I know it’s fairly dark and gloomy, and we’re all tired of trudging through the snow and biting winds. I do however love staying inside and watching the snow fall (like the crazy amount we got last Sunday), having hot chocolate and marshmallows, and catching up on reading the ever-growing stack of books beside my bed. Winter for us also means a trip home for the annual family sleigh …

vegan chocolate raspberry parfait

bailey’s chocolate mousse + raspberry parfait

I’ve never really been into Valentine’s Day (maybe it’s my aversion to neon pink EVERYTHING), but I definitely have a sweet tooth and eat a little bit of chocolate pretty much every day. If you want to make a decadent treat for your partner, or if you’re simply a chocolate fiend like me, this parfait is for you. All you have to do is blend, layer, then slide these into the fridge and try not to think about them for a couple hours until they are set (a real test of patience, if I do say so myself). I remember seeing the Bailey’s Almande on Twitter sometime last year. I was super excited that it existed, but I figured it would only be sold in the States and promptly forgot about it. That is, until I went into the LCBO last fall and saw that gorgeous white bottle out of the corner of my eye. I swear I must have looked absolutely goofy with the huge grin on my face. While it’s not quite as …

vegan chocolate coffee cardamom scones

chocolate scones with coffee + cardamom

Here is my little tip on how to survive the winter: bake. All the time. Everything. Savour that rush of heat leaving the oven when you pull out a tray of cookies. Revel in the aroma of freshly baked bread filling your kitchen. Not only will you be rewarded with the heat generated by your baking venture, but also the warm (hehe) gratitude of your friends/family/coworkers when you start showing up with a buffet of baked goods. Another method for tackling the trials of winter is the pursuit of hygge (pronounced hoo-guh), of which the entire internet seems to be obsessed. Simply put, it’s the Danish lifestyle notion of coziness or well-being. And no wonder there’s such a frenzy: who isn’t looking for the silver lining in the bitter cold days of February? Danish winters are known for being especially dark and long, so if anybody knows how to endure this time of year, it’s the Danes (also pretty sure they’re ranked the happiest nation in the world, so…). So what’s the secret to capturing the elusive hygge? …

vegan gluten free spicy coconut soup

spicy coconut and pineapple soup

It’s raining pretty hard right now while I’m sitting here writing this, and just looking outside is giving me chills. So as I make myself another cup of tea and look at the pictures of this soup, I imagine it like a big warm blanket, warming my head to my toes, eliminating the word ‘cold’ from body’s vocabulary (even if only temporarily). At this time of year when people are often doing cleanses to start their year off right,  I try not to think about resolutions based on the calendar year and just do right by my body with a hot bowl of food accompanied by something starchy (usually in the form of bread or some cooked grains).  The new year brings people to not only make goals for the year ahead, but reflect on the year previous. Currently the internet is full of thank-god-2016-is-over type stuff. And on the one hand, I can totally agree: a lot of celebrities and influential musicians passed, an overtly sexist and racist man convinced people that he could successfully …