A vegan's adventures cooking for her meatatarian husband

Monthly Archives: March 2013

The Hubs loves his risotto. Cheese? Good. Rice? Good. He is not a complicated man. Luckily this little gem caught my eye and I knew that I could kill this. And I did. It was SO good. Now the recipe was just okay. It was missing info and the amounts of the broth were wayyy off. Now that could have just been me, but I am going to give you more detailed instructions in case you are a risotto virgin like myself. I also added edammame because, well, why not! Plus a little kick of added protein never hurt anybody. I also used chickpea flour and my version is also gluten free. Woo woo.

vegan risotto

My Vegan Spring Risotto

1 tsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 C. White Onion, Diced

2 Cloves Garlic, Minced

1¼ C. Asparagus Tips and Middles, Chopped

1¼ C. Portabella Mushrooms, Chopped

2½ Tbsp. Fresh Curled Parsley, Minced (I forgot this….oops)

1 Tbsp. Chickpea Flour

1 Tbsp. Fresh Lemon Juice

½ tsp. Lemon Zest

1½ C. Non-Dairy Milk (I used unflavoured almond milk)

1 C. Arborio Rice (risotto rice)

4 C. Vegetable Broth

1/2 C Frozen Edammae

Salt to Taste

⅛ tsp. Black Pepper

⅛ tsp. White Pepper

  1. Heat oil in a large rimmed pan over medium heat and add the onions  and saute until they turn slightly clear (approx. 3-4 mins.)
  2. Next, add in the garlic and saute for an additional minute over medium heat. Then place the asparagus and mushrooms into the pan with approximately half a cup of your stock and warm it for 3-5 minutes or until the mushrooms have reduced in size.
  3. Stir in the parsley and flour until there are no dry chunks in the pan.
  4. Pour the lemon juice, lemon zest, non-dairy milk and rice into the pan and bring to a boil.
  5. Place the rest of your stock in a pot and heat until it is just before boiling.
  6. Cook and stir until almost all of the liquid is gone, then gradually add in the rest of the vegetable broth, a cup at a time until the rice has soaked up most of it. This will take roughly 18-20 minutes and you may need to add more vegetable broth/water. YOU NEED TO REDUCE THE TEMP that you are cooking at so that your dish doesn’t burn. I had to play with it, but you can go with medium to the high side of medium as a general rule of thumb.
  7. Add the edammame with your last half cup of broth. Just needs to warm through.
  8. Add the pepper, salt and white pepper to taste, serve warm.



So this recipe caught my eye and I figured it would really appeal to the Hubs. I didn’t really like bacon all that much when I was a kid but figured the Avocado, Tomato and Lettuce Sandwiches I love so much might be kicked up a notch with these bad boys. I was right. Oh… was I right. So the only difference was that I used thinly sliced portabello mushrooms versus her suggestions of shitake mushrooms. Mostly because I can’t fathom where on earth you can find massive mutant shitake mushrooms that would actually work with this recipe. But if you can, do it! Also, the amount of marinade was not even remotely close enough to what I needed. I think I probably quadrupled this recipe! But hey, sometimes you just have to wing it!! Have a looky. I also found (locally, which doesn’t happen all that often in our little Vancouver suburb) some amazing 100% rye bread. I would have just eaten that and the “bacon”. SO good. Which would make this vegan and gluten free I believe. Sourdough would have been awesome too.

vegan bacon

I also added some chunky baked sweet potato fries to make it a full dinner. It was a success with the Hubs and the Kid. Yay me.

This would be amazing chopped up on split pea soup or in a vegan quiche, or even in a tofu scramble for breaky. Major success. Thanks Olives For Dinner.

1 TB olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp liquid smoke
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp smoked paprika (optional)
2 cups shiitake or portabello mushroom caps, sliced thinly

***Remember, I needed about four times this amount for about 1.5 sliced portabello mushroom caps.


Preheat oven to 350. Cover a baking sheet with a silpat or wax paper and set aside.

Combine all of the ingredients except for the sliced mushrooms into a shallow glass pyrex or bowl. Whisk to combine.

Add in the sliced mushrooms, and stir gently to combine. Allow to marinate for 20 minutes to an hour.

Place the mushrooms in a single layer onto the silpat. Bake for 10 minutes, flip, then bake for an additional 15 minutes. Increase the heat to 375, then bake for 10 minutes more. Flip, then finish for 10 more minutes. Keep an eye on them towards the end to ensure they do not burn.

Remove from the oven and place on paper towels to drain. As they drain, the edges will become crispy. Serve immediately.

I had my doubts based on how they seemed while cooking that they would be firm or crispy at all, but they totally were!!!

Layer up with some good bread and some lettuce, tomato and avocado and some vegan mayo of your liking.

Ever wonder if Indian people go out to eat Indian food? My Hubs pretty much flat out refuses. Says if he wants Indian food he will go eat at his mom’s house. But, he will eat at Vijs. One of Vancouver best restaurants. Alas, Vijs usually has a 1.5-2 hour wait and it is a tiny bit spendy for the average foodie. Next best thing was there slightly more affordable casual joint next door called Rangoli. Now they have one upped the amazing-ness by adding a food truck to their repertoire. Vijs Railway Express was at the Vancouver Winter Farmer’s Market this weekend so naturally I HAD to eat there. Last time I had the chance at the summer Farmer’s Market, they did not have my favorite dish. The Cassava Fries. Never heard of cassava, neither had I under I started going to Vijs where they hand them out to the hungry masses sitting in the bar waiting for their tables. (Yes, free appies!!)  A root veggie that apparently makes fantastic fries.  When I saw that they had them on the truck, I was sooooo excited. Plus I knew the kid would hoover them down as well.

I decided to try the daily special too. Amristar squash and chickpeas with rice and naan. OMG. So good. The Kid even ate the special. Weird.

Vijs Food Truck

Full disclosure. There is dairy in the naan bread. Easy solution, don’t eat it. I let the Kid eat most of it. I may have had a tiny bite to taste it. I like the naan at the restaurants better, but he was in carby heaven. The fries were awesome and nicely spiced with a fantastic tomato chutney and the squash and chickpeas were amazing. It was the perfect cold day lunch.

The guy taking orders was also very friendly and super chatty and made waiting much more enjoyable.

Next week I’m hoping to try the vegan roasted banana ice cream from the Earnest Ice Cream Company. mmmmmmm

I’ve been searching for decent, healthy-ish vegan options for Passover. If you are at all familiar with Passover food, you are currently laughing/scoffing and or wondering if I’m just a little bit meshuga (crazy).

Passover food has a LOT of eggs. A LOT. But I’m on a mission. I’m going to do it! And since I could just eat dessert for the rest of my life I decided to test run these vegan macaroons from my BFF’s blog. The Kid has eaten about half a dozen already today. I refuse to feel bad. They really are about as healthy as you are going to get in a cookie! And he did help me make them. They were so easy he probably could have done it himself.

Plus I actually had all these things in my pantry already. That really doesn’t happen very often. It was meant to be! Now if only somebody out there would make a really tasty vegan egg noodle…

vegan gluten free coconut macaroon

Here’s what you need/do:

1 cup unsweetened coconut milk (not light)
⅓ cup honey or agave nectar
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
¼ cup potato starch
3 cups unsweetened medium or finely shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat.

In a medium bowl, blend coconut milk, honey and vanilla until well combined. Add potato starch a little at a time, beating to combine. Fold in the coconut.

Drop batter by level tablespoons onto prepared baking sheet at least half an inch apart. Using your fingers or the back of two soup spoons, press each mound of batter upward into a cone-like shape.

Bake in preheated oven on center rack until firm and lightly golden, about 20 minutes. Cool before eating. Store in the refrigerator.

I was at YYZ with my cousin waiting for our flight home last week and decided to just get something for dinner before we boarded as Air Canada often doesn’t have the ONE veg option available by the time they get to my row. I decided that the vegetarian panani at Boccone Trattoria. It was seriously awesome. It was stuffed with nicely roasted veggies and a super thin chickpea fritter/cutlet of some sort. I love me a good sandwich so this was perfect! I thought it was so good I had to try to remake it at home. Here’s my version.

vegan grilled veggie panini

I made the chickpea fritters with this recipe:

  • 2 (19 ounce) cans chickpeas (19-oz! Two 15-oz cans won’t be enough. Unless you get another 8-oz can to throw in there too.)
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic or more if that’s how you roll
  • 1 teaspoon tahini
  • 2 tablespoons parsley flakes (didn’t have this, so just left it out. It was fine)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 dash curry powder
  • 1/2 cup besan/chickpea flour
  • EV olive oil, for frying

Rinse and drain the chickpeas, then put them in a large mixing bowl. Mash them up with a potato masher. There should still be some whole ones in there.

Note: you can use a food processor this, but it did not work for me. I ended up using the back of a fork as apparently we do not own a potato masher.

Blend the chickpeas with the garlic and tahini.

Add all the spices and meld together.

Fold in the flour and mix together.

Let the mixture sit for about 15-20 minutes in the fridge.

With your hands, form 2″ balls and flatten into discs. There should be about 12-15  or so depending on how you make them.

Fry in the olive oil about 4-5 minutes on each side.

For my veggies I used one red and one yellow pepper cut into four. One large zucchini sliced thick and one red onion also sliced into thick strips. I tossed with EVOO and a good balsamic and added salt and pepper. Used a tinfoil pouch (that I just made by folding up the edges of a large piece) and roasted in a 375 degree oven for about 35-40 minutes. I like mine very soft and that works with this panini.

I found whole wheat panini bread and actually got out the good’ole George Foreman Grill for this!!

Assemble and grill on med-high for about five minutes.

The Hubs had TWO. Success. Thanks Pearson International Airport. Ya I just said that….weird….

As a little thank you to the BFF for babysitting the beast for us (the dog, not the Kid) I took her to a new vegetarian place here in Van city that was vegan and gf friendly. Perfect for our picky food demands. The Parker opened a little while ago and we have been meaning to give it a try so we headed out and we were very pleasantly surprised!

It was a tiny room but lucky for us, we did not have to wait for a table on a Wednesday evening.

They brought us a little amuse bouche of shaved beets and something else I can’t recall and it was lovely to look at and a perfect little bite.

Here’s what else we had and loved.

vegan gf bbq mushroom tacos vegan gf chickpea frites vegan gf dukka with taro chips vegan gf raw chocolate brownie

Bbq mushroom tacos, chickpea fries, Dukka with taro root chips and a raw chocolate brownie. All vegan and all gluten free!!!

My BFF loved the Dukka so much she had her own version a week or so ago. Check it out here. (Full disclosure, neither of us even knew what Dukka was! An amazing nut based middle eastern dip/spread as it turns out). We also had the kim chi which I quite enjoyed but she did not. To each their own right?

Give The Parker a try! Even your favorite carnivore will enjoy these dishes.


Gluten free vegan banana cake

I have a family emergency this week and have to fly to Toronto. Without much notice. And the Hubs will have to manage the Kid pretty much alone for five days. While every mother out there who has a husband and child(ren) just scoffed and laughed out loud, keep in mind that we do everything. Right? Plus my in laws are still cruising the west coast in the motor home and he usually has their help in the VERY rare instance where I am away from home. And by rare, I mean that ONE time. Sooooo…..

I decided I’d better use up the manky bananas before they became liquid goo and greeted me upon my return. I saw this recipe and thought I would give it a go since I have never made my own oat flour before! I loved it. The Kid wasn’t too keen on the walnuts, but hey, you just can’t please everybody right? The result is a vegan, gluten free, low sugar cake. I saw screw the Kid. What does he know. He’s barely four. Try the cake though. It is yum.

I should really point out that it’s really just banana bread in a 9×9 pan and would make a lovely loaf or muffins.

Vegan Gluten Free Banana Cake

3 ripe bananas
1/4 cup melted coconut oil or vegan butter
1 cup coconut sugar (maple sugar would have been nice too)
2 cups gluten free oat flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2-1 cup vegan chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts

Add two cups of gluten free oats to your blender or food processor. Keep pulsing until you get flour. Rocket science right? Or be even lazier than me (not sure if that’s actually possible but I suppose this would qualify) and buy it pre-ground.

Mash bananas. Add oil/butter and sugar. Mix well.
Mix the flour, salt, and baking soda together and add to the banana mixture. Mix until the flour is blended.
Mix in walnuts and chocolate chips.
Pour into a 9×9 glass dish. Muffin or loaf pan will work too but keep an eye as cooking time will vary and bake at 360 F until a toothpick comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Let cool, or eat pretty much right away because you are hungry and dinner isn’t ready yet and you don’t care if you burn your mouth a little…