A vegan's adventures cooking for her meatatarian husband

Monthly Archives: July 2013

The only thing I really miss (A LOT) is tuna salad sandwiches. I don’t even know why really. I really hated anything “fishy” when I was a kid, but there was something about a homemade tuna salad sandwich that really did it for me. Nostalgia maybe, but I do miss them. Well, I did anyways until I came across this recipe for Mock Tuna Salad. The gates of heaven opened and I heard the angels sing. Ahhhhhhhhhhhh.

Look!

mock tuna salad

Now wait a minute you are yelling! That’s just smushed chickpeas. Oh no my friend. It is just SO much more than that. It actually tastes like tuna salad!! (mostly anyways). It totally gives me that fix I need and let’s face it, this is wayyyyyy better for you than traditional tuna salad. Plus there the whole thing of not having to kill tunas. So there’s that. It really is yummy and you must try it.

Here’s what you need:

    • 1(15 oz.) can chick-peas, drained (or 1.5 cups cooked)

 

  • 1/4 cup vegan mayonnaise
    • 1/3 cup minced celery

 

    • 2.5 Tbsp minced dill pickle (one smallish pickle)

 

    • 1/2 Tbsp nutritional yeast

 

    • 1 green onion, chopped

 

    • 1 tsp soy sauce

 

    • 1/2 tsp kelp powder (or since nobody on earth likely has this, use minced seaweed snacks! This is a must. It provides that “fishy” ish taste that mock tuna really needs to have to be called mock tuna!)

 

  • salt and pepper to taste

Here’s what you do:

Mash the chickpeas (which can be annoying and time consuming, so toss them and pulse in a food processor if you’re lazy like me) and add the rest of the ingredients and stir all together. Eat as a sandwich, stuff into a tomato or use to top a nice green leafy salad. YUM.

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I’ve been home over a week now. I’m still dreaming of the food at Toronto’s Hogtown Vegan. I convinced the Hubs to go to a new Toronto vegan restaurant while we were both there (me for pleasure and him for business) recently. We got there a little late and there was a bit of a kerfuffle getting seated but we did get a table about ten minutes after we arrived. Let me be honest here, if you are the type of person who cannot stand the Toronto summer heat without AC this might be a place to visit in the spring, fall or winter. I however, enjoy the hot hot heat of summer in T.O and wasn’t too bothered by the lack of AC. But it was hot.

We ordered two appies to share (we were STARVING) and two entrees which we were going to share as well. Our appies too an hour. AN HOUR. The poor waitstaff were pretty horrified (as were we) and tried to assure us that there was a major issue in the kitchen and they were trying desperately to get everybody’s food out. As bad luck would have it, we were the last table seated of about 6 (there are only 10 or 12 tables in this little joint) and so we were waiting the longest. It was pretty awful. The food however was spectacular! And they comped up most of the bill as there were a few other issues as well. None of which take away from the fact that the food was awesome and they did everything right trying to make it up to us. I can’t wait to visit again. I almost want to travel back just to eat there again!! Here’s what we had:

hogtown vegan taco salad

Yummiest taco salad ever. EVER.

hogtown vegan unchicken and waffles

These little beauties were exactly how I remember buffalo chicken wings tasting. Delish.

Hogtown vegan Philly cheese steak

The fries were just fries but the “steak” in this was amazing. So thin and tasty! NO idea what the real thing tastes like but I’m SURE this is better. Plus they make their own cheese sauce and I generally hate any fake cheese product and this was awesome.

Hogtown vegan Philly cheese steak

The winner of the evening. Sadly they were out of the collards and the mash was cold but the dish was still the best. The Hubs said he would eat it again for sure.

Check out the Hogtown Vegan if you live in T.O or will be in the area, you will dig the food for sure.


So I had one of those unfortunate incidents where I was thrilled to try a new product (vegan and gluten free parokas!) from a local company called Kans Gourmet Foods that I found in our local grocery store’s freezer section but had a MAJOR issue with the food. I won’t get into the details but needless to say, I immediately contacted the company to voice my displeasure. The first response back from a staff member was NOT acceptable and so I escalated the matter to the owner. The owner was VERY quick to make matters right and the next day a box of food was sitting at my front door!! It had the infamous pakoras inside, but also one of each of their other three products. All vegan, and three of which were gluten free as well! Samosas (not GF), a lentil falafel (not really falafel in flavour but maybe in texture) and a dal.

I invited my BFF over for dinner and made a feast!

kans gourmet

You may also notice that I did make my Mother In Laws super yummy cauliflower and potato dish! It wasn’t even remotely as good as hers. Lesson learned. Just let Indian people make me Indian food. OR buy it frozen!

The Hubs also ate with us and we each had a different favorite. The food was great and the tamarind date dipping sauce was good enough to drink. I would 100% for sure buy these little guys for a dinner party to serve as appies or honestly, I would eat a whole box of either the pakoras or falafels as dinner. The price point was decent for the amount of food you get and since it’s made locally here in the Lower Mainland of BC, I feel good about supporting a neighbour. Keep an eye out for them if you live around here or at a Whole Foods in the Pacific Northwest.

The only tip I would give is that the cooking time provided on the box is horribly inaccurate. I cook everything for 20 minutes or longer, otherwise they are stone cold in the middle when you take them out. Try 10 minutes, flip, then more. That should pretty much do it for any of the items that are baked. Serve the dal with a nice basmati rice and you’re all set!!!

 


First let me say that I am fully aware that my Hubs often eats my vegan food and chokes it back and smiles and says, “um ya, it’s not bad” which I know is code for “okay, I have to eat this because she will get mad if I don’t, but this is so not my thing”. Gotta love him for it. Can’t win’em all right? These brownies on the other hand? He took one and started eating it and then slowly turned to me, looked at me and deadpanned said, “these aren’t vegan are they?” Yes silly meatatarian!! Of course they are!!!

I have said this over and over again that baking vegan treats is the easiest thing to do. There are such good products on the market these days that make it super easy to recreate traditional baked goods loaded with eggs and butter in a vegan way. These are a prime example.

chocolate covered marshmallow brownies

I will take this opportunity to remind everybody that vegan does NOT always mean healthy! I did use white flour and white sugar (be sure to check and make sure that your sugar is not processed with bone char as that is most definitely NOT vegan!)

Hubs was happy to point out that these are officially the yummiest vegan treat I have ever made. I think I have to agree. The chew that the marshmallow bits provide and the tiny crunch from the sprinkles (they were not in the recipe but I was taking them to an end of the year preschool party so I figured why not add more sugar ha!). I think I will make these again (and again and again and again) and maybe try to put them on a stick since they would make pretty neat looking brownie pops!

You MUST MAKE THESE BROWNIES!!!!!! Thank you to the Tolerant Vegan for this wicked recipe. I don’t think The Hubs will want any other treat ever again.

Here’s what you need:

  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax ( I left this out and I don’t think it made any difference!)
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (unbleached is always best)
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 7 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup vegan semisweet chocolate chips (Enjoy Life was my brand of choice here)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup boiling water
  • 1 1/2 cups refined sugar
  • 3/4 cup non-hydrogenated vegan butter substitute (I used Earth Balance)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup roughly chopped vegan marshmallows (I used Dandies)

Chocolate Coating:

  • 2 cups vegan semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening (I also omitted this and I don’t think it had a negative impact at all
  • Vegan sprinkles

Here’s what you do!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and move your oven rack to the lowest position. If using the flax, stir it with the water and set aside.

Line an 8” square baking dish (mine was glass) with parchment paper, allowing the paper to rise over the sides of the pan to make it easier to remove the brownies from the pan once they are cooled.

Whisk together the all-purpose flour and baking soda in a medium bowl. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, stir together the cocoa, chocolate chips and salt.

Pour the boiling water into the bowl of chocolate and stir continuously until all chocolate chips are melted.

Continue to stir while adding in the sugar, vegan butter substitute , vanilla and flax + water combo (if you are using it).

Stir in the flour + baking soda mixture until all ingredients are fully combined. The batter will become very thick. You will need to put a bit of muscle into it.

Add in the chopped marshmallows and continue to stir.

Pour the batter into a baking dish.

Use your fingers or a spatula to spread the batter evenly in the pan.

Bake the brownies for 35 minutes or until a toothpick can be inserted and come back out clean.

Transfer the brownies in the pan to a wire rack and allow the brownies to cool in the pan for about an hour.

Lift the parchment paper to remove the brownies from the pan, and allow them to continue to cool on a wire rack until completely cool. Make sure that they’ve fully cooled down before moving on.

While the brownies are still on the parchment paper, place them in the freezer for 30-40 minutes, until they are firm.

Remove the brownies and cut into bars or any other shape that tickles your fancy!

Line a baking sheet with wax paper.

Place the chocolate chips and shortening (if you are using it) in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave in 20-30 seconds increments, stirring each time you remove them, until it’s smooth and melted.

Lift the brownie with your fork and dip into the chocolate and you might need to flip it over to get both sides covered.

Allow the excess chocolate to drip back into the bowl.

Place the brownie on the wax paper and sprinkle with well, sprinkles.

Let them stand until the chocolate sets.

Store in an airtight container out or in the fridge if you prefer a slightly firmer exterior.

Make sure you eat one before you serve these, or you won’t get one. For REALS.