Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas Dinner

Wow, this is so embarrassing, it's been five months since my last entry.  I killed my camera in July and then stopped blogging when I could no longer photograph my food. Well, that was then, this is now.

Plant-based Vegetarian Christmas Dinner

Pastry wrapped Christmas loaf
Roasted yams, sweet potatoes and potatoes
Green Giant mixed vegetables
Creamed Kale over cannellini beans and quinoa
Stove Top stuffing (for my 11 year old son)

The hit by far was the Christmas Loaf, created at the Magical Loaf website :

Christmas Loaf

1/2 cup walnuts
2 TB water or broth for steam-frying
One onion, diced
One large garlic clove, minced
One large carrot, peeled and grated
Two celery ribs, diced
1 mashed sweet potato
2 cups gardien beefless tips, minced (1 pkg)
1/4 to 1/2 cup nut milk (I didn't need any)
1 cup cooked quinoa
1 heaping TB flaxseed meal
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
2 TB soy sauce


Preheat the oven to 350º. Spray a loaf pan or 8x8 square baking pan with nonstick spray and set aside (an 8x8 pan makes a crisper loaf).

Grind the walnuts into a coarse meal using a food processor or spice/coffee grinder. Place in a large mixing bowl and set aside.

Sauté any vegetables you've chosen in the water or broth for steam-frying until soft. Add to the large mixing bowl along with all the remaining ingredients. Mix and mash together well, adding only as much liquid as needed to create a soft, moist loaf that holds together and is not runny (you may not need to add any liquid if the grains and protein are very moist). Add more binder/carbohydrate as needed if the loaf seems too wet.

Press mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until cooked through. (We shaped it into a loaf shape and wrapped it in puff pastry.  It baked for one hour, then let it rest for 15 minutes.)

Let the loaf cool in the pan for 10 to 15 minutes, then turn out onto a plate or platter and slice. Serve with potatoes, vegetables, and vegetarian gravy, if desired.

Cold leftover slices of make a great sandwich filling.

The creamed kale came in a close second and you can find the recipe here:  I like to make creamed kale once a week and just eat it when I'm hungry because I love it so much.

For afternoon coffee I made this cake:
Pear cake served with whipped cream
Recipe found here:

All in all it was a delicious event, my first full on vegetarian Christmas.  

(Not sure why the font keeps changing in this post, but if I ever figure it out, I'll change it.)

Friday, July 22, 2011

July 18-24 A busy week of cooking.

I have found the most amazing recipe site and I want to share it with you today.

Wow... so many good recipes.  In fact, the Creamy Kale recipe on the main page right now is one of the recipes I cooked this week.  I served it over both quinoa and black eyed peas for a very well rounded meal;  Christina and I both enjoyed it over a mixture of white kidney beans and black beans because I had run out of the former.  It was delicious... a little hot from the jalapeno peppers, but not bad.  I cannot wait to make this kale treat for my kids who all love kale.

This week I also made:

creamy broccoli soup
a layered salad with mixed greens, grated beets, grated carrots, alfalfa sprouts, edamame, roasted pumpkin seeds and Green Goddess Salad Dressing
a gorgeous green smoothie with 2 cups packed kale, stems removed, 1/2 cored pineapple, 1 large banana, 1-2 cups water to desired texture
bean salad - no real recipe here, just combination of yellow and purple beans, diced with mixed beans and your favourite vinaigrette.  I used the one
Quinoa and Smoked Tofu Salad .  I made some changes to this recipe in that some people got the salad with tofu and others with chickpeas.  I didn't really like the combination of mint and lemon juice, so the next time I made this I will use basil in place of the mint or omit the mint and double the parsley.
Very Very Green Green Pea Soup which I veganized by using mock chicken broth and vegan margarine
Skillet Gardener's Pie which I changed by substituting sweet potatoes for regular and using whatever vegetables I had on hand.
Sweet Potato Black Bean Soup Sweet Potato Cornbread which I originally veganized from

I also did some dessert baking this week:  Vegan Raspberry Applesauce Muffins
banana chocolate chip muffins found here: which you can originally find in The Joy of Vegan Baking by Colleen Patrick Goudreau .

WHEW!  A very busy week indeed.

See you all again next week.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The first day of summer. Let's celebrate with salad!

Raw vegan is the way to go for summer and it's so easy with these great salads.  I like to add cooked grains to give my salads some dimension and to jazz up what can otherwise be a humdrum experience.

Black bean and millet salad

Israeli couscous summer pilaf

Roasted vegetable salad over greens.
Zucchini, asparagus, red pepper, chickpeas marinated in equal parts balsamic vinegar and olive oil.  Grill veggies until bright and grill marks form.  Serve over a bed of mixed greens.

Mexican layered salad.
A beautiful layered salad I made with leftovers.  (ssshhhh! don't tell my clients!)  Guacamole over top of brown rice, re-fried beans and salad greens, ringed by homemade salsa.  Yummy!  The recipes come from my copy of the Engine 2 Diet book.  

Black Bean Spread, page 235
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 clove garlic, coarsely chopped
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. sea salt
3 tbsp. milk substitute
juice of 1 small lime

Blend all ingredients together until combined.

Guacamole, page 238
2 avocados
juice of 1 small lime
1 clove minced garlic
1 tsp. chili powder

Mash avocados and mix together ingredients.  Keep pit to put in guacamole to retain bright green colour.

Salsa, page 240
1 can tomatoes
1 large jalapeno pepper, diced (remove seeds to reduce heat)
2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1 cup cilantro
2 green onions, coarsely chopped
juice of 1 lime

Blend ingredients together to achieve desired consistency.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Soups and sandwiches!

My client Michelle, hot yoga instructor extraordinaire, challenged me to five lunches and five suppers this week.  She said she'd eat anything hot or cold, it didn't matter.  So I went to town, searching for recipes and I will update this blog post as I cook and photograph the food.

Carrot Soup
Recipe here:

Veggie burger with spicy cannellini spread and roasted peppers!
Mmmm, the recipe for the veggie burger is from page 186 of the Engine 2 Diet book.  It goes as follows:

New York Times Veggie Burgers
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can tomatoes with zesty mild, chilies, drained
1 garlic clove, minced or pressed, or 1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
2 green onions, chopped
1 cup chopped carrots (although grated would have been better)
1 cup parsley or cilantro
2 cups quick rolled oats
8 whole grain buns
Fresh veggie toppings and healthy condiments

Preheat oven to 450.  Process the first seven ingredients using an immersion or a regular blender or food processor.  Remove contents into a large bowl and stir in the oats.  Form into patties, place on a sprayed baking sheet and bake for 8 minutes.  Turn oven up to broil and cook for two more minutes until the tops are nicely browned.  Alternately you can saute the burgers on medium heat in a sprayed nonstick skillet for five minutes on each side, until both sides are browned.  Toast the buns and pile on your favourite toppings.

I adapted the cannellini spread from another recipe from here:

Cannellini spread
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
1 can cannellini beans
juice of 1 lemon
pinch cayenne
sea salt or pepper to taste

Put all ingredients in the Vitamix and let her go!  Nice and flavourful, just a little bit spicy. Makes 4 servings.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Smoothies are the perfect summer refreshment and they're good for you, too.

This particular smoothie contains 1 banana, 1 cup frozen peaches, 1 cup blueberries, 1 cup frozen black cherries, 1 cup baby spinach, 1 cup dandelion greens and 2 tbsp. flax, 1 cup almond milk and 2 cups water  It made a 40 oz smoothie and I drank THE WHOLE THING for breakfast.  Mmmm. :-)

Creamy green smoothie
Ingredients: 1 pear, 1 apple, 1 kiwi, 1 1-inch chunk fresh ginger, 2 lemons juiced, 2 cups spinach, water to desired texture. Yum!

I will keep updating this blog post with other smoothies I make in the coming week for you to enjoy.

Friday, June 3, 2011

It's June already and time for salads!

The wonderful thing about summer is that it gives me an opportunity to eat a lot more raw foods.  Many of my clients have also requested salads for the summer, and while it cuts back nicely on the time I spend in the kitchen, I also have to be more creative to keep the juices, and subsequently, the money flowing too.  I love the addition of nuts and seeds, marinated tofu, cooked grains, edamame and fresh herbs to my salads.  I love finding neat dressings that are low fat or fat free or even just clean to top the salads with.

Salad dressed up with edamame and pumpkin seeds.
Ingredients:  baby spinach, Oriental salad greens mix, broccoli sprouts, grape tomatoes, thawed frozen edamame, pumpkin seeds... topped with a beautiful Creamy Green Avocado Dressing from the Engine 2 cookbook.  Printed with permission from Rip Esselstyn himself.  1/4 pkg Silken Lite tofu, 1 avocado, juice of 1 lime.

Quinoa salad over greens with tomatoes and basil.
Sorry for the blurry image, it was taken with my cell phone as I couldn't find my camera.
Ingredients: mixed greens (baby spinach, baby romaine, arugula, raddichio, etc.), Quinoa salad (in which I omitted the green beans as I didn't have any) with grape tomatoes and fresh basil leaves to garnish.

Berries and greens with creamy orange dressing
Ingredients: mixed salad greens, strawberries, blueberries, sliced almonds, golden flax seeds, dried cranberries topped with creamy dressing made with 2 oranges, 1/2 cup cashews blended in Vitamix.

With the warmer temperatures also comes fresh fruit.  While I prefer to buy locally grown fruits and vegetables whenever possible, I couldn't resist buying up some USA grown berries the other day so that I could make this fabulous recipe I found online (and the one I added above).

Vegan Berry Breakfast Bombs or as I like to call them, OMG YUM!!!

Oh, these are so fine we need more pictures!!!


Yes, these were amazing.  I have to give a HUGE shout out to Tess Masters at for this fabulous recipe.  Not only did she nail it with this fantastic recipe, she has a WHOLE site full of amazing vegan and raw food recipes to try.  For the above recipe please visit her site here .  I followed the recipe precisely and it was perfect.  My kids would have liked the cashew cream to be sweeter as I only used the 1 tbsp. agave syrup recommended by the author, but my adult tastes said it was perfect.  I could easily eat this every morning for breakfast. One lucky client had this for lunch this week and everyone will get to try it next week.

I'm sorry that's all I have right now, but I promise not to be a stranger and will come back next week with a new blog post.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Brrr.... it's cold for May!

So I'm cooking up soups and stews this week!

Michelle and Tracy today were the first to sample a new soup.  Here is my portion served over leafy salad greens:

Tomato Chickpea Soup
I didn't have hot paprika and so it's a little bland.  Next time I'll find the right paprika or add a little bit of cayenne pepper for needed heat.  I'm sure Michelle would agree with that! :-)

Yummy Dragon Bowls!

Dragon Bowl from my Fresh cookbook
Basically it brown rice, steamed broccoli, marinated tofu, tomato, green onions, sesame seeds and spicy miso gravy.

Skillet Salad
I found this recipe online at Susan's picture is prettier than mine, but my salad was just as tasty.

Monday, May 2, 2011

A new month of new meals

I have nearly a full roster of clients right now, 3 full time (5 or more meals per week) and 4 part time (less than 5 meals per week) and while I cook a lot of meals, not everyone gets the same thing everyday.  I'm therefore going to include a list of all recipes I use this week and if you see something you didn't get, but would like me to make for you, just drop me an email at and I'll pop it into your bag for the next week.

I will endeavour to add pictures when I can.

Hot Skillet Salad

Spicy Vegan Potato Curry
(note: I only used 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper)

Colourful Cumin Quinoa Salad

Herbed Potato Salad over baby spinach leaves

Modified version of Very Very Green Green-Pea Soup

Sandwiches with Basil Cashew Cheese Spread

Tofu fried rice with Asian blend vegetables.

Refried beans over brown rice with fresh Campari tomatoes.

Monday, April 25, 2011

April 25-30 Menu plan

To find recipes for my cooking this week, please take a trip through time with me.  This week I am featuring some client and family favourites....

From the November 22 post I've made delicious sandwiches with Basil Cashew Cheeze Spread, from the December 1 post "Beefless tips" stew, from the December 13 post Pumpkin and Blackbean Casserole, from January 23 two favourites Sweet Potato Soup and Jamaican Red Bean Stew.  I also made up some crunchy salads with marinated tofu and roasted nuts and finally, a new addition, Creamy Broccoli Soup.
Broccoli Soup

I enjoy cooking these foods for you and I hope you all enjoy your meals this week.

Monday, April 18, 2011

My own vegan bean and sausage soup

Inspired by a packaged soup I picked up at Country Fixins in Brighton, Ontario, I created this rich bean soup overflowing with vegetable goodness.

    100 grams dry adzuki beans
    100 grams dry navy beans
    100 grams dry light red kidney beans
    100 grams dry cranberry beans
    1 large onion, diced
    3 cloves garlic, minced
    2 GoBio Organic low sodium vegetable bouillon cubes
    3 heaping tsp. Epicure Vegetable Broth mix
    8 cups water (mixed with dried broth mixes)
    1/2 cup celery diced
    1 cup diced tomatoes
    1/2 cup carrots, diced
    1/2 cup red pepper, diced
    1 bay leaf 
    3 Tofurky Italian sausage link, sliced
    4 cups baby spinach or 1 block frozen chopped
Rinse and pick over beans. Soak overnight. Drain.

Cook onion and garlic in a little bouillon or water. Add other vegetables and simmer for a few minutes. Add beans and the rest of bouillon (8 cups total). Bring to a boil and then turn down low to a slow simmer and cook for 90 minutes.

Add baby spinach or 1 box frozen chopped spinach. Cook soup for an additional 15 minutes. Add sliced sausage to soup in last five minutes of cooking time. Stir in Braggs liquid aminos, if more salt needed.

If serving this with a salad or bread/crackers you'll easily get 10 1-cup servings. I prefer to dig into a big bowl of soup with nothing on the side so I got 5 2-cup servings.


Serving Size: 10 1-cup or 5 2-cup servings
Nutritional Info
  • Servings Per Recipe: 5
  • Calories: 429.1
  • Total Fat: 10.0 g
  • Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
  • Sodium: 506.9 mg
  • Total Carbs: 57.3 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 19.7 g
  • Protein: 35.1 g

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Oh She Glows.... I love her new take on Mac'n Cheeze.

Butternut Squash Mac'n Cheeze
I originally used Angela's cashew cheese sauce and while it was good, I have to agree with the author, that it was really just OKAY.  This recipe, however, is an absolute delight.  What a crowd pleaser!  I baked it this time with the crumb topping and it's a winner for sure.  Try it tonight for your family, you'll be glad you did.

As a shortcut, I microwaved the squash, cut lengthwise and seeded for about ten minutes per half.  Supper was ready that much faster.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Order yours today!

Big, beautiful banana muffins!
Modified from The Joy of Vegan Baking, page 38. Used spelt flour instead of white, 1/2 the sugar and substituted coconut oil for the canola oil.

Made 12 big, delicious muffins.  Oh yeah, I'm pleased.   
Calories: 310
Total Fat: 11.7 g
Cholesterol: 1.3 mg
Sodium: 256.7 mg
Total Carbs: 46.2 g
Dietary Fiber: 5.0 g
Protein: 4.4 g

Monday, March 7, 2011

Pantry/freezer challenge

Hi everyone!  I've decided that for the remainder of the month I will (to the best of my ability) prepare meals from the pantry, fridge and freezer only.  As for groceries, I'm going to buy fresh fruit, vegetables and bread.  I'm not replacing any of my pantry items until the end of the month, so once we run out of pasta or brown rice or quinoa, I won't buy more until April.  The reason for this endeavour is that I received my Ontario Hydro bill and it was a full $600 more than I had anticipated, partly because of something called a "Global Adjustment" charge of $228.16 plus $13.15 in tax = $241.31.  I guess the rates have increased as well.  Safe to say that I was astounded and I had to quickly pull $607.10 out of thin air to pay my bill.

So, here I will update a list of recipes I want to try over the next 3 1/2 weeks.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Vegan Chocolate Pudding

Not my original recipe, but I've transformed it just a little bit.

3 ripe avocadoes
3/4 cup Epicure pure cocoa
1 tbsp. Epicure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups raw agave nectar
1 tsp. fine sea salt
1 1/2 cups filtered water

Mix it in the blender.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Had to share this glorious winter picture.

I took this gorgeous photo with my cell phone yesterday while walking with my dog on the Bayshore Trail in Belleville, ON.

Quinoa Salad

I just ate this dynamic salad - quinoa cooked in low sodium vegetable broth from Epicure Selections, Mache mixed greens with herbs, baby spinach leaves, cucumber, red pepper, broccoli sprouts, pumpkin seeds, raw sunflower seeds, edamame, olives, and tomatoes mixed with Epicure Bruschetta spices.
Mediterranean inspired quinoa salad

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Auntie Melanie's banana bread VEGANIZED!

My middle son loves his Auntie Melanie's banana bread, but with butter and eggs to contend with, I have not made it in a couple of years.  This week I decided to veganize this family favourite and here is what I came up with:
Vegan banana bread

1 3/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 teaspoons aluminum-free baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups ripe bananas; mashed (about 4 medium)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup vegan margarine or coconut oil
2 tablespoons nut, rice or soy milk
4 tsp. egg replacer + 4 tbsp. water
1/4 cup walnuts; chopped
1/4 cup vegan semi-sweet chocolate chips

In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  In a measuring cup combine egg replacer and water and mix well.  In another bowl beat bananas, sugar, margarine or coconut oil, egg replacer mixture, and milk on high for a minute.  Combine with dry ingredients.  If batter is too stiff add a little more nut milk by the tablespoonful. Stir in nuts and chocolate chips. Bake at 350°F for 55 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of loaf comes out clean. Cool for ten minutes on rack.

Yield: 1 loaf

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

It's a Vitamix Day!

Just look what I made this morning! Mmmm... beautiful as a dip or as a sandwich spread, you will not be disappointed with this "cheese".

Sun-dried Tomato Cashew Cheese

I also made a garlic hummus which started out fat-free but looked more like mashed potato than hummus.  So I added some tahini and some olive oil and then it started to look right.

Garlic hummus

What morning would be complete without a beautiful smoothie to start the day. (I drank the smoothie and forgot to take a picture, so I'll have to make another... Oh brother!)

2 cups unsweetened Almond Breeze plain almond milk
1 frozen ripe banana
1 heaping tbsp. almond butter
1 tbsp. ground flax
ice cubes if desired


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

C is for Cookie

Today I baked two kinds of cookies for my friends, family and clients.  Take a look:

Banana Maple Oatmeal cookies from

Almond Butter Crunch Cookies from the Clean Eating Mama

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Blueberry explosion smoothie

1 cup frozen blueberries
1 frozen banana
1 cup organic chocolate soy milk
2 navel oranges
1 tbsp. ground flaxseed
1 tbsp. hemp hearts

Put it in my Vitamix and let it go!  Beautiful, creamy, smooth and especially tasty.  I give credit to my friend Shari who introduced me to this recipe as a surefire hangover cure. :-)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Tracy's salad

Today I made a lovely salad for my client.

Mesclin salad greens, avocado, baby peas, tomatoes, raw pumpkin seeds, raw sunflower seeds, lime juice, sea salt, pepper, and a sprinkling of Epicure 3 onion dip mix. :-)

Here is a picture of it:


Monday, January 3, 2011

Indian potatoes with spinach

So this month I have decided to cook and eat as many potatoes as I can.  Why?  Well, for a starchy food you cannot go wrong with the potato, no processing just pure food.  You plant a potato you get a potato!  What do you get when you plant bread?  A nasty mess, that's what!  I will include white, yellow, red and sweet potatoes in my repetoire this month.  Children and clients alike will benefit from this experiment I'm sure. :-)

Let me thank VeganDad for my first recipe!