Monday, 24 September 2012

Scrambled tofu

This is a great dish to use up leftover potatoes.

1 pkg of tofu or nuts/seeds/lentils/chickpeas
2 tbsp of olive oil/coconut oil
1-2 cloves of garlic
1 tsp of sea salt
1 tsp of any spices you like (basil/parsley/oregano/sage)
veggies of your choice (mushrooms, peppers, zucchini, broccoli, carrots) Just cut them up in small pieces

1. Fry up the tofu with the oil, garlic, salt, and spices for 2-4 min
2. Add in the veggies Cook for another 5 min
3. Add the potatoes and cook again for another couple minutes until warm

Add vegan cheese if you like.


Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Vegan root vegetable ideas (gluten free and soy free)

This is acorn squash.

I baked it in the oven on 350F for an hour and scooped out the insides. I was doing this during a lazy Sunday morning. Then oven is doing the work not me. :)

Then when I was ready to do something with it, I purred it in my magic bullet with some maple syrup and almond milk.

I stuck some parsley in there just to class is up. :)

I would serve this with other roasted veggies as a dipping sauce, or with pickled beets. You could also dip warm bread in this, make this into a soup.

It's nice to have different textures when you eat.

This really took no time at all, and it was just a matter of doing different parts of the cooking when I had time.

The leaves are changing in my area and I have this beautiful tree that turns bright red just outside our bedroom windows. This morning I noticed we have one whole branch that is red. I love the fall!


Monday, 17 September 2012

Vegan pizza party!!

My daughter had a birthday party with vegan dinner and cupcakes. Not only does she have one friend who is vegan, but another friend cannot eat eggs, and another friend cannot eat dairy. So, vegan food includes everyone.

Below is my daughter's request for wheat pizza as well with Daiya cheese on it. She had 5 friends over and all of the 5 friends liked the cheese. So, it was a success. 

My son who cannot eat wheat, dairy, and soy had his own gluten free pizza with Daiya cheese. I didn't have the energy to be making two different doughs both from scratch so I bought him Udi's already made pizza crust, and he likes it so he was happy.

Here is the dough. This was killer dough. It was amazing and the big tip out of this was I put in a bit more yeast than what it asked for, and I gave it LOTS of time to rise. It's been a long time since I have made wheat pizza dough. I am so used to gluten free pizza dough. But this was fun!

3 1/2 cups of flour
2 tbsp of active dry yeast
2 tsp of salt
1/4 cup of oil
1 1/2 cup of hot water

1.  Put the active dry yeast in 1 1/2 cups of warm to hot water and let it sit for at least 10 min
2.  Mix the water with the flour and and oil
3. Add in the salt
4. Stir and then need with your hands. Take your rings off and get right in there. It's fun.
5. Let it sit for 2 hours until it doubles in size. (This is key for chewy bread)
*** You can make the dough in advance and then freeze it or keep it in your fridge
5. When you put it on a pan you don't need to roll it with a pin, just push it out with your fingers and the dough will spread. 

This is what it looks like while I am needing it. You may need to add some flour or water as you go to perfect the texture. 

The dough at the end will look like this

I sprinkled garlic powder and Italian spices on it before I put the pizza sauce on.

Put your sauce on and then any cheese or toppings you like.

The pizza then needs to be in the oven on 500 degrees F and will take about 30 min.


Friday, 14 September 2012

Kid friendly vegan snack (gluten and soy free)

These are balls of peanut butter, gluten free rice crisps, and shredded coconut. (I put sprinkles on them to insure they would be eaten) The kids think these are dessert. :)

I mixed them all up and shapped them into balls with two spoons.

Then freeze....about 10 min. I actually keep them in the freezer and pull them out right when they want to eat them. They are cold but still easy to eat.

They loved them!

Very simple, no bake snack.

These are vegan, gluten free, soy free but certainly not nut free. Feel free to experiment with different nut or seed butters.


Monday, 10 September 2012

Seaweed, a healthy snack. Vegan, gluten free and soy free.

A great snack!

These I eat either as a snack or I use them to put balls of sushi rice in them and make easy single serving sushi balls. I use up leftover veggies that way too.

You can get them in all different flavors. These ones that have squares large enough to stuff them with rice and veggies I get from Cosco. They come in a big box.  

This info is from

Sea vegetables provide all 56 minerals and trace elements required for your body's physiological functions in quantities greatly exceeding those of land plants. 


Calcium (for skeletal health, heart health, nervous system function)
Magnesium (activates enzymatic activity, essential for heart health)
Potassium (naturally prevents high blood pressure, provides cellular energy)
Sodium (essential for the correct balance of body fluids - our internal "ocean")
Iron (as hemoglobin, transports and distributes oxygen to all your cells)
Iodine (thyroid health)
Chromium (works with insulin to regulate blood sugar)
Copper (protects nerve sheaths, builds supple arteries, required for iron absorption)
●  Absorbs and naturally reduces or eliminates radioactive elements and heavy metal contaminants from our bodies.


Friday, 7 September 2012

Cheesy rice and bean dish. (Vegan, gluten free, and soy free)

Yesterday was my son's first day of kindergarten. I took so many pictures that I ran out of batteries when it came to taking a picture of my dinner.

So here is the one picture I was able to snap before I camera of rechargeable batteries shut down.

Before we get down to the meal, for the Mom's of the group, I cried when I dropped him off. I stood there alone and realized I walking home by myself. My little sports boy was off to school. Who would obsessively beg me to take them to driving range? Or want to play tennis with me for 2 hours? Or tell me my pitch needed some improvement?  Anyways, I am ready to move onto the next stage of life. 2 kids in school. eeek.

This means two things. One, the summer is over and I am back to blogging regularly. Two, next time I will have batteries in my camera. At least until gymnastics and soccer starts. :)

The kid version of the meal I'll have to describe.

So this dinner is brown rice, canned mixed beans, salsa, salt, pepper, Daiya cheese and broccoli.

After this picture I put the food in the pan, which is cast iron, and put it in the oven on broil. The cheese bubbles, and will get crispy on the outside. Yum. 

What inspired a cheesy rice dish was the person who I happened to meet on my street. I am outside playing with my kids before dinner and a man with his children walk by with their dog. He works for Daiya foods. I couldn't believe it! Cool! So, of course I had to make something cheesy.

The kids version didn't have the spicy salsa, it had Earth balance margarine, baby corn (which they LOVE), and broccoli with melted cheese. My son had 3 servings of it, and my daughter had 2. Not bad! My son cannot digest beans along with lots of other things, so the kids had leftover organic chicken.

As you can imagine there was lots of chatter around the table talking about school. I have leftovers now for my lunch, and leftovers for my kids lunch in their thermos. 

Now for the next dinner. Tomorrow's Friday so that means....PIZZA!!!! (Gluten free and vegan of course!)

Enjoy everyone!

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Vegan Indian food. What are you in the mood for?

So I really didn't have a plan with this meal. I roasted a bunch of veggies that I pre-mixed with spices and oil and roasted in the oven.

Once they were done roasting I let them sit in a pan to keep warm and I threw in some fresh tomatoes and cilantro with some lemon juice.


Sometimes not have a plan works out!

For those who are knew to Indian meals, I suggest you start off with 1/2 tsp of different spices when experimenting or following recipes exactly.

Common ingredients in meals that will make it a success are:

Curry powder
Turmeric powder
Cumin or mustard seeds
Lemon grass or lemon juice

Those combinations are a great base. Add some onions and stir in what you like.


Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Gluten free and vegan ice cream cones

I bought these from Planet Organic here in BC, but I have seen them at Choices too.

My kids love these and it's really nice to be able to give the kids foods they are used to eating.

For dairy free ice cream options there are:

Soy ice cream
Rice ice cream
Almond ice cream
Coconut ice cream

These have all been tested by dairy eaters and they all agreed that they could easily eat them instead of dairy ice cream.

So, enjoy the summer fun and have a treat with your kids...or not with your can have it all to yourself. :)


Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Marshmallow vegan and gluten free cake

 So, first I made the Betty Crocker gluten free cake mix with the egg substitute, it comes in box, to make it vegan.  After pouring in the cake mix in the pan ready to be baked, I put vegan marshmallows on top. I didn't know if this would turn out or not, but hey, what's the risk? I am not baking for the Queen of England here.

This is how it turned out.

Then onto the vegan icing. 

I used Earth balance with coco, and icing sugar.

Really, it's a no fail recipe. I took 3 large spoonfuls and without even measuring I just poured in a bunch of icing sugar and 2 spoonfuls of coco. Tasted it and then made adjustments....I put more icing sugar in. 

It was hard to mix in my mixer at the start. I ended up putting a bit of chocolate almond milk in it to smooth it out.  But ohhhhh, yuuummmmyyyyy!!

Some people really get stressed out with feeling they need to make food perfect, or follow the directions exactly. You really don't. After years of cooking, you get an idea of what is essential in a recipe and what isn't. But really...just have fun, experiment, and eat up!


Calzones, gluen free - vegan style.

Ok, it doesn't really look like a calzone...but it tasted great!

It also took much longer than just making a normal pizza. It added variety to our typical pizza, but I don't know if it was really worth it. The dough was actually softer then what it looks like in the picture.

I used the same pizza dough mix from Red Mill's that I use for our weekly pizza nights. I made three "base" pizza doughs. I baked them and then did the same for the tops. I just rolled the top layers with a rolling pin and made them super thin.

** I also find that I need to add GF flour on the side to add as I need to.

In addition to the pizza dough I added:

Hemp hearts - loaded with iron, zinc and other minerals.
Flax seed - loaded with Omega 3 fatty acids

I made a smaller square pizza in case my kids didn't want to eat the calzone...have I mentioned they can be picky!

On the base I spread my sauce and added my veggies. I then put the baked top on top and brushed it with oil, garlic spice, oregano and Daiya cheese.

I then just put it back in the oven to melt the cheese and it was done.

I also made a salad to go with the pizza.


Thursday, 2 August 2012

Great car snacks - vegan

Summer time is filled with car trips, trips to beaches all day, and hiking trips. What are some great vegan and gluten free snacks out there?

Here's two of them, and I bought them oddly enough at Winners!

The Banana coconut balls (above) are very yummy and are great energy balls. Very travel friendly!

The grain mix below is great to keep in the car. Why not? For those times when we get stuck at restaurants and the only thing we can eat is salad and french fries, why not take a trip out the car and add some seeds/GF grains on our salad. It will be the most nutritious part of the meal. :)


Monday, 30 July 2012

Summer tofu - super easy!

You can't get easier than this.

Chop the tofu into squares, and pour over a great BBQ sauce. Let it sit in the fridge if you are patient and if not, just eat it. It didn't last long in the house, I love cold tofu. I love eating it when there's a great thick sauce to pour over.

This BBQ sauce is a local sauce that WILL be coming out on the market next year. So, this is your sneak peak. It's made with maple syrup. My son had this sauce three times out of the week, and wanted it on top of everything. I had to put my foot down. How much sauce can a kid inhale?

It was so good, I had to email the creators and let them know how good it is. I still have one more flavor to try. My husband came home with these from a friend at work, who's friend is the maker of the sauce.

I love promoting local products so here is their link. Even thought this product isn't labelled vegan, there wasn't anything on their ingredient list that indicated there was any animal product in it. It's recommended to put the sauce on meat, but I let them know how good it tasted over tofu. :)

Just perfect foods


Friday, 27 July 2012

Hemp - vegan food, loaded with iron, zinc and other minerals

So I have a new product that I have mixed in with vegan food. It's husband tested. He didn't even know it was in there. :)

 They taste like sunflower seeds to me.

I highly recommend this to any who is vegetarian or vegan. A great source of iron and zinc! Mineral consumption is great!

I poured it into a meal I was making for my husband and he didn't even notice. I even put it in my kids pizza dough, and they didn't even know.

You can add it to anything you want. Inhale!! 

(And no this is no sponsored by the hemp people! I don't' get paid for ANY product promotion.)


Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Gluten free, vegan coconut cookies

For my readers, you know I am not a baker. I did bake these, but there's a catch. The mixture came pre-organized and I bought it from the Farmer's Market in Burnaby, BC.

I love getting different gluten free products. Variety is the spice to life. The fact that it was going to be an easy task was an easy sell too!

I used an egg substitute and it worked. They didn't crumble and fall apart. Making these vegan was very easy. 

When people think of me being vegan and not eating wheat, you should see their faces. They look horrified and I can see them picturing me eating grass or tree bark. Something along those lines.....

Eating these were complete torture! I truly suffer. Now please pass the cookies! :)


Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Raw vegan salad

Zuchinni's are growing growing growing!

Now what do we do with it??

Sometimes people don't like zuchinni because they find it to......shall we say...mushy if not cooked properly.

How about raw?? I love it!

Beautiful. You can chop them in all sorts of ways...test your kids out, or your husbands for that matter. 

You can use them to dip, toss them into salads, or put them in sandwiches. If you haven't had zuchinni for a while, give it a try. I love them raw more than I like them cooked. They don't have a strong flavour, it's really a refreshing, crunchy veggie that is really nice.

They are also super easy to shred and you can add them to almost anything!

Here's the salad I made

I just chopped them up small with red bell pepper, some onion and for the dressing:

olive oil
lemon juice

So light and refreshing. A summer salad must. Super easy to make and it's great picnic food or potluck food.


Monday, 23 July 2012

Food culture, families, and thankfulness.

I just arrived home from a 2 week vacation back East to see my family and my husband's family in Ontario and Montreal.

I have to say I was a bit anxious about the visit in terms of food. This was my second year returning to visit family being vegan, but it was the first year since discovering my son being not only dairy, but wheat and soy intolerant.

I have to say, my eating experiences were lovely. My mom, made amazing gluten free and vegan desserts and went all out with meal planning and all of our digestive and taste bud needs were meet. I was relieved to not have to stress out over food, and I didn't need to starve while at the cottage. So, thanks Mom!!! I especially loved the chickpea cookies, and vegan potato salad, the Elizabeth squares, the vegan balls, and thanks for making Tyler his gluten free vegan cupcakes. He never had to do without. :)

In Montreal I was able to cook and thanks to my sister-in-law who did some pre-arrival shopping for us, we sailed through our time in Montreal.  My sister-in-law and I made some kick ass vegan burgers together and her Dad makes vegan we had to indulge. :) We dream of opening a vegan pub in Vancouver. Maybe in our second life. :)

My decision to be vegan is a reflection of me as a person, and having family members accept and support my decision feels really good. It's not necessary, I am not asking anyone for permission, but it's just so nice to not have to feel rejected or feel like I entering a war zone when I sit down to a table to eat.

Eating is what connects and binds people. We "break bread", we celebrate with food, and have memories of food with special moments. Eating to me is one of the top priorities in life. I love good food, and I love eating with other people. Social exclusion is never my goal.

I came home after my trip and craved my vegan cheese sauce. I missed certain foods that I typically ate. It was nice to return home to a vegan stocked kitchen.

I loved most of the food I ate when I was away, I tolerated some of it. I loved seeing most of the people I visited and tolerated some of them. Hahahaha

I am so lucky!!

Enjoy your food, family, and friends. :)

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Homemade chips

Wash and cut potatoes
Rub with oil and sprinkle with a bit of sea salt

** You can add dill, BBQ spice, salt and vinegar etc...

Bake on high 400 for about an hour

TIP: Let them bake for a while until you start moving them around, otherwise they will break into pieces. I know there is the fear that they will get stuck but as they cook and get crispy they will become easy to get off.

As you can imagine, these were eaten very quickly in my house. :)


Monday, 9 July 2012

Carrot dip - vegan, gluten free, and soy free

Carrot dip is a great base to use to get creative!

Boil a bunch of carrots, as many as you like. 
I put them in a blender with sunflower seeds, 1 clove of garlic and some lemon juice. 

It was yummy! I was surprised at how good it was. Carrots are really sweet and I liked the fresh garlic taste. 

I made it still a bit chunky but you could blend it more if you wish. 

You could blend it with chickpeas if you wish, fresh spices, or cumin, curry powder...go crazy. Experiment and see what you like. 


Saturday, 30 June 2012

What to do with beets? Vegan options.

Aren't these beautiful.

These are veggies that are easy to turn into a snack.

Boil them and cut the tops and ends off.

You can either slice them and put them in water and vinegar and make a pickled beet, or just keep them plain.

I like to eat them cold and plain,or you can warm them up with a bit of Earth balance margarine and salt and pepper.

They are really a great veggie that you can do lots with.

1) Roast them with a bunch of potatoes and the potatoes will absorb their colour.
2) Have them pickled on the table to add colour to your meal.
3) Can shred them and add them to salads, pasta salads, bean salads.

Boil some beets and see what you can create. I have seen them in two colours a deep redish/purple colour or the yellow/orangish colour above.

Enjoy being creative!

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Roasted eggplant

This is an eggplant that looked purple and was in the oven for about 20-30 min. 

I cut it open and the eggplant was still firm and not mushy. I would put this in curries, or stir fries. When I made the dip I put it back in the oven for a bit more cooking.

Flavor of eggplant isn't strong. It really needs different spices, or garlic, or other ingredients to give it a punch of flavor. 

I also love eggplant grilled and in sandwiches as well.

Try roasting some eggplant and see what you can do with it. It makes a great dip. I took a picture of it, but it didn't look very good even though it tasted great. 


Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Vegan Lasagna

So, it was my husband's birthday and he wanted vegan lasagna. I have never cooked it before so it was all new to me. I had my Mother's recipe for lasagna in the back of my mind, and I heard that using soft tofu replaces the cottage cheese, so away I went. These are the steps I took, and I was very happy with how it turned out. Delicious!

Step One: Boil the wheat lasagna noodles and follow the instructions on the box.

Step Two:

3 ground veggie "meat" packages
4 cans of tomato paste (plain/garlic/Italian flavored) any kind is fine
1/3 cup mix Italian spices (oregano, parsley, basil)
1/3 cup of garlic spice

Stir all ingredients together and leave to sit in a bowl.

Step Three:

1 pkg of smooth tofu. In the one pkg of tofu they had 2 big pieces.
1/4 cup of Italian spices
1/3 cup of garlic spices

Mash with a potato masher and then just stir with a fork. It amazed me how much this looked like cottage cheese, and when tasting it there was no tofu flavor.

Mix with about 1 cup of Daiya cheese - mozzarella

Stir all ingredients together and then sit in a bowl.

Then you are just layering your lasagna.


Tomato mixture
Cheese mixture
Tomato mixture
Cheese mixture
Tomato mixture
Sprinkle with Daiya cheese and garlic powder

You can sprinkle with fresh parsley when it's done if you like.

This lasagna is actually easier to make because you don't have to cook any ground beef before you make it.

Have it bake for at least 30 min at 350 degrees.


Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Channa Masala but with beans- vegan, gluten free and soy free

Everyone's life is busy and sometimes putting food on the table can be just plain crazy. My kids HATE beans, I love beans and my husband tolerates them. So while I had a separate dish in the oven for them, I had this on the stove, and the kids were playing outside in the backyard with all of the other neighbor kids and I was popping in and out. This dish is really a dish you don't need to pay attention to while it's cooking.

First just get the ingredients into a pan.

1) Rinsed white kidney beans from a can
2) Chopped red onion
3) Fresh cilantro

4) Add some tomatoes 
5) 1-2 cloves of garlic
6) Put in some olive oil (1-2 tbsp)
7) Add your spice mix 3 tbsp
8) To make it creamy I added 1/4 cup of ketchup

I had it cook for about 15-20 to soften the beans and let the flavors blend. 

This mix is a popular mix and can be found at many common grocery stores. It is typically made with chickpeas but you can really just add the spice to anything. It's yummy!

I made a mixture of brown rice and Quinoa. I always make tons of this when I make it and use it with other meals through out the week.

My husband liked having Tofutti sour cream with this, and pita bread.