Author Archives: kaylie

A Little Thing about Lemons


As I said in an earlier post, my brother just so happens to have a lemon tree outside of his bedroom window. Oh the opportunity!

When life gives you lemons… use them!  Malloreigh and I were sitting under the lemon tree eating dinner last night and we were discussing the first time we were subject to the juice of an actual lemon.  Both of our experiences were different, but equally as eye-opening. Can you imagine being a teenager and actually realizing that lemon juice didn’t come from a bottle?  Most people still haven’t come to this realization because of the convenience our consumer culture has afforded us. So I say, put down the fake plastic lemon and start squeezing the juice of the sweet fruit that is so versatile it can transform into the sweet, tart, and savoury.

Things I frequently make with lemons:

– Lemon Garlic Sauce (for Pasta)

– Lemon Dill Shallot Sauce (for Pasta)

– Vegan Hot Tottys (Whiskey, 1/2 lemon, 1 tbs agave, hot water)

– Lemon Almond Banana Bread

These are just four things I’ve made in the last week.

Don’t forget that you can use the whole lemon! You can always dry the lemon zest and save it for another dish tomorrow.

Lemons always add a positive twist to life, that’s why I try to eat as many as possible.

Lemon Shallot Dill Vinaigrette:

2 lemons (juiced)

1/2 bunch fresh dill (finely diced)

1 large shallot (finely diced)


Equal ratio of vinegar to oil 1:1

1/2 C Olive oil

1/2 C White Wine Vinegar

I use this as a marinade for portobello mushrooms to grill, tofu scram or a quick addition to a salad.

Simple, easy, lemons.



Going Back to Basics

Yesterday my brother and I decided to spend a little time making lunch before heading off to work for the evening. After a day of rock-climbing and reading pasta was exactly what we needed. Although this recipe is nothing special the fact that my brother has a beautiful lemon tree outside of his window makes any kind of lemony sauce a success. Fresh, in my mind, will always bring out the best, most natural flavours.

Since I haven’t had full reign over my usual kitchen (a kicthen with every spice imaginable) I’ve had to get back to basics. I ‘ve had to create flavourful dishes using the natural essence of fresh, local produce.  I find that when you understand the basics you can build off of those in any culinary (or life) endeavour you meet.



Photo by Ryan Barfield


Since being here in San Francisco I have constantly had to question my cooking and myself, because this is in fact an extremely foodie city. I’ve already worked in two separate restaurants that have completely different approaches to menu creation. One has a farm a few miles outside of the city that uses their own produce. This restaurant believes in the completely natural appearance and taste of it’s food right down to leaving the stems on the carrots and radishes. I know! What a concept!

The other restaurant is in my opinion “phony” and uses way too many meat (fake) centric dishes to promote “health”, as they would put it. This is only my opinion! I just can’t get behind putting chinatown bought fake meats, deep frying them, putting them inside a bun and calling it healthy or even flavorful because it is vegetarian or vegan. I have to say though, sometimes it’s sooo good to paticipate in a meat eaters world.

We all have different opinions on what is good food and what is not. I personally am trying to simplify flavours in order to move forward as a chef. In order to move forward sometimes we must move back. How did we even get to this point?




Breakfast Calabacitas

Breakfast calabacitas

Ever since we were little our dad has had a garden. When the squash and corn would be ready to be harvested my dad would always make calabcitas. His recipe included bacon and topped with cheese.  I decided to make this traditional new mexican side dish  healthier ,vegan, add a potato and have it for breakfast.

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Restaurant Review: Little Bird, San Francisco, Tenderloin

Strangely enough yesterday was the first time I had ever ventured into the Tenderloin. I had heard fables and tall tales abut how awful and scary the Tenderloin is, equivalent to Vancouver’s Surrey. In fact, the Tenderloin is a gem and only those daring enough to adventure into it’s decrepit belly are going to experience an important part of San Francisco history.  My friend from Albuquerque (Kayla) just so  happens to live in the Tenderloin so she invited me to her neck of the woods for brunch on Sunday morning.

I’ve been to a lot of coffee shops and cafés in my day, all of which have either be part of the homogenous blob of capitalism or unique to their own neighbourhood. Little Bird is a perfect example of a small café that keep true to the vibrance of their neighbourhood by keeping there menu simple, but versatile and having the walls  be a stage for Tenderloin art and artists.

I had no idea what to expect when I visited this gem in the heart of the Tenderloin. Upon entering I immediately realized that almost every item on there menu was veganizable. Hell yeah! Their options for sandwich fillings were also incredible, house roasted tomatoes, hummus, avocados, garlic, vegan pesto, daiya. Amazing!!

After I ordered, the woman making my sandwich came and sat down next to me to inform me she was out of tofu scramble for the sandwich, but would make me a sandwich with avocado, daiya, hummus and roasted tomatoes. It was $4, panini pressed, delicious! I couldn’t be more happy in my surroundings with the service and with the food. Next time I go back I’m going to be prepared to try everything I can on the menu, especially this thing they call a kombuchosa, locally-made kombucha mixed with oj!

Thank you little bird for putting faith back into small cafés for me. Vancouver take note!

Blueberry Ginger Gluten-Free Vegan Pancakes

vegan mischief saturday brunch - gluten-free blueberry ginger pancakes

I was reluctant to let this recipe go, but as any good cook knows, it isn’t the recipe that makes a good cook. It’s the passion and creativity that goes into the creation of each element. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do, it’s the best pancake recipe I’ve come across, hands down.

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My Favourite Food as a Kid: Frito Pie

frito pie

If some of you don’t know, I grew up in New Mexico. Frito pie is easy and cheap to make, not necessarily healthy. Who likes healthy when you’re a little kid anyway? How do you make a Frito pie? Well… you put corn chips in a bowl, pile chili on top of them and finish off with some cheese. This is my absolutely amazing vegan version with one of the best chili recipes I have ever concocted.

Things you Need:

For Base:

4 Tomatoes

1 jalapeno

5 cloves garlic

1 small yellow onions

1 tomatillo

Pureé these four items together in a food processor. Set aside

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Southern Brunch February 5th

I love southern food and I love whiskey. Two loves come together to bring you this week’s southern style brunch menu.


Moist, southern-style cornbread topped with barbecue tempeh, tomato, caramelized onion, and a fresh shaved fennel and cabbage slaw. Served with scalloped potatoes.

Rice and buckwheat flour gluten-free pancakes flavoured with orange and currants. Served with a decadent whiskey butter sauce and fresh fruit. This option is gluten-free.

Creamy baked beans and maple-soaked greens with homemade fennel and apple sausage. Served with potatoes, coleslaw, and a piece of cornbread. This option is soy- and gluten-free.

The Intrepid Herbivores – A Traveling Veg Cooking Show

A few months back, two Portland Vegans came in The Perch and enjoyed a simple tofu scram. I am always looking for vegan friends and I love Portland (naturally) so we had a lot to talk about. Now my  new found vegan friends are planning on going to Thailand, learning about vegan dishes from the region and filming their new found knowledge for all of us. Their adventure is inspiring for anyone interested in being a vegan while traveling and learning more about veganism in different parts of the world. Please read their website and support their efforts to celebrate the diversity of vegan food globally!

Kickstarter funding page

The Intrepid Herbivores

New Mexican Wedding Cookies

Kaylie’s Mom and Grandmother can be accredited for this recipe that has made it’s way into the hands and mouths of the vegans.

These cookies go by many different names. They seem to be made for weddings in many different cultures. Maybe I will want them served at my wedding.

(new) mexican wedding cookies

1 cup Earth Balance
½ cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup chopped pecans
¾ cup powdered sugar(I shift it)
1 – 2 Tablespoons Rum

-Beat butter for 30 seconds; add granulated sugar and beat till fluffy.  Add vanilla and 1-2 tablespoons rum (depending on the flavour you want); beat well. Stir in flour and pecans.  Shape into 1-inch balls or 1 1/2×1/2 inch finger rolls.  Place on an ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake in a 325 degree oven about 20 minutes.  Cool completely. (I do not do this, I cool until the next batch is done, the powdered sugar warms with the cookies and then you dunk them again.) I feel if you wait too long the sugar does not stick to the cookies. I put powdered sugar in a plastic bag and put a few coolies in at a time. Depending on how big you make your cookies will depend on how many you get.