Category Archives: Dinner

Barbecue Sunchokes (Jerusalem Artichoke)

Photo taken from http://tinyurl.com/7pyo3p5

Ingredients:

5 medium sized Sunchokes  (sliced)

1/2 Tsp Cumin

1/2 Tsp Caraway

Salt

Pepper

1/2 C Your choice of delicious bbq sauce

3 Tbsp Oil

– Heat oil over medium heat in a sauté pan and add sunchokes covering with a lid in order to steam them through.

– Add Cumin, Caraway, Salt and pepper and toss. Continue to cook and keep covered for approx 2 minutes.

– Add 1/4 c bbq sauce. Toss and keep covered for 5-8 mins. Toss constantly.

– Add the remainder of the bbq sauce and salt and turn up the heat. Toss and caramelize the sunchokes making sure they have nice brown edges. Remove from heat and serve.

 

Momo-style dumplings

tibetan-style ginger, green onion, garlic, tofu, broccoli, red pepper, mushroom momos with a citrus-soy-sesame dipping sauce

I can’t believe I haven’t posted the simple, glorious recipe for these little momos! Now, momo is maybe not the right word for what these are. There’s this really great Himalayan restaurant I love going to (Cafe Kathmandu on the Drive) and they have these delectable little dumplings called momos that you can order steamed or deep fried. They are just the best. Kaylie and I thought we’d give making them at home a go, and the worked pretty well.

We used wonton wrappers for these. I have heard that others have had a hard time finding egg-free wonton wrappers – I get mine at Superstore where the selection is large enough that you can find eggless ones. You might consider using rice wraps as well – that way they’re gluten free as well. To use the rice wraps, simply hydrate them for about twenty seconds in water. They are much bigger than wonton wrappers so maybe tear or cut them into pieces after they’re hydrated. If you over-hydrate them they will dissolve so be careful.

The vegetable/tofu mix can change according to your tastes. Feel free to play with it. Try diced carrots, bell peppers, or water chestnuts. We combined:

1/4 block firm tofu, crumbled
2 tbsp soya sauce, tamari, or Braggs
1 tsp rice wine vinegar
Sprinkle Chinese five-spice mix or coriander (use chopped fresh leaves if available)
3 stalks green onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 inch ginger, peeled and grated
1/2 – 1 cup mushrooms (measure before dicing – any type of mushroom you like)
1 tsp sesame oil or other oil

Pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together and toss in a pan on medium-heat for about five minutes. Let the mixture cool.

Now, to wrap your momos, place a rounded teaspoon of filling in the centre of a wonton wrapper. Wet your fingers in a bowl of water and bring the corners of the wrapper up, then twist. Seal with more water.

These can be frozen and then steamed. Steam them until the wonton wrappers become translucent – about eight minutes from frozen.

Momo dipping sauce

Mix sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, and soya sauce together until they’re tasty. I’d say about one part sesame oil, 4 parts soya sauce, and 2 parts vinegar.

Pumpkin Soup

For Broth:
1 Carrot (Coarsely chopped)
1 Celery Sticks (Coarsely chopped)
2 medium Yellow Onions (Coarsely Chopped)
3 Garlic Cloves
2 Bay leaves
Peppercorns
Salt
3 Cups Water
– Simmer for one to two hours adding water if necessary.
– Strain and keep in pot.
1 /2 small Sugar pumpkin pureé (steamed, skinned, and mashed)
2 tablespoons tahini
1/2 juice of a lemon
1 Parsnip (peeled and chopped)
3 Cloves Garlic (sliced)
1 Cup Water
1/2 small yellow onion

-After the broth has simmered and is prepared, add the other ingredients and simmer for as long as you can. I would give it an hour or more.
– Add water if your soup is two thick, but allow it time to simmer so the flavours all come through and have a chance to seep into one another.
– After simmering transfer liquid into a blender or food processor and pureé until smooth. Re-heat until desired temperature is reached.
Garnish with chopped parsley, or crispy fried shallots. Enjoy!

Mixed Mushroom Polenta with Roasted Tomato Passata

dinner for jocelynn - portobello polenta with roasted tomato passata, marinated roasted portobello, herbed walnut salad, and champagne grapes

Polenta is just about the easiest thing to make. It’s basically a mixture of cornmeal and water. Depending on the proportions of water and cornmeal you use, you can make “soft” polenta (which is more like porridge) or, my preference, a harder, heartier polenta that’s fantastic with savoury meals.

The key to making your polenta flavourful and delicious is to avoid using just water. Make a flavourful broth, and add the cornmeal to that. You don’t have to be very careful with amounts – just add more cornmeal or water depending on how you feel about the consistency. Of course, it does solidify as it cools, but you should be able to tell what the final texture will be like not long after adding the cornmeal to the liquid.

For broth, I usually use a bouillon cube – I find them handy to have around the kitchen for adding flavour to everything from curries to soups to rice. Use mushroom bouillon for a mushroom-flavoured polenta, like the one I made, or choose a veggie or herb broth cube for different flavours. If you’re using bouillon cubes, it’s easiest to pre-mix them with boiling water – pouring the water down on to the cube like you would with tea.

Mixed Mushroom Polenta

1 pint shiitake, crimini, or oyster mushrooms
1 – 2 tbsp light vegetable oil
3/4 to 1 cup cornmeal (sometimes just called “polenta”)
1 mushroom bouillon cube
2 cups water
2 bay leaves
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup soy sauce (optional)
Nutritional yeast (optional)
Onion and garlic powder (optional)

Chop the mushrooms to a reasonable bite size. At the same time, boil 2 cups of water in a kettle. In a large bowl or glass measuring cup, pour the water over the crumbled bouillon cube and stir to dissolve. Add the broth to a large pot on the stove and keep it boiling – on medium heat.

Saute the mushrooms in oil in a skillet on medium-low heat until they sweat.

Add the bay leaves and soy sauce, if using, and salt and pepper. At this point I like to taste the broth and make sure it’s flavourful. Cornmeal doesn’t have much flavour on its own. If the broth isn’t flavourful, add onion powder, garlic powder, or other complementary spices.

If you’re using nutritional yeast, add it with the cornmeal. Pour the cornmeal in slowly while stirring to achieve a smooth consistency. Continually stir it until it starts to firm up. After a couple minutes, if it hasn’t firmed up, add more cornmeal. If it’s too firm, add more water (or broth).

You can either stir the cooked mushrooms in with the polenta or you can place them on top as I did. Once the polenta has been stirred, you want to cool it to room temperature. Remove from heat and leave uncovered (so it doesn’t sweat too much). Press the mushrooms into the top and let cool 30 minutes.

Roasted Tomato Passata

This is one of the easiest sauces to make, and it’s also rather impressive, because you roast your own tomatoes rather than using a can. It takes about an hour and a half all told.

8 – 10 small to medium sized tomatoes
Olive oil (buckets of it)
Salt and pepper
1 red onion, diced
3 – 5 cloves garlic, minced
Fresh basil or oregano leaves – a large handful
1/2 tin (1/4 cup) tomato paste
1 bouillon cube
Water

Heat your oven to 400 Fahrenheit. Toss the tomatoes in olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread them out on a baking sheet and bake them until they pop – check them every 10 minutes. You want them to be soft and wrinkled and for the skin to split.

While you’re roasting the tomatoes, dice your onion and mince your garlic. Use a generous amount of olive oil – 1/8 cup or more. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan on medium-low heat and add the onions. Once they’ve started to go soft, add the garlic. It burns easier so should be added later. Cook til soft – until the tomatoes are pretty much done.

Crumble the bouillon cube into the saucepan of onion and garlic. Add the roasted tomatoes once they’re nice and soft. You’re going to want to crush them with the back of your wooden spoon. Mix the tomato paste with hot water in a separate bowl or cup – don’t use much, maybe 1/4 to 1/2 cup – and then add it to the mixture. You want to simmer the sauce as long as you can. Make it fragrant and lovely. Once you’re 5 – 10 minutes off of eating, add the chopped basil or oregano leaves, put a top on that saucepan, and let it simmer the flavours together. Serve over top your polenta.

DELICIOUS.

Black Bean Yamburgers

I kept meaning to post this recipe – I made it for the Blim Night Market on July 23rd and promised a few people I’d post it, but then I went out of town and life took over and I forgot. Anyway, here it is. My friend Bronwen and I made a bunch of these black bean yamburgers and sold them for a $5 donation each to help pay for her cat’s urinary tract surgery. Bronwen made delicious buns from scratch, and we had a variety of toppings, from sauerkraut and caramelized onions to red pepper tahini sauce, homous, and Kaylie’s homemade habañero hot sauce.

black bean yamburgers with tomato, red onion, garden fresh endive and vegenaise

The burger patties are super easy. They don’t take very long, if you want to rush it before having a barbecue, but if you have some time to chill the burger mixture before forming the patties, you will have a bit of an easier time of it. I tripled the recipe to make patties for our event. This recipe will make about 12 patties, depending on how big you make them.

Black Bean Yamburger Patties

1 medium yam (or sweet potato)

Peel and cube the yam. Toss it in olive or vegetable oil and roast it, tossing once, for about 30 minutes. For a shortcut, boil the cubed yam until you can pierce it easily with a fork. Let it cool so you can work it with your hands – for a shortcut, try putting it in the fridge or freezer.

After your yams are in the oven, put on:

1/4 cup white rice – I used sticky or glutinous rice, but you can use basmati, jasmine, or whatever. Follow the water instructions on the package. I usually do 1.25 times the amount of water as rice. Don’t know how to make rice? This should help.

While you’re doing this:

1 medium white or yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp cooking oil

Heat a skillet over medium-low heat and add the onion. Saute about 5 minutes, then add the garlic, and continue sauteing until the onion has softened.

1 can (about 2 cups) black beans

Drain and rinse the beans in a strainer and then put them in a big bowl. Mash them until there are no whole beans left. Add the onions and garlic. Add:

2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp cumin
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup soy sauce (or wheat-free tamari for gluten free burgers)
1 tbsp sesame oil

Mix this in with the beans, onion, and garlic. Taste and adjust seasonings. For a variation, try adding some peanut butter and ginger. Add the cooked yams and rice; stir til combined. Taste again and adjust seasonings as necessary. I ended up adding more cumin after the fact.

Add 1/4 cup cornmeal for gluten-free burgers or flour if that’s not a concern. Stir.

Chill the burger mixture for 1 hour in the fridge if you have the time, or don’t, if you don’t.

Form the patties from about 1/4 cup burger mix. Roll it into a ball and pat it flat with clean hands. Dredge in cornmeal or flour. Fry lightly in oil on each side, or bake on parchment paper, before grilling, or bake/fry completely to use in a burger.

Thick-With-Greens Pasta Sauce

Sometimes I really want pasta, but I can’t justify eating a pile of boiled wheat shapes topped with tomato sauce. While a really good Italian-style tomato sauce is absolutely delicious, it’s not as nutritionally rounded as I like my meals to be. With Kaylie out of town (she’s in Alaska eating canned vegetables, ha-ha), I am finding it difficult to put the time and effort into creating meals that I’d like to; I usually tend to eat something really healthy and nutritious, but not very interesting or tasty. Luckily, I’ve managed to convince friends to come over every day or two so I can force myself to make something that’s healthy and delicious. I made this pasta sauce yesterday afternoon and it turned out really beautifully.

1/2 onion, red or white, diced
1 – 2 tbsp cooking oil
3 cloves garlic, roasted (I roast mine in the toaster oven for 10min)
2 cups greens – I used endive and arugula from the garden
Handful fresh oregano, or fresh or dried spices to taste (basil would be nice in place of oregano)
Handful sundried tomatoes
1/3 cup walnuts or other nuts/seeds
3 tbsp nutritional yeast
1/2 – 1 tsp each onion and garlic powder
1/2 cup water
1 can crushed tomatoes, or 8 roma or campari tomatoes, roasted 40min and crushed
Salt and pepper, to taste

In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, warm the oil, then add the onions and sauté until softened. While you’re doing that, combine all of the other ingredients in a food processor. If your food processor is smaller than huge, you may want to add the liquids slowly after your other ingredients have been processed a bit. Pulse until smooth. The colour should be a brownish-orange, from the combination of the greens and tomatoes.

Once the onions have softened, add the contents of your food processor to the saucepan and bring to a low boil. Turn the heat down and simmer. Prepare your pasta once your sauce is on simmer. The longer it simmers, the more delicious it will be. Feel free to augment by adding additional vegetables or other ingredients.

Pierogies

cheese and bacon perogies with fried onions and coconut bacon bits with salad

I had never made pierogies before and gracefully accepted the challenge of making them. If I might say so, they were a hit for brunch so here is the recipe. I hope you make to many so that you will have to freeze them and have a stockpile for when you desperately need some flavour in your face.

Here’s a basic pierogie dough recipe that I found off of the interwebs! Click on the link to see the proper making instructions with pictures!

2 C White Flour

1/2 Tsp Salt

1/4 C Soy Margarine

3 Tbsp Water

For the method, check http://hellyeahitsvegan.com/?p=768 – they’ve got pictures! But just in case that site goes down, here are the steps:

To prepare the dough, sift together the flour and salt.

Cut in the margarine with a pastry blender or two knives. Add water and mix well. If more water is needed, add a tablespoon at a time, until the dough comes together in a ball. You don’t want it to be too wet.

Dust a clean surface with flour, and knead dough for 10 minutes. Place in an oiled, covered bowl in refrigerator for half an hour.

Prepare your filling.

Remove dough from refrigerator; divide into thirds. Roll each section into a ball. On a lightly-floured surface, roll one ball of dough out until it’s about 1/8? thick.

With a round cookie cutter or a glass, cut into 2½-3? circles of dough. (Keep the scraps–you can roll them out again later.)

Place a walnut-sized amount of filling in the center of each circle. Using your fingers and a small bowl of water, dampen the edges of the dough and fold dough in half, enclosing the filling.

Pinch edges with your fingers or a fork to seal.

Here’s the filling that I constructed to go inside of my pierogies

6 small yukon gold potatoes (about 4 cups diced)

2 cloves garlic minced

1 green onion finely sliced into rings

1 tsp Paprika

1/4 C Daiya (white or yellow)

2 Tbs Soy Margarine

1/2 C Nutritional Yeast

– Dice and boil the potatoes until they are soft enough to mash.

– Mash the potatoes together with all of the rest of the ingredients.

– Add about 1 Tbsp of filling to each pierogie.

 

When your pierogies have been completely folded and assembled make sure to let them cool in the fridge or freezer. After about an hour of cooling you must steam each pierogie in a medium saucepan or steamer for approximately 3 minutes. After this step I choose to pan-fry them in very hot oil to get a crispy crust on the outside.

Spinach Parathas

These are the easiest thing EVER. My friend Satjeet made cauliflower ones for the Indian brunch we had, and I was amazed by how easy they were. Parathas are stuffed Indian flatbreads – like roti, but with vegetables and spices and yumminess. Inspired by Satjeet, I made some of my own. I used Manjula’s video to help with the process, so maybe you want to, too!

spinach parathas

This is a really unglamourous photo, but I was drinking wine while I made them, so I hope you will forgive me. My whole world was blurry, in fact, not just this photo.

Spinach Parathas

1 cup flour (white, whole wheat, or a mix)
1/2 cup water

For the filling:
1 bunch fresh spinach
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro
1/2 white onion, sliced into thin rounds
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 tsp ground cumin
Salt, to taste

Oil, for brushing

Mix the flour and water together until it forms a soft dough. Knead the dough on a lightly oiled or floured surface; oil your hands so the dough doesn’t stick. Knead it until it’s soft and pliable – a few minutes. Return to the bowl and cover with a cloth; let it rest for ten minutes.

Shred the spinach and cilantro, and mix with the rest of the filling ingredients. You can get creative here – add whatever you want – or keep it simple. You could add mashed potato, cauliflower, ginger, whatever. Be liberal with your salt. Throw it all in a frying pan on medium-low heat; your goal is to cook as much of the water out of the spinach as possible. Wilt it and let it steam a bit, then remove it into a metal strainer or colander with small holes and use the back of a wooden spoon to press all the liquid out. Be merciless! The more water you press out of the filling, the better your parathas will be.

Now, you should have roughly similar volumes of dough and filling. Split the dough into 6 evenly sized balls; it works best to split it in half, then in three. Roll each chunk of dough into a ball on a floured surface.

Now, flouring your surface as you go, take one of the dough balls and roll it out so it’s a bit bigger than the palm of your hand (assuming you have average-sized hands). Spoon about a sixth of the filling in – again, it should be roughly the same volume as your dough ball. Pull the sides of the dough up and pinch it closed like a dumpling, or, like, a handkerchief in which you have enclosed marbles. Make sure it’s sealed and set aside.

Repeat for all 6 dough balls. It’s best if the balls sit for a few minutes.

Heat a non-stick frying pan up on medium-high. You want the pan to be hot before you use it. Roll one of the filled balls out until it’s as flat as you are prepared to make it – if filling spills out the edges, it was probably a bit wet, but no loss. Dry-fry it until the edges start to change colour, then flip it. Brush the cooked side with oil, and when the bottom is done, flip again, let it cook a bit with the oil on, then remove to a plate covered in paper towel or non-paper towel.

Repeat this with all 6 parathas. You can roll the next one out while the first one is cooking, and so on. It’s a very fast process once you get going.

These are best eaten hot, spread with Earth Balance or dipped in chutney or homous. We used them as “buns” for some masala veggie burgers we got at TJ’s in San Francisco – super delicious.

masala burgers on spinach parathas with watercress and cilantro chutney marinated onions and butter mushrooms - and curry fries

Green Arugula Potato Leek Soup!

Well, it’s March 17th, which means a) an excuse to celebrate and b) an excuse to make everything green. My first challenge of the day was to make arugula soup. It turned out pretty beautifully – and, of course, green.

green soup

Arugula Potato Leek Soup

1 red onion, diced
1 leek, white parts chopped
1 – 2 cloves garlic, minced
2 potatoes, chopped
1 tsp dried tarragon
1 cube vegetable bouillon
2 cups boiling water
Arugula – I had about 3/4 of a tub of it – use lots
Salt, to taste

Saute the onion, leek, and garlic in oil or margarine over medium-low heat in a large pot until soft and fragrant. Add potatoes, tarragon, and the bouillon cube; turn the heat up to medium; stir and let the potatoes cook in the oil. Stir them regularly, cooking for about 10 minutes.

Add water and arugula; if you didn’t add boiling water, turn the temp up to bring to a boil then turn down to simmer. Stir and put a top on the pot. Let the arugula wilt for 6 – 10 minutes. Test the potatoes to make sure they’re done – just press a knife into one; it should slice easily, like butter or something else similarly sexy.

Once all that’s done, use a hand blender to cream it up. Salt to taste.

I didn’t add nutritional yeast but I’m sure that would be delicious. Also, for extra decadence, you could make this really creamy by adding unsweetened, unflavoured almond/soy/whatever milk or even coconut milk. Just add it after the creaming stage, mix, and let the soup simmer for a bit.

Trio of Root Vegetable Ravioli with a Duo of Tapenades, Mushroom Cream, and Arugula Tossed in Black Truffle Oil with Red and Golden Beets and Thinly-Sliced Radish

Over the weekend, Kaylie and I participated in Social Bites, a local Vancouver foodie community event pioneered by one very creative and engaging German. (I also posted about it before it happened.) Anyway, it went pretty well – it was a tight race, between us, The Vegan Project, Julie Beyer, and non-vegan winning chef and Kiwi Michael Robertson. We won second-place, though not by much. At the request of a few of our guests and co-competitors, here are the recipes.

I wish I had better photos of the food, but I’m hoping to snag some off of Hilary. It’s not necessarily about how it looks, though it was beautiful.

Root Vegetable Ravioli

I chose to use three different root vegetables – turnip, yam, and celeriac.

1 celery root (celeriac)
2 small turnips
2 small yams
1/2 fennel root
1/2 lemon
1/2 beet
1/2 carrot
Handful spinach
1 tbsp maple syrup
Olive oil
Salt & pepper

I used the same pasta recipe I’ve used in the past, but this time I split the dry ingredients into three equal parts so that I could use three different liquids. Splitting the recipe into thirds meant that for each third of the dry ingredients I needed 55mL of liquid. I wanted red, orange, and green ravioli to match my ingredients. I boiled the water, and while it was boiling, grated half a beet, half a carrot, and grabbed a handful of spinach. I measured 55mL of water and poured it over the grated beets in one bowl, then did the same with the carrot in another bowl. I let the water steep for a good half-hour, then squeezed the rest of the colour out of the grated veg. For the spinach-water, I blended it up to ensure that the colour would be bold. I then mixed together three different small batches of dough, kneaded them, rolled them out, and then wrapped them in plastic wrap so they wouldn’t dry out.

For the fillings, I cut two turnips, one celery root, and two small yams in half and placed them cut-side down on an oiled baking pan. I roasted them for 40 minutes, then removed the yam and added about 1/3 of a fennel root, and roasted for another 10 minutes, at which point I removed the turnip. The celeriac needed a bit more time, and I left the fennel in there until it was caramelized. You can judge this based on how soft your root vegetables are. Obviously, you should roast your vegetables while you make your pasta dough.

Once they were roasted I carved them out with a spoon and mashed each individual vegetable in its own bowl. (So many bowls!) To the yam, I added olive oil, salt, and pepper. To the turnip, I added chopped roasted fennel, maple syrup, salt, pepper, and olive oil. To the celeriac, I added fresh lemon juice, oil, salt, and pepper.

At this point I had to make the ravioli. I’ve already written a guide on how to do this, so follow it there.

After I had made the ravioli, I froze them in layers separated by parchment paper, and cooked them the next day by boiling them until they floated (about three minutes) and then lightly panfrying them in a lightly oiled pan.

Mushroom Cream

This was the element of the meal that people commented on most. It was super easy!

1/4 cup raw cashews
2 – 4 shallots, depending on size
10 – 15 button mushrooms, brown and/or white (I used both)
1 cube veg or mushroom bouillon
1/2 tsp rosemary powder
Pepper

Blend up the cashews with about an equal amount of water until it resembles a creamy paste.

Peel and slice the shallots. Saute in oil in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat until soft. Add mushrooms, chopped into small cubes. Add bouillon cube. Let it saute until mushrooms are soft and release their liquid. Add rosemary and pepper and continue sauteeing. Once the mushrooms have released all of their liquid (ten minutes?), add the contents of the saucepan to your cashew mixture in the blender, and blend until creamy – this might take a while and you might need to shake it up or spatula it a bit.

Once it’s blended, return it to the saucepan and keep it warm on low heat until ready to serve.

Duo of Tapenades

“Tapenade” is an olive spread that often contains anchovies, so watch out if you ever buy it in the store. Luckily, it is very easy to make.

Kalamata and Caper Tapenade

15 – 20 kalamata olives, pitted
1 – 2 tbsp capers, drained
Salt and pepper

If your kalamata olives come packed in oil, use that to lubricate your tapenade. If not, use olive oil. If you can’t find pitted olives, get ready to get your hands dirty. Pitting them is not hard but it is time consuming. Blend all ingredients together using a blender of some kind. Taste and adjust. Remember that the flavours will mingle the longer it sits.

Mixed Olive and Roasted Tomato Tapenade

5 – 7 black olives, pitted
5 – 7 green olives, pitted
5 – 7 kalamata olives, pitted
3 campari tomatoes or 5 cherry tomatoes
Olive oil
Salt & pepper
1 tbsp Lemon juice or apple cider vinegar (sparing)

Roast them tomatoes! Toss them in a small amount of olive oil and salt & pepper them, then throw them in the oven at 350 for about ten minutes. Keep an eye – you want them to pop, but not burn. Chop up all your olives, and then chop the tomatoes too when they come out. They will be messy. Mix everything together and add lemon juice or salt & pepper, plus a dash more oil if you can – I like to use the oil that the olives come packed in. Let it sit in the fridge for a little while so the flavours will settle before you use it.

I presented the dish by swiping a bit of the kalamata and caper tapenade on the plate, then placing one ravioli of each colour on top. I then added a spoonful of the chopped tapenade and a generous drizzle of mushroom cream on top of the ravioli. On the side, we put a handful of arugula that had been tossed in black truffle olive oil, garnished with a slice each of red and golden beet (that we had boiled and cooled) and thinly sliced radish.