Category Archives: Lunch

Fresh Baked Whole Wheat Bread and White Bean (Tuna?) Salad

So I’d been meaning to experiment with making a tuna-like salad with white beans for a while. I finally bought a can of beans and tried it out yesterday – and it didn’t exactly work, but it tasted wonderful anyway. I made a white bean salad sandwich on pieces of whole wheat bread that I made myself on Thursday and holy macaroni, it was delicious – and messy! Here are the recipes.

white bean salad on whole wheat bread with avocado tomato greens and mustard

White Bean Salad

1 can white beans (I used canneli-something), drained and rinsed
1/4 red onion, diced
1 – 2 tbsp vegan mayo
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp dried dill (I used fenugreek, as usual, but dill would be better)
1 tsp kelp powder (or not, since it didn’t taste like tuna salad anyway and this is for “fishiness”
Salt, to taste and pepper, lots

Mix together. Partially mash the beans so some are whole and some are mushed. The longer you let it sit the more flavourful it will be. Keeps in the fridge for a week or so.

I made this bread based on a recipe in La Dolce Vegan. I altered it a bit, though, so here it is.

Whole Wheat Baguette

1 packet active yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1 tbsp sugar or other sweetener

Mix together vigorously in a large bowl and let sit for 10 minutes.

Add:

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/4 cup warm water
2.5 tsp salt

Mix together, and then add

3 more cups of flour

one at a time. I used one cup white flour and the rest whole wheat so my bread was about 75% whole wheat. Mix until incorporated, then roll it out on a lightly floured, dry surface and knead it til it’s smooth and elastic. Add more flour as needed to keep it from sticking to your hands.

Clean your bread bowl and put a little bit of oil in it. Roll the dough in the oil so it’s covered, then cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and place it in a non-drafty, warm spot for an hour and a half to rise.

Once it’s risen, preheat the oven to 450F. Remove the dough from the bowl and punch the air bubbles out of it. Dust the dough with flour, then shape into a baguette on a baking sheet. Cut four or five slashes across the top, then press sesame seeds into the top.

Bake for 20 minutes or until a knife or toothpick comes out clean when inserted. Let cool before cutting.

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.

Vegan Chicken Salad Sandwiches

chicken salad sandwich

Yeah, just eating a delicious vegan “chicken” salad sandwich for lunch, no big deal. I’m actually eating this very sandwich as I write! That is how fast/bored I am today. Do you want to make your very own vegan chicken salad? I dare you! Do it! Then eat it on a sammich with lettuce, red onion, and tomato, just like me!

This recipe makes enough for a couple of stacked sandwiches. Double the recipe for double the salad. Duh.

Tofu “Chicken” Salad

1/2 block firm tofu, pressed, and cut into li’l cubes
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp mustard (go for the dijon)
1 tbsp total chicken spices – try marjoram, sage, rosemary – I like dill
Salt & Pepper

Toss your tofu cubes in the rest of the ingredients listed. Now that the tofu is marinating, preheat your oven to 250 F.
Spread your tofu out on a baking pan (make sure nothing’s piled up or touching) and bake 10 minutes. Take it out, toss it, put it back in for another 7 minutes. Repeat this process once more. You’re trying to get a golden finish on most edges of the tofu.
You could probably also fry it if you wanted to save time but I bake it.

In a small bowl, combine:
1/4 cup vegan mayonnaise (I prefer Vegenaise – in a pinch, use silken tofu)
1 stick celery, chopped
1 – 2 dill pickles, diced
1 – 2 tbsp capers (optional)
1 tbsp dill pickle juice or caper juice from the jar
1 – 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
Salt & pepper

Add the tofu to this mixture and toss it together. Let it sit, covered, in the fridge until you’re ready to use it.

Tempeh and Soy Chorizo Empanadas (Tempeh-Nadas)

tempeh and soy chorizo empanadas with green chile sauce

We based this off of a VegNews recipe that I ripped out of a newspaper I found in Portland, OR on my bike trip in April. [Here’s the story online.] We made the dough as the recipe instructed but we made our own filling. This recipe takes about an hour but you can make many at a time and refrigerate or freeze them.

Dough

2 cups unbleached white flour (plus some for rolling)
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup cold water
1 1/2 tbsp margarine at room temperature (we like Earth Balance)

Mix 2 cups flour, salt, and cold water in a bowl until a firm dough forms. Roll the dough up into a ball, wrap it in plastic, and refrigerate it for 20 minutes.

Prepare a cutting board (or your counter) by dusting it with flour; dust a rolling pin (or a long bottle) with flour. Lay the dough out and roll it until it’s less than a cm thick. Slather it with margarine; tuck the edges in to the center to cover up the margarined bits and re-roll out. Slather again; fold; roll again. Repeat this 2 – 3 times to incorporate the margarine. Roll the dough up again, wrap it in plastic (use the same plastic! Save the planet!), and refrigerate it for 20 minutes.

Now, prepare your filling.

Tempeh Filling

1/2 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 mushrooms (white button or crimini), diced
1 tbsp vegetable oil

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onions; sauté one minute. Add garlic. Add mushrooms. Sauté until soft. Add:

1 tsp cumin
Dash cayenne

Toss the spices around with the onion, garlic, and mushrooms for a minute before adding:

1/2 cup tempeh, crumbled
2 tbsp Braggs or soy sauce (use less soy sauce than you would Braggs – 1 tbsp should do)

Toss to coat. Sauté until tempeh has browned. Then, add:

1 – 2 tomatillos, diced
1/4 tomato (roma or vine size, not beefsteak), diced

Mix well and turn your heat down. Now your filling is ready. Alternately, instead of tempeh, use crumbled (or previously-frozen and crumbled) tofu, ground TVP, or some other meatlike product. If you want to get creative you can mix your spices up. If you don’t have access to tomatillos, try using just tomato. To add some spice try adding chopped green chilies or chopped jalapenos. Or, you can use the VegNews filling recipe.

Pull the dough out of the fridge and roll it out on a floured surface until it’s very thin – really, as thin as you can make it. Cut circles out using a pint glass or a large circle cookie cutter. If you hate circles you could try squares, or even star shapes. This is like making ravioli.

Put a teaspoonful or two of filling on each piece of dough and fold it over. Press it closed with your fingers and then crimp the edges with a fork.

Frying your Tempeh-Nadas

Either use a deep fryer, or, if you’re like us, use a small skillet. Add enough oil that the bottom of the skillet is coated and turn it up to medium-high. When the oil is hot (you can test it by throwing something in and seeing if bubbles immediately rise around it and it begins to cook – try a leftover chunk of dough or tempeh) you are ready to cook.

Prepare a plate or cookie tray beside the stove with layers of cheesecloth or paper towel or a teatowel you don’t mind washing in very hot water afterward. Cook your empanadas in small batches, on each side until they are golden-brown. Let the oil drain off afterward. Let the oil in the pan heat up sufficiently between batches, or you will have very oily empanadas and a pimply mouth which is always very uncomfortable in social situations.

Eat with green chile sauce, hot sauce, or without any dipping sauce at all.

(This post was written by Malloreigh but the recipe is Kaylie’s. She dictated it to me while she worked.)

Vegan Country Mushroom Soup

I just sent this recipe to Britt because she wants to make it this evening – it’s a classic that I use pretty often. It’s one of my favourite comfort foods. Because I couldn’t get Kaylie’s chilled tomato, garlic, and basil soup recipe yesterday for Meike, I thought I’d put this one up. No photo, sorry!

1 onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 – 2 carrots, diced

saute these items in vegetable oil until soft. add spices:

2 bay leaves
1 tsp marjoram
1 tsp sage
2 tsp rosemary
salt and pepper
(add more spices if you want, or use different spices.)

add 1/4 cup nutritional yeast if you have it. toss this around with the hot onions etc. for a minute. add:

as many mushrooms as you have, chopped – at least 2 cups! for best results, use a few different types of mushrooms. white, brown, oyster, shiitake… go crazy. you could probably use rehydrated dried mushrooms too, though i’ve never tried that.

add some margarine here for extra flavour if you want (you do – it’ll melt into the mushrooms and OMG). toss and saute the mushrooms until soft. add:

2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup unsweetened, unflavoured milk – almond, coconut – not rice, it’s too watery!

bring to a boil and then down to a simmer. put a lid on and let this simmer for some time until it has reduced. to speed up this process you can thicken it with flour.
taste your soup and see if it’s flavourful enough. if not, add more flavour! miso might work too!

at the end, i recommend using a hand blender to get rid of some of the chunks. the longer it simmers the better it tastes. serve with thick grainy bread.

Vegan Pupusas Filled With Black Beans, Faux Chicken, and Daiya

Pupusas are a traditional El Salvadorean stuffed masa flatbread dish. You basically make a masa mixture , roll it into a ball, flatten and pan fry.

black bean, "chicken", and daiya pupusas with fresh salsa, avocado and cabbage

I usually stuff mine with: Daiya, blackbeans, mushrooms, onions and “chicken”.  Served with curtido, a cabbage relish, homemade salsa and avocado, this dish is perfect for a quick summer meal!

Enough people commented asking for the recipe so here it is.

Vegan Pupusas

You can purchase prepared masa but it often has animal lard in it, so we make our own. You can buy masa harina or masa flour, which is traditional corn flour used in many Mexican and Central American dishes. To make the dough, you combine masa flour with liquid – 1 unit flour to 1/2 unit liquid. Here’s how we made our masa dough:

Masa Dough

1 cup masa harina
1/2 cup vegetable broth
Spices – we used chopped canned green chilies, salt, pepper, and a touch of soy sauce.

Most recipes call for vegetable shortening or margarine, but we didn’t use any. I’m sure that would taste really good but to lower the fat content of your masa, remember that you can just leave it out. Your masa dough should be easily workable, not sticky nor floury. Add more flour or liquid if necessary. You should easily be able to work it with your hands.

There are lots of other masa dough recipes online – here’s another one. Keep in mind that you don’t need much if you’re just making a small meal, but masa freezes really well and can be used anytime for a number of dishes.

Filling

I used black beans, fake chicken and Daiya vegan cheese. We got the fake chicken from T&T Supermarket, a local Asian grocer that carries vegetarian meat products. You could also use prepared TVP or any other faux meat, tofu, or tempeh. I used cheddar flavour Daiya. For other ideas for fillings, check out this VeganCooking post.

Black Beans
1/2 can black beans
1/2 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp vegetable oil
Spices – cumin, chipotle or whatever you have on hand

Heat the oil in a small saucepan or skillet on medium heat. Add onion and garlic; saute in oil until soft. Add beans and spices. Stir often over medium heat until the beans are soft and have absorbed the flavours.

To make pupusas, roll a ball of masa about the size of your palm or smaller. Make a well in the ball by pressing your thumb into it; put a spoonful of filling in. Close the ball and then flatten it.

I lightly pan-fried the pupusas, but I’ve seen them deep-fried as well. As soon as your masa dough turns golden on both sides you are ready to eat them.

Serve topped with salsa, fresh avocado, cabbage, or whatever you like.

Best Vegan Cheese for Vegan Macaroni and Cheese

vegan mac and "cheese" with tempeh sausage

I’ve been making vegan mac’n’cheese for years. It’s always been my choice of comfort food, and of course, it’s pretty hard to go out and buy a vegan mac’n’cheese. (I’ve had it at a few restaurants, too, and it’s never as good as mine.)

I’ve tried lots of different “cheeses” over the years, but my favourite for this dish remains Cheddar VeganRella. It gets so super melty and lends a lot of cheddar flavour to the casserole. VeganRella is gross when it’s unmelted, and on pizza it tends to stick to the back of my teeth, but for mac’n’cheese it’s excellent.

What do you think? Do you have any vegan cheeses that you prefer?

Click through for the recipe: Continue reading

grilled green onions with soy sauce

This was so simple. Kaylie quickly marinated (more like “tossed”) whole green onions in soy sauce, and then we grilled them – straight on the barbecue, though it’d work just as well wrapped in tinfoil, if your grill is saturated with meat or something. We served them with grilled mango slices – the mango was slightly less than ripe, which helped it hold together without too much loss of juice. This is a great side for your summery grilled meal.