Category Archives: Sides

Chile Rellenos

tempeh and roasted acorn squash chile rellenos with daiya, cherry tomato and avocado salsa, pinto beans, julienned zucchini, purple potato chips

4 large Banana Peppers (or other large peppers)


1/4 block (about 1/4 cup) Tempeh, crumbled
1 small Yellow Onion, diced
6 White button Mushrooms, sliced
1/2 of an Acorn Squash, roasted until soft
4 cloves Garlic, minced
1 Cup Daiya

For The Batter:

1 Cup Pastry Flour
1 tsp Garlic Salt
shake of Cayenne
shake of Salt
1 Cup Beer or Soda Water


Sauté Onion & garlic until translucent and slightly browned. Add the sliced mushrooms, garlic, and crumbled tempeh, squash and continue to sauté until every thing is cooked throughly.

Roast the Banana peppers in the oven for about 7 minutes at 400 degrees. Once the banana peppers have had a chance to cool cut them vertically from top to bottom. Stuff your peppers with the filling and daiya just enough so no filling is coming out of the peppers. Seal the peppers shut by sticking toothpicks diagonally across the slit of the peppers piercing the flesh. Stick the peppers in the freezer and let freeze for at least an hour.

For the Batter:

Whisk the dry ingredients with the wet.


Heat a frying pan with a layer of vegetable oil. Take the toothpicks out of the peppers. Dip the peppers in the batter so that they are nicely coated and then fry making sure to rotate the pepper on all sides with tongs. Once the peppers are browned place them in the oven at 350 degrees for 5 minutes. Let cool and have a fiesta in your mouth.

Balsamic-Mustard-Garlic-Maple Syrup Salad Dressing

summer greens

As our Melbournian friend Laura would say: Look, this is my go-to salad dressing for dressing up simple greens, alright?

Salad Dressing in Vinaigrette Style

1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
1.5 tbsp olive oil (or another light veg oil, like grapeseed or avocado – NOT canola or safflower)
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp mustard (I prefer a creamy dijon; use anything but plain yellow)
1 tbsp maple syrup, agave nectar, or other liquid sweetener
1/8 tsp salt & pepper

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Taste it and adjust accordingly – want it sweeter? Add more sweetener. Too much oil? Add more vinegar. This recipe should easily make enough salad dressing for a big bowl of salad. It’ll keep indefinitely (thanks to the vinegar). Make sure to shake or stir before dressing your salad, to ensure your oil and liquids haven’t separated.

Most vinaigrette recipes use far more oil than vinegar. I usually do it the opposite way. Since balsamic is a thick and sweet vinegar, you can be a lot more liberal with it. Still, this is a very vinegary dressing. If you prefer your salad dressing a little less strongly flavoured, maybe try one tablespoon of balsamic rather than two, and adjust from there.

Salad Dressing in Creamy Style

You’re going to have to make a bigger recipe if you want to make a creamy dressing, but perhaps you can put it in a leftover bottle and keep it in the fridge. You’ll need a food processor. Depending on how big your food processor is, you may have to quadruple the recipe or more. You need to fill the processor to at least a couple centimeters so it will adequately spin.

Put all ingredients except for the oil in your food processor. Put the top on and start to spin it at high speed. Using the pouring spout, very slowly pour the oil in as the salad dressing spins. As the oil is incorporated, the dressing should become creamy and beautiful.

You could try doing this with a fork, if you are really ambitious.

Variations on a Theme

  • Add orange juice and leave out mustard for an orange-balsamic dressing.
  • Add fresh or defrosted raspberries to your orange dressing.
  • Leave out garlic for a sweeter dressing.
  • Leave out sweetener for a tangy dressing.

Now what?

Just in case you have trouble thinking up excellent salad combinations:

Delicious Salad Construction

Per person, prepare:
Handful spring greens, rinsed
4 cherry tomatoes, sliced down the centre
1/4 avocado, skin and pit removed, sliced
1/4 mandarin orange, sectioned; or 1/4 mango, cubed
1/4 cup cucumber, chopped
Sprinkling nuts, seeds, and dried fruit – I usually lightly toast some trail mix

Or try:
Handful spinach, stems removed, rinsed
Handful raspberries or sliced strawberries
1/4 cup smoked tofu, grated
Sprinkling poppy seeds or toasted chopped walnuts

Grated beet and cherry salad

veggie burgers on chive-red pepper biscuits with a corn and peach salad and grated beets

Alright so there’s been some requests for the burger recipe. I can’t really give it up yet because truthfully, I haven’t perfected it. I’ve been trying to use less and less binding agents, such as psyllium husks, and more of proper cooking technique, such as not over cooking the rice or quinoa so it absorbs more of the moisture. With that said, I will work diligently on my burger patty so that I can share the perfect recipe with you.

I hope as a consolation you will appreciate this next recipe because it is simple.

Cherry Beet Salad


12 Cherries

2 Tbs Apple Cider Vinegar

Handful Roasted almonds (chopped)

Pinch Salt (Sea Salt)

Pinch Pepper

Peel your beet. Don’t forget to use gloves if you don’t want purple hands, or maybe you do, I don’t judge. If you have a mandoline, use it to grate your beet as fine as you can. If not, use a grater. Place in a bowl.

Mix in pitted, halved cherries, salt, pepper, and vinegar. Let it marinate until ready to serve. Add almonds as a garnish.

I love beets and love to make simple side dishes with them. Trust me, there will be many more to come.

Parsley-scented Crostini with Baby Arugula, Smoked Tofu, Caramelized Pear and Fig, and Roasted Slivered Almonds

Mal's entry
Jen Clark photo
Using Jen’s photo for this because it’s much nicer than my own. This was my entry for our most recent vegan cookoff, which was pear-themed. I won! So I am here to share this lovely recipe with you. You can modify it in any way you like; I just found that this was a good combination of flavours. Click through for the recipe. Continue reading

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.

Banana Bread Elation

I’ve been working on this recipe for a few years now and I have finally perfected it!!! I would sell this amazing bread at my soccer games so that I could make a few extra bucks to buy groceries in this foreign Canadian landscape.

Here it is:

3 1/2 Cups White Flour
4 Bananas (soft/brown ones, peeled and mashed)
1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
1/2 cup Earth Balance
1/2 Cup Sugar
2 Tbsp Vanilla
5 Tbsp Maple Syrup
1 cup of Soy milk
1 1/2 Cup Chopped Walnuts

Preheat Oven to 350. In a small bowl, mix wet ingredients – Vanilla, 1 tbsp Maple, Bananas, SUGAR, dash of soy milk (or alternative) – together.

Mix dry ingredients in a separate bowl.

Mix wet and dry together.

You want the consistency to be thick, so don’t add things because you think it is too thick. It’s suppose to be thick!

Put in 2 greased bread pans and cook until you can stick a toothpick in the middle of the loaf and it comes out clean. Sometimes it takes up to 45 minutes to an hour! Be patient! It’s worth it.

Once it comes out put the remaining 4 tbps of maple syrup on top. Let cool! Enjoy.

Be creative with this recipe, add fruit, different kinds of nuts, lavender etc… If you add wet fruits don’t add any soy milk.

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.


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.)

Sunflower Paté

So last night I made eleven different sunflower patés in an effort to find the perfect combination of flavours. I can’t divulge yet which ones are the best – actually, I haven’t tried them all – but what I can do is give you the base recipe. This will give you a basic, delicious, creamy sunflower paté that’s perfect on crackers or sandwiches, and to which you can add any flavouring you like.

You will need a food processor or blender for this recipe!

Sunflower Pate Ingredients

1 small or 1/2 large onion, diced
1 stick celery, chopped
1 large or 2 small carrots, diced or grated
1 medium-sized potato, cubed
2 – 5 cloves garlic, to taste; use more if you roast it beforehand
1.5 tbsp olive oil
1 cup sunflower seeds, unsalted
1 tbsp soya sauce (or 2 tbsp Braggs)
1/4 cup nutritional yeast (optional)
1 cup vegetable stock (or one cube veg bouillon & 1 cup water)
Salt and pepper, to taste
Spices – marjoram, thyme, rosemary, bay

Preheat oven to 350F. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until nearly creamy. If your food processor is crappy like mine, you might want to soften your onion, carrot, and celery in a frying pan with a touch of oil or water first, and you could boil your potatoes for a couple of minutes.

Pour your sunflower mixture into a loaf pan and cook 40 – 60 minutes, or into muffin tins and cook 40 minutes. You’ll know your paté is ready when you shake the pan and the mixture doesn’t jiggle. If you overcook it a bit, no problem; you’ll just have a delicious crust on your paté.

Important: if you get salted sunflower seeds, omit soya sauce and salt, and probably nutritional yeast too. I recommend using unsalted sunflower seeds so you can control the flavour more.

Recommended Additions

– Roasted red pepper and roasted garlic (blend these in)
– Yam (blend this in)
– Mushrooms (diced & softened in a pan, and added after the blending stage)