About Me and This Blog

I've been a vegetarian for almost six years now. For the first four years, I was a pescetarian (I ate fish). These days, I lean towards veganism and am very passionate about animal rights and welfare. Before going veg, I ate A LOT of meat. In fact, I had a bumper sticker on my first car that read "If we're not supposed to eat animals, then why do they taste so good?" Yeah, I was that person. I loved cooking meat, now I love cooking vegetarian EVEN MORE.

I post a lot of stories about animals and veggie food on facebook, and friends started asking me for recipes and more information on how to be a healthy vegetarian. This blog is my answer to those questions. Most if not all of the recipes can be made vegan by omitting cheese or subbing with vegan "cheese". Email me anytime.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Pasta with oven-roasted squash, capers and garlic

Another Goodveg recipe! Such a good site/resource for delicious veg recipes :)  This one can be found here.  http://goodveg.squidoo.com/recipes/entrees/macaroni-with-oven-roasted-squash-capers-and-garlic  All credit to them!

Changes I made -  added a whole chopped tomato towards the end at the same time as the capers. 
Also, we didn't have macaroni, so I think I used rotini.  And I couldn't find pattypan squash, so I think I just doubled up the zucchini (I had been looking for a recipe to use a bunch) or another type of squash. 

Result: delicious.  Sorry I don't have a photo at the moment but I made this back in August or September. Will add a picture next time I make it...and there will be a next time!

2 large zucchini and 3 medium pattypan squash – sliced into ¼ inch slices, lengthwise, using a mandolin. (You should have long ribbons)
2 large cloves of garlic – minced (I probably used three)
1 small bunch of curly parsley – no stems – finely chopped
1 small bunch of fresh oregano – leaves only – roughly chopped
Handful of fresh chives – finely minced
½ cup Parmesan cheese – freshly grated
4 Tbsp capers in brine – drained
16 oz pasta– uncooked
Olive oil
Red chili flakes
Pasta water

Slice squash into ¼ inch long ribbons using a mandolin. Line a sheet pan with foil, and coat foil with olive oil. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Mix a few of your favorite spices in a mortar and pestle, or use a pre-made spice mix. Mine had dill weed, paprika, coarse salt, pepper, and Teriyaki seasoning. (from original recipe - I used traditional italian seasonings in mine!)
Lay slices on sheet pan close together – don’t overlap or they will steam, not roast. Brush with more olive oil, sprinkle with seasoning mix, and roast for 20 minutes. Check them after 15 minutes, the slices should be translucent and slightly toasted. Take slices off pan to a plate, and repeat.
Put a pot of salted water on to boil. Take roasted zucchini and chop into 1 inch pieces…until you have about 3 cups. Chop the herbs and garlic.
Just before macaroni is cooked, remove approximately 1 cup of water from the pot, and set aside.
Drain the pasta, and in the same pot, add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pot. Turn heat off. Add garlic, and red pepper flakes and stir for a minute. Add the capers (tomatoes if using), and the fresh herbs, and stir for 30 seconds. Add ½ the pasta water, and return the macaroni to the pot. Add the roasted zucchini, the Parmesan cheese, and the remaining pasta water, and stir until combined. Serve immediately.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Creamy cauliflower soup with wild rice

Well, I am getting worse and worse at this posting business! And I really have no excuse since I've been making all sorts of new recipes, I've just been forgetting to take pictures and post.  Here's a soup that I stumbled across and was so good, I've now made it three times. It is EXCELLENT warmed up the next day with a bit of water to loosen it up.  Feeding it to baby for lunch!  All credit to Cathy Burrell and this link: http://goodveg.squidoo.com/recipes/soups-stews/cauliflower-soup-with-wild-rice

Changes I made in brackets.

1 Tbsp butter (or margarine)
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 large leeks – thinly sliced-white part only – about 2 cups
2 cloves garlic – minced
4 cups cauliflower florets (I use one large head)
1 ½ cups yams (I use two decent sized yams)
1 ½ tsp curry powder
1 tsp ground cumin
4 cups vegetable broth – low sodium (I like half veggie, half chicken-flavoured veggie broth)
1 can (14 oz) 2% evaporated milk
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup cooked brown/wild rice mix (I used straight wild rice, and closer to 1.5-2 cups cooked)
2 oz Emmental cheese (optional, I've never added cheese and really don't think this needs it)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Wash and cut cauliflower and yams into 2-inch pieces. (Leave the peel on the yams…more flavor!) Place the vegetables on a foil lined baking tray, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 30 minutes.
While the vegetables are roasting, you can start the soup. Place a large stockpot over medium heat and add the butter, olive oil, leeks and garlic. Stir for a minute and reduce heat to medium low. The leeks should slowly soften and slightly brown.
Stir every 10 minutes or so, until the roasted vegetables are out of the oven.
Cut the roasted vegetables in slightly smaller pieces and add to the leeks.
Add the broth, salt, pepper, curry and cumin powders and bring to a boil.
Turn off heat, add cooked rice, evaporated milk, and cheese (if using). Stir until the cheese is melted. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve hot.

Perfect for fall/winter!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Kale and Pinto Bean Enchiladas

I made this last night and it was fabulous! I made a few changes and subsitutions but the original recipe is here if you want to see it: http://cheese.about.com/od/maindishes/r/veg_enchiladas.htm

2 zucchinis, grated (Seemed like a lot but it really wilted down after the water came off and I think really contributed to the moistness of this dish)
1 large bunch kale, roughly chopped
2 eight ounce cans of pinto beans, drained but not rinsed (or soak and cook your own!)
3 cups enchilada sauce (recipe follows)
18 small corn or flour tortillas OR I used 6 large tomato-flavored flour tortillas
2 1/2 cups grated monterey jack cheese (I only had about two cups of mozza and it worked FINE. Honestly, this recipe would be great without cheese altogether. Viva la vegan!)

Preheat oven to 350.  In a saucepan over medium heat, fry tortillas in a drizzle of oil for 10-15 seconds on each side. Set tortillas aside on paper towels.
In the same saucepan, add a bit of oil and saute zucchini until lightly browned. Add kale and saute until just soft. Salt to taste.
Spoon small amount of enchilada sauce around the bottom of a 9x11 pan (just to coat) and cover with 6 (or 2 large) tortillas. Cover the tortillas with half of the vegetable mixture, 1 can of beans, 1 cup grated cheese and 1 cup of sauce. Cover this layer with 6 (or two large) more tortillas then the remaining vegetables and beans, 1 cup of sauce and 1 cup of cheese. Finish with another layer of tortillas, 1 cup of sauce and the remaining cheese.
Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Take off the foil and bake another 5 minutes. Let the enchiladas set 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with items such as fresh avocados (or guacamole),  fresh tomatoes, and cilantro.

Enchilada Sauce
This was the first time I'd made this and I can't believe how easy and good it was!
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon minced onion
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried parsley (I was out so I omitted)
1/4 cup salsa (didn't have any so substituted half a finely diced tomato and about the same amount of finely diced onion)
1 (6 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups water
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the onion, oregano, chili powder, basil, ground black pepper, salt, cumin, parsley, salsa and tomato sauce. Mix together and then stir in the water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.   It made the perfect amount for the enchiladas.


              

Monday, July 23, 2012

Broccoli Pie

A friend posted this on facebook and it looked so good, I had to make it (plus I had some phyllo in the freezer leftover from the last time I made spanakopita). Also, I really love broccoli.  I'm not sure where the recipe came from so please don't sue me if it's yours, but I also made a few changes that shouldn't change the end result.
8 phyllo- pastry leaves
1 bunch fresh broccoli (2 lb)
Boiling water
¼ c butter or margarine
½ c finely chopped onion
3 eggs or egg replacer
½ lb feta cheese, crumbled
¼ c chopped parsley
2 Tlbsp chopped fresh dill
½ tsp salt
Dash  pepper
½ c butter or margarine, melted

Preheat oven 350F. Remove pastry leaves from freezer. Let pastry leaves warm to room temperature according to directions on label. Wash broccoli; trim leaves and stem ends; discard. Split heavy stalks. With sharp knife, coarsely chop stems and flowerets.

Turn broccoli into large skillet; add ½ c boiling water. Cook over medium heat; covered, 5 minutes. Drain well.  In ¼ c hot butter or margarine in large skillet, sauté chopped onion until it is golden- about 3 minutes. Add chopped broccoli; sauté 1 minute, stirring. Remove from heat.

In large bowl, beat eggs slightly. Add feta cheese, chopped parsley and dill, salt, pepper and broccoli mixture (I poured the egg/feta/parsley and dill mixture back into the skillet with the broccoli and onions and mixed well); mix well. Line inside of a 9-inch spring form pan, with rim in place, with 6 phyllo pastry leaves, overlapping edges; brush each pastry leaf with melted butter before placing into pan.

Pour filling into prepared pan. Fold overlapping edges of pastry leaves over top of filling. With scissors, cut four (9-inch) circles from remaining phyllo leaves (for guide, use 9-inch cake pan). Brush each circle with melted butter; then layer one over the other on top of pie. (I put circles onto top then folded the edges over, making a really flaky looking top)

Pour any remaining butter overtop. Bake 40 to 45 minutes, or until crust is puffy and golden brown (Only took 35 minutes in our oven). Remove to rack; cool 10 minutes.

To serve: Remove side of pan; with sharp knife, cut into wedges; remove with pie server. Serve warm. (I thought it was also pretty good cold!)

NOTE: ½ lb= 250 grams
Substitute 2 Tlbsp fresh dill with 2 tsp dried dill (I used 7 of those frozen cubes of dill you can buy in the supermarket - I find these are most useful when you want fresh herbs but they always go bad before you have a chance to use them all)


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Broccoli Salad and PUMPKIN SEEDS!

I discovered pumpkin seeds about a month after I gave birth - I bled for nearly 8 weeks after Nova arrived and I was looking for a way to ingest more iron without using supplements, which have a seriously.....uh....blocking effect on my digestion.  Enter pumpkin seeds, my new favourite super food. Not only are they delicious and a small handful quells hunger pains, they are chock FULL of protein, iron and good fats - you can check the nutritional info if you like, or you can take my word for it :) 

Anyway, I've been putting them on and in everything lately (try them in oatmeal) and my new favourite salad is one I got from my mom - a delicious broccoli salad.

Salad

6 cups broccoli, cut into one inch pieces (this takes time, no joke)
half a red onion, chopped finely
2 cups cheddar cheese, grated (or vegan equivalent)
pumpkin seeds (the shelled, roasted, salted variety) - I think I put in about half a cup but put in as many as you'd like.
Optional - dried cranberries, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, etc.

Dressing

1 cup mayonnaise or veganaise
2 tbsp vinegar (white or apple cider)
1-3 tsp sugar (to taste - I don't like sweet things myself and I will reduce the amount of sugar I use next time)

Mix dressing, toss with salad. Delicious.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Kale and Quinoa Pilaf

Another lapse between posts! Things are good around here, my little herb garden has already started sprouting, our RocketPrincess is growing like a weed and we are heading to Seattle this weekend to see some friends!  In an effort to shed the pregnancy weight, I've been trying to eat a little better (certainly better than I did during pregnancy...a lot of cake was eaten) and with a little one and the expenses that came with a baby, buying a home and being on maternity leave, we've done almost all our cooking here - no more take out for us! 

This recipe, believe it or not, was picked out last week because we had all the ingredients in-house and we wanted to use up some kale.  Well WOW.  It was unbelievably good - so much better than I expected. My personal thought is that the ginger is the key, but the whole thing was delicious, and well-rounded, nutrition-wise.  In fact, it was SO good that I soaked some beans last night and we're having this for dinner again tonight!

Can take no credit for this one - this is from Cooking Light :)

http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/kale-quinoa-pilaf-10000000226297/

2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup thinly sliced carrot
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon chili paste with garlic
1/2 teaspoon grated peeled fresh ginger
6 cups torn kale
2 cups cooked brown rice
1 cup cooked quinoa
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, bell pepper, and garlic; sauté 2 minutes. Add curry, chili paste, and ginger; sauté 1 minute. Add remaining ingredients; cook 3 minutes or until thoroughly heated, stirring occasionally. Serve at room temperature.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Quick update

Just a little update from those wondering if I'm alive :)  I'm alive and well, and we had a baby girl on February 24, 2012 that we named Nova!  Life is blissful but BUSY and unfortunately our girl arrived via emergency c-section, so recovery has been a bit slow and I'm not allowed to cook for 6 weeks! That has meant a fair amount of take out, food from friends, and cooking by daddy - which isn't too bad at all, but nothing terribly creative or involved.  I hope to be back at it soon and have a whole slew of recipes planned for when I'm back at it.

Happy spring!

Our baby girl :)