Creamy Spinach Pasta

Country Stew with Dumplings

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I just came back from Vegetarian Heaven, aka San Francisco and boy I gotta tell you, Toronto is seriously lacking in the creative vegetarian department. 

On that note, I’d like to make a shout out to TBC Vegan Bakery and Hot Beans for keeping it real and helping to make the movement, but we’re going to have to pick up the pace if we ever want to be a veg friendly city. 

SF was also +20 every day, which made it a bit easier to leave the apartment and search around the city for vegan noms. So what do we do in -20 in Toronto? We make hearty meals and drink until it’s warm. 

Some call it a tradition, I call it living. 

This Country Stew with Dumplings is the perfect slow cooker meal for those frigid days when all you want to do is curl up into a pillow fort, turn on Seasons 1-3 of The Wire, and disappear until it’s possible to feel anything but cold. 

Make this because: even delivery pizza shows up cold when it’s minus 30. Truth.

INGREDIENTS:

DUMPLINGS

1/2 c, Flour

pinch cayenne 

pinch nutmeg

pinch sage (thyme if needed)

1/2 T, Butter

1/2 T, Baking Powder

1 Egg

1/4 Cup, buttermilk (or soy w white vinegar + more butter)

s&p

STEW

3 Cups, Broth 

1 Tbl, Tomato Paste

2 Tbl, Worcestershire Sauce (Vegan)

1 tsp, Marmite

1-2 Cups, Water (extra liquid if needed)

1 tsp, Chili powder

1 large Onion

1 piece, fresh rosemary

5 pieces, fresh thyme

3 cloves, garlic

1 T, Molasses

1-2 Tbl, Oil

1 T, Vegan Butter

1/2 Cup, TVP mince

S&P 

VEGGIES (Can be altered to your tastes)

3 Large Carrots

3 Large Potatoes

4-8 Radishes

2 Large Parsnips

2 Stalks, Celery

2 Cups, Beans of choice 

DIRECTIONS:

Toss chopped onion and oil into slow cooker with fresh herbs. 

Once the onions have been in for about ten mins, add in the all of your vegetables. You can pick and choose what you’d like to add here. The more the merrier. 

Mix around the fresh herbs  and add your butter, coating the veggies with the aroma of thyme and rosemary. In a separate bowl, thoroughly mix the broth, molasses, marmite, worcestershire sauce (vegan), tomato paste, chili powder, then add to slow cooker. At this point, everything should be added, minus the TVP. If you feel as though more water is needed, add 1-2 Cups (I also added another broth cube because, what the hey). 

At this point, I went to bed and eagerly anticipated the delicious stew for lunch the following day. 

Once I woke, the first thing I did was check my water levels, Was it too thick? It was a touch runny, but that is exactly what I needed for the final step: the TVP mince. I added my 1/2 cup and stirred it all together. 

Once everything is done, whip together your dumplings. 

For these, literally add all dry ingredients, stir, then add to wet ingredients. Form dough, then break into small balls and set on top of stew in oven safe bowl. 

Cook at 400˚ for 30 minutes until cooked and crispy. 

Serve with confidence under those blankets. Nobody will tell. 


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Til next time,
Dave.

Breakfast Pockets with Fried Bean Curd Pastry. 

Cauliflower Poutine


I’m sure we’ve all been there. 

It’s about 2:00am, you see the local Poutine shop, and tell yourself it’s the healthier option to pizza. 

And you’re probably not wrong. 

What about those days when you’re craving something naughty but don’t want the extra guilt. Potatoes can be heavy, gravy is a mystery, and, well, cheese and vegans don’t really mix. 

But I’ve concocted a new recipe, built on minimal ingredients, incredible flavour, and way less guilt. And here’s how I’ve done it:

- Replace Potatoes with Cauliflower (also, it takes half the time to cook)
- Make a simple Gluten Free Vegetable Gravy (Onions + Mushrooms!)
- Get a fancy, healthy cheese (or vegan alternative) and don’t go overboard.
 

Make this because: It’s a Cauliflower Poutine. Even if you don’t want it to be healthy, you want more poutine. Period.

*For my non-Canadian friends who were wondering, this is poutine

Okay, let’s do this. 

Ingredients  (Per Serving, Gravy makes for 1.5)

6 whole white Mushrooms, chopped
1/4 large, Red onion, Diced
1 t, Marmite
1 Cup, Water
1 cube, Broth (low sodium)
3 T, Vegan Margarine
2 very small cloves, Garlic
Cheese (Vegan Substitute)
1/4 Cauliflower
Grind or two of Pepper

DIRECTIONS:

Cut Cauliflower into long strips and steam!
Sauté Onion in Butter on low for 15 minutes.
Add mushrooms and continue cooking on low heat for another 10-15.
Add garlic in final few minutes.
Add broth cube (+ water), and marmite.

Now:

Stir, grind some pepper on top, and transfer to blender. 
Blend well until desired consistency is reached. For thicker sauce, add another mushroom or two (during blending is fine).

Return to stovetop and keep on a low boil, stirring occasionally. 


Meanwhile, remove cauliflower after it is soft (but still slightly firm), set nicely in a bowl on a leaf of Kale, layering your Cheese (or Vegan alternative), and then spoon on your boiling gravy.

Top with Chili Flakes and serve immediately.

I used all organic ingredients and this thing cost me next to nothing. I suggest you give it a try, and if you love it (read: when you love it), step it up and go the organic route. It’s so damn good. Promise. 

Green Earth Organics: A Review


I was very fortunate to find a $25 ‘online deal’ for $50 worth of products from Green Earth Organics, a shop that delivers organic products right to your door once every two weeks (or once a week if you’re as hungry as I am). 

The concept is simple: Pick the box size you want, and they’ll deliver it! Of course, you can always go freestyle and create your own box as well, but where’s the fun in that?

After signing up, I found out that there is a $20 “bin-deposit” for first time users, as well as a mysterious $10 charge for first time users… which means my first box ($47) would actually be $77…. Minus the $25 in savings I initially received and, yup, you guessed it: $52 ($5 more than the actual cost of the bin I ordered). 

Now, putting moola aside for a second.. we all know that organic fruits/veggies are the only way to go, so what really matters is the food itself. 

Here’s how I break it down:

1) Do I get $47 worth of food?

2) Does the produce come ripe, fresh, and usable

3) Am I satisfied with the selection

Here’s how they matched up…

1) The $47 box contained:
1 head of Lettuce
1 bush, Kale
1 Mango 
1 Green Pepper
3 carrots
2 potatoes
2 Beets
2 Yellow Onion
4 Bananas
2 Grapefruit
4 Oranges
4 Apples
4 Pears
 

I added up what i thought the value of these products were, and even when I was giving the benefit of the doubt and marking them pretty high, it came out to about $30 worth of Organic produce. Now, delivery and convenience do play a part in this, but I was underwhelmed. For almost $50, it could go either way. I know that I am getting local and organic produce, plus home delivery (so that deserves some credit), but was it worth $50? I say, almost. 

2) How is the quality?
With organic food, you have to be a bit less picky. You won’t get the “always the same size, colour” type veggies because they do not contain GMO’s, so I wasn’t shocked to find some bug bites and general wear and tear. But when your lettuce doesn’t have any usable leaves, your mango is squishy (I haven’t opened it yet), and your fruit is a bit over-ripe, you have a right to be disappointed. For a box that should be able to last two weeks, I don’t think this particular order would stand the test of time. 

3) The Selection
This kind of goes back to the cost, but I was bummed that there weren’t more vegetables. If I were using this box to provide me my meals for the, I would be dead in the water. Now, I’ve been known to get creative in the Kitchen from time to time, but this selection left me uninspired. 
*I’d like to point out that after checking back on the website, they do tell you what’s in the box before ordering (something I should have probably done), so i have to take fault for not doing my part. And that’s what these experiments are for! 
 

At the end of the day, home delivery boxes can be awesome but you have to understand that 1) Organic food costs more, 2) These people have to get paid as well so delivery charges are reasonable to expect, 3) Pickiness gets you nowhere, and finally, 4) You never know until you try. 

For one, I am still ecstatic to have a full array of yummy delicious fruits & veggies to cook up in my next meal. Some folks don’t have the luxury of an organic produce shop nearby, and a home delivery service may be just what you need!

I was especially impressed with the level of courtesy and genuine excitement that their carrier had, and had it not been for my own personal preference of pricing, selection, and some minor quality issues, I may have continued to provide them with my business.

This also goes without saying, but there are a lot of companies out there that have different experiences, costs, and selections; so don’t let this be the end-all-and-be-all! 

Hopefully this review was helpful. 

 


Ten Minute Tom Yum Soup


Cold yet?

I was hovering around the couch area of my warm apartment, dreading my eventual mission to the local pub to meet friends. Not that my friends aren’t the best, but more the chilling winter night that stood in my way of comfortably riding there. 

Needless to say, I needed a quick, warm meal to help combat the bitter winter that is ALREADY upon us. 

Insert Tom Yum soup. 

I bought this small jar of lemongrass and peppers from my local market, named TOM YUM (hot and sour soup). 

It was as fresh as they come, relatively inexpensive, and didn’t come with those crazy whack ingredients we’re used to seeing on a lot of pre-made products. 

The good thing here is the sodium is low, the taste is delicious, and it’s literally an “add what you want” recipe that guarantees a good time. 

I’ll give you the ingredients I used, and you can make up your own version in about ten minutes. 

Make this because: Rob Ford wouldn’t. 

Ingredients:
2 spoons, TOM YUM
3 Cups, Water
Some Brocoli, chopped 
Some Pea Shoots, whole
1 Carrot, sliced
Fresh Green Onion (I used Fried onion because judge me)
Sesame Seeds
1 Egg (EGGG DROPPPP) *remove for vegan*
Noodles

Directions:
Add your TOM YUM to water and boil. 
Add vegetables and simmer on medium until soft enough for your liking.
Add egg and let sit for 30 seconds before stirring. This will make it an Egg Drop Tom Yum and lives will be changed. 
Cook noodles to directions on package (I found these awesome organic gluten free udon last week that are incredible. Try something similar). 
Place noodels in bowl, spoon on soup and veggies, and top with green onion, sesame seeds, and heck, why not a squirt or two of Sriracha. 

Now sit back and enjoy your Hot and Sour soup. 

NOTE: For those of you who have yet to try Lemongrass, please know that it is a wonderfully delicious lemony flavour, with a hint of savoury. It isn’t quite like the normal lemon taste you may recognize, but give it a try and you will become a fan. Just keep an open mind, because I said so. 

 

Eggy Kale Muffins w Smashed Tomatoes


Hangovers. Or just rough days. 

Hard to cure, but I will get you as close as humanly possible. Promise. 
These little eggy muffins are absolutely perfect any day of the week and you really don’t need many ingredients to whip up your own batch.  
I also put together a little chunky tomato sauce to go on top and, well, I have no words. 
These are soft, light, fluffy, delicious, so so so so so so tasty and easy as all heck to make. For reals.


Make these because: they literally saved my life today 
 

Ingredients:
1/4 t each - oregano, basil, rosemary, parsley (1/8) thyme
2 cloves, Garlic
3 strips, red onion
Oil
1/4 t, salt
1/4 t, pepper
4 tomatoes
1/2 cup, water
1/8 cup, freshly grated organic parmesan 
Optional - cubed shefu tofu

Heat oil and add garlic and onion. Add spices and stir well, about 5-10 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and let tomato stew for 30 minutes. Once it has softened nicely, puree slightly with a hand blender until you’ve reached your desired consistency. I like to leave mine slightly chunky. It’s better that way. Now, well that’s cooking, let’s make the Eggies!

Eggies! 
1/4 cup, rice milk
8 eggs
1 red pepper (chopped into very small pieces)
1/2 busshel, kale (chopped into very fine pieces)
2 green onion pieces, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup, ricotta 
1/2 t, salt

Mix together all ingredients and whisk up real good. Spoon into muffin papers topping off with left over liquid. Bake @350 for about 30 minutes and voila! Top off with your sauce and let the munching begin. 

Dudes. Dudettes. Eat well and be happy with this recipe. Your life will never be the same. 

 


Paprikash & Kale Drops


About a year and a half ago I made a classic Hungarian dish called “Chicken Paprikash” - except, obviously, vegetarian. I had recently come across these mock chickn pieces and I knew that they would be the perfect trial for this simple, historic, easy and delicious meal. You can’t screw this up, I promise. 

After all this time, I wanted to recreate the dish except a little bit healthier and with the wonderful addition of Kale Drops.  

These gnocchi-type drops are unlike anything you’ve had. Wait. Until. You. Taste. The. Nutmeg. 

Make these because: I adapted this recipe from an old Hungarian Grandmother and she said you have to. Or else.  

Okay, here we go. 

Ingredients:

1/2 cup flour

4 tablespoons paprika (I used half hot, half regular)

salt/pepper

4 pieces, mock chicken (or 3 cups, Cauliflower)

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 cup chopped onion (about half a large red onion)

1/8 t cayenne 

3 cups broth

1 cup low fat, Organic Greek Yogurt 

Directions:

Mix together flour, half of your Paprika, and about a teaspoon of s&p (use your judgement).

Cut your cauliflower or mock chicken into chunks and dredge in mix. 

Cook your onion on low with cayenne & 1 T paprika in oil. 

Add your chicken/cauliflower and heat for 2 minutes, then add broth (i ended up using just under 3 cups of broth, fyi). 

Bring to boil, then simmer for 10-20 minutes, or until cooked.

In a separate bowl, add 1/2 Cup of yogurt and the rest of the flour mix from step one. 

Add a cup or so of that delicious stock from the paprikash and mix into a paste. 

Toss back in to paprikash and simmer for five minutes. 

If it’s too thick, add some water. 

Finally, remove from heat and add remaining yogurt and serve over Kale Drops. 

Kale Drops:

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 large egg

1/2-1 cup milk

1 cup of finely chopped kale. 

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

Directions:

in a large bowl, combine the flour, kale, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. in another mixing bowl, whisk the egg and milk together. make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the egg-milk mixture. gradually draw in the flour from the sides and combine well; the dough should be smooth and thick. let the dough rest for 10 to 15 minutes.

bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. to form the Kale Drops, grab two spoons and form small dumplings before dropping into the boiling water. The smaller the better. Cook until your Kale Drops float to the surface, stirring gently to prevent sticking. Carefully spoon into a colander and give it a quick rinse with cool water.

melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat and toss to coat. cook for 1 to 2 minutes to give them some colour, and season with salt and pepper before serving.

Ladies and gentlemen, Paprikash. 


Q

tenthirtytable asked:

Hello again, SIDYPH. Here's a thought inspired by the glorious bird that is the chicken: Create a "chicken" dish with the primary ingredients being from said farm animal's diet. And of course this chicken is a vegetarian who lives a free-range lifestyle - Thought you'd appreciate that. So what do vegetarian free-range farm chickens eat? Allow me to provide Google's top responses: Corn, Soybean Meal & Wheat. Can't wait to see what inspires. Now I'm feeling peckish... (pun intended).

A

Great challenge!!

SHOVE IT DOWN YOUR PIE HOLE CHALLENGE: “Pulled Tofu”


This was a challenge that took me a long time to figure out. 

Firstly, making your own BBQ sauce isn’t necessarily an easy task. From the research I did, it was very apparent that the region you’re in will depend on what kind if sauce you make. 

As a person who likes to start from the classics, I went the route of Texas BBQ and created a vinegar and tomato based sauce with a bit of kick, and a delicious sweetness. 

If there’s one thing I love, it’s a nice saucy meal. And you will not be disappointed with the results. And thanks to Andrew M for the submission.

Make this because: You don’t need to pull pork to have a finger licking good sandwich. And having this recipe in your arsenal will only help come mid-winter when you have the pals over. 

Ingredients:

5 vine tomatoes
1/2 cup, apple cider vinegar
3 T, vegan butter
1/2 Large shallot, diced 
2 cloves, garlic
3 tablespoons, vegan Worcestershire sauce 
1 T, Organic Molasses
2 T, whatever mustard you have laying around
2 T, Organic Palm Sugar
1 low sodium veggie bullion
1 T paprika
2 t, chili powder
salt and pepper to taste
2 T, Olive Oil
1 brick, Extra Firm Tofu

Directions:

Cut tomatoes into Quarters, and add to pot with oil. Add 2t salt and stew until soft. Add garlic and onion and simmer for about five minutes. Add in remaining ingredients (minus tofu) and let sit for 20 minutes on a low boil. If you have a hand blender, pulse your BBQ sauce into a fine liquid. If not, it’s easy to pour through a strainer into another pot. Your sauce won’t be as thick but it will be just as tasty. Note: If you would like to have some extra kick to your sauce, feel free to up the ante and add 1 T Chili powder instead of 2 t. 

Now, you have a delicious sauce, ready to marinate your tofu. Press Tofu into paper towel and get as dry as possible. Cut into cubes and drop into your base. Now, you’re done! 

Keep on low temperature and remember, the longer you marinate your meal, the better it will taste. 

I’ve got one more trick up my sleeve. 

There’s an amazing shop in Toronto called Bo De Duyen. They are a storefront just South of China Town and sell incredible Vegan/Vegetarian faux meat products, including a delectable faux pulled pork. If you have the time, stop on by and grab yourself some. You can find directions here.

  

Want to find out more about the challenge? Check this out. 


SHOVE IT DOWN YOUR PIE HOLE CHALLENGE: GUACAMOLE CHIPS


As luck would have it, this experiment was easier than expected to complete. The challenge was to create a homemade potato chip that resembled the flavors that go along with the traditional guac. So how hard could it be, right?

Instead of trying to infuse the chips with Avocado, or make chips out of Avocado, I decided to take another route and make a chip that took on: 

Lime

Garlic

Onion 

Salt

So here’s how it went down.

Ingredients:

3 Potatoes

1 t, Salt

1/2 t, Garlic Powder

1/2 t, Onion Powder

1 t, lime juice

1 T, Olive Oil

Directions:

Cut your potatoes into very small slices. Give them a quick rinse, and pat them dry as best as possible. Mix together your dry ingredients And toss with your potato slices. Bake at 400 for 25-30 minutes until crispy and delicious.  


HEY PALS!! 

As you may know, I have a some seriously impressive beard growth right now. 

And as much as I love it (and from what I’ve gathered so does everyone else), some things are worth sacrificing for the greater good. 

Today I shave it all off for the cause. For The Mo. 

What I need is for you to sacrifice some of your hard earned cashola. 

Last year our team helped to raise 10K.

This year we want to do even better. 

Let the campaign begin, friends.
http://ca.movember.com/mospace/578502

Hey pals. The New Website is live!! 

Now it’s WAY easier to find recipes, check out old favs, and submit your comments. 

Take a look and let me know what you think.