Thursday, 31 January 2013

Vegan Chocolate Cake

     Its chocolate cake! need I say more? Well, Grandma passed this recipe down to us. Apparently, this is an old war time recipe, frequently used for its lack of expensive and perishable goods, such as butter, milk and eggs. Who needs animal products anyway? ("Not I!" said the vegan!) 

This recipe is very simple and very chocolaty. Delicious with Vegan butter cream, this recipe makes excellent birthday cakes or even cupcakes. 

Please note how the majority of the cake was
eaten before we could take the picture :)
Shown here with a chocolate frosting
(melted chocolate with a bit of margarine,
soy milk and sugar)

Serves: 6-10 (or 20-24 cupcakes)
Time: 5 minutes prep, cook for 40-45 minutes (or 20 minutes for cupcakes)


  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup light vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 tsp white vinegar


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Grease bunt pan or muffin pan with oil or margarine, or use muffin cups.
  3. Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl. Combine wet ingredients in a separate container.
  4. Add wet ingredients to dry bowl and mix well.
  5. Pour into pan. (if using a muffin pan, fill each compartment 3/4 of the way.)
  6. Place in preheated oven and bake cake for 40-45 minutes, or cupcakes for about 20 minutes.
  7. When you can smell the cake, its normally done. 
  8. Remove from oven and test with a tooth pick or chopstick.
  9. Let cool slightly before removing completely from pan to let cool entirely.
  10. If icing the cake, the cake must be at room temperature.

Kinda wishing I had some cake left now...

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Superbly Fluffy Pancakes

Oh, the sweet joys of fluffy pancakes! A weekend staple in our apartment.  This is a great recipe and doesn't require any egg substitutions , not to mention It's super simple. In the past I've premixed the dry ingredients at home and made pancakes while camping with friends and family. This recipe calls for soy milk, however, in the fall we enjoy using pumpkin beer or even apple cider for a portion of the liquid. So good.

Serves 2 people, or ~8 pancakes (3")


1 cup flour, white or whole weat
  * optional, replace 1/2 cup flour with 1/2 cup quick oats
2 tsp baking powder
Splash of light oil
1 cup soy milk
   ( optional: chocolate chips, blueberries, rasberries, etc.)


Preheat skillet or pan on medium heat.
Mix all dry ingredients. Add liquid and oil.
Mix well until combined (may appear somewhat clumpy if using oats).
If you are using liquid other than soy milk, you may need to adjust for consistency differences between the liquids, if the batter is two wet, just add a bit more flour.
Add a small amount of margarine to the pan, let melt.
Ladle batter onto the pan and let the pancake brown. When bubbles have formed around the pancake's edges and have began to pop, flip the pancake and let the other side get golden brown.
Remove from heat when reached the desired colour, say around 5 minutes.
Dress with margarine, maple syrup and or anything else your tummy desires.

Friday, 11 January 2013

Minestrone Soup

A great minestrone that anyone can appreciate. This Italian classic is very versatile and can include any of your favourite vegetables, beans or pasta noodles. This recipe goes well with fresh bread or biscuits. But beware, will all these vegetables, this soup is quite filling.

Serves: 8-10
For this batch, we didn't add the extra cup of  water at the end,
but in hindsight, we should have. Also, The pasta continues to
absorb the liquid while in the fridge, so you may have to add
more liquid and a bit more salt and pepper when reheating.
.... Also, we forgot the celery. Woops.


3 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
1 large carrot, diced
1 lg celery stalk, diced
1 zucchini, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1" pieces
1 large red potato, cubed
1 cup fresh (or frozen) green beans, cut into 1" segments 
2 cups roughly chopped kale
1 28oz can diced tomatoes
2 cups tomato purée (if not available, use more broth)
2 cups vegetable broth
2 cups boiling water
1 16ox can mixed beans, with liquid
1 1/2 cup large shells, or 1 cup medium shells or other noodles
1 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp dried basil
Salt and pepper, to taste


Heat olive oil in a large pot on medium heat. 
Add onion, garlic, celery, carrot and potato.While cooking add the dried spices. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until lightly browned and quite possibly starting to stick to the bottom of the pot.  
Add tomatoes, tomato purée, broth and half of the water. 
Turn heat to high, stir then bring to a boil. 
Add canned beans, green beans and zucchini and reduce to a simmer. Then, stir in pasta noodles and simmer for an additional 20-30 minutes until all vegetables and noodles are tender. (If the pasta is a bit al dente, its all right,it will continue to cook off the heat.) 
Taste and season with salt and pepper.
Remove from heat. 
Let cool 5 minutes before serving.

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Broccoli and Potato Soup

This recipe is my all time favourite blended soup from a great vegetarian site, It consists of ingredients that can commonly be found in the fridge or pantry and can be whipped up in less than 40 minutes.

Serves: 2 large servings, or 4 small

Perfect with sautéed mushrooms & a dollop of vegan sour cream


1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, peeled and diced
1-2 cloves garlic, chopped
3 cups vegetable broth
1 head of broccoli florets (2 cups)
3 medium potatoes, peeled and quartered
1/4 tsp thyme
salt and pepper to taste


In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat and sauté onions and garlic for 3 minutes.
Add potatoes and broth. Cover, bring to a boil. Reduce reduce and simmer until potatoes are cooked, about 15 minutes.
Add broccoli and thyme andcover for 5 minutes, until fully steamed, but still bright.
Purée the soup with a stick blender.
Season with salt and pepper as desired.

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Vegan Spinach Dip

     The first spinach dip I don't feel guilty (or sick) after eating! Yippee to one of my favourite holiday dips! I used a firmer tofu the first time I made it, however, a softer tofu, like medium, is ideal for a silkier, more traditional spinach dip. Pumpernickel is an obvious accompaniment but crackers, chips or veg also pair well. 

     And in case you're wondering, meat-eaters love this dip too.


  • 1 Package medium or softtofu
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp vegetable bouillon powder, low sodium
  • 2 tsp basil, dried
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 large or 1 small onion, finely minced
  • 15 kalamata olives, pitted and chopped (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1 can water chestnuts, chopped
  • 1 package (10 oz) frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and drained 


  1. Drain tofu of all excess liquid and place in large bowl with oil. Use a hand mixer on high or an immersion blender to combine until creamy.
  2. Add pepper, bouillon, basil, garlic powder, nutritional yeast, soy sauce, and lemon juice. Mix for 1 minute.
  3. Add onion, olives, water chestnuts and mix with a hand mixer or fork (do NOT use immersion blender) until combined.
  4. Adjust seasoning as desired.
  5. Let cool for at least 2 hours, but the longer, the better.

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Oven Fried Rice

My family has been making this recipe for years, not sure why my dad calls it fried rice when its baked but either way, its tasty. An easy version of fried rice, without all the hassle of actually frying the rice. 
This dish is great for potluck. An easy crowd pleaser.

Serves 6-10


1 package onion soup mix
2 finely chopped celery stalks
2 small or 1 large chopped onion
1/2 diced green bell pepper (optional)
1 can mushrooms with liquid
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 cups long grain rice
1 tbsp vegetable oil
3 1/4 cups boiling water


Mix all ingredients in a roaster pan, adding liquids last. 
Mix, cover and cook for 1 hour at 350 deg. F.
No need to stir while baking. Remove after an hour, let cool a couple of minutes and serve.
Told you this was easy.

Chipotlé Mexican Mania

Living in Toronto, we quickly learned to love Chipotle Mexican Grill. Their burritos and bowls are the best. Fresh ingredients, loads of vegetables - what's not to love? Oh wait the price! We much prefer making our own at home! We've gathered and worked on a delicious guacamole, cilantro-lime rice and mexican black beans, all inspired by Chipotle's vegetarian fair. All the recipes are fresh, easy and delicious, so give them a try!

Serves: 4


  • 2 Hass Avocados, ripe and mashed
  • 1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
  • 1-2 tbsp red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 heaping tbsp chopped cilantro (fresh)
  • 1/4 lime juiced or 2 tsp lime juice
  • 1/8 tsp salt or to taste

Mash avocado and then mix together with all other ingredients in a bowl and serve with chips or as a topping for burritos, bowls, tacos,... 

Cilantro lime Rice

  • 1 cup long grain rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 lime, juiced or 1 tbsp+ 1 tsp lime juice
  • 1/8 tsp salt

Cook rice with two parts water in a rice cooker or on the stove in a medium sauce pot, following package instruction. 
When all water is absorbed, remove from heat and let steam for 5 minutes.
Mix salt and lime juice together and then add to the rice along with the cilantro.
Mix and serve.

Black Beans

  • 2 cans black beans, 1 drained, 1 undrained
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/8 tsp asian 5-spice (or allspice)
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt or to taste
  • optional: 3 chipotles en adobo sauce, minced

Combine all ingredients in a small pot and stew over medium heat for around 30 minutes.

• Serve with lightly sautéed green peppers and red onions, cheese, lettuce and salsa on a large tortilla to make your burrito.
• If you prefer burrito bowls, as I do, layer the ingredients: rice, beans, sautéed green peppers and red onions, crunchy lettuce (ex. romaine), with salsa, cheese, and guacamole, grab a fork and dig in!

Happy New Year!

Marinated Baked Tofu

So tasty.  Making these for our new year's
dinner tonight at my aunts.
Got to feed the herbivores too.
Cooking time: 1 hour
Preheat Oven to 350 deg F


1 package firm tofu
3-4 tbsp soy sauce
2 cloves minced garlic
1 tsp minced ginger or 1 tsp ginger powder
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 tsp honey

1 tbsp olive oil (for greasing pan)

If you are going to flip the tofu 
while marinating, make sure 
you've got a good air tight container


Cut tofu into chunks and mix all ingredients. Add marinade to tofu in an air tight container.
Shake to mix and marinate over night, or for as long as possible, flipping halfway.
Grease baking pan and spread tofu out on pan. Make sure not to over crowd the tofu.
Bake at 350F for one hour or until crispy.