Monday, 23 November 2015

30-Minute Vegan Dahl (Dhal/Dal/Daal)

    There comes a time when you realize that you've been using a recipe religiously for years.....but have yet to share it with all your friends. So greedy, right? Well, thanks to my friend Nicole who asked for my Dahl recipe the other night, I've taken the recipe off my fridge to share it with all of you wonderful people!

     I guess part of the reason it has taken me so long to publish this recipe, is that Dahl really isn't the prettiest of dishes. A delicious ladle-full of yellow slop anyone? But served with rice, chapati or naan and perhaps some other dishes like aloo gobi or a vegetable curry and you can have a pretty darn tasty meal.

     Dahl is a thick stew made of split pulses, typically split red lentils, that originates from South Asia. Variations of this dish can be found throughout India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal. This version, being vegan, omits some traditional aspects, like Ghee, a type of clarified butter commonly used in India. But rest assured, this recipe is still just as delicious!

Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4 x 1 cup portions (as a main) or 8 x 1/2 cup servings (as a side)


  • 2 Tbsp olive or canola oil
  • pinch of red chili flakes
  • 1/4 tsp cumin seeds (optional)
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped (can put through the food processor)
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp minced fresh ginger (about a 1/2" knob)
  • 1 tsp turmeric 
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 tsp salt (reduce if using tomato juice, as appropriate)
  • 2 cups dried red lentils 
  • 4 cups water (or part tomato juice)
  • Juice of half of a lemon, to finish (optional)


  1. In a medium pot, heat oil with chili flakes and cumin seeds over medium heat. When warm and fragrant, add onion. Sauté for 2 minutes, then add the garlic and ginger.
  2. Sauté for 3 additional minutes, meanwhile, rinse red lentils under cold water. Add spices and salt to the pot. Then stir in the lentils. One the lentils are coated with oil and spices, add water (or tomato juice) and stir. 
  3. Cover and bring to a boil. Once at a boil, uncover and reduce heat, and let simmer for 15 minutes, or until lentils are cooked and the majority of the water is absorbed (will continue to thicken as the dahl cools).
  4. Remove from heat and stir in lemon.
  5. Serve with rice or naan

Monday, 16 November 2015

The Perfect Fall Soup: Celeriac, Leek and Potato Soup

     Oh so creamy, without an ounce of cream! Can you believe it? Well I can!

     This recipes features one of the so called 'monsters' of the garden -- Celeriac. Celeriac is gnarly looking root vegetable that can get to about the size of your head. Typically this veg is harvested late in the fall, after the first soft frost, but before a hard frost (just in case you feel like growing some yourself next year!). Celeriac is a really cool root, also known as celery root, it has the texture of a potato but tastes like the most delicious celery imaginable! We cut one up raw on the rooftop garden the other day, and it was amazing! So don't let the crazy appearance dissuade you from picking a celeriac up from your local market or grocer.

     I've been waiting to cook up this soup all season! Ever since I saw the roots sticking out from under what I originally mistook as celery. Through in some Rye's HomeGrown leeks, garlic and my last couple potatoes, and we have the makings for a delicious soup. The hardest part of making this soup is cutting up the celeriac, once that's done, it's smooth sailing. Spice up this soup a bit with some pesto or an herb oil.

Serves: 8
Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes


  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 celeriac, peeled and cubed
  • 2 large (4 small) leeks, white and light green only, roughly chopped 
  • 2 large white or russet potatoes, peeled and chopped 
  • 3 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • Black pepper and salt to taste 


  1. In a large, thick bottomed soup pot, heat oil on medium heat with the bay leaf.
  2. Add celeriac, leek, potato and garlic. Let sweat for about 10 minutes.
  3. Add vegetable broth. Cover, increase heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until celeriac is tender.
  4. Let cool for 20-30 minutes. Remove bay leaf, and blend soup in blender (may need to to blend in batches). If I have to blend in batches, and I know that there is going to be left overs, I usually put the first batch into Tupperware containers for tomorrow night's dinner.
  5. After blended, return the soup to the pot, and warm over medium heat, for about 20 minutes, or until warm.
  6. Serve will a dollop of pesto or a couple drops of an herb oil.

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Seitan "Beef" and Broccoli Stir-fry

     When I was growing up, I used to love beef and broccoli! I have been dreaming up a vegan alternative for years now. I've tried it with tofu, but it's just not the same. After recently starting to experiment with seitan, I've developed a tasty dish that does a pretty good job of mimicking beef.

     Ryan has always had this perception that seitan is this crazy time consuming and an impossible process. Now if this is your perception of seitan, forget about it! It really isn't as hard as some recipes make it seem. Yes it takes more time than tofu, but the options are endless! I'll keep on experimenting and see what other creations I make up!

Time: 45 minutes
Serves: 5-6


      Seitan "Beef"
  • 1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • 2 Tbsp (30 mL) soy sauce
  • 1/2 Tbsp (7 mL) vegan Worcestershire sauce (if unavailable, substitute with more soy)
  • 1 Tbsp vegetarian oyster sauce (optional)
  • 1/2 Tbsp (7 mL) peanut or canola oil
  • 1 1/8 cup (190 g) vital wheat gluten
  • 2 Tbsp (30 mL) nutritional yeast
  • 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 Tbsp (7 mL) Chinese 5-spice powder
  • 6 cups (1.5 L) broccoli fleurettes, about 3 large heads
  • 1-2 Tbsp peanut oil

  • 3 Tbsp (45 mL) vegetarian oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) rice wine vinegar or dry sherry
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) sesame oil
  • 3 Tbsp (45 mL) soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch


  1. Start out by making the seitan "beef": Mix together broth, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, Worcestershire, and oil in a large measuring cup. In a medium bowl, mix gluten, nutritional yeast, flour and Chinese 5-spice powder. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until all dry ingredients are absorbed and the dough forms a rough ball. On a clean surface, knead the dough for about 3 minutes, then form the dough into a uniform ball, and let rest for 10 minutes. 
  2. Prepare a steamer basket in a large pot with a couple inches of boiling water. 
  3. Divide seitan dough into 4 equal wedges. Stretch until dough is roughly 3/4" thick . Wrap each piece of seitan loosely in tinfoil (you'll want room so that the seitan can expand).
  4. Place packages of seitan in the steamer basket, cover and steam for 30 minutes. Check back periodically to make sure all the water hasn't evaporated.
  5. Wash and trim broccoli. Cut into fleurettes. If using the stems (I don't like wasting, either), cut into matchstick-like pieces, approximately 2 inches long.
  6. In the last 3 minutes of your seitan steaming, toss in the broccoli to par-cook.
  7. Remove from heat, and cool broccoli and seitan"beef" stakes.
  8. Mix together all the ingredients for the sauce.
  9. In a wok or large frying pan on medium heat, warm the peanut oil.
  10. Slice beef into long thin strips. Sear seitan on both sides. Add broccoli and sauce. and heat until sauce is thick and the broccoli is tender.
  11. Remove from heat and serve over rice.

Have you experimented with seitan? What have you made? Let me know what crazy things you've made by commenting below!