This recipe is from the article “Last Minute Holiday Entertaining”, originally appearing in the St. Catharines Standard.
For the past six years, St. Catharines has been home to a Greek festival, a three day event that celebrates Greek culture through food and festivities. Because I am posting up old Standard articles and recipes for now, I figured that last September’s article on the Greek fest would be timely.
I’m not Greek, nor do I have any sort of Greek in me. But I did try to make these rather authentic, speaking to others and combining authentic recipes to make ones that worked for me. I was a little less generous with the olive oil in some cases, and did do a riff on souvlaki with tofu… but the marinade itself would be delicious on anything.
The recipes include Briam, a layered vegetable casserole; tofu souvlaki, with a delicious and simple marinade; and Maroulosalata, a super easy and flavorful lettuce salad. Continue reading
Check out my latest article from the Standard with vegan breakfast favourites (and why you should eat them!)
If you get the paper, you’ll see the tasty photos in there, too.
Please note they renamed my Tofu Scramble to “Cheesy Veggie and Tofu”.
But it really, truly is a bang-up tofu scramble.
Click here to read!
I’ve tried shiritaki noodles in the past and didn’t like them. No amount of rinsing/boiling could do away with the fishy taste, and despite the mounds of sauce I covered with them, the taste lingered.
Needless to say, I wasn’t a fan.
The other day I was at a (somewhat local) health food store and eyed PastaSlim, a newish shirataki noodle that boasted it was better. And no precooking/boiling was necessary.
Intrigued, I decided to give it a whirl. Continue reading
It was an excellent day, and the turn out was awesome. I am very excited for the owner of the studio. Unfortunately, I neglected to take food photos in my angst pre-event, and the ones that I took there were less than stellar.
Hopefully I can get my hands on some that the local news grabbed, but here is the run-down of what I made. The recipes are obscure, as I scratched them down as I went. Adjust seasonings to taste!
Curried Quinoa Biryani in Endive Boats
I took a traditional (well, as traditional as I could make it) biryani guideline and tweaked it into a salad, inside of endive boats. I combined the rice with a few raw veggies.
- Zest two limes.
- Saute a few cloves of minced garlic in a pan. Add cumin, cardamom, turmeric and coriander and toast for for a few minutes. Add 1 cup of, quinoa continue to toast for about a minute.
- Juice the two limes into the pan, and add a scant 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, add some garam masala, salt, and pepper. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 12 minutes, until quinoa has absorbed the water. Keep covered, remove from heat, and let stand for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, shred a few carrots, and dice up the greens of a couple green onions.
- When the quinoa is finished, fluff with a fork and put in a large bowl. Add carrots and green onions, the zest from the lime, a few tablespoons ofsunslower seeds, and about 1/4 cup of raisins. Let cool, and serve in endive boats.
Great served cold or warm, and can stay a few days in the fridge.
Guacamole Gazpacho (raw) with Tortilla Crisps
I wanted to create a liquid guacamole, and put them in shooter-sized cups for a quick couple sips. In lieu of the crips, I was going to make a red onion/roma tomato/cilantro topping, then opted for this instead.
- In a blender, puree 3 to 4 ripe avocados, cumin, juice of a lime or two, water, and sea salt.
- For crisps, season a corn tortilla with salt and chili powder. Cut in thin slices, and toast ’til crispy for about 10 minutes at 425F.
Nori Rolls with Fresh Vegetables and Nut Pate (raw)
Based on a favourite from Ani Phyo, this is always a hit. I love the spicy mix of garlic and ginger. I don’t puree the mixture until smooth – I like it a little chunky.
- For the pate: 2 1/2 cups of almonds, 1 tablespoon ginger, 3 cloves of garlic, water, salt, lemon juice.
- Spread on nori and top with alfalfa sprouts, carrots, spinach, and red peppers.
- Roll up and slice.
Pesto Eggplant (raw) stuffed with Tofu “Ricotta”
I could have make the ricotta raw, but doing the eggplant raw was an afterthought, after I already did the filling, which is a tofu based one.
- For the eggplant: peel eggplant and cut into 1/4″ rounds. Brush each with your favourite pesto mixed with some finely diced tomatoes. Dehydrate until soft, about 5 hours.
- My pesto included: lots of fresh basil, a few roma tomatoes, pine nuts, lots of garlic, salt, pepper, and a bit of olive oil.
- Add a dollop of ricotta and fold over, taco style.
- Sprinkle with more fresh basil.
- For the tofu ricotta: this time, it was a simple mix of nutritional yeast, salt, lemon.
Seasoned Flax Crackers (raw) with Caramelized Onions (raw)
- For the crackers: soak 2 cups of flax seeds with 4 cups of water for a few hours. They will get gooey.
- Grind in a blender and add salt (you might have to do a few batches). Add until seeds are quite broken. Add seasonings, such as garlic powder, Italian seasonings. I also added an onion and a tomato.
- Spread thinly on your dehydrator sheets, and dehydrate for about 12 hours, depending on how you want it to feel.
- For the onions, I used this recipe from Russell James. I dehydrated them for about 3 hours, then the next day after they sat in the fridge, they were perfect.
Tahini-Dill Potato Salad Bites
My idea was to take baby red potatoes, boil them, scoop out the filling, make potato salad, and put it back in. I ended up doing it in fingerlings for something a little different.
- Boil potatoes in salted water.Drain, and plunge in cool water so they stop cooking.Scoop out some filling in each one.
- Make your favourite potato salad; I did raw tahini, fresh dill, green onions, and hemp oil.
- Stuff the filling back in and chill in the fridge.
Check out my latest article, highlighting ways to rejuvenate yourself this Spring with simple, nutritious, switches.
The article features three Spring/Easter recipes:
Roasted Asparagus with Caramelized Tofu, Toasted Pine Nuts and Garlic
This easy side dish puts simplicity in the foreground. Each component is easily done, and then it’s tossed together at the end for a sure-to- please main course complemen.
Jumbo Shells Stuffed with Roasted Spring Vegetables, with Creamy, Fresh Dill Sauce
Roasting the vegetables adds a smoky flavour to whole grain stuffed shells with a new twist. The creamy sauce is deceptively rich, infused with garlic and fresh dill.
Pineapple, Pecan and Coconut Crisp
This raw recipe features nuts and dates and the primary components, added to fresh pineapple, make a no-bake, fresh springtime dessert.
The article can be read here
As always, all recipes are gluten-free and vegan, as well as high in nutrition (okay, and taste!)
Enjoy, happy Easter!
April already! And April showers there are. Today we were pelted on by rain, although the grass smelled beautiful and the birds still sang their song.
A recent trip to Ottawa for a few days required some careful pre-planning – one that a celiac knows all too well.
I spent the evening prior packing up food, and made a delicious combination inspired by my equal love for greens, tofu, and homemade pasta sauce.
We planned to hardly have a meal out, stocked up (our hotel room had an apartment sized fridge), and I called a few restaurants in advance.
Okay, in actuality, I called approximately 35, tapping away on my Blackberry in the hotel room asking if they are familiar with the gluten-free diet (and if I got that far, if they had vegan offerings, and knew about cross contamination with gluten and casein). It didn’t go over so well.
Along with some fresh fruit, vegetables, homemade goods, and other foodstuffs, I also brought my night before creation of stuffed collards (and I’ll supply the make-shift recipe).
Tofu “Ricotta” Stuffed Collards Smothered with Marinara
- 1 250g package of extra-firm tofu, made into your favourite version of ricotta*
- 1 bunch of collard greens, the stems cut off and the thick spine pared down
- about 5 cups of your favourite, homemade pasta sauce (mine was roasted garlic and fresh basil)
- a saute of leeks, red, yellow and orange bell peppers, and cremini mushrooms
*for my ricotta, I mash the tofu, add nutritional yeast, garlic, oregano, basil, and other Italian seasonings, a squeeze of lemon.
Distribute tofu, and some of the vegetables, in each collard leaf. Roll up, place in pan. Top with sauce. Bake at 375F for about 20 minutes.
If you aren’t keen on tofu, I also made a few with quinoa and veggies for my soy-free mom. Delicious.
On another note, I did finally find a restaurant, and have never been treated so well in my life. I highly recommend this restaurant to every celiac, vegan, dairy-allergy, wheat allergy, gluten-free individual in the world. Oh, and every other person, too.
The place is called Taj Indian Cuisine. Here is a breakdown of the ridiculously incredible visit:
- I called the day before and he was certain I would be taken care of. When I asked about ghee (I had heard that some Indian restaurants don’t think of it as dairy) he scoffed, “of COURSE, no ghee!” I was pleased
- The next day, we appeared and he remembered my voice and assured me again it would be okay
- He came over and placed and recommended an order for us
- He double checked each ingredient, ensuring we could have them (vegetable oil, certain foods, et cetera)
- He also catered to my mom, who cannot have legumes (difficult in the cuisine we were in!)
- He had a talk with my mom while I went to the bathroom, telling her that I was in good hands, and he didn’t want me to be sick. How important it is. How everyone should cater to celiacs like this.
- He apologized profusely for “all Indian desserts containing dairy”
- He asked for my number, to make sure that I wouldn’t get sick the next day (he called)
- I told him I was going to recommend it to everyone and he said, “No, no, I just don’t want you to to be sick”.
And so on, and so forth. Seriously.
I’ve eaten out about 6 times since being diagnosed nearly four years ago. Three times I got sick. This was incredible!
Oh, and frankly, it was the most delicious Indian cuisine ever. EVER!
My latest article in the newspapers focused on Valentine’s Day. Despite my lack of interest in the Hallmark event, making tasty treats to tempt a lover is never something I’ll pass on.
The .pdf file to the article is here, but it can always be read online. For reasons unknown, the Standard left out the truffles in the online version, so included is the link to the Niagara Falls Review.
Both truffle recipes will be featured in my next cookbook.
Meanwhile, I’ve been so busy that I’ve been rotating quick soups, leftovers from recipe testing various baked goodies, tofu scrambles, roasted vegetables, and salad with a tahini vinaigrette.
Regardless of the free Lindor heart shape chocolates that RW&Co. was passing out today, I’m happy enough with my supply of truffles sitting in my freezer for me to snack on. And frankly, Mr. Lindor, your truffles aren’t chockful of protein and healthy fats, are they?
I love stir-fries and I love tofu; I’m one of those tofu-lovers who like it any way – even just without marinade, a quick pan fry, and dipped in mustard. The other day I discovered my favourite way of cooking tofu and wrote about it in my Standard article.
I had a myriad of delicious stir-fry vegetables: broccoli, mushrooms, snow peas, bean sprouts, carrots, green onions, red peppers, baby bok choy. In the mood for something other than my standard stir-fry concoction, I found this recipe the other day and was intrigued, but like many others, can’t follow a recipe without altering a thing or two.
Orange-Tofu Stirfry [adapted from this recipe]
This served three
1 (350g) block extra-firm lite tofu, frozen, thawed, and pressed, then cut into cubes or wedges
A little canola oil for frying
2 medium navel oranges, juiced and zested
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons fresh grated ginger
3 tablespoons wheat-free tamari
1 tablespoon agave nectar
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
cornstarch + cold water slurry, for thickening
4 cloves of garlic, chopped + vegetables for stir-fry + oil for frying
wild/brown rice mix for serving
Cook rice according to directions. Combine all sauce ingredients in a small saucepan, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and allow to simmer for about 10 minutes. Return to a boil, add cornstarch slurry, then reduce until thickened.
Meanwhile, heat oil in a non-stick skillet, and fry tofu ’til nice and browned and crisp on all sides. Toss with about 1/3 of orange sauce. Set aside.
Fry garlic and vegetables. Toss with remaining sauce. Mix in tofu if you’d like, or divide with vegetables and rice onto plates.
Giving it some further thought, I probably would have added more ginger and garlic, and some cashews if I had them.
Christmas Baking Extravaganza Part IV went underway on Sunday afternoon, when I plugged away in my kitchen to prepare three new things. Alas, I ended up with two, as I had a relatively tight schedule, but the next day, finished off the third. This entailed some tasty Ruldolph cookies, complete with an almond butter base, chocolate chip eyes, pretzel antlers, and a Hot Tamale nose (the only red safe candy I could find!). Sweetened with agave, these slightly chewy, slightly fluffy cookies are definitely my favourite thus far – the base I will save and work with more and more. These were a trial – perhaps adjusted later for my book – as they cracked a little and weren’t up to par. The taste, though, is excellent. The look – eh, not so much.
I also made some cranberry cookies, dotted with tart, fresh cranberries, half-dipped in melted chocolate, and rolled, then, in toasted, chopped almonds. The last one – to be continued the next day, was a Eggnog (eggnot?) Glazed Nutmeg Cookie.
These are “to be photoed”, as I was baking primarily in the evening, and will get them up once the Christmas trays start being assembled.
Monday was also the day I finally handed in all of my forms to finish my masters degree (yay!) so I celebrated on Tuesday with a yummy tofu quiche and a greek salad.
I have made tofu quiche with both silken and regular tofu and find that both are tasty, but really enjoy the hearty non-silken version. If you use silken, add a couple tablespoons of a preferred flour or starch to help bind it together.
Tofu Quiche with Millet Crust
3/4 cup millet grits
2 1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
salt, fresh ground pepper to taste
for the filling:
350g package of extra-firm lite tofu, squeezed of moisture
1/4 cup non-dairy milk
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
fresh ground pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
1/2 large red bell pepper, chopped
10 button or cremini mushrooms, sliced
For the crust:
Lightly oil a 9″ pie plate. In a saucepan, bring water to a boil and add millet grits. Turn down heat, and let simmer until water is absorbed, about 12 minutes, stirring a couple of times. Remove from heat and let stand about 10 minutes, covered. Uncover and stir in nutritional yeast, salt, fresh ground pepper. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
For the filing. In a blender or in a deep bowl with an immersion blender, puree tofu with non-dairy milk. Stir in nutritional yeast, garlic powder, turmeric, salt, and mustard. Set aside.
Go back to the millet and sample for seasoning. Adjust accordingly, and dump it into the pie plate. Using a spatula/spoon/back of fork/your fingers, smooth into the pie plate on the bottom and up the side, into a crust, pressing firmly. Set in fridge.
In a non-stick skillet, heat a little oil and saute onion for about 3 minutes. Add the remainder of the vegetables, sauteing until cooked through and softened, about 5-7 more minutes, depending how thinly you sliced them. Remove from heat and add into tofu mixture, stirring evenly.
Preheat oven to 350F.
Remove millet crust from fridge and dump tofu mixture into the crust. Carefully spread it evenly into the crust.
Place in preheated oven and bake for 30 to 40 minutes until lightly browned. Let cool about 10 minutes or longer – this is great at room temperature and excellent the following day.
Makes one 9″ quiche, about four large servings.