Sunday, July 29, 2007

Spaghettini with Rapini, Tomatoes & Cannellini Beans

I had a craving for rapini so I made some spaghettini (it's called "thin spaghetti" here, how odd...) with fresh tomatoes, garlic, onion, rapini and cannellini beans along with a yummy fresh salad.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Fried Seitan with Potatoes and "Cheesy" Vegetables

We had some leftover tonkatsu so I did up a "western" comfort meal complete with "cheesy" vegetables and potatoes with sour supreme mixed with chives.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Seitan Tonkatsu

Finally made the tonkatsu that I'd been wanting to try for the past month! It was delicious! It's a bit more labour-intensive than most seitan, but it was well worth it.

Basically, you mix up your seitan (2 cups gluten flour, 2 cups water, 3 tbsp soy sauce, 3 tbsp nutritional yeast, 3 garlic cloves or garlic powder and some black pepper), knead for a few minutes, form into um... 6 "cutlets", flatten, pan fry on both sides until well browned and then slowly simmer in water for about 30 minutes. It seems that pan frying it before simmering prevents it from expanding too much and keeps it nice and firm.

But wait, we're not done.

Then after it's simmered and firm you need to dredge in flour, soymilk and then panko breadcrumbs and deep fry. Then slice it up and drizzle (or pour) store bought tonkatsu sauce.

Whew. It was good though and worth the effort if you liked tonkatsu pre-vegan. This is only the second time I've had vegan tonkatsu. The first was "donkatsu" at Alice n' Friends in Chicago a few years back. I must say theirs is better from what I remember but this was still pretty damn good.

The recipe is from Japanese Cooking - Contemporary & Traditional by Miyoko Nishimoto Schinner.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


Our garden is doing really well only having started it about a month and a half ago. We didn't plant any from seeds but bought little tiny plants of each. Everything except the lavender is doing well. Well, the lavendar is doing well it's just not flowering yet!

Here's a bunch of pics:

Herb Garden
Herb Garden


Mint (Pennyroyal)
Pennyroyal Mint

Flat Leaf Parsley
Flat Leaf Parsley




Tomatoes and Hungarian Peppers
Tomatoes and Hungarian Hot Wax Peppers (which aren't actually hot)

Flat Leaf Parsley (macro)
Macro of Flat Leaf Parsley

Hungarian Pepper (macro)
Macro of Hungarian Hot Wax Pepper buds

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Angel Hair Pasta & Salad

Pasta with olive oil, garlic, basil and cherry tomatoes. Salad with cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, avocado, red peppers and baby corn.

The pasta doesn't look all that exciting (the salad was so much prettier). After a few days we finally finished eating it all.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Rice Vermicelli Lettuce Wraps

My mom used to (maybe still does) make something like this for Chinese New Year's. Haven't had it in years but I thought I'd try my hand at it. It's rice vermicelli noodles stirfried with tofu, nappa cabbage, bok choy, shiitake mushrooms and baby corn for lettuce wraps. It was pretty good!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

TVP Fajitas and Salad

TVP Fajita

Tomato & Bread Salad

Fajitas made with TVP strips (rehydrated in vegetable stock, drained/squeezed, dusted with seasoned flour and fried), sauteed onion & green pepper, homemade guacamole, sour supreme and salsa.

Salad (which doesn't really "go" with the fajitas) was made from tomatoes, basil and some leftover homemade dill bread in a balsamic vinagrette. The dill bread was actually sort of a disaster since I forgot the salt and it's super bland. But it was good in this salad!


Tomato Plant

Tomato Plant

Tomato Plant

Just some pics of our tomato plant. A month ago we started off with a tiny plant in a pot with only one tiny tomato bud. Since then, the boy has split them into two plants and there's tomatoes popping out everywhere.

I can't wait until the tomatoes are ripe!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

8 True Things (Meme)

Deb tagged me with a meme. Thanks a lot... *snort*. ;) Here's the rules:

1. We have to post these rules before we give you the facts.
2. Players start with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
3. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.
4. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.
5. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

Okay, now the 8 true things:

  1. I played clarinet in highschool. My favourite pieces to play were from Handel's Water Music with some of Mozart's clarinet concertos a close second.

  2. The most piercings I've had at one time were 25. Currently I only have 19.

  3. I moved out on my own when I was 16. My dad helped me move and then bought me my first very own microwave, coffee maker and toaster.

  4. I love shitty reality shows. As much as I know I should hate them, I get sucked into them.

  5. I get anxiety when I'm up high (like in a building looking out a window or on a bridge) but I don't have any problems flying in a plane.

  6. I'm a big homebody. I like being at home. It wasn't always this way but I think I turned into a homebody when my animals needed to be on strict schedules limiting my time outside of the house. Now I'm just used to it and I like it.

  7. I live in a city that a year ago I said I would never even visit. Ah, only for him...

  8. I'm really lazy. Seriously. If I won the lottery, I would do a whole fuck lot of nothing. Well actually I'd probably still do a lot of cooking, but that's pretty much it. The rest of the time, I'll be "lounging" in my hello kitty pajamas.

Okay, I’m tagging, in no special order: drasch23, bob, steve... I don't regularly read more than a few blogs a day so I'm only tagging 3 people!

Monday, July 16, 2007

A Fish-Friendly Dinner

Grilled Faux Fish Slices

Totally vegan. Totally yummy.

The outside of the slices are wrapped in seaweed. Store bought from the asian market. What does it taste like? Well, just sort of like well seasoned seitan with seaweed on the outside!

Side of rice pilaf and broccoli. Condiments on my plate are vegenaise and chili sauce.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Greek Recipes (well... sort of)

Vegan Souvlaki

Here's the recipes that I veganized and modified from various sources (see previous post). I cook mainly by taste so I had to approximate. I can't be held responsible if you make any of this and hate it! :p I liked it all and I hope you do too!

Also, I can't vouch for the authenticity of these. This is as close as I could get to the dinners that I used to get from fast-food type Greek restaurants when I lived on the Danforth (Greek neighbourhood) in Toronto.

  • 2 lbs seitan chunks or rehydrated large tvp chunks*
    (approx., I'm no good at judging how much I actually made)
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2/3 cup red wine vinegar or lemon juice
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp dried oregano
  • 4 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 4 tbsp chopped fresh mint
  • 2 tbsp melted vegan margarine (optional)
  • 2 tbsp vegenaise (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Mix up all marinade ingredients.
  2. Marinade the seitan or TVP chunks for several hours. I marinated it for about 4 hours.
  3. Heat up a grill or pan and grill/fry until nicely browned. You shouldn't need to use any oil since the marinade has plenty of olive oil in it.
  4. Serve with tzatziki.

When I made this I did not use margarine or vegenaise and it was missing some sort of "richness" in the taste which I think would be accomplished by the addition of these two ingredients.

Any leftover marinade can be used as a yummy bread dip or brush onto bread and grill for a delicious garlic bread.

* If using TVP chunks, rehydrate in vegetable stock, cool and squeeze out as much liquid as possible before marinating.



  • 1 large container plain soy yoghurt (unsweetened)
    or 2 containers sour supreme
  • 1 small cucumber (or 1/2 large), peeled and seeded
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh dill
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. If using soy yoghurt, put in a cheesecloth or a sieve lined with papertowel and set over a bowl. Allow to drain for a few hours (24 hours is optimal) in the refrigerator. If using sour supreme, just go on to step 2.
  2. Grate the cucumber and lay out on several sheets of papertowel. Roll up the papertowel and squeeze as much liquid as you can out of it.
  3. Mix the soy yoghurt or sour supreme with the cucumber and the rest of the ingredients. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  4. Let chill for a few hours to let the flavours blend together. If you have time, let it sit in the fridge for 24 hours. Trust me, it'll taste better.
  5. Before serving, taste and readjust seasonings if necessary.

Tomato Rice Pilaf
  • 1 cup long grain rice (uncooked)
  • 1/4 cup vegan margarine
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 tbsp canned tomatoes or pasta sauce or tomato juice
    or 2 tbsp tomato paste + 2 tbsp water
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Melt the margarine in a pan/pot and brown the rice in it for about 5 minutes.
  2. Slowly add in the stock a little at a time until bubbling and then mix in the tomato and a little bit of salt and pepper.
  3. Lower the heat to a low simmer and cover.
  4. Allow to simmer for about 15-20 minutes until rice is done. Salt and pepper more to taste.

If you want, you can saute some garlic and onion at the beginning before you add the rice. Oregano would be good in this too.


Roasted Potatoes
  • 3-4 lbs potatoes, diced in large chunks
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 3-4 tbsp dried oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Mix all ingredients (except potatoes) together until well blended.
  3. Toss potatoes with the mixture and put in a large roasting pan.
  4. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and mix potatoes up so everything is well coated again. Continue baking uncovered for another 15-30 minutes or until the potatoes are tender (mix every 10 minutes or so).

You can throw in some green beans with the potatoes and sauce before you bake it. That's what I did and it was awesome.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Vegan Souvlaki, Potatoes & Rice

When I was doing up my grocery shopping list on the weekend, I decided to see if I could successfully veganize a typical fast-food Greek meal so I went searching for recipes on the internet. I found lots and veganized the ones that I thought sounded close to what I remember from restaurants and then made adjustments where necessary. I think I came pretty close!

The souvlaki was made with TVP "nuggets" which were rehydrated in a mild vegetable stock, drained and squeezed and then marinated for a few hours and then grilled on a grill pan (not a real "grill" but just a pan that has raised grooves). The potatoes and rice I made several adjustments to and threw in some green beans into the potatoes for some extra vegetables since this meal was heavy on starch. The tzatziki could have been better. I ended up buying sweetened plain soy yoghurt because I couldn't find any unsweetened plain. I tried to compensate with salt and other additions but it didn't quite turn out exactly like tzatziki (though it was still decent).

The taste of the TVP was pretty good. Still, it was missing "something" from what I remember... not really sure what though. Maybe more salt or something more "rich" tasting. Hard to say but I think it would have benefitted from a little melted margarine in the marinade.

I was pretty pleased with the rice and the potatoes & green beans. They were really yummy.

I'll post my version of the recipes later. Next time I make the souvlaki, I think I'll use seitan chunks because the TVP was just a tad chewy despite being rehdyrated for like, forever. The next time I make tzatziki, I'll just use sour surpreme.

All in all, I think it turned out pretty well!

Sunday, July 8, 2007

TVP & Tofu Donburi (Vegan Okayo Donburi)

It doesn't look like much (okay, it looks like someone threw up on my rice) but it was really yummy. It's a vegan version of Oyako Donburi. The recipe is from Japanese Cooking - Contemporary and Traditional. I threw in some shitake mushrooms and spinach for good measure.

I used TVP chunks and silken tofu in the dish. The recipe called for seitan and silken tofu. I think it turned out pretty well and the sauce was really good. Just like how I remembered it... I haven't had this dish in years so my memory could be faulty but who cares?.

Next time I make this I'll use smaller TVP pieces (maybe shred it first or use strips) and firm tofu instead of silken which didn't quite firm up in the pan like it was supposed to.

I'm trying the tonkatsu recipe from the same book this week too so I'm excited about that. The only think I couldn't find is premade tonkatsu sauce but I've found plenty of recipes for it. Stay tuned!

Fettucine Alfredo

A staple around here... pasta with vegan alfredo sauce and more no knead bread!

The bread was made with 1/2 whole wheat and 1/2 bread flour. I think I like it way better with just bread flour. I keep saying I am going to document the entire process of the bread but I keep forgetting to photograph a step or two. I'll be making another loaf this week though.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Praise Seitan!

Seitan cooked three times!

First the gluten flour was seasoned with some vegetable stock, tomato paste, maple syrup, paprika, salt, pepper, onion and garlic powder, wrapped in foil and baked. The dough was a little too wet so the foil burst in the oven and the seitan was dried out. I ended up letting it cool in the fridge overnight. Then I sliced it and simmered in some more vegetable stock along with the same ingredients that went into the dry mix. Then cooled it again, dredged in a little seasoned flour and pan fried in olive oil.

Turned out pretty good for what started off as a mess!

Let's see, what else did I cook recently... made pad thai again (maybe pictures later today), apple crumb muffins (no pic) and some vegetable soup with barley (no pic). Nothing "new" planned for this week except maybe vegan "butter tarts" and maybe vegan char siu bao (buns).
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