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Posts Tagged ‘vegan’

These wraps were so tasty I nearly ate them before I could take the picture!  With the kale and collard leaves, these little guys are also a double whammy for your greens quota. They are filling and delicious, and easily packed side by side for sharing with pals or taking as a super healthy meal on-the-fly.

You will need:
A bunch of whole collard green leaves, the bigger the better!
Sauce:
2 tbsp tahini
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp tamari
1 small organic avocado, ripe
1 small clove of garlic, minced
juice of half a lemon
salt and pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
Filling:
cook 1 cup of brown shortgrain rice
3 green onions, chopped
3 big kale leaves, sliced thin
1/2 tomato
sprouts
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
Method:
Combine all the sauce ingredients together and mash well with a fork (it looks like pond sludge, but trust me).  Add the green onions and kale to the hot cooked rice, and cover, steaming for a few minutes. When the kale is bright green, add the tomatoes, pumpkin seeds and sauce, and mix well.  The mixture should form a paste-like texture. Add another small dose of tamari if it seems more moisture is needed.
Scoop about 1/3 cup of filling onto the middle of flat, dry collard leaves, and add some sprouts.  Tuck the bottom in and fold the sides to make a nice tight little bundle of yumminess!

~The Vegan Project

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This is a standard muffin recipe that I like to play around with a lot.  I had no sugar in the house but did have two large squeeze bottles of agave from Costco (which by the way is the best deal in town for the stuff-2 x 480 ml bottles for $9!). These muffins are filled with sweet lemon flavour with bursts of tangy berries in every bite while hearty spelt flour gives them weight and packs them full of fibre.  Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 1/2 cups spelt flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk

1/2 cup agave nectar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup sunflower oil

1 cup of berries (i used a frozen blend of blueberries, raspberries and marionberries)

Juice and zest of 2 lemons

Method:

Preheat oven to 375 F

Mix together all dry ingredients plus the lemon zest in a large mixing bowl.  In a smaller bowl, mix together non-dairy milk, lemon juice, agave, oil and vanilla.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix just to blend.  Add the berries and then spoon into a lightly greased muffin tin and bake for 22-25 minutes, depending on size of muffins.

Makes 6 extra large or 10 regular sized muffins.

~The Vegan Project

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I love popcorn.  Sadly, my popping machine mysteriously disappeared last year, and I found myself in a popcorn void, as none of the supermarket options in my ‘hood are without milk products.  Last weekend, an old pal told me about this little trick, and I can’t believe I haven’t heard of it before!  Ideally, I try to avoid using microwaves, but in a pinch, this snack is cheap and easy…and you know how much we love cheap and easy!

Using a brown paper bag, cover the bottom with one layer of popcorn seeds and fold the top down twice, pressing firmly.  Place laying down in the microwave and put on high for two minutes.  Melt a tbsp of Earth Balance, pour on top of the popcorn, add some freshly cracked salt (pepper is also yummy), seal the bag and shake it up.

Estimated cost: .32 cents per bag.

Eat that Orville!

~The Vegan Project

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As far as the fake meat debate goes, I’m skeptical. The long list of suspicious ingredients in the super-processed wannabes makes me nervous.  So, you’re not going to find any ‘facon’ in this BLT!  It’s made with beets, which, when fried, take on a crispy/chewy balance that resembles bacon in a non-creepy fashion.

The curly fries, another superb product of the ‘Spirooli’ (the potato can be sliced if you don’t have a Spirooli), together with the BLT, make a casual and satisfying comfort meal that would rival your favourite café anyday!

Ingredients for two sandwiches:

1 large red beet

4 leaves of green leaf lettuce

4 slices of your favorite bread

1 large roma tomato, sliced

2 tbsp Vegenaise

4 tbsp Dijon mustard

2 tbsp fresh dill, chopped

1-2 potatoes

fresh cracked salt and pepper

Method:

Using a potato peeler, peel slices of beet the length of bacon strips and fry them in oil at medium heat with salt and pepper, turning often until slightly crispy on the outside.  In a separate small bowl, combine Veganaise, mustard and dill, and stir together.  Spread an ample amount of mustard sauce on both slices of bread (I warmed the bread first), and add the beet, lettuce and tomato.

Fry potatoes in oil for about 10-12 minutes at medium-high heat until desired crispiness is obtained.

Serve with sauce on the side for dipping, and your favorite vegan beer for that authentic comfort-food, warm belly feel.

~The Vegan Project

 

 

 

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These stuffed peppers are beautifully colourful and have such a great blend of flavours.  The sweet corn balances out the hot and smokey cajun spices perfectly. They are pretty filling on their own, but made with smaller peppers or cut in half, could be a lovely first course at a dinner party.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup dry red quinoa

4 large peppers, similar in stature (cut off the tops and chop up to add to the filling. Scoop out the seeds and white lining to make a little bowl.)

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 small onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

4 crimini mushrooms, finely diced

2 scallions, chopped

1/2 cup canned corn

1 cup black beans

2 teaspoons cajun spice mix

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Method:

Preheat your oven to 350F

In a small pot mix 1/2 cup of dry red quinoa with 1 cup water and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat and simmer, covered for 15-20 minutes.

While the quinoa is cooking, saute the onion and garlic on medium heat with the olive oil.  Add the mushrooms, pepper tops and cajun spice mix and let cook for 10 minutes or so.  When the quinoa is done, fluff it up a bit and toss it in the pan and mix well.  If your pan will fit the black beans and corn, go for it and mix it all up.  If not, put everything in a large bowl (including cilantro) and mix well.  Place the peppers in a square baking dish (this helps to keep them close together to avoid falling over) and stuff the peppers right up to the top.  If there is any mixture left over, eat it! Bake for about 30 minutes, but of course times may vary according to pepper size.  Remove from the oven and sprinkle fresh cilantro on top.  You might want to let them sit for 5 minutes as they are really hot coming out of the oven.

Enjoy!

~The Vegan Project

 

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This hearty open faced sandwich is perfect for brunch or even a light supper. The creamy, cheesy mushroom sauce is savoury and comforting, and is a perfect counterpoint to the bright and fresh tomatoes and smoky tempeh bacon. Putting the salt and pepper directly on the tomatoes brings out their lovely, rich flavour.

Ingredients:

1 firm ripe organic roma tomato

1 cup sliced mushrooms

6 slices Turtle Island Foods Smokey Bacon Tempeh

Two thick slices organic Ancient Grain (whole grain) bread

1 heaving tablespoon Asano Miso

1 tbsp Earth Balance Vegan Buttery sticks (vegan butter)

Handful of Daiya cheddar shreds

1 tbsp minced garlic

A splash or two of almond milk

Salt and Pepper

Method:

Melt earth balance in a pan on high heat. Add chopped mushrooms and brown til golden.

Turn pan to medium heat and add garlic. Sweat garlic and mushrooms for 2 minutes.

Mix in miso and Daiya shreds. Add a splash of almond milk to bring the sauce together. Turn down to low heat let sauce thicken, stirring occasionally.

Toast bread in toaster.

Brown tempeh in non-stick pan.

Slice tomato and place on toast. Salt and pepper the tomato slices to taste.

Place tempeh on tomato slices.

Smother entire sandwich with the creamy mushroom sauce.

Enjoy!

*Courtesy of Jenny Duffy

~The Vegan Project

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Today I went to Karmavore, the only vegan food store close to my home. This was my second week as a vegan, and I had run out of things to eat. I ate the same batch of vegan chilli for three days.

I went searching for variety, and I was not disappointed. $206.90 later, I had enough products to stock my vegan pantry.

This is what I purchased:

The items I am most excited about are:

Tofurky Roast– I can have thanksgiving with my family and not starve!

SoyGo Soy Creamer– Now I can take non-dairy creamer with me in my purse for my coffee

Daiya Vegan Cheese– Yep I bought 5 lbs of it, but I divided it into little baggies and froze most of it so it should last quite a while.

Field Roast White Truffle pate– Um, this has white truffle in it. I could eat a pile of sawdust so long as it had truffles mixed in with it.

Sheese (blue style)– I heart cheese. ‘Nuff said.

This was a large purchase, but when you consider I can freeze a lot of my goods and spread them out by serving them with fresh, cheap vegetables and fruit, this was actually a very successful shopping trip.

The salesperson was very friendly and had a lot of good recommendations for me. I felt I was in good hands, and she was even kind enough to email me a digital copy of my receipt.

I will definitely be back to Karmavore when my supplies are running low. They are moving to a brand new, larger location in New Westminster in November. Hopefully the new location won’t mean a huge increase in prices. But even if prices do go up, my health is worth investing in, isn’t it?

*Courtesy of Jenny Duffy

~The Vegan Project

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The Vegan Project’s newest contributor, Jenny Duffy, discusses the cost of being vegan…

I am Cheap

I am an accountant and I like to pinch pennies. I am the person at the table calculating the exact tip. I know precisely where every dollar of my paycheque goes. I have an excel spreadsheet which tracks my spending and calculates my excess cashflow and ending bank balance on a daily basis. In the words of Snoop Dog, I got my mind on my money and my money on my mind.

My current weekly budget for food (pet and human), toiletries, gas, and entertainment is $240. So when I began to eat vegan, I could hear my wallet shriek in terror in anticipation of the beating it was about to receive.

Fatties Eat Cheap

Our society rewards unhealthy eating with ridiculously low prices. Starving? Got some pocket shrapnel? Go to McDonald’s for their Dollar Menu. Or try Burger King’s Value Menu. Both restaurants feature bargain basement prices for the factory killing floor food.

If you are eating in a restaurant and ask for the chicken or meat to be removed from a salad or pasta, you still have to pay full price. If you go to a fast food chain, the healthier menu items are about 400% higher in price, as a salad will run you at least $4.50, while a hamburger will cost just over a dollar. Bend over healthy eaters; Ronald is gonna work you over every time you pull up to the drive thru.

Eat in, Save Your Money!

If you eat at home and make your own food, your bankroll gets somewhat of a reprieve as store-bought food made with love is always cheaper than restaurant food. Why? That Cactus Club/Earls/Moxies/Joeys is sitting on prime real estate, and those space-aged toilets and 20 foot mirrors in the nightclub-slash-bathroom don’t come cheap. More importantly, they need to pay the 15 scantily clad hostesses at the front a decent living wage.

I’ll say it again: making your own food saves money.

All Grocers Are Not The Same

Of course, it depends on where you shop. If you are a Fancy Pants McGee and you shop at Urban Fare/Choices/Generic Overpriced Yuppie Food Retailer you can bend over again, for you are getting screwed. Organic apples don’t cost $4.99 a pound. The store is located in an area with excessive rent/lease costs, so these costs are built into the prices. Yaletown apples cost more than East Vancouver apples. And chances are they were grown within the same region, possibly by the same producers.

If you opt for a small Chinese/Korean/Japanese grocery store that stocks local organic produce grown in the Fraser Valley, or you shop in Superstore’s Organic Section, then you can save a lot of money. Local organic produce is a godsend that we as Vancouverites are uniquely blessed with.

In between these two extremes lie a wide range of shops that cater to vegetarians, vegans, organics (people who eat only organic. There was no term for this so I coined one. Yep, I’m that guy.) and other counter culture food-hipsters.

In the Boardroom

Ethical consumers represent a relatively untapped niche to corporate douche bags everywhere.  The vegan food market is relatively new when compared to the mature processed non-vegan food industry. If vegan eating follows the same arc as organic eating, there is a lot of money to be made by producing vegan food.

Vegans are a captive market because we have to seek out places that stock specialty items like tempeh or Daiya cheddar replacement. Additionally, we are willing to pay a higher price for these products because there aren’t many alternatives. There is no No-Name vegan beer sausage. If we find a producer that makes a product we like, we generally stick with it because there isn’t much competition.

I have a dream

I have a dream.  I dream of a time when vegan and vegetarian foods are popular enough that they are at the same price point as crap food. $0.99 for a bag of gourmet organic vegan popcorn? I hope I live to see the day.

Until that day comes, I’ve got to do some leg work and find places close to home that stock vegan products…

*Courtesy of Jenny Duffy

~The Vegan Project

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There are these wraps that I came across at IGA that are low carb (made for the Atkin’s Diet) and are high in fibre and only 130 calories per wrap.  Pretty good stats by my standards.  They are the Smart and Delicious line made by La Tortilla, based in Santa Rosa, California.  I like smart and delicious things. How could I go wrong?  This particular flavour does contain wheat and soy however they also make a gluten-free strain as well.

In the wrap:

Three slices of veggie deli slices cut into strips

1/2 green pepper cut into strips

1-2 mushrooms sliced into strips (fresh or marinated)

Vegenaise

Hot sauce

Lettuce

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If you love kimchi, but don’t have the time to make it yourself this is a perfect shortcut recipe. Also, store bought kimchi can be somewhat expensive. It’s also a perfect quick snack or a condiment with noodles.

Ingredients:

One head Kissel Sour Cabbage

½ cup Sriracha Sauce

½ cup rice vinegar

4 tbsp. Sesame oil

Directions:

Cut cabbage in half, and then in quarters. Then slice each quarter into two inch cubes.

In small bowl mix sriracha, rice vinegar and sesame oil.

Place cabbage into a large mixing bowl and toss with sauce till cubes flake apart.

Place in a beautiful dish and serve with chopsticks!

*Courtesy of Jenny Duffy

~The Vegan Project

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