Saturday, April 25, 2009

Strawberry Mango Salad

Spring is technically here but not in my neck of the woods. Tonight they are talking about snow! I was enjoying the warmer temperatures but when they said it was going to snow I was depressed. So I decided to make a warm weather meal even though is cold as heck out.

Organic strawberries were on sale this week and so were mangos so I pick up a bunch of both. Strawberries and mangos are such a great combo in a fruit salad so I thought might as well try it on a spinach salad. Except I didn't have any spinach but I did have some organic mixed baby greens. Close enough. I added some pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and almond slivers. For a dressing I used Renee's Pear Guava Vinaigrette. This salad was fantastic and so quick and easy to put together. I think it will taste even better when the sun and warm weather returns. Below is a close up.
Dessert was a new soy free cheesecake recipe that I'm working on. Its not quite there yet but I hope to post more on it soon.

Monday, April 20, 2009

The Perfect Vegan Brownie

Since going vegan I have baked many a treat with great success.  Cookies, squares, truffles, muffins...all these treats have had a vegan makeover and they all have tasted as good if not better than their butter/egg laden counterparts. However, there has been one treat that has eluded me...a rich, decadent, sinfully Chocolate Brownie. I have tried many a recipe but nothing has made the cut. Nothing until I tried this recipe. Finally my search has ended, these are the PERFECT vegan brownies. I am embarrassed to say I have no picture because we ate the whole pan in one sitting. Do not wait, go make these brownies asap, you will not be disappointed!

In fact I think I'll go make another batch right now.....

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Summer Pasta

If you can believe it I am still not done spring cleaning. You are probably wondering how that is possible. Believe me, if you met my children, you'd understand. They are busy kids, they run non stop. From the time they get up till they finally fall asleep they are constantly in motion. The only time they slow down is when they are sick....I'll take busy kids over sick kids any day. Right now they are spending most of their time outside which means I am spending most of my time outside as well and that my friends is why my spring cleaning is not yet done...I'm too busy playing outside!

But I have also been playing inside the kitchen as well. Now that the nice weather is finally here its time to lighten up the meals so I've been trying a few new recipes out.

First up is one I saw on the site. Its for a Italian-style Spaghetti Squash. Now you may argue that this is not really a spring/summer meal as really you could make it anytime of the year but since it is all vegetable based I think it makes a nice meal when your not in the mood for something too heavy. I took a picture but its terrible so here is the link to the recipe. Their picture is much nicer.

Ok next up is not really a recipe but just an idea I had in my head. Grilled vegetables are a summer favourite at our house so I thought I'd grill some veg up and toss it with pasta. Below is the results.

Like I said, no real recipe here. I just chopped some zucchini, asparagus, red onion, and cherry tomatoes up into bit size pieces (not the tomatoes, I left those whole as you can see) and I marinated them in Renee's Sun Dried Tomatoes and Black Olive dressing for a few hours. Then we grilled them on the BBQ and tossed with pasta. We also had some garlic toast with this. I was too rushed to make a salad but we had a good dose of veggies in this dish so I don't feel too guilty. You know what the best thing was about this meal....I finally took a good picture! Maybe I'm finally getting the hang of this food photography thing. Below is a close up.

And to end off a great dinner we had a great dessert. We have been going through alot of the Coconut Milk ice cream in this house. By the looks of our grocery bills way too much of it. The girls are in love with this ice cream as am I. Its just so darn good and how can you not like an ice cream that has 6 grams of fibre per serving!? The girls like the Cookie Dough one best while I'm partial to the Chocolate. But we don't just love the ice cream, we love all the other treats as well, including these...
This little ice cream sandwiches are ridiculously good. Unfortunately we are going to have to start controlling our ice cream urges a bit because we can not continue to spend all that money on ice cream. I have pre-ordered The Vegan Scoop on and although the recipes are all soy based (a no no over here) I'm sure we can adapt them to make use of coconut and almond milk. 

You know what goes good with ice cream....a warm brownie. And I have just found THE recipe for the perfect vegan brownie. I'll post more about it tomorrow.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Nacho Nests

I promise I am trying to blog regularly but right now I have a bit of spring cleaning fever and so we are busy getting boxes packed for the goodwill and cleaning. So things haven't been too exciting in the kitchen but I thought I'd share my lunch from yesterday with you.

When me and my siblings were youngster one of our favorite meals was tacos. It was always a special dinner when my mom would do tacos with all the fixings. When I went vegetarian I would still have my beloved tacos but I'd use veggie ground in place of the meat and load up with the toppings, especially the sour cream and cheese.  I thought when I went vegan that tacos would be off the menu. I thought a taco couldn't be good without all the cheese and sour cream. I was wrong, very wrong. Guacamole is the best taco topping ever and that long with chopped tomatoes, green onions and olives makes great tacos, I don't even miss the cheese and sour cream. I make tacos with all different kind of fillings depending on my mood. Sometimes I make Chickpea Tacos, sometimes I make a Lentil Taco filling and sometimes I use whatever I have in my fridge to use up. Yesterday I had some black beans to use up so I mixed those up with some salsa and cumin in a pan. It made quite a tasty filling and I always have black beans on hand so I'll probably but adding this filling to the rotation.

Now since tacos were one of my favorite meals as we one I was sure my kids were gonna love them too. I was wrong again (don't tell my Husband!). I soon discovered what the problem was with them and tacos. They don't like the shells. The hard ones break on them and the soft ones fall apart on them too. So below is the solution to the problem.

I have dubbed these "Nacho Nests". I noticed that the kids hated tacos but seemed to like nachos. Same flavours, different way of eating. We now make nacho nest. I start with a bed of shredded lettuce (the "nest") then start piling in the fixings. So above is my nest with black bean filling, chopped tomatoes, green onions, homemade guac and a squeeze of lime. I was out of olives or I would have put them on too and I wish I had make some pico de gallo. If you like the mock sour creams and cheeses they would be great here too. We just don't eat too many of those foods. The other taco fillings I make go great in here too. And to scoop it all up we like the hint of lime type of tortilla chips you can buy at almost any store. These make a great lunch of dinner and the kids think its really fun to "fill up" their "nest". Everyone is happy and full after this meal.