Tuesday, March 24, 2015

VEGAS BABY! Vegan Meatloaf, Fries, and Bordelaise inspired by Switch Steak

Today. we have a delicious recreation of one of the vegan dishes offered at the Wynn Resort in none other than Las Vegas, Nevada, baby! We chose to put our own spin on the Vegan Meatloaf dish from Switch Steak, which is served with mashed potatoes and a vegan bordelaise.

We've never been to Vegas and while I'm not the gambling/drinking/partying kind of lady, I do like sun and warmth. Vegas had a high of 27 degrees celsius today, doesn't sound bad. It's sunny here, which is nice, but we're far from reaching 27 degrees! 

This meatloaf has great texture and is full of flavour. The fries are too; nice and garlicky! I've made this meatloaf quite a few times before. It's virtually fat-free but very hearty. The lentils, steel-cut oats,  and regular oats give this meatloaf a protein punch. So, you won't have to worry about people accusing your vegan diet/lifestyle of lacking in protein if you keep this recipe on rotation.

 We've never had a bordelaise sauce before and... it was different. Not bad, just not my cup of tea. It looks pretty though!

This is such a meat and potatoes dish, literally. It's comical to me. We don't eat like this on the regular, not even veganized versions, and we never really have. But it's nice to switch it up every now and then. That's why we chose this dish to recreate.

And for a little more Nevada-born charm, here's Brandon Flowers' new song. It just came out today so I thought it was very apropos for this post.
(let's just forget the whole Mormonism thing while we listen)

Hearty Vegan Meatloaf
Adapted from Let Them Eat Vegan via FatFree Vegan Kitchen

½ cup red lentils
1 cup veggie stock
1/3 cup water
1 dried bay leaf
¾ cup steel cut oats
1 cup water, boiled
¼ cup ketchup
1 cup rolled oats
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
2 tbsp ground flaxseed
2 tbsp vegan Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp almond butter
2 tsp molasses
1 tsp Mrs. Dash original seasoning
½ tsp dried oregano
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Add lentils, veggie stock, 1/3 cup water, and bay leaf to a large pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and cover for 25 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed. Add steel-cut oats and boiling water to same pot, cover, and cook for 8-9 minutes over medium-low heat.

Preheat oven to 375˚ F. Grease an oven-safe glass loaf dish. When steel-cut oats are cooked or the liquid is all absorbed, add the remaining ingredients. Mix well to make sure all of the seasoning is evenly distributed, and press into the prepared dish.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 25-30 minutes, remove foil and bake for another 7 minutes. 

Take it out of the oven and let it hang out for 15 minutes, before serving. 

Garlicky Baked Fries
Adpated from Brand New Vegan 

7-8 medium sized potatoes
1 tbsp flour
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp chili powder
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Clean and slice potatoes into 1-inch thick strips. Add to a large pot of water so the water just covers the potatoes and bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes.

Preheat oven to 425˚F and line a baking sheet with parchment. When the potatoes are done boiling drain the water and return potatoes to the pot. Add the seasonings to the pot and shake it all around. Make sure all the potatoes are covered in coating.

Spread evenly on the baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes.

Vegan Bordelaise Sauce
Adapted from Meet the Shannons

2 tbsps margarine
1 red onion, one slice and dice the rest
1 cup red wine
2 tbsp AP flour
½ cup veggie stock
1 tsp fresh parsley, chopped
2 dried bay leaves
1 tsp soy sauce
Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Melt margarine in skillet over medium heat. Add the slice of red onion and cook until browned. Remove the slice. Stir in the flour, you can use a whisk if you’d like. Lower heat and add the stock and wine. Stir, or whisk, in the parsley, onion, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil while whisking for one minute. While whisking, add the soy sauce and black pepper. Remove from heat.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Happy International Women's Day + Lemon Cake


I was trying to decide on which recipe to share today when it struck me, I can't share any other recipe than this one for lemon cake. There's nothing particularly special about this specific recipe for lemon cake (although it is good), it's the lemon that's key. I think lemons share an affinity with Women's Day. What do I mean? Well, lemons have that tangy kick to them not wholly unlike the swift kick to the groin that the patriarchy deserves... followed by a complete takedown. See the connection now?

This is a delicious cake but do make sure you bake it in a metal loaf pan because otherwise it will take longer to bake through or it just won't bake through. We learned the hard way so, take it from us.

Vegan Lemon Cake or Loaf
adapted from Audrey's

1 ½ cups AP flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp lemon zest
½ cup non-dairy yogurt; soy, almond, cashew, whatevs
½ cup organic sugar
½ cup silken tofu, blended
½ cup canola oil
Juice of 1-2 lemons

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease loaf pan with oil.

In a small bowl sift the dry ingredients, set aside.

Blend tofu, sugar, yogurt, oil, and lemon in a blender or food processor, until smooth. Pour this batter into a medium bowl. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet. The batter will be thick and luscious.

Transfer the batter to the prepared loaf pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted. 

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Pizza Nova has Dairy-Free Cheese!

We looooooove Pizza Nova and have for a very looooong time. This love goes back through the generations! But it has been a while since we've eaten pizza from Pizza Nova because ya know it uses dairy cheese....until now!!

Yes! Pizza Nova now has a dairy-free cheese option (Daiya) and it is fantastic. 

I know it is quite simple to make your own pizza and we have many times before but the convenience sometimes just can't be beat.

Plus, we have yet to make a homemade pizza that can compare to Pizza Nova. Sad but true.

The dairy-free cheese isn't specific to any location. It's available at ALL Pizza Nova locations!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Lentil and Cheeze Biscuit Casserole

Mmm cheezy biscuits. Who doesn't love 'em? 

Casseroles are the perfect meal time idea for the winter. They're always so comforting and hearty. Nothing better this time of year! 

This one is another inspiration from Rachel Ray. From an issue way back in 2007! When we ate beef (begrudgingly). It was tasty and it left quite the impression on us. I've finally gotten around to veganizing it and I couldn't be happier with the outcome. What a tasty dish! There's no doubt you'll love it too and it's quite simple despite having to make biscuits...

Don't worry there's a lazy way out for the biscuits. Nobody needs perfect biscuits anyway. They're biscuits! They're meant to be rugged ;)

Lentil and Cheeze Biscuit Casserole
inspired by Beef and Cheese Potpie from Everyday with Rachel September 2007

4 tbsps, Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks
1-2 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 carrot, diced
2 cups red lentils, rinsed and drained
1 standard large can of diced tomatoes, that might be a 28 oz can or 750 mL
1 cup vegetable broth
Herbamare and pepper
1 tsp vegan Worcestershire sauce
1 ½ cups AP flour (gluten-free if you please)
2 tsps baking powder
2 cups Daiya Cheddar Cheeze shreds, or whatever flavour you prefer
½ cup dairy-free milk

Grease an 8 X 12in baking dish (or whatever size is handy) and set aside. Preheat olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add onion and cook for a minute or two before adding the carrot. Cook the carrot and onion until the onion is browned and carrot is tender, about 5 mins.

Add the lentils and stir about so the carrot and onion is evenly distributed. Dump in the tomatoes and pour in the broth. Season with Herbamare, pepper, and Worcestershire; stir thoroughly and turn up the heat to medium-high heat. Once the mixture starts bubbling reduce heat to low and simmer the lentils until most of the liquid has evaporated (about 15-20 mins). Stir occasionally!

While all that jazz is happening, preheat the oven to 375˚F. Take out a large bowl and add flour, baking powder, and a pinch of salt. Use your fingers, or a pastry knife if you’re fancy, to cut in the vegan butter and cheeze. Once you’ve got coarse crumbs going on, add in the milk. You should have a shaggy-looking dough.

For nice biscuit presentation, transfer the dough to a floured surface, roll the dough out to about 1/2- inch thick. Cut out your biscuits with a large, round cookie cutter. As large as you’d like. When the lentils are ready transfer them to the baking dish and place the biscuits on top covering the entire surface of lentils.

For the lazy way, drop the dough on top of the lentils.

Place in the oven for 35 mins until the biscuits are browned and baked through. 

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Grilled Cheeze with Go Veggie Dairy Free Cheese

Well, we haven't been doing so well with our promise of posting more in 2015 but we're giving it another go! Seeing as I'm basically unemployed at this point, should be relatively easy ;)

Mmmm grilled cheese. Gooey cheese and buttery bread. And such an easy meal time idea!

My grilled cheese didn't end up quite so gooey as I would have liked but hey! it's been quite some time since I've had a grilled cheese. The lack of ooey gooey-ness is not the fault of Go Veggie Dairy-Free cheese slices because I've had grilled cheeses using it since and they have met my ooey gooey expectations. How many times have I said gooey in this post so far?

I really enjoy these Go Veggie Dairy-Free slices. I think they are pretty spot-on in replicating ordinary dairy-full (well not exactly dairy-full but...non-vegan :s) cheese slices.

These slices do have carrageenan in them, much to my dismay I realized this after purchasing them. I wasn't being a saavy shopper...womp womp. So, if you have a problem with that then these slices aren't for you. But if you're not convinced that carrageenan is bad for you then by Jove! you've found yourself a new favourite vegan cheese slice.

Vegan Grilled Cheese (because you need a recipe)

 2 slices of whole wheat bread (gluten-free for some)
1 tsp of vegan margarine
1 1/2 to 2 slices of Go Veggie Dairy-Free cheese slices
2 or 3 slices of a beefsteak tomato (or whatever is in season/available), thinly sliced
a little sprinkle (or crack) of black pepper

Take two slice of bread, put enough cheese on to cover the surface of one slice of bread, entirely. Layer on your tomato slice(s), sprinkle some black pepper over the tomato and close up that sandwich. Margarine-ize one side of the sandwich, place that side down on a pan pre-heated over medium heat and then smear some margarine on the opposite side. Wait til golden to flip, about 5-7 mins and then cook til golden on the other side.

Yay!!! Grilled cheese goodness!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Sprinkle Cookies AKA the best, most exciting cookies ever!

These cookies put a smile on my face...and my belly :) They're the most ingenious creation and I am so glad Marly, of Namely Marly, made these cookies happen. 

They're fun and bright and festive. Happy New Year!! It's 2015!!!!! We hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season! We didn't get a chance to say that yet.

These are perfect celebratory cookies and NOT just for celebrating the new year. But for celebrating each day, hour, minute, and second. You don't have to wait for a new year to celebrate (or start afresh for that matter but that's another tangent) because each moment is cause for celebration. 

Baking these cookies is a celebration in itself. 

Life is rarely made up of grand, luxurious events but is instead comprised of the little day to day tasks and activities in which we are to find joy, awe, and inspiration.

At least that's my belief and I don't think it's a bad one ;)

Sometimes I might fall off the wagon but I do my best to get back on there ;)

Bake these sprinkle PB cookies and you'll know what I mean about finding joy in everyday moments :) 

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip 
Sprinkle Cookies
Adapted from Namely Marly


½ cup vegan margarine
½ cup peanut butter
1 ½ cup sugar
2 tbsp ground flax
2 tbsp corn starch
½ cup unoriginal unsweetened almond milk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 ½ cups AP flour
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp table salt
1 cup dairy-free chocolate chips
½ cup sprinkles (the original recipe calls for 1 cup which makes your cookies extra sprinkle-laden which is amazing, I just didn’t want to use up all of our sprinkles)


Cream together the margarine, peanut butter, and sugar with an electric mixer in a large bowl until light and fluffy.

In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine flax, corn starch, milk, vinegar, and vanilla extract, stir to combine. With the beaters on, slowly stream the liquid mixture into the large bowl.

Sift the flour, baking soda, and salt into a separate bowl. Pour the flour mixture into the peanut butter mixture and use mixers to combine. Add the chocolate chips and sprinkles until thoroughly incorporated.

Cover dough and place in the freezer for an hour or fridge for two. When the time is up turn the oven on to 350˚F.

Use a cookie scoop or tablespoon to form the cookie balls. Place them an inch and a half apart, flatten them with a fork. Put them in the oven to bake for 7-8 mins and put the remaining mixture back in the freezer.  

Remove the cookie sheet from the oven and allow the cookies to cool for 5 mins or so before placing them on the cookie rack.

Bake up the rest of the cookies and enjoy!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Famoso Pizzeria Vegan Primavera Pizza

Famoso Neapolitan Pizzeria is a Canadian pizza chain that originated in Alberta. But we, however, have only eaten at the Annex location in Toronto. Oh ma'am, is this pizza good!!!

This is the Primavera pizza which is made vegan by substituting Daiya cheese for the dairy cheeses. The crust is thin and chewy, there are plenty of veggies and they are super flavourful. It's a white pizza, so instead of tomato sauce they use garlic and olive oil for the base.

Oh, you have no idea how much we love this pizza! We have only positive things to say about Famoso but I know some people think the ordering system is weird, which it kinda is, but that doesn't affect my opinion of the joint. We've only ever had the primavera pizza but we're so pleased with it, I don't know if we're willing to venture another.

Vegans, vegetarians, and carnivores alike will enjoy Famoso Neopolitan Pizzeria. 
P.S. They have soups, salads, and sandwiches, too.

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