Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Vegan Tortilla Pie

Things got a little "golden brown" (as my grandad likes to call burnt things) in the kitchen the other day. This tortilla pie was a lesson in broiling and more specifically a lesson in what not to do when broiling i.e. start reading an in-depth article online.

I just wanted to make the top a little golden because it just wasn't happening while baking at 400. Never ever leave the kitchen while cooking. It was only the smell that brought me back to my task of cooking. Luckily, things weren't too hairy and the char didn't really affect the flavour of the dish.

This tortilla pie was delish! I think it's only about three layers and that's about good enough for me. Plus, the dish I was assembling it in wouldn't have accommodated any more layers. This is a basic tortilla pie, you can always add more interesting ingredients and more layers if you want. It's yet another customizable dinner from the Kitchen Grrrls!

Vegan Tortilla Pie

4 whole wheat tortilla (GF tortillas for gluten-freers)
1 can of beans, strained and rinsed well (I used adzuki because that’s all we had at the time but definitely pinto or black beans are best)
300g of silken tofu, optional
1 cup salsa
2 tsp olive oil
2 red bell peppers, sliced thin
1 sweet onion, sliced thin
1 tsp paprika
¼ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp ground cumin
salt, pepper to taste
¾ cup corn, frozen or fresh
1 cup of Daiya Cheese shreds


Preheat oven to 400F.

Heat olive oil in a medium sauté pan, once heated add peppers and onion. Toss them about and then add paprika, garlic powder, cumin, salt, and pepper. Let them cook for 5-7 mins or until browned, stirring occasionally. Add corn and cook for another minute until everything is warm. Once the veggies are browned, turn off the heat and set the pan aside somewhere.  

In a medium bowl add the beans, salsa, and silken tofu, if using. I added the tofu because I had it hanging out in the fridge, wanted to get rid of it, and thought I’d give the dish a little extra protein. Mash everything together, you can make things as smooth or chunky as you’d like, just make sure all the ingredients are incorporated. Add a sprinkle of salt just in case the tofu mellowed out the flavour.

Let’s get stacking! Grease the bottom and sides of a round casserole dish. Place down a tortilla followed by the bean mixture then veggies and cheese. Continue this pattern until you no longer have any filling left. Finish with a tortilla on top and maybe a sprinkle of cheese if you’d like. Place in pre-heated oven with a lid on top or foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove lid/foil and bake for another 10 mins.

Let cool before cutting and serving.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Graduating University = Sweets From The Earth Cupcake Goodness

Look at how cute this bear is!!!
I graduated from university on Tuesday and for dessert  four delicious cupcakes from Sweets From The Earth were bestowed upon me. Pictured is the scrumptious cookies and cream cupcake. The others were either eaten or nibbled so, not exactly picture worthy.

There are NO WORDS to describe how good this cupcake was. The frosting was LITERALLY amazing! So delicious!!!

It's a chocolate cupcake with a vanilla bottom. And the cookie on top is a chocolaty, crumbly/moist yummy tidbit. Best (store-bought) cupcake and gift ever!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Veganized Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich

This is a super simple dish, especially if you have store-bought seitan in your fridge. We used a package of Westsoy shaved seitan for this meal. Westsoy is pretty good in my opinion but I do prefer homemade seitan. Why does it have to be such a long, tedious process? WHY?

This is like so super simple I don't really think I should even supply a recipe but I will just for kicks.

Vegan Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich

1 package of seitan, like Westsoy, or a portion of ready-to-use homemade seitan
2-3 tsp olive oil
1 red bell pepper, sliced into strips
1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
1 sweet onion, thinly sliced
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup of cheese sauce, recipe below
3-4 buns

Heat two pans on medium and add olive oil to each. Once heated, add onion to one pan and seitan to the other. Cook the onion until translucent then add peppers, add salt and stir. Cook peppers and onion until nicely browned. Stir the seitan around to make sure it doesn't stick, cook until it's browned. Remove pans from heat and divide contents among buns. Top with cheese sauce.

Vegan Cheese Sauce

1 cup unsweetened original almond milk
1 tbsp of cornstarch
7 tbsp nutritional yeast
2 tsp dijon mustard 
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 cup or more of dairy-free cheese shreds, like Daiya
sprinkle of salt
black pepper

Combine milk and cornstarch in a large (liquid) measuring cup, whisk until cornstarch is fully dissolved. Pour into a medium sized sauce pan and heat on medium. Whisk in nutritional yeast then add dijon mustard and garlic powder. Make sure everything is well-mixed. Continue to whisk the mixture until it starts to thicken. Add in the non-dairy cheese and whisk until melted/dissolved. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed.    

Friday, June 13, 2014

Vegan Lemon Squares

I had the worst craving for lemon squares. I don't know where it came from but it was persistent and strong. I had to indulge with a recipe that was as close to the real thing as possible, i.e. no skimping on the fats. I came across this recipe from the Savvy Vegetarian. Oh boy, did they hit the spot!! I devoured the pan in less than 2 days almost all by myself. I have no shame. It was delicious and it satisfied my craving, okay?! If you like lemon squares then this is the recipe for you! Check it out...

Vegan Lemon Squares
Recipe by The Savvy Vegetarian

1/2 cup non-hydrogenated, non-dairy margarine, at room temperature
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

Lemon Filling:
1/2 cup silken tofu
1 cup organic vegan granulated sugar
Zest from 2 lemons
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice - about 2 medium sized lemons
2 Tbsp unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Grease an 8 x 8 baking pan or line with parchment paper (that's the way to go).

To make the crust, cream the butter and confectioners' sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the flour, and beat until the dough just comes together. The dough will be pillow-y and soft like a shortbread.

Press the crust mixture into the bottom of your prepared pan and bake for about 20 minutes, or until lightly browned. Watch closely as you don't want to burn your precious crust!

Remove the pan from the oven and place the pan on a wire rack to cool. 

To make the filling, blend the tofu in a food processor or blender (we used our Bullet) until creamy, about 1 minute.

Add the granulated sugar to the tofu, and blend until nice and smooth. 

Blend in the lemon zest, lemon juice, flour, and cornstarch.

Pour the filling over the baked shortbread crust and bake for 30 minutes, or until the filling is set. 

Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool - if the filling isn't completely set, it will set as it cools. Be patient!! 

To serve, cut into squares and dust with icing sugar (optional).

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Summery Pasta with Corn, Sweet Potatoes, Tomatoes, and Artichokes

This pasta was such a snap to prepare and a pleasure to consume. It was nice and light yet flavourful - everything a summertime pasta should be! Okay, it's not summer right now but it's close enough so might as well get in the summertime meal zone now.

The ingredients are simple and so is the preparation but this dish sure delivers on taste. YUM! I could really go for some right now. I am a hardcore pasta lover. Always have been, always will be.

Summery Pasta with Corn, Sweet Potatoes, Tomatoes, and Artichokes

Olive oil - various amounts 
2 sweet potatoes, cubed, 3/4 inch cubes
1/3 cup frozen corn
5 tomatoes, cored and diced
1 sweet onion, sliced thin
1/2 cup marinated artichoke hearts, chopped
your choice of pasta

Get a large pot of water boiling. 

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Place sweet potatoes on a baking sheet, cover generously with olive oil (2-3 tbsp). Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place in the oven for 30-40 mins, making sure to stir/flip them around at the 20 min mark (your water should be boiling so you can add the pasta and cook according to the package instructions). Place the tomatoes on a baking sheet drizzle 1 tbsp of oil over them and place them in the oven on the second rack. Strain your pasta when it's done and return the strained pasta to the pot.

Heat a sautee pan on medium heat and add 1/2 tbsp of olive oil. Add the onion and once it is translucent add the corn and artichokes. Give everything a nice stir to make sure it's all heated through. Place on low heat until the sweet potatoes and tomatoes are done. When the sweet potatoes and tomatoes are done remove them from the oven and remove the pan from the heat. Add all the veggies to the pot with the pasta, add 2-3 tbsp of olive oil and mix everything up. 

Monday, June 9, 2014

Classic Apple Pie {Vegan}

APPLE PIE!!! It's such a classic and such a stunner. Just look at that golden, flaky crust with those nicely coated apples. Coated in cinnamon and sugar of course!

Truth be told, for this pie and the last one we didn't roll out the dough. Just kinda flatten it out with our hands and placed it then the bottom of the pie plate and layered it on top of the apples. We have serious issues with dough. We'll get there one of these days. Practice makes perfect and we have not had enough practice. Making pies is pretty new to us.

This was a delicious pie. The filling was honestly the best I've ever had. The right balance of sweetness and cinnamon for sure. I still can't quite get over the olive oil crust. Why would anyone use butter, really?

Classic Apple Pie Veganized
adapted from Vegan Pie in the Sky

Recipe and directions for pie crust here

Ingredients for Pie Filling
6 cups of apples, sliced thin like a 1/4 inch 
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice 
3 tbsp AP flour
pinch o' salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon 
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp unsweetened original almond milk

Make the dough for the crust. 
Dump the apples in a bowl followed by the rest of the filling ingredients. Mix about until all the apple slices are coated. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Roll out the dough and fill the pie dish with the bottom layer. Add the apple filling. Place the top layer of dough on top. Secure the top crust to the bottom by crimping the edges with a fork, or use your hands.
Mix the cinnamon and sugar for the topping together. Brush the top crust with almond milk and sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture over top. Make some slits in the top crust.
Bake the pie for 25 mins then lower heat and bake for another 30-35 mins. Allow pie to cool for 30 mins on a cooling rack before digging in.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Pizza with Roasted Eggplant and Artichoke Hearts

It's no secret that we love pizza. Pizza is truly a beautiful thing! It's so versatile and easily customizable. However, there are some ingredients that are pretty standard on the pizzas we like to make. One such ingredient is roasted eggplant. Oh! SO GOOD.

The roasted eggplant is really the focus of this pizza but the artichoke hearts provide a nice briny counterpart to the buttery, sweet roasted eggplant. The two ingredients work so well together. 

Also, a good tomato sauce is always nice to have on there, too.

Roasted Eggplant...for pizza or pasta or sandwiches!

2 large eggplant, sliced into 1 inch thick rounds
¼ cup olive oil + more if necessary
Sprinkle of salt

Preheat oven to 400˚F. Place eggplant on baking sheets and coat each side generously with olive oil. I like to apply the oil with a silicon brush.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until eggplant is golden and soft. Remove from baking sheets and cut or chop into quarters or whatever size you find manageable on a pizza. 

Sunday, June 1, 2014

The Kitchen Grrrls' Beet and Sweet Bowl (Beet and Sweet Potato Bowl)

This dish was inspired by my meal at Magnolia Cafe as well as the stuff in our fridge and pantry. I had no idea how it would really turn out but it was scrumptious. 

I don't think we've ever really made our own roasted beets before but it sure is the way to go when it comes to beets! Pair it with some roasted sweet potatoes and you're good to go, just like that! But of course I couldn't just stop there, I had more ingredients to clear out! haha.

We've had this bag of sprouted bean trio for literally (cue Chris Traeger inflection) years. I decided to toss some in to add a little protein and texture. You could throw in some beans or cook up some lentils or go without, if you'd prefer. Either way, the beets and sweet potatoes are the real attraction so as long as those are there nothing else really matters ;)

Because I was really on a mission to clear out the fridge, I made a little coleslaw to go on top. Kinda random but it worked. Gave a little extra crunch. The sauce on top is really great and really heightens the flavour of the dish. This was definitely a satisfying dish both in terms of flavour and satiation.

The Kitchen Grrrls' 
Beet and Sweet Bowl

Olive oil
2 beets, diced ¾ inch pieces
2 large sweet potatoes, diced ¾ inch pieces
2 red bell peppers, diced 
salt, pepper

Nutty Sauce
½ cup cashews, soaked (you can soak these overnight or stick them in a bowl, cover them with boiling water and soak for half an hour to an hour)
½ tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp almond butter
juice of half a lemon
¼ cup nutritional yeast flakes
water to thin (you can use the water you soaked the cashews in)
sprinkle of salt

½ bag of coleslaw
3 heaping tbsp of Veganaise
1 tbsp of lemon juice (or more), preferably fresh
salt, pepper

Preheat oven to 375° F. Generously coat beets and sweet potatoes in olive oil (3 or more tbsps). Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Make sure everything is evenly coated. Place in oven and roast for 40-50 mins Toss ‘em around halfway through cooking. Get the bean trio/lentils cooking if using.

Place all the ingredients for the nutty sauce in a food processor or magic bullet-type device and pulse/blend until smooth.

Place the coleslaw mix in a bowl and coat with Veganaise and lemon juice. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Once everything is ready, layer the components in individual bowls.

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