Vegan Dinner Recipe: Mexican Bake

Hey everyone! How is your January going? Is anyone doing Veganuary? If you read my last post you would have read that I was trying out a food cleanse where I only ate whole-foods (unprocessed) and did not eat any salt or oil. I was trying to incorporate more healthy foods into my diet and eat as much produce as possible. Well, I can sure tell you that the recipes were very bland and boring. It was also incredibly expensive (about double the amount that I usually spend on groceries). I don’t see eating that way as a sustainable option for me. But then again, who knows. I said the same thing about veganism 5 years ago and here I am. But for now, it’s a no go.

Today I am coming at you with probably my favourite casserole dinners. I had some doubt before trying this recipe. How could a coconut yogurt taste not coconutty and taste like a delicious, Mexican-flavoured cheese? I was sure that this recipe was not going to be a hit. When I had that first bite, I almost saw fireworks. This dish is so delicious and easy! This obviously isn’t an authentic Mexican recipe, but it is so amazing! Another thing that I love about the website that I found the recipe on is that all recipes are oil-free and are only 8 ingredients.

Anyways, I do make one modification to this recipe which is that I like to add 1 cup of cooked brown rice and layer it in between so it bulks it up a bit. Sometimes I also don’t add the green onions because I don’t have any on hand. The green onions don’t make much of a difference anyways.

This recipe is so simple to make. Serve this dish with your favourite veggie and it’s a complete meal. This recipe is definitely in my rotation and should be in yours too!

What’s a recipe that you keep coming back to? Let me know in the comments!

Recipe is found here.

Vegan Dinner Recipe: Summer Glow Buddha Bowl

Hello everyone! How was your weekend? Mine was very busy. I spent Saturday cleaning (and napping) and today, I was meal prepping. I am going to be doing a type of food cleanse where I only eat whole-foods, no oil and no salt. I am not doing this to lose weight, but just to be healthy. I will write more about it next week, but for today, I want to share with you all one of the most delicious bowl recipes that I have ever had!

I keep coming back to this recipe and it’s starting to get ridiculous. This is the perfect meal for anyone looking to eat their veggies in an enjoyable way. I know it’s probably strange to say this, but I am not really a vegetable person. Growing up, my favourite “vegetable” was a potato (I was completely devastated when I learned that a potato is a grain). Anyway, this bowl is great because you can hardly taste the veggies and because it’s health (minus all of the oil) and satisfying.

When preparing this recipe, I like to shred (in the food processor) the carrots and the beets. For the zucchini, I cut them in half lengthwise and then in half lengthwise again so I am left with 4 long pieces. Then I just slice the rest. When cooking the zucchini, I do not cook it in oil, but instead, I cook it in water. I don’t usually like to add the snap peas or the spinach because I feel like they change the texture and taste of the dish in a completely different way and I don’t want it like that. I do usually add the green beans, but I completely forgot about them this time.

For the dressing, I like to add an extra tablespoon of the red wine vinegar because I really like the tartness of it. For anyone who hasn’t tried red wine vinegar and who does not like the taste of wine, this doesn’t taste like wine at all so don’t worry. I also recommend only adding the 6 tablespoons of oil (I prefer sunflower) because if you add 8 tablespoons in total, I feel like it dilutes the dressing and becomes flavourless.

Also, I find that this recipe makes 3 servings and not 4.

The recipe is found here.

What is your favourite bowl recipe? Share it below in the comments section.

Vegan Dinner Recipe: Yellow Dal (Curry)

Hi everyone! Wow, it has been awhile. I have been considering the direction that I want my social media to go and I realized that  what I was doing wasn’t sustainable for me and also did have the quality I was looking for. As you may know, I work full time at a law firm in downtown Vancouver. I am not sure if any of you are legal assistants or work in the field of law, but it is draining! I began feeling unmotivated when it came to posting blog posts twice a week. On top of that, posting on Instagram everyday. I noticed that I was starting to post pictures that I wasn’t passionate about and that were not related to my “theme” (mostly food, book reviews and lifestyle) in addition, the quality of the pictures were not the best.

I had some time away from creating content and reflected upon how I can incorporate my social media into my life. I have decided that I will be posting blog posts once a week (most likely on Sundays) and then on Instagram two-three times a week. I feel like this will be more sustainable and achievable for me whilst continuing to be passionate about everything I do. Now, onto the food!

I have been looking for and wanting to know how to make a delicious yellow dal (curry) for quite some time now. As you may be aware, I am very particular about my food. It obviously has to have some flavour. The dal that I was looking for had to have the right consistency (runny, but not at all watery).

I am glad to say that I have found the perfect recipe! This is everything that I have been dreaming about. While I am not sure if this is the traditional way of making yellow dal, it sure is scrumptious! I may a few adjustments to the recipe (as I never follow the instruction portion).

First, always use frozen white onions for everything! It will save you all of the chopping time and you will also not have to use oil (for this part). Once the onions are translucent, add the ginger, garlic, tomatoes and green chili (I already had green chilies on hand so I just used those instead of whatever the recipe called for). You don’t need to cut everything small because I prefer to blend this mixture. Cover the pot/pan and cook this all on low-medium heat for about 10-15 minutes until the tomatoes have broken down. Once this is all cooked, transfer this to your blender and blend.

After you have finished blending, do not add this mixture back into the pan just yet. Keep the contents into the blender. Add 1/2 TBSP of oil to the pan/pot where you were cooking the onion contents and add all of the spices and leaves to the oil. Cook the spices (add all of the spices – even the optional ones from the recipe) in oil (stirring constantly) for about 1-2 minutes. Do not burn this. Once you have finished frying the spices, add the contents from the blender along with the water and dal to the pot.

I don’t know if I am the first one to think of this method (keep onion mixture in blender while using only a little bit of oil to fry spices then add onion mixture), but this works perfectly. The frozen onions are important to this process as they release the water as they thaw and cook. I guess you can use fresh onion and then add water while you cook, but that’s a lot of work.

Overall, this yellow dal (curry) is so perfect! I will definitely keep this in my recipe rotation and make double batches.

The recipe is found here.

Do any of you have a favourite curry recipe? I am currently looking for a good, traditional chana masala recipe. Feel free to share your recipe(s).

Vegan Dessert Recipe: Apple Crumble

Oh. My. Gosh. You have to try this. I am not kidding. I just don’t even know how to put how good both of these are into words. I will do my best so here it goes.

This apple crumble is just perfect. The apples, the crispy bits, the sweetness and the tartness. I did modify this recipe a bit. First, I used red apples instead of green. I also didn’t measure out how much I used. I just used enough apples to fill my baking tray (I think I used a 9×9). Second, I used coconut sugar instead of brown sugar. I did this because I didn’t have brown sugar on hand and I also felt that brown sugar would be too sweet. If you have brown sugar, you can definitely use it. I also would really recommend if you peeled the apples (as instructed to in the recipe). It makes a huge difference. I just used a vegetable peeler to do this and it works great. This recipe is perfect for the holiday season and everyday (haha).

Now, this will take some time to prepare, but it is so worth it. Everything just comes together so nicely and the flavours really compliment each other. I think a key ingredient is the lemon. When I was looking for an apple crumble recipe, a lot of them didn’t have lemon in it which is so surprising!

I suggest eating warm and by itself because I feel like if you were to use ice cream, then it would take away from the flavour and the crispy bits. If you do eat it with ice cream, do not put the ice cream on top. Please. For the love of food!

Do you all have any plans for the holiday season?

The recipe is found here.

Vegan in Vancouver: Cheese Platter at Indigo Age Café

Hi everyone! How was your weekend? Mine was good. I went to a local vegan grocery store (Vegan Supply) and got some goodies. You can see what I got on my Instagram page. It was so nice not having to look at every single label to see if there was animal products in the ingredients. Other than that, I just stayed at home and took it easy.

In downtown Vancouver there is a gem of a restaurant tucked away in a basement. It’s called Indigo Age Café. They are a vegan restaurant that specializes in Ukrainian food, but also serve other types of food (including raw meals). I recently wrote a post about their amazing raw burger. This time, I ordered the cheese plater. It came with homemade crackers, bread, apples, blueberries, raisins, 3 types of cheeses, butter and lotus slices (the website said that it also comes with jam, but I didn’t receive any). I think the flavours of the cheeses were: chipotle, herb and maple. I really liked the maple cheese. I never thought of or even heard of a sweet cheese. What a brilliant idea! It went great with the apples and the crackers. When you come to this restaurant (which you really should), you should know that the cheeses don’t actually taste like cheese, but more like a spread. When I think of cheese, I think of the Babybel Cheese. It doesn’t taste like that, but the maple one is still really great!.

The presentation of this dish is obviously beautiful. I love coming here because you can tell that it is almost “undiscovered”. The creators of the dishes put a lot of thought and love into everything which shows. This place is truly special.

What is your favourite local vegan restaurant?

Vegan in Vancouver: Evergreen Roll at Kadoya Japanese Restaurant

It’s been awhile! How is everyone doing? This weekend was super busy for me. I spent all day Saturday moving and all day Sunday unpacking and cleaning. Saturday was really stressful because I had to move my cats from the old apartment to the new apartment. My cats are elderly (one is 18 years old and the other is 10 years old) so I tried to be very careful and not stress them out too much. They really don’t like being in the car or being in cages so they were crying so much during the move. Luckily, the drive was only 10 minutes. Teenies (the 10 year old cat) was really scared and hid under the bed all day Saturday, but she started to come around in the night time (after I went to bed). She is doing better now, but she is still getting used to the different noises. Mr. Cat (the 18 year old cat) is doing great. He was obviously worried while we were packing up the old apartment and terrified during the move, but after he explored the new apartment, he adjusted instantly. Anyway, lets get on to what you all came here for – food!

Let me start off by saying that I absolutely hate sushi! Everything about it is gross and boring. Who wants to just eat rice with soy sauce? Don’t even get me started on seaweed. However, just by chance, this dish jumped out from the heavens and in front of me. My work ordered it for a lunch one day and I told my coworker to just get me whatever that is vegan and she picked this. I am so thankful that this dish summoned me. I love everything about this sushi. I love that the sushi is wrapped with soy paper (this has no taste). I love the different veggies in it. And most of all, I absofreakinlutely love, love, love this sauce! I asked what it is made out of and they refused to tell me. Sorry guys! I am not sure what that white stuff is that it comes with, but I think it is some type of pickled ginger. The ginger is really good with the sushi also!

You all should definitely go here and try out this sushi! Make sure you ask for extra sauce because you will slurp it all up before you finish the roll. If you don’t live around here, come here. Trust me. This sushi is worth it!

Have you tried this place? What is your favourite sushi restaurant?

Vegan in Victoria: Caesar Salad at Rawthentic

Wow! What a busy week. My boyfriend and I are moving this weekend. We have lived at our current place for 3 and a half years so in order to get our deposit back, we really need to clean everything from head to toe. It is a really big job. We aren’t dirty people, but of course overtime, everything builds up. On the bright side, we don’t have much things to pack. Anyways!

I recently went to Victoria to check out the Egyptian exhibit at the local museum (pictures are on my Instagram). It was a really cool experience. There was this mummified cat and I tried to take a picture of it, but all of my pictures came out blurry. Every. Single. Time. When I took pictures of the other artifacts, it was fine. It was very strange.

Before we went to the museum, we went to Rawthentic for an early lunch. I really wanted to get the tacos (this girl loves her Mexican food – even though it’s obviously not authentic), but they ran out of one of the ingredients. They were very nice and accommodating though. I ended up getting the Caesar salad. I was not sure what to expect of it. I had a bad experience with sun dried tomatoes and I try to stay away from them (they have traumatized me). I was especially scared that they were going to be dried and not rehydrated.

I was pleased to see that when the dish came, they were in fact hydrated and could not taste them. The dressing was nice and it came with a piece of garlic “bread”. The dressing wasn’t overly garlicky so I would say it isn’t a traditional Caesar dressing, but it was still good. The thing that stole the show was their raw “chicken”. Wow! I am very impressed! The chicken doesn’t actually taste like chicken, but it does have a taste that reminds me of chicken. It was soft in the middle and had an almost crunchy outside. It’s loaded with flavour. I think they said that it is made with a mix of nuts – how cool! In my opinion, this chicken is what made the dish. If I ever go back to Victoria and go to this restaurant, I would be very interested in trying another chicken dish like the burger.

Have you guys been here? If so, what did you get? Let me know in the comments!