Posts Tagged ‘vegetarian’

IMG_2094We all know I have a weak spot for cool cookbooks (my exploding bookshelf is a clear reminder!), and Bake and Destroy has totally gotten my attention. After that amazing french toast the other day, I started browsing the savory recipes to see what else was hiding in there. It is hard to resist decadent cookbooks with amazing pictures! Plus, with the weather getting cooler, I am really craving some fall comfort food! Therefore, last night, I decided to try making the Samosa Potpie. I never make Samosas; but Tibits, one of the few vegan/vegetarian restaurants in Switzerland, makes amazing ones. Since it is almost the season of apple pies, pumpkin pies and other favorites, I thought I would get my pie groove back. 

They key to making any type of pie crust is patience. So, put some nice music on and don’t rush magic! 

I found that the separate pie crust recipe was really simple and easy to handle. It called for half all purpose flour and half whole wheat, but I just used all whole wheat pastry flour. I like the taste of whole wheat better and I feel it is somewhat healthier! Instead of the shortening I used non hydrogenated margarine and it turned out super. It was really soft and easy to roll out, yet it was sturdy enough to easily be shaped into the pie pan without breaking apart or stretching infinitely. So far so good!

IMG_2095The filling was made of awesome things like potatoes  tomatoes, ginger, chiles, peas and spinach. What I didn’t like so much was the ‘cream’ made with margarine, flour, soy milk and curry. I felt like it kept too much of that ‘margariney’ taste. I think next time I will make it like I make béchamel sauce, only with curry added. 

All in all it turned out really great. The crust was nice and thin, crunchy and flaky. The inside was hardy and very creamy. Plus it really was very pretty to look at. Hubby totally loved it! The recipe makes enough for a 9inch pie, therefore we had enough leftovers for lunch. I feel like the pie was even better the day after! The flavors had really developed and the spice was more pronounced (something both the hubby and I like), sort of like vegetable curry.

I served it with a nice fresh side salad and it was awesome! This is definitely something I would confidently serve non-vegan guests. 

Anyone running out to buy the cookbook yet? Because I am warning you, I have some chocolate cookies in the oven that might push you over the edge! I feel like I will be cooking my way through this cookbook. It might be time I get myself a juicer to fast away all this craziness!



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IMG_1642This might be the coolest cookbook EVER! I have been waiting a while for it and finally, it arrived! Natalie Slater’s Bake and Destroy is addictive, and totally kooky! Her wit and punk – rock attitude really shines through the totally decadent and imaginative recipes that get you drooling just by looking at the gorgeous pictures. Her writing style definitely puts a smile on your face and maybe even gets a few chuckles. Choose from Taco Lasagna, Nacho Cupcakes and Spaghetti Cake with Grandma Sharon’s Hater-Proof Sauce! Total insanity! 

I have a total peanut butter addiction, the Elvis sandwich being one of my all time favorite snacks, so when I saw the Honky Tonk French Toast – aka Elvis French Toast – I went totally bananas! 

First of all, I LOVE french toast. But I have never made them, and since becoming vegan, it has become a little tough to find good french toast in vegan restaurants. So, another reason I freaked out when I saw this recipe!

Like all of Slater’s recipes, this isn’t your average french toast, it uses banana bread! PEANUT BUTTER banana bread. The banana bread was so light and fluffy I swear nobody could have guessed it was vegan! It was hard not to eat it all straight out of the oven. So my first suggestion is to; make 2 banana breads while you are at it, one for your 5 o’clock tea and one for french toast the next day!

The only change I made to the recipe is that I found my loaf needed more like 60-70minutes to be fully baked instead of the suggested 40-IMG_165250. It made a super fluffy inside with a nice crust. I let my slices dry and this morning I made banana bread for brunch. Total craziness! It was amazing!

The bread gets soaked in a mixture of peanut butter, soy milk, vanilla and cinnamon. It soaks in this divine creaminess for 10mins and then you bake them off for 30minutes, until crispy. Let me tell you, they were not only crispy and moist inside, but totally mind-blowing! I might still be high from all that peanut butter.

Hubby and I are already looking at what wacky recipe we will try next so, don’t go far!


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I am excited to talk about one of my favorite vegan discoveries today, TEMPEH! To those of you who are new to veganism or just trying it out, my best suggestion is; GO OUT AND GET TEMPEH! Compared to tofu, tempeh is much cooler. It’s so versatile! You can just cut it up thin to make scaloppine, fry it, bake it, grind it to make bolognese or meatballs etc etc.

There are so many awesome things about tempeh, besides its flavor and texture, that I will just name a few. First of all, unlike tofu, which is made from soymilk curd; tempeh is actually a whole food. It is made by fermenting beans and grains, just like cheese! Therefore, it contains something that tofu does not, probiotics, so necessary and beneficial to our digestive system. For this reason, I personally find that tempeh is very gentle on my digestive tract. I sometimes, however, don’t digest tofu that hasn’t been properly cooked, very well.

Most of the tempeh found here in Switzerland is made from soybeans. I am happy enough to find it so I cannot complain! Plus, it’s made locally, something I love to support. But, it sometimes makes me consume a little more soy foods than I would like. In NYC I used to eat all sorts of tempeh. The best place to get really fabulous tempeh is from Barry’s Tempeh. He has so many different sorts it is fun to try them all. People who are sensitive, or are watching their gluten and/or soy intake, have many options to choose from. You can find him in Smorgasburg and other markets where he has a rotating weekly variety as well. 

The recipe today I think really showcases the great potential of tempeh, and it makes it accessible to those of you trying it for the first time. I think its texture is what I am in love with. You will see, it has more of a bite than tofu. This kicka** recipe is from my good NGI friend Angela, a true born and bred lovely Mexican girl, who just happens to be a divine cook too. So, don’t take it from the Swiss girl who knows nothing of authentic Mexican food (and always manages to burn herself of chiles), but take it from Angela; this is a traditional Tacos Al Pastor recipe – made vegan! HURRAY!

Even if tempeh is the star of this dish, its preparation is really very fast and simple. Don’t be afraid of all the condiments and toppings, I  always make this dish, even when I have little time. Plus, you can pick and choose the condiments. There are lots of ingredients, but you only need minimal cooking and prep time. Don’t be shy, get your Mexican on! Don’t be afraid to ask questions, I asked Angela about 1000 silly questions the first time I made it. She must think I am hopeless as a Mexican cook! And take it from me, it might look ridiculous and feel funny, but USE GLOVES when messing with the chiles.


Tempeh Marinade (for 1 lbs tempeh)IMG_1448

– 3 tablespoons ground paprika
– 2 tablespoons cumin seeds
– 1 tablespoon black pepper corns
– 2 cloves garlic
– 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
– 1 teaspoon salt
– 3/4 cup brown sugar
– 1 cup white wine vinegar
– 3 dried chilies, veins and seeds removed (I use 1 Ancho, 1 Guajillo, 1 Pasilla)
– 2 cups boiling water



– 3 ripe avocados, peeled and seeded
– 1/2 lime, juiced
– 1/2 red onion, minced
– 1/4 cup cilantro, minced
– 1 jalapeño, seeds removed, minced
– Salt, to taste

Pico de Gallo

– 3 large tomatoes, small dice
– 1 red onion, small dice
– 1/3 cup cilantro, minced (or to taste)
– 1/2 lime, juiced
– 2 jalapeños, seeds removed, minced
– Salt, to taste

– Pineapple, diced

– Green pepper, sliced thin

– Corn tortillas

Cut the tempeh in small slices, or even small ‘sticks’, spread in a shallow baking dish. To prepare the marinade, mix all the ingredients in a blender. Because you are adding hot water, leave an opening for the vapor to escape. Once well mixed, pour over your tempeh. Leave to marinate about 30-45minutes, while you prepare the condiments. 

For the guacamole, mash the avocados well in a small salad bowl, then mix in the rest of the ingredients.

For the pico de gallo, mix together all the ingredients in a small salad bowl. 

Once the tempeh has marinated and your condiments are ready, you need to pan fry it. Drain your tempeh gently, but keep the marinade. Heat a large skillet with a little canola oil and add your tempeh. Turn heat to medium/ high. You will want to fry the tempeh until it is nice and coloured and very slightly crisp on the outside. I usually add a few tablespoons of the marinade whenever it starts to stick. This makes for a very flavorful tempeh. I add about 6 tablespoons of the marinade in total. Make sure you taste and adjust your salt.

Once cooked, I usually serve everything on the table and people can make their own tacos. It’s fun and delicious! 


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I was having sandwich cravings this weekend. Especially for this sandwich. I used to be a big tuna salad fan before becoming vegan. Now, a few years and numerous ‘pet’ goldfish later (one of them who squirts me when begging for food, and one who just turned 18!), I am happy to have this alternative in case I’m feeling ‘sandwich-y’. This awesome salad doesn’t cause sky-rocketing mercury and arsenic levels in your blood, and leaves the tuna fish (and dolphins) in the sea a little longer.

This is my go-to mock tuna salad. I just love it! Pair it with a good quality whole grain bread with nuts and seeds and some well picked condiments for the perfect lunch treat.


Ingredients (salad for 4 sandwiches)

– 2 cans chickpeas, drained and well rinsed
– 1/3 cup vegenaise (eggless mayo)
– 2 carrots, peeled and small diced
– 3 celery stalks, sliced thinly
– 1/4 cup fresh 
parsley, minced
– 1/2 red onion, minced
– 2 tablespoons capers
– 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
– 2 tablespoons dulse flakes (optional)
– S+P to taste

Blend the chickpeas in a food processor until left with flaky pieces. Add to a medium salad bowl along with the rest of the ingredients. Mix well.

Construct your sandwich with 2 slices of crunchy fresh bread, a few leaves of your favourite salad, a few slices of tomatoes and you are set!


Enjoy this lovely lunch!


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I fell a little behind with the MoFo blogging because I had a pretty hectic weekend! I wasn’t away from my kitchen, just too busy to share. I had to bake some cupcakes for my little cousin’s 8th birthday and my kitchen was a battle zone after that! I seriously need a bigger kitchen. While turning around to get a spoon, I knocked over the whisk that was nice and full of warm chocolate ganache… It splattered chocolate all over my white kitchen as it hit the floor! Not fun. 

Friday was a totally crazy day. I was actually blogging in the morning with a nice cup of hot (decaf) coffee and I heard a weird ‘T-H-U-D”. I look out my balcony window and at first don’t notice anything. I take a better look and see a few feathers flying around. So out I go onto the balcony and see a cute little coal tit sitting on the floor. He looked totally fine, just sitting there. Back in the house I go, so as not to stress him out, and keep an eye on him. A few minutes later he starts having these scary convulsions while arching his back and looking up at the shy! He couldn’t seem to sit straight, walk, or fly. So obviously, I freak out; go into the pantry and find a little box (from my Swifter Duster!), go out and gently put him in. By that time, he is sitting in the box rather calmly, looking out at me. So I bring him in the house, since I always read that sick/injured animals need to be kept warm, and put his box in a larger plastic box, with fresh water and some bird food. And I cover it. Typical luck, it turns out to be the lunch break for the vets in the area so I cannot call anyone for 2hours! So I just keep the house quiet and check on him every 30mins or so. After about 45mins I start hearing noises in the box, I look in and he had moved to a darker corner of his box, and was sitting really nice and straight. So I think to myself, phew!

At that point I decide to keep him in his box another 30 or so minutes to make sure he is okay, and then try to release him in the garden. It seemed like a good plan, except that a few minutes later, I hear something, look up, and there is a bird flying around my living room! He had somehow escaped his covered plastic box and was flying around the room! So I freak out ( for the second time in one day!) and run to get my two dogs in the bedroom. Thankfully they hadn’t seen him yet! Once back the little bird is sitting on my living room carpet observing me. So I sit down next to him and try to get him in his box to take him outside. He wouldn’t budge. He had somehow grasped my rug with his claws and there was no way to move him. So I just opened the large balcony window, sat down next to him and waited. This lasted about 15-20mins! I was just sitting there like a crazy person talking to a bird! Funny enough, some words I said made him arch to the side his head. Quite funny and cute. Then finally, he chirps and flies out the window! Happy ending at last. 

Here is a picture I snapped of the little fellow. You can see how he is listening and looking at me! Too cute! And that’s actually the fully opened balcony window, which he wouldn’t cross!

Anyways, back to MoFo! I have been trying to include a lot of non-vegan family and friends in the fun, by inviting them for dinners and bringing people cookies and muffins! When I ask them what they would like me to make them, 85% of the time they want veggie burgers! And not just any burger, they want the Quinoa Burgers from Vegan Diner. I don’t know what it is about these burgers, but non-vegans LOVE them! My little brother even gets super hyper and happy after eating them. He dances around the house! I think they might be an energy powerhouse. In terms of burgers, they are super healthy and I feel like my body is really nourished after I have them. I top them with guacamole and tons of different veggies and it is perfect. My future father in-law actually has them without the buns but with a salad. He loves them that way. 

As for me, I sometimes need a change. I don’t necessarily want to have burgers again for lunch when I had them the night before. So I came up with a good way to use the leftovers; neatballs! I don’t know where they got the name, but it stuck. I guess they are pretty neat after all.

Spaghetti and Neatballs – quinoa, chickpeas, onions, oats, poultry seasoning, parsley…

The recipe isn’t at all complicated. I just formed some small balls with the leftover patty mix and used some spelt flour to roll them in. I then sautéed them in olive oil, making sure I roasted all sides well. It helps to just toss them in the pan a few times.

You want to get your salted water boiling in the pot for the pasta in the meantime, so that you can just put in the pasta when your sauce is almost finished.

Meanwhile, I made my usual tomato sauce (onions, tomato and basil) and let it cook over low heat for 10mins until it was nice and thick. At this point you can either toss in the neatballs with the sauce to get them nice and saucy. Or keep them separate. I did the second because I prefer having the sauce mixed with the pasta first, and then topped with the neatballs. But it totally works both ways. 


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Asian Lunch


I was swamped with things to do today, so I had a super short time in the kitchen. I had been craving saltiness all morning, and was having a vision of yummy take out food. Since there is no sign of take out restaurants anywhere near I fixed myself a quick asian inspired lunch. I recently read that Shiitake mushrooms are a super health boosters. Awesome!

I made my sautéed shiitakes with some jasmine rice drizzled with soy sauce and sesame seeds. I love adding the seeds for an extra crunchy texture. It was the perfect lunch and left me feeling light, but satisfied, all day long.

Sautéed Shiitake Mushrooms with Sesame seeds


1 cup dry, sliced, Shiitake mushrooms; rehydrated for 30mins and rinsed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 – 2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame seeds

Warm up the olive oil in a skillet. Add in the shiitakes and sauté for about 5mins. Add in the soy sauce and cook for an additional 2-5mins. I like mine nice and chewy on the outside, but soft on the inside. Drizzle the sesame seeds and serve. How simple was that? I also love adding these mushrooms on salads and in stir fries.

I will have some more time on my hands tomorrow and am planning some awesome vegan baking involving apples; so stay tuned!

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I am SUPER thrilled to be participating in this year’s vegan MOFO! What better way to spread the vegan LOVE?! Around 500 bloggers are participating in a MAJOR posting madness of scrumptious food, health tips and general vegan life chat. And all this, for one WHOLE MONTH. Yes, I am super excited!  I found some of my favorite veggie blogs on last year’s MOFO, so I hope this year will be the same. I will try to visit as many of you as I can, as well as post some awesome recipes daily. Sometimes, I get way too excited for my own good with what I find. 

For anyone who hasn’t tuned into MOFO yet, here is the list of the amazing bloggers who are participating. Check them out, leave comments, and spread the love!

To start this off on the right foot. I decided to share one of my all time favorite recipes. This is one of my oldest vegan kitchen staples, and I just LOVE IT! It was vegan baking which got me familiar with veganism, and this recipe shows you why. It is simple, fast and totally divine. It is also a nice way to say goodbye to blueberries which will be leaving the market shelves pretty soon. I bake these muffins for breakfast or afternoon tea all the time, I like that they are quite ‘healthy’ as far as baking goes because I use 50% whole wheat flour and only raw cane sugar instead of the processed white one. You will never guess they are heathy or vegan, they are perfectly moist and perfectly decadent! Go ahead! Try them out!

Blueberry Breakfast Muffins: whole wheat flour, blueberries, raw cane sugar


3/4 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 cup raw cane sugar
1/4 cup margarine
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup applesauce
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup soy milk
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup blueberries, washed and dried

Preheat oven to 180C (350F)

Mix all the dry ingredients in a medium mixing bowl. Make a well in the center of the ingredients and add the wet ingredients. Mix well until creamy, but don’t over mix. Gently fold in the blueberries. Fill your muffin liners about 3/4 full (a little more if you want you muffins to get a nice dome shape). Bake for 27minutes and let cool on a wire rack.


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