Category Archives: Vegan

Vegetarian TVP Beefy ‘Meatballs’

My friend Anne Marie and her little man Emmet were coming over today to hang out as their floors are being replaced in their home. I thought it might be nice to send my vegetarian friend home with some dinner as I’m sure her and husband Rick will be more inclined to move their furniture back in then cook a healthy meal. I scoured the internets to find a vegetarian ‘meatball’ that had a beefy flavour. I found one and decided to give them a try. They come from the blog A Vegan For Dinner  and due to her daunting request to reference her I thought it was in my best interest! ;) “But this recipe is so fab, if I ever find out you stole it and didn’t give me credit, I will so figure out where you live and sign you up for weird sexual newsletters and/or incontinence catalogs through the mail. That’s a promise.”

These would be great with a simple tomato sauce over spaghetti or sweet and sour sauce over rice as she references. Anything with an asterix * beside it means I’ve either changed her recipe or made an addition to it. I’m hoping she won’t mind!?

Vegetarian TVP Beefy ‘Meatballs’

In a small bowl, mix:
1 cup hot water
1 teaspoon vegan Worcestershire Sauce
1 1/2 tablespoon ketchup
2 tablespoon soya sauce
2 tablespoon vegan beef bouillon
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
*1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon thyme
*1/2 teaspoon oregano
*1/2 teaspoon basil
*1 teaspoon red pepper chili flakes
*1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds (optional)

*Saute in olive oil till translucent: (I couldn’t help but add a little fresh onion and garlic)
1/2 minced onion
2 cloves garlic crushed

Then Stir In:
3/4 cup TVP crumbles
Allow to sit until cool. *I reheated liquid in microwave before adding TVP.

Vegans: Mix 1 Tbsp ground flax *or chia seeds with 3 Tbsp water. Beat with a fork, then lit sit until it begins to gel. Set aside.
*Vegetarians: Wisk up one egg.

In a large bowl, mix:
2 tablespoon cornmeal
1/2 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup breadcrumbs
2 tablespoon flour
3 tablespoon vital wheat gluten flour

When TVP mixture is cool, stir it into the dry ingredients along with flax/or egg and water/TVP mixture. Mix well and knead dough into a solid ball. *Let this rest for around 5 minutes and allow the gluten fibers to form and relax.

Shape into 32 “meatballs” and fry in oil until brown. Alternately, you can bake on an oiled pan at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes. *I divided the dough into 4. Then each of those into 8 small balls. I placed the salt shaker in the picture so you can see how small they are. I also forgot to add the chili flakes so i sprinkled them on the balls after putting them on the cookie sheet for baking.

Use as you would any other meatball, like spaghetti or sweet and sour sauce. Do not allow the meatballs to sit in the sauce for an extended period of time; add close to the end of the cooking period, just long enough to heat thoroughly. *I grated a ton of mozzarella and fresh chopped Italian parsley on mine. I seriously couldn’t tell it was not meat. Great recipe Tracy!!


Filed under Meats, Vegan, Vegetarian

Sweet n’ Spicy Roasted Salsa

A recent  trip to Austin Texas made me revisit my love of homemade salsa. I have a good standby roasted salsa recipe that my friends love, but why not expand my repertoire? At 8am I sat on my pal Mia’s couch and chomped on chips and a salsa i found in their fridge (yes I eat chips and salsa for breakfast). It was super tasty for store bought salsa and upon looking at the ingredients I saw carrots! Carrots in salsa?? Back home now in rainy Vancouver Canada I decided to try and recreate the flavour for you all to enjoy. So here we go!

Sweet n’ Spicy Roasted Salsa


1 corn cob
1 jalapeno pepper
3 hot skinny peppers (see pictures, no idea what they are called)
4 cloves garlic
1 large onion
1/2 a large carrot sliced (see pic)
5 to 6 tomatoes (have an extra fresh one to add if it gets too spicy)
1 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 lime juiced
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon ancho chili powder

Heat oven to broil. Place onion (peeled and cut in half) carrots chopped (see pic) and tomatoes on a cookie sheet. Sprinkle a little bit of olive oil on the carrots… Check on them every 5 minutes and turn them over to get them nice and burnt and roasted. Carrots will be done first – remove them when they look roasted.

Roast corn, garlic (leave skin on) and all of the peppers on a grill or in a frying pan (poke each pepper with a knife or they will explode while cooking). Peppers and garlic will be done before the corn, just set them aside when they are cooked.

When tomatoes and onions are all roasted and toasty put them into your food processor along with the carrots, peppers, garlic, lime juice and spices. Pulse till mixed well, but not super smooth. You want some texture.

Add spices and corn that you have chopped off the cob and the cilantro. Briefly pulse for a few seconds.

And that’s it! My favorite chips are Tostitos Multigrain. They are a little sweet and perfectly salty.


Filed under Appetizers, Dips & Spreads, Vegan, Vegetarian

Vegan Bacon – Coconut Bacon

I did not invent this but I just discovered it and it’s freaking AWESOME.

i just made a BLT sandwich with it and I can’t stop eating it off the cooking pan.

I found the recipe here and if you are a vegetarian or vegan definitely give this one a go. SO GOOD.

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Filed under Sandwich, Vegan, Vegetarian

Mexican Bean Burgers

A good friend of mine and I got together last week and over a bottle (or two) of wine and came up with these tasty vegan burgers. The consistency was a tad squish but the flavours well made up for that. I used some of the leftovers to make burritos with. Take a look at my friend Melissa McMahon’s website Swap Meat… here’s the link to the recipe for our burgers! Mexican Bean Burgers

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Filed under Sandwich, Vegan, Vegetarian

Beet Fennel & Mint Slaw’s.been.forever.

Summer finally arrived in Vancouver and it has taken me forever to finally sit down and do a quick blog. I have taken pictures of plenty of my food, but have not gotten around to posting them yet. This recipe is perfect for summer and thought I’d quickly share it with you. My sister Trinity gave it to me and I changed it up just a little. It’s always a hit when she makes it for her friends so i thought I give it a try. The interesting combo of fennel, beets, mint, rasins and the miso dressing come togther really nicely. It’s light, fresh and healthy to a fault. Definitely give this one a try!

Beet Fennel & Mint Slaw

7 tablespoons rice vinegar
5 tablespoons white miso paste (I used the light brown kind)
4 teaspoons honey or agave nectar
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup raisins
3 golden or red beets, peeled and grated
1 fennel bulb, fronds and bulb thinly sliced (so the entire thing, thin as you can get it)
1 bunch green onions, chopped
2/3 cup mint leaves, sliced

In a smaller bowl, whisk together vinegar, miso, honey and pepper. Set aside.

Soak raisins in boiling water for 5 minutes then drain. In a large bowl add beets, fennel, green onions and mint. Toss in dressing to coat. Simple as that. Trin recommends tossing in dressing an hour before you eat it.


Filed under Side Dishes, Vegan, Vegetarian

Grilled Eggplant Bell Pepper Onion Sandwich

The title for this recipe is a mouthful, but so is every delicious bite you take of this sandwich… When I think of dinner I rarely think of making a sandwich. After watching a few shows on the food network today I came up with a combo from several different recipes that turned into probably the best sandwich I’ve ever made. Takes around 30 minutes to make it but SO worth it. Below shows the ingredients for two servings but easy to double or triple for more than two people.


1 medium sized eggplant
1 bell pepper (yellow or red)
1 red onion
mixed greens
fresh basil
Ciabatta bread
1/4 cup mayonnaise or vegan mayo
2 cloves of garlic minced or crushed
Parmesan cheese or vegan cheese
1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
olive oil

First slice eggplant into 1/2 inch pieces. Place on a tray with a piece of paper towel.

Salt both sides well and set aside.

Slice red onion into 1/2 inch rounds and put them in a bowl with the whole bell pepper. Pour in some olive oil and toss them around till coated.

Spicy Garlic Aioli
Mix the garlic, Cayenne pepper and pepper into the mayonnaise and set aside.

With a paper towel, dab off the moisture from the eggplant. Brush olive oil onto both sides of your eggplant pieces.

Place all of the veggies on the grill (medium to hot heat) keep your eye on them and keep turning to get a nice char and caramelization.

Brush more olive oil on the eggplant if it’s looking a bit dry while cooking.

Cut up your Ciabatta bread into the size you want your sandwich to be. Baste both pieces with olive oil.

When veggies are done pop them on the grill and toast them up. You can give them a good press down with your hand. Ciabatta bread is very chewy and hard to eat if it isn’t toasted.

When everything is done cooking slather the bread with the aioli and layer in the cooked veggies (slice up the roasted pepper). Chop up the basil and sprinkle it on and top with some fresh mixed greens and chunks of Parmesan cheese.

Get a serviette (napkin) turn on the TV, kick back and enjoy an amazing sandwich!

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Filed under Sandwich, Vegan, Vegetarian

Sugar Free, Gluten Free & Vegan Carrot Cake – SCD

For Father’s day this year I decided to make a my dad a treat. He struggles with SCD or Specific Carbohydrate Diet due to long term digestive problems. It is a very strict diet. From the book Breaking The Vicious Cycle… “Some general guidelines are, no grains (i.e. rice, wheat, corn, oats, etc.), no processed foods, no starchy vegetables (i.e. potatoes, yams, etc.), no canned vegetables of any kind, no flour, no sugar, no sweeteners other than honey and saccharin, and no milk products except for homemade yogurt fermented for 24 hours, prepared according to the instructions in the book.” These guidelines make it pretty darn hard to make anything decadent and sweet for a special occasion… or does it? This recipe is one I have adapted from the book. It is beyond moist and sweet and is easily made vegan (except the frosting). It holds together pretty well as gluten free cakes usually crumble apart. Perfect for those struggling with Crohn’s disease, SCD or Celiac disease. One note: making it vegan I found it to be much more crumbly. It’s very hard to get anything gluten free to not fall apart. Still tasted good though. If your diet allows it, add 1 teaspoon of xanthum gum and that should help.

Sugar Free, Gluten Free & Vegan Carrot Cake


3/4 cups almond flour
3/4 cups coconut flour
1 3/4 cups finely shredded carrots
1 ripe banana mashed
1/2 – 3/4 cup honey (1/2 cup agave for vegans)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup butter (vegans use vegan margarine)
1 egg (vegans use 1 1/2 tbsp egg replacer with 2 tbsp warm water)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla

Blend butter till smooth and creamy. Add honey and eggs to butter and blend well.

Mix all dry ingredients in a separate bowl. In three parts SIFT in the mixture, blending in just till incorporated.

Add carrots and banana. You can add raisins, and nuts if you like as well. This cake has a long bake time as it is quite dense.Put into a well greased 8 inch square pan, or grease round 9 inch cake pan, line the bottom with parchment paper for easy removal.

Bake 350 F for 45 to 60 min. Just keep checking as you don’t want it to go too dark on top. 55 minutes has worked for me.

Sugar Free Frosting


1 1/2 cups of fresh homemade yogurt
honey to taste (a few tablespoons)
vanilla bean
1 tablespoon coconut butter
1 teaspoon coconut flour

This must be started the day before making the cake.

Take a sieve and double line it with paper towel or cheese cloth. Place sieve over bowl and pour the yogurt in. Cover and let sit in your fridge overnight to drain. You will find the next morning a thick dense sour cream in the morning.

Melt the coconut oil and let it cool a bit before adding to the yogurt along with the honey and scrapings of the vanilla bean (you could use 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla). Pop this mixture back in the fridge. The coconut oil with firm up as it cools down.

Frost the cake just before eating it. Yum! My dad loved it and I love my dad… xox *d

(This frosting is obviously not vegan. I’m not sure if soy yogurt would work but it could be worth a try.)


Filed under Desserts, SCD Gluten & Sugar Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

Purple Potato Salad

Vancouver has had a longer than usual ‘spring’ this year. Endless days of rain and cloudy skies. Maybe making summer style food will bring back the sun? My pal Hamsa made this salad a few years back and i fell in love with it. A new twist on an old favorite. It is easily made vegan by using a vegan mayonnaise. Super tasty and a hit every time I make it for friends. Give it a go for your next BBQ…

Purple Potato Salad


2 lbs. Small purple potatoes or a mix
1 small red onion, diced
2 celery stalks, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 cup mayonnaise (or vegan mayonnaise)
1/4 cup Dijon and/or grainy mustard
1 tsp celery seed
1 tsp cayenne
1 tsp apple cider or white vinegar
1 lemon, juiced
Salt & pepper, to taste

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Boil the potatoes until fork tender but no mushy, about 20 minutes depending on potato size. I found these cute little mini potatoes at the store the other day. Add the cut up veggies to the hot potatoes.

In another bowl, stir together mayonnaise, mustard, celery seed, cayenne, vinegar, and lemon, salt and pepper. I didn’t have enough grainy mustard and made up for it with a little Dijon.

Add the dressing to the vegetable mixture. Doing this while the potatoes are still hot is always best as they really absorb the flavors of the dressing. Toss gently to coat and then season with more salt and pepper if you need to. If there is too much dressing for your liking just save it and use as a salad dressing.

Great a side to your bbq’ed meat and corn on the cob or bring it to a potluck!


Filed under Side Dishes, Vegan, Vegetarian

Vegan Rosemary Garlic Hot Dogs

Popping a hotdog in a bun as often as I might want to is most likely not the best thing for my health. I already know what goes into most of them yet I still eat them. I decided to try and switch up some of my vegan sausages to make something ‘hotdog’ flavored – and – it WORKED. I added some TVP to give them a more meaty texture. I know there’s a lot of spices, but you’re trying to create something that doesn’t just taste like salted tubes of wheat and soy. Topped with all your favorites, I swear you won’t know the difference!

Vegan Rosemary Garlic Hot Dogs


1 1/4 cup Vital Wheat Gluten
1 cup TVP
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon ground dry rosemary
1 teaspoon chilli pepper flakes
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder

1 3/4 cup Beef flavored broth (be sure it’s vegetarian)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon sugar (stir well to dissolve)
1 tablespoon liquid smoke
1 tablespoon tamiri or soy sauce
4 cloves garlic minced
1 teaspoon fresh minced rosemary (if you have some)
1/2 cup finely chopped Italian parsley

Grind up your tablespoon of rosemary and teaspoon of pepper in a spice grinder (I use our old coffee grinder). If you don’t have one you could try mincing it up with your knife.

In a large glass or ceramic bowl, mix together all of the dry ingredients very well and create a well in the center. In a separate bowl whisk together the water, garlic, fresh herbs, olive oil and soy sauce. Using a fork, gently stir the wet into the dry ingredients. Keep mixing the dough until it begins to firm up a bit. the TVP will take a bit of time to absorb the water. If dough mixture is too wet, you can add another tablespoon of flour if needed. It will feel quite fluffy and light, not dense like a bread or cookie dough. Kneed it a bit till it comes together like dough.

Scoop 1/2 cup dough mixture at a time and shape into logs or patties. Place them on piece of aluminum foil and roll them up, twisting ends.

Place sausages in your steamer and steam for 30 minutes. I used a big pot with my old school veggie steamer on the bottom. Be sure to check that the water doesn’t dry up while cooking!

Once the sausages have cooled, remove from the foil (the moisture inside will make them soggy) wrap well in cello wrap and refrigerate or freeze until ready to eat. The sausage may feel a tad dry on the outside but will soften and firm up after chilling. These will need to be fried in a little olive oil or grilled to give them a nice crispy texture. Top with all of your favorite hotdog toppings, mm mm good!


Filed under Meats, Vegan, Vegetarian

Gluten Free Vegan Italian Sausages & Patties

SO – were have I been? Well, I had a baby! Jonah Alexandra was born on an early April morning at home. We had a great water birth and Jonah is doing great. Sleeping through the night already. Looks like she’s going to be a good sleeper and eater!

So here’s another version of my Spicy Italian Vegan Sausages but without the wheat, so this makes them Vegan AND Gluten Free. Super tasty in a grilled bun with all the fixin’s or maybe used for breakfast sausage and gravy?

Gluten Free Vegan Italian Sausages & Patties

1 cup TVP (Textured Veg. Protein)
1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes
1/4 cup sorghum flour
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
2 tbsp vegetarian chicken bouillon
2 tbsp granulated onion
1 to 2 tbsp fennel seed, optional
2 tsp coarsely ground pepper, preferably freshly ground
2 tsp ground paprika
1 tsp dried chili flakes, optional or 1/2 if you can’t handle heat
1 tsp ground smoked paprika
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/8 tsp ground allspice (didn’t have and used Italian seasonings)
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup water
6 to 8 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 tbsp olive oil

Mix all of the dry ingredients well in a medium sized bowl.

Add wet ingredients and let sit for 5 minutes so TVP can absorb moisture. Form dough into patties or sausages.

Heat oil in a frying pan (enough so that the patties can ‘fry’).

Cook for around 3 to 4 minutes each side or until they are nicely browned and crispy.

Sauerkraut, Veganaise and Dijon and Deli mustard, melted Daiya cheese on a toasted bun… can’t go wrong. So good!


Filed under Meats, Sandwich, Vegan, Vegetarian