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Vegan Blueberry SconesMessy Delicious Italian Veggie SandwichVegan Basil Pesto Cannelloni in Rich Tomato SauceVegan Bean Burritos Packed Full of VeggiesVegan Chinese Green Onion BunsGrilled Tempeh in a Spicy Vegan Manchurian SauceSix-Ingredient Vegan Butterscotch Pudding with Mango and BlueberryMaking Better Hummus at Home

Recipes in a Category

Tasty Vegan Grilled Salad with Tofu and Portobellos

A decent vegan grilled salad has been on my to-do list for a while now. I need a substantial amount of protein to help get me through the afternoon without hunger pangs. Tofu to the rescue there. Grilled portobello mushrooms always remind me of beef, so the flavour is rich to me even if the ingredient itself isn't. Rich is always good in a salad. A simple lemon vinaigrette adds the required tang. But suprisingly enough, the star of the show turned out to be the pumpkin seeds. The contrasting crunch really ties everything together and makes it feel like a meal. More

Filed under: Recipes > Light Meals & Snacks

Tags: tofu, salad, portobello, mushroom, healthy

Vegan Tofu Sliders with Tangy Purple Coleslaw

The first time I tried these sliders, I was a little overwhelmed with a feeling of satisfaction, which doesn't happen often when I'm experimenting with a new recipe. I guess it's not all that surprising when you consider the ingredients -- pretty much anything tastes great when you put it on a fresh bun with a bed of tangy coleslaw. But the well spiced fried tofu in this recipe seems to get along particularly well with the coleslaw. The contrasts in flavour and texture make each bite a mini-adventure. It's in my regular lunch rotation. More

Filed under: Recipes > Light Meals & Snacks

Tags: tofu, sandwich, coleslaw, slider, kala_namak, nutritional_yeast

Vegan Chinese Green Onion Buns

If you've ever even gone past the doorway of a decent Chinese bakery, I think you are already familiar with the intoxicating aromas of slightly sweet dough combined with rich, savory fillings. I have a horrible addiction to these smells and flavours, left over from my student days living in downtown Toronto. As always, the challenge is to find a way to replicate the experience with vegan ingredients. I'm happy to say that smart people have already tackled this question and come up with some great ideas. More

Filed under: Recipes > Light Meals & Snacks

Tags: Chinese, bun, onion, bread, aquafaba

Vegan Sausage that Fills a Hot Dog Bun Nicely

As I write this, I'm munching on one of these homemade vegan sausages with dijon mustard and fresh onions on a soft bun and feeling thoroughly content. What I like most about this recipe is that you get a whole lot of lunches out of a relatively modest amount of work. And the hard work is done by the food processor anyway. More

Filed under: Recipes > Light Meals & Snacks

Tags: sausage, mushroom, nutritional_yeast, lentil, sandwich, aquafaba

Vegan No-Meat-Ball Sandwich

This no-meat-ball sub has been on my to-do list for a while now. It's pure comfort food for me -- how could it not be with the combination of Italian spices, tomato sauce and bread. The meatballs add substance, protein, fibre and no small amount of flavour. I'm impressed with how well they stay together after cooking, which I chalk up mostly to aquafaba. More

Filed under: Recipes > Light Meals & Snacks

Tags: lentil, soy, mushroom, meatball, marinara, tomato_sauce, sandwich, aquafaba, sauce

Chana Burrito: A Spicy Handheld Meal

One of my earliest memories of living on my own in Toronto is of visiting Flying Monkey Natural Foods, near Kensington Market. As a naive student with limited cooking skills and time, I made heavy use of their prepared meals. I particularly enjoyed a small but filling burrito filled with the well-loved Indian chickpea curry known as chana (or chole) masala. It was thicker than the chana you get in a restaurant, which was a good thing because a burrito made with a thin curry would go everywhere and likely stain your clothes. If ever there was a quick meal designed for life on the go, this is it. The spices are rich and the chickpeas are filling, but the burrito travels well and waits for you until you're ready for it. The Flying Monkey doesn't exist on College St. anymore, and I've been unable to find this burrito anywhere else, so I set about making my own. More

Filed under: Recipes > Light Meals & Snacks

Tags: chickpea, spicy, burrito, tortilla, Indian, chana

Making Panini for Vegans

I never thought I'd live to see the day that Toronto's sandwich shops acknowledge that vegans exist, let alone offer them a choice of delicious, fresh sandwich ingredients. The protein options are still somewhat limited, but it's possible to put together a perfectly delicious lunch using the ingredients behind many big counters, especially downtown. On one recent visit, I even saw grilled tofu as an option. I opted for hummus and mushroom instead, but it's great to see them making an effort. This is my attempt to replicate the experience at home. More

Filed under: Recipes > Light Meals & Snacks

Tags: sandwich, healthy, hummus, portobello, mushroom, avocado

Messy Delicious Italian Veggie Sandwich

One of the local Italian sandwich shops does a vegan version of their typical breaded meat on a kaiser with cheese and tomato sauce. I ordered it because someone had suggested this place for a catered lunch at work, and I was blown away. As I devoured it, I was of course also analyzing it to try to duplicate it at home. More

Filed under: Recipes > Light Meals & Snacks

Tags: peppers, zucchini, mushroom, tomato_sauce, sandwich, Italian, marinara, sauce

Making Better Hummus at Home

So, I guess the first question to deal with is why. Why make your own hummus at home when there are so many options at the grocery store that just require the effort of opening a lid? Two reasons mainly: cost and freshness. More

Filed under: Recipes > Light Meals & Snacks

Tags: hummus, chickpea, healthy, tahini

Vegan Turkish Red Lentil Kofte

Vegans have a an ongoing need to find new ways to make lentils fun and interesting. By themselves, these little nutritional powerhouses of protein and fibre can be a tad bland, but fortunately lentils have an ability to blend in beautifully with their surroundings. In the case of the Turkish finger-food known as "mercimek koftesi" the lentils are surrounded by a simple but delightful combination of flavours -- tomato, onion, lemon, cumin and parsley. Bulgur provides some cohesion and a lovely contrast in texture. More

Filed under: Recipes > Light Meals & Snacks

Tags: lentil, Turkish, bulgur

Big Colourful Salad with Grilled Sweet Potato and Asian Dressing

Salad and a protein smoothie for lunch? You bet, especially if the flavours complement eachother. More

Filed under: Recipes > Light Meals & Snacks

Tags: salad, sweet_potato, healthy, cabbage, peppers

Vegan Blueberry Protein Smoothie

I have a recurring need for a protein smoothie that I can combine with a big plate of salad to make a complete lunch. To make the smoothie vegan, the choices are basically rice or soy. I decided to give rice protein a try. More

Filed under: Recipes > Light Meals & Snacks

Tags: blueberry, smoothie, healthy

Surprisingly Zesty Vegan Queso Dip

Nachos with cheese sauce has become a ubiquitous fixture at sporting events, movie theaters and basement rec rooms. It's not altogether clear how much actual cheese goes into the sauce, but as omnivore comfort foods go, it's a surefire crowd pleaser. Let's try to make a vegan version, shall we? More

Filed under: Recipes > Light Meals & Snacks

Tags: comfort_food, queso, dip, appetizer, nutritional_yeast, sauce

How to Make Thick Tahini Sauce

Toronto's falafel shops vary widely in quality. The tahini sauce is one of the ways to tell if you're dealing with the real thing or a cheap imitator. Watery tahini that pools in the bottom of the pita without sticking to anything on the way down is a sure sign of an inferior establishment. And tahini sauce isn't just important for falafels. With its balance of tangy lemon, salt and sesame, it makes a great salad dressing, and it's fantastic in pretty much any vegan meal-in-a-bowl that includes quinoa. So you can imagine my disappointment when tried to make it for myself and got low-quality, tahini-flavoured water. I obviously had something to learn about technique. Turns out that tahini needs to be handled in a certain way if you want the sauce to be thick and rich. You can't just throw the ingredients in a blender and press start, as the cookbook I was using had suggested. Fortunately, the fix is really simple and it also provides vegans with a new use for their underused whisks. More

Filed under: Recipes > Light Meals & Snacks

Tags: tahini, sauce, Lebanese, falafel

Vegan Mushroom Pate with Lentils and Cashews

I have to admit that when I started working on this recipe, I wasn't expecting much. Vegan alternatives to traditional meat dishes don't usually get me excited. Happy to say that I was wrong, and this mushroom-lentil spread is really tasty. It makes a good party food on water crackers and it goes really nicely with slices of raw sweet pepper. The key to the pate's flavour is the way the mushrooms interact with the thyme. The key to its texture is a good food processor. You want the lentil-cashew mixture that forms the base to be completely smooth. That way, the little mushroom pieces distributed throughout provide little flavour bombs and a nicely contrasting texture. More

Filed under: Recipes > Light Meals & Snacks

Tags: mushroom, lentil, cashew, healthy

Doubledecker Vegan Tostadas with Refried Black Beans

I struggled a bit with what I should call this. It's something like a quesadilla, but with spicy refried black beans instead of cheese. It also resembles a tostada because it features corn tortillas deliciously pan-fried in oil. But unlike tostadas, it has a second tortilla on top. So it's a doubledecker vegan tostada for want of a better name. What is not in doubt is my love for them. When corn tortillas get a few days old, their texture becomes a little rubbery. The solution is to fry them up. And it's a very good solution. More

Filed under: Recipes > Light Meals & Snacks

Tags: comfort_food, bean, Mexican, spicy, tortilla, peppers

Making Maki at Home

The temptation to make maki sushi rolls at home springs mostly from the lack of food for vegetarians at most Japanese restaurants. Most have vegetarian bento boxes with some avocado rolls, but those usually leave me feeling a little ripped-off. When you're making everything yourself, you can skip the things you don't like (never been a fan of deep-fried tofu) and emphasize the things you love (e.g., broccoli tempura). This idea has led to lots of experimenting in my kitchen lately. Maki sushi is an absolute necessity for any of these imaginary Japanese feasts, so I thought I would nail it down first. More

Filed under: Recipes > Light Meals & Snacks

Tags: sushi, maki, Japanese, rice, nori, cucumber, daikon

Marinating and Grilling Portobello Mushrooms

Portobello mushrooms are the steak of the vegetarian world. They respond very nicely to a BBQ grill, and their juicy flavour and tender texture are extremely steakish. It's unusual for something so delicious to be so easy to prepare. More

Filed under: Recipes > Light Meals & Snacks

Tags: portobello, marinade, mushroom, balsamic_vinegar, grill

Hummus Wrap with Homemade Pita Bread

I work in a hospital during the week and I (very) occasionally have to avail myself of the trucked-in meals. The one thing in this factory-supplied, mini-cafe nightmare that I can count on for flavour, freshness and even nutrition is a pita wrap with hummus, romaine lettuce and shredded carrot. Inexplicably, the pita is always soft and fresh, the hummus tastes homemade and the raw veggies are crisp and abundant. Rather than tempt fate by becoming dependent on this pita-wrapped oasis in the desert of institutionally outsourced "food," I decided to try to duplicate it at home. Last week, I bought one and took it apart to reverse engineer it. More

Filed under: Recipes > Light Meals & Snacks

Tags: healthy, hummus, pita, wrap, carrot, chickpea

Chipotle Refried Black Beans from Scratch

Let's be honest, we're just talking here, would it be fair to say that our past experiences with refried beans from a can have been somewhat ho-hum? That's the way I feel about it, but I can't be sure whether my memories of refried beans past have been blandified by the flavour dynamite that I experiences with this recipe. The source of the explosion is not difficult to pinpoint: it's the smoky heat of chipotle. More

Filed under: Recipes > Light Meals & Snacks

Tags: Mexican, chipotle, bean, healthy, spicy

Vegan Grilled Portobello Mushroom Sandwiches

We all know that grilled portobello mushrooms are great in a sandwich. That's why I wasn't too upset when the portobello panini was literally the only vegetarian option at a friend's favourite pub. With the first bite, it was clear that I would be having a great meal. I know this is going to sound strange, but what put this sandwich over the top was a bed of wilted spinach. It just worked. More

Filed under: Recipes > Light Meals & Snacks

Tags: mushroom, grill, healthy, hummus, spinach

Spinach Fatayer Panzerotti

One of my earliest and most delicious memories of the move to Toronto was made one morning riding shotgun in my boss' car. He had grown up in Lebanon, but had been in Toronto long enough to know the hidden treasures of its food establishments -- the places you don't see in tourist guides. We were driving along, talking about the upcoming meeting, when he suddenly made a U-turn, saying something in an excited voice about the fatayer being made fresh on Tuesdays. He was mostly talking to himself because I had no idea what fatayer were. He ducked into a little shop and emerged ten minutes later with a couple dozen little pastry miracles. I was hooked. More

Filed under: Recipes > Light Meals & Snacks

Tags: Lebanese, spinach, panzerotti, fatayer

The Flavour Explosion that is Tapenade

I think of tapenade in somewhat the same way that I think about pesto. Both are fairly simple to make -- you just combine a bunch of interesting ingredients in a food processor and let them mingle with eachother. Another similarity is the richness of the the flavours, flavours so rich in fact that you might be a little put off by their intensity and unfamiliarity the first time you taste them. Foods that start out being too intense to love often become my favourites with repeated tasting. More

Filed under: Recipes > Light Meals & Snacks

Tags: olive, appetizer