Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Barley, kale, carrots, mushrooms and beet salad

My boyfriend and I, well mainly my boyfriend, made a delicious meal this evening.  It come out of the random things we had in our fridge and my boyfriend's apparent love of barley.  Barley is something we don't use that often.  The only thing we have ever made with it, well again my boyfriend does the work, is slow cooker vegan cabbage rolls.  Barley is a great source of fiber, vitamins B3 and B1, and iron.

1 cup of barley, cooked
4 medium beets, wrapped in foil and baked in over for an hour at 400 degrees
3 medium carrots, chopped
1 cup of mushrooms, chopped
2 cups of kale, washed and ripped into bite sized pieces

4 tablespoons oil (olive or other favourite oil)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt and Pepper to taste

Cook the barley and the beets at the same time as they take around the same amount of time to cook.  You can do this the night before and stored in fridge.  Once the beets are cool enough to handle remove the skin and chop into pieces.  Heat oil in a pan on medium heat.  Cook mushroom and carrots until almost cooked and throw in the kale.  Cook until kale begins to wilt.

Add the barley and beets.  Toss with dressing.

This recipe is simple and surprisingly delicious! My boyfriend was amazed at how tasty this was.  He usually likes spicy meals with lots of complex flavours.  This is a beautiful and clean dish that is a good change from our regular meals.  I plan on making this again in the future.  I think it will also be good using a variety of different veggies.  It will be a good way to use up old vegetables in your fridge.



Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Vegetarian Haven

The first time I went to the Vegetarian Haven, located at 17 Baldwin Street, I was overwhelmed by the choices.  I was so used only having one or two options or having no choices at all when going out to restaurants.  It was a pleasure to go to a restaurant that specialized in vegetarian and vegan food.  The food is amazing and so good the few times I have had the pleasure of eating there.  The specials are hard to resist.  They also serve fresh juices that are a good accompaniment to any dish.  Last time I was there I had "King Prawn" and Oyster Mushroom Tempura.  The "king prawns" are made from konnyaku flour have an interesting texture.  Though I was never a fan of seafood, it did make me want to try their "Seafood" in Clay Pot next time I eat there.
The atmosphere is relaxed and it has the character of a bohemian coffee house.  The staff is friendly and always eager to help a new guest choose a delicious meal.
If you leave in Toronto or in the area you should visit the Vegetarian Haven for lunch or dinner for some pure delicousness!



Sunday, 9 December 2012

Vegan Meatloaf

I never really liked meatloaf for the brief time when I ate meat, but every once in a while I like to make the below recipe when I feel like having an easy and tasty "meatloaf", especially when the weather gets a little colder.  This recipe makes it easy to make good comfort food at home.  I got the recipe off a website some time ago and I have made some adjustments to make it better and better for you.  I added veggies to give is more nutritional value.  It uses TVP for some variety besides tofu, which we have been eating a lot of lately.

2 medium onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups TVP
2 cups bread crumbs
1 zucchini, shredded
2 carrots, shredded
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
2 tbsp whole wheat flour
1/2 cup tomato sauce or ketchup (or 1/4 sauce, 1/2 ketchup)
1/2 tsp rosemary
1 tsp thyme
2 cups vegetable broth

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a skillet heat 1 tbsp of oil and cook onion until soft.  Add garlic and cook for one minute.

Mix all other ingredients together in a large bowl.  Let stand for 10 minutes until broth is absorbed.

Pack the mixture in a greased loaf pan.  Top with a little tomato sauce; make sure the top is covered so the loaf does not dry out.  Bake for 1 hour.

My boyfriend likes to make his mom's meatloaf sauce to go on top.  It adds a nice tang to the meatloaf.

1 cup ketchup
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 tbsp brown sugar
3 tbsp mustard



Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Easy Vegan Veggie Lasagna

A few years ago my mom came across a great lasagna recipe that involves not baking the noodles before assembling.  It is also great because it doesn't involve time consuming layering.  I would have taken a photo, but my boyfriend unfortunately didn't cover the lasagna while baking so it didn't come out of the oven looking so pretty.  So let that be a lesson for you out there in blog must cover the lasagna while cooking it.
This recipe is also great because you can put whatever you have in your fridge or whatever you like.  The latest creation had veggie ground round, spinach and sweet potatoes.

6 uncooked lasagna noodles (i use brown, kamut or rice pasta)
1 can of tomato sauce (or buy a can of crushed tomatoes, put some herbs in it and let it set for an hour - then you have tasty and easy tomato sauce!)
Vegan cheese (feta or other kinda that you like)
1 cup of veggies (any kind you like)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13 pan.  Put 1/3 of tomato sauce on the bottom of the pan.  Place 3 noodles on top of the layer of sauce.  Cover noodles with 1/2 of remaining tomato sauce.  Cover second layer of sauce with cheese, use as much or as little as you like.  Put even layer of veggie on top of cheese.  Place 3 noodles on top of veggies.  Cover noodles with remaining sauce.  Cover with aluminum foil.  Cook the lasagna for 1 hour.  Remove from oven and cover top with layer of cheese, once again use as much or as little as you like.  Cook for 10-15 minute or until cheese is melted.

Instead of first layer of vegan cheese you can use 1 block of firm tofu crumbled or 1 package of veggie ground round.  This recipe way to get rid of veggies that you need to eat and best of all it taste great too without all the effort pre-cooking your noodles.  Be creative and you won't be sorry. I promise.