Monday, September 06, 2010

Slow Cooker Recipes: Vegan Lentil Soup

It's been a rather busy time with this blog. I'd like to apologize in advance for those getting these blog posts in your inbox. You'd have received 4 emails from me in 4 days. I promise to slow down for the next ones. :)

All the ingredients in the slow cooker, ready to simmer.
This soup is my go to recipe when I want to whip up a comforting, nourishing soup that uses few ingredients. You can make this soup in 45 minutes and in even less time if you used canned lentils. However, I prefer to use dry lentils. This will make roughly 16 servings and freezes very well.

  • 5 stalks of celery, cleaned, and sliced diagonally in 1 cm thick slices
  • 5 carrots, peeled and sliced diagonally 1 cm thick
  • 2 large yellow onions, peeled, halved and sliced into 1 cm half rondelles
  • 2 liters of vegetable stock
  • 1 can diced tomatoes 
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 1 cup lentils (any kind but red lentils)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon grain mustard (not dry)
  • 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
 In a slow cooker, add in all of the ingredients, other than the mustard and sherry vinegar and simmer for at least 4 hours on low, or if you were to do this on the stove, 45 minutes, until the lentils are cooked through. Add in the last two ingredients and stir. Let it cool enough to eat. Salt & pepper to taste when ready but be mindful of the canned tomatoes which are usually very salty already.

This is what it looks like when cooked:

Yummy vegan lentil soup!

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Vegetarian dinners on a budget: beans and veggie taco bake

I spent the day at the Salon Marions-Nous where the beau and I checked out our options for our up coming wedding. We've gone from crazy lavish helicopter trip for a Grand Canyon wedding to hosting a home made bbq. It's looking like we'll be settling for something in the middle. Anyways, after basking in a sea of bridezillas, and their frazzled moms, I just wanted a home cooked meal and wanted it fast. This is what I whipped up (sorry, I forgot to take a picture, but I swear it was delicious!): my vegetarian version of a taco bake. It takes 5 minutes of prep time, and is ready in less than 45 minutes, including pan frying and baking time.

I used:

  • 1 can of mixed beans; rinced and drained
  • 2 cups frozen vegetable mix, I used the Italian blend from Cedar (it has lima beans!)
  • 4 6" diameter whole grain tortillas
  • 1 clove of garlic, smashed
  • 1 cup spicy salsa
  • 5 pieces of picked jalapeno peppers
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon zapata seasoning (blend of cumin, chili, salt and pepper)
  • 1 tablespoon no salt seasoning
  • 1 cup of cheddar cheese (I bet Daiya would be awesome in this)

Heat the oven at 375F. In a skillet, I pan fried in a bit of olive oil the vegetables until cooked through. I added in all the seasonings, and beans and stirred until hot. Set aside. In an oven proof dish that fits the diameter of your tortilla bread, line one tortilla in the bottom and spread evenly 1/4 cup of the salsa, 1/3 of the bean veggie mix and 1/4 of the cheese. Top with a layer of tortilla, and repeat two more times. You should have one tortilla left with some salsa and cheese. Add the last tortilla, spread the remaining salsa and sprinkle the remaining cheese. Bake for 30 minutes. Serve with some sour cream, more salsa and your favorite toppings. The beau and I finished the whole thing, although I'm sure it could serve 4 with a side salad.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Vegan BBQ Skewers served with Asian Slaw

Here's another great labor day recipe from gardein™:

BBQ Skewers served with Asian Slaw


1 box of gardein™ BBQ skewers

For the Asian slaw:

  • 2 cups of shredded cabbage
  • 3 cups of Napa Cabbage
  • 1 cup of shredded carrots
  • 1 cup sliced or diced red pepper
  • 1 cup sliced green onion
  • 1 cup chopped or crushed peanuts
  • 1 bunch of chopped cilantro
  • For the dressing:
  • 1 grated garlic clove
  • 2 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 tbsp gluten-free tamari
  • 4 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp cane sugar
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup sunflower oil
  • a squeeze of lemon/lime


Combine the slaw ingredients in a large bowl (everything but the peanuts). In a small bowl combine the grated garlic (crushed or chopped), grated ginger, tamari, rice vinegar, and cane sugar. Gradually whisk in the sesame oil and sunflower oil. Add a squeeze of citrus. Add the dressing to the coleslaw and toss. Sprinkle with the peanuts and set aside.

For the BBQ skewers, place on BBQ / grill and cook for 3 to 4 minutes each side. Keep basting with the remaining sauce. Immediately serve skewers with sides.

Makes 4 servings

Prep time: 15 minutes

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Labor Day Recipes: Herb and Citrus BBQ Chick’n with Vegan Caesar Salad

The kind folks over at Gardein sent me some recipes to share with you over Labor Day weekend. Here's the first two. You can find their faux meat products at Loblaws, IGAs and fine health food stores on the island of Montreal. Horray for mock meats!

Herb and Citrus BBQ gardein™ Chick’n with Caesar Salad


1 package gardein™ chick’n scallopini

For rub:
1 1/3 cup of coarse sea salt or Kosher salt
2/3 cup of dried parsley
1/4 cup of dried thyme
1/4 cup of dried rosemary
1/4 cup of coarsely ground black pepper
1/4 cup dried shredded lemon peel
2 tbsp. of garlic powder
2 tbsp. of finely crushed minced onion


Place all rub ingredients into a food processer. Mix until the zest and garlic are finely chopped and remaining ingredients are well-blended. Put the rub mixture into a bowl and place in the refrigerator until ready to use it.

Put the chick’n and in a plastic bag with 1 tsp of rub per scaloppini. Shake the bag until dispersed evenly. Cook on the BBQ for 3 to 4 minutes per side. Leave to rest for 1 minute Slice chick’n and serve atop Caesar salad (recipe follows).

Makes 4 servings

Prep time: 15 minutes

Caesar Salad from The Conscious Cook


¼ plain focaccia, cut into ½-inch cubes
3 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon capers, drained
1 cup vegan mayonnaise
1 tablespoon white miso paste
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
½ tablespoon light agave nectar
1 cup olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 small heads romaine lettuce, shredded


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spread the focaccia cubes on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, or until lightly toasted. In a food processor, mince the garlic and capers. Add the mayonnaise, miso paste, nutritional yeast, agave nectar, and ½ cup water and pulse to combine. With the motor running, slowly add the oil in a thin stream. Continue to blend until emulsified, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Place the lettuce and croutons in a large bowl. Drizzle the dressing over the top and toss well to coat. Garnish with caperberries and serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings
Prep time: 15 minutes