While we were in New Zealand earlier this year, Geoff and I ate at a veg-friendly cafe in Greymouth. We were ecstatic to find this place because Greymouth is a town literally the size of my neighborhood. The possibility of finding something other than lettuce leaves with olive oil and vinegar seemed remote. Therefore, we were over the moon when we found Frank’s. There were so many different vegetarian and vegan options. In the end, I think we decided it was probably one of the best meals we had on the road. As a starter, our waitress brought us a mixture of nuts and spices with bread and olive oil for dipping. We later found out the delicious mixture is called Dukkah, a middle eastern “dip” and seasoning. We looked up several recipes and made it for Geoff’s family one night.
1/4 cup almonds
1/4 cup pistachios
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp cracked pepper
1 tbsp salt
1. Roast almonds and pistachios in the oven. Remove and place them in a food processor. Pulse until nuts are chopped roughly the size of the remaining seeds.
2. Toast the seeds together in a pan until golden brown. Blend with the nuts until coarse, but not ground.
3. Place in a small serving dish. Stir in the cracked pepper and salt. Serve with a side of warm olive oil and bread for dipping. Dip bread in olive oil, then dukkah.
I posted another falafel recipe in the past, but i feel that this one is better. It holds together really well and the texture is right on. For the Tzatziki Sauce, avoid using soy yogurt. Sour cream works best !
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup bulgur wheat
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 red onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 green chili, seeded and minced
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1 (14oz) can chickpeas
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/3 cup dried breadcrumbs
1/4 cup cilantro, minced
1/4 cup parsley, minced
1 tsp salt (or to taste)
olive oil cooking spray
1 cup vegan sour cream
1/2 English (seedless) cucumber, grated
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp dill, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp red wine vinegar
1 lemon, juiced
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1. To make the Tzatziki Sauce, combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Chill until ready to serve.
2. Bring water to a boil. remove from heat and mix in bulgur. Cover for 20 minutes until all the water has been absorbed.
3. In a medium pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Saute onion and garlic until onion is translucent.
4. Add chili, cumin, coriander and turmeric. Saute for one more minute.
5. Place chickpeas, bulgur, lemon juice, breadcrumbs, cilantro, parsley and salt in a food processor. Process until just combined.
6. In a large bowl, combine chickpea mixture with the sauted onion and garlic. Adjust salt to taste and set aside for 20 minutes.
7. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
8. Make small balls out of the falafel mixture and place on a non-stick or lightly oiled baking sheet.
9. Spray the balls with olive oil and bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
10. Serve immediately with Tzatziki Sauce.
Geoff and I ate the falafel in multi-grain pitas, but it can work as an appetizer or in a salad as well.
Here is something to make when you want something really yummy but don’t have a lot of time on your hands (or ingredients in your pantry).
2 tbsp non-hydrogenated vegan margarine
3 sweet potatoes, peeled, in cubes
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cumin
salt and pepper (to taste)
1. Melt margarine in large pan over medium heat.
2. Add potatoes and spices and cook for about 20 minutes or until potatoes reach desired tenderness.
There is an awesome appetizer at my favorite restaurant that seems to have universal appeal. I’ve yet to meet someone who doesn’t like it. Unfortunately, this appetizer is deep fried which means I don’t have it unless I am with a large party. After trying another wonderful recipe from the Eat Air blog, I decided i could make a healthier version of the dish at home.
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
3 tbsp peanut oil
1/2 cup sweet chili sauce
2 tbsp sesame seeds
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 tsp egg replacer
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup plain soymilk
2 tbsp tamari
1. In a large bowl, combine batter ingredients and set aside.
2. Heat oil over moderate high heat in a large pan or wok.
3. Mix the cauliflower florets in the batter.
4. Stir-fry the florets until they are brown.
5. Lower heat to about medium and stir in the sweet chili sauce. Cook for another 30 seconds, stirring constantly.
6. Transfer to a serving dish. Cover with sesame seeds. Allow to cool for a few minutes before diggin’ in !
Wow ! I am planning to take this to the next vegan potluck. If you decide to make this dish, here are a few tips:
- I found it best to cook the battered florets in 3 sets. This allowed for an even golden-brown color and each piece to be thoroughly cooked.
- If you are not a big fan of crisp cauliflower, I suggest either steaming the florets prior to battering them (just make sure you let them cool completely before placing them in the batter) OR placing the cooked florets (before adding sweet chili sauce) in the oven for a few minutes. Then transfer back to pan or wok for the sauce. That’s what i did and they turned out perfect !
This is a variation of my awesome salsa. I felt like having lettuce wraps with a Mexican kick. I hope you enjoy these !
1 (15oz) can black beans
1 (15oz) can corn kernels
1 english cucumber, chopped
1 large tomato, chopped
2 tbsp cilantro, chopped
salt and fresh ground pepper
1 head iceberg lettuce
For the sauce:
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp lime juice
1. Drain black beans and corn. Place in large bowl and mix in cucumber and tomato.
2. In small bowl, mix together all sauce ingredients.
3. Pour sauce into bowl of veggies. Mix in cilantro. Add salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.
4. Place spoonfuls of salsa in iceberg lettuce leaves. Wrap and serve.
You can top these with sour cream if you want. Yum !
Jose and I moved over the weekend. Who knew carrying our few possessions downstairs would take such a toll on our bodies ? We were forced to eat out every night because 1) the new apartment was chaotic, and 2) we were too tired to do anything by the end of each day. I did manage to come up with a snack while Jose did boy things – mounting TV on wall, etc…
1/2 ripe tomato, chopped
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp dried basil
salt and pepper (to taste)
vegan cream cheese
1. Place tomato in small bowl. Add lemon juice, olive oil, dried basil, salt and pepper. Mix well.
2. Spread vegan cream cheese on each piece of Melba toast and top with a spoonful of the tomato mixture.
Make as many as you want. 1/2 tomato was enough for 10 pieces. If you want more, just double the recipe. The vegan cream cheese is really optional, but it will taste good, trust me ! Also, use fresh basil (minced) if you can. Enjoy !
I felt like having something Mexican for lunch, but Jose and I had a late breakfast so we were both stuffed around lunch time. I made this dip and we ate it with blue corn chips. He loved it.
1 15oz can refried black beans
1/2 small red onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 tsp white wine vinegar
1 1/2 tsp lime juice
1 tsp tamari
1 tsp nutritional yeast
1 tbsp dried parsley
1 tsp mexican seasoning
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/8 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp salt
cayenne pepper (to taste)
fresh ground pepper (to taste)
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well until smooth. Serve with chips !
Jose recently became vegetarian. Although he was never a big cow eater, he was a bit addicted to the bird. I know I’ve said this about a million times. Well, it’s true ! What’s worse is that he misses the bird and occasionally asks me to make faux bird in a specific way. My latest mission was to make cornflake crusted “chicken.” Hmm…
8 oz seitan, cut into large pieces
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 cup vegan sour cream
2 cups cornflakes, crushed into 1 cup crumbs
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper (or to taste)
salt (optional, to taste)
1. Put seitan pieces, water and lemon juice in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower heat. Cook until all the water has evaporated. Allow for the seitan pieces to cool completely.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a glass baking dish.
3. Place vegan sour cream in a small bowl.
4. Mix the cornflake crumbs, oregano, fresh ground pepper and salt, if desired. Place in a separate bowl.
5. Dip each seitan piece in the sour cream and then in the cornflake mix. Place in the baking dish.
6. Bake for 30 minutes or until flakes look toasted. Serve with spiced baked fries or broccoli as a “healthier” alternative.
These turned out well. I tried various binding ingredients but found that sour cream works best. As far as spices, use your favorite !
Jose and I were invited to a New Year’s party at a friend’s house. She asked me to make some appetizers and sweets. I decided to make hummus and cookies. Then I realized I had a whole jar of olives left over from a recent dinner party, so decided to make an olive dip too. My friend’s parents are in town for the holidays. They are from Bulgaria so I thought the Mediterranean appetizers would be a hit. I’m not sure what happened with the hummus, but it sucked. I was very disappointed. Fortunately, the olive dip was fabulous !
1 cup green olives, pitted
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup ground pine nuts
1 tbsp dried basil
1/4 cup vegan parmesan cheese
1/4 cup olive oil
1. Place the olives in food processor and process for a few seconds, until they form a rough paste with some chunks of olive here and there. Transfer to a bowl.
2. Add remaining ingredients in food processor and process until creamy.
3. Combine the mixture and olives until you have a thick paste glistening with oil. Serve with toast or pita bread.
I will make this again in the future with black olives.
Jose travels for work a lot. I know that trying to be vegetarian and traveling don’t mix. It’s important to have something healthy and satisfying to munch on, so I made Trail Mix the night before one of his recent trips. He liked it so much that he asked me to make some for snacking when he gets home from work (he’s usually home before me). There’s really no science to making a Trail Mix, but I’ve decided to blog this recipe anyway.
1 part dried fruit (we use apple)
1 part banana chips
1 part macadamia nuts
1 part pine nuts
1 part walnuts
1 part pistachios
1 part raisins
1 part sunflower seeds
1 part cereal (like cheerios)
1/2 part cashews
1/2 part cranraisins
Mix all the ingredients together and store in a large container. Keep in a cool dry place and enjoy handfuls whenever you need a “boost” !