Archives for posts with tag: vegan

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On Sunday I made the tempeh tikka masala recipe from Vegan Richa’s Indian Kitchen. But just before I started cooking, I realised that I didn’t have any tempeh in the fridge after all. Instead I used store-bought chicken-free strips, that I did happen to have in the fridge. The tikka masala flavours easily overpowered the lemon-thyme flavouring of the strips. The curry was fun to make, didn’t take too long to prepare, and was really yummy. The recipe in the book is very similar to this version which is available online from Vegan Richa.  I’ll make this again.

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I was in Toronto recently for a week, for a conference. (I already told you about the delicious cactus tacos that I ate while there.) Luckily, my flight home was late at night, and a friend from the conference was in the same situation, so we walked around Toronto for a day. Our wanderings were not entirely aimless because I knew exactly where I wanted to end up for lunch: Hogtown Vegan, 1056 Bloor St W. Please note the special advertised on the board: pulled ‘pork’ poutine.

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This is a (blurry) photo of the pulled pork poutine special. Poutine is a Canadian thing, chips with gravy and sauce, something like that.  It was so, so good. Their lunch menu was full of delicious-sounding items: I really wished I could stay another week just to sample 7 more meals!  I am actually salivating now as I remember how good this messy stuff tasted.

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On the subject of vegan food in Toronto, I’d also like to mention Rise Espresso, 107 Mutual St.  If you are looking for good coffee near Ryerson University then I suggest you make your way there.

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Here is their display counter of baked goods, almost all from Sweets From the Earth and labelled as vegan. I liked the look of the unlabelled bread-like item at the top left, so I asked what it was, and was told it was banana bread with chocolate chips.  “Is it vegan?”, I asked.  “Everything in there is vegan!”, the lovely barista replied. Hooray! The banana bread with chocolate chips was delicious, and their coffee was great.

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This is a soya meat curry.  The little balls are made of soy beans (somehow) and have been dehydrated and packaged (see photo below).

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I have to thank my friend Dilini, who first gave me some soy meat curry that she had cooked (which tasted *amazing*!!), and then gave me this packet so I could cook some for myself. Of course hers tasted much better and more authentic than mine! I asked Dilini where I would find this packet and she said “Sri Lankan shops”.

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This is what the soy beans look like out of the packet. You soak them in hot water, then drain them and squeeze the water out.  Then, follow the instructions on the packet (a spice sachet is included) or find a recipe online, like this one.  I added zucchini (courgette) for a bit of green.  We all loved the soy meat balls, they’re really yummy. I’d definitely like to experiment with them again, and encourage you to do the same.

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Last week I attended a conference at Ryerson University in downtown Toronto. Lunch breaks were short, but luckily for me, Tacos 101 was close by to provide me with Nopal tacos. As confirmed in the photo below, these tacos are made from cactus! I don’t *think* I’ve ever eaten cactus before (?!).

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The Nopal tacos are made of cactus, refried beans, pico de gallo and salsa verde (I asked them to omit the cheese), and served with guacamole puree. They were very tasty tacos and kept me coming back. I also really enjoyed their aesthetics: it’s a cool space. You can sit inside or stand up at the benches outside. I definitely recommend a visit.

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Pana Chocolate is a little bit too good. Their chocolate is “raw, organic, handmade, vegan, no dairy, no soy, gluten free, no refined sugar”… and delicious. It is made in Melbourne but you can buy it at various stockists around Australia.

My previous experience with their chocolate was limited to receiving a wonderful gift box from a work colleague… until recently. It happened like this: The supermarket where I usually shop used to sell some vegan chocolate that I liked, but lately they’re not stocking it.  So I had to look further afield, namely, the nearby health food store. The health food store sells many flavours of Pana Chocolate bars like these. Now I am obsessed.

The Orange flavour is amazing and is my favourite, but I also like Strawberry and Pistachio and the Sour Cherry and Vanilla you see in the picture.

Their chocolate is covered with hearts and the message “Love the Earth”.  Well, I love Pana Chocolate.

PS  When I decided to become vegan, more than 4 years ago, I thought it meant giving up chocolate. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!  (-:

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A few days ago I had dinner at Vina Vegan Restaurant, Newtown. I was by myself but still managed to eat three fresh rice paper rolls (very tasty) and almost all of this steaming bowl of vegan beef pho noodle soup. Just look at it, it’s gorgeous and it tasted delicious. They certainly know what they’re doing with their mock meat, it’s quite something.

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After drooling over vegan faux seafood recipes online for a long time, I finally got my act together and bought some dulse flakes (I found them online). I decided to start with vegan fish and chips, following this recipe from Leafy Greens and Chocolate. The short version is that we all thought this was really tasty and enjoyed the meal. My 8 year old said “Mum, you got the packets mixed up, this *is* fish!” (-:

I served the vegan fish fillets with chips, steamed brocolli and roasted balsamic Brussel sprouts  (recipe from Greenilicious).

The process is easy and fun, though it does take a little planning ahead. If you want to learn more, read on…

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After pressing the tofu, you lay it on a nori sheet and drizzle with a simple marinade of lemon juice, soy sauce and dulse flakes. I accidently doubled the amount of dulse flakes specified by the recipe, but it all turned out fine.

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Then you put another nori sheet on top and blitz everything in the microwave for 2 minutes. The only dish I had that would fit the tofu filllets was Pyrex, and it wasn’t marked “microwave safe”. The interwebs assured me that the pyrex probably wouldn’t explode in the microwave, but that I should avoid putting the dish down on a cold surface when I took it out of the microwave. OK then. I placed it on a wooden cooling rack and nothing exploded. Then you just leave the tofu sitting there at room temperature for a few hours, to soak up the taste of the sea.

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Finally, you mix up a few ingredients and lay out some Panko crumbs, dip each steak into the wet stuff, roll it in the crumbs, place on a baking tray and stick it in the oven. Easy! Give it a try.