Vegan MoFo 2015: My Favourite Nutrient

11 Focus on a nutrient.


So, I remember as a kid we’d be driving home from shopping and I’d be reading aloud the ingredients on the cat food bag, as one does, and I came to RIBOFLAVIN and I read it “RIBO-FLAAHHHHHVIN”.

Not correct, perhaps, but it’s way more fun to say RIBOFLAHHHHHVIN.

So, I just learned today that riboflavin is another name for vitamin B2. (Let’s face it, I may be an intelligent adult, but I just eat food, and don’t usually pay a ton of attention to the nitty gritty details of nutrients.)

Some top riboflavin sources for a plant-based diet are soybeans, spinach, beet greens, tempeh, crimini mushrooms, asparagus, and almonds.I’d kind of like to talk about almonds. I love almonds. Almond Item #1: Yesterday I went to Grocery Depot and in their 3 for $1 energy bar box, I found these:Dark-Chocolate-Cherry-Nut-Bar-300x258I am *not*, by any means, a supporter of paleo eating, but being a sucker for anything chocolate-cherry I decided to try them. The first ingredient is almonds, and they are super delicious. (I’m not sure cave men would have used brown rice syrup and evaporated cane syrup to bind together their almonds and sunflower seeds and dried bing cherries, but whatevs.)

Almond Item #2: When I was little almonds were my favourite nut, and I think some friends and I cracked some into a paper cup and then did some sort of high-falutin’ parade through the living room holding high our paper cup full of shelled nuts. And then we ate them.

Almond Item #3: Forms of almond that I do *not* like: almond extract, almond butter.

Almond Item #4: I’m going to link you to a yummy recipe to sugar plums. It calls for honey, but brown rice syrup would be my choice as a sub. The rest of the ingredients are fine. I made them years ago and really liked them, and considering that was before my taste buds readjusted to “weird vegan food”, that’s a pretty good recommendation. 😉


Categories: dairy-free, snacks, vegan, vegan mofo, vegan mofo 2015 | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Vegan Month of Food, Day 18: Fruit Salad

One of my favourite salads growing up was called Five-Cup Salad. It was something my grandma made a lot and involved sour cream and marshmallows… about as un-vegan as you can get. But oh, was it tasty. So I decided I would make a layered salad in tribute to the original Five-Cup Salad. I knew it wouldn’t be quite the same, but was sure it would still be really good.


I started out by making a batch of this pudding recipe. After sitting to set overnight, it came out rather the texture of congealed beef fat. Just a tad gross. But the flavour was good, so I decided to use it anyway. I took my handmixer to it and mixed it and broke it up until it was about the texture of cottage cheese. I added a teaspoon of lemon juice and a tablespoon-ish of soy milk to help it along. It was still lumpy. But I was okay with that.

So, after you’ve made the pudding and let it set, here is the rest of what you do.

Drain thoroughly:
20oz can pineapple chunks
15oz can mandarin oranges

Once the fruit is drained, spread a bit of the pudding on the bottom of your bowl. Layer pineapple, pudding, oranges, pudding, pineapple, pudding, and garnish the top with the remaining fruit and some cocoanut.

So, here’s the thing. I went to take a bite of the salad and it blew my mind. I had, accidentally, replicated Five-Cup Salad to the T. The lumpy pudding had a distinctly marshmallow-y flavour and texture. I think the only thing I’ll change next time I make it is to double it, because everybody snarfed it down and I didn’t get very much.


Categories: challenges, dessert, recipes, salads, side dish, snacks, vegan, vegan mofo, vegan mofo 2013 | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Vegan Month of Food, Day 12: Savoury Kale Waffle Sandwich

I really don’t like kale that much.

I know that pretty much revokes any right I’ll ever have to a vegan card, but it’s the truth. Still, as with nutritional yeast, I use the stuff anyway, because I know I should. (Granted, 5 years ago I thought spinach was disgusting and now it’s my favourite green…) So, we’ll see in another five years, I guess.

If it’s steamed or in a soup is the way I like kale mostly.

But best of all is when it’s blended up so I really hardly know it’s there.

Plus, it’s a good way for GooGoo and Lou Who to get greens, since Lou Who still can’t really chew them and GooGoo sometimes eats it, but usually only while she’s in the garden picking it.

The Green Waffle

The Green Waffle

So, here’s a savoury waffle, greened up with kale. This was inspired by Green Monster Bread from “Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day” as well as a waffle recipe from last year’s MoFo that I can’t find now, and also by a waffle from “Of These Ye May Freely Eat“.

Yes, the batter looks like pond scum.

Yes, the batter looks like pond scum.

A few notes:

*Soak lentils overnight, at least 8 hours. I think mine soaked around 14 hours, because I didn’t have time to get to them first thing in the morning.

*You want cold milk and water because it will give you a nice fluffy waffle requiring no leavening when beat well. I don’t really understand the science of it, but it does work.

*Cold water+loads of beating is the magic combo. Since there’s no gluten, you don’t need to worry about overbeating. Blend it at least a minute if not longer, to get lots of air into it.

Green Savoury Kale Wafflewich
2 c lentils, soaked at least overnight
3 c oats, divided
4 c unsweetened almond milk, cold
1/2 c cold water
2 c packed greens: kale and collards were what I used
1 tsp salt
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp California chilli powder

First, get the waffle iron heating.

Fabulous green batter, green waffle, and green waffle iron.

Fabulous green batter, green waffle, and green waffle iron.

Put all ingredients except 1c oats and 1/2 c water into blender. Blend well. If your blender isn’t big enough, you can do it in batches, which is what I had to do.

Pour into a large bowl and fold in oats and 1/2 c water. I cooked them for about 10 minutes fairly high. Just keep an eye on it, since every waffle iron is different.

Ideas for serving:

  • Serve like beans on toast, with some nice savoury black beans on top
  • Use rice-bean combo to fill, maybe with some onions and bell peppers
  • Black bean burger with tomato, lettuce, and hummus
  • Cream cheeze, tomato, and cucumber


What I have in the photo at the top is tomato, cucumber, yellow bell pepper, and Sabra spinach-artichoke hummus. And green beans on the side, because apparently today is green day.

This makes 4 12″ waffles, which means I can get 8 sandwiches out of it. They freeze well and are very filling. And the girls both liked them. Score!


Categories: bread, breakfast, brunch, challenges, freezer meals, gluten-free, lunch, nut-free, oil-free, recipes, snacks, soy-free, vegan, vegan mofo, vegan mofo 2013, vegetables | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Vegan Month of Food, Day 11: Parfaits

When we go camping, parfaits are a staple. We go armed with a vat of pudding, several jars of berry sauce or berries, and a large container of granola.

This isn’t really original. I see parfait recipes everywhere. But it’s layered! And it’s tasty! So, here we go!


We use a recipe from Give Them Something Better‘s blog for vegan vanilla pudding (minus the bananas!)

In the parfait pictured, I layered chopped nectarines with the pudding and granola and topped with fresh-picked strawberries. You can try my granola recipe or whatever your favourite recipe (or storebought!) granola might be. You could use yogurt instead of pudding if you wanted too.


The cat didn’t care for the fact that he was there but I wasn’t taking photos of HIM. Here he is complaining at me about the unfairness of life.


Categories: breakfast, brunch, challenges, recipes, snacks, vegan, vegan mofo, vegan mofo 2013 | Tags: , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Vegan Month of Food, Day 8: Layered Middle Eastern Dip

You know those things on Facebook where it’s a square with a bunch of squares and it says something like, “How many squares can you find? XYZ said they found 50, but I think they’re lying! Like this if you find more!” So there’s a square, but there are actually 53 squares, or something.

That’s kind of how this recipe is. You’re getting one recipe, but you’re actually getting more than one, and we can argue, er, discuss all you like how many you’re actually getting.

I wanted to do a savoury layered dip, but not a Mexican-flavoured one, because everyone’s already done that. So I decided to go for a Middle Eastern flavoured one.

This is something you’ll want to plan ahead for. All the components should sit in the fridge overnight to let the flavours meld, and then you can assemble it right before you actually need it to keep everything from running together. Feel free to experiment with it. I felt the results were a little bland, but Mr Pine Nut really, really liked it. So, take it and run.


You’ll layer this in a 13×9 pan, or cut the recipe in half for a 9×9. Here are the layers, from bottom to top:

4c garbanzo beans, cooked or canned, drained
4 cloves garlic
2 T tahini
2 tsp cumin
4T lemon juice
4T olive or other oil
1/2 tsp salt

Toss everything in a food processor and process until smooth. You can add a little water if needed.

1 c dry lentils
4 c water
8 oz tomato paste
1 T dried parsley
1 tsp salt
1 tsp onion powder

Combine all in a saucepan and bring to a boil, then allow to simmer until lentils are very soft, about 2 hours.

Tomato-Cucumber Salsa
2 c chopped tomatoes
2 c chopped cucumber
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 c minced red onion
1 1/2 T fresh minced parsley
3 T lemon juice
1/2 tsp cumin
1 packed tsp fresh minced dill
1/2 tsp California chilli powder
1/4 tsp salt

Combine lemon juice, cumin, salt, and herbs. Stir in remaining ingredients. Allow to sit for several hours or overnight for flavours to blend, stirring occasionally. When assembling the dip, use a slotted spoon to get rid of some of the liquid or you’ll have very soggy dip.

Over the top, I drizzled tahini dressing (I used the recipe out of Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day) and sprinkled sesame seeds.


Categories: challenges, gluten-free, recipes, side dish, snacks, vegan, vegan mofo, vegan mofo 2013 | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Vegan Month of Food, Day 7: Almond Butter Sandwich

Here’s something insanely simple for Sandwich Tuesday.

I really miss peanut butter: its savoury, chunky awesomeness. Since not being able to have peanuts due to Lou Who’s intolerance, I’ve had to eat almond butter, which I’ve never liked all that much. It’s too much on the sweet side. I love almonds, but the butter just doesn’t appeal.

I get mine fresh-ground from the bulk section of Winco and I’ve taken to stirring a little salt in whenever I fill a new tub. The salt helps. Then I thought, “What if I added a little molasses and a little more salt?”

And ya know… this was just about ALMOST as good as peanut butter.


Here are the proportions I used:
1 T almond butter
1/4 tsp molasses
Pinch salt (if you use already-salted almond butter, you may want to omit adding extra salt. Your call.)

Mix almond butter, molasses, and salt thoroughly and spread on a slice of bread or half a bun. Top with sliced apples. Or really whatever you want. But I used sliced apples.


Categories: challenges, lunch, recipes, sandwich, snacks, vegan, vegan mofo, vegan mofo 2013 | Tags: , , , | 5 Comments

Vegan Month of Food, Day 1: Breakfast Bars

Growing up, one of my favourite treats was something our friend Ruth often made: raspberry bars. You press in half the dough to make a crust on the bottom, spread jam over it, and then crumble the rest of the dough over the jam. It was sickeningly, deliciously sweet – so much so that I recall my mom only making them maybe twice. I still use that recipe, and sometime I plan to post it, but here I’ve made some adaptations to it to make it healthier and suitable for a breakfast item.


1 c pumpkin puree
1/2 c brown sugar
1 c whole wheat flour
1/2 c white flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 c oatmeal
1/4 c unsweetened cocoanut flakes
1/2 c chopped walnuts (reserve for topping)

2 cups mashed fresh fruit (such as blackberries, peaches, raspberries, strawberries)
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Cream pumpkin and sugar. In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients, then add to pumpkin mixture. Mix well.

Press roughly half of the crumb mixture into greased 13×9 pan, using a spoon or your hands. It will be somewhere in the neighbourhood of 1/4 or 1/2″ thick.

Spread fruit filling. It may appear runny, but that’s okay.

Sprinkle with remaining crumb mixture and walnuts. Bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes.

Cool. Cut into bars.


Yes, she’s 3 and a half and still sitting in a booster on the floor for meals.

Or don’t cool and cut into bars anyway, which is what we did. GooGoo ate two ample pieces. Mr Pine Nut said they were good. I wasn’t sure about them at first bite, but as I kept eating them, they grew on me. They have a nice earthy pumpkin undertone. I used blackberries and I think they lent themselves well to the pumpkin flavour. Betcha cranberries would be really yummy too! But you’d probably want to sugar them up and cook them a bit first to soften them into spreadable goo.

See you tomorrow with a sandwich recipe. Or should I call it a wafflewich?


Categories: breakfast, brunch, challenges, oil-free, recipes, snacks, soy-free, vegan mofo, vegan mofo 2013, vegetables | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Literary Post: Homer Price. Doughnuts Made With Minimal Labour-Saving Devices.

I have to admit: I’m rather appalled at how few of my friends, including friends I consider fairly well-read, have the slightest inkling who Homer Price is. I first made my acquaintance with him through an old school reader in which his first adventure involving Aroma the Skunk and some interesting radio robbers was (slightly abridged). Afterwards, the book was on my shelf as much as it was on the library’s. Maybe more.


At any rate, one of the most iconic stories in the book involves Uncle Ulysses’ newest labour-saving device, a doughnut machine, that has a technical glitch and won’t quit making doughnuts after a rich lady comes along and mixes up a gigantic batch of doughnut batter one night while Homer is alone in charge of Uncle U’s lunchroom. The machine was a new-fangled contraption that dropped the rings of batter into hot fat, flipped them over, and pushed them out a chute into a bin ready to gather up and eat.

In a whole doughnut
There’s a nice whole hole
When you take a big bite,
Hold the whole hole tight,
If a little bit bitten
Or a great bit bitten,
Any whole hole with a hole bitten in it,
Is a holey whole hole,
And it just plain isn’t!

I realise I already featured a Robert McCloskey book in my Literary Food Series, but who can pass up doughnuts?

I have two things to say about doughnuts:

  • I reject the spelling “donut”.
  • Baked doughnuts are da bomb.

So, with those two points in mind, here’s a doughnut recipe for you. This is (rather greatly) adapted from a recipe I first tried during home ec.


This is a picture of my first test batch of doughnuts. They were exactly like churros. See the end of this post for what to do if you want to recreate the churro doughnuts.

Preheat your oven to 400. Spray your doughnut pan(s).

With a handmixer, beat together:
2/3 c vegan non-hydrogenated margarine
1 c sugar
2 T tapioca flour
1/2 c water

Add, stirring by hand just until blended:
3 C flour
1 T baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 c non-dairy milk

Put batter in pans, spreading evenly with a spoon. I had the batter come up pretty much to the rim. Put in the oven and bake 18-20 minutes. While they are baking, prepare the coating (described below) if using. Otherwise, just remove them from the pan when they’re done and allow to cool on a rack, or eat them while warm.

Optional coating:
1/4 c sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 c melted vegan margarine

While the muffins bake, melt margarine in a small saucepan and mix sugar and cinnamon in a shallow dish. Immediately after taking the muffins out of the oven, dip them in the margarine and then the cinnamon-sugar. This amount is enough for dipping just one side. If you want to dip both sides, just double it.


I promise this recipe only makes 12.


Nomming on a sample doughnut from my 3rd and final test batch. Light, fluffy, perfect.

If you want a flavour/texture like churros, make the following changes: reduce water to 1/3 cup, fill doughnut pan slots only 1/2 full, bake at 350 for around 25 minutes, dip in the coating, and eat.


Categories: book-inspired food, breakfast, dessert, recipes, snacks, vegan | Tags: , , , | 4 Comments

Chocolate-Ginger Muffins

I really need a flour sifter.

I keep looking, but the antique stores charge too much for something that’s used, and the thrift stores haven’t turned up one for me yet. And I’m too cheap to go buy a new one. Maybe that’s lame, but there it is.

Anyway, so I use a fork in the meantime to smush up my dry ingredients if I have dry lumpy stuff like brown sugar, cocoa powder, and baking soda in.

Speaking of recipes with dry lumpy stuff, here’s a recipe. For THESE.

Chocolate Ginger Muffins

Ever since my secret sister at church gave me some dark chocolate-covered ginger from Trader Joe’s a while back, I’ve become a little obsessed with the combination. At first I was like, “Uh… chocolate? Ginger? How does that even go together?”

But it DOES. It’s actually really amazing. So I’m on a quest to ginger-ify various chocolatey things.

I found this basic vegan chocolate muffin recipe and adapted it a bit for my purposes. Here’s my version.

Chocolate Ginger Muffins

Mix together dry ingredients in a bowl:
1 c whole wheat flour
1/2 c white flour
1/2 c cocoa powder (just regular – I used half carob in the pictured batch because my cocoa stash was very depleted)
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ginger powder
1/2 cup brown sugar (I used a little under 1/2 cup)
1/4 c minced candied ginger (optional)

(If you have a flour sifter, that’s awesome. If not, use a fork.)

Add in the following:
1 1/2 cup natural unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup canola oil
1 tablespoon vanilla

Stir just until combined. Spoon into 12 regular prepared muffin cups or 24 mini ones. Bake at 325 for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.

And then eat them.

Update since I originally wrote this post: I NOW HAVE A FLOUR SIFTER.

Categories: breakfast, dessert, nut-free, recipes, snacks, soy-free, vegan | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pie Wannabes


A luscious mouthful of gingery goodness right here.

I was always a fan of the gooey goodness that is known as a Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pie. As I’ve become more health-conscious, however, the ingredients therein have become really unappealing to me, especially the presence of egg white in the filling. Ew.

The following recipe is a wonderful homemade version of a very comparable cookie, with a filling that does not involve egg whites.

One thing you can do to make this a little fancier is to snip up the raisins before mixing them in. You could probably do this in a food processor, although I haven’t tried it myself. I’ve just used kitchen scissors or a sharp knife. Another fun thing you can do is wrap the individual pies in plastic wrap and pop them in the freezer for a summer treat. Yum.

1 1/2 c shortening
1 c brown sugar
2 flax eggs (6 Tbsp hot water + 2 Tbsp ground flaxseed. Let sit until gel-y.)
2/3 c molasses
2 1/2 C flour
2 tsp soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp ginger
3 c oats
1 c whole wheat flour
1 c raisins

Cream shortening and sugar. Add flax and molasses. Beat until fluffy. Add flour, soda, salt, cloves, ginger, and cinnamon. Stir in whole wheat flour, oats, and raisins. Form into balls. (If you have a cookie scoop, this is a great recipe to use it on so all your cookies will be perfectly uniform.) Roll in white sugar and flatten with a glass likewise dipped in white sugar. You can use the glass bottom as a gauge to make sure your cookies are all the same diameter. These will spread a little, not a lot, but you’ll want to leave enough room so you don’t end up with square-looking pies.

Unless you like square, in which case, go for it.

Bake at 350 for 7-10 minutes.

Tip: If you take them out of the oven when they are still a tiny bit raw inside and let them cool on the cookie sheet for a minute before putting them on a rack, you’ll have a softer cookie.

If you make these just as individual cookies, with a tablespoon cookie scoop, it makes 76 cookies. If you do a sandwich cookie with filling, it will make half that amount. Obviously.

Filling recipe:
1 stick butter sub (I used Nucoa) at room temperature-ish
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
4 tsp vanilla extract

With a mixer, mix the butter, shortening, and sugar until it is combined. It will look crumby. Then add the vanilla to get a nice creamy thick frosting.

This should fill all the cookies as long as you don’t go overboard. You can see approximately how much I put in each sandwich. If you want thicker filling, just double the recipe.

I know you wanted another look.

Categories: dessert, nut-free, recipes, snacks, vegan | Tags: , , | 6 Comments

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