Tag Archives: vegetarian

Vegetable Bounty

Garden Overfloweth
Salad JarOur garden is cranking out arugula, kale, and radishes as fast as we can eat them. The cool and drizzly weather (aka Junuary) isn’t great for the tomato and pepper plants, but the greens are loving it.

Emily found this great way to transport salads to work – layering them in mason jars. It’s perfect. We have lots of reused jars, they don’t leak, and as long as the the salad dressing stays at the bottom, it doesn’t get soggy.

Vegan Mexican Lasagna (Lazy Enchiladas) Recipe

Mexican Lasagna
Here’s my recipe for Mexican lasagna (or lazy enchiladas) that I cooked for a community potluck I went to last night. It’s completely vegan, soy-free, and gluten-free (and still quite tasty). I made up the recipe as I went along, so the measurements are not exact but I’ve tried to guess how much I used – feel free to add more/less of each ingredient or to add/remove ingredients entirely. It’s a forgiving recipe.

Filling Ingredients

  • onion, 1 diced
  • zucchinis, 3 small diced
  • red pepper, 1 diced
  • green pepper, 1 diced
  • garlic, 2 cloves minced
  • corn, 1 cup frozen or canned
  • pineapple, 1 cup cut into chunks
  • cherry tomatoes, 1/2 cup sliced in half
  • black olives, 1/2 cup sliced
  • black beans, 1 can
  • greens (kale, spinach, chard, or even beet greens), roughly chopped
  • cilantro, 2 tbsp chopped
  • chili powder, 2 tsp
  • paprika, 2 tsp
  • cumin, 2 tsp
  • cayenne, 1/2 tsp
  • salt and pepper
  • oil

Vegan Cashew Cheeze Ingredients

  • cashews, 1 1/4 cup, soaked for a few hours in water and then drained
  • nutritional yeast, 1/3 cup
  • lemon juice, 2 tbsp
  • olive oil, 1 tbsp
  • apple cider vinegar, 1 tsp

Other Ingredients

  • sauce, 2 cups of enchilada sauce or salsa
  • corn tortillas, 12 small ones
  • Daiya vegan cheese, preferably pepperjack
  • avocado, sliced thinly

Steps

  1. Fry onions in oil. When browned, mix in spices. Add zucchini and cook for a few minutes. Add peppers and garlic. Fry until all your veggies are mostly cooked. Add pineapple, corn, tomatoes, black olives, and black beans. Add more spices if necessary. When cooked, remove from heat and fold in cilantro and greens (they don’t need to be fried).
  2. In a food processor, mix all the cashew cheeze ingredients together until they have a mostly smooth consistency.
  3. Cover the bottom of a large casserole dish with a thin coating of sauce. Add a layer of tortilla shells. Cover with 1/2 of the filling. Sprinkle with half of the cashew cheeze (it’s ok if it’s in little blobs). Cover with a some sauce. Add another layer of tortilla shells and repeat with the remaining filling and cashew cheeze. Cover with tortillas and a layer of sauce on top. *I didn’t put sauce on the top of mine, and the top layer of tortillas got a bit too crunchy.
  4. Sprinkle Daiya cheese on top and bake at 375 C for 30 minutes – covered for the first 20 minutes and then uncovered for the last 10 so the cheese melts.
  5. Remove from oven and let it cool for 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with sliced avocado on top.

Mexican Lasagna Filling

Veganism in the News

Borscht Ingredients
There’s been a lot of articles in the media recently about vegan diets. The Huffington Post ran an article Shattering The Meat Myth: Humans Are Natural Vegetarians.

Although we think we are, and we act as if we are, human beings are not natural carnivores. When we kill animals to eat them, they end up killing us, because their flesh, which contains cholesterol and saturated fat, was never intended for human beings, who are natural herbivores.

The New York Times has six articles arguing for and against vegan diets in there Room for Debate series: Is Veganism Good For Everyone?.
1. The Jury Is Still Out

B12 isn’t the only nutrient missing from veggies. Creatine, carnitine, taurine, cholesterol, DHA, EPA, menaquinone and retinol are sparse to nonexistent in plants.

2. We Are Not Grizzly Bears

Humans are thought to be omnivores – just like the grizzly. Look in that mirror … we’re so much alike, aren’t we?

3. Meat is Brain Food

Clinical research finds that people on vegan diets commonly suffer from a variety of nutritional deficiencies.

4. It’s About Food Quality

The reality is that, while veganism may not be for everyone, quality matters. And, in a rush to give consumers value, food producers have jeopardized the quality of most meat out there. Veganism may not be the solution, but “reduced consumption” can very well suit us all.

5. Plant-Strong Is The Way

The primary reason it’s hard to give up animals is because most of us have grown up eating animal products and don’t have the first inkling of how to eat anything else. But it’s a “piece of kale” to eat “plant-strong” in 2012.

6. A Choice With Definite Risks

You may choose to be a vegan. Your baby doesn’t have that luxury. Let her grow up omnivorous and healthy.

Vegetarian Vietnamese Recipes – Phở and Spring Rolls

When Emily and I were in Hoi An, we took a vegan Vietnamese cooking class at Karma Waters. Our instructor was excellent and even adapted the recipes to remove soy for me.

Here are the recipes our instructor taught us for phở (Vietnam’s famous noodle soup) and fresh spring rolls (salad rolls). They might look intimidating at first glance, but they’re not that complicated. The result is well worth it.

Pho Good
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Elimination Diet Recap

Captain ColanderLast fall, Emily and I went on an elimination diet. The results were surprising, and I’ve discovered a few foods that bother me. I still have a few questions, but here’s what I’ve learned.

When Emily and I embarked on our dietary adventure, we spent 2 weeks eating a bland diet of mostly rice, beans, and vegetables. Then we started reintroducing foods, starting with tofu and then adding in eggs, gluten, dairy, nightshades, corn, citric fruits, peanuts, and sugar – with 3 days in between each new food. Throughout the whole process, we kept a detailed log of everything we ate, the hours we spent sleeping and exercising, how we felt, bowel habits, skin rashes, you name it.

Before we started, I expected to have problems with lactose and Emily was avoiding wheat and gluten. After 6 weeks on our elimination diet, Emily was able to reintroduce everything, including gluten, without any negative reactions but I had problems with soy, dairy, and eggs. My reactions included skin rashes and problems with my digestive system.

The elimination diet is setup to isolate the affect of each potential allergen, but when I started having digestive problems or skin rashes, my immediate reaction was to blame it on something other than the new food. The skin rashes only showed up on my hands, so I figured the cause was more likely environmental than food related. The digestive problems were obviously food related, but soy is such a huge part of a vegetarian diet that I didn’t want to believe it was the cause of my problems.

(Warning: gross details to follow.)
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Gluten-Free, Vegan Ukrainian Christmas Eve Dinner

Main Course
I didn’t go home to Manitoba for Christmas this year, which meant I missed the traditional Ukrainian Christmas Eve dinner and the time spent playing board games in Baba’s basement. In an attempt to reproduce that in Vancouver, Emily and I hosted her family for a Ukrainian Christmas Eve dinner. Ukrainian Christmas Eve dinner is traditionally a 12-course “vegetarian” meal (which includes fish), but we had the additional complication of making it vegan and gluten-free.

Our menu for the evening included:

  1. Borscht
  2. Perogies
  3. Holubtsi (cabbage rolls)
  4. Mushroom Gravy
  5. Sauerkraut
  6. Pickled Garlic Scapes
  7. Maple Glazed Salmon
  8. White Beans
  9. Salad
  10. Baked Apples

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