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Summer has finally shown up around here (along with a glorious sunburn I managed to obtain yesterday taking advantage of the sunshine). This means the reappearance of cold grain salads and the like in my books. This one was a happy combination of flavours and textures that came mostly out of the mixture that was the dregs of my pre-grocery shopping trip pantry.

2 cups dry quinoa (or 1 cup if your prefer a lower quinoa to add-in ratio)

2 navel oranges, cut into inch segments

1/2 cup raisins

1/2 bunch cilantro, minced (I would say about 1/3 to 1/2 cup of minced cilantro)

1 tablespoon minced ginger

2-3 tsp cumin

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Combine quinoa with 4 cups water (2 cups if you are using 1 cup of quinoa) in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until the white centres have dissapeared and tails are visible on the grains. Set aside to cool.

Combine the rest of the ingredients in a bowl and add cooled quinoa. Toss all ingredients together and serve.

I’m also submitting this to Ricki’s weekly blog event “Wellness Weekend” where it can mingle with plenty of other, healthy vegan summery recipes!



It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here; trees were put up on Sunday to the Nutcracker soundtrack and yesterday the city got a nice white covering so we are all set. Anyways, for those of you in the U.S. thanksgiving is just around the corner (those of us up North are already in full-blown Christmas mode) and you are probably more worried about the upcoming big (birdless) feast so I have compiled a list of thanksgiving appropriate recipes for you if you are still looking for ideas to cook up.


Baked Goods:

Pumpkin Gingerbread Muffins

Orange Cranberry Muffins

Cranberry Walnut Banana Bread

Cranberry Tahini Cookies

Fall Harvest Cookies

Peanut Butter Apple Crisp

Sugar-free, Gluten-free Crustless Pumpkin Pie

Gluten-free Cranberry Orange Poppyseed Muffins

Dutch Apple Cake


Main Dishes:

Moroccan Rice and Squash Pilaf


Sweet Potato, Carrot Soup with Tempeh

Raw Sweet Potato, Pineapple and Apple Slaw



2010 Thanksgiving

2009 Thanksgiving

Here’s to good food, friends and family and the start to a wonderful holiday season! 🙂

Okay, a bit late to the party here, but how about we just pretend I am early for American Thanksgiving, mmkay?

So, roomies and I decided to make ourselves a glorious thanksgiving feast. On the menu:

Butternut Squash Bisque

Lentil Loaf/Nutroast: Notes were taken in the making of this, it was lentil, mushroom and walnut based I think… 

Gravy from Eat, Drink and Be Vegan by Dreena Burton

Cranberry Sauce: Cranberries plus water and a bit of agave cooked on the stove until cranberries were mushy

Garlic Mashed Potatoes: Roasted a head of garlic in the oven and added it to cooked potatoes with some almond milk before mashing it all up.

Brussels Sprouts: Cleaned and sliced in half and then baked in the oven with oil, salt and pepper

Pumpkin Cheesecake (Made crustless, largely followed the recipe except for adding an extra tablespoon or so of cornstarch, not sure if it made much of a difference, but once cooled, you could cut out a slice – see picture)

So here is my plate (actually I am kind of lying, this was a plate of leftovers, hence the lack of Brussels sprouts-they were decimated the first go around!)

And dessert!

It was most delicious, and quite lovely indeed to have a big group meal making effort and sit down (we normally do cooking and eating separately).

Today is Remembrance Day in Canada, so here is my homage.



Sushi, Salad and Soup! Seems like thats all I’ve been eating lately, barring breakfast.

Last week I picked up a HUGE container of organic leafy greens. When I say huge, I really do mean it, it was a 2lb container and I honestly could hardly fit it into my (apartment-sized) fridge. However it was $2 more than a 1lb container so I really couldn’t resist, and since I finished it up today for supper, I would say it was a wise investment. Regardless, it has resulted in a salad-heavy diet lately.

Orange, Almond and Poppyseed Salad

Salad with Roasted Root Veggies


Like I have mentioned before, I like making up big batches of food on the weekend so I don’t have to do much preparation for meals. Soups, stews and chili’s are always excellent choices, particularly at this time of year. My soup of the week was the Sweet Pepper Coconut Corn Chowder from ExtraVeganza along with Heidi’s Lively Yourself up Lentil Soup.

First time for the corn chowder, I liked it despite using half the coconut milk in the recipe. Next time I might try blending up some dried coconut with water to add to the soup. Also, because I used full-fat coconut milk, the fat crusted onto the top of the soup when stored in the fridge which wasn’t terribly appetizing, however a quick stint in the microwave remedied that, but just a note if you plan on eating it cold.


I’ve made the lentil soup many times before and am a big fan. I always leave out the saffron yogurt, although someday I really think I should give it a go, since I could see some people finding the soup a bit lacking in the flavour department the way I make it.


The sushi was kind of a random addition. Pardon the photo, there is a much nicer one over with the original recipe. I saw Ricki’s post and since I have always wanted to try making raw sushi and I liked her use of almonds rather than the usual cauliflower or pine nut concoction (though I do intend to give those a fair try someday too), I figured I would make up a batch. Well, if you have the ingredients on hand, and even if you don’t, I highly reccomend her recipe! Although you might also consider doubling the recipe, as it sure didn’t last long around here. Another note, I made these up the first time using drained oil-packed sundried tomatoes which I really enjoyed. Second go around (see, I told you they were good!) I used store-bought sundried tomatoes and I wasn’t as a big of a fan. Maybe it’s just me, but I find that the packaged dried ones have a strange flavour (I don’t know if it is some chemical used in the preservation process or what) and I could definitely taste it in the sushi. Regardless, I still managed to demolish that batch fairly rapidly, but I might go for either drained oil-packed or Ricki’s homemade method of oven-dried tomatoes.   


In other, non-food related news, the Olympics are so close! Maybe it’s because Canada is so hyped up about having them, but I am getting excited! I kind of feel like I shouldn’t likethem, since there are so many ethical problems associated with them but I can’t help but get all wrapped up in the worlds countries coming together and participating peacefully in making some people’s dreams come true!

How about you folks; Olympics, yay or nay?


Many years ago, I used to buy a pre-made mixed bean salad from an uppity sort of grocery store that will go unnamed. It was pretty good, but I’ve found that it’s easy to prepare a version that is much, much better than anything from a deli. Preparing the beans from dried ensures that everything tastes fresh, but canned would work too. I used five of my favourite beans, but I’m sure you could use up any odds and ends of beans you might already have prepared. (veggies, too!) The oil-free dressing is based off of the dressing from the succotash salsa recipe in Vegan Soul Kitchen.


Stir together approximately:

-1/2 c.  cooked black beans
-1/2 c. cooked pinto beans
-1/2 c. cooked baby lima beans (I used frozen)
-1/2 c. cooked chickpeas
-1 to 1 1/2 c. diced pepper (I used a combination of red, orange, and yellow)
-1/4 -1/3 c. minced red onion
Have ready ~1/2 c. cooked full size lima beans, but don’t add them to the mix yet. I picked over mine and set aside the broken ones to use in a bean dip later on – they don’t fare well in a salad.

In a small bowl whisk together:
-2 tbsp each fresh lemon and lime juice
-1 jalepeno, very finely minced
-1 tsp. agave
– 2 cloves garlic, crushed
-1/4 c. finely minced cilantro, packed
-generous grind of black pepper
-salt to taste

Stir the dressing into the bean mix, and then add the 1/2 c. of full size lima beans. Adding them at the very end ensures that they don’t break apart.

This keeps well in the fridge – I’ve been eating mine for the past few days at lunch, and am feeling very virtuous for eating such a variety of beans! : )


Many people are posting about quick and relatively heat-free meals that they are making now that the days are getting warmer. Although it cooled off a bit today, the last week or so here in Pennsylvania has been way too hot for me, especially for April – (it’s actually still snowing in my home town! Hooray Canada!) I’ve been avoiding doing a lot of cooking, opting to make things ahead of time and store them in the fridge until supper. This pasta salad is pretty simple, but I love all the ingredients. Can you really go wrong with olives, pine nuts, and sundried tomatoes? I think this would be delicious with a light pesto style dressing, but I had no basil. Maybe next time!

Pine Nut, Olive, and Sundried Tomato Pasta Salad

-5-6 c. cooked salad-type pasta, cooled (I used multicoloured whole wheat radiatore)
-1/2 c. toasted pine nuts
-1/2 c. finely chopped sweet red pepper
-1/2 c. chopped green olives
-1/3 c. slivered sundried tomatoes (the olive packed kind)
-1/4 c. finely chopped red onion
In a bowl whisk together:
-1 tsp. dijon mustard
-2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
-1 tsp. light agave nectar
-2 tbsp. olive oil from the sundried tomatoes
-2 tbsp. water
-2 small cloves garlic, minced
-salt and pepper to taste
Pour over pasta and accoutrements, and stir to combine. Yum!