Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Vegan Sausage Stars

This is our first vegan Christmas and we are so excited to veganize our traditional holidays meals and appetizers. 

Wonton hors d'oeuvres, most commonly known as sausage stars, are one of our holiday staples. We wanted to try to recreate this recipe, while staying true to the classic flavours. 

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Chewy Vegan Molasses Cookies

Lately, I've been doing lots of online Christmas shopping and it's definitely giving me holiday fever. I found a festive cookie recipe on Faring Well and I just had to try them. These vegan cookies are the perfect combination of soft and chewy, a great treat along side a large glass of (plant) milk!

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Creamy Vegan Arugula, Tomato & Avocado Potato Salad

I can honestly eat potatoes every day! Fries, mashed potatoes, potato soup, potato salad... the possibilities are endless! This next recipe is inspired by my favorite sandwich. It contains sesame ezeikel bread, vegenaise, avocado, tomato, scallions and arugula. I pretty much just combined all of these ingredients and created a creamy vegan potato salad. 

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Vegan Stuffed Cigar Bread

Thinking up of a main thanksgiving dish was a bit tricky since I wanted to remain faithful to typical dishes that would be served during the holiday.  Thankfully, my mom helped me modify her classic stuffed cigar bread recipe and together, we cooked up this wicked main. It was delicious, especially topped with a generous helping of vegan gravy!

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Vegan Food in Toronto : Notebook Entry Two

Back in August, my boyfriend and I went on a weekend trip to Toronto. We explored the sights and went apartment hunting for his move to the city.

wish restaurant
During my short stay, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to explore some vegan restaurants in the area. Discovering new food is truly one of the most exciting parts about eating a plant-based diet. When people find out that I’m vegan, I’m often asked about the food I can eat since people tend to perceive veganism as a restrictive diet, which it is in a sense, but not in it’s true nature. If you take a moment to think about your diet, there is most likely a vegan alternative for your favourite dishes. A vegan diet does not primarily consist of salad and tofu.

At times, finding vegan food can be a struggle, especially in restaurants. Most places I've been to have very limited vegan options and I’m left ordering a plain salad with a side order of french fries. Of course, there is nothing wrong with eating salad and french fries, but if I choose to go out to eat, I would rather have something a little more self-indulgent. That being said, when I do see vegan options on a menu or have the opportunity to eat at vegan restaurants, I definitely carpe diem and try as many things as possible.

During our stay in Toronto, we had the immense pleasure of eating at two remarkable restaurants: Wish and Live Organic Market. We had such a lovely time at both places, the décor and ambience adding to the positive experience. And lets not forget the delicious food!

My boyfriend is not vegan and doesn’t particularly enjoy vegan or vegetarian dishes. Luckily for both of us, Wish had vegan options, after substitutions, as well as meat dishes so we were both able to benefit from the mouth-watering cuisine.

veggie burger at wish restaurant 
soup at live organic market 

On the other hand, Live Organic Market is a vegan restaurant. The gorgeous back patio is full of life; flowers and plants surround you, creating a serene environment with all the beautiful colours and smells. 

We enjoyed a peaceful afternoon sipping on delicious soup and enjoying each other’s company. My boyfriend loved his meal and was pleasantly surprised that he was able to get such a hearty vegan dish. 

On our final day in Toronto, we decided to pick up pizzas and head to the boardwalk to enjoy the beautiful summer weather. Another great discovery was Pizza Nova. Who would of thought that a popular pizza chain would have the option to substitute for vegan cheese? It just goes to show how veganism is becoming more prominent in our society and businesses are becoming increasingly aware of the need for vegan options in order to cater to their customers.

I’m eagerly awaiting my next Toronto visit in order to continue discovering delicious vegan food…oh and to visit my boyfriend as well.

Talk soon,

Janelle xx

Vegan Pumpkin Pie

I hope everyone had a wonderful thanksgiving weekend. This year was our first vegan thanksgiving meaning no turkey and small modifications to classic family recipes. This was my first ever attempt at baking pumpkin pie and it was truly a success! I adapted Oh She Glows' vegan pumpkin squares in order to create this pie. 

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Creamy Vegan Potato and Leak Soup

My colleague brought me to the local farmer's market and my purchases have inspired me to cook up some fresh dishes. The weather is getting cold and it's time to start creating some new soup combos so here's a simple vegan potato and leek soup for you to try!

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Vegan Salted Chocolate Popcorn

I often crave sweet and salty treats. The other day, I decided to combine my love of popcorn and homemade vegan chocolate together and created this masterpiece! It's the perfect healthy sweet and salty snack!

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Epic Vegan Chili

When the weather starts cooling down, I crave chili! We are still in our first year of veganism so this is our first time making vegan chili. This recipe is EPIC. It has so many delicious and filling ingredients making this the perfect fall meal! 

Saturday, 19 September 2015

New Beginnings : Notebook Entry One

I want to try something new. This past year has inspired me to push myself and to reassess what is most important to me.

This year has been one of great changes. I decided to go vegetarian in February and went vegan a few months later. Contrary to what many may think, I did not change to a plant based diet for health reasons; I did it because I now believe it’s the right thing to do.  I found myself watching documentaries and reading articles about veganism, consumerism, sustainability, globalization, factory farming, among others and it opened my eyes. I have to be honest; I did not instantly feel the need to change. Like anything else, I felt inspired for a few hours after viewing or reading the content, and the feeling quickly dissipated.  It is not that I did not care, more so, reality would set in. I have been eating animals and their by-products my whole life, why change now?

It took a few weeks of research for my mind to open and the message to stick. Breeding, torturing and murdering animals for human consumption and vanity is not acceptable. We are abusing our status to exploit other beings. In today’s society, we have the means to strive without having to resort to this type of behaviour. Foods are at our disposal that we might not have had access to in the past.  We do not need to eat animals and their by-products to live a healthy and happy life.

Let me be clear on my stance, I feel strongly against the exploitation of animals via factory farming, not so much those that hunt and fish for their food. I grew up eating wild game. My grandpa would hunt, trap and fish and nothing would be wasted, nothing was exploited.  We did not hunt more then what was needed.

I also understand that hunting, trapping and fishing is part of many people’s livelihood and holds a large cultural significance.  Again, I am not against this. I understand that not everyone has the means or access to an abundance of fruits and vegetables.

With this said, I personally don’t see the need for me to consume this type of meat or any meat. With what I have at my disposal, I can strive and live a healthy life strictly eating plants. I don’t have to take an animal’s life to cater to my own. I have access to other means, and I will utilize those.

Veganism for me is all about intent. I’m not trying to abide to what others think being a true vegan should mean.  My intent is to reduce unnecessary suffering and exploitation. My intent is to eliminate my consumption of animals and factory farmed by-products. My intent is to not view animals as food, but as livings beings. My intent is to be more compassionate.

Almost half a year into my vegan journey, I can safely say that I have made the right life changes. I feel much better physically and mentally. I’ve noticed many positive changes and I’ve never felt better. However, I’ve started to fall in a vegan tunnel of junk food consumption.  At first, I focussed on eating whole plant foods and ate as little processed foods as possible. With the discovery of vegan snack foods, that changed. I allowed myself to start eating unhealthy foods, trying to validate it with the mindset that it’s vegan, so it’s ok. I have never allowed myself to eat chips, candy, chocolate, ice cream and pizza in such abundance before, so why now?

My primary focus on becoming vegan was not health, but I have to start making that a priory. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I don’t like eating healthily or cooking healthy meals. I just became lazy. I think many people can relate to that. For me, taking liberties leads to taking more, until I don’t think about it anymore. I have to change my mindset and start thinking about what I’m putting in my body.

This brings me to the reason for writing this post. I just moved to a new town, I've started my career and endless possibilities await me. I want to challenge myself in order to become the healthiest I can be. I’ve decided to eliminate my consumption of most processed and pre-packaged foods. I personally don’t think this will be difficult for me since I love to cook and make up with new recipes. I just need to change my perception of priorities. I strongly believe this will bring positive changes to my health and well-being.

I am publishing this on my blog as a way to keep me accountable but also, to share my journey and recipes with those few who are interested in following it.

Talk soon,

Josée xx

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Creamy Vegan Potato Salad

I whipped this up in under 20 minutes the other day before heading out to work and it was so satisfying! I call this a 'garbage' potato salad, since I used up all the things I had leftover in the fridge. So simple, so delicious! You can top it with some hemp hearts or ground flax seed to add some protein!

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Mango Salsa

My aunt makes the best mango salsa! Every time I go over to her house, she always has freshly made salsas out with chips. The recipe itself is so simple that I decided to try it for myself!

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Beetroot Juice

I received a juicer as a graduation gift from my parents and I've been juicing everything I can get my hands on ever since! This is by far my favourite combination. It tastes earthy and fresh, perfect for beet lovers! 

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Dill Potatoes & Sugar Snap Peas

Sometimes the tastiest recipes are the simplest recipes! This next recipe is pretty simple but makes for a perfect side dish! 

Sunday, 21 June 2015

No Bake Vegan Carrot Cake with Cashew Cream

I spent the weekend at my boyfriend's mom's house and the scenery there is amazing! Trees, plants, koi fish pond... the list goes on! I felt inspired to create a few recipes and this was the first. Every time I go over, I always end up juicing. I decided to create a recipe using the leftover pulp. Using the carrot and apple pulp, I created this no bake carrot cake! It's delicious and makes for a perfect breakfast, dessert or snack.

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Grapefruit Juice

Make your very own grapefruit juice while still conserving the fruits fiber!

First off, we have an abnormal way of eating our grapefruit. We peel it like an orange and remove the meat from the individual casings before eating it. The other day, I decided to put the grapefruit meat and the excess juice in the blender to make a pulpy juice.To my surprise, it wasn't pulpy at all, it was as smooth as any juice, however it contained all the fibre. I was very pleased with the result!

Sunday, 31 May 2015

Trail Mix Energy Bites

Summer is approaching and I'm getting more and more motivated to create new fresh vegan recipes. Last week, I received my first Munch Better snack box in the mail and with it came a variety of yummy treats that I've never tried before. Some of these products inspired me to create new recipes, this recipe in particular being one of my first. I used the Mike & Mike's Organics Goji Sport Mix to make these delicious energy bites! I'm so pleased with the turn out, they are the perfect bite-size pick me up!

Monday, 18 May 2015

Vegan Nut-Free Cheese Sauce

I stumbled upon a homemade cheese recipe video on youtube by Cooking with Plants. It seemed too easy and too good to be true...so I had to try it for myself. I didn't have any agar agar powder on hand, the thickening and solidifying agent needed to make vegan cheese (it's a vegan substitute for gelatine) so I decided to skip that step and make a nice cheese sauce. I couldn't believe the flavour and texture of this sauce! I used this sauce to make mac and cheese, a mexican salad and some nachos!

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Pizza Dough: 3 Ways

One of our favourite things to do is host pizza parties! We use either white or wheat bread flour for our classic dough recipe. This time, we decided to experiment with our dough, using the same base recipe but changing up the types of flour.  We went to Bulkbarn, browsed the aisles and picked up three varieties of organic sprouted flour. All three pizzas were delicious! Here is a more in-depth review of each type of dough. Scroll at to the bottom of the page to find the standard recipe!

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Salted Caramel Date Sauce

This next recipe is extremely simple and will knock your socks off! Caramel sauce made from only dates and water, how can that possibly taste good may you ask. My non-date loving friends can attest to this sauce's deliciousness. We created this recipe when making our Healthy Chocolate Torte as well as our Healthy Apple Crisp. it adds just the perfect amount of sweetness and caramel goodness. Give it a try! We're sure you wont be disappointed!! 

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Chia Seed Jam

I was inspired by an Instagram picture posted by Leah Itsines to make my own chia seed jam. Seemed simple enough and a great healthy and vegan alternative to store bought jam. We've been trying to eat as natural as possible, and making our own sauces and jams is definitely a good addition!

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Grilled Chicken & Arugula Salad

P&M Kouzzina is my favourite restaurant in Sudbury, Ontario. I only ever order one of two things, this salad always being my first choice! Here is our take on this delicious dish. We omitted any kind of added salt since the saltiness of the cheese and the grilled chicken is satisfactory, no need to add more!

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Kalamata Olive Hummus

Our brother is allergic to sesame seeds and since store-bought hummus typically includes tahini, which is essentially just a sauce made of ground sesame seeds, we wouldn't buy it very often. So, we decided to start making our own hummus and omit the tahini. 

Hummus itself is incredibly simple and easy to make. All you need is chickpeas and spices. I love the store-bought flavored hummuses, so I decided to experiment with kalamata olives! 

Not a fan of olives? You can modify this recipe by adding sun dried tomatoes, roasted red peppers or omit the olives all together. The flavor possibilities are endless. 

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Fig & Goat Cheese Pizza with Homemade Spelt Crust

This is my absolute favourite pizza combination! First time trying it homemade and it was a big success.

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Healthy Chocolate Torte with Walnut Crust

One of our all time favorite desserts is the Chocolate Ganache Torte from Milestones. Only issue... it's almost 1000 calories a slice. So we asked ourselves, how can we eat this cake everyday? The answer...make our own healthier version! 

This recipe is perfect. Literally perfect. The ingredient list is simple: virgin coconut oil, cocoa powder, maple syrup, walnuts and dates. That's it. We'd be ready to bet that you'd have no idea this was healthy if put to a blind taste test. We actually prefer our version of the torte to the original. And for 250 calories a slice, how can you go wrong! Plus, the calories aren't empty calories like the Milestone torte... there's actual nutritional value in this one!

Enough of us blabbing about this torte, you should really try it for yourself! We promise, it won't disappoint! 

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Brie LT Sandwich

I tried this amazing sandwich at The Laughing Buddha, a cozy local restaurant in Sudbury, Ontario. I really wanted to make one for myself so here is my take on this delicious sandwich.

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Raw Pomegranate Bark

We've been wanting to make a natural chocolate recipe for quite some time, and believe we have just found the perfect one! A few days ago, I went grocery shopping and randomly decided to add a pomegranate in my basket.  Later that night, I had the idea to use it in a chocolate bark recipe. Rather then use a dark chocolate bar to make the bark, after some deliberation, we decided to attempt making some raw vegan chocolate instead to supplement the fresh pomegranate. After an initial test run of the ratios, we ended up with this combination! The consistency of the chocolate is much like fudge with sweet coconut undertones. We noticed that the chocolate should remain either in the fridge or freezer as it will soften up a bit. Nevertheless, once you get a taste of this stuff, you will never go back!

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Cinnamon Apple French Toast Bake

We're reunited for the week and are so excited to combine our ideas and make loads of new recipes! This morning, we made-up this delicious recipe on a whim... it's a perfect healthy twist on french toast!

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Buffalo Chicken Cauliflower & Quinoa Casserole

My roommate bought some buffalo wing sauce the other day and my life has now been changed. I started adding it to everything! Eggs, quinoa, chicken ... you name it, I've most likely added this buffalo wing sauce to it. 

The other day, I decided to use my leftovers, which consisted of cooked quinoa, chicken breast and cauliflower (which was about to go bad), to create a recipe. Of course I had to add some Frank's Buffalo Wing Sauce in there too! I figured that I might as well take some pictures along the way incase it turns out to be a blog-worthy recipe. Luckily, it past the test and was delicious! 

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Dairy-Free Creamy Broccoli Stem Soup

If you're like us, broccoli consisted of the florets only while the tough stems would take a one way trip to the trash can. This recipe makes use of the neglected broccoli stems in a delicious way. You'll never look at broccoli the same way. 

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Caprese Spaghetti Squash Casserole

Love spaghetti squash? Then you should give this delicious caprese spaghetti squash casserole a try! 

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Bell Pepper Soup

We just love eating creamy soups for lunch during the winter months. This bell pepper soup makes a great side to a grilled cheese sandwich and is a quick and delicious way to add veggies to a meal.