I'm really excited to share this recipe, because it kind of blew my mind. It's a rich, flavourful dip and it is addictively good. I'm so happy to have this in my repertoire. It has a ton of caramelized onion, garlic, roasted cauliflower, olive oil, a bit of tofu, Silk brand vegan almond yogurt, olive oil, lemon juice, S&P (I use black and white pepper..the white adds an earthy sweetness that I really like in this recipe.)
I was inspired to make it after buying a terrible plant based vegan french onion dip from the store. I'm kind of glad I bought it even though it ended up in the bin, because I was inspired to make my own...and it's so rich and oniony, and makes a perfect dip for crudité and crackers. (Plain Potato Chips would be amazing)
A note on Vegan Yogurt
I use Silk Brand Almond Yogurt in this recipe, I have not yet tried this recipe with other brands. What I can say is not all yogurts are created equal, vegan or otherwise. Some will be thicker, higher in fat, lend more or less acidity. The almond yogurt I use has 15 grams of fat in 3/4 cup. It is fairly thick, and I don't find it tangy. (it also is low sugar, has 7 grams of fiber and 6 grams of protein per serve) I also have at home Silk Oat yogurt, but I wouldn't choose that in this recipe. It's lower fat and has less body, and it definitely has an oat-y flavour that I'd rather serve with breakfast. If you use a different product, and it's really tangy then you might need less lemon than the amount I've suggested. I'd definitely choose something full fat. I also buy coconut yogurt often but I wouldn't use that here either. I definitely wouldn't want this dip to taste anything like coconut.
This sandwich is INSANE. Roasted Eggplant, Bell Peppers, Portobello Mushrooms, Red Onion, Fresh Sliced Tomato, Arugula, Seitan Bacon, and Basil Mayo all layered onto Toasted Sourdough Bread. I adapted this recipe from Rebar Modern Food Cookbook. I didn't change much, just the addition of veggie bacon, tweaked the mayo recipe, and I like to drizzle balsamic glaze onto the veg as I'm building the sandwich. Friends, this roasted vegetable club is so fresh and so incredibly flavourful....don't miss out on this epic sandwich experience...you deserve delicious things that are full of good for you ingredients.
I think sourdough is definitely the best choice of bread here. I bought a good quality pre sliced Ace Bakery loaf at the supermarket. The slices are oblong in shape. Click the link to check it out, and try to find something similar for this recipe. Regular generic sliced bread won't do here.
I used 2 slices per sandwich of seitan bacon that a friend brought me from real fake meats in Halifax NS. I make a similar recipe at home, adapted from Avant Garde Vegan (google his streaky bacon recipe if you are curious). Alternatively use your favourite veggie bacon, if the slices are smaller use more than 2 slices per sandwich. I really do like making my own because I think the quality is better than the stuff you can get at the super market. Or perhaps you are living in an area that has a vegan butcher shop!
The basil mayo is epic on this sandwich. Serve extra on the side for dipping, and use lots while building the sandwich too. This is a condiment you'll want to have in your repertoire. Another idea is to serve it along side a big pile of roasted veggies. I'm thinking asparagus, radish and zucchini for starters.
If like me, you don't want to make 4 sandwiches at once, all good! Just prepare the roasted vegetables and then store in a container in the fridge. Then you have the makings for quick lunch or dinner sandwiches for the next day (or two).
There's not much more to say about this sandwich friends.... if you want to make the best club sandwich of life, (vegan or otherwise) this is it, hands down. I'm obsessed.
Roasted Vegetable Club Sandwich with Basil Mayo (Vegan)
To assemble sandwiches:
Green Beans in Tomato sauce isn't something I would intuitively put together, but turns out, it is really really good. Onion, garlic, smoked paprika to flavour is the flavour base for a can of diced tomatoes, then toss in the green beans, simmer away. Tuck in some toasty crusty bread, garnish everything with parsley (and chopped almonds if you want) and dig in. I ate this with some roasted potatoes on the side. YUM. Best part, I don't think I even spent 30 minutes whipping this up.
This dish is from a cookbook I have called Vegan Recipes from Spain by Gonzola Baro. I didn't change much. The small changes: I blanched the green beans less time, and then let them finish cooking in the tomato sauce, and I also garnished the dish with some toasted chopped almonds.
I'm really enjoying becoming more acquainted with Spanish dishes here and there. Whenever I try something new I send it to Jose, who is from Valencia, to see if he knows anything about it. This dish he told me is one his mother makes on occasion. I wish we didn't live so far apart so he could taste and give me feedback, but for now I can only share pictures. I try to look on the bright side...I'll have a repertoire of Spanish dishes to share with him when we are together again.
This cajun tofu is a staple in my home kitchen. It's really simple, tasty and versatile. I really need to have healthy meal ideas that are quick and also taste great, especially when life feels busy. I love Cajun Tofu in tacos, Buddha bowls, or on a chopped salad. These definitely have a bit of a kick to them from the cayenne pepper, but once I'm eating them with other bites it mellows.
Tofu gets such a bad reputation, but it's not really logical. It's literally a blank slate, waiting for you to add your favourite flavours. The texture can vary depending how you cook it. Also, not all tofu is created equal flavour wise. I would suggest trying different brands. I've never had any that I thought were bad, but some do just taste better to me. Where I currently live I can even get locally made tofu that is super fresh and delicious.
I think there is a ton of misconceptions surrounding the effects of tofu on your health too. I've listened and read a lot on this topic. There's always more research that can be done in the realm of nutrition science, but my understanding is that the science we have so far tells us that worst case scenario adding tofu to your diet as a neutral effect on your health, and best case scenario is has many health benefits. If you want to hear a great conversation about the topic of soy, I recommend checking out The Proof Podcast, hosted by Simon Hill. Episode #198 is the most recent one I listened to on this topic.
Ideas for serving
Cajun Tofu Tacos (pictured above)
Buddha Bowl with Cajun Tofu (pictured below)
Cajun Spice Mix
Many recipes include salt in their spice mix. I choose not to, and instead add salt later. In this recipe the marinade is seasoned with salt. I like to be able to control the salt separately depending on what I'm cooking.
I don't always press my tofu before cooking with it, especially if I'm trying to be quick, but I do for this recipe, even if for a short amount of time. Just wrap the tofu block in paper towel, then in a kitchen towel. I pop it in the fridge with something weighted on top of it for at least an hour or overnight.
I use flaked kosher salt in my recipes. It's what I (and many chefs) prefer to cook with. Not too fine, not too coarse that it requires grinding. I buy it at bulk barn. If using fine salt the amount may need reducing.
When I have leftovers I find it easiest just to reheat the pieces in the microwave instead of turning on my oven for a small amount of food, but I'm sure reheating in the oven would work too.
I love this soup. It is literally Goddess worthy. There's a ton of fresh green goodness with all the veggies and fresh herbs. I used French Green Beans, Zucchini, Edamame, Green Peas, Tarragon, Chives and Mint.
The base is a lovely creamy broth made from an easy home made veg stock with Greek Style Fresh Start Fauxmage melted in. A bit of miso paste in the broth too, just for a bit of umami. (a bit of miso paste or a splash of soy sauce can go a long way in creating deeper & more complex flavours in vegan cooking)
The fauxmage is an almond based baked feta style vegan cheese. It's rich and has a bit of brightness. A delicious & simple way to add creaminess without using dairy products. If you can't get your hands on some (though they do offer worldwide shipping and are available in stores all over Canada), I would use cashew cream as an alternative.
Seasoned properly with salt and fresh lemon juice, the flavours in this soup come alive. A bit of chili is nice too. Not too much, just a bit for warmth.
More details in the recipe below
Spring Veg Green Goddess Soup
Serves 4 - 6
Creamy Pesto Risotto with Asparagus, Peas and Lemon. I teamed up with my friends at Fresh Start Fauxmage to create this tasty recipe. I have wanted to make a risotto with this particular vegan cheese product for quite some time now. Their "Creamy Pesto" variety was a perfect choice for this dish. It's delicious. Think basil, garlic, lemon, & super creamy. This product allows you to add incredible flavour to a dish effortlessly. Right now I'm really digging it in this recipe, or melted into hot pasta with whatever veg for a quick meal. They provide world wide shipping and are available in locations across Canada.
I think a lot of people might be a bit intimidated to make a risotto at home. Maybe you've never had it, or only have had it in a restaurant. I'm happy to report, it's actually incredibly simple. Yes you have to stir the rice fairly continuously while adding hot stock to the pan for about 30 minutes, but it's not hard. If you have a good recipe to follow, the main thing to keep in mind is the texture of the rice. Try not to over cook it. It shouldn't be completely soft. There should still be a bit of bite to the rice. Then pay attention to the consistency of the final dish. It should be creamy and a bit fluid, not stiff and dried out.
If I was making this in a restaurant, I would cook the risotto 3/4 of the way through, then dump it onto a large sheet pan to cool completely. Then when you want to prepare a portion, just add desired amount of risotto to a pan over medium - medium high heat, and stir in stock until the rice has absorbed enough liquid. Just taste a couple of times.
Mojo Verde is a sauce from the Canary Islands....and I LOVE IT. It's made up of chopped cilantro, extra virgin olive oil, garlic, lime juice, jalapeno, cumin & s&p. I read that sour orange is typically used instead of lime. I'm not certain what type of pepper is authentic, but jalapeno is readily available here so that is what I used. Mojo Verde is similar to chimichurri and salsa verde, and I keep some variation of them in my fridge at all times. When I make chimichurri I tend to use cilantro, parsley and red wine vinegar. For my salsa verde I use parsley and lemon juice. What stays the same is they are all herby, bright, garlicky and delicious spooned over basically anything. Try serving any of these sauces with roasted vegetables, potatoes, rice, salad, or your favourite protein.
You can either chop the herbs by hand, or use your food processor to get the job done. I personally use the stems from my herbs as well as the leaf, as long as they aren't insanely woody. If I use my food processor to chop the herbs, I'll still add them to a bowl and stir in the olive oil and remainder of ingredients by hand. I like the olive oil to pool around the herbs instead of emulsify completely...but it will still be delicious if you just blitz it all together in the food processor.
Recipes like this are KEEPERS. Ones that are incredibly simple, but have SO much flavour. Simple roasted potatoes are a delicious thing. I don't really need anything else to enjoy them, but drizzle them with this fresh, herby and bright mojo verde sauce... well, they become next level delicious.
I used baby potatoes for this recipe, but you can always use big potatoes and cut them into chunks. Just make sure to choose a starchy potato instead of a waxy potato. The starchy varieties are dryer, and they crisp up on the outside giving you a perfect contrast to their fluffy interiors.
Mojo Verde is a green sauce similar to Chimichurri or Salsa Verde, all of them are good drizzled on roasted potatoes. This mojo verde uses cilantro, lime, extra virgin olive oil, garlic, jalapeno and salt. I often have a jar of this or something similar kicking around in my fridge, because it's delicious with not only these roasted potatoes, but roasted vegetables, or stirred into rice or drizzled on a salad. Perfect thing to have on hand when you want to whip up something simple and delicious.
Serves 2 - 3
This is a tasty dish I whipped up for my work week. Full of vibrant colourful vegetables, warm curry spice, ginger, garlic, rich coconut milk and freshly squeezed lime. For my veg I added sweet potato, bell peppers and snap peas. I tossed in a can of fava beans too. Spinach wilted in at the end is nice, but I always add that to a smaller portion of soup that I heat up, never to the whole pot unless it was going to be eaten all at once. I wouldn't hesitate to mix up the veg you use either. Zucchini, green beans, cauliflower, broccoli are all good options!
For my spice I used a store bought Jamaican Curry Powder. This is the brand I have at home right now, and it is good. I'm definitely not a curry expert, but I know Jamaican curries use a different blend of spices compared to Indian style curries, and it's definitely worth exploring if you haven't tried this style before. There isn't a full list of ingredients printed on the container, but the website says "it has all the spices you are looking for, such as turmeric, scotch bonnet and pimento". I didn't add extra heat to mine, because I find this has enough spice for me. However, it would be easy enough to add fresh chopped chili (I keep seeing scotch bonnet come up with Jamaican curries), or just add in some extra heat with a bit of sambal oelek, cayenne, or chili flakes.
I garnished my curry with fresh cilantro and scallions. Lime on the side for squeezing. A bit of rice or quinoa is nice on the side too. I was just stirring in a spoonful or two at a time into my curry as I ate.
Serves 4 - 6
This dip is so much fun! It's flavoured just like guacamole (except for the mint) and honestly, you might not even guess there are green peas in there. So, while guacamole made with only avocados is one of the most delicious things EVER, this is also super delicious...AND you get to bulk up a tasty guac with even more fiber and protein, while still getting all the good stuff and healthy fats from the avocado. Also what if there were literally only 2 ripe avocados at the store, but you you want more than 2 avocados worth of guac like RIGHT NOW...well... peas to the rescue!
Cooked green peas are first pureed in a food processor and then combined with chunky mashed avocado, fresh herbs, lime zest and juice, garlic, minced red onion, jalapeno, olive oil and S&P. The trick to making this tasty is having the right amount of acid and salt. Not enough and the dip will taste flat. It should taste bright, and be well seasoned with several pinches of salt. (I use flaked kosher salt and easily added 5 smallish pinches but just do it to taste)
How I eat this
I was scooping the dip with cucumber sticks and crisp flatbread. Delicious. I always like bread or chips for dipping but the cucumber was really perfect too. The next night, I had this pea and avocado dip as a garnish to my cheesy quesadillas. (along with fresh salsa and vegan sour cream) Then the NEXT night, it was even more epic added to my taco bowl. Chopped romaine lettuce, fresh salsa, tofu beef crumbles, roasted sweet potatoes, chili lime sour cream.
Switch up the recipe
While I used cilantro, mint and lime in my dip you could definitely switch it up. Tarragon, chive, or basil would all be lovely, and lemon instead of lime would work in any variation.
If you make this recipe I always love to see your creations and get feedback. Snap a photo and tag me on Insta and/or leave a comment on this post.
Yield 2 - 2 1/2 cups
Hey! I'm Trisha