The holiday season is just around the corner. There is something about this time of year that makes me want to make pretty cocktails. Maybe it's because the weather has turned cold and there are a lot more grey days among us. A cocktail somehow brightens my mood. Sure it could be because of the alcohol!!! Though I think the pretty colours and garnish are part of that too. It's about embracing and celebrating the season that we are in.
So while I love a good cocktail, you won't find me sipping on anything too sweet. I usually like classic booze forward cocktails. A negroni has slight bitter notes from the campari but it's rounded out with sweet vermouth, orange (I used dehydrated orange slices instead of fresh for garnish) & Gin (juniper). I like to stick rosemary in there for fun. You could even make a rosemary simple syrup. Wouldn't that be lovely?? Especially if you wanted to add a touch more sweetness if that's your thing.
A negroni is a classic Italian cocktail, typically served as an aperitif and
the recipe couldn't be more simple.
I ate variations of this salad nearly every day for over a week. Some of that was to test the recipe, but I also just wanted to keep eating it. YUM. The chickpeas and pasta aren't necessary components of course, but they are a fun addition if you are going to make a meal out of it. I love kale salad but it's nice to mix it with a bit of romaine or hydroponic lettuce to add a fresh crunch.
Note about Croutons:
Use whatever croutons are your favourite. I like cubed multigrain bread tossed with lots of fruity extra virgin olive oil, salt & pepper. Pop them in a 375 F oven until golden. (make sure to keep tossing them around to cook evenly) When they were finished mine were a bit on the dry side so I just drizzled more olive oil on them and then they were perfect.
Note about bacon or "facon":
I think you could use whatever veggie bacon you want in this recipe too, but I have only been using the coconut bacon recipe from Avant Garde Vegan and I think it is perfect here. I have his Vegan 100 e book and I found it on that. You can also get it on you tube. It's just 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut mixed with a 2 tbsp each of soy, maple syrup, liquid smoke and 1 tbsp of veg oil, then baked in the oven at 375 until slightly caramelized. (Again making sure to toss it around to cook evenly) It crisps up as it cools. I did try his Caesar salad dressing first, though I knew it wasn't how I would approach it. So I guess this is slightly adapted from that, but I make buckets of non vegan Caesar salad dressing (literally BUCKETS) at the pub, and at other restaurant gigs before that.... so I kinda knew how I was going to approach it anyway...I do like my version better and I dare say you won't know it's vegan..it's just tastyyy.. so here it is!
Ingredients : Caesar Salad Dressing
For the salad I shred the kale into thin bite sized strips. (I prefer to cut it this way because kale is quite fibrous and this makes it easier to eat). I mix in some chopped romaine lettuce, (maybe equal parts romaine to kale) some pasta, chickpeas, coconut bacon bits, and croutons and toss with dressing. I like to add more cracked pepper to the salad and a lemon wedge on the side. Delish!!! This is one of my favourite examples of how delicious and easy veganism can be. Transitioning for some people can be intimidating, and there is definitely a learning curve to it. I hope that someone stumbles upon this recipe, gives it a go, and loves it as much as I do. I'll never have to miss caesar salad again!!
Ever try tossing cherry tomatoes into your Caesar Salad?? So good. I also added thinly sliced red onions and a handful of kale cabbage slaw. I love to switch things up. Delicious!!
This is a great meal when you don't want to spend a ton of time on dinner. I really was using what I had on hand, so feel free to mix it up, but in this bowl you'll find udon noodles, red pepper, carrot, celery, mushrooms, tofu, nori and a simple teriyaki inspired sauce.
Udon noodles are amazing because you don't have to boil a pot of water to cook them, as long as they are added to the wok along with the sauce or liquid, it gives them enough time to soften and heat through. If you aren't familiar with Udon noodles they are delicious. They are a thick, chewy (in a good way) wheat flour noodle typically used in Japanese cuisine. I also was pleasantly surprised to see that there is 9 grams of protein in one package of these noodles! Ok so there was also a lot of sodium, but you win some you lose some.
For this recipe it's worth the splurge to get a variety of mushrooms. The varying texture and flavour is really delicious. If all I had on hand were button mushrooms it would still be good, but the combination of shitake, oyster, crimini & enoki is perfect. The other ingredient that I think really adds to this dish is a little bit of shredded nori tossed in at the end. The delicious salty sea flavour really lends a layer of complexity. Nori is a type of seaweed used to make sushi rolls and you can find it in the international section of most large supermarkets or Asian groceries.
Serves 2 - 3 people
Ingredients for Teriyaki Sauce: (you won't need all of it for veg & noodle amounts)
Ingredients for Stir fry:
Maybe it's because the weather is turning cold that I'm craving all the comfort food for breakfast. My banana peanut butter protein smoothie that I ate almost everyday all summer has been replaced with either bread, porridge or granola. Then I had been craving bagels for at least a month before I actually bought some. I'd be happy to slather on some peanut butter and call it a day but cream cheese and jam on a bagel is just one of those combinations that I find irresistible, and making a plant based version is easy and delicious. Raw cashews and a few other ingredients are blended together in a food processor until smooth and creamy. It comes together in minutes if you don't count the soaking time for the cashews. I usually just leave mine to soak on the counter over night and then make the cashew cream cheese in the morning. Lemon Juice has been my go to ingredient for the tang factor but I have a thought that straight up distilled white vinegar might be great. Next time I'm going to try that and see if I like it better.
My next mission will be to find the perfect vegan friendly bagel. I have always loved the Montreal Bagels that are imported here but unfortunately they contain eggs. I'll undoubtedly try making my own one of these days. The ones pictured are from Ace Bakery. I love their bread but their bagels taste just like their bread, but in the shape of a bagel. Which is basically what it says right on the package when you purchase them. They are good enough but I don't want bread shaped like a bagel. I want a bagel shaped like a bagel. So the search continues.
This makes a big batch that lasts me awhile. Feel free to halve the recipe if you don't want a lot of leftovers.
While my intention wasn't to create a recipe that reminded me of my mother's baking, that is exactly what happened with these cookies. I took a bite and it was almost like I was eating my mum's coveted sour cream ginger cake. Piled with whipped cream it remains one of my favourite food memories. These cookies are a vegan-friendly treat, soft and almost cake-like with a slight crunch from a sprinkling of coarse sugar before baking. Delicious as is, or layer a few with some coco whip and a sprinkle of cinnamon for a simple holiday dessert. I plan to make these for my mum over Christmas and I think she will approve.
A couple notes about making this recipe successfully
Hey! I'm Trisha