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Miso Hungry Gravy

Miso Hungry Gravy

Serves 4-6
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 15 minutes
Total time 30 minutes
Allergy Soy
Dietary Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Meal type Dips, Lunch, Main Dish, Side Dish, Snack
Misc Pre-preparable, Serve Hot
Miso Hungry Gravy - A taste-worthy, creamy gravy that even non-vegetarians love! This is my go-to substitute for gravy in any recipe or meal.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter (margarine, ghee or other substitute)
  • 1/4 cup onion (chopped)
  • 3-4 cloves garlic (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup flour (gram/besan, whole wheat, white or other substitute)
  • 3-5 tablespoons miso (Any variety of miso will do, although I prefer barley. Use more or less miso to your taste.)
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 2-4 tablespoons soy sauce (light, dark, regular or substitute (to taste))
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast flakes
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch ((if necessary, to thicken the gravy))
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon hot water ((with the cornstarch, if necessary, to thicken the gravy))

Note

This recipe was inspired by my favourite vegetarian restaurant in Calgary (I think it's probably the ONLY vegetarian restaurant), The Coup. I've been telling friends for quite some time that I'd post my version of the miso gravy that we have all so hastily devoured when I lived in Calgary. So, enjoy…

Directions

Step 1 Melt butter on low to medium heat.
Step 2 Chop onion. Later, we'll blend everything, so it doesn't matter the size here unless you don't have an immersion blender. If you do not have one, then mince the onions.

Add to butter, let cook for about three minutes or less, then add the garlic (also minced, if you're not using an immersion blender).

Cook until the onion is translucent. Do not let the onion and garlic brown.
Step 3 Add flour, whisk or stir. Cook for another minute.
Step 4 Add veg stock, miso and soy sauce. Bring to low boil. Turn heat to simmer.
Step 5 Add nutritional yeast flakes, (salt) + pepper and taste. Stir and adjust as necessary.
Step 6 If the gravy is not thick enough for you, whisk together the cornstarch and hot water in separate bowl: add a bit at a time to the gravy and stir until desired consistency.
Step 7 If you have an immersion blender, whir up the gravy. Taste again and adjust flavour.
Step 8
Nutrition information. Click on the image and it will be easier to read. Magic.

Miso Hungry Gravy pictured here with Sweet Potato Fries and a homemade veggie burger (recipe to come soon).

Curried and roasted butternut squash soup

Curried and roasted butternut squash soup

Serves 4-6
Cook time 45 minutes
Dietary Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Meal type Appetizer, Lunch, Main Dish, Side Dish, Soup, Starter
Misc Freezable, Pre-preparable, Serve Hot

Ingredients

  • 1 butternut squash (average to above-average size)
  • 1 head garlic (or adjusted to your taste (peas loves garlic))
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 large onion
  • 1/4 cup water (optional)
  • 2-3 cups veg broth
  • 1 cup coconut milk (or to taste)
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • ½ - ¾ tablespoon curry powder (to taste)
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh, chopped ginger (or ground, dried ginger ¼ T)
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • salt + pepper (to taste)

Directions

Step 1 Split butternut squash in half —lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and squash guts. Lay cut side down in baking dish.

Place whole head of garlic or break into cloves —leaving the skin on. Put that in the baking dish.

Seed the pepper and cut in half or into quarters. Pop that in the same pan.

Cut onion into quarters and it goes in the pan too.

Add water (optional) to the pan or line with baking paper. I find adding the water speeds up the baking time and helps steam the squash. Some people don't like adding water and prefer baking paper or covering the bottom of the baking dish with olive oil.

Bake at 225°C for about 35-40 minutes. Poke the squash with a fork, if it's done, the fork will glide into the flesh easily.
Step 2 Skin the squash and garlic. Add all ingredients to a large, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat.

Add the rest of the ingredients. Add enough broth according to how thin/thick you want the soup —you can add a bit at a time and check consistency after the next step and add more if needed.
Step 3 Let your soup come to a low boil, then put heat to a simmer for about 20 minutes.
Step 4 Get your immersion blender* out and whir up your soup. I don't make a complete puree, I usually leave a few chunky bits.

*You can use a countertop blender, but be very careful. Using this method you should allow the soup to cool down considerably before blending as the heat under the lid produces steam which could pop the lid off, make a mess and possibly scald you. Not pretty or fun. Then you have to heat the soup up again if you make it past this stage successfully.
Step 5 Taste. Alter flavour and/or alter consistency.
Step 6
Serve with a red pepper coulis and Greek yoghurt swirl, homemade chunky croutons, zest of lime and swirl of Greek yoghurt, pumpkin seeds or a combination of any or all of these suggestions or none at all.

Shown here with homemade cheesy, garlic toast.
Step 7 Put it in your tummy...yum.

Homemade Frank’s hot sauce

Homemade Frank’s hot sauce

Serves 8
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 20 minutes
Total time 30 minutes
Dietary Vegan, Vegetarian
Meal type Appetizer, Breakfast, Dips, Lunch, Main Dish, Side Dish, Snack, Starter
Misc Serve Cold, Serve Hot
Website food

Ingredients

  • 25-30 fresh cayenne chili peppers (depending on size)
  • 6-8 cloves garlic (depending on size)
  • 450ml white vinegar
  • 3.5ml salt

Note

This is a slightly different version of this recipe. I've added more peppers and garlic and offer alternative puree methods. It is easier to buy it, I know. But I can't get it here in the Netherlands. I have received numerous care packages from home containing –among other Canadian delights– bottles of Frank's. Then, my super, awesome friend started supplying me from the UK. Thanks everyone!

Demand over supply had me always trying to find replacements and then I stumbled upon a recipe (above) and have now perfected it.

Directions

Step 1
Wash and cut stems from the cayenne peppers. Cut off the tips too, if they're gnarly; otherwise, toss them in too!
Step 2 Roughly cut the peppers in 2.5 cm | 1 in chunks (yes, seeds too...they are the magic part!)
Step 3 Roughly chop the garlic in a blender or by hand.
Step 4
Add everything to a pot and let it come to a light boil, then reduce heat enough to keep a slight boil. Continue cooking (and salivating) for about 30 minutes. Stir occasionally. The pepper flesh should be softer. Then, it blends easier.
Step 5 Remove from heat.
Step 6 Here you have two options:
1) Whir it all up with an immersion blender until you have a fairly smooth mixture.

2) Allow mixture to cool...and I don't mean cool-to-warm, I mean no heat. Pour into the blender and whir it up until you have a fairly smooth mixture. Do NOT try to puree in the blender while the mixture is still hot/warm. The steam created within the blender will pop the top off once the blender starts. And then...mayhem and possibly pain.
Step 7 Return mixture to the pot and simmer for about 15-20 minutes.
Step 8
Strain through a fine-mesh sieve and mash the mixture to get the most sauce out. Don't waste a precious drop!
Step 9
Let it cool and then pour into a bottle. Store in the fridge. I believe it will keep for several weeks, but we use it so fast I have no idea how long it will last.

Now, what do YOU put hot sauce on?

Vegan, cheesy, spicy popcorn

Vegan, cheesy, spicy popcorn

Serves 2
Prep time 2 minutes
Cook time 8 minutes
Total time 10 minutes
Dietary Vegan, Vegetarian
Meal type Appetizer, Lunch, Snack, Starter
Misc Serve Cold, Serve Hot

Ingredients

Freshly popped popcorn

  • Popcorn kernels
  • 2-4 tablespoons Sunflower oil

Adding ingredients

  • Frank's Red Hot Original hot sauce
  • Nutritional yeast
  • Salt + pepper

Note

This combination of ingredients was from an old roommate of mine.  It makes a great snack that everyone loves and isn't high in calories.

_______________________________

Nutritional yeast is a light deactivated yeast that has a delicious, nutty, cheesy flavor. This is not the yeast used in baking!

Here is a great article to read more about nutritional yeast.

Directions

Freshly popped popcorn
Step 1 To a heavy, cast-iron pot add the oil and three popcorn kernels on a medium-high heat.
Step 2 After all three kernels have popped, add a couple of handfuls of popcorn kernels and cover the pot. Don't leave a gap with the lid, make sure it's on properly to keep the heat and steam in.
Step 3 As soon as you hear popping noises, give the pot a good shake and put it back on the heat. Repeat until you don't hear popping noise anymore.
Adding ingredients
Step 4
With the freshly-popped popcorn in a bowl, add the Frank's. Or try this homemade spicy sauce: http://spellitwithpeas.com/homemade-franks-hot-sauce/
Step 5
Add the nutritional yeast and S+P. Toss or stir to coat the popcorn. Then, devour.

You-can-make-this-anytime lasagna

It all started because I spotted fresh lasagna noodles at the local market. Then I loaded my basket with cheese, veg and extra protein (vegetarian) for the sauce. Sorted.

I’m pretty sure that one of the Lasagna rules is that you must cover the entire top the layered goodness with mozzarella. Not a flakey smattering of grated mozzarella, but a side-to-side, wall-to-wall coating. You should see nothing beneath the cheese. And then, add some freshly-grated parmesan as well.

Cheesy, veggie lasagna

Serves 6
Prep time 20 minutes
Cook time 45 minutes
Total time 1 hours, 5 minutes
Allergy Milk, Soy, Wheat
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Lunch, Main Dish
Misc Freezable, Pre-preparable, Serve Hot
Mostly, I don't measure. This is such a recipe. Add or subtract any of these ingredients and slap it all together with your own creative, cooking talent!

Ingredients

  • 1 packet soy mince (I call it 'pretend mince')
  • lots ofgarlic
  • leeks
  • kale
  • mushrooms
  • roasted butternut squash
  • roasted red pepper
  • oregano (fresh)
  • marjorram (fresh)
  • basil (fresh)
  • chili flakes (optional)
  • onion powder
  • cream cheese
  • cottage cheese
  • mozzarella
  • parmesan
  • canned tomatoes
  • passata or tomato paste
  • lasagna noodles (either pre-cook them or use non-cook lasagna sheets)

Directions

Step 1 Cube the butternut squash (after peeling it, of course) and chop up some red pepper. Roast in oven or barbecue in the same pan you will use for baking the lasagna.
Step 2 Fry up the soy mince + garlic. Careful not to brown the garlic.
Step 3 Add spices. Stir + cook for about a minute.
Step 4 Add tomatoes and paste. Stir. Cook on low heat for a few more minutes.
Step 5 Add some cream cheese to the sauce, stir and let it melt in.
Step 6
Layer your lasagna however you want, but start with a layer of sauce. I usually start with sauce, then a layer of noodles, cottage cheese and a sprinkling of parmesan, then veggies. Repeat.
Step 7
End with a layer of mozzarella and parmesan.
Step 8
Lasagna Rule - Cheese goes to edges and covers everything beneath it.
This was my second pan of lasagna that will go in the freezer.
Step 9 Cook in 350°C oven for about 45 minutes.