Tag Archives: garlic

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.


  • 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))


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…


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


  • 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)


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.

UPDATE: Veggie-scrap gardening

Here’s a little update on the progress and results of my first attempt at veggie-scrap gardening.

The squashes, parsley and camomile didn’t make it. Slugs and snails. I tried everything! My new tactic —for the remaining flowers/veggies— is to put fruit and veg compost ~near~ the things they like to nibble on, but far enough away to make them not want to get there. Little jerks.

I think the only reason why the celery, onions and garlic survived the slug massacre is because they simply don’t like ’em.

Before -and-after celery

celeryCelery - all grown up

Before-and-after garlic

garlicfirst garlic from the ga

Green onions

straight from the garden

straight from the garden

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


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


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.


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?

Veggie-scrap gardening

So, I planted some of the lobbed off end bits of veggies and plopped them in the dirt to hopefully get a sprout or two, but it’s actually been quite fruitful!

Some bedraggled parsley above. After rescuing the parsley from a snail zone, it has been thriving.

I used to like snails and slugs…but they’ve been such a menace to my garden that my sentiment towards them has waned rather drastically. I’ve had to do daily Slug Patrols to relocate the little slime balls.

This little growing project was kickstarted because of this websitee. They soak their ends first…I didn’t, but it’s worked out good so far.

Anyway, here is a white onion




I have coffee grounds sprinkled around the outside of the growing celery zone to keep the !#*& slugs away.


I have some carrot ends buried too, but so far I haven’t seen any green fringe emerging from the dirt.
All you have to do is save the root ends from your veggies and put them in a soil-filled pot or plunk them right into the dirt in your garden. Water. Wait. Then…magic happens!

Pesto, in many different ways

Pesto, in many different ways

Serves 3
Prep time 10 minutes
Allergy Milk, Tree Nuts
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Appetizer, Dips, Lunch, Salad
Once again, I haven't really measured anything, but here is my hapless recipe for delicious arugula pesto that you can use with pasts, on sandwiches or as a dip.


  • 1 handful pine nuts
  • 1-2 clove garlic
  • a few handful arugula
  • 1/2 cup parmesan (adjust to taste)
  • 1/2 cup mild/light olive oil (adjust to consistency)
  • salt + pepper


If you want to use less oil, add warm water to replace some of the oil (but not all of it).


Step 1 Toast the pine nuts in the oven or in a pan. Be careful not to let them burn! Let them cool down.
Step 2 Roughly chop the garlic in the food processor.
Step 3 Add the other ingredients to the food processor, except for the oliveoil, just add a bit for now to give the pesto some moisture.
Step 4
Drizzle the olive oil into the food processor as it mixes the pesto and check the consistency. Add more olive oil as needed.
Step 5 Salt and pepper to taste.
Step 6 On the first day, I used the pesto with some mushroom-filled ravioli. On the second day, I used in in veggie wraps. The wrap pictured contains arugula pesto, leftover rice, leafy greens, red pepper, cherry tomatoes, brown mushrooms and cheese.
Step 7

This post used to be called Arugula Pesto, but since I’ve added so many variations…I changed the title.

Let’s assume a constant of fresh basil, parmesan cheese*, garlic, salt + pepper. So, here are more combinations:

Fresh spinach, roasted pumpkin seeds and pine nuts

Fresh spinach, roasted pistachios

Avocado, pine nuts

*Replace the parm with nutritional yeast or other suitable substitute to make these vegan.