Sunday, November 4, 2012

Nasu Dengaku and Kenchinjiru

Commemorating nine(!) years ago this week that I moved to Japan to teach English. Oh jeez.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Yuba Rolls!

I finally got around to making Yuba rolls! I've had something similar before at Buddhas vegetarian restaurant. They were not actually that hard to make. I soaked Yuba in vegetable stock, and filled it with daikon, shiitake, and tofu that had been marinated with ginger, onions, soy, salt, sugar and gochujang chili paste. And I rolled them like burrito and fried until all sides were golden. I can't wait to try them at lunch tomorrow!

Friday, August 31, 2012

Beautiful failure: rainbow vegan cookies

Never before have I put so much effort into something that turned out to be such a disappointment. These cookies took the better part of four hours to make, plus chilling time. My mistake(s)? Using an untested vegan sugar cutout cookie as my base. Making these cookies required mixing food colouring into six balls of dough, which decreased in size. The dough wasn't sweet or tasty enough to stand alone without icing. It couldn't stand up to all of the mixing required to get the colour evenly distributed. So I sadly threw 90% of these away. Lesson learned. Test first!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Eggplant "Meatball" Sandwich

So I made a giant batch of caponata for dinner at my boss' house.
It took all the steam out of me with my limited kitchen. But I needed to eat!
Enter the veggie meatball. I'm not really huge on fake meat but these were a gift from a friend who couldn't eat them.
I baked the meatballs for 15 minutes at 400° and then simmered them briefly with a few spoons of yesterday's caponata. Et voila! Meatball sub fake out!

Monday, July 16, 2012

What's in the Bun?

Garlic balsamic sprouts, Ont. corn tomato-olive-chickpea salad and rice/quinoa with seaweed

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Meat Turtles

Not a oddity.
I went to a barbecue last week and one of the guests had prepared these.
Burger body, hotdog limbs and a bacon shell. Jesus they were terrifying. But everyone who ate meat seemed to enjoy them.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Strawberry teff scones

In what will likely go down as the best Sunday ever, I shared strawberry scones at a picnic with my lovely friends from the notso amazon softball league and choir! choir! choir! recorded a short background clip for Hayden! My seventeen year old self couldn't stop swooning.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Corn Curry!

This came together haphazardly but ended up being really delicious! The base is sautéed garlic, onion and tomato with cumin seeds, ginger, garam masala, coriander, turmeric and chili powder.
To that I added sweet and white potatoes and tofu, followed later by some corn and lentils and finished off closer to the end with brussels sprouts and broccoli. The sweetness of he corn really worked with the spiciness of the curry.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Muttar Tofu Pasta with Veggie Sausage

Grabbed some lovely ingredients today after strawberry picking in Brampton. Garlic scapes and Ontario peas. I sautéed the scapes in oil with onion, garam masala, ginger, cayenne and allspice and then added cubed tofu and one spicy veggie snausage. I threw in some tomato purée, porcini powder and red wine and green peas and simmered for 30 or so minutes, adding water occasionally to keep it loose. Great over pasta!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Almond Cream Pasta with Roasted Brussels Sprouts (Vegan)

Why do I feel like I posted this already? Because I ate it over a month ago. Sorry!
Sometimes I get a craving for something super creamy. 
Being lactose intolerant and sharing the occasional leftover with vegan friends means I have to look to uncommon places for that satisfying sauciness.  Frankly, I was surprised to learn that this is an actual pasta sauce (I thought it was just something I dreamed up out of low pantry supplies and lack of motivation to go outside).
It ends up tasting somewhere between an alfredo and a white cheese sauce, and this depends on how much nutritional yeast (if any) you use.
The sauce is pretty easy: 
Take a cup of toasted almonds (skin on or off) and grind them in a blender until they're a fine crumb. Add one or two cloves of chopped garlic and pulse together.  
To this add 1-2 cups of water and continue to blend until smooth.  Pour the mixture into a pan and simmer. At this point you can add lemon zest, lemon juice, basil, or up to 1/4 c. nutritional yeast to taste, as well as salt, pepper or nutmeg.
Simmer the sauce until it's the desired thickness and serve over pasta.
On the side, I served roasted brussels sprouts. They were halved and tossed with curry paste, vinegar or citrus juice, some sugar or maple syrup optional garlic and a little olive oil and roasted at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes.  They're a dream of crispy chippy leaves and soft insides.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Blueberry Banana Muffins

These were originally supposed to be a way to clean the freezer of all of the happily laid up fruits of the past few months. Ontario wild blueberries from last season, those lovely sweet brown bananas that you forget to eat during the work week and get thrown into the freezer for banana ice cream or smoothies.

I based the recipe on the ppk's vegan banana cake, ( and took a cue from the comments in how to adjust the baking time for muffins. These worked beautifully, although the batter seemed very dry. Next time I would add nuts or perhaps almond flour.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


Comes sometimes in the strangest places.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

New York Eats

 Oh mother. Did I ever eat some good food in New York.  Here are two of the many wonderful things I tried.  Above: Peanut Butter Glaze and Blackberry Jelly Donut from The Donut Plant.  Holy shit was that good. Also, there was a disco ball in the restroom :)

Then there's the cane cola.  I'd heard about Dublin Dr. Pepper on a blog. It was supposedly extra delicous because they were the only place still making Dr. Pepper with cane sugar, and was only available in a limited area.  This put the cane sugar cola=desirable and delicious into my head.  And I wasn't disappointed. Had this with a slice of heavenly vegan pizza in Brooklyn. 
I also had Momofuku Milk Bar's Birthday Cake Truffles, Corn and Blueberry cookies and Crack Pie. And the beer and cider selection in New York was spectacular!
Want to go baaaaack!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Vegan Sicilian Lemon Cake

Arriving at Fiesta Farms for my Saturday groceries, I spied a nobbly, oversize lemonish creature with a carnival mask sticker.  What else to do but stick it in my bag and try to make it feel at home.  
T'was a Sicilian Lemon, and I turned it into a vegan cake. 
This recipe was disgustingly easy.  I took the lemon rind and juice and combined it with enough water to make a cup, then added it to 1 1/2 cups of flour, 1 cup of sugar and a tsp of baking soda.
Afterwards I added a tsp of vanilla, a tsp of vinegar and 5 tsp of oil and baked at 350 for 25 minutes.  Lemon heaven!  Love, Chococat :)

Sunday, February 5, 2012

A Tale of Two Lasagne : Vegetarian and Vegan Spinach and Ricotta Lasagna

Vegan: Tofu-Cauliflower/Spinach filling with Daiya 'cheese'

I had to make two different lasagnas (I know said lasagne earlier, but I really hate it) in the past few weeks for different reasons.  Here are the results!
The first was the vegan cauliflower 'ricotta' and spinach lasagna recipe adapted from Appetite for Reduction.

I added some Daiya cheese to the recipe and also changed the sauce to a Puttanesca sauce with olives and capers that I made ahead of time.  I was pretty happy with the results, even though I find Daiya a little terrifying

Vegetarian: Spinach, Ricotta and Mozzarella
The second lasagna was a more traditional spinach and ricotta lasagna.  Although I added a little nutritional yeast in lieu of parmesan.  The recipe was similar to this one, except without cauliflower, eggs, parm or onion.  This one was a hit.  I even bought a new pack of very expensive lactose pills so that I could also enjoy it at the mostly carnivorous superhero birthday party I brought it to. (I dressed as some sort of spring queen f.y.i.)

Saturday, January 28, 2012

New Veg: The Jerusalem Artichoke

The imposing Jerusalem Artichoke.  
I'd wanted to try one of these forever...I imagined that it would be some kind of lovely, creamy artichoke-heart like root vegetable that would melt in my mouth, and while it was not it was still worth trying.  It had an interesting taste, similar to a very mild turnip and the texture of a potato when it was cooked.  The skin came off in pieces similar to the experience of peeling a twig.  I used it in a lovely quinoa salad with tahini-miso-orange dressing that I brought to a clothing swap.  I can't say that I'm dying to eat this again, but I'd try cooking it at least once more in a dish that showcased its flavour a little more.