Tag Archives: vegetarian

Zucchini Cake or eat your veggies in dessert form.

Today will be a simple share the recipe day, desserts don’t really need a whole lot of blah blah, they are just good little bombs for the tummy. Especially those that sneak veggies in. this one even has a little fruit. I have included  vegan and vegetarian options

These were a huge hit in this house. there isn’t a ton of zucchini in this recipe and if you want to increase the veggie content you can probably get away with up to 2 cups of zucchini in here.

Zucchini Cake/Muffins

Serves 12                                                                 Time: about an hour

1 3/4 cup grated, not-peeled, zucchini
2tbsp applesauce (vegetarian)
1 egg (vegetarian) or favourite egg replacer (flax is a good one for this recipe)1/4 cup safflower oil
1 cup non-packed brown sugar
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour (white or brown both work well)
1 tbsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
dash of salt
1 1/2 tsp cinammon
1/3 cup raisins
Optional: Icing sugar to sprinkle on top

This recipe lends well to many baking vessels, I prefer to make it in a square 9″ pan but it makes lovely muffins as well.

Pre-heat oven to 350
Line muffin tins or baking pan with parchment paper or grease well.

using a whisk mix the zucchini, applesauce, egg, oil and sugar in a medium sized bowl.
In a large bowl combine the dry ingredients, saving raisins for last.
after adding raisins slowly add the wet ingredients and whisk together.

Bake for approximately 40min or until a toothpick comes out clean. (cake takes a little longer, muffins cook in about 40min)

Sprinkle with icing sugar and sprinkles for fun. IMG_6313


Quick, Easy, Delicious tofu-steak burgers.

IMG_6305 My children love just about anything between two pieces of bread, but the word “veggie burger” and its associated ketchup, mustard etc get a particularly joyful reception. But homemade veggie burgers are a pain in the rear, they dont always stick, they require things I do not always have on hand (like my eggplant burgers) they are time consuming to make. I had time to make dinner when I last made these but I didnt feel like stressing over dinner prep and I wanted it to be both adult and kid friendly. I started looking up easy tofu burgers, with the idea that it would be easier than bean based burgers, but they all involved various stages of mashing, processing, forming and breading. I quickly gave up. We love pan-seared tofu around here, and I figured if I cut a tofu brick into 4 I would have 4 thick square tofu steaks, which would be a perfect burger. and from there, I got creative.

I should mention I want to eat this every night this week. This burger can be made vegetarian or vegan, I had the vegetarian version, my kids the vegan one.

Tip: Start the toppings before the tofu, the burger should be the last things prepared.


Avocado and Carmelized Onion and Mushroom Tofu Steak Burgers

Serves 4


1 brick extra firm tofu, pressed to remove excess water
garlic powder, salt and paprika to taste
1-2tbsp Olive oil.
buns of your choice

onions cut in strips about 1/8th in thick,
1-2tbsp safflower oil
water (or white whine)

1 pkg mushrooms, (I used brown)
1 clove garlic – minced
olive oil,
white wine vinegar (or white wine)


1 avocado, lemon juice

shredded Daiya cheese (for vegan/parve/allergy option) or goat cheese (dairy)


Start by preparing the fixings, mushrooms and onions first.

Mushrooms: using a good frying pan on medium-high cook the garlic- I used a non-stick pan here, I wasn’t after the browning juices, but if you use a regular pan you will get the delightful juices up when you add the white wine vinegar after which is great. once garlic is softened add the mushrooms cook until there is no liquid and the mushrooms are greatly reduced, add a few splashes of white wine vinegar, stir and remove from heat.

Onions: heat safflower oil over medium heat, depending on your burner you may even want medium low to keep onions from burning. add onions and cook slowly until a nice crust has built up on the bottom of the pan (use a regular pan, you want this!) and the onions have become very very soft and golden. add water (or wine) to deglaze the pan and the onions will absorb these juices keep adding til you get the consistency you like. I ended up adding a lot of water because I really wanted that juicy sugary melt in your mouth texture. when ready I turn heat to low and add the sauteed mushrooms to the pan, I then use the mushroom pan to prepare the tofu (no washing, let those flavours transfer).

For the Burgers: re-heat pan used for mushrooms and add a bit more olive oil over medium to medium-high heat. cook tofu for approximately 5 min on each side (until a light golden brown). They are done and ready to serve.

Avocado, mash the avocado with a fork and a little lemon juice.

Assemble the burgers:

spread the avocado thickly on the bottom bun, (If avocado isnt your thing, use mayo/nayo here or for added creaminess use both!). Add the tofu steak, onions and mushrooms, a scoop of goat cheese or a sprinkling of daiya cheese a tomato and the top bun.

MAKES A MESS! keep a fork on hand to eat the escapees!



Chickpea leek and mushroom casserole (slow cooker, vegan)

We love a good creamy dish around here. Actually that’s a lie. We are more of the acidic type. So although I like potato leek soup no one else does. I had a beautiful, gigantic,  organic leek screaming to be used and potatoes threatening to start sprouting. I needed to do something and from experience even Jamie Oliver doesn’t make a leek soup my kids will eat. Seriously I tried. I had to eat leek soup for days.

IMG_5349I find that sometimes given the restrictions in our diet it gets a little monotonous. No matter how varied the ingredients I feel like I’ve seen it all before. So I have been venturing out to use flavours less common in vegetarian cuisine. This dish isn’t a big stretch since I use thyme a lot. But there is no tomato, no cumin, no coriander, and has a more significant sweet/acid balance than I usually cook with.

I spent some time on google basically looking for a recipe I could swap the protein out of but that used the leeks and potatoes. I came across this. The dish has bacon and chicken. I swapped those out for cashews and chickpeas. Cashews for the fat from the bacon and chickpeas cause they sound like chicken. Sorry that replacement choice was no more enlightened than a pun.IMG_5351

Cashew Chickpea  Casserole

SERVES: 6                     PREP TIME: 10min                   SLOWCOOK: 6hrs


1 very large leek (pale parts), quartered then chopped
2 white krantz potatoes, peeled and diced
3 green onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
200g cremini mushrooms, chopped
1/2 cup raw cashews. Rinsed.
1.5 cups white Kedem grape juice **
Splash of white wine vinegar
1 cup vegetable broth
.5-1 cup water or more broth (make sure there is enough liquid in slow cooker!)
3 sprigs fresh thyme. Or approximately 2 tsp dry.
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt


Dump in slow cooker,  6 hrs on low.

If you want to make this on the stove, saute the leeks, green onions and garlic in olive oil about 6 min or until softened, add the other ingredients, bring to boil then allow to simmer for 20-30min.

Serve: on Quinoa* with a bright vegetable side (I served this with beautiful green brocoli) No pictures because it was the babysitter who was home for this meal.


*I suggest cooking your quinoa in broth, it really gives it a nice flavour and texture, or adding spices to your water. I added dried onion to my water for this meal.

Baby Friendly: The cashews (if you use raw) get very soft, so provided you have introduced your child to nuts, this dish can be served as is or lightly mashed with a potato masher for a young child. I havent tried rendering it into a puree but if you do let me know!

**Cooking for the adults? Have wine in the fridge? replace the grape juice and vinegar with 400ml of white wine



Oven ‘fried’ eggplant with red pepper dip (vegan)

Moist, crispy on the outside, savoury and fantastic dipped in red pepper nayonaise dip. Eggplant has quickly become one of my favourite foods. Entirely by accident. We buy Maccabee brand breaded eggplant fries occasionally. The idea was it was a non-dairy mozzarella stick. Served with marina these things are addictive but greasy, heavy and the twins Continue reading Oven ‘fried’ eggplant with red pepper dip (vegan)

Curried cauliflower butternut squash and lentil soup

IMG_5233I’ve never been terribly inclined to use the slow cooker. 1 part fear of burning down the building, 1 part I don’t want to clean the stoneware, 1 part fear of 7qts of wastage.

Recently though the lack of time and motivation to cook has motivated me to try out some new recipes. I’ve made cholent (not a hit), soup, and apple sauce. The soup was fantastic and wish I had written down what I put in it. I also made a delightful little curry….

IMG_5234I was inspired after a rather uninspiring bowl of red lentil curried soup at a usually pretty good hospital auxiliary cafeteria. I had spent the better part of my day getting documents from archives, attending appointments and blood tests. Soup seemed like a great relaxing comfort food. It was …. Exactly what one thinks of when you say “hospital food”. The disappointing soup got me thinking I could most certainly create a much better red lentil soup and in the mean time use up some of the veggies lingering around. I always overbuy veggies. But I get rewarded by these lovely kitchen sink creations after.

IMG_5230While making this I also had feeding baby in mind. I wanted it simple and to be just as good no matter if blended, mashed or as is. Also, I feel a bit like my 4yr olds have been wanting simple comfort foods lately. No cutting, chunks, or fancy. And since it’s holiday season and they will be served lots of fancy food why not make them some down to earth simple foods.

Curried Red Lentil, Cauliflower and Butternut Squash Soup

(Slow cooker recipe)
Serves: 8                       prep time: 30 min                            cook time: 6hrs


1 butternut squash (medium sized) cut into small cubes
1 onion diced or julienned
1 head cauliflower (medium sized), cut into small florets.
2 cups dry red lentils, rinsed
2 large cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp curry powder
1 tsp ground corriander
6 cups broth or enough to cover the above in stoneware
Coconut milk to taste (optional)


Put all ingredients (except coconut milk) in crockpot on low for 6hrs.

Stir in some coconut milk if desired before serving.

Fantastic served with warm flat bread or Naan.




Lentil Tomato Soup – “soup for all my friends”

lentilsoup4A couple of weeks ago my son started begging for soup, why in the heat wave we were in he wanted soup is beyond me. I finally had time to make this soup just in time for a sabbath dinner, and he couldn’t have been happier, especially since that day he came home from daycare proudly informing me I would be making soup for all his friends. Oh really? Little does this little man know but I actually have a recipe for this soup that serve his entire class. Continue reading Lentil Tomato Soup – “soup for all my friends”