Thursday, 22 December 2011


Once in a while you come across a recipe that brings back memories of your childhood.

A while back Heather The Wife found a recipe for Sugar Cookies that is exactly that.

The best part about this recipe is that Heather will whip these out when she's bored, or when she's looking for a snack, or whenever, they are just that dang easy. I think the last time she made them it was about midnight and we had a couple of friends over, mid sentence she stops and says "HEY! Who wants cookies?!", moments later, we had cookies.

And so here we go, Sugar Cookies.

Not my pic, if you're not sure what a sugar cookie looks like...this is it.

You'll Need:
1/2 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup Vegan Margarine (Becel makes the best I've had)
2 TBSP Soy Milk - Full Fat, leave that "light" stuff on the shelf where it belongs.
2 TSP Vanilla
1 Cup Flour
1 1/2 TSP Baking Powder
LOTS OF SPRINKES! (Those classic translucent, coloured, sugar crystals are the best, really)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Mix the flour, sugar, and baking powder together. In a separate bowl combine the margarine, vanilla and soy milk. Cut the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. You should get something that resembles a bowl full of pebbles.

Now bam bam those pebbles into a ball of dough, but don't over mix it.

Dust your ball with some flour to make it easier to work with, roll out onto a flat surface and cut into shapes.

OR go with the classic shape, round. Put balls of dough on a cookie sheet and press them with a fork, there you go, it's a shape.

Dust with your fancy sprinkles. If in doubt, add more sprinkles.

Bake at 350 till just getting golden.

Santa is expecting cookies.

Our recipe is so worn it's getting translucent from the margarine fingers.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Another Christmas Treat - Jack's Cranberry Sauce

As much as possible, I plan to post daily leading up to Christmas. Equipping you with fun recipes to share with your vegan and non-vegan friends over the holidays.

So here we go, I'm a fan of cranberry sauce. I'll eat it straight, I'll put it on toast, I'll put it on mashed potatoes and when I ate meat, I couldn't see what I was eating because of the amount of cranberry sauce.

A co-worker kindly gave me a bottle of Jack Daniels, which in all honestly I probably enjoy just as much, if not more than, cranberries. This got me to thinking, what if I combined the two things I love.

But first, I blame part of my love of cranberries on my summers spent up north in Bala, which happens to have a Cranberry Festival. If you love cranberries half as much as I do, the cranberry festival is pretty a food nerd kind of a way.

For music, my neighbour is currently listening to Janis Joplin. If you can handle that, go at 'er. Me, I'm putting on headphones to get into a holiday mood, and listening to this:

Alright, let's get into the sauce.

You'll need:
A bag of Cranberries, I think they are 14 oz
3/4 cup of Orange Juice
1 Tbsp Orange Zest (optional)
1 Cup Brown Sugar (add a bit more if you like it sweet)
4 Cloves
1/2 TSP (or "to taste" or "dash") Cinnamon
1/4 Cup Jack Daniels Old No.7 Sour Mash Whiskey.

In a nice strong pot combine/dissolve the sugar into the orange juice
Add the Cloves, Cinnamon, and Zest
Add the Cranberries and cook and stir until they pop.

If storing:
Remove from heat and cool
Once cool, stir in 1/4 Jack Daniels

If eating today:
Remove from heat and cool SLIGHTLY
Once SLIGHTLY cool, stir in 1/4 Cup Jack Daniels and serve.

And there you go. A simple, delicious cranberry sauce.

Go easy on the sauce kid.

Monday, 19 December 2011

Banana Chocolate Chip Pancakes! - Christmas Morning Delight!

Okay folks, first off, I'm sorry I didn't post a recipe last week. Things have been a bit crazy in the hooose, and it just wasn't working. Also, I like to try a recipe a couple of times before posting it, to make sure it's honestly a decent recipe. I eat everything I post. I don't post anything I wouldn't eat.

That said, we are back.

One of the things a lot of people fear when going Vegan is "how weird will my food get? Will I have to eat freaky stuff ALL the time". The short answer is "no". Here's a great recipe that every non-vegan I have given it to hasn't noticed that it's...*gasp*...vegan.

A simple pancake recipe for Christmas morning. Who doesn't love pancakes? This one is light and fluffy, and the kids like them.

Mmmm, pancakes.

2 Cups  - All Purpose Flour
4 tsp - Baking Powder
3 tbsp - Sugar
2 tsp - Salt
2 tbsp - Vegetable Oil
2 tsp - Vanilla Extract
2 Cups - Original Soy Milk (do not use "low fat")

Dark Chocolate
Ripe Banana

In a medium bowl, combine all dry ingredients. Add Soy Milk, then Vanilla and Vegetable Oil. Mix until well combined, but don't over mix it. This is a morning meal, no one wants to break a sweat before the coffee is done. Speaking of that, turn on a pan to med-high (electric) or med (gas) and put some coffee on. If you are having chocolate & banana pancakes, chop up the chocolate and slice the banana.

Hey, want a trick for testing to see if your pan is hot enough? Drip a drop of water onto the pan, it should bounce before sizzling.

Now brush just a bit of oil on the hot pan, and drop your pancake batter into the pan, I use a generous tablespoon. Quickly set your banana slices into the batter and dash them with chocolate pieces, mmmm.

When the pancake starts to bubble, or if you see a hint of golden on the edges, give them the flip.

Cook till golden, serve with maple syrup and it's okay to have seconds, really.

Quantity: if you use the tablespoon method (like I did), I made 24 pancakes from this recipe on the weekend.
Time: I think this took me under 30 minutes.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

It must suck being busy

I apologize, I was hoping to have a wonderful recipe for you all to enjoy this evening, ready to fire.
However, the day as it was, I was too busy to file a recipe today.

That said, Stacey has requested our Vegan Cupcake recipe, so tomorrow, Stacey will get what Stacey wants. I'm all Christmas-y like that. Just ask SantAdam, and be on the "good" list, and you just might get what you wished for.

Now, since you took the time to come all the way here to read something that isn't here, let me at least make it worth your while.

Here's a fun little ditty that has nothing to do with the holidays, and everything to do with robots!

Oh, and remember we are starting the "12(ish) recipes of Christmas" starting this Monday.

Thursday, 1 December 2011


It's December 1st. Along with the cold unpredictable weather comes long line ups, irrational shoppers, and a genuine chance that you'll want to just stay home and say "screw it all" and have a bottle of wine instead. Here's a great appetizer that goes really well with a bottle of wine, or hot tea and a cold night.

According to Wikipedia: The word pakora is derived from Sanskrit पक्ववट pakvavata-, a compound of pakva 'cooked' and vata 'a small lump' or its derivative vataka 'a round cake made of pulse fried in ghee'.
And you thought you wouldn't learn anything cool today.

Let's get to it, Pakoras are an easy vegan treat because you can make the foundation from just about anything. I typically use potato or carrots, sometimes spinach. You can use onion, eggplant, small pieces of bread, or even...meat. Not in my vegan recipe you won't, but you do what you want when I'm not looking.

I didn't take this picture. I will take one shortly and upload it.

Now so you are warned, this recipe calls for cooking with hot oil. So go find your deep fryer, or your pot with a TIGHT fitting lid, and your fire extinguisher.

Also, you may not get a chance to eat these, in my house they disappear faster than I can finish making them.

Oil - Lately I've been using sunflower oil in an attempt to get away from GMO Canola. Peanut oil works great, but beware of nut allergies. Nothing wrecks a party like 911.

1 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Ground Corriander
1 tsp Tumeric
1 tsp chili powder, or cayenne pepper
1 hot chili diced
2 cloves of garlic diced
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup Besan (chickpea flour. Buy it at the bulk barn, do NOT substitute normal flour)
1/2 cup water

1 potato, grated and squeeze out the excess water
1 onion coarsely chopped
You can also add spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, experiment.


For context as I write this, I am listening to this:, so you too can get into the "zone" with me.

 - In a mixing bowl combine all of the "spice" ingredients to make sure they are evenly mixed.
 - Add flour, baking powder, and baking soda and dry mix everything together.
 - Add 1/2 cup of luke-warm water and mix with a fork to achieve a loose batter.
   Add more water if needed.
 - Add in the chili pepper and garlic
 - Set this batter aside for 15 minutes. Don't touch it, don't bug it, don't stir it. Leave it alone.

 - Grab your cutting board and coarsely chop an onion.
 - Grate a potato and squeeze out the excess water. We don't want more water!
 - If you are using spinach; coarsely, randomly chop the spinach. The crazier the better.

 - In your deep pot with a tight fitting lid, or your deep fryer, heat about 1.5" of oil to around 375º
 - As your oil comes up to temperature, toss your veg into the batter to coat.
 - Test the oil by dropping a small bit of batter into the oil. It should golden pretty quick and float to the top.
 - Using a fork or a spoon..or both, drop tablespoon size lumps of battered veg into the hot oil.
 - If they kind of look crazy alien shapes, perfect, you can use them to fool your friends. The crazier the better.
 - When the bottoms gets golden brown, flip to cook them evenly on both sides.
 - Remove from hot oil and place on a paper towel or a cooling rack over a catch tray of some kind.
 - Crack a couple open to make sure the batter is fully cooked.

Serve HOT with lemon wedges to squeeze over them! You can also offer them up with a side of chutney or tamarind sauce. Make sure you get one before you serve them to others as they go too fast!

Coming Soon!
Since the holidays are fast approaching, I know it can be a real pain figuring out what to bring to those family dinners. So this December I will be doing a 12 Sides Of Christmas featuring 12 delicious side dishes and desserts that you can bring to your family feast!

As always, visit the Holiday Shopping Guide and I love getting comments. Comment away!

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Holiday Shopping Guide? Really? Me?

I've been considering this for a little while, a small shopping guide to showcase both "vegan" and local independent artists. Shopping with your heart instead of just going to futureshop and opening your wallet. This will be an ongoing list, so check back now and again!


Thursday, 24 November 2011

Thai Green Curry Ayam Thanksgiving!

Grab a nice small-pox free blanket and curl up by the fire with this awesome curry dish.
Let me start by saying that I'm not a fan of "faking the turkey". I'm sure there's some awesome "tofurkey" recipes out there, go find one if that's what you're after. This dish, as with most of my dishes is quick, tasty, and a little bit quirky...just like me. Here we go.

Green Curry Ayam:
I need to work on my photography.
Shopping List:
2 Tbsp Thai Green Curry Paste: you can call this cheating. I call it smart. $4.49 at Sobey's. And there's enough for a few dishes in there.
1 Green Pepper (sweet)
1 Red (or other colour) Pepper (sweet)
Hot chili (fresh or dried) to taste
1 Tbsp Sunflower (or vegetable) oil
Half a pkg of Firm Tofu. I like Sunrise tofu for it's texture.
400ml Can of Coconut Milk
125ml (1/2 cup) water or vegetable soup broth
1 Tbsp Vegetable Oyster Sauce (there's no oysters in it...weird?) OR Vegan Fish Sauce
1 Tbsp Sesame Seed Oil
3 sections of a garlic clove (I'm sure there's a proper name for that) diced
1/3 cup Frozen Peas
1 cup Basmati Rice
2 medium potatoes 
1 Lime
2 Tbsp Brown Sugar

You will notice in most of my recipes, I try to figure out some kind of timing. You should be able to make this dish in the time it takes to make the rice.

In a medium pot, combine 1 cup rice, and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil.

In another pot put 1 tbsp Sunflower Oil, and your garlic. Hey is the rice boiling yet? No? Continue on.
Once the garlic is just a little golden throw in the 2 tbsp Thai Green Curry Paste, let it warm but do not burn. Add Coconut oil and stir over medium heat. Is the rice boiling yet?

If the rice IS boiling ignore it for a second while you peel the potatoes.

Now turn down the rice to low, and put a lid on it.

Cube the potatoes and put in the curry/milk mixture. You need the potatoes to cook as quick as possible, so increase the temperature to medium-high, but not hot enough to burn the milk. Stir when you remember.

Cut the tofu into a shape that doesn't look like the potato. I used wedges. People who are trying a vegan dish for the first time get scared and like to immediately recognize the weird tofu stuff. Help them out. Add to milk/potato/curry mixture.

Cut the peppers into sqaures. Everyone loves peppers right! Be heavy on the red/yellow pepper for colour. This is a very green dish otherwise. Do not add but set aside.

Add sugar, sesame seed oil, and oyster(ish) sauce to the curry/milk/tofu/potato mixture. Stir.

Taste a small sample of the sauce, if you need some heat, add chili flakes, or fresh diced chili (one at a time...) until you're up to heat.

Add frozen peas.

Take your lime and a grater or "zester" and add about a teaspoon or two (to taste) of lime zest. (Bonus points if you own a zester.)

As soon as the potatoes test to being near ready (use a fork, they're hot) add your sweet peppers. If the boiling process has caused the sauce to reduce too much, add some water to bring back the sauce. Simmer until the peppers are just approaching done-ness.

Check your rice. It's probably done.

Rice first. Make it pretty. Then add the curry around the rice. Garnish with a slice of lime.

You can use different vegetables than what I've listed here. I've had this curry with broccoli, and bok choy.

It's a good idea to serve warm/hot curry's with a fruit juice such as mango. Especially if your guests are a little "curry shy", the mango kills the heat almost instantly. Water just moves the heat around your mouth. For some extra fun, serve with red wine. Ask The Wife™ about me+red wine+hot spice=hallucination.

As usual this curry tastes even better the next day. The above recipe is enough for 4 servings. Or, in our case 2 full servings, two rounds of "seconds" and just enough for lunch the next day.

Try this recipe out. If you made any changes, or if you have any comments, let me know! Chow down!


Hi internets, welcome to a little recipe blog that I'm putting together. Here's a little blurb about me, about us, about what this is all about.
For context, my neighbour is currently listening, and desk drumming off beat and off tempo to:, I personally would recommend playing this link while reading this so that you can, you know, "get in the zone".

What is this all about?
In January 2011 my Wife™ challenged me to try going vegan. I was a vegetarian prior, so she was challenging me to go the extra step, and go all out vegan for 30 days. I took that challenge, and am still taking the challenge 11 months later. Why? Because it's not as hard as it seems, and every bit makes a difference. This blog isn't meant to be a "vegan maker", it's a recipe blog. All the recipes are vegan (I hope, I've slipped up on ingredients in the past), all of the recipes are to show YOU what I've been eating, and to hopefully give you a chance to try some good recipes that aren't all that hard to do. If you try a recipe, take a moment to let me, and the world know. Your questions and feedback are welcome.

What am I about?
I'm a late 30 something father of two teens. I graphic design by day, cook and play rock music by night. You can hear my rock music here: I'm also a Scout Leader and a vintage VW sucker. My garage is full of tents, a VW van, snowboards, and VW parts.

So that's me, in a nutshell. The goal will be to update this blog weekly, on a Thursday. That way you can try the recipes out on the weekend and report back Monday. Today's recipe is one that I tried last night, it's Thai Green Curry Ayam. It's really good. I hope you like it.