Polish Style Cauliflower with Bread Crumbs/ Kalafior z Bułką Tartą

This is a simple but comforting dish that I grew up eating very often. The nostalgia of this dish is extremely high, and for very little effort you can have a hearty side dish to pump up your lunch or dinner. I’ve appreciated cauliflower steaks before they were a thing.It’s called kalafior (Ka-la-f’your) z bułką tartą, which is basically cauliflower with a shredded bun, or in our case, cauliflower with breadcrumbs. All you have to do is steam a cauliflower in a pot – drain it, and add margarine with fried bread crumbs on top. Voila, you’re done.  My mom would make it all in one pot and it was just so cozy and comforting. Now you can have a taste of my youth in your very own home. It’s October, which is prime cauliflower season (or anytime during fall) so get a cauliflower while the prices are excellent and try this easy dish out. Ingredients: 1 head of cauliflower Your favourite margarine or flavourful oil 1/4 cup of breadcrumbs 1 tsp fresh or frozen dill, chopped (optional) Directions Steam the cauliflower until tender – around 8-9 minutes. Remove and place on a serving dish. In a frying pan, add oil or margarine and set to medium, add in the breadcrumbs and fry until crumbs are golden brown. Pour the contents of your frying pan over your cauliflower, top with dill if you want to, and serve while it’s toasty. Smacznego!

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Naleśniki – Polish Crepes – Vegan Mofo

Happy first day of Vegan Mofo! I wanted to start things off with one of my favourite childhood memories.When I was little one of my fondest morning memories is when my mom would make naleśniki (Na-leh-shniki.) Watching her make them always seemed so magical because what was once a liquid, seemed to defy gravity – clinging to the pan, changing colour, and turning into something delicious. I would sit at the kitchen table, we would listen to the CBC, we would talk, all while she made breakfast. There would be two typical fillings, a sweetened cheese one made with quark or some kind of stewed fruit or jam. My favourite of course, would be one with fruit, so that’s what I made this morning, finally, for my own family.  When my mom made it, it was topped off with a vanilla sugar thick cream – this morning I made a quick cream with maple syrup, coconut yogurt, and some vanilla bean. Before I went vegan, she would use a piece of bacon to grease the pan,  but eventually, once I went vegan she would still make ones for me with oil, filled with fruit, and dusted with icing sugar. Lucky me! Smacznego! (which means bon appetit! or enjoy your meal!) Naleśniki – Polish Crepes Makes 8 naleśniki   Ingredients  1 cup all purpose flour 2 tsps prepared Bob’s Red Mill egg replacer mix 1 cup unsweeteend soymilk 3/4 cup boiling water a pinch of salt 3 tsp a light vegetable…

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Simple Pickle Soup – Zupa Ogórkowa bez śmietany

In the middle of the day last night I had this craving for Pickle soup. I started thinking about it, and then could not wait to get home and make it. JC and I stopped in to a grocery store to pick up a few white potatoes and a carrot (because I knew we had a bunch of onions and pickles at home), and I was ready to get cooking. Making this soup felt like I was running on some kind of deep genetic pickle soup knowledge when I got into the kitchen, because of course, zupa ogórkowa (ZOO-pah, Oh-goorr-Koh-Vah), is a thing I’ve eaten since I was a kid. I’m sure I watched my mom make it when I was growing up. Maybe even helped peel or chop potatoes (maybe.) This recipe is simple and perfect for preparing after a long day. Not too many ingredients, and doesn’t take too much time. It could conceivably serve four people, but the two of us ate all of it.   Ingredients: 3 small chopped yellow onions 2 small chopped rinsed leeks a splash of oil 1 medium sized carrot 4-5 diced potatoes, you can peel them if you want to (I didn’t) 6 cups of vegetable broth (I used Go Bio’s veggie broth) 4 large chopped pickles 2-3 cups pickle juice salt & pepper to taste (the pickles/pickle juice is already pretty salty) extra chopped pickles as a garnish Serves 4 (or 1 MeShell, 1 JC) Directions I used a heavy dutch…

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Vegan Passover Menu: Some Ideas

I’ve been attending the Passover celebrations with JC & his non-me family for the last few years, but for the first night of passover we made our own celebration at home – just the two of us. It was really nice, we read, we ate great food, we drank KFP wine, and just had an all around great evening. If you want to learn the basics of what Passover is all about, it’s been covered several times by people more with it than me, so here is a nice quick run down of the meaning and the process of some of the ritual involved. And we found the make your own Haggadot feature of Haggadot.com and the Unorthodox Haggadah really fun and culturally fulfilling, while still respecting our secular humanist beliefs. A couple of our cats joined us for the reclining portion of dinner, others disappeared into their room while we laughed and carried on reading the Unorthodox Haggadah which had some really hilarious moments. So on Friday we drove up to the Metro in Lawrence Plaza, 3090 Bathurst St, North York, because it was the most likely to be open (and it was), since this year, the first night of Passover also happened to be on Good Friday, when many stores, especially most of the ones in our neighbourhood in Toronto are closed. But this Metro was open and was a great spot for last minute shopping, (at some point I realized that we had mostly condiments in our fridge) and to find a variety of kosher-for-passover foods,…

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Smoked Coconut Flakes for sandwiches and everything else – Recipe (Vegan Bacon Even)

I bought a bag of coconut pieces yesterday on a whim from Karma Co-op. Someone else had a bag, and it caught my eye – an innocent bag of coconut flakes to some. But to me it said…. “make me into a smokey coconut sandwich” – but not actually since then I’d be talking to bags of coconut. One bag of the bigger-than-shredded coconut cost a little over $9, and had around 6 cups worth of coconut flakes in it. Since I’m too lazy to crack open my own coconut, it was especially a steal of a deal. (But I picked up the last bag they had…) There are so many different varieties of Smokey Coconut, Coconut Bacon, Vegan Bacon, Or whatever you want to call it. Here are just a few examples: – The Chubby Vegetarian‘s mini interview with Chef Jesse Kimball – VegWeb’s Simple Coconut Bacon – Vegan Nom Nom’s Vegan Coconut Bacon – Fettle Vegan’s Coconut Bacon (with very very beautiful pictures) – Vegan Good Things – Coconut Bacon But here is what I ended up using for my version of the smokey coconut flakes, and I really really really liked it (and I wasn’t alone). Smokey Coconut Flakes Prep time: 5 min Cook time: 15 min Total time: 20 min Yield: 3 cups of smokey coconut flakes

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Vegan MoFo – MoFo Monday and the Beginning of Apple Week.

Like I said on Thursday – We have too many apples. Luckily there are many things that can be done with apples, but too few of them seem to be savory. Well. I’ve followed in the footsteps of other vegan bloggers in the last few weeks and taken their recipes and made them at home. First item on my list was this Apple Spice Muffin recipe from Bite Me (I’m Vegan) (don’t they just look perfect for breakfast?). While getting into the apple peeling, chopping mode, I ended up opting to make some unsweetened apple sauce in my slow cooker. There is always a use for it, especially when I’m baking, so I threw some of it in a jar, and some of it in snack bags in the freezer. My winter instinct to stockpile food for the cold months ahead is in full force. Having gone grocery shopping yesterday, we picked up a couple of beautiful baguettes from ACE bakery, one of them didn’t make it past 7pm last night, drowning in a mix of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. The other one was supposed to turn into crostini today, I decided it would be a waste of sandwich potential. But what kind of sandwich? Serendipity brought me a brilliant and relevant idea from The Verdant Life – Basil Apple Mustard Panini Sandwiches! Where have you been all my life savory apple sandwiches? It doesn’t matter, I’m just glad they’re here now. I found Cupcakes and Kale’s (we meet again) recipe for Apple Salted Caramel Cupcakes through Winged Snail’s Leibster…

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Tuesday Tasty Treats – Savory Mini Polenta Pies.

Oh Tuesday, I’d say it was my favourite day of the week, but I feel that way nearly everyday. What tasty baked item is going to appear out of my oven today? My premise, for Tuesday is still to bake something, and make sure it’s tasty, and treat sized. Well, after the pie making fun of this weekend, I really wanted to do it more, but with something savory. And something smaller than a whole pie. Well, I took stock of the vegetables I had left over from the weekend’s Thanksgiving extravaganza, realized I had used up all of my unbleached flour, and decided to make savory mini polenta pies. Unfortunately, about midway through the process, my camera batteries needed recharging so the rest (and it pretty obvious which are which) are taken with an iPad. I wanted it to be a little meal about the size of a cupcake. So I gathered up the eggplant, carrots, onions, garlic, celery, and mushrooms, cleaned them up, and put them together in a bowl to keep myself organized. I’ve also gotten into the habit of cutting up twice the amount of veggies in order to freeze them for later. As soon as it got cold outside, I started squirreling away odds and ends of veggies even though we have four or five grocery stores within walking/easy busing distance. Left over habits from living in Saskatoon during the winter and hibernating I suppose. I took all the corn meal I had left (which…

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Another weekend, another half dozen muffins – Carrot apple spice

We had a bag of carrots sitting in the fridge for weeks. They were sad looking carrots, getting a little dull, getting ready to grow and walk themselves out of the crisper, so it was time to do something with them. But I wasn’t sure what to do, J doesn’t like cooked carrots. I thought… carrot apple salad? Meh. I wanted to bake. I found a loophole in the “I don’t like cooked carrots” statement with carrot cake. (since really, who doesn’t like cake?) My mom used to Morning Glory muffins when I was little, and those are the muffins I had on my mind. She and I had made them together a few times, and they always turned out moist, sweet and delicious. (and rarely lasted for more than a few days) I got a nice little history lesson in the muffins origins while looking for the recipe. Everywhere I’ve read the recipe was originally developed by Pam McKinstry when she owned the Morning Glory Cafe on the island of Nantucket. I think my mom must have saved the recipe out of an old copy of Gourmet magazine in 1981. However, much like me, my mom never follows recipes exactly either, so she never used eggs for her version, just more shredded apples. In my adaptation I use ground flax seed and water instead. Vegan Morning Glory Muffins  (makes 6 Large Muffins) 2 cups grated raw carrot 1 large granny smith apple, peeled and grated 2 cups all-purpose flour…

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Sweet and Spicy Cornbread Muffins

I think cornbread might be one of my favourite foods, I’ve tried it in so many different varieties, sweet, spicy, salty, grilled, toasted, and everyone one of them has qualities I just love. This recipe is for sweet and spicy cornbread muffins. They make a great morning snack and pair wonderfully with the chili recipe I made the other day. Sweet and Spicy Cornbread Muffins 1 cup of flour 1 cup of corn meal 1/2 tsp salt 3 1/2 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp baking soda Egg replacer equivalent to 2 eggs (I used ground flax seed seed) 1/4 cup of vegetable oil 1/2 cup sugar or sugar substitute 1 1/4 cup soy milk 1 cup corn kernels (fresh or thawed works great) 1 tsp paprika (or less, depending on your comfort level) pinch of red pepper flakes Note: I was making giant muffins (it’s a large tin of 6) so my timing and temperature might not work for you. Just increase the temperature and shorten the time for a smaller muffin. First thing was to thaw out my frozen corn kernels and heat up my flax seed. With the flax seed it’s a 1:3 ratio of ground flax seed to water, so 2 Tbsps of flax and 6 Tbsps water, let it boil for a little bit, and make sure to stir it, then set it aside. Preheat oven 400 degrees F. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, cornmeal, salt, paprika, sugar, baking soda and baking powder. In…

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Vegan Slow-Cooked Chili – Soup of the Devil.

I started reading about the origins of chili, and I didn’t think I’d find much, because it makes so much sense as a dish. But then I read that chili doesn’t have beans in it, and my mind was blown. No beans in chili? They are so serious about it, there is even a song, one line “If You Know Beans About Chili, You Know That Chili Has No Beans.” In the Official Rule Book of the Chili Appreciation Society International, and their chili cook offs, beans are considered… “filler” and are prohibited. Since hearing that, part of me wants to attempt a vegan chili without beans, but I’d probably feel sad about it afterwards. A big poor pot of delicious chili… missing some of my favourite ingredients: red kidney beans, black beans or chickpeas. My favourite quote was: “Some Spanish priests were said to be wary of the passion inspired by chile peppers, assuming they were aphrodisiacs. A few preached sermons against indulgence in a food which they said was almost as “hot as hell’s brimstone” and “Soup of the Devil.” The priest’s warning probably contributed to the dish’s popularity.” ( More info) So of course, I had to make some devil soup. There are countless recipes for both vegan chili on the internet and cookbooks, but this is the recipe I threw together for my chili. It was smokey and had rich dark chocolaty undertones to it, but I think it could have been spicier. Next time I’ll finally chop…

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