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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New Tofurky Ham-Style Roast Review

We bought the Tofurky Ham-Style Roast this weekend for the first time (from the refrigerated section at Metro in Toronto, but it’s available at Whole Foods and Sobey’s locations too) And since I couldn’t find much information about it online, I wanted to share what we thought. This is the first year it’s been available in Canada, so the moment I heard about it, I wanted to try it. It’s a small seitan based ham that looks visually appealing, and comes with a sweet and tangy beer glaze featuring Hopworks Urban Brewery beer from Oregon. It’s full of flavour and has a vaguely ham-like flavour. If you are familiar with Tofurky roasts, the texture is quite similar – and personally, I liked it, and it complemented our meal quite nicely. Here you can see it in it’s packaged glory – and my hand for scale. My hands aren’t particularly big, so it’s not huge, but could serve 3-4 people with a nice variety of sides and/or some stuffing. I did not follow the preparation instructions on the box – we were making a very late dinner, and I didn’t feel like baking it for over an hour, so your experience may vary. But if you wanted to save some time and make it in the Instant Pot like I did, I mostly followed the box instructions on prep – half a cup of water, and based my timing on JL’s Vegan Roast post here. She has some great ideas for…

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Makowiec – Poppy Seed Roll – Vegan Mofo 2017 Day 4

I never particularly liked poppyseed rolls also known as makowiec (MAK-oh-v’yetz) when I was a kid – from a distance, I’d see them and think they were chocolate, then get close and realize it was poppies. And then I’d be filled with sadness and maybe steal a bite of icing, but otherwise, sadness. For some reason, now that I’m both older and live in a Polish neighbourhood in Toronto I find myself wanting this damn cake every time I walk by one of the handful of deli’s along Roncesvalles. But I know these are not vegan, so I keep walking. About a year ago I bought a can of poppyseed cake filling, for the novelty, not even really planning on making a makowiec because I figured I’d never get around to it. Well, thank goodness it’s VeganMofo, because here we go. This recipe is based on a few things – my experience with challah, another egg heavy bread that I make with reasonable success without eggs, and a recipe in The Art of Polish Cooking by Alina Żerańska circa 1968. Poppyseed Roll (Makowiec) makes 2 rolls 1 package active dry yeast (2 – 1/4 tsp yeast) 1 cups warm non-dairy milk (divided) 4 cups all-purpose flour 6 tbsp sugar 1/4 tsp salt 1/2 cup aquafaba (what is aquafaba?) 6 tbsp coconut oil or earth balance, softened 1 can (850g) poppyseed filling (most do not have honey in them) Optional: walnuts, finely chopped Directions In a bowl or measuring up dissolve…

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Barszcz/Beet Soup – Vegan Mofo 2017 – Pleased to Beet You.

Beets are a regular player in traditional Polish cooking, and Eastern European cooking in general, so I’m going talk about them every darn Tuesday for the rest of October. I’d like to start with something traditional as heck, with some minor augmentations. Beet soup. You might know it as borcht. I know it as barszcz. It’s all basically the same thing, we can agree to disagree. Beets + Broth = soup. Usually sour cream is involved. Sometimes some kind of sausage. But even with the most hearty seeming recipes, I often find myself hungry soon after. So with this recipe, I’m trying to avoid using special ingredients (but tofutti sour cream is absolutely fantastic in this soup if you have it around/or want to use it) and replacing sour cream with a dollop of white bean puree. It really works – you can mix the white bean in with the soup before plating, or let folks do it afterwards – it’s a great nutritional boost, and adds a thicker texture to the soup. Ingredients 3 medium sized beets 1 leek, halved 2 garlic cloves 1/2 cup dry navy beans (or 1 can, drained) (or white northern beans), prepared. 4 tbsps oil (or as much oil as makes you happy) 1 onion, chopped 1 carrot, halved and chopped 6 cups vegetable broth juice from 1/2 lemon splash of your favourite vinegar 1 bay leaf 1/8 tsp pepper (or to taste) 5 medium potatoes As much dill as you can handle bonus:…

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Młoda Kapusta Zasmażana – Fried Cabbage – Vegan Mofo Day 2

Fried Cabbage, sounds boring right? No. It’s not. It’s hearty and warm and cozy. There is this fantastic balance of sweet and smoky and lightly salty. The smoky tofu bacon really brings this all together, but any kind of fried meatless sausage type product would work great in this too. I really like the Tofurky or Yves Kielbasas for a quick comforting cabbagy meal – just slice them into half moon slices and fry them with some onion and then add sliced cabbage and onions. It all pairs wonderfully with kasza gryczana (lightly roasted buckwheat groats) or boiled/mashed potatoes. I’m calling this a young (młoda) cabbage (kapusta) because the one I used was dark leafy and green and fresh off the farm despite being the beginning of autumn. If you’re deep in the middle of somewhere else, can’t find deep green young cabbage, but can find Napa cabbage, its tender leaves might fit the bill. I’ve got other plans for the rest of the cabbage – as there are always other things to do with cabbage in Polish cooking – it is a very versatile vegetable – featured in some of my favourite things like cabbage rolls, sauerkraut, a variety of soups and stews, and more! Kapusta Zasmażana Ingredients Tofu Bacon 1/2 block of tofu, pressed, thinly sliced 1 tbsp sesame oil splash of liquid smoke 1 tsp soy sauce or Braggs aminos (optional) 1tsp mushroom powder Add sesame oil, liquid smoke, soy sauce and (optional) mushroom powder to a…

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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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Vancouver – Indigo Age Cafe

The first few times we saw Indigo Age Cafe come up on a vegan-friendly food list we mentally skipped it because we thought it was some raw food place and we’re not usually into that. But after repeatedly seeing it, I got curious – maybe it would hit the spot anyway. I really like salad rolls… so I took a look at the menu. And I’m so glad that I did. Sure, they have raw food, and plenty of it, but in a wonderfully unexpected curveball, they also have cooked vegan Ukrainian cuisine. Surprise! Pirogies! And cabbage rolls! And borscht! oh my. Something else they do that’s pretty neat is a Vegan High Tea. Several of the other tables were doing it while we were there – I kind of regret not going for it, but our small human was reaching the end of his evening tolerance, so we didn’t have much time and we weren’t sure how long it would take – but it looks great. We started with some stuffed tomatoes with a raw fermented coconut-almond cheese, cashew sauce and pesto sauce – these were especially popular with our toddler (who like me, is keen on strong flavours.) And of course, we had to dip into the Ukrainian menu and ordered plates of assorted savoury pirogies and cabbage rolls. The pirogies had an incredible soft and tender dough, and were filled with sauerkraut or potato (they also have a cherry filled one that we didn’t order.) Drizzled with olive…

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Veggielicious 2017 – Southern Accent

Once upon a time Southern Accent used to be in Mirvish Village, and we’d walk by and always plan to go in. They had a lovely and inviting patio outside, but we never got our act together and Mirvish Village is turning into a condo complex. We were worried we wouldn’t get to try the food at Southern Accent, but thankfully they’ve moved over to College and Ossington(ish.) I have a real fondness for New Orleans and Creole cuisine. JC and I went on a tiny south-western US roadtrip a few years ago – and it was incredible driving through Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, and then ending up in New Orleans, Louisiana for New Years Eve way back when. We ate well. We had a great time. There were so many vegan options right on the menu in the French Quarter and around the city, you’d be pleasantly surprised if you’ve never been before. So I was missing that flavour, that ambiance, that music, the colours, the sounds. Well, lucky us – we’ve got a taste of N’awlins right here in Toronto. And double lucky us, Southern Accent was participating in Veggielicious this year. They have a few vegan options on their menu year-round, but they had a couple of special dishes for Veggielicious on the go as well, so we picked the specials – planning to return again in the future for some of their regular menu items. The Southern Accent Veggielicious Menu (Prix-fixe $25 per person) First Course: Soup of the…

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1 Day of Vegan Hospital Food

Well, nearly 4 months ago I wrote a big long piece about the birth of our new baby, and since I spent about 24 hours in a hospital, that meant that they also tried to feed me a few meals at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Toronto, and since some folks were curious what vegan hospital food looked like… here it is! The first night, right after surgery, no one got the vegan memo, and to be fair, the hospital stay was unexpected (by me and them) Sadly, there was some kind of icky chicken thing waiting for me, so I passed on it. JC had brought over some baked goods from TBC before we even knew we’d be meeting the baby that day, but he also made sure I had lots of buckets of ice water afterwards. I was too busy basking in the afterglow of meeting our little sapling anyway (plus it was super late in the evening.) Breakfast In the morning I got oatmeal, and the person that brought me my tray said she had been vegan for a year or so and congratulated me on my long term veganness. She was also impressed that JC was also vegan since her partner and son would not do it. Despite that, I did however end up with a carton of (dairy) milk on my tray, but obviously skipped it (I think we’d all have a bad time.) I was quite surprised there was no soy milk offered at any meal. At a hospital stay in Edmonton, AB…

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Montréal 2016 – Sushi Momo

We were in Montreal a few months ago before Simon was born, and visited the old location of Sushi Momo, since our visit they’ve moved to a much bigger location on Rue Saint-Denis, and so this post is just an excuse to share delicious food porn and talk about what we ate. Their original location was a cozy hole-in-the wall spot just off of St. Laurent. There was room for 15-20 people at most, and it was not the space for a large pregnant woman (me), but we went in there anyway, and I squished myself behind a small table with a comfy cushion and looked at their fabulous menu. For once I was happy I was so hungry, because everything looked awesome. The first night we tried to walk in was disappointing, because they were very busy (and we knew they were popular), and we couldn’t even wait around in hopes of a table, so we came back the next night after calling for a table (like we should have done the first time around.) (make reservations for maximum happiness) We started with bowls of flavourful miso soup and edamame. Next came the “poutine,” which was phenomenal. It had fried sweet potato hosomaki, cheddar cheese gratin, and a shiitake teriyaki sauce. I can’t recommend this dish enough – and I can’t recommend you get your own. Sharing with JC was nice and all, but oh I have some regrets about not getting my own bowl of this one. We ordered…

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