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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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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Vegan Mofo – Day 0 – Polish Vegan Things

It’s almost time for Vegan MoFo. What is Vegan MoFo? I’m glad you asked – it’s an annual celebration of Vegan Food. If you want to read about the history, I recommend going straight to the source and reading What is VeganMoFo on the VeganMoFo site. I have participated in nearly all of them except the one last year (and I would have, but I missed signing up due to the fog of new motherhood.) This year my goal is to try and post on the blog 5 times a week and a substantive comment on at least 10 blogs a day – ideally ones I have not interacted much with before, and always if a stumble upon a post has no comments. Please connect with me on Instagram and/or on Facebook, and I look forward to meeting new fellow vegan food fans during October! The Theme Vegan Mofo has a bunch of great ideas for posts throughout the month, which you can see here on their handy prompts page, but I’ve decided to go with a theme that is close to my heart, and heritage – Polish Vegan Things. So the aim is All Polish Food, veganized. I’d also like to talk about some of the cool stuff happening in Poland for veganism and animal rights, as well as some of the great cookbooks and Polish blogs out there. I speak and read Polish quite fluently, but writing it is still not a strong point – so sadly, and sorry, my…

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Recreate a meal from your childhood – #VeganMoFo – Leniwe Pieroshki

Another day, another Vegan MoFo Prompt – recreate a meal from your childhood. Well. When I was a little girl, one of my favourite things to eat were Leniwe Peiroshki (pronounced [by me]: Leh-niv-eh Pyeh-rosh-ki, translated = Lazy Perogies). The name is misleading as it wasn’t really that easy to prepare (though still probably easier than making perogies.) But it’s a great way to use potatoes, if for some reason you had some left over (which I don’t understand, but whatever.) I remember sitting around the kitchen table watching my mom make these for me and me being pretty excited. A lot of my happy childhood memories involve being in the kitchen – watching my mom cook, helping prepare something, “helping” to make real perogies with my late-grandmother in the middle of the night a few days before christmas, lots of happy memories center around the kitchen. So this prompt is a fun little trip down memory lane too. Normally Leniwe Peiroshki involves quark (a type of dairy based cheese that’s sort of like a paste & usually a bit sour) which is of course not on my menu anymore. But I’ve noticed that there is a vegan cream cheese made in Toronto from Yoso, that has a very similar texture (at least to what I remember quark being like.) Ever since I made that connection, I was curious about making my favourite childhood dish myself and sharing the recipe. This prompt seems like the perfect opportunity to do just…

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Breakfast when you’re bad at breakfast.

I’m participating in VeganMofo 15 this year, and going to try and follow along with some of the prompts. I did a little intro post yesterday, and I’m looking forward to e-meeting (or IRL meeting) more of you as the month progresses. Today’s Prompt is “Rise and Shine! It’s MoFo time! Tell us about your breakfast.” I’m bad at breakfast. At least Monday thru Friday. Or just in general really. I’ll go most of the day without having anything, and then come home and have dinner. It’s been working out for the most part, but I’ve tried to be better at it, but I’ve been saying that for years, and it hasn’t changed. Soylent For a while I was getting packages of soylent in the mail – and for a few weeks I was actually drinking breakfast in the morning and feeling pretty good about it. Soylent is a meal replacement, that tastes neutral, and is very easy to drink. Their most recent formulation is totally vegan, so there are a bunch of body hackers that are just drinking vegan shakes as their main source of nutrition – or lots of other people like me that have periods of time where they are too busy and supplement meals as needed. Or folks that don’t like food (which is not me.) One thing I like about soylent is mixing it with a shot of espresso, turning it into some kind of Soylatte (wait, that doesn’t work) or maybe I could call it…

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Vegan MoFo 2015 Starts Tomorrow!

Vegan Mofo

I’m excited about participating in Vegan MoFo this year, as it will be my… 5 or 6th year participating(?) Maybe more, I don’t know. It’s hard to believe I’ve had this blog or some iteration of this blog for nearly a decade (okay, I started Prairie Vegan in 2007, so there is still a few years left, darn honesty.) When I’m prowling around on Vegan MoFo Participating blogs, I always like getting to know some of the bloggers participating, especially if I’ve never read their stuff before, and enjoy when folks put up an intro post, so here I am doing it. I’m MeShell (I’ve been using that name since high school, so it’s stuck, but no, my parents didn’t ever write it like that), I live in Toronto, with my lovely partner JC, and our 3 cats (plus a nephew-cat,) I’ve been vegan since somewhere in the late 90’s, and I’m originally from Edmonton. A few months ago my partner and I opened up an online vegan grocery store called the V Word Market, and it’s been keeping us pretty busy, and people have been pretty excited – which is exciting! Most of the time you can find me on instagram @VeganInYourCity, where I share pictures of  food, cats, and art I see around whatever city I’m in at the time (usually Toronto.) Tomorrow’s Prompt is “Rise and Shine! It’s MoFo time! Tell us about your breakfast.” Which is fun, because I’m actually terrible at eating breakfast – but I have…

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A Final TILT for Vegan MoFo – Things I Loved – Soup, Salads, and Pumpkins.

I’ve enjoyed looking through all the posts and thoughts and recipes throughout Vegan MoFo, having all the blogs collected together on Feedly has been pretty great, and while I’m still (STILL) lamenting the loss of Google Reader, feedly does a decent job of aggregating RSS feeds, and I like that it’s integrated with a bunch of other services I like to use. I woke up feeling terrible this morning, I had to scrape myself out of the bed cocoon I had created with pillows, and try to get in motion, because I tend to follow one of Newton’s law’s of motion, this one especially: An object that is at rest will stay at rest unless an external force acts upon it. Even sitting up makes a huge difference in how I’m feeling, and I feel better when I’m moving around, than when I’m laying in one place being miserable. But it was tough. JC was kind enough to pick up some ginger, and then chopped it up, and boiled it in a pot of water, with some slippery elm bark blended beefree honee, and a splash of cayenne in an attempt at shortening the duration of these crummy feelings. Also, I realize it’s not Thursday right now, but it was when I started! 🙂 Any other hot tips? What do you do to feel better? (other than make samosa soup?) On with the Vegan MoFo TILT I’ve done three other VeganMoFo TILTS, and you can see them here: first week, second week,…

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