Day 57

Vegan eggplant wild rice burgers

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4 slices of GF bread for making bread crumbs
2 eggplants roasted
1 cup wild rice boiled
1 shallot finely chopped
1 large garlic clove crushed
100 g smoked tofu crumbled
1 cup shredded jalapeño pepper soy cheese
3 tbs fresh chopped parsley
Cayenne pepper
Salt
Pepper
Sesame seeds

First I dried out some GF bread in a preheated 200F for about 30 min.

I roasted the eggplant.

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I peeled it and let it drain for about 1hr. Then I finely chopped it.

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I boiled the wild rice and let it cool completely. In a large bowl, I put the eggplant, added the wild rice, crumbled tofu, cheese, shallot, garlic, parsley and half of the bread crumbs. Mixed it well and started forming the burgers.

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On a plate a put the rest of bread crumbs and added salt, pepper and some cayenne pepper and sesame seeds.

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I ran each burger through the bread crumb mix. I let the burgers cool down in the refrigerator for an hour before I cooked them. I used a griddle to cook mine.

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I also made a spicy sauce to go with the burgers.

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Vegenaise
Sriracha sauce
Mustard
Horse radish

I didn’t really use specific quantities. I mixed little by little until I got it perfect to my taste.

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Day 55

Vegan Moussaka

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I found this wonderful recipe for Vegan Moussaka : http://www.theveganhousehold.com/mains/vegan-moussaka/

It calls for a lot of ingredients and a lot of steps, but the end result its well worth it. My mom would have been so proud of me. She used to make us moussaka all the time(with meat of course) but this she would have loved!

INGREDIENTS

2 medium aubergines, cut into 1 cm slices

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large potato, peeled and sliced into 1/2 cm rounds

olive oil for shallow frying

For the sauce

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium onion, finely chopped

2 large cloves garlic, minced

120 ml ( 1/2 cup ) vegan red wine

1 400g ( 14 oz ) tin chopped tomatoes

120 ml ( 1/2 cup ) water

2 tablespoons tomato puree

300 g ( 10 oz ) mushrooms, chopped

200 g ( 7 oz ) fresh spinach, chopped

50 g ( 1.7 oz ) dried soya mince (TVP)

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon all spice

1 teaspoon agave nectar

1 teaspoon sea salt

2 tablespoons soy sauce

3 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley

For the topping

250 ml ( just over 1 cup ) soya milk

100 g ( 3.5 oz ) firm tofu

2 teaspoons egg replacement powder

40 g ( 1.4 oz ) vegan margarine ( I use Vitalite )

40 g ( 1.4 oz ) plain flour

1 tablespoon nutritional yeast

1/2 teaspoon agave nectar

1/4 teaspoon black salt (optional)

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

oil for brushing

I started by slicing the eggplant, put them in a bowl, added 2 TBS of olive oil and baked them in a preheated oven at 400F until they were soft.

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While the eggplant was in the oven I sliced the potato. I used several small ones instead of one big potato. I don’t, or better said can’t follow exact directions when it comes to cooking.  I want my free will! 🙂

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I fried the potato slices in vegetable oil.

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As soon as they browned a bit i took them out, and set them aside on paper towels with the eggplant slices.

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Next was the sauce. I like to get all my ingredients out before I start cooking. I did forget the wine! But only from the pic! I was tasting it, that’s why!:)

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I sauteed the onions and garlic in olive oil, until the onions softened, then added the red wine letting it cook for another minute.

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I added the chopped tomatoes, water and tomato puree, stirring well and continue to cook for another 2 minutes.

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Next, I added the mushrooms and spinach, covered the pan with a lid and simmer for 10 minutes.

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I stirred in the soya mince and the black pepper, cinnamon, all spice,
agave, salt, soy sauce and the parsley. I let it cook until it thickened and it tasted done. Took it off the stove and let it rest while i started on the Topping sauce.

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I used the Vitamix to blend the tofu, almond milk and the egg replacement until it was smooth.

In a saucepan, over a medium heat, I melted the margarine and I added the flour, stirring continuously to form a very thick paste.

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Turn off the heat and gradually whisk in the milk and tofu mixture. Be sure to whisk continuously, and add the mixture a little at a time, to avoid any lumps.

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As soon as it looked and felt like a sauce I added the nutritional yeast, agave, pepper and salt and let it cook for 2 more minutes.

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When everything was done I layered the moussaka in this order:

Potatoes on the bottom, half of the eggplant, the sauce, the other half of the eggplant slices and I poured the topping all over and made sure it covered the entire area.I put it in a preheated oven at 400F for 40 min. I brushed it with a little bit of olive oil and cooked it for another 10 minutes.The recipe says it serves 4-6, but in our case , it served 2  with few extra helpings! So good! It’s worth the work!photo(159)

Day 50

It feels like forever since I cooked! After a much needed trip back home to Romania, I came back and got inspired to make a vegan version of one of my grandmother’s potato stew.

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2 bunches of green onions chopped
If you find green garlic chives use them too
6 medium potatoes peeled, cut in chunks
5 garlic cloves chopped
1 28 oz can whole tomatoes chopped
2 Tbs tomato paste
2 Tbs light olive oil
2 tbs chopped parsley
Salt, pepper

I heat the oil, add the green onions and garlic and let it cook for few minutes until the onions soften.

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I added the potatoes and enough water to cover them and let it simmer for about 15 minutes.

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Then, I added the chopped tomatoes and tomato paste and let it simmer until the potatoes are soft.

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I added the parsley, salt and pepper at the end.

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Yummy!

Day 35

Vegan GF Green Bean Casserole

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This casserole is one of my favorite dishes and I figured out how to make it vegan GF.

2 cans green beans drained
12 oz shimeji mushrooms
1 small onion chopped
3 garlic cloves finely chopped
2 Tbs vegan buttery spread
2 Tbs tapioca flour
1/4 cup soy creamer
1cup vegetable broth
1/2 cup fried onions

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First I made creamed mushrooms. I sautéed onion and garlic in vegan buttery spread until it became glassy. I added the mushrooms and let it cook for few more minutes.

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I added salt and pepper at this point.

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I added the  tapioca flour

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And little by little the soy creamer and about 1 cup vegetable broth. I mixed it continuously until it became smooth and creamy. This could be eaten just like this! Yummy!

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I mixed the green beans with the creamed mushrooms and put them in a preheated oven at 350F for 25 min.

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I added the fried onions and let it cook for another 5 min.

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I couldn’t tell the difference from a regular green bean casserole!

I also made a potato salad

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2 Boiled potatoes
5 Green onions
2 large dill pickles
1/2 cup kalamata olives
1 Tbs olive oil
White wine vinegar
Salt and pepper

Super easy potato salad! I mixed all the ingredients together, have it warm or cold, it’s just as good!

Day 33

Avocado and Hearts of Palm Salad

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Here’s what goes in it:
Iceberg lettuce
Avocado
Hearts of Palm drained and roughly sliced
Radishes sliced
Fresh lime juice
McCormick garlic pepper
Olive oil
Salt

I like to season the avocado separately before I mix it in the salad. Cut the avocado in slices, add lime juice, salt and the McCormick garlic pepper.

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This particular pepper grinder is my favorite seasoning for  avocado!
I mix all of the ingredients and add the avocado at the end and give them a good toss.

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If you eat cheese, this salad goes best with Gorgonzola!  We were in the the Cayman Islands visiting my parents-in-law, when one day we decided to make a salad with whatever we find in the house. Jim(my father-in-law) and I came up with this salad(minus the radishes, plus the gorgonzola).

I’ve been making this salad for years!

Day 32

Today I made Roasted Vegetables Quinoa Pasta

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This is a wonderful Gluten Free vegan pasta dish. I could eat this every day!

I used quinoa fusilli, carrots, parsnip, onion, green, orange and red bell peppers. I cut all the vegetables in long strips and put them in a large roasting pan.

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I sprinkled some olive oil, salt and pepper and give them all a toss.

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I put the roasting pan in a preheated oven at 450F for about 30 min.

Meanwhile I cooked the fusilli, and in a frying pan I sauteed chopped garlic and sun-dried tomatoes.  After 2 minutes I added some kalamata olives.

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Took the vegetables out of the oven and added them to the frying pan.

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I drained the pasta, put it on top of the veggies and added the fresh spinach and few basil leaves and give them all a toss. Salt, pepper and red hot pepper flakes.

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Day 28

Sweet potato quinoa burger with Avocado Aioli

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For the Avocado aioli I used:
1 avocado
3 Tbs vegan mayo
1 clove garlic
lime juice
salt

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I initially wanted to use jalapeno, but it wasn’t spicy at all, so i used few drops of habanero sauce. I used a hand blender to mix all until smooth and creamy.

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For the burger:

1 cup of quinoa boiled – it rendered 2 cups cooked
1 big sweet potato cubed roasted in a 425F oven for 35 min
1 garlic head roasted in the oven together with the potato
4 oz of firm tofu crumbled
1 medium onion chopped sauteed in olive oil
1/2 cup quinoa flour
1 jalapeno chopped- this one wasn’t spicy either….I had 5 jalapenos that all tasted like green peppers… c’est la vie!
smoked paprika
smoked salt
salt and pepper

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I mixed everything together, formed into patties and cooked them on a grill pan.

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Mike and I had them just like that with no bread.

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Day 27

Vegan Gluten Free Lasagna

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I wanted some kind of white cheesy sauce for this lasagna. I didn’t use a recipe so I just went with it, using the principles of making a béchamel sauce.

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2 Tbs vegan buttery taste spread
3 Tbs GF all purpose flour
1 Tbs cashew butter
2 cloves of garlic crushed
2 cups almond milk
2 Tbs nutritional yeast
1 dash of nutmeg
Salt, pepper, crushed red pepper

I sautéed the garlic in the spread for few minutes.

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I added the cashew butter, stirring constantly until it completely melted.

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Next was the flour. As soon as the flour was incorporated in the ‘butter”, I switched to a whisk and started to add the almond milk, little by little.

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When it became a smooth sauce i added the nutritional yeast, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.

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For the filling I sautéed sun dried tomatoes in olive oil and about 3 cups of chopped mushrooms.
I peeled a big eggplant and sliced it 1/2 inch thick.

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Sprayed the slices with olive oil and grilled them.

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I layered tomato pasta sauce, eggplant, white sauce, mushrooms. I finished with layering white sauce on top of last row of eggplant. Few slices of tomatoes on top of that. Baked it in preheated oven at 350F for 35 min.

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Day 26

I’m back in Calgary for two weeks! Felt so good to be in the kitchen cooking again!

Last night I came  across a soup recipe that I had to try.

It is  David McNally’s “Spicy Noodle Soup”:

2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 oz extra firm tofu, diced
4 cups broth (organic veggie)
4 oz rice noodles
2 tablespoons tamari soy sauce
1 tablespoon sriracha hot sauce
1 cup mushrooms
1 stem bok choy
1 cup raw spinach
1/2 cup cilantro
1/4 cup cashews, crushed
1/4 cup green onions
1 tablespoon crushed red peppers

David warned me that it’s spicy, and boy was he right! I added extra broth and skipped the red pepper flakes. This is a great, simple, light but full of fresh flavors soup!

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I started by sauteeing the garlic in olive oil. It only takes a few minutes to brown.

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Added the tofu and cooked for 3 more minutes.

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Next was the vegetable stock. The recipe calls for 4 cups but I ended up adding 2 extra cups because the soup turned out too spicy for me. Note to self: add the spicy element little by little, not all at once!:)

After it reached  boiling point I added the mushrooms, soy sauce and sriracha sauce.

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I let it simmer for about 3 minutes. After that, it’s ready!

I soaked rice noodles in hot water for about 10 minutes before eating. I chopped all the greens and crushed the cashews.

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In a bowl I put some noodles, then soup, and packed it with the greens and crushed cashews.  I added few drops of lime to my bowl. Yummy!

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Those last two spoons of broth with little bits of cashews from the bottom of your bowl, are amazingly delicious!