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Chanukah party for the ages and Vegan Challah recipe!

Chag Samaech fel­low veJEWtarians!

I real­ize I haven’t writ­ten in a wee bit. This has to do with catch­ing up after hold­ing a vegan wed­ding, going on our hon­ey­moon and attempt­ing to get back into the rhythm of life once again amidst the hol­i­days. Yes, Chanukah was early this year. Tonight is the eighth and final night and as such I wanted to  share some of the high­lights from the past eight days includ­ing an awe­some Chanukah gath­er­ing we threw with a totally vegan menu. I’m also very excited to share a recipe for vegan chal­lah that I made and served at said bash. (It got a lot of compliments!)

Enjoy!

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The first and sec­ond nights were filled with prepa­ra­tion, menu plan­ning, and clean­ing lead­ing up to our big Chanukah weekend.

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The third night came and with it a spe­cial Chanukah gath­er­ing at our place. Plenty of wine was con­sumed, toasts made, drei­dals spun, and food gob­bled up!

The Menu

Vegan Latkes

Apple­sauce

Sour Cream

Steamed Green beans in gar­lic, chilli oil

Greens with creamy lemon vinaigrette

Vegan Chal­lah served with hum­mus and baba ghanoush

Cook­ies n’ Cream cup­cakes with but­ter­cream frosting

Because I was low on time, we pur­chased Earth Island’s Non-Dairy Soy Sour Cream. I usu­ally make my own from soaked cashews but I’m happy to report that Earth Island’s prod­uct was a really good sub­sti­tute. All the party-goers couldn’t tell the difference!

And now for the challah!

veganchallah

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hummusbowls

Vegan Chal­lah

Makes 2 challahs

Adapted from Tante B’s recipe

Ingre­di­ents

• 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

• 2 (1/4 ounce) pack­ages dry yeast

• Egg replacer– equiv­i­lant of two eggs worth

• 1/2 cup veg­etable oil

• 1 table­spoon salt

• 1/2 cup sugar

• 2 cups warm water

Glaze
• Soy creamer

• poppy seeds (optional) or sesame seeds (optional)

Instruc­tions:

1. First mea­sure out all your ingredients.

2. Now from the 1/2 of cup sugar take 1 table­spoon of the sugar & com­bine it with the yeast and the warm water (you know you have the right tem­per­a­ture of warm water when it’s the same tem­per­a­ture as the inside of your wrist).

3. Keep your bowl in a warm place while the yeast dis­solves for 10 minutes.

4. After the yeast has dis­solved (it’s nice & foamy) add to it the rest of the sugar, salt & 3 1/2 cups flour. Mix well.

5. Add egg replacer & oil.

6. Slowly start mix­ing in most of the remain­ing 3 1/2 cups of flour. The dough will become quite thick.

7. When the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl, turn it onto a floured sur­face& knead for approx­i­mately 10 minutes.

8. Add only enough addi­tional flour to make dough manageable.

9. Knead until dough has acquired a “life of its own”; it should be smooth & elas­tic, spring­ing back when pressed lightly with your fingertip.

10. Place dough into a large oiled bowl turn­ing the dough once so its oiled on all sides.

11. Cover with a damp tea towel & let rise in a warm place for 2 hours, punch­ing down in 4–5 places every 20 minutes.

12. Write down what time you started so you don’t for­get when the 2 hours are up & set a timer every 20 min­utes. Punch­ing down is fun!!

13. After the 2 hours, turn your dough onto your work­ing surface.

14. Now comes the form­ing part. I did the six braided method. Check out this video on how to braid a six strand challah!

15. Pre­pare your bak­ing sheet lin­ing it with parch­ment paper.

16. Pre­heat oven to 375°F.

17. Once braided, place on bak­ing sheet.

18. Now let the chal­lah rise for 1/2 an hour.

19. After the chal­lah has risen glaze gen­er­ously with soy creamer and sprin­kle with poppy or sesame seeds.

20. Put in pre­heated oven & let bake for exactly 25 minutes!

21. Turn off oven & leave Chal­lahs in for exactly another 10 minutes!

22. Enjoy!!!

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I made a sesame and pop­py­seed chal­lah with this recipe and they were both well received!

All in all, it was a magic-filled Chanukah sea­son. Please enjoy some other Chanukah pics!

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Wish­ing every­one a very happy Chanukah!

Oy Vegan!

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HALL-OY-WEEN Choco-Ghoulie Bars!!!

Just arrived back in Toronto for one of my favourite times of year…

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That’s right. We LOVE Hal­loween here at Oy Vegan!

But if too much candy is giv­ing you a belly-ache, here is a super tasty and healthy treat that is incred­i­bly easy to make, gluten-free, and raw!

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Intro­duc­ing Choco-Ghoulie Bars!

Ingre­di­ents

• 1/2 cup raw buckwheat

• 1/2 cup-3/4 cup of walnuts

• 15 (some­times more) Med­jool dates, pit­ted and chopped

• 1/4 cup of raw cocao powder

• 1/2 –1 tea­spoon of salt

• Vegan choco­late chips

Instruc­tions:

1. Place buck­wheat in a food proces­sor and pulse so that some of it breaks down into a flour-like sub­stance. Don’t fully blend as you want to some whole, crunchy buck­wheat in these bars!

2. Add wal­nuts, dates, and salt and pulse until the mix­ture is com­bined. Take a spoon and spoon some of the mix­ture into your hands. If the mix­ture sticks together then it is ready. If it is still crumbly, add more dates as needed and pulse. The dates are the ‘glue’ so to speak so some­times more are needed to make this bar stick together.

3. Add the raw cocoa pow­der and pulse to com­bine ingre­di­ents once again.

4. Cover a square cake pan with plas­tic wrap or parch­ment paper. No need to do this if your pan is non-stick. Pour mix­ture out of food proces­sor into the pan and press down. Press down on all the mix­ture and con­tinue to really pack it into the bot­tom of the pan. Do this for about 5 minutes.

5. Chill in the refrig­er­a­tor for at least an hour before cut­ting into bars and serving.

6. For a non-raw twist, melt some of your favourite vegan choco­late chips in a dou­ble boiler or in the microwave and driz­zle over top before chill­ing in the fridge.

7. Enjoy your sin­fully healthy and tasty Choco-Ghoulie bars!

Eat these bars for a speedy break­fast on-the-go or a quick snack after work­ing out. They’re also great on all hallow’s eve!

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How­ever, if  your sweet tooth is outta con­trol, never fear! Veg­News has a com­pre­hen­sive list of  Vegan Hal­loween candy so you can sat­isfy your desire.

Also, since it’s fall, why not try out a new vegan pump­kin pie recipe? We tried Chloe Coscarelli’s recipe from her new book Chloe’s Vegan Desserts. A very tasty result indeed!

Pumpkin pie

Oy Vegan’s attempt at Chef Chloe’s Pump­kin Pie. Isn’t it purdy?

Wish­ing every­one a safe and spooky HALL-OY-WEEN!!!

Oy Vegan!

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Ahava Bowl

Happy Sum­mer!

The days are long and hot here in Toronto and recently all I’ve been crav­ing are fruits and veg­gies. For lunch, I usu­ally have a big salad and for din­ner I’ve been exper­i­ment­ing with dif­fer­ent veggie/rice bowl com­bi­na­tions. So, in hon­our of sum­mer, my upcom­ing Sep­tem­ber wed­ding, and  feel­ing good from the inside out, I’ll share one of my favourite rice bowl recipes. This is easy to make and oh so tasty! Intro­duc­ing the Ahava Bowl.

Ahava Bowl

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Ahava means love in Hebrew and I think that you’ll love this bowl as much as I do. It fea­tures mar­i­nated tofu, sun-dried toma­toes, pea-shoots, and spinach, on rice with a light gin­ger dressing.

Ingre­di­ents

• Rice — what­ever type you pre­fer. I use white bas­mati with this recipe which is ready in 25 min­utes! I make 1 cup of uncooked rice which yields about 4–6 servings.

• 2 hand­fuls of baby spinach per bowl

• A gen­er­ous heap of pea-shoots. You can also use sun­flower sprouts or any other green sprouts that you can get your hands on.

• 4–6 pieces of sun-dried toma­toes. I like to buy the kind packed in oil and herbs.

• 2–3 table­spoons of chopped fresh cilantro

• 1/2 cup of  extra-firm mar­i­nated tofu cubes. I eat them as is, but you can fry them after mar­i­nat­ing them if you don’t like the tex­ture of raw tofu. Recipe for mar­i­nated tofu cubes below.

• Driz­zle of Light gin­ger dress­ing. Recipe below.

Instruc­tions:

1. Fill a bowl with desired por­tion of rice.

2. Layer on baby spinach, sun-dried tomato pieces, and pea-shoots.

3. Driz­zle with some light gin­ger dressing.

4. Top with desired amount of mar­i­nated tofu and cilantro. Driz­zle on more dress­ing if desired.

5. Enjoy!

Mar­i­nated Tofu

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Ingre­di­ents

• 1/2 cup of Tamari or soy sauce

• 1/3 cup of apple cider vinegar

• 1 table­spoon of flax oil

• 1/4 cup of water

• 1 block of Extra-firm Tofu

Instruc­tions

1. Whisk ingre­di­ents together (minus the tofu) in a medium bowl.

2.  Drain any water from tofu then wrap tofu with paper towel to absorb excess water. Unwrap tofu and slice into small cubes.

3. Immerse tofu cubes in mari­nade and make sure that all tofu is covered.

4. Mar­i­nate for at least 15 minutes.

5. Use as is in Ahava Bowl, or fry with a lit­tle olive oil over a medium heat if desired.

Light Gin­ger Dressing

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Ingre­di­ents

• 1/2 an onion

• 1/2 cup of oil (saf­flower, canola, or flax)

• 1/3 cup of rice vinegar

• 1/4 cup of water

• 1 stalk of celery

• 2 table­spoons of minced fresh ginger

• 2 table­spoons of Tamari or soy sauce

• 1 table­spoon of agave

• 1 tea­spoon of lemon juice

• pinch of sea salt

• pinch of fresh ground pepper

Instruc­tions

1. Com­bine all ingre­di­ents in a blender and blend. Store in refrig­er­a­tor for up to 3 weeks.

Store any left­over rice, mar­i­nated tofu, and dress­ing in the refrig­er­a­tor for quick and healthy leftovers.

Here’s to sum­mer! Here’s to healthy eat­ing! And here’s to love!

Oy Vegan!

 

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Banana Oat Muffins

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These are great grab on the go snack and there is NO SUGAR what­so­ever!  They are also lovely with a cup of tea. These can be made gluten free if you use gluten free Oats. (Added note: These muffins are not the sweet­est. If you desire a sweeter muf­fin, add a few table­spoons of maple syrup to your wet ingredients.)

Banana Oat­meal Muffins 

(Adapted from source)

Makes 12 muffins

Ingre­di­ents:

• 1 cup rolled oats

• 1 cup oat flour (grind reg­u­lar oats in a food proces­sor to make this)

• 1 tea­spoon bak­ing powder

• 1/4 tea­spoon sea salt

• 1/2 tea­spoon cinnamon

• 1/4 tea­spoon nutmeg

• 1 cup pureed over­ripe banana ( 2 large bananas)

• 1 tea­spoon vanilla extract

• 1 tea­spoon apple cider vinegar

• 1/4 cup of orange or apple juice

• 2 table­spoons vegan choco­late chips (optional)

Instruc­tions:

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F

2. Mix all the dry ingre­di­ents together in a bowl.

3. Blend banana in a food proces­sor until smooth.

4. Mix banana, and the rest of the wet ingre­di­ents together in a sep­a­rate bowl.

5. Add wet mix­ture to dry mix­ture and com­bine. Fold in choco­late chips if using.

6. Fill muf­fin tins 2/3 of the way full. Bake for 15 min­utes or until golden brown and a tooth­pick inserted comes out dry.

Enjoy!

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Meatless Monday Recipe

Happy Mon­day all!

Hope every­one enjoyed this past Mother’s Day. I sure did despite it rain­ing and even snow­ing at one point! Just when we thought sum­mer was around the corner…

In hon­our of the not-so-warm weather, I’m going to share a recipe with you just in time for meat­less monday.

Today’s recipe: French Lentil Soup.

This soup is awe­some for a num­ber of reasons:

1. Lentils are amaz­ing because they are high in iron.

2. The vit­a­min C from the tomatos help us absorb the iron in the lentils!

3. It’s really tasty!

4. It’s not expen­sive to get these ingre­di­ents and it’s easy to make! woot woot!

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French Lentil Soup

(Source: About.com)

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Ingre­di­ents:

  • 2 table­spoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onions
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped celery
  • 2 medium car­rots, chopped
  • 2 cloves gar­lic, crushed and chopped
  • 1/2 tea­spoon salt
  • 1/4 tea­spoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 tea­spoon ground black pepper
  • 4 cups veg­etable broth
  • 1 1/4 cups french lentils, rinsed
  • 14-ounce can petite diced toma­toes or dice the equiv­a­lent amount of fresh tomatos
  • 2 tea­spoons apple cider vinegar

Prepa­ra­tion:

In a medium saucepan, sauté the onions, cel­ery, car­rots, and gar­lic over medium-high heat for 12 to 15 min­utes. Once the veg­eta­bles have just started to turn light brown, add the salt, dried thyme, and black pep­per to the pan. Con­tinue cook­ing and stir­ring the mix­ture for 1 minute.

Add the veg­etable broth, lentils, and diced toma­toes to the pan. Bring the soup to a boil, and then reduce the tem­per­a­ture slightly so that it is sim­mer­ing. Sim­mer the soup, cov­ered, for 30 min­utes, until the lentils are ten­der. Purée 1 3/4 cups of the soup with the cider vine­gar and stir the pureed mix­ture back into the soup. Serve the soup hot or store it for up to three days in the refrigerator.

This French lentil soup recipe makes 6 serv­ings. Enjoy!

Until next time, my mother and I in the 1980s wish you a happy meat­less monday!!

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Oy Vegan!

 

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Super Spring Smoothie

Spring is in the air! Well… kind of. Toronto has been pretty up and down temperature-wise over the past few weeks. It was warm­ing up and just when we thought we were in the clear and spring was upon us, it went down to –10 degrees Cel­sius. Oy!

That being said, I do believe that the worst of win­ter is over and am opti­mistic about the com­ing of warmer weather. My body must know it’s com­ing because I have been crav­ing fresh fruity smooth­ies! This is a lit­tle weird as I haven’t really been much of a smoothie per­son in the past. Because of that, I’ve been using very sim­ple ingre­di­ents. I find that fewer, bet­ter ingre­di­ents make for an ener­giz­ing, tasty, smoothie experience!

Here is one that I’ve recently been hav­ing for break­fast and some­times also as a snack.

 

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Mornin’ Sun­shine Smoothie

This smoothie is lightly sweet and fruity. The spinach adds lot of nutri­tional value and you can’t even taste it, which is nice for those who aren’t fans of tast­ing veg­gies in their drinks.

Makes a good 6–8 ounces of smoothie. You can add more almond milk if you are mak­ing smooth­ies for two.

Needed: a blender!

Ingre­di­ents:

1/2 cup of frozen mangos

banana (sub­sti­tute kiwi for a slightly dif­fer­ent flavour)

hand­ful baby spinach

1 tea­spoon chia seeds

1/4–1/2 cup unsweet­ened almond milk (any non-dairy milk is fine)*

Instruc­tions:

1. Throw all ingre­di­ents in the blender and blend until smooth

2. Enjoy!

* You may want to add more milk depend­ing on the con­sis­tency desired.

Oy Vegan!

 

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Oy Vegan Top 5 Passover Recipes!

Revving up for Pesach and not sure what to bring to the big fam­ily din­ner? Here are 5 vegan items that are sure to impress everyone!

1. Obvi­ously, one needs a good Matzo Ball Soup recipe. Per­son­ally, I make a really tasty veg­gie soup with dill and pars­ley and I make matzo balls using tofu as the binder. I also add nutri­tional yeast for extra health ben­e­fits.  That being said, there are many vegan recipes online. Here are a few that are super tasty!

Check out: Bon­zai Aphrodite’s recipe, The Vegan Stoner’s recipe, and Vir­tu­ally Vegan Mama’s recipe.

2. This may sound cray cray, but I’m excited to try this recipe out today! Check out the “V’ word’s recipe for vegan Gifilte fish!

3. A lit­tle birdie told me that quinoa is kosher for passover, whether you’re Ashke­nazi or Sephardic! Nava Atlas has a tasty recipe for quinoa pilaf that is sure to impress.

4. Chef Chloe does it again with her vegan ren­di­tion of every Jew­ish person’s favourite Passover break­fast item: Matzo Brei!

5. Last but not least, this recipe for sweet potato kugel is scrump­tious, healthy and packed with flavour, unlike many a kugel I’ve had in my day. Here is the Veg­e­tar­ian Resource Group’s recipe. There are a few other passover friendly recipes on their site as well.

Wish­ing every­one a happy passover and enjoy your seders!

I leave you with this: Shalom Sesame’s Les Matzarables!

Happy Passover!

Oy Vegan!

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A very vegan Valentine’s

Tomor­row is the day of love, hearts, candy and friend­ship. If you came by the  Sun­day Antique Mar­ket at St. Lawrence North Mar­ket this past Sun­day, you might have seen me sell­ing turn of the cen­tury Valentine’s in prepa­ra­tion for the big day.

Vin­tage Valen­tines at the Sun­day Antique Market

For all you love­birds out there who are won­der­ing where to have an ani­mal friendly meal, check out these Toronto estab­lish­ments fea­tur­ing vegan price fixe menus.

Source for list of restau­rants: Toronto Veg­e­tar­ian Association

Hog­town Vegan 

www.hogtownvegan.com

Sadie’s Diner

www.sadiesdiner.com

Raw­li­cious

Check out their V-day menu here.

Veg­e­tar­ian Haven

Check out their V-day menu here.


Of course you can always make your own Valentine’s din­ner! Here’s a recipe for tasty baked vegan dough­nuts that are easy to make!

Raz­zle Daz­zle Valen­tine Doughnuts

Makes 6 doughnuts.

Needed: dough­nut pan

Ingre­di­ents:

1 cup flour

1/2 cup sugar

1 1/2 tea­spoons bak­ing powder

pinch of salt

dash of nutmeg

dash of cinnamon

1/2 cup almond milk (any non-dairy milk is fine)

1/2 tea­spoon apple cider vinegar

1/2 tea­spoon vanilla

Egg replacer (equiv­a­lent of 1 egg)

1/4 cup vegan mar­garine (melted– then cooled. Mustn’t be too hot when added to mixture!)

Choco­late Glaze:

1/2 –3/4 cup of vegan choco­late chips

1 table­spoon coconut oil

red sparkling sprinkles

Instruc­tions:

1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F

2. In a large bowl whisk together all the dry ingredients.

3. In another bowl, whisk together wet ingredients.

4. Add wet mix­ture to dry mix­ture and mix together until just combined.

5. Scoop out your mix­ture into a pre­pared dough­nut pan. Don’t put too much mix­ture in! Make sure it is level or below the sides of the pan so it doesn’t bal­loon up in the bak­ing process.

6. Bake for 12 min­utes or until a tooth­pick inserted comes out dry. Let cool a few min­utes before turn­ing the dough­nuts out of the pan to cool completely.

Choco­late Glaze:

1. Melt 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup of vegan choco­late chips and coconut oil in the microwave for inter­vals of 30 sec­onds. Stir­ring in between until melted completely.

2. Dip cooled dough­nuts half way in the choco­late glaze turn­ing as you pull them out to avoid drip­ping down the sides.

3. Dip the glazed dough­nuts into another bowl of sparkling red sprinkles.

4. Serve and enjoy!

 

Wish­ing all you lovers and friends out there a Happy Valentine’s Day from Oy Vegan!

 

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Oy Vegan Latkes

Happy Chanukah every­one! As requested here is my tasty recipe for vegan latkes. I know what some of you may be thinking…

Fear not! These latkes are sure to impress and, trust me, no one will know the dif­fer­ence. They were a big hit at my big fam­ily chanukah din­ner this year. Add a dol­lop of apple­sauce and cashew sour cream (recipe below) and you’re set!

Oy Vegan Latkes

1 1/2 lbs of potatoes

2 large onions shredded

1/2 cup of  all pur­pose flour (use rice flour for a gluten free version)

Egg replacer* (Equiv­a­lent of two eggs worth)

One bunch of green onions chopped

Plenty of Salt and Pep­per to taste

Fresh pars­ley (optional)

Veg­etable oil for fry­ing (grape­seed or canola work well.)

1. Peel and grate pota­toes and place them in a colan­der. Let the water drain from them and then place them in a large bowl. Add onions, flour, egg replacer, green onion, salt & pep­per, and pars­ley (if using) to the pota­toes. Mix well.

2. Pre­heat the oven to 240 degrees Fahren­heit. Later, you will place cooked latkes in here to keep them warm while you fry up the rest!

3. In a large skil­let, add enough oil to cover the bot­tom of the pan and heat at medium to medium-high heat. Spoon out a small amount of the latke mix­ture and drop into the oil. Press down to flat­ten. Repeat with the rest of the mix­ture. Try not to over­crowd your pan as you will need to flip each latke after 3–5 min­utes. Fry until golden brown on both sides. Place cooked latkes on a plate lined with paper towel to absorb excess oil then trans­fer to an oven safe dish and place into the oven to keep warm.

4. Serve with apple­sauce and cashew sour cream and enjoy!!

* Ener-G Egg replacer is a good brand. Bob’s Red Mill also has an egg replacer that works well but is not gluten-free. These can be found at most health food stores.

 

Cashew Sour Cream

Source

1 cup raw cashews (must not be roasted or salted)
1/4 tea­spoon salt
1 –2 tea­spoon apple cider vine­gar
1 small lemon, juice of

1. Cover cashews with water and soak for a few hours, or overnight.
2. Pour off all water, and place nuts in food proces­sor.
3. Add 1/4 cup cold water, salt, vine­gar and lemon juice.
4. Purée for 3–4 min­utes or until com­pletely smooth and creamy in con­sis­tency.
5. Use in any recipe that calls for sour cream.
6. Refrig­er­ate in an air­tight con­tainer for up to a week

This sour cream actu­ally tastes like the real thing! It’s incred­i­ble. You may have to add some more water for a smoother consistency.

There you have it! Happy Chanukah and may this hol­i­day sea­son bring you magic, light, and miracles!

Oy Vegan!

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Devilishly Delicious Vegan Halloween Treats!

It’s that time of year again! All Hal­lows’ Eve is fast approach­ing so hope­fully every­one is get­ting their vegan snack on. This is one of my FAVOURITE hol­i­days. So I’ve com­piled a list of vegan snacks and treats that I will be mak­ing this Octo­ber 31st.

Enjoy if you dare!

Muha­ha­ha­hah­hahha!

Try  these super easy and quick vegan Peanut But­ter Cups from Healthy Happy Life. You can sub other nut but­ters or sun­flower seed but­ter for a nut-free version.

I can’t wait to make vegan “Rolo” knock­offs made with dates and chia seeds.

For a health­ier haunted snack these 3-Ingredient Hal­loween Apple Bites look appro­pri­ately ter­ri­fy­ing. Both of these recipes come from Oh She Glows.

If you don’t feel like mak­ing any treats this year, don’t stress! Check out One Green Planet’s guide or the PETAKIDS.com guide to vegan Hal­loween treats!

Oy Vegan wishes all you ghouls, ghosts, and goblins,

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!

 

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