Posts tagged pasta

Vividly vegan

It’s almost spring! (1 month and 1 day) I, for one, cannot wait to emerge from hibernation.

Okay, so first off I want to thank the awesome people at Larabar for sending me a free package of goodies! And all because I professed my love for these delicious bars.

I absolutely LOVE Larabars so I was thrilled to receive this huge box of assorted flavours, as well as a Larabar t-shirt that I've been sporting all over town.

So far I’ve tried about half the flavours and I haven’t found one I don’t like.

Now, onto the food. I’ve been sampling a lot of recipes from the Happy Herbivore lately.

I made a batch of her Fat-Free Vegan Alfredo Sauce:

I really liked this recipe, but Omnivore Boyfriend was not a fan. I've never had real alfredo but I think it's really gross in principle (550 cals/serving? yuck), so I'm glad the vegan version is waaay healthier and packs a mighty protein punch too.

Fat-Free Vegan Alfredo Sauce from the HH

(makes approx 2 cups):

12.3 oz pkg mori-nu lite silken firm tofu, drained
1 cup fat free soy milk
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion flakes
black pepper to taste
1/2 tsp nutmeg
small pinch red chili pepper flakes
1/2 cup nutritional yeast


1. combine all ingredients in a blender
2. whiz until smooth
3. heat over low until warmed

I also made the HH’s Creamy Pesto Sauce:

(I can't rotate this picture!) All the ingredients in the blender.

Voila! This pesto was scrumptious, a judgement verified by a O.B. and a few other friends who tried it.

Creamy Pesto (makes 1 cup) from the HH

1/2 pckg silken tofu, drained
1/2 cup (packed tight) fresh basil, stems removed
2 tbsp (packed tight) fresh parsley, stems removed
1 garlic clove
1 tsp lemon juice
1-2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tbsp vegan parm
2 tbsp fat free soy milk
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts – optional
2-4 sun-dried tomatoes – optional (for a flavorful spin on traditional pesto)
3 cups cooked whole wheat pasta


Blend all ingredients until smooth, then heat over low until just warm. Toss with whole wheat pasta.

Again from the HH, baked yam falafels!!!!

The HH put these in a wrap with "yogurt' spread, but I opted to dip them in sweet thai chili sauce. I loved these little nuggets, they were so tasty and textured and unique. A+!!!

Baked Yam Falafels from the HH

Ingredients (makes about 24 falafel balls)

1/2 cup bulgar wheat
3/4 cup water
1 large yam (makes approx 1 cup “mashed yam”) or sweet potatoes
2 tbsp fat free soy milk or other non-dairy

“Falafel Mix”

1 garlic clove
3 tbsp fresh Italian parsley, chopped
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
2 tbsp whole wheat or chickpea flour
3 tbsp whole wheat bread crumbs
pinch of salt


1. combine water and bulgar in a pot (no heat) and set aside
2. cook yam until tender
3. blend with soy milk, it should be a thick “mashed potatoes” consistency
4. set yam mixture aside
5. return to bulgar, some of the water should have absorbed
6. bring bulgar to a boil and immediately reduce to low
7. allow to cook on low, uncovered, until water cooks off
8. towards the end, stir frequently to avoid burning
9. while bulger is cooking, make falafel mix (I threw all of it into my processor)
10. combine falafel mix with bulger
11. add yam mixture and combine
12. drop tbsp portions worth on a greased cookie sheet
13. lightly spray with oil
14. lightly cover with foil
15. bake 20 minutes, flip, re-spray and bake another 20-25 minutes until crispy


I borrowed my friend Taras’ fruit juicer so I could increase my fruit and vegetable consumption, boost my immune system, and try out some new flavour combinations.  You can basically put anything into a juicer and it will extract all the water, vitamins, and nutrients out of the material and retain all the fibrous product.

My breakfast juice consisted of two apples, three carrots, 3-5 peeled clementines, and a few slivers of ginger.

And my lunch juice involved a whole cornucopia of produce: 1/2 a cucumber, 2 stalks of celery, a few slices of beets, 3 carrots, parsely, an apple, a tangerine, and a few slices of ginger.

This tasted, um, interesting! Not so palatable, BUT really nutritious and filling. To be honest, I love fruits and vegetables so much that I don’t see the point in removing all the fibrous components… I could probably eat all those veggies whole in one sitting anyway, and it seems kind of a waste to throw it all out at the end. Perhaps I’ll juice certain cake-worthy ingredients first (apple, carrot, zucchini), scoop out the detritus, and add it to a cake recipe.

Onto the junk food! Pumpkin-date oats:

These are just microwave oats, nothing special, but I wanted to share the awesome combination of pumpkin (1/3 cup) and dates (4-5 chopped). I felt like I was eating a giant pumpkiny date square. WIN!

Vegan Sugar Cookies:

Valentine's Day Vegan Sugar Cookies

Obviously, I made these for Valentine’s Day. Per serving, I added about 1.5 cups of smashed cinnamon hearts, cinnamon flavouring, and Vegan Sweets’ White Chocolate Chips. I made 2 huge batches and gave them to friends around town, and to the staff at the campus newspaper I used to work at. I wanted to add icing to them but the job was just so epic and I was tired, so I hope the non-iced cookies were good enough. I thought they were delicious, although I’ve never met  cookie I didn’t like, but everyone else seemed quite happy to eat through the entire 2 batches so I think it was a successful experiment.

Vegan Sugar Cookies from here


1 cup margarine
1 cup white sugar
2 whole egg replacements (Ener-G)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 cup tofu cream cheese (Tofutti)
1.5 cups smashed cinnamon hearts
1/2 cup Vegan Sweets’ White Choc Chips
1 tsp cinnamon flavouring


1. In a large bowl, cream together the margarine and sugar. Stir in the egg replacements and vanilla. Gradually add the flour, baking powder, cinn hearts, chocolate chips, cinnamon flavour, and tofu cream cheese. You may have to use your hands at this point to finish the mixing. Form the dough into a long loaf and wrap in cellophane. Refrigerate for a couple hours.
2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease the cookie sheets or use a non-stick foil.
3. On a lightly floured surface (we taped down a sheet of non-stick foil to our countertop instead), roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters. Place about 1 inch apart cookie on sheets.
4. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes in the preheated oven, until bottoms and edges just start to get light brown. Remove from baking sheet and cool on wire racks. Store in an airtight container.

Due to excess pumpkin I made a few batches of the Post-Punk Kitchen’s Super Moist Pumpkin Bread for the freezer:

This was just the best thing ever. Go make it now!

Super Moist Pumpkin Bread from the PPK:


1 cup chopped walnuts
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups packed dark brown sugar
2/3 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 cups pumpkin puree
1 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup coconut milk
2/3 cup flaked coconut


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 8″ x 4″ loaf pans.
2. Spread walnuts in a single layer on an ungreased baking sheet. Toast in the preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Set aside to cool.
3. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, brown sugar, white sugar, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Add the pumpkin puree, oil, and coconut milk, and mix until all of the flour is absorbed. Fold in the flaked coconut and toasted walnuts. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans.
4. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes in the preheated oven or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven, and cover loaves tightly with foil. Allow to steam for 10 minutes. Remove foil, and turn out onto a cooling rack. Tent loosely with the foil, and allow to cool completely.


Happy Friday!



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Gniocchi, etc

I smothered chopped red and yellow peppers in herbs and canola oil and roasted the pieces for about 15 minutes. I added the roasted peppers, and some chopped cherry tomatoes, to Vegetable Giardino pasta sauce from La Bottega Nicastro, and simmered the mix for 15 minutes. I poured it over fresh gniocchi, which is so easy to cook that I won’t describe it. Served with another batch of bruschetta (which didn’t turn out so well because I couldn’t find any f*cking basil in this whole city and so subbed with oregano).

Because it was a special dinner I also picked up some vegan cakes from Perfection Satisfaction Promise, right on the outskirts of the University of Ottawa campus.

Clockwise from carrot: carrot cake, lemon poppyseed cake, chocolate cake, peanutbutter-chocolate cheeseake. Very pri$ey but well worth the investment! We ended up nibbling on these over a couple days.


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Easy as a B. Sc.

Whoo!! Guess who graduated university? ME! It hasn’t really sunk in that the exhausting yet exhilarating roller-coaster ride that is university is finally over. So much has happened since I defended my thesis last Friday, including moving in with my Omnivore Boyfriend (henceforth referred to as O.B.), and commencing a new job. But things have calmed down a bit so here is the first of what will hopefully be a delicious barrage of cooking photos this weekend.

Gluten-Free Chunky Pasta Salad (can anyone think of a better name?)


  • 1 large cucumber (cut in half and diced thickly)
  • 1 yellow pepper (sliced)
  • 1 can black beans
  • 2 cups bean sprouts
  • 1 can black pre-sliced olives
  • 1 pkg Eden Organic Flax Rice Spirals
  • PC Honey Dijon salad dressing to taste

This made a huge amount of pasta salad… 7 or so servings. I’ve mentioned before that I have a habit of picking out random, awesome sounding pastas from the health food store or Chinatown, but the Flax Rice Spirals were… meh. They tasted kinda like whole wheat pasta which you can buy for a hell of a lot cheaper than $3.59/box.


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Lunch with Marco

I made lunch for a omnivorous friend yesterday who was curious about the sorts of things I can eat with my allergies. I was quite nervous about this at first as I always want to leave my friends with a good impression of vegan fare! I ended up preparing roasted brussel sprouts, a salad and a pasta and mushroom combination:

It is going to be difficult, but not impossible, to get school stuff in to my photos now that the semester is over ;)!

I used the FFVK‘s fantastically simple and delicious roasted Brussels sprout recipe. The blob of hummus in the salad was also inspired by various FFVK posts. The pasta dish was a mixture of Eddie’s vegetable confetti pasta, shiitake mushrooms, fresh oregano, onion and various herbs and spices. It turned out pretty well!

On a distantly related note, I had the pleasure of going to a vegan brunch today (I wish I had had my camera!) where I was introduced to Yoso, a tasty soy yogurt which was definitely more palatable than any other soy yogurt that I have tried!

– Aly

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Pasta and curried bean balls

I had Maureen and Karina over for supper earlier this week to test out my first shot at bean balls.

The bean balls, which contained mung beans, onion and short-grained brown rice, were based on the curried variation of the Beany Ball recipe from Fat Free Vegan Recipes. These are best prepared ahead of time!

I topped off the pasta and bean balls with a store-bought tomato sauce. I personalized the sauce by adding grated zucchini, onions, garlic, avocado, capers and a variety of herbs and spices. A serving with approximately four bean balls, half a cup of spiral pasta, and half a cup of tomato sauce is around 335 calories. The final product was quite tasty and elicited a comparison to the delicious fare at The Table from Maureen <3.

– Aly

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Beloved frozen vegetables: I christen you… FroVeg

It’s always good to keep a couple bags of frozen vegetables in the freezer for a busy weekend. This past weekend, I only managed to pick up a jar of pasta sauce (I was at Shoppers…weird how they sell food now, eh?) and so using that, my FroVeg supply, and some crafty scavenging, I threw together 2 enormous pots of food.

One thing first. I just want to get it out there that I do not recognize cauliflower as a legitimate entity. I don’t see the point of its consumption. It’s flavourless, colourless, nutritionally void, and makes a gross squooshing noise when you eat it. Yuck. I advocate full avoidance…. unless it ends up in your FroVeg mix.

Jasmine scented rice with black beans and FroVeg

Indredients: Jasmine rice, TVP chunks boiled in veg stock, 1 bag of FroVeg, and a can of black beans.

TVP chunks, sometimes marketed as Soya Slices, are a delicious foodstuff–chewy and nutty, and heavily absorbent. This is what they look like while cooking:

Add the rest of the ingredients….

Pasta in tomato sauce with FroVeg and tofu

Again, pretty simple.

Ingredients: leftover dried pasta (rotini, ziti, casarecce), sauteed tofu, FroVeg, and roasted red pepper pasta sauce.

Yum! In total I made about 15 meals, and I only spent $3!

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Oodles of noodles

I kind of dislike eating pasta, but it’s damn cheap and I’m obsessed with buying it. I routinely find myself perusing the aisles of Herb and Spice, Nicastro’s (Byward Mkt), and Kowloon Market (Chinatown) picking up $2-6 packages of strange-sounding (or looking) pasta. I do love udon though (in fact I’m MAD ABOUT UDON). My next pictures should involve gnocchi (potato pasta) and jasmine rice. MMMMM!

Here are some pics of recent pasta dishes I made:

This is a simple stir-fry. I heated broccoli, carrots, and baby corn, cooked some TVP chunks, and stir-fried everything with a package of udon noodles in Honey Garlic, Orange & Ginger sauce, and sweet-thai chili sauce.

One of my manic-for-pasta purchases from Chinatown. $1.83 got me 600g of corn soba. Soba is a brilliant Japanese noodle. It’s like fettucine but thinner and chewier and cooks more or less instantly.

Cooked in 2 mins.

My FAVOURITE recipe!! I ripped this out of a Women’s Health Magazine I was reading at the gym last semester. That’s right, I’m the asshole that rips the pages out of your magazines.

Asian Noodle Salad w/ Peanut Dressing

1 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp peanut butter
2 tbsp hoisin sauce
4 tbsp hot water
2 tbsp lime juice
1 tsp hot sauce
Noodle Salad:
1 pkg (8.8 oz) soba noodles
1 c 2-inch long thinly sliced zucchini spears
1 c matchstick-cut carrots
1 c thinly sliced bell pepper
1 c snow peas, ends trimmed
1/2 cup chopped scallions, green parts only
1/2 c bean sprouts
1/2 c chopped cilantro
1. Puree dressing ingredients until smooth. Add a tbsp of H20 if not
2. Cook noodles until tender (2-5 min). 30 seconds before removing noodles, add zucchini and carrots. Drain, rinse briefly, drain again.
3. Place cool, drained noodles, zucchini, and carrots in a large bowl. Add pepper, snow peas, and scallions. Pour dressing over mixture and toss until well coated.
4. Garnish with cilantro and sprouts.
Makes 4 servings. Each serving: 338 cal, 7g fat,846 mg sodium, 61 g carbs, 4g fiber, 14 g protein

The best part is the super-tangy peanut butter sauce. Other good parts include the price (about $15 for 8 servings worth) the cooking time (20 mins), and the response from omnivores (delight).

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