Roasted tomato tart with sesame, white miso sauce, basil, red onion, and mixed greens

A rich treat for brunch that’s not too decadent. Pictured here, the greens include baby bok choy leaves, red and green chard, baby kale and other greens.

For the tart

2 1/4 cups of hard wheat flour
1 cup of warm water*
1T of yeast
1t of sugar**
1/4t of coarse sea salt
1T of olive oil for the dough
3T of olive oil for the tart

For the white miso, sesame sauce

1 1/4 cup of unsweetened soy milk
1 cup of quick rolled oats
2T of sesame seed butter
1T of white miso
1T of garlic, minced
1t of white vinegar
1/4 cup of packed fresh basil leaves, minced
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

For the onions, tomatoes and greens

1 small red onion, peeled and sliced very thinly in rounds (aim for 1/8″ if you can)
2 medium tomatoes, sliced thinly (aim for 1/4″)
3 cups of mixed baby greens
2T of nutritional yeast
1T of olive oil for the tomatoes and onions
1T of olive oil for the greens
1t of lemon juice
Several pinches of coarse sea salt
Sea salt, nutritional yeast and black pepper to taste

Directions

Make the dough, and once it has rise, the sauce, assemble the tart, and then add the greens at the end.

Mix the water, yeast and sugar together.
When the yeast proofs, add the olive oil and sea salt and whisk.
Add the mixture to the dough and mix thoroughly until the dough forms.
Knead for 5-10 minutes.
Let the dough rise for 2 hours in a lightly oiled bowl cover with a warm, wet towel.
Punch the dough down periodically.
When the dough is ready, preheat the oven to 350F.
Oil a 9″x13″ baking dish with 2T oil.
Roll the dough out on a floured board.
Add the dough to the dish evenly, pinching up the crust about 1″ at the sides.
Brush the dough (paying particular attention to the sides) with the remaining 1T of oil.
Bring the soy milk to a soft boil on medium.
Add the oats and cook on low until soft.
Puree the remaining ingredients except for the basil with the oats until smooth.
Season to taste.
Add the sauce to the tart.
Sprinkle with the basil.
Layer the onions on top of the sauce evenly.
Layer the tomatoes on top of the onions evenly.
Sprinkle with a pinch of coarse sea salt and the nutritional yeast.
Turn the tomatoes over.
Sprinkle with a pinch of coarse sea salt and drizzle with 1T of olive oil.
Bake at 350F for 35-45 minutes on the middle rack until the tart is browning and the tomatoes are wilted.
Toss the greens in 1T of olive oil and 1T of lemon juice with 1/4t of coarse sea salt.
Add the greens, increase the heat to 450F and bake for another 7-10 minutes until the greens are well wilted and starting to brown lightly.
Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack for 10 – 15 minutes.
Slice and serve.

*Follow the temperature instructions for your yeast. If you don’t have a cooking thermometer, you can always proof your yeast first.

*If you use a rapid rising yeast, you shouldn’t need the sugar. Be careful to use a sugar that hasn’t been refined using animal bone charcoal.

Broccoli soup with lemon artichoke ribbon and scallions

A simple soup for fall with a little extra presentation and flavour nuance.

For the soup

1T of cooking oil
1 scallion, minced (reserved 3-4″ on green for garnish)
2 cups of broccoli stalks, florets and greens
2 cups of vegetable stock
1/4t of sea salt
2t of lemon juice
2T of nutritional yeast
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

For the ribbon

1T of lemon juice
1T of sesame seed butter
2T of boiling water
2T of olive oil
1 artichoke heart, chopped (about 1/4 cup)

Bring the oil and sea salt to heat on medium-high.
Saute the scallions and broccoli for 3-5 minutes, until the pan browns a little
Add the lemon juice and deglaze.
Add the stock and bring the pan to a light simmer.
Cover and reduce heat to low.
Cook until the broccoli is fork tender.
As the soup finishes, start the ribbon.
Whisk the lemon juice an sesame seed butter until smooth.
Add the boiling water and whisky.
Add the artichokes and the olive oil and puree until smooth.
Remove the soup from heat, add the nutritional yeast and puree.
Season to taste and bowl.
Pour the ribbon over the soup.
Garnish with scallions

Pan-fried kalamata olive seitan with red wine reduction, crispy onions and sauteed vegetables with kasha and baby kale

A plate that emphasizes fall flavors, colours and produce. The crispy red onion with sauteed red pepper, quartered mushrooms, apple and thyme provide a nice contrast with the kasha and baby kale greens in a light lemon and oil.

For the seitan

3 cups of stock
1T of olive brine
1/2t of coarse sea salt
1/2 cup of water
2t of tamari
2/3 cup of vital wheat gluten
1T of minced kalamata olives
3T of olive oil (1T separate for frying)
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

For the kasha

1T of arrowroot powder dissolved in 2T of water
1 cup of kasha
2 cups of stock
1/4t of coarse sea salt
1T of olive oil
2T of nutritional yeast
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

For the onions, red peppers and apples

2T of cooking oil
1/4t of coarse sea salt
1 medium red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
1 red pepper, cored and seeded in 1/2″ dice
1 small apple, cored and seeded in 1/2″ dice
1 cup of small button mushrooms, stemmed and quartered
1t of dried thyme, rubbed
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

For the kale

2 cups of packed baby kale greens
1T of olive oil
1t of lemon juice
A pinch of sea salt

For the reduction

1T of cooking oil
1/2 cup of the remaining broth
2T of red wine
2t of arrowroot dissolved in 1T of water
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Make the seitan first, then the onions, then the kasha and finally, the kale.
For the seitan, bring the stock with the olive brine and sea salt to a light simmer.
Mix the dry ingredients, the remaining wet ingredients, and then the dry with the wet to form a ball of dough.
Knead for 2-3 minutes.
Break the ball in half and form two pieces, and flatten the two out.
Reduce the heat to low and add the seitan to the broth.
Simmer/poach on low for about 30-40 minutes.
Remove from the stock and set both aside to cool.
Once the seitan has cool a bit, bring the cooking oil to heat on medium high.
Add the seitan to the pan and fry, turning once until lightly browned on both sides (about 2-3 minutes).
When done, remove from heat, let cool slightly and slice.
While the seitan is simmering, make the onions.
In a frying pan with a lid, bring the cooking oil and sea salt to heat on high.
Add the onions and fry until they are lightly browned and crispy (about 5-7 minutes).
Reduce the heat to medium high.
Add the remaining ingredients and saute for another 7-10 minutes until the apples are golden and the mushrooms are cooked.
Remove from the pan and set aside.
Once the onions are done, make the kasha.
Whisk the arrowroot with the water.
Toss the kasha in the solution.
Add the kasha to the deglazed pan.
Stir fry the kasha for 2-3 minutes until lightly browned.
Add 2 cups of the remaining stock.
Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until the stock is absorbed (perhaps 10-15 minutes).
While the kasha finishes, dress and toss the kale.
When the kasha is done, remove from heat, and allow to cool 10 minutes.
While the kasha cools, make the reduction.
Warm the pan on medium high for about 30 seconds and add the wine and tamari to the pan and reduce for about 30 seconds.
Add the oil and the remaining stock to the pan.
If you have less than 1/2 up of stock, add a little water to the pan.
Bring the stock up to a light simmer and reduce to about 1/4 cup.
If the stock is too salty, add additional water 1T at a time.
Whisk the arrowroot with the water.
Add the mixture to the stock stirring continuously until thickened.
Toss the kasha with the kale until well-combined.
Season everything to taste.

Plate the kasha, then the onion, apple and red pepper mixture, then the seitan, and finally, its sauce.

Raspberry and apple crisp with walnut streusel

A nice blend of seasons fruits and walnuts for a slightly crispier, richer streusel.

For the fruit

6 cups of fresh raspberries
1 apple, cored, seeded and thinly sliced
1/3 cup of hard wheat flour
2T of table sugar
2T of brown sugar*
A pinch of sea salt

For the streusel

3/4 cup of rolled oats
3/4 cup of hard wheat flour
1/2 cup of sugar*
2T of agave nectar
1/2 cup of vegan margarine
2T of unsweetened soy milk
1/4 cup of chopped walnuts
A pinch of sea salt

Directions

Preheat the over to 350F.
Toss the raspberries in the flour and sugar until well-coated
Blend the ingredients for the streusel except for the walnuts until coarse.
Mix the walnuts with the streusel topping.
Add the raspberry mixture to a 9″ pie plate.
Top the raspberries with the a layer of sliced apples.
Distribute the streusel evenly over the fruit.
Bake for 35-45 minutes or until the streusel is starting to brown lightly and the fruit is cooked.
Let cool for 1 hour and serve warm or refrigerate.

*Cane sugar, including brown sugars, are still sometimes produced with animal bone charcoal. A growing number of table sugars are not refined using animal bone charcoal; organic sugar and beet sugar typically are not.

Raspberry ginger tart in a cup of bittersweet chocolate with orange sesame topping

A simple, no-bake dessert that really brings out the beautiful ruby red of fresh raspberries and combines their sour flavour with ginger, chocolate, orange and other flavours.

Ingredients

For the raspberries
4 cups of raspberries (separated in half)
1/2 cup of sugar*
2T of agave nectar
2T of vegan margarine
A small pinch of sea salt
1 1/2T of agar-agar flakes
2t of arrowroot powder dissolved in 1T of water
2t of fresh ginger, grated

For the chocolate cups
50g of chocolate**

For the topping
2-3T of sesame seed butter***
1T of orange juice
2t of lemon juice
2T of sugar (or to taste)*
A small pinch of sea salt
2t of orange zest for garnish

Add 2 cups of raspberries and the other ingredients to a sauce pan on medium heat.
Stir to combine, and once the margarine has melted, reduce heat to medium low.
Cook until reduced to about 1/2 to 2/3 cups and the agar has dissolved (about 20 minutes), stirring frequently.
Add the arrowroot mixture pouring slowly stirring constantly until it thickens (should be almost instantly).
Let stand to cool for 5 minutes.
Add the remaining berries and stir to combine.
Pour the mixture into two ramekins.
Chill for 30 minutes uncovered until the mix thickens (it will be springy to the touch).
Cover in saran wrap and chill at least another 2 hours (overnight is fine).
Freeze for at least 1-2 hours before melting the chocolate until good and solid (go by the feel rather than the time, since freezers vary).

When ready to add the chocolate, remove the raspberries from the freezer.
Carefully turn the raspberries out from from the ramekins onto a plate.
Use a microwave, a double boiler, or a make-shift double boiler (lightly simmering water in a pan with a second smaller pan poised at water level to ensure a consistent but soft heat) to melt the chocolate. If you haven’t worked with chocolate before, don’t add water, cold liquid, don’t put it directly into contact with high heat source, etc (your chocolate will likely seize and it’s very difficult to fix).
Stir continuously until the chocolate has melted, and then pour gently in spoonfuls over the raspberries and smooth with the spoon so that a bottom layer of chocolate forms, but the chocolate runs over the sides to form something that resembles a chocolate crust.
The chocolate will cool fairly quickly, but refrigerate uncovered for 10-15 minutes when done to ensure the chocolate is dry.
Wrap in saran wrap, freeze for 30 minutes or until firm but not frozen, unwrap and serve.

About 10 minutes before serving, whisk the sesame seed butter with the lemon juice, orange juice and water.
Add the remaining ingredients and whisk thoroughly until combined.
Let stand about 5-8 minutes to thicken.
Add a little more sesame seed butter if you find your topping is not very thick (consistence of the butter itself can vary quite a lot).
Spoon the orange and sesame topping onto the raspberry tarts.
Garnish with the orange zest.

*Production methods are changing, but some white cane sugars are still bleached using animal bone charcoal. Beet sugar, organic sugar and other unbleached sugars are typically fine.

**There’s no penalty for using more chocolate — up to 75g for a nice, thick cup. I use a nice fairly traded bar with organic beans and organic sugar.

***Although sweetened sesame pairs very nicely with sour flavours, it can be an acquired taste. Substitute cashew butter for something more neutral.

Cauliflower soup with roasted potatoes, mushrooms, cabbage, and red pepper

This is a thick, luxurious soup with some additional texture, flavour and colour added by a layer of roasted vegetables. The cauliflower gives the soup good density, and its surface tension is increased by the arrowroot. The thinly sliced potatoes work like a raft distributing the weight of the roasted vegetables, themselves lightened by loosing their water weight through roasting.

For the roasted vegetables

4 small yellow potatoes, thinly sliced (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 small red pepper, cored, seed and thinly sliced (about 1/2 cups)
1 scallion, minced (reserve about 3″ of green for garnish)
2 cups of shredded cabbage
4 small cremini mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced (about 50g)
1T of cooking oil
2t of lemon juice
1/2t of coarse sea salt
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

For the soup

1T of cooking oil
1/4t of coarse sea salt
1T of garlic, minced
3 cups of cauliflower florets
2 cups of vegetable stock
2 cups of unsweetened soy milk
2T of nutritional yeast
1T of arrowroot powder whisked with 2T of water
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Start with the roasted vegetables, then make the soup

Preheat the oven to 400F.
Slice the potatoes in about 1/8″ slices, lengthwise. Reserve the ends; throw them in with the soup.
Slice the red pepper in about 1/4″ slices, and the mushrooms in about 1/8″ slices.
Mince the scallions and shred the cabbage (I use coleslaw mix).
Whisk the oil, lemon juice and sea salt.
Toss the sliced vegetables in their lemon and oil dressing.
Spread the vegetables evening on an oven pan with sides.
Roast for about 30 – 40 minutes or until everything is lightly browning.
Season the vegetables to taste.
While the vegetables cooking, make the soup.
Bring the oil to heat with 1/4t of coarse sea salt.
Add the garlic and saute for 2 minutes.
Add the cauliflower and potato ends and saute for about 5 minutes until the pan is lightly browning.
Add the stock and the soy milk.
Return the pan to a low boil and simmer for about 25 minutes or until the cauliflower is tender.
Add the nutritional yeast.
Puree the soup.
Season to taste.
Whisk the arrowroot with the water.
Return the soup to low heat.
Add the arrowroot mixture slowly stirring continuously until it thickens.
Let the soup stand about 5 minutes and let the vegetables rest at least five minutes before serving.
To serve, arrange the potatoes in a thin layer on the surface of the soup (like a raft).
Carefully spoon the other roasted vegetables onto the potatoes, trying not to sink them, although if they sink a little, it’s not a crisis. You should still have enough vegetable to make a nice, nuanced presentation.
Garnish with the sliced scallions greens.

Makes two large bowls or four smaller ones.

Rye and baby kale salad with sun-dried tomatoes, clementines and kalamata olives

A simple fall salad that relies on a combination of basic ingredients for its bright colours and flavours.

3 cups of vegetable stock
1/4t of sea salt
1 cup of rye berries
2T of sun-dried tomatoes minced
1t of dried thyme, rubbed
1t of tamari
2T of olive oil
2t of lemon juice
2T of nutritional yeast
1 scallion minced (reserve 2-3″ of green reserved for garnish)
3 cups of baby kale greens
1 clementine, peeled and segmented, pith removed
2T of kalamata olives, chopped
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Bring the stock to a boil in a pan with a lid and add the rye berries.
Cover and simmer for 1 hour on low until the stock is absorbed.
Remove from heat and add the sun-dried tomatoes, scallions, thyme, tamari and nutritional yeast and stir to combine.
Let stand 5 minutes to cool.
Add the baby kale greens and stir to combine.
Let stand 5 minutes to wilt.
Whisk the olive oil and lemon juice and dress the salad.
Season to taste.
Plate the rye and kale.
Add the clementine, then the olives, then the scallion for garnish.

Peanut butter panna cotta with bittersweet chocolate shell

A very simple, flavourful combination of peanut butter and chocolate, pictured here with a little soy milk and sesame topping and salted raspberries.

1 1/2 cups of unsweetened soy milk
1/2 cup of sugar*
1T heaping of agar-agar
1/2 cup of unsweetened peanut butter
A pinch of sea salt
50g bittersweet chocolate**

Puree the soy milk, sugar, agar-gar, peanut butter and sea salt until smooth.
Bring the mixture to a simmer and simmer on medium low for 15 minutes.
Pour into two ramekins and chill uncovered for 20 minutes.
Cover with saran wrap and chill further for 2 hours.
Freeze for 1 hour before you melt the chocolate.
When you’re ready to melt the chocolate, turn the panna cotta out carefully onto a plate lined with with saran wrap.
Melt the chocolate (use a microwave, a double-boiler, or two pans in a makeshift double boiler). Don’t add water, soy milk or other things that may cause the chocolate to seize.
Carefully spoon the melted chocolate evenly over the panna cotta, letting it trickle down the sides to form the shell.
Freeze for 10-15 minutes to solidify the chocolate.
Wrap in saran wrap and chill until ready to eat.
Top with what you like or eat as-is.

*Production methods are changing, but some white cane sugars are still bleached using animal bone charcoal. Beet sugar, organic sugar and other unbleached sugars are typically fine.

**I use a nice fairly traded bar with organic beans and organic sugar. You can always use more chocolate if you like, up to 75g.

Black lentil and teff cutlets with red wine tomato sauce

A nice, nutrient dense alternative to chick peas, seitan, tofu, tempeh, etc., paired up with a simple red sauce. Add a couple tablespoons of minced sun-dried tomatoes for a little extra chew and flavour. Pictured with roasted potatoes, kale and artichokes.

Ingredients

For the cutlets
1 1/2 cups of water (divided 1/2 cup, 1 cup)
1/4 cup of black beluga lentils
1/4 cup of teff
1 piece of kombu
A pinch of sea salt
2T of olive oil
2t of tamari
2T of nutritional yeast
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

For the sauce
1T of cooking oil
1T of dried basil
1T of garlic, minced
1/4 cup of red wine*
1/2 cup of passata (tomato puree)
2T of nutritional yeast
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Directions
Make the cutlets first, then the sauce.

Bring 1/2 cup of water to a boil in a pot with a lid.
Add the kombu and the lentils.
Reduce to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
Return to medium-high.
Add the teff and the remaining cup of water.
Bring the pan to a gentle simmer.
Reduce to low, cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until the water has been absorbed.
Stir frequently to keep the teff from sticking.
Remove from heat, remove the kombu, add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine.
Pour/spoon into a 3″x9″ baking dish and smooth the top with the back of a spoon.
Refrigerate for 15 minutes uncovered to let the cutlets setup.
Preheat the oven to 400F.
Gently turn out from the baking dish, slice into two cutlets width-wise.
On a lightly oiled cookie sheet or similar, bake the cutlets on the middle rack for about 25-30 minutes until they are very lightly browned.
When done, remove the oven, and let rest 10 minutes before plating.
While the cutlets bake, make the sauce.
Bring the oil to heat on medium high.
Saute the garlic and basil in the oil on medium high for 1 minute.
Add the wine and reduce for 2-3 minutes.
Add the passata and the sugar.
Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer until reduce to about 1/2 all total.
Remove from heat, add the nutritional yeast and stir to combine.
Spoon over the cutlets when ready.

*More and more wines are produced without the use of animal ingredients to fine and filter the wine (e.g., egg albumen, isinglass). The quality of the red wine makes a big difference to the sauce. Pick one you like to drink

Carrot ginger soup with Thai chili oil, lentils, kale and potatoes

A lovely fall soup soup with some additional texture, flavour and colour added by a layer of roasted kale and potatoes and sweetened Thai chili oil. This is a great use for left over lentils, and brown will look just as good.

For the soup
1T of cooking oil
1/4 of sea salt
1T of ginger, grated
2 heaping cups of carrots, chopped
2 cups of vegetable stock
1T of arrowroot powder whisked with 2T of water
Sea salt to taste

For the garnishes
1/4 cup of cooked beluga lentils*
1T of minced chives

1 cup of kale, chopped
2t of cooking oil
1/4t of sea salt
2T of nutritional yeast
Sea salt to taste

2 small white or yellow potatoes in 1/3″ dice (about 3/4 cup)
2t of cooking oil
1/4 of sea salt
1T of minced chives

1T of agave nectar
1t of red Thai chili paste
2t of olive oil

Start the garnishes, and then make the soup.
Preheat the over to 400F
Whisk the agave nectar, chili paste and olive oil, and then set aside.
Toss the potatoes in the oil, sea salt and chives.
Add to a well-oiled baking sheet and roast for about 10-15 minutes, turning frequently.
Toss the kale in the oil and sea salt.
Add to the pan with the potatoes and roast another 10-15 minutes (or until the kale and potatoes are lightly browning and the potatoes are fork tender).
Ovens vary and the size of the dice and the freshness of the potatoes will influence the cooking time; use the colour and consistency as your guide and if you have to remove the potatoes and kale separately, do so..
When done, remove from the pan, toss the kale in the nutritional yeast a and set the kale and potatoes aside.
Season to taste.
While the kale and the potatoes roast, make the soup.
Bring the oil to heat on medium high in a pan with a lid.
Add the ginger and the sea salt and saute for 1 minute.
Add the carrots and saute for 3-5 minutes.
Add the stock, cover and simmer on low until the carrots are fork tender (about 10-15 minutes).
Remove from heat and puree the soup until smooth.
Whisk the arrowroot with the water.
Return to heat and bring to a light simmer.
Whisk in the arrowroot mixture, stirring continuously until thickened.
Remove from heat and let stand 10 minutes before serving.
Season to taste.
To serve, ladle the soup.
Carefully drip the chili oil over the soup.
Sprinkle the kale on top in a thin layer, then the lentils, followed by the potatoes and finally, sprinkle with the chives.

*If you make the lentils from scratch, simmer them in 2 parts water to 1 part lentils covered on low until the water absorbs. I simmer my with kombu.