Roasted red pepper, tomato soup with sesame and parsley

A simple soup with a lot of bright colour. Served here with socca, but fresh bread, crackers or potatoes all make good accompaniments.

Ingredients

1 cup vegetable stock
1/4t coarse sea salt
1 red pepper, roasted, cored, seeded and peeled
1 cup tomato passata (or puree)
1/2T fresh garlic, minced (reserve a little for the garnish)
1t herbes de Provence (or similar)
1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, minced (1 – 2T reserved for garnish)
Coarse sea salt and black pepper to taste

For the garnish
1/2T sesame seed butter
1T white pickling vinegar
1T unsweetened soy milk
1/2t fresh garlic, minced (as noted above)
1/4t coarse sea salt (or to taste)
1 – 2T parsley (as noted above)

Optional: A tablespoon or so of nutritional yeast will add flavour and nutrition.

Method
Preheat the oven to 450F and roast the pepper until the skin is charred (or use the stove top method if you have a gas stove). Remove from heat and set aside to cool. Peel, seed and core the pepper. Chop roughly.

Bring a medium pan with a lid to heat on medium high. Add the pepper, garlic and herbs and stir fry for 2 minutes. Add the stock and passata. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer about 10 minutes (or until reduced by about 1/4).

While the soup reduces, whisk together the sesame seed butter, vinegar, soy milk and sea salt until thick. Set aside while the soup finishes. It will continue to thicken and the taste will soften.

When the soup is ready, remove from heat. Add about half of parsley to the soup and stir to combine. Let stand 2 minutes to cool. Season to taste. Ladle out. Season the garnish to taste. Drip the garnish gently onto the soup and then style how you like. Sprinkle with remaining
parsley and serve.

Gingerbread frozen dessert swirled with raspberry sorbet

A rich combination of flavours and textures. Adjust the spice and sweetener to your taste.

Ingredients

For the bananas
2 medium, very ripe frozen bananas (about 1 1/4 cups)
1/2T blackstrap molasses (or to taste — I use 1T)
1-2t fresh ginger, grated and minced (or more to taste, I use 2t)
1/4t dried, ground cinnamon (I use 1/2t)
A tiny pinch cloves
1/2t vanilla extract

For the raspberries
1 1/2 cups frozen raspberries
2t lemon juice
1t chopped walnuts
Additional sweetener to taste (stevia, maple syrup, agave nectar, etc.)

Optional: 1t powdered maca root. Replace the walnuts with pistachios, peanuts, or sunflower seeds.

Directions

Make the bananas first. Blend the ingredients up but not including the raspberries till smooth. Let stand a minute to let the flavors soften. Freeze the bananas while you blend the raspberries with the lemon. Stir 1/4 cup of the bananas with the raspberries to marble. Sweeten to taste. Spoon out the raspberries, then the bananas. Garnish with walnuts and serve.

Black lentil, mushroom and vegetable stew with potatoes and sauerkraut

With carrots, kale, spinach and sweet onion, this is a rich and flavourful stew that doesn’t require a lot of preparation. This makes 4 small bowls or 2 large ones.

Ingredients

1/4 cup beluga (black) lentils
1/2 cup water
1 ‘sprig’ dried kombu (about 2″)
2 cups vegetable stock
1/2t coarse sea salt (or to taste)
1 1/2 cup carrots, 1/2″ dice (I use purple)
1 large portobello mushroom, 1/2″ dice (about 1 1/2 cup)
1 large red pepper, cored, seeded, 1/2″ dice (about 1 – 1 1/4 cup)
1 large floury potato, 1/2″ half-moon slices (about 2 cups, I use organic russet)
1 small sweet onion (about 1 1/2 cup), 1/4″ slices
1T fresh garlic, minced
2t smoked paprika
1/2t dried marjoram, rubbed
1t prepared brown mustard
1/4t black pepper (I use 1/2t)
1/4t red pepper flakes (or to taste)
1 cup tomato passata (or puree)
2T arrowroot flour dissolved in 2T cold water
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 cup green curly kale, coarsely chopped
1 cup baby spinach
Coarse sea salt and black pepper to taste
1/2 cup white sauerkraut (I use unpasteurized)

Optional: Add a good pinch of crushed caraway seeds for a little extra flavour. Add a medley of mushrooms if you prefer. Maitake, cremini, porcini, even a little morel, will all go well in this. Replace the greens added at the end with 1 cup sauerkraut and 1 cup shredded green cabbage added with the other vegetables if you prefer. Add a little wine, cashew butter, and/or oil for a richer stew. Slowcook if you prefer; prepare the lentils as directed, but add everything up to and including the passata, cook on low for several hours and then finish as directed.

Method

In a large frying pan with a lid, bring 1/2 cup water to a boil. Add the lentils and kombu. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes. Drain the lentils but reserve the kombu. Return the lentils to the pan.

Add everything up to and including the red pepper flakes to the pan, potatoes first, onions last. Return the pan to a light simmer. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 hour.

After an hour, the potatoes should be fork tender and the lentils completely cooked. Uncover, increase heat to medium low and add the passata. Simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.

At the 30 minute mark, remove the kombu. Add the arrowroot mixture slowly, stirring continuously until it thickens. Remove from heat. Add the nutritional yeast. Add the spinach and kale. Stir to combine.

Let stand 3 – 5 minutes to wilt the greens. Season to taste. Ladle/spoon out, garnish with sauerkraut and serve.

Chocolate oat fudge brownie with date caramel, cashew cream frosting

A simple treat with no added sugar, salt or oil, no baking, and just 6 ingredients.

Ingredients

2/3 cup packed soft, dried dates, pitted and chopped
1/2 cup and 1T unsweetened plant milk (I use soy)
2T cashew butter
3T cocoa powder (I used a fairly trade, Dutch process brand)
1 1/4 cup quick rolled oats, separated
1 cup water

Optional: A pinch salt or a tiny pinch red chili with the oats, or a little white miso with the cashew mixture will bring out the other flavours. You can use other nut butters, but cashew is naturally sweet. Add a little mashed banana to the oats for additional sweetener if you like. Quadruple the recipe for a 9″ x 13″ dish.

Method

Let the dates soak in the 1/2 cup plant milk for about 10 minutes while you make the oats. Warm the plant milk if you’re using a less powerful immersion blender.

In a small sauce pan with a lid, toast 1 cup oats on medium heat for 2 – 3 minutes until they are lightly toasted. Add the water, cover and simmer for 5 – 8 minutes (follow the instructions for your oats) until the water has been absorbed.

Remove from heat. Add the cocoa powder. Stir to combine. Add the remaining 1/4 cup oats. Puree until mostly smooth. Set aside to cool.

Add the cashew butter to the dates and plant milk. Puree smooth. Let rest 2 – 3 minutes. Puree again. Add about 2/3 mixture to the oats and stir to combine.

Press the oat mixture into a 3″ x 9″ glass baking dish. Add the remaining 1T plant milk to the cashew mixture and stir to combine.

Frost the pressed oats with remaining cashew mixture (it will be creamy but will thicken as it cools). Chill uncovered for 1 hour. Cover loosely. Chill over night to setup. Cut and serve when ready.

Tofu, mushroom, and sea vegetable stew with potatoes and poblano pepper

This is a simple, comforting and nutritious stew with a number of rich flavours. The poblano pepper gives is just a little heat This makes a medium bowl for 4 and a large bowl for 2.

Ingredients

2T water
3 scallions, minced, 3″ – 4″ green reserved for garnish
1/4t coarse sea salt
1 poblano pepper, cored, seeded, 1/4″ dice
4 large cremini mushrooms, stemmed, thickly sliced (about 1/2″)
225g extra firm, high quality tofu, 1/2″ cubes
2 cups green cabbage, shredded (I use coleslaw mix)
1 floury potato (about 2 cups, I use organic russet), 1/3″ dice
1T lemon juice
1 cup water
1 ‘sprig’ kombu (about 3″)
2 cups unsweetened plant milk (I use soy)
1/2T white vinegar
1T dried wakame, crumbled
1T tapioca flour dissolved in 1T cold water
1 cup green curly kale, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
Coarse sea salt, black pepper and vinegar to taste
1/2t purple dulse flakes
1/2t nori flakes

Optional: A tablespoon of garlic and/or replacing the water with vegetable stock will add flavour. A little white miso and/or cashew butter added at the end would go nicely. A little dusting of smoked paprika with the dulse and nori will add flavour and colour. Slowcook for a few hours if you prefer. Press your tofu ahead of time if necessary.

Method

Warm a large frying pan with a lid on medium high heat. Add the 2T water, sea salt, and scallions. Water saute for 1 minute. Add the pepper and mushrooms. Saute for 2 – 3 minutes. Add the cabbage and stir fry for 2 minutes. Add the potatoes and stir fry another 2-3 minutes.

When the pan has browned a little, add the lemon and deglaze. Add the 1 cup water and kombu. Return the pan to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender.

Uncover and remove the kombu. Add the plant milk and wakame. Increase heat to medium-low. Simmer uncovered for 15 minutes, stirring frequently, aiming to reduce the plant milk by about 1/3.

Stirring continuously, add the tapioca mixture slowly and stir until it thickens. Remove from heat. Add the kale and nutritional yeast and stir to combine. Season to taste. Ladle/spoon out. Garnish with scallion green sliced on an angle, dulse and nori flakes.

Brown lentil, teff stew with sun-dried tomatoes and lemon cashew cream

A rich but simple stew with nutrient dense teff, kale, and sauerkraut. This makes 4 smaller bowls, 2 larger ones.

Ingredients

1/4 cup brown lentils
2 1/2 cups water, divided
1 ‘sprig’ kombu (about 1″)
1/4 whole grain teff
1/4 cup scallions, minced, 3″ – 4″ green reserved for garnish
1T fresh garlic, minced
1/4t coarse sea salt
1/2T herbes de Provence (or similar)
1/4t black pepper, freshly cracked
1/4t dried red chilis (or to taste)
1 cup vegetable stock
2T sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped (dehydrated, not jarred)
1 cup tomato passata (or puree)
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
2 cups green curly kale, coarsely chopped
Coarse sea salt and black pepper to taste

For the garnish
2t cashew butter
2t lemon juice
2T plant milk (I use soy)
1/4t coarse sea salt (or to taste)
3″ – 4″ scallion green sliced on an angle
2T sauerkraut per bowl (I use unpasteurized)

Optional: Sesame seed butter will also work for the garnish. Use green, black and dupuy lentils in place of brown. Slowcook if you prefer.

Method

In a small saucepan with a lid, bring 1/2 cup water to a light simmer. Add the lentils and kombu. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer 15 minutes. Drain the lentils reserving the kombu.

Dry the pan and add the teff. Toast for 2 – 3 minutes on medium heat. Add the scallions, garlic, pepper, chili, sea salt, and herbs to the pan. Stir fry for 2 minutes. Add the lentils and the remaining 2 cups water to the pan. Return the pan to a simmer, reduce heat to low, cover and
simmer 25 – 30 minutes.

Uncover and remove the kombu. Add the stock and sun-dried tomatoes. Increase heat to medium low. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add the passata and simmer another 5 minutes or so. Add the kale and nutritional yeast and stir
to combine. Let stand 2 – 3 minutes for the kale to wilt and soften.

Mix the cashew butter and lemon juice. Add the plant milk and sea salt. Mix thoroughly until dissolved. Season the stew and the cashew mixture to taste.

To plate, ladle/spoon out the stew. Add the cashew mixture and design if you like. Add the sauerkraut and serve.

Mushroom, pepper and potato soup

A simple, colourful and light soup. A good appetizer or a very light lunch, this makes a small bowl for 4 or good sized bowl for 2.

Ingredients

2T water
1/4t coarse sea salt
2 scallions, minced, 3″ – 4″ green reserved for garnish
1T fresh garlic, minced
4 large cremini mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced, 1/8″
1T smoked paprika
1/4t black pepper, freshly cracked
3 small white potatoes, 1/4″ dice (about 1 cup)
1/2T white vinegar
2T tamari
3 cups vegetable stock
1 ‘sprig’ dried kombu (about 2″)
1 red shepherd pepper (or red bell, see the note below)
1 green bell pepper (a few very thin slices reserved for garnish)
2T nutritional yeast
1/2T arrowroot flour dissolved in 2T cold water
Coarse sea salt and black pepper to taste

Optional: Add lentils, chickpeas, cubed tofu, dumplings or pasta for a more filling soup. Red bell pepper will work as an alternative to the red shepherd, but it won’t be as juicy. Add a few tablespoons tomato passata and/or a couple tablespoons of cashew butter or olive oil to add body and flavour. Add some finely chopped figs and/or sun-dried tomatoes to broaden out the flavour. Add some leafy greens for additional colour and nutrition. Slowcook if you prefer.

Method

Warm a large pan with a lid on medium heat. Add the water, scallions and sea salt. Water saute for 2 minutes. Add the garlic. Saute for 1 minute. Add the mushrooms and paprika.

Increase heat to medium high and saute for 3 minutes. Add the potatoes and saute for another 2 – 3 minutes. Add the vinegar and tamari and deglaze the pan. Add the stock and kombu.

Return the pan to a simmer, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer 10 minutes. At the 10 minute mark, uncover and add the peppers. Increase heat to medium low and simmer for another 10 minutes uncovered or so until the potatoes are tender.

Remove from heat. Remove the kombu. Add the nutritional yeast. Stirring continuously, add the arrowroot mixture slowly. Stir until it thickens (should be immediately). Season to taste.

To plate, ladle out into bowls. Garnish with scallion green sliced on an angle and thin slices of green pepper. Sprinkle with some additional nutritional yeast if you like and serve.

Dark chocolate, chocolate chip cookie dough nice cream

Simple and satisfying.

Ingredients

For the cookie dough
1 1/2T cashew butter
1T whole wheat flour
2t cocoa powder (I use a fairly traded Dutch process brand)
1 1/2T coconut sugar
A pinch coarse sea salt
1-3t unsweetened plant milk (I use soy)
5g bittersweet chocolate, chipped (I use an organic, fairly traded bar)
Sweetener to taste

For the bananas
2 medium frozen bananas (about 2 cups)
1/2t vanilla extract
Sweetener to taste

Optional: 1t powdered maca root. Trade the wheat flour for an appropriate gluten free flour (e.g., sorghum). The coconut sugar crystals give the right texture, but other sweeteners will work. You can also use a few prepackaged chocolate chips.

Method

Combine the cashew butter, flour, salt, sugar,and cocoa until crumbly. Add the plant milk starting with 2t until a smooth dough forms. If too dry, add plant milk one teaspoon at at time until you have a smooth dough (it shouldn’t require more than 3t). Mix in the chipped chocolate. Set aside.

Blend the bananas with the vanilla until smooth. Sweeten to taste (if necessary) with dates, maple syrup, agave nectar or stevia. Add 1T cookie dough and blend with the bananas for a more consistent flavour; leave them separate for more contrast. Break the cookie dough into 1/2 – 1t sized bites, add to the bananas and stir once or twice to distribute. Spoon out and serve!

Peanut butter, chocolate chip cookies with ginger and molasses

The ginger and molasses add a little flavour nuance to this rich, flaky cookie. This makes about a dozen larger cookies, up to two dozen small ones.

Ingredients

1/2 cup unsweetened, unsalted peanut butter (I use crunchy)
1/3 cup coconut oil
1T cold water
1/4t coarse sea salt
1/2 cup turbinado sugar (or more to taste if you have a sweet tooth)
1t blackstrap molasses
1/2t fresh ginger, grated and minced (or more to taste — I use 1t)
1/2 cup all purpose, unbleached flour
2/3 cup whole wheat flour (I use bread flour)
1/4 cup unsweetened plant milk
25g bittersweet chocolate, chipped (I use a fairly traded, organic brand)

Optional: Use ready-made chocolate chips you prefer. You can make smaller cookies, use pastry flour instead of bread flour, use all whole wheat flour, change the sweetener, trade the coconut oil and water for plant-only margarine, add flax or banana for some additional binder, or make an all peanut butter version, but this will affect the overall chemistry. You may have to change the liquid balance and/or the bake time.

Method

Preheat the oven to 350F. Cream the peanut butter with everything up to and including the ginger. Mix the flours and stir the combination into the peanut butter. Stir in the plant milk. Add the chipped chocolate to the dough, reserving about 1/3 to add to the cookies once pressed.

On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, add the dough in about 2 tablespoon sizes. Press a little of the remaining chocolate into each cookie. Press each cookie lightly with a fork to crosshatch so that each is no more than 1/2″ high.

Bake on the middle rack for 12-15 minutes, shorter for softer cookies, longer for crunchier cookies, depending on your oven. Be careful not to overbake. Ovens vary; use the colour and texture of the cookie as a guide to bake time (they should be lightly browning at the tips for soft cookies).

Remove from the oven and cool on a wire frame for about 30 – 45 minutes for still warm, soft cookies, or cool for an hour or so, cover, and serve later.

Red miso soup with spinach and tofu

A variation on a warm and nourishing favourite, simple enough for breakfast. This recipe easily doubles.

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups water
1 ‘spring’ dried kombu (about 1/2″)
1/4t coarse sea salt
1 scallion, minced, 3″ – 4″ green reserved for garnish
1t fresh garlic, minced
2t tamari
125g tofu, cut in 1/3″ cubes
1 cup baby spinach
1T red miso
Coarse sea salt and black pepper to taste

Optional: Wakame, shiitake mushrooms, and sesame seeds all make nice additions to this soup. A little nutritional yeast will also add flavour and nutrition. A few drops of toasted sesame oil will also enrich the other flavours, as will a few drops of apple cider or plum vinegar.

Method

In a small pan with a lid, bring the water to a light boil. Add everything up to and including the tofu. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Remove the kombu. Add the spinach and miso. Stir until the spinach is wilted and the miso is dissolved. Ladle out, garnish with scallion sliced on an angle, and enjoy.