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Category Archives: Vegan

Baked Feta Cheese with Olives and Lemon

If you should get invited to a Spanish ‘tapas’ party, this makes a perfect dish to bring. Okay, in English we might say appetizer, in French hors d’oeuvres ??? No matter it was another great find on Pinterest. It was also quick to prepare.

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Baked Feta Cheese with Olives and Lemons

Ingredients

  • one block of sheep’s milk feta (sold in the brine) about 10-14 ounces
  • 1/3 cup good extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of 1/2 large lemon
  • 1 – 2 cups mixed olives* (recipe calls for whole and pitted) see below
  • a few sundried tomatoes chopped
  • 3 Tbsp fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • a few coarse grindings of black pepper

Instructions

  1. Set oven to 350F
  2. Put the feta in a gratin dish or other small ovenproof dish that you will also serve out of.
  3. Pour the olive oil into the dish, followed by the lemon juice. Arrange the olives* (I would suggest using ONLY sliced olives as they whole ones fall off when you lay them on the cheese when serving) around the cheese, with the rosemary.  I quarter the squeezed lemon half and throw that in as well. Sprinkle the red and black pepper over all. I also added some slices of sundried tomatoes.
  4. Bake for about 15 – 20 minutes, or until hot and bubbling. I loosely laid a sheet of foil over mine. You can finish under the broiler if you like for a little charring effect.
  5. Serve hot with toasted bread
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Red Thai Roasted Cauliflower Steaks

We likely all grew up with cauliflower smothered with Velveeta cheese. I was never quite sure that I didn’t like the cheese best? As my taste buds have matured I was willing to give roasted cauliflower a chance. I also like Thai foods. Grand slam for this recipe.  You can certainly adjust the amount of Thai red curry paste you like, but as is the recipe is not all that hot. Give it a try and stop looking at that whole cauliflower and thinking CHEESE!

Red Thai Roasted Cauliflower Steaks

Ingredients

  • 1 whole cauliflower head
  • 1 Tbsp red curry paste
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil (plus a little extra to coat pan and for little pieces)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F
  2. Remove the leaves of the cauliflower and then wash
  3. Place the whole cauliflower head on a cutting board, with the stalk of the cauliflower facing up; then slice with a large, sharp knife into about 1 1/2″ thick slice, aiming to get 4, but if it’s a small head, you’ll get about 3. It isn’t a perfect science. Expect small pieces to break off (save these).
  4. Coat the bottom of a large cast iron skillet or sheet pan with a little olive oil
  5. Place your “steaks” on the pan
  6. Mix together the red curry paste, olive oil and a little salt and pepper (based on your preferences – I go heavier on the pepper and wait until I taste later to add salt).
  7. Coat the cauliflower steaks on the side facing up (only) with the red Thai curry/oil mixture and then pop into the oven for 20 minutes.
  8. Meanwhile, take the smaller pieces and put them into the bowl, add a drizzle of olive oil and a little salt and pepper.
  9. After the 20 minutes, ip the “steaks” and add the small pieces
  10. Roast for another 10-15 minutes or until soft in the middle and slightly charred. Enjoy!20190905_134246

Creamy Cauliflower Chowder

Baby its cold outside (in the North, actually here in Mexico too, trust me on this one…). Great time for a hearty chowder – vegan if you leave out the bacon!

It calls for a whole head of cauliflower, but here we can but 1 lb. packages of florets which simplifies the recipe. I think you’ll really like this one my friends…great start to the New Year!

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Creamy cauliflower chowder

Prep Time: 10 minutes         Cook Time: 30 minutes       Yield: 4-5 people

Creamy Cauliflower Chowder is a healthy, easy, comfort food recipe and ready in under 30 minutes. It’s gluten free, low carb and keto friendly.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup diced Onion
  • 5 Garlic Cloves (minced)
  • 1/2 cup diced Carrots
  • 1 Whole Head of Cauliflower (cut into small florets)I bought a one lb. bag of florets
  • 1 1/2 cups Vegetable Broth
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground Pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried Oregano
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese
  • Salt to taste

Olive Oil and cooked bacon (4 strips) for topping

 Instructions

In a Dutch oven or soup pot, heat butter and add onions and garlic. Saute for a few minutes until the onions are soft.

Add carrots, cauliflower, vegetable broth, pepper, oregano and salt to the pot. Bring this to a boil, and slow the heat down to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes or so till the cauliflower is tender.

Switch off the flame and using a blender, blend the soup partly in the soup pot. If you don’t have a hand blender, pour half the soup into a blender and pulse a few tips till creamy.

Switch the flame back on and add a cup of water or broth along with the cream cheese. Simmer for 5-10 minutes and switch off the flame. Feel free to thin the soup further if  you like with some more broth or milk. Top with olive oil and bacon and serve hot.

Sweet Potato, Onion and Blue Cheese Frittata

I want something different for breakfast on Sunday! What do I have?  – sweet potato, red onion and bleu cheese, eggs. Why not? It was a pretty straight forward recipe I found and it turned out well. Mr. L thought it was quite rich with the bleu cheese (secret – I added more than the recipe called for…he was right) Stick to the recipe!

 

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Sweet Potato and Blue Cheese Frittata

Ingredients

2 Red onions, medium

1 Sweet potato, large

6 Eggs, large free-range

1 Nutmeg, whole

3 tbsp Olive oil

100 g Blue cheese crumbled

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 190ºC.
  2. Rub the sweet potato with 1 tablespoon of oil and season with sea salt and black pepper. Bake for 40 minutes, or until cooked through. Remove and leave to cool.
  3. Peel and finely slice the onions. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a 26cm ovenproof frying pan over a medium heat, add the onion, pop on the lid and cook for 20 minutes, or until soft. Leave to cool.
  4. Whisk the eggs in a bowl. Crumble in the cheese, then add the onion, and scoops of sweet potato flesh, discarding the skin. Add a good grating of nutmeg, then season.
  5. Wipe out the pan and coat with 1 tablespoon of oil, then add the egg mixture and fry over a medium heat until the eggs start to settle and cook.
  6. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 3 more minutes, then transfer to the oven for 10 minutes, or until cooked through.
  7. Delicious served with a seasonal salad.

Too vegan for me…LOL…I cooked some bacon….

 

Chilled Strawberry Soup

I have always remembered this soup from my adolescent years for some reason. I was looking for something different for dinner with friends in place of a salad. Too warm for regular hot soup and we happened to have a box of strawberries in the fridge. Pinterest showed me this wonderful and simple recipe!

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TIP – Whether it’s a salad or cold soup, I always freeze my bowls before serving time!

Chilled Strawberry Soup

Author: This Mess Is Ours         Prep time:  2 hours 15 mins

Total time:  2 hours 15 mins     Serves: 4 cups

This soup only takes about 15 minutes of time to prepare but be sure to let it chill for 2 hours before serving so that the flavors intensify.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups sliced fresh strawberries, preferably organic
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup white grape juice (or white wine)
  • 3 tablespoons raw honey (one tablespoon was sufficient)

 

To garnish

  • freshly ground black pepper
  • sliced fresh strawberries
  • 1 or 2 radishes, cut into thin shreds with a grater or mandoline
  • fresh mint

Instructions

  1. In a food processor or high powered blender process the 3 cups of sliced strawberries, Greek yogurt, white grape juice, and honey until smooth. Stopping periodically to scrape the sides. Cover and chill for 1½- 2 hours. Garnish with freshly ground pepper, sliced strawberries, shredded radishes, and bits of mint. Serve immediately. NB…dont skip the radishes, they were awesome!

 

Corn and Black Bean Dip x 2

Bonus day today as I have two similar recipes, one of which originated from our “sister” Jean in Peterborough, Ontario. She served it while we were visiting for her sons wedding in August. It has a great fresh taste when served with tortilla chips.

The second I ran across while waiting for Jeans recipe to arrive. The ingredients are very similar, with the exception of the avocado and the dressing.

  1. Corn and Black Bean Dip from Jean Johnston

1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2cup olive oil
1 tbsp water

1 can lentils
1 can corn
1 can black beans, drained
1 cup each celery, green pepper and green onion
Jar of pimento ( I used red pepper because I didn’t have any pimento)
I added a few fresh spices. Her daughter suggested adding fresh cilantro which makes sense.

Mix all together and soak for at least 3 hours.  Drain and serve.

2. Black Bean, Corn and Avocado Dip

Prep time: 15 minutes Yield: 20 servings Serving size: 1/4 cup

Ingredients

  • 15 oz can black beans, drained + rinsed
  • 15 oz can yellow corn, drained + rinsed
  • 2 avocados, cut in half, pitted + cubed
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • ⅓ cup white wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • juice of one lime
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients in a medium size bowl and mix until combined.
  2. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Let me know if you try either of these at your next event…

 

Brown Rice Salad

Think this is great for all of you vegans…right Jaromey?

Brown Rice Salad

Ingredients Nutrition

  • For the salad
  • 1 12 cups brown rice
  • 1 red pepper chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 3 spring onions, chopped
  • 12 cup raisins or 12 cup sultana
  • 12 cup cashews or 12 cup peanuts

 

  • For the dressing
  • 12 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons soya sauce
  • 1 crushed garlic clove
  • black pepper

 

Directions

  1. Cook brown rice until tender, allow to cool.
  2. To prepare the dressing put the ingredients into a large jar with a tight fitting lid and shake well. Put aside.
  3. In a large bowl add the rice and all other salad ingredients.
  4. Pour over the dressing and mix through. The flavours improve on standing as the rice soaks in the dressing. Enjoy!

 

 

Fennel, Granny Smith Apple and Pecorino Salad

He is back! We are finally here again after our long trip away where we ate too much and drank too much wine…LOL. We did pick up some great new recipes which I will be sharing with you in the coming weeks. This first one was prepared by our good friend, Carole, up in Sault Ste.Marie, Ontario. I am not a great fennel fan, but this was very tasty and not strong on the fennel taste. If you are a GREAT fan of fennel use the 2 bulbs called for…we however only used one smallish one.

Fennel, Granny Smith Apple and Pecorino Romano Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 or 2 medium fennel bulbs (according to your love of fennel)
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, unpeeled, halved, cored, and thinly sliced
  • About 1½ ounces pecorino Romano, shaved with a vegetable peeler (½ cup shavings)
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • Coarse salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

 

  • Instructions
  • Chop off the fronds where they meet the body of one fennel bulb. Halve the fennel, then thinly slice it, using a mandolin or a very sharp, thin-bladed chef’s knife. Repeat with the other bulb. You should have 2 cups of slices. Set them aside. Chop 1 tablespoon of the fronds and set it aside separately. Discard the remaining fronds.
  • Put the fennel and apple slices in a bowl. Add the pecorino Romano, lemon zest, ¼ cup olive oil, and parsley. Toss gently. Taste, and season with salt and pepper.
  • Arrange the salad on a large, chilled serving plate. Drizzle more olive oil generously over the top, and scatter with the chopped fennel fronds just before serving.

 

  • VARIATIONS
  • If you can’t find pecorino Romano cheese, or simply prefer Parmigiano-Reggiano, by all means substitute it.
  • Crisp, sweet pears, such as Bosc, are a good autumnal replacement for the apples.

Morrocan Shepherd’s Pie

What to do with ground lamb? Meatballs…maybe. Burgers…another maybe. In the end I came across this pie recipe on Pinterest…not a surprise. It was fantastic! You will never make a traditional shepherds pie after you try this one.

Moroccan Shepherd’s Pie With Sweet Potato (Our Four Forks)

Prep time 30 mins Cook time 40 mins Total time 1 hour 10 mins Serves: 4-6

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. grass-fed ground lamb or beef (omit for vegan)
  • 3 cups cooked chickpeas (or 2 15 oz. cans drained) (optional for meat version)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger root
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon honey (optional)
  • 2 cups chopped plum tomatoes (about ¾ 28 oz. can, drained)
  • ½ cup stock (vegetable, chicken or beef) + salt to taste
  • ½ cup currants or raisins
  • ½ bunch cilantro, stems removed, chopped

For the mash:

  • 1 lb. sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks (use white if you don’t have any sweet potatoes) OR…use the instant Idaho brand potatoes and just add the spices…
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons non-dairy milk (more if needed)

Instructions

  1. Brown the ground meat in a large skillet over medium high heat.
  2. Remove meat from skillet and set aside.
  3. Add olive oil to the pan along with the onions, garlic, ginger, spices and salt and cook for 8-10 minutes until the onion is softened.
  4. Return the meat to the pan (if using) along with the honey, tomatoes and stock.
  5. Bring to a boil and simmer until the sauce is thickened, about 10 minutes more.
  6. Add chickpeas (if using), currants, and chopped cilantro, stir and remove from heat.
  7. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

For the mash:

  1. Boil the potatoes in salted water for 15 minutes or until tender.
  2. Drain well and add the olive oil, cumin, garlic powder, salt and milk.
  3. With a hand blender (or potato masher), blend until they reach a creamy consistency.

Assembly:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Fill a 13 in x 9 in casserole dish with the filling and spread the mash on top.
  3. Bake for 40 minutes until the topping is beginning to brown.
  4. Garnish with extra chopped cilantro, if desired.

Spanish White Gazpacho Soup

Gazpacho is a soup made of raw vegetables and served cold, usually with a tomato base, originating in the southern Spanish region of Andalusia. Gazpacho is widely eaten in Spain and neighbouring Portugal, (spelling gaspacho), particularly during the hot summers, as it is refreshing and cool.

Our friend Bev had us over for dinner a while back and served this wonderful WHITE gazpacho. It would make an incredible appetizer before your Easter dinner. Serve it very cold with the slivered almonds as indicated.

Spanish White Gazpacho Soup
Ingredients
6 slices hearty white sandwich bread, crusts removed
4 cups water
2 ½ cups (8 ¾ ounces) plus ⅓ cup sliced blanched almonds
1 garlic clove, peeled
3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
Kosher salt and pepper
Pinch cayenne pepper
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
⅛ teaspoon almond extract
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
6 ounces seedless green grapes, sliced thin

Instructions Serves 6 to 8
This rich soup is best when served in small portions (about 6 ounces).
1. Combine bread and water in bowl and let soak for 5 minutes. Process 2 1/2 cups almonds in blender until finely ground, about 30 seconds, scraping down sides of blender jar as needed.
2. Using your hands, remove bread from water, squeeze it lightly, and transfer to blender with almonds. Measure 3 cups soaking water and set aside; transfer remaining soaking water to blender.
3. Add garlic, vinegar, 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, and cayenne to blender and process until mixture has consistency of cake batter, 30 to 45 seconds. With blender running, add olive oil in thin, steady stream, about 30 seconds. Add reserved soaking water and process for 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Strain soup through fine-mesh strainer set in bowl, pressing on solids to extract liquid. Discard solids.
4. Measure 1 tablespoon of soup into second bowl and stir in almond extract. Return 1 teaspoon of extract mixture to soup; discard remainder. Chill for at least 3 hours or up to 24 hours.
5. Heat vegetable oil in 8-inch skillet over medium-high heat until oil begins to shimmer. Add remaining 1/3 cup almonds and cook, stirring constantly, until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Immediately transfer to bowl and stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt.
6. Ladle soup into shallow bowls. Mound an equal amount of grapes in center of each bowl. Sprinkle cooled almonds over soup and drizzle with extra olive oil. Serve immediately.