Sunday, January 11, 2015

The Best Chili Sans Carne You’ll Ever Eat


Blog Takeover! Eek!


Hi everyone, it’s seena here. Mark says we don’t need another chili recipe, but when you’ve created the Best. Chili. Recipe. Ever. I mean, come on, it has to be shared. Am I right? So, I’ve gone rogue and taken over the blog this week, mwahaha.

I think we need to consider a family or kid approved button for recipes Stella thinks are awesome. Like this chili recipe. She asks me to make it on a regular basis. Is it weird to think that for anyone looking for good vegan recipes that ‘kid approved’ means it’s extra good? Today is the coldest day on record this winter. Something about an arctic air mass. Perfect day to make chili for dinner. Woohoo! says Stella.

xo, seena

PS: Mark would spend a lot of time including links to cool articles and videos and stuff. Not me. I have art to do.

PPS: Step 2 of the recipe is super important. Don’t skip this step. Cook those spices for a full five minutes!

PPPS: I serve this recipe with a delish cornbread I’ve adapted from Julie Hassan’s Vegan Diner Classic Comfort Food cookbook that’s a new family favorite. (Ok, so one link.)

Cornbread
1 ½ cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 ½ cups polenta instant corn meal (this is closer to corn flour and avoids the gritty texture of traditional corn breads that my family does not enjoy)
¼ cup white sugar
2 scant tablespoons baking powder
2 cups soy milk
¼ cup of your favorite oil ($10 says my mother-in-law uses applesauce)

Grease a square 8x8 baking dish and set aside.

Mix the dry ingredients in one bowl, the wet in another. Add the wet ingredients to the dry being careful to not overmix. Stir until barely combined.

Pour in the greased dish and bake at 400C for about 45 minutes or until the centre of the cornbread springs back when touched.

Let cool for about 15 minutes before cutting. If you can wait that long. I tend to serve half of the cornbread, warm, with our chili and freeze the other half until the next time I make chili. So easy! Hope you like it!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Vegetarian Couscous-Stuffed Sweet Peppers


Ingredients

6 red sweet peppers
1 cup vegetable broth
2 tsp iodized salt
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp curry powder
1 Tbsp minced garlic
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
¾ cup dry couscous


1 cup canned garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
2 large ribs celery, diced ½ cm  
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1 cup dried cranberries, chopped
½ cup dried apricots, chopped
1 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
1 cup shredded vegan cheese
1 tsp chia seeds or ground flax seeds

Directions

Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray a baking sheet with pan spray. Slit the peppers down the center of the top of the pepper, from stem to near the tip, leaving the stem intact. Gently spread peppers open and carefully remove seeds. Season the inside of the peppers lightly with salt.

In a small saucepan, combine broth, salt, olive oil, lemon juice, curry powder, garlic and cayenne pepper. Bring to a quick boil over high heat. Stir in couscous. Immediately remove from heat and quickly cover with a tight-fitting lid or plastic wrap. Set a timer for 15 minutes.

When couscous is cooked, remove lid and fluff with a fork. Place couscous in a large bowl, add remaining ingredients and toss to combine.


Equally divide mixture and lightly pack into peppers. Place on baking sheet and bake in preheated oven for about 15 to 20 minutes.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Happy Thanksgiversary!

This Monday is a day of thankfulness for my Canadian readers, but this week is also the fourth anniversary of my Meatless Monday blog, so I have an extra reason to celebrate. About 208 Mondays ago, I sent an e-mail and started a blog, and I'd like to take this opportunity to thank all my readers for sticking with me. I appreciate all your efforts to make a difference.


By some weird coincidence, today also marks the launch of a new meatless e-cookbook from the "Kids Cook Monday" campaign which includes one of our favourite Young Family recipes. It is an honour just to be included in this publication, of course, but I have decided to award us with Best Recipe in the Collection, as well. Aw, shucks. So much to be thankful for!

If you're looking for great Thanksgiving recipes, you could try one of these:
Instead of posting a new recipe this week, I am giving you a whole cookbook - click the book cover below to download. Twelve times the fun! Hope you will find a recipe to your liking (hint, ours is the best one and you should choose it, see page 12 for details) for your next meatless meal. And check back two weeks from now for our first MRM giveaway contest!


Sunday, September 28, 2014

Cabbage Poriyal


Ingredients

2 cups - shredded green cabbage
2 tsp - coconut oil
1 tsp - cumin seeds
1 small cooking onion, thinly sliced
1 tsp - minced ginger
2 finely chopped green chilies or to taste
½ tsp - Turmeric powder
4 tbsp - shredded coconut (unsweetened)
½ tsp – iodized salt

Directions

1. Heat oil in a skillet, add some cumin seeds and let it sizzle.
2. Add the finely sliced onion, minced ginger and sauté for 2-3 minutes.
3. Add the shredded cabbage, green chilies, turmeric powder and stir gently for about a minute.
4. Cover with a lid and cook the cabbage over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring once.
5. Once it's cooked tender, stir in shredded coconut and sprinkle salt on top.


Recipe courtesy of Krisha Indian Cooking school:


Guelph VegFest


A great way to find out about new meatless products is to attend a vegetarian food festival. We have attended the Toronto Veg Food Fair many times, once attended one in Michigan and are quite excited that the first London VegFest is now less than a month away. To get us in the mood, we travelled to Guelph last weekend for their first VegFest, which we (and about a thousand other people) thought was a complete success. The weather co-operated, the food was great and people were in an all around festive mood.

Highlights for us included meeting Derek, one of the owners of Esther the Wonder Pig, hearing Gene Baur speak about meatless eating and the early days of Farm Sanctuary, seeing all the great vendors (Stella and I both got new t-shirts), eating delicious Indian food, and having mind-blowing vegan donuts and cupcakes for dessert (yes, we have a weakness for them, don't judge). Speaking of Indian food, the Krisha Indian Cooking School was kindly giving away recipes to attendees, so I have made one of them this week's recipe. Hope you enjoy it.

Cheers,
Mark

Monday, September 15, 2014

Vegetable Donburi


Ingredients

In Japan, Donburi basically means something served over rice -- usually eggs. It's easy, popular, made at home and sold as street food. It's Japanese comfort food and kids grow up on it. I've enriched it by adding vegetables (and losing the egg - it's still excellent).

1 cup red rice (or substitute brown basmati rice), rinsed
2 cups water
1 cup vegetable broth
¼ cup sake or sherry
1 Tbsp white miso paste
1 Tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp sesame oil (optional)
2 carrots, chopped
2 cups broccoli (about half a head), broken into florets
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
1 cup edamames (green soy beans)
8 oz (225g) mushrooms, sliced
4 scallions, chopped

Directions

Bring 2 cups of water to boil in a medium saucepan. Add rice. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook until rice is tender and has absorbed liquid -- about 40 minutes.

Remove from heat but keep covered and warm.

Bring broth to boil in a medium saucepan. Add sake or sherry, miso, soy sauce and optional sesame oil. Stir until smooth. Add broccoli, carrots, ginger and garlic and cook for 2 minutes, or until vegetables start to soften. Add scallions and mushrooms and continue cooking another few minutes.

Divide rice into two bowls. Gently spoon vegetables and sauce on top.

Serves 2.

Feeding the World

I recently turned a new age. Forty-six is now the number of years I've been here. (Not here here, of course. I've moved around and done stuff. It's not like I've been waiting for a bus or something.) To my eleven-year-old daughter, this is an impossible amount of time. To my twenty-six-year-old brother-in-law, the idea that I bought my first stereo system (kids, back in the olden days, when a teenager wanted to listen to super cool tunes, he...) thirty years ago, is a crazy thought. But today I'd like to discuss the following idea: I haven't been around very long.

The Earth, by contrast, has been around four and a half billion years. This is one of those deals where if the entire history of the world is a twenty-four-hour clock, I've only been around for the last tick of the second hand. But even if we only look at the era of human civilization, we kicked off this party over twelve thousand years ago. It took us most of that time to reach a global population of 1 billion people. This occurred around the year 1800. So here's the scary part: The population of the world when I got here was 3.5 billion and now it has doubled to over 7 billion! And I haven't been here very long! 


The question is, how long till we double again? Sorry, the two questions are that one and can we double again given the limited resources our world can provide? Okay, last one, now, how are we going to feed all these people? The UN estimate says that currently 1 in 8 people on the planet are chronically undernourished. Over 20,000 people die of starvation every day right now. Will those numbers double along with the population, or will they increase exponentially? How can we let that happen? 

There is a way that we can feed more people with our existing resources, which Meatless Monday is a part of. As John Robbins put it, so succinctly that it fit in the title of his book, "May All Be Fed: Diet For A New World." The following infographic from the Plantrician Project illustrates the solution far more eloquently than a mere 1000 words ever could.


You see, plants feed more people. MM is a step in the right direction, which is about more than healthy eating, water footprint, contribution to climate change, sustainability and less harm to animals, it is also about food and our ability to feed the planet. Today's traditional Japanese recipe is also a step in that direction because it is healthy, sustainable, satisfying, and, perhaps most of all, delicious. Thanks for making a difference!

Cheers,
Mark

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Easy Peasy Veggie Burgers

Ingredients

2 tsp + 2 Tbsp oil for frying
½ cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups diced veggies (celery, mushrooms, zucchini, sweet potato)
1½ cups cooked pinto beans
1 Tbsp soy sauce,
2 Tbsp salsa
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
2 tsp poultry seasoning
1 cup dry base ingredient (can use one of bread crumbs, cornmeal, or oatmeal)
½ cup chopped walnuts


Directions

Heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Fry the onion, veggies, and garlic until softened, about 5 to 7 minutes.

Transfer to a food processor and pulse with beans, soy sauce, salsa, and spices until combined but still chunky. Pulse in the dry base and texture ingredient. Use ¼ cup measure and flatten into patties with your hands or a lid from a canning jar.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. Fry patties 2-3 minutes per side until browned and heated through.