March 3rd, 2013

If you’ve recently sworn off meat in exchange for a vegetarian/vegan diet or you’ve decided that you might swap a few more greens for a little less meat in your week, you may be at a bit of a loss for healthy meal ideas.  These days with the high demand for alternatives to meat, dairy and eggs, the quality and availability of these products has greatly increased. They taste amazing and you don’t always have to go to a health food store to source them out.

Tofu is usually the first thing that comes to mind when converting to a veggie based diet.  I have heard so many first impressions of tofu described as unappetizingly white with little or no taste and an unappealing texture.  With a good recipe and a tasty marinade this is far from the truth.  Try firm tofu and the texture is more “meaty”.  Treat tofu as you would red meat, neither has great flavour until it is dressed or prepared with your preferred herbs and spices.  Some people find putting tofu in the freezer for 48 hours gives it a very firm meat-like texture.  The colour, however turns a bit darker when frozen. Soft or silken tofu can also be used in shakes and desserts.

vegetarian tips

Other substitutes for meat are tempeh, seitan, texturized vegetable protein (TVP) and beans (chickpeas being one of the most popular).  Portabello mushrooms are also great served whole as a veggie burger or chop them up for soups and stir fries.  Another popular choice is the falafel patty.  You can have it the traditional way as a falafel sandwich with tahini, make flat patties and have it as a burger or even as meat balls on top of pasta.

Substituting for dairy in your diet isn’t a problem at all any longer.  Milk can be replaced with soya, rice, coconut or nut milks.  Mayonnaise can be made from tofu or you can buy Veganaise already prepared.  Ice cream can be made from rice, coconut or almond milk and purchased from any major supermarket.  You can even create a version of ice cream prepared from frozen fruit in your food processor.  Dairy free cheese has come a long way.  It no longer tastes like card board and it melts much better. Yogurt can also be made from dairy free milks.

vegetarian tips

Egg substitutes can be found easily.  A popular brand Is Ener-G. Tofu is also commonly used instead of scrambled eggs.  When baking you can substitute half a mashed banana or a 1/4 cup of apple sauce for a one egg in pancakes and cakes. You may also substitute for eggs by combining one teaspoon of baking powder, any liquid and a tablespoon of vinegar in more savoury dishes.

vegetarian tips

Since most of us grew up with meat, poultry and dairy in our diets, adopting a diet free of some or all of these foods can be overwhelming at first.  The easiest way to begin is with substitutions that mimic to a certain extent, the flavours and textures we are accustomed to.  After you have mastered this and found some dishes you enjoy, try to stop thinking of the process as substituting for meat and focus on the foods you enjoy.  Look at cookbooks from other cultures with new flavours and spices.  Be creative and embrace the change!

What creative substitution have you tried?  We’d love to know.

 

 

Technorati Tags: , , , ,

0
February 23rd, 2013

If you’re a fan of custard, you’re going to love this creamy crepe.  Samantha, being a true English girl, finally found the perfect custard recipe……after much searching.  Try them out and see if you agree.  You can add any fruit you wish.  We used persimmons and strawberries.

crepes

The Fixings:

For your custard…

  • 3/4 pint of milk
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 3-4 tbsp sugar
  • 1 vanilla pod

For your crepes…

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp coarse salt (we used Kosher)
  • 1 1/2 cups milk (substitute almond, soya etc.)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 tblsp unsalted butter (melted)

How To:

Making your custard…

  1. Heat the milk over medium heat
  2. Open up the vanilla pod and scrape out the seeds with a knife.  Put the seeds and the pod in the milk
  3. When small bubbles appear in the milk remove from heat and set aside for 15 minutes
  4. After this time, remove the pod from the milk
  5. In a mixing bowl, beat egg yolks and sugar until they are light and creamy
  6. Heat a sauce pan of water and leave on the stove
  7. Gradually pour the milk into the creamy yolk and sugar mixture.  Stir continuously as you add the milk
  8. Once all the milk has been added, place the bowl over the pan of hot water
  9. Ensure the water does not boil and continue stirring until the custard thickens to the desired consistency.  This will take about 10-15 minutes
  10. Remove from heat and  with a sieve strain the custard into a bowl

crepes

Preparing your crepe…

  1. In a blender, combine flour, sugar, milk, eggs and  melted butter
  2. Puree until mixture is smooth and bubbles form on top, about 30 seconds.  Let batter sit at least 15 minutes at room temperature (or refrigerate in an air tight container up to one day but make sure you whisk before using)
  3. Heat 12″ non stick skillet over medium heat. Lightly coat with butter. Add 1/3 cup of batter and swirl to completely cover the bottom of the skillet.  Cook until underside of crepe is golden brown, 2-3 minutes
  4. Loosen edge of crepe with rubber spatula and then with finger tips.  Quickly flip your crepe
  5. Cook 1 more minute.  Slide crepe off skillet
  6. Repeat the process until you’ve reached your desired number of crepes

***Tip: Using a blender ensures a smooth crepe batter that has the consistency of heavy cream.

Crepe Construction

Put in your desired amount of custard and fruit, fold crepe in half.  Dress with fruit and some slivered almonds. If you’re feeling indulgent, sprinkle some icing sugar on top.  Enjoy!

Makes 10 crepes.

Technorati Tags: , , ,

0
Tags: , , , | Posted in Crepes |
February 19th, 2013

Keep walking, that’s right, keep pushing that cart right past those boxes of instant oatmeal, filled with additives preservatives and oh so much sugar!! Since making your own oatmeal is much less expensive and much, much more nutritious, put some steel cut or rolled oats in your cart and use one of our oatmeal recipes to create a delicious, nutritious start to your day.

Oatmeal is the most frequently visited item on our list of favourite vegetarian breakfast recipes. It is our quick go-to Monday to Friday breakfast (especially in the winter). We make a enough for 2 or 3 days and just throw it in the microwave each morning, add some extra protein (in the form of nuts, nut butter or protein powder) and go. Quick to make, no fuss, no muss and more importantly, no guilt.

Oats have so many nutritional benefits. It contains antioxidants, iron, vitamins and minerals. If eaten regularly, it is known to lower blood pressure and harmful LDL cholesterol. Athletes and people looking to reduce their caloric intake make oatmeal their breakfast of choice due to it’s large amount of complex carbohydrates and water soluble fibre. The soluble fibre makes you feel full longer. It encourages slow digestion and stabilises blood-glucose levels. The fact that oats stabilise your blood sugar also makes it a great choice for people with type 2 diabetes.

All that being said, it also tastes really great!

We hope you enjoy your next bowl of oatmeal and make it a part of your daily routine.

0
Posted in Vegetarian Tips |
January 28th, 2013

On a cold winter day, here is a bit of comfort in a bowl.   It also happens to be a super quick and easy warm breakfast cereal.

The Fixings:

  • 1 cup of oatmeal
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 cup of almond milk or any milk you are partial to, be it soya, rice or dairy
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup of peanut or almond butter (no sugar or preservatives added, just nuts)
  • 2-3 bananas
  • honey to drizzle on top
  • a handful of almonds or walnuts (0ptional)

 

warm breakfast cereals

How To:

  1. In a medium sauce pan, combine water, milk, oats and salt
  2. While stirring, bring to a boil
  3. Once it has come to a boil, turn heat to medium/low
  4. Add peanut butter
  5. Keep stirring
  6. Remove from heat, cover with lid and let sit 1-3 minutes
  7. Serve when desired consistency is reached (the longer it sits, the thicker it becomes)
  8. Top with honey and bananas.  Add more milk if needed

Serves 4

This warm breakfast cereal is packed full of protein and the slow release carbs will keep you going all morning!

Technorati Tags: , , ,

0
December 2nd, 2012

The Fixings:

  • 1 apple, diced
  • 1 cup of rolled oats
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 cup of almond milk (or any dairy substitute)
  • a pinch of salt
  • a sprinkle of cinnamon
  • a pinch of ground nutmeg
  • a handful of raisins or chopped dates
  • 1 tbsp of apple butter (less if you prefer it not so sweet)
  • handful of walnuts or pecans

warm breakfast cereals

How To:

  1. In a small sauce pan, add water, milk, oats, salt, and diced apple
  2. Bring to a boil, keep stirring
  3. Turn heat to med/low and add cinnamon, nutmeg and raisins
  4. Cook another minute
  5. Cover pot, remove from heat and let stand for 1-3 minutes until you have your preferred consistency.  Some like it thicker than others
  6. Serve and add apple butter to sweeten.  You can also add more milk if you like

Serves 4

For extra protein you may add almond butter or protein powder

Enjoy!

Technorati Tags: , , , ,

0
October 13th, 2012

Add these home fries as a side and give your breakfast a bit of zing.  We love eating these with something a little sweeter like our lemony pancakes, crepes or french toast.  The curry is a nice compliment to something on the sweeter side.

side dish potatoes

       The Fixings:

  • 3 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • oil for pan
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp olive oil (option-you can skip the oil and just add enough water to mix into a paste)
  • 1 tsp water

How to:

  1. steam potatoes until slightly tender (don’t overcook)
  2. add onion to pan and saute until tender over medium heat
  3. when onions are translucent, add potato and saute for 3-4 minutes
  4. In a ramekin, mix together dry spices and ginger
  5. add lemon, water and oil to the spices
  6. mix into a wet paste
  7. add spices to potatoes and cook until tender

Let us know what you paired these up with!!

 

Technorati Tags: , ,

3
Tags: , , | Posted in Potatoes, side dish |
April 2nd, 2012

vegetarian tips  

Here at Vegetarian Breakfast Recipes we’ve noticed that “Flexitarian” is becoming a very common term these days.  More and more people are opting to eat less meat for a variety of reasons.

Some of us have ethical concerns with farming practices.  We worry about the processes by which the animals end up on our plates. There is also a growing awareness of the enormous cost our planet must pay in the production of animals for food.

Health is another driving factor, less saturated fat, more heart healthy oils, fruits and veg.  Awareness of where our food comes from and the impact it has on our health and enviroment are all great reasons to strike a better balance.

Trying meatless, Mammal-less Mondays is a great way to test out a meal that derives protein from another source.  Nothing radical!  No grazing, no scavenging for fruits and berries, just think of something nutritious and meatless and start your week out on a healthy, planet friendly note.

Try not to think of it as deprivation but rather, a whole new chapter in culinary experiences.  Explore new foods and flavours. It comes with a lot of benefits.  We’ve talked about health and environment but you may even drop a few pounds and save some money if you do it right.

Keep it simple. To quote well known author, and NY Times writer, Michael Pollen, “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.”

Like us on FB!!  We’ll be posting recipes and links to help you make your Mondays Mammal-less. Let us know how it’s Going!  Bon apetite!

Photo provided by Lars P.

Technorati Tags: , , , ,

2
February 26th, 2012

pancakes

We always make these pancakes when my cousin Karen comes for the weekend. After we all start the day with a morning workout, we come back and reward ourselves with a plate of pancakes and yogurt. She’s also become a big lemon yogurt convert!! Syrup optional.

The Fixings

1 ¾ c whole wheat flour

1/3 c oats (old fashioned or quick rolled)

1/3 c cornmeal

1 ½ tbsp sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

½ tsp baking soda

1 ½ c milk or almond milk

4 tbsp unsalted butter

¼ c honey (local if possible)

3 large eggs

1/4 – ½ tsp lemon zest (we are lemon freaks so we add 1/2 tsp )

 

pancakes

How To:

Preheat pan or griddle

Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl

Whisk wet ingredients in a separate bowl

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and gently whisk together

Mix until combined (don’t over do it!!)

While the pancakes cook you can whip up the lemon yogurt. Mix together……….

1 c plain yogurt (Astro Balkan is our preferred gelatin free choice)

2 tsp honey

½ tsp lemon zest

Place a bit of the tasty lemon yogurt atop your modest mountain of pancakes

Note: if you’re feeling kinda rushed, Liberte makes a great lemon yogurt

 

Technorati Tags: , , ,

0
Tags: , , , | Posted in Pancakes |
February 13th, 2012

pancakes

These pancakes as easy to make.  They are a delicious addition to you vegetarian breakfast repetoire.  Sweet potatoes are packed with potassium, calcium and vitamins A and C.

The Fixings:

1 large sweet potato, peeled and grated

1 small onion, peeled and grated

1 tbsp chives, finely chopped

1 jalapeno, de-seeded and minced

2 tbsp all purpose flour

1 tsp salt

½ tsp cumin

¼ tsp cayenne

1 large egg

vegetable oil

1 tsp lemon zest

pancakes

How To:

  1. grate the peeled potato and onion into a medium bowl

  2. transfer to a strainer and press out liquid (this is important or they will not hold together)

  3. return to the original bowl

  4. add jalapeno and chives

  1. in a separate bowl, mix together flour, salt, cumin and cayenne

  2. add this to the sweet potato and onion

  3. add egg and lemon zest, mix thoroughly

  1. in a pan or skillet, add enough oil to prevent the pancakes from sticking (we used an oil spritzer)

  2. place on medium heat

  3. using an ice cream scoop (or 3 tbsp), scoop out potato mixture and flatten each one. The smaller the pancakes (about 2”in diameter), the faster and more evenly they will cook

  4. place in a pan over medium heat and add 3 or 4 more to cook all together

    pancakes

  5. cook 5 minutes or until they turn crisp and brown on the bottom

  6. flip to cook on both sides, 3 or 4 more minutes

 Makes 8-10 pancakes

These are great served with chives and yogurt or sour cream on top.

Technorati Tags: , , , ,

0
December 8th, 2011

This overnight breakfast casserole is a great no fuss, time saver when you have guests staying over.  It has a 15-20 minute prep time and it’s all done the night before. This works well for me since I’m not very good at talking and cooking at the same time (multi tasking is not my forte since I always leave some vital ingredient out of the mix).  Enjoy your evening, get up, pop the casserole in the oven and relax.  Have a chat over coffee while it bakes.  A bonus to this recipe, it makes the house smell amazing while it’s baking!

There are many versions of strata, from savoury to sweet.  As long as you have bread kicking around, it’s an impromptu dish to pull together using what ever you might have in the fridge and pantry.

The Fixings:

2 apples, cored and diced
½ tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp butter
1 small loaf of sour dough or rye bread (or 8 slices of regular loaf bread), cubed
¾ c  grated cheddar
2 tbsp of brown sugar
2 c milk (animal, nut or grain……your choice)
3 large free range eggs (let’s be kind to our chickens)
½ c dried cranberries

breakfast casserole overnight

How to:

  1. preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. saute butter, apples and cinnamon over medium heat until tender
  3. lightly butter an 8 in. baking dish
  4. add ¾ of your cubed bread to the baking dish
  5. add apple mixture, cheese and brown sugar and spread evenly over bread
  6. in the meantime, beat eggs and milk until frothy
  7. stir in the remaining bread
  8. add this mixture to the baking dish
  9. place in the oven and bake for 45 – 50 minutes
  10. enjoy this breakfast casserole hot or cold

Serves 8

breakfast casserole overnight

Enjoy your evening with your guests, get up, pop the overnight breakfast casserole in the oven and relax. Have a chat over coffee while it bakes. A bonus to this vegetarian breakfast recipe, it makes the house smell amazing while it is baking!

Technorati Tags: , , , , ,

5