Category Archives for Dinner

Cook Rice Like Pasta

11811454_879971085425833_7743679680848787663_nI used to cook rice using the package instructions. The bottom part always came out mushy. Then I found out you can cook rice like pasta and it’s perfect every time! Of course if you have a rice cooker or Instant Pot you can just use that!

Ingredients:
-2 cups (or more/less depending on how much you want, it will expand upon cooking) brown rice (or basmati, jasmine, white, etc)
-1 large pot of water

Instructions:
Bring a pot of water to a boil then add the rice (I rarely measure but at least 2 cups so I have extra). Turn down to medium heat so it doesn’t boil over. For brown rice set your timer for 60 minutes, for white basmati set it to 10 minutes. For other rice you’ll have to make a judgment call, like brown basmati will take a little longer than white so do a few taste tests while it’s cooking. Once the time is up, drain the water and cover the pot to steam for 5 minutes. This is optional but it tends to help keep the rice separated nicely.

Here’s a video I did which demonstrates the process:

Gallo Pinto Vegan No Oil

Gallo Pinto

gallo pinto vegan

We got back from Costa Rica recently and are hooked on Gallo Pinto, a popular dish in Costa Rica. This one will require you to find Lizano sauce – a brown, vegetable based sauce, perhaps in your International/Ethnic section or here on Amazon. Trust me it’s worth it!

This is Bonnie’s recipe!

INGREDIENTS:

3-4 tablespoons, Lizano salsa (to taste I prefer a stronger flavour). Lizano has sodium as many condiments do, but it’s usually within allowable limits depending on what else you eat during the day.
2 cups black beans, cooked
4 cups brown rice, cooked
1/2 red bell peppers, chopped
1 small yellow onion chopped
1 teaspoon coriander,
1 cup chopped (Cilantro)
1 large (or 2 small) carrots thinly diced.
2 celery stalks chopped
½-1 tsp salt (optional)
1/2 cup veggie soup stock for cooking veggies (may need more or less but should be mostly dried up when veggies are cooked.)

DIRECTIONS:

Cook carrot and celery in soup stock until soft (medium heat). These take longer to cook so start with these! Then add onion and bell peppers in soup stock to sauté until soft. (medium heat). Add in chopped cilantro to other veggies and cook until cilantro is soft
Turn down heat to low-medium.
Add the cooked black beans and cooked rice to veggies mix. Add in the coriander and Lizano sauce. Heat on low-medium heat stirring for 2 minutes (stir continuously).

I also put some Lizano on the side of the plate for some extra flavour/kick.

Easy Lentil Dahl

lentil dahl
I am in no way an expert in Indian cooking but I just made this yesterday and it was really tasty. This is very similar to my chickpea curry recipe. I don’t use all the spices typically listed in recipes and I use dry spices and powders.

Ingredients:

1 onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, diced
1 cup of water (depending on thickness desired)
1 tbsp vegetable stock powder
1/2 tbsp curry powder
1 can of tomato paste 5.5 fl oz (the small can)
1 19 fl oz (540 ml) can of red lentils (drained and rinsed), or about 2-2.5 cups of cooked lentils.

Directions:

Put the diced onion in a pre-heated skillet (on high heat). I use to fry onions in water but I’ve been dry frying to release the sugars and bring out the sweet flavour. Fry until they brown but not burn. Then add the garlic for a minute. Add 1/2 cup of water and let the garlic cook for a few minutes until it’s softened. Add more water if it gets absorbed. If you don’t have vegetable stock powder you could substitute it with vegetable stock (replace the 1 cup of water with vegetable stock).

Add the tomato paste, curry powder and vegetable stock powder and remaining water to your desired thickness of dahl (I like mine fairly thick). Mix well in the skillet and turn down the heat to medium low. Add in the lentils. Stir until the mixture is hot enough to eat and pour on a plate of basmati rice.

Vegan Super Bowl Party?

Super bowls parties are known to be filled with pizza, chicken wings, chips and dip, and french fries. Why not make this a healthy and cruelty-free vegan Super Bowl! Here are some recipes that are not only super tasty but also very healthy.

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Ranch dip/dressing vegan no oil

Ranch Dip and Salad Dressing

This is a great dip. Feel free to tweak. I honestly rarely measure any of this just adjusting to taste! Inspired by forealslife.com

vegan ranch dip

Ingredients:

-1 package silken tofu, drained (extra firm if possible so that it’s thick)
-2 teaspoons lemon juice (or from real lemons)
-2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
-1 teaspoon salt
-1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
-1 tsp garlic powder (use a clove of garlic instead for more garlic flavour)
-1 tsp onion powder
-1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
-3 tablespoons dry chives
-1 tablespoon dry dill weed

Blend everything except dill weed and chives until smooth then add the dill weed and chives and stir. I often add more vinegar, lemon juice and dill to taste. Tastes better the next day and thickens up.

You can thin it out if desired by adding in some unsweetened non-dairy milk or more lemon/vinegar. I also made a salad dressing by adding in a little balsamic vinegar and optional mustard and maple syrup to taste.

creamy salad dressing

Turnip and Carrot Mash

turnip/carrot mash

Bonnie’s recipe.

Ingredients:

• 1 large turnip (often called a rutabaga), chopped into 1-1.5″ cubes
• 4 carrots, chopped
• 1 tsp sea salt (optional)
• 1/4 tsp ground pepper

Instructions:

Put the chopped turnip/rutabaga and carrots in a pot, cover with water so there is an extra inch or two above the vegetables. Bring water to boil and reduce to medium so it doesn’t boil over. When the vegetables are very soft, drain them. Use an electric mixer to blend the vegetables until they are creamy. Add the optional salt and pepper if desired, or just add to taste on your plate.

Marinara sauce vegan no oil

Marinara Sauce for Pasta and Pizza

You can adjust your favourite meat sauce to remove the ground beef/oil and add a can of rinsed lentils, but here’s what I do (leave out anything you don’t like and adjust ingredients to taste).

marinara sauce

Ingredients:

• 1 medium onion, diced
• 1 clove of garlic, diced
• 1/2 large green pepper, diced
• 1/2 large red pepper, diced
• 1/2 package of frozen chopped spinach, about 1 cup
• 1 19 oz can of crushed tomatoes
• 1/2 tsp garlic powder
• 1 tsp onion powder
• 1+ tbsp italian spices (oregano, basil)
• 1 sprinkle red pepper flakes (as much as you like to make it hot or not)

For pizza sauce add
• 1 small can of tomato paste

Instructions:

Microwave the frozen spinach in a bowl for 3 minutes to soften. Sauté the diced red/green pepper in water in a frying pan to soften under medium heat. As it softens add the onion. As the onion softens add the garlic and spinach. When the ingredients are pretty soft add the crushed tomatoes and spices. Turn down heat if it starts to bubble, stirring regularly. Drain noodles when done. Put noodles on a plate and pour sauce on top. If you like more pasta sauce add a can of tomato paste and water to dilute the lentils/veggies.

Chicken-style soup vegan

Vegan Chicken-Style Soup

Bonnie’s recipe.

vegan chicken-style soup

Ingredients:

• 2 carrots, chopped
• 1 leek, chopped
• 2 celery stalks, diced
• 2 vegan chicken-style bouillon cubes. Try to find lower sodium, no oil versions or use this spice combo from Fat Free vegan.
• 1 tbsp dried italian spices (oregano, basil)
• 1 cup cooked brown rice
• 2 potatoes, cubed
• water, enough to covered vegetables with extra inch or two.

Instructions:

Put all the ingredients in a pot and cover with enough water so that the water line is an inch or two above the vegetables. Cook on medium heat until the potatoes and carrots are soft, at least 30 minutes.

Cheeze sauce vegan no oil

Cheeze Sauce

This is tasty and can be a base for your creations and modifications. Here’s an example in scalloped potatoes but you can use it for mac n cheese.

cheeze sauce

Ingredients:
1 large sweet potato cooked, skin removed, using your preferred method (I cook in microwave for about 13 minutes depending on the size)
1.5 cups of non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)
1/3 cup of nutritional yeast
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder

Instructions:
Put ingredients in blender (I use Vitamix) and blend on high until smooth, just a few seconds usually using the tamper. If too thick add a bit more water or more non-dairy milk. If you want to use a regular potato throw in 1 or 2 cooked carrots as well.

Scalloped potatoes vegan no oil

Scalloped Potatoes in Cheeze Sauce

scalloped potatoes

This is pretty tasty. Feel free to add more things to it but I always try to provide a least the basics to get you started.

Ingredients

5 Medium Potatoes (enough to fill a casserole dish), sliced. I use Mandoline slicer and yellow-fleshed potatoes.
1 medium onion, diced
1 cup spinach
Cheeze Sauce

Preheat oven to 375F. Slice potatoes with mandoline slicer. I slice them thicker than when I make potato chips, about 1/4″. Put layer of about 1/3 of sliced potatoes on bottom of casserole dish. Add 1/2 the onions and 1/3 the spinach. Pour half the cheeze sauce on. Put another 1/3 layer of potatoes down with 1/2 the onions, 1/2 the spinach and 1/3 the sauce. Put the final 1/3 layer of potatoes on top and pour rest of cheeze mixture on top to cover the potatoes. Cover (I use glass top) and bake for 1 hour. Take cover off and bake for another 15 minutes or until the top gets nice and crispy. Add salt and pepper to taste on your plate if desired.