Monday, October 27, 2014

Pea Falafel with a Zesty Cream Dressing


  • 1 cups (250 mL) Garbanzo Beans;  rinsed and drained
  • 1.5 cups dried Peas;  soaked overnight, then rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup (250 mL) fresh Flat-Leaf Parsley;  stems removed
  • 1 small Red Bell Pepper;  finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. Sesame Seeds
  • 1/4 tsp. Cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. Coriander
  • 1/8 tsp. Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 Tbsp. Pink Himalayan Salt
  • 1 tsp. freshly cracked Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 3 Tbsps. Flour
  • 6 Tbsps. Bread Crumbs
  • 2 Tbsps. (20 mL) vegetable oil of choice;  for frying
  • 6 Tbsps. Vegan Sour Cream
  • 1/2 cup English Cucumber;  finely diced
  • 1 Tbsp. Lemon Zest
  • 1/2 Lemon;  juiced

  • Soak the dried peas in water the night before making the recipe.
  • Wash and clean all fresh produce.  Also, rinse and drain the peas and garbanzo beans.
  • In a food processor, combine the peas, beans, parsley, bell pepper, sesame seeds, cumin, coriander, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.  Pulse the mixture until it is finely chopped.  Then add the flour and pulse until the mixture holds together.
  • Cover and set the mix into the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, remove 1 Tbsp. of Zest from the lemon and then juice half of it.  Cut the remaining half into wedges.
  • Stir the lemon zest and the lemon juice together with the sour cream and 1/2 cup of very finely chopped cubes of English cucumber.
  • After 30 minutes or longer, take the falafel mixture out of the refrigerator and scoop the dough out one tablespoon at a time in order to form little balls.  Coat those balls one by one with a thin layer of breadcrumbs and then flatten each one slightly.  Set the falafels on a tray, cover and chill for another 20-30 minutes.  Keep the patties chilled right up until you are ready to cook them to ensure that the are keeping their shape and so that they develop a crispy exterior when frying.
  • In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons (30 mL) of oil over medium heat.  Add the falafel patties into the hot oil and cook them for about 4 minutes on each side or until golden brown and heated through.
  • Serve with the cream dressing, lemon wedges and a salad of choice.  We added salad greens as well as peach and tomato slices to our falafels.
       Nina & Spencer

Monday, October 20, 2014

Mushroom Pizza with Walnut Pesto

How to coax a Neapolitan-style vegan pizza pie from your home oven? If you have a great pizza dough recipe that works for you and cooks well in your home oven—great!  If you don’t, I recommend purchasing dough from your favorite pizzeria. Using premade pizza dough lets you have the take-out classic in your own kitchen and you get to customize the toppings to your own preference.  Since I don’t get on with vegan cheeses, I particularly enjoy this walnut-pesto version.
But then again, my husband would say that I like to toss a heap of fresh herbs into every dish.  If you love parsley as much as I do, I recommend sprinkling some fresh leaves on top of the pizza.  This sprinkle of freshness nicely compliments the earthiness of this dish.  Yay, for fall pizzas!

Mushroom Pizza

  • 6 cups (1.5 L) assorted Mushrooms;  sliced (we used Portobello and Crimini Mushrooms)
  • 4 Tbsps. of oil (vegetable oil of choice)
  • 2/3 cup (150 mL) toasted Walnuts
  • 1 cup (250 ml) fresh Parsley;  stems removed
  • 1/2 tsp. (2 mL) salt
  • 1/2 tsp. (2 mL) freshly ground pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed Lemon juice
  • a drizzle of Balsamic Reduction
  • a handful of fresh Parsley leaves (optional)

  • Preheat the oven to 500 °F.
  • In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons (30 mL) of the oil over medium heat.  Add the sliced mushrooms and sauté until the mushrooms release their liquid and they are tender.  This might take 10 to 15 minutes.  At 2 minutes, I recommend adding 1/2 cup of water to the mushrooms.  Remove the mushrooms from the heat and set aside.
  • In a  food processor, add the walnuts, parsley, 2 tablespoons of oil, salt, pepper, lemon juice and 1 cup of the sautéed mushrooms and process until smooth.  You may have to stop once or twice in order to scrape down the bowl if necessary.
  • Dust a large baking sheet with flour.  Roll out the dough and then press it evenly into the pan.
  • With a spatula, distribute a generous layer of pesto onto the pizza dough.
  • Then sprinkle the mushrooms over the pesto.
  • Bake for 20 minutes, or until the crust is risen and golden brown.  Let cool for 2 minutes before drizzling the pizza with balsamic reduction and tossing fresh parsley leaves on top.
       Nina & Spencer

Monday, October 13, 2014

Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

Homemade Salsa Verde recipe made with fresh tomatillos and fresh paquillo peppers.
  • 6-8 medium Tomatillos;  husked and rinsed
  • 2 medium Paquillo Peppers;  stems and seeds removed
  • 3-5 stalks fresh Chives;  finely chopped
  • 1/4 bunch fresh Cilantro;  roughly chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. Cooking Oil
  • 1 fresh Lime;  juiced
  • Salt and Pepper;  to taste

  • Peel away the papery husks of the tomatillos. Then wash and clean all fresh produce.
  • De-stem and de-seed the peppers.
  • Sprinkle the tomatillos and peppers and then bake them on a rimmed baking sheet in a very hot oven or below a broiler, until they are soft and turn blotchy black. The color of the tomatillos will also turn from lime green to olive.
  • After 5 minutes flip the peppers and tomatillos in order to roast them evenly on all sides.
  • Take the baking sheet out of the oven and let cool.
  • Transfer the roasted vegetables into a blender, including all the delicious juice the tomatillos and peppers have exuded during the roasting.
  • Add the chives and the cilantro and run the blender until you’ve reached a coarse puree.
  • Scoop the salsa into a serving dish and season it if necessary with salt and pepper.
       Nina & Spencer

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Sunday Edit: Birthday at the Corn Maze

Thank you so much for all the birthday wishes and gifts last Monday.  After work Spencer and I took the train to Provo and visited a corn maze. I’ve never been to one and it was the perfect day and timing for this kind of outing.


Truth be told, we’ve been going through some rough couple of weeks and October has been tiring and frustrating experience.  We moved out of our apartment and we are currently staying at my cousins home while trying to find someone to take over our lease and hunting for a save place for me to live. All this started at the end of September, after three weeks of daily asthma attacks whenever I was in our apartment and painful sleepless nights, it was time for me to escape the toxic environment and break our lease.

Our next door neighbor kept sneaking in a dog into the pet-free building, the management did not clean the hallways and stairs for more than two months, not to mention the ever present smell of people smoking pot.




Wishing everyone a good week.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Vegetable Broth

I don't like to buy vegetable broth and I much rather go without than braving some mystery liquid from a box, can or broth cube.  It's easily made at home and it is a kitchen staple at our house.  Of course you can make this broth out of fresh produce, but if you eat a lot of vegetables, I recommend collecting the vegetable and herb trimmings in the freezer so that you can make the broth out of perfectly good bits you might otherwise discard. 


  • Vegetables;  ends and trimmings
  • Herbs;  ends and trimmings
  • Cooking Oil or Vegan Butter
  • 1/4 cup White Wine
  • Peppercorn; whole or crushed 
  • Water
  • 1 fresh Lemon;  peel the zest of the lemon 
  • Salt;  to taste

  • Put the trimmings, as you have them into a bowl in the freezer.  This way, you won't have to worry that they spoil.  For a mild stock, I prefer the peels and trimmings of carrots, celery, onion, herbs, mushrooms, cucumber, bell peppers, tomatoes, squashes, basil, parsley and cilantro.  I would avoid scraps of broccoli, cabbage, parsnip, kohlrabi, brussels sprouts, cauliflower etc because they will produce a broth thats referred to as 'stinky stock' which makes it difficult to cook with and also difficult to digest.
  • Once you have enough, you are ready to make your broth. 
  • Transfer the vegetables into a medium size pot and sauté them with just a little bit of cooking oil or vegan butter.
  • In a large soup pot add the white wine, twice to three times as much water was vegetables, peppercorn and bring the water to a boil.  Reduce the heat until the liquid is at a simmer, cover the pot and let simmer for about 30 minutes. 
  • Take the pot of the heat, add a good amount of peeled lemon zest and let the broth cool.
  • Strain out the solids, add salt to taste (if desired—you can always season later).  If you have immediate use for it, store the broth in an airtight container in the refrigerator.  This way the broth is good for a couple of days.  I, however, prefer to store vegetable broth in ice cube trays in the freezer.  This way, there is no need for me to use all the broth immediately, the broth will stay good for months and I can pull out as many or as few cubes as I need for my cooking.
        Nina & Spencer