March 27, 2014

“Beefy” Chipotle Burgers (vegan)


I use to love having Licks burgers, but after being diagnose with celiac disease years ago I had to give them up…grrr.  For years I tried making many different veggie burgers. I made burgers with chickpeas, tofu, veggies, lentils, nuts, quinoa, portabella mushrooms you name, it I tried it. I just could not find anything I really liked until I came up with this one. I wanted a burger that reminded me of the taste of beef….yes I said it beef! I became a vegan because of the cruelty involved in producing meat not because I didn't enjoy the taste of it. So I make no apologies for wanting such a burger. Keep in mind, it's been 39 years since I 've tasted meat so I might not be the best judge on if these burgers do actually taste like beef…lol.

What I love about these burgers besides the taste is that they hold together! They are so easy to make and don’t require expensive ingredients. These do have a medium kick to them because of the chipotle. You can always reduce the heat level by reducing the chipotle in half.

I have only cooked them by pan frying so I don’t know yet how they will turn out on an outdoor grill but I’m looking forward to trying it. I will try grilling them first with oil brushed on them and then adding a little marinade after I cook them. I think if I just put on the marinade alone the burgers will probably stick to the grill. I hope you love them as much as I do!

1 Tbsp oil
1 cup onion, chopped
1/2 tsp chipotle powder
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp dried pitted prunes
1 Tbsp beet juice (from the jar, it's just used for coloring)
1 small chipotle chili pepper in adobo sauce (from a can) *  
19 oz can of black beans, rinsed and drained
19 oz can of pinto beans, rinsed and drained
3 cups brown rice, COOKED
Juice from 1/2 lemon
1 heaping Tbsp wet not dry mustard (gluten-free)
1 tsp dried coriander
1/2 tsp dried thyme
salt and pepper to taste


3 Tbsp molasses
2 Tbsp soy sauce (gluten-free)
1 Tbsp maple syrup

In a small saucepan, heat on medium heat. Add chopped onions and cook till almost sautéed then add garlic and chipotle powder for 1 minute. Set aside.

In a food processor or blender add the dates, beet juice and canned chipotle chili and blend.  Pour into a large bowl. Add beans to the food processor and pulse. Pour beans into the bowl the large bowl.  Add seasoned onions, rice, lemon juice, mustard, coriander, thyme, salt and pepper. Mix with your hands.  Scoop out 2/3 cup burger mixture of each patty. Shape into burger patties. Stir together molasses, soy sauce and maple syrup in a bowl. Dip each patty in the marinade mixture before cooking.

Heat an oiled frying pan over medium heat.  Cook both sides till they are as brown as possible without burning. Makes 8 patties. Burger mix will keep in the fridge for 5 to 7 days.  Or cook them first and you can freeze them.

* Can blend a whole can of chipotles in adobe sauce then pour a tablespoon of the sauce in each ice cube tray. Freeze them, then pop them out and put into a plastic container and store in the freezer.

You can use 1/2 Tbsp or 1 Tbsp ground chipotle and adobo sauce instead of the whole chipotle used in the recipe.

January 24, 2014

Hoppin John with Red Hot Tahini


I wanted to wait to post this recipe until I had taken a more appetizing picture but I just don't think I can wait any longer to share it with you. I also, have friends that have tried it and they want me to send them the recipe so I'd like to just send them the link.

I have been seriously addicted to this ever since I tried it. In fact, the morning after I had it the first thing I thought of when I woke up was I can't wait to eat the leftover Hoppin John for lunch.

What's not to love.... it's super healthy, great to bring to potlucks because it doesn't contain the common ingredients that people have allergies with. Made with ingredients most vegans always have in there house.

My contribution to this recipe is that I made it more faster to make because when I want my Hoppin John I don't want to wait for long! Another time  saver is I make a large amount of rice ahead of time and freeze it so I always have some on hand. I'm addicted to the sauce and when you look at the ingredients you will say the same thing as me...."Why didn't I think of that". I have already made some new recipes using just the Red Hot Tahini sauce which I will definitely share with you in the future.  Hey lots of times I don't even bother adding the tomatoes and onions...It's great just with the rice, beans and sauce!

This recipe comes from Isa Chandra. Make sure to see her picture of this recipe it's so much nicer than my plain one.  I really want you to get inspired so you will try this one

The Hoppin’ John:
1 (19 oz) can of black eyed peas, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 tsp hickory liquid smoke or 1 tsp mesquite liquid smoke

In a bowl with a lid add the black eyed peas and liquid smoke and mix well then put aside.

The Red Hot Tahini:

1/2 cup tahini
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup Louisiana Hot Sauce (like Frank’s Red Hot)
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
 (certified gluten-free)

Simply blend everything up in blender until smooth.  

The Tomatoes and Onions:

2 cups tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup green onions, finely sliced
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
Several dashes fresh black pepper, to taste
Dash salt

Toss tomatoes and green onions with red wine vinegar in a bowl.


6 cups cooked rice for serving (I used red rice mixed with some brown rice)

To Assemble: 
Place rice on place. Add some black-eyed peas. Heat rice and beans then drizzle with some sauce (you probably will have left over sauce) Top with the tomatoes and onions. Serve 6 

December 7, 2013

Asian Grilled Vegetables


If you have been following my blog you may have notice I have never posted any recipes for grilled vegetables before. Until now, I just hadn’t found any that I really loved. The recipes that I have tried just ended up tasting bland or having an over powering taste of balsamic vinegar.

I found this recipe in a Longos Supermarket recipe magazine. Talk about versatile these vegetables taste great cold, at room temperature or heated. They're perfect to bring to a potluck or picnic. They're going to be my side dish for my Christmas dinner this year. 

Feel free to add any type of vegetables you would like. The original recipe called for shitake mushrooms, stemmed, but there quite expensive so I left them out. It also called for one daikon, peeled and sliced but our supermarket does not carry that so I add 2 extra eggplants instead of those vegetables. You can also cook these vegetables using a grill pan on your stove top instead of using a barbeque.

If you can't get Longo’s Roasted Garlic & Shallots Grapeseed Grilling Oil I'm sure you can use whatever cooking oil you regularly use. I don't feel it's that important for the marinade. 


5 baby bok choy, halved lengthwise
3 Chinese eggplant, cut lengthwise, then thick sliced
1 large red pepper, quartered
1 large orange or yellow pepper, quartered
1 cup snow peas or snap peas


1/4 cup Asian chili garlic sauce
1/4 cup soy sauce, gluten-free
1 1/2 Tbsp brown sugar (Redpath brand is vegan)
1 Tbsp vinegar
1 Tbsp Longo’s Roasted Garlic & Shallots Grapeseed Grilling Oil*
1 1/2 tsp sesame oil

In a large bowl combine veggies. In a small bowl, which together all the ingredients for the marinade. Pour over the veggies and stir gently to coat. Let marinate for 15 minutes.

Lift vegetables out of the marinade; save or discard any leftover marinade. Place vegetables on greased grill basket or pan (to keep smaller items like snow peas and mushrooms from through the grate. Put grill basket or pan on a medium-high heat and grill for 2 to 4 minutes per side, turning occasionally. Remove from heat and place on a large serving platter. Sprinkle with peanuts if using. Serve warm, room temperature or chilled.  Serves 6

Tip: Because the vegetables vary in size be sure to keep an eye on the smaller vegetables as they will not take as long to cook. Remove them from the grill first. Or you can do what I do just limit the different types of veggies you use and only grill each type on the grill pan at one time.

*You can buy Longo`s Roasted Garlic & Shallots Grapeseed Grilling Oil  at Longos Supermarket. 

We've Come A Long Way Baby!

Wow I feel old, it’s hard to believe when I was in my early teens there was no tofu, non-dairy milk or any meat substitutes in any supermarkets…there was NOTHING. You had to go to a health food store to get non-dairy milk and tofu. Vegan meat and cheese substitutes did not even exist! I never heard the word Vegan used back then. I can’t get over how much things have changed in my life time. I’m now 50 years old. Not only are there tons of vegan products in supermarkets but Germany has opened up the first totally Vegan supermarket called Veganz. They plan to open up 20 more stores in the next 2 1/2 years! (a new store every 2 months) Check out this video of Veganz you’ll probably be like me and see tons of products or brands you never knew existed.

When I was young there were no computers! With the invention of the computer came access to fellow vegans, ending that dreaded isolation many of us can feel. We have access to all the many wonderful vegan blogs online. There were not many vegetarian restaurants when I was young…I don’t remember any vegan restaurants.

One the best things to come along for me was Daiya cheese. Until Daiya came along there were some pretty gross vegan cheeses out there so I just gave up thinking I could ever enjoy a cheese pizza again (since turning vegan). I can now make a cheese pizza at home or pick one up from a Mammas Pizza. Yes…. a gluten-free with vegan cheese (Daiya brand) pizza is now available from a Major Pizzeria Franchise. I highly recommend trying the Vegan Primavera at Mama’s Pizza (that's the pizza pictured above). I will be bring one over to my guys, sisters place for my Christmas dinner along with a side dish of some yummy grilled vegetables (recipe for those will be my next post)

I'm grateful for many things each year…good health (well except for the Celiac disease of course…lol) having a wonderful my guy in life….blah blah  blah…This year I would like to add that I'm grateful there are so many delicious vegan products out there especially Vegan Primavera pizza from Mama’s Pizza.

October 15, 2013

Spicy Vegan Sausage


Rhea, the girl who came up with this recipe is a genius! I'm blaming her for my upset stomach because I ate these sausages too I tried so many different types of vegan, gluten-free sausage recipes in search of one that I actually liked. I finally had given up. Although, I'm a huge fan of beans and lentils I just didn't want sausages that tasted like that. Rhea uses black-eyed peas and they are perfect.... no beany taste!

I did make some changes to the spice mix. I upped the amounts of several of them and eliminated the fennel (not a fan of it) and added some thyme. I also, preferred to made 6 sausages instead of 4 huge ones. If you want to stick with her original recipe the link is below. Feel free to have them with any condiment you like. I had them with ketchup but I`ll probably try it her way next time with mustard, onions and mushrooms....yum!

I did find this recipe to be labor intensive but worth the effort. I would suggest using canned beans to save time. In the future I plan to double this recipe and freeze them. Before making them keep in mind to set aside extra time because once the sausages are made they should be refrigerate for a few hours or overnight to firm them up.

The Spinach Omelets in the picture are from my blog...

For the Spice Mix:

1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
3/4 tsp black pepper
1 1/4 tsp salt
1 3/4 tsp sweet paprika
1 3/4 tsp smoked paprika
3/4 to 1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 1/4 tsp oregano
1/8 tsp allspice
1/8 tsp thyme

For the Sausage:

2 tsp + 2 tsp olive oil
1 cup mushrooms, chopped
1/2 cup onion,
finely chopped 1 garlic clove,minced
2 cups cooked or 1-15 oz. can of black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
1 Tbps sun-dried tomato paste
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1 tsp xanthan gum
3 Tbsp of gluten-free, vegan Worcestershire Sauce
A few drops of Liquid Smoke (optional)

Prepare spice mix in advance. Set aside. Heat a skillet with 2 tsp. of olive oil. Sauté the onions, mushrooms and garlic until softened. Set aside and let cool.

In a large bowl, add the black-eyed peas and mash them up. You can use a fork, a potato masher or just get your hands in there. If you want to use a food processor, do a rough chop. You don’t want a puree. Then add the tomato paste, nutritional yeast, spice mix and brown rice flour. Mix well. Sprinkle the xanthan gum over the mixture and incorporate it well. Add the cooled veggie mixture to the bowl and mix it into the dry ingredients. Add the Worcestershire sauce to the bowl and mix it all up well. If you are using the Liquid Smoke, add it in now too.

Divide the mixture into 6 parts. Shape each part into a log. Wrap the logs individually in foil and steam them for 15-20 minutes. I use a metal steamer that sits atop a large stockpot of boiling water. Let them cool.

Then refrigerate for a few hours or overnight, if possible. This will help them firm up even more. When ready to use, unwrap and cook them however you desire. I cooked them on a grill pan.

October 9, 2013

Carrot Cake Oatmeal

This oatmeal recipe is delicious and super healthy!
1/2 cup large rolled oats (gluten-free)
2/3 cup vanilla almond milk*  
1 Tbsp raw agave, pure maple syrup or brown sugar (Redpath is vegan)
1/2 cup carrot, grated
2 Tbsp raisins
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
chopped walnuts (optional topping)

Stir all ingredients making sure everything is soaked by the liquid in a small pot. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce the heat to low. Simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Top with walnuts, if using. Serve immediately. 

*I use unsweetened vanilla almond milk. I also like to mix in two tablespoons of ground flaxseed when the oatmeal is ready to serve.

October 2, 2013

I Have A New Blog!


 I have a new blog. I hope when you get the chance you can check it out!

September 16, 2013

Easy Gluten-Free Buns (for the baking challenged)


I was very challenged in the bread making department until I discovered the link below...One of the things I was doing wrong in the past was not letting my yeast rise enough. Also, it's so important not to switch out flours because some such as bean flours are heavier than others such as rice flour.(so if you do switch it out and it doesn't work don't blame the recipe your using) I don't have easy access to the various flours out there and I don't like to have to find different types of flours for a recipe. I like to keep it simple because I hate baking... its just so dame time consuming. I changed this recipe to buns because I find it more easy to cut cleanly than bread. I do 2 batches of buns at the same time. That gives me 10 buns to freeze for whenever I need them. If you have had problems with gluten-free baking this one is fool proof.

Based on the following gluten-free bread recipe...

1 1/2 cup very warm water (105 degree)
2 1/2 tsp yeast
2 Tbsp sugar (Redpath brand is vegan)

1/4 cup water
2 Tbsp ground flaxseed
1 Tbsp grapeseed oil
2 1/2 cups Bobs Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Flour
2 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 ascorbic acid (optional)

5 bun molds

In one bowl (I use a glass measuring cup that holds two cups) add the very warm water, yeast, and sugar. Stir and let sit in a warm place until a thick foam (around 1 inch) appears on top.

While the yeast is bubbling, in a smaller bowl mix the water, ground flaxseed, and oil. Stir and let sit.

Put dough blade in a food processor. Add the flour, xanthan gum, sea salt. Mix well.

Add the flax mixture to the yeast mixture and stir. Open the top of the food processor, and with the processor running, gently pour the liquid into the dry ingredients. Mix well. Stop and scrape the edges and mix again until the dough forms a lump.
Place dough in 5 WELL OILDED molds (coconut oil is a yummy choice) Let rise to just above the top of the molds with the oven set at 350F. The heat from the oven will help it rise. Put some spice jars around your mounds. Put baking sheets or something flat on top of spice jars. Put a tea towel over everything Leave till it rises about 45 minutes.
Once they have raised bake on the middle rack uncovered for 15 minutes. Then cover the buns with foil so the tops of them won’t get too over cooked. Cook for 25 minutes more. They will fall a bit and not be as "high" as a wheat loaf, but it is soft, and tasty.
When they have cooled use a spoon along the sides of each mold to loosen the bread up. Then flip them out onto a plate. You can rub coconut oil on the top of the loaf if you don’t like a crusty top. Once they have cooled put them in the fridge or freezer.
Tip - To make cleaning your molds easier pour hot water into them and wait till the water loosens up the stuff left in the molds after yours buns have been removed.

Spicy Black Bean Stuffed Peppers


This is a really healthy and delicious recipe. It's been posted on a few recipe sites already. I added chipotle chili powder because I love the smokey flavor it gives. I also doubled the recipe because you can always freeze any left overs.

4 medium sweet peppers - any color you’d like
3/4 cup onion, diced
4 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 cans of 19 oz black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup water
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp cumin
1 Tbsp + 2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp chipotle chili powder
1 cup sweet corn
1 cup any vegan cheese (I use Daiya Mozzarella)

fresh cilantro, salsa, and vegan sour cream for serving

Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut a slit through the entire length of each of your peppers. Place them on a baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes, then flip peppers over and cook for another 15 minutes.

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan set over medium heat. Add your onion and sauté for 5 minutes, until beginning to soften and turn translucent. Add garlic and stir constantly for 30 seconds, until fragrant. Stir in your black beans along with the water. Add your cumin, chili, paprika, salt, and chipotle chili powder.

Stir, cover the pot, reduce the heat to low and simmer the beans for at least 15 minutes, but up to 30 minutes. Once cooked stir in corn and cheese. Divide the bean mixture evenly among the peppers and stuff each pepper.

Broil for 2 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbling. Garnish with fresh cilantro, salsa, and sour cream if you’d like.

July 29, 2013

Italian Frittata


 This is my friend, Melanie's recipe. I'm sure you will love it as much as I do.

1 package firm tofu, (just drained, but not pressed) 
1 Tbsp soy sauce (gluten-free)
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 cup nutritional yeast (gluten-free)
1 tsp dried basil  

1/4 tsp ground turmeric

1/2 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 cup onion, diced
1/2 cup mushrooms, chopped
1/8 cup sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
1 tsp garlic, minced
juice of a half lemon
1/4 cup spinach, frozen and chopped kind, squeeze out the water

ketchup (optional top or on the side)

Preheat oven to 400F. In a mixing bowl, crumble the tofu through your fingers until it resembles ricotta cheese. Be sure to squeeze out all the lumps. Mix in the soy sauce, mustard, nutritional yeast and turmeric, thyme and basil; combine well.

In a small skillet, add the olive oil and sauté the onions for 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and tomatoes; sauté for 3 more minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add the lemon juice, mix and remove from heat. Transfer the cooked onion mixture to the tofu and combine well; fold in spinach. Press the tofu mixture down firmly into a non greased ceramic bread loaf sized pan.

Cook in the oven for 20 minutes. Let the frittata sit for 10 minutes before serving. Carefully cut into slices and lift each piece with a pie server to prevent it from falling apart. Serve with a bit of ketchup on the side or drizzle a small amount on top. Serves 4

July 10, 2013

Laura's Pink Flamingo

Cool down with this delicious drink.
1/4 cup banana
6 strawberries
1 cup watermelon
1/4 cup orange juice 

Put into a blender. Mix until smooth. Makes 1 1/3 cups 

May 31, 2013

Edamame Hummus Wraps



Say good bye to plain old hummus and hello to a refreshing light meal that is perfect for having outside on a hot summer day.

The Wraps

Use any of the following for your wraps:

gluten free tortilla wraps
kale leaves
bok choy leaves
collard leaves (dipped quickly in boiling water to soften)

The Filling

Fill the wraps with the following:

*edamame hummus
cherry tomatoes, chopped in half
mixed greens, chopped
lime juice, freshly squeezed on top

* I buy Edamame Hummus at Freshco supermarket 

April 11, 2013

Laura’s Spicy Sweet Potato Chili Salad


I was at a potluck recently and someone had brought some chili. It made me miss my own chili....shhh. Since the warm weather is suppose to be coming our way (in Canada) don't forget you can enjoy chili all year round just serve it at room temperature as part of a salad. This chili is my own creation...Enjoy!

1 large red pepper, diced
1/2 cup onions, chopped
2 cups sweet potatoes, diced
1 can (19 ounces) red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (19 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup water
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 enveloped chili seasoning mix (I use Old El Paso)
1 tsp chili powder
1 Tbsp chipotle sauce (from a can of chipotle chilies)
5 Thai chilies or any small hot chilies, with seeds, minced

For the Salad

chopped lettuce
tortilla chips
vegan sour cream
green onions

Steam the red pepper, onions and sweet potatoes till slightly tender (sweet potatoes will take longer to cook so add them first to cook for a few minutes then add your pepper and onions. Then add all the ingredients into a slow cooker. Cover and cook on low heat setting for 3 1/2 hours. Then stir and serve. Makes around 5 cups.

Put chopped lettuce on each plate. Add tortilla chips around the sides of the lettuce or in a separate bowl. Pour room temperature chili over lettuce. Top with vegan sour cream, tomatoes and green onions.

January 30, 2013

My Favorite Workout Picks - Update

Since my previous post I was able to buy Insanity at great price! $80.25 including shipping for the 13 DVD deluxe package.  Some DVDS in the set are used and some have not been. I figure someone bought it and decided it was just too hard to continue…at least they tried and it is really friggen hard! It won’t be coming with the meal plan …I don’t use those anyway and as vegan they’re never gear towards the foods I would eat. It also won’t be coming with the workout calendar which is not a problem because I found this great website that you can print off the Insanity and many other popular workout calenders. Oh and my favorite is you can print out blank calendars and fill in your own workout routine…..

All I wanted were all the DVDS. Bottom line is there are deals out there on the real Insanity (not fakes) you just have to be patient and be flexible.  If I had bought Insanity new the 13 DVD deluxe package would have cost me $164.70 plus $14.70 for shipping to the States from Total Fitness DVDs.  I live in Canada but I get most of my purchases that I buy online sent to the States where my guys parents live. When my guy goes to visit them he brings back my goodies. I would probably end up being a fitness DVD and book hoarder if I lived in the States because they have so many great deals on ebay and amazon. Many times they get free shipping too!
I’ve discover that other people have posted the real Insanity workouts on their Youtube page. Real as opposed to having to following along while someone else does the workouts other than Shaun T . Here they are if want to check them out....

3 bonus workouts that come in the deluxe package....
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