Saturday, May 25, 2013

Giveaway Winner!

Mac picked and the winner of the Whole Grain Vegan Baking Book is Sarina! Congratulations Sarina, please email me your address so I can forward it onto the publisher to send you out a copy!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Whole Grain Vegan Baking Blog Tour!

When Celine (of and Tami (of asked if I would like to take part in their blog tour for Whole Grain Vegan Baking, I knew it was the perfect time to get back to blogging. I was lucky enough to be a tester for this amazing book and took full advantage, baking nearly everything they posted. Baking has always had a special place in my heart since it is the very brightest memory I have of my grandmother. I will admit that previous to testing for this book, I didn't have much faith in whole grain baking. I was a skeptic for sure. In the past, I had eaten my fair share of dry, heavy bran muffins or homemade whole grain bread to find nothing more than disappointing cardboard when I sliced it. It seemed impossible that they could change my mind and yet, everytime I tasted something, I would exclaim "This is whole grain!? Oh my goodness it's sooooo light and tasty and...". I honestly couldn't believe it everytime and you think I would have after, you know, 10 or 20 tests but still at test 100 I was in disbelief. Celine and Tami seemed to have found the magic secret of whole grain baking and they were kind enough to share it with all of us in Whole Grain Vegan Baking.

Today, I get to not only share one of my favourite (although not technically baked) recipes from the book but I also get to giveaway a copy of the book thanks to the generosity of the books' publisher, Fair Winds Press. They are happy to ship a copy to the winner (as long as you live in Canada or the United States) so that you too can bake all kinds of delicious and healthy baked goods.

Once you get your copy (and trust me you should get one!), you will be thumbing through reading all the recipe names and drooling over Celine's beautiful photography that will make you wish you could just pick them off the page to taste (someone's working on this right?!) and you might feel like ahhh where do I start and I'm here to help. I have made so many of these recipes over and over again since testing and have fed them to all kinds of willing taste testers and can tell honestly can't go wrong. Anything you choose is going to be great but for those that want a little guidance here's a list of a few of my favourites and why.

Morning Boost Muesli - okay so it's not baked but Celine is Swiss and had to share the perfect whole grain muesli with the world. It became a bit of an obsession for me. I bought the necessary ingredients in bulk because I would just decimate the normal small bags of flakes within a week. I ate it everyday for breakfast for weeks on end. I couldn't get enough. It will fill you up for a busy morning and you won't be searching for that 10am snack. I love it so much that I asked Celine and Tami if I could share the recipe with you and they said yes! (I've put the recipe below so don't forget to scroll down and try it!) I could include my own picture but decided to post Celine's gorgeous shot of it instead as a little sneak peek at the book and because it looks so adorable in those little tulip jars.

Cracked-Wheat Pan Rolls - these are the yummiest, tenderest, fluffiest, tastiest pan rolls I've ever had. My kiddo munched one down and then started to guard them so no one else could eat them because he wanted to save them for another day. That's food love! I have made them again and again (by request) and they always come out perfectly. The cracked wheat adds a nice crunch to them and they are perfect for sopping up sauces (like gravy!). These have become a staple at our holiday celebrations and I'm sure once you try them, they will become part of yours too.

Whole Wheat Lemon Tartlets - time to profess my love for all things curd in this book. Celine and I joked over and over about matching tattoos saying "Curd Love Forever". Any variation, any application, I loved! These tartlets have a special place though because they were the first. The crust is perfectly tender and buttery without butter and the filling is tart and creamy. They are a fancy dessert that you could serve up at a dinner party or you could enjoy in your jammies while watching a movie (my preferred way).

English Muffin Bread - if you love English muffins, this loaf is for you! My family fell in love with this one and I have made it more than 10 times now. It is full of nooks and crannies but less of a hassle than cooking individual English muffins in those rings. All the flavour and texture of the real deal with less fuss...I'm in! This loaf is perfect for making breakfast sandwiches on (like the Country Sausage Sandwich from Celine and Tami's previous work of genius, Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day!) or just toasting a slice with butter for breakfast.

Wholesome Vanilla Pound Cake - Remember that curd love I was telling you's the perfect vehicle for that curd to get in your belly! This pound cake comes together so quick and easy that it will be hard to have an excuse to not make it all the time. It is amazing with fresh berries and any of the curd variations in the book. We've even made cake skewers with it and dipped them in cream. When Mac first tried it, he said "this is soooo going to be my birthday cake every year" so that's a big seal of approval!

Raspberry Spelt Danishes - now I'm not gonna lie, these are a bit more time consuming but they are definitely worth the effort and time you put in. They are a special treat that you will love to make for weekend brunch or maybe for Mother's Day (it's coming up folks!). The raspberry filling mixed with the zest in the dough and filling make a super combo and the tender pastry will make you swoon.

Kelly's Oatmeal Spelt Cookies - okay I may sound super braggy here but even without my name on them I would love these cookies! I asked (okay begged) Celine to create a cookie based on my morning oatmeal and boy did she deliver! They are jam packed full of good stuff like dried apples and nuts and oats. They are perfect for breakfast on the go or a snack in the afternoon when you are starting to feel a little sleepy and hungry (or is that just me around 2pm?). They are kid approved in this house, Mac was a big fan! for that recipe I promised. Mix it up now so you can have some for breakfast tomorrow as it has to sit in the fridge overnight.

Morning Boost Muesli
(Published by Fair Winds Press, 2013) 

We know, we know: There’s technically nothing baked about muesli, but this is a whole grain book after all, and we love muesli too much not to sneak in a recipe for it. Loaded with cracked wheat, wheat germ, heart-healthy spelt flakes, and pleasantly chewy kamut flakes, this breakfast will ensure you won’t get hungry again before lunch.

1 cup (235 ml) water
53 g (1⁄3 cup) dry cracked wheat
pinch of fine sea salt
240 g (1 cup) plain or vanilla-flavored vegan yogurt
1 cup (235 ml) unsweetened pineapple juice
24 g (1⁄4 cup) rolled spelt flakes
24 g (1⁄4 cup) rolled kamut flakes
20 g (2 heaping tablespoons) date crumbles or chopped dried cranberries
25 g (1⁄4 cup) pecans, broken into smaller pieces
16 g (2 tablespoons) wheat germ

Combine the water, cracked wheat, and salt in a medium saucepan, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover with a lid, and cook until the water is absorbed, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool slightly while preparing the rest.

Combine yogurt, juice, spelt and kamut flakes, dates, pecans, and wheat germ in a large bowl. Stir the cooked cracked wheat into the muesli, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight to let the flakes plump up. Stir the muesli again before serving. Eventual leftovers will keep well for up to 2 days after preparation when stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator; stir before serving.

Yield: 3 cups (855 g), 2 large to 4 more modest servings

Serving Suggestions & Variations

• For a fruitier muesli, add 248 g (11⁄2 cups) of fresh pineapple chunks, chopping them finely before stirring them in. Other fruits, such as fresh or thawed berries, would also be fantastic when added upon serving, to further increase the fiber and vitamin profile of this healthy breakfast.

Recipe note
Date crumbles are nuggets made from dried dates, with only oat flour added to prevent clumping. They’re ideal to use in baked goods because there’s no sticky chopping involved, but you can replace them with regular chopped dates without missing a beat. 

And now for the giveaway! If you would love to win a copy of Whole Grain Vegan Baking by Celine Steen and Tamasin Noyes, leave a comment on this post telling me your favourite baked good. A winner will be chosen by random draw (the boy likes to pick names from a hat) on Friday, May 24th, 2013 at 2pm EST. This giveaway is open to anyone in Canada and the United States. 

Make sure to check out all the stops on the blog tour. The complete list with links can be found on Tami and Celine's respective blogs. Just click on their names and it will take you there. Also, the next stop will be tomorrow with Mihl over at Seitan is my Motor who is sharing another recipe from the book! Don't miss it!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Giveaway Winner!

I used my truly random number son, to pick a number between 1 and 35 and he decided on 6 for the win! Congratulations to Maggie Muggins, you are the winner and get your choice of cookbook. I've already sent you an email asking for your pick so let me know soon and I will order you your book!

Thanks again to everyone that entered and read my Mofo posts! I have really enjoyed participating and reading everyone else's blogs and can't wait for next year.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

October Vegan Food Swap

This month I was sent goodies from Maggie in Newfoundland. I didn't realize Maggie was in Newfoundland though until I received my parcel and it was all packed snugly in pages from The Telegram (local paper). It was nice to see since I remember it from growing up there and gave me that "awww I miss home" kinda feeling. Maggie sent me her recipe for Pumpkin Spice Granola and I immediately made it just because it sounded so good. My mom is seriously in love with this stuff, she won't stop talking about it and how amazing it is. I think she is hinting she wants me to make more...what do you think?

Maggie also sent me:

- Patak's Garlic Paddadums: I have seen these at the grocery store and have never bought them because I will admit I had no clue what they were. I am glad she sent them! Next time I cook up something with Indian flavours these will be getting used.

- a bag of Cinnamon Crunch Somersaults: I have never tried these either and they are so good! The bag is gone now since we all loved them. I left them on the kitchen table and every night after supper we would all have a few and they quickly disappeared.

- a few Tazo Refresh tea bags: I am a non-caffeinated person, crazy I know but that stuff makes me jittery in the worst way. I really appreciated the herbal tea as I am turning into a tea person lately. It made a great after dinner tea with the mint.

- a pack of Panda All-Natural Soft Licorice: Lucky me since I love black licorice. I know it's one of those love it or hate it things but I love it! I really enjoyed this little treat too!

- a bag of Rhythm Superfoods Kool Ranch Kale Chips: I love me some kale chips and these are no exception. I have tried some of the flavours from Rhythm Superfoods before but Kool Ranch was a new one. Very tasty!

Thank you so much Maggie! I really loved it all and my mom says thank you for sending the granola recipe! I love it too so thank you from me too!

As always, if you would like to join in, check out for details and sign up sheet.

Around the World in 80 Plates: Lebanon

Again, for this entry, I had to ask for my mom's help and the recipe I used is from World Vegan Feast. This time it was Yellow Semolina Cake with Lemon Syrup (Sfoof) from Lebanon. As the name would indicate, it is made with semolina flour and is soaked with a lemon syrup after it's baked. It also has a traditional ingredient of turmeric to give it a bright yellow hue (and no joke, it's yellow!). Bryanna says in the header of the recipe that she added the less traditional lemon flavouring to the cake and a lemon syrup as well but I think it was a great addition. I love lemon cakes, they may just be my favourite of all the cakes so when I read over this recipe, I knew I had to try it.

It goes together quite quickly with the assistance of a stand mixer and the top is studded with slivered almonds which makes it quite pretty. I also love that it will hold for a few days though I'm not sure how long it will last around here. This cake is seriously moreish. It is dense and moist and full of lemony flavour. It's surprisingly not as sweet as I would have imagined with the syrup poured over top. Its just right. Mac loved it too and the fact that we are eating cake at 10:30 am too!

Also, you have until tomorrow morning at 10am EST to enter to win one of nine cookbooks (you get to choose). It is open to anyone, worldwide and all you have to do is leave a comment on this post (

This is my final Vegan Mofo post, I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. I found some great new blogs to follow and ate a bunch of delicious food thanks to some wonderful vegan cookbook authors. I do plan to keep up on the trip around the world just not at this pace. Hope you will come back to join me for those as well!  

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Around the World in 80 Plates: Turkey

I couldn't resist making Turkish Delight for this Mofo Project. When I spotted Pomegranate and Walnut Turkish Delight in Bryanna Clark Grogan's World Vegan Feast my inner nine year old instantly screamed out that I had to make it. I loved C.S. Lewis' Narnia books and I will always remember imagining what Turkish Delight might taste like while I was reading The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. I was intrigued by the process to make it and the pomegranate juice that is used as flavouring. Then I hurt my arm and I thought I wasn't going to be able to get it made but my mom came to the rescue and made it for me and only left the cutting and tossing in powdered sugar for me to finish up. 

I quickly tasted a piece once I had just one tossed in the sugar to keep it from sticking to me and it was delicious and sticky and nutty with the addition of the walnuts. I swear my imagination went wild finally getting to taste what I had dreamed about when I was a little girl. I could now see why Edmund was taken with the White Witch since she kept bribing him with candy. I had (and still do have) a very overactive imagination as a kid and loved being pulled into another world of magic and fairy tales. I have very deep attachments to these books even still and can't wait until I can read them with Mac.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Around the World in 80 Plates: Greece

This next post features all kinds of yummy Greek food from Vegan Eats World and The 30 Minute Vegan's Taste of Europe but I'll let you in on a little was enjoyed all the way back at the beginning of the month for our Thanksgiving feast (better late than never right). Around this house there is always the usual discussion of what to make for big meals, you know, your Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter kind of meals. These meals always feature certain things in most families and these things get repeated every year in the name of tradition. This tradition I have thrown out the window, not because I can't recreate these things (because I can!) but just because I don't want to make the same thing year after year. I've decided to honor tradition in a different way, every year for these meals, I will make something awesome that takes a bit more time and effort than I am willing to put in on any other day and most importantly, I will share it with my family. When you really get down to it, that is the part you love about those big holidays. Sitting around the table and sharing time with your family and friends and enjoying each other's company. There, I got that out of the way...on to the food!

This year, I went with a Greek themed meal using recipes I knew I loved from testing for Vegan Eats World. It had been awhile since I made any of them so I was really looking forward to it too. I decided the centrepiece of this meal would be the Tomatoes and Peppers (though I left it at just tomatoes) Stuffed with Dill Rice or Yemista. Like I mentioned, I skipped the peppers this time but only because I bought a big flat of Ontario tomatoes at Costco, both are equally delicious! The filling is super flavourful in these, full of walnuts, fresh herbs and onions/garlic. They are impressive to serve but really are easy to make but shhh...let them be wowed!

Stuffed Tomatoes with Dill Rice
(from Vegan Eats World)

I also made the Lemon Garlic Roasted Potatoes which are also quick and easy but super yummy! Kiddo loves these big time too. Another hit at the table this Thanksgiving was the Greek Creamy Lemon Rice Soup. Everyone loved this as a starter with the veggies, beans and rice seasoned with dill and oregano. Also on the table for our feast were some souvlaki soy curls. I have yet to really write down and perfect this recipe but basically I soak and drain/squeeze the soy curls then marinate them in lemon juice (fresh squeezed really works best here), lots of garlic that I finely grate (like a whole head), a big pinch of dried oregano and some salt and pepper. Then all you have to do is pan fry them until they are golden and a bit crispy on the outside. I always taste a few as I cook and adjust the seasoning as I go. I served these up and made sure to have lots of thick Greek style pitas, sliced tomatoes and red onions and some homemade tzatziki too. To make the tzatziki, I pressed out some of the homemade yogurt from Artisan Vegan Cheese until it was thick and creamy in my Tofu Xpress. Then I added one small Lebanese style cucumber that I grated finely and the juice that came out while grating, a splash of lemon juice, about a tablespoon of fresh minced dill, one glove of garlic grated finely as well with a bit of salt and pepper to taste. It was perfect too, kinda of dry like goat's milk tzatziki would be but still creamy and it was excellent with the soy curls and potatoes too.

Greek Creamy Lemon Rice Soup
(from Vegan Eats World)

Souvlaki Soy Curls (my little improv recipe) and
 Lemon Garlic Roasted Potatoes (from Vegan Eats World)

Homemade Tzatziki

I also added in something new that I have never tried, Dolmas, from The 30 Minute Vegan's Taste of Europe. I had picked up some vine leaves in a Middle Eastern market recently and the only thing that came to mind was dolmas. They were similar in filling to the tomatoes in that it was rice based but they were different. I was a little hesitant at first about eating a leaf but I decided to say what the heck and go for it and they were so worth the chance. They were especially good dipped in the tzatziki too.

Dolmas (from The 30 Minute Vegan's Taste of Europe)

Put it all together!

And of course there was dessert and what better dessert to have with our Greek feast than Hazelnut Orange Blossom Baklava from Vegan Eats World?? This is some seriously delicious baklava made with a mix of butter and olive oil and I swear I will never go back to any other way of making it. The nuts and the syrup mix together to make a sticky sweet nutty flavour party. Plus it looks pretty too, right?!

Hazelnut Orange Blossom Baklava (from Vegan Eats World)