Virtual Thanksgiving Potluck with Underground Culinary Lab

Pumpkin Spinach Lasgna DSC_6670Thanksgiving is no longer around the corner! I hope you are having a lovely extended weekend to get away from the hustle and bustle of life. I know I will be enjoying my reading week  to catch up on courses and to recharge myself. I could not ask for a better birthday gift than a week off (p.s. tomorrow I turn 21!). A month ago I purchased a new camera lens which I am still trying to get the hang of. To make up for the lack of savoury dishes on this blog, here it is. My friends from Underground Culinary Lab (UCL) invited me to a virtual double-date potluck. Ricelessasian and Matchachoco are good friends of mine from university and also the creative masters of the UCL blog. They made a delectable pumpkin loaf and healthy pumpkin oatmeal cookies here.  Check out their blog for delicious recipes, beautiful photographs, travel and much more. Pumpkin Spinach Lasgna DSC_6702 Continue reading

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Summer’s End- Tomato Tart with Creamy Basil Filling (Vegan)

Nothing says rewarding like harvesting home grown vegetables and transforming them into a recipe.  Although the garden was started later in the spring and I did cheat by just buying a beefsteak tomato plant. Even though the plant looked healthy, maybe it was not the best quality because the tomatoes had a fibrous grainy texture which did not make it the best raw munching experience. It also developed some very sad blight fungus. Despite my efforts to remedy it with a solution of baking soda, vegetable oil and water many of the precious branches and leaves had to be removed. It came at a cost of trying to keep it organic and pesticide free. On the positive side, the blight did not affect the tomatoes. Continue reading

Dark Chocolate Almond Brownies (Vegan)

It looks like spring is slowly approaching.  Some days the breeze is warm…yes, I said warm! Please don’t fall back to the cold dark days, Toronto.  It’s been a while since brownies last made an appearance in the kitchen which is why I am just popping in to share my all-time favourite vegan brownie recipe. I found the Almond Joy Brownies from Hangry Tales  and have made some changes over the many times I baked them. Check out Hangry Tales for many delicious  and healthy recipes 🙂 The coconut flour gives the brownies a unique distinction, but if you don’t have it at home feel free to substitute with ground oats.  This recipe is slightly more dense than a regular brownie, and the melted chocolate adds a subtle richness. At the same time, I think it has the perfect amount of sweetness and does not have the tooth-sticking gooey feel as it is a little more crumbly. I hope you enjoy it!   Continue reading

Banana Bread Muffins (Vegan)

As you know, I am always on the lookout for a new banana bread recipe. Here’s another successful one 🙂 . It has a nice crumb texture and it is not too sweet. Now a change of subject…Recounting the number of health/food memes that exploded on ripe bananas, you may have already seen the hype on the anti-cancer substance “Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF)”. If not, the memes basically rave about the increase in TNF in ripe bananas, and implies a cure-all to cancer with banana consumption. If you are intrigued with science and health, you may have found it as amazing as I did. Continue reading

Oriental Cashew Cookies

You know it’s 10/10 when my mom takes seconds and asks for another batch. I love this cashew cookie recipe. There is a decent amount of prep work but after that the recipe is so easy. It has a different sweetness when compared to chocolate chip cookies and the coconut oil helps to accent the cashew flavour. Though the Lunar New Year has passed it reminds me of the sweets  during those occasions. Continue reading

Sweet Potato Pie

As it happens, I was already more than half way through mixing all the ingredients together until the shock sunk in. Cooking’s worst nightmare —a missing ingredient. No canned pumpkins. Out goes the pumpkin pie recipe I was looking forward to. But this is a happy, delicious story too. Give these a go for a snack, or even breakfast.

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Ode to Early Fall

It started from a seed in the beginning of the summer. It’s a bit late to report now, however, the pots of basil have bloomed! This is probably the first time my basil plants have lived so long without withering and limping.  They were not looking so great indoors, but after putting them outside the leaves and stems grew much stronger. The aroma of basil is so fresh…also addicting.  Although the white flowers are so beautiful, they should be picked off to encourage growth. Did I mention that I am always looking for the next best banana bread recipe? Purely Twins’  Plantain Banana Bread is my most recent find, breakfast and snack worthy! I used a muffin pan instead because sometimes it’s nice to have individual pieces ready for on-the-go needs. They were so moist and just enough sweetness.  The only substitute made was using 4 bananas instead of 3 bananas + 1 plantain and whole wheat flour. I love the combination of bananas and cinnamon, so some extra cinnamon and crushed walnuts were added to the batter too. An ode goes out to the Harvest Party in September. It was an event that ended the summer and kicked off the fall for me. The majority of the produce from our campus gardens were harvested and cooked into amazing things.
Free, delicious, colourful, healthy, local food was served on one of the main streets at school. Having volunteered with the garden group in the past, I was so proud to see the community coming together. And it is amazing how many people free food can attract! This year I was able to help out with food preparations ahead of the event and some set-up for the event.  There’s something special about having  8 gardens around the campus in the core of Toronto. Continue reading