The Best Tofu Veggie Burger

Although veggie patties take some elbow grease, I assure you it is completely worth it. Make a whole batch and freeze them for your next meals. Or even better, pop them in the toaster or microwave in the morning for a savoury breakfast.

I find this recipe very forgiving. If you don’t want left over ingredients -such as half an onion- feel free to toss them into the cooking process. You will be surprised by the amount of veggies crammed into these golden pucks.

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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

Bean, Spinach and Tomato “Compote”

Green juices are my go-to study snacks. When I am sitting on my butt for most of the day and on the verge of losing my mind, a healthy refresher is just the thing I need. The smoothie included:

2 nuggets of frozen spinach
1/2 apple
1/2 orange
1 frozen banana
3 medjool dates
fresh lemon juice
enough water to blend everything

Recently I cooked a bunch of lentils and white haricot beans. Having cooked beans on hand makes it convenient to incorporate more healthy protein and fibre in the diet. There are so many ways to cook with legumes/beans and I am finding all kinds of uses for them in meals.

Cooking the beans and spinach in the tomato sauce reminds of a tomato-based stew. The recipe is simple enough to whip up in under 10 minute and you can easily add in other ingredients like onions, garlic, mushrooms, squash, sliced carrots, and more!

Bean, Spinach and Tomato “Compote
Serves 1
-6 to 8 cherry tomatoes
-2 cups spinach, fresh
-1/2 cup tomato sauce
-1/2 cup cooked beans or legumes (I used 1/4 cup of lentils and 1/4 cup of haricot beans)
-seasoning to taste (black pepper, dried basil…)

1.On medium high heat, saute cherry tomatoes with a 1-2 tbsp of oil until they become tender.
2. Add in spinach and cook until wilted. Add in some water if it gets starts to become too dry.
3. Add tomato sauce and the cooked beans/legumes. Cook until the sauce thickens.
4. Season to taste and serve.

It is snowing again! I couldn’t miss out on capturing the beautiful plants I saw around the neighbourhood. Squirrel on the dashAnd more to come!

Caponata Stew

Caponata stew

The biggest thing I love about cooking is that a delicious, healthy and appealing dish doesn’t have to involve many expensive ingredients or fancy processes of preparation. Caponata stew is one of those impressing dishes that has become the go-to meal for me recently. It’s easy to prepare and it will take up any of the vegetables you want to empty out of your fridge.  This recipe is from Laura Vitale’s  videos.

From what was found on google, caponata is a traditional Sicilian dish which is often eaten as a side dish, but also as a main dish.  It consists mainly of eggplants, olives, onions and herbs. However, for your reference this recipe is by no means a traditional one.

Caponata Stew
Serves: 5

Adopted from Laura Vitale but the same idea of veggies stewed in tomatoes is still kept. Very small changes to the amounts of the vegetables used, olives were omitted because I never have them at home, also omitted hot pepper flakes, vinegar (because the tomato sauce is already acidic) and red wine.

few tablespoons of oil for cooking vegetables
1 cup chopped carrots
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 medium-sized onion (or 3 shallots)
1 1/2 large bell pepper (you can mix up different colours)
1 large eggplant, chopped
1/2 cup marinated artichokes
~25 ounces (725 mL) of canned  tomato sauce
1/2 cup water (optional, used to lightly dilute tomato sauce)
1 tbsp brown sugar
a handful of raisins
salt and pepper to taste
dried or fresh basil to taste

1. Use enough oil to cook all the vegetables except for the artichokes in a pot or a cooking pan that will be able to hold all the ingredients together. Cook on medium-high heat for about 8-10 minutes or until they begin to soften. Cooking everything in one pot will help make cleaning a lot easier.

2. Season with salt and pepper. Add in tomato sauce, artichokes,water and raisins. Let it cook over medium heat for about 30 minutes with occasionally stirring, or until the stew is thick and vegetables are tender.

3. Add in sugar and season with salt/pepper/basil.

4. Serve hot and enjoy. Leftovers can be refrigerated and frozen.

It’s hearty, filling and definitely something of a comfort food which is why I think it would be great for a holiday meal. You can have caponata with bread, pasta, noodles, in lasagna, and with other vegetables. Add in whatever else you desire. I am planning on adding cooked beans to this next time.

Days until Christmas: 4

Taiwan Taiwan

Hello! It has been an awfully long time since I last posted something. It was difficult to finally get a somewhat stable internet access, but I don’t want to jinx it.  The past week was crazy busy. A brief recap before I go on to Taiwan.  With a few friends on Friday the 10th, I went to Taste of the Danforth. It is an annual festival in Toronto’s Greek town. I was told spanakopita or spinach phyllo pie was a signature that I could not  miss out on. Continue reading

Wrappin’ Up That Week

Happy Monday! The new “Checklist” page was added and it is a list of personal achievements or random interests I hope to tackle.  And the spinach ricotta lasagna will be upcoming in the next post!

I was very proud of myself for beating the alarm clock by a whole hour this morning.  The course midterm exam was set for 9AM, so I wanted to squeeze in extra time to study after breakfast. I was able to take more time in my morning routine and to eat slower too. Breakfast was rye bread with peanut butter, 1/3 of a large avocado and blueberries. And a drizzle of honey  on the avocado for an extra kick of sweetness.Enjoyed every bite of the breakfast sandwich  🙂 I like to put avocado slices on bread when they are abundant and in season. The tartness of the blueberries went well with the creamy texture of the avocado. Continue reading

Doggie Knockout & Purple Yam Checkoff

This morning I had a smaller breakfast because I wanted to get through 20 minutes of Tabata before leaving the house. It was yogurt with strawberries and honey.

After speeding through the Tabata I went over to a mall to meet with the seller of a second hand Nikon DSLR. Yes 🙂 my very first one. Except for the short period in high school when my friend allowed me to borrow his older DSLR, I can say that I barely have  experience with DSLR’s. Instead of stressing over science courses and filling my timetables with university prerequisites, I wish I had taken photography classes in high school to  better my understanding of gadgets. Although I know nothing,  I’m excited to try out the camera and learn all the cool effects.  I contemplated on purchasing one for a long time, thinking about the cost and the worth in the long term. I always admire seeing people with DSLR’s, snapping away at moments and wishing I could have one too. It is not cheap but I decided to just go with it and to see where it takes me in terms of photo quality, hobbies, and what not. Continue reading