Thursday, November 27, 2008

Perfect Pancakes

For the longest time my family and I have made pancakes for breakfast every Sunday morning. We have tried many different recipes but I think I like this one the best.

1 1/2 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
4 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
2 Tbsp Powdered Sweetener
1/4 Cup Flax Meal
1/4 Cup Unsweetened Coconut
1/4 Cup crushed Pecans
1 Ripe Banana, Mashed
1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 3/4 - 2 Cups Soy Milk

Lightly season griddle with a little olive oil and preheat to 300°F. In a large bowl, mix together all but the last four ingredients until well combined. In a small bowl, mash the ripe banana with a fork until it forms a paste. Mix the olive oil and vanilla in with the banana until well blended. Poor banana mixture and milk into the dry ingredients and stir until completely incorporated. Poor mixture onto griddle in 1/4 cup increments. When bubbles rise to the top of the pancakes and leave tunnels when they pop the pancakes are ready to be flipped. Continue to cook until crusty tops soften. Makes 12-14 4" pancakes.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Lemon Herb Tofu

I don't believe in dressing a wolf in sheeps clothing and I typicaly don't condone trying to make food into something it is not. However, if you are a fresh convert and you find yourself craving lemon chicken give this dish a try. Just remember this is tofu, not chicken.

3-4 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp corn syrup
1 pinch of black pepper
1 – 350g package extra firm tofu cut into squares 1/4"-1/2” thick

Preheat oven to 375°F. In an 8” x 12” baking dish, combine all ingredients, with the exception of the tofu, until well blended. Place tofu within mixture and stir gently until all sides are coated. Bake covered for 15 minutes, turn tofu over and continue baking uncovered for an additional 15 minutes stirring after 10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before serving. Serve with a cooked grain such as quinoa, wild rice, or brown rice.

“I like my meat!”?

It’s a common phrase to hear when discussing veganism with an omnivore, “I like my meat!” I think it is a reflexive response omnivores use when they feel threatened, as the saying is commonly uttered when the issue of ethics is introduced to the conversation. I believe we all have our comfort foods, and when you were raised in a family where animal flesh was ever present at the dinner table the thought of it not being there becomes frightening. I have some experience in this as I have not always been vegan. I was raised as many Albertan’s are with meat and potatoes as a household staple. I always knew in my mind that animals were not treated in a humane manner and I had seen the PETA videos showing disturbing images from factory farms and slaughterhouses but I chose to remain blind for many years protecting my comfort food and proudly proclaiming, “I like my meat!” I have to give credit to my spouse for showing me that ethical dietary choices did not have to mean giving up comfort foods all together. Rather I had to find new comfort foods that I could enjoy on a spiritual level as well as a physical level. I now can find pride in the choices I make knowing innocence was not lost to bring me to my happy place and I can now proudly exclaim, “I like my ethics!”

Friday, November 21, 2008

Chickpea Ratatouille

This is a great dish to serve a skeptic, they won't believe how great it tastes. Serve warm or cold on a bed of steamed batsami rice with a fresh parsley garnish. Or try something different like a cooked grain such as quinoa, millet, or whole wheat cous cous.

3 cups cooked chickpeas
2 cups red onion, finely chopped
3 medium cloves garlic, minced
1 28oz can unsalted diced tomatoes
1/2 cup red or yellow bell pepper, diced
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
2 tsp corn syrup
2 tsp mustard seeds or sharp prepared mustard
2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 dried bay leaves

Preheat oven to 400°F. In a large, deep casserole dish, combine all the ingredients except the bay leaves. Stir until well combined, then embed the bay leaves in the mixture. Cover and bake for 30 minutes, stir thoroughly, and continue to bake covered for an additional 35-45 minutes, until the onions are translucent, stirring occasionally. Remove bay leaves, serve, and enjoy.