Lemon Green Beans with Dill – Fasolakia Lemonata

Lemon Green Beans with DillAugust is a time for sitting on a patio, enjoying the warm weather and eating not only barbeque, but also the great dishes made from all of the fresh produce of the season. Salads can be thought of as boring or the healthy “required eating” before you get to the main dish or dessert, but it does not need to be that way. We serve many different salads, both light and full flavoured ones, that can make the salad a part of the meal people look forward to!

One salad that we serve, which may be more of a side dish than a true “salad”, is the Greek dish called Fasolakia Lemonata (or lemon green beans). This is a dish that Liz and Kurt used to each as often as they could at their favourite Greek restaurant in Toronto: Mezes, on the Danforth. It is just a perfect blend of lemon, dill and garlic tossed with olive oil and balsamic over lightly cooked green beans.

Give this recipe a try at your next barbeque. It is fast and easy to make and we are sure it will disappear quickly leaving you to make a mental note to make a bit more the next time you do it.

Ingredients

Vary the quantity of ingredients depending on how many you’re feeding. In general, a small handful of beans (10-15) is enough per person.

Nothing in this recipe is crucial or delicate, so you really can’t mess it up. Just add in the ingredients and adjust them until they taste right to you.

  • Fresh green beans
  • Red pepper – cut into tiny pieces
  • Red or green onion – sliced thinly into strips (optional…Liz does not onion in it)
  • Fresh dill – finely chopped
  • 2-3 garlic cloves – finely minced
  • Lemon – juice it and use the juice for dressing
  • Balsamic vinegar & olive oil

Directions

  1. Put a large pot of water on to boil.
  2. While that heats, trim the ends off the beans and keep in cold water to stay fresh and hydrated.
  3. When water boils, add the whole beans (after draining cold water from them). When water comes back to a boil leave beans for about a minute and then remove from heat. The beans should be much more brightly coloured now.
  4. Drain and immerse in cold water. Keep cold water running on them until cool to the touch. This keeps them crunchy.
  5. In a mixing boil add the other vegetable ingredients and the vinegar, oil, and lemon juice to taste.

Enjoy!

Cauliflower Wings

These “wings” are similar to our Maple Sriracha Roasted Cauliflower, but have a crispy batter. If the transition to plant based eating is difficult because of foods you miss, this wing substitute will leave you satisfied and squash that wing craving. 

Ingredientscauliflower wings

  • 1 cauliflower, cleaned and cut into wing size pieces (approx. 4 cups of florets)
  • ½ cup nut or soy milk 
  • ½ cup water
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour (can sub gluten-free flour)
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp of paprika
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp ground pepper
  • 1 cup hot sauce – whatever degree of hot you like
  • 1 tbsp margarine

Instructions

  1. Line baking sheet(s) with parchment paper. Preheat your oven to 425-450 F depending on your oven.
  2. Wash and cut cauliflower head into bite sized pieces/florets. 
  3. Mix the milk, water, flour and spices in a medium mixing bowl (set aside the hot sauce and margarine for later). Mix until the batter is thick and is able to coat the cauliflower without dripping.
  4. Dip the cauliflower in the batter. You can do this one by one or in batches.  Shake off excess batter before placing cauliflower on the baking sheet in a single layer.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown, flipping the florets over half way through to get all sides golden brown and crispy.
  6. While the cauliflower is baking, get your buffalo wing sauce ready. In a small saucepan on low heat melt margarine and mix in hot sauce. Remove from the heat just as it starts to melt. Stir together and set aside. 
  7. Once the cauliflower is done its first bake in the batter, remove them from the oven and put all the baked florets into a mixing bowl with the wing sauce and toss to coat evenly. Return cauliflower to baking sheet and bake in the oven for another 20-25 minutes.
  8. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce.

Enjoy!

Asparagus Risotto

Italian comfort food. We usually serve this with vegan sausage (Field Roast brand is amazing) and any side veg available like grilled zucchini or steamed broccoli.

IngredientsAsparagus Risotto

  • 6 – 7 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion (shallots or leeks)
  • 1 bunch asparagus, chopped into 1cm long pieces
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups dry Arborio rice
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest (optional)
  • Nutritional yeast (optional seasoning)
  • ¼ cup ground cashews (or other nut), to garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a medium saucepan, make 7 cups of veggie stock. Reduce the heat so the water is steaming but not boiling. Leave this on the stovetop.
  2. In a large saucepan add 1-2 tbsp of water over medium-low heat. Add the onions, and garlic and cook until soft, 3 to 5 minutes, adding a bit of water as needed to prevent sticking.
  3. Add the rice and stir until the edges become translucent, about 3 minutes.
  4. Add the balsamic vinegar, and salt, and stir until you can no longer see any of the vinegar in the bottom of the pot.
  5. Add 1 cup of the hot veggie stock, and keep stirring until it has been almost completely absorbed (2 to 3 minutes). Continue to add 1 cup of stock at a time in the same way, stirring continuously. This gradual technique is the key to getting the rice to release its starch, thereby making the dish creamy. This process will take 20 – 30 minutes, and will use 6 to 7 cups of stock. After the first 10 minutes of cooking add the chopped asparagus (it doesn’t need long to cook). You don’t need to use all the stock necessarily so keep tasting it after you’ve added 5 cups and see what it needs. The risotto is ready when the rice is still a bit firm, has a creamy texture and is very thick.
  6. Stir in the basil and lemon zest. Garnish with chopped basil and/or nutritional yeast. Serve immediately.

Notes: If you don’t have asparagus you can substitute mushrooms and use tarragon instead of basil. Add the mushrooms earlier in the process than the asparagus.

Risotto will thicken a lot and get sticky after refrigerating. To reheat, stir in a little water or unsweetened non-dairy milk.

Enjoy!

Hot & Sour Soup! 🍲

 

Ingredientshot and sour soup

Servings: 4
Total Time: 45 minutes

  • 1 – 10 oz bag dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp ginger, minced
  • 1 – 8 oz can bamboo shoots, julienned
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2-4 tbsp hot sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch
  • 3 tbsp cold water
  • 2 green onions sliced
  • 2 tsp sesame oil, extra for drizzling on soup
  • 1/3 block tofu, diced (optional)

Instructions

  1. Soak shiitake mushrooms in water for 6 hours or overnight.  Keep the water they soak in.
  2. Add vegetable stock, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, vinegar and hot sauce to pot.
  3. Drain mushroom liquid into pot, without putting mushrooms into the pot. Bring liquid to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer.
  4. Remove stems from shiitake mushroom caps and discard hard ends of stems. Slice mushrooms and add to pot. Let simmer 20-30 minutes.
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste. Adjust spice and acidity. Add more vinegar or hot sauce if needed. Add a little sweetener if too spicy or sour.
  6. In a separate bowl mix together cornstarch and water.
  7. Add cornstarch to hot soup. Stir over medium heat until slightly thickened.
  8. Add green onions and sesame oil.
  9. Cook for 5 minutes.
  10. Serve and drizzle extra sesame oil on top if desired.

Notes:  Add seasonal veggies as you wish – snow peas & bean sprouts in spring, julienned carrots in the fall.  Let your imagination, and your tummy, guide you!

Enjoy!

Baked Vegan French Toast 🍁

baked french toast

Ingredients

  • 1 large, ripe banana
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 tbsp ground flax or chia
  • 1-2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ⅛ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 9–10 slices stale or lightly toasted bread

Instructions

  1. Mash the banana and mix it together with all of the ingredients, except the bread slices.
  2. Dip each slice of bread into the mixture and fill the bottom of an 8″ baking pan (a loaf pan, like shown above, also works well), pushing them to the edge of the pan as much as possible. Cut bread slices before dipping to make them fit the pan, if needed.
  3. When the bottom of the pan is covered with the dipped bread slices, add a second and any additonal layers until the pan is full. Place the bread slices on each new layer in the opposite direction, so the bread overlaps the edges of the previous layer. 
  4. Pour any leftover dipping mixture evenly over the top of the bread layers.
  5. Sprinkle with cinnamon.
  6. Bake for approximately 30 min until it is fluffy and browned.
  7. Allow the pan to cool for several minutes and, after loosening the loaf from the edges of the pan with a knife or spatua, cut slices of the baked french toast and serve them with any toppings you’d like.
  8. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Stale bread always works best, because it is firmer, but you can also slightly toast it.
  • You can use gluten-free or wheat bread, but gluten-free will tend to be a bit mushier and not hold together quite as well.
  • The recipe can also be made eggs. To do so, just substitute 3 beaten eggs for the ground flax/chia. (In the above photo, the pan on the left is vegan and the one on the right is made with eggs.)

Pretzel Mix

Pretzel MixSalty Crunchy Yumm!
Pretzel Mix is a holiday staple around the Frost household and a 5th food group for Liz!  Her mom has made this once a year, every year of Liz’s life, and we all enjoy munching it. We hope you love it too!

Preheat oven to 250°F.

In a huge roasting pan mix together gently:

2 cups Cheerios (original unsweetened)
2 cups Shreddies (original, unsweetened)
4 cups pretzels (different shapes for fun)
2 cups corn chips 
2 cups small crackers, or potato sticks
1 cup mixed nuts

Mix together in a mixing bowl and then pour over dry mixture:

2/3 cup melted butter or margarine (add more if desired; Liz’s mom will use up to 1 lb)
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder, heaping
2 tbsp vegetarian Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp seasoning salt

  • Gently mix well.
  • Bake uncovered for 2 hrs, stirring every 15 min to spread the flavour evenly.
  • The pretzel mix will be crispy but not overly browned when it is done.

This is a very yummy pretzel mix, and there are many ways to make it just the way you want. Here are a few tips and ideas:

    1. If you have a bulk food store in your area (like Bulk Barn) go peruse the aisles for things that might taste good in your pretzel mix. Think salty, crunchy. 🙂
    2. The mix can be easily made vegan by substituting the butter for a margarine of your choice (we use Earth Balance).
    3. Making the mix gluten-free is also easy. 
      • Cereals like Cheerios and Crispix are wheat-free already, but you will want to double-check for any other ingredients that may not work for you. 
      • Many brands of pretzels, cereals, chip-like substances, etc will have gluten-free alternatives you can easily buy at your local grocery or bulk food store.
    4. As for nuts, if you can’t or do not want to eat them, try substituting bigger seeds (like pumpkin or sunflower) or roasted legumes like chickpeas or snap peas (not raw snap peas – think dry snack foods).
    5. Spices are a matter of personal preference. The ones in this recipe are a good combo, but you can add more or less of each of them or try some new mixtures as an experiment. 
      • If you want to do some experimental pretzel mix making, try breaking up the recipe into 2 or 3 smaller batches that can each be flavoured slightly differently. This way you can try out a few different flavours and if one of your spice combos is a dud, you have not lost much.
      • Here are a few flavour ideas:
        • Curry: curry powder, turmeric, cumin, coriander, garlic and onion powder, salt
        • Sweet & Spicy: brown sugar/maple syrup, salt, cayenne pepper
        • Honey Mustard: honey (or maple syrup!), mustard, salt
        • Chili Lime: lime juice & rind, cumin, chili powder, salt
        • Do a few web searches and you will find many recipes to use for ideas.
    6. Ultimately, the recipe is more of a guideline than a set of rules. Make it however you want. (Have you considered popcorn?)

We make no claim that this is a health food snack. This pretzel mix is full of lots of carb, salt and buttery goodness that definitely is a better seasonal treat than a new food group item. It’s why we only make it once a year. 🙂 Enjoy!

Tell us about your favourite pretzel mix ingredients or recipe. We may add a few ideas from others to this page for the world to enjoy!

Coconut Cream Chia Pudding

Chia seeds are one of the healthiest of the new superfoods widely available in food markets today. They are loaded with nutrients that can have important benefits for your body and brain. 

Coconut Cream Chia Pudding is a delicious, easy to make treat packed with lots of nutrition! Vegan-friendly and gluten free, you can make one or more portions the night before to have throughout the week. Start with the basic recipe, adding in your favourite fruits and toppings.

Chia seeds were an important food for the Aztecs and Mayan who prized them for their ability to provide sustained energy.

In fact, “chia” is the ancient Mayan word for “strength.”

Despite their ancient history as a dietary staple, only recently did chia seeds become recognized as a modern-day superfood.

These tiny seeds pack a powerful nutritional punch.

A 1 ounce (28 grams) serving of chia seeds contains (1, 2):

  • Fiber: 11 grams
  • Protein: 4 grams
  • Fat: 9 grams (5 of which are Omega-3s)
  • Calcium: 18% of the RDA
  • Manganese: 30% of the RDA
  • Magnesium: 30% of the RDA
  • Phosphorus: 27% of the RDA
  • They also contain a decent amount of Zinc, Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Potassium, Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) and Vitamin B2.

The fiber and Omega 3’s in Chia seeds rate higher ounce for ounce than flaxseed.  Higher fiber with lots of Omega’s reduce your risk for diabetes type 2 and heart disease. One of the best features are the antioxidants which help the Omega oils from going rancid. So grab your empty mason jars (8oz) and get your breakfast of champions started!

COCONUT CREAM CHIA PUDDING
WITH MIXED BERRIES AND PECANS

Ingredients (per serving)

  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup (adjust sweetness to taste)

Mix chia seeds, coconut milk, and maple syrup together in a small bowl or glass mason jar. Let it set in the refrigerator. Stir mixture after half an hour and set back in the fridge. Repeat one more time. Leave overnight.

In the morning, remove it from the fridge, and make sure your pudding looks thick and the chia seeds have gelled.

Layer the coconut cream on top of the pudding (available at specialty food stores or the grocery store in ethnic aisle) then add fresh strawberries/blueberries and top with chopped pecans. Then grab a spoon and enjoy!

You can make 5 to 7 – 8oz. glass mason jars with the basic recipe and change up your breakfast to go every morning by using different fruits, nuts and seeds for a variety of tastes and texture.

P.S. It also makes a great dessert or afternoon snack!

Maple Sriracha Roasted Cauliflower

A guest recently shared a version of this recipe with me and I’ve loved it ever since. I’ve tweaked it a bit of course (cuz that’s what I do) and every guest I’ve shared it with has loved it.

If you are looking for a super quick side dish that’s unique then here’s your answer!     ~ Liz

Ingredients

  • 1 large head cauliflower, cut into bite sized florets
  • 1/8 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tsp sriracha – could use more if you like it hot
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk all ingredients together until combined. Add the cauliflower and toss until well coated.
  3. Spread on a baking sheet, and bake, flipping once during baking, until golden brown and tender (approx 25 min).
  4. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro and serve with additional sriracha sauce if desired.

Pro Tip: If you want less mess for clean up, line the baking sheet with parchment paper!

Thai Mushroom & Kale Soup

Thai Mushroom SoupIngredients

  • 1 large onion cut into chunks (bite sized)
  • 2-3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 inch piece of ginger minced (more if you love ginger)
  • 2-4 cups mushrooms – brown, shitake or cremini – the older the better for flavour
  • 2 cups kale chopped (or bok choy, or spinach, or dandelion leaves)
  • Extra firm tofu – cut into small cubes
  • Mushroom bouillon (or veggie if you don’t have mushroom)
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • Juice of one lime
  • 1 – 2 tbsp organic soy sauce
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • Fresh cilantro chopped coarsely for garnish
  • 1 can of coconut milk

Preparation

  1. In a large soup pot, soften the onions, garlic and ginger at a low temperature using a bit of water and put a lid on the pot letting them sweat and release their yumminess to the broth to come.
  2. Add the mushrooms and continue to cook at a low temperature, adding a cup of water after a few minutes.
  3. While this is cooking, fry the tofu in sesame oil until brown.  Turning it often so it doesn’t stick and frying evenly on all sides.
  4. When mushrooms are soft add 3-4 cups of water to the pot and add the bouillon cubes & coriander seeds.  Any bouillon flavour will do as long as it’s vegan & preferably organic so it doesn’t have any nasty chemicals in it.
  5. A few minutes before serving add the coconut milk, tofu, kale, soy sauce & lime juice to the pot. Reduce the temperature and serve when the kale is soft – takes a minute or so.  You can use bok choy if you don’t have kale.
  6. Garnish with bean sprouts and fresh cilantro just before serving.  Hot sauce is an option too.

Maple “Butter” Tarts!

vegan & gluten free

There is no butter in our butter tarts, but they taste awesome!

Gluten Free Tart Crust:Maple Butter Tarts

  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup gluten free flour
  • 1 tsp Xanthum Gum
  • 1 ½  tbsp. margarine
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 tbsp cold water
  1. Combine the salt, flour and Xanthum Gum in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Cut margarine into the flour mixture with pastry cutter or knife.
  3. Sprinkle oil over dough and cut in with pastry cutter. Dough should have the consistency of cornmeal.
  4. Sprinkle with cold water and loosely cut in, so all is moistened.
  5. Cover dough with plastic wrap and put in fridge for 30 min.
  6. Roll out dough in between 2 pieces of parchment paper (or plastic wrap) to ~1/8” thick.
  7. Sprinkle dough with water if it gets too dry, but don’t overwork it.
  8. Cut out tart crusts with circular cutter (bowl plastic take out container) that is 1” larger than the radius of the muffin tin cups.
  9. Form dough in muffin cups, squishing it around with your fingers to fill in any breaks in the dough or thin spots.
  10. Bake at 400°F for 10-15 min.
  11. Let cool and leave in tin for the filling.

 

Vegan Maple Butter Tart Filling:

  • ¾ cup maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp arrowroot flour
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tsp  vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp ground chia or flax seeds
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ cup raisins or pecans
  1. Combine the maple syrup and arrowroot flour with a whisk.
  2. Melt the coconut oil in a small pot and mix it in with the syrup mixture.
  3. Add the vanilla and ground chia/flax.
  4. Add the baking powder at the end and mix well.
  5. Stir in the pecans or raisins.
  6. Use an ice cream scoop to ladle the filling into each of the baked shells, filling only ¾ full.
  7. Bake at 325°F for 25-30 min, turning halfway through for even baking.

 

Choco-nana Butter Tart CrustChoc-nana Butter Tarts

Here is an interesting alternative for a quick and yummy tart shell.  It does not taste like any tart shell you had before, but the cocoa mixes well the banana for a yummily unique butter tart experience!

  • 1 whole banana, cold
  • 1 1/8 cup gluten free flour
  • 1 tsp Xanthum Gum
  • 2 tbsp cocoa
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  1. Peel and break up banana into food processor or sturdy blender (we use a Blendtec).
  2. Add the other ingredients on top of the banana.
  3. Pulse the blender, scraping down the sides as needed, until the ingredients combine into a Play Dough-like consistency.
  4. Roll out dough and fill muffin tin cups as in previous dough recipe.
  5. Make sure to lightly oil the muffin tin cups.
  6. Two baking options:
    1. Baking shells ahead:  
      • Bake 350F for 10-15 min.
      • Let cool and leave in tin for the filling.
      • Bake <20 min at  325°F
    2. Baking shells and filling together:
      • Fill shells ¾ full with butter tart filling (add a few chocolate chips to the filling of each tart to enhance the chocolate sensation theme!)
      • Bake for ~20 min at  325°F