Category Archives: Vegetarian

Curried Cauliflower Bread

Between the Curry Ketchup and the rest of the Currywurst posts, I switched jobs. So there’s that.

Currywurst is usually served in a hotdog bun or something similar. Since I’m off the gluten,  I was looking for a substitute. I remembered a few months ago I made a pizza crust out of cauliflower and thought it might make a good makeshift wrap, maybe with Indian spices rather than Italian. Turns out, it was good call.

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  • 1 Medium Cauliflower Head, grated
  • 1/4 C Parmesan, grated
  • 1 Egg, Beaten
  • 2 T Almond Flour
  • 2 T Nutritional Yeast
  • 1-2 T Coconut Oil
  • 1/2 t each Cumin, Sweet Curry, Salt, Red Pepper Flakes

First, place the grated cauliflower in a large glass bowl and microwave on high for 4 minutes. Remove, cool, then place the lot atop cheesecloth and squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Typically when I do this I get about 1/3 to 1/2 cup of liquid.

In a large bowl, mix all ingredients by hand. Spread onto parchment paper and form into IMG_4465whatever shape you want. Place the lot on a baking pan and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until desired crispiness. I’ve also popped this under the broiler to finish it off when I wanted a more roasted flavour.

Surprisingly this will hold together well as a makeshift crust or wrap.

If you have a cow’s milk sensitivity, like me, you can sub out the parmesan for some hard cheese made from goat or sheep’s milk. For this rendition I used a “aged goat Jack”, which turned out well.

That’s it, now we’re ready for the actual Currrywurst to top off the wrap. I’ll get to that post tomorrow, unless I decide to switch jobs again.



Eggplant “Sushi”

While in Miami Sister and I found an interesting dish at a sushi restaurant, Doraku Sushi, eggplant prepared and presented as a sushi roll. It satisfied Sister’s vegan lifestyle and my sensitivity to rice, plus it was amazing in texture and flavour.

So impressed with the dish I set out to recreate. Overall this rendition is good. Not having used miso before, now I know its much saltier than expected; next time I’ll cut the miso in half.

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  • 2 Japanese Eggplants (the skinny ones)
  • 2-3 T Yellow Miso
  • 2-3 T Mirin
  • 1 T Chives, chopped, dried
  • 2 T Oil (any light flavour)
  • 1 t Sesame Oil
  • 2 t Garlic, chopped
  • 2 t Ginger, chopped
  • 1 t Red Chili Flakes
  • 2 t Sesame Seeds, roasted

To prepare the glaze, take miso, mirin, oils, garlic, ginger and chili and process in a food processor until smooth. You could also do this with a whisk if you want a chunkier glaze.

To prepare the eggplant, slice 1-2″ rounds, depending on how high you want them to stand. If you’re going for pick-up appetizers, 1″ is better. If you’re going for a side with visual appeal, 2″. In the 1″ case, it worked out better to pre-cook the rounds by slightly basting with oil then baking them for 15 minutes in a 375 oven. Remove from oven, let cool slightly then top each round with a  few teaspoons of glaze and a few toasted sesame seeds. Pop them under the broiler until the glaze starts to char around the edges. Remove and sprinkle with the remaining toasted sesame seeds and chopped chives.

I loved the flavour (savory with a little garlic-chili bite) and texture (pillowy on the inside but still sturdy enough to pick up) of these, although they were not as good as the Doraku version. The secret here seems to balancing the miso with the other flavours and finding the right pre-bake time and temp for the desired texture.

I’ll try these again, perhaps with less miso or  a little agave and a longer time under the broiler.

Kale Cakes, Cashew Sour Cream

Kale used to be blacklisted in my kitchen. High nutritional value, good antioxidants, good fiber, blah, blah. It tasted bad and was therefore deleted. Then a friend created a salad and snuck in the kale advertised as arugula. I loved it. Turned out the trick was in the preparation and balancing out the flavours. Kale and I are friends again.

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Cashew Sour Cream

I’m sure I’ve posted a bunch of versions but this one is the simplest and usually my go-to.

  • 1 C Cashews, raw and unsalted
  • 1-2 T Lemon Juice
  • 1-2t Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/4 t Salt
  • 1-2 T Water, if necessary for thinning

It kind of important to use raw, unsalted  cashews. As I learned the first time, if you use the salted roasted variety the whole lot will wind up tasting a thinned down version of cashew butter which probably isn’t what you want.

Soak the cashews in 2 C water overnight. Drain and reserve. Toss everything minus the water into a food processor and let it rip for about 3-4 minutes, scraping down the sides, if necessary, adding water, if necessary. I barely added 1 T of water for this rendition, it was thick.

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Kale Cakes

  • 4 C Kale, chopped (2C of chopped kale in the end)
  • 2 Eggs, separated
  • 2 T Whole Wheat Flour
  • 2 T Almond Meal
  • 1 t salt
  • 1/2 t Ground Ginger
  • 1/2 t Onion Powder
  • 1/2 t Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/2 t Cayenne
  • 1/2 t Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 t Baking Powder
  • 3-4 T Oil

Chop the kale in a food processor. You’re looking for a chopped leaf not a pureed paste. A few pulses ought to work.  Put the spices (salt, peppers, onion and garlic powders)  in the food processor with the kale and pulse one more time to mix. Remove to a large bowl. Add egg yolks, baking powder, flour and almond meal. Mix that up by hand until blended.

Put egg whites in a medium bowl then use a hand mixer to whip them into stiff peaks. Fold the egg whites into the kale mixture. Hand-form patties; you can make about 4 regular-size or 8 minis.

Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat and fry about 3-4 minutes on each side or until nicely browned.

Crunchy, earthy and with a little heat that the ‘sour cream’ tempers. Kale is good after all!


Rosemary Sweet Potato Chips

Back to the dehydrator but with some additions. I’ve been experimenting with homemade chips: tomato, potato, beet, carrot and sweet potato. So far I’ve liked the flavours but the texture has been problematic. Mostly this is due to my knife skills and only being able to slice things no thinner than 1/4″ without risk of losing a body part. I’ve been resistant to purchasing a schmancy $100 mandoline slicer which would allow me to slice things down to 1/16″. Then a friend recommended this $39 OXO Mandoline. Click, 2-day shipping. Go.


Then I fired up an older recipe to see how it would work with thinner sweet potatoes. Short answer – extremely well!

  • 1/4 C Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/4 C Olive Oil
  • 3 T Water
  • 4 Sweet Potatoes, sliced 1/8″ (on your new mandoline slicer)
  • 1/2 t Salt ( I used a smoked hickory version)
  • 1/2 t Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/2 t Smoked Paprika
  • 1 t Dried Rosemary ( I bought fresh then dehydrated)

First, slice the potatoes. Next whisk together the vinegar, oil and water. Place the potatoes and vinegar mixture in a large Ziploc, gently turn over to coat then refrigerate for 4 hours.

Place salt, pepper, paprika and rosemary into a spice mill (aka coffee grinder) and process to a powder. Set aside.

Drain the potatoes of excess vinegar mixture. Load the potatoes into dehydrator racks, sprinkle with spice mixture then assemble the racks in the dehydrator.

Cook at 145 degrees for 45 minutes. Then cool it down to 115 degrees and cook for 14-16 hours. Why 115? No reason except I was curious about how these would turn out cooking under the principles of the raw food movement which dictates nothing can be cooked over 115. Raw food advocates claim food loses significant nutritional value when its cooked at higher temperatures. Sound reasonable but I was really interested in the flavour and texture and if it could be accomplished ‘cooking raw’. It can.


These are crunchy almost like regular potato chips but of course they lack the crisp snap you will get with commercial frying. It depends on if you want crisp or if you want lower calories, tailored flavours and control over what types of fat you are ingesting.

Featured here with Beet Hummus which you can get from Trader Joe’s; its a little sweeter than regular hummus and pairs extremely well with these chips.

Roasted Figs | Goat Cheese, Almond, Balsamic

Passing through our middle eastern grocery I noticed fresh figs were making an appearance.  You probably already know there are two impossibly short seasons for figs; the first in May and the second typically in August. Locally they seem to come and go from markets within a week.

I took home a big bag and tried several different preparations; this one being my favourite.

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  • 12 Fresh Figs
  • 12 Almonds
  • 4 Ounces Goat Cheese
  • 2 t Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2 t Honey
  • 1 t Ground Black Pepper

Wash, dry, stem and slice the figs in half. Top each half with 1/2-1t goat cheese, then top that with one almond. Put the figs, flesh side up,  in a small roasting dish and pop them under a broiler for about 4-5 minutes. What you’re going for here is a browning of the cheese and a slight char on the almond just shy of burnt.

Remove from oven, cool for 5 minutes then drizzle with equal parts balsamic and honey. Sprinkle with pepper and serve warm. Delicious, a little sweet contrast to the savoury;   a little crunchy contrast to the pillowy.

These will keep in the fridge for a few days but figs get soggy so its best to make and eat them all in one session.

Avocado, Black Bean Brownies | Cinnamon Pecans

As I was mentioning in my last post, a blogger inspired this experiment and she would be Rachel over at Loosely Followed Recipes. I liked her version of brownies with no butter or flour. Instead there was avocado and black beans, nice subs! I did change it up a bit with different sugars and added a cinnamon thread.

Here it is.

  • 1 Avocado, small, sliced
  • 1 15-oz Tin Black Beans, no salt, drained, rinsed
  • 1/2 C Chocolate Chips, divided
  • 1 C Cinnamon Pecans, divided
  • 1/2 C Cocoa Powder
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/2 C Coconut Sugar
  • 1/4 C Agave
  • 2 T  + 1t Coconut Oil
  • 2 T Chia Seeds
  • 1 T Vanilla Extract
  • 2 t Cinnamon
  • 1/2 t Salt
  • 1/2 t Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/2 t Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1/2 t Baking soda
  • 1/2 t Baking Powder
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Everything except the chocolate chips, pecans and 1t Coconut Oil into a food processor and pulse until smooth. Stir in half of the chocolate chips and pecans until blended. Oil up a baking tin with the 1t Coconut Oil. Spread the brownie mixture evenly into the baking tin (I used an 12″ round). Top with remaining chocolate chips and pecans. Pop that into a 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes. Remove, cool and refrigerate.

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  • Best not to cut these until they’ve cooled off in the fridge. They have a very fudgy consistency and don’t so much like being cut at room temp
  • They are not as sweet as conventional brownies, which I liked and even the sugar addicts were still positive on them for the heavy choco-cinnamon flavours.
  • Noone liked these at all, thats probably why the plate was clean and I caught someone scraping the fudgy bits off the bottom with a spoon then licking it clean.

Kudos and thanks to Rachel!


Cinnamon Pecans

I was inspired by a fellow food blogger to make some interesting brownies. Interesting because of two ingredients: avocado and black beans, just odd enough for me, the person who doesn’t eat dessert, to try. As usual I wanted to change it a little bit and my change was to add candied pecans.

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About those

  • 3-4 C Pecans
  • 1 Egg white, whisked until frothy
  • 1/2 C Coconut sugar
  • 2 t Cinnamon
  • 1/2 t each Salt, Ground black pepper, Red pepper flakes

Everything into a big bowl, toss to coat. Spread evenly across a baking sheet then pop into a 350 degree oven. Bake 10 minutes, flip them over, bake another 10.

Try to resist the urge to binge eat these. Better yet, set aside 1 1/2 C in a place you wont see them, that way you can make the brownies, which are coming up next.

Dehydrated Lemon Cinnamon Apples

After a few weeks of multi-system failure including AC, alarm system, internet, washing machine and dishwasher, it seems life has returned to normal.

Back to the dehydrator series; this one is also a keeper for those who like apples and cinnamon

  • 6-8 Apples
  • 3 T Lemon Juice
  • 1 T Coconut Sigar
  • 1/2 t Cinnamon
  • 1/4 t Nutmeg
  • 1/4 t Lava Salt
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Wash, dry and slice apples into 1/4-1/2″ rounds. There’s no need to core the apples first, just pick off the stems and remove the seeds after you slice them up. In fact, if you don’t core the apples, you will be left with an interesting star pattern in the middle of the rounds. I imagine any apples will work here but I used a combination of Gala and Honeycrisp. The flavours of the apples will intensify considerably, which is expected after removing the water. The lemon adds a little flavour but its purpose is to prevent the apples from turning brown while on their multi-hour nap in the dehydrator.

About that, I tried leaving in the dehydrator for 12 hours at 145 degrees. They still do not come out crispy, more the texture of a fruit leather.

Whisk all ingredients except apples in a small bowl until blended. You might have to work a little to get the cinnamon to cooperate, it tends to clump. Place the mixture and apples in a large Ziploc and shake to coat. Drain the apples momentarily on a wire rack then load up the dehydrator trays with the rounds. I find items dry more evenly when you leave about 1/2″ space in between. Let them dry over 12 hours at 145 degrees.



Dehydrated Curried Tomatoes

Back story. I’m planning a multi-day hike across New Zealand later in the year. Going on a hike isn’t new for me but typically I do one day hikes. Multi-day hikes, particularly in regions where all the food you need must be packed beforehand, requires different gear. And a different mindset. You have to be conscious of what you bring since you’ll be toting everything on your back for many hours a day.

When talking with friends who routinely do multi-week hikes, they mentioned that dehydrating your favorite foods beforehand can keep prevent what some people refer to as GORP overload. GORP = good ol’ raisins and peanuts. Its a good hiking standby but not good enough 24 hours a day for 4 to 5 days.

I liked the idea of dehydrating. Removing the water makes everything much lighter which is a serious consideration when you’re already looking at lugging around 30 pounds. You can dehydrate food in the oven but I decided to give a dehydrator a try. Besides, you can never have too many kitchen gadgets. American Harvest Snack Master was the one I purchased, since the hiker set seem to use this one the most. I liked that the temperature range went from 100-160 degrees and the trays are stackable so you can purchase more (comes with 4) should you become obsessed with experimenting with your new toy. Not that I would know about that, nope.

I hit the farmers market and bought a butt load of tomatoes. Then I decided to season them up Indian style.

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  • 1 Buttload Tomatoes (4-5 pounds)
  • 1 T Sweet Curry
  • 1 t Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 t Salt
  • 1 t Black Pepper
  • 1 t Garlic Powder

Cut the tomatoes into 1/4-1/2 ” slices. Mix spices then sprinkle on top of tomato slices. Load up the trays in the dehydrator then set on 135 degrees for 9 hours.


Goooood flavour, however some testers claimed a little too heavy on the curry. Boo hoo hoo hoo.

I wanted more of a tomato crisp but ran out of time. 9 hours at 135 will buy you a significantly dried tomato but its going to be more like a sun-dried tomato; a little chewy. Next batch I will try 140 for 12 hours.

I was impressed with how quiet this machine was in operation. There is a slight fan sound but nothing compared to other kitchen equipment.

The racks are fairly easy to clean. A sponge, soapy water and about 2 minutes for the lot.

The base has a small lip around the perimeter to contain anything that might drip. This did occur with the tomatoes but not to any significant volume.

I did refrigerate these tomatoes since they were still a little juicy, however they still taste fresh after almost 3 weeks!

I’ve dehydrated bananas, strawberries, kiwis, apples, carrots, mint, basil, lemons and cantaloupe. So far, so good. Next time I will write down the recipes and post.


Vegetable Pasta | Cashew Pesto

At a ‘modern Italian’ restaurant in San Diego,  a friend ordered Zucchini Pasta with Red Bell Pepper Pesto, expecting the pasta to be a grain based pasta mixed with zucchini much like a spinach pasta. However, when the dish came out, I could tell it was zucchini strips, albeit small tubes looking like pasta;  the term ‘pasta’ here could be considered somewhat false advertising. Maybe this is the new pasta for Southern Californians.

When he started eating the ‘pasta’ it was like watching the stages of grief wrapped up in 3 seconds. First his face went angry, obviously noting he was eating vegetables instead of pasta. Then his face went sad; missing the pasta. Then acceptance; in the end, while it was not what he expected, he liked it just the same.

I ordered Chicken Parmigiana, which was exactly what I expected. Still,  I was curious about the vegetable pasta so I ordered yet another kitchen gadget to make the same at home.

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Cashew Pesto

  • 1 C Fresh Basil
  •  1/2 C Cashews; Roasted, Unsalted
  • 1/3 Parmesan (or other hard Italian cheese)
  • 1/3 C Olive Oil
  • 3 Cloves Garlic

All ingredients except olive oil into a food processor. Pulse a few times to blend. With the processor on, steadily pour in the olive oil. Scrape down sides if necessary, then pulse to desired consistency. Set aside.

Vegetable Pasta

  • 1 Medium Zucchini
  • 1 Medium Yellow Squash
  • 1 Medium Carrot

Process the vegetables with your new kitchen gadget. In reality you could use a cheese grater, however the strands will be  shorter and thicker. The bonus to the veg pasta maker gadget is that the vegetables strips will be as thin as spaghetti and as long as you want; the strands don’t end until you stop rotating the vegetable inside the container.

Mix 1/4 C of pesto with a handful of veg pasta and your’e done. No boiling, straining or chance of over cooking.

I love the flavour and texture of this dish. However, I probably wouldn’t serve this as a main dish, like the San Diego restaurant, rather a side dish with something more substantial to pair. I had a whole bowl but three hours later I was raiding the refrigerator.