Veggie Burgers Every Which Way: Baked Falafel Burgers

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Vegan MoFo 2013 – Post #9

In my quest to stop buying processed veggie burgers (and other faux meats), I’ve been trying a lot of different veggie burger recipes from the web and different cookbooks. I love having a batch, or two, of veggie burgers in the freezer for those times when I am in need of a quick meal. Put them in a bun or wrap along with some fresh vegetables, or crumble on a salad and you’ve got a near-instant meal! If you follow my What I Ate Wednesday posts you’ve probably seen a lot of different veggie burgers popping up in these ways, including these Baked Falafel Burgers from Lukas Volger’s Veggie Burgers Every Which Way.

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I’ve always loved falafel, but this was actually the first time I’ve made them from scratch. And they were really easy! This is probably the simplest veggie burger recipe I’ve tried so far (everything goes right into the food processor) and one of the best. The hardest part of the recipe is remembering to get the chickpeas soaking the night or morning before.

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I did make a few minor changes to the recipe, just based on what I had on hand. Even with these changes, the recipe still worked perfectly.
– I doubled the recipe, but didn’t double the amount of onion or lemon zest.
– I neglected to measure the chickpeas before I set them soaking, so I just used about 2 cups of soaked chickpeas.
– I forgot to add parsley to my grocery list, so I added spinach for some green. Parsley is a pretty essential ingredient in most falafel and I would definitely add it next time, but the burgers still tasted great without it.
– I didn’t need to add the optional water or chickpea flour.

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I noticed in this recipe that the yield says 4 patties, but in the recipe it says to shape it into 6 patties. I doubled the recipe and ended up with 9 patties.

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Fresh from the oven, with some roasted red pepper hummus and cucumber.

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Vegan Eats World: Classic Sesame Noodles

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Vegan MoFo 2013 – Post #5

Last night I finally made my first recipe from Vegan Eats World! Kind of. Jem and I used the sauce for the Classic Sesame Noodles (page 137), but swapped the marinated cucumbers and lettuce that are part of the dish, for some cooked snap peas, baby bok choy, and mushrooms.

The only minor changes I made to the sauce, were to use coconut sugar in place of the dark brown sugar, and ground ginger in place of fresh.

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We cooked some soba noodles according to the package, quickly sautéed them with  the veggies and a little sesame oil, then mixed in some sesame sauce. We also added some roasted sesame seeds and Sriracha to our bowls. So good! If there had been leftovers, I would happily eat the same thing again tonight. I’m such a sucker for a good Asian noodle dish! Luckily, there was quite a bit of sauce leftover (just no noodles or veggies). However, I’m not sure what I’m going to do with it. Stay tuned.

Have you tried any recipes from Vegan Eats World?
Please share.

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Vegan Scrambled ‘Eggs’? Yes!

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Vegan MoFo 2013 – Post #4 – I’m a little behind already!

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You may have read or seen me mention this amazing Chickpea Flour Omelette! It has quickly become one of my most repeated recipes. Does it taste like eggs? Not really (though the black salt helps), but it is still the best replacement I’ve found for the veggie-filled omelettes I often enjoyed before I went vegan.

So, I knew as soon as I saw this recipe for chickpea flour-based Vegan Scrambled ‘Eggs’ that I had to give them a try!

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I don’t like scallions and I didn’t have any kale, so I left those out. In place, I doubled the mushrooms, and added diced red pepper, jalapeño, and parsley.

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Mine certainly didn’t turn out as pretty as Lauren’s, but they sure were tasty! It’s been over two years now since I’ve had scrambled eggs, but I think the texture of this dish is quite similar.

This is definitely going in my savoury breakfast rotation, and I’m looking forward to many more variations! In fact, I think I’m going to go make this for lunch!

Gorilla Food, Take 2

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Vegan MoFo 2013 – Post #3

I don’t have much time for a full post today, so I just thought I’d share this meal with you that I had at Gorilla Food recently.

This was my second time enjoying a meal from Gorilla Food, an organic raw vegan cafe in downtown Vancouver. You can read about the last time HERE.

My lunch was the Mini Gorilla salad (it also comes in a larger size) with a BC Blue smoothie and a Gorilla Biscuit for dessert.

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The Mini Gorilla – “A combo salad packed with delish and nourishing leafy greens, veggies, chill almonds, sunny-pate, olives, sprouts, avocado, almond, super-food dressing.”
I absolutely loved this salad! It is super fresh and just has so much going on: lots of great textures and flavour. I really enjoyed the addition of sun-dried olives, which I’d never tried before. So good!

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Gorilla Biscuit – This is a raw cookie, consisting of a nutty layer, a chocolate layer, and coconut on top. This was the first treat I’ve tried from Gorilla Food, and I was really impressed by the texture of the cookie part. The combo of the three layers made for a perfect little dessert.
BC Blue smoothie – That’s my (awesome recycled paper) smoothie cup that the cookie is sitting on. This is a simple smoothie, but oh so good! Very fresh and refreshing!

If you’re in the Vancouver area, you should definitely check out Gorilla Food. And if it’s a nice day, I highly recommend taking your food the few blocks down to the waterfront. 🙂 Or, if you’re not in the area, Aaron Ash, the man behind Gorilla Food, also has a cookbook of the same name that includes recipes for almost everything on the menu, plus more.

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More Waffles from Healthy Happy Life

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Vegan MoFo 2013 – Post #1

It’s Vegan Month of Food time again! This is my second year participating and I’ve decided to focus this year on posting reviews and photos of other peoples’ recipes that I’ve tried (from both cookbooks and online). Here it goes. 1 down, only 19 more to go!

Previously I wrote a post about some delicious Pumpkin Spice Waffles from Kathy over at Healthy Happy Life. I haven’t made those ones again since, but I have tried two of her other waffle recipes: Apple Cinnamon Ginger Waffles and Blueberry Citrus Whole Wheat Waffles (which I actually turned into chocolate chip waffles). Yum!

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I’m a sucker for anything that involves cooked apples and these Apple Cinnamon Ginger Waffles are no exception. They certainly did not disappoint! The combination of apples and cinnamon is always great, but the addition of ginger and candied ginger in these waffles make them something really special!

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What I Did:
I doubled the recipe.
I substituted half of the spelt flour for oat flour. Just because.
I only like and buy green Granny Smith apples, so thats what I used. I used half of a large one, diced small.
I did include the optional chia seeds, but left out the optional almond butter and orange zest.
I substituted the mashed banana with apple sauce: 1/2 cup for the doubled recipe.

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Another morning I used the Blueberry Citrus Whole Wheat Waffles to make a special breakfast for my nephew and I: chocolate chip waffles. I followed the recipe, except that I left out the citrus zest, diced oranges, and blueberries. I also left out all of the optional ingredients. We ate our chocolate chip whole wheat waffles with a quick berry sauce similar to my Instant Cranberry Sauce and Blueberry Sauce.

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Instant Mixed Berry Sauce
2/3 cup frozen blueberries
2/3 cup frozen blackberries
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tsp ground chia seed

Place berries in a microwave-safe bowl or measuring cup and defrost in microwave until berries break apart when you stir them. Stir and break up the berries with a fork, until mostly broken up. Stir in maple syrup and ground chia seeds.
Enjoy on your favourite waffles, pancakes, french toast, or oatmeal.

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I really liked these whole wheat waffles and can definitely see using them as a base for all kinds of add-in combinations!

You should definitely head on over to Healthy Happy Life and make some waffles!

What I Ate Wednesday #136: Vegan In Victoria

I’ve got something a little different for this week’s What I Ate Wednesday post: I’m going to share with you all the awesome vegan eats from my trip to Victoria last week. And their really was A LOT!

Victoria is not far from where I live (just a ferry-ride away), very pedestrian friendly (I don’t drive so this is important), I hadn’t been since a school trip to the Parliament Buildings in like Grade 5, and I’d been hearing rumours of lots of great vegan food. So when I was trying to think of somewhere to go for a quick last-minute getaway before school starts, Victoria was on the top of my list.

I did some research before I went and made a list to take with me of all the vegan and vegan-friendly places in the downtown area that I was interested in. I was surprised at how big the list got, and was even more surprised when I discovered a few more places in my exploring of the city!

I found these sites very helpful in my research:
The Victoria Vegan: Vegan News and Resources
Vegan Mischief’s A Vegan Traveler’s Guide to Victoria
Sarah’s Guide to Downtown Victoria
The Real Meal’s Vegan Food in Victoria, BC

Now on to the food! I’ll just say here, so I don’t repeat myself a zillion times in the following descriptions, that everything I ate ranged from great to amazing and I would eat it all again, no problem. 🙂

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I was starving when I arrived, so I headed straight to Green Cuisine after checking in to my accommodations. Green Cuisine is a buffet, so I knew I wouldn’t have to wait long to eat. It is also 100% vegan and has lots of different options. Almost everything is paid for by weight, except for some items such as soup, bread, and desserts that are priced per each. Results of walking straight into line without looking at what was available first: a meal of things that don’t go together but all taste great: Thai noodles in sweet chili sauce, shredded carrots, cucumbers, steamed kale with sweet chill sauce I took from a tofu dish, tempeh in brown sauce, falafel, and lemon cheezecake. The standout here was that lemon cheezecake. It was so light and creamy and lemony!

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Dinner was the Carmanah Bowl from Cafe Bliss, an almost 100% raw (a few cooked things) vegan (except for honey used in multiple items) restaurant and juice bar that is pretty much the cutest place ever. Cooked brown rice, steamed broccoli, raw chard, cabbage, carrots, red pepper, avocado, sugar peas and red onion in a sesame garlic sauce and topped with sesame seeds and dulse flakes, plus a multi-seed cracker. I’ll just say that the combination of warm chewy brown rice and cool seasoned veggies was blissful! 🙂 I didn’t take photos, but on a different day we also tried the Hummingbird Juice (orange, watermelon, raspberry, lime) and the Protein Berry Burst Smoothie (banana, blueberry, rice protein, hemp hearts, acai, mylk). I thought it was pretty cool that if you get any of their smoothies or juices to go, you get it in a mason jar. You have to pay a deposit for the mason jar which you get back if you bring it back to the cafe. Or you can just keep them like I did.

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Breakfast from the downtown location of Shine Cafe, a bright little place with quick friendly service, that suited the name just fine. I stumbled upon this place because it was one block from where I was staying. This is the only marked vegan breakfast: it’s called Karin’s Brunch and you get to pick four items out of nine options. I choose the hashbrowns, multigrain toast, homemade bean and rice patty, and sauteed spinach,  mushrooms, and roasted garlic. Also included in your options are pecan cranberry granola with soy milk, sweet chill sesame tofu, refried beans, grilled tomato, and a fresh fruit salad. Whichever options you choose, its a tonne of food for the price tag! Perfect way to start a full day of exploring. I don’t normally have such big breakfasts, but as you’ll see, Victoria has lots of fantastic vegan breakfast/brunch options, so I had to try some out. Shine Cafe also has a vegan burger patty, a hearty vegan salad, and a few other items on the menu that could easily be veganized by removing cheese and/or mayo.

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The Creamy Almond Veggie Sandwich from the Hot & Cold Cafe (Cook Street location). This was an amazing and amazingly messy sandwich! Creamy almond spread, grainy Dijon mustard, cucumber, tomato, red onion, alfalfa sprouts, avocado, pea shoots, and red pepper on super soft house-made organic focaccia bread. This little cafe also had other marked vegan items on the menu, including a Red Curry Tofu Rice Bowl, Yellow Coconut Curry Soup, salads, and fresh-fruit popsicles.

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Almond milk latte and a fruit/seed/coconut ball (I can’t remember what they called it but it was tasty) from Solstice Cafe. Honestly, I would have preferred the latte to taste more like coffee and less like almond milk, but I’d still go here again. The place is huge and beautiful; definitely the kind of coffee shop you’d want to hang out in for hours. I was here in the early morning, but they have more vegan light meal and snack options later in the day.

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Brunch at Mo:Lé for me was tofu scramble, avocado, and pesto hash browns from the list of separate items. So good! That tofu scramble looks plain but it had great flavour and I’m still swooning over those pesto hash browns. Love this place!

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Jem’s vegetarian brunch was the Mo:Lé Benny with avocado and grilled tomato.

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A soy latte and a vegetable samosa from the BC Royal Museum Cafe. I was surprised how great both of these were! And I was happy to notice the soy milk was even organic!

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Personal pizza from The Joint, with vegan sundried tomato pesto, artichoke hearts, spinach, black olives, jalapenos, and Daiya mozza shreds. The pizzas were amazing, but the place was so warm that we couldn’t stand to stay and eat there. Like it felt like walking into a pizza oven warm. So we sat and watched the lights in the inner harbour as we scarfed down our pizzas. Oh well. 🙂 The Joint is very vegan (and gluten-free friendly). When we were there I was surprised to see that half of the flavours of pre-made cold pizza by the slice was vegan, and all of their made-to-order pizzas, calzones etc can be made vegan! Plus, they had vegan brownies!

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Another amazing breakfast, this time from Lady Marmalade. This Organic Tofu Scramble had scallions, spinach, bok choy, and shitake mushrooms, in a sesame soy sauce. Plus toast, potatoes and salad (or you can choose barley or brown rice). This was the only vegan breakfast option but it was packed with delicious flavour! Love seeing a different spin on a tofu scramble!

This was dinner (and lunch the next day) from Lotus Pond, a 100% vegan Chinese restaurant. The place was packed, with a line out the door and its easy to see why. There are a ridiculous number of dishes and they all sound great. It was so hard to choose what to get, but we finally narrowed it down to three. This was some of the best Chinese food I’ve ever had, and my sister Jem (who isn’t vegetarian or vegan) commented that it was better than most Chinese food she’d ever had!
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#47 Diced vegetables and mushrooms with cashew nuts. It also had some sort of faux-meat in there that tasted good, but we weren’t huge fans of the texture.

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#56 MaPo Tofu (soft tofu in spicy sauce)

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#80 Shredded vegetable and bean sprouts chow fun.

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Evening almond milk lattes from Wild Coffee, and a shared vegan gluten-free cinnamon roll. At least half of the treats and stuff in the showcase was gluten-free, and this was the sole vegan option. But it was a great treat!

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Last but not least, another Karina’s Brunch from Shine Cafe. This time I choose fruit instead of toast. Just as good as the first time.

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The China Study, Whole and a Future Book Page

Today’s Daily Prompt is to: Tell us about the last book you read (Why did you choose it? Would you recommend it?). Daily Prompt: Bookworm

Since the last book I read completely relates to the subjects of this blog, and was fantastic, I thought this would be a good time to share it with you (and maybe some others that don’t follow One Small Vegan).

The last book that I read was Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition by T. Colin Campbell and Howard Jacobsen and just like Campbell’s previous book (with his son  Thomas M. Campbell) The China Study, I would absolutely recommend this book to everyone.

I choose to read this book because I loved The China Study, so was very eager to read anything else by Campbell. I already knew from other sources that a whole food plant-based diet is healthy for humans, animals, and the earth as a whole, but the information given in The China Study still managed to blow me away, especially in regards to the way in which a plant-based diet effects cancer growth. I am also amazed at Campbell’s ability, shown in both books, to explain very scientific information in a way I think almost everyone could read and comprehend, all the while making the book enjoyable to read.

“In The China Study, T. Colin Campbell (alongside his son, Thomas M. Campbell) revolutionized the way we think about our food with the evidence that a whole food, plant-based diet is the healthiest way to eat. Now, in Whole, he explains the science behind that evidence, the ways our current scientific paradigm ignores the fascinating complexity of the human body, and why, if we have such overwhelming evidence that everything we think we know about nutrition is wrong, our eating habits haven’t changed.

Whole is an eye-opening, paradigm-changing journey through cutting-edge thinking on nutrition, a scientific tour de force with powerful implications for our health and for our world.” (from the book jacket)

I really think (and wish) that everyone should read both of these books! Please check them out! The links above go to the books on amazon, where you can also view the table of contents, and quite extensive excerpts from both books.

I also wanted to let you know that I’m currently working on putting together a ‘book recommendations’ page for One Small Vegan. I am a total bookworm, and in the past couple years have almost exclusively been reading books related to food, health, animal rights, and veganism. I also love fiction and memoirs about food and cooking, even when they have nothing to do with veganism or health. I’m not sure at this point if I’ll be writing anything about the past books I’ve read (I’ve kept a list for years), but I will be placing the books into categories and providing links. Once I’ve got the page up it will also be an ongoing thing, possibly with book review posts in the future, as I have an ever-growing list of books I’d like to read, related to the topics I mentioned above.

Questions:
Have you read The China Study and/or Whole? What did you think?

Do you have any favourite books related to health, food, cooking, animal rights, or veganism? I’m always looking for new ones to add to my list!

Was there a particular book, or books, that opened your eyes to a different way of eating?
I’ve mentioned in my About Me page that reading Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer was what initially got me thinking about making the transition from vegetarian to vegan and that as soon as I bought and browsed through Veganomicon, I knew that I could do it, and did.