This has to be one of my favourite things to eat..because I tend to eat a lot of it! And I mean a lot! And the thing is, I don’t feel guilty for stuffing my face with this meal. Perhaps it’s because my mind knows I’m consuming pure goodness? Who knows. But what I do know is that you will love this dish just as much as I do, and you will understand what I mean when you take a bite out of this delicious and wholesome vegetarian concoction!
These vegetables really complement one another well. The tanginess from the tomatoes offsets the sweetness of the cooked onions, and that eggplant is just melt-in-your-mouth goodness that you won’t be able to resist! If my kids love this dish, you know that you have a winner.
This Vegan Eggplant Tomato Medley is simple to make and absolutely delicious on its own, or served as a side to a main course. Either way, get to making it tonight!
- 3 large eggplants, peeled and cubed
- 3 large beefsteak tomatoes, OR
- 8 Roma tomatoes or the like, peeled and cubed
- 2 onions, peeled and chopped
- 1/4 C extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tsp ground cumin
- 1 Tsp sea salt
1. Preheat oven to 400F on convection roast (or 415F on bake) and have baking pan lined with parchment paper. Set aside.
2. Next, peel and cube eggplants and place in the prepared baking sheet. It will look like a ton of eggplants but trust me, the heat will cause the eggplants to wilt and soften, so you’ll be glad you prepared that much!
3. Repeat step 2 with both tomatoes and onions, and add to pan with the eggplants.
4. Add oil and using your hands, toss the vegetables to help absorb the oil.
5. Finally, season with salt and cumin, do a quick toss again, and place in the oven for 30 minutes, until eggplants are slightly charred, and tomatoes and onions are cooked through.
6. Remove from oven, and using a spoon, gently toss the vegetables together and taste to see if you need to add more salt. I always find I need to add a touch more salt, so this is when I do it.
Enjoy as is or serve alongside cooked quinoa (recipe to come) for the extra nutrition, taste, and protein.
Bon appétit! xo
Everyone knows my obsession with the colour pink. So it was only a matter of time before I made my own pink lemonade. The kids loved it!! They especially enjoyed being a part of making the lemonade and seeing it go from a pale yellow to a beautiful light pink. The taste is of course amazing! If you love lemons, you’ll love this drink. The best part is always how simple it is to make. A couple of steps and you’re ready to enjoy this summertime (or any time) drink.
This lemonade is so healthy because the ingredients are 100% pure and natural…it’s literally a guilt free drink! It’s so refreshing too and quenches your thirst with style! Plus, lemons have many health benefits; they’re known to help cleanse the digestive system, help with fresh breath, and many other advantages.
The beautiful pink colour is achieved using one of my favourite vegetables, the beet. You can make it a pretty light pink or an intense dark fuchsia! I made this lemonade using honey and organic sugar and they both tasted fantastic. The honey lent a slightly more peachy colour once I added the beet because of the yellow colour honey gives. Which is still quite pretty and obviously so healthy for you. I would recommend you stick to lighter coloured honey so you can achieve the pinky-ness we’re after. You can also replace the water for sparkling water to make it more grown up and fun.
Either way, the taste is delicious and because this is homemade using fresh ingredients, you avoid the unwanted junk ingredients you’d otherwise find in the canned varieties.
- Juice of 2 lemons (~ 1/3 C fresh lemon juice)
- 1/2 C clover honey (or any light coloured honey) OR
- 1/2 C sugar
- 6 c water
- 1 Tbsp coarsely cut beet OR
- 2 Tsp finely grated beet
- Serves 4-6
1. Wash, cut, and juice lemons. Add to pitcher.
2. Add to that either honey or sugar, and stir a bit to help dissolve.
3. Next, add water and stir until honey or sugar is completely dissolved.
4. Finally, add beet, stir until desired colour is achieved. Then, remove beets using a strainer.
Tip: You can also add beets to a tea dipper/strainer thing and allow the beet colour to steep into the lemonade that way. I never took a picture of me doing that sorry! This avoids the extra step of having to fish the beets out – although I didn’t mind – but it’s up to you!
So satisfying and a breeze to make. Enjoy!
Bon appétit! xo
This is definitely a Sunday breakfast must-have in my family. Tisiyeh (pronounced Teh-si-yeh) is yet another Syrian dish unique only to that beautiful country. Growing up, this is what we ate on Sundays, and I’m so happy that I’ve continued this tradition with my own family. My kids absolutely love eating Tisiyeh, and as a matter of fact, look forward to Sundays because of it.
You guys, this thing is so good you can eat the whole bowl and not feel full afterwards…ok not sure if that’s a good thing but it’s a testament to how delicious it is! It’s super light and loaded with chickpea goodness in an olive oil base called Fa’seh…aaaaaamazing.
You MUST make this because I know you will love everything about Tisiyeh. This dish can be enjoyed any time of the day, but we eat it strictly as a breakfast food.
- 2 cans chickpeas (Preferably organic) OR
- 3 C pre cooked chickpeas
- 3 pita bread loaves
- 3 C chickpea water
- 3 Tbsp ground cumin
- 1/4 C extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Tsp baking soda
- 1 Tsp sea salt to start
1. Place chickpeas in a pot with enough water to cover about 1 inch above. Allow water to come to a boil and once boiling, reduce heat to medium and let cook for approximately 10 minutes to help soften the chickpeas – you’ll notice the skin of the chickpeas separating.
2. While chickpeas are cooking, cut pita bread using a knife or your hand, into somewhat evenly shaped pieces. Place cut bread into a deep serving dish/bowl.
3. Using a strainer spoon, remove cooked chickpeas and place on top of the bread. Reserve about 1 cup for the presentation.
Now for the main event! To make the Fa’seh:
4. Using a blender, add the hot chickpea water. Add to that cumin, baking soda, olive oil, and salt, and blend on high until fully incorporated and frothy – about 15 seconds or so. Taste salt content and if more is desired, add another 1/2 teaspoon – adjust accordingly.
5. Pour over the chickpeas and bread, top with reserved chickpeas and extra cumin. Serve immediately.
Simple. Healthy. Vegan. Absolutely delicious. Serve along side fresh vegetables and pickles; I especially enjoy Tisiyeh with green onions. You will love everything about this meal I guarantee it!
Bon appétit loves! xo
When I hear the name of this cookie I giggle a bit. Not sure where the name came from and there seems to be a few theories floating around the internet. But whatever the answer, these cookies are amazing! And so simple to make too!
A good friend of my husband’s was over one night and I thought I’d try making Snickerdoodles for them (you see, any time someone is over, I take full advantage and make them my tasters haha)! So tried I did, and I got two thumbs up!
What a relief. I always seem to experiment with new recipes when I’m expecting company. Why the added and certainly un-needed stress I’ll never understand about myself. But hey it seems to work… most times
These delicious cookies are special in that they’re rolled in a mix of sugar and cinnamon. Yum! When they’re baking in the oven, the sugar hardens and offers that crunchy texture before you bite into the soft core!
Give this recipe a try because you and whoever else lays a hand on them will love these Vegan Snickerdoodles!
- 1/4 C sugar
- 1/4 Tsp ground cinnamon
- 3/4 C vegan spread
- 1 C sugar
- 2 Tbsp packed brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp vegan coconut yogurt, or vegan yogurt of choice
- 2 Tbsp hot water
- 2 C flour
- 1 Tsp baking powder
- 1/2 Tsp baking soda
- 1/2 Tsp sea salt
1. Preheat oven at 350F. Have baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Set aside.
2. Mix together sugar and ground cinnamon in a shallow bowl. Set aside.
3. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or using a hand mixer, start by beating vegan spread and sugars on high until fluffy and creamy.
4. Add coconut yogurt and mix well. Scrape bowl down and remix to ensure full mixing.
5. Add hot water and mix.
While the wet ingredients are mixing, prepare the dry ingredients.
6. In a separate bowl, sift together dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, baking flour, and salt.
7. Turn mixer speed on low and add the dry ingredients to the sugar mix. Once they’re incorporated turn mixer speed on high and beat for a few more seconds until the dough comes together.
Tip: Don’t overwork the dough!
8. Using either a spoon or an ice cream scoop, shape dough into small balls and roll each ball into the prepared sugar/cinnamon mix.
9. Place sugared balls onto prepared baking sheet and bake in the oven for 15 minutes, until cookie tops slightly crack open, as shown.
Remove from oven and let cool slightly before enjoying.
Bon appétit! xo
This is arguably the best hummus you will have.. I know, pretty bold statement – it’s a great thing my mother-in-law doesn’t go online!!
I want you to try it and see for yourself how creamy and silky smooth this turns out. And the taste is beyond delicious.
Hummus is a great dip that’s healthy and full of nutrients. Bonus: it’s super easy to make! Serve with crispy pita bread slices, fresh vegetables, or anything you’d normally dip!
- 2 C chickpeas (pre-cooked or if canned, drained)
- 1 small garlic clove, minced
- 1/4 C tahini (sesame paste, available at middle-eastern stores)
- 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus more for garnish
- 3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- Salt to taste
- This recipe will yield approximately 2.5 cups
1. In a food processor, add the chickpeas and blend until completely smooth.
2. Add tahini and blend until completely incorporated.
3. Next, add oil, lemon juice, garlic, and salt and blend until all ingredients are fully incorporated and super smooth.
Done! Simple right? Drizzle some extra virgin olive oil and extra chickpeas if you have any on hand, or serve as is.
Who needs canned hummus when you can make your own batch at home, without the unnecessary ingredients.
Bon appétit! xo
I was about to make spaghetti and tomato sauce for my kids when I had a quick change of heart and decided I’d try replicating one of my favourite childhood meals! Although this is a vegan dish and a much healthier version of what I grew up eating, the taste is very much deceiving…which is how I like to cook and bake! It’s not lost on me that many non-vegan eaters tend to stay away from vegan foods because of the stigma that the dishes and desserts are bland and ‘blah’…but I promise you that my recipes will make you a believer and have you come around and embrace healthier foods (I’m not advocating becoming vegan..I myself am not vegan). But with how animals are treated and how meats are processed these days, suddenly eating more vegan foods sounds better for your health and that of the animals and the environment.
The best part about cooking vegan when I have to, is that none of my non-vegan friends realize they’re eating vegan foods! That’s so important to me. Just because we live with allergies, doesn’t mean that our food choices have to suffer! It’s a wonderful thing to have the opportunity to experiment and come up with great dishes for your family to enjoy.
So forget the usual spaghetti and meatballs or spaghetti and sauce dinners and go for this instead! This dish in particular brings me back to the days when my parents would make us a very similar version, using macaroni noodles, lots of yogurt, and garlic! Yum..!
This meal is so simple to make and it’s a perfect addition to your cooking repertoire!
- 1/2 package spaghetti noodles
- 1 C Daiya Mozzarella cheese shreds, or vegan mozzarella cheese
- 2 Tsp dried parsley flakes
- 1 Tbsp fresh basil
- 2/3 C reserved pasta water
- 1 garlic glove, minced
- Salt to taste
- Pepper to taste
- This recipe serves 4-6 people.
1. Begin by cooking pasta noodles. In a pot of boiling salted water, add pasta noodles and cook for 10 minutes, until ‘al dente’. Drain pasta but reserve 2/3 cup pasta water.
2. In a large skillet, add cooked pasta and cheese, and cook on medium heat.
3. Next, tear up the basil leaves and add to spaghetti, along with the dried parsley flakes, and reserved pasta water.
4. Stir spaghetti just until cheese has emulsified with pasta and its water.
Tip: Try not to leave spaghetti on the heat for too long because you don’t want to dry out the cheesy sauce.
5. Finally, add minced garlic and season with salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste.
These steps happen very quickly. The final product should be done in less than a minute (once you’ve boiled your pasta of course!). My kids LOVED this version of spaghetti! And you know how hard it is to get kids to like anything these days! Hope your family enjoys this simple healthy meal next time you make dinner. Until next time :)
Bon appétit! xo
Balooza is a classic dessert unique to Syria. It’s composed of two layers, rice pudding and an orange ‘jello’ layer. It is so delicious I can’t begin to describe to you how amazing it is! However, you wouldn’t be able to enjoy this delicacy if you have an intolerance or an allergy to dairy since Balooza contains dairy…until now! Yes I’ve done it once again and made a vegan version of this incredible dessert!! And my twist on this classic dessert will leave you reaching for more!
You are most welcome. But save your thank yous until you’ve actually tried it. I’d made them for Munsur’s SK graduation and everyone loved them! And there is no exaggeration in that statement! I had a nice woman looking for me that night just to comment on my Balooza (she had asked what it was prior to having one and I explained to her what it was and asked her to let me know what she thought of it) Not knowing she would actually follow through with my request, she told me how much she absolutely loved this dessert and wanted to know on the spot exactly how I made it!
The combination of coconut and mango is heaven! And for many of us who observe the beautiful month of Ramadan, its taste closely resembles that of the popular ‘Amaredeen’ drink made primarily from apricot paste; traditionally enjoyed in many homes during this month. Absolutely delicious!
Hope you enjoy this dessert not just during Ramadan, but afterwards too! It’s a snap to prepare and it’ll wow anyone who tries it. I promise
- 7 C coconut milk
- 1/2 C plus 1 Tbsp cornstarch
- 2/3 C water
- 1/4 C orange blossom water
- 1 C sugar
- 10 C mango juice
- 3/4 C plus 2 Tbsp cornstarch
- 1 C water
- 1 3/4 C sugar
- The total time factors in cooling and setting time too.
1. In a small bowl, combine cornstarch with cold water and stir until cornstarch has completely dissolved. It might seem difficult to get it to dissolve at first but keep at it for a few seconds and you will notice the resistance suddenly change. Set aside.
2. Starting with the milk layer, and using a dutch or french oven, add coconut milk and sugar over medium high heat. Stir continuously until milk comes to a boil.
3. Once milk is boiling, add cornstarch mixture and orange blossom water while vigorously stirring the milk. You will notice the milk suddenly thicken up, remove pot off of heat at this point and let cool slightly before pouring into designated bowls or cups.
Tip #1: To avoid getting a ‘skin’ on top of your milk and mango layer while cooling, place a Saran wrap directly on top, as shown below. Remove once cooled enough to pour into desired bowls/glasses.
Tip #2: If you find you’re left with small lumps of cornstarch in either your milk or mango layer, use a sieve prior to pouring in desired dish to get rid of the pieces.
4. Pour some of the milk layer into each cup or bowl, as shown. Let cool in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or until it sets.
While milk layer is setting, prepare the mango layer.
5. In a small bowl, have cornstarch diluted with water and ready to use. Set aside.
6. In another pot/dutch oven, combine juice with sugar and bring to a rolling boil.
7. Once juice is boiling, add cornstarch mix stirring continuously until you feel juice thicken – about 1 minute, at which point you’ll want to turn the stove off and remove pot from heat. Let cool.
Tip: to speed up the cooling process, I fill my sink with ice-cold water and dunk my pot in to help it cool much quicker! If you’re in no rush, then you may skip this tip/step.
8. When you jiggle the milk layer and see that it has somewhat of a jello consistency, add the mango layer to it. Add approximately twice the amount as the milk layer, as shown below.
9. Once you’ve topped all of your glasses/bowls, return to the fridge to cool and completely set, at least 1 hour.
TiP: The test once again is to wiggle your glass or bowl slightly to see how much movement there is. If it displays similarly to jello, then you’re good to go, and if not, give it a bit more time to set. I find the longer it sits in the fridge to set, the better. But again, you really only need it to set just enough that you can break into it (sort-to-speak) and enjoy it!
Voilà! You have an amazing dessert that is quite simply one of the best things you will ever experience
Hope you enjoy a part of my culture which I have and always will cherish.
Bon appétit! xo
Now that the warm weather is finally upon us, turn your attention to this ever so simple Vegan Strawberry Sherbet! It’s beyond words! The hint of lemon zest brings this sherbet up a notch! Did I mention how effortless it is to make? You can enjoy this treat right away and freeze the remainder in an airtight container.
- 2 C ice
- 2 C frozen strawberries
- 2 Tsp lemon juice
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 3/4 C vegan sweetened vanilla yogurt
- This recipe yields approximately 3.5 to 4 cups.
1. Start with ice at the bottom of your blender. Then add the strawberries and the rest of the ingredients.
2. Blend on high speed just until all of the ingredients are fully combined. You may have to scrape your bowl to blend everything together.
Tip: Don’t over process because you don’t want the heat from the blender to melt your sherbet.
3. You’re done! Use an ice cream scoop and serve with either a cone or in a bowl…or eat straight out of the blender if you wish!
You will be making this again and again because of its simplicity and more importantly its delicious taste. Not to mention how healthy it actually is especially compared to anything you would buy outside the home.
Garnish with mint leaves and more lemon zest if desired.
Bon appétit! xo
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