Polish Style Cauliflower with Bread Crumbs/ Kalafior z Bułką Tartą

This is a simple but comforting dish that I grew up eating very often. The nostalgia of this dish is extremely high, and for very little effort you can have a hearty side dish to pump up your lunch or dinner. I’ve appreciated cauliflower steaks before they were a thing.It’s called kalafior (Ka-la-f’your) z bułką tartą, which is basically cauliflower with a shredded bun, or in our case, cauliflower with breadcrumbs. All you have to do is steam a cauliflower in a pot – drain it, and add margarine with fried bread crumbs on top. Voila, you’re done.  My mom would make it all in one pot and it was just so cozy and comforting. Now you can have a taste of my youth in your very own home. It’s October, which is prime cauliflower season (or anytime during fall) so get a cauliflower while the prices are excellent and try this easy dish out. Ingredients: 1 head of cauliflower Your favourite margarine or flavourful oil 1/4 cup of breadcrumbs 1 tsp fresh or frozen dill, chopped (optional) Directions Steam the cauliflower until tender – around 8-9 minutes. Remove and place on a serving dish. In a frying pan, add oil or margarine and set to medium, add in the breadcrumbs and fry until crumbs are golden brown. Pour the contents of your frying pan over your cauliflower, top with dill if you want to, and serve while it’s toasty. Smacznego!

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New Tofurky Ham-Style Roast Review

We bought the Tofurky Ham-Style Roast this weekend for the first time (from the refrigerated section at Metro in Toronto, but it’s available at Whole Foods and Sobey’s locations too) And since I couldn’t find much information about it online, I wanted to share what we thought. This is the first year it’s been available in Canada, so the moment I heard about it, I wanted to try it. It’s a small seitan based ham that looks visually appealing, and comes with a sweet and tangy beer glaze featuring Hopworks Urban Brewery beer from Oregon. It’s full of flavour and has a vaguely ham-like flavour. If you are familiar with Tofurky roasts, the texture is quite similar – and personally, I liked it, and it complemented our meal quite nicely. Here you can see it in it’s packaged glory – and my hand for scale. My hands aren’t particularly big, so it’s not huge, but could serve 3-4 people with a nice variety of sides and/or some stuffing. I did not follow the preparation instructions on the box – we were making a very late dinner, and I didn’t feel like baking it for over an hour, so your experience may vary. But if you wanted to save some time and make it in the Instant Pot like I did, I mostly followed the box instructions on prep – half a cup of water, and based my timing on JL’s Vegan Roast post here. She has some great ideas for…

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Makowiec – Poppy Seed Roll – Vegan Mofo 2017 Day 4

I never particularly liked poppyseed rolls also known as makowiec (MAK-oh-v’yetz) when I was a kid – from a distance, I’d see them and think they were chocolate, then get close and realize it was poppies. And then I’d be filled with sadness and maybe steal a bite of icing, but otherwise, sadness. For some reason, now that I’m both older and live in a Polish neighbourhood in Toronto I find myself wanting this damn cake every time I walk by one of the handful of deli’s along Roncesvalles. But I know these are not vegan, so I keep walking. About a year ago I bought a can of poppyseed cake filling, for the novelty, not even really planning on making a makowiec because I figured I’d never get around to it. Well, thank goodness it’s VeganMofo, because here we go. This recipe is based on a few things – my experience with challah, another egg heavy bread that I make with reasonable success without eggs, and a recipe in The Art of Polish Cooking by Alina Żerańska circa 1968. Poppyseed Roll (Makowiec) makes 2 rolls 1 package active dry yeast (2 – 1/4 tsp yeast) 1 cups warm non-dairy milk (divided) 4 cups all-purpose flour 6 tbsp sugar 1/4 tsp salt 1/2 cup aquafaba (what is aquafaba?) 6 tbsp coconut oil or earth balance, softened 1 can (850g) poppyseed filling (most do not have honey in them) Optional: walnuts, finely chopped Directions In a bowl or measuring up dissolve…

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Barszcz/Beet Soup – Vegan Mofo 2017 – Pleased to Beet You.

Beets are a regular player in traditional Polish cooking, and Eastern European cooking in general, so I’m going talk about them every darn Tuesday for the rest of October. I’d like to start with something traditional as heck, with some minor augmentations. Beet soup. You might know it as borcht. I know it as barszcz. It’s all basically the same thing, we can agree to disagree. Beets + Broth = soup. Usually sour cream is involved. Sometimes some kind of sausage. But even with the most hearty seeming recipes, I often find myself hungry soon after. So with this recipe, I’m trying to avoid using special ingredients (but tofutti sour cream is absolutely fantastic in this soup if you have it around/or want to use it) and replacing sour cream with a dollop of white bean puree. It really works – you can mix the white bean in with the soup before plating, or let folks do it afterwards – it’s a great nutritional boost, and adds a thicker texture to the soup. Ingredients 3 medium sized beets 1 leek, halved 2 garlic cloves 1/2 cup dry navy beans (or 1 can, drained) (or white northern beans), prepared. 4 tbsps oil (or as much oil as makes you happy) 1 onion, chopped 1 carrot, halved and chopped 6 cups vegetable broth juice from 1/2 lemon splash of your favourite vinegar 1 bay leaf 1/8 tsp pepper (or to taste) 5 medium potatoes As much dill as you can handle bonus:…

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Młoda Kapusta Zasmażana – Fried Cabbage – Vegan Mofo Day 2

Fried Cabbage, sounds boring right? No. It’s not. It’s hearty and warm and cozy. There is this fantastic balance of sweet and smoky and lightly salty. The smoky tofu bacon really brings this all together, but any kind of fried meatless sausage type product would work great in this too. I really like the Tofurky or Yves Kielbasas for a quick comforting cabbagy meal – just slice them into half moon slices and fry them with some onion and then add sliced cabbage and onions. It all pairs wonderfully with kasza gryczana (lightly roasted buckwheat groats) or boiled/mashed potatoes. I’m calling this a young (młoda) cabbage (kapusta) because the one I used was dark leafy and green and fresh off the farm despite being the beginning of autumn. If you’re deep in the middle of somewhere else, can’t find deep green young cabbage, but can find Napa cabbage, its tender leaves might fit the bill. I’ve got other plans for the rest of the cabbage – as there are always other things to do with cabbage in Polish cooking – it is a very versatile vegetable – featured in some of my favourite things like cabbage rolls, sauerkraut, a variety of soups and stews, and more! Kapusta Zasmażana Ingredients Tofu Bacon 1/2 block of tofu, pressed, thinly sliced 1 tbsp sesame oil splash of liquid smoke 1 tsp soy sauce or Braggs aminos (optional) 1tsp mushroom powder Add sesame oil, liquid smoke, soy sauce and (optional) mushroom powder to a…

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Naleśniki – Polish Crepes – Vegan Mofo

Happy first day of Vegan Mofo! I wanted to start things off with one of my favourite childhood memories.When I was little one of my fondest morning memories is when my mom would make naleśniki (Na-leh-shniki.) Watching her make them always seemed so magical because what was once a liquid, seemed to defy gravity – clinging to the pan, changing colour, and turning into something delicious. I would sit at the kitchen table, we would listen to the CBC, we would talk, all while she made breakfast. There would be two typical fillings, a sweetened cheese one made with quark or some kind of stewed fruit or jam. My favourite of course, would be one with fruit, so that’s what I made this morning, finally, for my own family.  When my mom made it, it was topped off with a vanilla sugar thick cream – this morning I made a quick cream with maple syrup, coconut yogurt, and some vanilla bean. Before I went vegan, she would use a piece of bacon to grease the pan,  but eventually, once I went vegan she would still make ones for me with oil, filled with fruit, and dusted with icing sugar. Lucky me! Smacznego! (which means bon appetit! or enjoy your meal!) Naleśniki – Polish Crepes Makes 8 naleśniki   Ingredients  1 cup all purpose flour 2 tsps prepared Bob’s Red Mill egg replacer mix 1 cup unsweeteend soymilk 3/4 cup boiling water a pinch of salt 3 tsp a light vegetable…

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Vegan Mofo – Day 0 – Polish Vegan Things

It’s almost time for Vegan MoFo. What is Vegan MoFo? I’m glad you asked – it’s an annual celebration of Vegan Food. If you want to read about the history, I recommend going straight to the source and reading What is VeganMoFo on the VeganMoFo site. I have participated in nearly all of them except the one last year (and I would have, but I missed signing up due to the fog of new motherhood.) This year my goal is to try and post on the blog 5 times a week and a substantive comment on at least 10 blogs a day – ideally ones I have not interacted much with before, and always if a stumble upon a post has no comments. Please connect with me on Instagram and/or on Facebook, and I look forward to meeting new fellow vegan food fans during October! The Theme Vegan Mofo has a bunch of great ideas for posts throughout the month, which you can see here on their handy prompts page, but I’ve decided to go with a theme that is close to my heart, and heritage – Polish Vegan Things. So the aim is All Polish Food, veganized. I’d also like to talk about some of the cool stuff happening in Poland for veganism and animal rights, as well as some of the great cookbooks and Polish blogs out there. I speak and read Polish quite fluently, but writing it is still not a strong point – so sadly, and sorry, my…

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Vancouver – Indigo Age Cafe

The first few times we saw Indigo Age Cafe come up on a vegan-friendly food list we mentally skipped it because we thought it was some raw food place and we’re not usually into that. But after repeatedly seeing it, I got curious – maybe it would hit the spot anyway. I really like salad rolls… so I took a look at the menu. And I’m so glad that I did. Sure, they have raw food, and plenty of it, but in a wonderfully unexpected curveball, they also have cooked vegan Ukrainian cuisine. Surprise! Pirogies! And cabbage rolls! And borscht! oh my. Something else they do that’s pretty neat is a Vegan High Tea. Several of the other tables were doing it while we were there – I kind of regret not going for it, but our small human was reaching the end of his evening tolerance, so we didn’t have much time and we weren’t sure how long it would take – but it looks great. We started with some stuffed tomatoes with a raw fermented coconut-almond cheese, cashew sauce and pesto sauce – these were especially popular with our toddler (who like me, is keen on strong flavours.) And of course, we had to dip into the Ukrainian menu and ordered plates of assorted savoury pirogies and cabbage rolls. The pirogies had an incredible soft and tender dough, and were filled with sauerkraut or potato (they also have a cherry filled one that we didn’t order.) Drizzled with olive…

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Vancouver – Chickpea Food Truck

Back when we were in Vancouver we were staying close to Coal Harbour, there were several options within walking distance of our hotel, and plenty of vegan delivery options too. But what a wonderful find the Chickpea Food Truck was. On our first full day there, we met up with some friends for lunch – I suggested the Chickpea truck after finding out their location via the StreetFoodApp (and you can too.) They were at the waterfront near Canada Place (which is their “usual downtown spot.”) We wandered over, and got in line. Plenty of folks were milling about waiting for their order or waiting to order, but the line moved reasonably quickly. I ordered the Shakshuka platter which was a massive amount of food, but was great to share with JC and our son. Once upon a time this platter would have had eggs in it, but Chickpea recently went totally vegan – so the shakshuka was based around chickpeas and nicely spiced tomatoes, with sliced up vegan sausage, a very delicious hummus. The platter comes with a salad and chickpea fries, and you want the chickpea fries, I promise. I’ve had a bit of an obsession with vegan shakshuka for some reason – which started inexplicably because I neither have a nostalgia for it, or a cultural affiliation. I think the first one I tried was one with Tofu with a recipe from A Virtual Vegan, followed a few weeks later by a recipe from One Arab Vegan where silken…

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We were in Vancouver. Cartems Doughnuts. Get em.

We were in Vancouver last month and it was a lot of fun. Traveling with an infant has had some challenges, but also some benefits. Mostly we’re lucky with a kiddo that’s pretty easy going, and one that enjoys sleeping on the plane as much as possible. One thing I didn’t know about having a baby and flying was that we’d get to skip so many lines – who knew. I guess I knew when I travelled with the little one alone, but I didn’t realize it would apply when we were all travelling together. It is definitely a lot easier to travel as a trio, but we did pretty well just the two of us on our last trip to Edmonton to visit my parents. Anyway, ostensibly, I went for a conference, but as a delightful happenstance, we still managed to get a bunch of walking and eating in while we were there. It’s not the same as travelling alone, or as a pair of adults, but it actually worked out fairly well, since we got some mandatory relaxation time. The fun thing about being in the pacific time zone, when you’re used to eastern standard time is that everyone is still sleeping and you’re all wide awake. So you get to do things like watch the sunrise over the city and get to enjoy hotel swimming pools all to yourself. We took the redeye over to Vancouver and got in on the skytrain. They’ve got a lovely transit…

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