Tag Archives: vegan

Vegan Burgers

These falafel burgers are lightly fried, and then baked. This makes them much less greasy, but maintains the delicious crunchiness. We served them on fresh organic blue corn tortillas, to make them gluten-free. Most traditional Mexican tortillas are made with nixtamalized corn (a process of soaking the kernels in wood ash), which releases its nutrients and rids it of toxic phytic acid. Organic corn is the best because it is free of GMOs. (Assuming that pesky wind didn’t cross-polinate any of the crop with some frankenpollen).

Falafel Burgers*

The recipe for the burgers depends on your preference. The basic ingredients are chickpeas, fava beans, onions, garlic, parsley, and thyme. These get blended in the food processor. To this you can add an egg for stickiness and grated potato sweet potato.  The result should yield a doughy mix that can be formed into patties. Lightly fry them on either side, then continue cooking in a 350° oven until crispy, about 15 minutes.

*Another lovely photo by Kaela Greenstein.

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Sumac Salad Dressing

Sumac is the best-kept secret of spices. It comes from a species of Sumac tree native to the Middle East and North Africa. The taste is subtle, so it’s best eaten raw. Persians simply sprinkle it on meats right on the plate, adding a slightly sour lemony taste. You can find it at spice shops and Middle Eastern specialty stores.

I make this salad dressing in large batches  in a mini-blender, so it lasts a  few weeks. The onions actually improve (as in become less spicy and more sweet) in the lemon juice as it sits in the fridge.  It tastes amazing on salads, falafel, french fries, or just as a dip. The amount of lemon juice should be almost the same as the other wet ingredients. Use equal portions of olive oil and tahini. If you blend it, stir in the sumac at the end so it doesn’t lose its texture.

Sumac Salad Dressing

  • Tahini
  • Olive oil
  • Lemon juice
  • Onion, blended until smooth
  • Mustard
  • Salt
  • Sumac
  • Honey (optional)

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Simple Hummus Recipe

Hummus is very easy to make, but if you really want to start from scratch it takes some time. Sure, you can just open a can of chick peas and throw them in the food processor. But soaking or sprouting your own makes them much easier to digest, not to mention the avoidance of BPA. (For a great sprouting how-to, see Sally Fallon’s Nourishing Tradions).

Photo by Kaela Greenstein*

To cook dry chick peas, start the night (or better a full day) before by soaking your beans. Add lots of water, as they will expand a lot. A cup of dry beans will yield two cups or more when cooked. Rinse them well. You can then cook them in a crock-pot on high for about 4 hours (for a big batch), or on a low setting of your stove. A small batch should only take a couple hours. They are done when they are almost falling apart, but not quite.

After the beans cool, for each cup add the following and blend:

  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt
  • 1 clove of garlic

My favorite way to serve hummus is to spread it on a plate with copious amounts of olive oil, olives, thyme, and chili flakes. You can also add more lemon at this point as the tartness of the lemon sometimes recedes in the mix.

*Check out more of Kaela’s delicious photography

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Chocolate Amaranth Cookies

I was inspired to make this recipe by the abundant nourishing foods that come from America. (The two continents, not just the united states of). With the globalization of trade, we can now get food that looks the same anywhere in the world. While the ingredients in this recipe aren’t exactly local (Central America is just about as close to Toronto as London, England), I think foods indigenous to America are too often overlooked. Imagine how different Europe would be without potatoes, tomatoes, corn, coffee, or chocolate. These are not only native to America, but the techniques for their breeding, cultivation, and preparation date back thousands of years.

 

The pecans in this recipe are native to North America, cacao was first cultivated in Mexico, and amaranth is an ancient American (super-)grain that is especially high in protein, iron, and calcium. Only the orange zest originates across the ocean, but this could be omitted, leaving the vanilla extract (another Mexican food) to complement the chocolate.

 

 

Chocolate Amaranth Cookies

Mix together in a large bowl:

3 tablespoons vegetable or coconut oil

1/4 cup honey or agave syrup

3 tablespoons warm water

1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine in a medium bowl:

1 cup amaranth flour

1/3 cup tapioca flour

1/4 teaspoon gum arabic*

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

2 tablespoons cocoa powder

*(A binding agent which comes from the sap of the acacia tree. This can be substituted for one egg).

Add dry ingredients to honey water and stir. The consistency will be somewhat pastey. Add to this:

1 cup chocolate chips

3/4 pecans

zest from one orange

Form the dough into small cookies (about 1 heaping tablespoon each) and place on a baking sheet covered in parchment. Top each cookie with a pecan half.

Bake at 350° for 12-15 minutes, until cookies have slightly darkened on the bottom.

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