Falafel Burgers

We love falafel. We love burgers. There’s an obvious solution here – and it’s so tasty.

1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 small onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pinch of freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Canola oil for frying

1. Put the chickpeas, onion, garlic, parsley, cilantro, cumin, salt, pepper, water and lemon juice into food processor and pulse until combined but still a bit chunky. Add the flour and pulse a few more times.
2. Transfer into a mixing bowl and add 1/2 cup bread crumbs, or more if needed.
3. Roll the mixture into balls and flatten with your hands to make a patty.
4. In a shallow skillet, heat about 1/2 inch of canola oil until it’s hot. Fry the falafel for a few minutes on each side on medium high heat until golden brown and crunchy.
5. Make a falafel burger with tahini, tomato, cucumber and pickles, or serve in pita with tzatziki sauce.

Adapted from Culinaire Magazine, a new Calgary food and beverage magazine!

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Tofu Cacciatore

Cacciatore is an interesting word. Chicken cacciatore refers to chicken prepared in a spicy tomato sauce with mushrooms and herbs. The Italian word literally means “hunter.” It refers to the ingredients that a hunter might have on hand when preparing the dish. So, here is tofu cacciatore – hunter style. Just imagine yourself on in the middle of the prairies, lassoing some wild tofu. A call to simpler times. Serve this with our garlic mashed potatoes.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 pound firm tofu, cut into 1/2” slices
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1/4 red bell pepper, chopped
1/4 green bell pepper, chopped
1 medium carrot, thinly sliced
1/4 cup white wine
1 clove garlic, minced
5 crimini mushrooms, sliced
2 celery stalks, chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon Vegeta
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 small can stewed tomatoes, drained
1/2 cup tomato sauce
Fresh parsley, chopped

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
2. Heat a large skillet coated with 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onion, carrots and bell peppers and cook, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes.
3. Add the garlic and saute for another 3-4 minutes.
4. Add the wine, basil, oregano, salt and pepper and cook, stirring frequently, for 3 minutes.
5. Add the tomatoes and tomato paste. Bring to a boil and allow to simmer for 15 minutes.
6. Heat another large skillet coated with 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium high heat. Add the tofu and saute for 8-10 minutes, or until lightly browned on both sides. Place the browned tofu cubes in a 13” X 9” baking dish and cover with the prepared tomato sauce.
7. Bake for 1 hour. Garnish with fresh parsley. Serve over garlic mashed potatoes.

– DJ

Fresh Basil and Macadamia Nut Pesto

With macadamia nuts instead of pine nuts you can add a tasty island twist to a traditional pesto pasta recipe.

3 cups fresh whole wheat pasta
1/2 cup unsalted, dry-roasted macadamia nuts
2 cups fresh basil leaves
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 bunch of asparagus
1/2 of a zucchini

1. Cook pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water. Drain the pasta when it’s done.
2. Wash the asparagus, snap off the ends and discard. Wash and thinly slice the zucchini. Top the vegetables with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper. Grill for 7 minutes, or broil for 10 minutes.
3. In the meantime, pulse the macadamia nuts in a food processor, then add garlic and basil and pulse a few times more. Slowly add the olive oil while the food processor is on. Scrape the sides of the food processor with the rubber spatula, add salt and pepper and pulse a few more times.
4. In a large bowl, mix pesto mixture and cooked pasta.
5. Cut up grilled asparagus and zucchini and add to the pasta.
6. Garnish with grape tomatoes and serve.

– DJ

Wild Mushroom and Barley Risotto

We love risotto in our house because it’s delicious, creamy and pleases vegans and omnivores alike.

Wild Mushroom and Barley Risotto

1 cup uncooked barley
3 tablespoons margarine
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 cups vegetable stock
1/2 teaspoon black truffle salt
Salt and Pepper to taste
3 cloves of garlic, pressed
4 Shiitake mushrooms, sliced
2 Portobello mushrooms, sliced
2-3 oyster mushrooms, sliced
3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
5-6 Shallots, chopped

1. In a medium pot on medium heat, melt the margarine and saute the barley in it until lightly toasted.
2. Add 3 cups of the vegetable stock to the barley, and bring to a boil. Cook on low heat, covered, for 30 min or until barley is cooked.
3. Meanwhile, heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large, heavy pan, and add the sliced mushrooms.
Saute mushrooms for 10-15 min, then add chopped shallots and pressed garlic and saute for an additional 2-3 minutes, until the flavors infuse into the mushrooms.
4. Add barley, salt, pepper, and truffle salt to the mushroom mixture. Stir and slowly pour in the remaining cup of vegetable stock to make it creamier.
5. Right before it’s served, mix in 3 tablespoons of fresh parsley.

– DJ

Roasted Almond, Quinoa and Black Bean Salad

The next time someone curious about veganism asks me, “where do you get your protein?” I’ll spoon-feed them a bite of this roasted almond, asparagus and black bean bowl while singing an Iron and Wine song. Once they are no longer creeped out and have regressed to that of a sleepy, full toddler, they’ll rejoice in the simplicity and delightful flavour of this salad.

Add spices to taste. I throw in whatever I’m in the mood for, which is usually smoked paprika.

Roasted Almond, Asparagus and Black Bean Bowl Recipe

1/2 cup quinoa
1 1/2 cup water
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup almonds
1/2 bunch asparagus
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup black beans
1 lemon
2 tbsp olive oil
Favourite spices (smoked paprika, cumin, etc.)

1. Start by boiling the quinoa. The best way to prepare quinoa is to rinse and drain it in water first, as this will get rid of the slightly bitter taste you might find after it’s been cooked. After rinsing, place in a small pot with water, maple syrup and garlic. Bring to a boil, then cover and allow to simmer for about 15 minutes. Quinoa will be done when it has a tiny curl and will be slightly crunchy. Fluff with a fork and add to large bowl.
2. While quinoa is boiling, roast almonds in a dry pan on medium-high heat. Watch almonds closely to make sure they don’t burn. Once browned, or you start smelling that delightful “almonds roasting over a stovetop” smell, remove from heat and let cool.
3. Time for the asparagus. Wash, break off ends, then place in a small pan filled with water and 1/4 tsp salt. Allow to boil on medium-high for 5-6 minutes. When done, should be slightly firm and bright green. Rinse in cold water and then set aside.
4. Rinse and drain black beans. Add to large bowl.
5. Once quinoa is done, mix quinoa, almonds, asparagus and black beans together in the bowl.
6. For the dressing, mix the juice of one lemon with 2 tbsp of olive oil. Add whatever spices you’d like, for example 1/4-1/2 tsp smoked paprika or cumin. Season to taste! Pour over salad and mix.

Prep and cooking time: 25 minutes.

Adapted from a recipe in Glow Magazine.

– Silvia

Sweet Teriyaki Tofu

There hasn’t been much time to cook around these parts, so we’ll leave you with a simple yet delicious teriyaki tofu recipe.



Sweet Teriyaki Tofu

1 package extra firm tofu
1/4 cup sodium-reduced soy sauce
1 cup water
2 cloves garlic, chopped
4 slices fresh ginger, sliced
3 tbsp pure maple syrup
Canola oil as needed
Cornstarch as needed

1. Drain tofu by squeezing excess water out with a paper towel, then by wrapping the tofu in a kitchen towel. Place wrapped tofu on a cutting board or plate, with two more kitchen towels; one resting underneath the tofu and one on top of the tofu. Place two or three heavy cookbooks on top and leave for 20 minutes. Taking out the excess moisture will allow for a better texture.
2. Cut tofu into 8 big pieces, cutting vertically four times and horizontally once.
3. Heat canola oil on medium high in a large frying pan. You’ll want enough to completely cover the bottom of the pan, at least half an inch high.
4. Make sauce by mixing soy sauce, water, garlic, ginger and maple syrup in a blender. Blend for about a minute. Set aside.
5. Fill a medium-sized bowl about halfway with corn starch. Prepare an empty second bowl. Roll tofu in corn starch until coated, then shake off excess cornstarch in second bowl. Once oil is hot, place tofu in oil and cook tofu until it is lightly browned. Turn each piece, cooking until all sides are browned. This is basically the method for agedashi tofu, often served in sushi restaurants, except there it’s dunked in a deep fryer.
6. When done, wait until oil cools, then pour out the oil and pour in the sauce. Or, prepare a second frying pan in place of the first one and pour in sauce. Wait until the sauce starts to bubble.
7. Cook tofu in sauce. Turn tofu to ensure all sides are coated with sauce. Serve with a big salad.

Prep: 10 minutes.
Cooking time: 20 minutes.
Serves two.

Chickpea and Eggplant Curry

This is one of our favorite curry recipes. It’s so delicious we’ve been making it every week. DJ adapted this recipe from Post Punk Kitchen’s Eggplant and Black Eyed Pea Curry.



Chickpea and Eggplant Curry

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 eggplant, peeled and cut into small chunks
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
Fresh ground black pepper
A dash of cayenne (leave out if you don’t like spicy, increase if you do)
1/2 cup red lentils
5 cups vegetable broth
1 can organic chick peas, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup tomato sauce

1. Preheat a pot over medium high heat. Saute onions in olive oil until translucent for about 7 to 8 minutes.
2. Add garlic and saute for another 2 minutes. Add the eggplant, salt, ginger, coriander, cumin, turmeric, cayenne, and black pepper along with one cup of the vegetable broth. Cook the eggplant for a couple of minutes.
3. Add lentils and the remaining 4 cups of vegetable broth. Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Once it’s boiling, lover heat to a simmer and cook for about 40 minutes, until lentils are tender and the eggplant is soft. Add the chickpeas and heat through, then stir in tomato sauce and lemon.
4. Serve with brown rice, quinoa, couscous, or with naan bread and cucumber salad.

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