Organic White Bean Dip March 5, 2012

Filed under: Starters & Sides — s mcdowall @ 5:58 pm
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Easy easy easy.  Yummy yummy yummy.  I don’t think this dip really needs much more explaining than that.




2-3 cups of dried white navy beans (I used organic)

1-2 tsp sea salt

1-2 tsp minced organic garlic

2 TBSP organic extra virgin olive oil

Pepper, to taste




1) Place dried beans in a large bowl and fill with water – sprinkle with a small dash of salt and soak overnight.

2) Drain beans and place in large pot along with 1 tsp of salt, place on high heat and bring to boil.

3) Boil beans for 1-2 hours until tender.

4) Place boiled beans in food processor along with minced garlic, olive oil and 2-3 TBSP of boiling water and combine thoroughly.

5) Taste and season accordingly – add more water from boiling pot if dip is too lumpy (should be nice and smooth but not runny).

6) Chill for an hour or more and serve with fresh veggies or your fave crusty bread.


NOTE – you could substitute any dried bean really, if your preference isn’t navy beans.  Add in some tahini if using chickpeas.




Easy Vegan Lentil “Burgers” March 30, 2010

And so the love affair with lentils continues.  I wanted something to compliment my other half’s MEAT night BBQ, seeing as it was an even 50/50 split for the veggies and the carnivores.  I’ve made a bunch of meatless burgers (or patties if you’re offended by that term), and it’s always a challenge to get them to stay in one piece and not crumble apart.  Well my dears, this worked beautifully!  I just modified a few of the usual methods/ingredients, and what resulted was a hearty, tasty and totally vegan lentil burg that I’ve been enjoying for 2 days now (yes, made a HUGE batch).  Anyhoodle, give these ones a go, and serve ’em with your FAVE sauces … and say HELLO to BBQ season!!!





1 cup dry red lentils
1 cup water
1 cup stock
½ tsp salt
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 garlic gloves, minced
1 medium carrot or zucchini, diced
3 tbsp tomato sauce
½ tsp pepper
1 tsp curry OR chili powder (or any other spice you’d like)

Meal: ¾ cup bread crumbs OR rolled oats OR ground almonds mixed with nutritional yeast – finely ground

extra meal (about 2-3 tbsp)





1) Sauté the onion, garlic and zucchini (or carrots) in oil until soft, about 5 minutes.

2) Place the lentils, stock, water, tomato sauce, spices and salt in with onion/garlic, bring to a boil, lower heat, cover, and simmer for about 30-45 minutes, until water is nearly gone and lentils are very soft.

3) Stir in additional salt and pepper (per taste) and allow lentil mixture to cool (about 30 min) then mix in the ground “meal” of your choice.

4) Place additional “meal” in a small dish; form lentil mixture into “burgers” and coat with crumbs on all sides.

5) Cook and serve with zesty sauce (I used a delish vegan hemp mayonnaise by BFF made for me) Cooking options:
(A) In a frying pan, heat a bit of oil (do not use olive oil), place burgers on top and fry until brown (about 2 minutes per side).
(B) In a 400ºF oven, bake the burgers on a greased baking sheet until light brown (about 15 minutes total), flipping once mid-way through.


Note – these store really well for up to a week!


The Weekly Soup: Cream of Mushroom November 23, 2009

After an annual trip to Costco, my fridge looked like it was going to explode at any second.  You had to precariously open the door, for fear of anything from oversized sauce jars to heads of broccoli falling on your unsuspecting foot.  Without even realizing what I’d done, a ginormous tray of sliced mushrooms kept pleading with me everytime I snuck in for a quick snack.  I do love a mushroom and I happened to be in the ball and realized I was overdue in my soup of the week, so I thought: let’s kill two birds with one stone (figuratively of course!!).  This resulted in a creamy, earthy soup that tasted even better as my warming lunch the next day.



1 TBSP butter

1 medium onion, finely chopped

1 TBSP olive oil

2 dozen crmini mushrooms, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, minced

3 cups stock (your choice – as long as it’s rich and good!)

1 cup boiling water (you may use more or less, depending on the thickness you desire)

1 tsp sea or kosher salt (if your stock is super salty, use less)

1/3 cup 10% table cream

Pepper to taste




1)      Bring a large pot to medium heat and sauté the onion in the butter and olive oil until just browned.

2)      Add into pot the garlic and mushrooms, and sauté until browned and softened (about 5-10 min).

3)      Pour stock, water and salt into pot, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 30 min (or until veg are very tender).

4)      Turn off heat and allow soup to cool slightly, then add in cream.

5)      Pour 3/4 of the contents into a blender, and blend until smooth (you can add in extra liquid if it’s too thick).

6)      Place puréed soup back in pot, add in pepper to taste and re-heat slightly (you do not want to burn the soup, so keep a close eye).

7)      Serve hot with crackers or bread!


Oh-so-oat-cookies! August 6, 2009

Why OH-SO?  Well, these little gems are OH-SO guilt-free, soy-free, easy to make, can be dairy-free, and if you use non-Quaker brand oats, they’re gluten-free too!  And they’re OH-SO tasty, believe it or not. Plus, they’ve got the added bonus of the bananas, so they’re super healthy and a great way to use up any over-ripened bananas you may have lying around.

3 medium ripe bananas, mashed
1/3 cup butter, melted (you could also use CANOLA oil to make these dairy-free)
2 cups uncooked quick-cooking oats (NOT Quaker or other conventional brands, if you want gluten-free)
1/4 cup skim milk (use RICE or ALMOND milk to make these dairy-free)
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup walnuts
1 tsp vanilla


1) Heat oven to 350°F, then puree bananas completely, until they are runny and smooth.

2) Thoroughly mix ALL ingredients together in a bowl, ensuring oats are evenly moistened.

3) Let batter stand for about 5 minutes, then drop heaping teaspoons onto a greased cookie sheet.

4) Bake cookies for approximately 15-20 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned (every oven is different so keep a watchful eye near the end).

5) Move cookies to a wire rack to cool.

NOTE – if you make these super-sized, they make terrific ice-cream sammys.  Just scoop vanilla icre-cream and squish between 2 cookies, and freeze for an hour before serving.  Smother with chocolate or caramel sauce for a real gooey mess if you want.  Tastes like summer!!!



Effortless Roast Garlic and Potato Soup August 20, 2008

Filed under: Soup's on,Starters & Sides — s mcdowall @ 3:41 pm
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If you’ve never roasted garlic before, you will become an addict after your very first try. It’s not a bad addiction, so embrace it. It’s so easy and the result is unreal. You can spread the roasted garlic like butter, and adding it to any recipe will enhance the flavour like you won’t believe. This recipe will surprise you at how simple and delicious it is … and ridiculously cheap to make. Stores brilliantly in the freezer for weeks.


2 full heads of garlic

2 Tbsp olive oil

2 onions, diced

2 pounds potatoes, peeled and diced

6 cups strong vegetable broth

salt and pepper to taste

chopped fresh chives, for garnish


1) Wash and dry garlic heads (do not peel), place in tinfoil and drizzle with olive oil. Close tinfoil tightly over heads, and bake in 350 oven for 25-30 minutes.

2) Heat remaining oil in a large pot and cook onions until soft, about 5-7 minutes.

3) Once garlic is cooled, squeeze roasted garlic cloves from their skins into pot and mash heads with back of a spoon.

4) Add potatoes and stir until coated with the oil, add broth and bring to a boil, and reduce heat and simmer (about 30 minutes until the potatoes are soft).

5) Puree soup with a hand blender, or in batches in a regular blender if need be, and add the chives as garnish and serve.