Meatless Monday – A saucy little number

Besides choosing quality ingredients, a tasty sauce can go a long way in making meatless meals mmm mmm yummy. One of my current favourites is a miso-based sauce.

Combine by whisking the following:

  • 3 tablespoons white miso paste
  • 3 teaspoons prepared mustard
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 1 ½teaspoons rice vinegar
  • 3 teaspoons tahini
  • 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
  • ½ teaspoon of sesame oil

This salty, umami and sweet number is great slathered onto a slab of tofu that gets baked in the oven. Or add 1 tablespoon of this mixture to 1 ½ cups water. Bring to a boil then add some broccoli florets, tofu cubes and noodles for an instant soup. For tasty cooked carrots, add a little bit of water to this mix and stir with carrot pieces; roast in the oven until carrots are soft. Or use the watered down version of this mix and use as a dipping sauce for an assortment of vegetables.

Tips: Add some chilli flakes or powdered ginger to add some heat. For a single serving portion divide the recipe by three. Substitute rice vinegar with apple cider vinegar. Adjust amounts according to your taste.

Any other ways you would use this sauce?


Meatless Monday – Party food ideas

It is that time of year again. Whether you celebrate the holidays in December or just like to host get-togethers, party food is in season. Save on time and stress in your party planning with these ideas for healthy, tasty and meatless party food.

  • Set up a salad bar. Have a variety of washed greens (spinach, kale, chard), nuts/seeds (sunflower seeds, pepitas, walnuts, pecans), legumes (chickpeas, kidney beans), vegetables (sweet pepper, beets, carrots), grains (quinoa, barley), garnish (fresh parsley, basil) and dressing (vinaigrette, cashew based creamy dressing) available so your guests can build their own salad.
  • Can you say canapé? All you need is a base (cracker, bread, cucumber) and a savoury topping (dairy/non-dairy cheese, vegetable pâté, roast tomatoes, tapenade).
  • You can’t go wrong with the classic veggies and dip. Opt for raw vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, sweet pepper) for less prep time and quick to prepare dips like hummous and baba ghanouj.
  • Roast some nuts or cooked chickpeas with salt, pepper and/or other spices and mix with pretzels for a snack mix.
  • Rice paper parcels look fancy and are a great template for creativity. Simply dip rice paper quickly in bowl of water to soften and fill with an assortment of vegetables. Serve alongside a soy/tamari sauce based dip (soy/tamari sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, tahini and maple syrup OR soy/tamari sauce, peanut butter, maple syrup, hot pepper flakes, rice vinegar).

Of course, you could also hire a catering service or buy ready-made appetizers. So what’s your favourite party food? 

Teff Times

The Whole Grains Council has listed teff as one of the grains for November. As today is the last day of the month, I would like to highlight this grain.

Teff is nutritious. It contains minerals (calcium, iron), fibre and a full complement of amino acids (especially lysine, often low in plant-based proteins). It is also gluten-free and helps manage blood sugar. Teff is a tiny grain so is always available in its whole form rather than a refined version. The grains can be cooked like other grains or ground into a flour for use in baked goods.

Tip: Replace one-third of the flour in any cookie/cake/muffin/bread recipe with teff flour.

To cook, use a 3:1 ratio of liquid (water, stock, dairy/non-dairy milk) to teff grains. For a happening oatmeal dish, add some teff grains to steel-cut and whole grain oats and cook as you normally would prepare porridge. Whether grain or flour, teff can be used in sweet and savoury dishes.

Teff originated in Ethiopia thousands of years ago and is also eaten in Eritrea, a neighbouring country. It has a nutty taste and the cereal grain is actually the seed of a grass called lovegrass (eragrostis). Teff is a staple food in Ethiopia, much like wheat in Canada or rice in certain parts of Asia. The most popular food using teff is injera, a spongy sourdough pancake found in Ethiopian cuisine.

How I use teff…in breakfast oatmeal, in baked goods, pilaf, in sauces and veggie burgers

For a more detailed description and some recipes, see the following link from the Whole Grains Council:–-november-grains-month