Meatless Monday – On demand

After rave reviews on my Father’s Day strawberry cheesecake, I decided to share the recipe here. It is vegetarian but a straight substitution with a good quality vegan cheese, some agar agar in place of the egg, coconut oil instead of butter and vegan graham crackers should make it sufficiently vegan.

Serves two for a couple servings each but recipe can be doubled to serve a small crowd.


  • 1 package (1 cup/200g) cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons/30 mL yoghurt
  • one-third/76g caster (superfine) sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon cornstarch
  • ½ cup/40g graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon each of semolina flour and rolled oats
  • 2½ tablespooons/37g melted butter
  • 1 tablespoon/14g icing sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • strawberry jam


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Put cream cheese and egg on counter to warm slightly before mixing. Room temperature ingredients makes for a smoother batter.
  3. Meanwhile prepare the crust by melting the butter then mix it with graham crumbs, icing sugar, salt, semolina and oats. Press into slightly greased pan. A springform pan is ideal.
  4. In bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar together. When uniform, add egg and vanilla and continue stirring until smooth. Add in cornstarch and stir until blended in.
  5. Pour mixture into prepared pan and place in oven to bake about 30 minutes.
  6. The centre will be slightly jiggly when done. Let cool to room temperature then place in fridge to cool further a minimum of 4 hours; overnight is best.
  7. When completely chilled, remove from pan and top with strawberry jam.
Photo by Kimberley (c)2017

Meatless Monday – The bean challenge

I was just reading an article saying that the best way to get your daily intake of fibre is to eat beans everyday. In order to do so, make a habit of including beans in your diet daily. Start with a couple of tablespoons then work your way up to ½-1 cup.

Meatless Monday – Full of Beans

Good quality canned beans are fine and only require a can opener to prepare. I like Eden organic beans as they have a varied selection and their cans are devoid of the chemical compound BPA (Bisphenol A). You can also purchase dry beans and cook from scratch. With a pressure cooker, the cooking time is cut down considerably. Make sure to soak them first to coax out the phytic acid allowing the nutrients to become bioavailable.  A sample menu plan follows.

Sample menu

Day 1 – mung
Among the easier to digest, mung beans go well with broccoli, miso, ginger, garlic, bok choy and brown rice.

Day 2 – aduki
Sweet or savoury, that is the question. The bean paste used in sweet buns often use aduki beans. Or simply serve with rice and veggies. Aduki are also considered one of the easier beans to digest.

Day 3 – chickpeas
The uses for chickpeas are endless.

Day 4 – black beans
Mix with some diced tomatoes, spices (cumin, coriander, oregano, ground chili pepper), bell peppers and corn. For an extra hit of protein cook in some amaranth and chia seeds. Top with avocado and serve over rice. Or try some black bean brownies!

Day 5 – navy beans
Try this baked bean recipe that uses the navy variety.

Day 6 – kidney beans
Bean salad, vegetarian chili, veggie burgers, beans & rice… Take your pick.

Day 7 – red lentils
Lentils cook quickly (about 30 minutes) and don’t require pre soaking. I recommend soaking them anyways (just overnight) to start the sprouting process for better digestibility. They become mushy and lose their colour so are ideal for use in stews and veggie burgers.

Meatless Monday – Say hello to my little friend


Most famous for its use in hummus and baba ghanoush this sesame seed paste can also be used in sweet applications. Prevalent in Middle Eastern cuisine, it is an ideal item to always have on hand in a meatless pantry.

Tahini provides essential fats, some carbs and protein. And vegans take note, sesame seeds are also a good source of calcium.

Use tahini in such things as pancakes, burgers and balls, stir fry, tofu marinade, salad dressing, cookie and muffins.

I have tried and can vouch for the pairing of tahini with the following vegetables: butternut squash, zucchini, broccoli, bok choy, spinach, mushrooms, eggplant, pumpkin and potatoes. Tahini also plays well with other nutty flavours ie pinenuts, walnuts, quinoa.

Tahini tips

  • A little goes a long way. No more than a few teaspoons are needed in most recipes.
  • To enhance the tahini effect, add sesame seeds and sesame oil to the same recipe.
  • Before opening a new jar of tahini, turn it upside down for about one hour. This allows the separated oil to be more easily distributed throughout the paste. Turn jar right side up, carefully lift the lid then stir the contents to blend.
  • Use as a substitute in peanut butter cookies. Along with 1-2 tablespoons quinoa flour, many people have been fooled into thinking my tahini cookies contained peanut butter.