The Vegan “Big Mac”

You know those nights when you just feel like a Big Mac? Well don’t go get one because you’ll hate yourself afterwards. Instead, make this vegan “Big Mac” at home in a flash and hate yourself a little less from the comfort of your own couch! I hope you know I’m joking — I haven’t hated myself after eating once since going vegan two years ago.

I made this burger using Gardein’s ultimate beefless burger patties and Fieldroast’s chao cheese, and I made a quick “Big Mac” sauce using vegan mayonnaise (recipe follows). I also have to admit: my vegan “Big Mac” looks a lot more alive than the one you get at the drive through!

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Ingredients (1 burger):
2 vegan burger patties
2 tsp barbecue sauce
2 slices of vegan cheddar cheese
1 1/2 large kaiser rolls

Use these ingredients to your liking:
Boston leaf lettuce
White or red onion, finely minced
Relish (or pickles)

Vegan “Big Mac” sauce ingredients:
1/4 cup vegan mayonnaise
1 Tbsp lime juice (or lemon juice)
1/2 Tbsp hot sauce (or ketchup)
1/2 tsp onion powder

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Directions:
1. Combine all the sauce ingredients together in a bowl and refrigerate until ready to assemble the vegan “Big Mac”.
2. Cook vegan burger patties in a pan on the stove or on a barbecue, and baste them in barbecue sauce as you go. Melt cheese slices on top during last minute of cooking.
3. Cut one kaiser roll in half and take another kaiser roll and cut a slice off the bottom for the middle piece.
4. Put vegan “Big Mac” sauce and relish (if using) on both sides of the middle pieces of the bun and the inside of the top and bottom bun. Add your burger patties with cheese between each piece of bun, and then add onions, lettuce and pickles to your liking.
5. Dive in and don’t forget lots of napkins!

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Salad Niçoise with Dijon Lemon Dressing: 1 Dish, 2 Ways

Briny and bright, this take on a classic French bistro salad is a cornucopia of flavours and colours that doesn’t require extra primping to make a big statement at the table. Here, I’ve made it the traditional way with olives, capers and good quality, oil-packed jarred tuna, and again with a filet of smoked trout, which gives it an extra layer of richness and smokiness.

It looks great neatly organized in rows, breaking up the colours by ingredient with the fish taking centre stage. No matter how you present it, it’s going to be good, so just go for it.

From the delicate and crunchy French green beans and tender potatoes, to the ping of the garlicky Dijon lemon dressing, this is one beefy (but beef-less) salad you’ve got to make.

Prep Time: 40 minutes
Assembly Time: 2 minutes
Serves: 4

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Salad Niçoise with Tuna

Ingredients:
1 jar oil-packed tuna, drained
1 lb. small potatoes, cooked until tender
2 cups French green beans, trimmed and blanched
4 hard-boiled eggs, quartered
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
½ cup Niçoise olives
3 Tbsp capers
4-5 radishes, thinly sliced
Boston lettuce leaves, rinsed and dried
Fresh dill, to taste
3-4 salt-packed anchovies (optional)

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Salad Niçoise with Smoked Trout

Ingredients:
1 medium filet smoked trout, chopped
1 lb. small potatoes, cooked until tender
2 cups French green beans, trimmed and blanched
4 hard-boiled eggs, halved
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
½ cup Niçoise olives
3 Tbsp capers
4-5 radishes, thinly sliced
Boston lettuce leaves, rinsed and dried
Fresh dill, to taste
3-4 salt-packed anchovies (optional)

Dijon lemon dressing (adapted from Saveur):
1 clove garlic
? cup olive oil
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 shallot, minced
Kosher salt & fresh cracked black pepper, to taste

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Directions:
1. On a cutting board, mince garlic and sprinkle with coarse salt. Using the flat side of the knife, press the garlic and salt together to form a smooth paste. Transfer to a bowl and whisk in oil, lemon juice, mustard, shallots, and salt and pepper. Set aside.
2. On a serving platter or in a large bowl, arrange the butter lettuce on the bottom and then line up ingredients neatly in rows. Drizzle with Dijon lemon dressing and more salt and pepper just before serving.

BonnieMo Bonnie Mo is a Toronto-based editor and the face behind Food Network Canada’s 1 Dish, 2 Ways column. She’s also a contributing editor over at slice.ca. For more recipe ideas, visit bonniemo.ca, or catch her on Instagram @bonniemo.

Mini Zucchini Pizzas with Pepperoni

If you put pepperoni and melted cheese on something, you’ve got about an 80 percent chance that it’s going to taste good. And these baked zucchini bites are a fun and healthier alternative to pizza.

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Mini Zucchini Pizzas with Pepperoni

Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 35 mins
Serves: 1-4

Ingredients:

Zucchini slices
Pizza sauce
Shredded cheese
Pepperoni
Tomato (seeds removed)
Red onion
Basil

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Directions:

1. Cut your zucchini slices about half an inch thick.
2. To remove moisture, generously salt both sides and allow to rest in a colander for 10 to 15 minutes.
3. Preheat oven to 400F°.
4. After the zucchini has rested, wipe off salt and squeeze between paper towel to remove any excess moisture.
5. Place zucchini on baking sheet.
6. Spread a spoonful of pizza sauce on each slice, followed by some shredded cheese (I used cheddar), a slice or two of pepperoni, some tomato slices with seeds removed, and some slices of red onion.
7. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until cheese is melted and the top of the zucchini pizzas start to brown.
8. Garnish with fresh basil and serve!

100x100_BS Carlene and Bob Deutscher are the dynamic sibling duo behind BS’ in the Kitchen. While Carlene leans towards the sweeter side of things, baking up delicious desserts, you can count on Bob to cook up something savoury! Aside from blogging on BS’ in the Kitchen, Carlene works in marketing & communications, and sidelines as a lifestyle & wedding photographer, while Bob operates his own media company, with a focus on food photography, and videography!

Carlene and Bob Deutscher are part of the Lifestyle Blog Network family.

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Gluten-Free & Vegan Coconut Pancakes

I thought pancakes would be the death of me! I could never get them cooked through without being burned on the outside, or they would just stick to the pan. I’m sure I’m not the only one out there who barely has the patience to watch batter bake, but this formula for gluten-free vegan coconut pancakes might just be fool proof. Feel free to leave out the coconut and add any other fillings you like.

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Ingredients (makes 6-8 pancakes):
1 cup rice flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp egg replacer powder
2 Tbsp water
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk (or unsweetened non-dairy milk)
2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp shredded coconut

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Directions:
1. Preheat your oven to 250°F and place a parchment covered baking sheet in the oven. This is where you’ll keep the finished pancakes warm until you’re done and ready to serve.
2. In a mixing bowl combine flour, baking powder and cinnamon with a fork until combined. In a separate mixing bowl whisk together egg replacer powder with water, then add the coconut milk, melted coconut oil, and vanilla extract and whisk until combined.
3. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients along with the shredded coconut and stir just a few times to get the mixture combined, but don’t over mix.
4. Heat a non-stick pan to medium and use a paper towel to spread a light coating of coconut oil on the surface, then scoop 1/4 cup of the pancake mixture into the pan. You’re looking for the surface to bubble, then flip. The other side should take 1-2 minutes.
5. Serve the pancakes with warm maple syrup, another sprinkling of shredded coconut and grated raw cacao on top with a bit of vegan butter. Happy stacking!

Tip: Let your maple syrup bottle sit in hot water while you make the pancakes! Then you’ll be serving warm syrup instead of cold.

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Gnocchi with Brown Butter Sauce: 1 Dish, 2 Ways

There’s nothing quite like slow-melted butter turned slightly brown and nutty, wafting throughout the house to whet the palate and get you excited about dinner. But when you toss a few fresh sage leaves into the mix, you’ve got an incredibly easy and delicious sauce that’s ready in less than 10 minutes.

This super-fast meal is both elegant and simple to throw together and thanks to a few last-minute flourishes — like a generous dusting of your best-quality parmesan and toasted pine nuts — this minimal-ingredient dish suddenly becomes restaurant worthy.

Tip: While you can certainly make your own gnocchi, this sauce works well on the packaged version.

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 4

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Fried Gnocchi with Brown Butter Sage Sauce

Ingredients:
1 package potato gnocchi
2 Tbsp butter
1/2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted

Brown Butter Sage Sauce:
1/4 cup unsalted butter, cold
15-20 fresh sage leaves
1/2 lemon, zest finely grated
Kosher salt & cracked black pepper
1/2 cup parmesan, coarsely grated

Directions:
1. In a small saucepan, toast pine nuts over low heat until golden, being careful not to burn, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
2. In a medium sauce pan over medium-high heat, melt butter, swirling occasionally. When the butter has almost completely melted, stir in the sage leaves. Cook until butter turns slightly brown and nutty and the sage leaves are slightly crisp, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat.
3. In another skillet, heat butter and olive oil over medium heat. Add gnocchi in a single layer and fry on one side until crisp, about 1-2 minutes. Gently flip and fry one the other side for another 1-2 minutes.
4. Add fried gnocchi and lemon zest to the pan with the brown butter sage sauce and stir until coated. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with grated parmesan and toasted pine nuts and serve immediately.

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Gnocchi with Chili Brown Butter Sauce & Crispy Sage

Ingredients:
1 package potato gnocchi

Brown Butter Sage Sauce:
1/4 cups unsalted butter, cold
15-20 fresh sage leaves
1 Tbsp red pepper flakes
Kosher salt & cracked black pepper
1/2 cup parmesan, coarsely grated

Directions:
1. In a medium sauce pan over medium-high heat, melt butter, swirling occasionally. When the butter has almost completely melted, stir in the sage leaves. Cook until butter turns slightly brown and nutty and the sage leaves are slightly crisp, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat.
2. Add gnocchi and chili flakes to the pan and stir until coated. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with grated parmesan and serve immediately.

BonnieMo Bonnie Mo is a Toronto-based editor and the face behind Food Network Canada’s 1 Dish, 2 Ways column. She’s also a contributing editor over at slice.ca. For more recipe ideas, visit bonniemo.ca, or catch her on Instagram @bonniemo.

Vegan Grilled Cheese & Beef Sandwich with Sriracha Ketchup

Now this creation is going out to John who always tells me how he grew up on two things: beef and cheese. His mom once made these sandwiches that were made of cheddar cheese, ground beef, and white bread, because that’s all she had on hand. Of course, John and his siblings loved the sandwiches so it became a regular meal.

It’s about time we made a vegan version, but this one is spiced up a little, because we’re adults now!

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Ingredients (makes 1 sandwich):
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 tsp olive oil
1 Tbsp finely chopped pickled jalapeños
1/2 cup meatless ground round
1/4 tsp chili powder
Pinch sea salt
1/3 of a block, Daiya jalapeño havarti wedge
2 slices sourdough bread
2 tsp vegan butter
1 Tbsp ketchup
1-2 tsp Sriracha

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Directions:
1. In a pan over medium heat, sauté the onion and olive oil for 2 minutes until soft. Add pickled jalapeños, meatless ground round, chili powder and a pinch of sea salt, and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Push this mixture to the side of the pan to make room for the bread.
2. Butter one side of each slice of bread and place one slice, butter side down, into the pan.
3. Place thin slices of jalapeño havarti wedge on the bread, covering it generously. Then scoop the meatless ground round mixture on top. Place the other slice of bread, butter side up, on top of that.
4. Cook for 2-3 minutes, then flip the sandwich carefully and cook for another 2-3 minutes until crispy and golden brown.
5. Serve with ketchup mixed with Sriracha for dipping.

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Dairy-Free Double Chocolate Cookies

These cookies are seriously amazing. They’re chewy, chocolatey, and honestly, we think baking vegan treats turns out a lot better than “regular” baked goods.

Give these treats a try and get a big glass of almond milk ready for dunking.

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Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour (or whole wheat flour)
1/2 cup unsweetened dutch process cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 cups earth balance butter
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 Tbsp unsulfured molasses
1/4 cup non-dairy milk
1 cup vegan chocolate chips

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Directions:
1. Pre-heat the oven to 350°F.
2. Sift together flour, cocoa, salt, baking soda and set aside.
3. In a separate bowl cream together earth balance, sugar, vanilla, and molasses until fluffy. Then add in non-dairy milk and mix until well combined.
4. Add your wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well. Stir in chocolate chips.
5. Scoop 1/4 cup of cookie dough and roll it into a ball, then flatten the cookie slightly with your hand onto un-greased cookie sheets.
6. Bake for 10 minutes.
6. Cool cookies on baking sheet for about 5 minutes or so and then transfer to a cooling rack for another 10-15 minutes.

Now just try not to eat the whole batch yourself!

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Thai Lettuce Cups: 1 Dish, 2 Ways

These Thai-inspired wraps brimming with fresh vegetables and herbs are the perfect way to welcome spring. You can choose to add chicken or go vegetarian and opt for the quinoa option, but both make for a quick and healthy weeknight dinner and lunch leftovers.

For the vegetarian version, I used cabbage leaves instead of traditional lettuce — a decision that turned out to be pure genius. Not only was I able to double-stuff them, but they were less fragile than their butter or iceberg counterparts and less likely to have their contents spill out on to the plate. Just be sure to use the inner, most tender parts of the cabbage.

These wraps are completely customizable, so feel free to toss in those bits of almost-forgotten vegetables you’ve got floating around — cucumber, peppers, bean sprouts or mushrooms come to mind — to pump up the nutritional value even more.

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Prep Time: 25 mins
Total Time: 30 mins
Serves: 6

Ingredients:

For the Chicken:
1 pound ground chicken
2 small cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons ginger, minced
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
1 green onion, chopped
2 tablespoons lemongrass, minced
1/4 large red pepper, finely chopped
1 tablespoons fish sauce
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons oil

10 large lettuce leaves

For the Thai Dipping Sauce:
1/2 cup fish sauce
1/2 cup water, boiling hot
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
2 garlic cloves, minced
1-2 red Thai chilies, stems removed and minced

Thai Chicken Lettuce Cups

Directions:

1. In a large skillet on medium-high heat, fry ginger and garlic in oil for about 1 minute.
2. Add ground chicken, breaking up with the back of a wooden spoon and stir-fry for 6 minutes.
3. Add cilantro, green onion, lemongrass, fish sauce, crushed red pepper, salt and pepper, and re-move from heat. Set aside.
4. Meanwhile in a medium bowl, whisk together fish sauce, water, sugar, and vinegar until sugar dissolves. Whisk in garlic and chilies. Set aside to cool.

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Ingredients:

For the Quinoa Thai Cups:
1 cup quinoa, cooked
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon lemongrass
1 large carrot, grated
1/2 red pepper, finely chopped
1tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
1 green onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper to taste
1 lime, squeezed
2 tablespoons oil

12-15 cabbage leaves

Thai Peanut Sauce:
1 cup peanuts
3 small cloves garlic, minced
2 limes, juiced
1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons honey
2 teaspoons water
2 tablespoons lemongrass, minced
4 teaspoons vegetable oil

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Directions:

1. In a large skillet on medium-high heat, fry ginger and garlic in oil for about 1 minute.
2. Add cooked quinoa, stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add water chestnuts, stir-fry for 2 minutes. Stir in cilantro, green onion, lemongrass, crushed red pepper, salt and pepper, and remove from heat. Set aside.
3. Meanwhile for the Thai Peanut Sauce, combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor, and puree until the mixture resembles chunky peanut butter.

BonnieMo Bonnie Mo is a Toronto-based editor and the face behind Food Network Canada’s 1 Dish, 2 Ways column. She’s also a contributing editor over at slice.ca. For more recipe ideas, visit bonniemo.ca, or catch her on Instagram @bonniemo.

Better-Than-Takeout Vegan Pad Thai

You might be tempted to just order some Thai food from your local joint, but you can make a fresh and fragrant version of Pad Thai at home with the help of a little unexpected ingredient. Dates are a staple in our pantry – we use them for tons of raw desserts and in our morning green smoothies, but when blended with savory flavours like miso, sesame and lime, it tastes very similar to tamarind paste, which is the traditional base of pad Thai sauce (not ketchup, as some restaurants would have you believe!) Try this vegan Pad Thai and you’ll be convinced that healthy home-style cooking is far better than soggy takeout.

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Serves: 4

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Ingredients:

Sauce:
10 medjool dates, pitted
1 cup water
2 tablespoons vegan oyster sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons Siracha
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 teaspoons miso paste
1 tablespoon sesame oil

Pad Thai:
200 grams brown rice fettuccine noodles (or flat rice noodles)
350 grams medium firm tofu
2 tablespoons coconut oil (for frying)
½ cup thinly sliced onion
1 cup thinly sliced carrots
1 cup finely chopped celery
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups broccoli florets
3 cups bean sprouts
2 tablespoons finely chopped green onion
2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons finely chopped roasted cashews (or peanuts)

Directions:

1. Let dates soak in water for 15 minutes.
2. Drain the water from the tofu and let it sit in paper towel for 10-15 minutes to get rid of excess moisture. Then cut into cubes.
3. Drain and rinse dates from soaking water. Then place them in a high-powered blender with the rest of the sauce ingredients. Blend until smooth and set aside.
4. Bring a pot of water to a boil for the noodles. Once the water is at a rolling boil, toss in the noodles and stir occasionally while they cook for approximately 10 minutes. Cook to al dente, drain and set aside in a colander.
5. Meanwhile, heat a large pan to medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of coconut oil and cubes of tofu. After 4-5 minutes, flip the cubes to another side to crisp. Flip the cubes every 2 minutes to get each side golden brown.
6. When the tofu cubes are golden brown all around, add ¼ cup of the sauce to the pan and coat the pieces evenly, cooking over the heat for another minute. Remove tofu from the pan and set aside. You’ll toss tofu into the vegetables and noodles near the end of cooking time.
7. In the same pan over medium heat, add another 1 tablespoon of oil and the onions, carrots and celery. Cook for 2-3 minutes stirring frequently.
8. Add in minced garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
9. Then add in broccoli and sprouts (you might want to leave a small amount of raw sprouts aside as a garnish on top of the finished pad Thai) and cook for another 4-5 minutes stirring frequently.
10. Pour in half the amount of sauce remaining, toss to coat all the veggies and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
11. Add in the cooked noodles and remaining sauce, turn the heat down to low, toss to coat everything in sauce and cook for another 3-4 minutes. At this stage you can adjust the spice level if you desire by adding another 1-2 teaspoons of Sriracha.
12. Serve immediately and top with green onion, cilantro, raw sprouts and chopped cashews (or peanuts).

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