All posts by Eden Hagos

Eden Hagos is a food lover and personality who’s taste is as diverse as her roots. Influenced by her food-centered upbringing and her move to Toronto, she started experimenting with traditional African and Caribbean flavors. She founded Black Foodie, a platform and series that explores food through a Black lens and offers critical and culturally relevant perspectives on the food world. She has been featured in the Globe & Mail, Metro, CBC, Okay Africa and more for her work on Black Foodie and unique food events.
Sweet potato blondies on kitchen counter

These Comforting Sweet Potato Blondies Will Defeat Your Winter Blues

Traditional blondies get a comforting, cold-weather twist with the addition of sweet potato.  These Can You Vegan It? fudgy squares can easily be made vegan-friendly by swapping in a few simple ingredients. And the addition of chopped pecans kick things up a notch, adding a nice crunch and a decadent touch. Feel free to sub in different nuts, toffee bits or anything else you might be craving. Tip: serve warm to keep you toasty during blustery winter nights.

Sweet potato blondies

Sweet Potato Blondies

Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 75 minutes
Servings: 12

Ingredients:

Blondie Base
⅔ cup unsalted butter (or vegan butter)
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 large egg (or vegan egg substitute)
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ tsp salt
½ tsp baking powder
1 cup of pecans (optional)

Sweet Potato Top
1 small sweet potato
3 Tbsp condensed milk (or vegan condensed milk)
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
¼ cup chopped pecans (optional)

Sweet potato blondies ingredients on table

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F and bake the small sweet potato for 40 minutes. To save time, you can peel and cut the sweet potato into large even pieces, then boil until soft. It will cook faster when boiled, but I suggest baking it instead to maintain all the delicious flavour.

2. As the sweet potato bakes, prepare the batter by browning the butter first. Add the butter to a pot on low-heat. As the butter begins to melt, stir and slowly raise to medium heat. Be careful when you increase the heat, as it’s very easy to burn butter. If possible, use a light-coloured pot so you can see the butter clearly as it begins to brown. Stir continuously — and once the butter has reached a golden brown colour, remove and sift into a large bowl.

Related: Comforting Desserts to Battle Bitter, Cold Winters

3. Once the butter has cooled to room temperature, add the light brown sugar and combine. Then add the egg and stir in the vanilla.

4. Add the dry ingredients (flour, salt and baking powder) to the mix and combine well. Be careful not to over mix. Then fold in the chopped pecans and pour the batter into a buttered baking dish. Set aside.

Sweet potato blondie batter

5. Once the sweet potato is soft and fully baked, remove it from the oven and turn down the heat to 350°F (to bake the blondies). Let the sweet potato cool, then remove its skin and mash it up in a large bowl. Next, add the condensed milk, pumpkin pie spice and pecans. Mix until all ingredients are evenly combined.

6. Pour the sweet potato mixture on top of the blondie batter in the baking dish. Spread it on top as an even layer. Add a few more crushed pecans to top it off.  Bake for 25-30 minutes. Cut into squares and serve warm.

Like Eden’s sweet potato blondies? Try her vegan sloppy Joe sliders or her cardamom teff apple muffins.

Published January 9, 2019, Updated January 2, 2021

These Vegan Sloppy Joe Sliders Are Your Answer to Healthy Entertaining

This unconventional take on the sloppy Joe is inspired by the popular chickpea-filled Trinidadian street food, doubles. Like sloppy Joes, doubles are a deliciously messy, sweet and savoury snack. They’re typically made of channa (a curried chickpea filling) sandwiched between two pieces of fried dough with tamarind sauce, chutneys and pepper sauce.

For this Can You Vegan It? sloppy Joe recipe, the fried dough is replaced with mini sesame-seed buns. The savoury curried chickpea filling is topped with a spicy and crunchy cucumber chutney, as well as a tangy pineapple jam rather than tamarind sauce. It’s an unlikely combination, but if you enjoy sweet, savoury and spicy flavours, this recipe is calling your name. It’s perfect for pleasing picky kids or entertaining guests. Plus they’re veg-friendly for everyone to enjoy!

Vegan Sloppy Joe Recipe

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 70 minutes
Servings: 12 sliders

Ingredients:

Channa (Chickpea Filling)
1 large onion
3 garlic cloves
3 stalks green onion, finely chopped
1 Tbsp turmeric
2 Tbsp geera (ground roasted cumin)
2 Tbsp curry powder
1 can drained chickpeas (28 oz)
4 tsp cilantro, finely chopped
1 scotch bonnet pepper
Salt, to taste

Spicy Cucumber Chutney
½ large field cucumber
⅓ scotch bonnet pepper
1 lime, juiced
1 Tbsp cilantro, chopped

Additional
Pineapple jam or guava jam (you can find this in the Caribbean section of the grocery store or at a Caribbean grocery store)
12 sesame buns (or any type of slider buns you prefer)

Directions:

1. Finely chop the onion, garlic cloves and green onion. Add a few spoons of oil to a large pot at medium heat. Then saute the onion, garlic and green onion.

2. Once the onions become translucent, add the turmeric, geera and curry powder and stir — add a bit of water if necessary to keep the ingredients from sticking to the pot.

3. Add the drained chickpeas and chopped cilantro and stir. Then pour enough water to cover the chickpeas and add in the scotch bonnet pepper (do not cut the pepper). Let the ingredients simmer on medium heat until soft, adding more water when necessary to keep the mixture from burning or sticking to the pan.

4. Once the chickpeas have softened and the mixture has a thick consistency, take it off the heat and let cool.

Related: Our Most Popular Vegan Recipes Ever

5. Use a grater to shred half the field cucumber and place in a bowl.

6. Finely chop the ⅓ scotch bonnet pepper, removing most of the seeds (this pepper is incredibly spicy, so be careful when handling) before adding to the bowl of grated cucumber.

7. Add the lime juice and chopped cilantro to the bowl. Mix the ingredients together and place in a mason jar.

8. Lightly toast the sesame buns and spread a generous portion of pineapple jam to the bottom of the bun, then add a few spoonfuls of the chickpea channa mix, top with a bit of the spicy cucumber chutney — and enjoy!

Like Eden’s vegan sloppy Joes? Try her sweet potato blondies or cardamom teff apple muffins.

Published June 11, 2018, Updated December 13, 2020

cardamom teff muffins on green plate

These Cardamom Teff Apple Muffins Will Be Your New Go-To Breakfast Recipe

These cardamom-spiced teff muffins make for a delicious fall breakfast or midday snack. Baking with teff flour, a nutrient-rich, gluten-free Ethiopian grain can be tricky as gluten-free grains can be drying. However, the addition of fresh apples and applesauce make for a delicious and moist muffin. Teff should be combined with other flours when baking — and for this recipe, I’ve added oat and all-purpose flour. The oat teff crumble on top adds a tasty crunch and touch of sweetness. The addition of cardamom, cinnamon and pecans pair perfectly with teff’s nutty flavour. Serve this up with sliced apples and a spicy Ethiopian chai tea for a delicious start to your day.

Cardamom teff apple muffins on plate

Cardamom Teff Apple Muffins

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake Time: 20 to 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 to 40 minutes
Servings: 12 muffins

Ingredients:

Muffins
1 cup flour
½ cup teff flour (teff grains are incredibly small and can easily be mistaken for teff flour when shopping — be sure to buy teff flour and not the whole grains for this recipe)
½ cup oat flour
½ tsp salt
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp cardamom
½ tsp cinnamon
2 large eggs
½ cup brown sugar
1 cup milk
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp applesauce
1 Granny Smith apple diced

Crumble
¼ cup butter softened
¼ cup pecans
¼ cup oats
⅓ cup brown sugar
¼ cup flour
2 Tbsp teff flour
Dash of cinnamon
Dash of cardamom

Ingredients for Cardamom teff apple muffins

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, teff flour, oat flour, salt, baking powder, cardamom and cinnamon.

2. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, brown sugar, milk, oil, vanilla and applesauce.

Related:  Our Best Healthy Muffin Recipes for Busy On-The-Go Mornings

3. Dice the apple into small pieces and set aside.

4. Combine the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients without over mixing. Then fold in the apple pieces.

Cardamom teff apple muffins batter

5. In a separate bowl, combine the ingredients for the crumble topping with your hands until you achieve several small clumps.

Cardamom teff apple muffins crumble topping

6. Fill a muffin tin with muffin liners or grease the muffin tin. Fill with batter and top each with crumble topping. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

Cardamom teff apple muffins in tray

Love Eden’s muffins? Try your hand at her hearty teff breakfast bowl or comforting sweet potato blondies.

This Healthy Ethiopian Vegan Potato Stew is the Perfect Fall Comfort Food

This Ethiopian potato stew (AKA dinich wot) is one of my favourite plant-based stews for fall. It’s incredibly hearty, spicy and super easy to make. Traditionally this recipe is served on top of a large platter of injera with other colourful vegan stews. However, it can be enjoyed with rice, fonio or in my case on its own with fresh bread on the side. I also love to substitute in ingredients like sweet potato, pumpkin and okra to switch up the flavours. Feel free to add your own twist on it and warm up this fall with a bowl of Ethiopian comfort food.

Ethiopian Vegan Potato Stew

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 65 minutes
Servings: 2 to 4

Ingredients:

2 large yellow onions, finely chopped
3-4 Tbsp berbere spice
5 cloves minced garlic
1 Tbsp minced ginger
¼ cup crushed tomato
3 large potatoes, peeled and chopped into thick chunks
1 ½ cup hot water (adjust as needed)
Salt, to taste

Directions:

1. To a large heated pot, add oil and onions. Once the onions begin to caramelize, add berbere spice, stir well so the onions are coated. (Each Berbere blend is different, some blends are spicier than others, so feel free to adjust the amount to fit your taste).

2. Add garlic and ginger and add a bit of water as necessary to the pot.

3. Add crushed tomato and mix well. Add some water as necessary to prevent the mixture from burning.

4. Once the ingredients are well incorporated, add the diced potatoes and hot water slowly and bring to simmer. Be careful not to add too much water.

Related: This Easy Ethiopian Mushroom Stir-Fry Will Be Your New Fave Weeknight Meal

5. Cover with lid and stir occasionally adding more water as necessary.

6. Once the potatoes are tender and the stew is finished, serve with injera, rice or on its own. Enjoy!

Tip: If you’d like to kick things up, you can stir in a spoonful of korarima spice (Ethiopian Black cardamom) a few minutes before the stew is done cooking.

Love Eden’s Ethiopian vegan potato stew? Try her teff breakfast bowl or quick and tasty guava tarts.

These Quick and Tasty Guava Tarts Will Be Your New Favourite Dessert

If you’re looking for the perfect treat to enjoy these last few weeks of summer — this is it. These guava tarts are my remix of a traditional Cuban guava dessert, pastelitos guayaba y queso. The pastries are super simple, flaky and so delicious. I used puff pastry to save time, but feel free to step it up and make your own puff pastry from scratch. I topped these treats with some fun island-inspired icing and added citrus to the cream cheese filling. I loved the results — hope you do too!

Quick Guava Tarts

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 6 to 12

Ingredients:

2 eggs
250 grams cream cheese (1 block)
1 ½ Tbsp sugar
½ tsp vanilla
1 Tbsp lemon zest
1 tsp lemon juice
1 package of puff pastry (400 grams)
200 grams guava paste (½ of standard 400 grams block)
1 Tbsp water
3 Tbsp icing sugar
1 Tbsp mango nectar (or juice)
½ tsp hibiscus powder

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375°F.

2. Separate one egg yolk from egg white and set aside. In a large bowl, combine room temperature cream cheese, one egg yolk, sugar, vanilla, lemon zest and lemon juice. Mix well and set aside.

Related: 12 Brilliant Ways to Use Puff Pastry

3. Unroll thawed puff pastry. Each sheet is usually split into 3 sections; cut in half to create 6 sections. If you’d like to make the tarts smaller, cut the puff pastry into two sections to make 12 tarts.

4. Cut guava paste into thin slices and place on each puff pastry. Add a large spoonful of cream cheese filling on top of each piece of guava.

5. Beat 1 egg and water to create an egg wash. Brush the pastry edges with egg wash and top with remaining puff pastry. Press down on edges to seal, then use knife to cut a few slits on top of each pastry.

6. Put tray in the freezer or fridge to chill for 15 minutes.

7. Then brush the top of pastries with egg wash and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool.

8. If you want to top with icing: mix icing sugar with mango nectar until you achieve the consistency you desire. Lightly drizzle on top of cooled pastries. Then mix hibiscus powder into remaining icing and drizzle the mango hibiscus icing for a pop of colour and flavour. Enjoy!

Like Eden’s guava tarts? Try her sweet potato blondies or easy Ethiopian mushroom tibs recipe.

This Easy Ethiopian Mushroom Stir-Fry Will Be Your New Fave Weeknight Meal

Tibs are a quick, easy and delicious Ethiopian-style stir-fry traditionally made with beef or lamb. Mushroom tibs are one of my favourite ways to make a tasty plant-based alternative to this popular dish. It is super flavourful and perfect for a quick lunch or weeknight dinner. Tibs are typically served with injera (a spongy fermented Ethiopian flatbread), but can also be enjoyed with rice, fonio or quinoa.

Vegetarian Mushroom Tibs Recipe

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 2 to 4

Ingredients:
450 grams mushrooms
1 tomato
1 yellow onion
1 ½ bell peppers (different colours)
1 jalapeno
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 ½ Tbsp berbere (Ethiopian spice blend)
1 tsp ground korarima (Ethiopian Black cardamom) (optional)
1 sprig rosemary
Salt, to taste

Directions:
1. Begin by prepping all of the vegetables. Clean mushrooms thoroughly and remove the stem (save stems for another dish). Slice mushrooms evenly and set aside.

2. Dice tomatoes, thinly slice the onion and bell peppers and set aside. Remove the seeds from the jalapeno and thinly slice.

3. To a hot pan, add the sliced mushrooms. Cook down on medium-high until it reduces in volume. Drain the excess liquid and remove the mushrooms. Set both the liquid and mushrooms aside for later.

4. Now add oil to the heated pan and sauté the onions.

5. Once the onions begin to become translucent, add the berbere spice and stir. Pour back in a few spoons of the liquid from the mushrooms as needed.

Related: 20 Easy Plant-Based Recipes for Beginners That Will Make You Drool

6. Add the minced garlic to the pan, stir and add the diced tomatoes. Next add bell peppers and stir.

7. Add the mushrooms, jalapenos, korarima spice, rosemary and stir.

8. Garnish with rosemary or thinly sliced jalapeno (in Ethiopian cooking, jalapenos are both an ingredient and garnish!). Serve with fresh injera, rice, quinoa or fonio. Enjoy!

Tip: Tibs are all about your personal preference. If you’d like this dish to be a bit less saucy, add half of the tomato instead. Many berbere spice blends have salt within the mix, so be sure to taste your stir-fry as you go and salt to taste.

Like Eden’s mushroom tibs recipe? Try her vegan sloppy Joe sliders or teff breakfast bowl.

This Healthy Ethiopian Breakfast Bowl Features Your New Favourite Grain

Need a delicious and healthy way to switch up your breakfast routine? This teff breakfast bowl is it! Inspired by my Ethiopian Canadian upbringing, it’s a tasty spin on the flavours of home. Teff is an ancient grain that is quintessential to Ethiopian and Eritrean cuisine – it’s usually found in the traditional Ethiopian flatbread injera. This tiny grain is rich in minerals like manganese and iron. Plus, it’s packed with protein. In case you need a few more reasons to add it to your pantry, teff is also a great source of fibre and is naturally gluten-free.

This healthy breakfast bowl is flavoured with cinnamon, cloves and cardamom – all of the essential ingredients to Ethiopian tea. The spiced teff is topped with crisp pears, creamy almond butter and crunchy pecans that pair perfectly with the grain. Finally, it’s sweetened with Canadian maple syrup, so each spoonful is rich in flavour and texture.

Teff Breakfast Bowl


Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 3

Ingredients:

Teff Breakfast Bowl
1 cup teff grains (not the flour – unless you prefer a smoother texture)
2/3 cup water
2/3 cup almond milk
1 stick cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp cardamom

Toppings
1 1/2 pears, sliced
1/2 cup pecans
6 tsp maple syrup
3 Tbsp almond butter

Directions:

1. Add the teff, water, almond milk, cinnamon, cloves and cardamom to a pot and bring to a boil. Be sure to stir frequently. As it begins to thicken, turn the heat down and put a lid on the pot until it’s cooked all the way through. Tip: Use a rice cooker to guarantee a perfect batch every time.

2. Pour 1/3 of the teff mix into a bowl and remove the cloves, cinnamon and cardamom.

3. Top the teff bowl with half a thinly sliced pear, 1/3 of the pecans, 1 Tbsp almond butter and 2 tsp maple syrup.

4. Pour the remaining teff mix evenly into two bowls and repeat the topping steps listed above (or refrigerate and enjoy as two days’ worth of pre-made breakfast).

5. Grab a spoon and eat up!

Looking to expand your grain horizon further? Here are The 10 Healthiest Whole Grains and How to Cook Them.

cream-cheese-stuffed-chicken

Your Cheesy Stuffed Chicken Breast Needs Creamy Cajun Sauce

With winter in full swing, it’s important to have a few heartwarming, rich and comforting dishes in your dinner line-up. This recipe for Cheesy Spinach-Stuffed Chicken Breast with Creamy Cajun Sauce is the ultimate dinner indulgence. Packed with just the right amount of cheese, cream and Cajun spice, it’s bound to become a family favourite. The Cajun spice blend which is the star of this recipe,  features paprika, garlic powder, thyme and many more fragrant spices. To save time, I used a favourite store-bought spice blend but you can add your own special touch by making a Cajun spice blend of your own.

stuffed-chicken-covered-in-cajun-cream-sauce

Cheesy Spinach-Stuffed Chicken Breast with Creamy Cajun Sauce

Ingredients:
2 large chicken breasts
2 Tbsp cajun seasoning

Filling:
3 Tbsp of cream cheese
2 Tbsp of shredded mozzarella cheese
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
¾ cup of chopped spinach
Sauce:
2/3 cup of chicken broth
3 Tbsps cajun seasonings
1 ½ cup of cream
¼  white onion finely chopped

stuffed-chicken-ingredients

Directions:
1. Cut chicken breast in half lengthwise, without cutting all the way through. Open the chicken breast up and place wax paper on top (the wax paper will act as a barrier). Use a rolling pin or another round hard object to pound the chicken breast into a thin, even layer.
2. Remove the wax paper and season both sides of the chicken breast with Cajun seasoning and set aside.
3. Chop spinach into thin pieces and place into a bowl, then finely chop 1 clove of garlic and add it to a bowl of cream cheese. Mix mozzarella cheese and spinach with cream cheese until everything is evenly distributed.

spinach-cheese-stuffing-in-bowl

4. Spread the cream cheese mixture inside the chicken, being careful not to over-stuff.
5. Preheat oven to 350°F. Add oil to a hot pan placed on medium heat. Add the stuffed chicken breasts to hot pan and sear each side. Once the chicken breast has a nice brown crust on each side, remove it and place on a baking sheet. Reserve pan and drippings for later.
6. Bake the stuffed chicken breasts in the oven for 25 minutes or until it has cooked all the way through.
7. Return to the pan and add a bit more oil to the pan drippings if necessary, then add onion. Cook onions until translucent. Add chicken broth and bring the mixture to a simmer then add cream slowly, stirring as you add. Once the mixture has thickened, remove from heat.
8. Serve with the stuffed chicken breast and garnish with parsley.

stuffed-chicken-breast-with-sauce

Looking for more recipes? Try these Must-Try Chicken Breast Recipes.

Doubles

5 Must-Try Snacks at the Toronto Caribbean Carnival

Caribana weekend is around the corner! As we get ready to come together in Toronto to jump and wave at one of the largest street festivals in North America, it’s only right we fuel ourselves with flavour-packed Caribbean foods! We’ve rounded up some of the best Caribbean street foods and treats that make for the perfect Caribana snack.

Doubles

Doubles
Doubles are a delicious, filling snack that are oozing with curried chickpea goodness! This snack is a common street food in Trinidad and Tobago but luckily for us, it is readily available in Toronto. It consists of channa (curried chickpeas) surrounded by two round pieces of bara (fried dough). It’s then wrapped up tightly in wax paper and ready to enjoy. It’s often topped with a tangy cucumber chutney and tamarind sauce. The tart sauce, spicy chutney and hot channa blend perfectly together to create a unique burst of flavor with every bite. If you like your snacks with an extra kick then be sure to add a touch of Caribbean hot sauce on top. Grab doubles while you watch the Grande Parade from one of the many vendors nearby. Just be sure to save your dance moves for after you eat because this tasty snack can get messy!

Jamaican Patty

Jamaican Patties
Jamaican patties are flaky, golden pockets that make a perfect snack on the go. It’s no surprise that these hand-held snacks are available at almost every corner store and major subway stop in the city. Patties can be filled with anything from spicy beef to jerk chicken or curried vegetables. If you want an exceptionally flaky patty then head on over to Randy’s Take Out on Eglinton Avenue West. If you’ve graduated from the spicy beef patty and want to try something new, seek out ComeNyam’s unique patties. Their patties are filled with everything from oxtail to pumpkin. You can find their patties at specialty food stores throughout the city.

Fishcakes and Bakes

Fish Cakes and Bakes
You can never go wrong with saltfish fritters. They are easy to carry on the road at Caribana and extra filling too. Although there are many variations of fried dough packed with flavor and saltfish across the islands, I suggest the Bajan fish cakes and bakes. Bakes are a sweet fried dough that go perfectly with any treat. Street Shak Caribbean Kitchen offers their own spin on these Bajan snacks that are sure to please.

Corn Soup

Corn Soup
You may be wondering why soup made the list. It isn’t what you typically think of as a snack, but this hearty Caribbean soup can be found across the city outside of the major Caribana parties. Served extra hot and filled with ingredients like pumpkin, sweet potato, onion, scallion, coconut milk and thyme, you’ll find several vendors at the parade with a big pot of this delicious dish. You can also grab the corn soup late night outside of the many fetes. After a fun filled day of carnival parade and parties, a nice big bowl of corn soup will help you re-charge.