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Joy Deveeve brings you a fresh Canadian blog dedicated to the healthiest and tastiest vegan recipes on the planet. Tested in her own kitchen, Joy delivers recipes that are sure to inspire new ideas and bring your meat loving friends over to the good side of life!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Raw Rice Paper Rolls

For those who have never tried these before, they are way easier to make than you might think. In fact, I just made these for lunch today and I think it took me 15 minutes to complete from start to finish. It is about as difficult as making a sandwich, so don't be intimidated at first glance.

I have included multiple photos to help us get through the instructions. When I first attempted these on my own, I watched a video and found the visuals extremely helpful. You can find rice paper virtually anywhere these days, but I love any excuse to go to the Asian shops in Kensington Market in Toronto or at Ben Than in Kitchener. Their food is fresh and always a great deal!

This recipe is my own inspiration and contains my husband's favourite - red peppers, but you can adapt it and use any ingredients you like for the filling. This is a great way to include miscellaneous veggies that need to be used before spoiling. Sprouts are key for me though, for their crisp water texture.

Ok, let's get started with the ingredients:

1 Package of Rice Paper

For the paste:
1 miniature red chili pepper (Thailand) - minced
2 Tbsps smooth almond butter (or nut butter of your choice)
3 Tbsps of mushroom flavoured soy sauce (Or any kind you prefer)
1 clove of minced garlic

Mix all of these ingredients together is a small bowl, the colour will look like miso paste, dark brown and will have the consistency of peanut butter.

For the filling:
1/2 cup cilantro leaves
1/2 cup red pepper
1 green onion chopped
2 cups of sprouts

These were all the ingredients I had on hand today. I would normally include anything that might add extra flavour on a sandwich like shredded carrots, finely chopped onions, etc. Really, let your creative juices flow here and create any combination you want, or substitute the ingredients above for something that suits your taste.

Now that you have your pasty sauce made, put it to the side, get out your favourite cutting board and start chopping the the green onions and other veggies you intend to include. Set those aside. After all ingredients have been chopped and washed, you are now ready to begin assembling.

First step is to water 1 sheet of rice paper. By water, I mean soak one sheet and ensure it is coated and wet. You can do this by having a bowl of water set by your side or you can just run it under cold running water on both sides like I do.

Now you set the sheet on your cutting board and you are going to wait about 60 seconds for it to soften. During this time, you can decoratively place the cilantro leaves face down and you can spread a bit of your paste as seen here.

Feel free to get creative here. Tip: Handle the rice paper carefully, it becomes sticky and can tear or shrivel easily. If it does rip, you can double wrap the roll by repeating the wrapping process with another sheet, no problem!

Now, you add the filling. Any ingredients you want to include must fit within the palm of your hand as a general rule. Too many ingredients will make it more difficult to roll. Now you fold the rice paper over the ingredients like a burrito and you fold the sides over and then roll over to complete.

Find your favourite dipping sauce and enjoy!

Makes 4-6 rolls, depending on how many ingredients you use for each roll.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Caesar Salad Dressing

The fact that this recipe has NO eggs or dairy excites me because if you can make a caesar salad dressing that tastes this close to the real thing without using animal products, then there is hope for all other vegan recipes after that!

Feel free to spice up this already perfect recipe. I add my own croutons using my own homemade 100% whole wheat bread or Stonemill's Sprouted Grains Glycemic Index Tested 3 Grain Bread. (See my vegan related links for a link to their website)

I simply cut two slices of bread into cubes and lightly toast them naked in the oven. (I often save the ends of bread loaves for this) No oil or spices necessary, they will soak up the dressing for a deliciously rich taste and crispy crunchy texture. Also, I prefer this salad without the imitation bacon, but if you like vegan bacon bits, you can add them for extra flavour.

1 clove of garlic
1/3 of a green onion
3/4 cup olive oil
1.4 cup macadamia nuts (or Brazil nuts can substitute)
2 1/2 tbsp brown rice miso paste
1 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
5 tbsp nutritional yeast
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)

Process all ingredients in a food processor and serve over romaine lettuce. Keeps in the fridge for up to two weeks.

Recipe has been adapted from the Thrive Diet By Brendan Brazier

Friday, April 3, 2009

Almond Burgers

Deliciously Nutritious!

Almond Flaxseed Burger
Makes two medium patties

2 cloves garlic
1 cup almonds
1/2 cup ground flaxseed
2 TBSP balsamic vinegar
2 TBSP coconut oil, hemp oil or *EFA oil blend
Sea salt to taste

Put all ingredients into a food processor. Process until well blended. Process less if you prefer a coarser texture. Form into two patties. Serve raw, or if you prefer to cook them, lightly cover with coconut oil and bake at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for 35 minutes. Alternatively, lightly fry over medium heat until golden brown, flipping once.

*Efa Oil Blend
8 parts hemp oil
1 part flaxseed oil
1 part pumpkin seed oil

From the Thrive Diet by Brendan Brazier

Nacho Cheese Dip

Definitely Try This At Home!

Recipe makes approximately 2 cups

2 cups water
¼ cup raw cashews
4 oz. jar roasted red peppers, drained
1 cup nutritional yeast flakes
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 ½ teaspoons sea salt, or to taste
½ teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon cumin, heaping
4 tablepoons of chili powder

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until completely smooth. Transfer mixture to a medium saucepan and whisk constantly over medium heat until thickened, about 5 to 6 minutes.

Serve as a dip with tortilla chips and vegetables.

This recipe was adapted from http://shmooedfood.blogspot.com/2006/10/nacho-cheese-dip.html

Vegan Drinking

What to Drink, or What Not To Drink? That is the Question!

It occurred to me recently, that most vegan cookbooks and magazines out there only focus on food. So when it comes to drink, what is a vegan to do? I decided to do a bit of research into the liquid side of vegan life. I have also decided to devote an entire section of my blog to the art of vegan drinking, so keep checking back for updates.

Aside from the obviously healthy and delicious juices and smoothie concoctions out there, I investigated alcoholic beverages as well. As an avid wine and beer taster, I was curious to know if I was ingesting animal products while sipping on my favourite brew.

I found a great website (http://barnivore.com) for those who might be curious about their favourite brands. I have also included a recipe for my favourite morning smoothie. I cannot live without this breakfast smoothie, it is delicious, and yes, it is most definitely vegan!

1 banana
2 fresh or soaked dried dates
2 cups cold water (or 1 1/2 cups cold water plus 1 cup ice)
1/4 cup almonds (or 2 tbsp raw almond butter)
1 tbsp ground flaxseed
1 tbsp hemp protein
1 tbsp roasted carob powder (or cacao nibs to make smoothie 100% raw)

Blend all smoothie ingredients in a blender until smooth.
Makes about 3 1/2 cups, or 2 large servings.

From The Thrive Diet by Brendan Brazier