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Archive for the ‘Dinner’ Category

Hi everyone!

My name is Caroline and I’m super excited to share this post with you all. Like the Hungry Birdie herself, I am also a law student – studying across the pond in a town called Canterbury (yes from the tales!). As a self-professed cheese aficionado, I have to admit I wasn’t always so thrilled with the idea of vegan cooking. I expected the ingredients to be completely foreign and inaccessible, but reading Robin’s blog inspired me to try a few new recipes (Winter potato salad, Penne with sun dried tomatoes and walnuts… Mmmmm!). And while you probably won’t catch me with a forkful of tofu any day soon, I’m getting a little closer… Enjoy!

Vegetable curry

Serves: 4

1 onion
2 cloves garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp curry paste
4 plum tomatoes, or similar
2 red bell peppers
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
½  can coconut milk
4 cups of spinach or other dark green

Halve and peel one onion and slice into very thin half-moons. In deep pan, sauté onions in olive oil and a pinch of salt until golden and translucent (bonus points if you have the patience to caramelize them slightly). When golden, add two finely chopped cloves of garlic and two tablespoons of your favourite curry paste.

Add a few chopped tomatoes, sliced bell pepper and one can of chickpeas. Shake and pour in half a can of coconut milk. (I freeze the other half in an ice cube tray, pop them out and keep them in the freezer for next time!) Add about a cup of recently boiled water until you are happy with the consistency. Simmer away for a few minutes, add salt if needed.

At the end, wilt in a few handfuls of dark greens – I used organic spinach here. Serve alongside rice, quinoa, or nan bread, and a cold ale if you so fancy it. Enjoy!

If you’re in the mood for a nice light dessert to go with your spicy curry, try…

Baked Plums with Golden Sugar and Allspice

Serves: 4

4 plums, halved and pitted
2 tbsp golden brown sugar
1 ½ tsp allspice

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Coat the exposed side of each plum in the allspice and sugar. Bake cut-side up for 20-25 minutes, until slightly scorched and soft in the middle. (This works better with firm plums.)

Serve warm or room temperature, with chopped nuts or a nice soymilk ice cream!

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Lazy fare

Some days I feel like preparing fresh dough, making homemade tomato sauce and scouring the freshest ingredients in order to make knock-out vegan pizzas. Lately though, amidst the mountains of readings, case comments, and legal memos, I’ve started to think that less is more. Less work in the kitchen that is! I’m not quite back to my undergrad days of Kraft Dinner, canned soup and peanut butter off a spoon (okay, fine, I still do that last one sometimes…), but being so busy has forced me to come up with quick and satisfying weeknight dinners. These vegan pita pizzas have become a staple around my house. I recommend using whole wheat pitas, broccoli, and chia seeds to up the nutritional factor on these bad boys!

Easy pita pizzas
Makes 2 

2 whole grain pitas
1/2 package of Daiya mozzarella
1/2 cup broccoli florets
1/2 cup tomato sauce
2 tbsp of chia seeds
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp chili flakes
salt and pepper to taste

Place pitas on baking tray lined with aluminum foil and preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spread tomato sauce on the surface of both pitas, sprinkle on the oregano, chili flakes, salt and pepper before adding a generous layer of Daiya. Next, add the broccoli florets and chia seeds and bake for about 20 minutes or until crusts are golden brown and cheese is bubbly.

Aaannd then get back to studying!

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Thai it up

Good morning! Just a quick recipe today as I’m running late for school. What can I say about this soup? It’s simple to prepare, makes enough for leftovers, and is just really damn tasty!

Happy Wednesday everyone!

Thai corn and cilantro soup
Serves 4-6 

1 tbsp veggie oil
1 tbsp chopped hot pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 onion, diced
1 tbsp ginger
6 cups veggie stock
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 cups corn
1 can coconut milk
1/2 package tofu, cut into 1/2″ cubes
3/4 cups fresh cilantro, chopped

Begin by heating the oil on medium heat and cook the onions, garlic, ginger, and hot pepper until just soft (about 5 minutes).

Add veggie stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and stir in the soy sauce, corn, tofu, coconut milk and 1/2 cup of cilantro (save the rest for garnish).

Allow soup to simmer on low heat for at least 15 minutes (longer= more flavour) before serving. Season with salt and pepper if desired. Garnish with the remaining cilantro and enjoy!

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When I discovered that this vegan queso dip existed, I got more than a little excited. After promptly ordering several jars of the stuff, there was nothing left to do but wait for its arrival. Clearly, the sauce made for some fabulous nachos but I wanted to think of a more creative way to enjoy it. Enter: vegan Mexican cheesy pierogies. Crazy, I know! But they turned out to be just as amazing as I had hoped. Crispy on the outside and ooey-gooey on the inside. Paired with fresh salsa, they made for quite the Saturday night feast!

If you aren’t all as eager as I am to order vegan cheese dip off the internet (but really, is that weird?), then adding a pinch of cumin to this recipe would work well too. And I imagine throwing in some Daiya and non-dairy milk wouldn’t be too shabby of an option either. Whatever you choose, these pierogies really are as good as they look. And come on, doesn’t everyone love themselves a little fiesta?

“Cheesy” Mexican Pierogies with Homemade Salsa
Serves 4 

Pierogies:
20-30 eggless dumpling wrappers
3-4 yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 tbsp Earth Balance vegan butter
1 onion, diced
1 tbsp vegetable oil
Salt and pepper
3/4 cup vegan cheese sauce
Vegetable oil for frying, amounts may vary

Salsa:
1/2 jalapeno pepper, minced
2 scallions, chopped
2 plum tomatoes, diced
1 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
1 small clove garlic, minced
Zest and juice of 1/2 lime
1 tbsp of olive oil
Salt and pepper

Begin by boiling the potatoes in a large pot of salted water. Once fork tender, drain and mash, adding in the Earth Balance, salt and pepper. Meanwhile, saute the onions in 1 tbsp of veg oil over medium heat until soft and golden brown, about 20 minutes. Stir onions and 1/2 cup of the cheese sauce (reserving 1/4 cup for later) into the mashed potatoes and set aside.

While the potatoes are boiling and the onions are cooking, simply combine all of the salsa ingredients and refrigerate until time to eat.

Working in batches of 4-6, carefully add about 1/2 tsp of the cheesy potato mixture to the centre of each dumpling wrapper. Top with a dollop of the reserved cheese sauce and fold into half moons, sealing edges with a fork. The pierogies can be fried immediately, but I prefer to steam them first in order to soften them up. Steam for no longer than one minute per batch. In a large pan, heat about 1 tbsp of oil over medium and fry pierogies for about 3 minutes per side, until crispy and golden brown. Repeat until all of the pierogies have been cooked. Keep warm in a 200 degree oven until it’s time to eat.

To serve, top the hot pierogies with salsa and garnish with a slice of lime. Sit back, relax and enjoy with a cold beer!

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Oh my  goodness these were so good! So good, in fact, that we made the entire recipe again the next day. Yup, it’s true. Anyway, this was my latest post for One Green Planet, to view the entire drool-inducing recipe, click here.

Also, we’ve finally created a Hungry Birdie Facebook page! Check it out for photos, updates and more. Be sure to ‘like’ us if you want to show your appreciation!

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

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photo by pwisenberg

Fall is certainly upon us, and if you’re anything like me that means bubbly casseroles, flavourful soups and everything in between. I suppose this little beauty qualifies as a stew- it’s rich, hearty and the perfect meal for a crisp fall evening (not to mention that it combines sweet potatoes and peanut butter, two of my all-time favourite ingredients!) I took the night off from studying to enjoy it with grainy bread and cheesy horror movies, a winning combo if I do say so myself.

Hearty autumn stew
Serves 6-8 

1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp ginger, minced
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 jalapeno, chopped
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp chili flakes
salt and pepper
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 cup cauliflower florets
1 cup whole pearl onions (optional)
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup all natural peanut butter
1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

In a large pot, heat the oil on medium heat and add the onions, garlic, ginger, carrots celery and jalapeno. Season with cumin, cinnamon, chili flakes, salt and pepper and cook for five to ten minutes, until slightly soft. Add everything else to the pot except for the cilantro. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes until thick and rich. Rectify the seasoning if necessary and garnish with fresh cilantro.

Serve piping hot with fresh bread if desired and let it warm your belly from the inside out!

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photo by pwisenberg

Hi lil’ birdies!

My name is Danni and I write a style/design blog, denj. Robin and I met a few years ago in university and we’ve been cooking yummy dinners together ever since (although I confess, Robin almost always wears the chef hat during these dinners, I’m… the sous-chef?) Anywho, Robin is a busy girl these days at law school, so she asked me to post this yummy vegan pizza I made for a get-together we had a few weeks ago (the very same get-together that we had Robin’s Mac n’ Cheese from her last post! We were full beyond belief by the end, so much yummy food!) I’ve never met a soul who didn’t love a good pizza, this recipe is a fun spin on a classic. I made this particular one completely cheese-less (vegan or otherwise) but you could always throw a bit on top if you so desire!

Sweet Potato Pizza
Serves 8 as an appetizer 

To buy:

1 flatbread
1 large sweet potato
2 medium tomatoes
5 mushrooms
1/4 red onion
1 red pepper
1/4 cup tomato sauce
fresh basil
1 tsp. olive oil
salt n’ pepper

To prepare:

Preheat the oven to 400. Chop up your veggies lengthwise, and your sweet potato into wide flat pieces (chip shaped). Saute your veggies (excluding tomatoes) on the stove to soften. Next, spread your tomato sauce evenly over the flatbread and arrange the veggies on top, drizzle with olive oil, and finish off with fresh basil, salt, and pepper. Pop it in the oven for about 20 minutes or until the crust is golden. Let cool for a few minutes, slice, and serve!

xo danni

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