Alright so it seems that even after the wedding, my life calmed down a lot but my mental health went a little out the window. I was getting burnt out even after working for a couple days, I was just emotionally drained all the time so I thought I’d reset my body and start working out again, and after a week of relative success of going to the gym, I GOT SICK.
So now I’m being a big baby and nursing this stupid head cold that mostly exists in my sinuses and I am reminded that being sick in the summer is a super miserable feeling. I mean being sick in general is not pleasant, but at least during winter you can get all bundled up and the feverish heat is kind of a relief honestly. However, being sick during the summer is weird because you’re just sitting in the A/C, but just feeling gross and dry, and if you have to go outside it’s so humid it just gives your nose more fuel to fire into a tissue.
But moaning aside, I am very thankful to be back to recipe testing and taking photos (although my camera is definitely broken). Luckily I have Eddie who is willing to contact Canon to see if they can fix it. My previous response any of my equipment being broken was typically to buy a new one, but the more I learn about sustainability, the more I’m figuring out that I need to at least try to fix things before I go ahead and just buy a new one.
Granted in the past, most of my items are either totally ruined completely or shattered (and therefore not really replaceable), but using my vlog camera as an example, the back screen had totally detached itself from the main body and it only cost me $150 to fix it, rather than $900 for a brand new one.
It’s working totally fine now, they even replaced some of the buttons that had worn down, and I can continue using my camera instead of sending it off to the landfill. I know this sounds ridiculously simple and totally obvious, but we are totally in a culture where we just buy new things instead of trying to fix them first.
It’s so unsustainable and in North American culture, it is totally terrible for the environment, our wallets, and our brains! We should definitely be challenging ourselves to reuse things rather than replace them. I have pants that have totally torn apart between the thighs (my thighs are too strong XD) and instead of just throwing out those leggings, I’m going to turn them into makeup wipes! I’m really excited to practice more with my new sewing machine (which is actually not new, it’s used!) and it’s been a very gratifying experience so far.
I’ve made scrunchies, I’m hoping to make some cutlery pouches/wraps soon, and I will be challenging myself with thrifting and tailoring some of those clothes as well! I’ve never been great at sewing, but I guess that’s much like cooking. A little practice and muscle memory goes a long way, and eventually I’ll be hand stitching and navigating my sewing machine as quickly as I navigate cutting onions and using the oven! This sounds so nerdy and square but honestly I’m having a great time.
Anyway, while I wait out this stupid head cold before I can go back to adventuring outside and tasting proper food again, I’ll be eating up these vegan spaghetti Os because what better way to feel better than to have a taste of nostalgia! It’s actually so easy to make, although you can definitely up the ante by adding more spices and herbs, but as I mentioned in the video, sometimes simplicity is all you need. I originally developed this recipe as vegan Alphaghetti, but I couldn’t find any more alphabet pasta after this first box, but I DID find anelli pasta, which is that distinct circle shape so that’s what I decided to do instead!
One note though, the ratio of tomato soup to noodles in this recipe is more similar to Alphaghetti than it is to actual spaghettios, so if you want it more heavy on the noodles, double the pasta amount to 2 cups (260 g) instead of just the one cup.
130 g (1 cup) alphabet or anelli pasta (or any small pasta of your choice)
680 mL (23 fl oz) tomato sauce (plain or spiced, totally up to you)
2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp cayenne powder
1/3 cup vegan soy cream*
In a medium sized pot, bring the vegetable broth/water to a boil. Add the pasta and let cook until al dente.
Add the canned tomato sauce, garlic powder and cayenne powder and stir to combine and let the sauce heat through. You can also add some basil, parsley, or more herbs if you'd like, but the traditional "spaghettios" are just a red sauce with pasta.
Once the soup is slowly bubbling and pasta is cooked through, stir in the vegan soy cream and let that heat through. Taste test for salt (I used mushroom broth powder which is seasoned as is, but feel free to add salt 1/2 tsp at a time until you reach your desired seasoning)
Remove from the stove and serve with saltines!
If you don't have access to the Belsoy soy cream, then you can use 1 1/3 cup soy milk and 2 cups of vegetable broth/water.
The ratio of tomato soup to noodles in this recipe is more similar to Alphaghetti than it is to actual spaghettios, so if you want it more heavy on the noodles, double the pasta amount to 2 cups (260 g) instead of just the one cup.
Disclaimer: This recipe is sponsored by Produce Made Simple, a long time partner and one of my favourite educational initiatives to simply inspire people to eat more produce!
Call me the Queen of Cobblers because this Savoury Tomato Cobbler is delicious!
It’s been quite a while since I posted on here, and of course, it’s a recipe I’ve been testing for a good long while. Lately it’s taken me ages to test a recipe over and over, I think because I’m so paranoid about food waste I know that I’ll get sick of a certain dish if I make it too many times in a row. But I always come back for this beautiful savoury tomato cobbler! If you’ve been here for any amount of time at all, you’ll know that I’m a HUGE fan of cobbler. I don’t know what it is about a jammy layer and a biscuit layer, but cobblers are probably one of my favourite forms of food. My past cobblers have used blueberries and apricots, but this time around I wanted to experiment with some ways of making a savoury cobbler with grape tomatoes.
This year I’m partnering up with Produce Made Simple to share tons of produce information and goodness with you, and you know I will take any opportunity to share the fruit and veggie love whenever I can. These gorgeous red beauties are greenhouse grown in Ontario because the outdoor growing season in Ontario isn’t very long, so there are amazing growers out there who have built upon years of research and development to grow beautiful produce for Canadians even when it’s winter outside. If you’re new here, I’ve done a TON of recipes with Produce Made Simple and they are my go-to resource for all things fruit and veg. From how to know how to store tomatoes (not in the fridge!), to how to clean mushrooms (water is totally fine!), pretty much any of the produce knowledge comes from working with them.
So if you want to learn it from the experts themselves, please go check out Produce Made Simple and enjoy reading through all the produce articles. The produce nerd in me is super into learning everything I can about a specific vegetable, and they have tons of vegan recipes too (not all are vegan, but they have a lot of them!)
This savoury cobbler begins with simplicity: flour, spices, herbs and vegan butter. Smush it all together until you have pea sized chunks of butter squished with the flour mixture until you have a bit of shaggy dough. Add soy milk and give everything a good mix until you have a lumpy batter. I initially baked this recipe to create a fairly dense, very scone-y type texture, but I found that the tomatoes needed a bit of a softer, more tender cobbler to go along with it.
Despite spooning out the batter into cobbler-like placement, it’ll bake up to be fairly flat and smooth, but the breaks in the dollops of dough help with serving later on. With plenty of garlic, spices, and a nice pat of vegan butter and some heat to coax the natural sweetness of these grape tomatoes, and you have the perfect jammy layer to pair with the herbed cobbler. It’s been one of my favourite things to make anytime I catch some grape tomatoes on sale.
I’m sure you’re wondering why I haven’t mentioned the fact that we got MARRIED! I haven’t been very good at talking about it much here, but the event has come and gone, it was magical and amazing and we felt so loved and supported. I’ll post more of an update and overall summary of the whole wedding soon, but for now, if you want to see photos, they’re over on my personal Instagram :) (Although I have a few on my main TheVietVegan account too). I’ve had to take a bit of a break from recipe development because my eczema kind of blew up after the wedding stress, but luckily I shot this before the wedding for Produce Made Simple so at the very least, here’s something delicious for you to try out!
This Vegan Buffalo Chicken bowl hits that buffalo & ranch craving
with plenty of veggies and whole grain goodness too :)
Today’s recipe is just a simple one that I made for dinner and shared to Instagram. So many people from Instagram requested the recipe that I made sure to retest with proper measurements so I could share the recipe with you! Reminds me of the bowls I used to make all the time like this chili spiced chickpeas and pear one that I used to make a lot back in the day. This requires a bit less in terms of cooking or prep, but you can prep the components for this recipe in advance and use it as a prepared work lunch!
This recipe for my childhood favourite Vegan Tomato Stir Fry Salad
is sponsored by Ontario Vegetable Greenhouse Growers! <3
It’s amazing how vivid memories can be when you relive them through food. This dish is something I ate all the time growing up, but I especially remember when I was 13, the tense year my mom and I left my dad for the first time. My mom spent a lot of time working to support the two of us, but anytime she got home from work early enough, we’d manage to make some dinner together and watch Columbo and Murder, She Wrote. At the time I never really paused to think about how lucky I was that my mom took the time to hang out with me and share her own nostalgic food with me.
This vegan miso spinach pesto pasta is the perfect way
to use up that ambitious amount of spinach you bought
and get some greens in ya!
Happy long weekend! Spring is here and it’s full of rain, gloomy weather, and the tease of a bright sunny day for the brief moment a little sun peeks through the clouds. But the past few days have been nothing but chilly weather and a constant state of dampness I do not approve of. The only thing that’s good about this weather is that it’s perfect for a cozy bowl of this vegan miso spinach pesto pasta!
Savoury breakfast are the superior breakfast!
Make this vegan everything bagel granola for a tasty twist on your morning fave.
So we’ve moved and settled into our first home! This whole home buying, moving, unpacking, and settling process has been quite the journey, but it’s probably the first time I ever really cared about how my house looks or flows. Eddie and I have been going to Home Depot, IKEA, and HomeSense on every single day he has off (much to his chagrin), but the hustle we’ve had moving in has paid off to having our main floor pretty much done, our basement is friendship-ready, the only things left to handle are some last shelves to go up in the kitchen and my office!
These vegan apple cinnamon scones were created in partnership with Ontario Apple Growers.
Cure yourself of the winter blues with this tasty treat, fresh from the oven!
Thanks for reading and supporting The Viet Vegan <3
We’re getting closer and closer to our new house and I can’t wait to be cooking and working in the new place! I keep dreaming about the different ways to arrange the furniture, how to angle lighting for filming and most of all, the amount of daylight for food photos! These past two years of living in a basement has made me get used to using artificial lights for my food photography, which has been excellent practice but I am very ready to be able to play with daylight again.
Another thing I’m kind of excited to do in the new place is explore the local farmer’s markets in Hamilton. I’ve heard there are a lot of local markets and there’s even a local Hamilton Apple Festival in the fall! I’m seriously excited to move and I can already feel the community in Hamilton being so much more involved and inviting than Mississauga’s. As much as I love being close to Toronto and having so many Asian markets nearby, I really find the lack of community hard for me to deal with.
There are tons of grocery stores that are within a 10 minute drive, plus a Farm Boy, a Costco, and even a few Asian grocery stores, all within a 20 minute drive! I am way too jazzed about this new area, I can’t wait!
In the meantime, it’s time to clean out my fridge and the grocery hauls I’ve been doing lately have been trying to incorporate the fresh fruits and vegetables we can get during the dead of winter in Canada, which is not THAT many but luckily for us, we have local Ontario apples we can enjoy.
Personally, my favourite during this time of year are Red Prince Apple variety. They tend to be cellared when harvested in the fall so they can develop their flavour. Come wintertime, they are ready to enjoy and are SUPER crisp and juicy, while still holding their shape well for baking. Also, big bonus is that they’re grown near my hometown in the Blue Mountains, which is pretty darn cool. I’ve shared other Red Prince recipes in the past (this juice and these apple chips) but mostly I just love that I can have local crisp apples this time of year. Agriculture technology is pretty darn cool.
I’ve shared some Insta stories from an apple farm and apple processing facility tour that I did with Ontario Apple Growers last year. There are so many amazing machines and innovations to improve the yield and success of an apple farm, which is surprisingly a really volatile and expensive type of produce to grow. It ain’t easy being an apple farmer.
If you’re looking for a guide to find out which varieties are available during which times in Ontario, Ontario Apple Growers have this handy variety guide outlining their schedules. Even if you’re not from Ontario, it’s interesting to see which varieties are best for which purposes, especially if you live in an area that is good for growing apples. No matter where you are, they require a very specific growing environment, so it’s always a good idea to support local if you can!
But enough nerding out about farming and apples (although in the fall you KNOW I’ll be going to the Apple festival in Hamilton and sharing all the amazing apple treats there).
These vegan apple cinnamon scones are a really tasty breakfast or snack that only take half an hour to throw together. They make a great brunch or potluck contribution or simply a tasty companion to your morning coffee. You are worth the time and effort for these flakey, lightly sweet, cinnamon-y scones. I like seeing the red skin of the apples peek out from the golden corners of these baked scones. If you felt like putting in the effort, you could cut these into round biscuits instead of triangles, but I’m a lazy baker and cutting them into triangles is way easier than punching out with a round cutter.
March can be gloomy and chilly, so filling your kitchen with the smell of cinnamon and baked apples is sure to lift your spirits! I definitely have been succumbing to the winter blues these past couple weeks, so I hope you are all hanging in there and keeping your spirits high! Spring is just around the corner. I’ll be keeping y’all posted with how our move goes and I can’t wait to start cooking new recipes for you in the new kitchen!
1/2 cup (110 g) vegan butter (I used vegan Becel/margarine)
1 cup chopped local Ontario Red Prince Apples
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2/3 cup (100 g) powdered icing sugar
2 tbsp soy milk (or water)
Start by making a flax egg by combining flax meal and warm water in a small bowl and let gel for 5 minutes.
Make buttermilk by combining apple cider vinegar, vanilla extract, and soy milk and let thicken.
In a large mixing bowl, combine all purpose flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, salt and stir to evenly mix ingredients.
Cut in vegan butter until you have pea-sized crumbles in the flour. Add soy buttermilk mixture and flax egg to the batter and mix until almost combined.
Add the diced apples and turn over onto a well-floured surface. Shape into a rough oval shape and cut into 10 triangles.
Transfer to a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes at 375F.
Once golden, remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack,
Meanwhile, combine ground cinnamon, icing sugar, and soy milk to get a glaze. Drizzle over cooled baked scones and let dry for about 20 minutes. Store in an airtight container (these also freeze well).
The highly requested vegan french toast:
simple batter that crisps up on the outside without getting soggy on the inside
I haven’t been doing a lot of cooking lately, it’s been a lot of Gardein products and ramen noodles when I’m super stressed and feeling uninspired to eat well. This week has been a lot more of cooking: maybe it’s because I’m filming a What I Eat In A Week video, or maybe it’s because we’re moving soon and I’m feeling the pressure to eat all the foods in the house (and there are a lot of rather healthy whole foods ingredients that I’ve neglected to eat).
Speaking of moving, we have exciting news! We bought a house! Well actually, it’s a condo, but it’s townhouse-like in nature. As many of you probably were aware, we had been looking at places since the beginning of January with the deadline of having to move out of our current place by the end of March, so we’re super excited to finally have our own place and have space! I’m excited to not be in a basement anymore, and have a kitchen I can film in and a dedicated office space!
I’ve been pouring over Pinterest feeds and interior design Instagram accounts and I can’t wait to finally be able to put art on the walls without feeling guilty about patching up the drywall later because it’s a rental. Also, I’m excited not to have neighbours upstairs who are walking around on creaky floors exactly when I need to film. Every place I’ve lived in for the past 10 years has felt temporary, but I’m really excited to finally put down roots somewhere and not have to move every couple years. The longest I ever stayed in one place was my Toronto apartment, and that was for 3 years. There were some years I moved twice that year because the rent was too cheap to give up.
For any of those who have been following or knew me from when I went to school in Ottawa, you’ll probably know by now that I HATE moving. I despise it. I don’t like packing, I don’t like unpacking, I don’t like being acutely aware of how much stuff I have and having people make comments on it when I move from place to place. Also now that I’m a lot more conscious about my carbon footprint and plastic use, I’m acutely aware of how much plastic, tape, wrapping, and recycling cardboard boxes are involved in moving.
This time around, I think I’m going to spring for a plastic tub rental service for my move. I’ve learned way too much about how we’re killing our planet with trash and how the majority of the recycling we do ends up being thrown out anyway because most people suck at recycling. More updates to come, but mostly I just am really excited that we got our mortgage approved and our offer accepted. We just need to do an inspection and then we’re just a few steps away from being official home owners =O
But anyway, VEGAN FRENCH TOAST. It’s simple, easy, and fairly accessible. The hardest ingredient to find would be the chickpea flour, but you can find this at most bulk food stores or any store that has an Indian section (it might be called gram flour instead of chickpea flour). Chickpea flour has tons of protein (20 g per 1 cup) and adds a nice crispness to the outside of the french toast while also soaking into the bread with enough soy milk. Vanilla extract and cinnamon give it that classic French toast flavour and maple syrup is the key to bringing everything together.
I don’t add any sugar to the batter for this recipe since you already use maple syrup with it, but if that’s something you want to do, go for it! It’ll help brown the toast even more, but honestly with the chickpea flour, this vegan french toast has no problems getting browned. If you wanted to make this gluten-free, all you’d need is to use your favourite gluten-free bread. The batter itself is gluten-free so you’re already most of the way there! And of course, since I’m sensitive to nuts, there are not nuts in this recipe, so huzzah, allergen-friendly vegan french toast.
Vegan French Toast // Nut-Free - YouTube
Yields 6-8 slices of french toast (depending on the size of your bread)
Vegan French Toast
5 minPrep Time
15 minCook Time
20 minTotal Time
3/4 cup (85 g) chickpea flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
a pinch of salt
1 cup (250 mL) unsweetened soy milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp neutral vegetable oil (I used sunflower)
6-8 slices of stale bread
Vegan butter for the pan
Optional for serving:
Blackberries and raspberries for garnish
Vegan whipped cream (like coconut whip)
In a wide, flat-bottomed bowl (or a regular mixing bowl, whatever works), combine chickpea flour, cinnamon, and salt and stir to mix well.
Add soy milk, vanilla, and vegetable oil to the bowl and whisk well, removing as many lumps as possible.
Preheat your griddle to 400F (or a regular pan to medium high heat), and add a pat of vegan butter to the pan to melt.
Dunk the bread into the batter and let the excess drip off (you can either let it soak in or just do a quick flip in the batter). Cook on the preheated pan until browned on both sides (about 3-4 min).
Serve with berries, maple syrup, and if you're really fancy, some vegan whipped cream =O.
Epic vegan cookies kicked up a notch with some vegan cannabutter!
Disclaimer: Please follow your local laws concerning cannabis/marijuana consumption. Never drive while under the influence and please enjoy responsibly!
I’ve been working on this recipe for a while, taste testing and retesting fat ratios and low-key being paranoid that I was doing something illegal since the legalization of weed is still pretty new for Canada. But in light of it all, I thought it was high time (heh heh…) to share a delicious option for anyone who wants to make their own vegan cannabutter and vegan edibles. A big shout out to Katarina from Dolled Up Desserts, who is the brains behind all of these because honestly, I have very little experience with marijuana since I was somewhat of a goody-two-shoes up until last year when it came to weed.
Katarina explained the baking science and legality of vegan edibles to me and I’m so thankful I had her to show me the ropes because this is definitely a delicious way to enjoy weed, especially since I have very little interest in smoking it. I think it’s the flutist in me who is still paranoid about affecting my breath/lungs, so there’s an irrational fear of damaging my lungs with smoking weed even though I’m pretty sure I’d be fine.
Either way, I much prefer eating it.
There was quite a bit of math when it came to figuring out the formula for this, but the legal dosage for making edibles is 10 mg per serving. For us, that ended up being about .32 g of weed in this whole batch of cookies, but we also have made stronger batches in the past. So long as you don’t sell or distribute it, you should be fine. We calculated this number by figuring out that my batch of cookies made 32 cookies, and if there were to be 10 mg of weed per cookie, I’d need 10 mg x 32, equaling 0.32 g of weed. The ratio of vegan butter to coconut oil for this recipe ended up with 50 g of coconut oil, so we infused the 50 g with .32 g of weed. They ended up being fairly light doses per cookie, depending on your tolerance, so we were able to eat a few cookies each.
However, definitely enjoy these cookies at home, in a safe place, preferably with a buddy to look after you! It takes about an hour to take effect, and about 3-4 hours before it wears off, and it stays in your system for about 72 hours after that, so please keep that in mind. All in all, these vegan cannabutter cookies are a GOOD time and are delicious cookies in their own right! If you want the non-cannabis version (and volume based version) of these cookies, the recipe is here!
I made cookies with the Tangerine Dream strain from the Ontario Cannabis Store, but if you try this with other strands, please let me know! If you want to watch my video where we bake these cookies, please watch below, and be sure to also watch Katarina’s video on vegan cannabutter!
Vegan Cannabutter Chocolate Chip Cookies // Vegan Edibles with Dolled Up Desserts! - YouTube
Yields 32 cookies
Vegan Cannabutter Cookies
8 hrPrep Time
30 minCook Time
8 hr, 30 Total Time
For the Cannabutter
.32 g buds marijuana strain of choice (I used 14% THC 1%CBD Tangerine Dream)
Grind .32 g marijuana and spread out on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
Toast ground marijuana in oven for 30 min.
Remove from oven and transfer to a pot with 50 g coconut oil and infuse over very low heat, being careful not to heat oil above 200F. Let infuse for 3-7 hours. (At the very least, about 3 hours, ideally around 6).
Strain with a cheesecloth or a fine mesh sieve and discard solids. Let cannabutter solidify at room temperature (or you can expedite this by sticking it in the fridge).
For the cookies
Make the flax egg by combining flax meal and warm water in a small bowl and mix well. Let gel for about 5 min.
Using an electric beater or stand mixer, beat Earth Balance vegan butter, cannabutter, brown sugar and white sugar until pale and fluffy (about 4-5 mins). Add vanilla extract, flax egg, and sunflower lecithin and beat for another 3-4 minutes, scraping down sides to ensure everything is evenly incorporated and the mixture is very light and fluffy.
Add baking powder, baking soda, flour, and kosher salt. Beat until almost all incorporated, then add chocolate chips and stir to incorporate (be careful not to overmix).
Use a spatula to fold everything together to incorporate any last bits of flour and evenly disperse the chocolate chips.
Use a 1.5 Tbsp cookie scoop to make ~32 cookies. Add a sprinkle of fleur de sel on top of each dough ball prior to baking if desired. To prevent extra spreading, you can freeze before baking.
Bake for 8 min at 350F, leaving 1.5 inches between each dough ball. Remove from oven and let cool for 1 min, then remove from baking sheet and let cool on a wire rack.
Disclaimer: This recipe is sponsored by USA Rice :)
One of my favourite dishes at our local veg-friendly Chinese restaurant is a vegan tom yum fried rice with tons of fresh pineapple, soy ham, tomato, and lemongrass-y goodness. I’ve been procrastinating veganizing it to enjoy at home but thanks to USA Rice, you guys have it sooner than later!
Most of the flavour of this dish comes from the vegan tom yum paste, which is traditionally not vegan. There is usually fish sauce and shrimp paste in it, which delivers a salty, umami flavour with a bit of funk. To veganize it, I used tamarind to take advantage of that sweet and sour flavour of tom yum, and dried mushroom to replicate that deep, umami funk.