November 24, 2012

Claire's Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Mushroom Gravy

When I think of Thanksgiving, I think of mashed potatoes.  Honestly, I could eat an entire plate of mashed potatoes on any given day, but on Thanksgiving Day I actually do.  Twice.  Now, don't be fooled.  These aren't the best mashed potatoes in the world because that title belongs to my mamma's potatoes, but I like to think these are a pretty close second.  

Claire's Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

makes a HUGE pot, enough for 5 people or just me


10 large yukon gold potatoes (or the Korean white potatoes), washed with the outer skins scrubbed
5 tbs non-dairy butter
2 heads of garlic
4 tbs olive oil
2-4 cups unsweetened soymilk
4 tbs dried herbs (sage, thyme, rosemary, basil, parsley)
salt and pepper to taste 

begin by cutting your washed and scrubbed potatoes into small pieces.  place in a large pot and fill with water.  boil the potatoes until they are soft enough to be easily smashed by a fork.  you may have to boil the potatoes in stages, which is totally fine.
while your potatoes cook, chop up 2 heads of garlic into very fine pieces (a food processor would be perfect for this or buy the pre-chopped garlic if you want to save time).  add the olive oil and garlic to a pan and cook on very low for about 15-20 minutes.  You are not trying to brown the garlic, just roast it and infuse the oil. 
once the potatoes are cooked and still warm, transfer to a large bowl and mix with non-dairy butter, garlic and infused olive oil and soy milk. smash with a potato masher until smooth.  add the dried herbs by rubbing them between your palms over the bowl.  the heat from your hands and movement will help to "wake up" the oils in the herbs. 
add salt and pepper to taste and more or less soy milk until you have the consistency you prefer! 

but what to go on top of the mashed potatoes?  personally, i like to mix my peas into my mashed potatoes but Thanksgiving calls for something a little more "grown-up".  Use this mushroom gravy recipe to impress! 

*if you hate mushrooms like i do, still give this a try! it's really good and has none of the "squishy" mushroom texture

Claire's Mushroom Gravy


2 bunches of mushrooms,  heartier mushrooms work best like cremini, white button or shiitake
1 cup of soy sauce
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 veggie bouillon cube 
1/2 cup flour
3-4 cups of soymilk
pepper to taste

begin by lightly rinsing and removing the stems of the mushrooms.  don't worry about them absorbing water during the rinse.  it will all cook off.  roughly chop the mushrooms.
add a bit of oil to a pan and cook the mushrooms over high heat.  once the mushrooms start to release their liquid, add in all of the soy sauce.  keep cooking over high heat until all the liquid is gone and the mushrooms are crispy and brown on the outside.  remove from the heat and blend the mushrooms in a blender with one cup of soymilk so that they are in very small pieces. 
add a touch more oil to the pan and over low heat, sauté the garlic. add the mushroom mixture back into the pan and mix with the garlic and bouillon cube until it has disappeared.  
sprinkle the flour over the mushrooms until it binds up and and is sticky.  allow to cook for about a minute to cook off the "raw flour" taste.  
slowly add in the rest of the soymilk, whisking the mushroom mixture as you go.  it will be thin at first, but as it comes up to temperature, it will begin to thicken.  Add pepper to taste.
If you need to add more liquid to dilute the gravy, just use a bit of water until the desired consistency is reached.
serve on top of mashed potatoes, stuffing or anything else! 

photo by Claire Harris

November 20, 2012

Manouchka's Banana Bread and Spring Rolls

Coming from Switzerland I didn't grow up with Thanksgiving, so I just made foods I like and easy to share. Here are my 2 recipes: Banana Bread & Lemon Icing, and Springrolls~

Manouchka's Banana Bread Recipe

1/2 cup canola oil
3/4 cup white or brown sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 
1 tspn baking soda
1 tspn salt
3 ripe mashed bananas 
1-2 tspn vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325'F (165'C). Grease a loaf, cake pan, or muffin tray...
In a large bowl, cream all the wet ingredients together.
Sift in all the dry ingredients.
Blend in the mashed bananas.
Pour batter into pan and bake 40 to 60 min depending on the type of pan, or until it tests "done" with a toothpick. 
Let it cool before you take it out of the mold and decorate with icing.

Lemon Icing:
1 cup powdered sugar (make your own by putting white sugar in a coffee grinder!)
3-4 tbspn canola oil
2 tbspn soy milk
1 tspn vanilla extract
1 pinch salt
juice of one lemon with pulp

Zap it all in your food processor, until you get desired consistency. Place in a food safe plastic bag to make a piping bag by snipping of a corner. Use that to trace your design on the cake. 

The icing, will solidify after about an hour or in the fridge. Can be kept in the fridge up to 2 weeks and can be heated in the microwave to make soft again.

Place a cherry on top & spread the love!

Manouchka's Spring Rolls

I made my own sauce and didn't measure, so taste and adjust.

Sauce: mix sesame oil, soy sauce, chilly sauce, a dab of chili flakes, sesame seeds. Add about a tbsp of corn starch to make it thicker. If you make it too salty or sesame oil is too strong, add a bit of canola oil.

Prep veggies of choice: I used carrots, cucumber, lettuce, and sesame leaves.
Follow instructions of the rice wrapping: dip each rice sheet in hot water. Don't make it too hot, or the sheets will become too soft and hard to handle.
First put a dab of sauce then veggies on top. Fold into a little roll~

Gemma's Cranberry Sauce and Stuffing

Gemma's Cranberry Sauce Recipe 


300g dried cranberries (you can also use the frozen ones from Homeplus)v

600ml of orange juice

1 orange (zest, and fruit)

8 tablespoons of sugar

1 glass of red wine (optional)


Put the cranberries in a saucepan then add the orange juice , and sugar, and bring to the boil. Pu the orange zest, and orange segments into the saucepan. Pour in the wine, and continue to simmer on a low to medium heat for 30-40 minutes. Or until the liquid has reduced and the sauce has thickened. When the sauce is done put into a container and leave to set in the fridge for a few hours. The jelly will keep in an airtight container for several months, if you don’t use it all. Voilà, home-made cranberry sauce. Happy Holidays!

Gemma's Stuffing


1/2 a loaf of white sliced bread (about 12 slices)

1 large onion or 2 small

6 cloves of garlic

8 button mushrooms or chestnut mushrooms (usually found in homeplus)

3 tablespoons of sage (at the foreign food mart)

1 tablespoon of mixed herbs

1 tablespoon of rosemary

400ml of vegetable stock

400g of chestnuts

Oil for frying


Cut crosses in the top of your chestnuts and roast them in the oven for about 20 minutes. Grate or blend your bread to make it into bread crumbs and set aside. Finely chop the onion and garlic and fry in the oil for 5 minutes until it has softened. Then put it into the same bowl as the breadcrumbs. Cut the mushrooms into small pieces and fry them in the oil until they have cooked then add them to the breadcrumbs too. Remove the chestnuts from their shells and crumble them into the breadcrumb mixture. Mix in all the herbs then add the chicken stock and combine everything together and put in a tin. Cook in the oven for about 20-30 minutes or until it had a nice crust on top. If you are taking this to a pot luck dinner you may want to double this recipe as everyone loves it, then you can make in those foil containers and just throw them away after you’re done. Voilá there you have the best stuffing ever!

November 19, 2012

Stephanie's Persimmon Pie and Warm Apple Millet

Aside from opening up her lovely home to us,  November SVP host Stephanie Pizzo made an awesome contribution to the potluck with these spicy winter treats!  Served alongside her homemade spiced apple kombucha, these snacks were the perfect thing for a chilly day by the fire! 

Photo by Stephanie Pizzo

Persimmon Pie Recipe

This dish was a bit of an experiment due to my excessive amount of bananas from Well Being Mart’s banana sale! It’s a mixture between a bread and a pie, and I used little heart cut outs to make them into bites.

Feel free to tweak it as I did not follow any baking laws, and used heaping amounts of each measurement, so add or lessen any of the measurements you think. It’ll come out gooey on the inside so make sure it’s nice and hot when you eat it ^^

2 C ground flax (I used roasted flax from Gyeongdong Market that I blended into flaxmeal)
½ tsp baking soda
3 very ripe bananas
4 soft persimmons (add as many to taste)
¼ C soy milk
1tsp apple cider vinegar
1 C organic brown sugar
A splash of vanilla extract
A generous sprinkling of cinnamon
A pinch of salt
A pinch of nutmeg
Chopped pumpkin seeds
A big handful of fresh lavender and any other herbs on hand (I threw in some basil from my garden as well)
Optional: Flax or Chia seeds to thicken

Add together non dairy milk and apple cider vinegar. Set aside. (This combination makes for a more buttermilk type consistency).
Combine flaxmeal, baking soda, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon, sugar and whisk together
Then add the soy milk vinegar mixture, vanilla, bananas, and persimmons.  Mash well!
Mix in the pumpkin seeds and fresh herbs.
Place in a baking pan and top with crushed pumpkin seeds and herbs.
Bake at 350 F for about 20 minutes, or until you think it is ready.
Drizzle with agave or rice syrup and serve!

If you have extra batter, make a raw pudding out of it. Add some chia seeds and soy milk (to your preferred consistency) and let sit. The chia seeds will thicken it and give it some nice volume.
Makes for a delicious raw fruity flaxy snack!

Photo by Claire Harris 

Warm Apple Millet Recipe 

Tis the season for warm apple pie, and to be honest I am not an apple pie lover, but had a hankering for some seasonal apples cooked up into a nice hot meal. It works as a dish for any meal of the day.

5 apples, wedged or sliced in varying sizes
5 Cinnamon sticks
3 mandarin oranges
1 large chunk of fresh ginger, grated
1 carrot, grated
A good sprinkling of organic brown sugar
A healthy drizzle of rice syrup
A generous handful of raisins and pumpkin seeds
1 C light / organic apple juice and some water
Cardamom to taste
Fresh pineapple sage (a delicious scented herb to have in your garden!)
A sprinkle of salt
1-2 C cooked millet

In a large wok, boil up the apple juice, water, and cinnamon sticks. Add in some cardamom and ginger.
When the liquid is boiling add in your apples, half of your oranges, and some of your raisins and pumpkin seeds. Sprinkle again with cardamom and top with sugar and some rice syrup for desired sweetness. Give it a good mix.
Keep it on a boil for a few minutes, then lower to a simmer.
Grate half of your carrot over the mixture.
Cover and let it sit
Watch the mixture and throughout the simmering and make sure to turn and stir every so often so the bottom doesn’t soak too much.
Add in some more grated carrot, orange, ginger, pumpkin seeds and raisins for different textures so not everything goes soft. You can do the same with the apples so some are more crispy and others are totally caramelized.
Mix in the millet. Only enough to make it a little more mealy.
Cook until desired texture is reached!
Top with some chopped pumpkin seeds, a drizzle of rice syrup, and fresh chopped sage.

Photo by Claire Harris 

November Vegan Potluck

This weekend's November Vegan Potluck was a huge success!  We had the largest crowd to date (over 110 people according to the Facebook event page!) and of course that meant even more awesome food.  The potluck was held in Kyungnidon on an amazing rooftop overlooking the city.  The weather was chilly which made the rooftop BYOB (bring your own blanket) event even more snuggly and once the sun went down, there was plenty of room by the fire and lots of spicy mulled wine to keep everyone warm.  A million thanks to our hosts, Stephanie and Ryan for opening up their amazing home to a bunch of new friends!

We have some great photos from the potluck this time around by the lovely Janna Gibson.  She snapped some great shots and even convinced someone to climb on top of the roof to get some awesome aerial shots!  Check out her blogs, The Long Way Back Home and the mega awesome Couple Story- a blog dedicated to "couples look" in Korea.  Super rad :)

Here are a few of her shots from the November Vegan Potluck and you can check them all out here on our Facebook page

Thank you to everyone who attended and helped to make this month's get-together a huge, delicious success!  Keep an eye out for all the December Vegan Potluck details soon! 

November 18, 2012

Christina's Stuffing

When I was a kid, the best part of Thanksgiving, besides having three days off and hanging out with my family (and playing endless video games that I was forbidden from because I had to study according to my dad)?  The dressing!  Granted, other stuff was cool, like cleaning out the turkey (and making it talk) and all the other trimmings, but the highlight of Thanksgiving was the dressing.  It was such a highlight that my mom used to make a separate pan of stuffing just got me (because I ate all of it).  Needless to say, now that I'm all grown up, and I'm on my own, my mom can't make my own dressing anymore I have to make it.  Also, when I was growing up dressing had turkey gizzards and the neck, and now that I'm vegan, that's no longer an option (and I don't want to eat vegan turkey gizzards either).  This is going to sound really horrible, but I kinda miss it.  Made me nostalgic.

Anyway, I researched vegan cornbread stuffing recipes, and I couldn't find one that I liked.  Most featured carrots (which does not belong in stuffing) and other sweet stuff that doesn't go together.  So I thought about spices and herbs that go together, and what was on life support in my refrigerator, and viola! Lots of people like this at the potluck so I'm posting it here.  There's also an alternate option if you are without an oven.

Christina's Stuffing recipe 

Serves about 12 hungry mofos

Corn bread
3 cups self rising corn meal
2 1/4 cups boiling water
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
pinch sage
pinch of oregano
1/4 cup grapeseed oil

1 bunch spinach, cleaned and finely chopped
5-6 stalks of celery, finely chopped
3 leeks, finely chopped to the green parts
12 garlic cloves
3 tablespoons sage
2 tablespoon oregano
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
2 cups vegetable broth
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup almond
1/4 cup dried cranberries
3 tablespoons of grapeseed oil
salt and pepper to taste

1.  Make the cornbread first.  In a large mixing bowl, combine the corn meal, salt, baking soda, grapeseed oil, and boiling water and mix.  Then, in a skillet, sprinkle corn meal and grapeseed oil.  Add the corn meal mix and reduce to a low heat.  It's okay to break the corn bread apart since you're going to do this when you  combine the cornbread with the rest of the stuffing.  Heat for about 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown.  Put aside and let rest for in open air for 1 day. 

2.  Next, let's get to work with the stuffing "filling".  Boil the water and veggie cubes for the veggie stock.  Over medium high heat, add the grapeseed oil.  Then add the green onions, leeks, onions and garlic.  Heat until translucent - for about five minutes.  Then, add the spinach, veggie stock and celery.  Then add the spices, nutritional yeast and soy sauce.  Heat until boiling, and then reduce to simmer.  Simmer for about 25 minutes. 

3.  Now it's time to add the two!  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (170 C).  In a huge bowl, mix together the cornbread, almonds and cranberries and the veggie mix.  Then, spread in a casserole dish (or a pot).  Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes.

Alternate option:

If you are ovenless, you can also do this stove top version.  If you have a huge pot, slowly add the cornbread to the veggie mix, then simmer for about 20 minutes, turning it over so it won't burn.  Then serve.  

Kristy's Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Kristy's Roasted Red Pepper Hummus Recipe 

You will need:
2 red peppers
3 cans of chickpeas 
6 cloves of garlic
juice of one lemon
salt/pepper to taste
several glugs of olive oil
several splashes of drinking water (depending on consistency)

First, wash and deseed your peppers and add a splash or two of olive oil and a pinch of salt- rub into the pepper. Roast for about 30 mins at around 170 degrees or until the skins look slightly wrinkled. When they are done leave to cool. 

Next, prepare garlic cloves and throw them in the blender with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Then drain and rinse your canned chickpeas and add them to the blender. Add the cooled roasted red pepper and add the juice of one lemon and a few pinches of salt. 

Now whizz it all up... (depending on the size of your blender you may have to do a few batches) and if it's a bit thick you can add more olive oil or a bit of driking water to get your desired consistency. 

Lastly, add salt/pepper to taste.
(Just keep tasting... and keep adding until it's just right for you)
Sprinkle with paprika to serve

Mimi's Mad About Mushrooms

   Mimi's Mad About Mushrooms

Make this to serve alongside fresh or sautéed greens. Feel free to play around with different grains, like quinoa and/or millet. Also, it would probably be really delicious and increase the nutritional value if you add in some chopped walnuts.

1 onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2-3 inch piece of fresh ginger, grated
4-5 cups mushrooms, chopped (shiitake works well but use what you like best)
2 ½ cups cooked brown rice
¼ cup soy sauce
4-5 tbsp dried basil
black pepper, to taste

Cook the rice if you don’t have any made already. Sauté the onion over medium heat in a large wok until the onion is caramelized (about 5-10 minutes). Add in the mushrooms and mix in the herbs and soy sauce. Cook until the mushroom reduce and are soft to your liking. Mix in the cooked rice, ginger, garlic, and pepper. Turn off the heat and let the dish sit for about five minutes for the flavours to marry.

November 14, 2012

New Poster Design!

Check it out!  Thank you so much to designer Stephanie DuBois! 

November 4, 2012

Ouhdy's Midnight Mixed Veggie Munchies

When he showed up at the October Vegan Potluck with this dish, Ouhdy said it was "just a little something" he "threw together".  He didn't even know what to call his dish.  It was SO GOOD and was eaten up in a flash.  The SVP crew collectively demanded that he share his quickly conjured concoction and he obliged, calling it Midnight Mixed Veggie Munchies.  Whatever you call it, it's seriously good! 

Midnight Mixed Veggie Munchies Recipe 

1. Saute 2 sliced onions and 3 minced garlic cloves in a wok with about a tablespoon of soybean oil and a tablespoon of sesame oil.

2. Add 1 tablespoon of curry powder (I used garam masala) and 2 teaspoons of turmeric.

3. Dice up 3 tomatoes and add whatever veggies you want (broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, eggplant, etc...). You can also throw in walnuts and craisins/raisins for texture and sweetness. 

4. Cook everything on high heat until most of the liquid has evaporated. 

5. EAT.