Archive for the ‘Dairy free’ Category


    Date: 2011.07.26 | Category: Dairy free, RECIPES | Response: 3

    My only exposure to rhubard as a child was with jam, a friend used to make and give to my mom. She had a huge vegetable garden bursting with all kinds of edible treasures. I remember helping her around huge cooking pots with long fibrous stems slow cooking in her kitchen. Carefully removing the foam at the top from time to time. She always mixed them with strawberries.  

    Rhubarb Crisp

    Well, rhubarb is in season now so why not take advantage of what Mother Nature is offering us? One of the simplest dish you can make with Rhubarb is a crisp. To use less sweetener, add other fruit like cherries, peaches, pears or a little apple juice. Turns out, rhubard is a vegetable, not a fruit! So you can have your vegetable and eat it like a fruit! 

    5-6 rhubarb stems, trimmed at the end
    1-2 cups of other chopped sweet fruit (cherries, peaches, apples…)
    Some granola (if you are vegan, make sure it doesn’t contain honey because most do!)
    Little sugar for the top


    1. Wash, trim and chop the rhubarb. Keep the left over for your compost pile. 
    2. Pour into a large pot
    3. Add a cup of apple juice or water
    4. Sprinkle a little sugar
    5. Mix and cover and cook over low to medium heat (15mn max).
    6. Mix every now and then
    7. Remove from heat

    When ready to serve you can do one of several things depending on how much time you have and if you don’t mind a few more calories:

    1. Quick serve: just pour some granola over the top and serve
    2. A little more fancy: Melt a few tablespoons of vegan butter, mix them with the granola and spoon over the top. Broil for 2 minutes at 350 to caramelize the top. Yumm!
    3. Even fancier : broil the top and serve with your favorite vegan icecream! 

    Rhubarb is low in calories (just 26 calories in 1 cup, not bad), 95% of it is water. You do want to add some sugar to lower its acidity (3.1 pH), just don’t go crazy with it.

    If you are thinking of growing it, make sure to have space for it, because it is like zucchinis, it needs space around it. Rhubarb needs heavy mulching in the winter to protect the bulb from the cold. Mulch also throughout the year. Remember that leaves are poisonous, so be careful with children.

    Use rhubarb to make an aphid spray:
    Chop 3 to 5 rhubarb leaves and add to a quart of water.
    Boil for 30 minutes.
    Strain and add a dash of liquid, non-detergent, soap.
    Pour in a spray bottle and spray as needed.

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    Date: 2011.06.16 | Category: Dairy free, Gluten-free, heart healthy foods, RECIPES, Vegan Entrees | Response: 0

    Nature is such a wonderful thing we take for granted.
    Last fall, I discovered some potatoes that I had completely forgotten about and as a result had sprouted in the back of my pantry. I proceeded by cutting them into small pieces, each with a sprout and planted them in my garden covering them with thick layer of leave mulch. I knew that not much grows in the winter in the Northwest but hoped that something will come out eventually out of it. And it did. Beautiful leaves grew a few months ago and some potatoes even appeared. It was time to harvest. Wow, so many beautiful little potatoes. It was like a treasure hunt. And when I thought I was done, more were found.

    And the funny thing is that the original pieces of potatoes were still almost intact in the ground, and yet they had produced a whole family of little ones.  Next to the potatoes, some leeks also grew. And when you have potatoes and leeks, what do you do? You make potato leek soup, oven roasted vegies or a great stir-fry. We did all three.

    New potatoes are only harvested in the spring and summer so look out for them in the stores or better, grow your own. Eat with the season to  What is really unique about them is that they have a thinner skin and a high moisture content which gives them a creamy texture. They are usually used as side dish but why not making them the star of the show?

    You can lightly steam the potatoes and stir fry them with a little garlic, green onion, salt and pepper and any other condiment you like. Potatoes goes really well with rosemary for example for something different. That’s what we did in the photo. Super simple, quick and delicious. I added some vegan sausages for a little quick protein.

    Leeks are essentially giant green onions. They are from the same alium family. In terms of nutrition, leeks are a great source of vitamin C as well as iron and fiber, they are known for helping the blood and the heart.
    In terms of handling leeks, you always want to check and wash the dirt of the bottom after removing the roots. You can also stir fry the leeks with a little water and salt.

    The finished product:

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    Date: 2011.06.02 | Category: Dairy free, French cuisine, RECIPES, Vegan Entrees | Response: 0

    Ok, so I may have spoken too fast. Summer hasn’t arrived yet. It looks like the seasons have shifted a whole month forward. April showers are now May showers and the temperatures aren’t exactly summer like these days. Apparently with the various large earthquakes and tsunamis, the earth’s axis has shifted more than one degree. So warm dishes are really nice until the sun decides to make an extended appearance!

    Every now and then, we have a craving for pasta but we wanted something a little more rich with a creamy sauce. Living in the pacific Northwest, we have a great selection of wild mushroom available at regular grocery stores. So I combined a vegan cream sauce my friend and chef Miyoko Schinner showed me a few years ago with these tender and full of flavors mushrooms.  Yum!

    And to balance cooked food with something fresh, I prepared my signature wilted spinach salad dish. The challenge with these 2 dishes is the timing. Got to work fast and get things lined up correctly. In real estate, it is location, location, location. When it comes to cooking, it is preparation, preparation, preparation!

    1. Cook the pasta
    Cook the pasta according to package instructions.
    The trick is that when it is almost completely done (taste to be sure but don’t burn your fingers or your tongue in the process!), pour out the water and rinse under cold water until the noodles are warm to the touch. Pour 1/2 Tbl of oil and mix with hands to prevent from sticking. Put aside and get started on the sauce.

    2. Prepare the mushroom sauce
    First the cream:
    Blend 1 cup of cashew nuts with 2 cups of broth in a blender (or you can use plain water too).
    Add some salt if you are using water. Add some black pepper and garlic powder. Make sure that the liquid is smooth (no small pieces of nuts should be left) Pour into a small pan.

    3. Pan Fry the mushrooms

    1. Gently wash the mushrooms. Any type will do (porcini, portobellos, white caps etc.) and cut in half if they are small or slice the shrooms, as we call them at home.
    2. In a frying pan, put 1 Tbl vegetable oil, 1-2 cloves of minced garlic over medium heat. Make sure that it doesn’t burn.
    3. Add the mushrooms making sure that they are not too crowded.
    4. Add 2 Tbl balsamic vinegar and quickly mix into the mushrooms to make them sweat and caramelize. Don’t overcook, they are full of water and only need a little tenderizing.
    5. Taste, add some salt if you need it. Remove from heat and put aside.

    Putting it all together

    1. Heat up the cashew cream sauce over medium heat. Using a wooden spoon, gently stir the sauce until it thickens a little. As soon as you see that it does, remove from heat.
    2. Place the pasta in a large frying pan, mix the caramelized mushrooms, then pour the sauce over and gently mix for a minute or so. Immediately serve. Save some cream sauce and mushrooms because you will be asked for seconds. Guaranteed!

    4. Wilted Spinach salad

    Looks and tastes fancy but it is so easy to make and preserves most of the nutrient in the spinach.
    The trick is to heat 2-3 Tbl of extra virgin olive oil (regular olive oil will also do, but treat yourself to good things from time to time). I know, virgin olive oil should be consumed cold, but it is also nice now and then heated.

    1. Place the washed and dried spinach in a large bowl
    2. Slice some red onion thinly if you like raw onions
    3. Sprinkle some pine nuts and some nutritional yeast (1-2 Tbl)
    4. Heat up the oil in your smallest pan, on high heat for less than a minute depending on how quickly your stove heats up. Watch it because it happens very quickly. Don’t let it smoke. It is all in the timing.
    5. Pour it immediately over the spinach and quickly mix it until all the leaves are coated and shinny.
    6. Sprinkle with a little lemon juice (optional) and serve.

    Bon appétit!

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    Date: 2011.05.14 | Category: Dairy free, RECIPES, Vegan Deserts | Response: 0

    I have been busy preparing my summer classes and as a result have been neglecting my blog a little. The good news is that many new dishes are being created and fine tuned in the process of designing the classes. Add to that the fact that we are moving and you get the picture how exciting things have been.

    I don’t know about you but I have been craving citrus fruit and oranges lately and finding ways to add them to my food. Must be my body asking for vitamin C!

    The traditional moist vegan carrot cake has been enhanced with zest and juice from juicy oranges, giving it an aromatic flagrance and unique taste. Yum! Enjoy!

    DRY INGREDIENTS:                        WET INGREDIENTS:
      2 cups all purpose flour*                       1/2 cup soy milk
      2 tsp baking powder                                1/2 cup vegetable oil
      1 tsp baking soda                                       1/2 cup orange juice
      2 tsp ground cinnamon                              rind from 2 oranges
      2 tsp ground nutmeg                               1/4 cup maple syrup or agave
      1 tsp ground ginger                                   2 tsp vanilla extract
      2 Tbl anis seeds (optional)                     2 cups finely shredded carrots
      1 tsp salt                                                         1/2 cup golden raisins
      1 cup organic sugar or sweetener

    *you can substitute 1/2 cup potato flour and 1/2 cup of  tapioca flour if you are allergic to gluten.


    1. Preheat the oven at 375°F
    2. Grease a square or round baking pan.
    3. Mix dry ingredients in one bowl.
    4. Mix the wet ingredients in another bowl.
    5. Slowly mix wet and into dry ingredients.
    6. Add the raisins and carrots at the end.
    7. Pour into baking dish and bake for 50mn or until a toothpick comes out clean.
    8. Let it cool off before slicing it.
    9. Serve as is, or with some homemade icing.
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    Date: 2011.05.08 | Category: Dairy free, French cuisine, heart healthy foods, Mexican, Moroccan | Response: 0

    Please note the new dates.
    I clicked the publish button prematurely on the previous post!

    JUNIOR CHEF ACADEMY – June 6th, 13th, 20th, 5-7:30pm, Firstenburg, Vancouver, WA

    MOROCCAN NIGHT – July 6th, 6-8:30pm, Clark College, Vancouver, WA

    FRENCH CUISINE – July 7th, 6-8:30pm, St John Community Center, Portland

    HEART HEALTHY COMFORT FOODS – July 11th, 5-6:30pm, Firstenburg C.C., Vancouver

    MEXICAN FIESTA – July 14th, 6-8:30pm, St John Community Center, Portland

    A TASTE OF THAILAND – July 21th, 6-8:30pm, St John Community Center, Portland

    DAIRY FREE AT LAST – July 25th, 5-6:30pm, Firstenburg Community Center, Vancouver

    CHINESE BANQUET – July 28th, 6-8:30pm, St John Community Center, Portland

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    Date: 2011.05.04 | Category: Dairy free | Response: 0

    Summer is fast approaching so get ready for some fun and educational vegan cooking classes. Mark your calendar and don’t wait to register online because seats are filling in quickly.


    WHEN:  June 6th, 13th, 20th, 5-7:30pm
    WHERE: Firstenburg Community Center
                    700 N.E. 136th Ave.
                    Vancouver, WA 98684

    DESCRIPTION: Ages 8-12. Learn how to make your own healthy snacks, basic soups, salads, pasta, pizza from scratch. Hands on course. All dishes are vegan to accommodate for common food allergies.


    WHEN:   July 6th, 5-7:30pm
    WHERE: Clark College
                  1933 Fort Vancouver Way
                  Vancouver, WA 98663

     DESCRIPTION: Travel to the mysteries of Marakech and Casablanca from the comfort of your kitchen. Discover a rich cultural heritage and traditional dishes bursting with new flavors and aromatic spices. Treat yourself to a lavish banquet.
    Note: Currently, only showing Spring schedule. Wait for the Summer schedule to be posted online.


    WHEN:   July 7th, 6-8:30pm
    WHERE: St John Community Center
                    8427 N Central St,
                    Portland, OR 97203

    DESCRIPTION: Nouvelle Cuisine from the South of France is admired the world over but it usually characterized by rich and fattening dishes. This class, taught by a native of the French Riviera, will teach you how to create and enjoy some of the rich flavors of French cooking without the heavy calories and artery clogging results! A guilt-free way to a French palate. All the dishes are free of animal products for people with dietary restrictions. Recipes include: Onion soup ‘gratinée, olive tapenade, escalope with mushroom cream sauce, vegan chocolate mousse and much more
    REGISTER AT: 503-823-3192


    WHEN:    July 11th, 5-7:30pm
    WHERE: Firstenburg Community Center
                    700 N.E. 136th Ave.
                    Vancouver, WA 98684

    DESCRIPTION: If you are watching your cholesterol or sugar levels, chances you told to lower your sodium and fat intake. This class you will learn to prepare some of your favorite dishes with a few alterations making them healthy, nutritious and delicious.


    WHEN:  July 14th, 6-8:30pm
    WHERE: St John Community Center
                    8427 N Central St,
                    Portland, OR 97203

    DESCRIPTION: There are as many flavors in Mexico as there are towns and pueblos. Vamos to the South of the border to sample a festive array of flavors and dishes, from roasted tomatillos salsa, fajitas, empañadas and much more.
    REGISTER AT: 503-823-3192


    WHEN:  July 11th, 6-8:30pm
    WHERE: St John Community Center
                     8427 N Central St, Portland, OR 97203

    DESCRIPTION: One of the most gracious culture on earth and beautiful people can be found in Thailand. Learn to make exquisite traditional dishes such as papaya salad, mee krob, pad thai and discover the rich culture of kingdom of Siam.
    REGISTER AT: 503-823-3192


    WHEN: July 25th, 5-7:30pm
    WHERE: Firstenburg Community Center
                    700 N.E. 136th Ave.
                    Vancouver, WA 98684

    DESCRIPTION: About half the population of the United States are considered lactose intolerant. That’s millions of people and most don’t even know they are. You will learn in this class to make your own nut milk, dairy free ‘cheeze’ and cream sauce, soft ice dream etc.
    In addition to sampling these prepared items, participants will receive a grocery list of non-dairy products they can easily purchase in local stores.


    WHEN:  July 28th, 6-8:30pm
    WHERE: St John Community Center
                    8427 N Central St, Portland, OR 97203

    DESCRIPTION: Treat yourself or impress your friends with a complete traditional Chinese meal you can make at home, with no msg, less salt and fat. Learn a few tricks to create popular dishes served all over the world and discover the therapeutic qualities of some of the ingredients used in in this fun and interactive class.
    REGISTER AT: 503-823-3192

    Stay tuned for dates and times

    LOCATION: Clark College, Vancouver, WA

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    Date: 2011.03.27 | Category: Dairy free, RECIPES, Vegan Deserts | Response: 0

    I have sampled my share of vegan cookies over the years and I have to say that most of the ones bought in stores tend to be a little heavy and doughey, until I discovered these little jewels. Light and cripsy on the outside and tender in the middle. Not too sweet, just the right amount of fat. They remind me of Anzacs, those Australian cookies but less sweet. Like all good things, one or two does the trick. 

    1 cup of quick oatmeal
    1/2 cup pastry flour
    1/2  tsp baking powder
    1/2 cup of unsweetened coconut powder
    1/3 cup of sugar
    1/2 cup of oil
    2 Tb soy milk
    1/2 cup raisin
    1 tsp cinamon
    1 tsp ginger
    1 tsp anis seeds (optional)

    1. Mix all dry ingredients together, then add the wet ones.
    2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
    3. Make little mounds and flatten them.
    4. Bake at 390F for 10-12 minutes until they are lightly browned.

    I usually double the recipe because they never last very long.
    Enjoy and share!

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  • TARTE AU CITRON (Lemon Tart)

    Date: 2011.03.14 | Category: Dairy free, RECIPES, Vegan Deserts | Response: 0











    This is a wonderful refreshing summer desert but it must be the lack of sun this time of the year that made me crave for lemons. I tried the lemon bar recipe from Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s Veganomicon and made it into a tart.
    Oh My God, it came out soooo good!
    So I thought I had to share it with everyone. This isn’t a quick desert. It does take a little preparation but it’s all worth it. One thing to keep in mind, if you have high blood sugar, is to eat small amounts because the sugar content isn’t exactly low but if it is totally worth it as long as it is consumed in moderation! That’s my story and I am sticking to it!

    Ingredients for the pie crust:
       1¼ cup all-purpose flour
       2/3 cup confectioner sugar
       1 cup vegan butter
       1 tsp tahini (optional)
       pinch sea salt

    1. Combine the vegan butter with the flour, sugar, salt and tahini until it forms a coarse mixture.
    2. Add a little water to form a dough. Place in a plastic bag or in some plastic wrap.
    3. Refrigerate for one hour.
    4. Roll out the dough into pie pan and bake at 350F for 25mn then let it cool down.

    Start preparing the filling:

    1½ cup water+ 3-4 Tbl agar agar flakes or powder*
    1¼ cups sugar
    ½ Ts turmeric
    3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
    3 Tb arrowroot powder
    1 Tb freshly grate lemon zest

    To create the texture of a lemon tart, you need something that will create a jello like texture. That’s where the agar agar comes in.

    1. Place the agar agar (flake or powder) in water and let it dissolve for a few minutes.
    2. Juice your lemons, add the arrowroot into it and mix it.
    3. Bring the agar agar and water to a boil and mix until it is totally dissolved (2-3mn), add the sugar, turmeric and continue stirring for a few minutes under medium heat.
    4. Add the arrowroot mixture and soy milk and continue stirring until it gets thick. Immediately pour into the pie crust and let it rest for 30mn.
    5. When it is cooled enough to touch, place in the refrigerator for 3-5 hours or better overnight.

    * agar agar is a vegetarian gelatin substitute made from a variety of seaweed. It comes in flakes and powder. It is a stabilizing and thickening agent for custards, puddings and sauces. Simply dissolve it by boiling it in water, then let it set in the refrigerator. It can be purchased at health food stores, Asian grocery stores. It is very cheap and keeps forever. You will be amazed at the results!

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    Date: 2011.02.22 | Category: Dairy free, French cuisine, RECIPES | Response: 1











    I take no credit for this recipe but I did tweak it a little for some extra flavor. Everyone should know it.
    This is the simplest pudding desert you will ever make. It requires no baking, no setting time, no refrigeration prior to eating. 

    I call it, instant gratification!
    You can beat 4 basic ingredients! Plus it is dairy-free and egg free.

    12 oz silken tofu
    1/3 cup vegan chocolate powder
    1/3 cup raw sugar or rice syrup
    2 tsp vanilla
    dash of salt
    1 TBl orange jam* (optional)

    NOTE: If you are not familiar with silken tofu, you can find it in the same section with the regular tofu in most grocery stores. It comes in small 12oz cardboard packages that keep well even if not refrigerated. Mori-Nu is made with non-genetically modified soy beans, so this is great. You can use it in shakes, as filler in cream pies,  for making vegan cheesecakes, in dips for an extra velvety texture. Make sure to always have several on hands.


    1. Mix the tofu and chocolate powder first in a bowl, add the vanilla, orange jam and salt.
    2. Pour in a blender or processor and add the sweetener.
    3. Blend until smooth.
    4. Pour into a nice dish and serve.

    * The orange jam will add more sweetness and a little tang. It will also bring the chocolate flavor out. You can also add 1 Tbl of coconut powder for extra flavor.

    Makes 2 generous servings


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    Date: 2011.02.16 | Category: Dairy free, French cuisine, RECIPES, Vegan Appetizers | Response: 2

    I found an old black and white photo of my grandmother and I when I was 4 years old. It brought back so many happy memories and especially of being in the kitchen and watch her lovingly concocting all kinds of delicious dishes.  The colors, flavors and textures varying with the seasons. I had the all important job of official taster and spoon cleaner! Someone had to do it! These were the good old days! This dish is inspired by a French classic called ”Timbale de légumes“. Originally served in small bite sizes, it is a hearty dish that is usually served with a salad. The chickpea flour replaced the egg mixture and makes this a denser and more nutritional dish, with no cholesterol and lots of protein from the garbanzo bean flour.

    It can be served all year around, right out of the oven in the winter and cold in the summer. They are great for picnics too. You can keep these babies in the fridge for a week. You can make it in all kinds of fun shapes for creative visual displays (loaves, muffins etc). Make sure to include seasonal fresh herbs for a burst of flavor in every bites. I used fresh basil leaves this time.


    3/4 cup garbanzo bean flour
       2 Tbl rice flour (optional)
       1 red bell pepper diced

       1 chopped tomato
    1/2 cup zucchini diced
    ½ cup bread crumbs
       1 Tbl olive oil
    1 Tbl tahini (sesame butter)
    Little water
    Fresh green onions, paprika, salt and pepper to taste

       5-6 leaves of fresh basil (optional)


    1) Preheat the oven at 375F, lightly oil muffin tray or ceramic cups

       2) Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl.
       3) Add the vegetables and mix with hands.
       4) Drizzle the olive oil and the herbs over and mix with spoon.
       5) Add a little water so that the mix is moist and holds together.
       6) Spoon the mixture in ceramic cups or muffin tray cups and flatten the top.
       7) Bake for 20mn
      8) Serve hot or warm
    a) Mixed it with an equal amount of water and you have a perfect egg replacer that is gluten free.
    b) Use it to create a crisp texture to parboiled vegetables by rolling pieces before pan frying them (potatoes, zucchinis etc.)
    c) Ladies, how about a homemade exfoliant
    Mix 4 tbsp of chickpea flour, a pinch of turmeric powder (optional) with a little water until you get the consistency of a paste. Apply to your face and leave it on to dry and then wash it off. You can do this while taking a bath for a special treatment. I like to add a drop of lavender for the super treatment. If  you use essential oil be careful, mix it with a little vegetable oil first to avoid burning your skin.
    Have fun and let me know how it turned out!
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