• French Mushroom Tart

    Date: 2012.02.13 | Category: Entrees, food and recipes, French cuisine | Response: 0

    Vegan Mushroom Tart

    One of the great advantage of living in the Northwest is the availability of wild mushrooms almost all year around! I had some friends over and wanted to feature them in a classy way. So I adapted an old classic French tart made with mostly caramelized onions and incorporated the mushrooms. The result was divine! I should have doubled the recipe because no piece was left. It was a success!

    4-5 cups of mushrooms (shitake, porcini*, chanterelle, white caps etc.)
    1 large yellow or red onion
    1 Tbl balsamic vinegar
    1 Tbl soy sauce 
    salt & pepper
    1/2 tsp rosemary ground
    1/2 tsp oregano
    1 package of Puff pastry (Pepperidge Farm is a popular one*)
    some soy milk

    * I used some dried porcini mushrooms that I re-hydrated in hot water and reused the water to add extra flavor my mushroom mixture.


    (this part requires gentle hands and staying in the kitchen to watch over the oven during the pre-baking period)

    Vegan mushroom tart close up

    1. Place the puff pastry in the refrigerator the night before.
    2. Start cooking the mushroom mixture.
    3. Mince the onions. Pan fry it in a little olive oil.
    4. Sprinkle the balsamic vinegar and soy sauce on the onions and mix. They will caramelize. When all the liquid is absorbed, pour a little water to deglaze them. Cover and lower the heat.
    5. Prepare the mushrooms. Wash and rinse them. Remove the stems and cube.
    6. Add the mushrooms to the onions and mix well. Sprinkle with salt pepper, rosemary and oregano. Cover and lower the heat for 5 mn. Remove the cover and let the juice evaporate. Taste and season again if needed.


    1. In the meantime, prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper or by lightly oiling it. Turn the oven on to 350F.
    2. Open the package of puff pastry. Carefully unroll the dough. If it is too soft, put in back in the fridge until it has hardened a little.
    3. Place one sheet down on the baking sheet. Use the other sheet and cut small strips to create an edge all around if you want a square tart. Poke holes everywhere.
    4. Bake for 10 mn. It will puff a lot. Take it out push down to let the heat escape. Return to the oven for another 8-10 mn. Watch so that it doesn’t burn. Take out. Let it cool off for a few minutes.
    5. Spoon the mushroom mixture in the middle.
    6. An hour before you plan to serve, bake again for 20 mn covered with aluminum foil. Remove the foil and bake for another 10mn. Serve immediately if possible. Goes great with a spinach or kale salad.

    Bon appétit

    *Other brands of vegan puff pastry are: Dufour Pastry Kitchen

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    Date: 2012.02.05 | Category: food and recipes, Pets | Response: 0

    Yummy Vegan Dog Treats!

    I have bought dog cookies for years until I tried making my own and since, I never went back to the store version. I know what is in them, I can vary the recipe depending on what I have on hand. My 2 furry kids love peanut butter!  I usually make a big batch over the week-end and they last for a few weeks or as long as I keep them in an air tight container! 


    Vegan dog treats side view

    1/2 cup wheat flour
    1/2 cup of soy flour
    1 cup quick oatmeal
    1/3 cup of soy milk powder + 1 cup water*
    1 cup of peanut butter
    1 Tbl baking powder

    1. Preheat the oven to 315F
    2. Combine and mix dry ingredients.
    3. Mix the peanut butter and milk and add to dry ingredients.
    4. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/4″ thick and cut into pieces or use a special bone shape cookie cutter for an extra touch.
    5. Bake for 25 mn untill lightly brown.
    6. Leave the cookies in the oven after you turned it off so that they get harder.
    7. Let them cool off before storing them in an air tight container.

    * You can substitute the soy milk powder and the water to a cup of soy milk. 

        Waiting for a treat requires great concentration!
    Be one with the cookie!

    My Golden Boy!

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  • Thumbs Up for The UK!

    Date: 2012.02.03 | Category: vegan news | Response: 0

    Kudos UK for kicking out Monsanto!


    You win some, you lose some… This seems to be Monsanto‘s new motto !  They sure have been in the news a lot lately! While Whole Foods and others have surrendered to the GMO king in the US, the Daily Mail, a British newspaper reported that the UK and Europe succeeded in no less than ousting the company and its products from its markets and borders! Sayonara! Goodbye, bon voyage… and don’t come back!
    Wow, it is amazing what people can do when they mobilize en masse with a specific goal in mind (the Occupy movement could learn a thing or two from them and in this case to have a point!)

    So Monsanto, as a result, will be closing off their Cambridge-based wheat production, selling off GMO crop-breeding centers in France, Germany and the Czech Republic. As a result, other companies like Bayer CropScience have followed suit and closed shop too!

    Now, if the UK, France and the Czech Republic managed to kick them out, we can do the same in the US. Granted, we are off a slow start since the US is the largest producer of GMO crops but we need to start somewhere. Take California, they introduced a ballot initiative, another one is under way in the state of Washington and many others are thinking about doing the same.

    Forget the USDA and FDA as watchdogs looking after the well being of Americans, because many former executives of Monsanto (see diagram) are now conveniently, for them, watching over the interests of their former employer! You would think that this would constitute total collusion of interests, but somehow, our Federal government doesn’t seem to see any problem with that!

    Read the original article who broke the news here
    More interesting reading on the company.

    And to celebrate this great news, how about some organic popcorn for everyone? Don’t forget to sprinkle some nutritional yeast on top for an added cheezy flavor and lots of vitamin B!
    It is practically a supplement!

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    Date: 2012.01.24 | Category: vegan news | Response: 0

    The largest retailer of ‘natural’ and ‘organic’ foods in the US just gave up fighting against GE crops (a.k.a Genetically Modified organisms or GMO). Now, why would a giant like Whole Foods, the champion of all things natural and healthy would do such a thing? Well, they say, because 2/3 of the products they sell contain some form of GMO products and that they are not labelled as such. Many products touted as natural are actually conventional products, processed like the others. So why fussing about this! Great, if the bar wasn’t low enough, now let’s take the bar down completely!

    So what are we talking about? Mainly GMO Corn, soy and canola are the
    main culprits here and they have found they way into so many products these days. So if Whole Foods were to be a no GMO store, they would have to get ridd of lots of products and that doesn’t bid well to the bottom line. We get that.

    But as “leaders” of all things natural, they could lobby for GMO labelling as a start like the European Union did. They not only fought againts it but succeeded in kicking it out for the most part. You may

    GMO labeling

    non-GMO labeling

    be surprised to know that there is moratorium on GM Organisms in France, Germany, Greece, Austria and Luxembourg (meaning it is outright banned) and for the remaining countries in the EU, labels must clearly indicate GMO ingredients. We are far from this in the US. So it is

    Considering the billions of dollars the bio-tech industry (mostly
    Monsanto) pours into buying public officials, seats in the USDA, the media and the scientific community, it has flat out failed in Europe (they know what is good for them and what is not!) but giants don’t take no for answer, so they set shop elsewhere, like Brazil, China, Spain, Africa, where greedy, gullible and desperate people bought their lies.

    Don’t take my word for it, check the map below to see who is growing GMO crops! Start with the US, then look around. Not so popular anywhere else where people seem to care about what they grow and ingest ! What’s wrong with Americans?

    GMO land use worldwide

    There are no magic seeds, folks! Mother Nature already provided us with
    all the magic we need. It is the scientific mind in all of its arrogance that thinks it can do better. But when you look closely, all you will see, is a trail of tears and blood. Tears, because farmers using these seeds end up bankrupt from all the chemicals they have to buy just to be able to grow these seeds (and these are good size agro-businesses, the little farmers are on the extinction list!) And blood because thousands of farmers in India, for example, have committed suicide, because a slight drought devastated their crops and nothing was produced year after year (but they still need to pay the loan for the seeds and the fertilizers). Not so magic after all but who is talking about this? The picture isn’t pretty. Wait, the horror movie doesn’t end here, GMO contamination can also take you to court because these GM seeds are patented! If your neighbor happens to be growing GMO seeds and the wind happens to blow them in your fields, then you owe money to the seed manufacturer for growing their franken seeds. How did we let this happen?

    So as we get sicker, fatter and more tired, when are we, the American people, going to fight for what is right for us and our children? I hate doing the “us” and “them” game, but if the multinational corporations had a ounce of conscience and responsibility, we wouldn’t be in this position in the first place, would we?

    Billions of people Vs a handful of powerful corporations.
    Don’t you think that we could do what Europe did? What do we have to
    lose? Let’s see, what is left of our health and that of our children, local food safety and our right to healthy and nutritious food.

    Guide to non GMO Guide


    In the meantime, you can download a free guide to GMO free food.

    Here is a list of non GMO seeds companies in case you are looking for non-GMO seeds for you garden.

    Another great book to read on this is Seeds of Deception, by Jeffrey Smith.
    More articles on this.

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  • Vegan Borscht – Beet Soup

    Date: 2012.01.19 | Category: Dairy free, food and recipes, Gluten-free recipes, Soups, wheat free | Response: 0

    Vegan Beet Soup

    I woke up early this morning to discover my garden covered by a thick blanket of snow. Every little branch had a layer, every item was covered perfectly. It was a scene straight out of a Japanese garden in the winter. Breathtaking!

    For some reason, all I could think about was making a nice borscht, the traditional beet soup. Luckily I happened to have beets in the refreigerator (I am not sure if I would have braved snowy roads for it though!)

    It is so easy to make and has such a wonderful unique flavor. The color is pretty amazing too.

    While the original recipe calls for some sausage, it so doesn’t need it. I even made it without onion and garlic because a friend of mine came for dinner and she doesn’t eat them and it was awesome. A little sweet, a little sour, yet I added nothing to make it sour.


    3-4 medium red beets, peeled and shredded
    2 large carrots peeled and shredded
    3 medium potatoes peeled and cubed
    1 medium onion chopped
    1 clove of garlic minced
    1 tbl vegetable oil
    1/2 can of tomato sauce
    1 tsp sugar
    4-5 cups of water with vegetable broth (or more if you like it more liquid)
    Vegan sour cream for topping


    1. Stir fry the onion and garlic in a little oil
    2. Shred the beets, then the carrots
    3. Cube the potatoes.
    4. Add the shredded vegetables to the onion, mix everything.
    5. Place into a cooking pot, add the water and broth over medium heat for 15mn or so.
    6. Add the tsp of sugar and tomato sauce at the very end and turn of the heat.
    7. Serve the soup into nice bowls and top with some vegan sour cream. You can also sprinkle with some fresh chives,green onions or parsley but it isn’t necessary.

    Bon appétit !

    Snowy scene

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  • Vegetable Fried Rice

    Date: 2012.01.16 | Category: Chinese dishes, Dairy free, food and recipes, gluten free recipes | Response: 0

    Vegetable Fried Rice

    If you ever have some leftover one day old rice and a few vegetables in the fridge, you have all you need for a delicious all-in-one vegetable fried rice.  A great Chinese classic that was probably created to make sure that nothing in the kitchen was wasted. Folks in the South of China turned their leftovers into fried rice while folks in the North, used noodles and the famous fried noodles were born! This has to be one of the most flexible, forgiving and cheap dish I know.  As a result, it is never the same depending on what is on hand, so it is always a big hit in our house. It is great to pack for lunch and keeps well refrigerated.

    Ingredients for 3 people:
    1 cake of extra firm organic tofu diced
    3 cups of cooked rice
    1/2 cup of green onions chopped
    1-2 cloved of garlic minced
    1 onion diced
    1 cup of corn (fresh or canned)
    1 large carrot thinly diced
    1 cup of frozen peas
    1 cup diced mushrooms (optional)
    3 Tbl vegetable oil
    1 tsp sesame (or peanut) oil 
    Black pepper
    Chili paste (optional)


    1. Pan fry the cubes of tofu in a little oil until golden.
    2. Sprinkle with a dash of sea salt. Set aside covered to keep warm.
    3. Pan fry the onions in a little water until translucent.
    4. Add the carrots, add a dash of sea salt and cook for a few minutes.
    5. Add the corn and frozen peas and cook a few more minute mixing all the vegetables with the rice over medium heat.
    6. Sprinkle with some soy sauce, a little sesame oil and black pepper.
    7. You can mix the cubed tofu with the rice or serve it on top as in the picture.

    Note: You can also add a handful of peanuts, or water chesnut (usually canned) if you want some extra crunch. I love some cilantro and some chili paste but I like it spicy.


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    Date: 2012.01.09 | Category: Health & Nutrition, Homemade remedies | Response: 0

    Homemade cough syrup

    This is flu season and if you ever feel the beginning of a cold or of a sore throat, reach for this easy to make healing syrup. I always have readily available for the family,  just in case!

    I don’t know about you but the stuff I find in drugstores not only tastes nasty and usually contains alcohol but it doesn’t do much for me besides making me woozy!  I have to say, since I became vegan, I haven’t caught a cold or a flu in years. But, I did feel a little tingle in my throat when I flew back from Europe. I must have inhaled something in transit. Airplane and airports are major breeding grounds for viruses and bacteria. Something about breathing recycled air for 8 hours, pressurized cabins, jetlag…

    So when I felt something in my throat I immediately reached for my handy dandy homemade cough syrup and it was gone the next day!

    Slippery Elm Cough Syrup


    All you need is some molasses and an herb called slippery elm in powder form. Simple enough?

    The beauty of this is that you not only get one of the most soothing herb to help your throat and everything that it touches (mouth, throat, intestines…) but you also get the nutritional benefit from molasses:  a great source of manganese, iron, calcium, potassium and more. So the goodness doesn’t stop with your throat!




    Mix 1/4 cup (about 4 Tbsp.) of Slippery Elm powder with 1 cup of molasses. I recommend mild flavor molasses if you are not a fan of molasses.
    Simmer and stir for 20mn. That’s it!
    If you want it more liquid like a syrup, just add some water.

    I like to take a teaspoon and either suck on it until it is fully absorbed or let it dissolve  in a warm glass of water or tea and drink it.

    Note: I like to add 2-3 drops of peppermint spirit to it for a fresh taste but it isn’t necessary.

    Slippery Elm can be bought at any natural food store in the bulk section with all the herbs. It truly is a wondrous herb. See for yourself, it helps pull out and expel mucus, it is an anti-inflammatory, soothes everything that it comes into contact with. So it can be used to also relieve intestinal and lung problems like heart burns, indigestion, constipation, diarrhea, ulcers, bronchitis etc. It can also be used externally as an eye wash (only using strained tea).

    Slippery Elm is a mucilaginous plant meaning that it produces a slippery and soothing substance that protects areas from infections, from toxic substances by absorbing them and eliminating them from the body. Pretty cool stuff and there are NO side effects!

    So if you don’t have any at home, I suggest you go and get some right away because it if the most gentle yet powerful herb I know and it safe on children, adults and pets too. My kind of remedy!

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  • Make Being Vegan Your New Year’s Resolution!

    Date: 2011.12.31 | Category: Change the world | Response: 1

    Happy Vegan New Year!

    So we have all made our share our New Year’s resolutions that we thought at the time we could keep but turned out to fizzle over time. Exercise more, stop smoking, volunteer, eat better, watch less tv read more etc. While all are all worthy of our efforts, they mostly benefit us and a handful of people around us.

    What if we could make one change in our life that would not only directly benefit our health (physical, mental and spiritual), but stop the brutal killing of billions of animals in factory farms, help feed millions of starving children around the world, allow us to reconnect with our heart and soul. I can’t think of any other action that could impact millions, even billions of living beings.
    Can you?

    We can all stop the killing fields, the concentration camps, the government subsidized torture chambers, the next pandemic and simply chose to live and let live.
    All prophets regardless of your faith, have told us to live and let live, to love ALL beings as ourselves and to live a compassionate life.

    And in return, you get to join the illustrious ranks of the famous and powerful celebrities that have done just that, switched to a plant-based diet.
    Drum roll please:

    President Bill Clinton, Steve Wynn, Russel Simons…

    In the world of entertainment:
    Ellen Degeneres, Martha Stewart and Oprah are working on it! Alanis Morissette, Anne Hathaway, Tobey Maquire, a.k.a. Spiderman, Alec Baldwin, Alicia Silverstone and many many more.

    In the world of sport: all-star John Salley, Mike Tyson, Venus and Serena Williams and many more.

    So don’t you think that it is time for this New Year (which according to the Maya could be our last one!) to decide the course of our life? Will you follow the path of the Saints by loving and respecting all life and beings on the planet? It is your call but if not now, then when?

    Just do it!
    Set an example for others to follow.
    Save lives so that your life will be saved.
    Live simply so that others wil simply live.
    Because, as we sow, so shall we reap.

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  • Thumbs Up Bolivia! Adios McDonald!

    Date: 2011.12.27 | Category: Change the world, vegan news | Response: 0

    Have you ever wondered what would happen if people were to stand for their values, their culture and their health?  Good things for sure. For one, they would make sure that their values, their culture and the public health is preserved for themselves and future generations. Not a small achievement, by any means!


    Take Bolivia for instance, after 14 years of trying to break into this country, McDonald’s announced the closure of its 8 restaurants in all major cities due to the lack of business. This new trend isn’t limited to Bolivia, restaurants will be closed in 7 other countries that haven’t done well either. McDonald’s fast food isn’t welcomed here anymore!

    Kudos to the people of Bolivia for having followed the wisdom of your culture, not succumbed to the temptation and the deadly trap of American fast food, for having taught your children well as to the goodness of food made with love and wholesome ingredients!

    Can you imagine if the American people were to exercise their right to have delicious, wholesome food at a reasonable price? Since supply follows demand, it shouldn’t take too long before visible changes would be seen. America doesn’t have much of a culinary history as the rest of the world does, so Americans can’t be as picky. But, access to affordable healthy food is a right not a privilege and we should demand it from now on.

    How about following Bolivia’s example and create the world we want to live in by standing for our good values, for the benefit of the many instead of the few?

    So, what about occupying McDonald’s?
    I can already hear the slogan in the distance: “McDo, Hell no!”
    Can you? Start singing, folks!

    Read the original article here.

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  • Rejuvelac – Probiotic in a bottle

    Date: 2011.12.20 | Category: Drinks, sprouting, Superfoods | Response: 0

    As we approach the Christmas holidays, I wanted to share this recipe because it will come handy! First, let me start by saying that rejuvelac is an amazing drink that EVERYONE should make at home. If you are in your golden years, say goodbye to Metamucil and stool softeners and hello rejuvelac! If you enjoy occasional fastfood, you will want to ease your digestion with this homemade elixir! So many people suffer from digestive problems these days. Many become dependent on over-the-counter medicines that only alleviate the symptoms temporarily until they get used to them and they stop working! The great news about rejuvelac is that it not only helps move things through your digestive track but it replenishes enzymes that the standard American diet (SAD) robs from us. Apparently, not only do we produce less digestive enzymes as we get older but the ones we do produce get weaker over time! But, no worry, help is on the way and you can make it at home!  This is, by the way, one of the secrets of the healthiest and oldest people living in what is called the Blue zones (areas of the world where large number of people live to be active, healthy centenarians). They all regularly drink a type of homemade fermented brew. 

    Now, I have to say that I tried it 8 or 10 years ago but frankly the taste was a little too intense for me,  so eventhough I knew that it was a formidable digestive help, I just couldn’t get it down. And I love fermented food, pickles, chutneys etc.

    But someone recently suggested that I add some acidophilus capsules to the batch to get rid of the strong fermented taste and also to add more enzymes to the finished product (I poured the content out from the capsules). Bingo, the result was so light and almost sweet. I still can’t get over the difference. I should have done this years ago!

    So what is Rejuvelac? 

    Wheat berries

    It is basically a fermented drink made mostly from either soft wheat berries or rye but can also be made with oat, barley, millet, buckwheat, quinoa or other grains. You can think of it as liquid yogurt without the dairy, the puss, the fat and the congestion! It is packed not only with acidophilus-rich probiotic enzymes but with 8 of the B vitamins, vitamins E and K, a variety of proteins and lactic acid.

    How do you make it?

    As with any sprouted or fermented dish, the process will take a few days, but you can make more than one batch with it.

    DAY 1: I usually start in the evening by soaking 2 cups of soft wheat berries or rye in a 2 quart jar or smaller glass jars. Cover with 1 quart of water and stir. Seal the jar with the ring that comes with it and some cheese cloth. Soak overnight (8-12 hours).

    DAY 2: Next morning, pour off the water and rinse several times until the water comes out clear.
    Make sure to drain the jar by leaving it at an angle in the sink or on the dish rack.
    Rinse and drain the jar in the evening.

    DAY 3: Rinse and drain the jar twice a day.

    DAY 4: You will notice that the seeds produced little sprouts. Add 6-8 cups of filtered or spring water. Pour 2-3 capsules of acidophilus if you want a lighter flavored drink and cover with the screen. Set on top of your refrigerator (nice and toasty). Wrap a towel around the jar to keep it in the dark for the next 2 days.

    DAY 5: do nothing!

    DAY 6: Pour liquid into a glass bottle and serve, refrigerate the rest.

    You can make two more batches with the same berries by adding 1 quart of water and let it ferment for one day only.

    The fun doesn’t stop here, you can feed the berries to your compost pile or to the birds and squirrels. Is this great or what? Who knew you could get all of this just from simple wheat berries?

    So what does it tastes like?

    A little tart, kind of yogurty and sligthly carbonated depending how long you ferment it. Looks a little cloudy.

    How do you take it?

    Best to take before or between meals. I start the day with a glass on an empty stomach. You can add a little juice if you want but it isn’t needed.

    What to expect?

    Eliminating 3-4 times a day (that’s #2) without any effort! You are basically cleansing without even trying. Great for weight loss. If you are having a cooked meal without anything fresh in it, definitely drink a glass of rejuvelac to help digesting it. It is that simple. You may painlessly even pass small stones in the process.

    How long does it keep?

    Pour the liquid in clean glass bottles (Ikea sells beautiful clear glass bottles for less than $2) and keep refrigerated for up to one week. But since these are live enzymes, you should drink it in the next 2-3 days to get the most out of it.

    How much does it cost to make? 

    Probiotic rich rejuvelac

    It is so cheap to make, don’t bother buying it. A few bucks for several cups of berries, some pro-biotics (optional) and some water! Plus you can experiment with other grains and alter the taste of the finished product. Since most of the diseases are the result of improper elimination of the food we eat, make this a new habit for the New year.

    Serve it  in a martini glass without saying anything and you will have a par-tay!
    You can spike it with a little fruit juice of your choice, a slice of lime for a little extra flavor.

    One more thing, do share this post with anyone you know that suffers from digestive trouble.  Pain and discomfort are optional if you can prevent them!

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