Cupcakes Always Win


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Vegan Chai + A Great Chai Wallah

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While travelling around India I met a numerous amount of incredibly inspiring people at chai stands. It was one place I could always expect a great discussion, story, or new friend(s). Each stand varies with which spices are used and where milk is sourced from, but just like any other delicious addictive beverage everyone has individual preferences. My most memorable chai wallah (tea seller/server) was found near my hostel, who’s art is pictured within this post. He was kind enough to allow me to take photos while he made tea, and now I can share them with you!

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His set up was nothing elaborate, but the end result was an explosion of flavour! The steps I followed to make my recipe were from watching him make tea multiple times. I don’t know the exact spices he used, but I have an idea. It’s good to keep some things a secret now and again. Especially if you want returning customers!

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Now chai isn’t a daily ritual which is probably a good thing! But with all this snow and cold weather my winter weekends usually start with a glass of chai. Be sure to check out Liz’s post on Lemongrass Ginger Chai, we met up in Mumbai and shared a couple glasses of chai, which was great!

My recipe is not a strict one, go with the flow, you might have to test run you spice mixture a couple of times but then you’ll have a secret of your own!

Thanks for stopping by, and hope to see you again soon!
oxxoxo

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Vegan Lamingtons

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During my most recent time abroad I created journal entries and lists of food memories I experienced in all of the countries we visited. As expected, every country had unique flavours, and dishes. Being invited into homes of the locals for dinner, and dessert was a surreal culture and culinary adventure!

The story of Lamingtons for me began in New Zealand where we stopped at a grocery store to get materials for packing a lunch to eat on an island we planned to do hiking on. At the store there were colossal lamingtons. Lamingtons covered in chocolate or raspberry coating. Since we knew we’d be hiking we figured we needed the extra calories.

I decided at this moment in my life I needed to make these petit four-esque treats vegan friendly.

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You can replace the coconut milk with cold water. I usually do that in order to save money, the cake turns out just as delicious!

I hope you try this recipe and enjoy it as much as I did!
Anna xoxox

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Vietnamese Baguette (Bรกnh my)

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When travelling in Vietnam it’s not uncommon to see baskets upon baskets of Vietnamese style baguettes. Bikes loaded up with the crispy loaves wheeling their way around each city block. It’s extremely difficult to resist purchasing one of these delicious snacks. It was also easy to find sandwich stalls on street corners which would usually serve a pork on bread style sandwich with loads of toppings. It was possible to get vegetarian options as well but that depended largely communicating correctly with the vendor. Thankfully I had a non-vegetarian friend who would gratefully accept extra pork on his sandwich.

Now that I am back in Canada, I was given a Vietnamese cookbook for Christmas Real Vietnamese Cooking by: Tracey Lister and Andreas Pohl, and I have been studying it as though every time I enter the kitchen there will be an exam as to whether or not the food is exactly how I remember it. The first recipe I attempted is the Vietnamese baguette, which was not an original food to be found in Vietnam. It was introduced by the French during the colonial period. The main difference between the French and Vietnamese baguette is the addition of rice flour in the Vietnamese version.

I made this recipe several times to test it out and get it just the way I wanted. I settled on making three baguettes vs. six which is what the recipe suggests. This way I have larger baguettes and can make beautiful sandwiches to share. The baguettes do require a little longer baking time though, but it’s totally worth it!
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I’ve also included a few snaps from our adventures in Vietnam. We spent a month there and had an amazing time hiking, walking, biking, meeting new people, and of course eating! Every city/village/town has a dish specialty, and it was always exciting to see what that dish would be upon arrival.
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In Vietnam we didn’t always arrive at our destination with an arrangement for a place to stay. This was usually ok, but there were a few times when we were walking in small towns and really didn’t know where we were and couldn’t find any sort of lodging options. The locals were always so helpful in showing us the way to a safe place to stay! We were even invited for dinner one night with the friendliest family, it was such an amazing evening. It’s super inspiring that strangers are so accommodating, I hope to help other strangers whenever I can, and maybe even feed them a few cookies and tea!
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Back to the bread! An opportune moment for butter is fresh bread from the oven. Now you can devour this loaf instantly with the butter melting on a warm(HOT) slice. Or you can wait a few minutes until is cools enough to make a sandwich! I made vegetarian sandwiches like I would have ordered in Vietnam with scrambled egg, veggies, cilantro, and a spicy chili sauce.
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Hope you enjoy this recipe, and thanks for stopping by! See you again soon,
Anna
xoxoxo
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Vegan Ice Cream – No Ice Cream Maker Needed!

VeganBananaCoconutIceCream-11 Coconut milk is my best friend when it comes to making vegan recipes. It is high in fat and provides a richness and flavour that is perfect when not using butter, whipping cream, yogurt, or milk. It’s especially important in this ice cream recipe, a delicious treat to enjoy after a long day of outdoor adventures.

Speaking of adventures, it’s time I share that I am adventuring around the world again for several months! I brought my running shoes, journal, and laptop to keep friends, family, and avid recipe makers posted on my travels. This time around the world I will be with my adventure partner Alex. He’s awesome and plays a yukelele, which is what every adventurer needs!!!

Today this post has some photos from hiking in and around the Capilano River Park in Vancouver. It was very easy hiking, but convenient to get to by bus. The weather was stunning, and I can’t wait to do some more hiking in the Vancouver area. VeganBananaCoconutIceCream-13 VeganBananaCoconutIceCream-20 VeganBananaCoconutIceCream-16 VeganBananaCoconutIceCream-22

While walking through the forest I couldn’t help but feel as though I was in a rainforest, with ferns everywhere you look it reminded me of hiking in Tanah Rata, Malaysia. Stunning to know that you can find that same beauty in Canada!
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Back to the kitchen adventure! You might find it odd to see vodka in the list of ingredients but don’t fret! Since vodka doesn’t freeze it helps the ice cream from not crystallizing when not using an ice-cream maker, and it also makes it easier to scoop when serving.
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When making this ice cream get creative! Feel free to add any sort of nut, chocolate or candy that you can’t live without. You don’t have to use a banana either, I just used it for added sweetness. Share your favourite ice cream recipes below! Do you use an ice cream maker? Or churn it by hand?

Hope you enjoy this recipe, and stay tuned for more recipes, and world adventures! Our next stop is Japan!

Anna xoxoxoxox

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Vegan Chocolate Stout Milkshake

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Vegan and milkshake didn’t always belong in a sentence together until this exact minute, where there is a photo of a milk-less shake in front of you and it can be yours in moments… well at least moments after making it yourself.

I love trying new beers, and I absolutely love when craft Ontario breweries create unique flavours and seasonals. When making vegan desserts coffee, and stout are the perfect way to add a unique flavour profile to make them taste extraordinary.

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Taking photos of food should usually be quite easy since the subject matter doesn’t move. But because I move, and move everything around to get the perfect photo there are always spills. In this instance, as I was taking a photo of the stout, I happened to spill it, everywhere! Before hitting re-start and cleaning up I took this as an opportunity for a photo, and a story to share.

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Don’t be scared off by the tofu, silken tofu has barely any flavour and absorbs the chocolate and stout flavour extraordinarily well.

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Cheers to stopping by, I hope you enjoyed another recipe from my kitchen, what sort of things do you like to make with stout?

Anna

xoxoxo

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Vegan Shortbread

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Yes, 100% totally vegan shortbread is happening! I am currently eating the last few pieces as I type this. Shortbread is delicious without butter, it might even be better without butter. It might be difficult to compute that last sentence but I swear it’s true.

How to replace the butter? Grind cashews to form a butter and combine with coconut oil! Easy!

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As you are aware, this edge of the internet is filled with mostly sweet things, that are usually vegan, and a place I share glances into my kitchen. Each glance is so different! Sometimes I am inspired by a close friend or family member, while other times it takes flipping through a beautiful recipe book. This post was inspired by my mom, a shortbread connoisseur. I wanted to make her the best shortbread and provide her with the recipe to make her own. Initially it wasn’t vegan but I took the challenge and the results were delicious.

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I didn’t pierce or dock the shortbread. I tried in one of my earlier attempts and it didn’t look as pretty. Before baking this shortbread it’s more delicate and a crumbly mess was created when I did dock it.

To switch it up, you could dip in vegan friendly chocolate or add a little lemon zest. I love a simple shortbread because it is easy and if you want to add a flavour or to you can totally twist it up in a snap!

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Hope you enjoyed this recipe! Thanks for poppin’ by and look forward to sharing more kitchen snippets.
Much love,
Anna xoxox

P.S> If you really love butter you can replace the coconut oil and cashew butter with 1 cup butter. But seriously, it’s worth trying it vegan at least once!

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Citrus Salad with Spiced Honey

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These last few weeks have been that time in winter when I want to enjoy the romance of the snow falling, but am struggling to do so. The holidays are over, but winter has stayed. Christmas and New Years make the snow and frigid cold totally acceptable, but what now? It is still cold, and snowing! I try day after day to romanticize about those snowflakes drifting through the air but recently those snowflake dances in my head have been halted by being chilled… all the time.

This salad is a plate of fresh reality. I have to embrace the cold, eat superfoods, and bundle up.
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I also just started experimenting with backlight in my photos and absolutely love it, I love taking photos, and I am always hoping for a perfectly lit day so I can take photos of whatever I am making in my kitchen. The day I took these photos I totally lucked out with lighting, and love how the citrus salad looks! I had trouble resisting the urge to forgo photos and eat the food.
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I hope that you are fighting this cold weather with delicious health food! The only way to get through the winter is by eating.

Thanks for stopping by, catch you later,
Anna xoxox
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