Coconut bacon.

A second take on a sweet & smoky bacon alternative, this recipe calls for large flaked coconut. I stopped by Organic Planet on 877 Westminster in Winnipeg to pick up a trusted brand, Let's Do...Organic. The bag was under $5 and I used half of it, saving the other half, just in case I buggered this up. Well, I didn't, and that part rules, so I baked up the second batch and am pumped to share the recipe. It's easy to get carried away snacking on these.. when it rains, it pours, y'know.

Large flaked coconut - preferably "Let's Do...Organic"

3 tbsp pure maple syrup
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
2 tbsp LITE Kikkoman Soy Sauce
1 1/2 tbsp liquid smoke
2 tbsp sesame oil
Cracked black pepper
Rock salt, to taste

Preheat oven to 300F.

Combine marinade in a bowl, stir well, and add coconut. Let sit for about 10 minutes. 

Scoop coconut evenly onto a well greased cookie sheet, separating as best you can.

Bake for 5 minutes, flip with a spatula, bake for 5 more minutes. Flip one last time and bake for a 5 minutes longer if needed. Be careful, it burns pretty easily. Pick out the noticeably gnarly bits as you flip.

Transfer to a big plate and let cool for at least 5 minutes.

Use on pizza, BLTs, salads, quiche, tofu scramble, etc. This stores well in a bag, in the fridge for about one week. 

Smoky maple tofu.

It's okay to feel both good and bad about buying vegan bacon from Safeway, or spending $12.70 on a lunch plate from your city's only alternative cafe. Yves brand bacon is pretty spot on, but you'll notice it gets crunchy pretty fast, eh? (By the way, I'm Canadian, and it slips out sometimes) I wanted to make a chewier version from tofu, that's just as crispy, just as smoky, but a good couple bucks cheaper. This recipe still brings the crispiness, though you'll be oven-baking it on a silpat sheet or cookie sheet, throwing some marinade on it around the halfway-mark of cooking. It's okay if you get some crispier (read: burnt, black, failed) pieces, there's even some in my photo above. Just cut it off, or be a rugged sunna'bitch and power through it.

One block extra-firm tofu, sliced into 20 rectangles* (then cut into triangles if you like)
3 tbsp pure maple syrup
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
2 tbsp LITE Kikkoman Soy Sauce
1 1/2 tbsp liquid smoke
2 tbsp sesame oil
Cracked black pepper
Rock salt, to taste

*be sure your tofu is sliced as evenly as possible, the odd super thin edge will burn to a crisp pretty easily. Slice as thin as you can, I cut mine to be a little less than 1/4".

In a zip bag, or a shallow dish, marinate your tofu for at least 30 minutes. Scoop the marinade over the tofu to ensure it's evenly displaced. 

Preheat your oven to 425F

On a silpat sheet or cookie sheet, place your tofu down and spoon a bit of marinade over your tofu pieces. Bake for ten minutes then flip, spoon marinade overtop and bake for another 10-13 minutes. Let sit for about 10 minutes, they will then firm up. If you cut your tofu into smaller pieces, be mindful of the bake time.

I dig this in BLTs, on salads, with mashed or scalloped potatoes.. that kinda thing. Enjoy. x

Simple blueberry crisp.

This recipe is very, very simple. Sometimes it's a pain to get the right proportions for the "crisp" bit, so have at it. Try this out with different fruits, being mindful of bake times.

3lbs blueberries, fresh, washed
3-4 tbsp flour
Juice of one lemon

Ingredients II
1 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup vegan butter
1/4 tsp salt (if vegan butter is unsalted)
1/2 cup flour
spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, etc.

Preheat oven to 350F. 

Put all the blueberries in your 9x13 glass baking dish, top with lemon juice. Sprinkle your flour on top.

Prepare the "crisp" by combining all of Ingredients II together. Evenly cover the top of your crisp.

Bake for about 30 minutes. Let cool for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Top with vegan whipped cream/yogurt/ice cream or enjoy on it's own.

Cinnamon Zucchini muffins.

Banana bread is fine but I'm sick of it. Everyone makes banana bread. I'm sure everyone makes zucchini bread too, and once I've eaten too much zucchini bread, I'm going to make a different loaf and say the same ole same ole. I made this zucchini muffin and added cinnamon. Here's the recipe.

Yields: 2 8x4 loaves, 4 mini loaves, or 2 dozen cupcake-sized

Ingredients I
3 tbsp ground flax + 1/4 cup warm water (set aside for 5 minutes, then add the rest of the ingredients listed in Ingredients I)
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 tbsp white vinegar
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup natural apple sauce
...Mix together until sugar has dissolved pretty alright. Then add in,
2 cups grated zucchini -- peeling optional -- I found one 5-6 inch/"Medium" zucchini to give me 1 cup, grated

Ingredients II
2 cups white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3 tsp cinnamon
...Whisk together to ensure evenly incorporated

Optional: a total of one cup of raisins, nuts, dried fruit, chocolate chips, etc.

Preheat oven to 325F.
Add in one half of Ingredients II to Ingredients I. Stir evenly and ensure there's no massive flour lumps, then add in the second half, being mindful of an even consistency. 

If using any optional add-ins, stir them in now.

2 LOAVES: Line, "PAM", or grease-and-flour your loaf pans. Bake for 60-70 minutes.
4 MINI LOAVES: Line, "PAM", or grease-and-flour mini loaf pans. Bake for 40-45ish minutes.
24 Muffins (in a cupcake tin): So far, I've only used liners. They bake best in 25-28 minutes.

As always, use a toothpick to check for doneness.

I've made these a bunch of times but never shared the recipe, because I thought they were pretty standard. Though, sometimes one person's "standard" is another persons wet bakers dream. 

These aren't glossy or oily on top, or throughout, so don't worry about these getting a beard overnight. Store in a cool dry spot. Split and eat with a slab of vegan butter, preserves, nut butter, that kind of thing.

Peanut citrus dressing.

This is a really, really easy dressing (or a dip/sauce/marinade) that only takes a few shakes. If you're new to not buying the dogshit that Kraft puts out, this is a good starter recipe. Tangy, nutty, sweet, savory, and a bit spicy. Leave out the ginger if you don't want that kind of kick, alright?

Whisk together
- 3 tbsp lime juice
- 3 tbsp peanut butter
- 1 tbsp light soy sauce
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1/2 garlic clove, grated
- 1/2 tsp ginger, grated
- 1/2 tbsp sriracha
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar

I drizzled this over a slaw made of
- red cabbage
- beets
- cucumber
- carrots
- bean sprouts
- alfalfa sprouts
- daikon
- scallion
- avocado
- snap peas
- hemp hearts
- cashews