samedi 3 mai 2014

Eating foods according to the season

May is here!! Woohoo!! That means I can go back to eating tomatoes!

My pretty little basket of May produce from my favorite organic food store
And then you might ask me - wait, why weren't you eating tomatoes?

Answer: Depending on where you are, you may notice that the vegetables in your market change from season to season. I say "may" because if you're living in the Southern Hemisphere, or close to the Equator, chances are there is no change. But here in the Northern Hemisphere, the produce you will find at the market changes radically from one season to another-from one month to another, even. Tomatoes aren't available in winter because tomato plants don't produce tomatoes during winter in France. Hence the lack of tomatoes.


But what you can find are tomatoes that come from Italy, Spain, warmer countries, or even French greenhouse-produced tomatoes available in supermarkets during winter. But it's not as tasty, and the carbon-footprint on these babies are HUGE in winter. Instead of buying produce like leeks, beets, and potatoes that come from only 50 km away, when you choose to buy tomatoes in winter, you're paying for produce that came from thousands of kilometers away, meaning more gasoline and CO2 went into the delivery of winter tomatoes.

So if you're even a little eco-friendly, you abstain from buying tomatoes in winter.

And if you're a lot eco-friendly, you try to buy produce that corresponds to each season and cook accordingly. Here in Veggie Friends, I try to apply to this principle, by posting recipes using fruits and vegetables that are in season.

Here are some examples of what you can find in May in the Northern Hemisphere:

  • Strawberries
  • Tomatoes
  • Bell peppers
  • Zucchini
  • Cucumbers
  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Rhubarb
  • Lemons
  • Oranges

Ideal dishes would be Ratatouille, Strawberry Pie, Cucumber salad, etc.

So have fun, unleash your creativity with fruits and vegetables that are in season, and don't forget to look at where the product came from to keep your carbon footprint down!

mardi 22 avril 2014

Real American Apple Pie

Mmm, made from scratch apple pie. You're not an American if you haven't baked or eaten apple pie at least once in your life. And if you haven't ever thrown a pie/shoved someone's face in it/accidentally dropped a pie on a sidewalk on the way to a neighbor's pool party, you haven't had a childhood, either.

So back to the real, good, made-from-scratch apple pie. You're going to need pie crust (recipe here) along with a couple other ingredients, namely, eight apples.

They can be apples of any color/variety. I've done Granny Smith before and this one uses Golden apples, which were the only ones available in French springtime. This is a great recipe to use for Thanksgiving, but why not make it for Easter as well?


8 apples
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup vegan butter
1/4 cup water
3 tablespoons flour
Pie crust

#1. Do the pie crust. It takes a while. When you're done, separate the dough in two (a slightly bigger dough for the crust, and a smaller one for the lattice work on top).

#2. Peel, core, and slice the apples thinly.

#3. Melt the butter in a saucepan, and add the flour. Stir until combined, and add the water.

#4. Add the sugar a little bit at a time, and bring to a boil. Then, reduce the heat and let simmer. The sauce needs to be slightly liquid.

#5. Arrange the sliced apples inside the pie crust in neat circles, packing the slices together.

#6. Preheat the oven, then cover the pie with a lattice work. If you don't know how to do it, watch the friendly video below.

#7. Pour the sauce on top for a crunchy sugary touch.

#8. Bake for 40 minutes at 180°C. Enjoy!

jeudi 10 avril 2014

Vegan pot pie

Now, what does one do when there are fresh zucchini, asperagus, and carrots in the refrigerator?

Vegan pot pie, of course!

I came upon this recipe by chance and adapted it to whatever I had in my refrigerator. I used these vegetables right here :)

Ingredients for the filling:

One large zucchini
A carrot
A can of corn
Half of a leek
Chickpeas (quantity is up to you)
Three asparagii
1 onion
2 cups vegetable broth
Bay leaf
1/4 cup flour
1/4 non-dairy milk
1 tsp. Paprika
1 tsp. Thym
2 tablespoon vegan butter

And you'll also need pie crust. Check out the recipe for pie crust here.

1. Make the vegetable broth and let the bay leaf simmer in it for about 5 minutes.
1. In a seperate pot, sauté the onion in the butter for 10 minutes, until soft.
2. Add paprika, thym, and flour. Stir until combined, and cook for 5 minutes.
3. Add milk.
4. Add the vegetable broth and take the bay leaf out. Add remaining ingredients, except for the asparagi (I added them on top of the pie,  at the end).
5. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat, and cook for 10 minutes. It should look bubbly and sort of creamy. Pre heat your oven for 15 minutes at 180°C.
6. Place inside pie crust and decorate with asparagi.

Almost done. . .now it just needs to bake!

7. Cover the pie crust and make a few holes in the top with a knife. Bake for 20 minutes.

A slice of vegan pot pie when it's finished:

Pie crust

So, you're wondering how to make amazing flaky pie crusts, hmm??

A word of wisdom: Never buy pie crusts in the supermarket. Always make them from scratch. It makes the entire difference.

All you need is:

  • 2 cups flour
  •  4 tablespoons vegan margarine
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Enough water to combine everything.
You probably have the ingredients at home already. All you have to do then is : 

1. Combine flour, salt, and baking powder together in a bowl.
2. Mix in butter and make crumbly dough.
3. Mix in enough water so that the dough does not fall apart in your hands.
5. Refrigerate for at least half an hour before use.

All done! Enjoy! 

dimanche 2 mars 2014

Meat-less Monday - oriental lunch!

In preparation for Meat-less Monday, I've been cooking up oriental vegan dishes. This is what my lunch looks like: couscous, spiced leek & turnip, lentils, and dolmas on the side (my favorite). Recipes coming soon!

lundi 17 février 2014

Veggie Friends now has a Facebook page!

That's right, you can 'like' Veggie Friends on Facebook, and receive updates about articles and other useful tips!

Here's the link .

Happy Meat-less Monday everyone :)

Vegan potato salad

Potato salad. . .a delicious side dish, easy to make, and like my favorite dishes, you can put virtually anything into it.

So why are my potato salads different? Because of one, essential ingredient, that I believe every good potato salad should have.

An apple!!

Yes, that's right - an apple gives the right crunch and sweet touch to potato salad. To be fair, this isn't even my idea. It was passed down to me by my Mom, who learned it with my best friend's Mom (who is czech, by the way, and has the most awesome recipes). Since I was five, all of my potato salads have had an apple in them.

So, go ahead, get creative! Here are some ideas of what to put in your potato salad:

  • Homemade mayonnaise (that's a tricky one, and something I've never done. But in honour to my mom and my best friend who both know how to make it, I'll leave it written down).
  • Corn
  • Peas
  • 4 boiled large potatoes
  • A chopped apple
  • Chopped celery (more crunch)
  • Chopped spinach
  • Chopped raw or cooked carrots
Mix it all up, chill, and enjoy!