the two Ls

the two Ls

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Fresh Tomato Sauce

The temperature is starting to dip at night so I harvested all my tomatoes & basil yesterday. This is one of my favourite ways to use them. I also harvested my last two eggplants & made Loriann's roasted eggplant, pepper & garlic sauce. If you haven't made  it yet, it's delicious!


5 large ripe tomatoes, seeded & finely diced
1/2 cup basil leaves, finely chopped
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
salt & ground black pepper to taste
1-2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar (optional)


Place all ingredients, except vinegar, in a bowl & toss gently. Let it sit for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavours to blend. Serve it on pasta or spiralized veggies. My personal favourites are zucchini or beets. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar if desired.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Healing the Vegan Way- Mark Reinfeld

Last week I was fortunate to attend a lecture/ cooking class at the Great Sage vegan restaurant. Mark Reinfeld, accompanied by Kelly Parker and Madeline Davis (from Veg Works), presented how to make delicious meals based on recipe templates.
It was perfect. Since neither Leah not I ever stick to a recipe, it was a presentation that was tailored for the "creative chef" or the "chef with missing ingredients."

His first recipe was Raw Carrot Brazil Nut Soup.
6 cups soup
4 cups fresh carrot juice
1/2 cup Brazil nuts
1/2 cup peeled and pitted avocado
1 TB fresh lemon juice
1 TB fresh peeled minced ginger
2 tsp peeled and minced fresh tumeric
2 tsp seeded and diced jalapeno
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/8 pepper
pinch of chipotle powder
1 cup fresh or frozen (thawed) corn
1/2 seeded diced red bell pepper
2 tsp fresh dill

 1.Place the 2 cups of carrot juice in high speed blender. Add all of the remaining ingredients except corn and dill and pepper.
2. Add the remaining 2 cups of carrot juice and blend well. Transfer to a bowl. Add corn, pepper and dill. Mix well before serving. Serve chilled.
It was amazing. mark topped it with a tiny bit of  cashew cream.

Possible Substitutions:

1. the kind of juice
2. the avocado could be switched with sweet potato
3. alter the spice mix and or the nuts.
Just those few changes you have at least 15 plus different recipes!
Mark, Kelly and Madeline
I highly suggest that this is an excellent book to add to your library. More in another post!

Bonus: Here is a link  about Mark's cooking from the Washington Post. Check it out!
Easiest way to approximate ground beef in a taco- vegan 

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Persian Cucumber & Tomato Salad

I really meant to post this salad earlier in the summer. Tomatoes & parsley are still plentiful in my garden, here in Nova Scotia, & I've harvested my garlic so here goes! It's a really tasty salad, reminiscent of tabbouleh. You could add chickpeas to make it a meal & even stuff it in pita bread  to make a sandwich.

Serves 4

4 medium tomatoes, cored, seeded & chopped
1 English cucumber, chopped
1 large red onion, halved & thinly sliced
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
1/2 cup fresh, flat leaved parsley, finely chopped
 2 large cloves of garlic finely chopped
2-3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1&1/2 tablespoon fresh lime juice
salt & freshly ground pepper to taste

In a large bowl, place all the ingredients, tossing well to combine. Let stand for 15 minutes at room temperature to allow the flavours to blend. Toss again & serve.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

quick delicious ice cream

I ALWAYS want ice cream. Don't you? But even the wonderful vegan ice creams are full of sugar and extra stuff we don't want to eat. So here is one amazing little quickie ice cream- that actually tastes like ice cream!

1 frozen banana (I always keep these in the freezer)
1 seriously heaping TB of crunchy peanut butter

Whip in the Vitamix on frozen dessert or Cuisinart food processor on high.  Sometimes I find that I need to add some soy or almond milk. 

Stir in frozen vegan chocolate chips.

Monday, September 12, 2016

yummy tahini dressing for your cruciferous salad

Do you have the same problem I have? That is finding recipes to get your loved ones to enjoy eating raw cruciferous veggies.
Well, yesterday I stopped by Costco. When in the produce aisle, full of humungo bags, I saw one that peaked my interest- Sweet Kale Chopped Salad. The bag is a shredded combination of broccoli stalks, kale, brussel sprouts, green cabbage, and radicchio. In addition I later found that there is an enclosed  bag with cranberries and sunflower seeds(a keeper), as well as their poppyseed dressing  that has egg, which I immediately discarded.

I thought....hmmm, that's an easy way to whip up a salad full of goodness. I bought it.

I am always looking for a way to get my hubby to eat more raw cruciferous veggies but I need to mask them slightly.....thus I need to make my own (healthy) dressing. Here's what I came up with:

1 large lemon- juiced
3TB or more tahini
1/2 tsp garlic powder
agave or sweetener of your choice to taste.
Whisk it all together, add water till desired consistency.

If you don't have the magic bag of veggies just shred a big bowl full of:
broccoli stalks
Brussels sprouts
green cabbage
or any beautiful greens in your fridge.

I added the  sunflower seeds and cranberries for crunch.

He ate it, loved it and asked for more. :-)

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Caramelized Onion-Brown Rice-Lentil Patties

This recipe is from The Heart of the Plate by Mollie Katzen. They only thing I changed was the name & to reduce the amount of oil. Molly calls them burgers but they aren't big enough to go on a bun & besides they're so tasty that all they require is a little chutney & a lot of veggies on the side. Don't mask their deliciousness with bread! My favourite is rhubarb chutney; what's yours?

Makes 14 patties. Serving size - 2 patties

1 cup brown rice
1 cup brown lentils
3 cups water
2-3 Tbs olive oil
4 cups finely minced onions (2 large)
1 tsp salt
2 tsp soy sauce
1 Tbs balsamic vinegar
black pepper

Combine rice, lentils & water in a saucepan & bring to a boil. Cover & simmer over low heat until all the water is absorbed. About 40 minutes.
Place a large skillet over medium-high heat for 1 minute, then add 2 Tbs of oil & swirl to coat the pan. Toss in the onions & cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes or until the onions become soft. Add 1/2 tsp of salt, reduce heat & continue cooking for another 20 - 30 minutes.
Add rice-lentil mixture to onions & cook and mash together over very low heat. Gradually add more salt, soy sauce, vinegar & black pepper.
Place a second skillet over medium heat for 1 minute, add a scant 1/2 Tbs of oil & swirl to coat the pan. Heat for another minute or so. Form patties by placing 1/3 of a cup of mixture in pan for each pattie, smoothing the top & pushing in the sides as needed. Reduce heat to medium-low & cook patties for about 3-4 minutes on each side until golden & crispy. Continue to cook in batches, adding more oil as needed. Serve hot or warm.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

roasted eggplant, pepper and garlic sauce

This is a yummy versatile sauce. I saw a version of this recipe in the New York Times Sunday edition and thought...hmmm let's work with this.  My take on the recipe is vegan and with more traditional Italian spice.

Roasted Eggplant, Pepper and Garlic sauce 

This recipe makes two large jars of sauce. I use one for the pasta and save the other for pizza.


  • 3 pounds eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes
  •  2 red peppers, halved, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 whole garlic head (cut a small piece of the top off to expose garlic)
  •  1-2 TB extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 TB (or more to taste) herb de Provence
  • 1 tsp salt 
  • 2 pounds very ripe tomatoes, cut into small pieces
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • 1 TB basil
  • 1TB oregano
  • Fresh mint or basil leaves, for serving
  • 12 ounces pasta rigatoni or farfalle 


Japanese eggplants were on special..either works
  1. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Spread out eggplant cubes and peppers on a rimmed baking sheet. Toss with 2 tablespoons oil and season well with herb de provence and little salt. On the side place the head of garlic.
  2. Roast, turning everything, until eggplant and peppers are very soft and deeply golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes.
  3. Chop tomatoes into small chunks, place in large sauce pan
  4. Add the roasted garlic, a little water, can of tomato paste, basil, oregano, and 1 tablespoon olive oil to the pan with the tomatoes. Bring to a simmer. Simmer until till rich and sauce like. then season to taste with a little salt if you like.
  5. Add all roasted veggies. Simmer.
  6. Meanwhile, cook pasta in well-salted boiling water until about 1 minute shy of al dente. Drain.
  7. Mix pasta and sauce.
  8. Serve pasta topped with fresh basil.

****When I told my brother that I had posted this recipe he reminded me to post "the Secret." Fennel seeds. My brother Pete is a chef in an Italian restaurant. He specializes in appetizers. The sauce is always the key to any Italian dish and this is no exception. Today's version has a heaping teaspoon or two of fennel seeds. Maybe next time I will use whole fresh fennel bulb!
Two mason jars are just waiting in my fridge. A night in the fridge will make the sauce even tastier.