This is Tiana’s personal favourite. It’s a fair bit of prep work, but darn delicious. I usually set this meal up as a salad bar so everyone can customize their salads. Any leftovers I combine to eat for lunch the next day, reserving the dressing on the side or else the noodles will absorb it all. Amazing served with hot fresh crispy tofu!



4-6 GF ramen noodle cakes (I use Lotus millet and brown rice brand from Costco)

olive or grapeseed oil

sea salt and fresh ground pepper

1-2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch rounds (roasted)

3/4 cup grated or julienned carrots 

1 cup edamame 

1 sweet bell peppers, sliced or diced however you want it

1-3 Green onions, finely sliced on a diagonal for aesthetics 🙂

Fresh chopped cilantro, if desired



4 Tbsp. olive or grapeseed oil

2 Tbsp. sesame oil

3 Tbsp. soy sauce

4 Tbsp. fresh lime juice

2 small-medium cloves garlic, minced

1 Tbsp. freshly grated ginger (or to taste)

1-2 Tbsp. natural smooth peanut butter (optional, if you like peanut flavour)

2 tsp. sugar or maple syrup (or to taste)



Cook noodles according to instructions, just until al dente. Then rinse with cold water and put aside.

Meanwhile, roast the sweet potato. Preheat oven to 400°F. Put the sweet potato rounds in a bowl, drizzle with oil, season with salt and pepper. Place them on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes, then flip them and roast for 5 minutes more, until lightly browned.

To make the dressing, put all ingredients into a small jar with a lid and shake well. (If you have a mini food processor, use that). Adjust for saltiness, acid and sweetness as you wish. Note: garlic flavour will develop as the dressing sits! 

Heat and drain Edamame beans if you like them warm, or simply thaw and rinse them if you like them cold. Set aside.

Before serving, rinse and drain the noodles again. Put into a bowl and drizzle with some of the dressing and a bit more oil if needed so noodles don’t stick together. Let the family make their own creations with whichever veggies they prefer, or toss the noodles with all the fresh veggies. Top with green onions, cilantro and additional dressing.

Even Derek likes this. Crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, and amazing with the Asian noodle salad or just as a delicious protein aside roasted veggies.



Grape seed or preferred oil for pan-frying the tofu

1 brick firm or extra firm tofu, sliced into 1/2 – 3/4” cubes

1/3+ cup cornstarch (just guessing here: you need enough to coat all the tofu)

sea salt, to taste



Put cubes of tofu onto a sheet of paper towel and press with another paper towel on top to blot wetness.

Combine cornstarch and enough salt for some decent flavour. Place cubes of tofu in a large ziplock bag and sprinkle on a generous amount of salted cornstarch. Gently toss/shake the tofu so all the pieces get coated. Remove pieces and place in a colander, gently shaking to remove excess cornstarch. Place in a pre-heated pan with a generous amount of oil and pan fry on medium-low heat until pale gold and crispy. Turn over pieces and repeat. They will be very pale golden and crispy on the outside, soft on the inside. Repeat batches until you’ve crisped up all the tofu, adding more oil if necessary.

This is a vegan dip/dressing absolutely bursting with dill flavour. If you’re not a fan of dill, feel free to substitute with parsley or cilantro. I use it to jazz up lots of dishes: as a dip for veggies, crackers or vegan nuggets; alongside roasted veggies; on top of quinoa salad; or as a beautiful spread for sandwiches. 



1.5 cups raw cashews

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup water

1.5 Tbsp. lemon juice

1-2 small cloves garlic

1/2 tsp. salt (or to taste)

1/4 cup coarsely chopped dill

1 ripe avocado

1.5 Tbsp. capers



Place cashews in a bowl and add warm water to cover by 1 inch. Let soak for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Drain and rinse the cashews and transfer to a food processor or a high-powered blender. Add remaining ingredients and process until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired, and if needed, add more water (a tablespoon at a time) and process again until desired creaminess.


Here’s another tasty concoction made with the mighty chia seed. If you like that classic combo of chocolate and peanut butter, you’ll love this chia pudding, loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, fibre, iron and calcium.

This makes a great breakfast, healthy dessert, or snack.



6 Tbsp. chia seeds

1-1.5 Tbsp.+ cocoa powder*

a dash of sea salt, to taste

1/4 tsp. cinnamon, optional

2 cups dairy free milk**

maple syrup as sweetener, to taste

1-3 Tbsp. of all-natural creamy peanut butter (or your favourite nut butter)

slices of fresh banana, if desired



Combine chia seeds, cocoa powder, sea salt and cinnamon, if using. Whisk in your dairy free milk, maple syrup and peanut butter. Keep whisking until there are no more lumps and peanut butter is incorporated evenly. Taste and add more maple syrup, cocoa powder or a pinch more salt if desired. To prevent lumps, stir well after a couple of 10-15 minute increments as the seeds soak up the liquid. Then put in the fridge and let sit for at least 1.5 hours. Stir well again before serving, add a bit more liquid if needed, and eat as-is or top with slices of banana. Mmmm. Lasts for 3-4 days in the fridge.

* Start with 1 Tbsp. and add more if you want it more chocolatey 🙂

** I typically use organic soy milk for the added protein, but you can use almond, oat, or cashew milk.

I love vibrant coloured soups. I call this Big Red. With the winter weather continuing, this makes one pot of hearty, healthy, cozy deliciousness.

This soup is inspired by the “Creamy Red Lentil Soup” in The Electric Pressure Cooker Cookbook by Barbara Schieving. I’ve just played with seasonings, veggies and eliminated dairy. But if you happen to have some cashew cream to drizzle on top, that would bring it to the next level 🙂



2 Tbsp. neutral tasting oil (grapeseed, canola, olive)

1 onion, chopped

1 carrot, chopped

5 garlic cloves (don’t be scared: cooking garlic makes it lose its pungency!)

2 cans x 398ml fire roasted diced tomatoes (use regular if you don’t have fire-roasted)

6 cups veggie broth (or water if you don’t have enough broth)

1.5 cups red lentils, rinsed

1/2 – 1 tbsp. red wine vinegar, to taste

Spices (choose whichever combo you’re in the mood for):

1 tsp. ground cumin plus 1/4 tsp. dried thyme

OR 2 tsp. each dried basil and oregano (do more or less of each depending on your preferences)

salt and pepper, to taste

red chili pepper flakes, to taste, if you like a bit of a kick



Sauté onion in oil until fragrant and soft. Add garlic and sauté for another minute. Then add remainder of ingredients, EXCEPT for vinegar. Bring to a gentle boil, then turn down heat and simmer, covered, for 45 minutes or until lentils are tender. You could also do 10 minutes on high pressure in your pressure cooker.

Stir in the red wine vinegar, and using immersion blender, blend to desired consistency. If using regular blender, transfer two cups of soup to a large bowl and blend the rest. Then stir in the reserved soup. Do a final taste test and add more seasonings if desired.

Serve with a slice of your favourite bread or naan. I wouldn’t worry about making a salad: it’s already so nutritionally dense.

Makes excellent leftovers 🙂 If soup thickens too much, just add more water or broth to thin out.

This is inspired by the soup we had at our Fab 5 annual gift exchange. That’s my bestie group, with all sorts of dietary requirements (i.e. GF, dairy free, vegan), and this soup was a winner. I’ve tweaked the recipe so it’s not as sweet and allows for flexibility on which veggies to include, depending on what you have in the fridge. Don’t get overwhelmed by the ingredient list. Several ingredients are optional for added flavour and preferences. I’ll be making a big batch of this tonight. Yum!



coconut oil (or a neutral-flavoured cooking oil)

1.5-2 cups chopped hard veggies, whichever of these you have handy: carrots, yams, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, potatoes

1 medium/large onion, finely chopped

3-5 garlic cloves, minced

2+ tsp. fresh ginger, finely chopped or grated, to taste


4-6 cups of veggie broth or water. Use less liquid if you want a heartier soup, more liquid if you prefer more broth.

1 can coconut milk (400 ml)

2+ Tbsp. soy sauce, to taste (use GF if you need)

2-4 Tbsp, to taste, of your favourite red or yellow Thai curry paste (Thai Kitchen brand is vegan if that’s important to you, while Asian Home Gourmet is the mildest, but with rich flavour)

2-3 lime leaves (optional)

1 stalk lemongrass, washed and trimmed and cut into 2-3 pieces (optional)

Additional veggies*: chopped sweet peppers, bamboo shoots, mushrooms, cooked chickpeas, frozen peas

1/2 – 1+ Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice, or to taste


Firm or extra firm tofu (optional) cut into thin slices or small cubes, as you prefer


cilantro and sliced green onions to sprinkle on top (optional)

cooked rice noodles or rice (optional)



Sautee hard veggies, onion, garlic and ginger in coconut oil until fragrant and veggies begin to soften. Add veggie broth, coconut milk, soy sauce, curry paste, lime leaves, lemongrass, chickpeas if using, and lime juice.  Simmer gently, partly covered, for 10-15 minutes so the chickpeas absorb that lovely flavour. Taste and add more soy sauce, curry paste, salt or lime juice if necessary.

*Then add veggies in the most sensible order. Use whatever you like or have on hand, but pay attention to different cooking times: Red peppers only need a minute or two otherwise they become mushy and dull. Add green peas right before serving so they preserve their vibrant green colour. Mushrooms can be added early if you want more flavour, or right before serving if you prefer that fresher texture. Bamboo shoots do well at any stage of the soup.

Tofu can be gently stirred in anytime near the end so it doesn’t fall apart and crumble from too much stirring.

Once the veggies are all tender to your liking, ladle into bowls. Add cooked rice noodles or rice, and top with cilantro and green onions if using. Enjoy 🙂

Oh, and don’t eat the lime leaves or lemon grass. Just leave them in the pot to keep lending their beautiful flavour to any leftovers. Yum!

FAQ: Where the heck can I get lime leaves and lemongrass?  T&T market, Superstore and Save-on-Foods typically carry them, and they’re cheap. I use what I need, then freeze the rest in Ziplock-style bags for up to a year. Whenever a recipe calls for it, I just take out of the freezer, rinse and trim as necessary. Works perfectly!

This is a tasty curried soup to warm you on a chilly fall or winter day. It’s super adaptable too: Make the soup with more broth if you want a soup-like consistency, or less liquid to make it thicker like a curry. I use Indian curry in this recipe, but you can play with the recipe and use any spices you like. Serve over rice or on its own; great with a lovely slice of bread or naan, too.



coconut oil (or a neutral-flavoured cooking oil)

1/2-1 onion, finely chopped

2-3 garlic cloves, minced

2 tsp.+ fresh ginger, finely chopped or grated (optional)


Your choice of veggies chopped to a similar size: celery, carrots, sweet potatoes, cauliflower, potatoes all work well

1.5-2 cups yellow lentils/split peas (they’re the same thing), rinsed

water or veggie broth, enough to cover the split peas by at least an inch

1 tsp+ (or to taste) of your favourite curry powder (cumin, turmeric, coriander, a bit of cinnamon etc.)

salt, to taste

2/3 cup fresh or frozen corn (optional)

fresh cilantro garnish, optional



Sauté onion, garlic and ginger in oil until fragrant and soft. Add chopped fresh veggies and rinsed split peas, then broth or water. Add salt and curry or other seasonings, to taste. Bring to a gentle boil, then turn down heat and simmer, covered, for at least half an hour, or until split peas are tender.

Pay attention to your liquid as it’s simmering, and add more broth or water as desired. This is a good time to add more seasonings to suit you and your family’s tastes. Add corn when peas are almost soft.

Serve over rice or grain of your choice, or with your favourite bread or warm naan.

Makes excellent leftovers 🙂

If you like Thai curry, you’ll love this hearty vegan version. With chickpeas and tons of veggies, this is substantial enough to satisfy the meat-eaters in your life. Works beautifully as leftovers too!



coconut oil (or a neutral-flavoured cooking oil)

1 onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tsp.+ fresh ginger, finely chopped (or grated)


1 can full-fat coconut milk (“light” fat OK but not as delicious)

1/2 – 1 cup of veggie broth, depending on how much sauce you want

1 can chick peas, rinsed & drained (if don’t use all, freeze rest & use next batch 🙂

1 Tbsp (or to taste) of your favourite red, green, or yellow Thai curry paste (Thai Kitchen brand is vegan if that’s important to you)

2-3 lime leaves (optional but recommended)

1 stalk lemongrass, washed and trimmed and cut into 2-3 pieces (optional but recommended)

can of crushed or diced tomatoes

1 tsp sugar (or to taste)

soy sauce, to taste (use GF if prefer)

1 tsp rice vinegar or freshly squeezed lime juice


Veggies! Use whatever you like or have on hand, but slice them so they’re all similarly bite-sized: sweet peppers, eggplant, zucchini, cauliflower, carrots, potatoes, yam, butternut squash, mushrooms, spinach or kale all work well

Firm or extra firm tofu, cut into slices or cubes, as you prefer


1 Tbsp cornstarch mixed with 2 Tbsp cold water until smooth, no lumps

cilantro to sprinkle on top



Sautee onion, garlic and ginger in coconut oil until fragrant and soft. Add coconut milk, veggie broth, curry paste, lime leaves, lemongrass, tomatoes, sugar (if using), soy sauce and vinegar or lime juice. Stir and work out any lumps of curry paste. Simmer, partly covered, for 10-15 minutes so the chickpeas absorb that lovely flavour. 

Then add veggies in the most sensible order. For example, potatoes and squash need more time than peppers, so put vegetables that need the longest cooking time in first; peppers and zucchini barely need any time so they can be added near the end. Tofu can be gently stirred in anytime during the veggie stage, depending on how much flavour you want it to absorb. I add near the end so the tofu doesn’t fall apart and crumble from too much stirring. If adding spinach, stir into sauce just before serving, as it wilts perfectly and doesn’t need any cooking time.

Once the veggies are all tender to your liking, add the cornstarch mixture if you want a slightly thicker sauce. Start with stirring in just half the mixture, bring to a low boil, then simmer and stir. If you want it thicker, add more and repeat until desired consistency.

Serve with rice or grain of your choice, sprinkled with cilantro if desired. Enjoy 🙂

Oh, and you don’t eat the lime leaves or lemon grass. Just leave them in the pot to keep lending their beautiful flavour to any leftovers. Yum!

This is a cheap, no-brainer way to make your own vegetable stock using veggie scraps that would otherwise be destined for green waste or compost. 

All you have to do is save your vegetable scraps (like peels, stems and ends) from your food prep, put in a ziplock bag and toss in the freezer. Every time you food prep, add the scraps until the bag is full. You can also throw in slightly sad looking veggies that are still perfectly edible, just not crisp enough to eat fresh. And make sure your scraps are clean—we’re not making dirt soup 🙂



Basic veggies needed





Add any or all of these to make your broth tastier

Herbs like parsley, cilantro, thyme, rosemary




Ginger (not too much unless you’re aiming for that flavour)



Season with salt, peppercorns and bay leaves, to taste



When your bag is full, add to a large pot of water, supplement with more veggies as needed. Then season with salt, peppercorns, a bay leaf or two if you have them, and let simmer for 1 to 3 hours. Let cool, pour through a fine mesh strainer, and voila! Practically free, natural and home-made stock to use for all your veggie broth needs.

I keep a jar of the stock in the fridge for up to a week, and freeze the rest to use as needed.

Note: Avoid cruciferous veggies like cauliflower, broccoli, Brussel sprouts. Also use dill sparingly. I once ruined a batch of broth with too much dill.

This was the first vegan meal I ever ate that I loved. I didn’t even know the term “vegan” yet, but was blown away that a meal THIS delicious didn’t have meat or dairy in it. It’s amazing as is (from Taste Magazine, Fall/07 issue), but I have some variations at the end of the recipe if you want to add more protein or just more veggies that still preserve the soup’s beautiful colour.



2½ lbs (1.25 kg) or 1 medium-large butternut squash

½ head (about 6 cloves) whole garlic

vegetable oil

1 large onion, very coarsely chopped

2 tbsp (30 ml) ginger root, peeled, minced

1 stalk lemon grass, ends trimmed (optional but highly recommended)

1-3 lime leaves (optional but highly recommended)

3 cups (750 ml) vegetable stock or bouillon

2½ tbsp (22 ml)  soy sauce (GF if needed)

1 tbsp (15 ml) Thai red curry paste

2 tsp (10 ml) dark brown sugar (optional)

398 ml can coconut milk

lime wedges and cilantro



Preheat oven to 375 F (190 C). Half squash and scrape out seeds. Place cut side down in a small amount of water in a baking pan. Brush ½ unpeeled garlic head with oil and tuck alongside. Roast in the preheated oven for 45 minutes or until squash is tender when pierced with a sharp knife.

Meanwhile, heat a tablespoon of oil in a large deep saucepan. Add onion and ginger and sauté over medium-low heat until soft, about 7 minutes. Be careful not to brown or scorch. Stir often. Cut lemon grass into 3 inch pieces and add. Add lime leaves. Stir in stock, soy sauce, curry paste, and sugar. Remove from the heat and set aside.

When squash is tender, cut peel from squash and cut flesh into chunks. Add to stock. Pop roasted garlic from their skins and add. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes for flavours to blend. If using lemon grass and lime leaves, remove with a slotted spoon and discard. Purée remaining ingredients using a hand-held blender or purée in two batches in a blender or food processor until squash is smooth. Return to saucepan. Whisk in coconut milk and heat through.

Squeeze the juice of a wedge of lime over each serving and garnish with cilantro before serving. Don’t skip this step! It completes the recipe. But if you’re one of those people who hates cilantro then just do the lime.



If you’re pressed for time, you can skip roasting the garlic and butternut squash. Just add it to the broth with the spices, onion etc.  Also, peeling the squash is actually not necessary. Peeling does give soup a “silkier” texture though, if that’s what you’re going after.

You can also roast the squash and garlic ahead of time and keep in the fridge up to a few days. I do this if I’m roasting other veggies anyway but won’t have time to fully prepare the soup that day.

I usually add some cauliflower, yellow and/or red lentils (for protein), carrots, yams—basically anything that doesn’t compromise the lovely orange colour. It’s a great way to add more veggies and clean out my fridge 🙂

The “broth” should taste saltier than you normally want, because by the time you blend all the vegetables the saltiness disappears and just tastes wonderful.

You can eliminate or reduce the sugar (I use barely any if at all: For example, if I’m using carrots they lend a sweetness so don’t need any sugar).

I love Thai red curry, but Thai yellow curry or Indian curry also work really well; same with cumin, a bit of cinnamon or nutmeg, or whatever tickles your fancy. Probably skip the lemongrass and lime leaves if you’re not doing the Thai curry.

FYI lemongrass and lime leaves are readily available at T&T market and Superstore. I think I’ve seen at Save-on-foods too. They keep well in freezer for a year.

Soup freezes well, but if freezing, don’t add the coconut milk. After you thaw it, soup will look like mush but be patient. Heat it up, stirring well, and THEN add coconut milk. It’ll be almost as perfect as freshly made soup 🙂