Being Jewish, Chinese food is pretty much a staple in my diet. In recent years, however, I started to find myself sensitive to the additives that many Asian restaurants use in their vegetable dishes. I knew that this meant it was time to get back into the kitchen and cook up new vegan versions of my old meaty favourites. Last week, I shared some delicious honey-garlic eggplant. Today, I introduce to you this tangy sweet & spicy cauliflower. The two dishes would be lovely served together, over some nice sticky calrose rice. A deliciously healthy spin on take-out, that's baked instead of fried. Win-win. 

Vegan Szechuan-Style Sticky Cauliflower
recipe adapted from Chocolate Covered Katie

  • 1 large head cauliflower, chopped into florets
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch 
  • 1 tbsp grapeseed or vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup tamari or low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup or honey
  • 1 tbsp molasses
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 tbsp sriracha sauce
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions (for garnish)

Preheat oven to 425°F.
Line large baking tray with parchment paper
Combine water and cornstarch in large bowl. Whisk until homogenous.
Add the remaining sauce ingredients and whisk until it comes together.
Toss cauliflower into sauce mixture making sure it is well coated. 
Place evenly on baking tray, pouring remaining sauce on top. 
Bake for 45-50 minutes, until sauce has darkened and slightly reduced.
Garnish with toasted sesame seeds and chopped green onions. 

After a wet summer followed by a bizarrely hot September, the Fall season is finally here in all it's cozy-knits-and-pumpkin-spiced glory. Colourful leaves adorn the trees as the crispy fallen ones crunch underneath our feet. Autumnal produce is abundant at the markets, with overflowing baskets of pumpkins, a variety of squash (both edible and decorative) and the most lovely cornucopia of root vegetables.

Acorn squash has always been one of my favourite gourds. It's nice and sweet, and it comes in the perfect size to use as a vessel for stuffing. Though I am a fan of many grains, it's the super-seed quinoa that is often the star in my stuffed veggies. (Like THESE mind-blowingly delicious stuffed sweet potatoes or THESE ridiculously tasty mushrooms.) Quinoa is a wonderful little superfood that is quick-cooking, easy to season, and full of vegan protein and fibre. Add some baby kale and you've got two superfoods stuffed inside of another - making this a dish that tastes as good as it makes you feel.

This vegan meal is nice and filling without being heavy, and it's spiced just right to make the house smell like an autumnal wonderland. As always, I'll keep the blah-blah short and get straight to the good stuff - here is my super easy superfood recipe!

Superfood Stuffed Squash
with roasted garlic quinoa, baby kale, & spinach

Serves: 2
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour


1 large acorn squash
2 tbsp honey or maple syrup
1/4 tsp liquid smoke
1 small onion, thinly sliced
8 cloves garlic, peeled
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup quinoa
1/2 cup baby kale
1/2 cup baby spinach


Combine baby kale and spinach and set aside.

Line large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Cut acorn squash in half, lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds.
Drizzle evenly with honey and liquid smoke.
Fill the cavity of the squash with chopped onion and whole garlic cloves.
Drizzle with oil.
Turn filled squash upside down onto baking sheet.
Bake at 400F for 1 hour.

While squash is baking, prepare quinoa on stovetop by combining 2 cups water with 1 cup quinoa. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes or until water is absorbed and quinoa is fluffy. Set aside.

Once squash is done cooking, carefully invert. Place empty squash halves onto serving plates.
Combine roasted onion mixture with quinoa & half of greens mixture.
Divide mixture evenly and place it back into the squash cavity.

Serve garnished with remaining greens, with freshly ground pepper, to taste.

This is THE blog that will show you how to make the BEST vegan honey garlic sauce. You know what, make that the BEST honey garlic sauce, ever. Point finale. (Bonus points for being vegan!)
When you're craving Chinese style food, without the added MSG or questionable ingredients that many restaurants or prepared meals contain, THIS should become your go-to sauce recipe. I used to rely on the trusty honey-garlic in a bottle, until I realized that I could make my own - tastier, healthier, and at a fraction of the price of the stuff in a jar. The secret ingredient? Molasses. It gives the sauce that low-and-slow-cooked taste, without the lengthy process of actually slow cooking. Mix it with a bit of tamari, a lot of garlic, and a squirt of hot sauce (or a pinch of chili powder) and BAM! The most delicious Asian style sauce this side of the equator.

I made an eggplant and mushroom sauté, which, sauce aside, is also amazingly delicious, with a beautiful texture to satisfy my husband's meat-tooth. Alright, I've heard it before - GET TO THE RECIPE ALREADY! Without further adieu - here it is. Note that this would be perfect on nearly any kind of vegetable, as it's quite versatile. Can't wait to try it on carrots next!

Honey Garlic Eggplant
with Tofu and Mushrooms
naturally vegan and gluten free
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

Quick Vegan Honey Garlic Sauce
1/3 cup molasses
1/3 cup maple syrup (or honey, if not vegan)
1/4 cup soy sauce or tamari
1 tbsp Sriracha (more, or less, to desired spice level!)
8 garlic cloves, shredded with a Microplane (or cheese grater)
1/2 cup warm water

Whisk all ingredients together until homogenous. Set aside.
Note: Can be made ahead and refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Eggplant and Mushroom Stir-Fry
2 tbsp grapeseed oil (or other cooking oil)
3 small eggplants, sliced into rounds
2 cups chopped mushrooms (I used a variety - Oyster, Shitake & Cremini to acheive different textures, but regular ol' white mushrooms will do!)
1/2 block firm silken tofu
1/2 to 3/4 cup Quick Vegan Honey Garlic Sauce

Heat oil in wide-bottomed saucepan. Reduce heat to medium. Place eggplant rounds in pan and allow to brown, flipping after a few minutes. (You may have to do this in batches, with a little more oil, depending on how large your eggplants are!) Once eggplant is soft, remove from pan and set aside. Sautée mushrooms until softened. Return eggplant to pan. Add tofu and sauce, stirring gently until everything is coated. Heat for another five minutes.

Serve over your favourite rice, garnished with flat-leaf parsley.