Friendly Dinner

Yesterday night one of our friends came over for dinner. As it was really hot, I didn’t want to prepare anything that needed lots of cooking. After going through our fridge, this is what we made, and it was delicious! I love the kind of meals where you can pick from and variety of dishes, mixing and matching flavours and textures. They are also perfect for when it’s super hot outside because you can make different types of salads. Everyone was happy and well nourished!

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Last night, we made some forest mushrooms, a tomato salad, a lazy guacamole, a simple coleslaw and a yummy hummus. We served everything with some freshly made bagels and olives. It was great!

forest-mushrooms

Forest Mushrooms

This is the only cooked dish of the lot. Some mixed mushrooms sautéed with some pumpkin seeds and rosemary: it reminded me of fall and a walk in the forest. This would be perfect with mashed potatoes or in a sandwich. It was great with the hummus.

Here is what you need:

  • 1 tsp oil
  • 4 cups mushrooms, use the variety you like or a combination of different types
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste

Here is what you do:

  1. In a large sauce pan set on medium-high heat, warm up the oil.
  2. Add the pumpkin seeds and stir until they have a nice golden color.
  3. Add the mushrooms and stir until most of the water is evaporated.
  4. Add the herbs and season to your liking.
  5. Mix well and cook until all the water is gone.

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Tomato Salad

This was fresh and so summery. The walnuts added a bit of crunch to the soft tomatoes, while the sesame seeds added a subtle flavour.

Here is what you need:

  • 5 ripe tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds: you can toast them if you want a more intense flavour
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 tbs soy or tamari sauce
  • 1 tbs maple syrup
  • pepper to taste

Here is what you do:

  1. Dice the tomatoes and place them in a a large salad bowl with the walnuts and sesame seeds.
  2. Mix together the lemon juice, tamari, maple syrup and pepper. Pour the sauce on the tomatoes and give a nice stir.

cabbage-salad

Simple Coleslaw

This is my current favourite salad. I love red cabbage, but it’s even better once is has been tenderized in some lemon juice. Add some grated jicama, and you have the freshest salad in town!

Here is what you need:

  • 2 cups shredded cabbage
  • 2 cups grated jicama
  • juice on 1 lemon
  • 2 tbs sesame seed oil
  • 1 tbs soy or tamari sauce
  • pepper to taste

Here is what you do:

  1. Mix all the ingredient together and let sit for 30 minutes before eating.

 

I hope these recipes will inspire you for your next dinner with friends. We had a lot of fun mixing and matching everything! It was fresh, simple to prepare and amazing to eat! Let me know if you try any of these out! Oh, and, if you love movies and read French, check out our friend’s blog, Hallu-ciné! It’s amazing!

 

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Lazy Guacamole

Avocados. Nothing else needs to be said! This is how I prepare guacamole on nights when I cannot be bothered to take out my chopping board. Tasty, quick, done, move along!

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Here is what you need:

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • the juice of 1/2 citrus of your choice (I usually go for lemon or lime, but I only had blood orange on hand. It worked really well!)
  • 1 tsp pesto (I used my kale-parsley pesto. This stuff can really go in everything!)
  • sesame seeds
  • crushed nori flakes (I put a few nori sheets in my food processor and make a powder that I keep in my pantry, but you can also cut a nori sheet with scissors)
  • 1 cup of halved cherry tomatoes
  • pinch of hot pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste

Here is what you do:

  1. With a fork, mash the avocado flesh with the citrus juice, pesto, sesame seeds, nori flakes, hot pepper flakes, salt and pepper.
  2. Serve with the cherry tomatoes and some crackers. Here I used beetroot crackers.

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This takes seconds to prepare, while still being fresh and delicious. Look at all the colors and textures! Yum! It’s also fun to serve the cherry tomatoes on top because you can scoop some guacamole and a tomato for each bite. Let me know if you try it out!

 

Perfect Brunch, an “Aux Vivres” review

Aux Vivres is kind of a no-brainer for Montreal based vegans. It holds a special place in my heart as I remember going in there a few months after they had opened and being amazed by their Dragon Bowl. Then, I remember my fun lunches with friends. I also remember multiple birthday celebrations, meetings and fun dates with my boyfriend.

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Romantic roses for Valentine’s Day!

This restaurant has changed so much since its opening. The first time I went to Aux Vivres, it was a little more that a hole in the wall. Now, they have three big sections, a terrace in the back and a separate store. You can also find their products all around the city (and even outside of the city) in different stores and cafes. Quite the success story!

So, on this very cold day (-35C… winter is definitively here!), we stepped out with my amazing (and sadly just visiting) sister-in-law for a nice vegan brunch.

Brunch at this restaurant is quite the event for me: special dishes, chai tea, but still access to all their regular meals. Amazing!

My sister-in-law went for the Huevos Rancheros plate which looked amazingly good with the great sweet potato wedges and black bean puree. She particularly liked the guacamole, but the silence coming from her corner is proof that this was particularly scrumptious.

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The amazing Huevos Rancheros plate

I also went for a brunch plate: The Polenta. I love this plate, and I have to admit that I always take this when we come for brunch. The polenta triangles have a great crunchy texture on the outside but are still creamy in the inside. I also am completely in love with their black bean puree and guacamole. I really enjoy this plate: the flavour combinations and freshness of the tastes are just amazing!

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The Polenta plate

The brunch plates also come with the choice of coffee or chai latte which is really spicy and comforting. Perfect for this cold day!

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Chai Latte

Finally, if you’re not really in for brunch, you must try their Dragon Bowl. This is the go-to option for my boyfriend. He really loves the sauce which has a great salty and slightly sour flavour. Filled with fresh veggies, sprouts, rice and topped with tempeh or tofu, it is very filling and also very satisfying.

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Dragon Bowl

If you are still hungry after this, I recommend trying the uncheesecake. A complete dupe for non-vegan cheese cake, this has a great creaminess and flavour. The berry topic is also quite nice and the crust is very satisfying. Beware that it is not gluten-free, but my sister-in-law still enjoyed it entirely.

If you are in Montreal, you have to try this restaurant out. It is a little bit pricey, but the food is amazing, the service is very friendly and the number of options just great!