Archive for January, 2010


Sometimes I have crazy ideas.  This is one that turned out particularly well.   A Middle-Eastern salad gets a Mexican make-over as the ever-so-versatile avocado lends heft and creaminess to what is usually a light, palate-cleansing salad.   The taste of lime where lemon should be is a fun twist too!  Also, classic tabouli recipes usually have a far shake of oil in them,  but depending on the size of your avocado, you really don’t need to add any extra oil at all- maybe a Tbsp. of flax or hemp oil.  I make this tabouli all the time, and I can’t think of any other situation where I would consume nearly a bundle of parsley in one sitting! Makes a great accompaniment to falafels!…and enchiladas!

Gluten-free, super-protein variation: quinoa in place of couscous

Raw food variation: replace couscous with 3/4 C cauliflower, chopped finely in food processor (see this )

Yield: 4 small or 2 large servings


1 large, fully ripe avocado

1/4 C fresh lime or lemon juice (about 2-3 lemons, 3 limes)

3/4 C couscous

1 1/2 C parsley, finely chopped

4-5 sun-dried tomatoes or, 10 cherry tomatoes (halved), or both

1 small red pepper, chopped

1 Tbsp.  chopped cilantro

1 Tbsp. flax or hemp oil (optional)

Sea salt to taste (start with 1/2 tsp)

Optional extras: minced garlic, finely chopped red onion, mint, finely chopped jalapeno


1. in small saucepan, pour 3/4 C boiling water over couscous.  Cover with lid and let stand 10 minutes.

2. pour boiling water over sun-dried tomatoes, let stand 10 minutes.

2. roughly mash avocado with lime or lemon juice in a large bowl

3. Chop parsley, cilantro, and rest of vegetables.  Add to avocado mixture.

4. Chop rehydrated sundried tomatoes and add them to the mixture.  Fluff couscous with a fork and add.

5. Season with salt, Tbs flax oil, and extra lime/lemon juice to taste.



January 31, 2010 at 7:22 pm 1 comment

Coconut Lemon Muffins with Cashew Ricotta Centres

cuppa tea?

The impetus to develop this recipe came from my need to veganize Caffe Artigiano‘s Lemon Ricotta Muffins, which used to be my dear study-buddies and travel companions back in the day.  For those of you not familiar, Caffe Artigiano is a local coffee house in Vancouver that woos its clientele with premium beans and stunning artwork on their lattes.  They’ve won numerous awards at the World Barista Championships, and lately have been colonizing some prime real estate in anticipation of 2010 Olympics.  Anyway, I used to spend a far share of time there, developing an intimate relationship with their muffins.   The lemon ricotta muffins were always in short supply, and you could pretty much forget getting you paws on one after the 11:30 Corporate Coffee Rush.  I trained myself to get there early, and get my muffin(s) before the Suits did.  I’ll never forget the time that I opened the door for one of these Wall-Street dudes, and he took the very last lemon-ricotta right before my eyes.  The nerve.

But now, I’ve figured out how to make my own lemon-ricottas, and I gotta say, I’m pretty proud of this one.  I adapted VeganYumYum‘s cranberry-lemon muffin recipe to suit my needs by doubling up on the lemon, and using coconut milk instead of soy in order to round out the acidity of the lemon.  I also lessened the amount of oil, since coconut milk kills that bird, too.  The ricotta recipe is an adjustment of Tal Ronnen’s cashew ricotta filling for his Tempura Beets in The Conscious Cook (of Oprah fame).  And for those of you wondering what the hell tofu is doing in a muffin, just trust me on this- it’s the key to getting the ricotta texture.  These muffins are light, fluffy, and …gone already!

Laurakins’s Coconut-Lemon Muffins with Cashew Ricotta

Dry ingredients:

2 C All-Purpose Flour

1/2 C + 1 Tbsp. white (or light brown) sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1 Tbs cornstarch

zest from 2 lemons (make sure they are organic)


Wet Ingredients:

3/4 C coconut milk

1/2 C Lemon Juice (about 2-3 lemons)

1/3 C vegetable oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp almond extract

1/4 tsp of lemon extract (optional)



1/4 C thick cashew cream

4 oz. firm tofu, diced

1 Tbs. Nutritional yeast

2 1/2 Tbsp. Lemon juice (About 1-2 lemons)

1 1/2 tsp. white miso paste

pinch salt


12 regular muffin cups or 6 jumbo.


1. Night before: soak cashews in water overnight and follow these directions the next day.

2. Zest 2 lemons, and then juice enough lemons to produce 3/4 C of lemon juice (4-5 lemons)

3. Preheat oven to 400 F, and either grease muffin pan or prepare muffin pan with paper liners.

4. Make the ricotta: in a food processor or blender, pulse all ingredients until mixture is well mixed and resembles a wet ricotta texture.  Do not over-process.  (You don’t want it to be completely smooth, but you don’t want big chunks, either.)  Taste and adjust tartness and salt, if necessary.

5.  In a large bowl, mix together dry ingredients.  In separate bowl, mix wet ingredients.  Gently fold wet into dry until “just mixed”.  Mixture will begin to “fluff up,” so try and work as quickly as you can…

6. Using 2 spoons, place enough batter to fill muffin cup slightly less than halfway.  Place a small ball of ricotta on top, and top this with another scoop of muffin batter.  (You can fill these muffins all the way to the top of the paper )Repeat Process.  Sprinkle tops with light brown sugar, and bake in centre of oven about 15-17 minutes, or until tops are slightly golden, and a toothpick comes out clean from the centre of the muffin.

7. Let cool at least 20 minutes (otherwise they stick to the paper!) and enjoy!

January 6, 2010 at 6:52 am 1 comment

HAPPY 2010!

What a year 2009 was!  I met a sweet boy to cook for an a regular basis, started a home-business in South Main, celebrated my one year vegi-versary, graduated from university (finally), and started a little blog!  And while the act of actually blogging went by the wayside as the months grew colder, my kitchen continued to be my laboratory where tongue-teasing dishes were devised, developed, and devoured (…as well as occasionally dumped).

Where is this blog going in 2010?   Your guess is as good as mine. But I can tell you that my head has been swimming with different themes, flavors, and styles of cooking (or, “uncooking”) that I’ve been wanting to dive into.   Also, I’d like to tackle some do-it-yourself home projects (my new loft apartment is a tad sterile-looking and in desperate need of some hand-crafted homeyness), so don’t be too shocked if you see the odd knitting needle around here.  My hope is that in 2009 Home Veganomics will become a place to share delicious, sustainable, compassionate, and cozy ideas in a variety of forms!

I wish you all the very best, and look forward a year full of possibilities 😀



January 2, 2010 at 6:44 am 2 comments

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