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EZ Cheez-E Garlic Crackers (vegan)

RecipesAmanda Walter | Maple Alps15 Comments

I was not really allowed to snack as a child. If I was hungry before bed, my dad would let me have a spoonful of honey or a cracker. If I was really good, sometimes both. I do understand now - eating a ton before laying your head down to sleep is not the best thing for your body. Instead of getting the rest it needs, it spends the night digesting and creating crazy dreams with crazy plotlines. 

But I'm not here to tell you about eating before bed (or my crazy dreams). I'm here to talk about a cracker. The kind you eat with soup and dips, of course.

EZ Cheez-E Garlic Vegan Crackers | www.maplealps.com

Sometimes I get these wild ideas in the kitchen when I don't feel quite up to the task at hand - namely the dishes. This particular time, it was to see if I could make a cracker. I'm a tad tired of bread and spread (but not really). I like crunchy foods, and what is crunchier than a wafer of flour and olive oil? Really. 

But of course, me being me, I couldn't just make a plain cracker. Oh, no. I had to make an Italian cracker. I happened upon some flavoured olive oil in my cupboard and decided to use that to infuse some Italian deliciousness into my little snacks. It worked perfectly. Of course, if you do not have herb-infused oil, feel free to add the herbs directly to your dough! 

The yeast flakes were to add a little "cheesy" flavour and colour. I love nutritional yeast flakes and add them to pretty much everything I eat, so it was a natural choice, really. 

EZ Cheez-E Garlic Crackers | www.maplealps.com

I wonder who invented crackers. Was it a mistake? Was it some attempt to make bread last longer? I'm going to have to look that up some time. 

I am not sure why it took me so long to attempt making a cracker. After finding out how easy they are to whip up, I can't wait to experiement with more flavours and ingredients! 

I'm going to break these over some lentil soup! These would be great with a tomato and roasted almond dip too!

 

Related: Vegan Corn Chowder

EZ Cheez-E Garlic Crackers | www.maplealps.com

EZ Cheez-E Garlic Crackers (vegan)

what you need:

  • 1 cup all purpose flour

  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour

  • 2 teaspoon ground flax seed

  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

  • 1 TBSP nutritional yeast flakes

  • 1/4 cup olive oil* (I used an infused one)

  • 1/2 cup water

  • 3 cloves garlic**

what to do:

1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl. 

2) Pour olive oil in slowly, mixing it together. Some clumps will be created, but don't worry about it - it will help make a flakier cracker.

3) If you are adding garlic and herbs, mix in now

4) Slowly add water, mixing well. The dough will be rough, but that is okay. Do not overwork it. Add a tablespoon or two if the dough is still dry.

5) Divide the dough into half and form them into a ball. 

6) Press the dough into a rectangle shape and place it in-between two pieces of parchment paper.

7) Roll the dough until about a quarter of an inch thick and the size of about half a baking sheet.

8) Brush lightly with olive oil and sprinkle garlic on top if so desired. You can cut the dough now, or wait until after cooling to break it apart as you desire.

9) Bake for 20-25 minutes, until edges are brown. Break apart once cooled if you chose not to cut them.
 

Notes:
* I used Italian-flavoured olive oil. If you would like that flavour, just add 1 teaspoon or so of Italian seasoning.
** You can mix the garlic into the dough, or brush the tops of the crackers before baking and sprinkle it on top.
 

 

Vegan Parm-Like Topping

RecipesAmanda Walter | Maple Alps5 Comments

If you ask my husband, he will confirm that I am a “spaghetti with my parmesan” type of person. I love toppings. On everything. I also love gravy. But toppings. I like them when they’re generous and basically the main thing. Fried onions? Load ‘em on! Parmesan? I like pasta with my parmesan!

But of course, when you go plant based, or take part in Veganuary, parmesan is no longer an option - or is it? Well, maybe not parmesan in the traditional, stinky-feet smelling sense anyway. I do have a really tasty alternative, however.

Vegan Parm-Like Topping | www.maplealps.com

The following is a true story: I spent a Christmas only college campus one year with someone who sprinkled ground nuts on their pasta and I was really excited about that. It tasted delicious. Then, a few years later, my dad started putting ground flax seed on everything to up his fibre intake. He would grind his own flax seed and keep it in a little bag. I decided to subscribe to that as well. I figured as well that since I love nutritional yeast flakes on popcorn, that I could start doing that too. Then I saw some vegan parmesan recipes floating around and it had nuts and the yeast flakes in it. I added my ground flax and some onion powder and became a happy camper.

I hesitate to call this a vegan parmesan because it tastes nothing like the smelly cheese, but it sure tastes delicious. I can’t not have this on top of my spaghetti now. It’s also delicious on green beans, and even salad! Seriously, just go to town with it, because it’s so yummy!

There is no reason to think that just because you go on a plant based diet that you will have to give up so much. Instead, you gain so much because you get to experiment with flavours and foods that you would not have normally expected to!

Vegan Parm-Like Topping | www.maplealps.com

Vegan Parm-Like Topping

what you need:

  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews

  • 1 TBSP ground flax seed

  • 1 tsp sea salt

  • 1 tsp onion powder

what to do:

Add all ingredients to a food processor and mix until combined well.

Keep mixture in the fridge for about a month.

 

PRO TIP: Did you know that the tops of parmesan cheese containers fit perfectly onto a mason jar? If you have one, keep it to use for this stuff!

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Do you love toppings too?


 

Vegan Hot Chocolate Mix

RecipesAmanda Walter | Maple Alps16 Comments

The holidays are not the holidays to me if hot chocolate is not involved. There is just something about snuggling up in the couch with a hot mug of love in your hand. Of course, it's not hot chocolate if it’s not magically light and creamy at the same time.

As much as I hate to see Summer go, there’s not much better than cuddle weather. Sweaters and blankets make me happy, and the best thing to complete that is a hot drink. I enjoy tea most days, but sometimes I like something sweet - like a chai latte or hot chocolate. When I don’t have time to melt down some dairy-free cocoa, it’s nice to have this mix ready and available in my cupboard! Well, let’s be real - we take hot drinks really seriously in our house, so more like our hot drink station.

With Christmas around the corner, and the cold weather already here, I figured I’d better buckle down and write down my pantry version of vegan hot chocolate mix to share with all of you!

Vegan Hot Chocolate Mix | www.maplealps.com

All of my favourite Christmas traditions revolve around hot drinks (and not just hot chocolate, mind you!). Decorating the tree with one at hand was a must. Watching Home Alone doesn’t count unless you have one to keep warm. It’s just something you need to have - something that isn’t as enjoyable when the weather outside is hot. It’s special.

And it’s customizable!

This is quick and simple to mix up, and is subject to all sorts of variations. We like adding cinnamon to our mix, and a tad of almond essence to it when we add hot water. You can stir it with a candy cane, top with marshmallows or whipped cream, and even add soy nog! Dip a Christmas cookie in it! You do you! I finally found some dairy-free Reddi Whip in the store, so I’ll be topping mine with that!

Enjoy your hug in a mug!

Vegan Hot Chocolate Mix | www.maplealps.com

Vegan Hot Chocolate Mix

what you need:

what to do:

1) Add all ingredients to a food processor and process until everything is well mixed.

2) Transfer to a airtight jar and keep in your pantry for 3 months.

3) To use, add 3 TBSP of the mix to 8oz. (1 cup) of hot water and enjoy! You can adjust to your sweetness preferences.

 

Do some of your favourite Christmas traditions revolve around hot drinks or the other way around? I’d love to hear about some of them!


 

Lemon Maple Roasted Potatoes

RecipesAmanda Walter | Maple Alps3 Comments

Who else loves potatoes?

When I came back from my time in Europe, I could not eat potatoes for the longest time. I think I overdid it. When I finally got over, though, I remembered quite quickly why I used to love them! Potatoes are healthy, inexpensive, and tasty! Great source of vitamin C, potassium, B6, and are fat free (well, before you may choose to add any anyway)! Yay!

There are so many different ways to enjoy them too - hashed, scalloped, mashed, boiled, fried...you can have them for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. The possibilities are endless, really.

I am sharing a roasted variety today!

Lemon Maple Roasted Potatoes | www.maplealps.com

These tasty roasted potatoes are a great side to pretty much anything. I especially love them with marinated tofu steaks (sharing that recipe soon!) and some greenery. 

The best part is that they are so quick to bake, and are very tasty. After a long day at work, I certainly don't want to be slaving in the kitchen. These are also fantastic when you have last-minute guests. They seem fancy, but aren't!

They make the perfect holiday side - I bet gravy would be groovy on these little guys. If you go that route, you may want to double this recipe since this recipe is for a small batch.

Lemon Maple Roasted Potatoes | www.maplealps.com

This is just a simple, delicious way to enjoy some potatoes. I love using the mini ones and a variety so that it looks extra pretty, but you don't have to. You don't even have to slice them hasselback style if you are in a rush! Totally up to you. I used pink himalayan salt in mine, but you can use regular sea salt in yours. I kind of like the large grain texture, but you may not.

Enjoy it however you want to!

Lemon Maple Roasted Potatoes | www.maplealps.com

Lemon Maple Roasted Potatoes

what you need:

  • 24 oz. small potatoes (I used a variety to get the different colours) 

  • 1 TBSP maple syrup

  • Juice from half a lemon

  • 4 cloves garlic

  • ½ -1 tsp pink himalayan salt or sea salt

  • 1 TBSP olive oil

  • 1 tsp fresh or dried parsley

what to do:

1) Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

2) Wash potatoes and prepare them hasselback style - slicing the potato but leaving the bottom in tact (you don't have to, but I like to because the flavour really gets infused into them that way!)

3) Place potatoes in a medium sized bowl, and add olive oil, maple syrup, garlic, lemon juice and salt, mixing well until the potatoes are well coated.

4) Spread potatoes on a prepared baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes, or until tender all the way through.

5) Once potatoes are cooked, mix in the parsley and serve.

 

How do you like your potatoes?


 

Easy Thai Red Curry

RecipesAmanda Walter | Maple Alps3 Comments

When I went to school in Tennessee, there was this Thai place that I went to a few times. The curry was to die for. It came surrounding this adorable little cake-shaped rice mound, and I loved every bite of it. I naturally tried to recreate it when I got back to my apartment and I've been making this curry (or a similar version of it) ever since.

Here's the thing: I'm terrible at writing recipes for cooking because I don't really follow them. I just kind of taste as I go. I'm trying to be more intentional about writing down the recipes that come to my mind. As I mentioned, this red curry is one that I've been making for a while, but always just kind of went along with whatever was in my fridge (I can't be the only one who does this though, so I don't feel too bad). It's perfect for leftover veggies or veggies you have no idea what to do with. I think it's pretty much impossible to mess this one up! I like broccoli in it, but this one has peppers, onions and carrots!

The Easiest Vegan Thai Red Curry | www.maplealps.com

The secret is the homemade red curry paste. It contains most of the spices you are going to need. It's easy to make and I keep some frozen in the freezer in 1 TBSP sections to use at a moment's notice. Fun fact: I only have a moose-shaped ice cube tray, so my curry bag is full of little moose friends. It puts a smile on my face anyway.

This meal is simple and delicious. It's quick to whip up and tastes delicious on rice or even noodles if that is what floats your boat!

Related: Vegan Pad Thai

Easiest Thai Red Curry | www.maplealps.com
Easiest Thai Red Curry | www.maplealps.com

Easy Thai Red Curry
Serves about 6

1 large red pepper, sliced
1 large yellow pepper, sliced
1 yellow onion, sliced
1 large carrot, sliced in long strips
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 TBSP maple syrup
3 TBSP red curry paste
1 tsp fresh grated ginger
Juice from half a lime
1 can coconut milk
Sea Salt to taste
Cilantro and onion to garnish

1) With a little water add the onion to a large saucepan. Cook about 5 minutes until tender.


2) Add the peppers and carrots and red thai curry and cook until the vegetables are well coated.


3) Add ginger, lime, maple syrup, and garlic.


4) Pour in the coconut milk and cook a few more minutes until the sauce coats a spoon.


5) Adjust your seasonings - adding salt if need be.


6) Garnish with green onion and cilantro and serve with fresh wedges of lime over a bed of rice or noodles!

 

What are some of your favourite quick and easy dinners?