Vegan 5 Course Christmas Dinner

table decor

Holiday Table Inspiration – West Elm

Looking to amaze your guests with a delightful vegan 5 course Christmas dinner? It does not have to be difficult and there are no limits to how creative you can be! Christmas is right around the corner so we would like to give you a dose of inspiration and share those 5 vegan recipes from appetizer to dessert… Enjoy!

Cream of parsnips with roasted hazelnuts (source: Elle.fr)
soup bowls on a table

Cream of Parsnips With Roasted Hazelnuts – © Angélique Roussel

List of ingredients (4 pers. / prep time: 10 min / cook time: 25 min): 200 ml rice cream, 400 g parsnips, 700 ml vegetable broth, 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 onion, 100 g hazelnuts, salt, and pepper.

How to proceed? Step 1: brown the minced onion in olive oil. When it becomes translucent, add parsnips, previously peeled and diced. Fry 5 minutes and add the broth. Cover and cook for 25 minutes, until parsnips are tender. Step 2: add the rice cream, salt, pepper and mix until you get a smooth texture. Step 3: Roast the hazelnuts in the pan for a few minutes over medium heat, without adding any fat, then off the heat crush them roughly. Step 4: Sprinkle the hazelnuts over the soup and serve hot.

Wine suggestion: Ruffino Sparkling Rosé is fresh and fragrant with notes of strawberry and slight hints of rose petals.

Tofu Terrine “Vegan Foie Gras”(source: elle.fr)
vegan foie gras

Tofu Terrine Vegan Foie Gras – © Soy/Marie Lafôret

List of ingredients (8 pers. / prep time: 15 min / cook time: 5 min): 200 g silky tofu, 60 g firm tofu, 100 ml soy cream, 100 g chestnuts, 4 tbsp nut oil, 40 g sautéed shiitake, 3 tbsp white miso, 60 ml Armagnac, 2.5 tsp agar-agar, 1/4 tsp ground black pepper, 1/4 ground nutmeg, 1/2 tsp ground coriander seeds, 1/8 tsp cloves, and 1/2 tsp salt.

How to proceed? Step 1: crumble and mix the chestnuts and tofu with oil, shiitake and miso. Add the spices and salt, mix again. Step 2: heat Armagnac few minutes. On the side, mix 100 ml of water, soy cream and agar-agar. Pour over armagnac and bring to a boil while mixing with a whisk. Cook for 2 minutes and pour over the first preparation. Step 3: mix and divide in terrines, jars or metal circles. Allow to cool and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours. Step 4: slice and eat with hot toasts, some fruits, onion confit or figs.

Wine suggestion: Ruffino Prosecco shows clean aromas of apples, pears, and citrus, accompanied by hints of wisteria.

Vol-au-vent with smoked tofu (source: elle.FR)
food

Vol-au-vent With Smoked Tofu – © Angélique Roussel

List of ingredients (6 pers. / prep time: 10 min. / cook time: 25 min): 200 g silky smoked tofu, 6 pastry shells, 100 g mushrooms, 100 g chestnuts, 2 shallots, 250 ml soy milk, 3 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp flour, salt, and pepper.

How to proceed? Step 1: brown the chopped shallot in an oiled frying pan until it becomes translucent. Add the tofu, mushrooms and chestnuts previously diced. Continue to brown for 5 minutes then reserve. Step 2: in a saucepan, mix 2 tbsp of olive oil with the flour. Mix well and gradually add the soy milk. Thoroughly stir and heat over low heat to a thick consistency. Add salt and pepper. Step 3: add the sauce to the previous mixture. Step 4: garnish the pastry shells with this mixture and bake for 15 minutes at 355°F.

Wine suggestion: Robert Mondavi Private Selection Chardonnay (2016) offers flavours of grilled pineapple, lemon custard, graham cracker, toffee, and vanilla bean with baking spices and toasty oak.

Smoky Vegan Cheddar Cheez (source: Vegkitchen)
vegan cheese

Smoky Vegan Cheddar Cheez – © Hannah Kaminsky

List of ingredients (4 pers. / prep time: 10 min / cook time: 2 hours): 1 cup raw cashews, 1/2 cup baby carrots, 1 cup rice milk, 1/4 cup agar-agar flakes, 1/4 cup vegan cream cheese, 1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes, 2 to 3 tbsp lemon juice, 1 tsp Dijon mustard, 1 tsp smoked paprika or liquid smoke, 1 tsp sweet paprika, 1 tsp salt, and pinch of turmeric.

How to proceed? Step 1: combine the cashews, carrots, and rice milk in a small saucepan. Bring to a rapid simmer, then cover and simmer gently until the carrots are tender-crisp. If you plan to make slices, stir in the agar-agar flakes and continue to simmer for 5 minutes longer. Step 2: transfer the mixture to a food processor along with the remaining ingredients and process until very smooth for at least 5 minutes. Step 3: transfer the mixture to a lightly oiled loaf pan (or 2 mini-loaf pans). Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Step 4: Before serving, run a knife around the edges of the loaf pan(s). Turn upside down onto a serving platter. Slice 1/4 inch thick, arrange with slices of baguette and fruits.

Wine suggestion: Meiomi Pinot Noir opens with lifted fruit aromas of ripe strawberry, plum, and sweet Bing cherry, along with light cedar and spicy vanilla notes.

Chocolate almond Yule Log (Source: cuisine-Saine)
yule log

Chocolate Almond Yule Log – © Odelices

List of ingredients (10-12 pers. / prep time: 15 min / cook time: 10 min): 1 butternut squash, 300 g dark chocolate, 200 g almond butter, 50 g coconut oil, and 40 g brown sugar.

How to proceed? Step 1: Peel the butternut squash. Cut it in half to remove the seeds and cut the flesh into cubes. Cook in boiled water for 10 minutes. Step 2: Cut the chocolate into small pieces. In a bowl, blend the chocolate, almond butter, and coconut oil. Place the bowl above a saucepan of boiling water to slowly melt the chocolate. Mix well. Step 3: Pour the mixture into a blender. Add the butternut squash cubes and cane sugar. Mix finely. Step 4: Pour the mixture into a cake mold and refrigerate for 12 hours. Step 5: Unmold the log and sprinkle with cocoa powder or grated chocolate.

Wine suggestion:  Tom Gore Cabernet is dark red in colour with aromas of cherry and currant, and notes of leather and tobacco leaf, along with hints of dark chocolate and mocha from oak aging.

The Grilled Cheese Month at L’Gros Luxe

food, grilled cheese

L’Gros Luxe Restaurant – The Grilled Cheese Month

The Grilled Cheese month is back at L’Gros Luxe Restaurant until November 30th! It’s not the first edition and it won’t be the last one, the chefs have worked very hard to come up with 28 new recipes to delight your taste buds. We had the pleasure to taste few grilled cheese during the media launch party last week at L’Gros Luxe Sud-Ouest located on Notre-Dame West.

For 4 weeks, you are invited to visit one of the seven L’Gros Luxe restaurants and try the grilled cheese of the week. Each grilled cheese presented on the menu will be available for one week only so don’t miss your chance to grab the one that you melt for!

grilled cheese

L’Gros Luxe Restaurant – The Grilled Cheese Month

During the media launch party, we talked with Alex Bastide, owner of all L’Gros Luxe restaurants, who is very concerned to offer custom-made meals that meet the need of its clients. All L’Gros Luxe restaurants have a vegetarian friendly menu and a fun list of cocktails served in a festive ambiance with a refined touch specific to each neighbourhood’s personality.

If you don’t eat cheese, visit L’Gros Luxe 100% Végé which will offer vegan options for the four grilled cheese featured throughout the month of November.

restaurant interior decor

L’Gros Luxe 100% Végé

Each grilled cheese will be served with fries or salad. Also, thanks to a partnership with Sleeman, you will be able to order a combo with a beer for 14$. The L’Gros Luxe 100% Végé will propose the following grilled cheese recipes until the end of the month:

  • Week 1: Grilled cheese with fried Havarti cheese, tomato and basil (10$).
  • Week 2: Grilled cheese with Emmental, walnuts, green apples with curry (10$).
  • Week 3: Grilled cheese with Jackfruit “pulled pork” and coleslaw (12$).
  • Week 4: Grilled cheese with oyster mushrooms sautéed in butter, Parmesan, mustard of Meaux (10$).
a person eating a gilled cheese

L’Gros Luxe Restaurant – Media Launch Party

Wondering if Jackfruit “pulled pork” tastes good? First of all, don’t be fooled by the name! This is not meat but an excellent imitation of the taste and you will be very amazed once you will try it. This ingredient has been used for years all around the world by vegan chefs and recently became extremely trendy. Pulled jackfruit is made from the younger fruit named green jackfruit. Compared to other processed meat substitutes such as seitan or soy-based tofu, jackfruit is all-natural and does not required to be processed to be used in the kitchen. In other words, the grilled cheese with Jackfruit “pulled pork” is a must-try!

Moreover, November will be a very busy month in all L’Gros Luxe restaurants! In fact, in addition to the grilled cheese month, new vegan meals will be added on the menu. As a vegetarian, Alex Bastide really wants to achieve the goal of making L’Gros Luxe a place where everyone could enjoy food regardless of the type of diet you follow. Looking forward to taste all those new vegan meals!

L’Gros Luxe 100% Végé

3807 Saint-André, Montreal

To find a location near you, visit L’Gros Luxe website.

La Cuisine de Jean-Philippe – 100 Vegan Recipes

a person holding a book

La Cuisine de Jean-Philippe (price: 29,95 $)

After working as a chef in several restaurants, Jean-Philippe Cyr now lives his passion for cooking from home where he shares simple and tasty vegan recipes online. In its first book, La cuisine de Jean-Philippe – Ses 100 meilleurs recettes véganes, Jean-Philippe uses his expertise to offer healthy and delicious vegan recipes.

On the menu, a variety of vegan dishes that combine simplicity and flavours under the following themes: lunches and brunches, salads and side dishes, soups, main courses, desserts, drinks, toppings, and snacks. We have selected 3 recipes from the book that we want to share with you!

1. Pancakes
pancakes and fruits

La Cuisine de Jean-Philippe – Pancakes

We think it is not a coincidence if the pancakes recipe is the first one in the book! They are so delicious than they could be ate without topping or maple syrup. The preparation itself take less than 10 minutes and you get around 10 to 15 pancakes.

What do you need? 3 cups flour, 2 tbsp sugar, 1 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp salt, 1/4 cup vegetable oil (+ extra for cooking), 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, 3 cups vegan milk, maple syrup, and fruits.

How to proceed? Step 1: in a bowl, mix dry ingredients together then add  vegan milk, vanilla extract and oil. Mix with a whip until you get a homogenous texture. Step 2: in a pan, heat vegetable oil then pour about 60 ml (1/4 cup) of the pancake mixture uniformly. Step 3: cook each pancake for about 2 minutes on each side and add oil as needed. Step 4: Top with maple syrup and fruits.

If you use a non-stick pan, you don’t need to add extra vegetable oil. Moreover, feel free to substitute vegetable oil by coconut oil. If you plan to top your pancakes with maple syrup and fruits, you could also avoid adding the 2 tablespoons of sugar.

2. Pad Thaï
pad thaï

La Cuisine de Jean-Philippe – Pad Thai

Among our top 10 world favorite cuisine, Thaï food is one of them! The particularity of Thaï food is the harmony of the following flavours: salt, sugar, spicy, and sour. Curious to learn how to do Pad Thaï at home in less than 45 minutes?

What do you need? 5 oz rice noodles; 1/2 block firm tofu cut into cubes; 1/4 cup corn starch; 1/4 cup vegetable oil; 2 shallots, finely chopped; 2 green onions, finely chopped; 2 tsp garlic, finely chopped; 2 carrots, grated; 1 tomato, diced; 1/4 cup soya sauce; 1/4 cup sugar; 1 tsp hot sauce; 2 cup beans sprouts; 1/2 cup peanuts, chopped; 2 tsp rice vinegar; salt and pepper.

How to proceed? Step 1: cook the rice noodles, drain and set aside. Step 2: coat tofu with corn starch. In a wok, fry the tofu in little oil for 6-8 minutes and set aside. Step 3: Use the rest of oil and stir fry shallots, green onions, garlic, carrots and tomato for 5 minutes. Step 4: add soya sauce, sugar and hot sauce. Mix. Step 5: add the rice noodles, beans sprouts, peanuts, fried tofu, and rice vinegar. Continue cooking for 3 minutes while stirring constantly.

If you don’t have a wok, you can use a casserole such as T-Fal Cook N’ Serve, it works too (we used it for this recipe). To get better result, use large rice noodles because medium rice noodles become sticky very quick and are delicate to manage. Additional tip, you can also cook the noodles right before step 3, it takes only 3-4 minutes and the noodles will be ready right on time for step 5.

3. Humus
Humus

La Cuisine de Jean-Philippe – Humus

Humus is very popular in Mediterranean cuisine and it’s very simple to cook. The recipe requires just few ingredients and less than 15 minutes.

What do you need? 1 can of chickpeas, 3 tbsp tahini, 1 garlic clove, 1 tsp cumin, 1/8 tsp Cayenne pepper, 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (+ extra 1 tbsp for topping), 1/3 cup water, 1/2 lemon (extract the juice), salt, and smoked paprika.

How to proceed? Step 1: in the food processor, grind the ingredients together until you get a homogeneous mixture. Step 2: set the humus in a plate, top with olive oil and smoked paprika.

If you don’t want to use canned chickpeas, you can soak dry chickpeas for 24 hours and then cook for 30-40 min. Drain the cooked chickpeas and follow the recipe.

Where to find the book? The book is available online and in store such as Renaud Bray and Chez l’Éditeur Café, please visit La Cuisine de Jean-Philippe blog or his English Facebook page The Buddhist Chef for more info.

5 Restaurants For Vegan Food Lovers In Paris

2 person at Eiffel Tower

Paris – Eiffel Tower

According to recent data found on Happycow, there are approximately more than 100 restaurants offering vegan or vegetarian cuisine in Paris which is two times more compared to Montreal. As foodies, we are always excited to try various places each time we eat out! If you plan to visit Paris this fall, here are 5 restaurants for vegan food lovers to add on your list.

1. Cantine Soya Bio
vegan food

Cantine Soya Bio

Happy birthday to Cantine Soya Bio which celebrates its 10th anniversary on October 27th! Located at walking distance from the Canal St. Martin in the 11th district of Paris, Cantine Soya Bio is a trendy place recently renovated and well integrated into the vibe of its neighbourhood.

When you enter at Cantine Soya Bio, you enjoy a world cuisine freely revisited, vegan, and mainly gluten-free (more than 90%) made from labeled organic products. In addition, they have a large choice of delightful vegan pastries and serve a buffet brunch on weekends. We love the freshness of their dishes and each bite is a pleasure!

Cantine Soya Bio

20 rue de la pierre levée, Paris

2. Cloud Cakes
grilled cheese, potatoes, and salad

Cloud Cakes Paris

Cloud Cakes, the name itself is appealing isn’t it? Cloud Cakes is a vegan coffee shop located in Sentier area close to well known Forum des Halles. The idea behind Cloud Cakes came when owners Aelita and Olivier mixed their passion for coffee with vegan pastry.

We visited this cozy coffee shop for brunch and ordered the dish of the day. We ate up a tasty roasted vegetable grilled cheese with well seasoned potatoes. When time came to order desserts we were already full but we will be back very soon to taste one of their delicious pastries!

Cloud Cakes

6 rue Mandar, Paris

3. Tien Hiang
pad thai, nems and soup

Tien Hiang Paris

Opened since 1999, Tien Hiang is located close to Place de la Republique monument in the 10th district of Paris. The restaurant offers a South-East Asian cuisine inspired from Vietnam, Thailand, China, and Malaysia.

Most of the dishes are prepared with a base of textured soy protein which results in a large variety of choices on the menu. Usually we order several dishes and share together. Our favorites include the following: pad thai, nems, and coconut milk soup. We often visit Tien Hiang during lunch time to get a chance to find a table easily. Note that the restaurant does not take reservation so it’s on a first come, first served basis.

Tien Hiang

14 rue Bichat, Paris

4. Brasserie 2EME Art
cesar salad, wine and kebab

Brasserie 2eme Art

Located in the heart of Paris, Brasserie 2eme Art is the second restaurant of the owners of Brasserie Lola. Even if there is no specific mention on the menu that the food is vegan, Brasserie 2eme art does not use animal sourced products.

The restaurant features a comfort food cuisine such as pizza, burger, and pasta. We visited Brasserie 2eme Art several times and were always able to find a seat pretty quickly despite of the crowd. The burger and the kebab are two must-try but if you prefer a healthy choice opt for the Cesar salad!

Brasserie 2eme Art

49 rue Montmartre, Paris

5. Shangri-La
vegan afternoon tea, pastries and tea

Shangri-La Hotel Paris -Vegan Afternoon Tea

Let us introduce Shangri-La Hotel Paris located in one of the most upscale district of the city of lights. Can you believe that this 5 stars hotel offers a vegan afternoon tea? Launched in 2016 at La Bauhinia restaurant, the vegan afternoon tea is a logical follow-up to the success of their “100% Green Dinners”.

We don’t know where to start to describe our incredible gourmet experience at Shangri-La Hotel! From the simplicity of a tart to the sophistication of great classics, such as Mont-Blanc and Calisson, the chef respects the essential British tradition by including scones and shortbreads. Each pastry tastes like heaven accompanied by a selection of delightful ethical teas.

Shangri-La Hotel Paris

10 avenue d’Iéna, Paris

Montreal Pizza Week – 3 Places To Eat Vegan

Group-of-friends-eating-pizza-and-drinking-wine

La Pizza Week

From October 24th to 31st, be part of Montreal’s 1st Annual La Pizza Week Festivities by voting for your favourites pizza across the city. More than 40 pizzerias will compete for the title of best pizza in Montreal in these 9 categories: thin crust, pan, calzone, dessert, Margherita, 5 ingredients or all dressed, gluten free, vegan, and most original. Two prizes will be awarded in each category, the selection of the People Choice Award determined by your vote and Official Judges Panel composed of Amy Blackmore (Fringe Festival), Alexandre Despatie (athlete and animator), Anne-Lovely Étienne (journalist), Jeremy Filosa (journalist), and Nick Depalma (Restaurant Inferno owner).

Moreover, you are invited to share your pizza pictures on social media with the hashtag #LaPizzaWeek. By voting and liking La Pizza Week Facebook page, you are eligible to win one of the following prizes: a trip for 2 to Roma (Italy), a weekend for 2 to Quebec City, Ottawa, or Toronto, a Totarella & Sons gift package (value of 300$) and much more. Let us introduce the 3 restaurants in competition for the best vegan pizza in  Montreal.

2 person making pizza

Restaurant Pizza Villa

Opened since 1978, Pizza Villa is an Italian restaurant offering an authentic Italian cuisine. In addition to the regular menu, Pizza Villa has a gluten free menu and also offers a pizza dessert made of cheese, bananas, mixed berries, and chocolate.

For this first edition of La Pizza Week, Pizza Villa features a Focaccia with Swiss Chard and Broccoli Rabe pizza. The restaurant is located in Rosemont-La-Petite-Patrie on Papineau avenue (corner Saint-Zotique).

restaurant menu

Restaurant Chez Ann

Known for serving Ibiza wine and homemade food, Chez Ann Restaurant Café is the second restaurant competing for the vegan pizza category. For the occasion, Dj Jonny Marciano will take care of the music this Thursday for a special pizza techno party.

What about the pizza? Chez Ann presents a NYC style thin crust pizza that is both vegan and gluten free! Featuring a magical yucca crust that you can even fold while you eat, San Marzano tomato sauce, vegan mozzarella, fresh basil and love. Chez Ann is located on Ottawa in Griffintown.

pizza restaurant

Vegan Rapide – Credit: Patrick Balyan

As a pioneer in the burgeoning vegan fast food sector in Montreal, Vegan Rapide has a large selection of pizzas, burgers, and sandwichs. Vegan Rapide is well known for offering hand-made pizza all year round. According to co-owner Liza Hatem, the pizzas are not pre-prepared and not frozen but just made using fresh ingredients bought everyday to avoid spoilage and waste.

This week only, Vegan Rapide features the Veggievore pizza made with a bunch of vegetables topped with vegan cheese. Vegan Rapide is located in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce on Sherbrooke West.

vegetarian pizza

La Pizza Week

Reservations are strongly recommended during La Pizza Week to ensure your spot at any participating restaurants. La Pizza Week is produced by Billy Alfonso and Fabio Brocoli from Perennial Events who are passionate in producing quality events for the whole family for several years in Montreal and Toronto. Visit La Pizza Week website for more info. Bon Appetito!