Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Tasty vegan Timbits that failed horribly

By Giselle Wedemire

Since turning vegan two and a half years ago, I can safely say that there are only three things that I occasionally miss from my omnivorous days: Timbits/doughnut holes, Nutella, and peanut punch

I'm always on the lookout for ways to work around these infrequent cravings, so when I came across a recipe for vegan Timbits, I jumped at the chance to work some cruelty-free culinary magic.

The recipe itself was easy to follow and the warm smell of cinnamon and pumpkin that wafted through my house when these treats were baking was drool-inducing. Needless to say, my hopes for these bad boys were high.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Pesto Pasta Perfection

By Casey Knoll

I LOVE pasta. Even though there are gluten-free alternatives, the switch from wheat pasta was an adjustment when I figured out I was gluten intolerant two years ago. 

So I'm always on the lookout for easy, tasty gluten-free pasta recipes.

Here's one recipe I tried from the cookbook Weeknight Gluten Free: Simple, Healthy Meals for Every Night of the Week by Kristine Kidd.

I happened upon this cookbook at Winners, and the title immediately caught my eye. When I think about 'weeknight meals,' two words come to mind: 'quick' and 'easy.' 

The pasta recipe I tried -- Penne with Walnut Pesto and Peas -- ticked both of these boxes and I'm excited to try out more of Kidd's recipes (which says a lot, since i'm not the biggest fan of cooking!).

Here's the recipe:

Penne with Walnut Pesto and Peas


2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
2 shallots or 1 garlic clove, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup walnuts
2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
1/2 tsp. kosher salt, plus more, to taste
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup grated pecorino romano cheese, plus more for serving
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/2 lb. gluten-free penne pasta
10 oz. sugar snap peas, strings removed
10 oz. shelled English peas, or 1 package (10 oz.) frozen peas


1. In a food processor, combine the basil, shallots, walnuts, lemon zest and the 1/2 tsp. salt. Process until finely ground. With the machine running, gradually add the olive oil. Mix in the 1/4 cup cheese. Season with salt and a generous amount of pepper. Set the pesto aside.

2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and stir well. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes (or 4 minutes less than the cooking time indicated on the package). Add the sugar snap peas and English peas and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is al dente, about 4 minutes more.

3. Remove 3/4 cup of the pasta cooking water and reserve. Drain the pasta and peas. Put the pesto in a large bowl. Whisk in enough of the reserved cooking water to thin to a sauce. Add the pasta and vegetables and toss to coat. Thin with more cooking liquid and adjust the seasoning with salt. Serve immediately and pass additional cheese alongside. 

Serves 4.

Have a favourite gluten-free pasta recipe? Let us know!