Leeka's Profile

From: Hamilton, ON Canada

Joined: November 16th, 2009

About me: Bookworm, mother and vegan.

Favorite recipe: Don't make me choose.


Latest review:

April 3rd, 2013

Fresh Noodle Salad with Avocado Dijon Dressing from The Blissful Chef

I love zucchini noodles so I'm always looking for new ways to dress and eat them. The avocado gave this salad dressing a lovely creaminess. I may cut down a touch on the dijon next time around. I had... read more >

recipe reviews (233)
book reviews (5)
useful review votes (211)

Leeka's Reviews

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233 recipes reviewed. Showing 1 to 50Sort by: Book Title | Date | Rating | Recipe Title

The 30-Minute Vegan: Over 175 Quick, Delicious, and Healthy Recipes for Everyday Cooking

By Mark Reinfeld, Jennifer Murray
Da Capo Lifelong Books - 2009

17th December 2011 (edited: 17th December 2011)

Homey Vegetable Stew with Dumplings

This is a simple, creamy vegetable stew that's very easy to make in a short amount of time. I found it quite peppery and that's with only adding about half the called for amount of pepper. The great thing about these types of dishes is that you can throw in a variety of vegetables for variation in addition to the potatoes, carrots, onions and celery. I used cauliflower and think it would also be tasty with the addition of greens, sweet potato, squash or parsnips.

I found the dumplings a little bland but they could easily be spiced up with the addition of some herbs as the author suggests.

useful (2)  

6th February 2013 (edited: 6th February 2013)

Pleasing Greens Soup

Blended smooth, gingery and full of healthy ingredients, eating this soup had me feeling very virtuous. I had a bunch of kale to use up and this was the perfect solution. Without any fresh parsley in the house, I had to use dried so I added an extra handful of other fresh greens. This soup would probably kick a cold in the butt!

useful (2)  

Website: All Recipes


31st July 2011 (edited: 30th October 2011)

Single Crust Peach Pie

Simple, down home, goopy, peach pie! I altered the recipe somewhat from the original on All Recipes by cutting the sugar, adding cinnamon and using Earth Balance in place of butter.

This was not a sophisticated or difficult pie to make but it sure was yummy.

useful (1)  

Appetite for Reduction: 125 Fast and Filling Low-Fat Vegan Recipes

By Isa Chandra Moskowitz, Matthew Ruscigno
Da Capo Lifelong Books - 2010

3rd April 2011 (edited: 30th October 2011)

Sweet Potato Drop Biscuits

These biscuits were moist and fluffy with a hint of sweetness provided by the sweet potato. Next time round I will cut the 1 teaspoon of nutmeg in half because it was too much.

useful (2)  

7th April 2011 (edited: 12th March 2012)

Ceci-Roasted Red Pepper Soup

This soup has all the flavours I love; roasted bell peppers, tomatoes, garlic, chickpeas, coriander and rosemary. I found the rosemary a little too dominant and will reduce the amount the next time I make it. It’s a very hearty soup and made for an easy week-night supper and with a few, tiny tweaks it gets a big, thumbs up!

useful (0)  

18th April 2011 (edited: 12th March 2012)

Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes (Caulipots)

A simple and effective way to make your mashed potatoes a little healthier. The author makes it easy to jazz up the flavour with 6 suggestions of various ingredient additions such as herbs, garlic, nutritional yeast, lemon zest etc.
I made them simple the first time and think they would taste even better accompanied with some kind of gravy or served with a saucy dish.

useful (2)  

23rd April 2011 (edited: 12th March 2012)

Cool Slaw

A good, creamy slaw dressing made with a blended cashew base and a hint of sweetness from agave nectar.

useful (2)  

23rd April 2011 (edited: 12th March 2012)

Lettuce Wraps with Hoisin-Mustard Tofu

I wasn't sure if I was going to like this Hoisin-Mustard combination but I was curious enough to try it and I'm happy to report it was delicious. If you like honey-mustard sauce then you will probably like this flavour combination with ginger, garlic, mustard and the Hoisin barbecue sauce making for a great sweet and savory mix. Wrapping the tofu mixture in lettuce provided the perfect crisp complement. I used Romaine instead of iceburg and my husband and I gobbled this dish up.

useful (1)  

25th April 2011 (edited: 12th March 2012)

Shaved Brussels Sprouts

These were the best brussel sprouts I have ever eaten. I would have never have thought to slice them up so finely but the result was a delicious and flavourful dish with garlic and onions complementing the nutty browned leaves perfectly. Yum!

useful (1)  

25th April 2011 (edited: 12th March 2012)

Easy Breezy Cheezy Sauce

A remarkably easy cheezy-tasting sauce with a surprisingly creamy texture and the added bonus of having no added fat. My husband and daughter give this a 3 and 3.5 respectively but I'm bumping it up to a 4 for ease of preparation and good flavour.

The recipe called for 2 teaspoons of onion flakes which I did not have. Instead I used 2 teaspooons of onion powder which gave it quite an onion-y taste but I love onions so it didn't bother me.

We served this poured over and mixed with pasta and broccoli.

useful (2)  

27th April 2011 (edited: 27th April 2011)

Ginger Mashed Sweet Potatoes & Apples

The apples, ginger and cinnamon definitely added an extra dimension of flavour to these sweet mashed potatoes but I think I still prefer them simple without all the extras.

useful (0)  

27th April 2011 (edited: 27th April 2011)

Arabian Lentil & Rice Soup

This is a very simple soup with few ingredients - red lentils, onion, carrots, rice and a few spices. The lemon zest and fresh lemon juice added at the end provided a wonderful brightness to this otherwise earthy soup seasoned mainly with cumin.

useful (1)  

27th April 2011 (edited: 12th March 2012)

Red Thai Tofu

Another fairly quick dish to prepare using Thai red curry paste as a shortcut. Fresh ginger, garlic and scallions are always a hit with me and the curry paste added a good hit of spice. I didn't have any fresh basil leaves on hand so I chopped up and added fresh kale to the pan and served it over rice. Easy and yummy.

useful (1)  

4th May 2011 (edited: 4th May 2011)

Lentil & Eggplant Chili Mole

This is the first recipe from this book that has been a disappointment. I found the flavours to be muddy and boring. I have used cocoa powder in other chili recipes which have turned out much better than this one. After my first bowl, I've had no desire to taste any more when usually a pot of chili in the fridge is a big draw.

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28th May 2011 (edited: 30th October 2011)

Silky Chickpea Gravy

I had never previously made any type of sauce or gravy with pureed chickpeas and found this to be a very substantial, hearty and flavourful gravy. I'm not sure if I would agree with the silky part of the recipe name but I enjoyed the leftovers the second and third day with home-made oven fries and veggie loaf. I may reduce the amount of thyme slightly next time round but I will definitely make this gravy again. I also added a little extra water/veggie stock to thin it out a little as it was quite thick.

useful (3)  

18th June 2011 (edited: 18th June 2011)

Green Goddess Garlic Dressing

Yum. Creamy, garlicky, dill goodness! I love making these delicious dressings with a silken tofu base. Who would have thought eating vegan would be so saucily delicious!

I used the dressing immediately in a delicous wrap with fresh tomatoes, grated carrot and some tofu balls. This would be fantastic as a dip for veggies or salad.

Note: I used soft silken tofu intead of extra-firm and I did not blanch it as written in the recipe. I also omitted the 2 Tbl of mayonaise because I didn't have any and it was perfectly fine. I just threw all of the ingredients in the blender and whipped it up!

useful (2)  

This was good but not outstanding. I think I had too much cauliflower in the pan because even though I left it in the oven for double the time stated in the recipe, it didn't brown. We became impatient and just ate it as it was. The flavour of the breadcrumb and herb mix was fine but again, I think my execution was poor because it just clumped and was a bit wet.

useful (1)  

1st September 2011 (edited: 30th October 2011)

Smoky Tempeh and Greens Stew

I did not think this was going to be as good as it was but wow, it was delicious. I think leaving it on the stove for an hour after it was done while I made biscuits contributed to the rich flavour that resulted.

The recipe called for 4 teaspoons of smoked paprika and I thought that was too much so I used 2 teaspoons of smoked and 2 teaspoons of regular paprika. I think it was the right decision. I also subbed a small can of plain tomato sauce in place of crushed tomatoes which I didn't have and added a bit more veggie stock. I left out the lima beans.

The resulting soupy stew had a deep, smokey, tomato flavour and lots of greens. I think this is the first tempeh recipe I've given five stars.

useful (3)  

A very hearty and simple winter soup. The recipe calls for french lentils which I love but I had to substitute mung beans because that's what I had on hand. The soup is seasoned with thyme, tarragon and garlic and I always find tarragon to be a little overpowering as was the case here.

useful (0)  

5th March 2012

Baked Falafel

Of course these would taste really yummy fried but that defeats the purpose! I did find them quite mushy and a bit sticky to work with but they baked up firmly. The flavour was nice, and for dinner we paired them with some chopped fresh tomato, stir fried greens and onions and a home-made vegannaise on tortillas.

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The Asian Vegan Kitchen: Authentic and Appetizing Dishes from a Continent of Rich Flavors

By Hema Parekh, Tae Hamamura
Kodansha International - 2008

13th February 2011 (edited: 13th February 2011)

Cauliflower and Potato with Spices

useful (1)  

This recipe is from the Burmese section of the book and was very simple and tasty. I didn't have enoki mushrooms so instead used cremini mushrooms which tasted fine.

useful (0)  

22nd August 2011 (edited: 12th March 2012)

Spiced Zucchini and Potato

My husband gives this dish a five, I say three and my daughter says zero because of the spice level - LOL. I cut the 1/2 tsp of cayenne in half and it was still plenty hot enough for me. This is a fairly simple dish to prepare once all the slicing prep is done.

useful (1)  

This is quite a liquid-y dish, more of a soup than what I had anticipated. The coconut milk adds a lovely creaminess to the curry that I love. I almost halved the amount of liquids, both coconut milk and water. I also cut the oil from 4 tablespoons to one to make the dish more calorie friendly. For the Thai soup paste, I used Thai Kitchen Red Curry Paste which has almost identical ingredients and my final change was to up the amount of peas from 1/2 cup to a full cup.

I think this would have been much too thin without the above changes. The flavours were nice with just a touch of heat. Lovely served over noodles or rice.

useful (1)  

Website: The Blissful Chef


I love zucchini noodles so I'm always looking for new ways to dress and eat them. The avocado gave this salad dressing a lovely creaminess. I may cut down a touch on the dijon next time around. I had to add double the amount of water to get the ingredients to blend but I'm very happy with the flavour and zip in this salad.

useful (0)  

Website: The Blooming Platter of Vegan Recipes


This review is for the Sage-Scented White Beans which is part of the total dish. I was missing a key ingredient for the Cheddar-Spinach Sauce so I'll leave that for another day.

The beans were fantastic. The orange pepper gave them a lovely peachy colour and the fresh sage added a distinctive flavour. I pureed the bean mixture in the food processor so my onion-phobic daughter would try some. We ate this slathered on toasted baguette and I didn't want to eat anything else all day.

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Breaking the Food Seduction: The Hidden Reasons Behind Food Cravings---And 7 Steps to End Them Naturally

By Neal D. Barnard M.D.
St. Martin's Griffin - 2004

29th November 2010 (edited: 29th November 2010)

Quick Barbecued Tempeh

Very easy treatment of tempeh. If you like barbecue sauce you should like this.

useful (0)  

30th November 2010 (edited: 12th March 2012)

Instant Chocolate Pudding

Super fast and very chocolatey. I had to add a little liquid (soy milk) to get the blender to start and run.

useful (0)  

7th December 2010

Blonde Brownies

I didn't like these at all. The flavour wasn't bad with a hint of maple and walnut but these brownies were ruined by the texture which was extremely tough and chewy.

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Website: Chocolate and Beyond


16th October 2012 (edited: 16th October 2012)

Fishy Freedom Cakes (AKA Vegan 'Fishcakes')

I thought I'd give these vegan fishcakes a try in order to tempt my notoriously picky daughter with something new. I had a feeling that the Panko encrusted, pan fried coating would appeal and I wasn't wrong.

The "fishy" flavour comes from kelp powder, something I've never used and it did give these patties a distinct seafood taste. Texturally, the mixture was quite uniform and sticky. I think adding the cooked potatoes to the bean mixture in the food processor may have been overkill. Next time, I'll mash the potatoes by hand. I had to add double the amount of gluten flour in order to be able to handle them.

We all enjoyed these, a definite comfort food!

Edited to add: I accidentally used 1kg of potatoes instead of 1 pound! They still turned out great but that may be why I needed double the flour.

useful (1)  

Color Me Vegan: Maximize Your Nutrient Intake and Optimize Your Health by Eating Antioxidant-Rich, Fiber-Packed, Color-Intense Meals That Taste Great

By Colleen Patrick-Goudreau
Fair Winds Press - 2010

25th June 2011 (edited: 12th March 2012)

Salt-and-Pepper Tofu

Crispy, tender strips of seasoned pan-fried tofu. I wasn't sure if I would like the suggested smoked paprika but it added an interesting flavour. I intended on making a dipping sauce but we managed to finish most of the plate as a snack before that happened.

I cut the tofu into approximately 1/4" wide and thick strips, like french fries. The recipe did not specify a size but this worked well.

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25th June 2011 (edited: 30th October 2011)

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Anything that gets my child to eat zucchini gets a thumbs up from me! She especially enjoyed the chewy crust that formed on the outside of the loaf.
I baked the loaves for 55 minutes but maybe should have pulled them out to check a bit earlier. They were still moist and not too sweet. The perfect snack with a cup of afternoon tea or coffee.

I almost doubled the amount of cocoa because I didn’t think ¼ cup was sufficient chocolatey goodness for two loaves but in the end decided to follow the recipe as written (at least for the first time). After tasting the loaf, I think I will up the cocoa quotient next time round.

useful (4)  

27th June 2011 (edited: 3rd July 2011)

Strawberry Lemonade

A refreshing burst of summer in a glass! I cut the sugar almost in half and it was the perfect, slightly sweet-tart accompaniment to some salty snacks.

useful (1)  

This was not as successful as I'd hoped. I think to acheive that delicious melding of spices with the tomato gravy that Indian sauces so often have, five minutes is nowhere near enough time to cook down fresh tomato with the spices. I added the chopped tomatoes a little early, near the end of the potato cooking process and it still had no effect. I also added a touch of sweetener because I found the fresh tomato too acidic. I'm hoping the leftovers taste better once the flavours have more time to combine.

useful (2)  

30th June 2011 (edited: 30th June 2011)

Onion Gravy

Quite a bit of cooking time for such a simple recipe but it was yummy slathered on mashed potatoes. I don't know if I would classify this as a gravy because it didn't have a very thick consistency.

useful (2)  

3rd July 2011 (edited: 12th March 2012)

Carrot and Avocado Salad

This was the surprise hit of dinner. I was surprised at how good the creamy hunks of avocado contrasted so beautifully with the acidic dressing and raw carrots. And every time I tasted a bite with roasted sesame seeds it was an extra hit of flavour. This salad is definitely going on the regular rotation for being easy to prepare, having relatively few ingredients and great flavour.

useful (4)  

7th July 2011 (edited: 30th October 2011)

Chocolate Cherry Cookies

Okay, I challenge anyone (who has a sweet tooth) to be able to look at the scrumptious photo of these cookies in the book and not run to your kitchen and make them immediately. When I saw them, I didn't happen to have any maraschino cherries on hand and had to wait until the weekly shopping was done.

My cookies, turned out alot darker than those pictured in the book and they had a distinctly cake-like texture. The flavour is very rich and chocolatey. The melted chocolate combined with cherry syrup drizzled on top added another hit of dark chocolate. I wonder if the texture was more cake like because I was forced to use half sugar and half liquid sweetener but they were still very good, and so cute with the half cherries nestled on top.

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13th July 2011 (edited: 12th March 2012)

Curried Cauliflower Soup

I wavered between giving this soup 3 or 4 stars but my extremely picky daughter actually loved it. The curry flavour was quite strong and the apple very subtle. I thought the soup did taste better after sitting for a while in the pot. I think when I make it again, I will decrease the curry powder a touch.

The preparation was quick and simple and there are few ingredients so that's a definite plus.

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25th July 2011

Coconut Rice

The fragrance of this rice while cooking is extraordinary. It had wonderful coconut flavour and even though I used the same basmati rice I normally do the grains did not stick together which was nice. Great to accompany an Asian inspired meal.

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29th August 2011 (edited: 12th March 2012)

Brazilian Black Bean Stew (Feijoada)

This stew was really beautiful and delicious. It's hearty, earthy, colourful, a little spicy and the yams add a touch of sweetness. I forgot the mango but it was fine without. I also had to add more liquid to the pot, at least a cup when I added the beans.

useful (1)  

Easy Indian Cooking

By Suneeta Vaswani
Robert Rose - 2004

12th July 2010

Onion and Potato Saute

This dish is even more delicious with a combination of potatoes and sweet potatoes.

useful (0)  

Website: Elena's Pantry


3rd February 2011

Thai Vegetable Soup

This was a quick, simple and tasty soup to prepare using coconut milk, stock, lime and cilantro for flavour. Next time I make it I may add some tofu, more veggies and perhaps a little chili sauce to bump it up a notch but it's still very good as is.

useful (1)  

Website: Fatfree Vegan Kitchen


30th December 2011 (edited: 30th December 2011)

Colleen's Chickpea Burgers with Tahini Sauce

These patties have great flavour with a bit of kick from the cayenne. I used 1/2 cup of cilantro in place of 1/4 fresh parsley. The mixture was quite moist before they went into the oven but not so much that I couldn't form patties. I didn't love the texture after baking, they were a little dry on the outside and mushy like mashed beans on the inside but since I have no quarrel with the taste I'm giving these a four out of five. They would probably be improved by pan frying in a bit of oil and perhaps not processing the hell out of the beans to start with.

Note: I did not make the accompanying tahini sauce as I had other saucy sides so the review is for the patties only.

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Website: Fatfree Vegan Kitchen


22nd April 2012 (edited: 22nd April 2012)

Simple Scrambled Tofu and Kale

This was an excellent tofu scramble. I love kale and am always looking for interesting ways to incorporate more of it into my diet. This recipe has quite a different flavour profile from my typical tofu scramble. The seasonings are smoked paprika, cumin, turmeric, salt, garlic and nooch. I cut back on the amount of smoked paprika because I just like a hint of it and used regular paprika for the remainder. A really nice change and a great way to get lots of veggies into a breakfast dish.

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Get It Ripe: A Fresh Take on Vegan Cooking and Living

By jae steele
Arsenal Pulp Press - 2008

10th July 2011 (edited: 12th March 2012)

Zucchini Date Muffins

These muffins are entirely sweetened with dates so if you are looking for a sugar free muffin these are a pretty good bet. They were moist with a fairly mild flavour. I think I would have liked them to be a touch sweeter so next time I may add a bit of maple syrup to the date mixture.

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11th July 2011

White Bean Dip

This dip couldn't be any simpler. Just throw four or five ingredients into the food processor and Bam! A yummy, thick, garlicky dip. I recently made a slightly different version of this recipe that had lemon in it and wasn't sure this was going to be as good without it but the fresh parsley added a nice freshness. I really like both versions.

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This is exactly what I wanted to eat! A creamy, tomato soup with a touch of heat.

The recipe specified soaking the cashews for 4 to 8 hours but I didn't feel like waiting so I only soaked them for about 40 minutes while the soup was simmering. It was just enough time to soften them slightly and they added a lovely texture to the soup.

I also accidentally added 2 tablespoons of maple syrup instead of 2 teaspoons so I increased the amount of tomatoes to balance out the sweetness.

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The Happy Herbivore Cookbook: Over 175 Delicious Fat-Free and Low-Fat Vegan Recipes

By Lindsay S. Nixon
BenBella Books - 2011

24th February 2011 (edited: 24th February 2011)

Baked Shells and Cheese

Okay, not bad, not great. It satisfied my craving for baked macaroni and cheese but the sauce was lacking something.

useful (0)  

12th April 2011 (edited: 12th April 2011)

Creamy Carrot Soup

I'm not a huge carrot fan but I do love roasted carrots and the occasional carrot stick. The lovely colour of the soup in the photo of this recipe seduced me into giving it a shot. I was also curious about the addition of instant oatmeal for creaminess. I'm afraid this soup was a complete flop. I thought it was awful and wouldn't feed it to my worst enemy. It was creamy but not in a good way and the flavour was very one dimensional.

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12th April 2011

Soul Burgers

I liked the mix of spices; cumin, thyme, paprika, cayenne and pepper but I'm afraid this recipe fell down in the texture department. The burgers were mushy and fell apart very easily. I left them in the oven for an extra 12 minutes in the hopes of crisping and browning the outsides but the experiment was not very successful. I think something is missing from the ingredient list to help bind and firm these up.

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