Tag Archives: daiya

Vegan French Onion Soup

Je m'appelle "Soupe." Enchantée.

Let’s talk about onions. How do you feel about them? Perhaps because of their pungency, they seem to incite strong feelings one way or another. In my case, our Facebook relationship status would be “It’s Complicated.” Remember when I told you how gross mayonnaise is? Well, I used to feel the same  way about onions. Hated them. Would not go near them. Would not eat anything they had even touched.

I have been daydreaming about French Onion Soup for like four days and have been writing this post in my head for three. I am obsessed. How did I get to this place, you ask? Well, I learned that onions can be cooked into oblivion. When slow-cooked, they dissolve and impart a delectably rich flavour to every dish they meet. Once I wrapped my head around this concept, I gradually started to actually like the little tear-jerkers.

Oh, and I grew up and quit being such a whiner.

This recipe isn’t particularly innovative: a quickle Google search will give you oodles of French Onion Soup recipes with similar methods and ingredients. I have actually never eaten the stuff until today, as I understand it is usually made with beef broth and I’ve been a pescatarian for nearly twenty years. Plus, the whole anti-onion thing made this soup my literal nightmare in a bowl.

Turns out the secret to making this soup is caramelizing the onions for about an hour. Uncovered! Think about what this makes your house smell like! Think about what slicing five big onions means for your eyes! It’s worth it though. If you’re a reformed onion-loather or a French Onion Soup-deprived vegan or vegetarian, this one’s for you.

I don’t know if this tastes anything like the classic beef-based version, but hot damn is it ever tasty! Super rich and flavourful, the Daiya and bread really take it to another place– onion heaven.

Oh, and apparently an onion a day keeps the doctor away.

La soupe, nue et sans pain et fromage.

I used Michael Smith’s recipe (mostly because his name is a combination of my parent’s names) as a base and easily veganized it.


2 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp vegan butter (I used Earth Balance)

splash water

5 white onions, halved and thinly sliced

1/2 cup brandy ( I imagine sherry or white wine would be nice too)

6 cups water (or vegetable stock– omit the bouillon cubes)

1 onion bouillon cube

1 mushroom bouillon cube

1 tsp dried thyme

2 tbsp Bragg’s or wheat-free tamari

salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Daiya mozzarella

Wheat-free bread of choice (I used Quinoa Barley bread– NOT gluten-free!)


Throw onions, vegan butter, splash of water, a pinch of salt, and oil into a large soup pot and turn heat to medium-high or high. Cover and let cook for around ten minutes, until the onions have softened and the water has evaporated.

Uncover and turn heat to low. Let the onions caramelize for around an hour, stirring every five minutes or so. As I write this, the onions have been doing their thing for 40 minutes. They are soft but not brown. They’d better get to browning!

Update: Onions have shrunk in size considerably. And I broke one of my lightbulbs while setting up the lightbox.

Not a golden colour at one hour. Turning up the heat to medium and watching carefully!

Cat has entered the lightbox. Does not bode well for the food that will soon be in there.

I don’t know why I am live blogging this. Sorry.

Screw it. Onions aren’t dark brown.

Add the brandy, bouillon cubes, water, Bragg’s and thyme. Add salt and pepper to taste, and simmer uncovered for fifteen minutes.

Turn on broiler and cut bread to fit your bowl. Toast it.

Ladle soup into oven-safe bowls and top with toast. Sprinkle with as much Daiya as your heart desires.

Broil until Daiya is melted.


Melty, bread-y, oniony, kind of boozy. French? Je n'ai aucune idée.

Serves 4. While very tasty, I would not recommend this as a weekday soup, as it takes awhile to caramelize the onions. Make it on the weekend unless you like eating at 9:30 pm. 



Filed under Soups

Vegan Cheesy Potato Bake

Vegan cheesy potato bake: Cheesy and... bean-y.

I’m still here. Sort of. I am not taking the change in weather gracefully.  Going from 30° and sunny to 14° and raining in a matter of a day does not a happy Maya make.

It’s not all doom and gloom here in the Keen Kitchen, I just haven’t really felt inspired to create. Or grocery shop. So I have been whipping up things like vegan mac n’ cheese and weird chickpea and brown rice combos. My culinary highlight of the past two weeks has definitely been Melissa from Swapmeat’s Cuban beans and rice. Make those and imagine yourself enjoying them on the beach with a frosty cuba libre in hand if you want a little sunshine in your life!

I probably should have made those again, but instead spent my day watching all six super-grisly episodes of The Walking Dead back to back, occasionally looking up to gaze sulkily at the raindrops hitting the indoor furniture still on our deck that we stubbornly have not brought in.

Even though I really should have had zero appetite after six hours of  intestine-relishing zombies, my grumbling stomach convinced me to poke around and see what was up in the kitchen. Potatoes were pretty much the only fresh thing. I rarely buy potatoes, as they are a no-no in our house, but today called for comfort food after a gruelling day on the couch. Hence the cheesy potato bake.

Unlike its chockfull-of-dairy counterpart, this vegan cheesy potato bake is low(er) in fat and high in fibre thanks to today’s secret ingredient: white beans. I was feeling guilty about making a dish that has nothing green in it, so I thickened my sauce with beans instead of oil and flour. Nutritional yeast, a vegan cheese sauce staple, adds vitamins and overall yumminess too.

Jack couldn’t stop raving about this. He’s a comfort food kind of guy. He proclaimed it “delicious,” “soooooo good” and the “best scalloped potatoes” he has ever had. Woah! Not bad for a vegan bean-filled potato dish!

I recommend putting some Daiya on this. The liquid dried up a lot during the cooking process and a little Daiya melted on top gave the dish some extra moisture. Hot sauce or ketchup works too!

Zombies HATE vegan cheese.


2 19-oz cans white beans, drained and rinsed

2 cups water

1 tbsp tamari

2 tsp balsamic vinegar

2 tbsp tahini

3 cloves garlic, minced

2/3 cup nutritional yeast

1 1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp paprika

freshly ground pepper to taste

4 large potatoes, thinly sliced in rounds

Daiya vegan cheese


Preheat oven to 450°.

Place all ingredients besides the potatoes in a blender and blend until smooth.

Grease a large baking dish (mine’s 13″ x 9″). Spread two potatoes-worth of rounds evenly in the dish. Ladle sauce until covered. Layer the remaining two potatoes. Pour remaining sauce on top.

Sprinkle with more paprika and freshly ground pepper.

Cover in tinfoil and bake 30 minutes.

Uncover and bake another 20 to 30 minutes, or until nicely browned on top.

Sprinkle some Daiya on top and put back in oven until melted.

Serve with something green and try not to think about zombies. Enjoy!

Serves 4. 


Filed under Dinner, Salads and Sides

Vegan Black Bean and Yam Enchiladas with Mole Sauce

Spicy, cheesy, creamy, rich and saucy enchiladas. Vegan, but you'd never know it!

 Enchiladas, so nice and hot! Enchiladas, I got I got!

When I went to Oaxaca, I ate enchiladas with mole for almost every meal. Not eating meat, I was pretty limited. Nevertheless, I fell in love with those cheesy, saucy morsels. Corn tortillas filled with stringy Oaxaca cheese and slathered with rich, chocolatey, spicy mole made for many a fine meal.

Intimidated by the rather daunting ingredients lists for traditional mole recipes, I never took the plunge and actually made my own. Happily, while perusing the adorable blog, Scissors and Spice, I stumbled across a recipe for easy mole, thus inspiring me to whip up some enchiladas tonight. This sauce comes together using ingredients from your pantry, which is always nice when you find yourself wondering what the heck to make for dinner.

These puppies are vegan and gluten-free, but I am pretty sure you could coax any type of -vore to have them for dinner! They are delicious, and taste even better the next day.


If you or your loved ones are sensitive to spice, reduce the chili powder and red pepper flakes. I found the mole spicy, but not crazy spicy.

Mole Ingredients:

1 tbsp. olive oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 a small white onion, diced

1/2 red bell pepper, diced

1 1/2 tbsp. chili powder

1 tbsp. cumin

1/2 tsp. cayenne

1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

1 tsp. cinnamon

2 tbsp. cocoa powder

1/2 cup Hunt’s tomato sauce (or other plain tomato sauce)

3/4 cup water

2 tsp. salt

Enchilada Ingredients:

1 large yam

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

salt and pepper

1 can black beans (I opened a 19 0z can, but did not use it all)

8 small corn tortillas

1 cup (approximately) of Daiya vegan cheese (I mixed the Mozzarella and Pepperjack flavours)


Make the mole! Heat oil on medium-low in a medium saucepan. Add garlic, onion and bell pepper and fry until the onions are translucent. Add in spices and cocoa powder, frying for a few minutes. Stir in the water and simmer for a few minutes. Add the tomato sauce and salt. Simmer for 5-10 minutes until the sauce is your desired thickness. Blend with an immersion blender, if you wish.

Preheat oven to 350°. While mole is cooking, cook the yam. I find the easiest way is to wash it, poke holes in it with a fork, and put it in a covered bowl or wrap it in paper towel. I then microwave it on high for about 10 minutes, until it is very soft. Let the yam cool, then peel it and mash in a bowl with garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Rinse and drain black beans and set aside.

Heat the tortillas in the microwave for 1 minute, to make them more pliable and cooperative.

Assemble the enchiladas! Spoon a little mole into an 8 x 8 pyrex baking pan. Dip a tortilla in mole and fill it with a smear of yam, a spoonful of black beans, and a sprinkle of Daiya. Roll it up and smush it into the pan. Repeat until all tortillas are filled and are snugly in the pan.

Pour the remaining mole over the enchiladas, spreading evenly. Sprinkle with a little more Daiya. Cover with foil and bake for half an hour.

Serve with guacamole and Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream, if desired.

Serves 3. If feeding a family, double it!

Holy mole!

PS. Thanks to Melissa from Swapmeat for pointing out the sizing issue of my images. I tried to fix it this time around, so hopefully these photos don’t appear stretched for anyone!


Filed under Condiments and Sauces, Dinner