Archive for Vegan

Flotsam Filo Pie from the IKEA Scrapsbook

Like many of you, I’m pretty passionate about the environment and sustainability. In fact, the main reason I don’t eat meat is because of the environment, and it’s become my mission through this blog and my various other outlets (cookbooks, Instagram, etc) to help y’all out there to eat less meat.

I totally get that veganism or even vegetarianism isn’t for everyone, and that’s okay. But if we all just ate a little less meat, it could make a huge difference for the environment.

I also try to live a more sustainable life. This includes things like making less waste, taking my own bags to the grocery store, recycling whenever I possibly can, choosing more environmentally friendly cleaning methods, and trying to cut back on the amount of plastic I use.

So I was pretty excited to see that IKEA came out with a new cookbook recently, and its focus is on creating less waste in the kitchen.

Called The Scrapsbook, it’s free to download from their website, and features recipes that take advantage of food that would normally be thrown out; banana peels, for example. There’s a recipe to turn those into bacon (I haven’t tried it yet).

Basically, if you’re thinking of throwing it into the compost, IKEA has a recipe to keep it from ending up there.

It’s not a plant-based cookbook, though there are lots of plant-based recipes, and many of the recipes are very vegetable-forward. It also features recipes from some great Canadian chefs, including our very own local Trevor Bird.

I thought I’d test one of the recipes the other day, and in the spirit of the thing, use up some stuff I had kicking around, rather than going to to shop for ingredients. I had some filo in the freezer, as well as some TMRW sausage, some kale, and some green onions that were very much past their prime.

Flotsam Filo Pie is inspired by a Turkish pie called Borek. I remember eating them nearly every day in Greece, where they were stuffed with cheese and herbs. Yum! So good. The joy of this recipe is you can pretty much throw whatever you have lying around in there, and it’s probably going to taste good, because of the crispy layers of filo that enrobe it.

The recipe in the Scrapsbook was not vegan, so I veganized it.

Flotsam Filo Pie from The Scrapsbook

Flotsam Filo Pie

(inspired by the IKEA Scrapsbook)

Makes 4 pies


  • 8 sheets vegan filo pastry (check the ingredients, most supermarket brands are accidentally vegan)
  • 1 vegan sausage (I used TMRW Foods Maple)
  • 1 cup green leafy veg (spinach or kale)
  • 6 green onions (or you can sub out fresh herbs of your choice–parsley or dill would work great)
  • 1/4 cup oat milk
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil


  1. Remove your filo from the freezer and allow it to defrost.
  2. In a frying pan over medium heat, place a tablespoon or so of oil (olive or canola) and allow it to heat. Remove the sausage from its casing and add it to the pan, breaking it up with the back of your spoon. Allow sausage to brown, stirring occasionally to keep from burning.
  3. Once sausage is mostly browned, add the green onions and kale, season with salt and pepper and stir well. Cook for about 1-2 minutes, until the greens are wilted. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  4. Cut one sheet of filo pastry in half and then lay each sheet on top of each other, so you have a double layer.
  5. Mix the oat milk and the canola oil together, and brush it all over the filo pastry.
  6. Place about 2 tablespoons of filling all along the long end of the filo pastry and then begin to roll it up so the filling is inside. Once you’ve rolled it all the way up, twist the entire log into a snail shape.
  7. Place the pies on a parchment-lined baking sheet, brush them with a little more of the milk/oil mixture, and sprinkle with a little flaky sea salt or sesame or poppy seeds (I used everything bagel seasoning on mine because I’m EXTRA like that).
  8. Bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 25 minutes, until crispy and golden brown. Eat while still warm.


Pasta a la Pomarola {Vegan}

a dish of penne pasta with tomato sauce

I have been obsessed, obsessed, I tell you, with the new series Searching for Italy with Stanley Tucci that’s been airing on CNN on Sunday nights (ps it just got renewed for Season 2!!).

First of all, Tucci is 7 different kinds of amazing, and Big Night is one of my top 10 movies of all time. But also, there’s something about this series that helps to fill the hole in my heart left by Anthony Boudain.

Also, c’mon! It’s Italy! It’s food! We can’t travel right now! It’s everything we need.

In the first episode, Tucci talked about San Marzano tomatoes. Now, of course I knew about San Marzanos. I’d likely had them on a pizza or two. But I’d never gone out of my way to buy them, nor did I realize there was a black market for them.

So after viewing that episode, I was determined to find authentic San Marzanos and cook with them. You know, for science.

For a city with such a big Italian population, you’d think they’d be easier to find, but not so much. I did finally source them at Donald’s Market, and, surprisingly, Costco. Costco was the better deal (shocker). Here’s how to know if your San Marzanos are the real deal.

Cans of tomatoes

Now it was time to cook. For inspiration, I turned to Samin Nosrat. This is a recipe adapted from Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat.

Pasta a la Pomarola is a super simple, pantry-staple Tuscan-inspired tomato sauce that’s perfect for these days. We can’t travel, we have to be careful and not go to the grocery store too often, and we want something comforting and soul-satisfying. This checks all those boxes.

Pasta a la Pomarola takes a while to make, but it’s not hard. It just needs a little time to make its particular brand of magic.

I added spinach to mine, though it’s not traditional.

And if you, like me, are dreaming and planning for when this pandemic is over and you can finally get to Italy, you’ll need this. And in the mean time, here are 6 recipes from the show. 

a plate of pasta

Pasta a la Pomarola


  • 1/2 cup Good quality EVOO (divided)
  • 1 large yellow or red onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 can San Marzano Tomatoes, placed in a bowl and squished with your hands
  • 2 sprigs fresh basil, leaves chopped
  • 1 cup fresh spinach, packed
  • 250 g pasta (I used penne)
  • parmesan or pecorino (or the vegan equivalent), optional


  1. In a large dutch oven over medium heat, add a tablespoon or two of olive oil, just enough to cover the bottom. Heat until the oil shimmers, then add your onions. Season with salt and reduce the heat. Allow to sweat out until the onions are soft and translucent. This will take about 10 minutes. If the onions start to brown, reduce the heat some more and add a little water.
  2. Once the onions are cooked, add the garlic and cook for a few seconds, just until fragrant, then add the tomatoes. Fill the can that the tomatoes were in about halfway up with water, and swish it around well to get all the juices, then add that to the pot as well. Bring back up to the boil, then reduce to a simmer. Add the basil, season with salt and pepper, and stir well.
  3. Allow the sauce to cook for about 40-45 minutes, stirring occasionally, and making sure it is just simmering, as you don’t want it to burn.
  4. Once the tomatoes are cooked and have turned a darker red, become thicker and don’t taste raw anymore, turn up the heat and stir in 1/3 cup olive oil as well as the spinach. Stir and boil until the sauce is glossy and smooth. Taste for seasoning and adjust, adding more salt and pepper if needed. Cover and set aside on the back of the stove to keep warm.
  5. In a medium saucepan, heat up to the boil a large quantity of well-salted water. When the water boils, add your pasta to it and stir well. Allow to cook, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is al dente. Drain the pasta but reserve the cooking water.
  6. Place the pasta back into the pot over low heat and start adding tomato sauce to it by the ladleful, adding pasta water as well. Stir and mix together until you get your desired consistency of sauce.
  7. Spoon into bowls and serve with gratings of your desired cheese.
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