“Let’s Make A Salad!” Video for LING 480 @ #SFU

Here’s a little video shot and edited yesterday for my group’s final project in Linguistics 480, Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL), with Dr. Trude Heift @ Simon Fraser University, Spring 2012.

The idea was to make a content-based video on the topic of food that could be easily incorporated into an ESL lesson. Each of the members in our group then has to create a mock ESL lesson plan incorporating this CALL technology for the second part of this assignment.

There are a few simple lessons that this video could be used for:

  1. Introducing imperative verb forms
  2. Food vocabulary
  3. Food preparation verbs
  4. Reviewing numbers (eg. “Step Six: Dice The Onion”)

Total runtime: ~4 minutes.

Feel free to use this video as part of your own ESL lesson planning.
“Lettuce” know if you find it useful!

Thanks to Lauren and Andrea for being really great to work with for this project.

March 30, 2012 | Lauren & Andrea, "Let's Make A Salad" Video for LING 480 @ SFU

March 30, 2012 | Lauren & Andrea, "Let's Make A Salad" Video for LING 480 @ SFU

Vegan Coconut Tempeh Tomato Apple Pasta

Okay. Hear me out. It sounds like a weird mix, but it’s actually really delicious! I love it when there are just tiny hints of sweetness to offset savoury flavours. My husband would beg to differ – he really doesn’t like apples and so pretty much refused to eat the dish. However, my tastebuds were pleasantly tickled!

pasta (I used rigatoni)
sesame oil
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 package of Green Cuisine Tempeh Burgers, diced
1 tomato, diced
1/2 apple, diced (I used a Honeycrisp)
cumin powder
coriander powder
sriracha hot sauce
1/2 can of coconut cream (or coconut milk)


  1. Boil pasta
  2. Sauté onion and garlic in sesame oil
  3. Continue sauteing and at your leisure, add tempeh, tomato, apple, cumin, coriander, salt, sriracha (I quickly squirt one circle of the pan – not too spicy). I added one ingredient at a time, while chopping the next ingredient.
  4. Saute some more
  5. Add 1/2 can of coconut cream/milk (stir up the can first so the liquid mixes with the cream on top)
  6. Saute some more at slightly higher than medium heat until coconut milk reduces and you’re left with a sauce-like texture
  7. serve over pasta!

How much of things like coriander and cumin, you ask? Well, with the powdered stuff, it’s not very strong (it’s been sitting in my pantry for a couple of years) so like maybe a teaspoon of both (or more?)? I honestly just shake it out of the bag until it seems like enough. It’s hard to go overboard – the flavour ends up pretty mellow when it mixes in with the coconut milk.

Vegan Tuna Salad – Easy Chickpeasy and Actually Decent

So there’s a promising recipe on http://www.exploreveg.org/resources/recipes/meals/mock-tuna-salad for Vegan Tuna Salad.

Inspiring! But of course, me being me, I bought the veganaise and forgot about the celery etc. and i have kelp at home but no kelp powder

So my mock tuna salad on corn tortillas tonight is:

  • 1 can chickpeas – drain and mash (I used a potato masher)
  • Veganaise – find in the refrigerated aisle by the tofu and soy cheese and vegetarian stuff
  • capers
  • pinch of nutritional yeast – find in the bulk section
  • freshly ground pepper
  • corn tortillas
Pretty happening! I think adding some TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein) would give it an even better, less sandy chickpea texture.
I think the secret is the veganaise. Tried it tonight for the first time and it tastes like full fat mayo. Almost identical. Actually super delicious. No eggs, no cholesterol.
So the moral of the story is that if you mix mashed chickpeas with veganaise and added some pepper it would probably turn out good…and those 3 ingredients I can manage to keep on hand. :D

Vegan Dinner: Tempeh Burger Stir Fry, Quinoa, and BEETS!!!

How have I managed to go 25 years without eating a boiled beet? Please, someone explain to me why I tried plain beets in all their glory for the first time a few days ago?

They’re STUNNING! Sweet like a sweet potato. Soft yet not a mushy texture.

For dinner tonight, we had tempeh burger stir fry, with boiled beets and Quinoa.

Boiled Beets:

Boil for 30-45 mins. Drain. Scrub off skins with a paper towel (they come off pretty easily).


Put quinoa with water in rice cooker. Crumble up an organic veggie buillion cube into water. Stir. Press “Cook”.

Stir Fry:

Dice onions and garlic. Sautee in pan with olive oil.
Dice tempeh burgers, zucchini and cut cauliflower into florets. Add to sautee pan.
Add ground cumin and coriander
Add chili powder
Add soy sauce

Excuse me while I OMNOMNOMNOMNOM :D

Best Vegan Pasta Dish, Ever! Recipe:

So delicious and savoury, even the meat and cheese eaters will barely notice – and I really like cheese. Don’t need cheese to make this dish awesome! No pictures, but the cucumber and fresh tomatoes give it really nice colour, and the savoury taste of the tempeh burgers, sundried tomatoes, fresh tomatoes, and generous amounts of olive oil (but not too much!!!) make it satisfying.


1/2 package rigatoni
5 (or more) sundried tomatoes
1/2 an onion
3+ cloves garlic
1 pack (2 patties) Green Cuisine brand tempeh burgers
20 or so grape tomatoes
1/2 long english cucumber
olive oil



  1. boil pasta according to package directions
  2. soak sundried tomatoes in hot water. When soft, cut into thin strips.
  3. cut tempeh burgers into 1/4s and pan fry both sides until golden. Dice.
  4. dice onion and mince garlic.
  5. sautee onion and garlic in olive oil. Add sundried tomatoes. Add tempeh.
  6. Quarter the grape tomatoes and dice the cucumber. Sprinkle salt on tomatoes and let sit for a couple minutes.
  7. Add a bunch more olive oil to the pan. Toss pasta into mixture. Turn off heat.
  8. Toss fresh tomatoes, cucumber, salt and pepper with pasta mixture.
  9. Serve.


Recipes for the Lazy Cook – #002 – Banana Rice

1.) Microwave a bowl of leftover rice
2.) Add some soy sauce
3.) Slice in a ripe banana

I discovered the deliciousness of this banana rice combination this hungry morning. I happened to have some leftover japanese rice in the fridge, and intended to quickly carb it up with some dark mushroom soy sauce and call it a breakfast. Then I looked at my fruit tray on top of the microwave and saw a couple of sad looking bananas that were going spotty. Then decided to slice one into my rice, just for kicks.

Actually pretty good. Nice balance of sweet and savoury.

In Roald Dahl’s autobiographical ‘Going Solo’, about his time in the RAF during WWII, he mentions one of the cooks making a rice dish with bananas (plantains), and this has always stuck in the back of my head as sounding fairly delicious, because Roald Dahl said it was delicious. I think I tried making it once as a kid, boiling the bananas with brown rice, and it turned out fairly miserable and I had to throw it away.

Simple, comforting, delicious. Good discovery. :D

Recipes for the Lazy Cook – #001 – Four Ingredient Pasta

1.) Pasta
2.) Shredded Parmesan Cheese
3.) Garlic Powder
4.) Pepper

Boil Pasta. Drain. Top with Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, pepper. Microwave for 30 seconds.

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