Tag Archives: vegetarian

Hometown Tourist #2 – The Yarker Waterfall Tea Room

Sunday I went out with a few of my neighbors on a country drive to Yarker, where we were having lunch. We left the city in the early afternoon and drove off down the winding country roads. Being a country girl myself it was extremely refreshing to get out of town and just enjoy the ride. We past beautiful stone farm houses with great big barns and silos surrounded by wide open fields and herds of dairy cows to arrive at this lovely little country restaurant on the bend of the beautiful Yarker waterfall, The Waterfall Tea Room.

The food was lovely. Their vegetarian menu is simple, but full of flavor and they make homemade fruit and cream pies. I forgot to snap a photo, but I had the baked bean patter which came with a beautiful salad full of pepper slices and cucumber with a delicious mango relish for the dressing, a golden piece of cornbread, and a lovely bowl of saucy mixed baked beans. I finished it all of with a slice of homemade apple pie and a cold glass of iced tea.

When you walk in the door you are greeted by a darling little vintage, local craft and fair-trade, antique shop. You can also pick up some local eggs or cheeses while there.Walls of aluminium siding hide a small and well organized modern kitchen.
Inside the tea room, there are are a few little tables with mismatched chairs adding to the charm.And a little self portrait for you here. My entire outfit was thrifted for under $15, including my brand new with tag still on 3 inch espadrille wedges that I thrifted for $3.50 fro mthe recent 50% off sale at Value Village. I am quite pleased with myself.

Then of course I had to include some photos of the gorgeous little Yarker waterfall. I cannot wait to go swimming and had to fight my natural instinct to want to climb down so my toes could find their way into the cool water.

We had such a lovely holiday weekend full of beautiful sunshine and laziness and I’m not quite ready to jump back into a busy week, but reluctantly I will. We only have a week and a half till June. It truly is amazing how fast this year is flying by, I really cannot believe it.

I hope you all had a lovely Memorial/Victoria Day. There is a beautiful summer ahead of us.


The Amazing Vegan Lentil Loaf Recipe

So we all know that lentil loaves don’t exactly have anything to do with this week’s theme of Bicycles, but I promise you this meal is mighty fine and it’s packed with protein and fiber and veggies and all the really, really good stuff that makes your body run smoothly and have energy for pushing the petals. Plus it’s going to knock your socks off.

This is a household staple for us. No, James and aren’t vegan. We actually really love cheese. I mean really love cheese. We do, however, like to eat healthy. When we are not eating tons of cheese that is. Also me being a vegetarian  this is a great way to get that protein punch and my veggies all in one go.

Okay so I have to admit something. I am having a love affair with the Vegan Stoner, well not the vegan stoner, but the vegan stoner’s blog and cook book. This blog has helped me jump start many a meal in the past six months. Someday, I’d love to own the cook book and the snack book. Some day when I am rich, or rather richer than I am, meaning that I actually have money  in order to spend it. Yay to somedays!

So today I want to share with you the inspiration of this lentil loaf of awesomeness and it comes from The Vegan Stoner. I have tried many loaves through out the years and this was the first internet recipe I actually had any luck with. So here it is, the ultimate stoner loaf, that just happens to be vegan. Isn’t it much cooler to play with beans than raw meat? Personally, the answer to that question is yes.

image source

Tell me you are not in love with that illustration? Also this loaf is one of the most moist loaves ever. Which is a big deal. Lentil loaves are known for their crumbliness.

Okay so while the recipe above is awesome in itself. I want to tell you today how to make it ultimate. That’s right, you heard me, The Ultimate Lentil Loaf……Also known as:

The One Vegan Lentil Loaf to Rule them all

So let’s get down to business. here is what you need:

  • 2 cups cooked red lentils – well drained and by this I mean really well drained. You need as little extra moisture as possible in this recipe.
  • 2+ cloves of garlic, or to taste – minced
  • Half of one large onion or two small – finely diced
  • half of one regular sized red pepper and one regular sized green pepper – diced
  • 1 small turnip diced
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup grated carrot
  • 1/4 cup diced celery stalk
  • 1/4 cup applesauce – UPDATE – I don’t know how I forgot to write this in the initial post, applesauce is what gives this loaf it’s gumption!
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • two tsp tamari or your favorite soy sauce – Optional
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast – Optional
  • 1 tbsp ground sage
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground onion – Optional
  • 1/2 tsp ground garlic – Optional
  • 1/4 cup walnuts – crushed/diced/minced whatever (put them in a bag and roll over them with a rolling pin once or twice.)
  • 1  & 1/2 cups rolled oats divided – with the 1/2 cup ground into flour in coffee grinder
  • 1/2 cup veggie broth set a side

{If skipping over the optional seasonings – tamari, nutritional yeast, ground onion and garlic, you can simply  replace with two vegan vegetable bouillon cubes or cook your lentils in veggie broth.}

Ingredients for glaze:

  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • pinch  or 2 of chipotle or chili powder
  • a dash of tamari
  • 2 to 3 tbsp strong coffee – add in each tbsp one at a time till you reach a thick tomato soup constancy

{This glaze can be replaced by ketchup if you prefer or the coffee can be replaced with vanilla extract, or you can replace one tbsp of coffee with water for milder flavor.}


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Using a potato masher and a large mixing bowl mix everything together, except for oats and veggie broth. Then add in whole oats and mix thoroughly. If the mixture seems too moist add in the ground oats little by little until a nice smooth dough that is hard to stir. A perfect medium – not too dry, not to moist. If  too dry nix the ground oats and slowly mix in veggie broth till  the mixture reaches that in between stage.

Grease a bread pan with veggie oil, spoon in your mixture and even out the top. Set on the middle rack of your preheated oven. Set a time for 40 minutes or until top is golden brown. Once the loaf is nice and brown cut a trench about one inch deep in the top to ensure it’s done inside. It should not be too sticky in the center and a fork should come out clean. Then spread your glaze over the top of the loaf and filling in the trench on the top. Allow to bake for about 10 to 15 minutes longer until glaze is bubbly. Remove loaf from oven and allow to cool in the pan for five minutes, then remove to cool on a wire rack for another 5 as it slices better when not fresh out of the oven and has time to set up.

Tip: If your doughy mixture is too moist you can divide the mixture into two loaf pans and stack together after cooking with a layer of glaze in the middle. Yum yum! This avoids the top and bottoms over cooking with a sticky center.

Tip: Make extra glaze and slightly caramelize on the stove top in a shallow pan to serve on the side for those extra saucy guests.

Now is the time to dig in! I usually serve this loaf with classic mashed potatoes, a sage gravy, Southern style sautéed onions and squash/zucchini, and a salad. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. (: