Friday, December 29, 2006

Hope your's was as merry as mine!

I'm back from Mattawa/Deep River/Ottawa! I wish it could have been a longer trip, but it is nice to be home. I hope everyone had a great Christmas or holiday, I know I did. It was great to see the family.
I got some great stuff! The Candle Cafe cookbook, the Ultimate Uncheese cookbook and the simple little vegan slowcooker cookbook. If any of you have these, suggest some recipes to try, please :)

I haven't cooked lately, but I did have something different for breakie this morning. Breakfast quinoa with blueberries from La Dolce Vegan. It was pretty good. I'm planning on emptying out the freezer/fridge and pantry a bit before I make anything new, so I don't know how much I'll be cooking. But I did get a really cool chip and dip crock pot thingy that I'll have to showcase soon with a yummy dip!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

One last post

Not much new food to post, things have been crazy. I made the eggplant parmesan from La Dolce Vegan. It was good. I don't think I'd make it regularly since it took a while, but the eggplant was melt-in-your-mouth.

I made mint chocolate fudge and peanut butter fudge as a host gift for my uncle, no pictures, but its yummy!

We're leaving tomorrow for Christmas in Mattawa/Deep River/Ottawa (lots of driving!) and we'll be back on the happy holidays to everyone! Be safe and have fun.

Monday, December 18, 2006

More cookies

I had pumpkin leftover, so I made the Pumpkin Puff Cookies from La Dolce Vegan. These are deceptive cookies, in that when they are done, they don't look done. But they firm up well and cook through. They're nice and soft and chewy and have a great spice combo of ginger, cloves and cinnamon. Mmmm mmmmm.

I made a non-traditional shepherd's pie, from How It All Vegan last week. There's no ground round or corn. The filling is made of veggies and lentils, and topped with the mashed potatoes. Yummy! I topped it and the broccoli with some cheese sauce I whipped up. Just like when mom used to melt cheez whiz onto our veggies to get us to eat them ;).

When I was in grade 7 I gave up red meat, but I still liked to cook dinners for the family, and my parents sure appreciated it! I often made meals from Cooking for the Rushed by Sandi Richard (she has a show on the Food Network now). I recently rediscovered the book and borrowed it from my mom. There's a few recipes in it that could be veganized. I made one today...the Chicken teriyaki toss over spaghettini. It turned out just as good, meat free! I'll post the recipe since I changed so much about the recipe. I plan on making this with "chicken" seitan in the future, I just didn't have time to today...although it is great with just the veggies too.

"Chicken" Teriyaki Toss over Spaghettini
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp. Mrs Dash Original Seasoning
1/2 tsp. (or to taste) crushed chilies
~3 "chicken" seitan steaks
1 small onion, 1 small zucchini, 1/2 each of green and red pepper
10 mushrooms
350 g whole wheat spaghettini
1 tbsp cornstarch
2 tbsp lite soya sauce
1/3 cup teriyaki sauce (for more spice you can sub in a few tsp's of black bean garlic chili sauce for some of the sauce)
1/4 cup "chicken" style stock, 1 cup "chicken" stock
2 tsp curry powder
1 tbsp maple syrup or agave nectar
1/2 tsp basil leaves

Bring large pot of water to a boil. Heat oil in large nonstick pan/wok over med-high. Cut seitan into bite sized pieces, add to pan as you chop. Season and stir til warm. Chop onion, zucchini and peppers in that order into bite sized pieces and add to pan as you chop. Wash and slice mushrooms, adding to pan as you go, tossing occasionally.
Place pasta in boiling water, stir and cook uncovered for 8 minutes. Add cornstarch to small bowl and stir in soya sauce until smooth. Mix in teriyaki sauce and 1/4 cup of the broth. Add to veggies, stir and simmer on low.
Rinse pasta with hot water in colander and let drain. In empty pasta pot on med-low mix remaining broth, curry, syrup and basil. Stir together, add pasta and toss to coat. Remove from heat. Serve veggie mixture over pasta.
Teriyaki Toss

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Calling all Ottawa Citizens!

If there are any...have you ever bought a tofurkey in Ottawa, and if so, where? My MIL is trying to locate one for me.


Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Yummy Treats

I thought I had retired my lunchbox til the New Year, but Billy and I decided to go to school on Saturday to study for our exams that night. In the thermos is How It All Vegan's Lively Lentil Stew. Yum, very satisfying in this weather! Especially since I had the chills all day (probably nerves).

I also started some holiday baking. Pumpkin cranberry cookies from La Dolce Vegan, and also from LDV, mint chocolate fudge.

The pumpkin cookies gave me a hard time. I forgot to preheat the oven, and I had poured some of the liquid into the batter, so I'm not sure if that would affect it, but these did not cook in the given time, or anytime soon after that! So the bottoms were overly cooked and the insides slightly undercooked. But they still taste good, with pumpkin pie spices, pecans and cranberries. I'm a fan of cranberries in baked goods, they get nice and chewy.

The fudge is out of this world good. I'm scared to make it again, I'll eat it all. I needed to use a candy thermometre, since I don't know anything about "softball stage" and all that...but it was relatively easy. LDV has other variations on fudge that I'm going to have to try in the coming weeks.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Easy peasy, except there's no Naked Chef in my kitchen

Another super easy "why are you blogging this?" meal tonite. My uncle's in town to visit so I wanted a quick dinner. Kamut udon noodles (my new favourite!) tossed with Sneaky Tomato Sauce (Vegan Lunchbox) into which I mixed in some ground round and cheddar "cheese". I also threw in a handful of spinach during the last few minutes of the pasta's cooking time. Yum, so delicious, and ridiculously easy, since I had frozen the sauce and just needed to thaw it today. The sauce with the ground round reminds me of the sphagetti sauce my dad used to make :)

We got a chance to check out the new Superstore, which is still in progress, but there's lots of great new stuff. There's a whole side of a display fridge for veg stuff. I got chicken ground round! Now I just have to figure out something cool to do with it. They've also majorly expanded their organic section of produce....yay, I'm so excited! No vegan cheese though, they just started stocking another casein soy cheese :(

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Chestnuts...exploding in my oven.

I had to roast chestnuts to make the golden chestnut soup from Vegan Lunchbox last night. I cut the x slits into them, but two of them still exploded all over my oven! Boo. Note to self: next time make huge slits! The soup was okay, it had a similar texture to a potato soup. The white pepper gives it a really distinct flavour that I think I'm going to have to learn to like. I added some more salt and ate it with some whole wheat crackers, and it made a satisfying lunch.

I packed the soup along with some gingerbread vegans and icing, a mandarin orange, and Best brussel sprouts, a recipe also from Lunchbox; to make the Christmas Menu from the book. The sprouts are really good, even at room temperature. Now I've got a few ways to prepare those guys...which I can't get Billy to eat, for the life of me. I also can't get him to eat oranges, so I've been eating mandarins from the box like crazy! Not that its hard.

I also made the tomato basil bread soup from La Dolce Vegan. Not my favourite from the book but its tasty enough, with plenty of tomato and fresh basil and topped with some parm.

And finally, I have to share my dinner from last night, even though its nothing new. Bowties and cheese with some of the Best brussel sprouts. The cheese sauce turned out better than ever creamy and cheesy! I do admit I was a cheese person when I wasn't vegan, but I like that fact because when people say to me "Ohhhhh, I could never be vegan, I love cheese too much!" I have something to feed them that'll shut them up (in a nice way, of course)!
Mac and Cheese
I'm so excited. My parents gave me a Christmas present early because its heavy....a pantry/cupboard! I got the birch one. My kitchen is so organized now! And everything's not crammed into one shelf. Billy tried to surprise me by starting the assembly while I was at school...didn't work out so well, but I improvised. A fight and a half later, and much insistance that I don't care that he's not a handyman...and its all good! ;)

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Early December Blues

Now's the time when *everything* is due, right before exams. I've got a midterm, two essays and an online test all done, but still have a research project, a quiz and an assignment due...why do profs give you assignments due the same week as the final? On to food, which makes me happy.

The other day I made the 5-minute roasted red pepper pesto from La Dolce Vegan. I had pre-cooked some soba noodles the day before, so it literally took me 5 minutes to make dinner! Toss some jarred roasted red peppers (or roast them yourself), walnuts, parsley, basil and garlic into a blender and whiz in some oil, and you've got dinner. I was even able to make it in my mini-blender so I didn't have to clean up the food processor.

It was good, the only change I'll make next time is to toss it with more pasta, I'd prefer it as a light covering, not a thick sauce.

I brought the rest of my nanaimo bars to work because I was eating way too many of them. They didn't last long. All the servers loved them, and aside from those of them who know I'm vegan, no one was the wiser. The only comments I got were : "Homemade? How Martha of you!" ;) I've only got three days left where I can use my lunchbox before next semester, so I'll be making some yummy food to pack later.