Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Monday, January 29, 2007
Sometimes, amid the food pictures and descriptions I'll briefly talk about my day or life. I thought this would be fun to do, and have really enjoyed reading all the other posts. (click on the picture for more information!)
Obviously, my name is Melissa. I'm 21, turning 22 next month. I moved quite a bit when I was younger, and ended up spending about 10 years in Winnipeg, Manitoba, where I graduated from high school. My parents decided to move to Sudbury, ON to be closer to their families, and I followed them. I went to the University of Ottawa for my first year, as I was offered a 3500$/year scholarship in their new biomedical program. After that, I transferred to Laurentian University, still in the biomedical field, but decided to do a concurrent B.Ed. Right now, I'm in my last semester of undergrad (finally!) and next year will complete my teaching degree. I want to teach high school science.
As for the whole vegan thing...I gave up red meat when I was 12 after my Pawpaw sent us moose meat. I thought it was gross and realised what a waste of a beautiful animal...then I finally made the connection to cows. It took me a while to give up the rest though. I started reading books on the topic and eventually became vegetarian in grade 11. I was mostly vegan in grade 12 and first year, but I still ate milk chocolate occasionally and was far from eating a healthy diet.
During first year, my aunt brought me to a bookstore on my birthday and suggested I pick out a vegan cookbook. I found Sarah Kramer's Garden of Vegan, bought it and loved it. I started cooking more and I finally gave up milk chocolate and soy cheese with casein. Its been quite the journey since, and it took me a bit longer to start buying vegan products, but I like to think of myself as a full fledged vegan warrior now (although its impossible for one to be 100% vegan in this world).
My boyfriend, Billy, and I have been together for over 4 years. We met in Winnipeg, and stayed together after I moved. He eventually moved to Sudbury. We live together in an apartment, work in the same restaurant and have a cat named Logan.
Well, I didn't expect to write that much, but there you have it!
I take too many food pics and not enough people pics, so I didn't have the greatest selection, haha.
Sunday, January 28, 2007
Friday, January 26, 2007
I suppose I should go exercise now...
Thursday, January 25, 2007
I had it with a tossed salad with Creamy Italian Dressing from How It All Vegan. Garlicky goodness!
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Sunday, January 21, 2007
1 tsp. olive or canola oil
450 g. "beef style" seitan
1 1/2 tsp. prepared garlic (minced)
fresh ground pepper to taste
2 celery stalks
1 cup baby carrots (Frozen or fresh)
1 can (398 ml) stewed tomatoes (Italian or chili style)
1 can (398 ml) brown beans in tomato sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
2 cans (398 ml each) or 1 1/2 cans (about 500 ml each) whole potatoes, drained (if potatoes large, slice in half)
1. Heat oil in large pot at medium-high. Cut beef into bite sized pieces and add to pot as you chop. Toss until warmed. Add garlic and pepper to "meat" while its warming. Sliver onion, chop celery and slice mushrooms in half, in that order. Add to pot as you chop.
2. Rinse carrots in a colander under cold water and add to pot. Add in this order: canned tomatoes, brown beans, ketchup and potatoes. Stir and heat on medium for 10 minutes or until carrots are tender.
Serve with fresh dinner buns (warmed).
As you can see, its very quick to prepare (because of canned foods), but its a great quick fix.
Saturday, January 20, 2007
I also gave the Candle Cafe cookbook another chance. I made the oatmeal currant cookies (but with raisins). Yummiest oatmeal raisin cookies ever! So chewy with a bit of crunch, just yummy. I can't stop eating them.
I recently switched to the new version of blogger, and everything's fine, except I can't get the layout I used to...the text won't move around on the final draft, no matter how I change it....grrrr.
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Monday, January 15, 2007
I've also made the stuffed peppers from the book, which Billy also really enjoyed.
This weekend I had a craving for cheese biscuits, like the ones at work. But I didn't have any bisquick mix and all the recipes seemed to call for it, so I just made whole wheat biscuits from Table for Two, mixed in some Earth Island cheddar cheese and topped them with some garlic butter. They did the trick. The picture isn't all that great, but these were delicious.
Thursday, January 11, 2007
The inari turned out great. I was tired last night when I was preparing the lunch, so I didn't prepare the sushi rice recipe from the cookbook. The frozen inari I had came with seasoning, so I just mixed that into the rice. They were so easy to assemble, and so delicious! Simple and good.
I have another recipe to share. As you may have noticed, these recipes aren't fancy but they're quick and easy. I hope this doesn't make me the vegan Rachael Ray...we just need some solutions for the later nights at school. And Billy shovels this stuff down, so count me in! I adapted this from Cooking for the Rushed also. Its like hamburger helper stuff, but more home made. And it has a chili-like taste, which always wins.
"Hamburger" Jumble (I served it with some warm baking powder biscuits from La Dolce Vegan)
2 packages ground round
olive oil as needed
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp cumin powder
1/2 onion (use a whole onion if you want, I just wanted to use up the one in my fridge, and Billy is not a big fan)
1 small green pepper
1 cup chunky salsa
2 cups water
400 ml mushroom pasta sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
1 Tbsp. vegan Worcestershire sauce
250 g whole wheat rotini
1 cup frozen corn
1/2 cup grated "Cheddar" cheese (Optional)
1. Cook ground round in a large pot at med-high, in oil. Add spices (oregano, garlic, cumin) while ground round is warming. Chop onion and green pepper into small chunks, adding to pot as you chop. Wash and slice mushrooms, adding to the pot as you slice.
2. In order, add to the pot: salsa, water, pasta sauce, ketchup, Worcestershire, rotini and corn. Stir til hot and simmering (bubbling). Cover and reduce heat. Simmer for 15 minutes (check that pasta is cooked).
3. Add cheese to pot if using, and stir til melted. Serve right away, with buns or rolls.
The picture for this one isn't too great, thanks to the horrible lighting.
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
First up, double chocolate chip muffins from La Dolce Vegan. The first time I ever made these, they weren't that impressive to me. But I tried them again,and they're yummy! Especially with some fudgey frosting on top.
Dinner last night was delicious, fast and super easy. I adapted another recipe from Cooking for the Rushed: penne with Italian gigi sauce and veggies. This is a creamy tomato sauce with a bit of kick. I substituted the chicken with "chicken" seitan. It was so good, Billy liked it too :)
Penne with Gigi Sauce:
1 tsp. olive oil
3 "chicken" seitan steaks (this sauce would work just as well without it too)
2 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. dried basil
1/2-1 small onion
350 g whole wheat penne
1 can condensed tomato soup
1/2 of the soup can, plain soymilk
3/4 cup chunky salsa (mild to spicy, depending on how you like it)
2 green onions, more for garnish if you'd like
oil and basil for pasta
1. Fill large pot with water, cover and bring to a boil. Heat oil on med-high in large frying pan or wok. Cut seitan into bite sized pieces and add to the wok as you chop.
2. Add the garlic and basil to the wok. Toss to coat seitan, and cook until warmed through.
3. While the seitan is warming, sliver the onion and add to the wok as you chop. Wash and slice mushrooms, adding to the wok as you go.
4. Place pasta in boiling water, stir, and cook uncovered. Set the timer for 11 minutes. In a mixing bowl, stir together the soup, milk and salsa and pour over the seitan mixture. Stir well.
5. Wash and chop green onion and add to the wok. Simmer while pasta cooks.
6. Drain pasta in colander, return to pot and toss with 1 tsp of olive oil (optional) and 1/2 tsp basil.
I served mine with some broccoli that was cooked with Mrs. Dash, and a bit of vegan parmesan on top of the sauce. Yum Yum!
And finally, lunch yesterday and today was straight out of Vegan Lunchbox. Easy potato salad, green grapes, and some cut up deli meat and soy cheese to eat with some rice crackers. Oh, yes, and some back-to-school chocolate chip cookies! They're whole wheat, and good! I undercooked the potatoes a bit, but its definitely a good recipe. Nice, and simple, the way I like it.
Tonight's dinner is leftover Gigi pasta, but I will be trying some new recipes later in the week.
Thursday, January 04, 2007
January 20: the best chocolate chip cookies
February 9: My discovery of vegan mac and cheese...mmmm
February 12: Cupcakes!
February 13: Burrito pie
February 25: My birthday cake, and tofu omelets
April 2: Billy's birthday cake
July 4: Spaghetti and Tofu balls
July 13: Tortilla chip soup
October 9: Tofu turkey and cheesecake
November 9: General Tao's Tofu
November 29: Nanaimo bars
Here's to another great year!
Girl: I'll have the cheese bread.
Subway Employee: Would you like cheese
on your sub?
Girl: No. I'm a vegetarian.
S. E: But you're having the
Girl: Its not the same.
Ummmmm, yeah. That's all I have to say about that.
I've made lots of food, but I only have pictures for two things, I'll get more tomorrow. I made a few things from the Candle Cafe book. So far, I'm less than impressed. The lentil chowder is okay but is rather bland. It takes a lot of salt and extra seasoning for me to want to eat it, although I like that there's plenty of veggies in it (carrot, celery, squash, onion, tomato, etc). I served it with some brown basmati rice.
I also made the tofu scramble and home fries. The home fries are delicious and have Yukon and sweet potatoes, but the scramble is also bland, despite having many spices in it, somehow. I ate some leftovers in a toasted sandwich with ketchup and nacho cheese sauce, which was a bit of an improvement. Nevertheless, I'll persevere with this cookbook. I'm sure there are many great meals in it.
Monday, January 01, 2007
Happy New Year to everyone! I hope its a great year for you all. A year ago today Billy and I started moving into our apartment. The year went by so fast!
Anyways I'll be doing groceries tomorrow...I can't wait to try out some new food!