Monday, March 26, 2007


*sob* While making dinner tonight, my How It All Vegan Book came apart! I now have two chunks of papers that come right out of the cover :( I'm going to have to replace it eventually I guess. I love my cookbooks, and like to think I take pretty good care of them (minus all the writing and food stains).

Anyways, lunch this week is filling! I'm going to have to cut down on portions to be able to finish it all in one sitting. Beans and dogs (so yummy) with some bagel crisps, cucumber and edamame, and chocolate banana pudding. The pudding is very good, I think I'd like it even more made with chocolate soymilk instead of almond milk. But the banana makes it so great.

I made the Sweet Polenta Pie for dinner tonite, from my now deceased HIAV cookbook. Its alright. I suspect its one of those meals that is better as leftovers. I've never had polenta before though, so I'm not sure if the mushy texture of the crust is right or not. It does have a whole lot of veggies in it though, and the topping is good. Kind of hard to eat, the polenta is slippery ;)

I'm conducting an informal survey. When you eat out, what's your standard tip percentage, granted that the server was adequate and nothing went horribly wrong? Don't say a number because you think its what's right, answer honestly...I'm not here to judge. Its just that I hear many people at work complain about tips, but I'm thinking, maybe its not us, but that some people have different ideas of what a good tip is. Thanks!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Visiting the Garden...

... of Vegan! I've eaten so well this week, I felt like indulging for breakfast this morning. Even then, it was super healthy. I made the huevos rancheros from Garden of Vegan, and served them with strawberries and pineapple. Scrambled tofu and refried beans baked in a tortilla kind of breakfast. The recipe called for cheese, but I didn't want to buy any and be left with half a package tempting me all weekend. Billy eats these up too, even with the onions, mushrooms and tofu.

Billy's birthday is next weekend, which can only mean one thing....cake!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Some Great Food and a Greater Buy

Lunch this week comes with a bit of guilt. I made the Spanish Empanadas, along with Red Rice and Beans. Its supposed to be served with a salad of cucumber and mango, but my mango isn't ripe yet. The reason for the guilt...the empanada pie crust. It called for shortening, and in Canada, or at least here, I can't find any trans-free shortening yet. Anyone have some substitutions that work well? I rarely, if ever, eat things with trans fats in them, but I still hate knowing that I'm eating some this week. I don't think the yummy crust is worth it, and I think next time I'll use her equally good pizza dough, and make more of a calzone. The filling was simple, Italian ground round and some sauteed onion, and I added some black beans. The rice and beans are good too. The rice was cooked in tomato juice and veggies.

Dinner is courtesy of Vive le Vegan: Greek Basmati Rice and Lemon Herb Tofu. I was skeptical about the tofu, since I don't usually like eating just tofu (flavoured or not), but I sliced it really thin, and the marinade and herbs got soaked into the tofu while baking. It is delicious! The rice is good too, although I'm not a big fan of mint in entrees.

So this week its a Spanish lunch and a Greek dinner, the closest I can come to traveling on a student's budget.

While picking up a parcel at the drug store today, I saw some fitness DVD's on sale for 6 bucks. I picked up a Walking Pilates workout. I just finished it, and it is a good workout. It'll add some variety to my routine.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Product Review: PC Indian Chana Masala

A few weeks ago when I was doing groceries, I spotted this frozen meal at the Superstore. I wasn't going to get it, since I usually cook enough for the week, and didn't need it, but Billy said I should get it for those busy nights or emergencies. Plus its fairly nutritional with lots of fiber and protein. This is the description given on the website: Chickpeas, onions and tomatoes accented with an Indian-inspired spice blend, with basmati rice on the side.

Well, last night was one of those emergencies. I worked until ten, and was supposed to head to a friend's house for St. Patty's. I was starving, so I stopped at home and picked up the meal. I made it when I got to her house, and everyone said it smelled great. And it tasted good too. The basmati rice was actually well cooked and didn't suffer any adverse consequences from being frozen. The sauce for the rice was just the way I like it: not spicy but lots of flavour!

I think I'm going to stock up on these, to encourage the store to keep them, and also for those nights where there's no time or I'm too lazy, but still want to eat healthy.

Thursday, March 15, 2007


Usually when I make my lunches from Vegan Lunchbox, they last me all week, which is helpful when you have no time. Not the case this week. Billy ended up eating half the soup on me! The roasted tomato soup was delicious, and not too exotic for Billy's taste. Along with that, I had crackers (some days with deli meat or cheese), trail mix and a Cashew Crispy Square for dessert. I used rice puffs instead of crisps but it still turned out good. They're really chewy, and easy to make. The dried blueberries give them a really nice flavour too (although they cost me an arm and a leg; if arms and legs cost 13$).

Tomatoes ready for roasting.

I went out to dinner Tuesday night. The owner of the restaurant had emailed me earlier in the day in response to some questions I add about the food. He was so upbeat and insisted they would take care of me and the chef would even create something for me. So I went with some girlfriends, and had an amazing meal and time. Here's a picture of the leftovers, which Billy also stole from me. Luckily I had some beans and rice left! The dish was called Pennete with Mushrooms, and I just got tomato sauce instead of a rose/blush sauce.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

What to make when class runs late?

On Mondays and Wednesdays, the prof of my 4:30 to 6 class always goes til at least 6, instead of 5:45. So by the time we get home, its almost 7. Dinner has to be leftovers or quick. I made Bountiful Beans and Rice from La Dolce Vegan last night. It was very well received by Billy, as it has cumin and chili powder, two spices he likes in chili and burritos. I didn't have a jalapeno, so I had to leave that out, and I used parsley instead of cilantro. Its funny, Billy always really loves the meals that I think are alright. This just needed a bit more salt, pepper and something I can't put my finger on...but definitely good.
I still haven't taken a picture of my lunch for the week, so I'll post about that tomorrow. Tonight, I'm going to dinner with some work friends. I emailed the restaurant and they said that not only would they accomodate my vegan needs, but that the chef would love to create something off the menu for me! Wow! I'll be frequenting this restaurant if its good, which I'm sure it will be. It has to be better than cheeseless pizza at Boston Pizza and veggie burgers at Kelsey's.

Saturday, March 10, 2007


How I did now blow my "diet" this weekend is still a mystery. So many baked goods and yumminess. I'll start from the beginning...

I've been craving banana bread for a long time. I happened to have some very ripe bananas on hand this week, so I made the bread from How It All Vegan. Soooo yummy, and sweet. The dates in the bread make it extra delicious. I only wish I could eat it all at once...but portion control for me!

Next, for my girl's night, I made the Margarita Cupcakes from VCTOTW. Awesome! They're so cute. The girls really liked them, although we couldn't eat them all, since there was *so* much food there. But I brought the rest to work today and my manager ate two! Some may find them a bit boozy, but they were so perfect for our night.

I had mozzarella soy cheese left from the risotto and I've been craving mac and cheese (lots of cravings lately), so I decided to make it with white cheese this time (recipe in La Dolce Vegan)...I wonder how many times I've blogged about this recipe. I also threw in some chicken strips for some protein and something other than fat :P This was so satisfying. I had a huge plate of it for dinner tonight...veggies be damned!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007


The mushroom risotto from the weekend left me with some dealcoholized white wine (cheap stuff, not real). Nevertheless, it was pricey for what it was, and I wanted to use more of it before it went bad, so I made the Seitan Piccata with White Wine (and no capers! yuck) from Candle Cafe, which is essentially a lemon butter sauce. Its alright. The sauce was better the next day, but I don't know if its the wine or the amount of lemon juice that just wasn't quite right. The marinated seitan was also a recipe from CC. I don't think I kneaded it enough in the water (it was from scratch) but it held up pretty well. I served this lemony sauce with a side of basmati rice.
I made banana bread tonight! I'll post it tomorrow when I have it for breakfast. My girls night is rapidly approaching and I can't think of anything more appropriate than Margarita Cupcakes!

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Vive la France!

Lunch today (and for the rest of the week) is what I wish I could've eaten in France when I went, but good luck finding a vegan place. Ham and cheese croissants with French-style green beans. The whole-wheat croissants from Vegan Lunchbox are delicious; time consuming but delicious. They're so much better than Pillsbury, plus you know exactly what goes into it. I wish I could've eaten one straight out of the oven last night at midnight, but I resisted. They're not hard to make, there's just a lot of waiting time (rising, refrigerating, etc.). I made the sandwich using Tofurkey deli slices and a slice of Tofutti cheese. If you don't like knowing nutritional info, stop reading here! The recipe makes 16 fairly small croissants, but they're each roughly 175 calories...darn that Earth Balance, haha. I don't worry about that stuff too much though, I ate the foods I wanted in moderation last month and lost ten pounds.

I made the Mushroom Risotto from Candle Cafe yesterday, which I was so anxious about. Whenever I watch Hell's Kitchen, it seems that Chef Ramsey really rags on the contestants about the quality of their risotto, so I was scared that it wouldn't turn out. But it did! And it was delicious! I meant to throw in some PC chicken strips for protein and forgot, but it was still yummy.

The risotto left me with almost a full bottle of dealcoholized white wine though, so I'll be making something else from Candle Cafe in a few days to use it up.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Thank Goodness for Leftovers

Wow, I think this week was probably the toughest one I'll encounter this semester (not counting exams). Between the assignments and midterms, there was no time for cooking. Thankfully, the lentil patties from Vive lasted me all the way to today. I had wanted to make something new today, but I'm beat.

Lunch this week was from Vegan Lunchbox again. A wheat free peanut butter and jam muffin, an apple sauce tube, air popped popcorn and veggies with hummus. The muffins without the jam are a bit bland (there's only 1/4 cup of maple syrup) but the really sweet jam piped in balances it well. I found the President's Choice "Smooshies" or apple sauce tubes last weekend and was happy to see a typical kid's lunch snack that was actually healthy.

I have tomorrow night off (hell has subsequently frozen over) and I am thinking of trying a risotto....oooooooo, scary!