Monday, March 24, 2008

Food Catchup

I start my final practice teaching placement tomorrow, and that lasts a month. My cooking habits during the previous two were non-existent for the most part, so no promises this time ;) although I'm going to try and keep it quick and easy, since cooking does help relieve stress for me.

I hope everyone had a great long weekend, and enjoyed their Easter if they celebrated. Billy is used to getting a chocolate bunny every year, so I decided to make him one. Unfortunately I waited too long and there were no bunny molds left at Bulk Barn, but I did get some molds for chicken lollipops and eggs. It was pretty easy too, just melted chocolate chips in the microwave and poured it into the molds.

I jumped on the V'con bandwagon again and tried my hand at the Leek and Bean Cassoulet with Biscuits. It was very good. Even Billy liked it, well primarily the biscuit part that is baked on top. Very delicious, and definitely comfort food.

Based on that dish, Billy got the idea to make dumplings and put them in one of our favourite soups. The "chicken" and rice soup from La Dolce Vegan. He googled a simple dumpling recipe and we cooked them with the soup. The dumplings ended up taking up most of the pot, but it was yummy. And we also substituted orzo for the basmati rice this time.

Speaking of orzo, I whipped together an orzo salad with zucchini and basil from Vegan Italiano for lunch this week. It has a great lemony taste and the fresh basil is awesome.

And finally, also from V'con, the carrot pineapple sunshine muffins, or something along that line. I haven't tried these yet, but they should taste good...they've got carrot, pineapple, raisins, ginger, cinnamon and a bunch of good stuff. It should be a good pick me up after those grade sevens run me ragged ;)

Product Review: Yoso Sour Cream

Save your money.

It smells like ass, it tastes like ass. Save your money and stick with Tofutti. Even vegans draw the line somewhere, I don't care how desperate you are.

Yoso, back to the drawing board, although I still *love* your soy yogurt.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Lots of Food!

Today, is my last day of class!! But I'm not done school. I have next week off and then I have a month of practicum teaching...then I'm done! Woot!

I've been cooking more lately, which feels great.

First, I made a pasta recipe from 125 Best Vegan Recipes: penne with sundried tomatoes, artichokes, portobellos, roasted red peppers and onions. The onions are lightly caramelized, and then you throw in the rest of the ingredients, ten minutes later you have dinner. This dish was really good and something that I'd expect to get from a restaurant.

I also made the lemon and pea risotto from Veganomicon. Yum yum. The basic risotto before the addition of lemon juice, zest and peas was good too, but I really like the lemon twist. It's served with roasted red peppers.

I made cookies for class yesterday, although I ended up being one of two people that brought something so they didn't last long. I made the chocolate raspberry cookies from V'con. They are so good! Chewy and rich, with a distinct almond flavour from the almond extract. I think the word "almond" should be in the name of these cookies because it kind of overrides the raspberry flavour. Nevertheless, very good cookies and they were loved by my classmates.
Also, from V'con, I made banana bread for Billy. For some reason, my microwave timer stopped so the correct baking time on these was kind of a guess, but it turned out really well. The molasses in the recipe gives it a nice, different flavour.

Last, I made some slowcooker porridge from Vegan Slowcooker, using steel cut oats. The taste was good, but in the morning the porridge had brown spots on top, so I'd cook it a little less next time. With some brown sugar and soy milk, it was a good breakfast to start the day.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Pudding, tofu and tea

I made the chocolate pudding from "125 Best Vegan Recipes" but I didn't have cocoa powder, so I just used chocolate chips. The recipe made four little pudding cups worth, but you could easily double the recipe. It was really good pudding! Not too sweet and the perfect texture. I think you could even leave the chips out and make vanilla pudding.

This morning, I was actually up at a decent hour, so I made brunch, courtesy of Veganomicon. I made the tofu florentine with home fries and cheezy sauce. Its basically braised and broiled tofu on a bed of home fries and steamed spinach, topped with a nutritional yeast sauce and chopped tomatoes. I'm not a huge fan of slabs of tofu, seasoned or not, but this was actually really good. The tofu in combination with all the other foods was a good balance.

I also had some Spring Morning green tea brewed in my cute tea set, which Billy's mom got me for my birthday. The loose leaf tea and the tea set are from a store called Teaopia. They sell tons of different loose leaf teas, and you can make your own combinations as well. They also have an in-store coffee bar, kind of like Starbucks but way better, and also way more vegan friendly!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

product review: PC Chai Tea

President's Choice has come a long way. This isn't necessarily a "vegan" product. It's PC Memories of India Masala Chai Loose Leaf Tea. It's about 6 dollars for a can, but so worth it. You simmer a tablespoon of the tea for every cup of water, and then add equal amounts of milk (soymilk in our case). I like to sweeten it with dry sugar, although agave would probably be good to. This stuff beats any Chai stuff at Starbucks, and hands down, beats any chai tea bags. I highly recommend it. I wasn't a big tea drinker before, but now I'm obsessed!

Monday, March 03, 2008

A blogger favourite

I had some time tonight, so I decided to make the chickpea cutlets from V'con that everyone seems to love. They were easy to make and I had all the ingredients. Good flavour, but I think I made mine too thin because they were super crunchy. I baked them instead of frying them, due to a shortage of olive oil. I'll be making these again, just a bit thicker so they keep some chewiness. I love the idea of using gluten flour but not just making seitan.

I also made a thai pasta based loosely on a recipe from Looneyspoons, meaning I left some veggies out and replaced them with broccoli since it was all I had. This has a light peanut butter sauce with just a bit of background heat, which is pretty much the only way I like heat anyways.

I was on my way to class today when a guy selling baked goods for a fundraiser asked me if I was interested. I said I couldn't eat any of it, and he said they had vegan-friendly stuff, if that's what I meant. So I got a brownie and some sort of nut butter cookie. The brownie was good enough, but the cookie was so bland I didn't even finish it. These people are spreading bad impressions of vegan food! I wish I had thought of a bake sale earlier, I would have organized one for our school of ed. Oh well, I was able to buy something vegan on campus, it's a first step.

Here's a picture of Zepplin (on the right), our foster cat, sitting with Logan. I hope he finds a good home soon, he is such a sweetie, and so quiet!