August 31, 2011

Announcement for Sept + Veggies!

Hi Darling readers!

Recently, one of my closest friends, and blog sister Ashley declared to me that she wasn't feeling particularly healthy lately. She then announced to me "You know, I think it's time. I'm going to finally join you and go fully vegan."

To this, I applaud her! However, it was then followed by something I hear variations of all the time. "I have no idea what I should eat."

The most common version I hear is "What do vegans eat?" (a much better version of "Where do you get your protein?" But we've all heard that, amirite?)

So this month, I want to help out with this conundrum, in two ways- Every week I will be posting an easy to make and nutritionally balanced (as well as yummy balanced) recipe, as WELL as twice a week posting lunch recipes to bring to work/school! (Sandwiches begone!)

However, I've been sort of letting the blog slide by the wayside for the past few weeks (My bad!) so I am posting the first recipe today, on the 31rst of August, as a post of goodwill.
Roasted Mixed Vegetables
Mixed Vegetables
1/2 can chickpeas
Olive Oil
coarse Salt

Preheat oven to 400
Chop up your vegetables into coarse chunks
Chuck them and the chickpeas into a casserole dish, and drizzle a generous amount of olive oil over them, and sprinkle on some coarse salt, and freshly ground pepper.
Mix up to combine.
Put the veggies into the oven, and bake for like 45 minutes, taking them out and mixing them up every 10 minutes or so to get everything cooked up nicely.
Once it's all baked up, eat up!

So delicious!

What vegetables did I use? Tonight I used an eggplant, radishes, carrots, and a pepper. I know that radishes might seem weird, but they are actually quite wonderful when roasted!

What other vegetables could a new vegan use for good roasting? Here are a few ideas: Broccoli, Cauliflower, plantains, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and even fruit like apples and pineapple!

To complete your meal, I like to serve it on top of brown rice, however it would also work on top of pasta, mostly fusili.

But what to top the rice and veggies with! The answer is very simple:
 nom nom nom!

August 28, 2011

Hurricane Update!


I'll be updating food soon, but we're stuck in the hurricane here in New Hampshire visiting Ashley, so we're awaiting being powerless!!


August 25, 2011

Thursday's Things- August 25th

What am I into this Thursday?
I'm in a bit of Steampunky mood, so fair warning! I love Steampunk, and as a matter of fact in my non-food related life, and currently writing a steampunk novel of my own!

This funky ensemble  would look amazing for some fancy event, or costume party, convention, or all around awesomesauce time!

Perhaps pair it with this funky hat?

Perhaps take a gander through this book, which has a super cheezy cover, but is pretty good (Trust me!)

And Enjoy these dulcet tones. 

Happy Thursday!

August 22, 2011

The longest pancakes on the planet- Dosas

So my Fiance works with a large group of people from all over the planet, and one of those people, a lovely lady by the name of Yuri, likes to keep up with my cooking, and give me recipes. One such recipe she gave me was for an indian dish named "Dosas", otherwise known as a very elaborate pancake. It takes a long time, but is pretty delicious, especially made with my customized toppings!

Dosas (As altered through Yuri)
2 cups jasmine rice (the recipe called for basmati, but I had jasmine)
1/2 cup Green Split peas (it called for Urad Dal, but I had none)
4 cups water

You need a large bowl, and a medium bowl. Start at nighttime!
In the large bowl, place the rice and 3 cups of water together. Cover and set somewhere warmish.
In the medium bowl, place the split peas and 1 cup of water, cover and also set somewhere warmish.
Leave them sitting there until the next afternoon.
First, open the rice. It should have absorbed quite a bit of water. Pour off any water that remains, and then dump the rice into a blender.
Begin to blend it, adding in a bit of water at a time to make it a batter like consistency. Place back into the large bowl.
Rinse out the blender, and repeat this process with the split peas, blending into a paste.
Add the split pea paste into the rice, and stir to combine.
Cover, and replace the bowl in a warm place until the next day, allowing it to ferment together.
The next evening, remove the cover, there should be a little film. Stir with a whisk to combine once more.
Spray a non-stick pan with some cooking spray, and fry like you would pancakes.
You can enjoy like that, OR, you can make my topping!

Dosa Topping
1 medium onion, diced
1 carrot, peeled with a peeler into strips.
1 tsp olive oil
Salt, Pepper, and dried chili pepper flakes

In a frying pan, heat up your olive oil.
Add in the onion dices, and your carrot peels, and sautee for a few minutes.
Spice with salt, pepper, and chili flakes.
As you cook your dosas, spread hummus on them, and then top with the sauteed veggies.
Stack a few like this.
Eat up with happiness!

August 19, 2011

Easy 3 Ingredient Dessert- Peach Mousse

As a disclaimer, this is inspired by the wonderful Chocolate Covered Katie!

There is a scourge on this planet. It's name is Government Student Loans.

It lends students money they need to attend university and pay their tuition, feed themselves, update their computers when they break. All of these things seem quite positive.

However, they word their applications confusingly, so that unless you're in pre-law you're bound to screw up somehow, lengthening the process. They take forever to approve and distribute your loan, so you have to pay your tuition past the date when it's due, giving you the enjoyment of also paying late fees and interest on your tuition. They charge horrific interest rates higher than most credit cards, so you're stuck paying them back practically twice what you borrowed, which has always seemed to be somehow deceitful on the part of the government, as it's taxpayer money that's going into it, so they're double charging the taxpayers of tomorrow.

But the worst insult of all with student loans is that the customer service you receive from them is subpar on a good day, and frustratingly useless on a usual day.

I don't yell at people as a rule, but I have on more than one occasion screamed at a student loan worker, mostly because they have in the past done the following to me: forgotten to check a box stating I was a full time student, and took 600$ out of my bank account (which contained 15$), and never paid back the bounced cheque fee. (they have done this 4 times in the past 6 years. They have denied my loan because they lost a paper I sent them, and denied me a loan because I forgot to initial 1 of the 30 places i had to initial/sign. They once denied my friend a loan because they sent him a form on blue paper, told him to fax it back, and didn't realize that when you fax stuff on blue paper it just faxes a huge black sheet. And then never told him they didn't get the paper.

This is but a smattering of what the average student has to deal with that's not even related to the many difficult assignments and labors that go into actually working on their degree. I have often thought that there must be a much easier way of dealing with this. Perhaps simpler wording on the forms? Lower interest rates? Training your workers to know how student loans work? These sorts of things.

If you can't tell, I've been dealing with student loans today, and now feel like I need to change my name, move to a remote island and be a hermit to deal with the stress of it all!

However, I cannot do that, so instead I made some peach mousse:
Super Easy Peach Mousse for Two
2 Smallish peaches, pits removed (skins fine!)
4 tbsp coconut oil
dash of vanilla

First, place your peaches in a blender, and blend until creamy, adding in the vanilla when they start to blend up nice. 
Next, place the coconut oil into a small saucepan. 
On low heat, stir constantly until the coconut oil is liquefied and clear, with no white bits remaining. 
With the blender running, pour the liquid coconut oil into the peach mixture, blending for a few moments until fully integrated. 
Pour into two bowls, and place in the fridge for 45 mins-1hr, until solidified. 
Then eat, and enjoy the happy! Forget your problems and drift off into the ether of peachy moussey goodness.
You can make this with any fruit, but make sure the fruits aren't frozen or cold! (otherwise the coconut oil will get all chunky and it won't have as nice of a mouthfeel)

August 18, 2011

Thursday's Things

Ashley told me I should do this (because she does it) and so I said "Fine! I'll show people stuff I like!"

So every Thursday I'm going to post four things: My favorite piece of clothing of the week, my favorite accessory of the week, my favorite book of the week, and my favorite song of the week!

Clothing of the Week

Accessory of the Week

Book of the Week

Song of the Week

Another First Kiss, performed live by They Might be Giants

Thursday's Quick Lunch- Fried Cabbage Curry Rice

A simple and quick lunch recipe for you!
Fried Cabbage Curry Rice
1/2 cup leftover rice
2 cups chopped cabbage
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1/3 cup frozen peas
1 medium carrot, chopped

1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp curry powder
2 tbsp tamari (or soy sauce)
2 tsp cilantro paste
1 tsp chili paste

Mix together the sesame oil, curry powder, tamari, cilantro paste, and chili paste. Pour a tiny bit into a wok, and set the rest aside. 
Heat up the wok, and add in the onions. Fry for about 1 minute. 
Add in the cabbage and carrots, fry for another minute or so (add in a bit of water if the pan gets super dry)
Add in the rest of the ingredients, including the rest of the sauce mixture. 
Fry together until everything is nice and hot. 

Eat and Enjoy!

August 16, 2011

Cheap Dessert for when Friends visit- Peach Crumble

We have a friend we lovingly refer to as Goodsjive, who just moved into our neighborhood. He's Matthew's best friend, so we spend a LOT of time together. He's a bachelor, and doesn't even own a pot, so we spend a lot of time eating with him, because he's hungry and doesn't cook.

But what to make for dessert for a movie night, without breaking the bank?

Easy! Peach Crumble!
Easy Peach Crumble
Equal parts Buckwheat Flour Brown Sugar, and margarine(for a pie pan, I used about 1 cup of each.)
A dash of salt,
About 1 tsp or so of vanilla 
Peaches, cut into chunks. (You can use fresh peaches, or a drained can of peaches)
Preheat oven to 350
In a bowl, mix up the Flour, Brown Sugar, and margarine using a pastry cutter or whisk, so that it's nice and crumbly. Stir in the salt and vanilla. 
Cover the bottom of your pan with the peaches. 
Top the peaches with a mostly even layer of the brown sugar mixture. 

Bake in the oven for about 30-45 minutes, until the peaches are slightly bubbly and the crust is crunchy.
Allow to cool for about 5-10 minutes, and then enjoy!

Total cost? Less than 5$, depending on the cost of your peaches.

August 14, 2011

My sad attempts at a video... and a delicious tequila based recipe!

I made a very bad video! I'm hoping my future videos will be much nicer... 

However! For those at home following along, here's the recipe in non-moving form:

Silly Drunk Soybeans
1 medium onion, sliced into slivers
1/2 cup craisins soaking in 1/2 cup vegetable broth
1 box so soya chicken strips (or tofu, or seitan if you aren't GF)
2 granny smith apples, peeled, cored, and cut into chunks
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 plantain, peeled and sliced (if you can't find a plantain, use a potato!)
1 cup slivered almonds
1 generous cup mushrooms, sliced
3-4 tbsp oil of your choice
1 cup carrots, chopped
1 cup vegetable broth
1 cup tequila (does not need to be good quality, haha)

Rice and Cilantro to garnish, if desired

Heat the oil in a pan on high. Add in the mushrooms, garlic, and onions, and cook for 3-4 minutes, until onions are nice and transluscent. 
Soak the soy strips in the broth, and set aside. 
In the pan, add the carrots, apples, almonds, and plantains. Mix well, and cook for 3-4 minutes. 
Turn the heat down to medium. Add in the craisins with their broth, the soy strips with their broth, and the tequila. Stir to mix everything together, cover, and cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. 
Uncover, and turn heat to low. Cook for another 10 minutes or so, until liquid is pretty well absorbed. 
Serve with rice, and garnish with cilantro if desired!

August 11, 2011

Quick Lunch Thursdays- Potato with Ginger Orange Sauce

Welcome to Thursday's new feature: Quick Lunch Thursdays!

I've decided that every Thursday I'm going to post a recipe for a no-recipe quick lunch (under 10 minutes to create!) 

Todays: Purple Potatoes with Ginger Orange Sauce

Ingredients: 2 smallish purple potatoes (also known as blue potatoes- normal potatoes work too, but purple ones are so pretty!) A few tbsp Ginger Orange Sauce (found in the Asian aisle at North American grocery stores!)

Prick the potatoes with a fork. Nuke for 5-10 minutes. 

Cut into pieces with a knife and fork. 

Drizzle with sauce


Pie Experimentation #1- Pumpkin Pie

So I've had a bit of a sweet tooth lately, which has led to a bit of a doughy belly appearance, haha. Due to this, I'm trying to cut back on the ol unhealthy foodstuffs.

However, I've had a severe craving for pumpkin pie. Thus, I tried to make a sugar free pumpkin pie.

As a warning, I'm not 100% happy with this pie. The texture was a bit wrong and I don't love the crust, but it does taste pretty good, so there we have it!

Tofu&Sugar-Free Pumpkin Pie

As a note, this crust is alright, but a bit crumbly, so if you have a go to pie crust, use that instead!
2/3 Cup Sorghum Flour
1 cup Buckwheat Flour
1/3 cup Cornstarch
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp Xanthan gum (It might have been less crumbly if i used more of this, who knows!)
2/4 cup vegan margarine or vegetable shortening (I prefer margarine myself, because it imparts a nice buttery taste!)

1 large can pureed Pumpkin
1/3 cup soy milk (or your non-dairy milk of choice!)
3 Tbsp Agar Powder (Agar is a vegetarian substance similar to gelatin, but not made from bones! It can be found in Asian stores, as well as online. If you can only find it in flakes, use twice a much of the flakes)
1/2 tbsp of each: Nutmeg, Allspice, Cinnamon, Ginger
2 tsp Vanilla
1/3-1/2 cup powdered Stevia (or your favorite sugar substitute!)

Preheat the oven to 400
Combine the flours, cornstarch, salt, and xanthan gum, and mix well to combine. Add in the shortening or margarine, and cut with a pastry cutter or whisk until crumbly. 
Press into the bottom of a pie pan, and prick with a fork. 
Bake for 15 minutes while you mix up the filling. 

In a small bowl, whisk together the agar and milk until the agar is dissolved. Add in the spices and vanilla, and stir to combine. Set aside. 
Empty the can of pumpkin into a bowl, and mix in the sugar substitute. Stir well to combine. 
Add in the Milk mixture, and stir that to combine well. 
Remove crust from oven, and pour the filling, using a spatula to spread it evenly around. 

Return pie to oven for 45-60 minutes, until top is beginning to brown. 
Allow the pie to cool before eating! I have discovered that if you let it cool for about an hour before eating it, it firms up very nicely, and has a better texture. The crust will still be sort of crumbly though. 
Serve it with your favorite topping if desired (vegan ice cream, or whatnot) I enjoy it with the condensed cream off the top of a can of coconut milk. 
To get this cream, place a can of coconut milk in the fridge overnight. Open it, and scoop the hardened part off of the top. Place on pie! (feel free to keep the coconut water, it's very nice in curries, or as the liquid in dessert recipes!) 

August 7, 2011

A Quebecois Tradition(ish!)- The Vegan Poutine

I am not going to pretend that the following recipe is healthy. It's not.

However, it's slightly healthier than it's non-vegan counterpart.

For those who are unaware, Canada boasts two different type of poutine: The Acadian Poutine, and the Quebecois Poutine.

An acadian poutine (which I plan on veganizing soon!) is a ball of salted meat surrounded by a ball of mashed and grated potatoes, boiled in salted water and drizzled in molasses. It's way better than it sounds!

However, the Quebec have a much more fast food style dish named the poutine, which is french fries covered in cheese curds and gravy. It's decadent and greasy, and oh so delicious! And I veganized it.

Vegan 2 Potato Poutine Quebecois (serves 2 hungry people!)
2 Medium Sweet Potatoes, chopped into fry shapes
2 similar sized regular potatoes, chopped into fry shapes
Oil, for frying

1 Mushroom style bouillon cubes
2 cups water
1 tbsp Cornstarch and 1 tbsp GF flour, mixed into a paste in water. 

1-2 cups daiya mozzarella style cheese

First, you gotta deep fry those potatoes into fries. Essentially, heat the oil, and then drop a few handfuls of potatoes in at one time, cooking until crisp and then draining on some paper towel. 
While the fries are draining, combing the bouillon cube with the water in a sauce pan, and bring to a boil, dissolving the cube. 
Add in the cornstarch and flour mixture a bit at a time, until the gravy is thickened to your liking. Set aside. 
Layer the fries and cheese in an oven-safe dish, and don't be stingy on the cheese!
Once the layering is done, evenly drizzle the gravy over the fries. 
Put under the broiler for about 5 minutes, until the cheese is nice and melted. 
Remove, allow to cool for about 5-10 minutes, and eat!

I like to eat mine with some ketchup on top, if that's your fancy!

August 6, 2011

Happy Saturday! Eat some Falafel Like things

Oh my what a week!

I have a bit of a long-winded story coming up, but this image you see is the recipe at the end of it, so read through, or feel free to scroll down to the recipe if you want!

I've been on a bit of a very slow updating for the past two weeks, and I TOTALLY apologize! I will be updating with much more frequency next week, however I was dealing with some ridiculous things this week, the most painful being my outstanding tuition debt.

A bit of a background to this ridiculousness: Last September I was trying to fill out a Quebec student loan form. I used to just fill out SL forms from New Brunswick (where I was born) but Matthew and I are considered married by the government, and he is a Quebec resident, so I am now a QC resident. I had never filled out a QC Student Loan form in my life, and screwed it up royally. They didn't TELL me I had screwed it up, they just told me I was rejected. So I thought to myself "I might be able to pay this!"

Le shock, I wasn't. It was a failure on all levels.

So come the summer, I think to myself, "This is okay, I won't take courses this summer, and I'll only have to find like 4000$" My mom had agreed to give me 3000$, so I only needed 1000, which is TOTALLY dooable, and I had already paid (through my job) like 700$, so I was in the clear. (So I thought)

Did you know that at Concordia University, if you're a graduate student, you pay summer tuition EVEN if you don't take any classes?

I didn't, and my tuition shot up to 7000$. Meanwhile, a tree falls on my mother's house, and the 3000$ she had slated for me now went to fixing her house. I am in the lurch!

So I drag myself down to the Student Loan office, where I cry my eyes out to a really nice lady named Sarah. She listens to my story, and says "You applied for a Quebec Student Loan? I can fix this!"

She proceeds to pull up forms, print out new forms, highlight exactly what I need to fill out and what documents I need to bring, and tells me that she's going to get me my loan for the last year, so my tuition will be paid, and she'll also help me fill out the loan for NEXT year, so this doesn't happen again.

She deserves a raise!

However, after that long tale that you most likely didn't care about too much, I give you Fake Falafels!
Fake (But Yummy) Falafels
1 Can Chickpeas, drained
1 tbsp Cilantro Paste (or like 4 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro)
1 tsp Cumin
1 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp minced garlic
2-4 tbsp buckwheat flour (for texture- you can use any type of flour you want, by the by)
salt & pepper, a few shakes of each

olive oil

Preheat your oven to 375
In a food processor, Add the chickpeas, 1 tbsp olive oil, garlic, cilantro, salt, pepper and cumin. Process until smoothish.
Add in the baking soda. Process until well mixed.
While the machine is running, slowly add in a tablespoon at a time of the flour. Once it's thick, and starting to not stick to the side of the processor, it's enough flour.
Cover a cookie sheet in parchment paper and set to the side.
Put some olive oil in one bowl, and some cornmeal in another bowl.
Make ping-pong ball sized balls out of the mixture, and flatten them slightly. Coat in the oil, and then cornmeal, and then place them on the cookie sheet. Do this for all of the mixture.
Bake for 25 minutes, flipping halfway through.
Enjoy with garlic sauce and hummus!
I even made my own garlic sauce, and it's very simple. I shall share it with you!

Super Easy Garlic Sauce
1 bulb of garlic
Olive oil
1/2 cup Vegannaise

Preheat oven to 400.
Peel off the outer layers of the garlic, and very carefully with a paring knife cut off the tops of each individual clove, exposing the insides.
Place the bulb on a sheet of tinfoil, and drizzle with olive oil.
Wrap up the foil, and place in the oven for about 45-60 minutes. (The garlic will be very squishy!)
Once the garlic has cooled, squeeze it into a blender with the vegannaise, and blend until smooth.

That's it!

August 3, 2011

Happy Watermelon Day!

Tweets informed me this morning that it was watermelon day! I went out and purchased a watermelon, which was on sale! (There were no signs reading "watermelon day!" but I think the fact there was a sale on watermelons too coincidental to ignore)

Fortuitiously, I also posessed a little baggie of frozen papaya (I had stick it in there so it wouldn't go bad, it was super ripe and I didn't feel like eating it yet!) As well as a banana, and a jar of Vega vanilla chai flavored drink mix (which I got for FREE from a nice friend!) so I decided to whip up a delicious smoothie for Matthew and myself when he got off of work!

Watermelon Papaya Banana Smoothie
1 cup chopped up Watermelon
1/2 cup chopped up papaya
1 medium banana, broken into pieces
1 tbsp Vega Vanilla Chai powder (opt!)
Ice (if you use frozen fruit, you might not need ice! If you don't use ice, add in a bit of water to the right consistency!)

Place Fruit in Blender
Feel happy!

August 1, 2011

Cheezy Stuffed Peppers

Happy August!

No preamble today! Just a delicious yummy Recipe!

Cheezy Stuffed Peppers
(Makes a bunch of filling!)
Peppers, for stuffing, tops cut off and seeds removed.
4-5 medium carrots, chopped
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 largish yellow (or green, whatever!) zucchini, chopped
4 pattipan squashes, chopped into pieces (i love these little things!)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup chopped mushroom
1 1/2 cup rice cooked in veggie broth instead of water (still hot!)
2 tbsp vegan margarine, divided
1 cup Daiya mozzarella, with a bit more for topping
Oregano, Salt and Pepper (to taste!)

Heat your oven to 350.
In a bowl, mix the rice, 1 tbsp margarine, daiya, and spices. Set aside. 
Heat a sautee pan, and melt the remaining margarine, adding in the onions and mushrooms. Saute for 2 minutes. 
Add in the rest of the vegetables, and saute for about 5-8 minutes, until all are softened. 
Dump the vegetables into the rice mixture, and toss to combine. 
Jam as much as possible into your peppers! If you have peppers that won't stand up straight, cut them in half lengthwise, and lie them on their sides instead of standing them up, it'll still taste great!
Top the peppers with a bit more Daiya, and then place their jaunty little caps back on (if you want to!)
Chuck in the oven and bake for about 30 minutes, until the cheese is all melty, and the peppers have softened up!
Then, eat you crazy vegans, EAT!
As a note, these are also popular with non-vegs!