Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

We had our traditional Christmas morning breakfast of pancakes. Well it might not have always been a tradition but it will be from now on. I love traditions...they always make me feel like I have something to look forward to. Last night, after midnight mass, we watched National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. We did the same thing last year and I am sure we will continue this tradition for years to come.
I tried a new pancake recipe today. I tried the Vegan with a Vengeance one. I subbed Silk nog for soymilk and made plain, chocolate chip and blueberry varieties. I really like this recipe and the pancakes turned out perfect. I served them with Tofurky breakfast links and handmade hashbrown potatoes. This breakfast really hit the spot. Who needs a greasy diner after this....:)

Monday, December 22, 2008

Vegan Christmas #4...2008

Vegan Christmas...2008. I thought this year's Christmas on my side of the family went well this year. I was called away to a birth(I am a doula!) on Sunday and ended up being there for 23 hours which through a little kink into my plans. Good thing I had a little notice on Saturday so I made the seitan "turkey" roast then and pre-cut all of my veggies (chopped onions and celery, cleaned green beans, minced garlic etc.). So when it came to putting the dinner together Monday afternoon everything went smoothly because of all the prep I had done. Even though 8 people were suppose to come to this dinner it only ended up being my parents, my husband and I which was nice.
I had planned on making more but since it only ended up being the 4 of us I cut it back a bit. The main course was the seitan "turkey" roast (recipe by Bryanna Clark Grogan) and the Cashew Nut Roast (from Veg Times), on the side we had homemade cranberry sauce and gravy with chestnut stuffing, Green Bean Casserole (Fat Free Vegan Blog) and roasted potatoes and onions in a maple syrup/dijon glaze (Vegan with a Vengeance). Everything tasted amazing and it tasted like the holidays :)

Everything on my plate.
Close up of the roast, stuffing and cranberry sauce.
Close up of the Cashew Nut roast, green bean casserole and potatoes.

Mmmmm....dessert. I had planned on making a caramel cake but due to a change in events I did not have enough time. Lucky me though because I had premade these Nanaimo Bars(see previous post for pictures of these) and my mom brought a sugar pie!
Christmas was a success and it was so nice spending time with my parents and family. I love them all!

Nanaimo Bars

I premade some Nanaimo Squares today using John and Hilana's Recipe. I love these little squares and they freeze so nicely. Just pop them out of the freezer and thaw a little and they are ready for your guests.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Week 1...Day 1...

So everyone know that the first day of a new regime is always the easiest. You are motivated and pumped and ready to go. Well that is pretty much how today went. No cheats no snacking...

Breakfast: Tea and Quinoa Porridge
Lunch: Chickpea and Mint Soup and Grated Carrot Salad
Snacks: Pineapple and Almonds
Dinner: Chestnut Roast with sweet potato and steamed broccoli

The soup was amazing and so simple to make. Sounds odd but chickpeas and mint make a good combo. Dinner was pretty good as well. The chestnut loaf reminded me of stuffing because it had many of the same spices and ingredients in it. All of the recipes can be found here...You are What You Eat

Lesson of the day: Be careful when roasting chestnuts, especially if you do not score them because they can explode when they are under pressure.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

You are what you eat

Okay so after a weekend of feeling sad we are ready to great the world again. Starting tomorrow we will begin our 8 week You are What you Eat cleanse. If you have not seen this show on television look for it. I found it to be quite fascinating. In reality we already eat many of these things but for the next 2 months we will cut wheat and a few other things out of our meals. I will post what we eat each day on the blog and keep track of our progress as well. We are of course leaving room for a few cheats for Christmas dinner. I am looking forward to beginning the new year as a healthier vegan...

Friday, December 12, 2008

Trying to face reality...

The past few weeks have been filled with hopes, desires, stress and in the end disappointment. Today has been one of the worst days in my entire life. Thank goodness I have a supportive and loving husband. In turn...this will be supper for the weekend.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Christmas Baking....Fudge

I discovered Kittee's Peanut Butter Fudge recipe on the Just the Food blog Of course Kittee is the amazing person who wrote Papa Tofu and has the Cake Maker to the Stars blog. All of her recipes are simply amazing! This recipe is so simple to make...sugar, peanut butter, soy cream and vanilla. It takes under 15 minutes to make and I calculated costs under $5.00 for the entire batch. The result is a sickly-sweet peanut butter fudge which is perfect for sharing for during the holidays. Hopefully this batch makes it through to Christmas (yeah right!). Slowly but surely I will get my baking done...Nanaimo bars are next on the list.

Spaghetti and Salad

Shopper's Drugmart had whole wheat pasta on sale for 3 for $4.00 so I ended up stocking up on a bit of it since that is an amazing price. All of the meals this week will be simple since I predict not feeling well. Tonight we had whole wheat pasta with sauce and a simple salad with dressing.

Sunday, December 7, 2008


We had homemade pizza tonight made two ways. Hubby helped me make these beautiful babies and they turned out amazing. I used Frank's Red Hot sauce as a base for mine and he used tomato sauce. We garnished them with fresh asparagus, Tofurky sausages, pineapple, green and black olives and artichoke hearts. So much simpler than trying to find a vegan pizza and at a great cost as well.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Boca Chick'n patties, fries and asparagus

Cheated again tonight and had a quick dinner of Boca Chick'n patties (that we picked up on our last visit to Grand Forks), crinkly fries and baked asparagus. I did not have any buns so we had our patties on rye bread. Not the best meal but at least there was some green on the plate and our bellies are full :)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Curry chickpeas

The spices and sauce for this came from a box which I was pretty impressed with. #1 the entire meal which feeds 4 cost under $6.00 and the ingredients in this dish were all natural with no artificial, hard to pronounce ingredients. The was way too spicy! I tasted it half way through and added a can of coconut milk to it but it was a little too late. I cut up some potatoes which absorbed some of the spice. In the end the heat of it was okay for me but way too spicy for DH. I would buy it again for the convenience and price of it but would try adding just half of the spices next time. Live and learn..

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


We have been eating a lot of leftovers this week but tonight I got lazy and this is what we had for supper. I heated up some Yves mexican style ground round and served it on soft and hard taco shells with baby arugula, salsa and cheeze. I really wanted to top these with fresh tomatoes but they were all crap in the market and came from Mexico which was too far away for produce for me. I have to admit for a quick meal these were good. DH preferred the soft tacos while I enjoyed the hard ones...we make a good combo :)

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Vegan Christmas 2008: Recipe Testing Part 2

Tonight I continued with Part 2 of Christmas Recipe testing. This recipe is a Seitan Roulade and Chestnut Stuffing from Vegan Yum-Yum's blog. First of all I have to say I love this blog and it has so many amazing recipes. When I saw this one I thought it would be a perfect main course for Christmas. The recipe was super easy to follow. Although for the gluten I only ended up adding about 2 cups of broth since it would not absorb the rest of it. It tasted great and this is now going to be my go to stuffing recipe.
I have never cooked with chestnuts before, I cannot even remember if I have ever had one before. I saw fresh ones in the store over the weekend so I bought a few to try out here. I roasted them and then peeled them and chopped them up.
The only thing I think I did wrong with this recipe is when I pan fried my gluten pieces I fried them too long which in turn made them too crispy and chewy when they got out of the oven. I will have to remember only to brown them lightly on a cooler flame.
The end verdict is the stuffing is defenitely in and if I can practice with the roulades again before Christmas they may be in as well.
Next week I will move in to the baking sections...

Saturday, November 29, 2008

November's Daring Bakers Challenge: Caramel Cake

I had lots of fun with this challenge this month. I have to admit that the cake tasted like a little piece of heaven. The caramel on the other hand was a little of a pain in the ass but once you get the hang of it everything turns out fine. This is going to be a cake a make again for Christmas because I know it will blow the socks off of my guests. I also decided that I need to work on my spun sugar skills. Although for making it for the first time ever I think it turned out semi-okay.

This website link for the recipe can be found here. The author of this amazing recipe is Shuna Fish Lydon of Eggbeater. Thank you to the co-hosts Dolores from Culinary Curiosity , Alex from Brownie of the Blondie and Brownie duo, Jenny of Foray into Food, Natalie of Gluten-a-Go-Go for putting together this amazing challenge.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Vegan Christmas 2008: Recipe Testing Part 1

This year with so many amazing recipes floating around I decided to do some Christmas testing recipes since we are having a small Christmas dinner at our house with family and a few friends. The first recipe I wanted to try out was the Mushroom, Lentil and Wild Rice Timbales from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen. They were extremely easy to make and did not take up much time in the kitchen but overall I was not impressed with the texture. Both DH and I voted them out. They were good and the recipe is excellent but not what we were looking for.

I made a side of stuffing by just sauteeing fresh sage leaves, onions and celery in earth balance, then removed the sage leaves. Added the usual spices, a few cups of stale bread and about 1 cup of veggie stock. Mixed it all together then baked in the oven at 350 for 30 minutes. Served with sides of steamed corn and mashed potatoes.

Next I made the Mushroom Gravy from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen. This one is a keeper. I loved the flavours and the gravy was so rich tasting without a lot of added fat.

Here is the cranberry sauce I make every year. Super basic recipe, 1 bag of cranberries, 1 cup of water and 1 cup of maple syrup. Boil until they pop and then simmer on lower heat for about 1/2 hour until it thickens nicely. Super easy to make and well worth the effort.

So, the cranberry sauce and gravy are in. The main dish still has yet to be discovered and I want to work on the stuffing a little more. Stay tune...I will be testing Round 2 on Sunday.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Veggie Gyozas

It has been kind of a crazy week so not too many meals were made. We sat down to eat this meal tonight. Vegetable gyozas with black rice and steamed broccoli. Kind of a basic meal but we have not had these dumplings for a long time and they tasted pretty good.

Wishing all of our American friends a Happy Thanksgiving. Hopefully turkeys were spared and people remembered to be thankful for what they have.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Simple Spaghetti

I defrosted some of the amazing tomato sauce I made in the summer with all of the tomatoes I received and served it with some whole wheat linguine. Quick dinner...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

"Meatballs" in Sweet and Sour Sauce, Rice and Broccoli

I found some rice in the cupboard today and to be honest I cannot even remember what type it was but lucky enough there was one cup left so it was a perfect base to my sweet and sour meatballs (if you do a search on my blog I have posted the recipe somewhere else). Served them with lightly steamed broccoli.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


We had pitas tonight filled with grated gouda Sheese, butter lettuce, fresh mushrooms, tomatoes, red onions, black olives and Buffalo Soy curls. Easy to make and really hit the spot.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Grand Forks and Fargo

No blogging this weekend since we went away on a mini-trip to Grand Forks and Fargo, North Dakota. I use to love visiting the Super Target in Grand Forks because they always had tons of vegan food we could not find in Canada. All I could find this trip was a few boxes of Boca Chick'n Patties which was quite disappointing. We searched high and low in Grand Forks and Fargo for Tings and came out empty handed. I just wanted to try them once but this was obviously not meant to me. We had a great time on the water slide at the Holiday Inn and here are some pictures from our Ferris Wheel ride which is located in the Scheels sports store in Fargo. I did not get any food shots since we mostly ate at Pita Pit and Qdobas all weekend. We wanted to visit Jazzie Mae's in Fargo but wouldn't you know it...they are closed on Mondays! Argh...oh well next time I guess. We had an excellent weekend filled with fun and adventure and I look forward to our next mini trip.

Friday, November 14, 2008


I tried to duplicate a pizza that dh use to have many years ago...double bacon cheeseburger. I sauteed some onions, mushrooms and ground up veggie burgers then added some spices and cheeze on top. I don't think it quite tasted like it use to but actually was not bad. The second pizza had mushrooms, green olives, pineapple and artichoke hearts on it. Definitely better than take out pizza.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Samosas and Basmatti Rice

We had a quick dinner tonight and had to use up these samosas we found in the fridge. Paired it up with a nice dipping sauce and brown basmatti rice and called it dinner.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Tofu in Lemon Caper Sauce and Green Beans/Potatoes

I have been meaning to make this meal for a few days now but life got in the way. The poor potatoes have been soaking in water for days! Tonight for supper we had frozen, pressed tofu wedges dredged in a cornmeal batter and topped with Lemon-Caper Sauce which was adapted from Eat, me delicious! I love this sauce it tastes amazing. A perfect combination of tart and salty. On the side I made the green beans and potatoes in maple-mustard sauce from Vegan with a Vengeance. This side dish is always a crowd pleaser. I made it with extra onions which caramelized nicely in the oven.
I also made a loaf of bread using the whole what bun recipe from the Vegan Dad blog. I halved the recipe and it made a perfect loaf of bread.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Sushi Saturday!

Simple sushi tonight with fresh avocado. It really hit the spot...

Friday, November 7, 2008

Tofurky Sausages

We had a quick dinner tonight of just some Tofurky Italian style sausages. I love the taste of these. I fried up some onions to go with it and loaded up the buns with the works. For the buns I used Vegan Dad's recipe for Whole Wheat hamburger buns. I love this recipe and the buns tasted great. Although I guess I have to work on my hotdog bun shaping skills :)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Stir Fry

Tonight's dinner used up 1 item from the fridge (leftover homemade satay sauce) and dried "beef" veggie strips from the cupboard. I sauteed some Shanghai noodles in the satay sauce with a little bit of soymilk to cut the heat, added the rehydrated strips and threw in some steamed broccoli and carrots. It really hit the spot.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I could not again

I just cannot get enough of this pizza dough...I love it to pieces! It makes the most amazing pizza base. I tossed some soy curls with earth balance and Frank's Red Hot Sauce and sprinkled some Blue Sheese on the pizza. Since we are out of fresh veggies I served it with a smoothie packed with at least 4 servings of fruits (bananas, blueberries, cranberries and strawberries with soy milk). It was so damn good!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Tempeh, Asparagus and Grains

For supper tonight we had Veganomicon's Hot Sauce Glazed Tempeh. I cannot stop raving about this recipe. It makes the tempeh taste amazing. I want to serve this to my next dinner guests because I love it so much. I just wish tempeh was not so hard to find in regular grocery stores. I used up some of the last local asparagus from the freezer and served it with the same grains we had last night. I discovered tonight that one thing DH does better than me in the kitchen is he knows how to make the Trader Joe's Harvest mix taste perfect, mine turned out a little soggy.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Leftover Meatloaf, grains and edamame

Tonight we had leftover meatloaf, which tastes excellent reheated!, a grain mix from Trader Joe's (isralean couscous, quinoa, orzo and split baby chickpeas) and Garlic Parmesan Edamame from the blog called 28 Cooks. It was a rather tasty meal. DH even helped me make the grains which turned out perfect. As for the edamame, they were good but not sure I would make them again. DH proclaimed them too difficult to eat. Perhaps they would be better with shelled edamame. I will admit they gave them a nice flavour.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Meatloaf, brussel sprouts and leftovers

For tonight's dinner I defrosted a seitan roast out of the freezer and made the Not your momma's meatloaf recipe from Vegan Vittles. I love this recipe. Super simple to make and tastes great. Filled to the brim with protein. I served it with leftover mashed potatoes and peas, bakes beans and brussel sprouts. I have to admit that I bought frozen brussel sprouts. I know shame shame...but I have never bought them before and nor will I ever ever buy them frozen again. I am actually thinking of returning them because they tasted so horrible. Not sure what I was thinking...

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Pizza again

I made another batch of pizza dough tonight. This time we had leftover Soy curls with Frank's Red Hot Sauce, artichoke hearts, green olives and some Blue Sheese on top. I love this combination. I am going to have to find some more soy curls as I am down to only one bag.
For dessert I made a dessert pizza! I spread peanut butter and jam then added cut up bananas and some grated chocolate. It was nice for a dessert type treat. Next time I need a thinner crust and less jam.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Am I a bad Vegan cause I hate peas?

I promise I love other green veggies but I hate peas. Brussel sprouts are my favourite always have been. I think it stems from a time in my life where my mom went through a faze of putting peas in absolutely everything we ate. So, why do you ask did I find peas in the freezer...I am not sure what would possess me to purchase them. I love fresh local sweet peas but any other type will not do. Tonight we had Taquitos which I usually love but tonight I found something a little odd in one of mine and must admit I have been turned off of them. They really are a rare treat since they are a little expensive. I served them with mashed potato (boiled with skin on) smashed with those icky green peas. I thought if I could mix them in with something I could mask their taste. I made a miso gravy (1 cup water, 1 tbsp miso, 1/2 tsp veg stock powder and 1 tsp arrowroot) to go on top and added some chopped green onions. I have to admit that it tasted pretty tasty this way. I love mashed potatoes with their skins on and a little chunky. Now I just have to figure out what to do with the other half of the bag of frozen peas...

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Maple Baked Beans

I was reading someone else's blog the other day who made a big batch of maple-apple baked beans. So, I started thinking...I have a million pounds of dried pintos in the cupboard just waiting to be soaked and it has been forever since I have had baked beans. So, I decided to experiment. I started by soaking 2 cups of pintos overnight, then cooked them in the pressure cooker. I sliced up one large onion really thin, threw those and the cooked beans into a crockpot. I added about 3/4 cup of maple syrup (which I can cut down to 1/4-1/2 cup next time), 3 tbsp of apple cider vinegar, 1 small can of tomato paste and about 4 tbsp of dried mustard powder. Cooked it on high for about 3 hours then on low for another 2 hours. This was the result. I must admit that I liked them very much. I ended up cutting up some Tofurky chipotle hot dogs I had in the freezer to make beans and weenies and made some garlic toast on the side. Yummy...

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

My first Daring Baker Challenge....Pizza

I was lucky enough to be accepted into the Daring Bakers Club and my first challenge was to make a pizza dough and use a tossing method. I have to admit I have made plenty of pizza doughs in the past but none have ever had the elasticity in them to be able to toss in the air. Well everything changed with this dough. It was so pliable and was amazing to work with. Here is what I made for this challenge..

The dough was nice and thick (like I love it) and I added roasted eggplant sauce, veggie "pepperoni", green olives, marinated artichoke hearts, red onion and arugula. I loved it and this will definitely be my new go-to pizza recipe. Next I want to attempt a dessert pizza. I envision a peanut butter sauce base with drizzled chocolate, caramel and nuts.....

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Grilled Cheeze

I was at a store tonight that I normally do not shop at but I get 10% off most items with my Winnipeg Veg Association card. So, on a whim I decided to try out the Tofutti american slices. I guess I was hankering after a good grill cheeze. Not sure if I really like this product. It seems like it has a weird consistency to it and I did not really like the taste. It made a melty grilled cheeze but I do not think I will be buying this in the future. Good thing it does not expire until March of 2009 which will give me plenty of time to eat the remaining slices.