Friday, November 5, 2010

Lentil Snobby Joes over Polenta

I have not been feeling well since I returned from Boston but I was still craving a nice homemade meal tonight. A few months ago I bought a huge bag of Puy French Lentils and have been itching to use them in recipes. This lead me to open Veganomicon and boom I found Lentil Snobby Joes. These have been on my list of things to try out for a while so I was excited to try them. The ingredients are super simple and even incorporate my favourite ingredient in this world...maple syrup! The end result was a nice smokey flavour. I plan on making a nice big batch and freezing some to have on hand.

I also recently purchased some polenta wanting to give it another shot. I sliced it up and fried it on my griddle. In the end we found it did not have much taste to it but the consistency was nice and the polenta paired very well with the Snobby Joes. It was a nice alternative to buns or bread.

The side salad was made with a Top-Secret salad dressing recipe which includes Tahini and Miso and then topped with Hemp Seeds.

Okay I cannot resist showing a picture of my furbabies...Moon and Zany :)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Boston Veg Fest 2010

I had an amazing opportunity to go to Boston over the weekend to attend their 15th Annual Veg Fest. Wow was it amazing! It gave us amazing ideas on what we would like to do for our very own Winnipeg Veg Fest coming in August 2011. Here is some of the food we had in Boston.

Our first restaurant visit was My Thai Vegan Cafe. I was a little skeptical about this restaurant as we walked up a long set of green stairs. Once we got to the top though the inside was very beautiful. I guess you really cannot judge a book by its cover!

Golden Triangles...filled with veggie-chicken and veggies with a nice peanute sauce. They were delicious.

Vegan Pad Thai...was decent but not super.

Gaeng Kiow curry with veggie beef and veggies. This was one of the most amazing dishes I have ever had in my life. The green curry and coconut milk combination was so delicious and the combination of veggies made this a perfect dish.

There was tons of food choices within the Veg Fest and unforunately I did not get a chance to take a picture of all of them. This combo was a vegan curried goat and BBQ tofu. The Curry part was great but the bbq was nothing to write home about.

This company....Like No Udder...was one of the many soy treats available at the Veg Fest. We had milkshakes, coconut ice cream, peanut and butter ice cream and the topper...Vegan Soft Serve in a Twisted format with chocoalte and Vanilla.

Here I am enjoying my cone!

I absolutely loved Boston. It was so easy to get around the city with the subway and evereyone was so friendly. There were so many restaurants we could not get to but were happy with the restaurants we visited while in Boston.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Vegan Mofo 2010...Why I became Vegan!

Vegan MOFO (Month of Food) 2010 is here and I am committing myslef to blog at least 5 times a week. There are over 375 vegan blogs all over the world participating this year which is awesome.

I thought it would be appropriate to start the month off with sharing my reason as to why I became vegan. I remember growing up and never loving the taste of meat. We never ate much of it and I was blessed with a mother who cooked an amazing variety of meals filled with fresh veggies. As I got older I dipped into vegeteraianism because of not liking the taste of meat and no other reason. Of course I lied to myself during this time while I labelled myslef a "vegetarian" but still ate chicken because I thought that was how it was done.

Fast forward to 2004 when I started educating myself. I started watching the videos, reading the pamphlets and it broke my heart. I consider myself a very compassionate person towards all animals and people and once I saw what the horrific torture these animals were experiencing the nightmares began. I made a vow to return to being a vegetarian with a transition of becoming a vegan.

On August 5th, 2004 I read about a cat nammed Kensington. The tears pour down my face as I remember the fate that this cat suffered. He died alone, scared and in pain at the hands of saddist. I cannot even bear to go into this story but you can read more about Kensington's story here.

Because of Kensington I made the decision to go Vegan over night. Kensington is the reason for my veganism. I never want another animal to suffer at the hands of humans. The nightmares went away and I never looked back. I love being a vegan and have explored so many new food options over the years. It has been over 6 years that I made the decision to become a vegan and I have loved every day of it.

To Kensington...I hope you are now living your life out over the Rainbow Bridge where no one else can ever hurt you and I hope you know you will always have a place in my heart.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

2010 Thanksgiving Meal #1

I know it has been forever since I posted last but work has been insane this summer. I had an amazing time working at a seasonal market called Crampton's Market. I had an amazing boss, worked with great people and ate some good local fruits and veggies. I also worked all the time which left me zero time to cook. All that is about to change as I said goodbye to my summer job this weekend. Now I am free to get back in the kitchen.

That being said I opted to order in for our Thanksgiving meal tonight. Boon burger, which is a local all-vegan burger joint was offering an all inclusive Thanksgiving meal. It included a "turkey" patty, maple yams, caramlized onions, stuffing,cranberry sauce and gravy.

I cracked the lid open and everything looked amazing. When we finally dove in I was amazed at the flavours that I found in the various dishes. It was simply amazing and I am glad that I got it. It is so awesome that we vegan's have more alternatives then just buying Tofurkey Roasts.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Rustic Bread and Zucchini Lasagna

First of all I have to apologize for the lack of posting. I am now working full time so that is taking up most of the time. The amazing thing is I work at Crampton's Market which is an amazing place that sells local veggies, fruit and stuff. Anyhow to tonight's dinner...

I had to admit that I was quite intregued when I first read about this lasagna that uses layers of bread instead of pasta. Turns out it is friggin fantastic. This is perfect comfort food for winter. I modeled my recipe from the recipe for Rustic Bread & Eggplant Lasagna from the amazing Vegan Yum Yum Blog.

I started off with a homemade sauce simmering on the stove. I used portabellos, onions, carrots, roasted garlic, lentils, local tomatoes and Aussie Basil. I then sliced an old loaf of ciabatta bread and roasted it in the oven with Garlic Infused Oil. I sliced some local zucchini and layered the bread, zucchini and sauce with vegan Daiya cheese. The end result tasted amazing. I made one to freeze and will be looking forward to eating it very soon. This recipe is a keeper for sure!

We had a slice of this lasagna with local green and yellow beans steamed on the side.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

I have an amazing friend who went to Fargo, ND over the weekend and returned with these 2 large bags of Daiya cheeze. Enough to last for the rest of the year! I portioned them out into smaller 2 cup bags and now have 32 cups of Daiya cheeze waiting for me in the freezer. Now to start looking for recipes that I want to make :)

Monday, July 5, 2010

Dragonbowl Salad and Latkes

I am trying to clean out the fridge and cupboards and found some mock chick'n strips hiding in the back of the freezer so we had those tonight with a nice refreshing salad made with lettuce right out of the garden, local baby carrots, local baby beets, shelled hemp seeds and a miso-tahini dressing. I also baked some grated zucchini and sweet potato on the side.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Vegan Reuben Sandwiches

I have been craving these since I had amazing Vegan Reuben sandwiches in Portland, Oregon in 2007. I wanted to make a seitan recipe and found a great recipe for Vegan Corned Beef on Vegan Dad's amazing Blog. The recipe was super simple to make once I restocked my spice cupboard. This recipe makes a huge amount of seitan, is very economical and freezes well. I sliced the Vegan Corned Beef into thin layers and topped it with saurekraut, homemade Thousand Island Dressings (vegannaise, ketchup and chopped pickles) and a spread made up of tahini and miso, all on rye bread.

Monday, June 21, 2010

For the Love of Cherries!!!

I was looking for something a little different for supper tonight and stumbled upon a recipe for Mexican Stuffed Portabellos from Herbivore Dinosaur's blog. Very basic ingredients, local tomatoes, onions and cilantro stuffed into portabello mushroom caps. I served this with a side of roasted corn and Jasmine rice tossed with cilantro and a splash of Lemon Grapeseed oil. It tasted very refreshing and delicious.

I was lucky enough to be gifted a case of cherries and spent most of my day off pitting these little round beauties. I then invested in a cherry pitter and it made my life so much easier. I froze around 3/4 of the cherries, kept some fresh cherries and made these amazing Cherry and Almond Muffins from Vegan with a Vengeance. I love that these only have a small amount of oil and sugar. The recipe uses soy yogurt which I rarely buy but wouldn't you know when I went shopping they had tubs on sale for 0.99 today because they expired today! These taste amazing and I will be freezing most of them so I can grab one for a quick snack.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Homemade Perogies

I have been craving Perogies lately and with a little bit of Daiya cheese I decided to give these a whirl. I followed a recipe from Where it all Vegan. The dough was very simple to roll out. I filled these with roasted potatoes, Daiya and caramalized onions. We had a few for supper and the rest went into the freezer for a rainy day. They tasted great with a dab of vegan sour cream.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Peach & Nectarine Upside-Down Cakehat

With an excess amount of peaches and nectarines I searched online for an easy Peach upside down cake and found one on the Fat Free Vegan Blog. I made 3 cakes all together and really enjoyed this recipe. The only thing I would chance would be to make the cake a little thinner. We enjoyed this cake while the remaining 3 went into the freezer. We will be all ready for winter this year :)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Daiya Vegan Cheese in Canada!!!

IT is here! Daiya cheese has only been a rumor in my life until now. I had some relatives driving from Minneapolis who graciously brought me 2 bags of the coveted Daiya vegan cheese. It melts! It stretches! It's Daiya!
The first attempt was on toast to see if it would melt under the broiler and I was surprised and amazed that it did. The taste/consistency of Daiya in your mouth is quite interesting. It tastes and feels amazing.

Next I tried it cold in a 7 layer dip. There are refried beans, salsa, vegan sour cream, chopped mixed greens, green onions, olives and Daiya cheese. It was delicious. I would make this for my next potluck dish. The flavours all worked well with each other.

Last but not least....potato skins! These were Fabulous! I don't think I have ever had a potato skin since being vegan but now I can enjoy them on a regular basis! I baked some Russet Potatoes and scrapped out the flesh. I think filled them with chopped green onions and Daiya Cheese. I baked for about 15 minutes at 425 in the toaster oven and they came out perfect. I topped each with a dollop of vegan sour cream.
I really hope that someone in Winnipeg starts carrying Daiya cheese. For now I am at the mercy of friends/family who visit the USA.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Vegan Potato Salad

We attended a family picnic this weekend so I brought my Vegan Potato Salad. I absolutely love this recipe and have not met anyone who does not enjoy it. Low in fat and high in flavour!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Oven Roasted Tomato Sauce and Cannelloni

So what do you do when you come into some locally grown hot house tomatoes that are not in great shape? You roast them and make Oven Roasted Tomato Sauce. I was excited to use our small toaster oven for this recipe because I knew it would be cooking for a while. In the end 2 large pans of produce made this:
This tasted like a million bucks. The roasted veggies had a nice charred-taste to them
Oven Roasted Tomato Sauce
8 large local tomatoes, roughly chopped
2 large onions, roughly chopped
4 cloves of garlic, minced
10 large basil leaves, minced
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
dash of salt and pepper
Roast in 425 oven for 1 hour. Stir Often

For supper we had homemade cannelloni stuffed with tofu and fresh spinach. A tossed salad with local mixed organic greens, local cucumber, nectarines, cranberries, sunflower seeds and a Meyer Lemon dressing.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Pear-Cardamom Sorbet

I recently ran into some bruised pears and I immediately thought of the recipe for Pear-Cardamom Sorbet from the Millennium Cookbook. This is super simple to make with my Cuisinart ice cream maker and tastes so refreshing. The combination of pear and cardamom together is very delightful!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

First Vegan BBQ of the Year!

We refilled the propane tank and dusted off the BBQ. It is my goal to start using it weekly this year instead of monthly. I love the taste of veggies, tofu, etc on the bbq. Tonight we had Tofurky sausages. We tossed baby new potatoes from B.C. and local asparagus with a new Infused Grapeseed oil that I bought and topped it with a squeeze of lemon. The taste was amazing and I was very proud that my husband made most of this meal himself.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Chickpea,Cauliflower, Potato and Greens Curry

My parents came over for supper tonight which was really nice. I wanted to make a nice curry and I think this one turned out so-so. I soaked some dried chickpeas overnight and cooked them in the pressure cooker. I cubed some baby potatoes and kept their skin on. I cut up a whole cauliflower and washed some baby spinach and baby arugula. I cooked the cauliflower and potatoes in boiling water for about 6 minutes.

Later in the day I opened one can of coconut milk and added 1/2 can of Organic Tomato sauce with various curry spices. I added the veggies and chickpeas and warmed everything up. I added the greens a few minutes before the dish was done. I served mixed grains on the side.
My mother brought this amazing strawberry-rhubarb crisp. It tasted like a little piece of heaven. I truly am blessed to have such amazing parents!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Tofu and Broccoli Stif-Fry

This meal was super easy to throw together and was very inexpensive. I bought the tofu which was pre-marinated in teryaki sauce when it was reduced to clear for $1.00 and froze it. The broccoli was only a few dollars and the noodles were 0.50 each. I threw some peanuts on sauce for a yummy belly warming stir-fry

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Vegan Chili

Now that I am working full time I am trying to fill the freezer with grab and go meals. I have been craving chili which is one of the easiest things to make. I added various veggies and beans that I found in the fridge and cupboards.

This chili has:
1 large can of whole tomatoes with juice (crushed by hand)
veggie stock
1 large can of kidney beans
1 large can of mixed beans
1 red pepper
1 onion
1/2 cup tvp
4 large celery stalks chopped
4 large carrots chopped
various seasonings

Put everything in the pot, boil and then simmer for about 1 hour. Enjoy:)

Saturday, May 22, 2010


Life has been a little different since I returned back to work full time. I absolutely love my new position at Crampton's Market selling good food to great people! I come home exhausted though. To my amazing surprise my wonderful husband had this supper waiting for me. Beautiful local asparagus baked in the oven, baked potato and marinated Korean tofu made on the George Foreman Grill. It tasted like bliss since I did not have to make it myself. I am looking forward to what will be waiting for me next weekend :)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Tempeh, Basil and Tomato Sandwich

The weather has warmed up considerably and that makes me not want the oven on so I need to find alternatives to make for supper. I defrosted some tempeh, boiled it and added some of the new Bakon Yeast that I purchased. Then I lightly fried it in some shallot/garlic canola oil. I sliced up some local, beautiful ripe tomatoes, red onion, local basil and pickles and served it all on whole clove garlic bread. The basil added a nice bite to this sandwich which was perfect for a nice warm evening.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Sock Dreams

I absolutely love coloured socks. Very few of the sock I own are boring one coloured socks. They have designs, stripes, kitties, penguins etc. I was very excited to be able to make another order through Sock Dreams. Sock Dreams is an awesome Portland, Oregon based business that sells the most amazing socks. They have knee highs, over the knees, short socks, wrist socks, leg warmers and so much more.

I have not placed an order with Sock Dreams for a few years so I was so impressed with their new selection of socks. I got some amazing Dreamy Knees in Nightshade and Dark Brown/Teal, Foggy Stripes, Fox in Trees, Stripy Cats and the ultimate Chat Noir knee highs! These match perfectly with the Chat Noir canvas I have hanging in our living room.

So if you like quality, funky, reasonably priced socks visit Sock Dreams today.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Happy Birthday Mom & Dad!!!

Both of my parents celebrate their birthdays within 2 weeks of each other. This year we took them out for supper to Affinity. Then we came home for dessert. I made these Coconut, Lime and Banana mini loaves. I absolutely loved these. They stayed moist overnight on the counter and they were a perfect combination of flavours.
My beautiful and awesome parents!

My brother sent my mom a beautiful fruit bouquet from Edible Arrangements. It was a nice treat to have something different for Mother's Day instead of just flowers. There was even some kale surrounding the bottom of the container. Now that I know their secrets next time I will make my own Fruit Bouquet to give as a gift. The fruit was good but for the price of this bouquet I could have made a much larger one with ripper fruit.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Roasted Portabellos, Zucchini and Potato Salad

Spring is finally here and I am sure summer is just around the corner. I have been craving potato salad and remembered the amazing recipe that I tried out last year with tahini, dijon mustard, pickles, onions, lots of fresh dill and baby potatoes. I let the flavours mix together for a few hours in the fridge.

I coated the zucchini with a little of the new Roasted Garlic and Shallot Saute oil I picked up. A little goes a long way and has amazing flavour.

I marinated the plump portabello mushrooms in a little of the same oil and a Italian Fiesta Rub filled with paprika, rosemary and garlic. Wow what a flavour combination. I did not pull out the BBQ but grilled these on my Forman Grill inside. Served over a toasted baguette. This truly was a great meal.

Pictures of my new Roasted Garlic and Shallot Saute Oil and Italian Fiesta Rub.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Miracle Cat Hair Remover!

I love my kitties unconditionally. Their little wet noses, big furry hugs...well I can go on. Their hair though drives me nuts. If you have ever been to our home or seen me in a t-shirt you know I have shedding kitties. Their hair is everywhere.
I was recently re-introduced to Norwex by my new boss. I joked and said what I really need is something that removes cat hair and was surprised when she said she had just the tool I needed.
This tool is called the Norwex Rubber Static Brush. I was a little skeptical when she lent me her own personal brush. I thought how is this brush going to remove cat hair from my furniture, carpets and such. It has such big rubber bristles and nothing sticky on it to attract the cat hair. Well seeing is believing. In a matter of minutes this is the pile of cat hair I pulled out of one of the cat beds I have that has been impossible to clean.
So I am sold and bought one today. I cannot wait to see where else I can use it. I am sure this will be one of the best $20.00 investments I ever made.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Corndogs and Local Asparagus!!!

It is time....for local Asparagus! I have the honour of working at Crampton's Market this year which is super awesome! They sell local produce and products. I can always tell spring is officially here when 3 local products show up...Morel mushrooms, Fiddleheads and asparagus!
Our local asparagus tastes amazing! Never tough and always bursting with flavour. My favourite way to cook asparagus is actually to bake it in the oven at a high temperature to make it a little crispy. Maybe a little salt and pepper. I served some delicate little baby potatoes on the side with a little EVOO, salt and pepper and freshly cut BBQ rosemary from my patio garden. Yummy!
Okay so I have been vegan for 5 years 8 months and one of the few things I miss...corndogs! I use to love Pogo style corndogs. I know hot dogs are the most disgusting things in the world but I miss the batter. I have never been able to satisfy that craving. I love Yves chili soy dogs but cannot get the batter right. I have tried several different types of dough which turn out good but just don't cut it. I was excited when I went to Everyday Dish TV and saw a recipe for Quick & Easy Corndogs
I made these for supper tonight and the dough was very easy to work with. I might even try to use the leftover dough for pizza. It was so easy to roll out and had a nice taste to it. These turned out nice and golden and coated the soy dogs well. Hubby enjoyed them and I did as well but I think I am looking for something with even more cornmeal in the batter.
Satisfying but the search will continue for the perfect Pogo-style vegan corndog!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Tofu/Avocado/Mango Sushi

Our weekly sushi with a little twist. I had some fresh mango that I thought I would roll into the mix. I discovered that mango and wasabi make an excellent flavour combination when mixed together.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Star Grill Conservatory Review

When I found out that Star Grill Conservatory in the Assiniboine Park boasted a Vegan Tofu Scrambler I was excited to try out a new vegan breakfast option somewhere hubby could enjoy eggs for breakfast. Their menu only has a handful of items that are vegan but it is still nice to see the word vegan on a menu at a restaurant.
Our first impression of the restaurant was not a very positive one as they could not find our reservation and the inside was very dingy and had the appearance of a very old restaurant that had not changed their carpet or tables for years.
Our server was less then friendly when she came over to fill our water glasses. She took our orders and asked me what type of toast I wanted. I asked her for the vegan option and she looked at me like I had just asked to meet the Queen. She said I don't think we have one we get our bread from somewhere else. I pointed to the menu and said well if your restaurant offers a Vegan Tofu Scrambler there must be a vegan bread option. She left in a huff to "find out". Surely with so many allergies they would have a list of what is in their breads even if they are not baked in the store.
It took about 40 minutes before we received our food and no one came by in the meantime to check on us. When our food arrived it was nice to see such large portions but to be fair most of the dish was potatoes or tofu with very little veggie. I would have liked to have seen more veggies on my place. The fresh herbs were nice but unless you took a bit of the dish with the herbs it was pretty bland in flavour.
Another small thing I would comment on would be the lack of quality control that went into the potatoes in both of our dishes. We both picked out around 4 potatoes that were black with rot. These clearly should have been eliminated from our dishes.

I was also a little surprised that the "Preserves" that were to be served with out toast was nothing more then strawberry jam or orange marmalade in little plastic containers. I am really not sure why they would go through the effort of printing the word "preserves" in their menu unless it was to dupe customers into thinking they were actually going to get something a little more better then Kraft Jam.
The cleanliness in this restaurant was less then par. This is definitely not a place my mom would have eaten at. When I looked into the little white dish the jam was served in it was filled with old crumbs and dirt. The Ketchup bottle put on our table had product smeared on the top of it. It really did not improve my impression of this restaurant. At least our cutlery was clean.
One thing I really loved about this restaurant was the scenery. We watched the squirrels and beautifully coloured birds fly around. They kept us well entertained as we waited for our meals.
All in all I present the Star Grill Conservatory with the following:
Vegan Selection: ♥♥ out 5 possible ♥
Taste/Quality:♥♥♥ out of 5 possible ♥
Cleanliness: ♥♥ out of 5 possible ♥
Service: ♥♥ out of 5 possible ♥
Total: 9♥/20♥
Star Grill Conservatory
15 Conservatory Drive
Winnipeg, Manitoba