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

Friday, May 7, 2010

My trip to Calgary...Part 2 The Adventure!

During my visit to Calgary I was treated to a mini-vacation within my vacation when my awesome friend took me to the Fairmont Hot Springs in Radium, BC. The drive was only about 3 hours from Calgary and it was so scenic, peaceful and beautiful!

I snapped this picture because I thought it looked neat driving through the mountains. When I got home and showed it to my husband he started laughing until I looked at the picture you see it? A crosswalk in the middle of the mountains?! I am not sure who would be risking their life to cross between 2 blind corners but obviously someone thought it was necessary to put a crosswalk in the middle of nowhere!

Here is a picture of our resort and private Hot Springs pool for guests only.

The public pool in the morning. You can see the beautiful steam rising from the very warm and soothing waters.

We saw a lot of wildlife on the trip up and in Radium. Lots of elk, deer and mountain goats.

This was a sign posted on the resort doors. Thankfully we did not see the cougar or her cub. We did see the following kitty but it proved to be harmless :)...

Thank you Audra for an amazing getaway in the mountains. This trip really made me miss living in Calgary and being so close to nature. We really do not get the same scenery or fresh air while living in the prairies of Manitoba.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

My trip to Calgary...Part 1 the Food

Here are some pictures of the amazing food I had in Calgary. There are a few reasons that I go to Calgary...friends and food! The first restaurant we visit is Buddha's Veggie. Now I was a little sad to see that as of this year they introduced meat on their menu. Even though everything is cooked in separate kitchens it was nice to have an all vegan restaurant in Calgary. These are their famous Veggie Dried Ribs and I ate more then my fill while I was here...I even brought some back with me!
Crispy Veggie Eel with Spicy Salt, Veggie Ginger Beef, Pan-Fried Green Beans with Spicy Soy Sauce.

These Coconut-Yam Rolls were simply amazing! The flavour was so sweet with a combination of soft and crunchy to please your mouth!

Vegan Dim Sum! Not as great as I remembered it being a few years ago but some of it was amazing with so many choices!

Next stop...The Coup. This place is always hopping! During this visit they opened up a small bar on the side of the restaurant where we had appetizers and drinks before we could get our table. The Coup is worth the wait. Their food is fresh and delicious with many vegan options.

I enjoyed a Rootbeer Float with tofullati. It was devine. We also shared some rosemary yam fries with garlic aioli made with veganase.
We finally got in around 9:30 and I got the Upstream burger made with yam, smoked tofu and cashews served on warm focaccia with a side of baked yam fries. The burger was divine with so much flavour. Next visit I promise to try something new :) Unfortunately neither of us had room for dessert but their menu did look awesome!

Monday, May 3, 2010

My latest Additions...

My new Klean Kanteen bottle! I have had a SIGG bottle for many years but when the company refused to replace my bottle which was found to have BPA in the liner the boycott began. This new bottle is an awesome orange colour and holds 40 ounces of water. It was on sale and I absolutely love it!!!
Thanks to my amazing friend Serena who showed me an amazing blog from Kitchen Boutique. They have amazing kitchen products and were having a few giveaways so I won an onion and tomato savers. I love the tomato saver because it can hold a decent sized tomato and is super easy to open and latch. The onion one is a little trickier to open and close since it is so slippery. These are definitely going to come in handy in garden season!
Last but not new Brown Turkish Fig tree! I am hoping it will produce some figs this year. This amazing Fig tree comes from Sage Garden Herbs. The owner is very friendly and knowledgeable. I am sure it will be so much happier once I replant it this week and can put it outside for the rest of the summer. It has only been going outside during the day for now since it is still pretty cold at night. My 2 rosemary varieties and chocolate mint are peaking through in the background.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Steel Cut Oats

There is something about a nice bowl of steaming oatmeal that brings me back to my childhood. It is one of the few memories I have with my grandparents...sitting on my grandpa's lap eating oatmeal. Obviously very oblivious to what the true form of oats are I never knew that the old fashioned oatmeal I ate was so processed. It is cut, cooked and then flattened and then processed again. It still is very nutritious but then I discovered Steel Cut Oats and my mornings changed. This is the form of oatmeal I remember. It takes longer to cook but it makes a much creamier bowl of oatmeal.
I searched the internet for a rice cooker recipe for my Steel Cut Oats. Most advised the same thing...add 1 part steel cut oats to 3 parts water and let them soak overnight. I tried this and it took about 45 minutes in the rice cooker the next morning. I don't have a fancy rice cooker with all of the settings on it or anything like that but the oatmeal came out perfect. It made 2 huge servings. The next morning I heated up my second serving with an extra cup of water on the stove and it turned out perfect again.
I wonder if I can make oatmeal in the pressure cooker...