Category Archives: Vegan Mofo

cheap red wine and cookies

Oatmeal raisin cookies. I got the recipe off of Vegan Yum Yum (check out comments 5 and 6 for some apparent PPK drama circa 2007!) They came out delicious, though I didn’t let my first attempt at flax eggs rest long enough to get the eggy texture I imagine I should. /sigh. I suppose I’ll have to keep baking till I get it right. I was worried they wouldn’t bind and while crumbly, it stuck together fine.

Flax Egg= 1 tbsp ground flax + 3 tbsps hot water mixed up real nice and let rest until it becomes eggy.

picture of remaining cookies.

also: cookies may not be the best accompaniment for cheap red wine, but it’ll do fine love, in a pinch

Glow

Glow is the name of  a magazine that Shoppers Drug Mart mails out to the homes of people in it’s Optimum points program. Because of a former tenant years back in my apartment it arrives on my door every so often. I like to give it a little flip through just to get a better feel for beauty magazine writing (not a market I tend to pitch but you never know) Between features about hair texture and slimming tips like nothing was an excellent looking array of vegan recipes. Lunch involved one of them- black bean burrito- and was a great opportunity to cook beans from dry for the first time.

Quick soak method- rinse and pluck your beans of any debris, put them in a pot with water (I used the directions on the back of the bag, but the internet can tell you the precise amount needed for your legume of choice), bring to a boil for 2 minutes and remove from heat to soak for an hour while covered. Change the water and cook for another hour to ninety minutes until the desired softness is reached.

The other stuff in the burrito included: sweet potato, tomato, onion, yellow pepper and garlic all tossed around with some cumin in a pan for 10 minutes, then rolled into a tortilla along with 1/4 avocado. good stuff.

Dinner was a split pea soup that I made on the stovetop but seems as though it would do nicely in the crockpot as well since the directions were pretty much “put everything in the pot and cook until it’s done”. my kind of recipe.

yesterday’s macaroni and cheeze sauce

goes well in other ways.

 

The Good: Cauliflower steamed, and leftover sauce, heated deftly in the microwave

The Great was the still leftover sauce looked like french toast batter so I took some bread and fried it up savoury welsh rarebitesque style! It was not attractive, though could be next time when I’m not in such a hurry to make it happen. It didn’t matter, it made my day.

Kensington Market

quick jaunt today after yoga class to make sure many coloured vegetables entered my house this week.

Essence of Life- the healthfood store of the daiya that is 50 cents cheaper than most other places. I picked up some of that along with a bag of flax seeds (because the mofo keeps telling me it’s a great idea), split peas (oh yeah soup) and almond milk on sale.

At the produce place across the street (north side) I loaded up with 5 lbs of onions, romaine, garlic, brussel sprouts, eggplant, garlic, roma tomatoes and yellow peppers.

Good haul.

Now I’m zapped of energy and chilling with a mason jar of water, reading a bit before deciding on dinner. Probably some mac n cheeze and fake caesar salad.

yum.

Another Pleasant Valley Sunday

I’m finally starting to get over this cold for real. The nasal packages are unblocked though I don’t know when I can expect to get my sense of smell back. It’s been a relaxing few days of doing nothing until school. Watched 127 Hours from the comfort of my couch and thought it was much better than I expected. I didn’t realize that the dude fell all the way to the canyon floor, in my mind’s eye he spent the whole time dangling. I suppose cutting off your own arm is still pretty hardcore, and somehow they made drinking pee grosser than I thought it would be. Aren’t there health fanatics out there that swear by regularly drinking their piss to reabsorb lost nutrients? I guess the quality is different when you’re dehydrated to begin with.

But enough about pee, let’s talk about the grocery store. Last night I walked home from class and hit up the Loblaws for a midnight snack (since I usually eat dinner around 9pm, these school nights really throw off my system) and along with the bok choi I was craving straight up, I encountered President’s Choice vegetarian chicken wings in the frozen section. I even paid full price for the chance to take them home. The store brand has made a lot of strides this year to bring more vegetarian (and vegan) convenience foods to the shelves. I guess we should have the same opportunity to slowly get fat and eat at once the salt of three people just like everyone else.

I noticed that the line was super long at the cash, so I piddled around some more waiting for it to clear. When I couldn’t take it anymore I approached the front to find that nobody had been checked through in 10 minutes or so. The store went 24 hours a few months back, really just adding one cashier to the restocking staff why not right? Well apparently at 11:40 the bank does a read and the registers have to shut down until it’s done. And everyone has to wait growing increasingly irritated with the poor cashier who really can’t do anything to help. As we approached midnight proper, the security guard came by to offer the staff some support as the line was turning into a passive aggressive comment competition. People Please! It’s just waiting, and a great time to develop coping skills.

By the time I got home, my bok choi dreams seemed too hard to tackle, and knowing I was hitting the hay soon, I opted for tea and toast instead and watched 2 episodes of the United States of Tara first season. Netflix put them out of order for some reason so what I thought was the third fourth and fifth episodes were actually the end of the season. I plodded through to see the rest, see how we got there, but unfortunately the journey really loses its impact when you know the destination. I think that’s a sign of bad TV, or at least lazy serializing, where nothing that happens can change anything or else the story would wrap up and the show would have to end.

It looks cold and miserable outside. I’ve got tentative plans to meet with the director of my play to talk about the script before I do my rewrite, but wouldn’t mind putting it off while I rest. This cold has been annoying, but never qualified as totally miserable and I think it’s precisely due to my doing the least amount of anything in life while it worked its way through.

Grazing

It hasn’t been a banner year so far for me making things. Getting sick makes me put on trackpants, the kind with the elastic at the bottom of the legs, and mope around watching netflix. Instead of creating a meal I’ve been grabbing one thing at a time and eating it. It’s nice having jars of almonds, sunflower seeds and such laying around. Handfuls of dry cereal and the odd apple, hummus on a spoon. I’m finding it interesting to try things on their own, away from the familiar flavours with which they are usually combined.

The fundraiser went OK last night. The live version of The Newlywed Game (with real Newlyweds!) and the Dating Game (with real singles!) were hits, the participants all knew at least a few in the crowd, so it got pretty hammy. Next step is to proceed with the redrafting of my play. There’s a song I need to rewrite. It was a cover song that follows a fictionalized true story about this local bass player and his dramatic ditch of a band. Better to make sure that the details are all properly obscured before taking it to a local audience.

and with books in tow I head out to school. maybe grab a snack on the way. more grazing, some tea and enough luck to get back to better soon.

leftovers

oh yes, hello breakfast.

Omni Dinner at mom’s was pretty good. Two kinds of quinoa to compensate for my apparent suffering of a lack of protein. It’s always funny at a big meal like that because you’re bound to find a meat eater who looks at your overflowing plate and feel bad that there’s nothing for you to eat. My sister adapted her recipes like a champ and while I had an aunt give me a bit of a grilling over “so why are you doing this again?”, the food was all delicious enough to keep any real complaints at bay. Turned out to be pretty healthy overall as well, since mom felt it was easier to cook the vegetables well and leave em naked rather than work out a vegan version of- whatever brand of fat and sugar normally goes into the thanksgiving side dishes.

So summery outside still, which is nice, because it means a few more rides on the back of a motorcycle before it gets put away into winter hibernation. And you know, I’m pretty thankful for all that I have, and everyone that comes with it.

Thanksgiving!

happy thanksgiving

Beautiful out today, just perfect for spending all my time slaving over a hot stove for my family.

I made:

  • blended cashew cheese dip thing with artichokes, onion and miso.
  • homemade hummus (chickpeas, tahini, lemon, garlic, olive oil and water)
  • raw vegetables for dipping and store bought pita
  • vegan sausage using this recipe as a starter cut up after cooling and sauteed with onion, garlic and spinach (thrown in at the end till just wilted)
  • mashed potatoes
  • roasted cauliflower
  • carrots
  • box stuffing
  • can of cran, with special care to make sure it plated holding its original ridged cylindrical shape
  • apple crisp
It was my first attempt with the sausage recipe and I forgot the tomato paste and employed a lot of whimsy with the spicing. I’m not that experienced with seitan style meats and have a fair bit of playing to do, though I came very near to hitting the right texture and I’m pretty happy about that. My niece is a  year and a half old and was the life of the party. We gave her some juice in a little shot glass, and it was just as cute as it was enabling her future drinking problem. Tomorrow is second Thanksgiving, an omnivore affair at my mom’s, with plenty of vegan options because she’s cool like that. She’ll be serving the leftover half can of cranberry sauce from today.

Haiku Thursday

double helping of/vegan cheesy toast on rye/best mistake ever

Lunch Date

Yeah, that’s the stuff. One of the good things about being quasi-employed (at best) is the availability for weekday shenanigans with the like-lifestyled.

A restaurant around here that has hit that small-chain institution level is called Fresh. Started out as a juicebar in 99 and now has a full menu of rice bowls and sandwiches served alongside wine and beer and their signature juices and smoothies. I rarely go, maybe once every year or two, but we were halfway to try Hot Beans in the market when my counterpart declared he was too starving to make it the last leg of the journey. We cut the trip short and needed to find something vegan friendly in the Annex, and Fresh is there. So, with a vague memory and knowledge of what we were in for, we ventured inside the packed restaurant.

They have weird menus- long and laminated, taking up the whole table, and only one per two top. I guess the idea is that you and your partner both look at it together. The special, listed up on the chalkboard, was a vegetarian banquet burger with tempeh bacon and vegan cheese which my friend promptly ordered. I remember being a fan of their rice/noodle bowls which combine tofus with vegetables in really interesting sauces. I liked them more when they were less expensive… sorry guys, I’m not paying $16 for a bowl of effing noodles no matter how awesome the miso gravy. The sandwiches are where it’s at, ten bones and they’re pretty hearty, which is important because they don’t come with anything other than a forkful of (quite delicious and more oil than vinegar) kale slaw. I had a little taste of the burger, I’m pretty picky about my veggie burgers, with a serious loathe on for the bread on a bun variety. This was of that school, though nicely spiced, like thanksgiving stuffing mushed together. My sandwich was salty and breaded deep fried tofu morsels amongst sprouts and carrots and all those other things you see on every giant veggie wrap everywhere. It was pretty yum.

The service was a little spotty, but kind of always has been. We ordered our food asking for a few more minutes to choose a beverage from their extensive list. The server never returned though so we were stuck upon arrival of our plates with our giant menu still in hand. The food runner asked if we needed condiments so we ordered our shake and juice from her. That juice was the biggest mistake of my day. I ordered the Detoxifier: Kale Spinach Parsley Celery and Apple and boy did it ever taste healthy. The apple juice kept separating to the bottom, like it didn’t want to be associated, leaving an algae like sludge on top. I tried stirring constantly while I sipped, I tried adding water, and abandoned the more-expensive-than-beer beverage a quarter of the way in because I just couldn’t punish myself any more. My friend did a little better with his Swoosh power shake. Peanut Butter, Dark Cocoa, Maple Syrup, Banana, Soymilk and Cinnamon is one delicious creamy combination. I’m so glad he saved me a sip to clear my palate at the end.

So yeah, it’ll probably be another year and a bit before I go to Fresh again. Some people love it though- and I guess it would be a good place to take your mom, or an omnivore looking for a safe venture out into the world of vegan food. Make sure you’re rich or they’re paying though, it’s kind of crazy expensive.