Catchin’ up

Wow, it’s really been over a month since my last post. I kinda decided to stop blogging for awhile there, but subconciously kept photographing my food. I guess deep down I must have known that I’d come crawling back! Blogging is like crack to me, and I’ve been jonesing for another fix. Thanks Aly for keeping Mad About Udon updated!

Oh, and I do have a little annoucement! Aly and I both signed up for our first 5K race! And then, I promptly dropped out… and signed up for the 10K! I started training and realized that 5K wouldn’t be a terribly difficult goal to achieve, and since I have so much time till the race (it’s in late May), I decided to go to town. So team Mad About Udon has been training a lot lately (together and independently) and hopefully we’ll kick the race’s ass come May 23. What’s the ideal time to finish at 5K? A 10K? I heard that 25 mins is a respectable time for a 5K so is it thus 50 mins for a 10K?

Hm, well first of all I’ve been eating a ton of oatmeal—thanks to Kath and Shelby, whose near-daily oatmeal concoctions inspired me to try some of my own. I’ve been including any combination of rolled oats, oat bran, soy milk, rice or hemp protein powder, peanut butter, bananas, berries, maple syrup, brown sugar, vanilla, raisins, carob chips, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, etc. It’s usually the following recipe:

  • 1/6 cup oats
  • 1/6 cup oat bran
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp protein powder
  • dash salt, and a tsp each of fair-trade vanilla, ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin

The pumpkin really steals this recipe, and at 35 cal / half cup (and 200% of Vit A intake), it’s my favourite addition!

This one has all of the above plus a half cup of frozen berries (which melted in the pot).

I used this Rice Protein powder from Whole Foods:

I don't really love the rice protein powder, it's kinda chalky. I'm partial to my Manitoba Harvest Hemp Powder

My friend Barb and I went to Whole Foods in Toronto’s Yorkville neighborhood and I was in heaven! I didn’t even realize we had a WF in Canada, so I was pretty psyched to go. I only got a few things, as it’s pretty pricey there, but it`s good to know I can find obscure vegan products nearby if I need to.

Also featuring pumpkin is my amazing Pumpkin Cream Cheese. Someone else probably invented this already since there is only two ingredients: Pumpkin and Tofutti non-dairy cream cheese (1:1 by volume).

Good on toast, sandwiches, and anywhere else you would put cream cheese.

I also frequently make Fitnessista’s Oatmeal Breakfast Cookie which I’m kicking myself for not making earlier. It’s so validating, in a strange way, to wolf down a giant cookie for breakfast.

This one has mixed-in a delicious Spiced Plum jam that my friend Barb gave me, along with raisins and PB.

When I left off last time, I was experimenting with juicing using my friend Taras’ juicer. While I concede that juicing provides supremely healthy, tasty, and wholesome juices, I have reservations with wasting all the pulp. Plus, it’s fun to eat fruit, more fun than it is to drink it. Anyway, the last day I had it, I juiced a ton of carrots, zucchini, and apples, and saved the fibrous pulp to bake into a bread:

Fibrous pulp: carrots, zucchini, and apples

I used my banana bread recipe and subbed the pulp for the bananas:

The pulp and the bread didn't really taste like anything! So I guess this proves that all the flavour does indeed come out during juicing.

My witty, candid friend Nick (check out his blog to see just how witty and candid) and I had a very frank and productive lunch a few weeks ago at The Manx. This bar has few menu items, although one is identified as vegan and I ordered that. I don’t post every vegan meal I eat out, but this was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G.

It was a HUGE burrito with veggies, jalepeno peppers, and TVP (I think) inside with guac on top and a side salad. Tasty, tasty :-)

I got really enthused at the idea of roasting veggies, so I threw a TON of veggies into a pan, sprayed with PAM, and sprinkled with tons of herbs and spices. Then I baked that for about an hour, turning the contents two or three times throughout.

Roasted veggies: carrots, brussel sprouts, sweet potatoes, regular potatoes, zucchini, asparagus, peppers, garlic, etc.

I enjoyed these best reheated and topped over a generous bed of spinach/cilantro/dill

Oh, and on the subject of “why-didn’t-I-make-this-incredibly-easy-dish-sooner” meals, voila:

Sweet Potato Fries

I sprayed these with PAM and sprinkled with sea salt, and baked at 350 for an hour, turning twice.

Samosa-stuffed baked potatoes, from Veganomicon:

These were just sort of okay, not amazing and not really worth the effort.

Kath’s amazing Nutty Vanilla  Sweet Potato + Kale Soup:


Recipe (from Kath):

  • 2 pounds of sweet potato, cut into 1” pieces and microwaved in a bowl on high for 6.5 minutes to start the cooking process
  • 3 cloves garlic,  pressed
  • 1 can lite coconut milk
  • 1 cup soy milk
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 4 cups kale, trimmed, washed and torn into small pieces
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup salted peanuts, for garnish
  • Shredded coconut, for garnish


  1. Prepare sweet potatoes in microwave.
  2. Heat a large pot on medium high. Spray with cooking spray and add potatoes, cooking until they begin to brown. Stir in garlic.
  3. Add coconut milk, soy milk, masala, salt, pepper and flakes.
  4. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
  5. Mash potatoes with potato masher or puree with immersion blender.
  6. Add raisins, kale and vanilla and cover. Allow to cook for 8-10 more minutes, until kale is bright green.
  7. Portion into bowls and garnish with 1 tbsp each peanuts and coconut.

Mmmm… I love the website —I get sooo many recipe ideas from there! Omnivore Boyfriend doesn’t like weird vegan “voodoo” stuff, like tofu, tempeh, TVP, etc, so I’m always on the lookout for recipes that are simple and tasty and not soy-centric. Then I split the dish in half and add soy protein to my half. Here are two favourites:

Lentil, pea, and potato curry:

That's a double batch in a mixing bowl, I forgot to snap a pic when I had it portioned out

Dhal with Carrot & Cauliflower:

Dhal with Carrot & Cauliflower

Served with a mixture of jasmine and orzo rices

I made a double batch of Vegan Dad’s Veggie Lunch Meat. This is one recipe that significantly changed by dietary and shopping regimen. Try it!

I should have enough to last me till the summer!

Um, due to a serious of strange and unfortunate events which I won’t go into right now, I procured this piece of chocolate tofu-cheese cake from Green Earth, a new veggie restaurant in Ottawa.

It was mighty tasty!

O.B. and I have been travelling all over Southern Ontario for interviews, birthdays, and such, and our travels have landed us in Toronto more than once. I looooove everything from Toronto’s Chinatown, from the dim sum to the cheap produce. Last weekend I picked up 11 bananas, 5 oranges, 6 large apples, a huge bag of grapes, 3 trays of blackberries, 3 melons, and a dragonfruit—all for $16!



Also purchased in Chinatown were as many red-bean pastries as I could fit in the car :-):

Red-bean pastries

Red-bean pastries

Red-bean pastries

*drool* I love anything with red bean paste in it.

Those Korean red bean balls especially made me happier than a hot koala in a bucket of water AND...

... a seagull eating a starfish!!

I also picked up some cheap tofu (2 pkg/$1) and those weird Shirataki noodles which aren't really noodles (they are actually made with tofu and yam flour and are only 20 cal/serving).

So I’ll have to find something fun to do with those ingredients.

Oh! I also picked up bok choy so I’m envisioning a bok choy/shirataki/tofu/hoisin stir fry coming up.

I'm not sure if you would call this a wrap or a burrito, but I made this puppy on my George Foreman grill!

I packed this full of jasmine rice, refried beans, black olives, and guacamole made with PC Guacamole Mix, and grilled it with a little bit of PAM.

I was struck with the sudden inspiration to make vegan Shepherd`s Pie, which is weird since I`ve never had the real thing. Anyway, here`s what I came up with:

Sorry for the fluorescent photo, I needed to use my flash.

For this dish I mixed Yves Veggie Ground Round and a can of mushroom (i.e. vegetarian) gravy for the bottom layer. Next was a layer of peas and carrots, and finally the top layer was mashed sweet potatoes with some cornmeal mixed it. The cornmeal was gritty and kind of pointless but other than that this was so amazingly savoury. I’m definitely going to make this again, and when I do I’ll leave out the cornmeal and possible mixed some mashed cauliflower into the mix.


I sent some of my famous Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Carob Chip cookies with O.B. to work one day for a meeting, and they were a hit, as usual. Even the finicky lab supervisor had a few:

Everywhere I bring these, people just silently wolf down as many as possible until the tray is empty.

The story behind these is that I just grabbed a random “oatmeal-chocolate chip cookie” recipe off the ‘net and subbed in a few bananas for the eggs. Et voila—a moist, chewy, decadent chocolate chip cookie with a rich banana flavour and an oatmealy texture.


  • 1 c Earth Balance margarine
  • 1.5 c brown sugar
  • 1 c white sugar
  • 1 banana
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1.75 c flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2.5 c rolled oats
  • 2.5 c vegan choc chips (or carob chips)


Beat margarine and sugars. Add bananas and mix. Add vanilla and water, and mix. Add the rest, and mix. Cook for 9-10 mins at 350 C

Procrastinating through exams/theses?  Check out my cousin Lindsay’s scintillating travel blog as she  weaves her way through Europe. Will she ever return? Stay tuned. Also, check out The Bystander, a new Ottawa-centric arts and culture blog written by my friends Tina and Peter.

Zesty Clothing is celebrating the launch of its new clothing line by giving away two t-shirts and two aprons, so head on over to the contest website to enter!
-Megan over at Megan’s Munchies is doing a cookbook giveaway–check it out!!
-Sarah over at Tales of Expansion is giving away a very nutty prize pack over at her blog—check it out here!!

Whoo. Dunzo. Happy Wednesday!



27 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    VeggieGirl said,

    welcome back!! :-D

    CONGRATULTIONS on signing up for the 5K!!

    Check out my latest video post review on Sun Warrior Rice protein powder – best stuff EVER.


    Hang in there with the exams!!

  2. 2

    Wow, there’s a lot of eats in this post. I especially love those roasted veggies and the breakfast stuff…I need to start mixing something besides peanut butter in my oats. Glad you’re back!

  3. 3

    Barb said,

    Oh. My. God. How exciting – this is the first time I’ve ever been mentioned in anyone’s blog – to my knowledge – that is!

    You forgot to mention the HOMEMADE ORGANIC spiced plum jam that your friend Barb MADE and gave to you…just sayin’….

    Oh, and the best part of going to Whole Foods? All of the free samples!! I think I tried every single thing they had to offer – which was a lot!! See, there IS such a thing as a free lunch!

  4. 4

    Ricki said,

    Wow–that is one jam-packed post! Congrats on the race. I also love oatmeal and pumpkin is my favorite (with a bit of almond butter–heaven!). I have the same rice protein powder–not great on its own, but okay in a smoothie–or try it in my pancake recipe–you’ll never know it’s there. Gotta try that kale soup, too!

  5. 5

    Shelby said,


    Thank you so much for the shout out! =)

    I have a big tub of that protein powder and I’m not really liking it yet. I guess because I’m so used to ones with added sugar

  6. 6

    look at all your awesome food! Great grill marks, you make me want to buy a GF grill too.

  7. 7

    look at all your awesome food! Great grill marks, you make me want to buy a GF grill too.
    Oops, should have added good post! Waiting for the next post!

  8. 8

    Theresa said,

    Both burritoes look really great. So do your cookies!

    Good luck with the 10K!!

  9. 9

    Wow, that burrito/wrap looks amazing! I just bought one of those griddler things by cuisenart. I am going to have to try that. How did the Shirataki noodles turn out? I am curious of your thoughts.

    • 10

      Maureen said,

      The Shirataki noodles turned out pretty good! I find they don’t separate really well in a stir fry so you really have to get two forks in there and pull the ball of Shirataki apart. I find they are so similar to regular noodles that I can’t even tell the difference. I can’t wait to pick up more, I just have to find somewhere in Ottawa that sells ’em!

  10. 11

    Melisser said,

    Whoa! This is a lot of food to take in! I am on an oatmeal kick as well. Dal, yes please! Koalas? Hell yes!

  11. 12

    Welcome back and congrats on signing up for the race! YAY!

    How awesome that you used up the pulp left over from juicing to make a bread, even if it didn’t taste fruity.

    Your roasted veggies and stuffed potatoes look amazing! Your soups too, everything is making me hungry!

    I love the pictures of the koala and the seagull, so cute! *stealing your cookies* :-)

  12. 13

    shellyfish said,

    You may have been gone but you’re back with a vengeance! So much goodneess – I don’t even know where to begin! Crazy yum! I wish I had some Chinatown goodies like yours! And I also wish I had a forman grill to make some panini sammies! And the cookies…drool…

  13. 14

    Sara said,

    Thanks for stopping by my blog! You will do great on the 10k :) And thanks for the cookie recipe, I will have to try it out sometime!

  14. 15

    vincent said,


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  15. 16

    Sarah said,

    ahhh, so many wonderful things in this post! i’ve never had dragonfruit — it looks exciting! and breakfast cookies have been making me happy lately, too. and i love how you tried to find a use for your juicer pulp!! sorry it didn’t taste like much … though i’m sure it will be delicious with pb or something slathered all over it :-)

  16. 17

    mihl said,

    Wow, this post is overwhelming, in a good way of course! Those roasted veggies are calling my name! I am totally addicted to oatmeal.

  17. 18

    liz said,

    holy holy holy!! Okay you can take any breaks from blogging that you feel like, if you come back with so much awesome looking foodstuff! wow, vanilla soup, super-healthy single-cookie, shepherd’s pie, and tofu noodle? I wanna eat at your place. :p

  18. 19

    I always keep taking pics of my food during blogging breaks, too! Old habits die hard, I guess!
    Congrats on the 10k! I’m training for my first one next month and I’m aiming for about an hour. It’s not speed-demon level but if I can do it I will be happy! I don’t think the same pacing is expected with a 10k as with a 5k, but I guess it’s up to each runner! Good luck with it!

  19. 20

    Hani said,

    Hi! This all looks soooo amazing!! Thank you for sharing. I was wondering, when I lived in Santa Cruz we used to go up to campus (ucsc) to the whole earth eatery (and awesome bar/local band nights) and I used to LOVE LOVE LOVE the jerky style tofu they had there- I remember it was cooked in a big kettle and had the most amazing flavor- im guessing soy with smoked something. I would love to be able to make it at home- do you happen to know the recipe, or could you get it… :-)
    – Hani in Phoenix missing Santa Cruz something Awful (admitting to eating tofu in arizona is like admitting to rollerblading in ‘sanna cruz’)

  20. 21

    lola said,

    everything looks amazing!

  21. 22

    Wow! What a feast!

    I adore your recipes and your veggie blog is a wonderful read. Care to join a veggie food-fight hosted by me and and submit a fennel recipe? More details:

  22. 23

    anardana said,

    Come back! I miss your blog!

  23. 24

    Niki Arrowsmith said,

    Hey girls! I love your blog, so I added a link to you on my blog
    thanks for the inspiring recipes and tales from the vegan life

  24. 25

    Everything here looks amazing, you’re a wonderful vegan chef. Though, I’d like to add that the Koala is ADORABLE.

  25. 26

    haley said,

    hey! i just stumbled upon your blog and i’m reading it for the first time! the roasted veggies look amazing… can you tell me what temp you set the oven to? THANKS!!!

  26. 27

    haley said,

    okay, another question for you… the oatmeal cookes says to bake on 350 C. is that celsius? LOL

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