Archive for cookies

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:

ROLL CALL: WHO'S MADE THIS ALREADY??

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

Directions:

  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 MediterrAsian.com —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!

Dragonfruit

Dragonfruit

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.

Yum!

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.

Recipe:

  • 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)

Directions:

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.

**CONTEST ALERT!!**
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!

-Maureen

Comments (27) »

Vividly vegan

It’s almost spring! (1 month and 1 day) I, for one, cannot wait to emerge from hibernation.

Okay, so first off I want to thank the awesome people at Larabar for sending me a free package of goodies! And all because I professed my love for these delicious bars.

I absolutely LOVE Larabars so I was thrilled to receive this huge box of assorted flavours, as well as a Larabar t-shirt that I've been sporting all over town.

So far I’ve tried about half the flavours and I haven’t found one I don’t like.

Now, onto the food. I’ve been sampling a lot of recipes from the Happy Herbivore lately.

I made a batch of her Fat-Free Vegan Alfredo Sauce:

I really liked this recipe, but Omnivore Boyfriend was not a fan. I've never had real alfredo but I think it's really gross in principle (550 cals/serving? yuck), so I'm glad the vegan version is waaay healthier and packs a mighty protein punch too.

Fat-Free Vegan Alfredo Sauce from the HH

Ingredients
(makes approx 2 cups):

12.3 oz pkg mori-nu lite silken firm tofu, drained
1 cup fat free soy milk
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion flakes
black pepper to taste
1/2 tsp nutmeg
small pinch red chili pepper flakes
1/2 cup nutritional yeast

Directions:

1. combine all ingredients in a blender
2. whiz until smooth
3. heat over low until warmed

I also made the HH’s Creamy Pesto Sauce:

(I can't rotate this picture!) All the ingredients in the blender.

Voila! This pesto was scrumptious, a judgement verified by a O.B. and a few other friends who tried it.

Creamy Pesto (makes 1 cup) from the HH

1/2 pckg silken tofu, drained
1/2 cup (packed tight) fresh basil, stems removed
2 tbsp (packed tight) fresh parsley, stems removed
1 garlic clove
1 tsp lemon juice
1-2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tbsp vegan parm
2 tbsp fat free soy milk
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts – optional
2-4 sun-dried tomatoes – optional (for a flavorful spin on traditional pesto)
3 cups cooked whole wheat pasta

Directions:

Blend all ingredients until smooth, then heat over low until just warm. Toss with whole wheat pasta.

Again from the HH, baked yam falafels!!!!

The HH put these in a wrap with "yogurt' spread, but I opted to dip them in sweet thai chili sauce. I loved these little nuggets, they were so tasty and textured and unique. A+!!!

Baked Yam Falafels from the HH

Ingredients (makes about 24 falafel balls)

1/2 cup bulgar wheat
3/4 cup water
1 large yam (makes approx 1 cup “mashed yam”) or sweet potatoes
2 tbsp fat free soy milk or other non-dairy

“Falafel Mix”

1 garlic clove
3 tbsp fresh Italian parsley, chopped
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
2 tbsp whole wheat or chickpea flour
3 tbsp whole wheat bread crumbs
pinch of salt

Directions:

1. combine water and bulgar in a pot (no heat) and set aside
2. cook yam until tender
3. blend with soy milk, it should be a thick “mashed potatoes” consistency
4. set yam mixture aside
5. return to bulgar, some of the water should have absorbed
6. bring bulgar to a boil and immediately reduce to low
7. allow to cook on low, uncovered, until water cooks off
8. towards the end, stir frequently to avoid burning
9. while bulger is cooking, make falafel mix (I threw all of it into my processor)
10. combine falafel mix with bulger
11. add yam mixture and combine
12. drop tbsp portions worth on a greased cookie sheet
13. lightly spray with oil
14. lightly cover with foil
15. bake 20 minutes, flip, re-spray and bake another 20-25 minutes until crispy

—————

I borrowed my friend Taras’ fruit juicer so I could increase my fruit and vegetable consumption, boost my immune system, and try out some new flavour combinations.  You can basically put anything into a juicer and it will extract all the water, vitamins, and nutrients out of the material and retain all the fibrous product.

My breakfast juice consisted of two apples, three carrots, 3-5 peeled clementines, and a few slivers of ginger.

And my lunch juice involved a whole cornucopia of produce: 1/2 a cucumber, 2 stalks of celery, a few slices of beets, 3 carrots, parsely, an apple, a tangerine, and a few slices of ginger.

This tasted, um, interesting! Not so palatable, BUT really nutritious and filling. To be honest, I love fruits and vegetables so much that I don’t see the point in removing all the fibrous components… I could probably eat all those veggies whole in one sitting anyway, and it seems kind of a waste to throw it all out at the end. Perhaps I’ll juice certain cake-worthy ingredients first (apple, carrot, zucchini), scoop out the detritus, and add it to a cake recipe.

Onto the junk food! Pumpkin-date oats:

These are just microwave oats, nothing special, but I wanted to share the awesome combination of pumpkin (1/3 cup) and dates (4-5 chopped). I felt like I was eating a giant pumpkiny date square. WIN!

Vegan Sugar Cookies:

Valentine's Day Vegan Sugar Cookies

Obviously, I made these for Valentine’s Day. Per serving, I added about 1.5 cups of smashed cinnamon hearts, cinnamon flavouring, and Vegan Sweets’ White Chocolate Chips. I made 2 huge batches and gave them to friends around town, and to the staff at the campus newspaper I used to work at. I wanted to add icing to them but the job was just so epic and I was tired, so I hope the non-iced cookies were good enough. I thought they were delicious, although I’ve never met  cookie I didn’t like, but everyone else seemed quite happy to eat through the entire 2 batches so I think it was a successful experiment.

Vegan Sugar Cookies from here

Ingredients:

1 cup margarine
1 cup white sugar
2 whole egg replacements (Ener-G)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 cup tofu cream cheese (Tofutti)
1.5 cups smashed cinnamon hearts
1/2 cup Vegan Sweets’ White Choc Chips
1 tsp cinnamon flavouring

Directions:

1. In a large bowl, cream together the margarine and sugar. Stir in the egg replacements and vanilla. Gradually add the flour, baking powder, cinn hearts, chocolate chips, cinnamon flavour, and tofu cream cheese. You may have to use your hands at this point to finish the mixing. Form the dough into a long loaf and wrap in cellophane. Refrigerate for a couple hours.
2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease the cookie sheets or use a non-stick foil.
3. On a lightly floured surface (we taped down a sheet of non-stick foil to our countertop instead), roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters. Place about 1 inch apart cookie on sheets.
4. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes in the preheated oven, until bottoms and edges just start to get light brown. Remove from baking sheet and cool on wire racks. Store in an airtight container.

Due to excess pumpkin I made a few batches of the Post-Punk Kitchen’s Super Moist Pumpkin Bread for the freezer:

This was just the best thing ever. Go make it now!

Super Moist Pumpkin Bread from the PPK:

Ingredients:

1 cup chopped walnuts
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups packed dark brown sugar
2/3 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 cups pumpkin puree
1 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup coconut milk
2/3 cup flaked coconut

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 8″ x 4″ loaf pans.
2. Spread walnuts in a single layer on an ungreased baking sheet. Toast in the preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Set aside to cool.
3. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, brown sugar, white sugar, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Add the pumpkin puree, oil, and coconut milk, and mix until all of the flour is absorbed. Fold in the flaked coconut and toasted walnuts. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans.
4. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes in the preheated oven or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven, and cover loaves tightly with foil. Allow to steam for 10 minutes. Remove foil, and turn out onto a cooling rack. Tent loosely with the foil, and allow to cool completely.

—————

Happy Friday!

-Maureen

Comments (24) »

Extended absences = more food

Sorry for the epic absence from Mad About Udon. I’ve been flitting around the province again, though I’ve got a lot of food porn to post. I’ve been fueled by VEGEMITE, thanks to a kind gift from my friend Jon’s mother. She brought me back half a kilo of this wonderful, tasty, nutritious product from Australia. Thanks, Jon’s mom! Now I can resume finding the answer to my sorrows at the bottom of a jar of this black, gooey marvel. *drool*

Onto the food! First up, junk food!

Cinnamon-heart vanilla cupcakes. I just took the Golden Vanilla Cupcake recipe from VCTOTW and added smashed-up cinnamon hearts. This was a practice recipe for Valentine's Day, and they really kicked ass.

Carrot Cake cupcakes with Maple Icing from the Happy Herbivore.

Carrot Cake cupcakes with Maple Icing

O.B.‘s mother sent over this recipe for Date Cookies, which I easily veganized. Unfortch, I don’t have the recipe handy, but I’ll add it in the next post. I brought a batch of these to the campus newspaper I used to work at, and everyone loved them! I used Iranian dates.

Date Cookies

I’m constantly modifying my favourite banana bread to make it lower-cal, since it’s a constant staple in my house.

Banana Bread

Here’s the newest version of Maureen’s Low Cal Banana Bread:

Ingredients:

1 cup soy milk
1 tbsp lemon juice
1.5 cups all-purpose flour
1.25 cup whole wheat
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp each of baking soda, salt, and ground cinnamon
1/4 cup Earth Balance (margarine), softened
1/4 cup applesauce
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup Sucralose
2 tsp vanilla
5 mashed ripe bananas

Directions:

Heat oven to 350 C. Grease a 9X5 inch pan. Whisk soy milk + lemon juice, and set aside. In a bowl, combine flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. In another bowl, beat butter, applesauce, and sugars with an electric mixer until light. Beat in vanilla and bananas. Stir in flour mixture alternatively with soy milk mixture. Mix and pour into pan. Bake for 40-60 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean.

Apple crumble... soooooo good!

Apple crumble recipe from here.

Okay, okay, now onto the non-junk food.

I got this jar of pumpkin curry sauce from William-Sonoma. It was on sale from $16 down to $6! It was so delicious, too.

We simmered the pumpkin cury with mixed veggies and TVP slices, and served it over brown rice. It was excellent! (But I definitely wouldn't pay $16 for another jar).

Mango curry dressing

Another batch of mango curry dressing.


Ingredients:

1 medium (or 2 small) mangoes, pitted
1 tbsp yellow curry powder
1 tbsp garam masala
1 tsp cardamom
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup cold-pressed olive oil from a dark bottle (I used half oil half water)

Directions:

Blend until smooth.

Oriental Green Beans

Oriental Green Beans

Ingredients:

1 ½ pounds green beans, trimmed
3 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp oriental sesame oil
1 tsp sugar
4 garlic cloves, minced (I use 1 teaspoon chopped garlic from jar

Directions:

1. In a large pot of boiling water, cook green beans until just tender, 4-5 minutes.
2. While beans are cooking, in a small bowel combine soy sauce, oil and sugar; stir and set aside.
3. Drain beans, set aside.
4.
Spray wok or skilled with nonstick cooking spray; place over medium heat. Add garlic; cook, stirring constantly, until softened, 20-30 seconds. Add green beans; cook, stirring and turning constantly, until well coated, about 2 minutes.
5.
Add soy sauce mixture; continue to stir and turn until most of the liquid is absorbed, 1-2 minutes.

The Happy Herbivore’s awesome Chana Palak Masala:

Rural Vegan’s Happy-Chicken Noodle Soup:

This was super yummy, perfect for winter and for sick days!

Quinoa tabbouleh

Quinoa tabbouleh!!  I love this recipe so much. This makes a great potluck dish. I brought this tabbouleh, along with a bag of whole-wheat mini pitas, to a ski hut in Gatineau Park for a potluck dinner after cross-country skiing, and everyone liked it! Recipe from here.

Super-quick Tomato Basil Cream Pasta from VeganYumYum:

One word: amazing.

A batch of pancakes from Gwenyth Paltrow’s recipe off her website, GOOP:

Pancakes

Peanut “chicken” noodles, off of Mediterrasian.com:

(chicken = pan-seared tofu cubes)

This recipe didn’t come out so great because I stupidly subbed natural peanut butter with regular peanut butter. The PB overpowered the WHOLE recipe, and it wasn’t peanutty, it’s was peanut buttery… big difference! Because of the salt and sugar in PB, it kinda compromised the recipe. I’d make this again but using natural PB and less of it.

That’s all I’ve got for now. Happy Friday!

-Maureen

Comments (22) »

What are you thankful for?

I am thankful for tofu and mock meats. I am also supremely thankful for Vegemite, canned lentils, sweet-thai chili sauce, vegan bloggers, low-sodium instant soups, bulk-food stores, and instant brown rice.

I am also thankful that the Canadian election was so haplessly predictable (so much so that even my lampshade called the Conservative minority weeks before the election), allowing my holiday baking experiments to play out unimpeded by chatterbox political ruminations. Now that all the election hubbub is all said and done, we Canucks can go back to being the poltical equivalent of beige, and focus on the important issues; namely, the Leafs making it to the playoffs this year. Oh, and food and beer.

I, for one, had a GREAT Thanksgiving, on account of finally being able to see my extended family on this holiday (the last time was 5 years ago). As the only veg-inclined member of the clan, I opted to bring a)  my own vegan gravy b) a tofurky-based serving for me alone and c) a communal surprise vegan dish (as in, “surprise.. it’s vegan!”).

I agonized over c) because I was really into the idea of bringing Vegan Lovlie’s Sweet Potato Stuffed Rolls, but I was worried they would be too cookie-ish. As O.B. (Omnivore Boyfriend) was down in Toronto for the weekend, I tried out the recipe on him the night before.

Cutting out the circle

All rolled up and cooked! (sorry for the lighting)

Cross-sectional analysis (i.e. one bite left)

We actually really, really liked these rolls, but they were a bit dessert-y, and also didn’t look very presentable (although VeganLovlie’s batch were, so it must be my uncoordinated rolling skills that mucked it up). I ended up making a double batch again to send up with O.B., with half the margarine and double the sweet-potato filling–these turned out PERFECT. Right after making these on Saturday night, I whipped up a Cranberry Cashew Stir-Fry. I wasn’t sure how this would taste, but the idea popped into my head one day. I sauteed a handful of dried cranberries and a handful of crushed cashews in oil for a few minutes, added frozen veggies and stir-fry sauce, and served over wild rice. Voila!

The cranberries and walnuts were a nice addition, I thought. Especially in this season.

For my second trial attempt at making a surprise-vegan communal dish, I picked Vegan Dad’s Lemon Dijon Tofu and Potatoes, and subbed sweet potatoes in for the white. This dish turned out GREAT, although I wasn’t a fan of all the leeks, but I ended up making it in a larger scale the next morning for Thanksgiving dinner:

Haha, I just realized that this looks like one homogeous material. The tofu and sweet potatoes are actually the same colour. Anyway, it shocked the pants off me to see my uncle, a long-time heckler of my hippie stick-and-twigs menu, eating this from his dinner plate. Point!

So, I couldn’t find any Tofurky, in the end, which caused me an explosive bout of irritation in the mock-meats aisle. Do I not live in the largest city in the country? Argh… Pete’s Szechwan tofu played the part instead, and I followed the “Seitan Veggie Kabobs” recipe from The Garden of Vegan, using zucchini, sweet potato, garlic, Pete’s tofu, and yellow pepper.

There were a couple other vegan options at Thanksgiving dinner, and I managed to pile my plate to the brim:

Sorry for the blurriness! Clockwise from green salad: mandarin-almond salad, cranberry sauce on whole-wheat bread, beet salad, corn, butternut squash, tofu-kebab contents. Center: Lemon-Dijon Tofu with Potatoes. I was stuffed!

Before leaving my mother’s house for the weekend, I made a batch of my fave broccoli soup. I immediately poured it into Tupperware so the picture isn’t all that fancy. Points to anyone who can spot the IMPENDING DOOM about to occur:

Broccoli Soup

  • 4 cups vegetable soup broth
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 1 pound fresh or frozen broccoli crowns and stems, chopped into small pieces
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Heat a large pot on medium high. Heat olive oil, add the onion and bay leaves, stirring to coat. Cook until onions begin to soften and turn brown, stirring often.

Add broccoli, stirring to coat with oil and onion flavor. Let cook, turning occasionally for 1 – 2 minutes. Stir in hot broth. Cover and cook for 5 – 10 minutes or until the vegetables are fully cooked. Remove the bay leaves.

Transfer a third of the hot mixture to a blender. Puree until smooth while continuing to cook the rest. Repeat with another third, then the final third. Careful not to burn your hand like this genius.

————–

Finally, I was flipping through the paper on my coffee break at work and landed on the comics page. I read a comic in which an adorable little cow knocks on a a door and says to a man “Sir, did you know that baby calves are taken from their mothers and put in crates too narrow to… mooove?” My Google-Fu is the best! I found the the comic:

Turns out that www.humancalifornia.org is advocating a “YES ON PROP 2” message. Prop 2 appears to be a measure that would mandate farmers to keep their animals in more humane conditions. Many vegans (and non-vegans!), myself included, feel very strongly about this issue, so please take the time to check out that website. And if you live in California, speak with your vote and let politicians know that it’s wrong to cage animals in cramped, unsanitary conditions.

Back to more pleasant commentary… happy belated Thanksgiving, Canadians!

-Maureen

Comments (22) »

Hibiscus, Butterscotch Pecan Bars, and Nuit Blanche

Anyone else hit up Nuit Blanche this year?
For those not in-the-know, Nuit Blanche is/was an annual all-night art exhibition at 155 locations across downtown Toronto. This year, a million people attended. I dunno, I was pretty underwhelmed. The art was supposed to be really edgy and provocative, but in the rare occurences that I actually saw any art through a swarm of people, I didn’t really see anything memorable. Ducks in pond, cool… guy with a spotlight, neat… black-and-white video of naked men holding mirrors..?? wtf?? I don’t pretend to have much comprehension of the artsy-fartsy stuff in life, but this stuff was just weird or boring. Food is my art.

Speaking of, I was delighted to have dinner at Hibiscus on Friday night in Toronto’s Kensington Market area with my friend M. I loved how by all outward appearances, it was a little hole in the wall surrounded by clapboard fruit markets, hippie-flavoured cafes, and odds-and-ends shops; but inside it was warm and elegant.

The menu was sparse, so I ordered a salad and an apple-cinnamon crepes.

Oh my god, this salad was unbelievably good. It was so substantial, it could have been the meal in itself. The salad had everything--green beans, sweet potatoes, carrots, beets, chick peas, lentils, broccoli, quinoa, and more.

Mmmm... crepe-y. (not crappy!)

OH. MY. GOD. The soy ice cream was TO DIE FOR. I've never had anything this good. If you live in Toronto, go to Hibiscus NOW and order some soy ice cream. This was mango, raspberry, and chocolate (the kindly proprietor gave me three scoops for the price of two!).

I spend the “nuit” of Nuit Blanche at my friend Mel W.’s house (we also saw the Nuit Blanche exhibitions together with some other friends and ex-coworkers) and since I missed her b-day jam last week AND wanted to give her a housewarming gift, I made a batch of Have Cake, Will Travel’s marvellous Butterscotch Pecan Bars.

I think they went over well, based on the reception (okay, maybe I also ate one on the subway down... and on the way out in the morning; they are sooooo good and chewy).

That’s about it for food at the moment but I have another cool picture to share. After leaving Mel and Brian’s apartment Sunday morning, I grabbed an organic coffee at a local cafe and was impressed with their innovative use of pasta:

Win!

-Maureen

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Oatmeal cookies

I love oats. I have steel cut oats for breakfast four or five times a week and I make oatmeal cookies far too frequently! I made the cookies pictured above as a farewell to reading week on Sunday. I made a similar version* for Nic’s birthday fairly recently as well.

Oatmeal cookies:

1 ½ c oats, large flake
1 c whole wheat flour
1 T cocoa powder
½ T baking powder
½ T baking soda
1 t ground flax seed
1 t cinnamon
1 t psyllium (optional)
1 t wheat germ
½ c unsweetened applesauce
c maple syrup (baking grade)
¼ c chocolate chips
¼ c raisins

Preheat oven to 350 F. Mix ingredients together. Spoon balls of cookie dough on to a lightly oiled baking sheet and flatten. Bake for 15 minutes.

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V-day cookies

Instead of working on my four-days overdue Analytical Chem lab report, I made Valentine’s Day sugar cookies with Skor toffee bits and vegan white chocolate chips.

I wanted them to be white, pink, and red, but because I’d used 1/2 whole wheat flour and toffee bits, they mostly resembled vomit at first.

BAM!

I used this recipe from AllRecipes.com: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/The-Best-Rolled-Sugar-Cookies/Detail.aspx

I added Skor toffee bits and vegan white chocolate chips. I also replaced the butter with 1/2 the amount of regular (vegan) margaine, and 1/2 the amount of light vegan margarine. I also cut down on the sugar and replaced half of the flour with whole wheat flour. For the egg replacement, I used flax eggs (1 tbsp flax seeds + 3 tbsp H20; let sit for 10 mins; scoop out flax & use goopy liquid as an egg). Unfortuntely, I think I made too many healthy adjustments because they didn’t taste amazing. I’ll definitely use 80-100% normal margarine and all the sugar next time.

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I’m starting to think that we should re-title this blog: “Does anyone eat as much as we do??”

-Maureen

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