Archive for sandwich

Quick post!

Happy belated birthday to the lovely Maureen!! You deserve all the best <3!

The due date for my thesis is quickly approaching leaving me with little time to get up to any exciting shenanigans in the kitchen. This means that I will be eating a whole lot of my favourite speedy meal over the next month:

Baked whole wheat pita bread, soynut butter and smashed banana with a ton of cinnamon.

It tastes better than it looks: baked whole wheat pita bread, soynut butter and smashed banana with a ton of cinnamon.

I am finally starting to overcome the loss of peanut and almond butters, and am learning to love soy butters (lately I’ve been enjoying Salba Olé brand and the I.M.Healthy brand which carries a dairy-free chocolate spread). I usually eat this after working out as it is a great source of Potassium, protein and carbohydrates.  I am not sure what I would do without soy and got quite worked up when I thought that it might have been responsible for a massive allergic reaction I had a few weeks ago!  I am also not sure what I would do without the Cavendish banana!! Do you?!

Speaking of unsustainable practices (re: bananas), apparently advice to eat fish hurts the environment! Surprise, surprise! In other news, the EU is apparently phasing out some aspects of animal testing in the cosmetics industry.

– Aly

PS Ugh. What?! WHAT?!!

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Tofurky deli slices

Following a visit to a registered dietitian, I realised that I have not been eating enough protein to meet the needs of my moderately active lifestyle. One of the dietitian’s suggestions was to make sure to include a source of protein with every snack. Since I cannot eat nuts as a quick and easy source of protein, I decided to try another effortless protein fix: Tofurky! I was a little bit hesitant about eating such a heavily processed food, but decided to give Tofurky deli slices a shot anyway since they are a vegan product and have no nitrates or MSG. Here are two ways that I tried it:

Tofurky kale wrap: avocado slices, tomatoes, one lettuce leaf, green and red onion, black olives, mustard and two Tofurky deli slices on a large kale leaf.

Salad: lettuce, green onions, red onions, scapes, grated carrot, cocktail tomatoes, sauerkraut, black olives and shredded Tofurky slices with a mustard and Balsamic vinegar dressing.

Although I have not eaten turkey in a few years, I would say that the taste and texture of the hickory smoked Tofurky deli slices are a fair approximation of real smoked turkey cold cuts. I did not give up meat because of a dislike for the taste and as such, I enjoyed this product.

– Aly

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Restaurant Review: Live Organic Food Bar (Toronto, ON)

I’ve got a fair bit of food to post from the last couple of days.

This will probably be my last food post for a little while as I’m going on a trip! I am soooo very excited. Actually, it’s two trips that I coupled together to save airfare. First, Omnivore Boyfriend (O.B.) and I are headed to sunny Santa Cruz, California for a week of surfing. Surfing is my favourite sport (I’ve surfed in 3 different oceans) and I LOVE California so I really couldn’t be more ecstatic about this leg of the trip. I’m probably going to eat sandy tomato & cucumber sandwiches all week because I know there is a grocery store in town and I’m certainly not eating take-out for 7 days.
Next, O.B. is heading home, and I’m travelling solo to Canmore, Alberta, to meet up with a group from the Alpine Club of Canada for a week of scrambling/hiking in the Rocky Mountains. We’ll be staying in a cabin and the entire week is catered by a woman who, apparently, is possibly the most incredible chef I’ll ever encounter. She is aware of all of our food restrictions (including my veganism) and I’ve been told it’s not a problem, so I should have TONS of vegan-food pictures to post when I get back. (And of course, envy-inducing pictures of the Californian beaches and the Rocky Mountains).

So, onto the food! On a whim, I invited my omni Maritimer friend Mel out to a raw, vegan, organic food bar called Live. Mel admitted to having eaten vegan before only “accidentally”, but she was happy to have brunch at Live (bless her adventurous soul) and I’m delighted to report that she thoroughly enjoyed her meal.

My meal was mostly raw, I think, and gluten- and nut-free. I had the Cowboy Wrap and a blueberry-raspberry spritzer.

Mel had French Toast and a glass of juice, the name of which escapes me, but it contained fresh fruit juices.

The food was a bit pricey at Live but the food was all kinds of awesome. My Cowboy Wrap was filled with grilled tempeh, vegetables, and a southwestern sauce. Some places you go to for a meal (i.e. pubs, smaller restaurants) and you KNOW that just slap a Yves veggie burger onto a Dempster’s bun and bill you $11 for it? I got the feel at Live that everything was carefully prepared by hand. After all, most options are gluten-free and nut-free, requiring a high degree of diligence against contamination (a big problem in manufactured goods).

My rating for the Live Food Bar is 5 stars. I didn’t get a rating from Mel, an omnivore, but I think it resembled two thumbs up.

Hmmm… I just realized how tired I really am. I think I’ll save the rest of my pics for another post. So perhaps this isn’t my last food post after all. Happy Tuesday!

-Maureen

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Vegan Hiking Food

This past weekend I travelled to New England to hike the Presidential Range of mountains in New Hampshire. This was my first trip into the States this hiking season. Usually I go to Adirondacks in New York but something drew me to New Hampshire. I went with 8 other hikers from the Alpine Club of Canada. The drive through Vermont was lovely, tarnished only by the uproarious admission by my car-mates that they had (all!) smuggled fruits and veggies across the border. What. The. Hell.

Hiking burns about 500 cal/hour, and for long stretches on the trail, it’s important to pack lots of food and pack it well. I made a dozen sandwiches consising of baked tofu (marinated in soy & ginger salad dressing), soy cheese, and sweet thai chilli sauce on a bun.

I also packed 12 granola bars (seen above) and 8 apples (which I legitimately purchased in Vermont, unlike my obnoxiously felonious comrades).

Aside from tofu sandwiches, apples, and granola bars, there is a lot that the active vegan can pack for a hike. Unless you’re trying to create a calorie deficit (which is often the case), you may need to pack up to 5,000 calories/day. Packable fruits and veggies include oranges, carrots, peppers, avocados, broccoli, cauliflower, and potatoes. For long hikes, you can dehydrate certain fruits like pineapple, bananas, mangoes, apples, strawberries, and kiwis.

Additionally, Luna Bars, some Clif Bars, and random brands of granola bars are vegan, so check the labels. I find it’s easier to pack a dozen identical sandwiches because it saves money and stress, and packs well, but other ideas include: peanut butter or hummus on a pita, crackers, dry cereal, trail mix (although I personally think that hikers eat waaaay to much trail mix), raisins, wild rice, vegan cookies, fruit leather, or just any type of homemade sandwich using your favourite vegan protein.

Our group dinner the first night was fortuitously vegan—pasta and sauce. I co-ordinated dinner the second night, which was 6 different kinds of store bought curry (all vegetarian, two vegan), brown basmati rice, and naan. Unfortch I forgot to take a pic but here is a salad that another hiker made that night for the group:

The hikes were great—the storms lifted just in time on Saturday morning for us to scale Mt Madison and Mt Adams, and hike along the rocky ridge of Mt Jefferson. On Sunday we hiked a small mountain just to stretch our muscles back into shape. It was very challenging overall (I’m still sore!) but good practice for my Rockies trip in August. The views were incredible.

Happy Hiking!

-Maureen

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Falafel balls!

Mmmm… falafel. I once penned an editorial for the campus newspaper that began “I nearly choked on my falafel when…”, seriously. And did you know that Pythagoras urged his followers not to eat falafel? I learned this in Intermediary Metabolism last semester. It’s because because traditional recipes contained fava beans, which contains divicine, which catalyse the transformation of oxygen to superoxide radical (bad!!) which are normally detoxified by glutathione peroxidase. People with glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (essential to make glutathione peroxidase) deficiencies (~25% of the population) are unable to undergo this metabolic detoxification reaction and so face kidney failure, especially if they consume lots of fava beans!

That would be one of the 3,000,000 annoyingly meaningless facts I “learned” in university.

So… what were we talking about again? Oh yeah… falafels!

Falafels

2 cups canned chickpeas
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp fresh cilantro
1 tsp dried mint
1/2 tsp cumin
2 tbsp flour
1/2 cup medium-firm tofu
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp olive oil

The recipe indicates that all of these ingredients are to be blended until well-mixed. Unfortunatly, in addition to not having a tea strainer, my new apartment doesn’t have a blender. I did my best (somewhat pathetically) using an electric mixer, and it actually did mix pretty well… eventually.

Roll by hand into balls…..

…and then “saute balls in oil until browned on all sides”. Now, may I asked the question, how does one brown a sphere on all sides? If one browns a sphere on all sides in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it makes a sound? What is the sound of one falafel frying?

Anyway, so fry on medium high heat, in whatever way you are able, to get all sides brown. I went for Falafel Rectangular Cylinders:

I enjoyed these falafels all week in whole wheat pitas with lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, hummus, bean sprouts, BBQ sauce, and mustard.

Finally I’d just like to share the lovely breakfast I had this morning: baked marinated tofu, alfalfa sprouts and cilantro on dill-potato bread.

-Maureen

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Dinner at the Auld Dubliner

I hope everyone is enjoying the beautiful weather this weekend. I spent the last two days rollerblading, jogging, hiking, and of course, cooking! It needs to stay 22 degrees (Celcius) forever. Unfortunately, in Ottawa we have 8 months of bitter, frigid cold, 2 months of scorching heat, and 2 or 3 weeks of random (but sometimes pleasantly moderate) weather in between seasons.

On Friday night I went out for drinks and dinner with my friend Mike at the Auld Dubliner in the Byward Market. It was almost warm enough to sit on the patio, but ultimately, no dice. Anyway I had lots of fun and was very impressed by their menu as I had a number of options. I ultimately had a grilled veggie wrap with veggies and spiced wild rice. It was nothing I couldn`t make at home, but very satisfying for pub food: and for only $10!! And we each had a couple beers of course.

Either Thursday or Friday night I was desperate for some vanilla chai tea, but alas, my new apartment does not have a loose-leaf tea strainer. In despair, I improved with a length of cheesecloth:

Looks like a giant fluffy moth eh? The tea was weak but it worked!

Happy Memorial day to all our southern friends in the States! Enjoy your long weekend.

-Maureen

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The Granola Girl Cafe Project Restaurant Review (Part II)

On Victoria Day Monday, Alison and I had the pleasure of eating lunch at the Granola Girl Cafe Project. Due to the length of Part I, I’ll cut to the chase: the food and ambiance were divine! I had the Olive “Cheese” Sandwich, served with in-house ketchup. Since my primary criteria for defining a food item as “edible” or “tasty” is the degree to which it is smothered in ketchup, this sandwich got a thumbs up! The homemade bread literally melted in my mouth, which is a quality I never knew bread could possess!

I also indulged in a vegan chocolate bar–Butterfyngers to be precise. It’s been so long since I’ve had a chocolate bar. YUM!

And finally, I bought some PB & J granola to take home, and ate it with some warm almond milk (thanks for the suggestion, Sara!). It was also supremely satisfying.

Spread the word! Granola girl rocks!

-Maureen (Photos by Aly)

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