Archive for soy

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

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Gifts from Afar … Part Deux

Ahhh, okay. It’s been unacceptably long since my last post. All I can say is that I am suffering from a major lack of inspiration in the kitchen. The pre-winter greyness outside is giving me a sense of gloomy listlessness and my repetetive daily menu pretty much reflects that. I’m not really thrilled with my living situation at the moment, but my contract out here in the ‘burbs of Toronto ends shortly, and I’m sure I will be moving onto greater things involving many reckless and indulgent cuisinary experiments.

In the meantime I’ve been reading all your blogs and enjoying the anticipatory preludes to American Thanksgiving.

For now, I’ve only got one thing to post. A friend of mine brought me back a gift from Japan–my favourite noodle and this blog’s namesake: UDON!! Except this is authentic stuff, handrolled by Japanese artisans and not purchased from a basement grocery in Chinatown (next to the pirated DVDs). I was told that it is a tradition in Japan to show up at a host’s house with a gift, and so these boxes of udon can frequently be found at train stations. They are not cheap, either!

The silver packet contains the traditional dressing for the udon noodles, which are eaten cold and wet immediately after cooking.

Unfortunately, we had the dressing ingredients translated and it contained a product made from crustacean shells. Instead, I used regular soy sauce.

To Japanesify the experience, I served the udon alongside some steamed salted edamame, and enjoyed a cup of Japanese green tea. It was all deeeeelicious!!

I also watched some HUMAN TETRIS during the meal and pondered how the Japanese can be soooo batshit crazy and awesome at the same time. What’s the secret??

Happy Thanksgiving, Americans!

-Maureen

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Mmm cabbage

Aside from being delicious, cruciferous vegetables are supposed to be quite good for one’s health, and lately I have been trying to incorporate a wider variety of them in to my diet. This week has been all about cabbage.

The dish pictured below was thrown together using ingredients I had on hand. I thought it turned out pretty well!

cabbage, shredded lettuce, red onion, kidney beans, nutritional yeast, corn, pickled ginger, avocado and hummus.

Coleslaw: shredded cabbage, shredded lettuce, kidney beans, red onion, corn, green onion, nutritional yeast, pickled ginger, avocado, hummus, a little bit of lemon garlic dressing and capers.

This next dish was inspired by a number of simmered Nappa cabbage recipes, as well as Diet, Dessert and DogsAsian Inspired Nappa Cabbage Salad:

shredded Nappa cabbage, grated carrot, tofu cubes, soy sauce, miso paste (soy overkill!) and sesame seeds.

Simmered Nappa cabbage: shredded Nappa cabbage, grated carrot, tofu cubes, soy sauce, red miso paste (too much soy?), sesame seeds and a delicious math assignment.

Unfortunately, this week has also been full of stress! Thankfully I have learned how to manage some of that stress with yoga. How do you cope with stress?

On a partially unrelated note, I have been accumulating a few links over the last week and I thought I might share some of them, as we are touting ourselves as a vegan food and lifestyle blog:

– Aly

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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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Vegan broccoli rice au gratin

Here is my veganized version of broccoli rice au gratin:

Vegan broccoli rice au gratin:

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Prepare rice and set aside. Bring water to a boil and add onion. Add the broccoli once the onion has become translucent. Cook the onion and broccoli for 2-3 minutes and then add the potato leek soup, nutritional yeast, soy cheese and garlic powder. Lower the heat and stir until well-mixed. Stir in the rice and pour resulting mixture in to a casserole dish. Bake the mixture for 30 minutes. Serves 2.

Vegan broccoli rice au gratin

So "cheesy"!

It was very savoury and had an excellent smooth and “cheesy” texture. The nutritional yeast provides an excellent boost of vitamin b12 and protein!

-Aly

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Wow, I’m a slacker

I can’t believe I haven’t posted in almost 2 weeks! There were a couple things driving that. First of all, my camera done busted. Actually, Microsoft Vista, in all it’s exceedingly user-unfriendly glory, stopped recognizing my camera. Second, life in Toronto is a rollercoaster of events, appointments, things, places, people, etc, and I haven’t had much time for cooking. Thirdly, I no longer have O.B. here to consume all of my experiments and so the fridge is slow to deplete. And fourthly, living in the suburbs, I can’t walk to the grocery store so my creative recipes (previously envisioned at work, planned on the way home, and prepared with a quick trip to the nearby grocery store) have sort of dried up.

Yet, I do still have SOME creations.. here we go :-)

Minestrone soup from here, garnished with pre-slivered carrots.

The first of many salads… I’ve sort of become a nutter over salads these days. Must be all the fresh produce.

Left, another salad creation using Byward Market vegetables (this was a couple weeks ago when I was in Ottawa) and Soy & Ginger salad dressing. The mixed greens are from a stand that sells bagged mixed salad with sprigs of dill (YUM!!!) for $2.50 a bag. On the right, oh god oh god oh god, I can’t even look at this soup without gagging. It’s Cream of Leek soup from the Bulk Barn which I bought because there was no cream in the ingredients… which is a little fucked up, don’t you think? Anyway it tasted ATROCIOUS, I had to brush my teeth for an hour afterwards. *Gag*


Speaking of the Byward Market, it was so great to see all the stalls open and all the produce out. I can’t wait to check out the St Lawrence Mkt in Toronto. Here are some Byward Market pics:



But anyway, back to the food:

I LOVE this green bean recipe. This recipe comes from my mother, who is kind enough to share the recipe:

Oriental Green Beans

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

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.


Again, with the salad creations:

I’ve become totally obsessed with mango/strawberry/dill-containing salads.

I like communal fridges for the variety of random salad ingredients found within. Here again, is another mixed green salad with mango, kiwi, strawberries, dill, sunflower seeds, papaya, and bean sprouts.


Rice paper rolls! AKA “Summer rolls”. I loooove these things, esp dipped in plum sauce.

Here’s what they look like being made:I ususally throw in avocado, slivered carrots and cucumber, cilantro, green onion, sprouts, pepper, etc.


A big stir-fry for some packed lunches, with my favourite noodle, UDON!! I also added grilled herbed tofu, frozen vegetables, VH Teriyaki sauces, and sweet thai chilli sauce.

Sorry for the blurry pic, but this is a slice of spinach-red pepper pizza from a downtown eatery (wish I could remember the name!).

That’s all for now! I’ll catch up on all your blogs later today.

-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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