Posts tagged ‘Vegan’

Steak for dinner

Tonight we had steak for dinner!

And by steak, I mean Spicy Chocolate Tofu that looks peculiarly like steak (or so says Husband!  I think he tried to convince himself he was really eating steak with a sweet barbecue sauce on it, but I’m not sure how successful this trick of conscience worked out for him).

I have a folder in my email with all sorts of emails I’ve sent myself over the years with links to recipes I’ve wanted to try.  This one has been kicking around since August 9th, 2010, but only now am I making it!  Other recipes in this folder include “Homemade Almond Milk”, “Greek Watermelon Barley Salad”, and “Cinnamon Walnut Bread”.  Sounds good, no?

I highly recommend this tofu recipe.  It is quite sweet so I recommend pairing it with veggies.  I served it with garlic mashed potatoes and steamed carrots and broccoli.

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Today was another sunny day, but too cold to go for a walk.  I was bummed because a walk (especially to Starbucks!) really brightens the day up.  By the time we are home, it’s time to make dinner and then get Henry ready for bed soon after.

He’s in bed as I type this.  It’s 7:09 pm and this is the earliest he’s ever gone to bed!  I was trying to watch The Business of Being Born on Netflix (we just signed up yesterday and I am on my third documentary already!), but he was just too fussy to stand it.  He wasn’t hungry, he wouldn’t sit in his bouncy chair, he wouldn’t nibble on his ringley, and he wouldn’t lay on his back and kick his legs.  When all else fails, I either strip him naked and let him hang out on the floor (my little nudist!) (let’s hope this is temporary!) or I do the bath/nursing/bed routine and hope he falls asleep.  So far, so good.  I should probably knock on wood, though.

Speaking of Henry, he has the same swing as Celine Dion’s twin boys!  I noticed this while participating in my favourite Stay-At-Home-Mom activity, that is, watching Oprah.

Source of picture

Fisher Price: The Great Democratizer

I figure if they are good enough for multi-million dollar, world-renowned Celine Dion then I suppose they are good enough for my little boy.  Now if only our identical swings also matched our identical houses…

A lot of people are critical of Celine Dion, but I think she is amazing.

How amazing?  Just check out this video to see.

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February 22, 2011 at 7:26 pm 14 comments

Vegan Eating: Last Day!

And so we arrive at the last day of my one week experience with vegan eating.  I have less than 10 hours to go!  I think I will make it.  At least I hope.  Saturday nights have a funny way of throwing all eating plans completely off track!

Along with a week of vegan eating, I’ve also been consuming one Green Monster a day (a goal for February as you may remember!).  Today’s concoction was particularly delicious because it contained 1/4 cup coconut milk.

Green Monster includes: 1/4 cup coconut milk, 3/4 cup almond milk, 1 cup frozen mango, 1/2 banana, 1 handful of baby spinach, and a side of Dr. Snuggles

I just had a quick lunch of a couple of clementines and an open-faced peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  Although I usually eat natural peanut butter, I’m currently out so the regular peanut butter had to suffice (which I like to call “dessert peanut butter” because of the added sugar and oil!).  Honestly, I much prefer the taste of dessert peanut butter but usually stick to the natural.

I’m out to dinner at a friends’ house tonight.  She reads my blog so knows about my WoVE (Week of Vegan Eating) and is planning a vegan dinner because of it.  See the beauty of maintaining a blog?  Friends will know all about your quirky eating plans and will accommodate you as such.  Or maybe I just have awesome friends?

Henry is excited to be going out on a Saturday night.  I try to refrain from constantly saying LOOK HOW CUTE MY KID IS because that certainly gets old after a while, but I can’t help it with this picture especially.

LOOK HOW CUTE MY KID IS

The expression he makes when he is “talking”

It’s during the day after a rough night (such as last night!) that he is extra-cute.  I am convinced this is some sort of Darwinian, “survival of the species” thing.  I mean, look at that double chin!  It’s almost enough to get me to forget the constant interruptions to my sleep (note:  ALMOST).

February 12, 2011 at 2:26 pm 4 comments

Vegan Eating: Day Six

I continue to kick some vegan-eating arse, causing me to feel self-righteous in the most pretentious way possible!  I made oatmeal for hubby this morning using cow’s milk which, I must admit, created quite the creamy bowl of oats, but I’d still prefer almond milk in my own.  Pat on the ol’ back for my vegan-eating self!

For breakfast this morning, I had one of my Banana Date scones warmed in the toaster oven with some cherry jam and a sliced orange.

These scones taste “healthy”, which is a good thing I assure you!  Not like cardboard at all.

I went grocery shopping yesterday and bought more trail mix.  I think this might be cheaper than the stuff I get at Bulk Barn, and a bit fresher to boot.

I like to mingle with raisins and cranberries

With a clementine in some artsy fartsy lighting…

I call this piece, “Dawn of a New Snack”

For lunch, I finished off the last of the Curried Lentil and Apricot soup, thus completing my Journey of 1,000 Lentils (how this week has felt!).

I had the soup along with another scone toasted with, um, NON-vegan margarine.  I had to relent!  I know there is whey in regular Becel margarine, but I just really, really, really wanted some margarine on my scone.  Is that too much to ask?  Plus I had already broken the DO NOT EAT REGULAR MARGARINE FOR YOU ARE A VEGAN rule by using it in the Sweet Potato Casserole I prepared for dinner.  I was going to buy vegan margarine at the grocery store yesterday, but we have a huge tub of regular margarine to use up and, well, I am just too frugal to have two types of margarine in my fridge, ok?  (Am I sounding as defensive as I feel?)

Indeed, we shall feast on Sweet Potato Casserole for dinner tonight using, of course, Oh She Glow’s vegan recipe.  What would I do without Oh She Glows as a constant source of inspiration?

I was feeling uber-confident in my culinary skills because I didn’t even use a measuring cup to make this!  This confidence was ultimately misguided, as I think I used too much margarine.  Maybe it was karma biting me in the arse for using non-vegan margarine?  Something tells me that the vegan karma gods are too nice for that, though.

Pre-baked

Finally, I show you the requisite picture of me and/or Henry (this time you get both!)

I really don’t like my hair in this photo, but at least my face colour matches my neck colour.

Also, Henry is very cute.  He has nice hair AND matching face/neck colour.

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Ok, this is a bit off topic, but I was wondering: do you drink tap water? We use a Brita water filter and it is grossly overdue for a change, so I’ve been drinking tap water in the meantime.  Even though the taste is a bit metallic, I don’t mind tap water at all and would just go back to using it full-time if it weren’t for my husband and his delicate taste buds.  I know most households use Brita or bottled water for their daily consumption and I was wondering if this was really necessary.  Canadian and U.S. tap water is thoroughly cleaned and tested constantly.  When we were kids, we all drank tap water!  None of this Jennifer Aniston Smart water or imported Fijian water for us!  And we turned out fine (kind of).  Do you think filtered water is even necessary? Do you honestly hate the taste of tap water or do you think that the need to filter water/buy bottled is a creation of clever marketing companies?

This is your thought-provoking question for this Friday afternoon!

February 11, 2011 at 2:27 pm 17 comments

Vegan Eating: Days Four and Five

Whereas on Tuesday I was like “I MISS CHEESE”, today I’m all like “I COULD DO THIS FOREVER”.  I think the change is that I feel pretty wonderful and my digestive system is pumping along like a charm!  I never noticed any problems with my digestion before, but now that I have seen how smoothly things can be, er, processed, I think this vegan thing could be for me.  Of course, I will still eat the occasional slice of cheesy pizza and if I am ever so lucky to visit Paris again, you know I will be chowing as many buttery croissants as possible.  But for now, at this point, I am loving the veganism.

For breakfast this morning, I had a toasted thin bun spread with almond butter and a sliced orange.

For morning snacks, I’ve been relying on this tropical trail mix I picked up at the Bulk Barn.

Lunch today was more lentils.  I discovered even more of the Vegan Walnut Lentil Pile stored at the back of the fridge.  Perhaps it is reproducing?  I don’t mind.  This stuff tastes like Thanksgiving stuffing!  Albeit, protein-filled, mushy-textured stuffing.

I heated it up and spread it on yet another toasted thin burger and topped it with sliced tomato and ground pepper.

I decided to bake this afternoon and opted to use up the brown bananas in my freezer (frugal tip:  when you have rotting bananas, throw them in the freezer and use for future baking purposes.  Brown bananas are perfect for baking since they are so flavourful).  I perused the index of Veganomicon looking for banana recipes and came across one for Banana Date Scones.

Pre-baked

This recipe appealed to me because of the following ingredients:  flax meal, whole wheat flour, bananas, dates, and walnuts.  The recipe calls for brown rice syrup, but I used corn syrup instead (I think maple syrup would work too!).  I LOVE scones.  I think they are the love children of biscuits and muffins, encompassing the best qualities of each.  They are delicious for breakfast, with tea, accompanying soup or stew, or on their own.  I like it when people pronounce them “skawns” even though I pronounce them “scowns” (rhymes with bones!).  Regular scones can be quite heavy with butter and cream, so the vegan version is much healthier.  In conclusion, you can’t go wrong with scones!

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In other news, here is a picture of my cheap haircut.

Ugh, my face colour doesn’t match my neck colour!!!

You can see how it doesn’t look quite even there at the bottom, even though it was freshly blow dried.  It’s longer than I wanted, too.  As I have quickly learned, there are certain things you cannot be frugal with including hair-cuts, coffee, and ketchup (my hubby refuses anything but Heinz!  What a brand snob, I know).

I’ll let you know if I come across any others…

February 10, 2011 at 3:52 pm 15 comments

A Day of Vegan Eating

I was feeling camera iPhone happy today and took a bunch of pictures of the food that I ate.  This vegan thing has got me doing crazy things!  Blame all the soy products!

Since Henry is asleep, I thought I’d take this opportunity to not do laundry and instead write another blog entry!  Clearly I have got this Stay-At-Home-Mom thing down pat.

The big event of the day was a new recipe I tried called Curried Lentil and Apricot Soup.  I come across plenty of vegan recipes that call for curry powder, but not too many that also require dried apricots.  I knew I had to make this, especially since it also calls for coconut milk.  Dried apricots + coconut milk = 🙂

Curried Lentil and Apricot Soup

2 Tablespoons of vegetable oil

2 onions, diced

8 cloves of garlic, chopped

1 Tablespoon of ginger powder

1 Tablespoons of mild curry powder

1 tomato, chopped

1 cup dried apricots, chopped

2 cups red lentils, rinsed

8 cups of water

3/4 cup coconut milk

Chopped cilantro for garnish

1.  In a large pot over medium heat, cook onions in vegetable oil for about 10 minutes (stir frequently!)

2.  Reduce heat to medium-low, and add garlic and ginger.  Cook and stir for two minutes.  Add curry powder and stir for one more minute.

3.  Add tomato, apricots, lentils and water.

4.  Raise heat to high until boiling and then reduce to simmer for 30 minutes.

5.  Using an immersion blender or a food processor, puree soup.  Since I like my soup to have texture, I pureed about half of the soup.

6.  Return soup to pot over low heat and stir in coconut milk.  Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with cilantro.

This soup is so good the sun came out to greet it

What I love about this soup:

– The tiny chunks of juicy dried apricots

–  COCONUT MILK!!!

–  Does not require vegetable broth, thus the sodium content is low

–  Lentils make this soup incredibly nutritious and filling.  I had it for both lunch and dinner!

Here are some other things I ate today.  I believe I photographed everything except for the two Maple Walnut cookies I had after lunch!  For breakfast, I had the Carrot Cake Oatmeal as previously noted earlier.

A handful of trail mix with a clementine

A free sample of Vanilla Rooibos tea which I promptly poured down the sink after two sips (not a fan of herbal teas yet I keep trying them, hoping my taste buds will change!)

Green Monster made with 1 cup almond milk, 1/2 banana, 4 frozen strawberries, 1 large handful of baby spinach

Two Frosty No-Bake Glo Cakes!

I highly recommend trying the No-Bake Glo Cakes.  This isn’t the best time of year for consuming frozen edibles (since we are currently living in a frozen edible!), but this healthy alternative to ice cream is surprisingly delicious.  Since I don’t have rice crisp cereal, I substituted All-Bran.  Yes!  A dessert that contains All-Bran is a dessert worth mentioning.  Recommendation:  Go heavy on the peanut butter.

You would think that all of this nutritious, delicious food would fuel my determination to do laundry.  Think again…:)

February 9, 2011 at 9:15 pm 7 comments

Vegan Eating: Day Two

Ok, so it got a bit more difficult to eat vegan on Day Two!  Mostly, Henry was a fussybub and I wanted to find consolation in the Triple Fudge cake we have in the fridge, but that was not to be!  I tried to appease my sweet tooth with some dried apricots and semi-sweet chocolate chips but it didn’t quite do the trick.  I went to bed defeated!  However, I was so happy that Henry was asleep that it wasn’t too bad.  In the battle between sweets and sleep, sleep ALWAYS wins (when you have a baby, anyway!).

In “too frugal for one’s own good” news, yesterday I went out to get a haircut after almost a year of going without!  I went to First Choice which is one of those cheap places at which you don’t have to make an appointment.  Because Henry hasn’t accepted a bottle yet, I had only two hours to leave the house before needing to get back.  I made sure to leave once he had consumed lots of milk, so I made a mad dash out (first brushing off all the snow that had accumulated on the car!  Ah, February).  Luckily there wasn’t much of a wait and I liked my hair stylist enough, but not only did she cut my hair unevenly (she did end up fixing it), but she didn’t blow dry it all the way so it massively frizzed up.  I could have done a better job myself!  However, for $19 you can’t really ask for too much!  The cut is decent enough (chin length bob — my favourite!), but I have learned that when one has escaped the house for two precious hours, one is best off going to an actual salon!  This is the lesson for today, mugs and thugs.

For dinner yesterday, I made Vegan Walnut Lentil Loaf except it turned out to be more like a Vegan Walnut Lentil Pile.  I need to try Oh She Glows recipe next time!

 

I had it along with steamed vegetables and a bagel with blackberry jam.  I wanted margarine (or butter!) on my bagel, but regular margarine isn’t vegan!  I need to get some Earth Balance.  The blackberry jam was still good and served as dessert as well!  (I will admit that blackberry jam, as good as it is, is no Triple Fudge cake!).

For breakfast this morning, I made some Apple Oatmeal!

1/2 cup soymilk

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup rolled oats

1 apple, diced

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 small handful of raisins

1 sprinkling of shredded coconut

This was wonderful!  It was very chunky because the apple was so large, but creamy too.  I didn’t add anything to sweeten it, but it would be great drizzled with some maple syrup.

Aside from Triple Fudge cake cravings (wow, the third time I’ve mentioned it — what does that tell you?!!?), I feel pretty good with my vegan diet heading into Day Three.  Without getting too TMI, from a digestive standpoint the results have been immediate ifyouknowwhatI’msaying.  Henry was extremely fussy yesterday evening, but slept well (up every 2.5 hours but fell back to sleep immediately and didn’t wake up crying this morning!).  So we shall see how it goes today…

February 8, 2011 at 8:55 am 11 comments

Vegan Eating: Day One

Given that it was Super Bowl Sunday and a certain someone decided to buy all of my favourite cheese-flavoured snacks (including Smart Food and Doritos!), I am proud to say that I made it through Day One of my experiment with veganism!  I am so glad I made that Edamame Black Bean salad on Friday because I’ve been having it for lunches (I even finished it off for breakfast today!).

I added spinach to bulk it up!

While I stuck to spaghetti with tomato sauce and veggie ground round, Hubby partook in his annual tradition of barbecuing chicken wings in anticipation for the evening’s sporting event.  Did I mention we live in Canada?

View through the window because no way was I going outside yesterday!

I knew that I needed to prepare myself with vegan snacks or else the temptation to eat artificially-flavoured cheese products would ultimately overcome me, so I decided to bake the Maple Walnut cookies from the awesome cookbook Vegan with a Vengeance.  I don’t feel right copying down the recipe here, but if you click the link you will find that someone else did it for me 🙂

I’ve had this cookbook for years and have always wanted to try this recipe, but I never owned Maple Extract.  I was at the Bulk Barn last week and saw it for about $3 so I bought it without blinking an eye.  It smells delicious!  Has anyone ever thought about making maple-scented perfume?  It could be called Canadiana and the bottle could be covered in a little plaid shirt like a lumber jack.  Instant best seller, no?

As I am wont to do, these cookies were slightly under-baked, i.e. totally chewy and delicious.  I froze half the batch and put out the rest for a few people that stopped by and they were polished off by the end of the night.  I think I had four altogether.

So we shall see how Day Two pans out.  Of course I will keep you posted!

Henry says that the hand-knit “Storm Trooper” toque is the look for Spring 2011

February 7, 2011 at 9:59 am 12 comments

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Welcome!

What happens when you love to eat healthy (and some unhealthy!) food, love to live frugally, and love to write? You start a food blog, of course. Of course!

Eating well and living frugally does not always come easy, but Lord help me, I am trying! This blog will detail my endeavor to live the best life possible. This will include pictures of my cats, odes to almond butter, and the general miscellany that makes up my life. Enjoy!

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