Archive for October, 2009

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I Can Has Leftovers?

October 27, 2009

Hiya Caitlin and company,

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My dinner tonight was just leftovers, sort of. It involved the last serving of my Shoshana’s Spectacular All-Purpose Tahini Sauce. But under that I steamed up some fresh broccoli and beans, all served over a bed of brown jasmine rice. And on top I threw on some of the sesame sticks I bought over the weekend! Sesame sticks are definitely a weakness of mine. They’re just so crunchy and delicious!

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So in the end, I don’t know if this really qualified as leftovers, but all the same I found it very satisfying. Which is good, because I’ll probably be making something very similar later this week, to finish off the rest of the broccoli and beans (and sesame sticks of course!).

Also, this afternoon I tried one of the bagels I bought yesterday (the left one in the picture) and was very pleased! Boiling bagels in honey water really changes the taste of the bagel, and changes it into deliciousness! If you ever get a chance to try one of these bagels, I highly recommend it!

That’s all for today; more adventures to follow.

Until we eat again,

Willie

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Window Shopping

October 25, 2009

Hello Caitlin! Hello Internet!

Today was a beautiful, sunny autumn day in Toronto, and I make the most out of the weather this morning by heading out on my bike to engage in one of my most favorite and frequent activites: food shopping, of course! I was just going to my usual haunts, so I have no new stores to report back on, but I did pick up several goodies I’m very excited to share! Plus, in the afternoon, I decided to take advantageous of the nice weather again and take some naturally lighted photos in front of my bedroom window of the stuff I bought! Let the sharing begin!

First, I bought a new jar of nut butter from probably my favorite T.O. health store, Essence of Life Organics in Kensington Market. What kind, you ask? Look and see…

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Or perhaps you’d prefer the English side? Okay, I’ll oblige…

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I’m really excited to try this! I’m still working my way through my last jar of Peanut Hazelnut Butter right now, but I should be finishing that off soon. Maybe I’ll even be able to use this new nut butter for my trip to NYC on Friday!

Next up, I bought some salsa:

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Can’t really decide how ethnically offensive I think this is. Anyway, I bought it to add some pizazz to the leftover quasidillas I’ll be making this week. I tried it out tonight and was very pleased; I thought it was a great quasidilla go-along. That being said, this is definitely not amazing salsa by any means. It will, however, most likely prompt me to make more Mexican food in the future.

Finally, I have several goodies to share with you from My Market Bakery. You may remember that in a previous post I remarked that the next time I went to My Market Bakery, I would make sure to get there early in the day, since their stock really dwindles by the evening. Well, mission accomplished, and duly rewarded. There was so much delicious looking bread in the store this morning, I hardly knew what to do with myself. (I will add that in the three times I’ve been there, I haven’t even glanced at the large glass case of pastries and other sweet delights they have for sale—the bread is just that captivating.)

Anyway, my main purchase was to be a new sandwich loaf. This is the one I ended up choosing (sorry about the plastic bag in the way; I got it sliced and didn’t want to take it out of the bag):

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I think this is a multigrain sourdough loaf, but with all the breads I considered this morning (and with the somewhat unclear labeling system at the store), I can’t remember for sure. Anyway, it looks delicious and I can’t wait to try it!

Next up, two bagels, both sesame:

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The fun thing about these bagels is that they come from other local bakeries (actually, a lot of My Market Bakery’s bread comes from other bakeries, although they also have some of their own on the shelves). The one on the right is a traditional bagel, made by a bakery with a name like The Traditional Bagel Bakery, which seemed appropriate. The one on the left was described as “boiled in honey water and then baked in a brick oven.” Enough to entice me! Can’t wait to try these, too.

The final thing I want to share is definitely the most exciting purchase of the day: Portuguese Cornbread!

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Let me see if I can remember the thoughts that went through my head when I saw this… I think they went something like this: “Yespleasethankyou.” Here are some more pics…

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This bread was so exciting that I had to try it tonight. Now, first, let me tell you that this isn’t your normal cornbread: the inside is white, not yellow (although the crust does have a beautiful golden color to it). However, it does have an incredibly subtle corn flavor with every bite, which is fantastic. I don’t know how they do it—maybe some amount of corn flour? Whatever their trick may be, my tummy is very grateful for it. I can’t wait to eat more of this awesome bread!

One final note: I noticed today that My Market Bakery sells bags of assorted day one breads for $1.00! And each bag comes with like five different breads or rolls! If I wasn’t so blown away by the rest of their selection today, I probably would’ve picked up one of these bags as well. But since I didn’t, I just have all the more reason to go back!

Until we eat again,

Willie

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Some of the things I have been eating whilst neglecting the blog and a new goal.

October 24, 2009

late october mosaic

Clockwise from upper left: roasted brussel sprouts in garlic sauce, chewy chocolate chip cookies, basmati pilaf with currants, pepitas and ginger and braised celery.

Speaking of pilaf, did you know that the word originated from Persian and is directly borrowed from Turkish? I wonder how many borrowed words there are in English from Turkish… Wikipedia here I come!

Okay, I’m back. there are a lot of loan words, many that came to English through more common loanword languages like French and Russian. I also learned that kefir has its origins in the Caucuses! I had no idea! AND Poland is the second largest producer of kefir after Russia? Crazy.

Now, apparently this list has been going around the blogosphere, but I first came across it on Full of Beans. Though I’m not technically participating in Vegan MoFo, I thought it would be interesting to post this list and use it as a guide. By this time next year, I want to have tried everything on this list that I haven’t already! In other words, on Willie and my third anniversary (!!!) I will have tried all this deliciousness!

1) Copy this list into your blog or social networking site profile, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out or italicize any items that you would never consider eating.
4) Optional extra: Post a comment on this post linking to your results.

The Vegan Hundred:

1. Molasses
2. Cactus/Nopales
3. Scrambled Tofu
4. Grilled Portobella Caps
5. Fresh Ground Horseradish
6. Sweet Potato Biscuits
7. Arepa
8. Vegan Coleslaw
9. Ginger Carrot Soup
10. Fiddlehead Ferns
11. Roasted Elephant Garlic
12. Umeboshi
13. Almond Butter Toast
14. Aloe Vera
15. H and H Bagel NYC
16. Slow Roasted Butternut Squash
17. White truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Freshly ground wasabi (I am very much looking forward to this one!)
20. Coconut Milk Ice Cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Orchard-fresh pressed apple cider
23. Organic California Mango (in season Sept-Oct only)
24. Quinoa
25. Papaya Smoothie
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet or Habañero pepper
27. Goji Berry Tea
28. Fennel
29. Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie
30. Radishes and Vegan Buttery Spread
31. Starfruit
32. Oven fresh Sourdough bread
33. Sangria made with premium fruit and juices
34. Sauerkraut
35. Acai Smoothie
36. Blue Foot Mushrooms
37. Vegan Cupcake from Babycakes NYC
38. Sweet Potatoes and Tempeh combo
39. Falafel
40. Spelt Crust Pizza
41. Salt and Pepper Oyster Mushrooms
42. Jicama Slaw
43. Pumpkin Edamame Ginger Dumplings
44. Hemp Milk
45. Rose Champagne
46. Fuyu
47. Raw Avocado-Coconut Soup
48. Tofu Pesto Sandwich
49. Apple-Lemon-Ginger-Cayenne fresh-pressed juice…with Extra Ginger
50. Grilled Seitan (didn’t care much for it…)
51. Prickly pear (is this different than nopales?)
52. Fresh Pressed Almond Milk
53. Concord Grapes off the vine
54. Ramps
55. Coconut Water fresh from a young coconut
56. Organic Arugula
57. Vidalia Onion
58. Sampler of organic produce from Diamond Organics
59. Honeycrisp Apple
60. Poi (mmm…)
61. Vegan Campfire-toasted Smores
62. Grape seed Oil
63. Farm fresh-picked Peach
64. Freshly-made pita bread with freshly-made hummus
65. Chestnut Snack Packs (??? sounds wonderful though… I’ve eaten fresh roasted chestnuts before, does that count?)
66. Fresh Guava
67. Mint Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
68. Raw Mallomar from One Lucky Duck, NYC
69. Fried plantains
70. Mache
71. Golden Beets
72. Barrel-Fresh Pickles
73. Liquid Smoke
74. Meyer Lemon
75. Veggie Paella
76. Vegan Lasagna
77. Kombucha
78. Homemade Soy Milk
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Lychee Bellini
81. Tempeh Bacon
82. Sprouted Grain Bread
83. Lemon Pepper Tempeh
84. Vanilla Bean
85. Watercress
86. Carrot you pulled out of the ground yourself
87. Vegan
In-Season Fruit Pie
88. Flowers
89. Corn Chowder
90. High Quality Vegan Raw Chocolate
91. Yellow fuzz-free Kiwi (kind of can’t believe I haven’t tried this…)
92. White Flesh Grapefruit
93. Harissa (once again, can’t wait to try!)
94. Coconut Oil
95. Jackfruit
96. Homemade Risotto
97. Spirulina
98. Seedless ‘Pixie’ Tangerine
99. Gourmet Sorbet, not store bought
100. Fresh Plucked English Peas

48/100 is not too bad. What I like about this list is that a couple of the items listed aren’t just about the food, they include the experience along with the food. I would love to eat a carrot I pulled out of the ground myself!

On a final note, I should be posting a new, simple and fabulous culinary discovery soon! Hint: it involves Buffalo AND Asia.
Until We Eat Again,
Caitlin

P.S. Look at this awesome bobcat:

bobcat

Yeah, I miss Arizona…
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Sidd<3ha

October 23, 2009

Dear Caitlin & co.,

Tonight I had the pleasure of going out to my first Indian restaurant in Toronto with my roommates. Morgan, more or less a Toronto native, took us to this great place east of the metro area in Little India, which is an awesome little neighborhood filled with Indian fashion boutiques and food places. Unfortunately, the weather was fairly nasty tonight, so we didn’t have much chance to explore the area, but we did squeeze in an amazing meal at Siddhartha, Morgan’s Indian restaurant of choice. My judgment: Morgan makes good choices.

We also opted for the buffet tonight, which would normally make me a little weary, but did not disappoint at all. Siddhartha’s buffet is large, varied, very vegetarian friendly, and reasonably priced ($14). I was able to fill my plate with all sorts of Indian goodies (sorry for the low picture quality—it was taken at a restaurant!):

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I can’t remember all the different dishes you see on my plate, but they include: Nan, Rice, Saag Paneer, Chana Masala, Aloo Gobi, Bhindi something something, Cabbage, Vegetable Curry, Vegetable Pakora, and probably some other things. And they were all excellent! Seriously. In fact, I did something I rarely do at Indian buffet—my second plate was basically the same exact stuff, since nothing the first time around disappointed!

And did I mention that they also had dessert?

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Clockwise from top, that’s mango and banana ice cream, semolina (cream of wheat) sweet cube something or other, Gulab Jamun, and grapes. My favorite was definitely the Gulab Jamun, although nothing there disappointed. Oh, and Caitlin, just so you know: They also had rice pudding. It looked good, but, as you know, it’s not for me.

I also have some pictures of me and my dinnermates! First, a rather blurry photo of me and Morgan:

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And then an adorable photo of my two French roommates, Yamina and Gilles:

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Anyway, that’s all I have to report for tonight! I highly recommend Siddhartha to anyone in the GTA, or to anyone who is visiting the GTA and wants her boyfriend to take her out somewhere nice and delicious.

Until we eat again,

Willie

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The Best Part of this Post is Definitely When I Unveil My Name for Vegan Quesadillas; You May Want to Read the Rest of It, But My Feelings Won’t Be Hurt If You Don’t. MUCH.

October 23, 2009

Dear Caitlin and all our other wonderful readers,

It’s already quite late so I can’t bring my usual wit and energy to this post, but I did want to share some of my meals from this week with you all before they turned into the cold leftovers of my memory. Did that metaphor make sense? I don’t think so. Moving on…

Wednesday night has kind of become my go-to day for somewhat adventurous cooking. It’s partially because I have night classes on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursdays, which get in the way of any stove work move than heating up what I already have sitting in the fridge. So Wednesday nights, nestled in between my highly educational but minimally culinary evenings, always seem like a good time to time out some new recipes and whip up some new meals, and this Wednesday was no exception. I made two new recipes; first, up, Red Lentil Soup:

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This recipe came from 101 Cookbooks, a site which I’ve linked to in the past and highly recommend to all that haven’t checked it out already. The thing I like about this recipe was that it is very basic; in fact, the main reason I chose to make it was because it let me use up many of the ingredients I had lying around in my fridge and in my pantry. And overall, this is a good recipe, although I have to say it’s not out of this world. It’s just a solid lentil soup, no frills attached. And there’s no wrong with that.

Next up…

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…looks like a tortilla, but could be inside?

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It’s Another One Bites the Crust’s recipe for White Black Bean Quesadillas (scroll to bottom)! This is another pretty simple recipe; one of the things I liked about it was that you blend up a quesadilla mixture of beans, tomatoes, and other yummy things, and then you just spread this on the tortillas, add some grilled peppers and onions, heat up, and then you’re done! Really neat method, in my opinion. My only complaint was that this was very nutritional-yeast-y, as it uses nutritional yeast as a substitute for el queso. No I definitely consider myself a fan of nutritional yeast; I sprinkle a good heap of it everyday on my salads. However, I am beginning to realize that I am not a fan of nutritional yeast as a cheese replacement. The fact is, nutritional yeast is its own flavor, and I think it’s got to be respected for what it is and not treated as an ersatz cheese. So I’m hoping to find some new, interesting, and non-cheese-derivative ways to use nutritional yeast in the future; do you have any ideas?

One last complaint (not really) with this recipe: the name. Every vegan knows that an non-vegan imitation dish must be given a cutesy vegan name when it’s adapted, typically involving “z”s or apostrophes or a bad pun. In light of this, I offer you my proposed vegan name for this recipe: Black Bean Quasidillas. Not only does this name accurately reflect both what is changed in the recipe and the nature of that change, “Quasidilla” also sort of sounds like a dinosaur. A DELICIOUS DINOSAUR, THAT IS!

One last thing to share: You remember my last post, where I mentioned “an exciting and wacky new idea” I came up with when I made myself a mushroom and onion sandwich? Well I implemented that wacky idea earlier this week. Check it out:

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Okay, so you can’t actually see the wackiness from this picture. But you can see the different bun I used this time, a multigrain roll from My Market Bakery. To see the wackiness, you need to look inside…

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See it yet? Let’s move in a little closer…

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There’s wasabi on that bun! Okay, maybe not as wacky as you’d hoped, but I thought it was pretty adventurous and atypical. Surprisingly, it worked really well. I think I was actually a little too cautious with how much wasabi I used this time and that I could definitely have gotten away with using more. Oh well, maybe next time.

And here’s wishing you many happy meals until our next time!

Until we eat again,

Willie

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Brassica oleracea

October 21, 2009

I have a confession to make.

I have never liked brussel sprouts.

I know. Ridiculous. I normally love any food that is green and has sprout in its title!

Anyway, brussel sprouts were always something I wanted to love, but it just didn’t happen. Well, it didn’t happen until tonight.

brussel sprouts

When I came across Zesty Cook’s recipe for figged and maple roasted brussel sprouts, I figured I had to give these petits choux another shot. It was a very very good idea. This recipe is super simple and super delicious! I would highly recommend giving this one a try! (That is, if you like sprouty, figgy, mapley things… but, I mean, who doesn’t?)

In other news:

big big apple

I ate one of the big apples today. I can’t believe I ate the whole thing. I had this at about 8:30 am and didn’t get hungry again until 4pm. This picture may not give you a great understanding of the size unless you know that I have gigantic Polish hands.* You might want to check out this post to see a comparison of this apple to Brodie’s head.

I’m hoping I’ll have time to post again tomorrow, because I have an exciting meal to share! We shall see…

Until We Eat Again,

Caitlin

* I discovered while in Poland that many of the women have unusually long/large hands (not man hands). I no longer felt weird about my gigantic Polish hands when I realized it was probably part of my heritage.

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So good I really need to report on this now.

October 19, 2009

I tried the third of my purchases at BabyCakes this morning.

(cue choir of angels)

Apple Cinnamon Toastie

One of the best baked goods I have ever tried ever. Seriously.

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