Archive for January, 2010

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Here’s What I Made and Ate Yesterday!

January 30, 2010

Hello friends,

Here’s a quick rundown of what yesterday involved for me foodwise. For lunch, I made some improvised Baked Quinoa Macaroni:

I say “improvised” because I didn’t follow any sort of recipe in making this. Really, I just threw together a bunch of things I had lying around with some quinoa pasta. (Side note: this was my first time eating quinoa pasta, and overall I was pleased, although not blown away. Then again, I’m not a huge pasta fan to begin with.) As some of you (Caitlin) may know, I’m not the best culinary improviser. In fact, I’m not even a good one. I don’t know what it is, I guess I just still feel more comfortable following instructions. But this didn’t turn out too bad. Along with the quinoa macaroni, I put in a homemade tomato sauce with spinach and some cashew ricotta, and topped that off with lots of nutritional yeast and panko. I think I maybe should’ve let this bake for a little longer (I like a good crunch to my baked pasta), but overall it was fine. And I should have lots of leftovers to bring with me to school this week!

For dinner, my roommate Greg invited me to dine with him and some of his friends. We shared a nice little home-cooked meal:

Greg’s contribution was the stuffed red pepper, which was served with a delicious honey garlic sauce to go on top. My contribution was the salad on the right, which included my typical confetti-fest of greens and extras: romaine lettuce, spinach, collard greens, sunflower seeds, pepitas, cashews, dried cranberries, grated carrot and daikon, avocado, nutritional yeast and flaxseed meal sprinkled on top, and maple cinnamon vinaigrette served on the side. For dessert we had some cute little Italian amaretto cookies and (what else?) Tim Horton’s donuts. We also had a really good game of Settlers of Catan. So all in all, it was a very enjoyable evening! I’ll be back soon with more updates from my weekend kitchen.

Until we eat again,

Willie

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A Tasty Reminder of Childhood

January 28, 2010

I originally tried this flavored soymilk at  the vegetarian food festival in Toronto a few months ago and was shocked to find that it tasted quite similar to the strawberry milk that I drank as a child! It’s a Canadian brand, so I thought that that small sample would probably be it for me and this delicious reminder of my childhood but, thanks to Whole Foods, I can enjoy it in the states!

You may be thinking; “but Caitlin hates strawberries!” You would be correct in thinking that. I do not hate, however, strawberry flavoring or syrup. This guilty pleasure is kind of a mystery to me but I don’t have to feel quite so guilty about this soymilk with its “natural strawberry flavour”, so it’s all good.

Oh, and, as to the recipes that Willie mentioned, I will be posting them soon! I just want to make sure I can get the measurements right for yinz guys. “Enough” tends not to be the best unit of measure in a recipe…

Until We Eat Again,

Caitlin

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Blogging From a Bus!

January 25, 2010

Hi all!

My quick trip to NYC and Caitlin really flew by, and I’m already on my way back to Toronto. Fortunately, since I’m riding on a Wifi-equipped bus, I can blog all about my visit now! So get ready—it was super delicious!

Saturday

My bus arrived in NYC Saturday evening (only thirty minutes late!), and on our way back to Brooklyn, Caitlin and I picked up some ingredients for the night’s meal: Barbecue Tofu & Buffalo Edamame with Kale & Avocado Salad! This was all amazingly good.

Caitlin’s been perfecting the Barbecue and Buffalo recipes, and I think she’s got it down! (I also think she might be posting it later this week, so check back!) It’s quite spicy, which is something I don’t usually expect from Caitlin’s cooking, but I definitely appreciated the change of style—although my mouth was burning towards the end! Thankfully, we had something good to wash it all down:

That’s a bottle of Magic Hat’s “Circus Boy” The Hefeweizen. Caitlin likes Magic Hat and I like hefeweizen, so it seemed like a good choice, and it was! And in case you want a close-up of this meal’s other superstar, here it is:

It still amazes me how salads are always so good.

Sunday

Sunday morning, after a nice night of sleeping in, Caitlin made a delectable brunch offering: Kabocha Oats!

This dish is basically exactly what its name suggests: rolled oats with kabocha chunks mixed in! In addition, it was cooked with rice milk, and I added some flaxseed meal, wheat germ, and peanut butter to my bowl! Oats have really been a favorite of mine this year, and this was a great way to start the morning.

In the afternoon, Caitlin made cupcakes:

These are Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Maple Icing, made with the help of Happy Herbivore’s recipe! These cupcakes were out of this world—super sweet and super tasty! And the icing is to die for, as well. I really like it when Caitlin bakes things for me, since (a) I’m a fairly lousy baker, and (b) my oven in Toronto is currently broken. I was able to take one of these tasty treats with me on my trip today, as well, and it provided a sweet pick-me-up in my afternoon!

For dinner, we collaborated on another amazing meal! It started with a side/starter of Tofu Pasta Salad:

This salad was quick and easy to assemble, and very yummy to eat. It consisted of vegetable pasta shells with some tofu, frozen broccoli, and spinach on top, with a ginger/Balsamic vinegar/Bragg’s sauce on top of all that. It was very nice. After that, we proceeded to the main course: Vegan Haggis.

Now in my opinion, this is just a supremely delicious vegan loaf and needn’t be associated with that carnivorous monstrosity that is the national dish of Scotland, but if you want to hear more about the inspiration, go here to Swell Vegan to hear her story (which is quite good, actually) and get this amazing recipe for yourself! Seriously, this is very very good, and while I am unable to compare it to the real thing (and hope never to be), I think it’s fit to be any country’s national dish. I’d certainly eat it with pride, at least. I also found that it went well with some BBQ sauce and hot sauce mixed in:

But it was perfectly fine on its own, as well.

And that was my short trip to NYC! I got on my bus early this morning, and should arrive back in Toronto sometime this evening. Talk to you all soon.

Until we eat again,

Willie

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Well Hellooo, Dhal-ly!

January 23, 2010

Hi everybody!

That was possibly the best blog post title I’ve ever come up with. But the recipe that was its inspiration wasn’t half bad, either. In fact, it was delectable. Based on one of VeganDad’s recipes, this dhal dish is easy to make and delicious to eat. I did make some changes, though, which were as follows:

  • I used probably around 2 cups of water, rather than 1 and 1/2. When I was first cooking the lentils, it looked like there wasn’t going to be enough water (the onions took up a good amount of space in the pot) and so I hastily added some extra to assist with the cooking process. However, with the added liquid of the tomato and the spice mixture later on, this dhal turned out really soupy. But I was fine with that! It was really nice to have a soupy dhal for a change.
  • I left out the curry leaves, because I didn’t have any, and it didn’t seem to make any difference, although I’m sure this would be even more delicious with them in there.
  • Finally, instead of vegetable oil, I used coconut oil for the spice mixture at the end. I think this was definitely an awesome decision (and healthier too, right?), and I would highly recommend doing it if you decide to make this recipe.
  • Actually, one more note: I definitely agree with VeganDad that this recipe should be doubled. As it is, it makes two servings at best. And even when doubled, none of the ingredients amounts are all that high.

And if you can’t tell from the picture, I ate this with a piece of (store-bought) naan bread and some buckwheat (not exactly your traditional basmati, but nutritious and delicious nonetheless!).

By the way—I’m blogging from a bus! A Megabus, more specifically, and one which is taking me to New York City and my beloved Caitlin as I speak, er, type! As Caitlin mentioned in her last post below (scroll down if you didn’t already see it!), this weekend should give me plenty to blog about, which you’ll all see soon. I may even blog about it on my bus ride back!

Until we eat again,

Willie

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Welcome to Greek Town

January 22, 2010

So, during my last visit to TO, Willie took me out to a lovely little restaurant in Greek Town called Mezes. This may have taken place quite a while ago, but looking back through the pictures to upload, I can vividly remember how wonderful the food was.

For our “mezes,” we began with a sample platter of delicious types of mush, that is, hummus (good), Melitzanosalata, aka babaganoush (very good), Tzatziki (sooooo goood…), and Tirokafteri. I had never even heard of Tirokafteri before this dinner, but I am very glad I was introduced. It is a blend of Feta, hot peppers and yogurt and it rocked my world almost as much as the Tzatziki did.

Oh, yeah it also came with this delicious pita.

I guess I should warn you now that we wholeheartedly upheld the Greek tradition of eating a lot and trying as much as we could. Above you will find our second indulgence: a plate of pites. Specifically, we had Spanakopita, Tirokafteropita and Pantzaropita (with beets!). Highly recommended.

After all these mezes, we decided to split an entree:

Moussaka! (with salad, rice and potatoes) I loved the moussaka, thought the taters were quite good, the salad pretty standard, but tasty. As for the rice… I’m pretty sure it was Uncle Ben’s, or something like it… It wasn’t very good. 😦 Otherwise, the meal was amazing.

I was understandably pretty full after this meal and was beginning to feel a little lethargic, but we had so much to do after dinner that I knew I needed a pick me up.

I wish all coffee tasted like Greek coffee.

In short, go to Mezes.

We then headed to Downtown TO for their version of light-up night, the Cavalcade of Lights!

It was fabulous and pretty and not too cold! Of course, the entertainment was somewhat strange… It began with some local musicians playing Toronto’s theme song… A very strange song that I am inclined to believe was written shortly before it was performed… They were opening for that guy from Barenaked Ladies. No. The other guy.

Later, I had my first experience with real Karaoke in private rooms with snacks and drinks (which we did not partake in, maybe next time).

Here is Willie rocking out. I’m not sure what he was singing at the time, but it was definitely after I belted out a song from the Buffy musical (yeah, that’s right.) but before we had our Pat Benatar duet.

Well, I must leave you all now and begin preparing for Willie’s visit tomorrow! And, don’t worry, you can expect at least three more posts from me withing the next couple days, and then, hopefully, Willie will be able to report back on his visit.

Until We Eat Again,

Caitlin

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Hat Trick

January 17, 2010

Happy Sunday, everyone!

Today was a wonderful day for cooking, for me at least! I had time to prepare three delicious dishes over the course of the day. First off, today’s breakfast—Three Grain Cereal!

Remember yesterday when I talked about wanting to cook my way through 3 Bowls‘s breakfast chapter? Well I got one step closer today! This breakfast cereal features three grains: Quinoa, Millet, and Farina (AKA Cream of Wheat). I was a little skeptical at first about how quinoa would work in a hot cereal, but it was incredible! This dish is so so flavorful, despite its nondescript gray mush appearance. I topped it off with some bananas, soymilk, and flaxseed, and enjoyed a very pleasant start to my day.

Later I made yet another Indian dish for dinner (now that I’m writing this, I’m realizing that today was very much a repeat of yesterday). The dish of choice: Potato Mushroom Curry!

Like yesterday’s dish, the recipe for tonight also came courtesy of VeganDad. It was very easy to make and had lots of good flavors. One thing I would change is to use 1 tomato instead of 2 though; all the tomato in my dish really took away from the spices. Nonetheless, I happily chowed down on a big bowl of this for dinner, enjoyed alongside a side of Naan bread (store-bought, not homemade—or even better, Caitlin-made—unfortunately):

Last but not least, I made an absolutely scrumptious dessert to end the night—Coconut Black Rice Pudding!

I first tried this while I was home for the holidays (courtesy of my mom’s preparation), and it was so good I had to making it myself. (The recipe can be found here, although that recipe is actually based on this one here.) Fortunately, it’s very easy; all you need is time (and some cheesecloth to make a cute little bag of spices!). But more importantly, it is super super tasty. I am amazed black rice makes such a good pudding. And the mango just makes it all the more delectable.

With all the cooking I did this weekend, I’m going to have plenty of leftovers to work my way through this week. This means I probably won’t be blogging about any new meals this week. However, next weekend I will leaving Toronto for a short trip to NYC to see Caitlin, and that should bring with plenty of exciting eats! Talk to you soon.

Until we eat again,

Willie

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If I Blog Twice in One Day, It’s Just Because I Love You All So Much

January 16, 2010

…and because I made Indian food.

Hi all! I was so excited by how tonight’s dinner turned out that I thought I’d share it with you all right away! What you see above is Indian Kale & Moong Dal, made with the help of a stellar recipe courtesy of VeganDad. (Actually, the original recipe is Indian Kale & Split Peas, but I think my substitution did no harm.)

As much as I love Indian food, it’s always been a bit of a personal stumbling block for me in the kitchen. I’ve tried many times before, with many many disappointments. I just could never get my dishes to taste like the ones in restaurants. But tonight’s dish came close. I’ve never really had anything just like this before, so I don’t have anything to compare it to, but the spice combination was very nice and the vegetables blended very well with each other. It’s a fairly straightforward recipe and doesn’t even call for too many ingredients. The only downside was that it yielded a little less than I was hoping (I’m probably only going to get two servings out of the recipe). But besides from that, this recipe was super!

There will be more Indian food in the very near future for me, so check back for more updates!

Until we eat again,

Willie

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