Archive for April, 2010

h1

Holy Mole!

April 19, 2010

Hi all!

After I arrived Saturday night (only about 40 minutes late), Caitlin and I made our way back to her place in Brooklyn, where she had some delicious food ready for me. What, you ask? This!

It may not look like much, but this little bowl of steamed veggies and mole sauce was superb! The mole (recipe from Veganomicon) was definitely the star of the show, but deservedly so. It was great great great! We enjoyed these vegetables alongside some homemade tortilla chips and the rest of my Suzie’s Spelt Flat Breads:

By the way, I really liked these Flat Bread crackers and all their seed-y goodness. I also had a bottle of this Harpoon Celtic Ale with my meal:

I liked it! And for dessert, Caitlin and I shared the rest of the coconut bread she made the night before:

This dessert was so good it’s ridiculous. As soon I as tried it, I understood why only a third of the original loaf remained from the night before—once you try it, you never want to stop eating it.

(Also, in case you were wondering how my other travel treats turned out the other day, the Late July cookies were not so good (dark chocolate just doesn’t work all that well in Oreo form), but the Ritter chocolate was very nice!)

Until we eat again,

Willie

Advertisements
h1

Leaving T.O.

April 17, 2010

Hi everybody!

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything, but I totally have a legit excuse: finals! Finals, finals, finals. But they’re over and done with, and now—as I speak—I’m on a bus taking me from Toronto to New York so that I can be reunited with Caitlin!

Since this visit is going to keep me away from T.O. for almost two weeks, I knew I needed to do a thorough fridge clean before I left—no leftovers allowed! Thankfully, I planned out the week fairly perfectly, finishing the rest of my kale with my lunchtime salad, and then using some leftover Korean BBQ tofu to make this delicious dinner dish:

This noodle bowl is very similar to the Korean Pad Thai dish I made not to long ago. It’s very simple and straightforward: some green onions and broccoli with udon noodles, thrown together with baked tofu marinated in a spicy gochujang sauce, with edamame and cashews mixed in at the end! This baby packed some serious heat, but totally in a good way.

In addition, I had about four carrots left in my crisper, but as anyone would reads food blogs already knows, leftover carrots are never a problem:

Yep, that’s a plate of delicious, delicious carrot fries, the perfect way to take care of some leftover carrots. Both Caitlin and I have sung the praises of carrot fries before, so all I’ll say here is: if you haven’t tried them yet, try them now.

Now part of my reasoning behind making those above Korean noodles last night was so I could bring the other half of what I made with me today for lunch on my bus ride. It’s 9 a.m. right now, so I can’t say for at least a few more hours how they taste at room temperature, but I’m optimistic. I’m also optimistic about all my other travel treats, which I thought I’d share quickly with you now. I’ve got…

Suzie’s Multiseed Spelt Flat Breads!

Late July Dark Chocolate Snobby Oreos Sandwich Cookies! AND…

Ritter Sport Dark Chocolate with Marzipan! I’m looking forward to all of these! Check back to hear what I think!

Until we eat again,

Willie

h1

Welcome Back to Greek Town!

April 15, 2010

While visiting Toronto, I simply cannot resist trying out some of the many Greek options on the Danforth. This time, we stopped in at Ouzeri. (Warning: dramatic Greek music awaits on the other end of this link)

Knowing that when it comes to Greek cuisine, our best experiences tend to be with appetizers, we mostly stuck to the first section of the menu.

We begin with the triple combo of (top to bottom) skordalia, tirosalata and tzatziki. The tzatziki was super creamy and delicious, the tirosalata was not my favorite (but I am not really a fan of red peppers) and the skordalia was really tasty and perfectly spiced.

Now, this is the stuff. As you can see, I was so excited to find vegetarian grape leaves (with more tzatziki) that I completely forgot to take a picture before digging in! Seriously amazing.

Simple and fresh tasting, the baked feta had great presentation, sizzling its way to the table.

The stuffed eggplant was sweet and tomato-y and very nice.

After stuffing ourselves with these Greek delights, we moved on to dessert!

Light and spicy apple pastry! And, drumroll please…

BAKLAVA! This is honestly some of the best baklava I have ever eaten and I would head back to Ouzeri for this alone.

On the atmosphere: very warm, cozy and inviting! The waitstaff was pleasant and attentive (though, understandably, the service did slow considerably as the restaurant became more crowded).

If light vegetarian mezes are your game, Ouzeri is great option. While I may have had better (and slightly more affordable) dips at other Greek eateries, Ouzeri has a fantastic volume and variety of choices.

Until We Eat Again,

Caitlin

h1

Ch-Ch-Ch-Chia Seed Pudding

April 12, 2010

One of the wonderful ideas Willie came up with on my last visit to the big TO was to give Choosing Raw’s Chia Seed Pudding recipe a shot.

Despite a great interest on my part, I had never gotten around to trying chia seeds and eating them in pudding form seemed a perfect introduction. It’s a pretty amazing process to see the tiny black seeds grow as the bowl “uncooks” itself.

Yeah, I totally made an animated GIF. This pudding deserves it.

While I don’t think Willie was crazy about it, I immediately fell for this vegan, thick,  tapioca-like pudding. Maybe it was its similarity to tapioca (the only pudding I really like) that won me over. Maybe it’s because this breakfast does a body good. Maybe it was the mild sweet taste and unique texture. Perhaps it was really that it tasted great spread on pancakes…

This recipe gets high marks in my recipe book and it’s just one of the tasty dishes that Gena has concocted to make vegan and raw/semi-raw cookery accessible.

Until We Eat Again,

Caitlin

P.S. Many apologies for the dirty-plate photograph at the end there. Fortunately, I don’t think it takes away much from its appetizing nature!

h1

Hakka Hakka Hakka: A Restaurant Review

April 11, 2010

This post may require an introductory explanation. Hakka cuisine is a style of Southeastern Chinese cooking. For me, Hakka is simply a synonym for delicious. When last in Toronto, Willie and I stopped in at the Danforth Dragon located, perhaps surprisingly, perhaps unsurprisingly, on the Danforth.

Even before our arrival, I  was sure of one thing on the menu I couldn’t resist trying: Fried Paneer with Green Chutney. The crust on the paneer was perfect and the tasty little triangles were not greasy in the slightest. The chutney was paired perfectly with the subtle taste of the paneer.

After making sure we got a seat with proper lighting, our lunch choices were Vegetable Balls with Manchurian sauce and Hakka Chow Mein.

Without a doubt, I need to recreate these in my own kitchen and then make them as often as possible. Now, the balls are very similar to okonomiyaki, so I’m pretty sure I could replicate them with ease. The real trick will be the utterly amazing and moderately spicy red sauce. Maybe with a positive review, the proprietor would be willing to share her culinary secrets… A girl can only hope…

Though this Chow Mein was average to good on the flavor scale, I appreciated that it was pretty well packed with veggies and that the noodles tasted quite fresh.

What’s the verdict on the Danforth Dragon?

Among the long strand of Greek eateries on the Danforth sits an unexpected Asian treat. Just remember to request that your dishes be made MSG-Free. Yes, you have to request. If that ain’t authenticity, I don’t know what is.

Until We Eat Again,

Caitlin

h1

Bánh Xèo Chay

April 9, 2010

What’s bánh xèo chay you ask? Well, according to my recently acquired cookbook, The Asian Vegan Kitchen, it is a Vietnamese pancake rolled with vegetables. According to Google translate, it’s Vietnamese for vegetarian pancake. And according to my taste buds, it’s a tasty dinner!

Here’s my bánh xèo chay frying on the skillet. It’s a fairly simple recipe: you make some pancake batter, pour it on the frying pan, and then cover it with tasty vegetables, such as bean sprouts, shredded daikon and carrot, onions, and chives.

Now as some of you will know, I’m a big fan of Asian pancakes. For a while there in December, I think I was eating a big slab of Japanese okonomiyaki like every night for dinner. And earlier this year, I tried my hand at making a Korean kimchi pancake. This was my first time with the Vietnamese variety of pancake, though, both in terms of making and tasting (in fact, my experience with Vietnamese food in general is very slim; I should probably do something about that). One of the major differences between this bánh xèo chay and the Japanese and Korean cakes is that for the latter the vegetables are mixed right in with their batter, while for the former the vegetables are kept separate. The other major difference, though, is that (at least according to the recipe I followed) you don’t flip your bánh xèo chay over when the first side’s done; instead, you fold it in half like an omelette!

I can’t tell you how thrilled I was at successfully folding this pancake so nicely (this was actually my second attempt; my first was a complete—and disorderly—disaster). Here it is cut open:

I liked how this folding made the final pancake nice and crunchy on the outside and soft and gooey on the inside. However, overall I have to say that I still prefer okonomiyaki. Something about the different flavors in this bánh xèo chay just didn’t do it for me, at least not to the extent that okonomiyaki does. Nonetheless, making bánh xèo chay was definitely a fun and exciting experience, and I’m looking forward to trying more Vietnamese recipes in the future!

Until we eat again,

Willie

h1

Chili Willie

April 8, 2010

Happy Thursday everyone!

Remember the other day when I raved about Happy Herbivore’s Fat-Free Raw Chili recipe, which I used as a pizza sauce? Well, her recipe made way more chili than could ever fit on a single pie, so I had plenty leftover to enjoy on its own. And guess what? It’s great that way too!

Of course, no chili can be properly enjoyed without some chips or crackers to eat it with, so I picked up some special accompaniments for this dinner. The first: Blue Corn Food Should Taste Good Chips!

I love Food Should Taste Good chips. Not only do they promote a sound culinary maxim, they also make good on said maxim: their food does taste good. Some of my favorite varieties of theirs include their Multigrain, Cinnamon, and Chocolate flavors. These Blue Corn chips are new (or so the package tells me) and unfortunately they didn’t stand out that much from their standard tortilla chips for me. Which isn’t such a bad thing, of course; their standard tortilla chips are delicious.

My other chili companion was this PitaBreak Spelt Flatbread, which I picked up at my local grocer. These were basically just really big and round crackers, but they were very good, and went very well with the chili.

And this is what my dinner looked like. Simple, but delicious—as leftovers should be.

Until we eat again,

Willie

%d bloggers like this: