Archive for December, 2010


A Japanese Farewell Dinner

December 30, 2010

Before I left Toronto for the holiday break, I unfortunately had to say goodbye to my dear Japanese roommate who had been living with me for the past several months and is now going back to Japan. Thankfully, we sent him off with a nice farewell dinner, filled with some very tasty Asian and Japanese dishes. Here’s what we had:

This is sauteed bok choy, an easy dish I’ve blogged about before which is absolutely delicious. My roommate made this for everyone, and made it nice and spicy with the addition of some chili peppers. I really think this saute brings out the flavors of the bok choy perfectly.

This simple udon dish was my contribution to the night’s meal. It’s just cooked udon topped with nori seaweed strips and sesame seeds, served alongside a shiitake dashi broth for dipping. Despite its simplicity, this dish is authentically Japanese and packs a lot of flavor, and I was happy to see that it was a big hit all around.

Finally, there’s the other dish my roommate made, what I’m calling じゃがじゃが, or jagajaga. This was a vegetarianized version of the ever-popular Japanese dish 肉じゃが, or nikujaga, which literally means “meat (niku) and potatoes (jaga, short for jagaimo)” (you can read more about it here). To make this vegetarian, my roommate simply omitted the meat and added more potatoes, hence my name jagajaga. Get it?! Anyway, all punning aside, this dish was a great success, which was extra lovely for me since I hadn’t had nikujaga or anything like it since I left Japan and stopped eating meat over three years ago.

So overall, it was a satisfying meal, although bittersweet given its occasion. This blog post goes out to you, Katsu—I hope you keep enjoying life and cooking tasty dishes like these, wherever you are. You will be missed. Until we eat again! 一緒にまた食べる日まで!



Christmas, with a little help from my friends

December 25, 2010

Happy holidays, readers!

At my house, Christmas Eve is when my immediate family gathers together for our main holiday dinner, and this year I was the family’s house-elf, responsible for planning the menu and cooking most of the food. Thankfully, I was not completely alone in this endeavor, as I had the much appreciated guidance of some of the many wonderful bloggers I follow, who give me the gift of wonderful recipes year-round. With their help, I was able to turn out a sumptuous feast of tasty and hearty—and vegan!—dishes. I don’t have much time to blog today (and you’re probably in a bit of a rush as well, if you’re reading this on Christmas Day), so here’s a quick run-down of the wonderful food we enjoyed last night.

From Cadry’s Kitchen: Asparagus Soup

I had made this before and really enjoyed it, and knew it would make a nice light start to our meal.

From Etsy: Broccoli-Stuffed Muffins

I had made these before as well, for my American Thanksgiving dinner, and my family requested them specifically after seeing them on the blog. These were just as tasty this time as they were before.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Nothing special here, just some Brussels sprouts roasted in oil, salt, and pepper. But that’s all these need to be absolutely delicious.

From Choosing Raw: Warm Mustard Dressing with Tossed Salad

This tasty and tangy dressing made for the perfect compliment for the light salad we had on the side.

From Diet, Desserts and Dogs: Vegan Tortière

For the main event, I made Ricki’s amazing vegan version of this traditional Canadian meat pie. I really can’t think of a more perfect way to cap off our holiday feast.

And that’s all I have to share for today; here’s wishing you all a happy holiday season as well!

Until we eat again,



It’s a delicious vegan soup kind of week.

December 15, 2010

It’s a well-established fact that I am a complete wuss when it comes to cold weather. I know that I don’t really live in a frightfully cold city and Willie likely has it much worse than I, but nothing will keep me from complaining about having to wear two pairs of tights under my jeans.

And, of course, all of this complaining about frigid weather is naturally tempered by some simple panegyrics on some wonderful winter foods. Namely, soup.

Before I go into all of the reasons why you need to make this soup, I’ll give you the vital statistics. The recipe for the coconut dhal you see above comes from nami-nami, a wonderful blog about delicious food. There aren’t many blogs that I can honestly say I always make sure I keep up with, but nami-nami is definitely one of them. As for the soup, it’s quick, simple, vegan-friendly and leaves you with that warm and fuzzy feeling inside. So, next time you are feeling that December chill, coconut dhal might be the perfect way to get your warm and cozy on.


Until we eat again,


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