Thursday, December 27, 2007

Yes, I have been cooking, but...

I've pretty much been cooking the same things lately. My xmas dinner was pretty much a duplication of our Thanksgiving meal, so no photos of that either!

Also I've been wearing my glasses for the last 2 weeks or so (my corneas are irritated) and I have real problems trying to take photographs with my dSLR while wearing glasses. So, no photos!

Hope everyone had a great holiday!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Orzo Pilaf

This pilaf was made with a bunch of stuff that I wanted to use up — orzo from the cupboard, tomato paste in the fridge and vegetables in the freezer. If you've never had orzo, it's a nice change from rice. It's technically a pasta but its size is a little larger than a grain of rice and it has a nice pasta "bite" to it. I would have added in some chickpeas as well but I didn't have any.

I actually paid attention to how much I put in, so here's my recipe:

Orzo Pilaf

1/4 cup of vegan margarine or olive oil*
2-3 cloves of minced garlic
2 cups uncooked orzo (16 oz bag)
4-5 cups of vegetable stock (or 4-5 cups water plus some bouillon cubes/powder)
3 tbsp of tomato paste
1 bag of frozen vegetables or whatever you have on hand
salt, pepper, parsley to taste
  1. Heat the margarine or olive oil in a large saucepan on medium-high and add the garlic and saute for a minute or two (make sure it doesn't brown or burn).

  2. Add in the uncooked orzo and let it soak up the margarine/oil as you stir it around.

  3. Add in the vegetable stock, tomato paste, seasonings and vegetables. Stir a few times until the mixture comes to a boil.

  4. Cover and let simmer for about 15 mins or so until the orzo is cooked. Check every 5 mins and stir to make sure things aren't sticking to the bottom. If the liquid is completely absorbed but the orzo isn't done yet, add a little more liquid. Taste, re-season and serve.

If you have a little bit of extra liquid in the mixture when the orzo is done, which is okay. You can always remove from the heat and let the pasta continue to absorb the liquid for a few more mins if you want. I didn't bother. Everyone's pots react a little differently with making rice or orzo so some people may need to adjust for more liquid and some for less. A lot of steam comes out of my pots so I tend to need to use more liquid.

* Okay, I admit I didn't use 1/4 cup of margarine, I used a 1/2 cup... but for the sake of others out there, 1/4 cup should be fine!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Sleepy Shadow

Yes, I know, not a food photo. I've been a bit of a slacker lately and need to reply to comments as well as update my blog links! I haven't forgot about you folks who've commented. :)

Anyway, this week we pretty much had reruns of a lot of stuff which I've taken pictures of before (tempeh wingz, breaded and fried tofu and pizza) and I really didn't want to take photos of them again.

I leave you with this photo of my dog Shadow sleeping on one of the dog/cat beds (they all take turns) this afternoon. He's almost 13 years old and has been with me for 12 years. Best dog ever.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Chickpea Pasta Casserole

Based off this recipe.

My changes include using silken tofu instead of soy milk, panko instead of potato chips, a full pound of pasta instead of a 1/2 pound and adding in peas and carrots, thyme, marjoram, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder and a little bit of nutritional yeast to taste.

It didn't taste like a "tuna" casserole but it did taste a lot like any other sort of casserole made with a creamy sauce. It was very good and comforting!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

"Cheesy" Vegan Lasagna

Based off this recipe. I would have taken a better picture of the layers, but it's all gone now!

My changes: Used 1.5 cups of sliced baby carrots, bunch of sliced mushrooms, water instead of broth (but seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic powder, basil and oregano. Also put all the spinach on its own layer and only used 2 jars of pasta sauce (tomato basil sauce) and finally sprinkled more nutritional yeast on top.

It was yummy! I am pretty sick of my own lasagna recipe so this was a nice change.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Making a Killing

I finally got my copy of Making a Killing: The Political Economy of Animal Rights, written by my good friend Bob Torres. Bob is also co-author of Vegan Freak with his (very awesome) wife Jenna Torres.

I don't normally talk about AR here (though I might start a new blog for that) but I've been really excited about this book since Bob first started talking about writing it.

Here's the AK Press synopsis of the book:

Suggest to the average leftist that animals should be part of broader liberation struggles and — once they stop laughing—you'll find yourself casually dismissed. With a focus on labor, property, and the life of commodities, Making a Killing contains key insights into the broad nature of domination, power, and hierarchy. It explores the intersections between human and animal oppressions in relation to the exploitative dynamics of capitalism. Combining nuts-and-bolts Marxist political economy, a pluralistic anarchist critique, as well as a searing assessment of the animal rights movement, Bob Torres challenges conventional anti-capitalist thinking and convincingly advocates for the abolition of animals in industry — and on the dinner plate. Making A Killing is sure to spark wide debate in the animal rights and anarchist movements for years to come.

More thoughts on this as I read the book. I strongly suggest that you pick up this book!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Vegan Thanksgiving

This is my first official U.S. Thanksgiving here as a resident. I don't really care for the history of Thanksgiving — you know, the wanton slaughter of Native peoples, the disgusting consumerism, the slaughter of millions of animals, etc., etc. Thanksgiving in Canada is a much more subtle affair. Excuse for a day off really. I suppose there isn't a huge frenzy about it because it's not associated with shopping like it is here. The day after Thanksgiving in the U.S. is *THE* big shopping day of the year (sort of like Boxing Day in Canada).

But I digress... I suppose I should also say what I'm thankful for. I'm thankful for my husband (who's the best by the way), good health, being able to live a decent life without having to scrape by (been there, done that — trust me, it sucks), family, friends, the health of my companion animals (I had a rough time with that a couple of years back), and I am thankful for all the vegans out there who have made the compassionate and ethical choice not to participate in the exploitation of animals on all levels.

*climbs off soapbox*

What we have here is a Tofurkey roast with stuffing (glazed with agave nectar, orange juice and dijon mustard), homemade mushroom and onion gravy, glazed carrots, green bean casserole (based off this recipe) and mashed potatoes with green onions. It was delicious! After trying both Tofurkey and Celebration Roast now, I think I like Tofurkey better (taste and texture) but homemade seitan (Bryanna's recipes) is still the best.

I still have those stupid cranberry/apple/potato dumplings and Tofurkey gravy that came in the dinner kit box. I'm going to have them for lunch today. Hope they actually taste good.

ETA: Had the dumplings and gravy for lunch. The gravy was decent (mine is better though) but the dumplings were kind of... meh. It's like mashed potato with cranberries and apple in a perogie dough almost. I don't really like mixing sweet and savoury very often so I didn't really like the dumplings. What would be awesome is if they decided to change it to just a potato dumping (with more seasonings) and remove the cranberries and apple. Then it would be like... er... a perogie!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Vegan Irish Stew... and Spaghetti


Vegan Irish stew made with TVP chunks, carrots, potatoes, celery, mushrooms and Old Rasputin dark beer. Recipe from Bryanna Clark Grogan's, Almost No Fat Holiday Cookbook.

Yeah, I know it looks super "meaty". Trust me, it's all vegan though, down to the beer. The recipe calls for Guiness which isn't vegan but Old Rasputin dark beer is. Anyway, I am not sure why I thought I would like food cooked with dark beer since I hate dark beer. I guess I thought that the flavours would sort of blend to where I wouldn't taste it. But I did and I couldn't eat it. The boy however does like dark beer so he quite enjoyed this dish. I'll make this again sometime over the winter... but without the beer.

So I ended up making myself the other dish: spaghetti tossed with broccoli, hungarian hot wax peppers, mashed chickpeas, garlic, olive oil and salt & pepper. Simple but good.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Sweet & Sour TVP

Sweet & Sour TVP

Sweet and sour TVP with broccoli, onions, garlic, ginger, tomatoes and red pepper. I sprinkled hot chili flakes / red pepper flakes on mine.

I've been trying to actually use my 60+ cookbooks here. I almost never use them so I am trying to make at least one recipe from one cookbook each week... starting this week. The base recipe is from Bryanna Clark Grogan's book Authentic Chinese Cuisine.

I soaked the TVP chunks in her suggested broth (soy, ketchup, water, nutritional yeast) instead of my usual plain vegetable stock and I think it added to the yummy flavour.

The dish wasn't too sweet (she has two recipes in there for sweet and sour, this is the first one) and pretty authentic — nothing like the crappy (overly) sweet & sour you normally get from restaurants. I also TRIPLED the sauce because I like a lot of sauce and because my chosen vegetables and amount of TVP I made far exceeded what she called for in the book.

My addition of tomatoes also really reminded me of my mom's tomato stirfry dish she used to make us so I think that was a good decision on my part.

Anyway, it was delicious!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Roasted Vegetables

Roasted Vegetables

Roasted Acorn Squash

Roasted vegetables, stuffing and corn. The vegetables (red potatoes, broccoli, red pepper, onions, mushrooms and whole cloves of garlic) were drizzled with olive oil and mixed with salt, pepper, paprika, garlic & onion powder, thyme, marjoram and sage.

The roasted acorn squash was baked with Earth Balance, brown sugar and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Seitan Roast with Rice Pilaf and Brussel Sprouts

The seitan wasn't homemade, it was a Celebration Roast (1/2 size which is enough for 4 people with ample side dishes or 2 very hungry people) with packaged gravy. It was "okay". I mean, it was tasty but I make much better homemade seitan thanks to Bryanna Clark Grogan's awesome recipes! I also make a much better homemade gravy... but I was too lazy to make seitan from scratch or gravy from scratch.

The rice pilaf was made with mushrooms, onions, seasonings and vegetable broth. The brussel sprouts are my standard steam and then fry with olive oil, vegetable stock powder, Earth Balance, salt, pepper and garlic powder.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


Made pizza for lunch today. Rustic* no-yeast crust, tomato sauce, Follow Your Heart "cheese", sliced mushrooms and Wild Mushroom flavour Field Roast slices. The Field Roast stuff is really good and (obviously) vegan.

It was delicious and I have more for tomorrow's lunch.

*"Rustic" as in I didn't feel like rolling it out properly so it wasn't even round.

Monday, October 29, 2007


No, not talking about scorching food... just pimping Heather's awesome artwork at her etsy shop. She's vegan and awesome, so go buy some of her stuff!

What are you waiting for?

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Lentil Soup and Rapini

Rapini with Cannellini Beans & Tomatoes

Lentil soup with tiny pasta (recipe from Vegan Italiano) and some rapini with cannellini beans and tomatoes on the side.

And bonus pics: Smuckers!



Friday, October 26, 2007

Spaghettini and Salad

Big Salad

Spaghettini tossed with olive oil, garlic, diced red peppers and lots of hot chili flakes. It's not fancy or pretty but this is my favourite pasta dish of all time. Unfortunately the boy doesn't really like red peppers so... he had something else for dinner (TVP loaf and mashed potato leftovers from the day before -- no photos of that).

"Big Salad" with cubes of herbed tofu, tomatoes, cucumbers and romaine lettuce and balsamic vinagrette.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Moo Shu Tofu

Moo Shu tofu with red peppers, onions, shiitake mushrooms in a (store bought) tortilla. Store bought vegan egg rolls on the right (they sucked).

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Gemelli with "Bolognese" Sauce

Gemelli with homemade "bolognese" sauce. Sauce made with TVP, onions, mushrooms, green peppers, plum tomatoes adn canned crushed tomatoes. Garlic bread on the side.

Still working on my white balance settings... it's getting better!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Seitan "Cutlets"

Seitan cutlets and rice pilaf. Recipe for the seitan from Bryanna Clark Grogan's Vegan Feast newsletter. It was delicious! I also used her recipe for veggie broth powder (also in the newsletter) and I think I'm going to use that instead of bouillon cubes from now on.

The recipe uses quite a bit of firm tofu in the "wet" mix and I think it makes a HUGE difference in texture. It wasn't squeeky or rubbery or too stiff. The texture was perfect. It was a bit involved since you have to bake the seitan in the oven and then cool and then cook again (I grilled it) but it was well worth the effort.

(OT: I still need to work on the white balance settings on my camera... artificial lighting just looks crappy and I hate using flash)

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Chunky TVP Stew, Okra & Biscuits

Fried Okra and Biscuits

This was a total comfort food meal for both of us. This was last night's dinner but we had it for lunch today too so here are the pics. New camera too (Rebel XTi)! I've been pretty busy and I'm still learning all the functions on it but I'm pretty happy with it so far. It's been about 3 years since I used an SLR so I need to refresh my camera knowledge again since this is a dSLR.

On to the food! Chunky TVP stew with potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, onions, green pepper and hungarian hot wax peppers in a tomato base. I think Mindy would like this... Mindy are you reading? :)

Half the okra was breaded in a batter and the other half was batter and then panko. I like the ones with panko better. Homemade "buttermilk" biscuits on the side. This is only like the 4th time I've ever made biscuits and I'm getting better and better at it each time. I never made biscuits before moving here. Biscuits aren't really a big thing where I'm from originally (downtown Toronto). I do love them though. Next time I make them I'm going to have "sausage" and white gravy with them.

And a bonus pic from last week... SHADOW who is truly the best dog in the world. No really, he is!


Tuesday, October 9, 2007


Gnocchi in a tomato "cream" sauce with mushrooms (portobello and oyster), parsley, sage and thyme. Roasted asparagus and dinner rolls on the side.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Tempeh Wingz

Yes, I finally updated. I didn't bother to put everything in the actual dates of the dinners but anyway, enjoy!

For the latest entry, these are delicious tempeh "wingz" with mashed potatoes and corn. Recipe for the "wingz" from Don't Eat Off the Sidewalk. Go buy her zine!

Faux Fish

Faux fish from the asian market with mashed potatoes & chives and corn. We had some in the freezer. Great for quick meals. Just defrost and grill or fry.


Fusilli tossed with sundried tomatoes, garlic, cannellini beans and olive oil.

TVP Loaf with Potatoes & Green Beans

TVP loaf with roasted potatoes and green beans. The awesome recipe for the TVP loaf is from the book Cozy Inside. Go buy her book!

Fettucine Alfredo

Yummy vegan alfredo. A regular request from the boy. His other favourites are lasagna and tempeh sandwiches.

On the side is bruschetta with tomatoes and fresh basil from our garden.

"Big Salad"

I love making big salads though I can never finish them. Those cubes are herbed tofu. If you've never had extra firm tofu in salad, try it! I've been doing this for years and it adds a nice texture to your salad.

Faux BLT & Potato Patties

Faux BLT sandwiches with mashed potato patties.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Vegan Twinkies

Oh yes, you heard me right. VEGAN TWINKIES.... 3 different flavours. $20 for 16 of them. Worth every penny. Trust me, they're delicious!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


Actually I haven't been slacking. I've been incredibly busy this last month but I do have a backlog of photos to post over the next few days. I'll get back to anyone that has commented at that time too!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Beer Battered Tofu

Beer battered tofu with roasted asparagus, roasted corn and mashed potatoes with chives.

The beer batter was made with flour, cornmeal, dark beer, water, salt, pepper, chili powder, cayenne, paprika and garlic powder. The asparagus was tossed with olive oil, salt, pepper and minced garlic and roasted for about 10 minutes in the oven.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Cold Plate

Bread drizzled with olive oil, salad (spinach, tomato, cucumber, balsamic vinagrette), scallion & parsley hummus and tofu dill salad. All store bought because I'm lazy tonight!

The bread was expensive... $5 for a "peasant loaf" which is so fucking ridiculous. It's the same bread that one can usually buy at a Portuguese bakery for anywhere between 25 cents to $1. But alas, I was at a bourgie health food store, so...

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Salad & Sandwich

Big Salad

Big salad made with baby spinach, yellow cherry tomatoes, red tomatoes, cucumber, mushrooms, chickpeas, avocado and basil topped with homemade tarragon balsamic vinagrette.

Tomato, Cream "Cheese" and Basil Sandwich

Yummy sandwich made with Tofutti "Better than Cream Cheese", sliced tomato, olive oil, salt and pepper and fresh basil on toasted bread.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Macaroni & "Cheese"

Large elbow macaroni in a nutritional yeast & soy milk "cheese" sauce with broccoli and topped with breadcrumbs. Big salad on the side.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Soft Tacos and Rice

Soft Tacos made with TVP, lettuce, tomato, salsa and sour supreme with a side of rice.

The TVP was seasoned with tomato paste, sugar, salt, pepper, vegetable stock, cumin, coriander, paprika and cayenne. The rice was pretty much seasoned with the same combo of spices.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Spaghettini with Rapini, Tomatoes & Cannellini Beans

I had a craving for rapini so I made some spaghettini (it's called "thin spaghetti" here, how odd...) with fresh tomatoes, garlic, onion, rapini and cannellini beans along with a yummy fresh salad.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Fried Seitan with Potatoes and "Cheesy" Vegetables

We had some leftover tonkatsu so I did up a "western" comfort meal complete with "cheesy" vegetables and potatoes with sour supreme mixed with chives.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Seitan Tonkatsu

Finally made the tonkatsu that I'd been wanting to try for the past month! It was delicious! It's a bit more labour-intensive than most seitan, but it was well worth it.

Basically, you mix up your seitan (2 cups gluten flour, 2 cups water, 3 tbsp soy sauce, 3 tbsp nutritional yeast, 3 garlic cloves or garlic powder and some black pepper), knead for a few minutes, form into um... 6 "cutlets", flatten, pan fry on both sides until well browned and then slowly simmer in water for about 30 minutes. It seems that pan frying it before simmering prevents it from expanding too much and keeps it nice and firm.

But wait, we're not done.

Then after it's simmered and firm you need to dredge in flour, soymilk and then panko breadcrumbs and deep fry. Then slice it up and drizzle (or pour) store bought tonkatsu sauce.

Whew. It was good though and worth the effort if you liked tonkatsu pre-vegan. This is only the second time I've had vegan tonkatsu. The first was "donkatsu" at Alice n' Friends in Chicago a few years back. I must say theirs is better from what I remember but this was still pretty damn good.

The recipe is from Japanese Cooking - Contemporary & Traditional by Miyoko Nishimoto Schinner.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


Our garden is doing really well only having started it about a month and a half ago. We didn't plant any from seeds but bought little tiny plants of each. Everything except the lavender is doing well. Well, the lavendar is doing well it's just not flowering yet!

Here's a bunch of pics:

Herb Garden
Herb Garden


Mint (Pennyroyal)
Pennyroyal Mint

Flat Leaf Parsley
Flat Leaf Parsley




Tomatoes and Hungarian Peppers
Tomatoes and Hungarian Hot Wax Peppers (which aren't actually hot)

Flat Leaf Parsley (macro)
Macro of Flat Leaf Parsley

Hungarian Pepper (macro)
Macro of Hungarian Hot Wax Pepper buds
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