Monday, November 17, 2008

Sunday Dinner — Seitan Roast

Seitan roast with a light salt crust along with mushroom & onion gravy, roasted broccoli and waaaay in the back are roasted potatoes. Perfect for a fall Sunday dinner.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Chickenless Stew & Dumplings

Stew made with vegetables and soy curls with herbed dumplings. Perfect food for fall.

As for the previous post, yup, the secret project is vegan Yorkshire Pudding and between the two of us, I think we've got it pretty close. When Lelly and I get the recipe perfect, then maybe we'll release it publicly. Maybe.

Chickenless Stew & Dumplings

  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 large starchy potatoes, diced
  • 1/2 pound baby carrots (or diced carrots)
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 2 cups (approx) TVP chunks OR soy curls OR seitan OR one to two cans of chickpeas (drained)*
  • 3 cups seasoned/salted vegetable stock**
  • 1 cup unsweetened soy milk
  • seasonings #1: salt, pepper, sage, poultry seasoning (start with about 1/2 tsp of each, less if using ground sage)
  • seasonings #2: thyme, marjoram, sage, dried parsley (start with 1 tsp of each but less if using ground herbs)
  • 1 or 2 bay leaves
  • 4 tbsp nutritional yeast
*use a 1/2 pkg of soy curls, rehydrated. If using TVP chunks then rehydrate in broth first, squeeze out liquid, dust with flour and pan fry in oil first (gives it a better flavour).

**If you’re using bouillon cubes, you can use enough for 4 cups. So if your cubes are 1 cube to 2 cups water, use 2 cubes.


  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2-3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp dried herbs (anything you want)
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 (approx) cup soy milk
  1. In a heavy pot, brown the onion, garlic, potatoes, carrots and mushrooms until onions are translucent and mushrooms are cooked.
  2. Add in the TVP/soy curls/seitan/chickpeas and brown for a minute or two.
  3. Add in the vegetable stock and soy milk and both sets of seasonings to taste (tastewise, it will come together more after cooking) along with the bay leaves and the nutritional yeast. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, then cover and simmer.
  4. Check every 10 mins or so and stir. Continue cooking until potatoes are very soft (maybe 30 mins), checking and adjusting seasonings.
  5. Make the dumplings by combining the flour, baking powder, salt and herbs. Then add the oil and soy milk and stir well. The consistency of the dough should be really really sticky.
  6. Drop dumpling dough onto the simmering stew by heaping spoonfuls making sure the dumplings don’t touch. You should get about 5-6 large spoonfuls. They should just be on top of the stew, not submerged. Cover and continue to let simmer for about 15 mins. The dumplings will expand. Check one of the dumplings by cutting it in half to make sure it’s cooked through.
  7. When the dumplings are done, remove them to a separate plate and stir the stew really well so that some of the cooked potato disintegrates into the stew and thickens it (you could opt for using a cornstarch slurry here if you want but the potato does a pretty good job).
  8. Serve up the stew and put some dumplings on top with a pat of margarine over the dumplings.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


VYP - Attempt #3

What the hell is that you ask? I kind of don't want to say since I have no idea how close it is to what it's supposed to be.

I can say though that it was pretty good and it's beginning to be a little project of mine along with Vincent and Lelly. :)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

"B" is for "Broccoli"

Oven roasted broccoli and cherry tomatoes (from our garden) topped with crumbled Cheezly.

The broccoli and tomatoes were tossed with a liberal amount of olive oil, salt, pepper and nutritional yeast and then roasted in the oven (425F) for about 30 mins and then topped with crumbled Cheezly. Simple but delicious.

What's peeking out in the top right corner is some homemade mushroom gravy. Not pictured: slices of seitan roast and rice pilaf. I just wanted to focus on the broccoli for this post.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Roasted Okra and Jalapeño & Vegetable Gratin

Oven roasted okra and jalapeño & vegetable gratin.

The okra was tossed with olive oil, salt & pepper and garlic powder and oven roasted until tender. The gratin had jalapeño peppers, zucchini, tomatoes, onions, Teese, Tofutti better than cream cheese and panko breadcrumbs. There's also some mushroom pizza in the background (top left) that was leftover from yesterday.

I used about 10-15 peppers and didn't wear gloves when cutting/handling them. My hands were burning for a few hours. Tomato sauce (jarred) was the only thing that seemed to get them to stop burning.

Mental note: wear gloves when handling hot peppers or don't bother with them at all.

ETA: And pronounce it right, people! :D (thanks Vincent for the link)

ETA Again: Do try oven roasted okra. Not as good (IMHO) as breaded and deep fried okra, but it's a lot easier and still super tasty.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Seitan "Parmesan"

Seitan, breaded and fried with Cheezly "mozzarella" on top of spaghetti with homemade slow-simmered tomato sauce.

We had a ton of tomatoes to use up along with some green pepper, mushrooms and celery. I though that was the start of a great sauce so I chopped, seasoned and simmered until the sauce was thick and very reduced (about 2 hours). I didn't bother peeling or de-seeding the tomatoes because I don't mind the skins and seeds.

I whipped up a batch of seitan in the meantime to go along with it. We had some really crappy seitan yesterday (not made by me) so I wanted to made some good stuff today. I used Joy's basic seitan (tester) recipe with my own modifications and with Italian herbs and then simmered, chilled, breaded and fried it.

I literally spent all afternoon on this dish, making everything from scratch aside from the Cheezly and pasta noodles. Was it worth it? I think so!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Vegan Gumbo

This weekend I was pretty much laid up on the couch due to some back pain (sciatica, not fun!) so the boy made me gumbo on Sunday night with his mom's recipe (we also had some okra kicking around). They lived in Lousiana for a time and he has some Cajun blood in him. His mom is not Cajun but apparently she made the best roux back then. Roux takes a lot of patience due to the constant stirring and let me tell you, she has the patience of a saint so no wonder why her gumbo rocked. :)

Anyway, It was the first time I'd ever had gumbo and I loved it! He substituted Field Roast "Mexican Chipotle" flavour vegan sausages for the Andouille. We both thought it added just the right amount of heat to to the base. As you can see, I doused mine with a lot more hot sauce.

Gumbo's not the prettiest thing to photograph and I suck at plating and lack the patience, but I had to get a photograph to show his mom (she reads my blog). He did a great job on this. :)

I think next time, I'll try my hand at this. I wonder if I'll have the patience for making a dark roux. Probably not, but it will be fun to try.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Breaded & Fried Seitan (Vegan Tonkatsu)

I'm a seitan junkie so I love trying lots of different ones. The basic seitan recipe is a tester recipe for Joy Tienzo with a few of my own modifications thrown in. Texture was perfect: dense but not rubbery, tender but not spongy.

After cooking (simmering in broth), I let them cool in the fridge and then dredged the pieces in flour, soy milk and panko crumbs, then fried them and topped with tonkatsu sauce. On the side: mushroom rice pilaf and brussel sprouts.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Apricot Glazed Tempeh (variation)

Tester recipe for Joy Tienzo.

The original recipe uses seitan but Joy wanted someone to try this with tempeh.

While still delicious, I think I much prefer it with seitan since the taste and texture of the tempeh tended to overwhelm the flavours of the glaze/sauce.

Hot Basil Eggplant

Thai inspired eggplant dish — tester recipe for Joy Tienzo.

The dish was an excellent balance of sweet, savoury and spicy. I'm definitely making this again!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

CSA Haul

We didn't pick up as much as the last few times but we still got quite a lot of yummy produce! Oh, and that's Abigail licking Mr. Marbles in the background. :)
  • 2 bags of green beans
  • 2 bags of other beans/peas (not really sure what type — sort of a cross between a snow pea and a snap pea)
  • 4 asian eggplants
  • 1 bunch leek
  • small basket of cucumbers
  • small basket of tomatoes
  • 3 orange/yellow tomatoes
  • 2 small heads red cabbage
  • 2 bunches swiss chard
  • 2 bunches tuscan kale
  • 1 large zucchini
  • 1 small basket of white onions

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Bonus Pics: Shadow & Abigail





Friday, July 11, 2008


I decided to make pizza for lunch today since the boy is also here "working from home." Actually he is doing a bit of work, so...

Store-bought crust (spelt), topped with green pepper, mushrooms and two types of Cheezly (mozzarella and white cheddar).

I think I mentioned that I bought TEN packages of Cheezly on sale a little while ago. I still have 6 packages left in the fridge!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Vegan Alfredo & Broccoli

Lunch at the home office. Note the TV remote top right. :)

Vegan alfredo with broccoli. Inspired by the recipe here.

I didn't end up measuring anything threw this all together to taste: vegan margarine, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, dried parsley, some creamy Sheese, soy milk, nutritional yeast and topped with crumbled Cheezly and hot chili flakes.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Grilled "Cheese"

Vegan grilled "cheese" — two different types.

Top: Creamy Sheese Garlic & Herb
Bottom: Cheezly Mature White Cheddar

The Cheezly was much much better than the Creamy Sheese

Monday, July 7, 2008

Buffalo Tempeh

Tempeh based on the "wingz" recipe here with a few changes along with some homemade vegan ranch dressing.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Fettucine and Panko Breaded Eggplant

Fettucine tossed with olive oil, garlic, oven roasted tomatoes, spinach, basil and hot chili flakes. Eggplant breaded with panko breadcrumbs and shallow fried.

For the oven roasted tomatoes, I cubed Romas but left the yellow/orange cherry tomatoes whole. Then I tossed liberally with olive oil, salt, pepper, minced garlic and some sugar. It went into a 425F oven for about 45 mins.

I know it's summer but I've been doing a lot of oven roasting lately!

Oven Roasted Kale

Tuscan kale tossed with olive oil, dark toasted sesame seed oil, soy sauce, agave nectar and then roasted in the oven at 425F for about 10-15 minutes. Topped with sesame seeds.

I think this is my new favourite way of preparing kale. The kale gets a little crispy in parts and the rest is tender. Next time I'll let it roast a little longer to get crispier.

You can also see some grains of rice hiding under the kale.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Christmas in July

Okay, not really but I decided I wanted a big dinner tonight so I made a Tofurkey roast, mashed potatoes, carrots, green beans and homemade mushroom gravy.

It totally heated up my entire house with the oven on but it was worth it!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

CSA Haul

Our CSA haul this week includes*:

- 2 little baskets of tomatoes
- 3 cucumbers
- 4 white onions
- 1 melon
- 2 heads of broccoli
- 2 bunches of tuscan kale
- 2 kohlrabi
- 2 eggplant
- 2 green peppers
- 1 small green cabbage

* Nosy cat Annabel not included.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Seitan Roast with Agave Apples (Take Two!)

Made this again with a few alterations. Delicious! Oven roasted cauliflower on the side and apple slices (kind of hard to see) at the top right.

The original entry is located here.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Macaroni Salad (and bonus pics)

Macaroni salad made with various beans, chickpeas and vegetables in a vegenaise/italian herb dressing with a touch of dill, dijon and agave nectar.

And bonus pics: Shadow and Smuckers!



Friday, June 27, 2008

No food but keep reading!

I don't talk much about animal rights issues on this blog (though I might start an AR blog as well if I have time) but I wanted to take the time to mention two things.

First, one of the gripes that a lot of vegan activists have had for quite some time is that we were lacking good leaflets/pamphlets that had a consistent message. Recently, two friends of mine have put together an excellent vegan abolitionist pamphlet in both English and French which can be downloaded as a PDF for free here. So print out tons of copies and start handing them out!

Secondly, Gary Francione just released his new book, Animals as Persons: Essays on the Abolition of Animal Exploitation:

A prominent and respected philosopher of animal rights law and ethical theory, Gary L. Francione is known for his criticism of animal welfare laws and regulations, his abolitionist theory of animal rights, and his promotion of veganism and nonviolence as the baseline principles of the abolitionist movement. In this collection, Francione advances the most radical theory of animal rights to date. Unlike Peter Singer, Francione maintains that we cannot morally justify using animals under any circumstances, and unlike Tom Regan, Francione's theory applies to all sentient beings, not only to those who have more sophisticated cognitive abilities.

If you order from this page on Columbia University Press' website, it's 50% off until August 1st, so go buy it!

Sunday, June 22, 2008


More kimchi fermenting.

3 jars of cabbage/radish kimchi and one small jar of radish kimchi. I need better jars because it's a pain in the ass to jam it into narrow mouthed jars!

Seitan Roast with Agave Apples

Tester recipe for Joy Tienzo. On the side are some simple roasted potatoes.

This dish was delicious!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Holy Trinity Mac & "Cheese"

As vegans, we're lacking good vegan cheeses but out of all of them, the "holy trinity" are Cheezly, Sheese and Teese. I like all three of them and thought, "hey, I should make macaroni with them all in it!" So I did and it is awesome. It is really the closest thing to the death* counterpart I've ever had.

This is not the healthiest recipe and it's not cheap (unless you found a great deal on the "cheese") but I think it's worth it to make once in a blue moon.

Oh, and I get all three of them online from Pangea.

Holy Trinity Mac & "Cheese"

Serves 4 to 6.

1 lb macaroni - uncooked
1 - 3 tbsp yellow mustard (enough to lightly coat pasta)
1/2 cup margarine
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp paprika
1/2 - 1 tsp black pepper
3.5 cups unsweetened plain soy milk
1 package Cheezly Mature White Cheddar - grated
1/2 package Cheezly Mozzarella - grated
1/2 package of Sheese Smoked Cheddar - grated
1/2 package of Teese - grated
1 tsp salt (optional)
1 tbsp soy sauce / tamari (optional)
breadcrumbs and/or nutritional yeast (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and oil or "butter" a large casserole dish/pan.

2. Cook macaroni until al dente. Rinse under cold water, drain, coat lightly with yellow mustard and set aside.

3. Melt margarine over medium heat and whisk in flour, paprika, parsley and black pepper. Let it bubble for a minute or so and slowly whisk in the soy milk until well incorporated. Continue whisking constantly and heating until the sauce thickens a bit.

4. Add the grated "cheeses" and allow to melt while stirring (don't let it burn!). Taste and add in optional salt and tamari to taste.

5. When the sauce is smooth and everything is melted, turn off heat, mix in the macaroni and put it all in your prepared dish/pan.

6. Top with breadcrumbs or a light coating of nutritional yeast and bake for 30 mins.

* For any non-vegans reading, dairy cows are not only kept pregnant to produce milk, their male calves are taken away for "veal" and they are also slaughtered when their "production" levels fall. So yes, dairy = death. Propaganda, you say? The two sites linked are from the USDA.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Scrambled Tofu

Scrambled tofu with green onions, summer squash, carrots and bok choy leaves. Tester recipe for Joy Tienzo's upcoming vegan cookbook.

The vegetable additions were mine since I had some of that stuff kicking around but the base recipe is delicious.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

BBQ Seitan with Pasta Salad and Kale

Comfort food!

The seitan recipe is from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen. I love this recipe and make this about once every 2 weeks. It's so easy and almost every vegan has these ingredients on hand. I always double the recipe and also add in a few extra tablespoons of peanut butter. I think it gives it a better texture and a little more body to the taste. Instead of grilling it, I usually just slather with sauce, wrap in foil and throw back in the oven for about 5-10 minutes, just enough time for the sauce to start soaking into the seitan.

The pasta salad was made with tri-colour fusilli, mixed vegetables and beans and the dressing was made with vegenaise, italian dressing, dill, salt and pepper.

On the top left is some kale that was sauteed with olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper and a splash of balsamic vinegar.

The seitan baking in the oven made my entire house far too hot, but it was worth it.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Chajang Myun - Korean Black Bean Noodles

When I was a kid, we used to buy instant Korean black bean noodles from the convenience store. I loved this stuff because it was different than any other noodles we'd have either at Chinese restaurants or at home. It was only until I was older that I found out that the instant stuff tastes nothing like the homemade stuff, not to mention that almost all the brands out there are *not* vegan.

Since I have been on a Korean cooking kick, I thought I'd give it a go and make it from scratch. I scoured various recipes and they were all pretty much the same so I thought I would wing it because I almost always cook by taste.

The first two attempts were (in my mind) total failures. I was sorely disappointed because my palate was expecting it to taste like the instant stuff I ate so much of before. I kvetched to my sister many times about it not tasting the same. I'm sure she was getting very tired of hearing about my black bean noodle woes. I thought I would give it another shot tonight and I kept in mind that it was not going to taste like the instant stuff and that I should just enjoy it for what it is.

The sauce was made from scratch with fermented black bean paste, seasoned bean paste, water, soy sauce, sugar, mirin, onion powder and garlic powder along with with carrots, bok choy, green onions, zucchini, soy curls and then thickened with cornstarch. I adjusted the seasonings as it was simmering and boy did it smell good and it was tasty too!

Now it still doesn't taste like the instant stuff but I really liked it. And you know what? I will make this again! :)

Penne with Rapini

As you can see by the previous post, we have a lot of greens from our CSA that we need to use up over the next week or so. We already devoured the swiss chard and asian greens (no pics) and I used one of the bunches of bok choy for kimchi (ready in 3-4 days).

For the rapini, I used it in a simple pasta toss with penne, olive oil, tomatoes, garlic, white beans and hot chili flakes. The "sauce" was seasoned with just italian herbs, salt, pepper, sugar and a splash of balsamic. This is my favourite way to eat rapini and was done this way the very first time I had it many many years ago.

On the right side of the bowl are chunks of smoked cheddar Sheese. I was also going to toast some ciabatta I have in the freezer, but got lazy and didn't bother. :)

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

CSA Week 5

What we picked up this week. Our CSA works on a debit system rather than a share system but this was quite a steal at $45. We would have paid way more than that at the local health food store!
  • swiss chard (2 bunches)
  • tuscan kale (2 bunches)
  • mixed asian greens (1 bag)
  • baby carrots (1 bunch)
  • zucchini (2)
  • summer squash (2)
  • green onions (1 huge bunch)
  • young garlic (1 head)
  • bok choy (2 huge bunches)
  • rapini (2 bunches)
  • conical cabbage (1)
  • baby cauliflower & leaves (1 bunch)
  • lettuce (1)

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Jap Chae - Korean Stirfried Noodles

I make no claims to the authenticity of this, but I think it's close to authentic. I cobbled it together from reading a bunch of different Jap Chae recipes in books and online. With almost everything I cook, I cook by taste so I don't have any measurements for any of the seasonings.

Also, I was lacking in a lot of vegetables so the picture above only has shiitake mushrooms, cloud ear fungus (aka black Chinese fungus or wood ear fungus), nappa cabbage green onions and garlic. The stuff on the right are homemade scallion pancakes.

The noodles are made with a specific type of Korean vermicelli made from sweet potatoes. I don't think it's advisable to try and substitute another type of vermicelli for it since the sweet potato vermicelli holds up a lot better than rice or mung bean vermicelli.

Jap Chae

- 1 pkg Korean vermicelli (sweet potato vermicelli)
- vegetable oil (for cooking)
- various vegetables (choose whatever you want): minced garlic, sliced yellow onions, diced green onions, sliced mushrooms (regular and/or shiitake), sliced cloud ear fungus, fresh spinach, chopped nappa cabbage, thinly sliced red pepper, thinly sliced carrots
- soy sauce (use Japanese soy, not dark Chinese soy)
- sugar
- salt & pepper
- toasted sesame oil
- mirin or rice vinegar
- gochujang (Korean red pepper paste, optional)
- toasted sesame seeds (for garnish, optional)
  1. Cook noodles in boiling water until al dente (about 5-10 mins — check after 5 minutes). Rinse under cold water and drain well. Snip noodles into about 6" pieces (if you don't they will be too long and hard to handle). Toss with some soy sauce and sesame oil and set aside (it's easiest to use your hands to toss).

  2. In a large pan, heat up the oil and throw in your various vegetables, some soy sauce, sugar, salt & pepper, sesame oil, mirin and gochujang (if using). While the vegetables are cooking in the seasonings, taste and adjust. You basically want to add enough of each ingredient to make a bit of a stirfry sauce because you'll be coating the noodles with the mixture. Taste-wise you want a good balance of all the ingredients to your liking.

  3. When the vegetables are done to how you prefer, toss the noodles in and stir up everything well. Taste and adjust seasonings again during the stirring/tossing. It's pretty much done when the noodles are warmed up again, well coated and mixed and seasoned to your liking.

  4. Remove from heat, plate and top with toasted sesame seeds.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Kimchi - Day 7

Here's the finished kimchi a week later. I ended up letting it ferment for 4 days on the counter and then put it in the fridge.

The only thing I would change is to add some additional salt either with the brining liquid or the pepper mixture. Actually I'm going to add optional salt to the recipe now. Otherwise it is fantastic!

I have eaten a jar and a half so far. Better make some more!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Kimchi Update

This is my kimchi now after a day of sitting out. I ended up putting it in two glass jars last night because the tupperware I was using wasn't 100% airtight.

As you can see, the cabbage has released a ton of liquid since yesterday. It should be ready sometime tomorrow or the next day. I've been reading that when tiny bubbles form at the top the fermenting process has started and it can go in the fridge.

Can't wait to taste it!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Cabbage & Radish Kimchi

I *love* Korean food but as any vegan knows, it is one of the most vegan unfriendly cuisines out there. I miss kimchi a lot so I finally decided to make my own. Korean shops are pretty rare around these parts so I had to order my Gochugaru (Korean red pepper powder/flakes) from HMart (along with a ton of other stuff including red pepper paste for other dishes).

I tried a few months ago but did not have the proper ingredients — namely Gochugaru. Despite what others say, it can NOT be substituted! Anyway, that first attempt was a total failure. This is attempt number two and even though it hasn't fermented yet, I think this is going to be very tasty. It was hard not to keep munching on it when I was mixing it up.

The picture above is my version of cabbage kimchi with radish, green onions, garlic and ginger ready to ferment. My "recipe" is a combination of a bunch of different ones I've seen on the internet and in a couple of cookbooks. I included a range for amounts of the last few ingredients because everyone's tastes vary. Next time I'll probably add even more Gochugaru!

Cabbage & Radish Kimchi

1 large head nappa cabbage
salt water (ratio: 4 cups water + 1 tbsp salt) or 1/4 to 1/2 cup salt (see step 1)
1 small bunch green/spring onions, chopped
1 bunch mild radish, sliced (I used "easter egg" radish because I didn't have daikon)
2 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp minced ginger
1 to 2 tbsp sugar (to taste)
2 to 4 tbsp soy sauce (to taste)
2 to 6+ tbsp gochugaru (to taste)
salt (optional, to taste)
  1. Clean and chop cabbage into 2" pieces and place in a large bowl and use either the less salty or saltier method.

    For a less salty kimchi, cover the cabbage with salt water mixture and weight cabbage down with a plate so that it is completely submerged. Leave out for 4 hours.

    For a saltier kimchi, sprinkle the kimchi with 1/4 to 1/2 cup salt and mix well. Leave out for 1.5 to 2 hours.

  2. Drain and rinse cabbage well and squeeze out as much water as possible. Toss with the green onion, radish, garlic and ginger.

  3. In a bowl, mix the sugar, soy, gochugaru, salt (optional, to taste) and a little water so that it becomes a medium-paste (not too thick and not too thin). I used about 4 tbsp of gochugaru in the picture above but then later added 3 more tbsps (I like things spicy!). Mix the paste with the cabbage mixture until every piece of cabbage is coated. Taste a piece and adjust seasonings accordingly. If it's too salty for your tastes, add some extra water.

  4. Put the cabbage mixture in a tupperware or large jar and cover tightly. If you prefer your kimchi "fresh" and unfermented, you can eat it now or put it directly in the fridge. If you like kimchi more traditional (i.e., fermented), then leave out at room temperature for 2 to 4 days to ferment and then put in the fridge. Fermentation depends on temperature so the warmer it is, the faster it ferments. When you see tiny air bubbles in the kimchi, it means it's fermenting so depending on your room temperature, it might take only 2 days or 4 days.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Victory Farms CSA - Week 2

This year we joined the Victory Farms CSA. Their CSA works a bit differently than what you would normally expect with a CSA. How theirs works is that the season (which started last week or the week before) costs you $500 in total but you get $600 credit. You can show up at one or all of their three weekly spots and just pick what you want and they debit your account. Their selling prices are *very* reasonable and already much cheaper than the local health food store for local organic produce. I actually think I prefer it this way so that I can choose what I want, when I want and I don't get stuck with something I dislike in the "share" system.

The first week we picked up mixed asian greens, tuscan kale, green onions, white radishes and lettuce. We still have lettuce and radishes and they're still fresh and unwilted after a week.

This week we picked up some more tuscan kale (2 bunches), mixed asian greens (2 bunches), swiss chard, spinach and kohlrabi. I'm planning on having the kale with white beans and pasta, the swiss chard with BBQ seitan & mashed potatoes and the asian greens in bibimbap. The spinach will most likely end up as salad. Not entirely sure what I will be doing with the kohrabi but I'll figure something out.

The cats of course weren't part of the pickup. They're just being nosy. From left to right: Mr. Marbles, Abigail and Smuckers.

I'm hoping that the weekly produce pickup will inspire me to cook again!

ETA: For those of you in Toronto looking for something like a CSA, check out Food Share's Good Food Box, Front Door Organics or Green Earth Organics. I used to get the WOW Box which I *think* is now Wanigan. Anyway, those are the ones I know of and there's also the option of farmer's markets with a new one in my old stomping grounds of Trinity Bellwoods Park!

Friday, April 4, 2008

A Chinese Dinner

Tofu, Green Beans and Chinese Crullers

Mushroom congee topped with green onions and Chinese preserved vegetables along with a tofu and green beans stirfry and Chinese crullers on the side.

I rarely cook Chinese food. I think it's because even as a vegan in Toronto I was able to get awesome authentic Chinese food easily. Authentic stuff is very hard to find here. Everything is seasoned with too much salt or it's too sweet or it's too oily or all of the above. Having said that, I still get vegan Chinese takeout here almost once a week because I never cook Chinese food. WTF is wrong with me? :)

Anyway we went to the Asian market last weekend and I spotted Chinese crullers in a package (they are pretty much always vegan even if you see them not in a package) so I bought some and decided to make congee to go with it.

If you've never had congee, it's basically a savoury rice porridge and you can top it with whatever you want. Mine was cooked with vegetable broth, sliced shiitake mushrooms and a bit of soy sauce. My parents would make congee every so often on weekend mornings (it's a breakfast food really) and always bought fresh crullers to go along with it. No one makes their own crullers if they can buy them. It's just too much of a waste of time and messy (they're deep fried in a ton of oil) to do so people just buy them at the market. They are excellent dipped in congee or with hoisin sauce. My sister has them with ketchup. :)

This was a nice change for dinner along with the stirfry and the taste of the congee brought back a lot of memories.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Pizza Bread

My sister has been bothering me to update, so here was my lunch today. Also a hello and wave to my mother-in-law who reads this blog too. :)

Pizza bread made with Follow Your Heart "cheese", tomato sauce and chiffonaded baby spinach on top of rosemary olive oil bread and then put under the broiler for about 5 minutes. The bread was store bought bakery bread, tomato sauce was from a jar. I pretty much didn't make anything from scratch.

I would have used Sheese for the pizza bread, but due a brain-freeze, I accidentally got my package from Pangea shipped to my friend Jenna's house. Oops. I would have also used Teese instead but still waiting for them to fill my order. In the meantime, Follow Your Heart will have to do.

I've been pretty uninspired the past few months but hopefully I'll get more motivated to cook interesting things soon. I just bought a bunch of new cookbooks with more to come so maybe they will give me a kick in the pants to cook more. Or, maybe not. We'll see!
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