Friday, September 30, 2011

Spicy Peanut Coconut Udon Soup

It was Kevin and I's weekly dinner and TV night. We're watching X Factor, the US version with a MAJAH prize of 5 mill. WOW. It was the last of the auditions, thank god, and the boot camp commences next week! Finally more of the real stuff versus the freaks. The UK version apparently doesn't display the freaks as much and focuses on the good contestants. Americans love gawking at people who like to make a fool outta themselves. I honestly dislike the audition part so much. I can't understand why someone would audition for a show when they so obviously suck. Do they really think they're good? Don't their friends/family tell them? I'd hope that my friends/family would be honest with me if I sucked that bad at singing (which I totally do! except when I'm in the shower, I'm like Mariah up in there).

Onto the good stuff:

Spicy Peanut Coconut Udon Soup

Ingredients:
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp sesame oil
½ red onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic
2 carrot, sliced
6 shitake mushrooms, chopped
3 baby boy choy, chopped
Handful snow peas
4 red Thai chillies
6 cups veggie stock
6 tsp soy sauce
2 inch piece of ginger
1 package fried tofu (atsuage)
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 small can low fat coconut milk (160ml)
2 pkgs udon noodles
Sriracha

Directions:
1.     Put the garlic, ginger and Thai chillies into a food processor and process until minced. I find this faster and easier, especially when dealing with hot chili peppers.
2.     Heat the oils on medium heat. Saute the onion, garlic, and carrot until tender. Add the garlic, ginger, red Thai chilies, mushrooms, snow peas, bok choy and tofu and saute just until soft. Add the stock or water, soy sauce and sesame oil. Bring the soup to a boil and then drop the heat to a simmer.
3.     Add the peanut butter and m ix until it is completely blended. Stir
4.     Add the coconut milk and noodles. Simmer the soup for fifteen minutes and season with Sriracha to taste.
5.     Then, eat the ish outta it!
Mmmmm it smelled so good at this point.
Omg, I just wanna dive right in. LOL
A meal fit for a couple of queens.
DELISH!!

I really love spicy food. This soup was not too spicy. For me anyways. So I added extra sriracha. I actually only added a small amount to the soup because those Thai chilies are packing heat! And depends on who I'm cooking for. Kevin loves the spicy food too, so it worked out great.

I try to make my dishes to please the palates of my guest. I can always add Sriracha after to make mine spicy. But because I'm so used to eating this way, sometimes I don't notice the heat at all and its hot for them. Woops.

My Jams: I'm still stuck on the new J. Cole album called Cole World. Get some! Its seriously good. He's gonna blow up. You'll thank me.

Have a good weekend folks! Make some good food and share some recipes with me! Sharing IS caring. LOL

Vegan MoFo starts tomorrow! Woot woot! So I'll be blogging the ish outta it. I will needs peeps to cook for so holla!


Peace

xoxo

K

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Vegan Jambalaya

One of my favorite dishes to make is Jambalaya. Its got everything in it. When I went vegan I had to come up with a new version of it and I think its pretty tasty. In fact, my friend Kevin says its his fave dish I make.

Vegan Jambalaya

Ingredients:

2 cups brown rice
2 Sun dried tomato tofurkey sausages
1 can black beans
2 carrots. sliced
1/2 large onion
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
2 handfuls green beans, cut bite size
4 Roma tomatoes, quartered
1 cup veggie stock
1/2 cup tomato sauce
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp thyme
2 tsp oregano
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp chili flakes (or more if you like it HOT)
pepper

Directions:

1. Cook the rice according to package. Substitute half the water with veggie stock and add 2 tsp of tomato paste for extra flavour.
2. Saute onions, garlic, and carrots in a tbsp of olive oil for 2 minutes. Add half the veggie stock and cook covered for 5 minutes.
3. Add the remaining veggies, beans and sausages and cook for 5 minutes.
4. Add the rice, tomato sauce, spices and veggie stock. Stir until fully mixed. Add additional spices if need be.
5. Cook on medium to low heat for 5 minutes and serve.

I was starved last night when I made it and I forgot to take a picture. I was pretty much ready to pass out by the time I ate. My bowls are way nicer, this ones from work. Try this recipe though, it may not be authentic but it sure is tasty! Its got lots of protein, fiber, and heat to keep you warm on these cold nights!

Its pretty easy to modify this recipe with whatever you have in the kitchen. I put corn, celery and broccoli in it sometimes. And sometimes I add chickpeas too. All depends on what I've got and what I feel like.

Its such a gorgeous day in Vancouver, I hope I can get in a long run tonight after the gym. I'll only do a quick 30 minute leg workout then head out.....before the darkness falls upon us.

Peace

xoxo

K

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Cauliflower Curry (Gobi Masala)

I LOVE Indian food. I am no expert at preparing it, but I think I do a pretty good job. I usually just grab recipes from online or use a book that a friend got me for my birthday a couple years back. Its not an authentic cookbook by any means. And personally I find that there are not enough spices. Not spicy spices, but not enough seasonings. So I always double that part.

Its called Easy Everyday: Indian by Das Sreedharan. Its not vegan or vegetarian so if I'm making a recipe that's not vegan I just veganize it. Which is what I did for the following recipe:

Note: You don't need to adjust the spices, I have already done so. And I added chili flakes cuz I like it hot.

Cauliflower Curry (Gobi Masala)
2 tsp fennel seeds
1 onion, chopped
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp coriander powder
5 tsp tomato paste
1 head cauliflower, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
4 tomatoes, quartered
1 pint almond milk
1 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp chili flakes

1. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in wok or large pan. Add the fennel seeds and cook for 1 minute or until golden brown. Stirring constantly.
2. Add onion and cook for 10 minutes until golden.
3. Add turmeric and chili powder and stir fry for 2 minutes then stir in tomato paste. Toss until onions are coated.
4. Add cauliflower, green pepper, tomato quarters, almond milk, 8 oz water and salt. Cook on medium heat for 5-8 minute, stirring to prevent milk from splitting.
5. Add coriander powder and cook until cauliflower is soft.
6. Serve over brown rice.

The recipe actually calls for some chopped cilantro on top but I'm not a fan. But it would make it look quite pretty. This recipe makes a lot. Its even better the next day!

Its full of protein from the brown rice and the cauliflower, and is loaded with tons of vitamins and minerals. DO IT

Peace

xoxo

K

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Vegan Tom Kha Gai

Since Winter is upon us, I felt like having a nice, warm meal last night. After my 2 hour workout (jeez) I ran home to make Vegan Tom Kha Gai soup. The soup is traditionally made with chicken but I put a vegan spin on it.

Vegan Tom Kha Gai

Ingredient:

1 can low fat coconut milk
2 cups veggie stock
3 garlic cloves
2 inch piece of galangal or ginger
1 stalk lemongrass
1/2 lime
1-3 red Thai chilies
1/2 tsp chili flakes
1/2 onion, chopped
2 tomatoes, diced
2 carrots, sliced
1/2 pack snow peas (or a large handful)
1/2 pack rice noodles
tofu, chopped into cubes
1/2 cup mushroom, chopped
Directions:

1. Cook rice noodles according to package
2. Mince garlic, galangal and chilies in food processor.
3. Chop lemongrass into 3 equal pieces. I do this because you don't eat the lemongrass, its just for flavour. The large pieces keep them more visible.
4. Add coconut milk, veggie stock, garlic, galangal and chilies to a wok or pot and cook for 3 minutes on med-high heat.
5. Once boiling, add remaining ingredients and cook until carrots are soft.
6. Add rice noodles to a big bowl, put the soup ontop and ENJOY!

I keep the noodles separate in case there are leftovers. That way the noodles don't get mushy or sock up all the delicious soup.

This recipe is very adaptable. This time I didn't have lime, galangal, mushroom or garlic. I used half a fresh lemon instead. Worked out great. Substitute any vegetables you want. I've put bok choy in it before, and broccoli would be good too. Use a variety of colours so its pleasing to your eyes as well.

Also, Galangal is like ginger. Its hard to find so you can use ginger and will taste pretty much the same.
Mmmmmmmmmm!! It made a great lunch too!

The tofu I used this time is called Atsuage. This is a Japanese style tofu. It is deep fried and a bit crispy on the outside. Its got a more meaty texture. I love it! I picked it up at T&T Supermarket. In the refrigerated section where all the tofu's are.

I'm pretty stoked for the  Taste of Health  fare on Sunday. Its from 11:30am to 6pm. You should check it out. Its only $5 to get in. How cheap. And if you have  Ethical Deal - Taste of Health then you can get it 2 for 1. There will be lots of awesome booths, samples galore, cooking demonstrations, and talks! I wanna see it all!

Anyways, I'll be there stuffing my face with delish vegan baked goods and anything else vegan I can get my hands on. I better start saving now, its like Christmas! Lol I think you should go too.
J
Tonight I'm going to make cauliflower curry. YUM!

Eeeek, 12 days till my half marathon! What did I get myself into! 21km folks. 21 effin km's. Its fine. I love to run. Great calming effect on me. I get all my thinking done, releases some stress/pressure and keeps the pounds off! BONUS

I feel like there's not enough photo's in this post so here's a little something extra. Saw this on a friends FB this week and it made me laugh as well as salivate. And in a little bit of a diff way then food porn makes me salivate. But pretty close. LOL

Check this letter out. Its written by a comedian. HYSTERICAL and kinda true. He is rather distracting. Hello Giggles - Ryan Gosling


J
Peace

xoxo

K

Monday, September 26, 2011

Knock on Gnocchi

I had a hankering for gnocchi recently after smelling someone at works lunch. It sure looked delish even though there was a dead carcass in it. lol So I decided to make myself some with the whole wheat gnocchi I picked up at Famous Foods on Kingsway.

Zesty Gnocchi with spinach:

5 Sun dried tomatoes, rehydrated
2 garlic cloves
1/2 lemon
2 handfuls pine nuts
1 bunch spinach
1 package whole wheat gnocchi
salt to taste
1 tsp olive oil

1. Cook Gnocchi according to package. Make sure not to over cook as they get mushy easily.
2. Put sun dried tomatoes, garlic, lemon juice, and pine nuts in a food processor and process till smooth.
3. Heat oil in a skillet and add the mixture made previously. Cook until heated thoroughly, about 2 minutes.
4. Add gnocchi and spinach and cook until spinach is wilted.
5. ENJOY!

It was really tasty but very filling. Gnocchi is def not something I eat very often but it sure is good.

On the weekends I like to make my own juice. My mom bought me a juicer for Christmas last year and I love it! I wish I had more time in the mornings to make it daily but its already a tough enough time crunch. I used to make juice with fruits but I always put the freshly made juice in a smoothie with berries and a banana so I opt for just straight up veggie juice.

Now I drink and eat some hardcore healthy foods but this time, it was too much even for me. I juiced bok choy, red cabbage and carrots. Then blended it with just a banana cuz that's all I had. It was WAY to veggerific. But of course I did not waste it.

It looks pretty and a good colour. I added some Hemp Hearts for protein. I saved half of the juice for Sunday. I blended it with a whole mango. That was DELISH.

I also made more of my fig dips for the office. Its the last of the season. Sigh. Apparently fresh figs are crazy expensive. So I probs won't be making any for a while....

I have been on this baking kick lately. Not sure why. I don't even eat it all (thankfully). I just make it and give it away to friends or bring it to work. Work peeps are my guinea pigs. The banana bread recipe came from Fat Free Vegan . There is no oil or fat in it. Other than what's in the almond milk. PS I don't drink soy milk, so I subbed for almond. I also didn't have any blueberries so I just omitted them.

Banana Bread

Ingredients
  • 3 large over-ripe bananas
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) almond milk
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) agave nectar
  • 2 cups (240 g) whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (240 ml) blueberries

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spray or wipe a 9×5-inch loaf pan with oil (I used a silicon loaf pan).
  2. Mix the soymilk with 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice and let stand until it curdles.
  3. In a large bowl, mash the bananas and add the remaining lemon juice, soymilk, and agave nectar. Stir well to combine. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, soda, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the banana mixture, and stir just until the mixture is well-combined.
  4. Spread the mixture evenly in the prepared pan and bake until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, about 50-60 minutes. Allow to cool before cutting and serving.


That's my FIRST EVER banana bread! So easy to make. And this recipe is pretty darn healthy.

So other than the soy milk and blueberries, I followed her recipe exactly. It came out light, fluffy and delish. The thing I would change for next time is I would add another banana and maybe a tad more agave.

I checked out this small shop near Tinseltown on Saturday afternoon. Its called Something Healthy. Sounded right up my alley so I gave it a shot. They had a vegan pattie made with brown rice, chickpeas, mushrooms, etc. Put it on a flax seed whole wheat bread with some fillings and voila! Great little lunch!


I'm not very good at taking pics of food sometimes. I am too hungry and too excited. Lol

My Jams: Mr Nice Watch, Lights Please - J Cole. Well the whole album really. Its a Cole World!

Peace

xoxo

K

Friday, September 23, 2011

Banh Mi a good sandwich!

Banh Mi is a Vietnamese sub sandwich. I have never had the pleasure of having one. Even though I have Vietnamese friends, they have not fed me one. For that, I shame them. ;) Now that I follow a vegan diet, it makes it a little tough.  The most common fillings in a Banh Mi is some kind of meat, usually pork, cucumber, cilantro, chili peppers, do chua (pickled carrot and daikon) and mayonnaise.
Note: daikon is a white root vegetable. It looks like a massive white carrot. It’s the shredded white stuff that is next to your salmon/tuna sashimi. In Japanese cuisine, we pickle it as well, but its yellow. It’s a MAJAH childhood favorite for me. Its stinky and an acquired taste. Once you acquire it, you will never let it go! Lol

Back to Banh Mi: there are many variations and you can really do a lot with this sandwich. I made one last night for the first time. It was fun! But it was also challenging because I have no idea about this sub. So I put my own vegan, healthy twist on a classic Vietnamese meal. I got the recipe online somewhere, probs Vegweb and adjusted it to my liking.

Banh Mi with Lemongrass Tofu

Do chua (pickles)
1 cup julienned daikon
1 cup julienned carrots
1/4 cup agave nectar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup white vinegar
1 cup water

Tofu
1 package tofu
5 tbsp soy sauce
5 tbsp sesame oil
1/2 stick lemongrass, minced
2 clove garlic, minced
2 tbsp water

Spread
4 tablespoons vegannaise
1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
1-2 tbsp soy sauce

Additional fillings
1 medium cucumber, sliced lengthwise
1 or 2 jalapeno peppers, sliced
Small handful cilantro

For the do chua (pickles):
In a container, combine sugar, salt, vinegar, and water. Add daikon and carrots and toss. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour. Drain completely before using. TIP: The do chua is VERY stinky. Keep it in a glass jar from salsa or something.
For the tofu:
Slice the tofu into ¼ inch pieces and press to remove excess water. Mix the soy sauce, sesame oil, water, lemongrass, and garlic. Marinate the tofu in the sauce for at least one hour.  Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. TIP: lemon grass is tough. I processed it and the garlic in the food processor and then mixed it with the other ingredients.
For the spread:
In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, cilantro and soy sauce. (I don’t like cilantro so I omitted it, but I think it might be key, so add it in if you like it!)
To serve:
Spread mayonnaise on top and bottom halves of your baguette or bread. Arrange fillings and garnishes: cucumber, do chua, tofu, jalapeno, and cilantro.


Traditionally it is supposed to be on a baguette. I had the intention of getting baguettes and making it like that but there are 2 issues I ran into. Firstly, I’m a health fanatic and I really don’t like to eat white breads of any kind. So I had planned to stop by cobs and pick up some whole grain whole wheat buns. Secondly, I get distracted easily. Especially by shiny things. Lol No seriously, I walked into Cobs Bread and got dazzled by their NEW bread! Its Chia and Flax seed with whole wheat flour!!! Wha Wha! It’s like they’re speaking my language. SO baguettes be damned. Oops.
Mmmmmm right?!!! I gave a taste to my coworkers and they LOVED it. Said it was SO tasty, surprisingly so.

There is a Vietnamese restaurant on Davie called Bao Qi that has a couple vegan options on the menu. A vegan Lemongrass tofu Banh Mi and a vegan fresh spring roll. I must try it so I can see how this compares to my creation.
I also made some cookies. The recipe is a mash up of 3 people’s thoughts. Firstly a friend got the recipe from Smitten Kitchen and changed it to have no oil or sugar. Then I got a hold of it and added a few ingredients and veganized it.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

2 tbsp vegan margarine
2 mashed bananas
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tsp agave nectar
2 tbsp almond milk
¾  cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼  teaspoon salt
1 ½  cups rolled oats
½ cup quick oats
¾  cup raisins
½  cup walnuts, chopped
Handful carob chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).
In food processor blend bananas, margarine, almond milk, agave nectar, vanilla and salt. I add the salt to the wet ingredients because I use course sea salt. This way it can dissolve more. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda and cinnamon together. Stir this into the butter/sugar mixture. Stir in the oats, raisins and walnuts.
Chill the dough for 30 minutes or up to an hour. This will make the cookies thicker and chewier. Once chilled, arrange on a baking sheet in whatever shapes you like and bake for 10 to 12 minutes (baking time varies depending on oven and thickness). Take them out when golden around the edges but slightly undercooked on top.  Cool them on the baking sheet for 5 minutes.
LOL so apparently they are good. In fact, she said they are the best cookies I’ve made so far. J

This weekend I think I’m going to make some banana bread. I got a recipe from Fat Free Vegan. She doesn’t cook with any added oils or fats. She just uses whole foods and naturally occurring fats like in avocado, nuts and seeds. So we’ll see how that turns out. I’ve also had a craving for Gnocchi. I picked up some whole wheat gnocchi a while back so I’ll create some fun with that. I’m thinking garlic, spinach and sundried tomatoes. Mmmmmm.

 OH and I got the pics from the T.O.F.U tshirt photoshoot. Its not for the magazine, just for the site. They had some extra shirts left over from their promotional tour so I volunteered to be a model. It was fun and a great opportunity to meet some like minded peeps. And eat vegan pizza. YUM!
Fun right?!


These shots were taken at the Vegan Pizza House on Kingsway. 2119 Kingsway. And they do deliver, even downtown. But keep in mind, they take forever to get to you. The pizza will still be hot and amazing though.

I got to keep the black tshirt. Its made out of hemp. Lol so hippy and I love it.

My jams: the J. Cole album, the new Nicola Roberts album, Rihanna ft Calvin Harris - we found love

Have a good weekend!

Peace

xoxo

K

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Fun food for kids

I was given a challenge of coming up with some kid friendly recipes. So far I've got nothing. Well, some kids have eaten my food and loved it. And after talking to other moms I know that have toddlers and not babies I've figured that kids will eat pretty much whatever you give them as long as it looks good. (within reason)

My friend Beth is an amazing mother to an adorable boy Daylen. They are cute. Disgustingly cute. Lol. She makes the coolest lunches ever! I'm not even exaggerating one bit. I want her to make me a lunch like this.

I believe she has bought some of the tools to make these lunches online and at craft stores. She uses cookie cutter to make the sandwiches into those cool shapes. The lunches are super healthy and fun!

Look at all the good stuff in there! There's fruit, veggies, snacks, sandwich and awesomeness!

Once you get the cookie cutters, and those plastic muffin cup things, I think these kinds of lunches will be a breeze. Beth says she does not plan them, other than ones for holidays. And they only take her about 15 minutes to make. Just like any other lunch.

That's a lunch Beth made for Daylen on a weekend! How cute is this? She makes him fun lunches on weekends too. Would it be weird if I made myself one of these lunches?


This is Beth's family. How cute are they?

So there is round one of the kid friendly foods. I will try for some more. But really, I think that Beth is right. As long as it looks good, its more likely that your kid will try it. I've also found that if they get to assemble and make stuff with you, they eat more too. When my cousins were young, we would always make our own pizza's and such. It was always fun being in the kitchen putting together a feast.

Have fun with cooking!

Peace

xoxo

K

I love surprises!

I had dinner at Kevin's while we watched the premiere of the American X Factor. I'm not a huge fan of singing shows, but I've been told that this one is different. And it is. It was enjoyable. Its only auditions right now, so that can be a little trying. I'm not into watching freaks embarrass themselves on stage just to get on TV. I could care less.

BUT that being said there were some pretty amazing people on the show. This 13 year old girl sand Mercy by Duffy that was awesome! And a recovering addict rhymed his own song. It was pretty damn good. Only thing is he needs to get clothes that fit. Over sized clothes and chains....we off that. Jay Z said that years ago, apparently he didn't get the memo. Lol PS the prize is 5 Million dollars!!! WTF if I'd known, I would've tried out!
I really wish they had kept Cheryl Cole. She's so pretty. Love her. But Nicole was good too.

Last week I was telling Kevin about this food I wanted to make that I had seen on Eat St. It is called Bunny Chow and its an African dish where the inside of a loaf is hollowed out and curry is put inside. The food truck on the show had got small buns and did that instead of a loaf. I think that would be amazing. I loved chili in a bread bowl from Tim Horton's JUST for the fact that I could say "And then I ate the bowl!!!" after. And guess what my little bestie did for me??? HE MADE THEM FOR ME!!!

So thoughtful right? And so Delish! He made a Thai veggie curry with tofu. Kev makes some good stirfry. Tons of veg and with coconut milk. I love coconut milk.

If you would like to make something like this. I def suggest it. Just go out and buy a round loaf of bread. If you're making it for 2 just buy one and cut it in half. Make your curry. And put it in the bowl.

Fo Serious, how good does that look? Its colourful, its nutritious and delicious! AND THEN I ATE THE BOWL! well not the entire bowl, cuz it was HUGE. Which by the way came from Cobs. It was a whole wheat multi grain loaf. PER-FECTION.
Here's an old recipe of mine, since I don't have Kevin's. I don't think he followed a recipe though.

Thai Curry

Ingredients
  • One can coconut milk (low fat)
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 4 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 4 teaspoons palm sugar or brown sugar
  • 6 tablespoons Thai curry paste (green, red, or yellow)
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 sweet potato, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed
  • ½ small can bamboo shoots, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup green beans, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2 inch lengths
  • 1 lime
  • 8 large Thai basil leaves, chopped
Directions
  • Heat 2-3 tablespoons of oil in a pan and add curry paste once heated. Fry curry paste for 1 minute then add vegetable stock, soy sauce, and sugar. Stir until the sugar is dissolved.
  • Add onion, red pepper,, sweet potato, carrots, bamboo shoots, and green beans. Stir until vegetables are hot, 2-3 minutes. Stir in coconut milk, bring the mixture to a boil, and reduce heat to low. Add 1cup of water if curry seems too thick or if more liquid is needed to cook vegetables.
  • Simmer, uncovered, until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.
  • Add a generous squeeze of fresh lime juice to taste; you may use the juice of an entire lime. Stir and mix well.
Its so great when someone does something nice for you. Made my day. Also, another friend helped me move my old mattress out of my place! He has big muscles so it was probably nothing for him. ;) Otherwise I would have had to do it myself! My arm muscles are tiny and weak. Lol

My jams: Rihanna ft Calvin Harris - We found love, Kelly Clarkson - What doesn't kill you, Naughty by Nature ft Joe- Perfect Party, Cheryl Lloyd ft Mike Posner - With your love

Had no idea Naughty by Nature was still recording. LOL too funny.

Till next time!

Peace

xoxo

K

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Vegan Pizza House

Last night I met up with some new vegan friends. A while back I came across a Fcebook page for a vegan magazine called T.O.F.U . Which by the way, awesomely stands for  Totally and Obviously Fucked Up. LOL Isn't that amazing? I've only read one copy, an old one from when they first started. I can't wait to download the others. Great info, and super funny. PLUS recipes!

Anyways, they posted that they needed some people to come model some tshirts they had. Totally amateur, no professional photographers or models needed. I responded, because I thought it'd be fun to meet some fellow vegans and help them out. We met at the Vegan Pizza House on Kingsway. Which was also a bonus. I LOVE that place. We ate some pizza, the cook special, chatted and took some shots of 3 of us in these tshirts.

I don't have the pics of us in the tshirts yet, maybe later today or tomorrow BUT I have a pic of the delish pizza we had.
Looks good right? It had mushrooms, chicken, and extra cheese. One side had olives. I don't eat olives. Blech.

It sure was nice to eat something that wasn't Mexican. I've been on quite the Mexican food train. Had it 6 days in a row. Kevin is cooking me dinner tonight, it better not be Mexican.

When I get home tonight I'm going to make noodles. I was given some green bean flour that you mix with water and it makes noodles. So I'm gonna make them tonight so I can eat them the rest of the week. Asian food all the way. Move aside Mexico. Lol

ALSO going to make Banh Mi. Which is a Vietnamese sub. It's going to be made with lemongrass tofu. I'm pretty stoked. I've never had one, and I hear that they're amazing. Getting a vegan one is tough because there's mayo in it. So I picked up some Veganaise last week. Its not health food, but I can't be good all the time. Sometimes I just wanna be bad. Lol Good girl gone bad. ;)

I don't know if I've mentioned this, but I got a new bed on the weekend. Its pretty phe-nom. I stayed in on Saturday watching movies in bed. Glorious. Its much higher than my old one, so now when I watch TV I don't have to sit up. I can pretty much lay flat. Lol. Its about my waist height or higher.

Anyway, I'm sure I'll have a recipe tomorrow. For the noodles most likely. I'll be making some sort of veggie stirfry with them for my lunch.

PS: Have you seen Bridesmaids? Omg  SUCH a funny movie!!! I watched it on Friday night, then again on Monday night with a friend. Its amazing. A must see.


Vegan Pizza House on Urbanspoon


Peace

xoxo

K

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Prepping for a cold winter

Well, winter is upon us. Lol. It was so cold tonight! Went to Bard on the Beach and saw 'As you Like it'. I really think we should have brought a blanket or something, I had to get a tea at the intermission to warm up. I got 'African red bush' in case you were wondering. LOLLL But it was awesome! I took my friend Kevin for his birthday. We went to Las Margaritas for dinner before, which was fab. I love that place. I usually get the veggie enchiladas sans cheese but I opted for Kev's favorite, the veggie fajitas. YUM!!! I love fajitas. I had a definite food coma after though, so walking from the restaurant to the play was needed.


Doesn't that look DELISH??? If you haven't been to Las Margaritas then you really should go, ASAP. And if you have been, just go again. You know you wanna. <drool>

I made quite a bit of food this weekend. I felt like I needed to stock up my freezer with some soup and chili. I've never made split pea soup so I decided to give that a-go. I don't have fond memories of split pea soup, so I thought it would be nice to try to change its rep. I think it gets a bad one.

Split pea Soup

Ingredients:
2 cups green split peas
3 red potatoes, diced
3 celery stalks, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
4 cups veggie stock
4 cups water
1 tsp thyme
1 1/2 tsp basil
1 tsp sea salt
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp garlic powder

Put all ingredients into a crockpot and cook for 10 hours. I set mine in the morning while I'm gone for the day and when its dinner time, viola!

Such a gross colour, no? lol but it sure is tasty!Warms you to your core. Its all thick from the cooked split peas and the potato. Comfort food that is healthy! There's fiber, vitamins, minerals, protein and fills you up without loads of fat. I'll take two please! lol

Peace

xoxo

K

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Wild Rice

Thursday night I went to Wild Rice for dinner. I did bring my camera and promised a review. Which I fully intend to give. Problem is.....my camera blows. It was dark and I could not get one good shot. That said, the food was amazing! As usual. If you haven't been, you MUST go. Its great for vegetarians and meat eaters. They use a lot of local and sustainable ingredients AND have many vegan options. YAH! I don't have to eat salad for dinner!

This is what we ate:

1. hot & sour with tofu, leeks, carrots & shitake
2. portabello mushroom, tofu & basil fun gwau
3. mixed vegetable and glass noodle spring rolls
4. tru ffle salt tofu cauli ower puree, fresh pea, mushroom vinaigrette
5. spicy maple hill chicken kung po with twice cooked peanuts, broccoli, rice noodle (made vegan w/ tofu)

You can check out some photo's here: Urban Spoon

1. The hot and sour soup was delish. Its been a long time since I've had it. Its a great vegan take on it.

2. These were little dumplings. Inside was the mushroom and tofu. It was sitting in a wonton soup spoon in a coconut milk sauce. DELISH! Great presentation too.

3. I love spring rolls. So no surprise here. Even the hot temperature burning my mouth didn't surprise me. lol

4. Now this was good! Completely random ingredients. Sounds so interesting and is very interesting. The main part was this little "cake". The tofu and cauliflower was made into this rectangular cake thing, put on top of fresh pea shoots and drizzled in a mushroom sauce. FAN-effin-TASTIC!! Party in my mouth! HA

5. All time fave. I get it every time I'm at Wild Rice. HUGE serving. The peanuts are to die for. Only complaint is there isn't enough broccoli. Its my fave vegetable so more is always better. Lol Other than that, the dish is PHE-nom. I had it with chicken back in my non-vegan days and it was equally as delish.

Wild Rice on Urbanspoon

We had a Mexican potluck at work on Friday. Great way to end the work week, with a good ole fashioned food coma to make the afternoon drag on. Lol. We really made a feast. I made my Mexican lasagna. It went over quite well. There was also chicken quesadilla's, Mexican beans and rice, nacho's, beef burrito's with a Chinese twist or "chexican" as I refer to it as and soft taco's from Bandidas Taqueria . I've been wanting to eat there forever, so was pleasantly surprised when someone brought them in.

I had the Ronny Russell: Roasted yams and onions, fresh guacamole, black beans, green salsa, purple cabbage & toasted pumpkin seeds.

There was also:
CamilloSpicy breaded walnuts, pinto beans, cheese, purple cabbage, fresh red salsa & sour cream.
Leona GayleSmoky-sweet chipotle tofu (organic), pinto beans, cheese, roasted red salsa, romaine lettuce & sour cream.
Wolf & GoatFresh guacamole, purple cabbage, pinto beans, fresh red salsa, cheese & sour cream.
EstellePineapple, black beans, cheese, fresh red salsa, romaine lettuce & sour cream.
Laura MayPinto beans, cheese, sour cream, fresh red salsa & romaine lettuce.

Bandidas Taqueria on Urbanspoon


WOW right?!! amazing stuff right there!


We feasted fo sho. YUM!

I got a new bed today! STOKED. So I'm staying in and watching movies and catching up on my TV on DVD. Since its getting colder, I've popped a soup into my crockpot. I'll put the recipe and pics up later.

Have a good weekend!

Peace

xoxo

K

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Taste of Thailand

Last night was the Big Brother 13 Finale. I am a HUGE BB fan. Its the BEST show on TV and I wish it was on more than once a year. SO good. I even got to meet my 2 favorite contestants, Jeff and Jordan.
We saw them at the Carrie Underwood concert in December 2010. I literally almost fainted. No joke. Kevin didn't believe me when I said he was behind us. But as soon as he saw me walking towards them he came running. Lol. I seriously got weak in the knees. Jeff is so dreamy and Jordan is so cute! We took this pic and went about our biznass at the concert.

When we left, we ran into them AGAIN! They invited us out for drinks. OMG Drinks! With Jeff and Jordan! Dreams came true that night. Unfort not the dirty kind. Ha.

Ok enough about my crush on Jeff. Onto the good stuff. Food.

I made my Thai stuffed portobello mushrooms. YUM!

Thai Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms:

Ingredients:
2 cups uncooked brown rice (or any other whole grain)
2 cloves of garlic
1 inch of galangal (can use ginger if you can’t find galangal)
2 Thai red chili peppers
¼ chopped onion
2 carrots
3 leaves of kale
1 diced red pepper
Half can of reduced fat coconut milk
¼ – ½ cup vegetable stock
1 tablespoon olive oil

Method:
  • Cook rice or grains according to package.
  • Clean out the inside of the mushroom and take out the stem.
  • Put carrots into food processor and pulse until finely chopped, put aside in a mixing bowl. Perform the same process for the kale, Thai red chili peppers, garlic and galangal (my food processor is too small to do them all at once).
  • Dice onions and toss in frying pan with oil. After 2 minutes or when the onions are a little translucent, add the carrots, kale, Thai red chili peppers, garlic, and vegetable stock. Cook on low/medium heat for 3 minutes and add the diced red pepper and the half can of coconut milk. Mix with the brown rice and stuff your mushrooms!
  • Bake at 350F for 20 minutes.
Makes enough to stuff 4 mushrooms, but I’m usually only cooking for one or 2 so there’s tons of the veggie mixture leftover. I just mixed it all together and ate it like fried rice/Asian Jambalaya. DELISH!

Optional:
-Sprinkle chopped nuts, daiya or seeds on top during the last 5 minutes of cooking.
-If you like more heat add some hot sauce or chili flakes to the mixture
-Would also be good in a red pepper
I steamed 2 kinds of bok choy for the side dish and tossed it in soy sauce and sesame oil. You can also see my Thai recipe on the The Vegan Project . The site is done by a great group of gals who have some tasty recipes and tips. Check them out!

I had promised the girls at The Vegan Project that I would do a review of Wild Rice for them............like a year ago. Busy busy I guess. No excuses. And I will stick to my word. I'm going there tonight, camera in hand. I love that place! If you haven't gone, you should go. They are a modern Chinese restaurant that has meat and veg options. They actually have quite a number of vegan options and are quite accommodating. Its DELISH. Get some!

Totally blows that its raining. I am not ready to use an umbrella or wear nylons/tights. Not cool.

Peace!

xoxo

K

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Sweet jeezus! Sweet potato!

I did not cook anything special up last night. Just a good ole salad. I was in too much of a hurry. SO after looking through my archives I found this goody of a recipe that I got from Vegweb. I've got to say its DELISH. I used their recipe but did not cook it the same way. And added a couple extra ingredients cuz that's how I roll.


Coconut Quinoa and Sweet Potato Curry

Ingredients:

1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas with liquid
1/2 cup dry quinoa
1 medium-large sweet potato, peeled and cubed
1 can peas
1/2 medium onion, chopped
2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil (to saute garlic and onion)
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon cayenne
1/8 teaspoon cardamon
1/8 teaspoon ginger
salt, to taste
pepper to taste
1 (15-ounce) can coconut milk (I prefer the "lite" milk)

Directions:
1. Cook the quinoa according to the package.
2. Heat oil in a big pan and add garlic and onion. Fry for 2 minutes
3. Add sweet potato, chickpeas and peas and 1/2 - 1 cup water(enough to cover) Cook until soft
4. Once soft, add all spices, quinoa and coconut milk
5. Reduce heat and mix well. Cook for 10-15 minutes.
6. Add more spice if you like it HOT!

Here's a crappy pic I took from my phone. Its not great quality but it that's all I got.
Sweet potatoes are awesome. They have tons of vit A and C plus potassium and iron! That along with the peas, chickpeas and quinoa and you've got one nutritious meal. :)

I would like to talk about sugar again. Obviously we all know that sugar gives us energy. But what is happening is when it is absorbed into your bloodstream, your blood sugar level rises. Duh. The pancreas then releases insulin to remove it from there into your cells to use the energy. The more refined the sugar, the greater work has to be done to do this process. We need sugar for many functions but excess sugar is stored as FAT. Yes, I said FAT. While your body is producing insulin to bring the sugar levels down, it cannot produce the hormone Glucagon that takes fat and releases it so you can burn it off.

So basically, all the working out you do and still eat boat loads of sugar will not equal weight loss. I think the main source of most people's sugars are from drinks. I don't like to drink my calories (unless there is booze in it), but even then I never choose a juice. For example, did you know that Vitamin Water has like 33grams of sugar! say wha!? Even Tonic water (or toxic water) has about 35grams per serving.

And don't think that switching to diet drinks will do you any better. Diet drinks contain aspartame or sucralose or whatever other shitty sugar that actually INCREASES our cravings for sugar. Its like a trick in your body. It thinks sugar is coming but it doesn't so it starts to want it. So watch out!

Even though white sugar is from a cane plant it is highly refined and stripped of all its nutrients and minerals. Its very high on the glycemic index. Brown sugar isn't any better. Its basically made in the same way. Highly processed and mixed with molasses or dye to make it brown.

Sugars I use:
- agave nectar: from the tequila plant, low glycemic index
- brown rice syrup: made from brown rice
- stevia: made from a leaf, low glycemic index and virtually no calories
- coconut sugar: made from coconut flowers, low glycemic index
- maple syrup: from sap, a little high on the glycemic index

All that info aside. Its REALLY tough to avoid white refined sugar. Very hard. And I'm a healthy MoFo. I can't escape it. Especially when my good pal chocolate is loaded with it. Your best bet is to try. Cut out some of those processed foods. Boxed foods, juices and pops, condiments, etc. A diet rich in whole foods will keep you healthy and gorgeous! I switched to fruit as my sugar rush. And although it has sugar in it, its from a whole food source that hasn't been refined.

Funny story: Last night I saw a naked bike rider heading to Stanley park. lol He was screaming quite loudly cuz he was going a little off road.....it was a tad bumpy I guess. HA.

My jams: Warren G and Nate Dog - Regulate! I had shuffle going on this AM. LOVE that track.

Race time: It is rapidly approaching. As usual I am not prepared. I haven't even registered! My first one up is 5 Peaks - Buntzen Lake . Its about 15km and has an elevation gain like the grind. I hike up the diaz vista then around the lake. I need some cheerleaders! help!

Next is my first half marathon in Victoria. That's 21km! Jeez.

Peace!

xoxo

K

Monday, September 12, 2011

What a weekend!

I had SUCH a fun weekend! And I did not cook. Not even one time. I was too busy having fun. Lol. I went to a wedding reception that served a 12 course Chinese seafood dinner. For a seafood lover, this was paradise. For me........well it wasn't so bad. Not great but there was some food for me to eat. I sure ate a lot of mushrooms that night. I accidentally ate half a small scallop! GASP don't tell the vegan police. I thought it was a water chestnut. Woops!

Saturday was pretty much the best day ever! I ran 10km in the morning around Stanley Park. It was gorgeous out! Then I met up with my good buddy Jimmy to go to a pool party fundraiser for a hockey team in Richmond. Beer and sun. I'll take that!

Look at us. You can just see the good times radiating off us. lol

My bestie Kevin came back from Europe on Friday. So we had a BBQ at a friends and then went out dancing. It was a glorious time. We danced all night long. I'm not even going to tell you what time I got home. Thankfully I had not planned for anything other than the beach on Sunday. I couldn't get out of bed till after 1pm!! Jeez.

Stevia is a herb that has sweet leaves.  Its used as a sweetener or sugar substitute. It has little to no calories or carbs and is very low on the glycemic index. If you put sugar in your coffee you should try it. Its pretty much no calorie and its not a "fake" sugar like aspartame and those other fake sugars. Which are just awful for you. White sugar is like crack. And I am an addict. Not as bad as most. But once it hits my lips......oh so goooooood.  

I did make some cookies. But I don't really like them. They are no bake chocolate peanut butter oat cookies. I don't use/have refined sugar in my kitchen so I'm playing around with what I should use. I used Stevia this time but its not right. I'm going to try agave nectar or maple syrup next time. My office is my Guinea pigs. They liked em but I think there's more work to be done. I will post the recipe later.

Luckily I still had some leftovers from last week and tons of salad ingredients. So I made this delish little salad to go next to some pasta.
I used miso dressing and sriracha hot sauce. Put way too much hot sauce! Man that was spicy, I had to take a break. Lol

For breaky I had cantaloupe and berries. So tasty!

I used to chop up the cantaloupe but I'm getting lazy. Plus I figure since I'm eating the whole half of it anyways, its just wasting time.

I'm sure I'll cook something up tonight and have a recipe to share.

Hope everyone had as fun a weekend as I did!

Peace

xoxo

K

Thursday, September 8, 2011

What the Fig??

My work has gone fig crazy! They loved my fig-a-licious dip and have devoured it every time I've made it; which is twice. I got a big bag of fresh figs again from a coworker and asked to come up with a fig dip for someone who can't eat nuts. So I did. Plus I made one with nuts.

What the Fig dip

- 4 fresh figs
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 1/2 tsp sea salt

1. Roast figs and garlic for 30 minutes. Wrap garlic in tin foil. Figs do not need to be wrapped.
2. Caramelize the red onion by frying it in a pan with enough olive to coat the onions and a bit extra for about 15 minutes or until brown
3. Put all ingredients into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth

YUM!!!

I also had a hankering for pasta.

Creamy Potato Spaghettini

- 1 red potato, sliced
- 2 carrots, sliced
- 5 shitake mushrooms, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 6 cherry tomatoes, halved
- 3 kale stalks, leaves removed
 1 tsp dry veggie stock
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp seat salt
- 2 tbsp chili flakes
- 4 tsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp cornstarch, mixed with cold water
pepper

1. Boil potato and carrots until soft
2. Drain and put aside
3. Use a tablespoon of olive oil and fry the garlic and the mushrooms for 3 minutes.
4. Add remaining ingredients EXCEPT for the cornstarch. Add 1/2 cup water and cool for 10 minutes.
5. Add cornstarch mixture and cook until it thickens.
6. Serve on top of whole grain spaghettini noodles and enjoy!

This was some goooood pasta. Very satisfying indeed.

I finally opened one of the new bottles of wine I got from a friend as a gift. Its from Napa Valley. Its from Duckhorn Vineyards in Napa Valley and is a Cabernet Sauvignon from 2007. It is DELISH.

Anyways, I'm off to bed.

Peace

xoxo

K

Double Feature

I did not cook last night. Which is sometimes a blessing. My friend Alain and I opted for a double feature at the theatre instead of cooking up a feast. I popped into Steamrollers and got the Super Deluxe Vegetarian burrito with guacamole. YUM!!! Me love burritos.

I LOVE to watch movies so I was down. And we both love the horror genre so why not. We watched Don't be afraid of the dark and Final Destination 5. Both good. I gasped and jumped at all the right spots. Lol

One thing I'll say about Don't be afraid of the dark,which I swear is a twisted take on the tooth fairy, is that Katie Holmes just is not sexy. I don't know if that whole Tom Cruise not letting her dress sexy is true but she just doesn't. I dont' even think we saw her arm in the movie. lol

Anyways, I thought I'd share a recipe that I made in August:

Leeky Quinoa with Mushrooms, Kale and Sundried Tomatoes
1 c uncooked quinoa
2-3 Dried Sundried tomatoes
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 onion, diced into small pieces
2 c water
1 leek, washed and sliced thinly on a diagonal
150g brown mushrooms, washed and sliced thinly
1 c kale , stalks removed
salt, pepper

1 tbsp chili flakes

1. Soak sundried tomatoes in water for 30 minutes, then cut into small pieces
cook quinoa according to the package
2. Sauté  garlic and onion until fragrant and lightly browned in the olive oil
3. Add the leeks, mushrooms and sundried tomatoes to the garlic/onion pan and stir fry the leeks and mushrooms until tender and cooked through.
4. Once done, add in the quinoa, toss through, add salt and pepper to taste.
5. While still warm, pop in the spinach and stir to until cooked

Fiery Chili lime sauce Tofu Steaks
1 block of tofu
1/4 cup sriracha sauce
1/4 cup lime juice
1 tsp agave nectar
10 mint leaves

1. Cut tofu into steaks or triangles, whichever you prefer and bake for 20 minutes.
If grilling, the tofu will only need about 10 minutes
2. Combine all other ingredients in food processor and pulse until finely chopped
3. Serve over gorgeously grilled/baked tofu


Seriously delish meal right there. FULL of protein, omega 3 and 6, iron, calcium, and tons of micro and phyto nutrients. It was my first time cooking with leeks and I liked it!

A friend at work brought me more fresh figs from her tree. So I'm going to make more of my Fig-a-licious dip. I'm also gonna make one without nuts as another friend at work said her bf is allergic. I have an idea of what I'm going to do. So stay tuned!!

My jams: Lupe Fiasco - Out of my head, Kid Cudi - REVOFEV, T.G.I.F, Jay Z and Kanye - That's my Bitch, Who Gon Stop me

Peace

xoxo

K

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Get Fresh!

One thing I love about summer is FRESH, FRESH, FRESH fruits and veggies! There's nothing more satisfying on a hot day to toss a salad.....woah say wha? lol I mean toss together a salad and not have to turn on the oven/stove/microwave.

I made Natasha's Kale Salad AGAIN last night. And its all gone already. I gobbled it up so fast......actually had it for breakfast. ha


Krystle's Big Summer Salad:
- romaine lettuce
- 1 carrot, sliced
- 1 celery stalk, chopped
- blueberries
- strawberries, sliced
- 1/4 cucumber, chopped
- handful walnuts or other nuts
- sprinkle sesame seeds
- dressing of your choice! (I used miso)
- sriracha hot sauce

Now isnt' that gorge? You can def omit the sriracha but its delish. I put that shit on everything. lol Usually I make my own dressing, but I have this delish miso dressing (pssst it has vodka in it!) Here's a dressing I make pretty often:

Asian Sensation Dressing
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon ginger powder
Sesame oil to taste (I used 4 tablespoons)
5 tablespoons rice vinegar
5 tablespoons tamari (or any soy sauce, this is gluten free)
Couple splashes of VEGA EFA oil blend
½ tablespoon agave nectar
¼ cup low fat coconut milk

 Whisk, shake, or stir all ingredients together and toss with the ingredients below or your favourite salad!! If you don't have VEGA oil sub olive oil.

Here's another good salad recipe too. It takes advantage of some good summer ingredients AND the Quinoa makes it high in protein. GET SOME!
Mango and Quinoa salad
1 cup dried black quinoa
1 mango
½ cucumber
½ juice of a fresh lime
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon tamari
2 tablespoons VEGA EFA oil blend
¼ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1.       Cook quinoa according to the package and let it cool in the fridge.
2.       Chop the mango and cucumber
3.       Toss all ingredients together and ENJOY!!
Additions: toasted sesame seeds, chopped green onion, chili peppers for a kick!

These are from another night. Added a fruit salad as well.
Not sure what's on the menu tonight. Cooking up a feast and watching Final Destination 5! Yes! I love those movies. Well most movies, but horror in particular. Should be a fun time. I'm sure I'll gasp a few times. Haha

My jams: I'm back onto the Watch the Throne album by Jay Z and Kanye. Man that ish is good. Who gon stop me, huh?

My beefs (shud i say my veggies?): All these NHL or other league hockey players losing their lives. What the heck is going on? Its been a very bad off season for them. RIP

Peace

xoxo

K