Friday, November 30, 2007

VeganMoFo Pr0n Bonanza

I started hardcore veganing in august, and yes I have a computer full of pron so I'm leaking it out!! Happy Mofo everybody!!!

an overly crispy attempt to recreate Garibaldi Biscuits (british, delicious, very discontinued ;_;). When I was little my mom called them "squashed fly cookies", and apparently that wasn't just her twisted and humorous mind -- that's actually what they go by in britain! awesome.

creamy cauliflower soup, with turnip, white beans, potatoes, onions... pretty much anything white I could find. *excellent* with toasted pumpkin seeds on top.

eggless egg salad (from the ppk), with homemade crusty rolls.

The aforementioned crusty rolls (and crusty breads)! My first time using a poolish/starter, and soooooo worth it. Depthful, crunchy chewy yeasty best-bread-ever kinda worth it (I changed the recipe to be mostly whole wheat, and I can only imagine that made it even more flavourful).

Banana oatmeal chocolate chip bars from The Garden of Vegan. These are a throwback to the LAST time my oven died, as it's a microwave recipe, and actually I think nuking them makes them chewier and more brownie-like (a billion thumbs up on this recipe).

White bean and escarole soup with rye-garlic croutons. Kinda bland, but that's my fault for getting the recipe off of the internet, from among about 7 or 8 nearly identical versions. The croutons helped a lot.

Graham (gwam) crackers! Very very very good. I used raw coarse sugar instead of regular white and it made the texture really interesting and gave them a burnt caramel flavour. I love how they're not very sweet, these are probably actually my favourite cookies ever.

Broccoli-almond-tofu stir fry. Okay, super basic, but extremely nommish. (and it's a pretty picture!)

Black-eyed pea patties with sunflower sprouts and limeade. And barbecue sauce, cause that stuff is liquid yum, and have you ever tried sprouts with bbq sauce? Made for eachother, I swears.

And, as recently as last night - banana-chocolate pudding! I am so loving this pudding-for-dinner business I started doing recently. It's really no worse than a plate of creamy noodles in terms of nutrition (actually probably better), and there's something so fabulous about throwing a huge bowl of pudding in the fridge, going out for a night of what-have-you, and knowing you have velvety chocolate spoonlove to savour when you get home. (although last night it was so cold by the time I got back I nuked tomato soup with beanballs + broccoli in it instead - I could easily live off of tom-soup with a rotating roster of guest vegetables/grains).

more bonanza laterz! I still have a lot of pictures. :D

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Beanball Pita

If there had been anyone else around me 5 minutes ago, they'd be picking flecks of tomato sauce off their shirts and wondering what snarfing demon had momentarily possessed my sammich-hoover face. And it's all cause of these bean balls, which are like fluffy-beany-savoury-mushy balls smothered in my favouritest of all multitasking sauces - marinara - and piled on a chewy pita with a bit of nayonnaise, nooch, extra sauce, peppers and toms - YUM. V-con has done it again! I actually made a full recipe of something for once and I am SO glad I did, I just have to figure out how to pack something like this for lunch tomorrow without it turning to soup before I get to it (delicious, delicious soup...... *droooools*). I also added worcestershire and black pepper, cause I like those things. :)

(right now they're being extra cooperative and frying in a pretty pattern, but in reality they take a bit of time to brown and it's nice to have a movie playing on a computer next to you while you roll them around with your hand cause it's a much better tool for the job than any utensil)

(I'll also concede that my balls (ahahaha!!) may have had a different texture than intended cause I used homemade beans and then I didn't even measure them. I am lazy queen. :)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

La Cucina Povera

So this is my kitchen, taking advantage of the wee bit of sunlight it gets in the afternoon hours. It's teeny tiny, the oven is about a foot wide and breaks constantly (it's currently broken. *weep*), the overhead light only works when the hall light is on, it faces a lovely adjacent apartment building and I'm running out of storage so badly I had to move my canned goods to a shelf in the living room. BUT, I love it!

Maybe because it's mine, and I've really stocked up a pantry of wonders over the past year (I was raised in house that bought ketchup by the crate and froze everything rather than throwing it out. Hording tendencies? Not surprising). And I really do like my tiny stove with the volcanic hotspot that turns cookies to char in mere minutes - once you know where the spot is, you can broil stuff right quick! Yay getting to know your appliances!

I don't have a picture of my beloved spice rack (made of two bricks and a piece of wood I found on Mont-Royal street = McGuyveriffic!), but I'll snap one tomorrow if I wake up before the sun sets. :)

Oh yeah - here's my dinner from last night: Italian breaded tofu, braised leeks & zucchini, marinara and almesan sprinkle). Not too fancy or difficult to make, (and my homemade
breadcrumbs were too gigantic to stick to the 'fu very well), but yummers. I just learned how to braise the other day, and, ummm.... I had a giant bowl of leeks for dinner tonight and that was it. So good.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Low-Cal & Luscious Banana Pudding + General Banana <33333

( Horrible picture, but bear with me... )

YUM! Best dinner ever! I think I can get away with calling this dinner due to the amount of protein, yes? It kind of reminds me of yogurt.

Low-Cal & Luscious Banana Pudding

1/3 cup non-dairy milk

3 tbsp cornstarch

1 1/2 cups of silken tofu

1 banana (3/4 of it mashed, 1/4 sliced for garnish)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt

stevia to taste

pinch of nutmeg or cinnamon (optional)

1. Whisk together the milk and cornstarch until it's smooth, then heat in a saucepan over med-low until it thickens into a gel-ish paste.

2. Stick-blend the milk with the remaining ingredients (except the banana slices and spices), adjusting the amount of stevia to a sweetness you like. Transfer to serving dishes, garnish with banana, and chill for an hour or two before serving. Top with spices if you want them; eat, smile.

PS: I LOVE BANANAS!!! mmmmmmm... that's yesterday's lunch down there.
PPS: I'M INDIFFERENT TO SILKEN TOFU!!! ... but I have to eat it up. XD

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Lentils a la Pantry

This is great non-food! Every so often I get busy with art projects or just life distracts me from going shopping and all of a sudden it's 12:30 at night and not only do I need protein, but an actual protein-ish meal (and preferably one that I can whip together faster than you can say "just make peanut butter toast, girl!"). At least, that happened one time, and I happened to have a can of lentils around (which I don't even usually have, lucky night!), and I realized I had NO fresh produce, except an onion and some garlic, if you count that as fresh produce which I don't... ANYWAY, this tastes really really really good! Cheap as a button, ready in 5 minutes, savory and filling, good to eat while watching the Colbert Report and making mental grocery lists filled with green leafy vegetables. I'm sure you could all whip up something similar in your sleep, but hey, here it is.

Lentils a la Pantry

1 can of lentils, drained and rinsed

4-5 large roasted cashews (almonds would be good too, I bet)
2-3 tbsp tamari
1 tsp ginger, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp dried red chile flakes
1 tsp maple syrup
a drizzle of sesame oil
1/4 cup onion, diced fine
1 tbsp dried wakame seaweed
1-2 tbsp dried shitake mushrooms (soaked in a bit of hot water with a splash of tamari, then diced)

1. grind the cashews into a rough paste in a mortar and pestle or food processor (or, just chop them really really fine), and whisk in a bowl with the tamari, ginger, garlic, syrup, and oil.
2. toss together with the onion, wakame, shitake, and lentils, let it marinate in the fridge for an hour (optional, for non-starving people) and serve.

(I like raw onion and garlic, but you could definitely saute them a bit for a warmer kind of salad)

(this recipe would also benefit from sprouts, shredded carrots, some radish, snow pea, etc, if you've got it. But then it wouldn't be a la Pantry. ;)

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Frost Moon Potluck

(Star's phenomenal baked veggie pâté, guacamole, v-con caesar salad)

(wakey-wakey muffins (recipe pending), v-con cornbread, more pretty pâté, sesame-spelt bread, and somewhere around here were these delicious dill pickles, cut like ruffle-chips)

The second of our moon-based potlucks, this one was a small but cozy and fairly jumping affair. Despite over-garlicking the caesar by a LOT, the omnis were devouring it down, as well as raving about the wakey muffins and okay, everything else! In fact, it kinda went like -

omnis: "Ooh, potluck!"
veggies: "Yep, vegan potluck."
omnis: "OOH, POTLUCK!"

Nice to see that kind of reaction, like the vegan revolution is actually gaining headway!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Autumn Latkes w/ Horseradish-Dill Sour Cream

Star and I started Lunch Crew -- every Wednesday we're gonna make something delicious and then eat it. These were suitably delicious!

especially with applesauce. ;)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Star's Cake

Am I doing the one post a day thing? I don't think I'm even indenture--*ahem*-- on the VeganMoFo Grand Official List of Obsessive Posting. No matter, I'll play along. Here's a cake! I made it for Star's 22nd, out of your standard wacky cake recipe (x2) with extra almond extract, most of the oil subbed for applesauce, and half the water turned to almond milk. It also features a double batch of that gooey pudding-y icing (that I like WAY better than buttercream), a layer of 4-fruit quebecoise jam, and homemade raspberry truffle chocolates on top. Oh, and a little bit of buttercream writing on top, because hey buttercream ain't so bad (in fact it's pretty delicious in small amounts). Nomanomnomnom.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

an ode to Le Frigo Vert

my favorite wares
are at Le Frigo Vert
they got gluten, agar, rock-your-socks chreese!
it's all run by students who like to hug trees!

50 cent fair trade coffee (if you bring a mug first)
and you might want to check out their "make-your-own-sex-toy course"

.......I am the best poet EVER. I love this place. :D

Monday, November 19, 2007

Chile Cornmeal-Crusted Tofu (and glee!!!)

I just got the V-Con!!!!!!!!

I rode the bus home with this silly stupid grin on my face, poring over everything like a kid at christmas, and within 2 seconds I found the perfect recipe for a quick after-school dinner that would pair with a fiesta grapefruit/bell pepper/lime salad I'd made the day before. So I whipped up the Chile Cornmeal-Crusted Tofu in about 2 minutes (the only snag being my oven deciding to die - alas I had to pan-fry), and had the best dinner I've had in a while. I'll admit I've been craving just those kinds of flavours, but the breading is so light, and paired with some limeade (and extra hot sauce) I was totally at a picnic table watching a june afternoon go by (never mind that it's freezing outside).

This is my first Isa/Terry book! I feel like dancing! *dances all over kitchen* I just have to somehow forget about reading it cover to cover tonight, and work on things that are due tomorrow. Phooey. (You won't be seeing the last of me, beautiful V-Con! I'll probably cave and make cookies from your pages, in oh, about 3 hours of boring drawing. mwahahaha!)

Waiting for the dinner bell to do the bell thing...

I really have to admit, starting a blog has changed my outlook on cooking for myself a LOT. I went for a few weeks just eating a muffin + vegetables for dinner, and not really bothering to cook anything beautiful or fun. So this past week is kind of like me revving my engines, and who knows, maybe I'll break and go play with some tempeh soon!

Most proud of this one - stuffed cremini mushrooms (with spinach, walnuts, tofu, dijon, tamari, lemon juice, thyme, marjoram, whole grain bread, and YES SWEET, extra nooch sauce. oh ya, and my baby-own lentil sprouts on the side.)

Miso soup (brown rice miso, tofu, carrots, cubanelle peppers - weird, I know, but good! - soba, wakame, shitake, hot sesame oil and toasted sesame seeds). This one's actually a staple for me.

Spicy kale on toast. Blog-worthy? Dunno, but it was tasty! Plus, I got to carry home the hugest bunch of kale in the whole world, and when it started to spill out of my bag like a particularly healthy upside-down mop, the flaming bag-boy who wears pink and has better hair than I do helped me re-bag so I could actually get the thing home and wilt it up. huzzah!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

why I drink soy milk

Okay, seeing as people are getting into the nitty-gritty of their vegan ways, I guess I should follow suit. Plus, it's excuse to post a sketch instead of my dinner. :p

I grew up in a very british-styled household, at least concerning food. My mother was the master of scalloped potatoes, pork chops, beef stews, rich cakes, yorkshire puddings, casseroles of every flavour, you name it. I don't think I ever really took to it (except maybe the potatoes), so when we eventually started living in a communal household with some hippies and midwives and professors and nerds, all of a sudden food came alive. Every night all 11+ of us (plus a rotating roster of semi-permanent and always welcome houseguests) would sit down at this HUGE round oak table they'd gotten in the Phillipines to a spread that just filled the senses with it's love and variety and interest. I don't think we could do a meal without having at least 7 or 8 various optional dishes; tapenades, marinated seasonal vegetables, dips and spreads, homemade breads, always a soup, and always a gigantic salad bowl with greens from the garden and a homemade vinaigrette or two on the side.

So I kind of fell in love with food there, and was vegetarian pretty much the moment I stepped in the door. That was at twelve or so, and then at sixteen I decided to climb the horse and go all the way vegan! I made it a year, and I'll be honest - I couldn't let go of Sour Skittles completely, and my nutrition was probably lacking around the edges. But it felt really really right.

After that year passed I got busy. School got hard, I think I accidentally ate a slice of pizza, and veganism was shelved for a long long time. And it always kind of tickled the back of my mind, like I was really only eating yogurt and eggs because they were cheap and healthy and not because I really enjoyed them. So I was thrilled when I realized this summer that YES I have time to soak beans again and YES I have a few extra bucks to spend on supplements, and I CAN BE VEGAN AGAIN (thank all that is soaked in tamari!).

So yeah, it really comes down to, this is who I am, this is how I like to eat. I love animals and I'm vehemently against the farm industry, but I haven't seen Earthlings or any of those movies and don't really care to. I'm just happy (and my soul rests a lot easier) knowing that my footprint is smaller for the way I choose to eat, and plus, food like this just tastes better, you know? :)

Edit: I saw Earthlings and it disturbed the bejeezus out of me, which is pretty much why I didn't want to see it. hmm. Still glad it exists, though.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Butternut, Mushroom & Barley Soup

This is bringing back memories. Not necessarily of old flavours, but this barley is um.... my dad tried to make barley soup once, out of some old cooking onions, some oregano, green pepper, probably bacon, and hell, maybe leek (hey, a common ingredient with my soup!). Anyway, it tasted edible, but the best (funniest) part was the leftovers - the barley soaked up so much water and the flavour of the soup was so nondescriptly odd that it basically looked like a pot full of teeth and it got the name Toothfairy Stew. And he promised never to make it again. *grin*

Right, anyway, that ain't this soup. This one's what I believe is referred to as "awesome". Basic hearty autumn fare (okay, so I'm also desperately trying get through way too many farm-fresh vegetables currently leafing up my tiny fridge... I know, I know, woe is me). Almost risotto-like, and go heavy on the squash if you can!

Butternut, Mushroom & Barley Soup


1 tbsp olive oil

1 onion, chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 carrot, diced

1 zucchini, diced
1 leek, sliced

2 cups of various mushrooms, sliced

8 cups broth (I used water and 2 mushroom soup cubes)
1 cup of pot barley
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp thyme

salt and pepper (lots of pepper!)
1 butternut squash, roasted and chunked

1 bunch of kale, ripped into bite-sizes

To roast the squash, seed it and cut it and put it in a large pot on the stovetop with a 1/2" of water in the bottom. Boil that, shake some salt on, then lid it up and stick it in a 450F oven for about 30-45 minutes.

In a big pot (though I used a cast-iron pan for this part; extra washup but more yum), heat up the oil, then gently saute the onion until translucent. Add all the veggies in, add some salt, and saute just until things look... I dunno, a bit softer around the edges and starting to smell good but everything's still perky. did I just make sense there? anyway, add the broth now! and the barley/herbs. bring to boil, simmer 30 minutes, add squash, simmer 15, add kale, serve! yummo!


Well, here it is. The infamous MoFoSu(rvey), cause it had to been done. I guess take this as an introduction to me, or - at the very least - my food preferences. I'll get into my whys and whens of Veganism at a later time, I'm sure. I'm also adding a question!

0. So... who's the cat?
This is Satchmo! Contrary to what jazz enthusiasts might think, she is not actually named after Louis Armstrong, but after a cartoon parakeet named "Satchmo the Trumpeteer". She is exceptionally good at ricocheting off of things, pooping in the middle of my lunchtime, chasing unattended debris around the apartment LOUDLY, and being the love of my life.

1. Favorite non-dairy milk?

Almond Breeze unsweetened.

2. What are the top 3 dishes/recipes you are planning to cook?
An orange-blueberry cake with day-glo frosting for my best friend (his brilliant request!), ratatouille (but that's been on my list forevers and it's not movie inspired), and something, ANYTHING with pumpkin in it.

3. Topping of choice for popcorn?

no marg, just Himalaya curry salt.

4. Most disastrous recipe/meal failure?
umm... tried cooking with a clueless boy once. apple streusel muffins turned into Apple-Streusel-Cookiesheet-Blob (with soggy patches!). still good tho. :)

5. Favorite pickled item?

ooh, beets! or pickles! or no no - those pickled turnips you get in falafal. DEFinitely the pickled pink things. NO WAIT - banana peppers.

6. How do you organize your recipes?

ha! most of them are bookmarks, or notepad cut'n'pastes, or stuffed into a makeshift recipe book I made out of a photo album.

7. Compost, trash, or garbage disposal?

I'm working on getting a composter set up in my apartment building. also considering just finding a good alley to dig a hole in. :/

8. If you were stranded on an island and could only bring 3 foods…what would they be (don’t worry about how you’ll cook them)?

egads, oats! for sure. and then... apples. and then... corn on the cob. I'd survive ok.

9. Fondest food memory from your childhood?
My first stint at veganism was at 16, and I made my first real meal ever - it was a huuuge indian feast for my dad, and he (mr. meat-n-potatoes!) loved it, and the cooking bug bit.

10. Favorite vegan ice cream?
I haven't had any in so long.... I remember loving Tofutti Vanilla Almond Bark in high school.

11. Most loved kitchen appliance?

stick blender!!!!

12. Spice/herb you would die without?
black pepper

13. Cookbook you have owned for the longest time?

The Vegetarian Feast by Martha Rose Shulman. It's full of crazy million-ingredient recipes I never use (not to mention eggs), but it's good for reference in a pinch.

14. Favorite flavor of jam/jelly?

me mum made merlot jam! so yeah, that one. (failing that, blackcurrant)

15. Favorite vegan recipe to serve to an omni friend?
sushi, any kind of dessert, my lentil soup (it's not pretty but it's blaaaaazing amazzzing)

16. Seitan, tofu, or tempeh?

tofu, no question. It's so squishy!

17. Favorite meal to cook (or time of day to cook)?

oatmeal, as early in the morning as possible, while the light outside is still slate grey but getting warmer by the minute, and the coffee's gurgling and I've just rinsed my sprouts and fed the cat..... heaven.

18. What is sitting on top of your refrigerator?
cookbooks, cookzines, about 53 kinds of tea.

19. Name 3 items in your freezer without looking.

roasted beets, chocolate frosting, cilantro

20. What’s on your grocery list?

chocolate chips and figs

21. Favorite grocery store?

Supermarche PA. It's a 2-store chain in montreal that's very greek and VERY cheap and they carry all the health food brands like nobody's business.

22. Name a recipe you’d love to veganize, but haven’t yet.
cream puffs. *sniff* (damn you pate-a-choux!)

23. Food blog you read the most (besides Isa’s because I know you check it everyday). Or maybe the top 3?
Ummm, I only recently started checking them daily, so I guess the three that really drew me into all this bloggering would be Have Cake Will Travel, Vegan YumYum, and Cheap, Lazy and Hungry

24. Favorite vegan candy/chocolate?

fuzzy grapefruit slices, or Lindt's 70% dark

25. Most extravagant food item purchased lately?

oh, I finally caved and dropped $7 on a new can of maple syrup.

26. What was your favorite food BEFORE becoming veg*n?

chicken shawarma with extra pickly pink turnips. It was like, late-night drunken stupor staple food and kept a body strong through all kinds of mischief. ;)

27. Veganaise or Nayonaise?

Nayonnaise! tangy.

28. What is one recipe or ingredient or cooking technique that you've become familiar with in the last year that you can't imagine you ever lived without?
cake-making in all it's wild and wonderful forms -- decoratins, extracts, strange bright colours, plastic toy-toppers, etc etc, I don't know how I ever thought cakes were hard!

29. What is one typical vegan food/dish that you do not eat?
pre-packaged food, generally. I wouldn't turn it down, but I never ever buy it. I don't even know what store-bought cheeze tastes like. and deep-fried stuff scares me.

30. What's your favourite kind of pie?
I wish I had an exciting answer to the very question that I made up, but... Pumpkin. with a fiery fiery passion. fiery.

yay, finished! now off to start that drawing project I stayed home on saturday night to work on, cos I am pretty lame like that. go tofu! \m/>.<\m/

Friday, November 16, 2007

Orange & Gingerbread Scones

I had no idea I could make this something this good. Holy wow! I was having trouble taking the pictures 'cause my nose had to be right up in them and they smell SO FREAKING GOOD. I adapted the recipe from here, and with some judicious tinkering made them probably better, ha!

Orange & Gingerbread Scones

1 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cup whole wheat flour

3/4 cup oats
1/3 cup brown sugar

1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp cloves

1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/3 cup margarine
zest of 1 orange (reserving 2 tsps)

1/3 cup dried cranberries

1/3 cup non-dairy milk
3 tbsp orange juice

3 tbsp molasses
1 tsp vanilla extract

Orange Glaze :
1/2 cup icing sugar

1 1/2 tbsp orange juice
2 tsps orange zest

raw coarse sugar (for sprinkling)

1. Preheat the oven to 400 F
2. Whisk together the dry ingredients in a large bowl, then cut in the margarine with a pastry cutter or some knives until it looks like (yep you guessed it) coarse cornmeal. Stir in the orange zest and cranberries.
3. Whisk together the wet ingredients, then pour them onto the dry and mix til it just comes together.
4. Move the dough to a floured surface and shape it into an 8" disc (or so), then cut that disc in half and cut wedges from each half. Transfer to a greased baking sheet and bake em for 20 minutes, or when a toothpick comes out clean.
5. Mix up the glaze and when the scones are cool, brush them allll over (to make them extra orangey awesome) and then sprinkle with coarse sugar.

Serve em with tea. or apricot beer. or just serve em. you know you want to!

EDIT: I did serve them, to a couple people, and each time the reaction was...... eyes widen and mouth goes "woah!". So I'm happy. This is my first invented baked good. :)

graaaa freezer, take that! and that!

stabby stabby....

btw, scariest time for a power-outtage ever? Mid-defrost. (much jiggling, scrambling, and scurrying behind stupid fridges ensues, not once noticing that the kitchen light had gone out, too. durrrrrr i smart! thought I'd chopped right through a wire or something... but it came back to life and all was right with the world again)

much better! (for the curious, we've got chocolate frosting, raspberry truffle filling and veggie broth in the hummus containers; tofu, zucchini muffins, ww bread, jalapenos, and cilantro in the baggies; about a quazillion roast beets in the yogurt containers, and not pictured, another quazillion beets in yogurt containers sitting in my sink. They were on sale!!! mmmmm, beets...)

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Mac n Cheeze + Zucchini Muffins

It was a loooooong day today. I woke up at 5 AM so I could get to school in time to finish my new painting and made about three brushstrokes before decided I was doing more harm than good and then collapsed on a couch in the hallway for oh, about five hours. Oi. Art couches are not the comfiest things and I had funny dreams.

Not that it was a bad day, there was something otherworldy about navigating the metro at such a strange, early hour (you know, that hour when most people are going to work and I'm usually still happy in bed).

But by the time I got home (walking thru the rain no less) it was time for güd füds. Güd comfort füds even. Ie: macaroni and cheeze, Fatfree Vegan-style. I've never made a vegan creamy concoction before (excluding bean and vegetable purees), and it hit a spot I didn't know needed hitting. Yummers in tummers and all that. Praise Susan!

I also made a half batch of zucchini apple muffins from the Don't Eat Off The Sidewalk zine, and even though they needed WAY more soy milk than the recipe called for, they were pretty notch!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

In honour of VeganMoFo...

I present, El Cupcake Goddess!

I also made a batch of Celine's ww oatmeal bread which I'm eating right now with a bit of EB, and let me tell you, it's delicious! I subbed 1/4 cup of the bread flour for 12 grain cereal mix, I left out 1 tbsp of margarine, and I didn't have soy milk powder so I subbed 1/2 cup of the water for almond milk. The dough was really easy to work with, and the bread itself is so comforting and slightly sweet... perfect to give to my ailing roommate who just got sick. ;_; I totally recommend it, but as a novice-ish bread maker I noticed the oat flakes didn't stick too well to the top even though I brushed the loaves with a bit of oil... is there something stickier but not-too-intrusive flavour-wise I could use? Not that it's all lost, I'm gonna throw the toasty flakes into tomorrow's oatmeal which should be interesting.

also, I'm a dreadfully austere person when it comes to fatty food - HOWEVER - because of the MoFo ima gonna make mac n cheese tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Sushi !

Okay, so the sad sad truth is that living alone on a fairly small budget with a fairly small stomach means I can't be running around making giant meals all the time. Most of the time dinner is fresh corn on the cob, actually. But sometimes I go all out, and even though these pictures are kinda old (maybe a month ago), I gotta talk about sushi night!

For my first foray into seaweed delights, I wasn't gonna use no stinking recipes! I just chopped up some delicious sushi-ables (avocado, red pepper, match-sticked carrots, cucumber, toasted sesames, marinated tofu, peanuts, sprouts, asparagus and green onion) and went apeshit for a few hours. So. Much. Fun! The sushi pictured on the left is what came out of it, pretty much all of them some variation on a vegetable roll. And I like vegetable rolls! But somehow it was lacking in punch, direction,

So I wised up. I actually looked at some recipes for the next batch, notably the PPK sushi recipes, and the amazingly good so good better than sex Mango Salsa Roll!! Seriously, Star and I were moaning and rolling on the floor as the flavour cascaded thru our mouths, juicy and cilantro-y and wonderfully shrimp-free. She liked the mango best, and I was torn between that and the spicy tofu. I do likes spicy.

Check it out! Uramaki-style California Roll! I think that pretty much means all the boys are MINE MINE MINE, and also probably the girls as well.

I dunno how something so simple can be so satisfying, but it's a seriously well-constructed formula - crunchy and creamy and nutty and actually a nice palate cleanser between the stronger flavoured sushis.

(and of course, the best part of making sushi is that it's the perfect excuse to throw a party and stuff yourself silly on uncannily good food) ----->

We even invented a roll (probably just so we could enter the canon of People Who Have Named a Maki Roll). It's got crispy sweet apple, julienned carrot and fresh ginger, and it's actually pretty balanced and satisfying, if I do say so myself!

Bunny Roll

1 cup of sushi rice, seasoned with...
2 tbsp seasoned rice vinegar
4 sheets of nori

1 large fuji apple, sliced into 1/2 inch rectangles
2 carrots, steamed briefly, then julienned (matchsticked!)
a hunk of fresh ginger, sliced into very thin strips

- roll it all up, eat with good quality soy sauce and wasabi, and then go "wow, it's so refreshing and spicy and sweet" oh yes. : D

Date-jeweled Oatmeal

Mmmm! This is my breakfast, every single day of every single week and I wouldn't have it any other way. It's a huuuuge bowl of toasty oatmeal with cinnamon and nutmeg and chopped dates (and a pretty generous amount of salt). I sit down with this like an old friend every morning and proceed to eat it i-n-c-r-e-d-i-b-l-y slowly, reading a good book, for about 2 hours. hee!

I do have to mention how involved something this simple can be, though. Every bag of oats is different, and I gotta taste and smell and taste again to get everything JUST right. Timing for texture is everything! Anyway, here's the super simple recipe :

Date-Jewelled Oatmeal
(makes enough for 2, or if you're me, 1)

2/3 cup of regular rolled oats
1 1/3 cups cold water
1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/4 tsp cinnamon
a couple grates of fresh ground nutmeg
a pinch of ground ginger or allspice (optional)
1/4 cup chopped dates
salt to taste

- put the water and almond milk on to boil, covered
- once it's boiling, toss in the oats and give it a good stir, reduce heat to med-low and stir occasionally for about 10 minutes
- I like it when the liquid has turned creamy and smooth, but not too gummy, which is a pretty narrow window, so watch carefully!
- stir in the spices, salt and fruit, then pour it into your friendliest bowl, sit down with a piping mug of coffee and go eat breakfast like a champ!

This is the best mug EVER, by the way. ^_^

PS: Tips For Keeping Your Oatmeal Warm For Crazy Amounts Of Time --

Put a saucer-plate on top of the bowl and nestle the whole thing in the folds of a tea-towel (or if you're like me, a bedspread). Warm for hours!