Monday, September 26, 2016

MiniMofo: Signature Dish Bruschetta!

Trying to pick just one signature dish was a little daunting and as my kitchen is still a work in progress I figured I would go with a classic I started making in Middle School Simple and rustic bruschetta.

I remember this being pretty much the only thing I ever made that my mom would willing eat, in fact she now makes it pretty regularly which for someone as picky as her is a huge HUGE success.

While the recipe often changes based on whats available its a pretty simple and intuitive dish to make.
Thankfully my mother hand delivered me some glorious tomatoes, garlic and basil from her garden shortly after I moved in so I have been enjoying this all week!

-Fresh tomatoes diced(home grown is best!)
-Fresh Basil (although I have in the past used dried italian seasoning & basil) 
-Fresh Garlic Minced
-Onion diced
-Virgin Olive Oil
-Balsamic Vinegar
-Red wine Vinegar (use sparingly!)
-Crusty vegan bread!
Glorious colours
Toss together in a bowl your diced veggies and minced herbs, make sure to mix everything up well before adding in the oil and vinegar. Toss as you add to make sure you get a nice even coating and add in some fresh cracked pepper and salt.

The key is to allow the tomato mixture to sit as the salt will draw out some moisture for you, keep tossing it occasional and taste it until you get the perfect balance.

Meanwhile slice your bread and preheat the oven to broil (or at least 400 degrees) the high temperature allows the bread to toast while just warming or slightly charring the tomatoes and onions. You could also toast the bread by brushing it with olive oil and garlic then top it with the raw tomato mixture, but I prefer to cook it.

You can see in the photo I make mine a bit soupy on the bottom so I can toss the dressing over the veggies. I like to strain the mixture a bit when I top the bread and then spoon/drizzle the oil/vinegar dressing over top as it bakes.

Voila! Perfect summer fare.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Renters kitchen: A new dilema.

As you know we recently moved and one thing we discovered while trying to unpack is our new kitchen is equip with remarkably tiny cabinets. Which when they were empty we didn't notice.

Here are a few photos of the kitchen layout, our entrance is on one side of the kitchen along a big stretch of empty wall and the rest of the kitchen is built along the adjacent wall.

It looks decent enough, until you attempt to place diner plates or pots into the cabinets. The drawers you see there can only hold 1 large or medium size pot (which is inefficient so I am trying to find alternative places to store them, notice they are hiding with the bowls.).

A common theme with the storage for cabinets here is narrow but deep. Special award to the tiny areas next to the oven. Which are about 2-3 small tinfoil rolls wide but a good 2 feet deep. Normally I put baking trays in the warming drawer of my oven but the cabinet there is so narrow I am unsure what else would fit.

In fact we have a really nice deep pantry just next to the fridge. Seriously its almost 4 feet deep!

However as you can see things can get a bit lost in there and you kinda have to pull everything out to get what you are looking for or even see what you have. Thankfully my large dry good storage jars help a lot with this process but I am looking to the internet to find solutions that don't loose us valuable shelf real estate.

Hallway Closet of appliance banishment.
So far I am negotiating to get my pegboard approval to make use of the giant empty wall and provide a home to pots and pans.
I have also bought a small kitchen cart on wheels to hopefully reclaim some of the counter space and we have put an industrial shelf into our storage closet down the hall to house the appliances.

So if anyone out there has any brilliant ideas or solutions to my ever dwindling counter space or spice storage I will take all the help I can get!!!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Veganmofo 2016! Dusting off the old blog

So 2015 and 2016 have been a whirlwind of shitty life occurrences but after just moving to a new place with my fella I am hoping things are turning around. So although I am currently off on a workplace injury which leaves me pretty apartment bound and immobile (for now!) VeganMofo is on the horizon! And as I am currently laid off in addition to being injured I feel like this year will have me aching for something to do so let's dive into MOFO Season Y'all!

More info on Vegan mofo can be found at the command centre

So to start things off they are issueing Mini Mofo challenges to wet our appetites round one has a deadline of Sept 27 so I am getting a late start but I will be polling past roommates and friends to figure out what my signature dish is! And I will try and have a post ready for you all and maybe also unpack my new kitchen so we can all get cooking!

**I have also dabbled a bit with fixing the broken theme on here, sorry! let me know what you think, it seems to still have some formatting issues for larger images. 

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Veganmofo: Breakfast on the run! 2015

 Short post today, as I over slept and need to head out to the restaurant. Thankfully I had cold coffee in a jar in the fridge (Screech coffee in fact! Pretty tasty) so coffee was fast.

And my roommate was making oatmeal chocolate chip muffins before she left for a conference. So Veganmofo-ians, I bring you a short post of my breakfast before I left for work.

Might not have been the fanciest but it was pretty darn good.

Happy Mofo!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Veganmofo15: Vegan Bento!

Today's Bento/Packed lunched is quick and easy to wip up before work (and even post about!) Udon Veggie Stir Fry and Veggie Pot Stickers w/ dipping sauce.

Might not be the healthiest lunch but damn does it taste good hot or cold and you can make it in minutes without feeling sad when you later have to eat it at work. Most of the time I find it hard to get inspired in the morning to make lunches and often struggle with the lack of microwave at work and the long hours skipping over 2 meals means I am often super hungry.

For me its been easiest to grab frozen foods that will keep well when cold, so when I saw the potstickers that happened to be vegan (MIRACLE) on 2/8$ they became a bit more reasonable. Although with enough prep time you could make and freeze your own, which is ultimately my goal since pre-coffee mornings are not kind to me.

I also find I am most often less disappointed with what I pack if it is tasty, different from yesterdays and looks pretty. So bento and Japanese food often become staples for me. But you could build a vegan lunch box around just about anything, as long as you include a variety of options everyone wins. This is another reason I like the frozen 'snack' or pre made side options because I could eat dumplings or kulcha  until I die (yay fried bread/noodle!). Plus having the frozen options makes last minute changes easy if someone wakes up and no longer wants the sloppy joe leftovers they were supposed to take over noodles.

On to the food!
Potstickers were just fried/steamed and I made a quick dipping sauce with soy sauce, mirin, sesame and sugar. The sauce ads a nice balance of umami, sour and sweet to compliment the veggies inside. these guys are filled with greens and tofu, so despite their appearance I am going to pretend they are super good for me.

The stir fry was chopped carrot, broccoli, radish greens and sesame with a single pack of fresh made udon which are pretty great for portion sizes and also speedy dishes. I added some sesame seeds to bump the nutrients and give some different texture to the pan, then added more on top because why not.

Stir fried in the same pot as the potstickers with extra sesame oil and the pan was de-glazed with mirin and soy. These guys are flavor powerhouses and make throwing together dishes/sauces a breeze. All in all, throwing this together from start to finish was only 20-30 mins, so I still haven't had coffee or breakfast but lunch is packed! So I am calling it a success.

I will likely toss a few yellow plums into my bag and maybe an apple, because of the long hours and needing to eat some fruit. I also bring along a jar of almond milk although to be honest I just drink it in coffee and not by itself. But it gets consumed and makes the lunch feel more well rounded. I also have my travel mug with World Tea House's Earl Grey Creme. Which is a great tea to drink all day and acts almost like dessert!

So happy Mofo! And Bento-on folks!

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Veganmofo15: Lunch on the go! #19

For the ultra lazy vegan on the go: microwave burritos!
Behold the burrito!

These are a pretty simple standard in our house hold, where we make huge batches to freeze for fast and lazy meals.

The steps are pretty simple: Buy bulk tortillas when on sale, cook a large pot of rice and a large pot of refried beans and optional black beans/salasa.

Everyone has their own go to recipe, but I prefer to make lime scented rice, with refried pinto beans +jalapenos, Cooked cumin scented black beans and optional diaya or fire roasted tomatoes.

Once assemble you add a base of rice, re-fried bean and your toppings  then roll them up by the dozen. We then wrap ours in paper towel and freeze for up to six months (but really they never last this long). Although it seems sacrilegious, I don't usually put salsa in these and instead serve them with salsa on the side. I find this helps them keep longer in the freezer without getting weird. We do sometimes cook the beans with tomato/onion/salsa for flavor, but you want to avoid rolling them with anything too wet.

I actually found this rogue burrito in the bottom of our freeze from a batch made last year, which was still quite good. I ate it with some Salsa my roommate's parent's brought us from their supply (which is not spicy, so I added equal parts sriracha and tobasco). I prefer to serve them with hot sauce/salsa on the side or ontop after they are cooked.

Burritos really aren't a pretty food. Sorry.
My roommate Tory started this tradition, and honestly it is a pretty great way to keep everyone fed during the killer school months and other high stress times. She recommends nuking them burrito in its paper towel for 1-1.30min flip then repeat on the other side. I typically nuke them then bake them on high for a bit or pan fry to get them crispy on the outside.

Either way enjoy this filling, portable, and lazy vegan lunch. Happy Mofo!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Veganmofo15: #16 Fav late summer food

Sadly I don't have any fantastic photos for today, but my favorite summer food especially late summer (last chance!) corn on the cob. Prices drop and I find sometimes the late corn taste even better then the first summer corn. Because let's be real, first summer corn is typically picked too early before it is ripe and we only think it tastes sooo good because we've been dreaming of it all winter.

Here in NS folks grow corn through most of spring/summer but around august/September you get the year end haul of corn which in my opinion is the best. The summer of cob mobs have died down so you can actually get to the corn bins, and generally prices have dropped (score!). I find this corn to be a bit sweeter and more flavorful then other times and you can get it for 0.05$ CAD! FIVE CENTS! So if that doesn't earn it first place I don't know what will.

Occasionally you get corn that needs to be used right away, which is a-ok with me because I can eat buckets of the stuff. But if fresh corn cob isn't your thing, year end corn is great for salsas and corn stew. MMMMM