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

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Veganmofo15: #15/day 15 : to feed a president

So being Canadian, it is possible this challenge isn't as daunting as those USA bloggers. But I feel like Barack could get down with some veganized souther cooking, which is great because if he was nosing around that is what my roommate and I whipped up last night!
Jae made some Vegan Ribz from EverydayDish TV. With a basic BBQ sauce he googled, tomato paste, liquid smoke, sugar, and minimal spice (I rebasted my ribz and likely Mr. Obama's ribz with some good old hot sauce to add zip!).

To go with our ribs we whipped some potatoes WITH SKIN with some of our homemade coconut butter and almond milk. Jae also decided to add more carbs with some baking soda biscuits, a basic quick bread we cut using tall glasses and baked while the ribz cooked.

I sauted some frozen kale, carrot, corn and onion for the side with some simple herbs and more homemade vegan butter to add some greens. But for our other roommate with the diet restrictions we boiled some regular old green peas.

We paired the potatoes and biscuits with a white southern style gravy from Hot Damn & Hell Yeah.Dirty South Cookbook Zine my Roommates both love this zine, which is nice because I've owned it and drooled over it for years without making much. This gravy is great, click the link to find out where you can get your own. I guess I likely would have ordered an additional copy for the President to take home to Michelle (Seriously, why is Michelle not at this dinner? Or in this hypothetical, she is obviously the cooler half of this couple).

Since this dinner goes together so quick, I also made a giant batch of Yellow Rose Recipes couscous and chickpea salad for lunches this week. Which worked out great because I had a spare rib (puns!) to make a rib sandwich for lunch, added some of our sweet homemade onion pickles and homemade mayo to the mix too. Gotta love when everything comes together.

Gratuitous food porn below!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Veganmofo15: #14 share something vegan with non vegans~!

Today's theme seems a little bit cheap, because I live with non vegan housemates who eat vegan most of the time at home so really all I did yesterday was make dinner while they mouse proofed our pantry.

We had a lonely squash of mysterious origin and a lone sweet potato, so I decided to put both into the oven while the housemates went to Canadian tire. I was debating between making Yellow Rose Recipes butter nut squash (with a few adjustments due to my roommates terrible diet restrictions which prohibit 90% of food stuffs**) or doing a Veggie Mac-n-Cheese with blended veggies for the sauce.

Obviously, I opted for lasagna and made a few adjustments: Namely replaced butternut squash with the small mystery squash and sweet potato (hoping that by blending it into a sauce it would reduce the amount my roommate consumed within safe levels, and it did!). I left out all the garlic and onion, although I did sneak some onion salt into the filling again not much to avoid potentially murdering my roommate. Defrosted some tofu and diaya cheese.

All in all it turned out pretty good considering! Everyone enjoyed it and no one died eating it. The squash had a more subtle flavour and next time I think I'll up the salt as we were missing many of the glorious flavours this dish usually has. But it was rich, creamy, subtly flavoured and pretty good for you.

I added vegan parm to my slice!

***I forget what it is she cannot have but it basically means she cannot have mushrooms, onions, garlic or anything related to either garlic or onions. And crazy restrictive amounts of  things like sweet potatoes, avocados, beets and very few greens. It is pretty terrible, but we are on the hunt for Asafoetida which she can eat and mimics the garlic/onion flavour well.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Veganmofo15: Show us your kitchen!

As renters, our kitchen isn't always the greatest but we often make due with limited kitchen space by moving into other rooms. Below you can see the pegboard and appliance shelf which add extra storage for kitchen gadgets in easy reach.

Our fridge is actually broken, so we have an army of coolers while we wait for the landlords to replace it. By our dry goods and muli-level pantry really brings it home for day to day cooking.

Veganmofo15: lazy mornings

One of the easiest and best ways to enjoy your monring and eat brekafast during hte busy weeks or pre-morning-coffee is an old resturant trick: keep a batch of pancaker batter handy wiht lots of add ins for a customaziable breakfast any day of the week.

Really any pancake recipe will work and you should be able to keep them for about a week in the fridge. I opted for a plain white batter, so I could raid the pantry or fruit section throughout the week to spice things up. In the morning just heat your pan over high heat, pour/laddle in your batter and add a topping or filling of choice (here I did coconut walnut) as the batter is cooking in the pan. Then struggle valiantly to flip them and if you're me throw some vegan meats or seitan sausage on the pan post pancakes.

Simple and filling breakfast you can make in minutes, you are welcome!

Saturday, September 12, 2015

VeganMofo15: Tell us about your favourite cookbook! #VGNMF15

I know I have posted so so many times about this book, but it remains one of my favourites Joanna Vaught's Yellow Rose Recipes (YRR). I tested for this cookbook and I keep singing it's praises, the page layout and design was done by sir Joshivore of Herbivore Clothing.  Features adorable art from Amanda Bear , and is basically a PPK dream come true.
Behold the glory!

To get started the book is gorgeous! Filled with flavour and easy to make recipes, don't forget our main lady was writing this bad boy while growing her son inside her. This continues to be one of the book I reach for again and again, with many favourites I've added to my own repertoire for daily/weekly consumption. While the glorious original is no longer in print, Joanna did make the new revised recipes available in a smaller self published collection (I own both).

The book has so many gems from breakfast tofu scramble, to the only vegan cake my granny will make, to my one true love the bechemel sauce (which as a broke university kid, I eat a lot of).

I've blogged about this book again and again, so I won't bore you with more  but this guy is worth your time.

My top three recipes (excluding the tofu scramble/seasoning mix!)


This sauce has been a routine crowd pleaser in my house. Simple, easy, cheap and ultra smooth and creamy. It is remarkably rich without being overly heavy and will add life to any pasta or rice bowl dish. Bonus Points: for making the roast squash lasagna with this magical sauce to wow any lunch box or dinner party.

Grilled Portabello!
Nothing spells summer like these mushrooms and that marinade (with is also amazing for tempeh, tofu etc!). Every BBQ season I bust these guys out and it's one of the recipes I send out the most. 
 I grill these all year round and have been known to bake them for dinner during more than one snow storm.
Crusted Tofu!

This book does simply home comfort neck in neck with the oous and awws for dinner parties. The crusted tofu (adapted from the seitan recipe) holds up great cold in sandwiches or wraps, which is key for my lack of microwave work options.
Seriously, there is something for everyone in this book, and I cannot imagine life without it. Every holiday trip I make sure to pack it for our Roasted Ginger Vegetables or Sauces or just in case we stay an extra weekend to have access to some good vegan dishes.

It does holidays, birthdays, everyday, weekday and everything in between it is one of the best all around cook books I own and it is tattered and food splattered to prove it.
Joanna was kind enough to get back to me, although the original is no longer in print folks can get copies of Yellow Rose Recipes Greatest hits from Joanna on Amazon here.

VeganMofo 2015! A Lazy Food Bloggers Journey

Hey Folks,

Welcome back to Vegan Month of Food 2015! A lot has changed since my last posts, best of all I have started working in a Vegan Resturant Kitchen here in Halifax (EXCITED). You can check out my new work place Wild Leek in Halifax on Windsor st or on social media or our website

In bonus news just as VEGANMOFO began our fridge broke, so we've been without one for a week or so and are just now finding out our landlords have bought a new one (which won't arrive until Tuesday, sadness). Basically, what this all means is I am likely going to keep my posts short, and they will likely be on social media for a few days before I get a chance to move them over here.

And on the weekends, they will likely be posts about my work!

 This wasn't the first time I'd made cupcakes at work, but this was my first shot making them by myself and icing them, anyone who has seen my dessert food porn or this blog knows decorating isn't my forte. But I think these guys turned out pretty great, they are our basic vegan vanilla cupcakes with a chocolate mint icing and vegan mint candies that I painstakingly sliced into thinner translucent slices for magic.

 Daily special was a brilliant 'spicy' tomato chickpea soup, which I ate for lunch with the pakora burger! So good a few regulars asked us to place it on the menu. I added raw jalapenos to both my sandwich and soup and it was amazing.

The pakora burger was topped with our vegan house mayo, a ginger date chutney, bitter lettuce greens and cucumber. Great mixture of sweet, savory, crispy and creamy. We used an assortment of veggies in the pakora (cauliflower, spinach, onion, carrot, etc)

Saturday, March 14, 2015

March Cookbook Challenge!

From the lovely minds of the PPK, I've signed back up for a cookbook challenge to cook at least a few things from an honest to goodness book.

I also signed up for a cookbook swap with the Halifax Veg*n FB group, and got two cookbooks from another HRM Vegan. So this Month I am cooking from those.

So Far~!
Challenge : Cook from the book
Book : Martha Stewart's Meatless
Impressions: lots of easy/basic intro to making vegetables taste good, reliance on fresh ingredients and simply showcasing basic cooking techniques.

This is likely a book I really enjoyed flipping through and have bookmarked about a million things to make, but for the most part I will likely use this book for inspiration or a basic direction rather than a true every day go to book. Like a lot of non VEGAN specific authors/books, it does some pretty tasty vegan dishes and sides but mostly its a lot of making vegetables not taste bad and nothing that is super mind blowing (but maybe PPKers/authors like Isa, Terry, Joanna, Kelly, Katie, Kittee, Julie, Joni etc have ruined me for other authors)

Now the good stuff, photos and recipes tried!

Roasted ChickPea/Eggplant Stew
This was super easy and one of those dishes I could see myself turning to when there is wayward eggplant in the fridge on a busy week night. Eggplant aside, I always have the rest of the ingredients if I sub dried herbs for fresh (because im not a millionaire).

I love that the recipe has everything roasting on one pan all at once to make it an easy throw together, the stew was very thick and tasty the next day with Vegan Naan for lunch. It was pretty earthy and salty, and definitely good but not something I would go out of my way to make

Roasted Chickpea/Eggplant Stew PG136-137
Italian Baked Eggplant with Seitan

This was another recipe that was pretty easy to make because I had a huge batch of julie ( famous seitan sausages I needed to use up. The recipe looks way fancier in the picture, but I left my roommate jae in to prep and he said he found it a little cumbersome/involved for a week night meal. The end result was good, but someone not quite what I envisioned. I might try this one again with a more hands on approach, overall it was a decent filling one dish meal but the steps of breading the eggplant wasn't as low key/tasty as I had hoped. Still good and gave us lots of leftovers and didn't feel like we were missing anything by eating this by itself (since it has eggplant, tomato, spinach and seitan)
PP. 168-168

It also photographs much better.

There is another eggplant dish, I am regretting not trying for a simple dip. I have a feeling the simpler recipes are where this book will really shine showcasing vibrant fresh produce and ingredients w

I think in the future, I would try breading all the eggplant, it seems like this dish aims for a more casserole like dish and our presentation might be to blame for it's middle ground achievement.

I still really love reading through this book and have a weak spot for Martha, so while I wouldn't pay full price for this book and feel it's target is better suited for non-veg*n looking to learn how to eat more vegetables or even learn how to cook some veg*n food. I will probably buy this guy used or on sale, because I am a sucker for well edited books with lots of photos