What’s up in my kitchen

A whole lot – that’s what!

First, I’ve been continuing to make it my own and embracing my open shelving. I’ll need to share an update with some of my new wedding gifts making their appearance.IMG_20160417_161448

Second – a whole lot of smoothies! I’ve really been loving that Blend-tec lately. As I was waiting to see a specialist about my tummy issues I saw a naturopath who suggested I add a daily smoothie with l-glutamine and protein powder. That was an opportunity to try a whole bunch of new recipes… favourites include: Snickerdoodle Smoothie from Tasty Yummies, this Red Velvet Smoothie with Cashew Cream from Keeping it Kind’s book “But I Could Never Go Vegan” and a Sunshine Breakfast Jar from Faring Well. Although most mornings it’s just a combo of whatever is in my fridge and freezer!

And the third big update is obviously making everything gluten free and learning a bit more about gluten free substitutes. For instance – gluten free panko breadcrumbs didn’t seem to work so well pre-baking for these veggie burgers. The regular panko are on the right and pretty perfect – the gluten free were sticky messy globs.

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However – the oven did it’s magic and both burgers turned out just fine. These baked eggplant burgers from the Tolerant Vegan were incredibly delicious. A burger with hummus in it has to be a win in our home! And the gluten free buns were okay – but I’ve also learned that I only ever need one – I’d rather have a second burger bun-less thanks!IMG_20160625_185542

I picked up both of Deliciously Ella‘s books to help me through my detox and transition and those have been so helpful. The other night I made her quinoa pizza crust and was really happy with it. And I’ve had her speedy porridge all the time!

And finally, just a few favourite recipes over the last few months include:

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Kinda Vegan February 

My stomach has been a bit off since returning from my holiday trip so I’ve decided to keep a food journal and dabble with the elimination diet. First to be eliminated was dairy – which meant the first half of February was almost vegan (apart from some eggs). Friday was my birthday celebrations and the end of my two weeks without dairy so I have been enjoying cheese all weekend (with no ill effects). Maybe my tummy troubles were just a fluke?

This Quinoa with moroccan winter squash and carrot stew from Bon Appetit was a wonderful warm winter meal. And I got to use some of the saffron I picked up in the Dubai spice market:

The Oh She Glows Cookbook has been at my side for this adventure.Enlightened miso power bowl – why yes I do!
 The Super Foodie Superfood Breakfast Bowl from Camille Styles was another good winter recipe. Gets you ready to face a cold winter day.

And finally – another warming bowl for our cold February – Chickpea and Butternut Squash Curry. I substituted the curry/korma paste for a lot of curry powder which I had on hand and it worked out pretty well.

There were lots of other recipes in the kitchen over the past few weeks too (including a few pre-dairy elimination):

Playing Catch-up

Coming back from vacation is always a challenge – especially when you catch a bug on the return trip as I did last week. Jet lag, a weakened system and many many emails at work has left me just trying to keep up, but I do want to make sure I get in at least one post each week!

My future #VeggieTravels will be coming soon, but first what’s cooking this week?

After being on the road I was craving some good home-cooking!

For breakfasts this week it’s been Coconut almond flaxseed muffins from Hip Foodie Mom. I had greek yogurt in the fridge and used that in place of yogurt which left these muffins very hearty and dense (probably too much actually). The taste is good though – I’ll be making them again sometime with more fluid or regular yogurt.

Our lunches have been a mix of Chickpea Salad sandwiches/wraps from Oh She Glows (one of my all time lunch favourites) and Sweet Potato Minestrone with Chickpeas and Pesto from Sunday Morning Banana Pancakes. So yum. I had never thought of adding pesto to soup and it gives so much flavour and smells fantastic. The chickpeas and noodles make this really hearty as well.

For Sunday dinner I made this Lentil and Mushroom Loaf with Savoury Potato Filling found on Buzzfeed from Heathen Vegan. The site and formatting is pretty rudimentary (and hasn’t been updated since early 2012), but the results were great. Just because there isn’t a pretty picture doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not worth trying. Sometimes when you’re craving home-cooking you want something familiar and a Sunday night loaf like this is just the key. I believe I called it “Fall on a Plate” Here’s my photo to give you a bit of an idea.

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Home is where ever I’m with you

I have been a bad blogger lately, but there is a good reason….

We bought a home!

Time to say goodbye to our fun little condo, but I’m looking forward to having more space and potential projects. All of the time I was spending on pinterest and instagram looking at weddings has been replaced with homes and DIYs. So addictive! I’ll have to add a few new links to my favourite blogs page soon.

I’ve also made some good food over the past few weeks…. Starting With the spiced chickpea wraps with tahini dressing from Thug Kitchen. Their book has some good recipes based on what I’ve tried so far (this one and the smoky maple tofu marinade) and plan to try in the future. The language is amusing at first, but becomes a bit tedious – but that won’t stop me from getting some vegan yum.

 

      

 

And that second one may not look as appetizing, but it was tasting great: tofu chickpea stirfry with tahini sauce from the kitchn. Super tasty!

This week I picked up my friend Shannon’s CSA box while she was out of town and there was a lot of asparagus to use so we had some eggs florentine with asparagus for breakfast this morning. Our CSA box will be starting in the next two weeks and I cannot wait. I’ve also wanted to try it out – lots of fresh local produce – and cooking challenges. Can’t wait!

 

And the others:

  • Taiwanese cold sesame noodles from Vegetarian Times magazine. Similar to the cold pad thai salad from last time (B preferred), but I preferred this one. I think it was all about the texture. I have had a lot of great veg recipes from VT over the years – I always look forward to reading a new issue.
  • Chickpea Sliders from Take A Megabite. Her pictures are always so cute and the food is good too. I made these full size (and they still stayed together!) and without the adorable pink buns – next time!
  • Pineapple guacamole from Gimme Some Oven. Pineapple makes everything better. And this tasted like summer!
  • Chatelaine shared some unique spins on coleslaw for the summer. I tried the honey-lime one and loved it, especially when I had all of the ingredients already on hand.
  • This one’s been on my list to try for lunches for quite awhile – Almond-flaked tuna salad from Oh She Glows. It was alright, but I much prefer the similar Chickpea version from her cookbook.
  • I wish I’d taken a photo of this Crispy Baked Peanut Tofu from the Minimalist Baker. Not only did it taste delicious, but we scarfed it down between talking to our realtor about selling the condo and having someone knock on our door and want to buy it. So I’d call it Lucky Crispy Baked Peanut Tofu ;D
  • Buy too many tomatoes at Costco? This Skillet Tomato Casserole with White Beans and Croutons from Well Plated by Erin will fix that problem. It was really good. This was my first visit to her blog and I will be back.
  •  Another new-to-me blog, Delightful-Delicious-Delovely, shared this Spicy Vegan Chinese Eggplant recipe that was super-good. Our new place is close to a great smelling Chinese restaurant so this might be a good alternative to have at home when the air smells tasty.

Easter Dinner

This week in recipes started strong with Easter celebrations and deliciousness but that took a lot of my cooking energies so the rest of the week was pretty heavily left-over and simple stuff focused. We also had to prep for a visit from my parents to talk wedding plans and budget so that took a lot of the focus this week (and my plans for another mid-week blog post on another creative avenue – stay tuned for that this week)!

We had a small Easter dinner for just the two of us last Saturday night – knowing we had plans on Sunday and I had to work Monday. First we stopped at another local brewery, Dominion City Brewing Co., to get something to go along side. Their Lost Train Oatmeal Stout was the perfect combination with our hearty meal. Main dish was a Lentil Walnut Loaf from the Oh She Glows Cookbook. Angela makes the most amazing, delicious, creative vegan dishes and this was no exception. Without a doubt the best veg holiday meal I’ve made and will probably be made many times from now on! Our side was Lightened-Up Sweet Potato Casserole from How Sweet It Is. I don’t think I’ve ever had a sweet potato casserole and I’ve always been intrigued (marshmallows – hello!), but this wasn’t really a huge hit for me.

Easter Sunday kicked off with some adorable pancakes courtesy of Brent and featuring some more of that salted maple butter (mmm mmm good!)

Only two other recipes made it in this week:

  • Coconut Cottontails: Cute, easy and perfect for a visit to a celiac friend’s on Easter! I also love when I see a recipe and have all of the ingredients on hand, meant to be!
  • BBQ Chickpea Chopped Salad with Avocado Ranch: The avocado ranch dressing was different and really tasty. The BBQ chickpeas were a bit blah. I didn’t find that part worked so well, but I liked the idea.