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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Open shelves – before

I’m about to depart on a vacation so not exactly the time to start a new creativity project, but I know what will be on my list to tackle when I return….

One of my hesitations with our new home and new kitchen was the open shelving. It’s not something I am used to, but I know it is on trend right now and I’m willing to try it out. Our kitchen does not have any above counter closed shelving, just the two open shelves pictured below.

I have attempted to use some basic design ideas to set them up for the time being, but am faced with a few challenges:

  1. Without having any above counter closed shelving we do have a lot of dishes, supplies to keep close at hand
  2. We need to decide on “places” for everything so things always end up back in the same place
  3. It’s hard to explain why I want three bowls on two different shelves instead of all six in one spot. I know it’s not fully logical, but it looks so much better

I am looking forward to reading up a bit more about styling tips and suggestions and learning how to maximize AND stylize this space.

And while we’re at an update… what have I made since my last update? Well I’m not quite sure – I sorted my document and now I’m at a loss. Luckily I can tell a lot of the ones from my Pinterest updates. There may be a few missed hardcopies, but this is still a good list:

Enjoy the rest of your early fall – ciao!

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.

 

 

Me + Food

Before I get to this past week in food I should go back to the beginning…


The year was 1995, I was ten years old and the movie industry loved pigs. You probably remember “Babe” – it was nominated for the Best Picture Oscar. I remember Gordy. IMDB describes it as “A talking pig named Gordy becomes involved in a quest to save his family from the slaughterhouse. An impressionable young girl like me realized exactly what that meant the moment a pig in the film turned into a sausage and I have not had the same relationship with food since.

gordy

I would divide those past twenty years as follows:

  • 8 years of eating meatless meals and being annoyed at having to help my mother try to make healthy alternatives for the only non-meat eater in the family. I can still remember trying (failing!) to make my own TVP meatballs.
  • 3 years of eating terribly in University. My doctor was impressed I could still function given how bad my diet was.
  • 6 years of eating slightly better and learning about food and cooking for real.
  • 3 years of obsessively saving and seeking out amazing vegetarian/vegan recipes on Pinterest and an assortment of blogs.

In those three years I have amassed a spreadsheet with more than 2000 different recipes I have tried or want to try in the future (did I mention obsessive?). I’m sure I’ll get back to this again in the future!

So which of those recipes did I make this past week?

  • Catherine from Rabbit Food for my Bunny Teeth’s Fluffy Oats and Two Ingredient Coconut Macaroons which was brilliant. I don’t know if I will be able to eat a bowl of oatmeal without a coconut macaroon again
  • Clementine Daily’s Spicy Tamari Tofu. This was the first recipe I’ve made from their site and I was impressed. Also it wasn’t too spicy for me which is sometimes a concern. B was able to up the spice to his level too.
  • Andrea from Dishing Up the Dirt shared this Carrot & Broccoli Salad with Miso Ginger Dressing and warned that it could become part of your everyday rotation. I definitely had every drip of the dressing over the past week and need to buy more miso to make it again!Huevos by B
  • Last night B made the most delicious Huevos Rancheros. I still need a recipe to cook, but my man likes to take whatever is in the fridge and make and plate something fantastic. It is a pretty sweet combination.