9:50 PM

Amy's Organic Veggie Burgers

These are yummy.

I barbecued mine and Dave had a regular burger. Made some guacamole and topped heavily. Threw a side spinach salad alongside it.


7:44 PM

Baking is My Favourite

No real time to post with the family visiting, but lookie what I made today. Golden vanilla cupcakes with coconut pecan frosting, another from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World.

Pure vegan, baby.

8:10 PM

I Can't Believe It's Not Butter Chicken

So tonight, I made my first foray into the world of cooking with tofu. And you know what? It was freaking great!

I am a huge fan of Indian food and have been craving it madly lately. Naturally, my favourite dish is butter chicken, and I was totally forlorn that I could no longer have it. But with Dave requesting mini-pizzas for dinner (ugh, I know), I decided to grab some tofu and coconut milk and give something new a shot. Et voila! My very own recipe. And, no, GroupRecipes won't do apostrophes in recipe names, which is why the contraction was expanded there.

I added spinach for kicks, as I tend to think it tastes good in everything, but you obviously don't have to.

Tonight, I'm going for a new batch of vegan cupcakes - I'd intended to last night, but after my food processor kind of crapped out due to the peanut butter experiment and I didn't make it to Williams-Sonoma today, I'm going to go with a new standard. I will make two dozen so the work people can share in my giddiness.

I should be sainted. Honestly.

7:29 PM


And the eating is fresh!

I don't yet have the KitchenAid pasta-making attachments, but I nonetheless bought a package of Olivieri fettucine tonight and opted for fresh with this recipe for Summer Splendor Pasta.

The only variations I went for were as follows:

  1. Pan fried the zucchini with a little oil instead of boiling it.
  2. Cooked the sauce with a little oil instead of using water.
  3. Skipped the wine (none in the house, booo).
  4. Added a sprinkle of oregano.
  5. Added a teaspoon or so of sugar.
I haven't made zucchini... um, I don't think ever. I always get things with zucchini in them at restaurants, but for some reason it's never occurred to me to make it myself. Silly. In any case, it added serious fresh flavour (appropriate, given the name) and I was super happy. Didn't feel like I had any diet restrictions whatsoever.

Next up, I made bunnyrock's homemade peanut butter. I added about a quarter cup of agave syrup to this, as I'm still getting used to sweet-free nut butters. And I don't know if my blender is just giving me crap or what, but I'm having a tough time getting it to a texture similar to hers in this picture. Why? It's a GE! Don't fail me now, Jack Welch/Jack Donaghy! (Either way, I used pumpkin pie spice - cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves - and it tastes damn delicious.)

I will be giving the raw vegan brownies from 28 Cooks a shot once I figure out if my blender can handle them.

5:52 PM

Proven├žal is So Done

I made this tonight.

I am so done with olives and capers. I think I made it too much with chicken last summer. Dave found it fine, but I was all meh. Also, halibut is really boring in flavour. I added so many tastes and it still tasted kind of like... nothing with olives and capers. And really fishy fish. Meh again.

It didn't help that Dave's white basmati smelled amazing and I mixed up the burners with my brown wild rice, leaving it mushy on the outside and chewy on the inside.

No matter, I'm making a new batch of cupcakes tonight and they'll make all right with the world.

11:37 AM

Getting Fresh

So last night I went to Rockstar Hotel - read the whole scoop here.

On the food front, all turned out peachy. The whole gang did a huge sushi platter for dinner, which was just fine for my little tummy. I stuck with vodka cranberries for the evening, though I politely sipped champagne and a green tea martini before forcing my client to chug them for me (she knows the deal and I don't like attention and questions). Hah.

The Fresh lunch yesterday was pretty great. I had grilled cornbread, an energy bowl sans chickpea/vegetable stew, and rocket fuel sans espresso. It was pretty fabulous, though I felt a few sharp pangs afterwards. (Suspect the curried coconut milk may have been full fat, which may have been a little tough to process, but it wasn't bad enough that I wouldn't have it again. Hah!) Amy is awesome and we had a really great chat, followed by a little shopping around Queen West. Fun!

I also picked up the Fresh cookbook while I was out and am currently learning about tofu, tempeh, and some other crazy soy-based hippie foods that I will be living on. (I am only partially kidding.)

The Starbucks situation is happily resolved with the iced soy green tea latte. Better than no fun drink, and good to get the soymilk in (hey, did you know that it's supposed to be one word? learned that in my new cookbook).

So today will involve a little Home Depot, a little gardening my cement yard, and a little grocery shopping for the coming week. Dinner is currently up in the air, but I'm thinking maybe something from my new cookbook would be a fit. Though so would more trout... mmmmm.

Have a good one!

11:38 AM

Weekends O' Fun

So today, I'm meeting my awesome friend Amy for lunch at Fresh. I will surely review what I eat.

The last two days have been kind of nuts. Thursday was a big work event. On my husband's assurance that something mild would be a-okay as she said limit not entirely avoid the booze, I dared to try a vodka and cranberry in a tall glass - and it went down just fine. (I waited two hours after I finished to be certain, then so did the second. Hah.) I am pleased to discover that I may have to swear off nachos, but I officially don't have to avoid patios for the rest of the summer.

In any case, it was a super late night and then I was completely exhausted yesterday. I fell asleep at maybe 10PM and just got up at 11AM.

Thirteen hours! Sad, honestly.

But now I'm revitalized, which is good seeing as I have that Amy lunch, then am going to work on the great outdoors known as my tiny yard al day, and will follow the whole thing up with Rockstar Hotel with clients. We're in possession of VVIP passes, which apparently means we will get gifted with celeb-type bags o' stuff. That's the only reason I agreed, as I have no idea what to where and generally hate things that start at 10:30PM. Hah!

Oh yeah, and I made swordfish and red lentils for dinner last night. Must not forget that swordfish most definitely needs flavours of some sort pre-cooking (forgot to do this in my rush to eat something and it was rather bland) and red lentils needed far more spices than green, but cook much more easily.

8:55 PM

Les Challenges

As I sit here watching Rock of Love (I know!), I am considering today's failings.

First up: I put my oat/quinoa blend on this morning before getting in the shower. Then it burned. Then I tried to salvage what wasn't burned. Then I added flax oil to try to get more good stuff in. Then I wished I'd only put in one teaspoon instead of two. Ew.

The mid-day was fine, then came the evening.

I got stuck in traffic. It took me nearly ninety minutes to do my fifteen minute drive home. That said, I knew I was returning home to yummy sushi. Sadly, it hadn't occurred to me that sushi could have sneaky elements. Sadly, I forgot that spicy salmon rolls have little tempura bits. Boo! Unfair!

But I did buy that cupcake book today! Dave is happy to point out that, though I have yet to master vegan cooking overall, I have taken charge of the cupcake situation like a professional. But they have so many options! Ganache! Fillings! Frostings! Snickerdoodle flavour!

Tomorrow... I'm thinking fresh pasta. Well, grocery store fresh (until I get the KitchenAid Mixer pasta attachments). Like that! But without shrimp. I also need to pick up some tomatoes, cocoa, and... oh, I swear there's something else. Anyway. Yes! Fresh pasta.

9:20 PM

Vegan Cupcakes Take Over My Kitchen

Anyone who knows me is familiar with my cupcake addiction. Any time there's an occasion to celebrate, I call for cupcakes. At my thirtieth birthday, my adorable friends and family bought me the ones from The Cupcake Shoppe. I am a woman obsessed.

Naturally, with my MBA graduation around the corner (June 20th, to be precise), I'd been planning a post-convocation evening of lush food, minor boozy debauchery, and decadent cupcakes labeled "Master JQ". Yet alas, as you know, my body will now have none of this.

I facebook-emailed my awesome friend Melissa, who's not only a guru of baked delights, but also particularly skilled in healthy eating. She directed me to Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, and (though I haven't yet made the purchase, I found my beta test online) I currently have a dozen of these little goodies in the oven. (The recipes makes a dozen.)

I used rice milk instead of soy milk and am skipping the frosting, but otherwise stayed true. The batter was thin and delicious. (Yeah, I'm a taste-tester.) They smell flipping crazy amazing. According to the Sparkpeople Recipe Calculator, each wee cake has just over 150 calories and 6.6g of fat. Totally do-able.

I'll let you know how they taste tomorrow.

7:56 PM

I Love Trout

I have never made it myself. Weird, right? I had it reasonably often as a kid, but have never once had it as an adult.

Sea salt, black pepper, fresh lemon, bake.

Not kidding here. I was in love with it. I love it more than salmon. I think it's my new favourite fish. It was all I could do to put the rest back in the fridge when I so could've just eaten it. Lunch!

In other news: After she asked me if I needed any help, I asked the girl behind the seafood counter at Loblaws what types of fish were cold water. She looked sheepishly at me and said, "Ummm, I'm just covering..." Will keep trying to find out.

9:47 PM

Lentils: Good Side Dish...

Not my favourite as a main.

I tried to try Leslie's lentil phyllo thing tonight sans roasted veggies, but unfortunately Loblaw's was out of phyllo pastry. And I couldn't find organic sweet potatoes, so I just went with plain mashed. And the lentils took way too long to cook properly, so the potatoes were done way early. And when they were, I just ended up throwing them into a salad, as I was barely hungry anymore.


They were reasonably tasty, but would've been far better as a side to, say, swordfish. (Is that a cold water fish? How the hell do I find out what fish are cold water? Why isn't Wikipedia helping me?)

UPDATE: I threw the lentils in my next day's lunch spinach salad with some rice, tomatoes, avocado, and lemon. No disappointment remains. Delish!

7:49 PM

Cleaning House

So aww, I haven't updated since November. No matter, really. In short, here's what happened:

  • We moved into our house. Yay!
  • We started doing renos. Yay!
  • The person who was the sole source of major issues is no longer at my company. Yay!
  • The partners let me relaunch it. New name. Yay!
  • I started working like a maniac.
  • I stopped working out diligently.
  • I stopped eating properly.
  • I traveled like a freak.
  • I went out constantly.
  • I got worn the heck out.
  • I ended up in the ER.
  • Oops?
So indeed, here's what's up now: I am re-finding le balance. It's tough for me because I adore work and I love getting to do what I do, but after the week I've just had (and my doctor's demands)? Yeah, I'm doing it.

To get my sorry self through, I must of course write my way out.

Tonight! Salmon bowl!
  • Salmon
  • Baby spinach
  • Brown basmati
  • Avocado
  • Grape tomatoes
  • Lemon
And what to do?
  1. Throw salmon on a pan with lemon squirted all over it into oven at 350 - give it thirty minutes.
  2. Make rice as per bag directions.
  3. Make a really simple salsa of 1/2 avocado, a bunch of chopped up tomatoes, and squirted lemon. (Could've added onion and garlic and spices too, but am re-introducing foods one baby step at a time.)
  4. Throw baby spinach in a bowl. Add a small piece of cooked salmon and a spoonful or two of rice. Douse the top with the mild salsa.
So that was really good, and totally do-able for my finicky boy. Dave just had the salmon with rice and butter and was every bit as happy as I was.

Here's another delish recipe care of my awesome mother-in-law that I enjoyed at breakfast today.
  • 2T steel cut oats
  • 2T quinoa
  • 1/2C water
  • 1/2C rice milk
  • Cinnamon/nutmeg/whatever sprinkle (1/4t or so)
  • 1/4C currants
And the how?
  1. Mix.
  2. Bring to a boil.
  3. Cook on low-medium for 15 minutes.
Okay, so I'm still basic. But it was good and I don't want to forget!

Next up? Leslie's braised lentils in phyllo. Now I've always thought that phyllo were pure butter, but indeed she posted the PC brand nutritional info and they're free of saturated fats, and only contain 0.5g per sheet of any whatsoever. Digestable! I will skip the roasted veg, add a big side salad, but keep the sweet potatoes. Dave will be going regular on the potato, but is otherwise pretty into this.

Please advise as to what else I should be eating if you have clever ideas. I am basically restricted to anything that doesn't contain animal product. Eggs remain questionable - some say yes and some say no - and, as far as fish goes, it's preferable if it's cold-water only. No dairy, no red meat, pork and chicken should be very limited.

Easy, right?