Exams all done! Dinner with some wonderful friends: salmon, veggies, and crispy smashed potatoes!
Open-faced egg salad sandwich with fresh pea shoots! The greens came from a fantastic event I attended the night before, which was on local foods and farming. It was a really interesting presentation that has helped me put my thoughts on food/veganism/etc into perspective (I’ll probably talk about this when I write about how my Vegan Challenge went, which tbh will probably not be until after exams haha). There was also some fabulous free food and wine at the event, which just made it even better. ;)
Baked salmon, baked potato wedges, and (best of all) broccoli fresh from the farmer’s market. I was feeling particularly indulgent and added some butter to the broccoli, which I haven’t done in a long time—I forgot how damn good it tastes. Mmm.
I had my wonderful Breakfast Club friends over last night for a potluck dinner (we make breakfast for elementary school kids in the mornings). Often potlucks end up kind of bland and not very interesting to look at, but not last night! Colours all around and delicious to boot.
^ The spread!
^ My cilantro-lime corn and black bean pasta salad.
^ Colleen’s fabulous bruschetta-like topping and whipped feta spread o baguette.
^ Claire’s cheese platter (Camembert and Boursin with balsamic glaze), inspired by the cheesiness of our love for each other. ;) <3
My breakfast from the first day after my vegan diet challenge! (I’ll write a separate post profiling how that went when I get a chance). I reeeeally missed eggs and cheese during those three weeks, so this omelette with sauteed onions, arugula/spinach, and 2-year-aged Balderson cheddar cheese was even more amazing.
Made some vegan pad thai for dinner, yum yum~ Coating the tofu in cornstarch before pan frying really helps crisp it up and give it a nice texture!
Some oatmeal with cinnamon, banana, sunflower seeds, dried cranberries, and peanut butter for breakfast today. Protop: a big spoon of peanut butter in your oatmeal is keeeeeey. It just adds such a great dimension of creaminess and nuttiness.
More chia seed pudding on this fine Sunday morning! Today I topped it with chopped almonds, kiwi, and some vegan chocolate icing. :D
Best vegan dinner yet!! Augh this was so fabulous. So I made these black bean burgers and they were just great—awesome texture and flavour, and they held together pretty well (I baked them in the oven). I loaded up this thin, multigrain pita-style burger bun with mixed lettuce greens, the warm black bean patty, avocado, tomatoes, sauteed mushrooms, and some homemade pumpkin hummus. I also drizzled this great balsamic glaze over everything after I took the photo and let me tell you, was that ever a good decision. The best part is that I put the extra patties in the freezer and now I can enjoy this again whenever I want over the coming exam weeks. Wahooooo. So content right now!
The vegan vanilla cupcakes Jenn and I made tonight, with some killer green vegan icing and raspberries. Yummyyyy. We followed this recipe but used applesauce instead of oil. :)
Now I’m really exploring the deeper side of the vegan diet. Last night I roasted a butternut squash and pureed it with soy milk, spices, and nutritional yeast to make vegan mac and cheese! Only without the cheese…and the macaroni (penne had to do). I didn’t really know what to expect but I did like the end result. The texture over the pasta was really creamy and nice. The nutritional yeast gave it a unique nutty/cheesy flavour and the sauce went well with the broccoli and cherry tomatoes I added for colour.
The Healthy Cooking Club at my school is holding a Twitter challenge and this is my entry! The person with the most favourites on their tweet by this Sunday will receive a $55 basket of goodies (specialty teas, coffees, jams, chocolates, cheeses, and more) from Cooke’s Fine Foods! Please support me by clicking favourite on my tweet! (I typed “favouriting” at first but it got marked as incorrect spelling and now I’m sitting here considering whether it’s a word. Oh man…) Click here for the tweet!
Chia seed pudding! Okay, this is going to look and sound pretty bizarre, but it was actually delicious. Chia seeds come from a Mexican desert plant and, when you first get them, look like beautiful, tiny, oblong pebbles. Besides meriting a ton of amazing health properties, this superfood has the ability to ability to soak up ten times its weight in liquid. To make chia seed pudding, mix three tablespoons of chia seeds with one cup of liquid, cover, and let it sit in the fridge overnight. That’s it! When you wake up in the morning, the seeds will have expanded to form a creamy, gelatinous kind of pudding (think tapioca pudding but with way less work involved).
At that point, it’s all up to you to customize it! I think a lot of people add some maple syrup and vanilla to the mixture before putting it in the fridge overnight; I didn’t have either, but I used vanilla soymilk and a bit of sugar and I really liked the way it tasted. You can also top it with whatever you want: berries, bananas, mangoes, oranges, nuts, cinnamon, chocolate, granola….
If you want to read more about the health benefits of chia seeds and see some more photos of what you can do with them, here’s a great blog post to check out! Click here.
Vegan fried rice. Threw in onion, carrots, cabbage, tofu, and diced vegan “Italian sausage”…which I weirdly enjoyed a lot more in this Asian-style dish than I did in an Italian pasta dish (see my post from last week).
Finally got to exercise some vegan creativity in the kitchen! I’ve been so busy lately I haven’t been home much and so I’ve been sticking to the basics. Thankfully, I was home on Sunday and so I got to test out some new recipes. Like this one: tofu chicken nuggets. It sounds weird, I know, but they actually turned out way better than I expected. I tore firm tofu into chunks, dipped them in a mixture of water and spices, rolled them in panko bread crumbs, and baked them in the oven. Super crispy and flavourful, with a really nice texture and crunch! I wish I had a more interesting dipping sauce but ketchup did well anyway. Also had some homemade oven fries and broccoli. Will definitely make again.