Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Trying new recipes

I just finished going through all my photos from recently - I have so many yummy food pics to share and I'm so behind!. I keep snapping pics of our food then it seems a few weeks go by before I get them off my camera and ready to share. I find this time of the year to be very busy - its getting nice out so we are spending more time outside plus we have outside work to do now. Soccer season has started so we are busy a few nights a week with that plus art lessons and swimming lessons, etc. I know, I always have an excuse ;)

On to the food, a few months back I got the Oh She Glows cookbook at Costco. I love her blog and her book is excellent too. So this first recipe is on her blog, not in her book. Its called the Dinosaur Dill Crunch Salad with Salt & Vinegar Roasted Chickpeas. Her picture is much much prettier than mine but really it all taste them same in your mouth right!



So how did it taste? Well the 2 bites I had were delicious but as soon as my kids saw me eating they were right there asking for a bite which ended up (as usual) with me splitting my lunch between the two of them. And they gobbled it up so I guess thats 2 thumbs up times 3! I especially liked the dressing and my kids liked it on just a regular tossed salad so check it out. 

That Saturday was cold - it was a mixture of rain and snow out and barely above zero. So soup was in order for supper. I had a big batch of chickpeas that I had made in my pressure cooker to use up and I had some red pepper in my fridge that also needed to be used up and so the roasted red pepper and chickpea soup was born. I basically just roasted the red peppers in the oven then I sauteed carrots, celery and onion in a large pot, added the chickpeas and covered with veg. stock (just till there was maybe an inch over the chickpeas) threw in the roasted peppers and let the whole thing simmer for about 30 min. Then I pureed the whole thing in my vitamix with about half a cup of raw cashews to give it some creaminess. Everyone loved it and I've made it a few times since.




Brownies. I have been on the search for the perfect vegan brownie recipe for the last 6.5 years. Well search no more. Below is the perfect rich, fudgy, decadent vegan brownie. Don't believe me? Check it out.




This recipe is in the Oh She Glows cookbook and honestly it is worth purchasing the book for this recipe alone. Certainly not an everyday recipe but perfect when you want a decadent treat. Needless to say that pan did not last long.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Happy May the 4th!




Happy May the 4th everyone! My kids are obsessed with this video even though they haven't ever watched any of the Star Wars movies. I actually posted this a few years back but thought it would be fun to repost it today :)

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Happy Earth Day!

Happy Earth Day! Today was a beautiful warm day so to kick off our earth day celebrations we enjoyed a sunny walk to school this morning. The girls always take a snack in either their planetboxes if they bring a lunch to school or a reuseable container if they are coming home for lunch (which is more often than not these days)  but today they decided to bring an apple and banana for a snack - something that had its own compostible wrapper :)

As I mentioned above the girls are often coming home for lunch which has actually been really nice for me. Its easier to make them something at home for lunch than to pack a lunch for them in the morning. Plus I feel like the benefit from having a break from school for a bit. They don't get to come home every day but 3 or 4 days of the week they do. I often give them leftovers for lunch. Last night they wanted tacos for dinner so we had roasted chickpeas with all the fixings (chapped tomatoes, green onions, guac, salsa, black olives and lettuce).  Today for lunch they opted to have all the taco fillings on a plate and scoop it up with organic tortilla chips. I have noticed that since they come home for lunch they are eating a lot more at lunch. They also had some organic strawberries and watermelon on the side.




For dinner I was going to make the pad thai from the vegan table with the sauteed asparagus from the same book. Unfortunately when I went to prep the asparagus it was all slimy and funky :(  We had really been looking forward to it - we haven't had that recipe for quite some time and we thought it would be a treat for earth day. So we had our pad thai with some broccolini and it was really good. I was going to make roasted tamari chickpeas to go on top but I realized that we had already had chickpeas in our tacos from lunch and thought the kids might not be too happy with that so instead I made some gardein chickin fingers on the side. What can I say - we try to eat whole foods all the time but sometimes in a pinch....


Yesterday at Costco I picked up the Oh She glows cookbook. After flipping through it the girls picked out the chocolate pudding cake recipe as the first to try. Apparently we had to have a special dessert to celebrate Earth Day (any excuse for dessert!). I was a little unsure when I put it in the oven but it came out awesome!





With a little scoop of vanilla coconut milk ice cream on the top it was fabulous. I found it super rich and only had a few bites but it was great and I would certainly make it again for guest. It felt like a decadent dessert so if you wanted to make something that will impress give this one a whirl. There is a gluten free brownie recipe in the book that looks fantastic so I plan on making that one very soon.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Black Bean Sliders

Lately I've been trying my hand at making more of our bread. I like the Silver Hills sprouted breads and the One Degree Veganic breads but nothing beats fresh bread right out of the oven. I've also started buy our flours from a local farmer who does old heritage varieties of wheat and we've been really happy with them. For baking bread we've been using a variety called Park Wheat which has excellent flavour.   I use my bread machine and just use the dough setting to do the mixing and then I form the buns by hand and let them rise then bake and voila - fresh homemade bread!

So the other day I tried a new black bean burger recipe a la veggie kids and I decided to make them slider size and make some slider buns. They turned out great and i made sure I made enough to have leftovers for lunch the next day!





Saturday, November 9, 2013

Baking

Ugh - its been a long time since I did a post no?! I don't know why i find it so daunting to sit down and edit my photos for the blog but I do and that is why I usually fall off the blogging wagon. But I'm determined to get through the back log of pics that I have - including my Thanksgiving pics (I'm cringing - I worked so hard to make sure i got pics of everything and I STILL haven't done a thanksgiving post a month later!)

Anyways on with the food! Even though its still technically fall here we have snow so it feels like winter. And when the colder weather comes I get bit hard by the baking bug. My kids are really digging pumpkin things lately so I made them some pumpkin spice donuts. They were a success! 



I was also making some treats for their lunch boxes. I try to send a pretty colourful, healthy lunch but i like to send a treat everyday too. I made the oatmeal raisin cookies from ED&BV and added some mini chocolate chips in. Yummy and certainly healthier than many cookie recipes out there!


But we can't live off of baked goods alone. We were running low on groceries but I managed to scrap together and fairly decent dinner - roasted tamari chickpeas, steamed broccoli, quinoa and I made the sauce from the Cashew Garlic Broccoli from The Vegan Table to drizzle over the bowls. The sauce is such a hit in out family - you could put it on anything and my kids would eat it!


Saturday, October 12, 2013

Getting ready for Thanksgiving

We are running off our feet getting ready for Thanksgiving over here. I had a plan to be all organized this past week then life happened - my youngest got hit with a stomach bug. She was home sick Tuesday throwing up and then just when i thought she was better she had a way too busy day Thursday and was puking again at 11pm that night. So she was home Friday from school and devasted about it because her class was making apple crisp that day (her teacher even got earth balance to make it so Ollie could eat it too!) and i have been up to my ears in laundry and shampooing the carpet in her room.

Needless to say we have been busting tail today cleaning the house for our 25(!) guest tomorrow. Actually I was in the kitchen most of the day and dh was doing a good share of the cleaning. Give that guy a spray bottle with water& vinegar and watch him go! I did the bathrooms and kept the laundry going but he eradicated every particle of dust from our house.

I'm excited for tomorrow despite all the craziness for the last couple of days. Thanksgiving is my favourite holiday!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Vegtoberfest!


Today was the kick off party for Vegtoberfest 2013! As described on the VofA website "Come and join the fun at Edmonton’s only Vegan and Vegetarian festival, Vegtoberfest, as we kick off the beginning of World Vegetarian Month. There will be displays, food sampling, food booths, Sailin’ On Vegan Food truck, information, and FUN!"


The festival was held at Earth's General Store. Earths General Store is a great little store on the corner of 96 st. and 82nd ave. that has tonnes of local, organic and fair trade items. They are a vegetarian store and all vegan items are clearly marked. If you haven't checked them out please do - the owner, Michael,  is one of the nicest people you will ever meet! My girls love going to the store!


So this was our first time going to the vegtoberfest kick off party. I had told the kids about it about a month ago and they had been looking forward to it ever since. They have excellent memories when it comes to parties and such so I shouldn't have been surprised when I heard a small voice ask me in the wee hours of the morning if it was time for the veggie party yet. It was a cool rainy night/morning - the kind thats perfect for sleeping in and I (wrongly) thought they would so they decided to go "get ready" for the party instead of going back to bed. They made this picture to celebrate todays event. Needless to say they were ready to go way before the party even started but I kept them occupied with some blueberry pancakes for breakfast. 



I think the thing they were most excited for was the food. I had told them that Sailin' On was going to be there. Sailin' On is Edmonton's only vegan food truck and we had been looking forward to trying some of their eats. Wow - just wow! Fantastic food peeps - if you get the chance to eat there I would highly recommend you do! We ordered the blt wrap, the vegan rueben, the irish fries and an order of plain fries.


Ok first up the irish fries. I wish I had taken a pic of the sign saying exactly what was on these but basically it was fries smothered in their homemade curry sauce, vegan cheese (daiya cheddar shreds I think?) green onions, cabbage and carrots. Holy moly it was so good! They were a generous serving and we devoured them asap. I loved them and would certainly ordered them again...and again and again and again. They are that good!




Ok next up was the blt wrap. This and the fries were my favs. I couldn't get over how excellent the bacon is in this wrap and its made from coconut! I've heard of the coconut bacon before on blogs but I never had a desire to make it. My mistake! Needless to day I have googled a recipe and will be making this asap! The wrap had coconut bacon, lettuce, tomatoe, shredded carrot and homemade roasted garlic mayo. Fantastic and everyone loved this. We almost had to go get another one - everyone was fighting for the last bite. Highly recommend this and the irish fries.


Last up is the vegan rueben. Seitan on rye with sauerkraut, vegan harvarti, homemade thousand island and a pickle. The kids and I love sauerkraut so I knew we would like this but I'm on again/off again with seitan. Sometimes the texture is awesome for me and sometimes it wigs me out. This was good and I would recommend it to people but I probably wouldn't get it again due to my on again/off again relationship with seitan. 

We're definitely looking forward to trying more items from them again and we'll be going out of our way to make it to the food truck again. I think they are almost done for the season :( but next year we will make sure to find them as often as we can.

Also there was some vegan cookies and donuts. We had to buy a box of the donuts to bring home for dessert tonight. I'll report back on how they were. They look delish and I'm sure they are. And since its international coffee day today Earth's General Store was serving up their fresh roasted (they roast it right in the store!) organic fair trade coffee and it was a good thing because man it was cold out! It was gray and damp and cold and the coffee was a welcomed treat for the adults. I made the kidlets a steamed vanilla almond milk when we got home to warm them up. Ollie is always eating the foam off my almond milk cappuccino so I knew she would be happy with it. Gabbie still prefers a hot chocolate but had no problem drinking hers up :)

I have been busy snapping pics the last few weeks but haven't had time to blog much because we needed to get some outside painting done before the weather turns. Stay tuned for some food posts!