Archive | February, 2008

What I’ve been up to…

29 Feb

Even though this week I went on a few excursions to dine, I was cooking as well of course.  A couple weeks ago I was in Fredericton visiting my sister and she took me to the farmer’s market up there. Fredericton’s market is a bit smaller than the one I’m used to here in Halifax but it’s packed with a variety of interesting vendors-including the Cupcake Lady! The Cupcake Lady (I think that’s what she’s called, that’s what my sister and her friend call her) sells amazing looking cupcakes with cute names (like the Red Stiletto Cupcake my sister got which was of course, a Red Velvet cake). Sadly, they are not vegan cupcakes so I could not partake in cupcake eating. But my sister’s friend (the same one who introduced me to Mookies!) convinced me to sample Samosas which were amazing and left me with a craving the following days. Last weekend, I decided to make the Potato-Edamame Samosas from Vegan with a Vengeance, subbing green peas for the edamame. These were so good, baked instead of fried and made me enough to freeze for when the hankering for samosas returns.

Samosas!

It’s becoming a tradition for me to bake something (I think it’s always been cookies so far) every Thursday night. There are two reasons for this: 1) I usually have the fridays off as I have no classes. 2)Lost! I have to bake something for my favourite show of course plus my sister arrived home for her break so somethinghad to be baked. Last night it was Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies. I was out of raisins plus I live with a person who despises raisins in cookies so the Oatmeal Raisin Cookies from Veganomicon became these cookies. I downplayed the spices a bit-only using 1 tsp of cinnamon, a pinch of nutmeg and omitted the allspice entirely. These cookies were amazing, chewy and not an over-the-top sweet kind of cookie.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

…And I’m off to tackle a few papers and assignments. 5 more weeks to go!

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Dio Mio International Cafe

25 Feb

I don’t eat out a lot.  Even by vegan standards I don’t eat out a lot.  Every time I eat out, I feel that it was an opportunity to cook lost.  Yeah, I’m pathetic like that.

But today after spending the afternoon at the library studying and working on papers, I simply did not feel like going all the way home and cook something.  Weird, I know.  Luckily, I live in Halifax and we have quite the selection of vegan offerings (well, it’s no Portland but it’s not too bad).  One place I go from time to time is Dio Mio Gelato International Cafe on Spring Garden Road (it’s kind of hidden-off of Spring Garden go down Brenton Street and there’s the entrance).  This is a cafe that has a great variety of delicious vegan and vegetarian food-veggie burgers, samosas, paninis, soy shakes and a HUGE case of vegan sorbetto (Chocolate…pomegranate…and other flavours I can’t recall).  Now, I’ve never actually tried the gelato before but I’ve heard great things about it.  So today I grabbed the Indonesian Burger with Peanut Sauce and Banana Maple Flax Cookie to go, brought it home, plated it and gave them a photo shoot (that’s probably another reason I don’t eat out much, restaurants never seem to offer the best lighting for pictures).

Indonesian Burger with Peanut Sauce

This burger was outstanding. It had a great, firm texture with a nice, though subtle, heat. The burger was accompanied with lettuce, sprouts, tomato and slathered with a wonderful peanut sauce. I’ve had their other two burgers before (Sun-dried Tomato and Hazlenut with Mango Chutney) and I think this one is my favourite. I’d definitely get it again.

Banana-Maple-Flax Cookie

Now the cookie…although it was a very sizeable cookie, it was disappointing. It was a very cakey cookie (I don’t really care for cookies of this texture) and didn’t have a whole lot of flavour. But kudos to Dio Mio for offering vegan desserts, I still have promising hope for the sorbetto which I’ll be trying once the warm weather hits.

Dio Mio is one of my favourite places to eat in Halifax so if you’re ever in the city, pay them a visit! And let me know how the sorbetto is!

Update:  I returned to Dio Mio later this week and tried their Tofu with Tahini Sauce Wrap and it was delicious!  It’s been on my mind ever since, definitely a new eating-out staple.

Esme’s Special Sauce

20 Feb

I can’t believe I haven’t blogged about Esme’s Special Sauce from over at the PPK Forums. I make this sauce quite a lot because it’s super quick and so tasty. Excellent student fare indeed.

Esme's Special Sauce!

Esme’s Special Sauce

In a small bowl mix up the following in equal parts:
Tahini
Miso
Soy Sauce (I always use tamari because it’s my favourite thing ever)
Olive Oil
Nutritional Yeast or Mustard
Lemon Juice or Vinegar
A few cloves of Garlic.

Toss with hot, cooked pasta. That’s it, you’re done! It’s excellent with greens, I usually have it with steamed brocolli. My favourite thing about this sauce is how incredibly versatile it is and how I usually have the ingredients for it on hand. When I made it today I didn’t have any tahini or lemon so I used peanut butter and lime and it made quite the tasty peanut sauce.  I make it all the time when I’m short on time (or not, it’s so good).

Happy Valentine’s Day!

14 Feb

happy valentine's day!

Golden Vanilla Cupcakes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World

…and I’m off for a few days (6 1/2 bus ride here I come), have a lovely weekend, everyone!

Papa Tofu!

13 Feb

What to do the night before your two final mid-terms?

Papa Tofu!
Break in Papa Tofu!

I found this awesome zine in my mailbox earlier this week and couldn’t wait long to dive into it. When my mom heard that it had a recipe for Peanut Butter Rice Crispy Squares, she quickly persuaded me to give them a try (not that I needed any persuasion of course). So instead of spending the night cramming (pfft. I don’t believe in all-nighters), I made a pan of these squares.

Here they are waiting to be coated with chocolate (someone seems to be a little impatient).
Waiting...

I loooved the Peanut Butter Rice Crispy Squares my mom made when I was younger and these taste exactly like them! Yum. So simple and quick to make too, perfect when you’re short on time (or want to procrastinate a little longer until reviewing study notes).

Peanut Butter Rice Crispy Square

almost there…

8 Feb

One more week until my break…just one more week(!)…I’ll be writing a few papers and a take-home exam during it though but whatever it’s still a break.

This week I made Lemony Chickpea Lentil Soup from Eat, Drink & be Vegan. This was soo good, the perfect comfort soup for cold weather. I couldn’t really taste the lemon but to be honest I’m not that huge of a lemon fan so that was fine by me. What I really loved about this is the texture, it’s a soup you can sip but it is by no means watered down, it’s totally a soup of substance. Look at my new dishes! I love them, especially since they were 50% off. Last weekend I got quite a few good sales on various dishes (which you’ll be no doubt seeing in my photos soon).

Lemony Chickpea Lentil Soup

These are quite possibly my favourite cookies ever. Big Gigantoid Crunchy Peanut Butter-Oatmeal Cookies (with chocolate!) from Vegan with a Vengeance. They’re perfect, so peanut butter-y and not to mention they are HUGE. But I don’t let that stop me from eating a few in one sitting. If you haven’t made these already MAKE THEM.

Big Gigantoid Crunchy Peanut Butter-Oatmeal Cookies

Have a good weekend everyone!

Week in Review

1 Feb

Whew, another week past…only two more weeks until my winter break and I am in dire need of a vacation already.

I’m not sure why but I was craving curry. I was not even sure if I even liked curry but for some compelling reason I decided to give one a try. So I found a recipe in Veganomicon that sounded intriquing. It called for cauliflower and parsnips. I’ve always ingnored cauliflower. You rarely hear anyone praising it and a certain junior high school health class had really turned me off of cauliflower. Similarly with parsnips, growing up there were never any parsnips on the dinner table and I’ve always assumed that they weren’t the vegetable for me. But I was craving curry. And Veganomicon has yet to fail me. So I made this Red Lentil-Cauliflower Curry and it was good, it was damn good. It has just the right amount of heat and the cauliflower and parsnips really make it particularly texture wise.

Red Lentil-Cauliflower Curry

After a way too long hiatus, Lost finally returned last night! Such an occasion calls for something sugary and Coconut Heaven Cupcakes from Vegan with a Vengeance with their tropical island essence would be perfect. Aren’t they pretty in their Martha Stewart Crafts cupcake liners I scored at Michael’s on clearance?

Coconut Heaven Cupcakes

And finally, tonight I made another dish out of VeganomiconChickpeas Romesco. This was really good as well, the sauce was wonderful with it’s hint of roasted red pepper and its creaminess complimented the texture of the chickpeas quite well.

Chickpeas Romanesco

So that was my week, have you all have a great weekend!