Tuesday, September 28, 2010

We've moved...

... over here.

Squash and lentil leftovers soup

I've been away for a few days in the Eastern Townships and am only getting around to posting this now.  I had some leftovers I needed to clear out of the fridge at the end of last week and wondered what they would be like together in a soup so... necessity being the mother of invention, behold Squash and Lentil Leftover Soup!

It started with the leftover of the baked butternut squash (400f for 30-40 min, drizzled with a little olive oil, salt and pepper), canned green lentils leftover from the stroganoff, and a red bell pepper that was starting to look sad.  Added onion, garlic, some Indian spices and ended up with a hearty fall soup bursting with flavour.

Squash and Lentil Soup:
- 1 T olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion, finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed and sliced
- 1-2 t fresh grated ginger, to taste
- 1 red bell pepper, finely diced
- 1/2 t ground coriander
- 1 t ground curry
- 1/4 t tumeric
- 1/4 t ground cumin
- 1/4 t salt
- 1 cup cooked lentils (I used green but I bet red would be great)
- 2 cups baked butternut squash, mashed
- 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth (I used GoBio! organic vegetable bouillon cubes)

Sauté onion, garlic, pepper and spices in olive oil in a medium heavy pot on low-med heat, stirring frequently until soft (4-5 minutes).  Add lentils, squash and broth, mix well and heat until desired temperature reached.  Remove from heat and blend partially with an immersion blender, if desired.

Serves 3-4

Friday, September 24, 2010

Same old, same old... soy allergy?

Do you ever get yourself into a cooking rut?  Sticking to the same meals/recipes time and time again?  I seem to be in one these days.  I think its due to part crazyness that is the back-to-school season, part lack of imagination and part desire to turn to good reliable foods repeatedly.  

Case in point this week, for the umpteenth time, I made a favorite quick and cheap fall-back I found on My Vegan Cookbook:
Mushroom-lentil stroganoff
I tweaked the recipe a bit by substituting a container of Belsoy cooking cream for the silken tofu, which makes it extra creamy and sour-cream-like.

The next night we had the tempeh 'crab' cakes previously featured here, along with oven fried Quebec potatoes and baked local butternut squash, which I love just drizzled with olive oil and a little salt and pepper.

I then had leftovers of these meals for lunches.  That's all good... except... over those days I had an increase of symptoms, mainly dermatological, like itchy skin with welts, and sinus congestion, that I've been bothered by on and off on a fairly regular basis since going mainly veg at the beginning of the year.  It finally dawned on me to look up the symptoms of soy allergiesAha... this is sounding pretty familiar to me I thought.  So I haven't had any soy since mid-day yesterday and I'm already feeling much better.  I'm going to go a few more days and then introduce a small amount to see what happens.  Depending on how the experiment goes, I'll be needing to get much more creative with my recipes. 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Great Pumpkin Beer

You know its fall in Montreal when.... St. Ambroise brews up their Great Pumpkin Ale
A spicy blend of malt, wheat, hops, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and .. yes.. pumpkin. 

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Chickpea cutlets are da bomb!

Okay, okay, so I’m late to the party.  I wonder how many people have actually blogged these babies from Veganomicon already?  There’s a reason people rave about them.  Yes, in case you were still wondering, they ARE as good as everyone says :)
 Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook
I went to town in the kitchen today, for me anyway, knowing that my days of carefree cooking time are likely coming to a close.  I even soaked and cooked the chickpeas from scratch.  No cans were harmed in the making of this meal.

Served with smashed new Quebec potatoes (skin on) and braised local leek, carrots and broccoli.  Topped with a quick gravy of veggie "chicken" broth with a little flour and nutritional yeast.  When only comfort food will do.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Thai Vegan

Happy Sunday everybody!  Summer is still in full, glorious swing in Montreal.  In fact, it looks like a September Back-to-School heatwave coming this week.  As beautiful as the weather is though, I'm having evil wishes for an early frost.  This has been THE WORST year for my hay fever / rag week allergies.  Horrid.  I sound like a pack-a-day smoker.  Can't. Wait. For. This. To. End. 

But in keeping with the hot climate theme, last night's vittles were Thai-inspired.
Once again, this was pretty much whipped together and I didn't take note of exactly what was going in with guests and three kids running about.

Noodle dish was to be Pad Thai but then I got lazy and used a package of Taste of Thai Peanut Sauce mixed with coconut milk instead.  Rice noodles, bok choi, bean sprouts, red pepper, tofu, onion, green onions, garlic and cilantro from what I remember.  Chopped peanuts, Thai chili sauce and lime wedges for garnish.
And spring rolls with noodles, grated carrot, bok choi, green onions, mint, cilantro and more peanut sauce.  Well I'm outta here... kiddies await :)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Potato-Leek Soup and Baked Kale Chips... my version of eat real, eat local

The Hellmann's Mayonnaise "Eat Real, Eat Local" campaign started up over a year ago, but lately I've been seeing more and more of it in print, TV, and FB links to the campaign video:

(and so there I am doing my part too.. )

On the surface this is a message I firmly back: eating local produce, eating unrefined, simple food.. all good.  But lets think about this green wash-up for a moment (and its not like I'm the first to do this).  We're talking about selling mayonnaise here folks... pure and simple... an industrialized, cholesterol-laden mass-produced product manufactured by Unilver. 

To put their money where their mouth is, Hellmann's 1/2 the Fat mayo is made with 100% Canadian free run eggs (the definition of which leaves much to be desired if I'm not mistaken) and canola oil from the prairies.  So the canola comes from one part of the country and the eggs from about 1,000 kms away and somewhere they're all processed together and packaged up, labeled as real, local food then shipped up to 3,000 kms off to a grocery shelf.  Yep, sounds Real Local to me.

If you give their message a good listen, what they are advocating is that Canadians eat Canadian food.  Ok, I'm all for helping my fellow country-folk but if I'm really concerned about the distance my food travels, I'd be better off getting peaches from Georgia than from B.C.'s Okanagan valley; in fact, its twice as far.

But, on the up side, there is no shortage of excellent Quebec produce available these days, and I'm enjoying as much of it as possible:

Potato-leek soup made with Quebec leeks, Quebec potatoes, Quebec onions, Quebec garlic, Becel Vegan margarine (another Unilever product.. still looking, think its made in Quebec), Yu soy milk (produced in Quebec).  The only non-local item was GoBio Vegetable Bouillon Cubes.

And oven-baked Quebec kale chips:

And for breakfast:  Sweet local strawberries and Lac St. Jean wild blueberries on my cereal:

Hope you are all enjoying great local food... where ever you are :)