Thursday, October 26, 2006

Let's give it up for some of the really amazing vegan websites that are out there.
A web-savvy girl could feed herself for at least a billion years with the plethora of information that is available at your vegan-friendly-polished finger tips.

Some of my favourites include:
The Post Punk Kitchen - you can even down load some of the show (which is the egg and sperm of this website child) and cook away to some tunes.

Then there is VegWeb. I have to admit that this pretty little site (with its consistent vomiting of advertisements) has helped me out in a pinch....on a few occasions. Recipes are neatly indexed and there is even a 'meet a vegan friend' post board. This site started as a very 'animal friendly not totally vegan' site, however, over the last five years I have noted its slide on over to most things vegan.

The Vegan Chef is a GREAT site. Although the recipe portioning has been a bit off (and whose recipes haven't????), it is a fantastic place for inspiration.

Okay - I think that is a pretty fair helping...(okay, it is NOT a fair helping, but I am in the middle of moving and my big papa is a great papa and I don't want to keep him waiting)

carrots and peas for everyone! i promise more sites and links in the next few days.....althought with all this marking....who knows.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Calling All Vegan Shoppers!!!

Looking for a vegan-commuter that will fit my books, loads of (un) marked essays/tests, lecuture notes, my gym shoes, gym clothes, lunch, ipod, iBook, a rash of books that I carry for some sense of
Due to a recent 'incident' I will not be purchasing anymore Mat and Nat, nor do I dig the new 'lug' bags...they don't fit my ibook.

Any thoughts would be wonderful...I think maybe, maybe MEC might have something for me. But I would prefer something more unique - any sewers out there???


Monday, October 23, 2006

Two essentials - an oldie and a newbie.

Just discovered this new site. Great vegan bags.

And...listening to the all time sexiest and heart squeezing song of all time:
Hallelujah - lyrics by Leonard Cohen, sung by J. Buckley. (come on, just READ the lyrics...and than listen to the song)

Damn it. I will have to knit faster to deal with all of these emotions.

Sweaters abounding,

PS. the buckley would have to be followed by the second most heart-harrowing sound:
P. Gabriel's sound track for Last Temptation of Christ. Thank you Mr. M for my copy, I cherish it and all the memories. I can't wait to rescue it from my moving boxes and turn off the lights. Give it up for OISE and Parr Street.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Tea and....anything you WANT!

In an attempt to reduce the now steeped and simmering feelings of frustration and disappointment (mom's can't always be relied on) I ventured outdoors for a quick stroll. In search of a source of protein for this evening I found myself at the not so wonderful world of sobeys. Looking for Quinoa, I settled for fava beans. Hoping for avocado I settled for Kale (and still the bewildered look by the cashier. The look that pleads with me to just tell her what it is so that she can stop spinning the produce wheel of fortune that is perched above her register).
So before launching off for a run which will see me returning to an exciting evening of making some sort of kale-cucumber-tomato-onion-garlic-bean extravaganza I am settling in for a nice little cup of tea.
Funny that I have yet to mention much of anything about this little (read as: BIG) habit of mine (read as: addiction).
I started out with the extra large orange pekoe (with milk) back in the non-vegan days of undergraduate youth. I had never delved into the world of the coffee bean, but thought (oh so naively) that I would be safe with the pretty little tea bag. The innocent orange pekoe has morphed into a morning, mid morning, late morning, early afternoon, late afternoon MUST HAVE kind of ritual that if not performed leaves me grumpy and with hands slightly trembling.

I still cling to the regular tim horton's cup of tea - but my tastes have been refined to indulging on the Green Tea. My orders drive the cashiers crazy...and most male horton accompaniments refuse to order for me....(except you Mr. McNeilly). Ready: "I will have an extra large green tea black, one bag in and one on the side, and can you please put some cold water in it to cool it down" They want to kill me. Fair enough.

In addition to my desire for the antioxidant rich Green Tea blends I have also enjoyed the fantastic stylings of more precious brews, such as:

Roobios: Thank you Connell - I reach for a cup of this ruby red delight and think of you.
Chai Tea: Oh,yes...this is good. Take one tea bag (I like the PC Chai) and steep it with some soya or rice milk that you have warmed...add some cinnamon and some cocoa...and then froth 'er up.
Mango: Ohhhh..I love you mango goddess
White: They are claiming more antis than the greeners...but the flavour is too subtle for me...I need more.
Chamomile and Sleepy Time: nice when the sleep demons have run off with my good nights. that is about all....
I plan on taking my feet out doors now and hitting play on my ipod...a good collection of the decemberists and the hip should get me through a chilly 7 km.

Friday, October 20, 2006

The following soup recipe and this posting are for Kevin (who by virtue of living in the UAE can't read this- but that's okay).

Oh my goodness - let me write that again: GOODNESS. That is the word I would use to describe the delicious, nutritious, olfactory pleasing soupie goodness that came splashing out of my pot yesterday afternoon (note: do NOT turn your handblender on to puree unless you have installed some type of guard around the blender or wear body-rubber).

The weather is on the lovely side of stormy and my toes are almost chilly - this weather calls for nothing other than soup (it isn't quite time for the stick to your insides stylings of vegan chili).
I had a couple of misfit squash hanging around the house yesterday, and the sweet potato was looking at me a little funny, so I did what any self-respecting vegan would do and brought them (and some garlic) together for a good old conversation that saw at least one of us in a pot later that same day.
Here is the recipe:
1 butternut squash (peel the mother and than chunk it up nice and big)
2 sweet tatters (cut into cubes)
1 onion (diced)
4 cloves of garlic
1 yellow zucchini
2 cups of lentils
2 apples (just NOT fujis...fuji apples MUST be eaten in great abundance right about...NOW!)
1 can of fava beans
3 sprigs of rosemary
Fresh basil leaf rippings
Dried oregano
Cracked pepper
Sea salt (only if you want...I actually decided against it)
8 cups of water (or veggie stock)

Okay - so simple. And no oil - which means no fat...I was just being lazy and didn't want to bother with the frying/sauteing of the veggies.....
1. Cut your squash, tatters and apples up - and throw them into a nice big pot, add 1.5 cups of water, your spices/herbs and get a nice simmer going.
Let the water reduce down a wee bit (I would give it a good 10 mins) and than add the rest of your other 6.5 cups of water and your zuch.
Leave to simmer for 30 minutes (go and take a nice warm shower - but please, learning from my fire alarm inducing lesson, turn the burner down to 'min')

Now you can puree - remember - watch the splash factor.

Add the beans and the lentils and let simmer another 25 minutes.
Don't puree again (ie. leave the lentils alone!)

Serve with a sprinkle of crushed peanuts!
I enjoyed a second helping avec cabbage for my dinner tonight...couldn't beat the bread and roses party I should have been attending but it will have to do.

Here is a photo of tonight's reheat spectacular:
(Sorry about the lack o' focus).

My brain must be still stuck on my Tuesday and Wednesday lecture where I bored my students with my rant on parenthetical referencing styles (MLA) because I have used an abundance of parenthesis in this

Enjoy the soup! I did. Three times.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Macrobiotics and other zennish delights.

In my search for calm and order (a good balance to the furry of confusion that has left me feeling like that little twig in the old idiom. Not sure how much more I can bend though) I have been looking into the world of Macrobiotics. Mb sounds a bit "Gwyneth Paltrow hollywood romance" for me upon first listen, however, I think that there is some merit to be had from spending more time thinking about, and deeply considering, the relationship your food has to your life and vice versa. Having been given permission to eat wheat once again (thank you oh mighty digestive enzyme/probiotic goddess - you can also call her angelique) I think that the world of macrobiotics is one I might take a bit of a swim in. I have on my goggles and my swim fins (otherwise known as critical reading skills and bullshit detectors) and find myself wadding through a murky mire of internet information (read as sales pitches).

I have a bit of the basics:
Avoid Red meat, dairy, eggs (this vegan is already on that train) - allowing for the body to be free of any 'ying' or 'yang' intensities. Sounds a bit 'smoke another' but let's keep going.
Ingest 50-60% whole grains (daily) and then mix in loads of veggies (they seem to adore the world of sea vegetables) and then add a weekly sprinkle of seeds and nuts.
Avoid caffeine, sugar and refined anything (that would be nice) and also attempt to go organic whenever possible.
So far this is sounding quite healthy but a wee bit expensive. I have really serious issues with the marketing of 'healthy' and organic lifestyles as the answer to so many of our consumer driven problems. Not to mention the fact that the whole idea has a thesis that reads like this:
Only the rich are permitted to be well and healthy.
That is terrifying - one could argue that we are finding a way to engineer the poor and unhealthy right off this planet (okay, sorry, I watched battle star galactica last night and I think my brain is a little too heavy on the world conspiracy theory....)

So....let me read a bit more about this macrobiotic world and see what my thoughts are......

For lunch I am thinking Quinoa, tomato, some broccoli and maybe a couple of handfuls of cabbage.....
let's check it out.

Friday, October 13, 2006

New Protein Product!

I procured from the local Fortinos (by the way, can I please celebrate the glory of being back in the belly of Ontario with its bevy of fruit stands, excellent grocery stores and all around incredible foodie options), anyway, I procured from the local fortinos a really wonderful product that I want to recommend to any muscle building (or protein craving) vegans.

The product is:
Hemp Protein Powder, (made by North Coast and ringing in at 19.99) and it comes in this fantastic little recycled-paper paper bag. I was concerned that it might be a bit grainy or chalky, but when I whizzed it with a frozen (half) banana and some fresh strawberries, some flax powder, a touch of cocoa and a tiny bit of water it was a little pudding treat to start my day! I threw on a handful of walnuts to capture a whole lot of EFA's for my day of lecture writing....just what my brain needed.

Oh - the recommended serving was 2 table spoons - I cut that in half and added all of the above ingredients to enhance the EFA quotient I was getting this morning.

I must admit that my tummy has never been happier. Lately my steady commitment (which is saying a lot for me) to Dr. Udo and his handy little bottles of Digestive Enzymes and Probiotics (which you can get totally veganized) I am feeling in tip top tummy shape. Never better in fact. I find that salads, raw foods and legumes don't cause me half the tummy woes that I had experienced in the past. They all get my recommendation.

Had a long chat with my bro last night about the situation with my uncle. My brother is a real stoic, a missing link in today's society of fast ipod, blogging mania, mass this and mass that....he is a buddha I think. Which would be great for me - I could use some help with my tree pose. Anyhow, he has a really fundamental way of looking at things: What is the point of being angry. This sentiment seems to be the ground in everything that he does, says and exudes. He is my little brother, but sometimes I have a sneaking suspicions that my mother has inverted the years we showed up on this fantastic little planet. He has wisdom - I think he may have gotten a good allotment of that from the mighty emperor penguins he met while traveling through south america.

Have a protein shake and dance until you can remember your name!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Back to my soya-stomping grounds.

I have had the time I need to heal from the situation that took me out of my blogging frenzy of the mid to late summer.

I am back and soy free!
That's right. Soy Free.
Most wouldn't have thought it possible. What, with my soy binging on those little and wonderful Edamames, and of course my countless feats on tofu delights. And who can imagine that I would have the gumption (or the desire) to give up on my steamed soy milks....(and Second Cup could we PLEASE stop calling them steamers??? It just doesn't make me feel good while ordering).

So what has prompted me to do such a silly thing like put down the soy fork? be honest the words of a cappaccino bar maid is what did it. Sharing her story about the 56 pound goiter that had burst out of her throat as a result of too much Soy...that is what did it. Well, that is what at least got the party started. I did some more research into the mysterious world of our favourite little bean and noted that vegans (and the like) have developed a dependency on soya that is similar to the dependency that others have on cow, chicken and corn products (now, to avoid being called a generalist, I realize that there are many vegans who are much more diverse in their culinary habits than this little missy - not to mention a bit more up and up on the discourse of dining). Soooo...long story short: Soya beans (esp. those that are processed) introduce too many isoflavones into the bodies of those of us who drink it like the holy water that it is. These little isobuddies can suppress thyroid production - causing some metabolic disasters (hello goiter) for some and too much estrogen production for others.
I have decided to take a wee break, but will re-introduce after having had a break.

The following news is not quite as exciting as the above:
I have given up on my alberta adventures. I hummed and hawed about continuing this vegan cowgirl world. But you know what? I don't need to be living in Alberta to be a cowgirl. No way! I can ride all the bulls I want right there on Bloor street, and I can check out all of the mocksteak options that continue to grow in the wild world of toronto.

This is by far the best decision. I need to be here for my family, and to be honest, it is amazing being back at my old job. I love working at this particular college. They are wonderful and my students are superb.

Here is a text message that I received from a student on Thanksgiving:
Happy Thanksgiving. Hope you are having a great tofurkey of a day!

Now that is impressive! Who needs apples when you get text messages like that!

So here is a little recipe that I have concocted in my non-soy loving days. I call it
Pass the Pickles
1 tsp of olive oil
2 roma tomatos
1/3 cup of canned 'matos
5 cloves of garlic (this is my recommendation, but do as you like)
1 chopped onion (either coarse or fine)
6 fat pickles: chopped into just a bit smaller than bite size
chili powder
1 cup of black beans
Warm up your pan (i used a deep frying/simmering pan) and make it nice and wet with the olive oil (if you don't want to use oil - I find that having the burner on med and starting out with some liquid will get you the same effect)
Add your onions and wait for them to get a little translucent. (maybe 2 mins)
Add your chili powder, rosemary and a some fresh oregano (can you smell it??)
Add your little pickle slices and your black beans. You will at this point want to add some liquid so throw in your canned 'matos.
Let this simmer for about 10 mins and then you can pitch in the raisins, a wee bit more chili powder and your roma tomatos (which should be a bit chunky).
cook for five minutes more and than enjoy. It is pretty yummmmtastic.
your cowgirl