Tuesday, December 30, 2008

We Now Return To Our Regularly Scheduled Program

Kevin and I have just returned home from a most wonderful (with a HUGE sick, sick, cough, cough, stay over night in a British hospital asterix) holiday with his uber-fantastic-lovely-totally-excited-to-be-grandparents parents.

I admit that I missed my family so terribly, but I know that I will see them soon, and we were lucky enough to have had christmas in Canada last year, so all is good.

I have had so much great and yummy vegan food since the last time I wrote. I made some home made granola, which turned out quite good, but I will be sure to add the raisins AFTER baking it as I found they turned out a little too crispy for me. I even managed to whip up some tasty double chocolate cookies, which I gave to a friend Kate before she was heading home to Philadelphia. Oh and then there was the great vegan sushi smorgasbord. Yum Yum.

Kevin's mom made a great vegan meal for me every night of our trip - not letting me anywhere near the kitchen in my most recent condition....and Christmas night was no exception. She made a Lentil Loaf from Deliah's Vegetarian cookbook - amazing stuff.

Tonight, we are just posting a simple Jacket Potato recipe to celebrate the wonderful time we had with Kevin's parents. (Every little cafe and pub has jacket potatoes as an option on the menu, and his mom made a great vegan jacket potato meal on Sunday night that even Kevin's meat-loving daddy loved!)

4 roasting potatoes

1 green onion
tomato sauce
tofu hash - 1 packet
chili peppers
olive oil
salt pepper

I just tossed the potatoes into the oven after wrapping them in tin foil. While they were roasting I threw together a quick tomato and tofu hash sauce, but you could do so much with this hearty dinner or lunch dish. I think the next experiment with these will include Vcon's cheezy sauce - since I did manage to find Nutritional Yeast while in the UK!!!

We still have holiday until next Monday and I plan on filling the days with sewing, baby carriage shopping, kitty and kevin snuggling and reading.

Kevin, Eliot, Sylvia, Baby Vegan and Mommy Vegan wishes everyone a wonderful and vegan-filled New Year!!!

Friday, December 12, 2008

A little theme - cilantro and lime

Inspired by talk of sweet potato and black bean quesadila while visiting A and B, and then being blessed to find organic black beans at the health food store by work, I went to town on pulling together my first baked quesadila.(One must also mention the constant quesadila magic going on in Jenifer's Vegan and Musing kitchen as a source of inspiration)

In the end I got a little wacky and even experimented with a Tofutti Chive and Herb cream cheese, which I blended with an organic avocado. I used this as a bottom spread, before piling the potato and bean mix into the middle of the tortilla shell. Sadly, I have to report that I had to go for run of the mill white flour tortilla shells (might try making my own this weekend). Despite the white bread component of these babies, they were everything I had been dreaming of once sparked by A's conversation about her little meal. Ohhhh! I also made a lime and cilantro rice dish. The picture doesn't look great, but the tastes were brilliant.

This week's experimentation didn't stop on Tuesday night! Last night we roasted up some red potatoes and enjoyed them with some yummy, never-before-eaten, seitan steaks. After my wild home made seitan experience of Thanksgiving, I decided to go store bought for last night's meal and save the flour shower for weekend kitchen fun. They were actually really yummy. I made a quick and easy Tomato and Cilantro Salad, and we tried - again, for the first time, Rice Mayo. It was surprisingly super yummy. I am not sure if it was the cilantro and lime I added to the plain mayo, but, my goodness, it added a nice creamy zing to our meal.

I was even more industrious than that (I love you second trimester)! I even managed to get around to making my lunch for today - and I just can't wait to sink my teeth into the baked sweet potato and tofu cubes I made last night. I marinated the whole lot in soy sauce, rice vinegar and a touch of sesame oil. Looking forward to lunch time.

I am so pumped about this weekend...we are staying HOME! No travel, no trips, just home time. I have an uber long list, that I might get through a quarter of, but I can't wait to get out and hang in the hood. I am also looking forward to doing some christmas shopping for my family. Even though I won't be making the trip home, Kim has kindly offered to play Santa and hull some presents over to Hamilton with her when she heads on the 17th.

I have giant menu plans of having a sushi weekend, and attempting to make Alice's yummy looking rice balls of a few weeks ago! I am also dying to make a big vegan breakfast, complete with sausages, tofu scramble and (MORE!) potatoes (my dad would be so proud of me).

I hope everyone out in Blogland is finding this holiday season easypeezy and stress free? Have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

A Vegan In Budapest

(Me: Looking a little doubtful about my vegan options in Budapest)

Budapest was amazing! Despite dire threats of starvation and my own fears of a lettuce-only weekend (not that I don't love the lettuce), I ate amazingly and fully all weekend long!

We arrived late on Friday, after dining on a super-expensive hummus wrap (WRAP!) from the airport starbucks, I wasn't too interested in munching, but did take advantage of the nuts and fruit that B and A had readily available in their uberhuge apartment (yes, uber huge apartments in Europe DO in fact exist...just not in Brussels).

On Saturday morning, after more fruits and nut breakfast, B and A took us to the most fantastic falafel hut EVER. It is called the Hummus Bar and is tucked behind one of the main streets in Budapest. We chilled upstairs for quite a while and never once felt rushed to leave the hip establishment that offers its customers complimentary mint tea upon entry. I had a packed falafel pita that totally hit the spot and gave me loads of energy for exploring the pretty city.

When K and I found our way back to the apartment, A had been super sweet and ordered me some vegan sushi. Knowing that we were headed for their work Christmas party there was fear that I might find myself with little in my belly, she went ahead and ordered up some avocado maki....YUMMMY! It was pretty good, I would recommend them for sure - I Love Sushi, and they deliver.

On Sunday they took us to a cute little cafe on the hills of Budapest that had: BAGELS and PEANUT BUTTER!!! I enjoyed. Seriously.

For dinner we went to a Thai-Hungarian fusion restaurant (I am not kidding). The staff was great and happily made me a tofu curry that wasn't on the menu. Although there was a chance that had they been much longer we would have missed our flight - the food was amazingly worth it.

Overall it was a fantastic trip. I am so happy we went, despite the late arrival and the lack of sleep on Sunday night. It was so nice to spend time with friends, and find delights in a new city. Yes! to vegan travel!

I made a quick stir fry last night and slammed the veggie/tempeh goodness on top a bed of my new favourite treat - soba noodles! Who doesn't love the soba noodles. I feel a whole noodle renaissance blooming throughout this pregnancy. Don't forget to check out the new vegan momma blog!

Looking forward to the holiday, which is just around the corner.....17th at noon - here I come! We don't travel again until the 22nd, when we are headed to Manchester for a Healey-Family Christmas. It will kill me not to be at home with my family (who I am now missing terribly) I am looking forward to being with Kevin and his family for the holidays.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Wrap it UP!

I have been wrap crazy lately. I am a little worried that Kevin is going to come home and find Eliot and Sylvia wrapped up in some cloth-version of a tortilla shell. I want to blame all of the wonderful women bloggers out there who tempt me everyday with their yummy mexicanish yummy food (ummm Jen!!! and Katy!!!)

In addition to making some run of the mill bean wrap-ups - nothing post worthy, I made a most wonderful fresh wrap last week, with some super duper lemon and rosemary potatoes from Vcon. It was amazing; super fresh, the mango stole my heart, and the avocado made me melt. Excellent combo - can't recommend it enough. I almost felt that I was in my favourite restaurant in Toronto munching on a lunch time Fresh veg wrap.

A couple of nights ago I made a baked rotini dish. Super simple - spinach, basil, pepper, tomato sauce and a yellow pepper. K was quite happy with it, and I admit to gobbling it up like a starved animal. I took the left over whole wheat noodles for lunch the next day - but I dressed them up in different clothes, turning them into an olive oil and lemon juice pasta salad (which, given my recent hunger, I ate at 10 am instead of 12).

Wednesday night was Kim's birthday, and I had it catered in a most unvegan kind of way (she adores the cheesy Italian variety of fare), but I did manage to squeeze in a bean and pepper salad.

Last night I was home all alone while Kevin performed one of his many talents to an audience of holiday time concert goers. Without my Cello player around I served myself up a bowl of super yummy soba noodle soup. I threw in some broccoli, edamame and fresh ginger. Perfect!

We are off to Budapest this weekend to visit some friends. Looking forward to it.

Oh! And Kevin bought me a new advent calendar. It is excellent - with little wooden drawers that I can pull open. The first of December was a morning filled with exhilaration...and inside my little drawer...a raw Brussel Sprout. Silly boy! There was another little treat though...some dark covered figs!! Yum Yum.

In other news - I have made a new blog. It is my new Vegan Mommy blog. I was feeling pains of sadness that VeganCowGirl was going to be taken over by my ever changing reality. And, damn it, I don't want that. I don't want to have that part of myself slip away. I need to maintain an identity that isn't just mommy, mommy, mommy. But, I also wanted to write about being pregnant, and being a vegan mom...so I made a new blog. I will share the address soon, soon, soon. And if you are at all interested, that is where you can head for pictures and updates on our little mango - who, at her check up this week, was doing just fine!