Monday, March 30, 2009


(Toor Dal - sorry for the steamy photo)

I feel like the white rabbit...I am late, I am late, I am late. Truth be told - I am actually painfully early - to work that is. However, I have loads of photos that I have been meaning to post and have failed terribly at getting around to it.

Last night's dinner was an experiment gone RIGHT! Often my first attempts at everything (recipes, relationships, sewing) are more than a little off. But, last night, I cheated fate and ended up serving a fantastic meal that I had never attempted before.

We have all made curry, a can of coconut milk here, some tofu there. I have made enough curry to need months away from the taste in order to reconsider it as 'yummy' rather than 'oh, no, not another curry'. Never though have I wadded into the waters of any other Indian/Bangladesh/Pakistan cuisine, unless of course you count the success of my Jessy-inspired Nan Bread (oh so good). Last night, while cooking up the week's buffet of goodness and super excited about now being able to compost again for the first time since moving from my Toronto digs, I stumbled upon a packet of Toor Dal that I had picked up on a whim one day while pillaging (I did actually pay) the pan-Asian grocery shop in Brussels.

I did a little googliegooglie and found out that Toor Dal are split pigeon peas and super duper high in protein (my baby is doing hammer curls this morning), and chocked full of amino acids. So, I found myself with the inevitable challenge of making a dal from my little bag o'goodness.
It was actually super, duper, fantastic, yummy, nummy in my belly! I served it over oven roasted potatoes that I sprinkled with oil, lemon and some dry curry spices. I also (OF COURSE) had on the table (and then in my belly) Lime Pickle.

Dilly Dal-ly Sunday Dinner

1 cup of Toor Dal
5 cups of water
4 green onions - diced
1 clove of garlic - diced
2 fresh tomatoes (you could use canned as well)
1/2 cup of coconut milk = 5 tbsp of water
mustard seed
curry leaves

You boil the dal for about 30 minutes in a separate pan. I drained off the scummy suds it made, and then put it aside. In a cast iron pan I added a little oil and mustard seeds. When the mustard began breaking open, I added my onion and garlic -letting it sizzle for a few minutes. I added the tomatoes and the dry spices and finally threw the dal back in. I added the coconut milk about 5 minutes later and then let the whole dish simmer/cook down for about 20 minutes. Service with roasted potatoes, nann bread or rice! Yummy!

A great din-din to end off a super cool weekend: picked out our nappies (organic Tot Bots), bought the dress I am getting married in (IN LESS THAN THREE WEEKS......) and went to the British Childbirth Trust Nearly New Sale and walked out with Loadssssss of super-duper cute clothes for Aidan.

I also need to post, without a long treatise on their recipes - some photos of some nummy treats. Coconut Fudgesicles (my best invention yet!), mini Chocolate Cupcakes using my new mini silicon muffin buddies (and the killer chocolate recipe from VCTOTW), Strawberry and Apple Morning WakeUp Call, Garlic Hummus, and Chickpea Ratatouille. Nummmers.

I wish everyone a spectacular week!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Green It Up Salad for Lunch!

I just had to share my lunch today.
Of course it isn't pretty or plated with blog-quality finesse, but it was super duper nummy and I wanted to share the recipe.

In my flurry of Sunday food preparation, I made this little salad for Kevin and I's lunch today. It was quick, healthy and didn't need any salad dressing (at least mine didn't, not sure if Kevin dipped into the olive oil on HIS side of the campus).

Green It Up Salad!
2 cups of edamame beans
3 cups of fingerling potatoes
1 lemon
1 english cucumber
1 avocado
herbs to taste (I used herbs d'provence)
a sprinkle of mint

I roasted the potatoes, after cutting them into twos and threes and covering them in the herbs and lemon juice. I simply cut up the rest of the ingredients and threw the two tupperware containers in the fridge until this morning.

Totally yummy, totally balanced and totally easy! Homemade lunch on Monday. Whoot Whoot.

Sunday, March 22, 2009


Who doesn't love some inspiration? I found mine in blog land this weekend, as I so often do! Thanks to the lady-keeper of Awesome Vegan Rad, I sought out the tools needed to get growing indoors. Of course, I have been watching and reading about the in-door gardens of other wicked cool bloggers, but, maybe its the spring sunshine, I really got down to it yesterday. I bought two types of lettuce, three different colours of carrots, onions, garlic and some lavender. They are happily germinating their hearts out on the windowsill - much to the annoyance of Eliot who is feeling some injustice with her special viewing seat being taken over by some big green boxes.

(please note the FILTH on my cat's fur...she had been rolling around on the ground in the most sultry, sun worshipping kind of way)

I was also inspired by the always info-packed-full blog of Jenn. I made her Everything Granola Bars. I did some subbing here and there, and realized, at the last minute, that I didn't have the right sized pan for her recipe, so I ended up with some yummy nummy granola-flat bread. No - they aren't quite that thin, but they aren't anywhere near the thickness they should be. Taste wise - num, num. They will serve as great little kitchen-walk-by nimblies and toppings for my oatmeal throughout the week. I love love love all of the nuts and seeds! Great recipe Jenn.

I am also inspired by my oatmeal. I just love it so much. Maybe too much. I felt that I had no choice but to take a pretty picture of it. So here it is, in its: fig, maple syrup, soy milk, oatbran, raisin and cashew glory! Oh yah!

Oh, and because Shellyfish asked so nicely - here's my belly! Big and beautiful - baking a little baby boy in the Belgian sunshine.

Wait a second. Speaking of inspiration - I am reading a beautiful book right now. Just as a little preemptive - I love my yoga, granola and natural soaps, but I don't think anyone would put me in the new age category, so don't get freaked out by the title of this book. It is called Everyday Blessings: The Inner Work of Mindful Parenting, and it is written by Myla and Jon Kabbat-Zinn. I have had only a bath's soak worth of a read, but I am already so impressed with the text. It doesn't ream off a list of to-do's, or assault me with a by-the-week-chart of exactly what my child should be doing (and how to 'fix' them if they haven't worked hard enough to reach that goal). Rather, these author's focus on the idea of stopping to look at our children as a holistic being and trying to be mindful of the big picture with every situation. They also acknowledge that we aren't perfect and we aren't yogis who can step back with every new stress or big decision and pull out some holistic and happy-for-all answer. They encourage you to accept the lows with the copacetic meditation of their approach to parenting, and to look at the lows honestly and fully to better understand how to make it better next time. I really dig the idea of looking at your kids as their own little, full beings and not a pile of our own (failed) expectations, yearnings, misgivings, hopes, dreams etc. I dig it.

And for all the other meal planners in the world - here's this week's line up:
Sunday: Seitan Burgers and Sweet Potato Chips
Monday: Ratatouille
Tuesday: Mashed Cauliflower and Edamame
Wednesday: Mom's Green Beans and Tomatoes with Baked Tofu
Thursday: Cumin and Carrot Soup
Friday: Left Over Goodness

Have a wonderful and foodfilled week!!!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

I don't LIKE White Asparagus

I suppose we were feeling funky and carefree at the market on Sunday. Apparently, we just assumed that the early white asparagus would be as tasty and delicious as last year's green Belgian spears. Nope. They were bitter and yucky, remaining tough through a good bake time.

BUT - luckily there were Kidney Bean Beanie Babies & Twice Roasted Potatoes and Carrots to carry the meal.

I can't recommend enough doing a double roasting of veg. Twice now I have experimented with this, and I just love the texture my veg gets when I throw it in the oven for a quick 25 minute rebake after a 1 hour roast on Sunday afternoon. A little bit of olive oil, herbs and pepper was all these little veggies were looking for. They were perfectly perfect.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Back in The Saddle

I have missed my blogging world with big giant heartaches (to go along with my BIG GIANT BELLY), but I was feeling pretty strong about my convinctions not to blog. The mini-drama story can be summed up in one paragraph (which you can skip if you hate drama in your recipe box):

So about the time of my last post, with the help of my statscounter, I realized that K's ex was reading both of my blogs. Yuck. I didn't like this. I fought it for a little while, trying to shore myself up with my convictions about how the blogsphere SHOULD be an open and translucent place to share and breed ideas. But, as she trolled through pages of archived posts, and spent hours of coffee breaks reading about mine and K's adventures in our vegan wonderland, I just didn't feel like giving her anymore food for thought. I could have sent her a little email, or posted an open letter on the blog, but...K was wrapping up some legal bits and nigglies with her that needed to be put to bed before I felt that I could trust her not to call her solicitor and mess the whole thing up for a wonderful man who has had his share of non-vegan shit from her. So, I just waited and read all the lovlie vegan blogs and some of the new baby blogs I have discovered.
But - the gloves are off, the house has sold, the money is in the bank, and this VeganCowGirl wants the message to be clear - Don't read my blog. It's not cool. Of course you might have had some curiosity about his new chick, but you have read enough and seen enough Sherlock. Don't read my blogs - not either of them. Unless of course you decide to become a VeganCowGirl yourself - in which case, might I suggest you check out some of the other amazing and wonderful blogs on my blog roll!

Ok - drama over. Back to serious business - FOOD.
In my long absence I have been cooking up a storm. I have started to nest like a birdie, and spend Sunday mornings stripping the farmer of his goods, and run home to cook and bake for the entire week (though, this week I am a little behind because K's mom came to stay for the weekend and we had other journeys and adventures to undertake). It has been a fantastic foray into the world of housewifery! I am loving the pre-planning, and list making, filing my Apple desktop up with "Weekly Meal Plans" and driving Kevin crazy with my efficiency and drill sergeant "It's Tuesday - no, you can't just have baked beans, I made carrot soup!" shrills.

Through reading Half Pint Pixie's super-wonderful-breastfeeding-fun blog, I discovered that I am not the only 'crazy out there' who preplans/cooks/bakes for the week ahead. Through her blog, I found this excellent little gem of an organization haven - check it out for all of your psychosis.

Here is my Meal Plan for the week:

Monday - Carrot and Cumin Soup with Bread and Olive Oil
Tuesday - Aubergine, Spinach and Tofu Tomato Sauce with Spirilina Noodles (no, K - I will let you have your regular Whole Wheat)
Wednesday - Beanie Buddies and Baked Veg (I found that baked veg is actually pretty nummy even when made the weekend ahead).
Thursday - Quick Chickpea Curry
Friday - Marinated Tofu Steaks with White Asparagus

This new habit has also turned my fridge from a potential pit of rotting and disorganized fruit and veg into a tupperware wonderland. Love it!

In other foodly news, it was on our most recent trip to London that I truly had my vegan restaurant experiences taken to a next level of ohmygodness. I have to tell you about Saf, and I have to share the menu, though, no menu in a written format could ever illuminate the reality of this food's awesomeness.

The service is shite. I have to be honest. I was totally disappointed by the disorganized and almost rude approach they have taken to customer service at this place. We had made reservations, and had our printed out confirmation email in our hands, but they acted as though they had never heard of us and were being put upon to find us a table. Throughout the meal they were slow with drinks and sloppy with server continuity, which is never nice. But, the food made up for the dodgie service. We both had great appetizers - mine was the raw sushi (they replaced the rice with ground parsnips), K had raw beet and cashew ravioli. Both treats were divine. My main was also raw, while K went in for something a little more warm. My Swiss Chard wraps were filled with Mung Bean sprouts and some alfalfa, while the plate was made complete with a couple of Seaweed Salad piles of goodness. The raw walnut and pumpkin cheesecake was insane and I am still harbouring nasty feelings towards K for actually following through on his promise to 'share' the slice. If you are in London - you really should check this place out. Well worth the kick in the pants service.

Lots of nummy pictures and posts to follow! Happy Blogging and Eating to Everyone.