Vegan MoFo – MoFo Monday and the Beginning of Apple Week.

Like I said on Thursday – We have too many apples. Luckily there are many things that can be done with apples, but too few of them seem to be savory. Well. I’ve followed in the footsteps of other vegan bloggers in the last few weeks and taken their recipes and made them at home. First item on my list was this Apple Spice Muffin recipe from Bite Me (I’m Vegan) (don’t they just look perfect for breakfast?). While getting into the apple peeling, chopping mode, I ended up opting to make some unsweetened apple sauce in my slow cooker. There is always a use for it, especially when I’m baking, so I threw some of it in a jar, and some of it in snack bags in the freezer. My winter instinct to stockpile food for the cold months ahead is in full force. Having gone grocery shopping yesterday, we picked up a couple of beautiful baguettes from ACE bakery, one of them didn’t make it past 7pm last night, drowning in a mix of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. The other one was supposed to turn into crostini today, I decided it would be a waste of sandwich potential. But what kind of sandwich? Serendipity brought me a brilliant and relevant idea from The Verdant Life – Basil Apple Mustard Panini Sandwiches! Where have you been all my life savory apple sandwiches? It doesn’t matter, I’m just glad they’re here now. I found Cupcakes and Kale’s (we meet again) recipe for Apple Salted Caramel Cupcakes through Winged Snail’s Leibster…

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Things I love Thursday – Vegan MoFo – Cats, Pizza, J, and lentil soup

I love Thursdays as a day of reflection. It’s been kind of gloomy outside this week, so it’s nice to think about all the good stuff going on, and it also makes me appreciate having the option of staying inside with my kitten for a while while it rains. This past weekend was the beginning of OccupyToronto and I love that I live in a country where public demonstration is permitted, and people can have a reasonable expectation of being heard. I think regardless of how you feel about the protest or its impact, there is no denying that there is a feeling of global community being built as a result of this movement, in addition to offering a visual representation of people that are struggling, and want change. That and Occupy LOL Street. I love the magical combination tomatoes, lentils, onions/garlic and some spices can create on a lazy afternoon. Throw it all in a pot, cook and eat something that just tastes warm and comforting.Which is what I’m cooking up right now! I love the Black Magic vegan pizza J ordered for dinner last night. After taking advantage of the Queen Street E (Toronto) Magic Oven‘s Wednesday all you can eat pizza night a month ago, and trying a diverse assortment of pizzas, we finally found one that’s just brilliantly good. Pesto, sundried tomatoes, KALE and daiya. I also love that someone will deliver vegan food to our house. I love Apples. They come in so many delicious…

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Should have been cookies – Tuesday Tasty Treats – VeganMoFo

Sometimes I make complete disasters in the kitchen. I’ll admit it. I inherited my father’s tendency to throw anything interesting together in a pot and hope for the best. This has served me well. It had wide ranging applications, especially when cooking at food not bombs, or limited ingredients. It’s encouraged creativity. It’s resulted in happy full bellies. And reasonably diverse and nutritious food. But, there is another side to that: The disaster. That dish you don’t know what to do with. The muffins missing salt, the tbsp of baking soda instead of the tsp. The oops, I dumped a box of cayenne in this. The “Why did I think pickles and horseradish would be good in this soup?” moment (no, this hasn’t happened…. yet). The rock hard muffins. The flaky  muffins that should have been cookies. Or my least favourite… that I like to call Spicy Boring – where your meal is overtly spicy, but overall, it’s missing something and it’s boring. Well, one of those things happened to me today. I threw things together, and even as I was doing it, I knew it would not turn out exactly as I wanted it to. I made the equivalent of cookie muffins today. They should have been cookies, why I put the batter in the muffin cups, I don’t know. Coconut flour, carrot, apple and oatmeal are amazing together. The flavour was incredible. But the texture… they just fell apart. Of course, that doesn’t mean I’m not going to…

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Vegan MoFo – How do days disappear?

Someone sent me an email regarding MoFo, asking me what was up and if anything was wrong. That’s the kind of nice VeganMoFo’ery that makes this such a great community. Yes, I’m okay. Everyday I write part of an entry and then get distracted with some other task. Bad MeShell. Bad! To my credit, I did manage to post every day until Middle Of MoFo on Thursday. I had the opportunity to introduce my partner One Love Vegetarian (854 Bathurst Street, Toronto, ON) recently. While we had enjoyed their delicious soup at Soupalicious earlier this month, eating at their sit down location makes it extra fun and delicious. I also wanted to mention that if you’re a local to lovely Toronto, Veggie Drinks is happening 7pm Thursday October 20th at Free Times Cafe (320 College St, Toronto). There will be two short presentations starting at 8pm. One by the ever talented photographer, videographer and vegan Karol Orzechowski – about his film Maximum Tolerated Dose (be a fan of the film on facebook.) And there will be another one that evening… but it’s TBD. So hopefully you can make it! I’m going to try and be there too! In anycase, today I made a stuffed pepper squash for lunch. Throw in some rice, lentils, chopped up veggies in a pot, cook, and stuff a pepper squash with it, and you have yourself a fabulous meal (and hey, it’s even full of protein, vitamins and delightful complex carbohydrates). It didn’t last long…

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Gluten Free Hump Day – Peanut Butter Cookies.

I haven’t been having a great time with gluten free baking. And after various trial and error situations with recipes all over the place, I’m finding myself avoiding the whole process because it’s so inconvenient. Or it just seems inconvenient because the end result is never really like the baked products I’m used to. I love the feeling of running my hands through sticky stretchy dough, kneading it, letting it rise, etc. (and yes, I think every Wednesday gluten free post will start like this – I told you, I needed/need a lot of GF convincing, but I’m trying.) But today (well, Wednesday) I made cookies. And they were actually great. First of all, I was weirded out by the flours used: sorghum, teff (of injera/ethiopian flat bread fame) and a few others, but the result was really quite awesome. I’ll admit, I was surprised. The cookies puffed up perfectly, a little crisp at the edges, chewy on the inside, the colour was really appealing, and altogether had a rich flavour. If I didn’t have an absurd to do list today I’d ride this wave of gluten free love through a few other recipes. But that’s not going to happen today unfortunately. But on the plus side – I have cookies.

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Tuesday Tasty Treats – Savory Mini Polenta Pies.

Oh Tuesday, I’d say it was my favourite day of the week, but I feel that way nearly everyday. What tasty baked item is going to appear out of my oven today? My premise, for Tuesday is still to bake something, and make sure it’s tasty, and treat sized. Well, after the pie making fun of this weekend, I really wanted to do it more, but with something savory. And something smaller than a whole pie. Well, I took stock of the vegetables I had left over from the weekend’s Thanksgiving extravaganza, realized I had used up all of my unbleached flour, and decided to make savory mini polenta pies. Unfortunately, about midway through the process, my camera batteries needed recharging so the rest (and it pretty obvious which are which) are taken with an iPad. I wanted it to be a little meal about the size of a cupcake. So I gathered up the eggplant, carrots, onions, garlic, celery, and mushrooms, cleaned them up, and put them together in a bowl to keep myself organized. I’ve also gotten into the habit of cutting up twice the amount of veggies in order to freeze them for later. As soon as it got cold outside, I started squirreling away odds and ends of veggies even though we have four or five grocery stores within walking/easy busing distance. Left over habits from living in Saskatoon during the winter and hibernating I suppose. I took all the corn meal I had left (which…

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MoFo’er Monday! Thanksgiving for Everyone!

We spent the morning making baked goods, the same ones as yesterday, for J’s family thanksgiving celebrations, and they weren’t fellow MoFo’er recipes. We also spent several hours playing WoW (while the pumpkin cheesecake chilled… yeah… that’s why). I had been trying to remember who and where the inspiration behind yesterday’s apple crumble pie was from, and I knew it was from someone I read often. The apple crumble pie is another one of those great ideas that makes perfect sense once you see it or think about it. Vegan in Brighton/JoJo blogged about going to a food market and picking up an Apple and Blackberry Crumble Tart. The picture looked so good, that after  I made the oatmeal cookie crust for J’s pumpkin cheesecake, I thought… I could make another one and get my crumble on.  And I did, and it was amazing (if I do say so myself) and so damn easy (and can I add anymore more ands to this sentence? and.) One thing that I did start wondering about during this crumble/pie/tart thing is… what’s the difference between a pie and a tart?. Answer: It doesn’t matter, they’re both delicious. My thanksgiving was peppered with recipes from fellow MoFo’ers (you know, like delicious kale pecan salad from Cupcakes and Kale, that was even better today?), so I feel content in not making anything especially for today. I’ve really been enjoying reading through the Thanksgiving recaps today! Like OMG Veg’s Moist Tender Seitan Roast. Freaking amazing looking…

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Special Event Sunday! Vegan Thanksgiving

We did our small thanksgiving a little early (today), because J has his family’s one on Monday (the real day). I’m not a big fan of the smell of roasting turkey, to the point that it makes me pretty nauseous, so I’ll be skipping the big family event tomorrow and spending it chopping cranberries finely and sprinkling them all over one of Emmie’s wet food cakes in an attempt to be Thanksgiving festive. picture by Eye of Einstein on Flickr used under CC Last year I prepared a feast for myself, and ate it while house/cat sitting during other people’s long weekend getaways. This time, I tried to cook, while fasting for Yom Kippur, preparing a Break Fast meal (vegan matzo ball soup), and also cat sitting during other people’s long weekend getaways. Goal for next year: leave town. (I’m kidding… or am I?) Real goal for next year: Invite people over for a Turkey-less vegan thanksgiving. My menu this year includes: – Cornbread Muffins, solely because I love them and they make me happy. – Onion gravy from Colleen Patrick-Goudreau’s 30 Day Vegan Challenge – Smashed garlicky potatoes. – Grapefruit Blackpepper Cranberry Sauce based a bit on last year’s recipe – The same cranberry stuffing from last year – Stuffed pepper squash. Originally planned to make this cranberry-pear rice stuffing, but ended up making a lentil white rice stuffing with spiced veggies. – The Apple Walnut Kale salad from Cupcakes and Kale listed below, except I used pecans and…

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Vegan MoFo – Things I love Thursday (TILT!)

The premise behind Things I Love Thursday posts is just to list off things you love, and talk about them (or not.) I had written a lot more, but after a computer shut down and a missing autosave, I lost it all (I don’t love when that happens). I love Lady Grey tea. I love it even more in my DEFCON Mug at 8am. I love big 2 cup mugs, usually black, smooth, and available at museum/gallery gift shops everywhere (except it seems, in Canada). I love eating apples straight off the tree. I love and hate that my cat wants to “help” me in the kitchen while I’m baking/cooking/preparing. Then after I shoo her away for the fourth or fifth time, she’ll sit on the windowsill and stare at me. Accusingly. (You can also see another thing I love in this picture – the view from outside the kitchen window. That tree is so amazingly vibrant, that it makes me smile every morning. I love reading the newspaper on paper, but reading all other books on an e-reader. I love the slow-cooker. Because without it, I probably wouldn’t be eating Peanut Almond Kale Stew at 10am. And I especially love my little Toronto family. – J’s sister gave him a picture frame for his birthday a few months ago, but she drew a little post it note picture on it… we thought it was too cute to replace. The ducks on the top are from a Nerd Night Toronto…

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Vegan MoFo – Tuesday Tasty Treats – The Great Pumpkin has arrived.

It’s Tuesday, so it’s time for some Tasty Treats. I had a great time with all the apple recipes yesterday, but despite having a kitchen filled with freshly picked apples, I’m opting to make something with another autumn favourite – Pumpkin! I have really positive memories of pumpkin related baking from the first successful (or maybe just memorable) baked item I ever made. I was about 14-15 and a bakery near our house had a delicious pumpkin spice loaf. It was fluffy and moist and delicious and I wanted to duplicate it. It was before I thought to use egg replacer or flax seeds, so I made it with a mushy banana, and threw in some dark chocolate chips. I remember hovering around the oven, nervously, trying to keep from opening the oven to take a better look. But it was by all accounts a success. I think my parents have a picture of it somewhere… on regular film! (I started this food photo thing early.) So today, I veganized a recipe I found on Canadian Living for Pumpkin Spice Muffins with a lemony maple icing. It really took me back to that loaf of chocolate pumpkin spice bread. They rose up quite well, and had a nice spongey texture, even better when smeared with lemon maple icing. I did make a few modifications to their recipe but followed it relatively closely otherwise. I opted to put in a little bit more pumpkin (I used 1 cup), and split the flour amount…

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