Saturday, 31 December 2011

Bill Clinton - vegan (video)

I picked up the new Veg Magazine yesterday and they always have great recipes. However I also love the info of what's going on in terms of progress for animal rights, and who is stirring things up.

One of the little clip articles they were talking about is Bill Clinton and Al Gore. Bill Clinton has become vegan since his heart surgery. Al Gore is making some noise over less meat consumption for climate change reasons. I wonder if a new documentary is in the making.

Here is the video of Bill Clinton being interviewed.

This week David and I took the kids to the newly renovated Science World and they have a new area devoted to sustainability. It's quite a depressing room. We are consuming way too much. What is it going to take for people to think smaller instead of bigger? Smaller houses, smaller dinner plates, less clothes...

Friday, 30 December 2011

Chickpea vegetable curry - spicy (Gluten free and vegan)

This recipe is for people who like "kick" in their food.

This is from one of my favourite cook books. 1,000 vegan recipes.

1 tbs of oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
1 large potato, peeled and chipped
2 garlic cloves
1 tsp of fresh ginger
1 tbsp of curry powder
1/2 tsp of ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 cup water
2 cups cooked or 2 cans of chickpeas
1 cup frozen peas
1 can chopped hot or mild green chilies * I put in one chili pepper and it was too hot for me, I think this ingredient is optional)
1 can unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 cup raisins
1 tsp of sugar
salt and black pepper -season

1. In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat.
Add onion, carrots, potato, and garlic.
Cover and cook until softened, about 5 min
2. Stir in ginger, curry powder, cumin, coriander and cook, uncovered, 1 min longer. Add the water and simmer, about 20 min
3. Add the chickpeas, peas, chilies, and coconut milk, raisins, sugar, and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer uncovered for 20 min.

This makes a lot of food!
I found the chili to be too spicy for me so I added a bunch of mint that I had dried.


Thursday, 29 December 2011

Who likes pink rice?

So I took out some falafel that was frozen in the freezer and mixed some tandoori spice with some leftover rice in the fridge and used up our last bit of roasted chickpeas and spinach. For a bunch of leftovers it was pretty good lunch. The kids thought pink rice was pretty neat.


Wednesday, 28 December 2011

In the news...awareness is growing

Wow, is awareness ever changing. When I was learning about how our food system works there was maybe 3 books on the topic. Now when I go to Chapters there is 3 or 4 shelves with 6 or 7 different authors with books on the topic. They also have published The China Study from the movie Forks and Knives and is now available from purchase from Chapters.

Today in the news:

1. Scientist link obesity to scarring in brain
2. Vending machines offer healthy options
3. Cooking with kids means quality time, food
4. Plenty to beef about

and yesterday...Eco-labelled farm fish offer little environmental benefit, University of Victoria study concludes

Look up
for links to articles

I recommend the book stuffed and starved to anyone who wants to learn more about the food system. Warning, it's quite depressing and you'll never want to eat again.

And on that note....Enjoy!

The lettuce wrap - endless ideas

This was my lunch yesterday. I love lettuce wraps. They are gluten free, super easy, and make anything that you put in them taste good. The lettuce as a wrap is so nice and light, and crispy. It makes your meal look beautiful and I just feel so good eating them.

Inside this one is green onion, Italian parsley, red pepper, left over and warmed vegan chili "meat", vegannaise, and a few spinach leaves. It doesn't look like much but I was full. That's another good thing about wraps.

For those who are gluten free or who want to trim their waistlines and eat less wheat, lettuce wraps can be used for many things.  I use them as a bun for vegan burgers, I just top my burger and wrap it in lettuce. (The gluten free buns have eggs in them) Anything that you would put in a sandwich you can wrap with lettuce. You can put different curries mixed with rice in them too. So yummy!
They are a great way to eat leftovers.

There is also different types of lettuce to add some variety. In an earlier post I showed the red lettuce, and this is a type of Chinese lettuce/cabbage.


Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Some of my favourite products

Here is a list of some of my favourite products. More to come later...

This is the best gluten free bread I can find. It's Udi's. They make hotdog and hamburger buns, cookies, bread, raisin bread, bagels, etc.

This is vegan margarine and it's soy free. So no dairy, soy, eggs, animal protein.

This is my favourite vegan mayo. No dairy, no eggs.

Vegan sour cream.

Coconut yogurt. No dairy, no nuts, no soy.

Bragg offers a lot of flavor and makes tofu extra yummy. It's great for a stir-fry.

Soy cream for coffee. Vegan.

I have more products I will be posting in the future. These companies should be paying me for this!! :)


Monday, 26 December 2011

Gluten free, vegan, whole food resources - to infinity and beyond

I have recently started my online networking with facebook, twitter, and my blog. I just have to say HOLY COW! The amount of information, and recipes and people who are passing information is insane. I could spend 8 hours a day just trying to read all the information out there.

Type in the search engines for any of the topics that you are looking for. Gluten information and I hope everyone loves to cook and bake! :)


Gluten free pastry shells

Pastry shells are wheat, and I haven't found a gluten free version or a recipe for gluten free pastry....yet. But I am on it.

We had veggie burgers recently and since Tyler can't eat them, he can't eat soy and wheat, then he had a beef burger. We order our beef from our local farmers market and the cows are grass fed and raised naturally. I highly recommend supporting small farms. It feels good, and the quality in the meat is quite stunning. We had some leftover ground beef and I wanted to use that up. So I added an egg with gluten free bread crumbs and I made him a beef muffin that I cut in half to create his burger in a gluten free bun.

It worked. He enjoyed it.

Muffin pans can be used for all sorts of gluten free versions of things, that require shells or pastry. If anyone has a great gluten free pastry recipe please share.


Saturday, 24 December 2011

Colour and food art

Doesn't this look yummy? It was!! It looks yummy partly because of colour.

Cabbage, brussel sprouts, mushrooms, onions, garlic, ginger, cilantro, Bragg, maple syrup.

3 Types of potatoes roasted. Crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Roasted at 425 in the oven, with a bit of sea salt.

The rest of our dinner was rice, roasted chicken (for the meat eaters), chickpeas, and boiled carrots - a more kid friendly veggie.



Friday, 23 December 2011

Is this crazy or what?

When you eat mostly fresh food, this is what your fridge will look like after a grocery trip. Is this crazy?

Thursday, 22 December 2011

My favorite way to eat spinach

This is my favourite way to use spinach. I do a stir-fry and in the last 30 sec I toss in a bunch of spinach. It's enough to coat them with the sauce, make them warm but they still hold their structure and aren't soggy.


1 tsp garlic
1 tsp of fresh ginger
1 tbsp curry powder
1 tbsp coconut oil
a few strips of lemongrass
1/2 cup of potato water (I was also boiling potatoes)

I was trying out a new soup from Happy Planet. It's their Indian split pea soup. Yummy. As you can see I almost finished it before I remembered to take a picture.

2 Samosas

I finished it off with some Indian tea that I received as a gift.


Wednesday, 21 December 2011

New brand for gluten free soy sauce - Yeah!

I was at Choices today and they now label all of their gluten free products beside the price on the shelf. Makes for easy shopping!

Here is a new gluten free soy sauce from Kikkoman (I love this brand) and it is larger in quantity and cheaper. The other kind was $8 and change, and this brand is $5.79

There has been an explosion of gluten free products over the last 6 weeks. Wow.

I even saw Subway has a Vegan sandwich.

We need to keep purchasing mindfully and obviously the food industry is paying attention.


Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Chickpea curry with a twist

So this is a chickpea curry with rice and bok choy, my twist.

The chickpea curry is made with:

A general curry spice paste
3 garlic cloves
4 chopped tomatoes
1 yellow onion
Fresh cilantro

Rice - in  a rice cooker

With steamed bok choy (only 2 min) as a spoon. It was interesting, this was the first time I mixed bok choy with an Indian dish. It was really nice.

My son loves chickpeas and so he loved it. My daughter doesn't so I took some pre-boiled chicken out of the freezer and sprinkled a powdered spice for butter chicken and fried it up in some vegan margarine and both kids loved the chicken. They however didn't go for the bok choy. (I'm not surprised)


Monday, 19 December 2011

Potato starch noodles at the food court

There is a Korean fast food place in the food court of Metrotown and they have noodles made from potato starch. They had veggies with it, and I think fish but not certain.


Pizza, pizza with veggies

So, here is what we ate for dinner last night. My parents are in town so we made lots of pizza. We made the pizza with gluten free bread dough, the best I have found is Red Mill from Canadian Super Store. We had a mixture of soy cheese for Alex, David, and my parents. Vegan cheese for me, and goat cheese for Tyler, who can't have soy.

My parents who would normally eat cow cheese and wheat pizza enjoyed the pizza and said they didn't notice a difference.

There is vegan pepperoni on top, and this is what the pizza looked like before I put it in the oven.

 We also had a salad with seeds sprinkled in it.

We also ate this:

I don't know what to call it. I wasn't following a recipe. Here is what I put in it.

Cherry tomatoes (sliced)
Cilantro (fresh and lots of it)
Shredded carrots
Bean sprouts
Olive oil, garlic, and balsamic vinegar

It was goooood.


Sunday, 18 December 2011

Coconut cheese...not here yet, but you can make your own

So I was talking with Cheryl from Choices from the 10th ave in New West location and I asked her if they were going to start to carry coconut cheese. She took my phone number and told me she would look into it and get back to her. She called around to her supplies and asked around. Unfortunately no one has heard of coconut cheese. (I heard about it from a friend who is from the US) So, the news is that it took a while for coconut yogurt to get into Canada due to labelling issues, but if I wanted to the store to stock anything I could bring in a package and they would try and stock it. I thought wow, cool. :)

I found this on goggle on how to make your own coconut cheese. I am sure there are lots of recipes out there to make all sorts of non-dairy cheeses:

This post of from Yahoo Answers:

You can make non-dairy cheese out of soy, oats, almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, rice, and hempseed, so why not coconut milk? I think the biggest challenge would be that coconut has a very strong, distinctive taste, which doesn't lend itself to the fermented flavor of cheese. But you can make yogurt and kefir from coconut, so it would be an interesting experiment.

Oh, but wait! It looks like it's already been done! I just found this post on a message board:

"Mozzerella, Provolone, Parmesean... Chameleon White Coconut Cheese
Just learned this one today from Koalani, one of my very best friends, while we were feasting on coconuts. Since we've been back down in Miami the two of us have been eating fresh finds daily, and after a few weeks finally have taken the time to "prepare" some of the meat first.

What you will need:
Some coconut meat straight from the shell (not dehydrated)
Dash of sea salt
Cold Pressed Olive Oil (very very little is needed)
optional: pinch of fresh thyme (or other fresh herb, experiment )

First I shred the coconut using the large holes of a cheese grator. A food processor will likely do the trick also, but without quite the same "shredded cheese-like" effect.

Place the coconut into a container and add a drop or two of olive oil. Coconut is already so oily you do not need but a tad for flavor. Sprinkle a dash of celtic or himmalayan salt and mix vigorously. Add a tiny bit of fresh herbs if you would like an "herbed" cheese effect. Your Done !

I was eating it by itself at first, then put some into fresh spinach leaves and ate them rolled up, then ran home and made zuchinni pasta and fresh raw basil and put my new-found "parmesean" on top of my lovely raw pesto pasta. This cheese can be any white shredded cheese you want it to be!

Thank you Koalani and the Coconut Palm in Tavernier this delightful concotion came from."

Friday, 16 December 2011

Sweet potato starch noodles - very interesting

So tonight, I made noodles that are made from sweet potato starch. They were very elastic. It was good. Another gluten free option. The only ingredient is sweet potato starch.

I soaked them in cold water for an hour before I tossed them in the wok with a cup of water, soy sauce, and garlic. 

Here is what the package looks like. I got them from the Canadian Super Store.

Gluten free chocolate treats

Now this is my kind of dessert making!

Gluten free pretzels with chocolate sauce (melted chocolate chips, almond milk and vegan soy free margarine)

Just dip and then put in the freezer


Thursday, 15 December 2011

Falafel - another easy protein

So I made Falafel this evening. It was very very easy, as I didn't make it from scratch. I used a mix. All I had to do was mix it with water and let stand for an hour and roll into balls. It says to fry them in oil but I just baked them in the oven and they were yummy. I dipped them in garlic mayo (vegannaise). I forgot to take a picture of them so here is what the box looks like.

For those who are also interested I made scallop potatoes and we each put on our own grated cheese instead of cooking it in the dish.

We had broccoli and carrots lightly cooked in a margarine with Greek seasoning. The kids had chicken leftover from the fridge in the same seasoning.

The leftover Falafel balls, and there are a lot of them, are in the freezer for a future meal.


Potato and Leek soup

I made a potato and leek soup the other day and it was so good.  Great comfort soup for the winter.

I sauted the leek, and I added mushrooms, and purred them together. I boiled the potatoes and used the potato water.

- 4 potatoes
- 1 leek
- 3 large mushrooms sliced
- water, that the potatoes were cooking in
- Cilantro a handful
- a few shakes of salt

 The leek really adds flavor.


Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Lunch idea

So this is an indulgence in wheat for me. I used a wrap to put a green onion, a red type of lettuce, fried mushrooms, with vegannaise as a spread. It was yummy. Simple, and easy. The mushrooms were very juicy and made the vegannaise sauce run and I wiped it up with the wrap. Sometimes I feel like I just gotta give in and eat some wheat. So far my tummy is fine.
If you wanted something with more spice you can add garlic to the vegannaise, or you can also top it with avacoado, or smoke tofu. The ideas for a wrap are endless.


Smoked Tofu - an easy transition

Yesterday I tried smoked tofu for the first time. I cut a small piece and started humming. Yummy. It was really interesting, I had never eaten tofu with that kind of texture. It was like eating a piece of smoked ham. For those of you who like meat sandwiches, I think this is an excellent transition food or an occasional alternative to those who want other protein options.

Here is what the wrapper looks like. I got if from Choices.

Here is what the tofu looks like.


Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Peanut sauce

So I just finished making a peanut sauce. I have seen many different versions of peanut sauces. This one is a spicy version, but you can play around with the measurements of the ingredients. In this sauce I would actually prefer to have put in less soy sauce.

This recipe is from the book Vegan Planet pg 160. I highly recommend the book. I use it a lot!

1/2 cup smooth natural peanut butter
1 tbs minced garlic
1/4 cup of soy sauce - (I would suggest puting half this, maybe 2 tbsp and see if you want to add more)
1/4 cup water
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp chili paste
1 tsp sugar
2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro leaves

In a smal bowl or food processor combine all the ingredients. You can use it now, or cover and store in the fridge for 4 days.

Peanut sauce is great to use as a dipping sauce for spring rolls, or to pour over rice bowls and pasta. Kids can also like to dip celery in the sauce, or any protein that you choose for them. I would just make the sauce as simple as you can and leave out the spicy stuff.


Monday, 12 December 2011

Different ways to use up your leftovers

So last night I made Aloo Ghobi, and today I turned 1/2 the leftovers into soup. I purred them really well in the food processor when it was still cold, and added coconut milk.

You can add more milk if you like to make it thinner, or you can a vegetable stock if you don't want it to be too creamy. It was yummy. Good thick, stick to your ribs, comfort food.

You can also puree an Indian dish to make samosas, or you can put it in a casserole dish and put a pastry cover on top, or bread crumbs to make more of a casserole dish. This is great to stick in the freezer and you can add it to a meal when you have company over to help fill everyone up. Give it a try, what else would be good pureed?


Sunday, 11 December 2011


We went to an all vegan, gluten free, and local food eatery last night. It was yummy. I left feeling very full, like Thanksiving full. Tyler was able to eat everything we ordered, which was really lovely. He and alex enjoyed the gluten free cupcake at the end. It was a really nice place, and they had a kids table with colouring activities, stamps, stickers etc, all in the dinosaur theme. Tyler already wants to go back. They are in Port Moody incase anyone here wants to go.

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Edamame...another easy protein option

This first time I had these I was at a sushi restaurant and it was love at first taste. Edamame is soybeans. You can buy these in bulk if you like and they come separated in portion sizes. You just take them right out of the freezer and you can steam them in 5 min. Sprinkle them with salt and then slide the beans out with your teeth. Don't eat the whole thing. You just want the beans inside their shell and you suck them out.

You can cover them in anything you want. You can make a glaze that I blogged about previously. Of you just sprinkle with salt, or dip them in soy sauce or a dipping sauce for spring rolls. The options are endless. Soy is also a complete protein.


Friday, 9 December 2011

An easy protein snack

1 tsp sesame seed oil
a sprinkle of sea salt
1 can of chickpeas

Toss in a wok or you can bake them in the oven

It only takes a couple of min in a wok, and they are soft, warm, and yummy. You can bake them in the oven if you want them more crispy and chewy. They will shrink in size when in the oven.

You can still see the steam rising.

My son loves chickpeas. I have 13 pictures of him inhaling them, and carrying them around the house. Here are just a couple.

The last one is him trying to stuff as many as he can in his hand before he decides to just carry the whole bowl around with him.

These are an easy snack to make, and keep in the fridge to just keep on hand. They can also be added into salads, soups, stir-fries...anything really.

The sesame oil is really key in making this so yummy.