Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Quinoa Salad

Today started as "one of those days". I had a hard time dragging myself out of bed (as I'm unemployed and not in school until January) and then I couldn't figure out what to eat for breakfast. I settled on toast from the loaf of bread in my freezer with almond butter and raspberry jam. It made my fingers sticky.
Then I proceeded to go out to check out some apartments, none of which would work for me. (They were all tiny, dirty, or sketchy. Ugh.) After viewing apt 1 i headed back home to kill a few hours before my next appointment. I was feeling lazy and uninspired so I heated up some frozen sweet potato fries for lunch. While they were tasty, that's really a poor excuse for a lunch in my world. About an hour before I was to set out to check the next two apartments, I got an email from vegetarian times with this recipe for a spinach quinoa salad with cherries and almonds. That title was enough to set my tired, apathetic brain racing, so before I headed out for another few hours I put some quinoa in the rice cooker. (Best invention ever!) Did you know you could cook quinoa in a rice cooker? I didn't until recently and it has caused even more love and appreciation for my rice cooker than I thought possible.
I also whipped up a quick vinaigrette to let the quinoa soak up it's flavors while I was out. Then when I got home, hungry again I just threw in some chopped veggies and cooked kale, and I had a delicious healthy meal in 10 mins!
This salad was soo tasty. Fresh and healthy, but still hearty and comforting (thanks to the cooked kale) which is oh so important at this time of year. My bad day has ended on a such a great note thanks to this salad. More so, in that I just made it up as I went along, and it was delicious and healthy and satisfying.) I love when that happens.
And that, is why I love cooking.

quinoa salad

this recipe may look really long and daunting, but it's not. it's really so simple, so give it a try!

Quinoa Salad
(clearly all my creativity was used up in making the salad, so i can't name it.)

1 cup quinoa, uncooked

cook the quinoa according to directions. (Or do it the easy way and use a rice cooker! Just like you'd make rice.)

for the vinaigrette:
2-3 tbsp each: red wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar (I found these complimented each other really nicely, if you don't have both use one or the other or white vinegar or whatever you have on hand!)
1 heaping tsp dijion mustard
1 tbsp orange marmalade
5-10 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (enough until it's all thickened)
dash salt and lots of pepper
1/2 tsp mrs.dash (or other seasoning)

whisk the vinegars, marmalade, and mustard together. slowly drizzle in the oil until thickened. add the salt, pepper, and seasonings.

Mix the quinoa and vinaigrette together and let sit. (1/2 an hour or several if you can.)

for the rest of the salad:
1/4 yellow and red bell pepper
1/4 cup dried cherries or cranberries

add the veggies to the quinoa.

1 cup of kale, roughly chopped
1 clove of garlic
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
splash of soy sauce, lemon juice

dice the peppers, and chop the kale.
heat up a medium pan with the oil. once heated, add the kale and stir until it starts to wilt. add the soy and lemon juice, and garlic. keep on the heat for about a min, then remove and add to the salad.

1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
to do this just throw the pine nuts in the heated pan until toasted. watch them carefully! these babies burn fast.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Miso Gravy

Today I woke up and was at a loss for breakfast. I had no tofu for a scramble, and no cold soy for cereal. But what I did have, was a black bean burger left from the other day. And I had potatoes. So rather than treat the black bean patty as a burger, I decided to think of it as a sausage. Which would require gravy.
I ended up with my best batch of miso gravy yet! I only tried my hand at making gravy twice before, and it always turned up too thick. But not this time! Not too thick, and full of flavor, it closely resembles the gravy I grew up with at Sunday dinner, made by my english Grandmother. I always preferred the thin, strongly spiced gravy she made to the thick, milky variety my mother would make. But rather than using roast drippings, this one uses miso paste! Now I can have gravy at my holiday dinners, as I never really bothered to make my own before. But with a recipe like this, i'll make sure to include it in my holidays from now on.

vegan 'sausage' and miso gravy with homefries

(My patty broke in the pan, as I couldn't find my spatula to flip it. So I got little mini 'sausage' pattys)

Miso Gravy
(around two servings)

1 tbsp miso paste (i used red)
1 tbsp margarine
1 tbsp flour
2-3 tsp boullion base
1/4 cup of hot water (or veg. stock - if using omit the boullion base)
2 tsp mrs.dash
1/2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp paprika

In a small saucepan, melt the margarine and combine with miso paste. Add the flour and stir frequently until mixed together. Slowly add the water (or veg stock) and whisk into the miso mixture. Add the boullion and dissolve. Add the spices and whisk until everything is combined. Simmer for 3-5 mins, or longer if thicker gravy is desired.


I also made home fires with some baby potatoes and a bit of leftover sweet potato. If you haven't heard the secret to home fries yet, that's ok. I didn't know until maybe a year ago.

Home Fries
Heat some olive oil in a pan. (Medium heat) Chop your potatoes and add to the pan. Cover and let sit for about 5 mins (if using sweet potatoes, only 3 mins should do as they cook faster) DO NOT STIR. Just let them sit there or they will not be nice and crispy, and if they are not nice and crispy they will be nowhere near as good. Be patient, grasshopper. After they are nicely crisped and browned on one side, give them a stir and throw in some seasonings (i use mrs.dash and a bit of seasoning salt) and cover and cook a few more mins. Repeat until potatoes are crispy and tender.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Easiest Thing Ever - Veggie Burger

Last night I was browsing This Is Why You're Thin when I came across a picture of black bean veggie burgers. The description just said to mash up brown rice and black beans in order to make them. I've tried a few veggie burger recipes in my time, but I have never seen any that simple. And since I just so happened to have brown rice and cooked black beans hangin' out in my fridge, I set to work on mashing them up so I could have burgers today.
And they are delicious! And did I mention the easiest, simplest, recipe i've ever seen? But even with limited ingredients, these burgers do not compromise on taste. I see them becoming a welcome addition to my menus from now on.
I ate my burger with some homemade sweet potato fries. I sliced up the sweet potato thin as I could manage, sprayed em' with some pam, then put them in the oven at 425 for about 5-10 mins. Tossing once. I also ate them on regular whole grain bread since that's what was in my freezer. I didn't have much for fixin's so I just sauteed some mushrooms and scallions to layer in there.

Black Bean and Brown Rice Burgers

Black Bean Brown Rice Veggie Burgers
(measurements are just what I had kicking around, it made 3 burgers.)

1/2 cup cooked brown rice
1 scant cup cooked black beans (or canned)
2 tbsp seasonings (i used mrs.dash)
2-3 tbsp dijion mustard

If you have freshly cooked the rice and beans, mash with a fork until combined. Add spices.

If the ingredients have been sitting in the fridge for a while, you may need to pulse them in the food processor or use an immersion blender. (Which is what I did - if you do this, like me, (because I left my food processor in Alberta) be careful, as little grains of rice may go flying everywhere if you don't have a deep enough bowl and something to cover the sides. And you probably don't want to hunt around your kitchen for an hour trying to find all the little grains of rice that went flying like tiny little birds all over your kitchen.)
You are likely also going to need a binder. I found after blending the beans and rice they just weren't sticking, so I grabbed the first thing I saw in my fridge door- some dijon mustard. It worked perfectly, holding the mixture together and adding a nice spicy bite to the burgers.

Allow to sit in the fridge a few hours (or overnight) then fry up for about 3 mins per side.

Black Bean and Brown Rice Burgers

And am I crazy, or does it almost look like meat? (Except for the full grains of rice, of course.)

Monday, November 30, 2009

Best ever asian noodles

I looove noodles. Pasta in all it's many forms, egg noodles, rice noodles, soba noodles. Whatever shape or colour they are taking on, I am guaranteed to love them. Especially cold, chewy, asian inspired noodles.

asian noodle salad

So when I saw this recipe for sesame noodles on The Pioneer Woman, I had to try it out. And I am so glad I did! I've always tried making asian sesame noodles at home, but have never been able to reach perfection. Usually I just toss soy sauce, sesame oil and sirracha together. That's not bad, but not great either. Not ultimate. Not i must devour all the noodles in this bowl kind of good. I bought a pack of egg noodles from the dollar store the other day, and made this salad twice over the past 4 days. In doing so I can say with experience that this recipe gets even better after it's been sitting in the fridge for a few hours. And there is no shame in eating leftovers for breakfast.
I also added some finely sliced red pepper, some grated carrot, and sesame seeds to get some nutrients in there. But these delicious sesame soaked noodles are just fine on their own as well.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Poato Vegetable Soup

I just love a good soup. All you have to do is throw a bunch of ingredients in a pot, let it cook and presto! - you have dinner.
Like tonight when I realized just how sad my produce level was. I haven't been working for a while, so  money has been very tight lately. The past few days i've been eating pasta and frozen foods. But today I yearned for something wholesome and homemade. When I realized I was seriously lacking in the produce department, and didn't have enough for a salad or a stir fry, my plans turned to soup. A welcome dinner at this time of the year.

It all started with what vegetables I found laying in my crisper. A green pepper, a zucchini, and some arugula. In my pantry I found some potatoes that were passing their prime, and chopped 'em all up as a base for the soup. I didn't even worry about not having any veg stock on hand, as I keep a jar of Better Than Bouillon in my fridge for such cases. I lucked out with a sole can of fire roasted tomatoes and broad beans in the pantry and with some fridge staples I had a delicious dinner. This soup really embodies the "everything but the kitchen sink" approach to cooking. Which is a great approach to take, in my humble opinion. Yet it was different than most soups i've made. It was the lemon juice that really set it apart. Adding a fresh taste while still being a big warm bowl of comfort.

vegetable soup

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 large onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, cubed
1 zucchini, sliced and quartered
3 small yellow potatoes, cubed
1 clove of garlic, crushed
salt and pepper
2-3 tbsp garam masala, yellow curry powder
1 tbsp mrs.dash, + dried italian herbs

2 1/2 cups of water mixed with 2 tbsp better than bouillon paste
1 small can of fire roasted tomatoes
1 can of beans (i used broad beans - any beans would work here -white beans, chickpeas sound good.)
1/4 cup lemon juce
1/4 cup red miso paste
1 tbsp green curry paste
1 tbsp capers, chopped finely
2 bay leaves
2-3 cups of arugula (or any leafy green)

Saute the onion in the olive oil until soft. Add the potatoes and cook for a few mins. Next add the peppers and zucchini until softened. Add the spices and cook for a min.
Add the tomatoes, the water with the boulion (or veg broth), beans, miso paste (make sure it's all dissolved in the liquid), curry paste, capers, and bay leaves. Simmer over medium heat for 45 mins. Remove the bay leaves and stir in the arugula. Serve with crumbled feta, or shredded parmesean cheese.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Tofu Scramble

Every vegetarian or vegan out there has, or will at some point, come up with their formidable tofu scramble recipe. It took a couple years, okay almost 6 years- for me to discover mine. I started playing around with tofu scrambles about a year and a half ago. I'd throw some chunks of pressed tofu in a pan, dry it out, then toss in some vegetables, add a drizzle of soy sauce and call it a day.
And I wonder why I never really loved a scramble until recently....

Since I was a self taught vegetarian cook, and was afraid tofu for the first few years of being veg (I confess, the first 3 years of me being a vegetarian, my diet consisted of canned tomato soup and pasta.) I didn't fully realize what tofu scramble could really be until I tried some prepared by skillled, experienced vegetarian cooks at my favorite restaurant in my new city- The Naam. It was there I ordered a tofu scramble,  to compare with my own and see if I was doing it right. I learned that day what a tofu scramble could be. Soft, flavorful bits of tofu laced with an array vegetables and even tomatoes- something I never thought to add to my own.

After experimenting for almost a year off and on, this past July I discovered my ultimate tofu scramble. But since everyones tastes are different, I can only say how much I find it to be the best tofu scramble ever. Although my meat eating roommate who is afraid of tofu does enjoy it as well. So that has to mean something.

tofu scramble

(I know this photo is hideous, but I live in a basement apartment with no windows! And I have no good photo worthy light source.)

Erin's Tasty Tofu Scramble

1/4 block of extra firm tofu, cubed
1/2 small onion, chopped
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
curry powder to taste (i use about 3 tbsp)
1/4 cup vegetable broth

1/2 bell pepper
1/2 small zucchini
5 large mushrooms
salt and pepper
seasoning to taste (i use Mrs. Dash)
small handful of grape tomatoes

Heat some olive oil in a pan. Once it is hot, add the onions and soften. Next, add the garlic and tofu. Using a wooden spoon/paddle break up the tofu as it cooks. You want the tofu to cook out, and get the liquid out. Once that is done (about 5 mins) add the curry powder, heat for 1 min, then add the vegetable broth to de-glaze the pan in two additions. Once the broth is absorbed, remove the tofu from the pan and let sit.

Next drizzle some oil and throw in the pepper, zucchini and mushrooms with some salt, pepper, and mrs. dash. When they are cooked, add the tofu back in the pan and let the heat and flavors meld together. (Now would also be a good time to add some chopped spinach or kale, if you have it.) Add the grape tomatoes at the very end, so they are just warm but still uncooked.
I like to sprinkle mine with some good ol' kraft parmesean, but to make this vegan some nutritional yeast would do well here.

Monday, November 16, 2009


I could go on about how I really suck at this blogging thing because I can't stick with anything, and make excuses about being too busy and moving twice and living in a dungeon with no light,  but why bother? I doubt anyone actually reads this except for me. So I will post this for me so I don't forget how make these tacos, because they are delicious.

topped with spicy guacamole, cheese, and lettucce.

This vegetarian taco recipe was taught to me by a friend of mine from mexico, who is not vegetarian but would eat these growing up.
Though i've never really been compelled to eat meat, after eating these tacos I don't see why anyone else would be!

Carrot Tacos
(Thanks Karina!)

You will need: (for the tacos)
corn toritllas
3-4 carrots, shredded
1/2 onion, chopped
1/4 cup of cheese, shredded
lots of butter

carrot tacos

Heat some butter in a pot and soften the onion until translucent. In the meantime, grate the carrots. When the onions are translucent, add the carrots and some more butter, and salt. Saute until soft, around 5 mins or so. Next add the cheese and let melt. Heat the tortillas in the microwave until soft and pliable. (30 secs-1 min)
Get a medium saucepan and heat a few tbsp of oil over medium high heat. Take the carrot mixture, and put about 2 tbsp inside a corn tortilla. Roll tightly and repeat.
You can cook about 5 tacos at a time with a medium/large pan. Get a pair of tongs and flip them over while cooking to evenly brown the tacos.

For the spicy guacamole:
4 small avocados, pitted and halved
4 tomatillos
1 jalapeno pepper
1 garlic clove
3-4 tbsp cilantro
salt to taste
lemon juice

Peel and rinse the tomatillos. Put them in a pot with the jalapeno pepper and just cover with water. Boil until the tomatillos are slightly brown on the bottom, about 5-10 mins or so.
Throw rest of the ingredients together and blend in a blender or with an imersion blender. (That's what I used.) Add salt and lemon juice to taste.

Top the tacos with shredded lettuce, cheese, sour cream, and spicy guacamole. It makes for easier eating if you open up the tacos a bit to let the toppings fall in. Make sure you have lots of napkins.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Pumpkin Soup

13°C. Showers. In July.
pumpkin soup
Rather than let the forecast get me down, I am embracing the rain, as it is giving me a chance to make soup! The weather is allowing me to enjoy it without questioning my sanity for eating hot soup on a hot day. So yesterday that's exactly what happened.
This soup may scream Autum not only because it is a soup, but because it is a pumpkin soup. And it's got tons of fall flavors, not only the aforementioned pumpkin- but cinnamon, and nutmeg. (Now that i'm writing this ginger would have been right at home here, but I forgot about it at the time. Oops.) But whatever, I still have 6 cans of pumpkin from last fall. So it's a helpful soup.

pumpkin soup

As with all my recipes, this is all an approximation. So take it with a grain of salt. (Literally... Get it? SALT? FOOD! Haha!)
Erm....this will serve around 4.

Pumpkin Soup
1/2 onion, diced
2 carrots, sliced
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 tbsp olive oil
1 can of pumpkin
1 can of fire roasted tomatoes
1 can of black beans
1 box of veg broth (no idea how much this was...it was a smaller box though?)
3 tbsp yellow curry powder
1 tbsp cumin, coriander,
paprika, nutmeg,
3 tbsp of parsley (dried or fresh)
splash of lemon juice
lil' splash of maple syrup
2 cinnamon sticks
red pepper flakes (to taste)

Heat the oil and add the onion, garlic, and carrots. Soften and add your spices. Cook a min or so. Add the pumpkin, the beans, the broth, and the tomatoes. Also take one of the empty cans and fill it with water, then throw it in the soup. Add the cinnamon sticks. Let simmer a while. 10-15 mins. Then add the parsley, lemon juice, maple syrup and red pepper flakes.
Serve with a dollop of sour cream, and garnish with green onions and pecans if you are so inclined.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Easy Pea-sy

So i'm moving to a new place on Friday, and with today being Monday (and me being a procrastinator) it's crunch time. Today I went all out and packed almost my entire kitchen!
Then I realized it was dinner time.
Luckily I hadn't touched the pots and pans yet, and I had some leftover rice from a few nights ago stashed in my fridge. I also found some canned pineapple in there. Heated up in a pan with some frozen green things (peas and edamame) I had dinner in less than 5 mins!
This was beyond easy to make- (I literally just threw whatever looked edible in a pan and heated it up) but it turned out so good. It may not be fancy, but it redeems it's self by being just so damn easy. It's one of those things that may not sound or look amazing, but tastes amazing. I just love when that happens.

rice with peas and edamame

Cleanin' out the Apartment Rice

(warning: these measurements could be all out of whack as I never pay attention to measurements. use your discretion.)
1/2 cup of left over rice (this wouldn't work with fresh rice)
1/3 cup of canned crushed pineapple, with juice (seperated)
1 tbsp crushed garlic (mine was from a jar...sshhh)
1/4 cup of frozen peas
1/4 cup of edamame
1 tbsp of green curry paste
1 tbsp of pesto
1-2 tsp lemon or lime juice
splash of soy sauce

and to taste:
hot chili sauce (or red pepper flakes)
ground black pepper

Heat up your pan with oil or a non stick spray (what I used). Add the rice and garlic and sautee a min or so. Next add the pineapple juice and stir. Add the peas and edamame after about a min. Keep stirring. Add the curry paste, pesto, lime, and soy sauce. Add the pineapple chunks. Keep stiring until all the pineapple juice is absorbed. Add some chili sauce or siracha to taste. (Which is really what makes this dish, in my humble opinion!)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Fish-Free Pad Thai

Where has this recipe been all my life?!
I have always loved pad thai but usually feel guilty about eating it, as one of the main ingredients in most pad thai dishes is fish sauce. So when out for thai food, I usually just advert my thoughts and pretend I don't know there's fish sauce in pad thai.
That and eating the occasional poutine is the only "bad vegetarian" things I do. (Shhh! Don't tell Peta!)
But this recipe is fish sauce free and delicious! I'd like to keep experimenting with it to get it perfect, but for now this does the trick!

pad thai

Pad Thai sauce
2-3 tbsp tamarind paste
1/4 cup hot water
3 tbsp soy sauce
1-2 tsp chili sauce
2-3 tbsp brown sugar
1-2 tsp crushed garlic + ginger
1-2 tsp lime juice

Whisk all ingredients together.
Fry up soaked rice noodles in a heated pan with a tablespoon of oil. Once all the noodles are heated add the sauce. Top with whatever fixins' strike your fancy: steamed vegetables, bean sprouts, chopped peanuts, fried tofu, egg, etc.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Summer in a bowl

summer in a bowl

One of the things I really appreciate about summer is the effect it has on my appetite. I find that in the summer months I start craving crisp, cool, fresh, fruits and veg. All my favorites are widely available in the summer and are even pretty affordable . 
The only downside is that summer also increases my cravings for ice cream... but then again I have been known to walk around in the harsh winter nights of Alberta, clutching a marble slab in hand just because it's too damn good to pass up. (Luckily Vancouver winters are much tamer then  what I was used to when I lived in Edmonton...) So I guess I can't really blame summer for that one.

But I digress.
So I stocked up on produce last night and put all my findings into a bowl today and delcared it a salad. Even though today I realized I forgot to buy lettuce last night. (Luckily I had bok choy- the leaves worked nicely in place of lettuce.) Crisp, cool, fresh, and filling it hit the spot-now that the heat has returned to Vancouver, and  just so happen to live in the worlds hottest apt. (S/E facing with all windows. It's like a greenhouse.) 
I look forward to many more of these salads for the rest of the season.

I just used whatever was on sale/looked yummy from last night's grocery haul but almost any mix of fruit and veg would yield  lovely results. 

I used:
1/2 ataulfo mango (or whatever mango you can get your hands on)
1/4 green bell pepper
1/4 red bell pepper
1/3 red onion
3-4 stalks baby bok choy. 
1-2 tbsp fresh cilantro or herb of your choice
1 tbsp lemon or lime juice (zest would be a good idea if you are using fresh fruit to get your juice)
few drops of extra virgin olive oil
dash of salt and pepper
red chili flakes to taste
nuts to garnish

dice your veg and toss with the rest of your ingredients. that's it. really. 

i tossed some chopped walnuts and pecans in there for some crunch and protein. almonds would be a good choice to as they could play off the fruity hints in this salad. 
also i imagine some crumbled goat cheese joining the party next time. 

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Olive-Artichoke spread

olive artichoke spread

So "they" say that it's not a good idea to go grocery shopping when you're hungry. They say that doing so for whatever reason causes you to impulse shop and buy more than you really need. What I find happens to me is I buy things that I otherwise hate. The worst case of this being olives. As long as I can remember I have never liked olives. I only ever tolerate them in the occasional greek salad if i'm ordering it at a restaraunt but that's about all I can handle. But a little while ago I shopped when I was hungry (which I admit sometimes happens, though I try not to let it) and I ended up with a jar of olives and no idea what to do with 'em. On the odd occasion if I had a friend over who liked olives they'd nibble on them but always forget to take the jar home, so it's been stuck here for months. Until the other day. That's when I found a recipe for "artichoke olive crostini" on smitten kitchen. I love artichokes and it sounded pretty tasty so I set to work. 

olive artichoke spread copy

But since i'm not adding anything to this recipe, I thought i'd spice things up with a picture recipe instead. I just listed all the ingridents because it looked better then cramming directions in as well, but seriously-take a guess what you do with what's listed. (Just blend it! Food processer, magic bullet, vita mix, whatever you've got!)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Hearty Veggie Soup

The past two days have been disturbingly chilly, while this weekend past was filled with warm, sunny, glorious weather. It was a pretty big damper (pun somewhat intended) when Wednesday reared it's cold, rainy head.

So in order to comfort myself I set out to make some soup. Not expecting much, I was pleasantly suprised with what I came up with. Simple and delicous.

hearty soup

Broccoli, Carrot and Kale soup with Pasta

makes two servings

1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 yellow onion, diced small
1 1/2 carrots, peeled and sliced
1/4 head of broccoli, chopped
2-3 leaves of kale, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic
1 tsp italian herbs
4 cups of water
2 tsp veg. bouillon paste
splash of lemon or lime juice
1 cup of pasta (I used rigatoni)
1/4 cup of miso paste

Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add onions and carrot and cook 5 mins. Add broccoli florets and chopped up broccoli stalk and cook another 5 mins. Next add the garlic and kale and cook another minute or so. Add the herbs, water, lemon/lime juice, bouillon and bring to a boil. Next add the pasta and cook until pasta is al dente, about 7-10 minutes depending on what you use. When the pasta is cooked, add the miso paste and simmer until incorporated. Serve topped with parmesean cheese if you really want things special.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Vegetarian Poutine

Oh, poutine! Such a disturbing and delicious dish. Although the idea of cheese curds atop a mountain of fries smothered in gravy is enough to give you a heart attack (literally) it is oh so delicious. It used to be one of my favorite things to get every year or so until I became a vegetarian. Then I had to say farewell to the poutine, as it is impossible to find a vegetarian version that is close to the original. The only vegetarian poutine I've ever found was made with roasted yams, feta, and sesame gray. Still a really good dish, and probably a lot healthier- but sometimes you just want something that tastes damn good and that's it. Turn off that little voice in your head that's babbling on and on about fat, calories and sodium and just enjoy the deliciousness. Which is what you should do when you dig in to poutine.

This was also my first time making gravy, and it turned out pretty decent for a first try. Although I think I added too much flour, as it was pretty thick and I prefer my gray runny. Oh well. At least the taste was there.

vegetarian poutine

Miso gravy:

2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 white onion, diced
1 small clove of garlic, minced
1 tbsp of flour
1/2 cup of water
2-3 tbsp miso paste
2-3 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp herbs of your choice (i used a blend)
salt, pepper

Head the oil over medium heat and add the onion and garlic until soft. Next add the flour until it forms a rue. Slowly add the water while stirring constantly, then add the rest of the ingridients until dissolved. Add salt and pepper to taste. If you need to thicken it, add more flour.

Roasted potatoes

1 small russest potato
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp seasonings (i used mrs.dash and black pepper)

Preheat oven to 400. Wash, peel and chop the potato then coat in olive oil and seasoning. Roast for 15-20 mins.

Then to make the poutine just dice some mozzarella cheese over the potatoes, then top with miso gravy. Dig in to the cheesy salty deliciousness and try not to think to much about what you are eating.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Soup is souper!

Judging by my last post, it seems like soup is the only exciting thing i've made as of late. And since all I have to post about right now is soup, I guess that still holds true.

I find that soups are the one meal where it's possible to make a single serving. Since I live alone and begin to resent leftovers the third night in a row, I try to make one person meals whenever possible. However, it's something still find difficult. Whenever I begin a meal I always add too much of an ingredient, because it looks so scant-but then I have to up the quantity of other ingredients so that it all balances out, which sticks me with lots of leftovers and the same boring meal all week long!

Now I know these photos are dark and dingy, and the soups may seem a bit passe, but they've been nice meals to me when I am at a loss of what to eat and have 3 boxes of vegetable stock that is going to expire in two weeks. The looming expiration of my veg. stock was a good motivation to try out a soup i'd never had before-french onion. Since it's traditionally made with beef stock i've had to stay away from it-even though the cheesy goodness looked so appetizing. I just so happened to have an onion around at the right time and as fate would have it, I had my first bowl of onion soup.

Onion Soup

onion soup

This is really too easy for words. Basically just slice up an onion, sautee at bit in a saucepan for about 15 mins. Throw in some salt and pepper and some dried herbs of your liking. Next add about 1 cup or so of vegetable stock and let simmer for as long as your hunger will allow. For me this was about 15 mins. Throw it in an oven safe dish and top with some homemade croutons and swiss cheese, then stick it under the broiler until the cheese is nice and melty.

No nutrition, but oh so yummy and warming.

Broccoli Cheese Soup
This one at least will give you some vitamins, but is just as easy as the onion soup!

broccoli cheese soup

Saute a small bunch of broccoli with 1/2 an onion and a clove of garlic in some olive oil until tender. Feel free to add salt, pepper, or whatever herbs or seasonings you like. Next, add your veg. stock and simmer about 20 mins. When you are ready to eat puree the soup with an immersion blender and top with cheese.

Really these are incredibly simple easy dinners to fall back on. Especially on cold rainy February nights when it's dark out and need a warm cup of comfort.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Spicy Soup!

Please forgive the less than steller photo in this post, because this is a really stellar soup! I finally got a new camera but have yet figured out how to get a good macro out of it. And since when I made this it was dark, the little bit of lighting I do have in my apartment really didn't do much to help the situation.

It all started when I set out to make this white bean kale recipe from 101 cook books. I started out making the tomato sauce (with a few adaptions) until I realized that I had to be at work in less than an hour, and since this recipe had a 45 min baking time that was just not going to work. (I really need to plan these things better.) So I decided to take the same ingredients and make a soup out of it!

This is an incredibly easy, healthy and hearty stewish soup that would be great on a chilly day. Or any ol' day will do!

spicy soup

Spicy Tomato Kale and White Bean Soup
makes one super serving, or two smaller ones

14 oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 tsp oil
1 tbsp red chili flakes
1 tbsp italian herbs
1 tbsp chili paste
1 tbsp ketchup
1 tsp lemon juice
few tbsp of sriracha, to taste (optional, throw in if you like things spicy)

1/2 can white beans
2 stalks of kale, washed and chopped well

Simmer the garlic and oil in a small pot until fragrant. Add the can of tomatoes, as well as the spices and other sauces. Let simmer 5 mins. Next add the beans and kale and let simmer another 10-15 mins.

I'm really looking forward to the little bit of this I had left over for tomorrow's lunch. I think I will enjoy it with some sauteed mushrooms thrown in and some crumbled feta on top.