Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Pumpkin # 2

Here's my second pumpkin!

Tossed Pizza - Oh Mia!

This month's Daring Baker's challenge was a hand-tossed pizza crust from “The Bread Baker's Apprentice: Mastering The Art of Extraordinary Bread” by Peter Reinhart.  I've made many a pizza crusts, but never had I attempted to hand toss them.  And now I know why.  I'm not ashamed to admit that I totally suck at it.  I have a new found admiration for the guys in the Italian pizzaria down the street who toss thier dough and end up with perfectly circular pizza pies.
                  BEFORE                                              AFTER
After I tossed the dough in the air it looked more like one of the Hawaiian islands than a pizza!  I even tried singing "when the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's amore"  in a really bad Italian accent but it didn't help at all.  But once my pizza was cooked it didn't look so bad, and it tasted really good.
I made a pesto sauce and then topped it with freshly roasted garlic, artichoke hearts, tomatoes and mushrooms.  I added some fresh ground pepper right before I chowed down becuase pepper is yummy on just about everything and this is no exception.  Yes, the dough takes 2 days to make, but it's worth it.  The recipe yields six crusts, so I put the extra dough in the freezer so I wouldn't overdose on pizza.  You'll see how those ones turn out over the next few weeks.
I tried to cut and paste the recipe here twice, and both times my internet window crashed :(  But if you come across “The Bread Baker’s Apprentice” by Peter Reinhart, give the “Pizza Napoletana” recipe a try.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Great Pumpkin

I just carved this pumpkin today and I couldn't wait until Hallowe'en to see it in all its glory.   I still have another one to carve, but this is a lot of work and I was all pumpkined out by the time I finished.  I'll do the other one tomorrow.
 I love munching on pumpkin seeds when they are still warm from being baked in the oven. P umpkin seeds are so easy to bake, just toss them in a little bit of olive oil and sprinkle on some salt or other seasoning (I used smoked garlic chipotle salt) and bake at 275 for about 45-50 minutes.  Shake them up a bit as they are baking a couple of times so they cook evenly.  YUM!

Sorce Salba Krispy Rice Bars

Day 28 of VeganMoFo...
Move over Rice Krispies squares!  I found some amazing little treats made by Source Salba that are Vegan, 100% Natural, Wheat Free, Trans Fat Free and Peanut/nut free.  Each bite sized bar bar contains a whopping 200mg of Omega-3 and 2 grams of fibre.  This is already our second package of way these treats are going to last until Hallowe'en! 

Friday, October 24, 2008

Tag: Six Random Things

Jen at Chasing Domestic Bliss has tagged me with Six Random Things.

The rules are:

1. Link to the person or persons who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Write six random things about yourself.
4. Tag six people at the end of your post and link to them.
5. Let each person know they’ve been tagged and leave a comment on their blog.
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

Along with 6 random things you are also supposed to post 6 things you love.

Random things about me:
  1. I cannot keep a cactus plant alive. I've had at least six of them in the past 10 years and they all die from either being over watered or under watered.  I just can't get it right.
  2. I think brussels sprouts stink when my room mate steams them in the microwave.  Are they little baby cabbages?  Ironically I like cabbage, but for some reason I don't like brussels sprouts at all.  Pehaps if they were prepared differently I might give them a second chance...
  3. I read Tarot cards for my friends.  My brother gave me a Spanish Tarot deck as a gift many years ago and I have been fascinated with them ever since.
  4. I ordered deep fried pickles once at a pub in St. Louis...and loved them!
  5. When I was a little girl my favorite cartoon was Jem and the Holograms.  I even had a Jem barbie doll.
  6. I hiked up Diamond Head volcano in Hawaii in flip flops when I was 7 months pregnant.   Not an easy task, but so worth the spectacular view!
6 Things I love:
  1. My daugher Naimah
  2. Animals, especially cats
  3. Swimming in the Caribbean Sea
  4. Travelling
  5. The colour pink
  6. Dark chocolate
So now I'm supposed to tag 6 blogs...but instead I'm going to tag anyone who likes bussels sprouts!  Surely there's at least 6 of you out there ;)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Pumpkin Spice Bread

I absolutely love the scent of cloves, allspice, cinnamon and nutmeg, especially when they are coming from my kitchen!  I call this group of fragrant spices my "autumn spices" because when I smell them I think about a cold rainy day when red and orange leaves are dropping from the trees outside. They just smell like autumn.  I  morphed a banana loaf recipe into a pumpkin counterpart and of course after making substitutions and additions, the final recipe is nothing like its original.
If you're familiar with my baking at all, you already know that this is super healthy, with no almost no sugar or fat, but don't worry, it's definitely full of flavour.
Pumpkin Spice Bread
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped pecans
4 packets of stevia
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp cloves
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp allspice
1/2 cup agave nectar
4 tbsp ground flax + 6 tbsp water
1/4 cup unsulphered, blackstrap molasses
1 cup pumpkin puree

Combine the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.  In a small mixing bowl, stir together the remaining ingredients.  Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until just mixed, do not over mix.  Pour batter into a lightly oiled loaf pan .  Sprinkle a handful of pumpkin seeds on top if desired, and bake at 350 for 1 hour.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Maple Glazed Acorn Squash

 As I mentioned in a previous post, one of the dishes served at our Thanksgiving feast was some mouth-watering, maple syrup glazed acorn squash.  I love the shape the ridges make along the outer edges when it's sliced.  So pretty!  Acorn squash is high in fibre and potassium, and the flesh is slightly sweet tasting.  Perfect for adding even more sweetness, right?

Cut the squash in half vertically (same direction as the ridges) and scoop out the pulp and seeds.  You can save the seeds for toasting later, they are a great snack.  Next, place the squash with the cut side facing down and cut against the ridges, so you get little half-moon shapes with ridges along the edges.  Toss the squash in a bowl along with some maple syrup and olive oil.  I didn't measure, but I'd guess I used about 1/4 or 1/3 cup of syrup, with about 1/8 cup olive oil.  Once it's all coated, spread into a casserole dish and bake at 400 for 15 minutes.  Turn slices over, and/or stir it up a it and bake for another 20 minutes or so, until tender.

Sprinkle some roasted pecans on top just before serving.

Lo Mein a la CCV

It's day 16 of VeganMoFo and I have somehow fallen behind in my attempt to have about 20 posts this month.  It's time to catch up! 

Not too long ago, Chocolate Covered Vegan made lo mein and I have not been able to stop thinking about it ever since.  I love asian cuisine, and this recipe looked so easy to make, I just had to give it a try.  I'm so glad I did because it is so delicious and nutritious ;)

I cooked up some brown rice spaghetti, and sauteed some sugar snap peas, yellow bell pepper, onion, mung bean sprouts and carrots in a spicy peanut sauce.  I wanted to add some protein to it so I added an Yves Chicken patty, sliced it into strips.  (One of these days I'll get around to making seitan.)  When it was all in the bowl I added a splash of Braggs.  Seriously, this is so easy to make.  Thanks for the inspiration, CCV!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

More Vegan Mofo

I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving.  Our friend sent us home with generous leftovers from her wonderful feast yesterday.  Among the vegan fare was maple pecan acorn squash (which was ridiculously delicious and I will be cooking one just like it later this week!), a spring mix salad with dried cranberries and raspberry vinigrette, roasted potatoes, rye bread, and fresh fruit, among other things.  It was an amazing meal, and Naimah loved all the attention from the other children, and the adults, too.
In fact, she got a ring from a little boy who is intent on marrying her one day!  That's right, my friend's 6-year-old son insists that he's going to marry Naimah one day, and he presented her with this heart-shaped ring.  It doesn't fit on her tiny fingers yet, but I told him I will keep it in a safe place for now.

 And now I'd like to show you one of my favorite quick and easy breakfasts;  A Vegan McMuffin!  It's made with a thick slice of medium-firm tofu (pan fried with Braggs and black pepper and a sprinkle of nooch), with a slice of yves canadian bacon and leaf lettuce on a toasted english muffin.  Who needs McDonalds?

Monday, October 13, 2008

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!

I'm off to a friends place today for Thanksgiving lunch.  She's not a vegetarian, but she is a fantastic cook and always accommodates her guests with lots of vegetarian and gluten-free dishes, she goes organic as much as possible and at least her turkey lived a natural, antibiotic free life (not that I'll be eating it, though).

I've tried to host Thanksgiving a couple of times but I'm given the old, "oh, sorry but it's just not Thanksgiving without meat."

Hey, at least I'm one of the people that the turkeys can be thankful for today!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Noochy Popcorn

Okay, this is not a new invention by any means, but if you've never had nooch (nutrional yeast) on popcorn with some melted Earth Balance, you must try it!  And if you're lucky enough to live in Vancouver and catch the Oddball Organics guy at the Granville Island Market, get some of his smoked garlic chipotle salt and add that to your noochy popcorn. It's Heaven in a bowl!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Scrambled Tofu Breakfast Wrap

October 2008 is Vegan MoFo!  You can read more about it here, but basically there is going to be a whole lotta vegan blogging going on this month.  Here's something yummy to get things started:

Scrambled Tofu Breakfast Wrap

1 tbsp olive oil
1/8 cup red onion, chopped
1 large button mushroom, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
4 oz medium-firm tofu (1/4 pkg), drained and mashed
1/8 tsp cumin
salt & pepper to taste
1 1/2 tsp nutritional yeast
1 tbsp Braggs

1 large whole wheat/ancient grain/sprouted grain tortilla
1/8 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
1/2 avocado, sliced
1/2 tomato, sliced

Heat oil on medium/high in a small skillet, and then saute onions, garlic and mushrooms until the onions become transluscent.  Add mashed tofu, cumin, salt, pepper and nutritional yeast.  Stir with wooden spoon until combined.  Add Braggs and then simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, place avocado, tomato and cilantro in the middle of the tortilla.  When the tofu mixture is cooked, place it in the tortilla and wrap it up.