Sunday, June 29, 2008

Veg-Fast Food




There was a festival at the park today where they had all kinds of booths and tents selling things and doing arts & crafts with the kids. Naimah is still too young for that but we took a blanket and found a nice spot in the shade to hang out and have lunch with our friend L.





I know that this is a horrid photograph, but I just wanted to quickly snap a shot of the veggie dog and fries I had.  I was hungry and the fact that they were even selling veggie dogs was enough to get me to buy one.  It was actually quite tasty, but the fries were way to greasy to eat on such a hot day.  Next time I'll plan ahead and bring a picnic lunch.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Vegan Potato Salad

Hooray for Summer! This has always been my favorite time of year. Besides the warm breezes that lazily drift through the afternoons, there is so much fresh, ripe produce available in any color of the rainbow.

One of my favorite summer meals is one that includes potato salad. I picked up some beautiful blue russian potatoes (which are actually more purple than blue) at the local market, and used them to make this potato salad delightfully more colorful. There's also red new potatoes, gala apples, scallions, radish, pumpkin seeds, fresh dill, nayonnaise, and a dash of salt & pepper. I first had this particular potato salad (or one very similar) at a friends house several years ago and it has remained one of my favorites ever since.

Also in the theme of summer, I've been taking Naimah to the park quite a bit lately, and thought maybe it was time to give the swings a try. Here she is on her very first swing!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Climate Action Dividend

I got a totally unexpected suprise in the mail today. $100 from the government! It is called "British Columbia's Climate Action Dividend" and its purpose is to promote climate-smart choices for every adult and child, according to the brochure (printed on recycled paper) that accompanied it. Hmm, where's Naimah's cheque? Seems like you had to be around as of December 31st so she just missed it. Pooh...

Anyways, they are suggesting that you use this $100 to "buy energy-efficient light bulbs, shop locally for produce, or purchase eco-friendly upgrades in your home." They have quite a list of suggestions, actually. I guess if I watched the news I might have known this cheque was in the mail, but lately the news is just too depressing so I skip it. Maybe there is some good news out there after all.
I hope that everyone who received this money takes a moment to consider its intention and uses it to reduce their carbon footprint. There are many other ways this money could have been spent in various government programs but I am glad that the environment is getting the attention it deserves. Thank you to the Minister of Finance for this nice gift!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Garlic & Lemon Soy Bean Pasta

With 23 grams of protein per serving, soy bean pasta is welcome in my house anytime! And as an added bonus, it only takes five minutes to cook which makes it a very quick and easy meal.

Saute some garlic, onions and mushrooms in 1 tbsp of olive oil and then place it over the cooked pasta. Top it off with some chopped cilantro and freshly squeezed lemon juice.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Mexican Stirfry

Rain, rain, go away...I don't even remember the last sunny day we had. I guess the only heat around here is going to have to come from a combination of the thermostat in the house and some spices in the food. I'm hesitant to go too spicy though because I'm still nursing the baby, so I added just a scant few chili flakes to this Mexican-inspired medley of rice, beans and veggies.
This recipe serves one, as I was just cooking for myself, but really, sautéing some extra veggies and beans for another few people is very easy. The only thing I would suggest is that for the rice, don't use the usual 1 part rice + 2 parts water because there will be too much liquid once the tomato boils down. I used an equal rice to water ratio and it turned out fine.

Rice
1/4 cup brown rice
1 tsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup red onion
1/8 cup cilantro
1 tomato, diced
1/2 tsp chili flakes
1/4 cup water


Sauté rice, garlic, and onion in olive oil for 2 minutes on medium heat. Turn heat up to max, add tomato, chili flakes, cilantro and water and bring to a boil. Cover and turn heat down to simmer for 45-55 minutes, until rice is tender.

Stirfry
1 tsp olive oil
1/4 cup red onion
1/4 cup sliced yellow bell pepper
1/4 cup sliced orange bell pepper
1-2 button mushrooms
3/4 cup broccoli
1/2 cup pinto beans
1/2 tsp chili flakes
1 tsp lime juice (or juice from 1 lime wedge)
fresh ground salt & pepper to taste

Sauté veggies, beans and chili flakes in olive oil on medium-high heat stirring occasionally until broccoli is a nice bright green - about 7 minutes. If it looks like it's about to get a bit dry, add a splash (1 tsp) of Braggs or plain water. Serve on a bed of rice. Squeeze lime juice over the veggies, grind up some salt and pepper on them, and enjoy!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Gordita

I've been posting so much about food lately and haven't said much about baby Naimah. One of my friends thinks she looks like a chubby little yam! So that has become a bit of a nickname, but I still like to call her "gordita" which means chubby in an endearing way in Spanish.

She's such a joy to have around, sometimes I have to pinch myself because I think I'm dreaming and I need to wake up. I still can't believe I'm a mom. Well, we're off to have a soy latte somewhere warm and cozy right now. I hope the rest of you are having a nice weekend :)

Friday, June 6, 2008

Old Fashioned Mini Pancakes

My dad is visiting from out of town again this weekend and I wanted to make him something for breakfast other than toast or oatmeal, which is what he always eats when he's here. Variety is the spice of life, right? Unfortunately, he isn't into scrambled tofu, or cereal with non-cow milk, or smoothies which is my usual fare. So I made him pancakes.

Not just any pancakes.

This is the very same recipe my mom used to make when I was growing up. Or mostly anyway, because I veganized it. Shh! Don't tell my dad though, he'll never know the difference.

1 1/3 cups unbleached flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp ground flax
1 1/2 cups soy milk
2 tbsp melted Earth Balance margerine (or oil)
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Stir together flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and flax. Make a well in the center of dry ingredients and slowly add the soy milk, melted EB and vanilla. Stir quickly until ingredients are just mixed. Do not over mix! Batter may seem lumpy but this is normal.

To make them mini-sized as I did, use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to pour batter on hot grill. They're ready to flip over when there are uniform bubbles throughout, and the edges are dry. Top them with fresh fruit & syrup, or if you're my dad you'll eat them slathered in crunchy peanut butter.