March 27, 2012

A whole lot of random...

My apologies in advance for my random post...but I've been extremely busy the past couple of weeks with school, so I haven't been making exciting meals and haven't been taking many pictures.  Any quick, easy, filling meals are what I've been after.  Fortunately I am a huge fan of quinoa! I've been making large batches of quinoa salad to have as an easy lunch/dinner.  It takes about 30 minutes to throw together, 20 of which are for the quinoa to cook.

This one includes red peppers, cucumber, grape tomatoes, red onion, fresh mint (please include this), roasted corn (roasted in the oven), olives, black beans and feta cheese.  Topped off with a simple vinaigrette of balsamic vinegar, honey and lemon juice.  It's especially good when it has been sitting over night!

Delicious breakfast of oat bran, topped with fresh organic strawberries and cinnamon honey peanut butter (mix of PB2, water, cinnamon and honey - SO GOOD).

This past Saturday, Francis and I enjoyed a sushi lunch at one of our favourite spots in Victoria. It was a bit windy, but beautiful nonetheless.  I had a brown rice, vegetarian roll and it was awesome!

Seriously beautiful.

I decided to get up early (surprise surprise) and get a head start on a nice breakfast for Francis and I.  Since we both had a longggg day of homework ahead of us, a nice big breakfast was the perfect start to our day.

In comes Chai Spiced Pancakes...yes, you heard that right!

Chai Spiced Pancakes:
adapted from

2 eggs
2 cups flour (I used all purpose, just for Francis...I will use spelt next time)
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
healthy pinch of ground cloves
scant 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon crushed black peppercorns (or a dash of freshly ground black pepper)
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup brewed black chai tea
4 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled (I used olive oil margarine - was out of earth balance)
½ teaspoons vanilla extract
oil or cooking spray (for cooking)

Step 1: In a large bowl beat eggs. Add buttermilk, chai tea, butter and vanilla and mix well. Add flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt. Mix well until mostly smooth. 
Step 2: Heat pan over medium heat. Add a teaspoon of oil to the pan or spray with cooking spray. 
Step 3: Pour roughly 2 Tablespoons of batter onto the griddle. Cook on the first side until bubbles that form start to pop. Flip the pancake over with a spatula and cook until golden brown. 
To be super indulgent, because of course it is the weekend top with earth balance or butter of choice pure maple syrup. Next time I am going to try making a greek yogurt sauce and add fresh fruit. I just wasn't very patient, obviously...
**Note: Put cooked pancakes on a heat proof plate in a 200 degree F oven until ready to serve. My Oma has done this since I was a little girl and I always love to do it because it reminds me of my childhood and having sleepovers at my Oma and Opa's house!**  

Oh, and this makes a LOT of pancakes, which isn't necessarily a bad thing considering they are just as tasty cold, topped with a little nut butter ;)

Well, that's it for the night. Now go on, and make this pancakes :)

March 21, 2012

The Birthday Goods

Well...we all know it's been awhile since I've blogged and well, I really don't have a great excuse. I have been taking pictures but have been too busy to post. But enough excuses...onto the goods...

When I went home for a visit a couple of weeks ago my family and I (mom, dad and sister) went up to Mt. Washington for a weekend of fun in the snow!

The first morning we were there we had a delicious bowl of scottish oats, made with soy milk, bananas, topped with delicious berries. Coffee with a splash of bailey's on the side. Nothing like a little bailey's in a warm drink on a cold winter morning.

It snowed a good 2 feet while we were there...we actually got caught in a snow storm while snow shoeing... and it took us about 4 hours to get back to the lodge. Fun...but a little bit scary since we couldn't really see anything through the snow! We got back to our condo at around 4:00 pm and were pretty much ready for bed...

View from our condo!

For dinner my mom made a delicious scallop dish with lemon and white wine. Unforunately, I was in charge of the grocery shopping and packing...and I forgot salad dressing. Oh least some of us like hummus as their salad dressing (aka ME). My dad suggested drizzling the juice from the scallops on top of our greens. Um...I think we're okay Dad...but thanks for the suggestion :)

A few days after I got back to Vic it was my birthday! I was a little nervous this year because Francis was going to be friends were either working or busy...and kids are on spring break so I didn't even have any volunteering. I was going to be all alone. However, both of my parents were lovely enough to come down for the day and spend it with me! I am beyond lucky! I definitely missed having Francis and my sister there though...but I still had a great time.

Because Francis was leaving early Weds morning (my birthday) for playoffs (which, the VIKES WON!!!!!) we decided to go out for a nice celebratory dinner at Il Terazzo. If you haven't been there...I urge you to go as soon as possible. The atmosphere, food, always perfect!

I had salmon coated in crushed almonds, topped with mango salsa, on top of french lentils. Buttermilk potatoes on the side. This was SUCH a big portion...I took half of it home. Unfortunately salmon doesn't reheat very well.

And now for one of my favourite meals of the year! My birthday breakfast at Blue Fox. I had a veggie migas with a fruit salsa, fruit salad, fried banana and apple cinnamon raison toast. Oh my god...this was probably the largest portion of food I have EVER been served. I definitely couldn't finish this...but I put a huge dent in it. It kept me full and satisfied for most of the day. My mom, dad and I spent most of the day inside shopping (the weather was cold, rainy and just plain awful) and then relaxed at home with a cup of tea.

Note the beautiful runner my mom got me! It's now on my dresser...a much more practical place to have it
A little while later my mom and I (my dad had gone over to Vancouver in the early afternoon) decided, well actually I decided (because I was the birthday girl :)) to go to Rebar for dinner. I order the special which included tofu, peanut sauce, veggies and rice. It was pretty tasty, not the best thing I've ever had though. I took about half of it home and had it for lunch the next day! I also got half of my mom enchilada's that I had for dinner the next night! I LOVE LEFTOVERS!

Overall it was a really great birthday and I was happy to spend it with people who mean so much to me. As always though, I was extremely sad to see my parents as well as my birthday come and go. 

March 07, 2012

Comforting Classic

This past week I got a strong desire to have gravy.  Before becoming a vegetarian I absolutely loved gravy! I mean, common, who doesn't? It is SO delicious.  So I immediately found a recipe for a vegan gravy that would satisfy all of my cravings!

Comforting Vegan Gravy

1/2 tsp olive oil
2 cups chopped sweet onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups sliced mushrooms
1 tsp dried/fresh herb of choice (rosemary would be delicious but I used thyme)
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 1/2 tbsp tamari
1/2 tbsp cornstarch
1 1/4 cup vegetable broth
freshly ground pepper and salt


1) Saute onions and garlic in oil over medium heat.  About 5 minutes.
2) Add sliced mushrooms, sauté for 12 minutes or longer, stirring as necessary. Stir in herbs, nutritional yeast and soy sauce (tamari).  Cook for a few minutes.
3) In a small bowl whisk together broth and cornstarch until climbs are gone.  Stir into the mushroom mixture.  Stir in a vegetable such as spinach or kale (optional).  Cook for another 5-6 minutes or so until slightly thickened.  Serve over top grain of choice!

Let's just say this picture doesn't do this dish any justice.  It was absolutely amazing.  

Rich and comforting. Just what the doctor ordered :)

Now onto last nights dinner....

My mom made baked tofu.  She dipped chunks of tofu in egg and then a bread crumb mixture with parmesan cheese, baked it and then topped it with tomato sauce and a bit more parm.  Baked for another 15 minutes or so.  If you are interested in the exact recipe please let me know and i'll get it for ya ;) Trust're gonna want it!

Bean salad on the side.

And steamed kale, carrots and peas!

This was beyond delicious! Thanks for making such a yummy dinner Mom :) Always nice to have someone cook for you...the food always seems to taste just a little bit better ;)