Thursday, March 31, 2011

Wanna know how many vegetables I ate today?

First, let me show you a photo of baked goods!

What kinds of things do I do at 2 a.m.? One of them is make whoopie pies! These were gone by 8 a.m. Hadn't made 'em in years, but they were so good I think I started a recurring trend rather than getting the craving out of my system. They had oats in them, so they're healthy ;)

So as you may have picked up, I'm trying to eat as many vegetables as I can. Some days are better than others. Today's "breakfast" (at 1pm again) is a vegetable improvement over yesterday's. It took a few more minutes, but it was worth it. Making my sandwich open-face style allowed for double the vegetable content (which could still be higher, and many times it will be). I also added a shredded carrot and beet to my spicy greens. Yes, yesterday's salad was just greens, olives, dressing and homemade vegan parmesan. 

Estimated vegetable servings at breakfast: 3
snack/lunch (chili): 2
"supper" (guacamole with peppers and corn chips): 1.25 (no, I'm not including the corn chips!)

Total servings so far today: 6.25

Oh yes, I wanted chai tonight. I don't have any teabags kicking around, didn't feel like cleaning my frying pan to roast spices, so I decided to just make a single mug full. It wasn't as strong as I liked. I'm gonna perfect this and then I'll share it with you. 

Brucifer's creaming adventure + vegetables for days!

Sometimes Brucifer likes to help me with the baking. Here, he's creaming the sugar and butter. I taught him the technique and he got really into it, suggesting that nobody has never creamed better than he creamed that day. He's making oatmeal chocolate chip cookies which disappeared too quickly to be caught on camera. He actually made them from start to finish by his precious little self. Yes, he bakes in his jean jacket.

Last week I got home from the market extremely excited that I could get local tomatoes, cucumbers and spicy mixed greens. Thank you, greenhouses! I made a l'il celebratory salad with my sprouts, some herbed tofu, and the tamarind sauce from Unique Asian Catering. FRAICHE!

I picked up another stir fry pack from the local health food store. It was so full they had to tape it shut with stickers. I fried it all up and made a ludicrously-humongous stir fry which we ate with basmati rice and a drizzle of creamy tahini! Hot + crunchy vegetablely goodness! Not much tops the deliciousness that this simple dish can deliver. I power-ate this, despite my own firm suggestion against doing so.

I didn't make this meal, as you can probably tell from the (*gasp!*) disposable plate. It came from Just Spring Roll in Park Lane mall. I love big heaping plates of vegetables consumed in malls. It doesn't seem likely, and it's just so wonderful. Malls are so gross. They seem to zap my energy. Vegetables give that back in spades! Here's my review of the meal on Yelp, where you can see that I ate this in five minutes so we wouldn't be late for seeing hometown-proud "Hobo with a Shotgun."
I've been making my fruit crisps lately with my Crowbar granola on the bottom, fruit, then the normal crumble on top. I was inspired by a petite spitfire of a chef who asked why one WOULDN'T have two layers of crisp?!

At first I was making Indian curry, then I decided to make Thai. Then I decided to put noodles underneath. I was feeling very wild and crazy when I made those zany decisions. The decisions resulted in mad deliciousness.

 This is what I had for breakfast this morning. It was kinda late, like 1:30 or something. I had vegetables for breakfast. That was awesome.

 It just occurred to me that you don't know what I measure vegetables in! Well, I use this grungy old liquid measure which the lined wore off years ago. This is about 4 cups of vegetables-- in this case: turnip, carrot and GORGEOUS SPRING KALE! WOO! I almost flipped my lid when I saw this at the market last week. I probably screamed like the little girl that I am.

Tonight's supper was pretty badass I must say, and it had three components, the concept over which Brucifer gets all giddy. I'm pretty keen on the one-dish meal-- for the lack of dishes, for ease of digestion, and for the (little) time it takes. The meal was pretty heavy on the legume content- not supremely balanced, but nourishing and tasty it was! All three are new recipes. In the top right corner we have "Blackened Chickpeas" from The Indian Vegan Kitchen: More Than 150 Quick and Healthy Homestyle Recipes. This recipe actually calls for black tea which I thought was pretty neat. It also called for tamarind sauce, and I gladly dumped in a bunch of tamarind sauce from our market friend. This was Brucifer's favourite part of the meal. 

Moving clockwise, we have the straight-forwardly-named dish "Carrots and Turnips" from the same book, which I borrowed today brand new (I'm 99% positive I'm the first one to take this out-- the book is pristine!) from the library. I also went wild and chopped up some kale and put it in there. The vegetables are basically fried up with some cumin seeds and turmeric and some garam masala thrown in at the end (so the aroma doesn't fade away. Important!). I'll probably adopt this method for simple Indian-flavoured vegetables. 

The slop at the bottom was last night's supper and tonight's leftovers, left on the stove all day (not cooking). Yesterday this was subpar, but tonight, it was unbelievable! I wouldn't've recognised this dish if I'd fallen over it. I started to make a urad dal (black lentils) dish last night that I'd made before, and part way through I decided to use the recipe on the back of the spice mix we bought that was designed for urad dal, Dal Makhani Masala. Essentially, you cook up some black lentils and in another pot throw in a heaping half cup of tomatoes (I used canned) and a tablespoon of the Dal Makhani Masala (which you should find at any well-stocked Indian grocery) and let it reduce. Add this to the lentils, as well as a half cup of coconut milk (it called for cream) and some coconut oil (it called for butter). This turned superb overnight, so I recommend if you make this, make it ahead. I also salted this and threw in some Bragg's for extra pizazz. 

What was the most delicious meal you ate today?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Yeah, so for a couple of hours tonight, twitter was trending quite possibly my most ideal #hashtag trend ever. @pattonoswalt started the #organicmetalbands trend. I absolutely cannot leave this kind of thing alone. I love wordplay and I was completely obsessed with compiling these. Um... metal bands and healthy food? There's perhaps no twitter hashtag trend more perfect for Beany von Doom. I was continually inspired by the ideas of others, the best ones of which I'll share with you, but first: here are mine and Brucifer's best #organicmetalband names:

Oatpeth, Marilyn Branson, Rob Zombpea, North End Nettle All-Stars (local band), Soyvod, Satyricorn, Amon Amaranth, Crowbarley, Rice Dream Theater, Free-Range Bison B.C, Hing Diamond, Nettle Church, Six Beet Under, Starch Enemy, Gojiberria, Impaled Nazerbean, Killing Yolk, Fig Destroyer, As I Lay Daiya, Darkscone

and in my #raregrains trend, we have: Teff Leppard, Farrosmith, Job's Tears for a Cowboy

Brucifer's gems were: Grand Funk Raddichio, Nashville Parsley, Suicidal Tempehburger, Morbid Angelhairpasta, Sarcophagoatcheese, Type Oat Negative. 

Other favourites other users came up with were:  Tofu Fighters, Tempehror, Yngwie Mangosteen, Death Spell Omega-3 and my all-round fave, Sepulturnip!

Anyway, I'll probably continue to come up with these over the next few days. You can check out my twitter feed if you're interested. For the rest of you shrugging your shoulders, thanks for letting me get this out of my system. 

Just a snippet of the fun I had tonight on twitter. Definitely the most fun I've had posting by myself ;)

Kale seitan
#organicmetalbands for life!

If you can think of any others, please share them with me! You will get lotsa cool points with me then. 

Thursday, March 17, 2011

13 great moments from the last 12 days

Free-style pear-blueberry crisp with Crowbar hemp granola on the bottom and normal crisp stuff on the top!

Crisp for breakfast with yerba mate, almond milk and maple? Don't mind if I do!

Red lentil soup is always feelin' hot hot hot! 

One afternoon while I was preparing some notes teaching a course on Alternative Diets for a nutrition school where I teach, I was apparently fascinated by the smiley face at the bottom of my mug. This mug was hand-painted by my wonderful friend Elena for me on my birthday last year. 

While I didn't intend for this to look like a swastika, it kind of does. Toast with Daiya cheese, oregano and black sesame seeds: a snack for Brucifer. This pattern was originally a Hindu symbol of good luck, anyway, so whatever. 

Oatmeal for ladytimes. I was in pain and had to teach later so I made some oatmeal (local-- from Speerville, NB) with dates, turmeric + ginger (anti-inflammatory), blueberries, Omega Crunch maple shelled flax (from NS), and I think I threw some 70% dark chocolate and some chocolate protein powder in here too. This isn't even next-level oatmeal. I can do better-- I'll show you some day. 

Here's some genmaicha (roasted brown rice green tea) with matcha from Kyoto! It looked amazing, topped with a sauerkraut lid as always. This is an old flowering tea pot whose handle broke off. I use it a lot  for steepin' stuff. It holds a lot of liquid. Look at the lovely patterns in the teapot! 

After the market last Saturday, we needed to use some of the wonderful tamarind sauce we've been admiring forever from Unique Catering. They put it on all their Indian dishes and it's such a great complement. I have no idea how to make this sauce, so we bought a bottle from them for the amazing price of $3. Oh yeah, I made some sort of free-style Indian dish with some Yukon Gold mashed and served it with some of Mom's pickled beets. 

It will be clear soon how proud I am of my first batch of spouts. I actually made two varieties of sprouts, and they're both wonderful! On the left, we have Cloverfield, my red clover sprouts, and on the right, A.L.F, my alfalfa sprouts. How easy was it? Really easy. How delicious are they? Quite? How nourishing are they? Even moreso than they are delicious. 3 days and you've got sprouts! 

Yeah, okay, so I'll probably put sprouts on everything for the next couple of weeks. This sandwich was deluxe: slabs of Acadiana Soy Thai tofu (from NS, though), tatsoi from Free Spirit Farms's greenhouse, sprouts from my kitchen, pickled ginger, Squirrely Bread from Silver Hills bakery, homemade veganaise and Sriracha. OH, and avocado. A really tall and broad sandwich. Amazing day. 

After I got home from class on Tuesday, I decided to polish off the rest of last night's hummus we made, as well as the crumbs from my favourite corn chips ever, Que Pasa blue! I chucked in some sprouts and after this photo was taken I threw in some more spouts and some hot sauce. Glory, glory! What a nice, quick snack! 

I wasn't kidding about the sprouts, was I? An open faced-avo sandwich with sprouts and hot sauce. Maybe some pickled ginger and definitely some mayonaise. This was killer. 

Brucifer almost made me supper after class. Instead, together we made what he was thinking of making: tofu (with garlic, soy, Korean red pepper and lemon marinade/baste), garlic homefries, and a balsamic-ginger carrot stir fry with corn and some collard-like greens I got from the market.

It's been a very busy but delightful week with a few moments for decent meals and a lot of time for healthy small meals/snacking! What fun snacks did you rip into this week?!

Sunday, March 13, 2011


Coffee and I have never really been tight pals. Since my surgery, my intestines have been more tolerant of coffee, but drinking it still affects my nerves negatively. I feel like a maniac-- I get agrressive, talk too quickly (yes, even more than usual!) and my thinking is kind of cloudy so I kind of say dumb things. Although I have no interest in making coffee a habit (yerba maté is my caffeinated drink of choice), I was determined to test my limits of coffee-- to see how much I could tolerate, and seeing if I could notice its supposed wonderful affects. As it made me feel so awful, I was left curious as to why millions of people worldwide are hooked on this stuff (other than it being a hot, tasty beverage that people tend to drink in groups or as a private morning ritual which could be reason enough itself).

Unrelated to this experiment, I borrowed Ruth Tal's reFresh: Contemporary Vegan Recipes From the Award Winning Fresh Restaurants from the library. There's a pretty sweet section on espresso smoothies, and it gave me a pretty splendid idea. I'd been made hip to the idea of putting coffee into a smoothie during a David Wolfe smoothie demo on youtube, I believe--and I liked it. I think he used a teaspoon of ground coffee, which I've done before and it's pretty good-- but likely sort of difficult to digest, and a bit harsh.

After reading the espresso shake section in reFresh, I, over the course of a few days, formulated a smoothie that feels SO DAMNED GOOD inside me-- filling me with both mental and physical energy-- and it also tastes amazing in my maw. It's absolutely blowing my mind right now, and I've had one every day. I hadn't had a banana in about six months, so this bananafest is wonderful too!


double shot of espresso or coffee
3/4 c. almond milk
1 frozen banana
3-4 ice cubes 
1 T. almond butter
1 tsp. maca powder (preferably gelatinzed)
1 scoop vegan proteins+ chocolate protein powder (or something else)
1/4 tsp. good quality cinnamon
3 medjool dates (or 1 tsp. maple syrup)
2 tsp. chia seeds (or flax)

Why the hell would I make this smoothie like I did? Well, I wanted something that would balance my blood sugar and give me a chance of assimiliating this coffee in somewhat or a reasonable fashion, thus the inclusion of protein powder, almond butter (fat, protein) and chia (fibre)--the three main factors in blood sugar balancing. I upped the cinnamon to a quarter teaspoon as this amount has been shown to help regulate blood sugar levels. Maca, a miraculous tuber from South America, is an adaptogen-- protecting and nourishing our hormonal system-- calming us or energizing us, depending on our body's needs. Amazing stuff. It also imparts a lovely but strong caramel taste when you pair it with the right foods.

This smoothie is stupidly good. You could also probably put some greens powder in here as well (today I used Amazing Grass chocolate greens), or some cacao powder. Anyway, for those of you who aren't hypersensitive to caffeine to the extent that you can't have it at all, for those of you who would like to enjoy coffee, but it wigs you out a bit, and for those of you who enjoy a delicious smoothie, the Javavalhalla Drank is THE drank to be drank.

Have you tried it? How was that for ya?

*Sorry about the photo. It looked great on the display screen of my camera ;) I promise to replace this next time I make this drank and the light is better. Just want to get this post out!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Four winning meals with a 50% chance of failure

CURRY! Can't get enough Indian food. I've said it before and I'll say it again: we eat Indian food probably 80% of days. This is an old throwback recipe. Decided to take a photo before it was cooked so you could see the pretty blue potatoes. 

Was hungry like the wolf the other night. Crazy wildly, ravenously famished/have-been-neglecting-to-eat-while-working typa hungry. Quickly thought: "make parsley pesto pasta!"-- so I did. Steamed some already-peeled squash, carrots and parsnip and the whole thing was done in like a half hour or so. Pesto was made with sunflower seeds and pasta was my beloved kamut. This hit the spot niiicely! 

I was simmering ingredients for miso soup while rushing around trying to get ready to leave the house, and had the lid slightly off this pot while doing so. I came back and the broth had ALL evaporated-- every drop! I took the fail and made it into a win by quickly making up a dressing consisting solely of miso paste dissolved in some cooking sake. Friggin' divine, and much more zen than the time 
I got drunk and spilled sake in a temple in Kyoto. 

Yeah, so tonight Brucifer and I were making supper and we smelled burning. Uh, this is what was INSIDE THE OVEN ON FIRE! This was the first time in all my years in the kitchen when something was totally afire, but it went okay I guess. No casualties and since we don't have a smoke detector in the building, the annoying alarm didn't go off. Obviously the chance of us dying in our sleep was a downside to this. Note to self: call landlord. 

Luckily, our supper was totally fine and great and we dined on this quick and easy meal: cumin lime baked tofu, sweet potato and blue potato garlic fries, and stir-fried carrot, napa and tatsoi (first time for this awesome green) with parsley pesto and a bit o' balsamic. 

Anyway, Charlie Sheen and I are winning this week. Must be all the tiger blood I've been bangin'.

The Purple Count

What's better than a bigass five pound box of frozen wild local blueberries? Not a frig of a lot if it's winter and you're kind of sick of it! Good morning, delicious blue wonderorbs!

What do I detest about this blog editor? A lot. What don't I hate? This amazing smoothie.

I promise you this won't become a smoothie blog, but I'm pretty proud of myself that I've been actually eating breakfast, as I've been pretty lax on this lately (read: the last few years). The strange schedule that I keep messes me up in the appetite. This smoothie was gorgeous and  the colour reminded me of both this awesome Playskool vampire figure and the Count from Sesame Street, thus the name. Here's how to make it:


1 c. almond milk
2/3 c. blueberries
1 banana
1 tbsp. chia
1 scoop vegan proteins+ vanilla
1 tsp. gelantized maca powder
1 tsp.matcha powder
1 tbsp. hemp oil
bunch o' cinnamon
handful of shredded coconut
1 tbsp. Nova Greens
2 medjool dates

Wow-- I actually thought I might've tooled this one up by putting too many ingredients in it. Instead, I got a thick, not too sweet, delicious purple smoothie. It felt awesome, imparting awesome nutrients, nourishing me with sustained energy. I'm so glad my body knows how to use nutrients now! HAHA. It's great.