Tag Archives: vegan

What She Ate: In Season

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tomato harvestYou may remember that last year we had some extra garden space and an abundance of fresh everything.  We grew tomatoes (over 40 plants…oh my!), onions, carrots, kale, radishes, beets, swiss chard, rhubarb, asparagus, squash, potatoes, salad greens (and i’m sure a bunch of other things I can’t remember.  At times we had so much coming out of the gardens that I had to give it away by the bag full.  It was a busy summer as we were also working as gardeners, housekeepers and general caretakers for a 500 acre property.

The canning kettle seemed to be bubbling constantly on the stove in our apartment with few windows and no air conditioning.  I know…what was I thinking?!  Anyways, we survived and ate tremendously well.

patio herbsWhile trying to decide what to make for this weeks theme I realized that we are now on our last two jars of canned tomatoes.  It was canning to the extreme last year and we stashed away enough tomatoes to literally last a whole year.  Plus, our freezer still holds more tomatoes, rhubarb and asparagus.

patio zuchinniLast year at this time we ate so so so much asparagus.  I put that %^(*&$#$ in everything!  So it was a little bittersweet the other day when I stepped out into my patio sized garden and surveyed what’s in stock.  For now, we are back in the city.  I wake up to the rush of the traffic down a busy main street and drunk couples pass under my window at 2 am arguing the kind of alcohol-infused arguments of youth that are typically forgotten by morning.  I know now that this is not the place I will be for long, but rather a resting place to plot out the path to where I truly need to be.  My skills in gardening tested and stretched, I am now ready to look forward to the gardens I will have one day that will be my own.  And in the meantime, I have created a little getaway on my deck.  A splash of annuals, some zucchini getting ready to trail the sides, and bunches of herbs all around.  Oh…and of course, more tomatoes.

patio annualsThis year most of my canning will likely come from produce purchased at the local farmer’s market.  Peterborough has an absolutely fantastic farmer’s market which triples in size in the summer.  So can’t wait to start in on jams, pickles and sauces.  (perhaps this time setting up a summer kitchen on the deck).

Spring, when I was travelling from farm to farm, was always a time of year to eat through what remains and savour the little bits of new sprouting from the ground.  Fresh herbs and salad greens mixed with last years tomatoes, shriveled up old apples turned into cinnamon licked tarts, crisp steamed stems of asparagus…simple and elegant…a burst of green next to ordinary rice.

So this week (given the continuing limitations of the elimination diet) I crafted up a vegan gluten free pizza using our homemade canned tomato sauce from last year and drizzled with fresh herbs from our deck.  The ‘cheese’ for this pizza is actually made from cashews.  The crust, an accident it seemed at first, turned out to taste much like a rosemary foccaccia.

gf vegan pizzaFor the sauce we used:  2 500 ml jars of tomatoes, basil, garlic, salt, pepper flakes, oregano, thyme and kale.  For the toppings we used:  mushrooms, peppers, onion and black beans.

Cashew cheese.  No, it’s still not cheese cheese.  But hey, even Mr. Beardpants thought it tasted pretty good.  The texture and consistency of a ricotta.  Creamy, nutty (obviously) with a surprising cheese like taste.

To make Cashew Cheese:

soak 1 cup of cashews in several cups of water for a couple hours to overnight.

Place in blender and add 2 tsp of lemon juice, 1/2 tsp of salt, black pepper to taste.  Whir until combined.  Add 1/4 cup of water and whir until it reaches the desired texture.

I can hardly wait to try this on a piece of toasted bread with some roasted fruit on top!

As for this blog, you may have noticed I am posting rather infrequently…and the space has a bit of a neglected feel.  I’m still here and will return to regular posting soon.  I’m in the middle of brewing up a new business, a new website and well, likely a little bit of a face lift for the blog.  Stay tuned!

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For more ‘What She Ate’ deliciousness check out these other participating blogs.

Abhaya
Miner Temptations
Stars in Jars

If you would like to join us, we post bi-weekly (although it is not mandatory to join up for every post) and we are always looking for new theme ideas.  Shoot me a message and I’ll add you to the list.

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What She Ate (Naughty but Nice)

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I’ve been eating nothing.

I wish I was writing this post a few days ago when for a brief moment of time I was feeling very positive about this whole experience.  But yesterday I hit a wall.   19 days with no sugar, no caffeine, no alcohol, no red meat, nothing with preservatives, no dairy, no eggs, no soy, no peanuts, no wheat/gluten, no oranges/grapefruits, no strawberries or bananas, no tomatoes or potatoes or mushrooms or peppers.  blah!  I have 11 days to go and than I can slowly start to add things back in.  But honestly, just when I think my stomach is starting to feel better and that all of this will result in a grand discovery that will lead me to a lifetime of feeling great…I eat something and my stomach gurgles and churns.

There have been actual improvements.  My skin is improving with less redness and fewer rashes,  the fatigue that threatened to derail me from doing anything and everything has finally lifted, and for the past few nights (after weeks of insomnia) I slept.  and for those of you who have experienced insomnia for any extended amount of time…you know that a little sleep can go a long long way.

anyone who knows me knows that i have a weakness for all-day breakfast (and beer, but we won’t go there for now).  oh how I’ve been craving a greasy spoon breakfast.  So for my “Naughty but Nice” meal I decided to whip up a batch of Buckwheat (vegan, gluten-free) Pancakes and some delicious Turkey Breakfast Sausage Patties.  I’m allowed to have maple syrup in small amounts…so I drizzled it deliciously over these beauties and dug in.  Sigh.  11 more days.  What will I add in first…you may be wondering…well, i’m wondering that very same thing.  Bananas are pretty high on the list.  Surprisingly, even higher on my want list than coffee.

Turkey Breakfast Sausage (Gluten-Free)

1 lb lean ground turkey
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp ground pepper
1/4 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp sage
1/2 tsp sea salt

Combine and mooosh all together.  Form into small breakfast sausage sized patties.  Fry em’ up in some olive oil and enjoy.

Buckwheat (Gluten-Free Vegan Sugar-Free) Pancakes

1/2 cup Buckwheat Flour
1/4 cup Sorghum Flour
1/4 cup Coconut Flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp ground flax seed mixed with 3 tbsp water (egg replacement)

You know what to do.  Mix it up.  Pour it out.  Flip Flip.  Eat.

P.S  there will be pictures.  my picture card reader thingy is broken…again!  i’ll upload them soon.

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You have to head over to Abhaya and check out the delicious What She Ate: Naughty But Nice recipe she posted for Cauliflower Crust.  Drool.  When I can have cheese and eggs again…I’m so making this!

What She Ate (Hello! It’s a Link Up!)

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As some of you may already know, I was recently diagnosed with a second autoimmune disease.  Yep, my immune system is a rock star in the bad sorta binge drinking kinda way.  But moving on.  My naturopath suggested that I do a therapeutic diet for the next month to help ease the inflammation in my body, give everything a chance to heal/rest and in the meantime potentially identify some foods which may need to be completely eliminated.  The diet is pretty restrictive, but in reality is still full of great healthy options.  If you know me, though, you know I’m a high-fructose corn syrup in the form of candy candy candy kinda girl.  So that part of the elimination diet list that said ‘no sweeteners’ hit hard in my candy crack fogged brain.

fruit salad

It’s the end of my first week and I think so far I’m doing good, but the real test will come tonight when I go to the movies sans-goodies.  Oh my!  Oh wait, I can sneak a bottle of 100% pure fruit or vegetable juice.  Poo.

We already eat pretty darn tootin’ healthy.  (with the exception of the previously professed candy problem).  We make most of our food from scratch, eat a diet full of whole foods and a good variety of fresh fruits and veggies.  However, when it comes to cooking I don’t know the first thing about laying off the cheese.

curried rice apple chickpea salad

I thought this would be a great opportunity to invite some fellow bloggers to join in a link-up.  (Disclaimer:  I don’t suggest that anyone embark on any kind of diet without first talking to your doctor).  It seems that there are many of you out there who are making the choice to either eat healthier or for one reason or another have had to give up some type of food.  So why not link up together and spend a little time every couple of weeks sharing some healthy eats, new recipes and naughty (but healthy) indulgences.  You don’t have to be on a special diet to join, you just have to share an interest in home cooked deliciousness.

vegan chocolate mousse

So if you are interested in joining this link up let me know in the comments below and I’ll send you all the info you need by email (including the little banner guy up above and the button).  We will have a new theme every couple of weeks…like a culinary challenge.

Here are two recipes from my first week that I wanted to share.  Easy-Peasy my friends and so gooooood!  For starters,  I can’t give up chocolate.  I just can’t.  I was lucky to have my friend Steph stop by for a visit and she brought with her this recipe for Vegan Chocolate Mousse.  I believe it was originally intended to be served in a chocolate tart of sorts, but it makes a pretty good imitation of a pudding.  And you all know how much I love pudding.

Vegan Chocolate Mousse

2 cups avocado
1/3 cup unsweetened almond or soy milk
2/3 cup maple syrup (or to taste.  I used honey and a lot less)
1 tbsp peanut butter or tahini
1 tbsp arrowroot or coconut flour
1/3 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup cocoa powder, sifted

whir it all up in a blender and enjoy.

And here is a lunch staple in our house (which I had to modify slightly because I can’t have peppers or dried fruit or mayonnaise or Worcestershire sauce…ho hum).

Curried Rice, Chick Pea and Apple Salad

2 cups cooked brown basmati rice
5 green onions, sliced
1 apple, seeded and chopped
1 cup or 1 can cooked chickpeas
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup olive oil

mix. mix. mix. voila. eat.

* adapted from the cookbook “Beyond the Moon” by Ginny Callan.  I love this book.

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I can’t get the link-up thingamajingy to work…hopefully up for next time.  In the meantime, you should really head on over to Abhaya to check out the gorgeous Indian Slaw recipe that Sondra posted.  It looks absolutely yummers!  Coconut and Lime and Roasted Peanuts…need I say more!

You can also head on over to the What She Ate Pinterest Board to see all the delicious healthy eats!