Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Novice Gnocchi

This was quite the little experiment, having never made gnocchi from scratch before. Definitely worth a try if you've never made it. The dough was a few potatoes mashed, some herbs, flour and salt.

Made a few mistakes, like not mashing the potato well enough, and it took a while to conclude that making the perfect gnocchi shape really doesn't matter (thank you youtube gnocchi experts).

Once you get going, it's pretty quick. After boiling, sauteed with some creamy tomato sauce (regular tomato sauce with a little soy milk added for creaminess, garlic & herbs for a flavour boost).

Got the thumbs up from my young diners.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Are we there yet?

As in, is it spring yet? It hasn't even been a bad winter here, well...other than bucket loads of rain...but I have been feeling some serious winter blahs.

Things are looking up this week though. The sun made an appearance a few times, buds are popping out and things are starting to feel spring-like. I happen to be on a reading break from school this week and had big plans of catching up on a boat load of work projects, studying for midterms, and maybe just throwing the dusting cloth around this place. But in my true procrastinator fashion, I have spent much of the week cooking, reading, chilling and today, loafing around garden centres.

Got some great stuff though! And big garden plans this year - sun please cooperate. New to me this year the lemon cucumber and eight-ball zucchini.

Even though we have a little greenhouse in the backyard, I'm useless at raising seedlings out there, since you can't go a full day without watering. And guess what - I forget. So I bought these seed starter trays that fit your window ledge. I can't miss watering them if they're right in front of me (can I?). Seemed like a foolproof plan, and they were a reasonable price.

A little retail therapy to lift my mood! And speaking of things to lift your mood....this works too...

Mexi-Bowl Dinner...

It was a throw-something together kind of night....and a bunch of half-used ingredients were screaming Mexican at me.

Sauteed mushrooms, some frozen corn kernels with half a pack of Trader Joe's Soy Chorizo. Put that over some leftover brown rice, and what luck, I had some perfectly ripe avocados that needed to be used up so whipped up a quick guacamole. My daughter/kitchen helper (6 1/2) is always the guac maker, so that part was even easier from my perspective. Finished off with salsa and Tofutti sour cream. Delish!

I had been hanging onto that half used pack of the Soy Chorizo, waiting for just the right recipe or craving or some crazy sign (!) to use the rest. And that's because it's like vegan gold - I just can't find it where I live. And if I do happen to find it at Choices or Capers in city, it's ridiculously expensive. So a few times a year I make a trip across the border to Trader Joe's in Bellingham. It's really pretty quick from out in the valley, AND I didn't know (until my last voyage) that groceries aren't counted in your duty limit. So next time maybe it'll be 10 packs of Soy Chorizo (and so many many other things! Insert rant here about Canadian maple syrup being cheaper at TJ's than anywhere in Canada).

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Soup Muffins...and more carbs...

Maybe I've written about these before, I can't remember now, but they're worth mentioning again. I really love the Spicy Soup Muffins from HIAV. This latest batch was the best yet (and I followed the recipe to a T I might add).

A handy little pasta recipe, based on the one found here....enough pasta for two (I used brown rice spag), in a quick sauce made of sauteed onion, garlic, red pepper, curry powder, tofutti cream cheese and a touch of soy milk. Quick AND uses up whatever veg you need to.

And just when I decided to really cut down on wheat, I rebelled and made these "white" bolillo rolls...! I have to say, I was pretty impressed with myself (my baking ability as opposed to my will power).

Party Vegan

Another birthday "do" done....phew. Party Vegan book came in handy for a few things, wish I had remembered to take more photos. Tried the punch - very good and the children liked it and thankfully none of them asked me for pop! Also tried the corn muffin recipe. They were tasty with bits of cilantro, jalapeno and red pepper. Trouble is, they were really dense (not in a good way...is there a good way?). They were heavy little things, I think the batter could have used some extra leavening help, maybe vinegar.

I'm becoming a fan of Alex Jamieson's recipes. For this party I made a double batch of Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili from her Detox Diet book. It's got lots of lime, a hint of cocoa and nice texture with the sweet potato (well, I used what we call yams).

Fantastic mint chocolate cupcakes from VCTOTW - I think they were a hit. Very minty, you better like that combo if you ever go for these. Argh, terrible photo. I suppose I'll just have to make them again to get a better shot.