Sunday, November 13, 2011

green goddess stirfry

So fall is upon us, as is the time for heartwarmingly delectable stirfries. This here recipe is taken from the People's Potato cookbook and comes highly recommended by my taste buds. What's especially tasty about this stirfry its heavy reliance on peanuts and peanut butter. Sign me up, son!
I used a variety of green vegetables: broccoli, snow peas, cabbage, and leek. Use whatever you've got, though! You'll also need a couple cloves of garlic, minced, and a dice sized piece of minced ginger. Use some protein, like this nice chunk of organic tofu.

Put on some music and get choppin'.

This bowl of condiments is what makes the stirfry extraordinary: awesome sauce
- 3 big plops of peanut butter
- 1 plop of hoisin sauce
- 2 glugs of rice vinegar
- hot sauce to taste

Start seasoning your tofu cubes with salt and pepper. Fry until golden in coconut or olive oil. Set aside. You could totally add the tofu at any time during the stirfry process, but I like mine nice and crispy so I do it first.

Then,stirfry your veggies in coconut or olive oil starting with the most dense ones. I added the cabbage and leeks at the end because I like to keep things crispy around here.

When everything is nearly tender; between 10 and 15 minutes of stirfrying over medium heat, add the garlic and ginger, and the awesome goddess sauce. Add in a few glugs of water and stir well. Garnish with peanuts and enjoy!

Happy autumn, everyone!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Brunch at Fabergé

Last month we took our fine selves out to brunch at Fabergé. I found this place by accident when I sat down on a bench outside the resto to eat a sorbet in the Mile End. A lovely waitress came outside and suggested I check out their herb garden in the back. I wasn't even going to eat there, but she said it was alright so off I went down the alley and found an oasis of herbs and flowers in a sunlit corner.

There I met chef André who was more than happy to show me around the garden. He was extremely knowledgeable about his herbs, and shared with me all the wondrous ideas he has for these lovely ingredients.

They even have a pond with a resident turtle.

They're growing stevia by the bushel to use in their shakes. I broke off a leaf and tried fresh stevia for the first time! So herbal and uber sweet.

All kinds of peppers to make all kinds of spicy deliciousness.

Ah, one of my favourite herbs. The mighty lemonbalm. Picks you up and mellows you out, all at the same time. That goes into their epic fruit shakes, along with the stevia.

After spending a lovely time in the garden, I vowed to make it back to check out their brunch.

It was nearly harvest time in the community garden.

We brunched on a quiet Monday afternoon. Fabergé is all about breakfast, hence the name (get it? Fabergé eggs?) There were a couple of flat screen TVs playing old school cartoons. Perfect for the pre-breakfast hunger bitchiness, you can actively ignore the people around you and wait for your food. Or something.

There are comfy booths with pillows, and a perfect open window view to the outside world.

First up. I had to get that smoothie in me. It did not disappoint. Fruity, herbal and sweet, I felt amazing after drinking this and I was tempted to order a second one.

Trying not to chug it was so good!

Next up, we ordered food. Since we were both on a cleanse, there was no bread joy to be had. Fabergé has all kinds of amazing bread, from cheese to raisin, to banana. To be honest, there were quite a few things on my "avoid" list, so I stuck to the basics: omelette!

Here we have a roasted red pepper and tomato omelette, with a side of salsa. Some potatoes and fruit finish off the meal.

The omelette was fresh and fluffy, with a slight sweetness from the roasted peppers. Seeing as I was on a cleanse, I found the potatoes a little greasy. I'd like to see them do a roasted potato rather than throwing them in the deep-fryer. No complaints of the fruit salad though, there was a nice mix of more exotic fruit like pineapple and strawberries.

Overall, I am super pleased I found this place. The service is friendly, prompt and laid-back, the menu is not so huge as to be overwhelming (think typical breakfast fare with a twist) and they offer vegan options. Do check it out!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Cleanse Smart

I've undertaken one of the nicest things you can do for your three cubic feet of blood and bone and meat. If you think about it, that's what we are, and why shouldn't we give our insides a good scrubbing? I am presently doing a cleanse from Renew Life and I feel amazing. What has happened to me so far:

-more energy, thus more yoga and running
-no dips in energy throughout the day, nice and steady!
-cleanse clarity: clear thoughts, less mental rambling
-my pores look smaller
-lots of poop
-more motivated and concentrated
-awesome mood all the time
-no food cravings
-feel energized from eating, no more afternoon fatigue

What's more, here's what you can EAT when on a cleanse. I pretty much cut out all dairy, wheat and sugar. Everything is yummeriffic nonetheless.

Typical cleanse dinner: roasted veg mixed with red rice, some brussel sprouts (I LOVE BRUSSEL SPROUTS) and half a plate of salad. Awww yeah.

Following the greens/grain/protein train, here we have a tabouleh salad with tomato, some barley with a swirl of sriracha and a tofu burger. Did you know you can stick a tofu burger in the toaster? So quick and easy.

A delicious spicy vegan chilli with pinto and kidney beans. Made it epic with some fresh avocado and nutritional yeast sprikled on top.

Brunch for winners: omelette with leeks and peppers. Didn't even miss the toast!

Green goddess stirfry with peanut sauce. Snow peas, broccoli, cabbage and leeks turn into a feast of healthy goodness. Gonna blog this dish, it's definitely a keeper.

I'll continue to document my eating on the cleanse as I get cleaner and cleaner. I like thinking about food to begin with, and the cleanse is just another awesome challenge to encourage me to keep thinking up creative and healthy dishes!

Holy Tabouleh

You know you want an easy and extremely healthy salad that keeps well in the fridge. Trust me.

Gather the ingredients. A clove of garlic, a medium tomato, two cucumbers, parlsey, couscous, olive oil, salt and pepper.

Get cutting! Chop the veggies into uniform small bites. Mince the garlic and throw it in all together in a bowl. You can do this while listening to music, or watching something on your computer!

In the meantime, get your couscous cooked. It requires boiling water and 5 minutes of waiting time. The package or google will provide you with more information. As a wheat free alternative, you could substitute the grain with quinoa.

Rince the parsley well, trim off the stems and chop away as if your life depended on it. Do your salad proud.

Combine the ingredients and squeeze the juice of a lemon all over. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Done!

Friday, September 16, 2011

French Onion Soup

Can you feel the chill in the air? Why, just last weekend it was balmy and warm...September you fickle fool. I know what's coming though, and it's only going to get worse! The one saving grace about autumn is nature's bountiful harvest, and inexpensive, fresh and local produce. Although I enjoy visiting the Jean Talon market at any time of the year, it seems as though we are now in the apex of freshness and possibility.

I made a simple onion soup to keep the chill away on the first of fleeting fall days. Why is fall so short and winter so long?

The culprits in question: 5 onions, veg stock, thyme, butter, olive oil. Put these humble ingredients together and it makes a party for your mouth!

Methods I have seen used firsthand to prevent onion tears:

1) Wearing ski goggles whilst chopping.

2) Shoving a piece of bread inside your mouth between the teeth and upper lip.

3) Holding an unlit match between your teeth.

4) Keeping the onions cold in the fridge.

What I do: Nothing. I just cry through it. Enjoy the cathartic release, people!

After wiping away the tears, I massaged the onions in a soup pot with:

3 Tbs butter
3 Tbs olive oil
a few pinches of salt
a splash of water

Then it was time to sweat the onions. Cover with a tight fitting lid and cook over medium-high heat for about 10 minutes. When the water has evaporated, remove the lid and it's time for the best part: caramelizing the onions! They go from firmly pungent white strings to sweet, softly yielding golden filaments. All in one hour, while making your kitchen smell absolutely fantastic.

When an hour has passed, it's time to make these caramelized onions into soup!

Add 6 cups of stock. I used veggie bouillon cubes but I am sure this soup would work amazingly with a homemade stock. Then, add about a teaspoon of thyme and simmer for 15 minutes. I tasted mine and it was way too sweet so I added a tablespoon of port vinegar to impart some tang to the soup.

Ce n'est pas une vrai soupe aux onions sans le fromage et le pain! Yes, so we need some bread and cheese to finish this baby off. Some multi grain baguette and some emmenthal grated and over top and then broiled should do the trick!

Get that bread in the soup bowl and laddle your creation over top. There's something slightly subversive about wetting toasted bread. It expects to stay crispy but I had other ideas for it!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

vegetable lasagna

What up people? I made a veggie lasagna and it was awesome. My friend Nicole showed me how to do this back in the day. She is an awesome cook. Here we go!

I was feeling lazy so I doctored some pre-made sauce with portobello mushrooms, zucchini and peppers. I had some withering tomatoes so that went into the sauce too. Always start by frying an onion and some garlic in olive oil, then throw in the veg and let it simmer.

Spinach and tofu for the lasagna filling. I also added fresh garlic and pesto, some soy sauce and some ketchup. Basically you want to think about what you could do to make the tofu as tasty as possible, since it's pretty bland when thrown into lasagna.

Looks like I put in some chopped red onion too. I don't remember.

Delicious riccotta wannabe!

Ready to assemble.

Prevent sticking by starting with a thin layer of sauce.

Then layer the uncooked pasta sheets over top, followed by some spinach mix and some sauce. Repeat til you finish with a last layer of sauce on top.

Finish off with some grated cheese. I don't use too much as I want to keep the grease factor down and I have even made this sans fromage with good results. Bake covered with foil at 350 for about 45 minutes, remove foil and cook until the cheese is nice and bubbly, about 15 minutes.

Friday, June 24, 2011

food revival

Must. Keep. Blog. Alive. I recently read somewhere that blogs are written to be abandoned eventually, but I am not ready for the death of this blog quite yet. So get ready for a magic carpet ride to Au Pied De Cochon!

My friend Mel and I decided to treat ourselves to a delicious celebratory meal. This dinner did not disappoint.

We sat at the bar. Having arrived at 5pm with no reservation, we were allowed to dine until 7:30. The place was packed by 5:45. With good reason of course!

This was by no means a vegetarian meal APDC prides itself on preparing all meats to the highest standard. Here we have duck carpaccio. I had no idea a raw animal could taste to vegetal, green and fresh. Must have been the minced chives and the extremely tasty olive oil.

You make your own mayonnaise to go with the duck by mashing that raw egg with the oil and dots of dijon.

This, people, is CALAMARI POUTINE. Omfg you guys. I fawned over the crisp squid, and declared it "lemonized". They somehow infused the citrus taste inside the batter or in the squid itself. Amazing. Those fries are cooked in duck fat and crisply perfect. That there gravy is the squid's ink turned into a tangy gravy, which complemented the calamari and fries perfectly. But wait, we forgot about the cheese curds until they were discovered at the bottom of the dish. Cheese plus squid equals deliciousness times ten. Holy mother.

The ink gravy was hardcore. Can you tell we liked this dish?

This was the most "meh" dish of the lot. Basically I learned that I don't like eating veal's heart. Nice try though!

The veal gnocchi was a hit. The potato pasta was pillowy and soft like dumplings. The veal was melt-in-your-mouth tender with a deep tomato base, and reminded me off all good things my grandma makes at a Sunday dinner.

When dinner was done a sun shower awaited us outside. Perfectly warm sunny summer rain. Ahhhh.

Fully formed DOUBLE RAINBOW. I yelled "double rainbow !!!" about a hundred times while walking in the rain.