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Really really really short post today.  (One can only ignore essays for so long).

I bought some fresh jujube dates yesterday.  Not like the little shrivelly things that come in the medicinal chinese soup packets (which are awesome, but different), no… more like crisp quince/apple-texture and date-flavour.  With a little olive-stone inside.  PLUS, resemblance to dinosaur eggs!  Neat.

That’s all.
Oh, except that I bought more nut butter.  mmmmmmmmmmmmm nuttery buttery.  It’s gonna be spice cake icing for this weekend, Thanksgiving.

So we’re finally in the present, now!  That was so weird, being back in time for so long… well, status quo and time re-adjustment has been achieved (thank you Doc!) and I’m the proud owner of not only Vegan Brunch but the Tropical Vegan Kitchen, now, too!  More on those at the end of the post, because I’m such a stickler for temporal integrity… although you’d never never never know it.  So I have to begin with rice.  Oh, but not just any rice…
It was sumptuous, luscious purple rice (yeah, I’m a fan), which I made with a big heaping spoonful of souvlaki spice blend that’s been sitting on my spice rack since last summer going “oh oh, make me with tofu, you LOVE greek food, get around to it, with those Vcon lemony potatoes, yeah!”
Which of course I did not do.  
Nah, no, I made this rice instead and actually swished it around in my salad, turning it all warm and tomatoe-y and olive-y, it was really awesome.  I never (never never?) mix my plate up, or at least not that often, so bear with my enthusiasm, haha.

Enthusiasm wanes for this, though!  Too bad… it’s from Vegan Fire & Spice and it was only okay… cold soba something or other.  I could have just messed up rinsing it properly, because it was mostly a case of the the noodle liquid rinsing all the nice dressing off.  And I put way too many veggie in, who needs veggies man, not me (at least not when “slurpy bowl of noodle” is the simplicity required at the moment).  Does anyone have any cold noodle tricks?  I bought a pack of soba the size of my head and I was pretty up for doing it cold, japanese-style over the rest of the summer.

Also good cold:  eggplant!  Amazing cold!  I faked up this most excellent wheat berry salad with morrocan spices, creamy eggplant, fresh mint… so good.  Especially in crisp summer lettuce wraps with black bean hummous dolloped on, which needless to say, was my consumption method of choice here.  (I’m especially enamoured of the strange little ears on the hummous blob in the picture there, too :P)

Oooh, and unfortunately there’s no slice picture, but I made a red velvet cake!!  It was a bit of a talent exchange and I got a professional (shi-shi, layered and subtle!) haircut from a friend of mine who adores southern stuff.  I even put mint on it, a la Paula Deen.  Oh, and the recipe was of course from Vegan Cupcakes and OMG this frosting if you haven’t made it yet MAKE IT it’s all whippy like creamy and dangerously low-sweet and HIDE THE SPOONS.  O_O!

Right.  Well.  Grounding… let’s be sensible here.  There is nothing more sensible than rice salad, not one thing, nope.  (the New Zealand Rice Salad on page 70, to be really specific.  tee hee kiwis).  What else can be eaten right out of the fridge like a miniature complete meal at the end of your snacking fork?  (And that can be hard to remember to eat sometimes!)  Also, what else can incorporate fruit into dinner without seeming weird?  Well, I guess I’m going to find out what else, because the Tropical Vegan Kitchen is full of fruit, it’s everywhere.  Which is why I bought it!  That and to figure out how to use up a crate of kiwis I got… I’m looking to adapt the toasted coconut mango muffin recipe in Vegan Brunch too maybe… which finally brings me to —–

La la la, nothing can be said about this I’m sure that hasn’t been said before, it is perfect and you want to eat this and your omni uncle wants to eat this (well, maybe), and I ate it with the V.Brunch sesame scrambled tofu with greens and yams ( – tofu, + dandelion greens).  I don’t know how she actually managed to do this, but not only does it actually taste like something good (as opposed to Vegan-Omelet-As-Novelty), but the structural integrity is a wonder to behold.  The thing spread perfectly, browned perfectly, held together like a champ… you can even stack them.  Now try that with an egg omelet!
(also, I offically think these taste way better than those egg things.  viva la revolution!)

Thank you everybody, for the commiseration about dumb boy things… it actually made me feel so much better! Thankfully it all worked out and I could quickly get back to business making cookies *constantly* with Pomme as we get closer and closer to perfecting the art of the invented cookie. And also we can make a batch in about 3 minutes. And also, they are all delicious (okay, some were dog biscuits, but most had chocolate and were… delicious).

These were actually from a recipe… the infamous Crispy Peanut Butter cookies from VwaV that have legendary crumbling abilities (oooweeeeoooooo). They actually held together pretty nicely once you let them cool. And so toasty-sweet melt in your mouth-y!

And that kinda necessitated a small batch of Extraveganza Crispy Peanut Butter cookies for comparison (the page of which I had actually bookmarked that morning… the great minds of Pomme and I thinking alike once again!). They called for oat flake cereal – yummy! – and were so so so close to the first PB cookies I used to make as a kid. The dense and chewy kind, my favourite.

These are only one of many a muffin Pomme’s made recently. All without recipes, most perfectly addictive and warming, and so muffiny it kinda isn’t even fair to the vegetables in the fridge that definitely don’t get eaten when she pulls a fresh batch out of the oven. These apple cinnamon ones were just mouthfuls of autumn.

I made some bread at some point… loosely based on the Struan bread from the Freshloaf, except with amaranth instead of oat bran, brown rice syrup instead of honey, some added flax seeds, less yeast, way more whole wheat flour, and some leftover cooked amaranth too, to use it up. Perfect toast bread! Really nummy. Like a party at the grain cupboard and my fig jam was invited.

We also had to give it a spin as BLTs! Tofu bacon might be my new favouritest tofu.

Prickly pear innards look like this, and they taste quite melony.
(this was entirely inspired by the vegan 100 – I can cross one more off the list now!)

More cookies! On the bottom left, invented pistachio-date-cornmeal cookies with cardamom. The bottom rights are cardamom-oatmeal-almond (we were in a mood it seems). And on the top are probably our mascot cookie – perfect rough ‘n tumble mounds of oatmeal chocolate chip bliss. No experimentation required there, just grabbing the Earth Balance from the fridge and trying not to forget the vanilla.

And would you believe that we are neither of us fat? This is only a fraction of our output, too.
Oh, willpower. And hungry friends. One can never have too much of either. :)

This pie ended too soon (*tear*). It kinda jumped into people’s mouths going “zomg i am zesty and zingy and made of pure summer and you could probably eat 4 pieces and still feel awesome cause i am soooo light!”

Do pies talk? If any could, I’d let my birthday pie talk (ok yes yes it’s very late but THAT’S OKAY because it’s key lime and there’s cashew coconut cream involved. And mango/kiwi on top. And graham coconut crumb crust! I should thank Bryanna for her cheese-less recipe, which is awesome and even stood up to my substituting plain old cornstarch for the required agar (just chill chill chill that thing out). Man… I probably had a quarter of this in one sitting and I just felt all smiley and fresh. That is some quality in a dessert! (also DO check out her whipped topping recipe on the same page, it will blow your mind)

I’ll be resuming regular posting and (this is the important part) checking up on all your blogs in a bit, I’m just really enjoying the 2 weeks I get off school before I have to go back for summer classes in the beginning of May. There’s so much food I have to post still! And I still haven’t decided what kind of cupcakes I’m going to make this afternoon — I’m thinking brooklyn brownie or orange with redcurrant frosting… or even plain vanilla with mad sprinkles. Any thoughts?

I’ll level will you guys – I am not a friday go-er out-er. I dunno, just doesn’t happen! Mind you, mondays and wednesdays and the occasional sat. will find me sloshed or at least pretending to be witty since that’s when my favourite people have their days off work. But yeah, that’s why I’m posting about beans on a friday night, for the record, no I’m not self-conscious about it!! (ha ha, maybe). I usually make a special dinner and I watch a movie or read experimental lit, drink insane amounts of tea…. post on my blog. The usual stuff. Listen to the hotspot greek restaurant next to my building entertain scads and hordes of polished, smoking merry people peruse their fish and block traffic whilst wearing crazy things like high heels and 3-piece suits. Which is legitimately entertaining, and I’ll probably miss the noise real bad when I move. I also avoid doing schoolwork and awkwardly segue into botany with no warning at all….

My tomato sprouts grewed! This is so so so revolutionary since every plant I’ve ever had has died a horrible shrivelled death, and I’ve harboured fantasies of a fire escape garden since the day I got one. A fire escape, that is. It’s gonna rule so bad! I love these guys and I’ve added them to the morning routine, getting water right after Satchmo-cat does. I know they’re a little crowded, but I’m gonna wait for some ‘true’ leaves before I try to transplant them. Whatever ‘true’ leaves are. I read that somewhere. Anyway, I love my sprouts, they’re so awesome. They’re gonna have radish, green bean, spinach, carrot and parsnip friends, too, and there are some herb seeds next to the radiator just waiting to unfurl their fineness and be all like, “hello! I’m fragrant! yay!”

Oh boy, I’m a nerd. XD

Lunchtime, and there was some crazy voodoo going on with this soup, by the way. I’ve made black bean soup before (okay, it’s been a while), and maybe it was because this time I saved every last drop of luscious bean-gravy that I could – I used half home-cooked beans that I had in the fridge already (plus liquid), and half canned stuff (plus liquid!) but the velvet awesome that this became… hoboy. I just shovelled and felt loved from the inside by thousands of thick happy beans. Does that sound weird? Oh V-con, the things you make me think….

I don’t really want to wonder why this happened. Is it natural? Is it hormones? Are a secret race of frankenberries (hey, wait a second…) gonna rise up out of their plastic boxes and start absorbing nearby fruit around to become MEGABERRIES??????

Only my generous grocer will know, I guess. He was selling these for 80 cents a lb. I know! SO making a pie, maybe kittee’s pie, which I’ve wanted for my ownsome since I saw it last summer. (either that or just buy box upon box of strawberries and eat them like it’s going out of style, which is pretty much what I’ve been doing)

And this is an old photo, but to be fair I did finish these tonight so I guess it belongs in a post about friday eatings, right? Yeah, so leftover pickle juice… if you boil cut up vegetables in it until they’re tender and then drop everything back in the jar you get badass custom pickles. Which I eat slathered in harissa, it’s like reaching in the fridge for a stick of dynamite. :D

And super healthy soup for lunch requires some balance, ne? I had apples to use up. I like crisp (actually of all desserts this IS my youth). So I made crisp for dinner. I tried to not use so much sugar, but the candied ginger really wanted to join the party, and if I was making this for company I probably would have tripled the amount it was so good in there. The apples could have been tarter, but hey, that’s what I had, and I don’t think the mushy Macs had ever received better treatment than being baked up with almonds and cinnamon and looooove, nope.

*cue the greeks shouting opa! from downstairs*

Yay friday. XD

Survey time again! Liz makes interesting questions, and I memed it from Coppe and Adele. I fight boredom good, yeah? :)

1 . If you have to choose between locally grown or organic, which do you usually choose?

I usually don’t have an option, I tend to go with whatever’s cheapest out of necessity. But if I was in a position to choose, I would probably go with local, out of a desire to community-build. And with any luck it would be part of a performance piece.

2. Favourite way to prepare potatoes:
Any way! Okay, fittingly enough, the aloo paratha recipe down below is probably my favourite way. It’s hard to go wrong with cayenne and cilantro and lime.

3. Do you press your tofu before preparing/cooking it (if you eat soy)?
Pressing tofu makes me not want to eat it so much, which is sad cause it’s my fav. So I usually make recipes that don’t call for pressing (ie; crumbled feta type stuff or scrambles)

4. Name your favorite recipe that is a tradition in your family:
Probably mincemeat tarts at giftmas, which we *usually* make with “minced fruit” (the vegetarian version), but this year it was the real lardy stuff so I couldn’t partake. And we usually make trays and trays of them, the really tiny kind and they’re immensely pop-able. Next year, I guess.

5. Any food allergies?
Penicillin is based in bread mold I guess, but no, not really.

6. When you want to go to a fancy dinner, where do you go?
Where would I *potentially* go if I did indeed go out for fancy dinners? The Green Door Restaurant in Ottawa is choice tops. It’s buffet-style, and the marinated shrooms are otherworldly, as is anything they decide to do with noodles and/or squash. In Montreal it’s alllll about Aux Vivres, though. They have a chickpea curry sandwich they put on a fresh-made chapati with mango chutney that is pretty much keeping me from trying anything else on the menu. They have awesome cookies, too.

7. When you have a cold, what do you crave?
Ice-cold fruit, which I put in the fridge. Not much else.

8. What kind of water do you drink? (Filtered, spring, tap, etc.)
Tap water. And sometimes I’ll put lime and stevia in it for kicks.

9. Name a flavor of soda you’d love to see:
*** I change my answer!! Not strawberry, no, some of these flavours maybe:

– apple chai
– mint cucumber
– balsamic strawberry

10. If the recipes you ate as a child were compiled into a cookbook, what would the title be?
Creamy Garlicky Potatoes and Pasta With Probably Some Pork Involved and a Yorkshire Pudding Chaser

11. If you were allowed to grow one food that can’t grow in your climate, what would it be?
I’ve always wanted to try a warm orange off the tree. Something tells me I’ve never had a real orange before.

12. Favorite type of mushroom?
I haven’t tried many of the fancy kinds, but right now I’ll reach for shitake in a pinch. I like a mushroom to speak up about it’s presence!

13. Most frustrating part of your kitchen?
Total lack of storage, and trust me, I’ve turned every conceivable place I could into a shelf of some kind. Half my pantry is currently in the living room and if I wanted to buy more flour I’d have to make real estate under my desk, I think. :/

14. Last food you burned?
The cornmeal masala coated vegetables I made for the Indian meal – the tips of the onions and the outsides of the brussels sprouts got a little blackened. But they tasted fine. I’m actually shocked when I burn anything, I tend to have really good luck in that department.

15. Usual response to a veg*n’s favorite question, “But where do you get your protein?”:
I usually blink a bit, stare off into space over their shoulder a bit, recite a line something like “beans, tofu, whole grains, beans, lentils, fake meat, there’s this stuff called satan that’s really weird and good.” I rarely take the question seriously, I’ve never come across anyone who really seemed to think I didn’t get any.

16. If you were baking your own birthday cake today, what flavor would it be?
I will be making it soon! And I’m making a key lime cheesecake, which I crave like the dickens about once every 5 years. I’ll probably put a strawberry or mango element in there somewhere and then eat half of it. :)

17. Favourite brand of chocolate chips?
I like the President’s Choice dark chocolate chips. Yeah, I know, they’re not fancy or even quality chocolate by any stretch of the imagination. But they’re cheap and decent enough and I like the packaging, it’s very manly.

18. You have $200 of your tax return reserved for Williams Sonoma – What do you buy?
What’s Williams Sonoma???

*quick google later….*

OHHHHHH. Holy crostini. Most of it? Okay, how about you hold this food processor and I’ll be over here loading up on cake pans. Excellent…

19. Do you plan your menus in advance? Any tips to share?
I usually check the online flyer for my favourite grocery store, scan the produce and try to pick meals for the next week that incorporate most of the interesting ones in somewhat labour-intensive meals that I’ll use to entertain myself between classes. Then I use the leftover produce in the second (more experimental) half of the week, and use every inch of my willpower NOT to run out for scallions or whatever that would be “just perfect in this meal!” in the interest of frugality and NOT being a grocery store addict.

And if I’m staring out into space on the bus with a glassy look and a fiddling thumb? You better believe I’m debating wether to use that yam in a soup or a sandwich. :p

20. You have 3 minutes before you have to leave the house and you’re starving- What do you eat?
A small handful of tamari almonds and a piece of fruit go in my bag, and then I jet.

21. If Martha Stewart, Paula Deen, and Rachel Ray got into a fight, who would win and how?
Rachel Ray’s got the arms… but there’s something sneaky about Paula. And she’s my favourite, so…. Paula. She’d have the butter-gun cocked and ready, anyway.

22. If you eat oatmeal, what do you add to it before serving?
3 1/2 chopped dates. cinnamon, nutmeg, very occasionally ginger. salt.

23. If you got to travel to one country and learn all the traditional dishes there, where would you go (ignore commitments in your current place of residence)?

24. Favourite late night snack?
A banana. It’s a quiet soothing food, and more importantly it has tryptophan so the sleepy feeling isn’t totally psychosomatic.

25. Favourite springtime food?
I am waiting with bated breath for the first wave of strawberries, at which time I’ll get a huge plastic container of them, find a sunny green spot to sit and eat every juicy morsel.

26. Favorite food-related magazine?
I don’t really get magazines, but I flipped through Vegetarian Times and I liked it.

27. Which do you prefer: shoyu, tamari, conventional soy sauce, or Bragg’s Aminos?
I really liked the San-J shoyu I got for sushi-dipping.

28. What vegetable or fruit do you dislike the most?
Pomelo hasn’t wowed me. Or papaya unless it’s dried.

29. Name a holiday food you look forward to all year long:
A gigantic creamy slice of pumpkin pie, with soy whip and maybe an extra fork so I can scare people away from the leftovers and eat them ALLLLL myself. hee hee.

30. If you could convert anyone to veganism with your magic wand, who would you convert?
The love of my life, whenever they decide to show up.


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