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This is one of those I can’t beLIEVE I didn’t write down what was inside these, mostly because I want to share it, not because I can’t probably make them again because I can, but they won’t be exactly the same and gosh knows I can’t recall the exact spices but I think there was cloves in there kind of dishes.  Yummy little nubbins!

Probably…
+ leftover rice
+ tahini
+ tamari
+ chopped apricots
+ ground almonds
+ ras el hanout
+ tomato paste
+ bread crumbs to roll in
but beyond that I haven’t a clue, oh well.  The sauce they’re sitting in is required, too, in this imaginary recipe, but thankfully is probably just your favourite blended roasted yellow pepper sauce with a lot of cracked toasted coriander added into it.

Sometimes I do use dinner knives. It’s true! Maybe I should do it more often, actually, ’cause this was REALLY tasty. I made blackened tofu from Eat Drink and be Vegan, with Exraveganza-inspired lemon cardamom rice and tartar sauce, and I probably should have doubled the amount of sauce I made, because I’m out of leftover tofu right now and I still want to douse everything in tartar-y goodness.

Tartar Sauce (or the best use for mayo ever)

1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp each finely diced pickle, capers, red onion
a few drops of caper juice
1/8 tsp garlic powder
sprinkle of each of salt and sugar
lots of black pepper

1. Stir, let it sit, consume.

And I’ve been tagged with a survey or two. I don’t remember who tagged me for the Seven Things survey, but I’ll get around to that one in a day or so with a tour of my kitchen instead of random boring stuff about me. Of course I say that and then subject you to the Four Things survey, because I remember who tagged me (hi Rural Vegan! :), and I haven’t done one like it before. K…

Four Places I Go Over and Over:
1. School (it’s true!). For loads of things. (quietude, classes, anti-capitalist food, studio space, free political screenings, cheap books, art supplies)
2. the stretch of grocery stores in my neighbourhood with the fresh produce that lines the streets and the funny umbrellas that keep the rain off. Sometimes when it gets snappy-cold all of a sudden you can thunk frozen oranges together. :)))))
3. Ottawa
4. la-la land/my sketchpad

Four People Who E-mail Me Regularly
1. My mom. I am super cool. :D
2. Amazon. Even cooler.
3. School, telling me about gallery submissions and performance art yada
4. I don’t ‘get’ regular emailing, actually. If I like conversing with someone enough to send multiple emails I’ll usually take the dialogue to a better format.

Four Places I Would Rather Be Right Now
1. On a rooftop, swathed in plushy new winter-wear, nursing a hot cider and watching the city at night.
2. A heady, smoky night in Morocco or Malaysia or some such
3. Tibetan monastery
4. a little boat with an owl, a wizard, a lamp and a map

Four of My Favorite Places to Eat
1. The cafe at the arts building has the perfect view of dilapidated downtown Montreal, is never crowded, has vegan wraps and you can even grill your own sandwiches and look at funny textile art. Oh, and a microwave for bagged lunches, perhaps most important of all.
2. Anywhere outside in the forest.
3. Anywhere with friends, while travelling.
4. I hardly eat out!!! But I like a good burrito/wrap more than anything, except maybe The Table restaurant in Ottawa.

Four TV Shows I Watch Over and Over
1. Good Eats!!!! It’s total comfort watching.
2. Project Runway/Top Chef
3. Venture Bros.
4. Farscape
*5. Does a long-running anime obsession count? it should. :P

So when Isa says smother, smother I do. There’s not much else I wanted to eat after making the VwaV punkrock chickpea gravy, except anything with loads of this on top. Potatoes are totally good for you, right? Like, they’re vegetable matter! I ate so much potato last week.

Yes, and cabbage. If you think this is stereotypically peasant-fare so far, just wait until you see my third primary vegetable of late. But anyway, cabbage in everything, and when a lunch needs to be made in the time it takes for coffee to brew, a nice apple & clove braised cabbage isn’t bad at all, and can be slurped like noodles actually.

Third in the poor food trinity? Carrots! Good thing I almost consider them dessert. My favorite way to eat them these days is shredded with daikon radish, peppers and sprouts on top, with toasted sesames, tamari and rice vinegar. Sometimes sriracha, and sometimes… wakame seaweed! No, not hydrated, just crunchy and awesome right out of the bag. Better than chips sometimes.

One can see why I took the opportunity to hop home this weekend and eat out of someone else’s fridge for a while? Too bad Ottawa produce is expensive and wilty, ah well. Increases appreciation for the bounty of home, definitely (I complain but it’s really not that bad in Montreal). And at least there are fair trade vegan chocolates everywhere. This Zazubean bar was sweetened with cane juice and had damiana leaf, maca root and horny goat weed, whatever that is. Had to try it. Flirtacious, no? The cherries were the best part and there were tons.

The real reason I went to Ottawa was to hit the annual Fall Fair Flea Market at the First Unitarian church, which is basically a place to find vintage treasures and loads of fabulous high-quality literature for utter pennies. I found Godel, Escher, Bach for $1, and at that I rest my case. No wait! I also found The Man Who Ate Everything for $1, which is a fairly entertaining read. Almost precisely like reading a top notch food blog in book form. Plus I got a zillion classics, artbooks, and philosophy for a smile & a song and a twenty dollar bill, y’all, Liz is in happy book land!!!!!

Perhaps more importantly, I discovered that the church offers sanctuary to a number of people. Most recently a Nepali human rights activist (Shree Kumar Rai on the right), and for ten years a Bangladeshi family who were abused years ago here in Ottawa, and threatened back at home for speaking out about it. So now they both have apartments in the building, and cook amazing amazing food (mostly vegan!!) to pay for expenses and things. And they need people to watch for government officials all the time, which is crazy, but I’m proud of my old church for having the balls to be this immensely awesome. That’s the mediterranean plate they put together for me up there, with a requested cauliflower pakora in the middle, yum.

(More information about UU sanctuary here).

Not to mention I was lucky enough to try Mr. Samsa’s vegetarian wrap and holy crap, it was actually the best deep-fried falafal-ish thing I’ve EVER had. No kidding. The bread was yielding like butter (absolutely homemade), and the innards were spiced like the chorus of your favourite song. I wish I could get these all the time!

They even had sushi! Basic veggie style, but it was real and fresh and delicious as sushi usually is. Go International Cafe! I just wish I could have tried some of the onion bhaji or samosa, which were flying out of the kitchen and looking phenomenal, but next year I guess.

So that was the trip and now I am home, and since I couldn’t for life of me decide what I wanted for dinner tonight I mixed it all together with some kind of gluten-free pasta (rice, I think), fresh basil, chard, garlic, sundried tomatoes and chickpeas I made this morning with balsamic grilled fennel and that was pretty good for a girl who makes noodles maybe ten times a year. Pretty good delicious, that is!

Oh yeah. And 100% potato/cabbage/carrot free, and for that we sing a wee song of yay and happy-chew. :)

Lunchtime: wake up leisurely and construct (reheat) some stuffed butternut squash from last night, with black rice, chard, walnuts, cranberries and red peppers inside (much inspired by jessy), with lemon sauteed green beans and a lovely white bean garlic sauce done pretty close to how Atxvegn made hers. Boomshakka, that plus coffee and then off to school.

Dinner: swung by chinatown on my way home to replenish my Sriracha and of course picked up some extra goodies to play with. Fried gluten balls, a strange turnip-like thing with lavender insides (anyone know what that might be?), dried kumquats (ew), salted black beans (yay! mapo tofu!), and dried black fungus. The fungus ended up in my tummy tonight! It’s so weird and I’m hooked, it’s all crrrrunchy in a mushroom way. I used this recipe, and threw some stir-fried chard with fermented bean curd along side, and ate it with …………. wheat berries. OH, it was good!

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