This rainy windy day brought to an end by beer and pizza

Not that I had that for supper, I jsut wished I did, and had a spare picture in my gallery.  The pizza is made by me, but the beer is by Garrison Brewery in Halifax, right outside the Farmer`s Market and found in most NSLC stores.  All of their beers are 100% vegan and fabulously good.

Today we broke the record for the most rain to fall on an October day in my part of Nova Scotia – ever.  I had hoped that it would slow down before the end of the work day but sadly no and I ended up taking the bus to and from work instead of running.  I do run in the rain, and wind and cold etc., but the combination of extreme wind and rain today made running over the MacDonald Bridge an unattractive prospect. 

Leftovers tonight – tomato soup from the freezer with some baguette slices baked in the oven with pepperjack Daiya on them.  Also a few PC chick`n nuggets to round it out. 


Cheesy sauce gets healthier (but so delicious)


Cheezy brocs and spirals


I used to make a homemade cheese sauce in the microwave, so fast and easy you could whip it up while the macaroni cooked. A few years ago I discovered I liked it even more over broccoli or cauliflower than pasta.  The last couple of years I have been looking for alternatives to the dairy/saturated fat sauce.
I have tried many, some better than others, but the recipe in Vegan Diner is absolutely fabulous and so easy I can, again, whip it up while the pasta and vegetable are cooking.  I can’t give you the recipe but check your library for a copy of the book to try some of her fabulous recipes.
Here is a fall classic, at least in my part of the world: cranberry orange nut loaf.  Let it sit, wrapped or in a tin, for a day or two to let the moistness of the berries permeate the loaf.  It’s good toasted, too.

Cranberry orange loaf with walnuts

Rosemary and Garlic Focaccia makes a sandwich


Close up of the rosemary and garlic focaccia I made today.  It’s just regular focaccia, of which there are numerous recipes, with a couple of tablespoons of chopped rosemary and three garlic cloves, well minced, added.


Then I cut a chunk off and made a sammich:

Kalamata olives, roasted red peppers, FYH Italian-type cheeze and Yves veggie ham, with a generous smear of garlic mayonnaise (from Vegan Diner)

I assembled the sandwich and wanted to warm it up to melt the cheese but I didn’t want the bread to get soggy.  I decided to try wrapping it in parchment paper, which might have worked except I left it in too long and the bread was a little too crisp so the filling oozed out.  It tasted delicious, though.

I roasted some beets, too, and they were awesome.   Peel, cut into chunks, toss with olive oil and coarse salt, and roast at 400 for about an hour, stirring occasionally.

Thanksgiving camping!

I am so excited that I got to go camping not only on Thanksgiving weekend but on the last day the provincial parks are open for the season.  The weather this past weekend was absolutely amazing for Nova Scotia in October:  sunny and highs in the mid-twenties.  What vegan food is good for camping?  For a short stay, the same as any other:  hot dogs roasted over the fire, tortilla chips and salsa, trail mix and marshmallows.

Our front yard

I like simple food when I camp, preferably something that can be roasted over a fire or is prepared in advance and just need reheating.

Regular marshmallows have gelatin.  Dandies don’t and they are delicious, if tiny and requiring delicate roasting over the fire.

Breakfast of champions – plain instant porridge with chunks of banana and trail mix.

I remembered the filters and coffee but forgot the plastic cone.  I improvised with a water bottle lid but it didn’t work very well.  I did eventually end up with a somewhat drinkable cup of coffee with a pile of dregs at the bottom.

Sunrise over Mahone Bay

My oldest son, William

Thanksgiving pumpkin waffles

Thanksgiving is this weekend in Canada.  I am thankful for the beautiful summer-like weather and that tonight  I am going camping.  I am also thankful that no turkeys will die to feed me.  Pumpkins, on the other hand, I will eat with abandon.

Today’s holiday brunch recipe is courtesy of the great and talented Isa Chandra of Post Punk Kitchen fame.  This recipe for pumpkin waffles is from Vegan With a Vengeance but she has shared it on the web site.  Here is a naked waffle:

And here it is dressed up with syrup and homemade peach jam:

Happy Thanksgiving!

Curry and Rice

I didn’t grow up eating curries.  Anyone who knows my childhood would laugh at that – Dad was a meat and potatoes man.  Mom, though was a good and more adventurous cook.  I was looking through her hand-written recipes today and thought about how she would enjoy the vastness that is the internet recipe box, and the fabulous choice of foods that I have available to me, even at my local supermarket in a small city.

I don’t remember where or when I first tasted curry powder but I remember my reaction.  It was sweet and spicy and completely outside my experience.  I am not sure that I loved it then but I do now.  Ginger, garlic, cumin, coriander and mustard seeds, turmeric, fenugreek and a new favourite, asafoetida.  So many exotic flavours.

This is a cauliflower and eggplant curry with red and brown lentils, with swiss chard added at the end.  The rice is Spicy Indian Rice with Toasted Almonds from Vegan With a Vengeance.

The curry recipe is a melange.  I like the Vegan With a Vengeance Chickpea and Spinach Curry  spice blend but I wanted to have cauliflower, eggplant and lentils.  So I started with heating 2 tbsp of oil over medium heat, added 1 tsp of yellow and 1 tsp of brown mustard seeds and let them pop for about a minute.  Then I added some chopped onion.  Once the onion was soft I stirred in 4 crushed cloves of garlic and 2 tbsp grated ginger and then added the spice blend:

  • 3 tsp curry powder
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/8 tsp cloves
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp asafoetida
  • 3 cardamon pods
  • 1 tsp salt

I also used a full 800 ml can of tomatoes, squished into small pieces and about the same amount of water.

There are, I am sure, people who would be much more fussy about their preparation but I find that curries are one thing that have so many levels of taste going on, as long as you don’t over cook the vegetables or add too much salt  they almost always turn out delicious.