Thursday, March 31, 2011

Good Morning Smoothie - Recipe

I love a sweet smoothie to start my day off right.. Wow that sounded lame, but it's true! This smoothie is packed with enough protein to help you stay energized until lunch, and it tastes lovely too. As all the recipes I share, it's easy to make :)

Blend all the following ingredients together
- a cup and a half of frozen mixed fruit. Berries, mango, peach, strawbs, bluebs...put together any fruit combo that you dig (Western Family brand, unsweetened is great)
- 1/2 cup soymilk
- 1/2 cup no fat yogurt (Olympic brand is what I like)
- a palmful of hemp seeds (proteeeein!)
- 3 dates

Top it off with your fave granola mix for a happy morning!

Edamame Wasabi Hummus - Recipe


I'm sort of obsessed with hummus. For several years, I have been experimenting with variations on this classic; spinach feta, roasted eggplant, sundried tomato...the list goes on. Point is, I love this stuff, and when I discovered edamame hummus, from that day onwards, I could never get enough. Or so I thought....Until I discovered wasabi powder... Amazing.
Here it goes!

All you gotta do, is put all these ingredients and spices into a food processor and blend the bejeezus out of 'em.
- 1 cup of frozen shelled edamame beans, thawed
- 1 clove of minced garlic
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp wasabi powder (an amazing ingredient to have around!)
- 1 tsp oregano
- the juice of 1/2 a fresh lemon
- drizzle of olive oil
- dollop of sour cream
- optional sprinkle of red pepper flakes for a kick

All that stuff, into the food processor, and out comes yummy hummus! 
Warning: addictive

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Beany Nachos - Recipe

Everyone has that food they resort to consuming when they are intoxicated and thus giving in to an extreme craving. For me, that food is nachos. I love the crunchiness of the warm chips and their flavourful toppings. However, typical nachos are packed with unnecessary fat and lots of morning-after guilt. Fear not! For I have discovered a healthy alternative to these nachos some of us crave; and the recipe is so easy to follow, that you can be totally intoxicated while making them!
First off, preheat the oven to about 250

You'll need:
- Tortilla Chips (I can't get enough of the unsalted Que Pasa ones!) spread on a parchment paper-covered baking sheet
- a can of Amy's refried beans (they have traditional flavour, green chili flavour, oh the options!!) dolloped onto the chips
- a can of Corn packaged in water, drained and rinsed
- chopped red onion
- some diced tofu (tossed separately before adding with a pinch of cayenne or cumin)

Bake that dish of tastiness for about 7-10 mins or so. Depends how you like 'em

Serve with some Homemade Tzadziki

Pile on these ingredients, layer it up until you're satisfied :)

Fave Food Places in Banff

Sooo I'm currently participating in this amazing workstudy in Banff! Since living here for 3 months already, I've begun to discover the gems of Banff. Each of my fave places is awarded a different title as follows:

Best Scones, Cake, Baked Goods and all the rest - Wild Flour 
I have dreams about this place. The atmosphere, the smells, the and decor make this place a super chill hang out. By bringing a book with me, I can spend hours reading and snacking and sipping at Wild Flour. Their coconut carrot cake (in the pic above) makes my mouth water just by conjuring an image of it in my mind. Their tea lattes are made with tea from The Banff Tea Company down the street Some days I can't even handle how great this place is, and I have to leave and recompose myself before returning and ordering a variety of baked goods, intended to last me the week. These usually don't last me until the end of that work day. They make these cookies. Fig and Anise. Sounds wrong and strange, but they taste unreal and so different, that you can't stop! Amazing. And their Mexican chocolate cookies have a pleasant hint of spice. Their scones are also sweet and fruity, I especially love the raspberry ones when they're in. The bread, oh the bread. Their dark beer bread is delicious and I have to stop myself from going overboard on it. Soooooo tasty! The ladies (it's mostly always ladies) who work here are my kinda people too, which makes for good vibes. Overall, I just love this place! It gets nice sunlight too, so reading a book, or just reflecting with a chai tea latte (pictured canoodling next to the coconut carrot cake) are my fave ways to spend a winter/spring afternoon. I'M IN LOVE!

Best Pita - Barpa Bill's
There's no menu on their website, in fact it's quite hidden in general. My first time eating here was with my family, and we had only heard of the legend of Barpa Bill's. We found it! Tucked away, sandwiched between a hairdressing salon and a skigear shop, a small tiled room, with smells of souvlaki wafting about. They have fantastic meat options too if you are accompanied by a carnivore, or you wish to cheat a little on your vegetarian ways. I personally have a love affair with their veggie pita. Warm roasted red peppers, onions, and lettuce packed and rolled into a pita. The creamy tzadziki can get a little messy, as it will ooze from the bottom until you master the Pita Grip, but no complaints about copious tzadziki, as it is super tasty. You can also buy their hummus to take home. This unsuspecting, basically fast-food joint is a winner.

Best Vegeterian Comfort Food - Nourish Bistro
I love this place, especially because they make their hearty veggie sharing meals for delivery as well! Their King Kong Noodles kick ass and their Falafel salad (pictured above, topped with an edible flower) is large and very filling. Their plates are intended for sharing, but I have in the past polished off a plate myself. Their drinks are also sweet and delicious! Their Kundalini Ice Whip is basically a veggie-and-fruit smoothie, with the added touch of a few cute cannabis leaf-shaped ice cubes. They also have a liquor license and serve nice wines and such, which makes some people very happy. The decor is funky too! The ceiling is embellished with a lovely tree with flowers painting and the wall colour is very warm and accommodating. It's a little hard to find, as it's on the 2nd floor of this small mall on the main street in Banff, but totally worth it once found!

Farm Restaurant in Calgary

This past weekend, my sister was in town! And naturally, both of us being complete foodies, we hit up one of our (many) favourite 17th Ave culinary heavens, FARM. We ordered the Farm salad, a delicate blend of mixed greens, green apple slices, pecans, and aged cheddar, at the same time as their legendary, macaroni and cheese. Now, their macaroni and cheese isn't just any old mac and cheese. They use melt-in-your-mouth, soft, fondue-like cheese with penne noodles mixed in, topped with a crunch of breadcrumbs. This dish has a bit of a jalapeno spice, and its richness will have you needing to share, however this meal is the very definition of foodgasm. Here's their website. If you are ever in the Calgary area and crave cheesy deliciousness, I highly thumbs-up FARM. They have extensive non-veggie choices too, so you can enjoy your amazing Mac&Cheese while your companion may wish to enjoy some local meats.

Another fun part is Farm's proximity to Steeling Home, one of my sister and mine's fave gift goodie shops. They have the cutest jewelry, odd books, and entertaining little gifts and gadgets. Nice place to stop after your meal!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Choco Drank - Recipe

Choco Drank may be enjoyed at any time of day, can be served hot or cold, you can drink one cup or several; very versatile! Ps. check out the awesome view from my living room that I am so lucky to look out to as I enjoy my Choco Drank creation.

- 1 tbsp of cocoa powder (unsweetened is cool) at the bottom of a coffee/tea cup (like the one pictured above)
- pour in some soymilk, fill the cup about an inch
- Using a matcha whisk (forks could work if you do not own one of these awesome drink tools) whisk vigorously, without spilling. It's an art!
- Then, when cocoa powder is all mixed in, fill the rest of the cup with soymilk
- Pour some agave business all up in there, give it a stir, or a whisk
- Top it off with a spoonful of cinnamon

If you prefer your drank warm, heat the soymilk in a frying pan (yes, a frying pan) before adding to cocoa powder and pouring agave and sprinkling cinnamon. h the heating milk with your matcha whisk.  It's a cheap way to froth it up. Be careful not to let the pan get too hot, make sure it don't get a-boilin'.

Enjoy yo drank!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Cinnamon-Spiced Pecan Salad - Recipe

Being lucky enough to work close to Caper's Market in Vancouver meant lots of breaks spent delighting in their scrumptious foods, ranging from unreal vegan cookies to full-deal breakfast burritos. One of their salads inspired this recipe.

Firstly, you've gotta get those pecans all roasted and flavoured up! Preheat the oven to 250. in a bowl, throw in some whole pecans and drizzle them with agave. A few dashes of cinnamon, and mix so the pecans are all coated and nice. Stick those babies on a baking sheet lined with some parchment paper, and let those roast for about 5-7 mins (go for 3-5 mins if you have a super spiffy new-ish oven)

Meanwhile, crumble up some blue cheese. Now, I know that blue cheese can be on the pricey side, but you don't need to use that much. And plus, it's amazing, so it's worth spending a few extra dollars on.
Get those crumbly cubes of blue cheese onto a bed of mixed greens
get about 3 dates, chopped, throw those in as well. Of if you'd rather have dried cranberries or raisins around, use those instead
Add 1/4 of a green apple, chopped

When the pecans are finito, top the salad off with 'em. Drizzle some Balsamic Glaze (Blaze is an excellent brand that I recommend if you can get your hands on it) And there ya have it! So tastyyyy

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Spicy Ginger Pad Thai - Recipe

I could eat Pad Thai for the rest of my life, and be stoked every time. This love affair began when I visited Thailand a few years ago with my family. We ate the most amazing, fresh, exotic food I've ever consumed, and I have several memorable meals from that trip. Buuut, for the purpose of personal flair and taste, I've created a variation that suits my personal taste and flair :) This recipe is not necessarily intended as a Pad Thai dish; it could be considered moreso Pad Thai's distant relative. You get the point, now let's get to it!

- rip some broccoli into bite sized chunks
- 1/4 red pepper, chopped
- a bit of grated ginger (amaazing)
- small cubes of extra firm tofu
- palmful of red onion, chopped
- a clove of garlic, chopped or minced

Throw all the above ingredients into a frying pan with a lil puddle of olive oil, let it go crazy and cook on medium heat

Meanwhile, gotta be boilin' some H2O, in which you'll put them Udon noodles (purchased from any old grocery store) and cook for about 3 mins

Then add the final touch; a generous dollop of peanut butter! Crunchy is the best, but you can still use smooth.

Stir the stirfry all around. I placed a chunk of ginger on the side of the plate in the pic to pay homage to my beloved ingredient that I love oh so much. I probably steeped it in some hot water and drank it later on.
Top it off with some Sriracha sauce if you so please and you're golden!

Udon Stirfry with Peanut Sauce - Recipe

This is super easy and super delectable! Stirfry's are amazing and simple, especially for student cooking.

In a frying pan with a lil puddle of olive oil, throw in the following at medium heat:
- about 3-4 mushrooms, let heat up a bit before adding:
- one green onion, chopped
- a palmful of red onion, chopped
- some broccoli if desired
- diced extra firm tofu, in mini cubes
- a few vigorous shakes of oregano, same goes for cumin, a few less shakes of hot pepper flakes perhaps too

Meanwhile....bring some water to a boil, and throw in some Udon noodles (you can buy them at most plain old grocery stores) for about 3 mins

After the veggies seem cooked to your liking, throw the strained noodles into the mix. Add some chopped dates if you so please (I'm crazy for those things!)

Now for a generous dollop of peanut butter. I like to use crunchy p.b. but you can always use smooth p.b. and add some crushed peanuts to garnish afterwards!

ALSO, adding a little Sriracha sauce never hurt anyone :)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Falafel Flatbread Creation - Recipe

Falafel, the classic vegeterian dish. I wanted to mix it up by making my own flatbread-type thaang, and to dress it up with some lovely veggies and top it off with some homemade tzadziki. It turned out really tasty, and there are so many varieties you can make with a falafel base (different spices, roasted veggies, nuts, chopped dates)!

- pour a drizzle of olive oil in a pan over medium heat
- add some thin slices of red onion
- add about 2 average-sized mushrooms, chopped
- chop up some roasted red peppers, from a jar
- let these all get nice and tender without going too limp and lame. Throw in a dash of cumin for fun!

- In order to maintain a generally healthy recipe, we gotta skimp out on the 1/2 inch thick oil that the falafel mix from a box is going to have to sit in. Here's how I roll.
- 1/2 cup of falafel mix from a box
- 1/4 cup of water added to mix
- meanwhile, a small palm-sized puddle of olive oil in a skillet, heatin' up on the stove at medium-high heat
- flatten the falafel mix over the oil. Flip when you judge how cooked it is!

(heat oven to 300)
- 1/2 cup of organic whole wheat flour
- 4 tbsp approx. hot water
- pinch of salt
- heated in a skillet with the dough about one inch thick, flip
- sprinkle one side with oregano
- throw in oven directly onto the oven rack and let 'er cook about 1 min on each side, or a little more if you want it crispy.

Place the falafel onto the flatbread creation (with the flatbread's oregano side up!) followed by the toppings, and add a generous dollop of the lovely homemade trazdiki.

Super Easy Homemade Tzadziki - Recipe

This will hopefully save you some money for what you'd be spending on pre-prepared tzadziki, which, if you're psycho for tzadziki like me, is an act of kindness towards your wallet!

- 1/4 cucumber, chopped into mini super teeny cubes or teeny narrow slivers, left to hang out on a piece of paper towel for a bit so they aren't all watery

- 1/2 cup of fat free sour cream
- 1/2 cup of organic fat free yogurt (Olympic Probiotic is a great one!)
- however much or however little amount of dill you fancy
- a clove of garlic (if you're feelin' it)

Toss the cucumber in with the mix and stirrrrr it up!

HINT: it's amazing with Que Pasa unsalted Tortilla chips. Sooo tasty!

Party-of-Flavours Salad - Recipe

This is a play on a classic Greek salad, but with some way fun additions! It's super uber easy to prepare, and this is a great packed lunch to-go as well. (Plus it's so colourful and beautiful!)

Salad Base:
- a generous hunk of Feta cheese (however much you please)
- 1/4 of a cucumber, chopped
- 1/4 yellow pepper, chopped
- Palm-sized amount of red onion, chopped into small rectangles

Fun Stuff:
- your favourite (organic) nut mix from the bulk section of the grocery store (I love cashews, almonds, peanuts, brazil nuts, etc.)
- handful of organic dried mango chunks, or other various dried fruit varieties
- 3 chopped dates
- a generous drizzle of balsamic glaze (which is thicker than straight up balsamic vinegar and has a touch of sweetness) mixed with a dash or two of cumin
- kalamata pitless olives, if you wish
- 1/4 of an avocado
- a dollop of home-made tzadziki
- a few basil leaves

For protein:
- a generous handful of rinsed chickpeas (pref. organic) mixed with a drop of olive oil, and a dash of cumin + oregano

A Little Intro

Hey you! Welcome to my lovely little veggie food blog deal. I started my version of vegetarianism in my second year of university, when I moved into a townhouse with a kitchen! I'd always looooved cooking, and so I was able to get all experimental with the wonderful world of food when I moved into my new place. I'm one of those vegetarians who admittedly cheats once in a while... I also don't give you heck for not being veggie, there be no hatin' round here, just the spreading of love for quality fooood :)

I like to throw some of my own pics in with the recipes. I hope you try some of these recipes out! .....or just have a "foodgasm" looking at and reading, your call. I also love getting feedback; so any comments, requests, other items of that nature, I really appreciate hearing them!

I encourage you to get crafty and creative with your food. You will notice I don't give many exact measurements unless totally necessary to the success of the dish. I feel that everyone is different and has different preferences in terms of quantity of an ingredient, etc. I just give suggestions! The recipes are approximate measurements for a one or two-person portion, so multiply by however many people you may be cooking for

I hope some of the recipes on here open your mind, for instance, certain ingredients that actually rock together, that you couldn't imagine working out together previously.

Anywaaaaays, get cookin!