Posted in About Me, Allergies/Intolerance, Holidays, Nightshade Free, Vegan Food, Winter

And Finally……The Honeymoon – Part 1

Back in February…(Yes I have been a bad blogger) J and I went on our honeymoon. We went winter storm watching in Tofino! We chose to fly to Victoria and make our way to Tofino, enjoying the island and all it’s sights.

Our first day in Victoria was spent looking for boots for me, after the boot fiasco that ensued prior to our departure and eating at a wonderful little restaurant in downtown Vic. I am still dreaming of the lemon bead curd.

Here are my amazing boots! Obviously crushing a tree stump in Cathedral Grove! IMG_5081

Boot Fiasco was me buying boots in Edmonton, taking them home the night before the trip and realising they hurt my feet and I could not hike or walk beaches in them. With no way to return them or continue shopping that night due to stores being closed.

Good thing we were able to get an awesome pair pretty much in the first store we went to after landing!

Then there was the heavenly little place we went for lunch – Lotus Pond! Which I unfortunately forgot to take pictures of, but we had the dinner for two.

It came with spring rolls, wonton soup and brown rice. The two dishes we choose to include were lemon bean curd and buddha’s delight.

I advised the server of my allergies and it seemed like maybe she didn’t understand what I had meant but when the food came out there was not a nightshade in sight 🙂

Everything was tasty! The hubster said he found it to be the best veggie place with this type of fare he has ever been too. I quite in enjoyed the lemon bean curd, it tasted alot like egg in my opinion, kind of like a lemon egg. Maybe that doesn’t sound the greatest but it really was good!

It is a very reasonably priced vegan chinese restaurant in downtown Victoria.

We then made our way to Nanaimo! Here are some sites from our drive!

IMG_4995IMG_4998

Advertisements
Posted in Nightshade Free, Vegan Food, Vegan Recipes, Vegetarian Food

I heart chickpeas – Chickpea salad sandwich

Here’s my sandwich!

Only changes I made are no tomatoes (nightshade free) on the sandwich and DILL PICKLES not bread and butter. Oh yea and chopped black olives and dill pickles with a dash of pickle juice to the chickpeas……so I guess I changed it quite a bit

Thanks to The Vegan Chickpea for the awesome idea and great lunch!

Recipe can be found here http://www.theveganchickpea.com/2012/05/chickpea-salad-sandwich.html

Posted in About Me, Chévre, Cheesepalooza, Nightshade Free, Vegetarian Food

Cheesepalooza – Adventures in Cheese Making

I’m very late in my posting for September……It’s almost November and I am still trying to catch up…….What can I say, other than it’s been a very busy month!

I made cheese with my partners in crime back in September! That night we tried our hands at chévre, had a cheese tasting and made bikini rolls.

For dinner at our cheese making night we made Bikini Rolls from this blog. http://toostinkincute.blogspot.ca/2012/08/bikini-rolls.html They were very tasty and very healthy, helping to balance out our heavy on the cheese consuming night!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I really enjoyed the chévre! I liked how it picked up the flavors and scent of the seasoning/herbs. My favorite by far was the peppercorn one. One of my partners in cheese crime @seelprojects decided to jar her chévre in fresh herbs and olive oil. You can find her blog HERE! This is something I would like to try in the coming future. I think with my remaining vacation this year, I am going to need to take a staycation and make cheese! I’m thinking in December when the world is frozen over and I have no desire to leave my house. My other cheese partner in crime @hcgardiner made a very fancy chocolate orange chévre and her blog can be found HERE!

I am enjoying the cheese making thus far and am on a time crunch for this month as I have chosen to do Feta and haven’t started yet! So my blog post of my cheese making might be a tad late for October as well. It will be the first cheese I am making without my cheese partners in crime, so wish me luck!

Tasting Notes:

  • Appearance:   creamy – like cream cheese
  • Nose (aroma):  It doesn’t really have an aroma
  • Overall Taste:   Pleasant
  • Sweet to Salty: In the middle.
  • Mild (mellow) to Robust to Pungent (stinky):  Medium.
  • Mouth Feel: (gritty, sandy, chewy, greasy, gummy, etc.):  creamy and smooth.

Here is the end result of the mayhem from the night! At our cheese tasting I tried two new cheeses that I had never had before coconut cheese and herbed halloumi. The coconut cheese was a little piece of heaven!

Left over cheese!
Posted in About Me, Nightshade Free, Vegan Food, Vegan Recipes, Vegetarian Food

I heart chickpeas – Hummus

Monday Chickpea Recipe!  It’s another Food Network Recipe!!!  Recipe Courtesy of Rob Feenie.

Hummus

Ingredients

  • 1 garlic bulb
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 15 ounce cans chickpeas, drained (reserve ¼ cup liquid)
  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • 1 lemon, juice only
  • chopped parsley or cilantro to garnish

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Cut the top off of garlic bulb. Drizzle with olive oil and place on a baking tray. Roast for about 1 – 1 ½ hours or until tender. Allow to cool and squeeze out garlic.
  3. In a blender or food processor puree chickpeas with roasted garlic, tahini, lemon juice and reserved chickpea liquid. Season to taste with salt. Place in a bowl and refrigerate until ready to use. Garnish with chopped parsley or cilantro. Drizzle with a little more olive oil and serve with warm pita bread.
***Adjusted slightly to be nightshade free***
Posted in Allergies/Intolerance, Health, Health Food, Nightshade Free, Vegan Food, Vegan Recipes

I heart Chickpeas – Avocado Bowl!

Decided to post another Chickpea recipe this Monday!  It’s another Food Network Recipe!!!  Recipe Courtesy of Jennifer Houston.

Avocado bowl

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups cooked rice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped red onion
  • 1/2 an avocado, sliced or chopped
  • 1/2 cucumber, chopped
  • 1/2 cup sunflower sprouts
  • 1/2 cup pea sprouts
  • 2 tablespoons almond slices
  • 1/4 cup chick peas
  • 1 tablespoon tamari
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dry herbs ( I used, )
  • 2 wedges lemon

Directions

  1. Put rice into large bowl.
  2. Pour half of olive oil and tamari on the rice.
  3. Sprinkle with half the herbs.
  4. Put chick peas on the rice and top with chopped vegetables.
  5. Put sprouts on, trying to form into a nice high pile.
  6. Scatter almonds over top, and then add remaining olive oil, tamari and herbs.
  7. Serve with lemon wedges.
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Yield: 1

***Adjusted slightly to be nightshade free***

Posted in Allergies/Intolerance, Health, Health Food, Nightshade Free, Vegan Food, Vegan Recipes

I heart Chick Peas – Greek Chickpea Soup

One of my favorite foods is chickpeas!  They are extremely versatile and can go in pretty much anything!

Below is a recipe for on the Food Network courtesy of Christine Cushing.

CC’s Greek Chickpea Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dried chickpeas (250 ml)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (30 ml)
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 rib celery, diced
  • 1 to 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 5 cups vegetable stock (1.25 litres)
  • 1 teaspoon dried Greek oregano (5 ml)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin (2 ml)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • Coarse salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley (125 ml)
  • Squeeze of fresh lemon juice, to finish soup, optional
  • Splash of olive oil, to finish soup, optional
  • Grilled pita bread, for serving

Directions

  1. Soak chickpeas in water. Cover and Refrigerate for 6 to 8 hours or overnight. Drain and rinse with cold water. Drain.
  2. Sauté onions in olive oil on medium heat until golden, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the carrot and celery, sauté until vegetables soften, about 2 to 3 minutes more. Add garlic and cumin and Greek oregano and continue to cook 1 to 2 minutes more or until garlic is golden. Add vegetable stock, chickpeas, lemon zest and bay leaves. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for about 40 to 45 minutes or until chickpeas are tender. Season the soup with salt and pepper. Add chopped fresh parsley, lemon juice and olive oil. Serve soup hot with grilled pita bread. Makes 7 cups.

Dried chickpeas will double in volume when soaked. If you prefer, used 2 cups canned chickpeas. Serve this soup with grilled pita bread.

Yield: 6

***Recipe slightly adjusted to make it vegan**

Posted in About Me, Nightshade Free, Vegan Food

Soup and a busy week.

This week was very busy, meetings Monday and Tuesday.  Sparks Wednesday.                    Thursday a break and I’m making pumpkin soup.

Yesterday, was cookie selling night, so the sparks and I armed with parent helpers ventured out into the neighbourhood to sell cookies.  Mint cookies to unsuspecting homeowners.  We had alot of fun and learnt alot about cookie selling and committed quite a few faux pas, but all in all we had a good time.  Also, I know have 5 sparks which is great!  Still looking for more girls and ideally I would like to have an even number.  Also still on the search for an additional leader to help with Sparks.

Met with my trainer today and won’t have another training session until the third thursday in October.  So I have homework to take with me over the next week and a half, hopefully I can keep up my activity levels and keep in shape.

Tonight I am making Pumpkin Soup!  It’s a new recipe for me.  I looked for a recipe online and just took ideas from all over and have a pot simmering on the stove now.  Here’s my ingredient list.

  • Roasted Pumpkin (Yes I roasted pumpkin before peeling it and adding it to my soup)
  • Coconut Milk
  • Nightshade Free Curry Powder (I really have found alot of uses for the powder)
  • Onions
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt
  • Garlic
  • Cinnamon
Essentially I roasted pumpkin, then peeled it and put it in a pot and mashed it up.  Fried up some onions. Added coconut milk, onions, salt, garlic,  cinnamon, nightshade free curry powder and turned on to simmer.
 It’s an experiment so I’ll let you know how it goes…..

Since I really haven’t gotten much done on the home front this week.  I am attempting to “catch up” tonight on things that have been waiting for quite a while……like my blog……..

Posted in About Me, Vegan Food, Wedding

A missed blog day

Sorry I missed yesterday, my internet was down…..thanks Shaw……….

Yesterday, I went to my very first bridal show and then out to lunch at Joeys, with some great friends!!!  We went to Bridal Expo!!  It was wonderful lots of good stuff to check out! Entered lots of draws and have my fingers crossed that I win the honeymoon in Barcelona 🙂

Tonight I need to work on my save the dates, It’s my goal this week to have them out before Friday.

Got my butt kicked today by my personal trainer.  Pulled my hamstrings pretty good …… Can’t really sit or do stairs.  Here’s hoping I am in much less pain Wednesday when I have to take my Sparks group selling cookies around the neighbourhood!

Off to eat my dinner for tonight – Sesame Orange Portobello Mushroom Pasta *YUM*  Then off to watch Lost….Yes I am behind the times.