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Summer has finally shown up around here (along with a glorious sunburn I managed to obtain yesterday taking advantage of the sunshine). This means the reappearance of cold grain salads and the like in my books. This one was a happy combination of flavours and textures that came mostly out of the mixture that was the dregs of my pre-grocery shopping trip pantry.

2 cups dry quinoa (or 1 cup if your prefer a lower quinoa to add-in ratio)

2 navel oranges, cut into inch segments

1/2 cup raisins

1/2 bunch cilantro, minced (I would say about 1/3 to 1/2 cup of minced cilantro)

1 tablespoon minced ginger

2-3 tsp cumin

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Combine quinoa with 4 cups water (2 cups if you are using 1 cup of quinoa) in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until the white centres have dissapeared and tails are visible on the grains. Set aside to cool.

Combine the rest of the ingredients in a bowl and add cooled quinoa. Toss all ingredients together and serve.

I’m also submitting this to Ricki’s weekly blog event “Wellness Weekend” where it can mingle with plenty of other, healthy vegan summery recipes!

-Kathleen

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I don’t know about you, but the warmer weather means that I am craving huge salads like crazy!
Tonight I had a heap o’ greens with corn, and red pepper, carrots, tomato, and a crisped up GF corn tortilla…..

…..with an enormous bowl of super yummy and totally unphotogenic guacomole, (which is a bit thin looking because I like mine with lots of lime juice).

And if I weren’t so full, I’d be gobbling up some strawberries that are currently calling screaming my name from the fridge. Perhaps later…. 🙂

Hooray summer produce!
-Eve

Today is day one of Vegan MoFo 2009! Head on over here to see the list of all the blogs participating. There’s even a public RSS feed.

For my first post, I thought I’d talk about a cookbook that has just been released by the ultra talented Lauren Ulm of VeganYumYum.

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VeganYumYum has long been one of my favourite blogs, and Vegan YumYum – the cookbook – does not disappoint. It includes some recipes that have appeared on the blog, as well as many, many new recipes. The first thing I noticed was how gorgeous this book is. Every recipe has an introduction and a photo, and everything is clearly laid out with lots of step-by-step photos where necessary. The book has 103 recipes, organized into ten sections: Breakfast and Brunch, Main Dishes, Appetizers, Salads, Side Dishes and Light Meals, Soups, Pasta, Desserts, Drinks, and Sauces/Dips/Spreads. Did I mention that every recipe has an introduction? So much thought and effort has been put into this book – I love reading about how the recipes were developed, and the little tips that she sprinkles throughout the book are fantastic. Everthing about Vegan Yum Yum shines with personality, and I am definitely loving paging through it!

Last night, I made the Hurry Up Alfredo Sauce from the pasta section, and thoroughly enjoyed it. Although I made it from the cookbook, it is also available online! I used it on some brown rice spaghetti, and served it with a simple green salad. Totally delicious! FYI, I omitted the Earth Balance, soy sauce, and salt – and it was still plenty rich and salty enough for me.

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What a huge blob of saucy pasta! I am definitely looking forward to making more out of this cookbook! 🙂

Happy MoFo-ing, all!

-Eve

Ok, so I promised my next update would be more substantial, but I may have lied. Truth is, I’ve been eating lots of no-recipe meals, and when I do make something in particular, I’ve been cooking lots of old favourites. I think I’m in a rut! My plan is to get all sorts of veggies that I don’t usually buy next time I go shopping – that should sort me out quickly!

In the meantime, may I present to you the third installment of Everyday Eats, ala Eve.

A gigantor lunch salad – (dare I say Hugh Jass?):

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This beast consisted of mixed greens and romaine, 1/2 tomato, some yellow pepper, some red onion, some mango, a grated carrot, and black beans. Drizzled with a cumin lime dressing (not from, but likely similar to the one in ED+BV), this was really, really tasty. This is my absolute favourite sort of lunch, I think – afterwards I am full without feeling too full, but it leaves me ready for a midafternoon snack. Perfection!

Make sure you head over to Love Veggies, Yoga, Running, and Chocolate (phew!) and enter the Zevia giveaway! And while you’re there, check out some of the most intense yoga you’ve (well, me, at least!) ever seen! I know I would like to try some stevia-sweetened beverages. Currently, I’m pretty much against stevia sweetened things, based on taste alone (pass me the agave, thanks!), but if this stuff is tasty, I think it would be a nice treat.

-Eve

I had fun posting my eats from last night, so I’m going to do it again!

This was my supper tonight:

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This is the quinoa, black bean, and mango salad from the Veganomicon. I subbed in basil for cilantro, since I failed to remember that I didn’t have cilantro, and I used yellow pepper instead of red. It was tasty, but it’s definitely better with cilantro. I omitted the grapeseed oil and threw some pinenuts on top after I snapped this photo. With some romaine lettuce ‘scoops’ (arranged all posh-like, might I add!), this made a nice light supper. I should record all my eats over the course of a single day, just for fun – I tend to be madame snacky-pants, and I think it might put seemingly small meals like this into perspective! However, I think that forcing myself to document EVERYTHING would lead to, um, better choices than I might otherwise make. Probably a good thing, but not necessarily honest! : )

I promise my next post will me more substantial, but I mostly wanted to share an article I found through another blog, about Sigg Waterbottles. If you’re like me, all the news of BPA leaching made you terrified leery of your Nalgene. I’m sure I got my fair share of chemicals – I used a Nalgene all through my summer camp years, where my water bottle would often heat up in the sun and not be emptied for weeks at a time. Gross, I know. Anyways, for the longest time after I ditched my beloved Nalgene, I didn’t have a water bottle, but I finally found a Sigg bottle that I liked enough to buy this past spring – because, you know, a pretty pattern is clearly a determining factor in a decision like purchasing a water bottle….what, just me?  Check out the article here. Anyways, I was really relieved to find out that my model has one of the newer, BPA-free liners. I would be pretty upset were that not the case! Make sure to check that your Sigg is safe! And, for posterity’s sake, here is my lovely Sigg:

siggAccording to my calculations, water drank from patterned pink waterbottles tastes at least 2.5X better than it otherwise would. Am I right or am I right? : )

-Eve

This blog hasn’t really ever covered everyday vegan food – we’ve mostly posted about particular recipes, etc. I have to say, some of my favourite blogs are ones that cover simple, everyday meals, so I thought I would give it a go!

Since my boyfriend has left for school, I’ve been cooking for just myself for the first time in a while. It’s a bit of a shocker – I already made the mistake of making a FULL recipe of snobby joes from the veganomicon – I was eating it for days!  I’m sure it would be easiest to make a big pot of something and eat it for several days, but I have to say – I don’t like leftovers! I usually make enough food to cover the next day’s lunch, but that’s really all I can tolerate – I’d rather be making something new and fresh! So, small batches is the key to success!

And now without further delay, everyday eats ala Eve. Take 1 – Supper:

Plate #1: A medium salad, topped with 1/2 avocado and drizzled with my go-to dressing – equal (or so) parts balsamic vinegar and flax oil, and a heavy hand with the agave nectar. Yum!IMG_1495

Plate #2: (Um, I hope I’m not the only one that often uses two plates!)

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About 1/2 sweet potato, baked in wedges with ketchup, quinoa, and savoury french lentils from ED+BV. Admittedly, this recipe was heavily altered to accommodate my fermented molasses (gross!), mysteriously missing rosemary, and the absence of ‘savoury’ (?) from my kitchen. Good thing I looked through the recipe before I started cooking, right? Haha! In any case, it was very tasty – a welcome change from go-to curried lentil dishes. I found it a bit too salty, even though I used less buillion than the recipe called for. I like to think that I am a little more sensitive to salt than the average joe, and I have definitely found that the recipes in this cookbook call for way too much salt for my liking  – often using both salt and soy sauce.

To accompany my supper, an un-pictured small glass of red wine, and a delectable dessert: a scoop of purely decadent vanilla non-dairy ice cream, a small bit of melted dark chocolate, 1/2 cubed pear, and 4 chunks of candied ginger, diced finely. Mmm. I should have taken a photo!

-Eve

Katie of ChocolateCoveredKatie has an awesome contest going on right now – if you aren’t already on board, you definitely should be, because trying new foods is fun!

For the challenge, I tried a jicama. I’ve heard the taste described as what you might imagine an apple crossed with a potato would be like, and I would have to agree with that. Crisp and sweet, there is also a ‘starchy’ side to it. I ate mine raw in a julienned salad – recipe from The Food Network. I thought this recipe seemed like a strange combination of ingredients, but it was surprisingly tasty. Although jicama might not find it’s way onto my regular shopping rotation, I’ll certainly be buying again!

Too close!

Too close!

I also tried sunchokes/jerusalem artichokes. Eaten raw, these were crunchy with maybe a bit of a nutty and herby flavour – very peculiar. I also tried them sliced and roasted, but I think I may have undercooked them. Either way, they were definitely more ‘weird’ than ‘yum’.

I’m off tomorrow for a long round-about trip back to Canada, so this will likely be my last post in awhile, unless I snap some photos of restaurant food. By FAR the trickiest part of getting ready to leave has been readying the fridge. Today we went to Whole Foods for lunch, as there was nothing fresh left to eat in our house! Although it was nice to be able to grab a fresh and tasty vegan meal (how do they make chicken style seitan!? I really want to know how to create a stringy texture!), it sure is pricey to eat out.

-E

Many years ago, I used to buy a pre-made mixed bean salad from an uppity sort of grocery store that will go unnamed. It was pretty good, but I’ve found that it’s easy to prepare a version that is much, much better than anything from a deli. Preparing the beans from dried ensures that everything tastes fresh, but canned would work too. I used five of my favourite beans, but I’m sure you could use up any odds and ends of beans you might already have prepared. (veggies, too!) The oil-free dressing is based off of the dressing from the succotash salsa recipe in Vegan Soul Kitchen.

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Stir together approximately:

-1/2 c.  cooked black beans
-1/2 c. cooked pinto beans
-1/2 c. cooked baby lima beans (I used frozen)
-1/2 c. cooked chickpeas
-1 to 1 1/2 c. diced pepper (I used a combination of red, orange, and yellow)
-1/4 -1/3 c. minced red onion
Have ready ~1/2 c. cooked full size lima beans, but don’t add them to the mix yet. I picked over mine and set aside the broken ones to use in a bean dip later on – they don’t fare well in a salad.

In a small bowl whisk together:
-2 tbsp each fresh lemon and lime juice
-1 jalepeno, very finely minced
-1 tsp. agave
– 2 cloves garlic, crushed
-1/4 c. finely minced cilantro, packed
-generous grind of black pepper
-salt to taste

Stir the dressing into the bean mix, and then add the 1/2 c. of full size lima beans. Adding them at the very end ensures that they don’t break apart.

This keeps well in the fridge – I’ve been eating mine for the past few days at lunch, and am feeling very virtuous for eating such a variety of beans! : )

-E

Many people are posting about quick and relatively heat-free meals that they are making now that the days are getting warmer. Although it cooled off a bit today, the last week or so here in Pennsylvania has been way too hot for me, especially for April – (it’s actually still snowing in my home town! Hooray Canada!) I’ve been avoiding doing a lot of cooking, opting to make things ahead of time and store them in the fridge until supper. This pasta salad is pretty simple, but I love all the ingredients. Can you really go wrong with olives, pine nuts, and sundried tomatoes? I think this would be delicious with a light pesto style dressing, but I had no basil. Maybe next time!

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Pine Nut, Olive, and Sundried Tomato Pasta Salad

-5-6 c. cooked salad-type pasta, cooled (I used multicoloured whole wheat radiatore)
-1/2 c. toasted pine nuts
-1/2 c. finely chopped sweet red pepper
-1/2 c. chopped green olives
-1/3 c. slivered sundried tomatoes (the olive packed kind)
-1/4 c. finely chopped red onion
Combine.
In a bowl whisk together:
-1 tsp. dijon mustard
-2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
-1 tsp. light agave nectar
-2 tbsp. olive oil from the sundried tomatoes
-2 tbsp. water
-2 small cloves garlic, minced
-salt and pepper to taste
Pour over pasta and accoutrements, and stir to combine. Yum!

-E