I’m not going to lie, I’m finding it really difficult to focus. We’re leaving for Hawaii this weekend and that seems to be all that’s on my mind. For a multitude of reasons, we haven’t been outside Canada in 4 years, so there’s a lot of build up surrounding this trip and I’m super excited! My goal is to sit in the ocean until I’m wrinkled up like a sad old grape and eat so much fresh fruit that I pull a Violet Beauregarde and turn into a giant pineapple. Philip’s bringing his D-SLR and we’re borrowing an underwater camera from a friend, so pictures will be plentiful upon our return, plus I’ve gotten some great eating out tips from my June vegan food swap partner, Veronica. I’m hoping to get a little photo blogging in while I’m away, but until then lets talk about some of the things I’ve been filling my belly with lately. I haven’t been in the mood to create or adapt any new recipes, so instead I’ve been utilizing my vast cookbook collection….which is about damn time considering that is what this blog is supposed to be all about anyway!
Burgers….I’ve been eating lots of burgers, and no I didn’t make them. We discovered the Schneider’s Oh Natural Meatless burgers and damn are they good. I like my burgers filled with vegetables, but sometimes I like something a little more meat-like and these are the meatiest meatless burgers I’ve ever tried. We even served them at our Canada Day BBQ without telling anyone they were vegan and no one had a clue. One friend even complimented me on how juicy and tasty the burgers were and went into shock when I told her they weren’t actually meat. Vegan win! I’ve also been really digging the new Daiya Wedges, the cheddar makes for one awesome cheeseburger as it’s super melty, gooey and salty but the jalapeno garlic havarti is the winner of the bunch. I wasn’t a huge fan of the jack flavour and the cheddar reminds me of Velveeta cheese, which is good in some ways (like on burgers) but not something I’m a fan of on sandwiches. The jalapeno garlic on the other hand we ripped through in a week, it’s so creamy and flavourful, the perfect thing to top some Tofurky deli slices.
To go with all these burgers we’ve been eating, I’ve also made some salads. We made the Kale-Slaw with Curried Almond Dressing from Let Them Eat Vegan one night since I felt I needed to counteract all the salt I’ve been eating with some kale. As much as I annoyingly try to convince him otherwise, Philip does not like kale, and even covered in a creamy dressing, this one did not go over well with him. I on the other hand thought it was great. I loved the pairing of the creamy dressing with the sweet cranberries, crunchy apples and carrot. I thought the dressing was lacking in flavour a bit, so I upped the curry, I also massaged the dressing into the kale for a minute or so to help soften the leaves. The recipe actually calls for fennel, but I didn’t feel like making a grocery store trip for one ingredient, so I replaced it with some cabbage we had in the fridge to add a little more crunch.
I got my tester copy of Great Gluten Free Vegan Eats in the mail; I opened it up and went straight for the Minted Green Pea Bisque. I adored this recipe when I tested it, it’s incredibly simple yet so unbelievable tasty! The sweet peas mixed with the mint creates a refreshing flavour and is the perfect soup if you’re looking for a light spring or summer meal. Plus there’s hardly any cooking involved, which when it’s a hot humid mess outside is pretty much the only thing that matters to me.
Another meal from Allyson’s new book, Great Gluten Free Vegan Eats! Pizza Firenze. Now looking at the ingredients for this meal, never would have I thought that they would go well together, and on pizza no less. But I’ve got to give credit where credit is due, and this pizza turned out fantastic. I’ve never tried a gluten-free pizza crust, but I found this to be similar to a thin crust, only a little crunchier, plus there was no strange flavour or grittiness. Although I like my fluffy doughy crusts I enjoyed this one for an alternative. The sauce is a tasty pesto that’s then topped with green beans (say what?), cheese, capers and some other veggies and herbs. The brininess of the capers went really well with the creamy cheese and herbs, and who new green beans could work so well on a pizza! Guess I need to step outside my pizza box and branch out from my standard olives, tomatoes and peppers.
I made this one a while back, but I figured I should share it with you anyway, it’s a tester recipe for the cookbook Kim’s working on. The soup was inspired by Posole, do you know what posole is? Because I sure as hell don’t. But what does that matter when there’s ever so delicious hearty soup to chow down on! When it comes to favourite foods, peanut butter will always be number one in my heart but sweet potatoes are a close second, so that pretty much sold me right there. All the flavors just went so well together, a kick of spice from the chiles, a hint of creamy sweetness from the sweet potatoes, some acidity from the tomatoes, mmm mmm. Totally filling and satisfying. I’ll be all over this one again when the heat disappears and that stupid snow decides to make an appearance.
Ok, this is the last one I’m going to post before I ramble on too long. I was lucky enough to get picked to do some gluten free testing again for Allyson. Man this chick is on a roll! One book has just been released and she’s already got another one in the works. Although I’ve taken pictures of most of the things I’ve tested so far, I thought I’d just share one teaser photo today and sweet baby jesus was this a good one. Allyson created a variation of Beef Bourguignon which we had with some mashed potatoes and green beans. Philip declared that this was his kind of meal and he wasn’t alone with that statement. It was so rich and flavourful, totally perfect for when you’re craving something hearty. It’s kind of crazy how much this reminds me of beef, with it’s salty savory flavors and great texture. Well done miss Kramer, well done.