Saturday, October 26, 2013

Grilled veggie sandwich, Lunch plate, Garlic Sauce and Cake.

My second attempt at making a Paragon-style vegetarian sub sandwich. (See the previous post about Montreal.) I finally did it right and made it with a soft and tender french roll that worked perfectly. The grilled onions, mushrooms and green peppers were so good!


Saturday lunch plate. Fresh bread, whole grain crackers served with hummus, garlic sauce, bruschetta and olive salad. All homemade by me.

This garlic sauce was really simple to make but I made way too much! I used instant mash potatoes since that is what I had, lemon juice, 10,000 cloves of garlic (no, not really - maybe 10), olive oil and salt. I whizzed it all in the blender and made about 2 cups.

And to celebrate the weekend, I made a cake. This is a pumpkin apple cider upside down cake. I got the idea from the Midcentury Menu blog. I liked this recipe so much I tracked down a copy of the vintage book it came from called "The Apple Kitchen Cookbook"(1967) and bought it. Watch this space for apple centric recipes!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Good Eats in Montreal.

Just got back from a nine day holiday in Montreal. I haven't been back in 8 years and it was so nice to be there again. This is the first time being vegan in Montreal though. I think I did ok. If I had stayed longer, I would have explored more vegan/vegan friendly restaurants. I was staying at my in-laws house, so we did a lot of hanging out and cooking at home which was fine with me!

The day after we arrived, we popped into L'Inter Marche on the corner to get a few staples. Bagels are a must. Montreal bagels are usually not vegan, made with egg and honey but I was able to find some packaged ones without any animal products yay! The hummus is by Fontaine Sante which I think is the best tasting packaged hummus I've ever had! We went through two or three tubs on this trip.

This is what my husband and I were looking forward to eating. He grew up in St. Leonard, which is primarily italian and the italian bakeries make the most delicious tomato pizza/bread. I was afraid it would be non-vegan, but alas, it is!

And it was nice to find soy milk at a little shop.

Another thing we looked forward to eating. Flakies! They are very crap for you but so good. Flaky layers of air and just a bit of "cream" and fruit filling. As far as I know, this is vegan. The ingredient list is dreadful, don't read it.

Found vegan margarine at IGA supermarket. I jumped for joy.

First meal I made was a simple pasta dish with chickpeas, olives and tomato sauce.

Second meal I made at home: pho! The bowl is tiny because they didn't have larger bowls. It worked well. It was delicious.

Home cooked meal #3. Mary McCartney's Courgette and Lemon Spaghetti. I made it without the cheese of course. Super good. Find the recipe online here.

That amazing hummus and Mary McCartney's saucy mushrooms and tomatoes on toast.

My husband's best friend and his wife took us out to Scaroli's Ristorante for great pasta. I got the primavera which was really tasty. Being vegan I run into a lot of "bland tomato sauces" at italian restos and this one was completely opposite. Full of flavor and even had caramelized red onions in the veggie mix.

Every vegan who visits Montreal eats at Aux Vivres. A friend of ours took us there and we had a great meal.

I ordered the seitan souvlaki plate. Really good stuff.

I had to order dessert. They bake their cakes, pies, brownies in house and I had a really hard time choosing. I decided on the "uncheesecake" with blueberry sauce. Amazing!

We had a quick lunch at Amir on St. Denis one day. I had the falafel pita and yummy garlic potatoes.

Paragon restaurant is a great little no-nonsense eatery in St. Leonard that makes really good submarine sndwiches. I ate there twice on this trip.

This pic does not do it justice. They grill mushrooms, onions and green peppers that are sliced thin thin thin and smother them in a toasted roll with shredded lettuce and tomato on top. I asked for no cheese and no sauce which I'm assuming is dairy based.

So after a 6 hr flight where I had to wake up super early in the morning, I arrived in L.A., headed straight to Vons and picked up ingredients to make my version of Paragon's sub. The insides were good but the bread is all wrong. Too hard, too dense. I need to find the perfect airy french roll for this. Keep your eyes on my blog, I will make this again.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

One Pot Mushroom Rice

I'm loving Mary McCartney's cookbook FOOD. She really is my style of cook, relaxed and non-fussy. This rice recipe was like boom boom boom, done! I think I was in and out of the kitchen in about 30 minutes. Very tasty rice which will go well with various main dishes. I'm just having it by itself. It's very comforting and full of good mushroom and onion flavor.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

More weekend eating.

I made another snack from Mary McCartney's book FOOD. It's the Pan-Fried Cheese, Tomato and Onion Sandwich. I used yellow and red cherry tomatoes and Daiya vegan mozzarella style cheese. It was delicious.

Gooey Daiya cheese.

Here we have a breakfast specialty of mine, a scrambled tofu sandwich. I added mushrooms today. Usually I have it on white toast but all I had was a loaf of Dave's Killer Bread which is full of whole grains. Worked out fine and was very satisfying with lots of Vegenaise and ketchup!

Vegans love cake too! Here is a tried and true eggless, dairy free date cake that I make often. It's so easy and so moist and sweet. Perfect with a hot cup of tea in the afternoon. Recipe here. (Substitute almond milk for the dairy milk!)

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Mary McCartney's FOOD, Helen's Kitchen and Amella Caramels!

Tried some new things this week. My birthday was last Tuesday and as a birthday gift to myself, I bought Mary McCartney's book FOOD: Vegetarian Home Cooking. As you know I'm Beatles obsessed and also a fan of Linda McCartney's cookbooks. Mary is the beautiful daughter of Paul and Linda. She is a very talented photographer and judging from this book, she is also a relaxed and non-fussy cook, just like myself. The book has really great recipes (most are vegetarian but you can probably experiment by substituting vegan products for the eggs and cheese) and the photographs taken by Mary are gorgeous. One recipe that caught my eye, was the Saucy Mushrooms and Tomatoes on Toast. A very very simple recipe with big rewards. It was so tasty and made a perfect breakfast on buttered (Earth Balance) whole grain toast.

You see? It's just perfection. The tomatoes are sweet and juicy, the mushrooms are deliciously seasoned with soy sauce, garlic and thyme. The buttered toast brings it all together into one satisfying dish. I will make this again for sure.

Another picture to entice you to buy Mary's book. There is another recipe in it, Hummus, Avocado and Chili Jam sandwich. It sounds soo good. Where can I get chili jam here in Los Angeles?

I don't remember what day it was, but my husband and I were in the mood for tacos and we went to the local Vons to shop for ingredients. I used to love Morningstar Farms crumbles to make "taco meat" but alas it is no longer vegan. I came across this product by Helen's Kitchen that I was very willing to try.

They turned out fabulous. Very easy to make with no fuss, just like I like it! Recipe at the bottom of this post.

Went shopping at Whole Foods today and found these delicious morsels of fun. Vegan dark chocolate caramels! With gray sea salt! I love sweet and salty combinations. I bought two and they are all for meeee!

Kim's Quick Soft Tacos

1 TB olive oil
1 package Helen's Kitchen veggie ground
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
salt and pepper
4 soft taco size flour tortillas
Garnish: shredded lettuce chopped onion chopped cilantro freshly prepared salsa

Heat olive oil in a non-stick pan on medium high heat. Add the whole package of the veggie ground. It is fairly moist, so stir it around for a few minutes to dry it out a little. Add the spices and season with salt and pepper. Continue to stir for about 5-6 minutes until heated through. Take off of the heat and set the mixture aside. Heat flour tortillas individually over an open burner on your stove for a few seconds on each side to soften and warm them. You may also toast them in a dry pan over heat. Divide mixture onto the flour tortillas and garnish with shredded lettuce, onion, cilantro and fresh salsa.

Check these out. I collect vintage cookbooks and I just got this cool shipment of vintage cooking pamphlets from the 50's and 60's. I want to veganize some of them one day. Will definitely blog about that when it happens.