Thursday, December 29, 2011

Cheezy Cashew Spread

I love being vegan. There's nothing that I would change about my lifestyle that has formed around this dietary choice. I don't miss anything, I don't crave foods that I used to eat, I never feel restricted and it's anything but 'difficult' as so many people assume it to be. However, I will note that there are some ways of eating that are nostalgic, especially around the holidays that simple can't be had. In my family we grew up with cheeses, nuts, olives and oranges on trays and plates around the house during festive times. These rich snackable foods evoke such warm feelings, memories of grandparents and days of my childhood. My weakness was always sharp Cheddars, especially Imperial cheese. You know, the kind that comes in the red container, is spreadable when warm, with the sharpest taste of all? And oh so unnaturally orange. I don't crave this by any means, but this year I did want to make something rich, salty and spreadable to have with crackers for the holidays. Enter: cheezy cashew spread.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas Feasting

I've been hanging out in Burbank, California for the last week for the holidays. Sharing a home with my sister, her husband and four children ranging from 2 to 14 years old is a complete turn around from the independent, child-free, cooking for one lifestyle I lead at home. Juxtaposition like this is exactly what makes life interesting. And cooking for a family is exactly what makes me happy.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Breakfast Scramble

There's not much one can say about breakfast.  For myself, it's a joy to break fast in a habitual way each morning, boiling water for tea, getting out my blender to  prepare a smoothie to start the day. But we all come across those mornings that call for a little something out of the ordinary. A few days ago was one of those days. While lying in bed, I made a mental list of the food I had in my fridge. With plans to leave my apartment for the Christmas holidays in just one day my fridge was sparse. Even so, I calculated a block of tofu, sun dried tomatoes, olives, onions, garlic and carrots to be in my kitchen.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Chocolate Birthday Cake, Oh My!

Well well. Here I am, sitting in beautiful Burbank, California, shielding my eyes from the sun, feeling the heat accumulate on my forehead to what may become a tan, all in the name of Christmas. It's my annual California vacation, spending time with family for the holidays.  Sitting here I have a few things on my mind including finishing up some shopping for the kids, but mostly my focus is on food- food of the future (holidays, cooking for the family, gingerbread house making), and food of the past (vegan chocolate cake!). I have a feeling this cake will be floating through my brain for weeks to come.   

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Balsamic Onions and Squash

There's a little something that happens in Canadian Farmers Markets in the fall and winter: slowly... produce...dwindles...  
The good news is that we're still in a decent season to get kale, carrots, apples, beets, potatoes, brussel sprouts, cabbages and squash. The bad news is that when all this holiday season hoopla comes to an end, we'll find sparsely stocked veggie stands lacking even a hint of chlorophyll infused veggies. But, more good news! With enough creativity, this doesn't have to be a bad thing.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Juicing, at the Ripe Age of 30

I remember when I was just a little girl! I also remember the years of mistakes, maturing, ah-ha moments, travelling, relationships, and everything in between that has brought me to the Ripe Age of 30!
I always love birthdays, if for nothing else, to have a special day where everything's just a little sweeter. This year I turned 30 on the 30th- even better! For dinner, my parents and I went to a beautiful local restaurant called Brooklyn Warehouse where we indulged in a succulent vegan meal. We enjoyed a carrot-parsnip soup to start, vegan carbonara pasta with smoked tofu, green beans and grilled portobello mushrooms with a balsamic reduction sauce for our main course- delicious, and for dessert, a locally made fruit sorbet. All paired with a Nova Scotia Tidal Bay wine from Jost winery. Fantastic! It was such a treat to eat local food, drink local wine, and spend time with my wonderful parents on a special birthday.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Vegan in New Zealand

After many weeks of being missing in action, I'm back in Halifax, and carrying a whole slew of stories from my 4-week adventure in New Zealand.

Let's start with a lesson: If there's one thing I learned in my time away, it is to try not to imagine, control or assume anything about the future. Whether it was the 4 planes I had to take to reach my destination, a weekend at a cottage, hiking the Tongariro crossing, a spiritual retreat, river kayaking or backpacking the South Island- every situation presented to me was first imagined, evaluated and assumed in my head before ever setting foot out the door in action. In all cases, the experiences were far better and always different than any thoughts I conjured up. Pretending to understand the future is a waste of time. Be open, observe negative or fearful thoughts and rely on action over thoughts for truth. My lesson, to you.