Cooking Delights

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Muffin Tin Popovers

Back to "normal" eating this morning. These are the muffin tin popovers from The Vegetarian Family Cookbook. My daughter was practically crying because I wouldn't make her an egg "hamburger," but even my little picky eater enjoyed this variation on eggs/muffins. I thought they were quite tastey. The texture reminded me of Yorkshire pudding. They are basically made with soy milk, eggs, and whole wheat flour. Quite a yummy, nutritious and satisfying weekend breakfast!

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Cleanse Day 3 - Busted!!!!

Well I almost made it through three days of the cleanse. Today started out alright, but by late afternoon I was ready to throw in the towel. We spent all day painting the living room, dining room and front hall. By four o'clock in the afternoon all I could think about was having a normal meal. No amount of veggies was going to satisfy me! I needed some seriously uncomplex carbs!!!!!

This morning I started out with some tropical quinoa. I had hoped the coconut would have a little more kick. I think coconut milk is the only thing that would have pumped up this number! It was actually good, I was just missing my soy milk and some kind of sweetner - maple syrup would have been good.

Island Surprise

1 cup Quinoa
2 cups Spring Water
1/2 cup Raisins
1/2 cup Pineapple Chunks
1/4 cup of Coconut, toasted
1 tsp. Cardamom, ground
1/2 tsp.Cinnamon, ground

Wash the quinoa to remove the seed cover. Lightly boil water and mix in quinoa, cinnamon and cardamom. Cover and reduce heat to low. Let mixture simmer for 15 minutes as the quinoa absorbs the water. After the quinoa mixture is completed, stir in the other ingredients and chill for 20 - 30 minutes.

For lunch I made a bulgar chick pea stew from Nava Atlas' Vegetarian Soups for all Seasons. This would have been good with something a little more exciting than one slice of wheat free, yeast free, spelt and wild rice toast. Megan the Vegan's empanadas for example would have balanced out this super nutritious stew quite nicely. As it stood it was just too nutritious to really enjoy.

So we made it through the afternoon and three hours of painting. Hubby went to have a shower after the painting and luckily came out waving a white flag. I was totally relieved when he said he couldn't do it anymore! We headed out to our local thai restaurant and enjoyed deep fried spring rolls, spicy thai eggplant, green vegetable curry, shanghai noodles, jasmine rice and a glass of wine. As luck would have it a cupcake store just opened in the same strip plaza called frostings (or something like that) so we went in a picked out a pecan pie to enjoy for dessert. We ate our pie with earl gray tea and Silk soy milk. Ahhh, sweet pleasures. My seratonin levels are starting to return to normal.

Day 3 Verdict:

When it started to feel like there was no pleasure left in life I knew it was time to call it quits. Hopefully almost three days isn't too shabby for my first cleanse. I don't feel a whole lot better than I did before I started the cleanse. Not lighter, not more refreshed, not more energized, nothing too different. I think we will stay off the band wagon for a couple of days and get back on after New Years celebrations.

Cleanse Day 2

So I made it through the second day of the cleanse. For breakfast I enjoyed some Fruit Quinoa.

Fruit Quinoa

1 cup Water
1 cup Quinoa, rinsed and drained
1 Apple - small chopped
1 Pear - small chopped
4 Dried Apricots, dried non-sulphured, chopped
1 Tbs. Almonds, soaked and chopped
1 Tbs. Orange Juice, fresh squeezed
1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
1/4 tsp. Mace, ground
1/8 tsp. Allspice, ground
1/8 tsp. Cardamom, ground

Bring water to a boil, add rinsed quinoa. Stir and reduce to low. Cover and simmer for 25 minutes, or until liquid has been absorbed. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes; fluff with a fork.
Add the apples, pears, apricots and almonds.

Lunch and dinner I had some very delicious minnestrone soup. The recipe was from my new Nava Atlas Soup and Stews cook book. The flavours in this were really delicious. I think it was the Italian seasoning and bay leaves. I made the soup first thing in the morning and let the flavours stew all day. That makes for the best soups I find.

Day 2 Verdict

Day two was definitely easier than day one. I had far less side effects. The achy flu-like symptoms were totally gone. I was at a party last night with about a million different kinds of cheeses. That was difficult. I munched on a bowl of fresh fruit and I may have cheated a little with several rain forest crackers. I think they are gluten, wheat and dairy free, so I may be OK. The ones I enjoyed had dried fruit, nuts and seeds in them. They were delicious. Hope I can find some in the health food stores around me.

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Thursday, December 28, 2006

Let the Cleanse Begin!

I have never done a cleanse before, but with two weeks off and only one yoga class to teach each week, now seems like a pretty good time. I have always wanted to do a cleanse, but I waited until I was done my dissertation. On the advice of my nutritionist pal, Vilma, I decided to try the ReCleanse gentle cleanse. You can eat on this cleanse, it is just quite restricted. No white flour, sugar, white potatos, yeast... you can pretty much eat fruit, veggies, some grains, and proteins.

This morning started with the juice of half a lemon in a glass of purified water. This I could definitely add to my daily regime. I love lemon in water. My hubby on the other hand had a hard time choking it down. The lemon water was accompanied by two colon cleanse tablets.

For breakfast this morning I had oatmeal with two tbsp. of walnuts, seasoned with cinnamon and nutmeg. No (soy) milk, no brown sugar or maple syrup.

After breakfast we went grocery shopping for some interesting ingredients: kombu, kelp, braggs, quinoa, brown rice, mung beans, adzuki beans, almonds - all of which will be staples over the next seven days.

We were pretty late getting back from grocery shopping so I whipped up this heavenly sprouts salad. It was dressed with an interesting combination of tomato juice, lime juice and olive oil. We the salad with one slice of organic spelt and wild rice bread (no yeast) garnished with Dreena's awesome hummus. The secret ingredient is 1/2 tsp. of sesame oil. I can see this hummus becoming a staple over the next few days.

After cleaning up lunch I continued in the kitchen by making Dreena's quinoa casserole. I roasted red peppers, zucchini, and anise to top the leftover hummus and freshly made quinoa.

Day 1 Verdict
I feel achy, cold, and a little hungry and irritable. I am disappointed by the lack of movement through the colon, but maybe there will be more action there tomorrow. I would love to have a plate of cheese and crackers, some home made nuts and bolts or a cup of earl gray tea with the home made shortbread my Mom made me. Other than that, I survived day 1/7.

Christmast for a Foodie

As a vegetarian, Christmas eating can be a bit of a challenge. We start every Christmas at our house with a brunch. This year I kept it simple with an egg casserole, beans, a chelsea roll, fresh fruit and cheese. The casserole is really easy, mash some potatoes, make wells in the potatoes and crack an egg in each one, sprinkle with cheese. We were fortunate enough to have cherries and raspberries with our breakfast. Of course we toasted breakfast with some mamosas.

Foodies get goot presents for Christmas. I got 3 of Nava Atlas's cook books. I can't wait to start cooking up some of these recipes. My sister gave me some really nice flavoured olive oils - roasted garlic and sundried tomatoe and lemon. I can't wait to use these.

I think the best present was given to my Dad. Check out Molson, isn't he adorable?

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas

I've been totally exhausted and suffering from an upper respiratory tract infection. Without much energy or appetite there hasn't been much cooking going on here. I thought I would drop by today with a picture of the gingerbread house I made with my daughter. Have a very happy holiday!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

I'm back!

It has been a crazy couple of weeks. On Tuesday I defended my doctoral dissertation. That means I am now officially Dr. West. How cool is that? Anyway, to get back to blogging I thought I would start with a yummy little dessert that I whipped up. This is from La Dolce Vegan. It is really simple. Bananas, peanut butter and chocolate chips in phyllo. Great idea for those pesky over ripe bananas. Anyway, I hope to get back to regular blogging now that I am finally PhinisheD!

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