Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Holiday Aftermath: A (Mostly-Photographic) Story of Survival through Good Times

Greetings, and Happy Sunday to all.

I'm literally and figuratively chilling at work (this is what I do at work when I am not reading, studying, checking out food blogs, or wasting time on Facebook or Twitter... or working! How could I forget about work?), freezing off my behind--make that my hands, because my behind is pretty comfy and warm on this office chair. But it's freaking cold! It seems the landlord of the building turns off or lowers the heat on the weekend in order to save cash electricity (and rightly so!), but what this person might forget is that there are still some people who use the office building on the weekend, and they freeze. Currently I am wearing... a thin, long-sleeved t-shirt on which the words I (heart) Vegans are inscribed, a thick, long-sleeved sweater, a red American Apparel sweater, pants (I hope) and two pairs of socks. Brrrrrr...

But complaining is probably not the best way to welcome you to delve into my blog.

So how about a grand ol' HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! to you all? (Is that big and bold enough?) I hope you all had a safe, joyous, healthy, and painless holiday season. It's been "back to reality" for over a week now, and it looks like we made it, no? We go back to work or school and we look around to see countless others who probably don't want to be exactly where they are, but we take comfort in knowing that we are not alone. Blessed are we, that we support each other in such a way! But "back to reality" has been a strange, somewhat disconcerting, and confusing exercise for me, as I didn't have any job to go back to (I'm a part-time, mostly weekend worker), no classes to attend, and no assignments to submit. Hmm. I've been done school for three weeks now, and I must say it feels pretty good, but it's also... daunting. What happens next? It's a confusing time for me, but while I sort through options, start networking for job opportunities, read books I've been meaning to read, I'll spare you all the details until I come to a definitive conclusion. Instead, in the aftermath of the holidays, in the beginning of this new year which I deem to be a fantastic one (I can taste it!), here are some photos of the baking and cooking I have done over the past little while. I warn that I have not baked a single dessert since New Year's because, after all the holiday decadence, I have nary a desire to eat sweets (it's true!). But my sweet tooth will return.

Enjoy :)

Vegan YumYum's Hurry Up Alfredo Sauce on rice fettucine: it came out a little yellower than what the photo attests, but it is absolutely delicious. (Scroll to the end of the blog to see just how delicious it was: I made it again last night!) I served this to my dinner guests on New Year's Eve. Since it was too yellow, though, I added some vegan creme that I had on hand. When I replicated the recipe last night, I put creme again and reduced the amount of butter to one tablespoon. Dee-LISH!

This is what happens when you are naughty little vegan and don't remove your utensils from your plate prior to being served (the naughty vegan in question is my fiancé).

My fabulous dinner guests (my plate is in the foregound)

Me and my best bud

Vegan Dad's Cheesy Polenta Cups with Shredded Zucchini, topped with Italian-style Daiya cheese and a sprig of parsley, for a touch of class. These were the appetizers to our meal.

Bijou the Dog, sleeping like a person on her couch

Breaded Chicky Seitan, part of a recipe tested for Happy Herbivore's upcoming cookbook

Happy Herbivore's Marinara Sauce (with zucchini added by me) atop chicky seitan form vegan chicken parmesan. Mmm...

My meal of chicky vegan parmesan, whole-grain baguette, and Momma's rapini (with hot peppers, added by me because I like things spicy!)

Creamy Creole Eggplant Casserole, ridiculously (and deliciously) modified by me, for lack of ingredients: I replaced the chickpeas with leftover potatoes, tofu with vegan mayo, and green pepper with red pepper. And I made half the recipe because I had only one eggplant on hand.

Okay, okay! I know it's not food, but... These are my new shoes! Aren't they hideously beautiful?! I have to wait until Winter is over to wear them but, holy moly, they are plaid!

Last night's glorious dinner: Vegan YumYum's alfredo on rotini served atop steamed broccoli, and Momma made the breaded artichoke, her classic recipe. She used the Italian-style bread crumbs I prepared for Happy Herbivore's chicky parmesan recipe.

Artichoke heaven. Really.

And finally (I almost forgot!)...
VEGAN POUTINE!!!!!!!!! All credit goes to Brigit Gaia from for this recipe, and to Cheezly (buy it now! It's reduced in price by almost three dollars!) for existing and making vegan cheese curds possible. And I do venture to give some credit to evil St. Hubert restaurants: they make a naturally vegan powdered gravy ("brown sauce" or "sauce brune," in French) sold in Quebec grocery stores. But Brigit made me and Matt some of the happiest vegans around. Who knew that vegan poutine was not an oxymoron: it exists.

No words... just... no words.

Okay, so it's definitely not the most appetizing thing to behold, especially when you think of the artery-clogging animal-fat-laden original, but this is darn good.

An ecstatic vegan. If you look closely, you will see that there is cauliflower in my plate. I put it there so I would feel less guilty about eating poutine (which I have not eaten since I went vegan more than six years ago). I will have you note that I did not in fact touch the cauliflower; in fact, I dumped it back into the container from which I took it. Poutine WINS!

Oh, and I made cinnamon rolls :) The recipe can be found in Vegan Brunch by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. I made these babies whole-wheat, because that's just how I roll (pun not intended but celebrated).

That's it for now :) I will blog soon because I have a whole stack of Happy Herbivore recipes to test out, and I assume that I'll be wanting to bake sometime in the next week or so.

Have a great week, and all the best to you all in 2010.

Vegan in Suburbia


birdfeed said...

Looks pretty awesome!
I never had poutine. In fact, I never heard of it until I had already become vegan.

Babette said...

Once again, your food looks terrific. I have the Vegan Dad Cookbook and I was wondering what the polenta cups looked like, and now I just want to try them.

And the cinnamon rolls from Vegan Brunch look like heaven. I was always a big fan of those buns when I was young, so now I guess I should get Vegan Brunch! I know it's supposed to be a great cookbook.

And well, I'm a Quebecois, so of course I love poutine... Next time I order from Viva Granola, I'll make sure I get Daiya and also buy some gravy... I didn't know St-Hubert's was vegan.

Mihl said...

Wow, what a huge amount of totally delicious food! And those shoes look really cool!

Gill said...

Never again am I inviting you to Commensal or Pushap when I'm in town. From now on I'll just show up at your doorstep.

Hannah said...

Mm, what delicious eats! Everything looks just amazing. :)

Hannah said...

Tasty food overload! Everything looks so good... For some crazy reason, I'm seriously craving alfredo now... ;)

Kris said...

@birdfeed: I think that 1) you should definitely try it and 2) it's a blessing to have never tried a certain dish in its non-vegan composition and then put it together with vegan "replacements" because you get to enjoy it just for what it is and not for what it imitates. So, "real" poutine aside, I say try Cheezly, fries, and gravy, and let me know what you think ;)

@Babette: thanks for your always-kind words :) I think everyone should own Vegan Brunch, unless, like me, you work on weekends when brunch should be served! *shakes fist at working weekends* As for the St. Hubert gravy, just make sure you buy the powdered BROWN gravy (my poor mother got super excited about it but mistakenly bought the powdered BBQ when she saw it at the grocery store later. The BBQ has chicken fat in it. Good thing I spotted it!).

@Mihl: Thank you :) I'm glad you like the shoes, too! Ha ha. I can't wait to wear them when the snow melts.

@Gill: All I need is two days' heads up and it would be my honour to cook for you the next time you're in town. I miss you guys a lot!

@Hannah: It is a pleasure to read your encouraging comments. Thank you for visiting. Have you fulfilled your craving for alfredo? :)

Kian Sharifi Mokhtarian said...

YOU guys make being vegan look so easy!