Thursday, March 25, 2010

I swear I'm still cooking!

Hey there!

Between working full-time at the job I'm about to leave, writing for the Examiner, finishing the Sookie Stackhouse series (I've read the entire series, books one through nine, in two and a half months), planning a vacation, and going through the motions of getting a job in my field, I haven't had a chance to write here. My apologies!

If you'd like to see what I've been up to at the Examiner, you can check out my list of articles here and, more specifically, some recipes for some truly decadent dishes. As usual, I bake better than I cook, so you'll notice a theme in my recipes. Since I'm the Montreal Vegan Food Examiner, I have to stay local, of course, so I've had some fun veganizing Québecois recipes, recipes which are notorious for being heavy in cream and meat, for example. Of course, I still haven't overcome my indifference towards good presentation with food: to me, if it tastes good, it doesn't even matter how it looks, so I ask that you excuse the messy contents of the photographs.

More news: last week, I accepted a position as a Quality Assurance Editor (oh, dude, I have a title!). I start on Monday, so tomorrow is my last day at a job I've held for four years. I'm bummed because this job got me through my degree at Concordia, and it's at the company my father founded many years ago. Since my father's passing, my sister's graduation, and my finding a new job, no more members of our clan are taking part in this company's day-to-day affairs, so it's kinda sad. But life goes on, and we must continue to evolve, and I am absolutely thrilled to be doing what I like best: working with language, and I'll be getting paid to correct English! That's totally my thing, as friends and family know; I read books armed with a pen--that's how much I am a stickler for good grammar and spelling. So, yay! :)

Anyway, I should take my own advice and stay on topic. So I thank you for reading about my life's updates, and I'll try to update with food and after-work meals (I'll be spending three hours on public transit each day) as often as I can, between working full-time (in downtown Montreal! Zing!) and writing for the Examiner. Below are photos of what I've been up to lately, in the kitchen and out of it.

I wish you all a very pleasant rest of the week and a splendid weekend.

Lots of love,

Vegan in Suburbia

I forgot to post this photo last time, but these are Happy Herbivore's quesadillas with cheesy sauce. These were absolutely delicious and comfortingly spicy. Oh, and speaking of which: Lindsay's cookbook is now available for pre-order in Canada and the U.S. Click here to pre-order your copy.
This quesadilla defies gravity. (Not really--I just didn't feel like rotating the photo because I'm working on a very slow netbook.)
My friend Susi bought me this neat brownie maker/cutter for me, and she asked that the first batch I made go to her. So, naturally, I decided to make the most ambitious recipe I could think of (why do I always do that when I don't have time to do a re-do if I mess up?). Anyway, this is the result of Florida Crystals' Cheesecake Streusel Brownies. They were marvelous when frozen, but they were unacceptably oily at room temperature--and of course that means they were deliciously unhealthy. I tried making them again with a low-fat state of mind (applesauce became my close friend) but I ended up having to throw out the brownies, I mean, brownie batter.
As you can see, I became overzealous with my Daiya. My Nonna made orecchiette pasta, probably the greatest type ever, provided it's made by a Nonna's hands and, therefore, with love. I ate this with my Momma's green beans.
Home-made vegan meatloaf: did you know I'd never had meatloaf in my life, vegan or otherwise, before this one? I found the recipe here and poured Shiitake Mushroom Gravy by Road's End over it.
It was delightful.
This month was a month of firsts: seven years vegan, and yet I'd never made a tofu tuno sandwich before. Vegan Dad introduced me to it here, and man, did it taste good! I don't know if it tasted that much like tuna, but what mattered was that it was delicious. Matt enjoyed it and even made a face when he tasted it, because he had to dissociate the taste from the idea of tuna, and then he devoured the sandwich. Success!
Not food-related, I know, but I saw this while walking on St. Denis street after a meal and an interview with Patrick Michaud of ChuChai, and I needed to take a picture. Creepy babies! 
... and chairs with no seats :)
I'm in love. I've been going to Pushap on des Sources Blvd. for as long as I've been vegan, but I've never actually taken any photos of their food. This is their famous samosa-pakora plate, and it provides a warm prelude to a thali plate.
Welcome to the $6 thali (meal of the day)! You can't get a better deal than this: palak alu, chana masala, mixed veggies, fragrant basmati rice, coleslaw, and a vegan naan. This is pure love, but only about half of it makes it inside my tummy (the rest comes home in a doggy bag). C'mon: I need room for dessert!
Here is my love digging into his very own thali.
I used to work every weekend and thus missed excellent opportunities to have or make brunch. Now that I have been working full-time, Saturday and Sundays mornings are alllll miiiiiine! So I gathered up some friends and headed to Aux Vivres in the Plateau and enjoyed a delicious vegan brunch. Pictured here are tempeh bacon strips, scrambled tofu, fresh salad, sweet-potato slices, and corn bread with veggies baked in. My friends thought I was odd for requesting maple syrup to pour over my scrambled tofu, but I used to eat scrambled eggs like that, so it makes sense in my head.
Tarte au sirop d'érable (maple syrup pie): this is one of the Québecois recipes I veganized for It had been years since I'd had maple syrup pie, and this was a, er, welcome welcome to my favourite dessert ever.
About a month ago, I purchased The Blissful Chef's spring cookbook, Cooking with the Seasons. She specializes in vegan macrobiotic cooking, and I was eager to try out her recipes. Here we have Mustard Arame Sauté (I didn't have arame so I used nori) and below, in the foreground, we have Red Quinoa Salad. Both were delicious, filling, and healthful. 
Every couple of weeks, I make two dozen wholesome muffins that I freeze and grab for a mid-morning snack at work. These are date-almond-banana muffins and easily the best muffins I've ever made, simply because they contain dates. I pretty much just improvised, starting with a banana-bread recipe that I've been using for years. I'll post a recipe the next chance I get, because I want to share the love of dates, my new favourite food.
Last but certainly not least, we have the meal that Mlle. Deleilan introduced me and her blog-readers to: coconut chickpea curry. She humbly calls it a humble recipe, but really, I think it's grand and fancy. I added tempeh to this one and used frozen spinach instead of raw. This is easily my new favourite meal. Thank you, Deleilan!


Hannah said...

Seriously? Cheesecake streusel brownies? I don't even know how to respond to that; they defy ordinary words! YUM!

Jill said...

You're making me miss Montreal. All of that restaurant food looks amazing. Also, congrats on the new job.

Mihl said...

Hm, your pictures don`t show up for me. I guess there's something wrong with my browser. Anyway, I'll browse through the list of posts you wrote for the Examiner. I'd like to know more about food from Quebec!

Babette said...

This is once again a great post with awesome food. Every single thing looks terrific.

I wish I were living near Pushap so I could enjoy the cheap meal of the day often. I've never been to Pushap, but it for sure looks great.

And I really have to order some daiya!

Kris said...

Thanks for the comments and for visiting! :)

Hannah, I know--it's pretty obscene but very beautiful.

Jill, thanks for stopping by! What a gorgeous blog you have, and a nifty idea indeed. Did you live in Montreal or have you simply visited? And thank you for the congratulations :)

Mihl, I'm sorry that the photos weren't showing up for you. I'm hoping it was just the browser! Thanks for the interest in Québecois cooking. It's veeeerrrrry rich, but veganizing seems to remove a little of the extraneous sinfulness ;)

Babette, thank you again :) It's too bad you're not near a Pushap, but once you visit one, it'll keep you coming back. Even stocking up on their samosas (3 for a dollar) and freezing them is a worthwhile treat :) Get yourself some Daiya! ;)

kyh said...

Hi there.. Found your blog through pocket cultures on the topic of 'bilingual children'. Decided to drop by here because I share the exact sentiments as yours - and quite a number of similarities too! If you're here, I'm sure we'd be very good friends, hah! ;)

I'm a Malaysian guy and personally grow up in a multilingual society - where Malay is the national and official language, English the language of elites and international trade and business, and Chinese my mother tongue. Hablo español too, though only beginner´s level. And I love French (I'mma big Francophile though I don't speak the language), and finds that you speak French, great! :D

Those food do look good... And I love reading food blogs too. And I'm drooling at your cooking. ;)

Oh btw, I'm a lacto-ovo vegetarian (am perfectly fine with vegan meals) and will turn 23 by July this year! Now that's not coincidence, is it? LOL!

Hannah said...

Now I'm craving curry, mushroom gravy, and brownies all at once! What a tempting array of good eats. :)

alessioisonfire said...

Hey, long time no speak eh? I read you were in Europe recently.. how was your trip? Did you find it hard being a vegan? And what places did you visit? Would be good to hear from you, I haven't posted much on my blog lately but I am planning to be more efficient in the coming months.. :)
Ciao e baci da Alessio

Kenzie @ A Healthy Purpose said...

congrats on the "title." all the food looks really great!

Kris said...

Hi kyh! So nice of you to drop by. Thank you! :)

Your background truly sounds interesting. It sounds like it was linguistically challenging yet enriching. Lucky you!

Si quieres, podemos hablar espanol juntos, pero hace mucho tiempo que no lo hablo, y es mucho mas facil para mi de hablar en italiano... Como quieres! :) (As you can see, I have an unfortunate lack of accents on this keyboard.)

Those are some interesting coincidences, kyh! Happy early birthday to you! 23 is a pretty good number :)

Would you or have you ever considered going full-out vegan? Is it difficult to be lacto-ovo vegetarian in Malaysia?

Hope to see you again soon :)


Hannah, you make me laugh. That is an interesting craving... fully doable if you had them spaced out over a day (heck, I know I wouldn't frown upon having them all in the same *meal*) ;)


Alessio, grazie per la visita! Yes, you read correctly :)I went to Paris first and spent the rest of the time in Italy. Paris proved to be a challenge with regards to vegan eating, but I managed just fine, thankfully! Italy has never posed a problem in the past, though I was dismayed when in Florence I ended up with bland meals. I'll be blogging about it soon, but I hear you on being too busy to blog (I haven't written in over two months! Eek!).

What have you been up to? Is your summer starting off well? What are your foods of choice these days (I know even though you're not blogging you're surely eating ;))?

Take care, and I look forward to reading more posts of yours. Baci e a prestissimo!


Kenzie, thank you for the visit and for the congratulations. :)

alessioisonfire said...

I've just noticed this and am so envious! But I had my share of France last week, we travelled to the south west, a small place called Azille next to Carcassonne which is really sweet. It reminded me a bit of Québec somehow.. or maybe I'm just a bit nostalgic these days.
If you hit up London next time you should deffo let me know so that we can perhaps meet up for some vegan food :)

All is well here, just ordinary life.. work work and super bored, at least the cooking keeps my brain active!

I'm so addicted to chickpea omelettes these days (a bit like farinata, which is a delicacy where I come from, but thicker) hmm..

Hope all is well, drop by and say hello on my blog sometime!