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What I Ate Wednesday (10): Childhood Classics + Recipe Extravaganza!

Posted Nov 09 2011 10:04pm

Yay, another Wednesday! This week, my theme is classics/favourites from my childhood. So, without further ado, let’s embark on many a food blogger’s favourite weekly activity, courtesy of Jenn .

Breakfast

I just could not resist eating more squash. I haven’t turned yellow yet, but hey, if I do, it’s totally worth it, as my good friend Dan reminded me. Winter squash season only lasts a few months after all!

Squash-Millet Porridge with Caramelized Pear

Definitely prepare the millet the night before, allowing it to soak overnight.

Serves 1

Ingredients

¼ cup dry millet

½ cup milk alternative

½ tsp. cinnamon

¼ tsp. nutmeg

½ cup roasted winter squash purée (I used kabocha, but any variety works, as does sweet potato)

Raisins, as desired

½ small pear, chopped

1 tsp. brown sugar

¼ tsp. ground ginger

Pinch of salt*

Chia seeds or ground flaxseed, to serve

Pecans or walnuts, to serve

A drizzle of maple syrup (optional)

*I usually make salt optional in my recipes, but I recently read an article how salt, while often overused, can also be underused in the kitchen. Salt really accentuates the flavours of food and spices, so I’ve started incorporated a little more in my dishes, and it does make a difference!

Directions

  1. The night before, rinse and toast the millet in a saucepan for 3-4 minutes (the grains will pop). Remove from heat, add milk alternative and about ¼ cup water, and allow the pot to sit in the fridge overnight.
  2. In the morning, sprinkle in cinnamon and nutmeg, and bring millet to a boil. Stir in squash purée and raisins, and reduce heat to low, allowing to simmer.
  3. Meanwhile, in a skillet, sprinkle brown sugar and ginger over chopped pear. Heat the skillet over medium heat, and cook for 7-8 minutes, or until pears begin to brown. Add a couple tablespoons of water, and simmer until the pears are tender, 5-10 minutes (depending on ripeness), adding more water if mixture begins to burn.
  4. Once the porridge has finished cooking, stir in a pinch of salt, then transfer to a bowl. Stir in flaxseed. Top with caramelized pears, nuts, and a drizzle of maple syrup, if desired.

Breakfast was immediately followed by a large mug of piping hot Comfort and Joy tea from The Republic of Tea . The holidays are nearly here, after all! Why not begin celebrating early?!

Mid-Morning Snack

Steamed snowpeas, carrot coins, and roasted red peppers drizzled with a little San-J spicy peanut dressing. Accompanied by some equally enjoyable reading--I'm brushing up on macrobiotics.

Lunch

I forgot to take a picture of the entire meal, unfortunately, which included a slice of homemade seedy (poppy, sesame, sunflower, and pumpkin!) bread, followed by a small dessert of Chocolove ’s Peppermint Dark Chocolate and a dried fig.

Childhood Chickpea Salad

When I was little, I loved my mum’s chicken salad, not for the chicken, but for all the other goodies she added. This is my vegan version. It’s best served in the spring or summer, but I had all the ingredients on hand, so I made it anyway.

Serves 4-6.

Ingredients

1 cup dry chickpeas, cooked

3 large stalks celery, finely chopped

1 cup red grapes, halved

¾ cup artichoke hearts, chopped

3 Tbs. sweet relish

2 scallions, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/3 cup dried apricots, coarsely chopped

¼ cup chopped parsley

¼ cup vegan mayonnaise (I use Nayonaise )

2 tsp. mustard

1 tsp. lemon juice

2 tsp. Old Bay or Bragg seasoning

Salt & pepper, to taste

Nuts or seeds of choice, to serve (I prefer almonds or sunflower seeds . . . or a little of both!)

Directions

Pulse cooked chickpeas in a food processor just until chunky. Transfer to a large bowl, and stir in all other ingredients. Serve chilled or at room temperature, sprinkled with whatever nuts or seeds you prefer.

I especially enjoy this salad stuffed in whole grain pitas alongside a generous amount of alfalfa sprouts.

Afternoon Snack

One of my favourite Larabar flavours, devoured whilst driving.

Dinner

I was slightly peckish about an hour before dinner, so I ate my first persimmon--I enjoyed it, although I probably wouldn't buy anymore. The taste grew on me with every bite, though.

Toast with mashed avocado (a.k.a., mashed heaven!), sautéed spinach with dill and a pinch of nutmeg, and a big bowl of veganized French Onion Soup.

Some homemade vanilla soy yoghurt for dessert.

My mum also made a lot of French Onion Soup while I was growing up, but of course, the traditional version includes beef stock and dairy. So, in order to satiate a craving that has probably been gnawing at me since, oh, May or June, I finally veganized her recipe.

French Onion-Seitan Soup

I make my own seitan at home, using this incredibly easy recipe , because it’s wayyyyyyyyyyyy cheaper than buying a box at Whole Foods.

Serves 8-10

Ingredients

2 Tbs. olive oil

3 lbs. Vidalia onions, halved and thinly sliced

6 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 tsp. salt

2 Tbs. whole wheat flour

1 vegan vegetable bouillon cube

2 Tbs. Bragg Liquid Aminos *

2 tsp. Bragg Sprinkle Seasoning *

24 oz. seitan, cut into strips

Salt & pepper, to taste

Slices of whole wheat, sourdough, or rye bread, very well toasted, to serve

Vegan cheese alternative, to serve (optional)

*These Bragg products are two absolutely necessary additions to all vegan kitchens!

Directions

  1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, and salt, and cook 5 minutes, stirring often. Reduce heat to very low, and cook, stirring occasionally, 50 to 60 minutes, until onions are very tender and brown.
  2. Stir in flour, and cook 3 to 4 minutes, stirring constantly. Pour in 8 cups water. Add bouillon cube, liquid aminos, seasoning, and seitan. Cover, and simmer 15 minutes. Add salt and pepper as desired, and serve hot topped with toasted bread and, if using, melted vegan cheese alternative.

I used homemade rye bread. I've never really tried any vegan cheese products, so I can't recommend one particular brand. You could also probably try stirring in some nutritional yeast, if you like.

“We join with the earth and with each other. We join together as many and diverse expressions of one loving memory: for the healing of the earth and the renewal of all life.”

~U.N. Environmental Sabbath Program


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