Category Archives: Lifestyle

vegan peasant feast

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My vegan peasant feast…

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  • Rustic sundried tomato bread with spelt flour
  • Roasted veggies with balsamic vinegar and chickpeas
  • Herbed polenta
  • Steamed greens (kale and red chard)

I don’t know if this meal is actually what peasants eat, did eat or would eat but it felt like they might. It was very rustic and homey feeling. Just as my son’s play date arrived, I started preparing the meal, about 2 pm. Bread dough was first up, while it was rising I started roasting the veggies and chickpeas. Then when the bread was ready to bake, shortly after I started the polenta. Just before the bread and polenta were ready I slide the veggies and chickpeas back into the oven to warm. By the time we had our fill and I washed up the dishes it was 6:08 pm. I’d say that was time well spent. If I hadn’t made the bread it would’ve been about an hour, actually less because I would roast the veggies for less time.

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Roasted Vegetables with balsamic vinegar and chickpeas

I have a love affair with roasted chickpeas so when I stumbled upon the Roasted vegetables with chickpeas recipe in a new vegan cookbook my husband gave me called Easy Vegan, it was a no brainer. I tweaked the recipe a little to suit my own taste. This is my version.

1 onion, peeled and cut through the core into wedges

8-10 large cremini mushrooms, quartered

12 cherry/grape tomatoes

1 head of garlic, separated and not peeled

1 red/yellow/orange pepper sliced (use 1 or 1 of each)

1 carrot, not peeled and sliced thickly

1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed

For balsamic glaze:

2-4 tbsp olive oil

1/4-1/2 cup balsamic vinegar (depending how many veggies you use)

1-2 tsp rosemary (fresh or dried)

1 tsp thyme (fresh or dried)

1 tbsp fresh italian parsley

Just so you know, I didn’t actually measure the balsamic ingredients, I just poured them on. Now that I got that out of the way here’s what I did. Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare a large cookie sheet with oil or parchment paper. In a large bowl combine all veggies (not the chickpeas, yet). Pour on the balsamic ingredients and toss gently, let marinade 30 mins-2hrs or overnight if you have the foresight. FYI, I didn’t marinade mine at all. Spread the veggies and all the marinade (should be a little puddle) on the prepared cookie sheet and put on the middle rack in the oven for 30 mins. Take the veggies out, add the chickpeas and toss with the veggies, turn the oven up to 400 F and put back in the oven for 30 mins, turning at least twice during cooking time.

Herbed polenta

Polenta is such a quick and easy grain dish to prepare. For me, it never seems to take as long as they say it does in the cookbooks. Mine is usually done in about 15 mins, unless I’m going to cool it and cut it into pieces and re-heat it.

1 cup cornmeal

3 cups water or vegetable broth (1/2 cup more if needed)

1 tsp sea salt

1/2-1 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp rosemary (optional)

1/2 tsp thyme (optional)

In a large saucepan bring the water or broth to a boil, add herbs, salt and olive oil. Reduce heat to medium and slowly whisk in the cornmeal, adding gradually and stirring constantly, so you don’t get lumps (also builds nice arm muscles, be sure to switch hands to even the arms out lol). Reduce heat to low and continue cooking, stirring frequently until thickened, approx. 15 mins or 30-40 mins according to other chefs. You can serve the polenta at this point or spoon the polenta into a lightly oiled 8 or 10 in baking dish and spread evenly over the bottom. Refridgerate until cooled and firm, approx 30 mins. Slice the polenta into rectangles or triangles and heat in the oven or on stove top.

Rustic sundried tomato bread with spelt flour

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Best. Husband. Ever. Part 2

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Hey, it’s my blog and I can swoon over my husband 2 days in a row if I want to!

Yesterday I mentioned he surprised me with an early birthday present. The surprise was that it was 5 weeks early! Now I will swoon over my present!

Fluevogs! Other than cupcakes and donuts, fluevogs are the best indulgence a girl could have! And, I spend most of my days barefoot, it’s nice to pretty my feet up with a pair of vogs!

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Prepare Volunteer, size 7
Almost as awesome as the man that bought them. This is my 7th pair of vogs and they do not disappoint. They fit me true to size with thin socks, slipped right on. I wore them out the day he brought them home, put them on while I was getting ready, the clog-like soul is very comfortable. Barely feels like you’re wearing a heel. I have sensitive feet, I always get blisters and sore spots on the skin, rarely does this happen with fluevogs. The volunteers are no exception, the leather is so soft which molds and hugs your foot. Each pair is slightly unique, not only are they designed to have a unique slouch between the left and right boot but mine are different from the ones pictured on the website. The reason I received my present early is because they went on sale. Bryn said he got the last pair of 7’s at that store so if you’re wavering, resist no longer! The boots also come in grey felt and pinky red. Black was my first choice for the obvious reason, black is neutral and I’m hoping they’ll become an instant classic and my go to black boots.

Link to Fluevogs Prepare Volunteer

Love, love, love these boots!

I am so grateful and
Love my man more.

boxing day rituals

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I have 2 boys. They love Lego. For Christmas they get lots of it. Last year was all about Lego Star Wars, this year it’s Lego Ninjago. I still love Lego; it’s different from when I was young. The kits are more intricate and less free form, pros and cons with both. Eventually, it all becomes free form Lego.

I spent 2 hours helping Brody build his “ultra sonic raider”.

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Later on, I finally got around to a pinterest project I’ve been wanting to do. I needed a DIY idea to store my necklaces so I turned to pinterest. I was able to use some hooks I already had leftover from another project, so this one cost me nothing and I got to use my drill!

Here’s my new necklace organizer!

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Now, why didn’t I think of that!! So clever. Excellent use of pinterest and a drill.

Peace and love.

time to bake

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Tonight when my mother called she announced that she is giving up baking. I laughed, the thought of my mom giving up baking is as preposterous as my dad never watching golf again! She told me she’d tried a new recipe and is worried it didn’t turn out. “If it doesn’t turn out, I’m never baking again.” I told her she couldn’t base all her baking experience on a recipe she’s never tried before. My mother taught me how to bake, at the time she called I had just finished icing cookies with the boys and was getting ready to pack them up. I love baking and I have fond memories of helping my mom bake goodies at Christmas and all throughout the year. I don’t know if she’ll quit baking for good or not, but if she does her legacy will carry on, in me and my boys.

Time to bake, I love the science of baking. How you like that meniscus?
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Ready to bake….

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Brody pouring on the icing 🙂

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“Santa?”

“Yes, Stick Gingerbreadman?”

“I fear there are ninja among us?”

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“Never fear Stick Gingerbreadman, it’s only Disco Ninjabreadman and his merry backup dancers!”

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Happy Holidays!

Peace and Love.

what’s Joanna holding?

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Just for fun and completely random!

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Homemade Coconut milk Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

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Compliments of Soul Stream -comp cover charge at Bar None’s 20th anniversary.

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Box Cutter Blade.

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Portobello mustache from Movember.

arugula pesto

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arugula pestoArugula Pesto

The past couple of weeks I’ve been buying arugula instead of my usual spinach, I think I was a little bored of spinach and needed a new green…besides kale, of course. Last week I had a hard time using up all the arugula before it started to rot, spinach is a little heartier and keeps a little better. As a result I’ve been looking for ways to use it up before it expires. Pesto certainly isn’t the only way of using arugula but it is a delicious way!

 

Arugula pesto in the making.

The Ingredients

The Ingredients

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Making of Arugula Pesto

The Making of Arugula Pesto

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Making of Arugula Pesto

The Making of Arugula Pesto

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Making of Arugula Pesto

The Making of Arugula Pesto

 

 

 

 

 

 

Arugula Pesto Ice Cubes

Arugula Pesto Ice Cubes

 

 

 

 

 

 

Arugula Pesto Risotto

Arugula Pesto Risotto

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Arugula Pesto on Baguette

Arugula Pesto on Baguette

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lunch is Served!

Lunch is Served!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Arugula Pesto Recipe

With a recipe like pesto I do not measure ingredients so the amounts are approximate, if you are unsure start with the lesser amount and add more according to your own taste. Also feel free to substitute or omit ingredients according to your own personal preferences. I used what inspired me and what I had on hand. My intention was for the arugula to be the focus of the pesto and didn’t want it over powered with other flavours.

 

Ingredients:

4-6 cups arugula
1 large leaf of curly kale, ribbed, washed and torn into small pieces (optional)
1/4 cup raw almonds
1-2 tbsp tahini
zest of lemon -zest lemon before you juice it.
juice of half-1 lemon -see note above
2-3 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4-1/3 cup olive oil
1/4-1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)

Add raw almonds to the food processor and process a few seconds or a few pulses. Add arugula, kale, tahini, lemon zest and juice, garlic, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/4 tsp salt, nutritional yeast. Process to until mixed. Scrape sides with spatula and taste test. Make any ingredient adjustments and process until desired consistency (scraping down the sides as necessary). I like mine smooth.

Enjoy!

Peace and Love