Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Beautiful Bok Choy and Tofu Scramble

Warm greetings on this slightly chilly Tuesday!

Fall is definitely in the air here.

The first reds are appearing on my favourite nature trail.

I spent a lovely, restful Saturday afternoon making granola. (Saturday was September 13th and according to an old label that's the exact same day I made granola last year!) I love having my kitchen smell like toasting oats and cinnamon when the air outside is crisp.

I've been working the early, early shift at work and have been enjoying lots of green smoothie goodness for weekday breakfasts but on the weekend when I had more time I wanted something really substantial. So I put my apron on, found some dancing music (in this case Diana Ross and the Supremes) and put the effort in to make a brunch that I could sit down and enjoy.

Ever since discovering the recipe for The Best Tofu Scramble Ever during last year's Vegan Month of Food it's exactly what I want at the beginning of fall for a hearty breakfast.

I decided to slice the bok choy in half before steaming it. Look how beautiful and intricate it looks!
I get really excited about greens.

Bonus pic of Jasper coming to check things out.

Here's hoping your Tuesday has been full of warmth and wonder,

xo Elyse

Monday, September 15, 2014

Procrastination and Festival Food

Happy Day 15 of Vegan Mofo!

I really intended to blog every day this month. Then I was too excited to take many pictures on the first day of the food festival and kind of lost my momentum. Then it became easier to put it off for another day. One day became ten. I was sitting on my couch feeling a little down when I decided I didn't have to slowly write off the entire month with sludge-y procrastination. There are fifteen days left in the month. There is still a lot of blogging to do! And food to be eaten! And thoughts to think!

The food festival was amazing. We got there when it started on Saturday (Sept 6) and the crowds were already starting to gather.

Before I even thought of taking pictures I immediately bought and ate a Field Roast Sausage roll from APieCalypse Now!, sampled a bunch of things that still remain a blur, drank a Kale and Peach smoothie from Green Zebra Kitchen, acquired one of Bunners new Mexi-Brunch pockets and then went right for the One Love corn soup (which is when I finally remembered to snap a photo. Barely.)

This is the best corn soup I've ever tasted. Sweet and spicy and totally comforting.

I went with a list because I knew there were some things I definitely wanted to try. Others were a great surprise like the creamy, velvety Mac-No-Cheese bowl from Soul to Bowl and the awesome Lemon Ginger kombucha from Pekoe Kombucha. Both of which I enjoyed so much I didn't get a picture. MeShell included some great pics in her food festival blog post though.

I went back for Sunday (Sept 7) and tried to be slightly more diligent with the picture taking. I grabbed another green smoothie from Green Zebra (this time it was kale and strawberry) and a bowl of their Sweet Potato Mac and Cheese which I had been meaning to try since last year's festival.

I was lucky enough to get a sample from Terry's Fall Into Salad Samurai demo. The Buffalo Ranch Caesar Salad was delicious and has me really excited to get my hands on her new cookbook.

I also finally enjoyed the kale salad from Green Zebra that I had seen everyone walking around with the day before. It was very cool to be in a place where everyone was excited about kale!

It was a wonderful weekend. I wish I had taken more pictures but I'm glad I got to enjoy so many tastes in the moment, try so many new things and to feel the energy of so many other like-minded people. I especially loved that sense of connection and shared excitement. It has me wondering about vegan potlucks happening in the city.

Hope your week is off to good start!

with a nod to the universe,

xo Elyse

Friday, September 5, 2014

Food Festival Eve and Summer Eats

Happy Friday everyone!

It was really hot and humid in Toronto today and all I want to do right now is sit and watch How I Met Your Mother episodes in the air conditioning. I had curry noodles for supper and it was too dark to get a good picture so here are a few dishes I enjoyed on other hot days this summer.

Really amazing, juice-y watermelon.

Cucumber noodles, Brooklyn Deli Macaroni Salad from Veganomicon and Saucy Spicy-Sweet Tofu from Alien's Day Out. This tofu was actually the very first recipe that I ever made from a blog and it's been in regular rotation ever since.

Mixed green salad with cucumber, tomato, red radish, grated carrot, chickpeas, kimchi and gomasio.

The 30th annual Toronto Vegetarian Food festival started earlier today but I'm really looking forward to heading down there tomorrow. I want to check out all of the booths, eat lots of samples and see what's new, inspiring and exciting.

Hope your weekend is off to great start!

xo Elyse

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Noodles and My Favourite Cookbook

Hello lovelies,

I hope that this finds you well and that you're having a wonderful day!

I've been browsing through cookbooks to get some ideas for the rest of the month and I have to say that Isa Does It is hands down my favourite cookbook ever. It never lets me down. Every recipe that I have tried so far is easy to throw together, uses every day ingredients (a lot of which I have on hand) and tastes amazing.

A couple of dishes have already made frequent repeat appearances in my kitchen.

I'm especially in love with the Everyday Pad Thai:

It hits all of the right salty/sweet/sour/ume notes. It's fresh and filling. It also makes an awesome leftover lunch to look forward to.

I'm also a big fan of the Tempeh Meatballs & Spaghetti:

With mixed green salad, chives, and hemp seeds.

I hadn't had meatballs with my spaghetti in a very very long time and these really hit the spot. They took me right back to family suppers at the round kitchen table when I was small and insisted on having the meatball and sauce separate from, and definitely not touching, the spaghetti. As you can see, I'm now okay with it all being happily smooshed together.

I haven't made many desserts from the book yet but the Pineapple Upside-Down Cake is wonderful.

I subbed in spelt flour and it was hearty and sweet, but not too sweet. Perfect with an afternoon cup of tea.

What is your favourite cookbook of the moment?

with friendship and gratitude for this amazing Vegan Month of Food!

xo Elyse

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Amazing Nature and Miso Soup

Hey all of you beautiful veggie lovers!

It's Day 3 already!

Today was such a lovely late-summer day that after work I went for a walk on one of my favourite nature trails. I'm lucky enough to live within easy walking distance of one of the many ravine trails that run through Toronto.

This path always makes me feel like I'm on fairytale adventure.

I stopped to say hello to one of my favourite dancing trees.

Then I found a comfy spot in Dragonfly Park to do some cloud watching. (I'm not sure what the park is actually called but I've seen a lot of amazing dragonflies there.) I took my shoes off, wiggled my toes into the cool grass, lay down on the ground and tried my best to appreciate all of the sweet scents and sights of summertime. The sky did not disappoint!

I'm feeling a little physically rundown at the moment and not quite so ambitious in the kitchen tonight (read: I am going to bed as soon as I post this) so instead here is a picture of a bowl of awesome miso soup that I wish I had right now.

(Miso soup with soba noodles, chickpeas, carrot, celery, daikon, broccoli, green onion)

This is definitely on my menu for tomorrow. With lots of tea and orange juice.

What are your go-to feel better remedies?

sending you well-wishes and sweet dreams,

xo Elyse

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Rainy day and Roasted Vegetables

My day started with a green smoothie.

(apple, kale, lemon, cucumber, celery, kale, ginger)

It started early (5am early), but the great thing about working the early shift at my job is that my work day ends early too. I was really looking forward to coming home and poking around the fridge and cooking some veggies.

I got soaked in the rain on the way home. I resisted it, huddling under a comically small over-hang, outside my favourite health food store, for about 10 minutes. It took that long to finally embrace the fact that I was going to get really, really wet.

As I made my way home, sloshing in my shoes, I took a moment to enjoy it. I've only been caught in a handful of other late-summer showers that have soaked me to the skin. I took a moment to breathe and just really be where I was.

And then I took a moment to think about what vegetables currently on my kitchen table could be made into soup.

And roasted vegetables.

And other deliciousness because a just a green smoothie wasn't really enough for breakfast this morning.

Do any of you have a tried and true granola bar recipe? I'm in need of a mid-morning snack.

Hope your week is off to a great start!

with squash soup contentment,

xo Elyse

Monday, September 1, 2014

Raspberries and Possibilities

Happy Vegan Mofo sweet souls!

I feel kind of excited and overwhelmed and giddy all at the same time. I knew this was coming and yet still I managed to procrastinate all of the preparation until here I am later at night on Day One still wondering what to post and what potential theme I could choose. I want to do everything! I want to see what's in my fridge and at the back of my cupboard. I want to try new recipes. I want to discover new fruits and vegetables. I want to make beautiful, nourishing and yummy foods that make me feel happy and grateful and full of joy.

Raspberries and Iced White Tea with raspberry

If I had to pick one food that brings me the most joy it would be raspberries. Raspberries are my ultimate spirit food. I feel like a beautiful, barefoot goddess when I eat them. They remind me of my childhood, warm summer weather and cool summer breezes, visiting my Grandparents farm, laughing with my sister and of the lightest, fluffiest most raspberry-y dessert my Mom makes. The smell or the taste of raspberries immediately makes me smile and sigh with contentment.

What's your spirit food? Which food makes you smile the most?

sending you raspberry smiles and dreaming of possibilities,

xo Elyse