Monday, October 26, 2009

Lunch To Go – Spinach and Pear Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette

One cheese. Two cheese. You cheese. Blue cheese.

I know blue cheese isn’t everyone’s favourite flavour, but I personally love it. The taste is a lot more interesting than some other cheeses you can find in a supermarket. It also goes really well with the other flavours in this recipe – it’s contrasted by the sweetness of the pear and tanginess of the dressing, and sort-of backed by the neutral flavours of the spinach and the nuts. If, however, blue is absolutely not your style, you could probably swap it for some dry feta in this recipe (… but in my opinion, I don’t think it would taste as good).

Also, when your picking your pears for this recipe, it’s really important that it’s at its right stage of “ripeness”. If it’s too young, the pear will be too hard and not as juicy, but if it’s too old, it will taste soggy and grainy. When you’re picking up a pear, try to look for ones that have a firm, but not hard consistency – those will be the ones you want to use.


Spinach leaves
One pear
Crushed pecans/walnuts
Blue cheese – crumbled

Mustard Vinaigrette

1/3 cup olive oil
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 ½ tsp prepared mustard
½ tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 clove garlic, minced
black pepper to taste (or none if you don’t want any – I actually forgot to put this ingredient in. haha)

Mix dressing ingredients. The dressing recipe will actually make enough for 5 or 6 servings, but you can easily store any extra in the fridge.

Make as much salad as you like and pour dressing on top. Simple and fast :)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Vegan TofuStu

After 4 years of being vegetarian, I finally decided to try my hand at preparing tofu. All you veggie-pro's are probably rolling your eyes at me, but this is something I've been averse to trying since I stopped eating meat. It probably has something to do with the fact that I've had some awful tofu experiences in the past (deep fried and soggy varieties), but I've finally worked up the courage to take a stab at it.

I've heard that the trick to tofu is all in the flavouring, so I think I just need to build a marinade/sauce repertoire. I wish I had a little more cooking experience just for this reason, but you've gotta start somewhere, right?

The recipe I tried is actually from the tofu brand (haha, lame right?) I made a tofu stew from the Sunrise Soya website. It actually didn't turn out too bad. I did overcook the potatoes a little bit and next time I'll try pre-cooking the tofu a little longer. But I used some homemade vegetable broth, so I think that scored some points in my corner! Overall I'm pretty pleased with the results. (This was actually also my very first stew!I'm breaking boundaries all over the place here :) )

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Madness and Cookies

So I'm taking an international economics class and this week I'm working on critiquing an article about produce tracking technology. It's actually pretty interesting. Canada and the States are working together on something called the Produce Tracking Initiative (PTI), which essentially is a barcode that lets the government (and consumers) track food to the farm at which it's produced. The big debate about it, though, is that the US is trying to make participation in this program mandatory, at the producers' cost, and it's got some family farm folk up in arms. Reading about this, I never really realized how bad the food standards were in the USA. I guess only like 7000 of the 150000 (less than 5%!!!!)food processing facilities are actually inspected each year, and there have been an increasing number of cases of food poisoning. The most recent scare I heard about was salmonella in peanut butter, but I was even reading about findings of E. Coli in COOKIE DOUGH!!!

Anyway, all the research this week is starting to get to me, and I must be crazy, because after reading about the cookie dough, I started to crave chocolate chip cookies! haha! So that is what my blog this week is going to be about, but don't worry, these cookies are completely homemade and E. Coli-free! (never thought I'd say that sentence before!)

So here goes:

Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookies/The Life and Times of Monsieur Biscuit - because I couldn't do homework anymore, and I'm slightly irrational (I almost drew a face on him. You were spared.)


2 1/4 cups flour
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup softened butter
2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1 rsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
300g semi-sweet chocolate chips


1. Preheat oven at 375.
2. Mix butter, eggs, sugars, and vanilla until the mixture is light and fluffy.
3. Incorporate the salt, baking soda, and flour by hand.
4. Once the consistency is dough-like, mix in the chocolate chips.
5. Scoop heaping teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets and bake for about 12 mins per batch.

...I'll let you decide what happened to the rest of that little guy... hehe

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Loving Pasta Salad with Artichoke Hearts

I tend to like dishes that I can combine all the necessary dietary components into one creation (i.e. veggies, proteins, carbs). I guess I might just be lazy, but I like to think that it's because I'm a student and I don't have time to make grandiose meals. One day, I might post a 5 course feast... but I don't think that will happen any time soon.

I actually found this recipe on the PETA website. I'll make it clear right now, I'm not a huge supporter of PETA, but if I come across a recipe I find interesting, I won't discriminate. (And you're lucky I don't because this turned out to be DELICIOUS)

So this year I've discovered my love for marinated artichoke hearts, and I couldn't be happier! This recipe calls for a bunch of 'em :)

The recipe is called "Creamy Pasta Salad with Artichoke Hearts". I don't know how creamy I would say it is (I guess I think of actual cream, when I think creamy), but it's not a vinaigrette, so I guess it counts.

I made a few modifications from the recipe they posted. So if you want to make mine, I used parsley instead of green onions (because I didn't have any in my fridge - still tasted fine). I also used light mayo instead of Nayonaise because the only place I think might sell that stuff is Planet Organic and I'm a poor student who can't afford to shop there, but I'm sure you vegans will have some ready on hand. And finally, I added just about a can of chickpeas (for the protein portion of this meal)... and voilĂ !


Saturday, October 3, 2009


This is a tribute to veggie college students.

I recently came back from a trip to Vancouver, where I was fortunate enough to visit a restaurant called The Foundation (I couldn't find their website if they have one, but you can read some reviews here). I almost wish I started this blog a week ago so that I could've shown you the yummy food they serve there.

My boyfriend and I ordered two different kinds of veggie burgers (the Foundation burger and the Bentonio burger). I didn't try his because I was too full from mine, but we both agreed they were awesome. The burgers were served with various tortilla chips (and awesome dip) as well as a leafy salad that had the most amazing mango dressing (I could die happy if someone could share that recipe with me). We also ordered an appetizer called "Mingled Yams". I thought this was going to be some sort of sweet potato fries dish, but it was actually a yam dip with tortilla chips (I know it sounds weird, but it was actually really good!). Now since I don't think I'm quite talented enough to replicate the burgers (not yet at least!), I decided to take my hand a the "Mingled Yams". I don't know if this is the actual recipe, but I think it tastes pretty darn similar!

okay, so here's my version of Foundation's "Mingled Yams" - for copyright issues, from now on I'll call them "Yingled Mams":


3 yams
4 teaspoons of honey (or maple syrup for all you vegans out there)
tortilla chips (the organic purple and red ones are pretty tasty)
sunflower seeds - unsalted, to sprinkle on top


1. Clean and cube the yams.
2. Boil in slightly salted water until they are soft when pierced with a fork.
3. Drain water and mash the potatoes.
4. Add honey/syrup and mix.
5. Let cool (this dish is served cold)
6. Spoon out as much yams as you'd like and garnish with sunflower seeds.
7. Serve with tortilla chips.

makes: a whole bunch of servings (this is where the college student tribute comes in - this is awesome for exam time when you don't have a whole lot of time for cooking, or a whole lot of money for eating out, plus it's DELICIOUS!!)


Check it out!


Hi Everyone, welcome to my very first blog. If it seems a little awkward, just give me some time to get the hang of this whole "talking to the world" thing. I've been thinking a lot about setting up a blog lately. Probably because I've gotten addicted to some pretty good ones (check out Bakerella if you like sweets + ultra cuteness - this one's probably my favorite right now).

I had a hard time picking out a name for this blog. It was between this and "Garbanzo". For some reason I really like that word. It makes me think of a luchador or Spanish bullfighter or something... and then I could've had this cool logo:

...okay, maybe it's not so cool... but not everyone is that talented with MS Paint... fortunately, you can breathe a sigh of relief because obviously I didn't choose that name and you won't have to put up with my horrible digital paint skills (or maybe you will... I haven't decided).

Anyway, I decided to start this blog in tribute of awesome vegetarian cuisine that I have the fortune of coming across in my daily life. That's the main deal. I hope you like what you see, or at least, I hope I've entertained you a little. I'm open to any feedback, tell me what you like/don't like and I'll try to get better at this whole blogging thing.

So. I will probably look back at this post in the future and be horribly embarrassed, but there you have it: my first blog post ever. (As long I get get better at this, I don't mind)