Yesterday was Pi Day (and a Lenten Friday) and I intended to make some kind of non-meat pie for dinner. I confess to not (yet!) having mastered pie crust so I count on frozen pastry shells, of which I only had one.
So on to plan B.
I’ve always got lentils etc on hand so I googled <lentil pie> and found this terrific recipe for Lentil Chilli Pie with Cornbread Crust for which I had all the ingredients. I used a dutch oven so that I could simply put the cornbread batter over the chilli in the same pot, and then pop it in the oven.
I served it with chopped avocado, hot sauce, and greek yogurt. And then had it again for breakfast this morning!
Speaking of Lent, this giving-up-refined-sugar thing is working in that (1) every time I crave sugar, I’m reminded of this penitential season and say a quick prayer or make the sign of the cross; (2) my sugar addiction seems to be breaking; and (3) I’ve lost 7 pounds, with no other dietary restrictions.
This sacrifice is the hardest one I’ve done in the 10 years I’ve been Catholic. Giving up alcohol was a breeze in comparison. I’m going to consider continuing on with trying to live with a vastly sugar-reduced diet.
Zou and I went for coffee on our walk back from the library today and i got a bran muffin. It’s sometimes hard to know where to draw the line: is a plain croissant “better” than a bran muffin? I got the muffin. it wasn’t sweet. And I put the little chocolate squares that came with the coffee in my pocket for the chocolate addict who lives in my basement. The one who serves himself small bowls of chocolate chips during Lent because his mother isn’t dealing sugar at the moment.
This little machine turns tap water into sparkling water. We received it as a gift last Christmas and we’re putting it to daily use this summer. It produces lovely, carbonated water that you can drink plain or with add-ins. Our kit came with two bottle that I try to keep filled and tucked in the fridge. I’m not big on the included flavouring samples, preferring a squeeze of citrus fruit and sometimes a dash of …
- Simple Syrup
I’ve been meaning to make this myself for ages. Useful in cocktails, it can also be used in soda or plain water to make lemonade or other sweetened drinks. One can tailor the amount of sweetness to just counterbalance a lemon or lime. I finally broke down and bought a bottle of Loblaws PC Black Label product and it’s well worth the spot in the fridge. A dash of simple syrup with lime juice and soda water is a great way to keep hydrated.
- Veggie Patch vegetarian foods.
I love all things chickpea, and while I’ve got lots of recipes for chickpea fritters, falafel, etc, sometimes you just don’t feel like getting out the food processor and spending summer days in front of the stove or oven. We’ve been enjoying the Mediterranean patties and the Falafel Chickpea balls. I find them in large packs at Costco and in smaller packages at my local grocer.
- A good, quiet fan.
I picked mine up at Costco last summer. We have air conditioning at our place, but for a variety of reasons, mainly due to the poor construction of our house, all the cool air tends to drop to the basement, leaving our bedroom toasty and humid. Our Bionaire fan has energy saving settings (auto off, for example) and is powerful enough to cool us down while we’re trying to fall asleep.
- Cold tap water on demand.
Isn’t that what empty gin bottles cry out for in their second life? We use the lovely blue Bombay Sapphire Gin bottles, scrape off the labels, and keep them full of delicious Toronto tap water in the fridge. No more running the tap until the water gets….er….kinda cold.
Any other tips from my readers on staying cool? Use the comments!
I posted recently about my interest in Mark Bittman’s Vegan Before 6 eating plan and have been slowly making my way there. I’ve eased of dairy with my cereal, opting for yoso’s Soygo yogurt. My grocer doesn’t carry the unsweetened version so I must request it, or perhaps I’ll move to almond milk with my granola. I’ve stopped using cream in my coffee, and have had a few peanut butter based sandwiches for lunch.
But I don’t really like sandwiches, in general, so need to amp up the vegetarian evening meals so that I have leftovers for lunch. I have determined that it’s pretty hard for me to get a decent vegan fast food meal as the moment I walk in to, say McDonald’s thinking about a salad, the smell draws me inexorably to the forbidden. So for the time being, I’m eating at home. Which is a good thing.
I did a Costco run yesterday and picked up some Veggie Patch Mediterranean Chick Pea and Spinach patties which I heated up for lunch today. Yummo! I have a recipe for a similar made-from-scratch patty so must dig it out, but these ones are great for a quick meal. I’m using lentil hummus in place of tzatiki, but there must be some vegan way to make the latter. I also picked up a jumbo (to me) pack of four blocks of tofu so will be scouring my recipe books for ideas. (Please post or link to your fave tofu recipes in the comments. Please!)
Besides the VB6 book which has lots of recipes, I picked up a couple more at thrift shops:
The New Vegetarian Gourmet by Byron Ayanouglu
Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker by Robin Robertson
Detox Dieting by Nicola Graimes
I already have The New Enchanted Broccoli Forest but have found most of those recipes to be very time consuming. I will also dig into Jerusalem: A Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi which like so much of the food from that region, has a wealth of vegan options.
The wonderful food-blogger Jenny Newlon at Dinner of Herbs has lots of great ideas, and I’m hoping for more videos from vegan chef Anita Shepherd, like this one:
I had this at a party last week and loved it. The hostess confessed that it was from Costco, but I want to take a stab at making it myself, so started by copying out the ingredients from the label.
- Bell peppers
- Fresh parsley and dill.
I figure any combination of the above would work just fine.
Main dressing ingredients (excluding additives/emulsifiers):
- Liquid Egg
- Canola Oil
- Lemon Juice
Based on the ingredient list, I’d probably try a recipe like this one from Mark Bittman for a creamy vinaigrette.
I’ll try it out and get back to y’all.