I am a fairly boring person in terms of breakfast. Especially during weekdays. When I was going to school, my dad would generously (thanks, Dad!) prepare us morning cheese sandwiches or some salami sandwiches for breakfast and I ate that for years. Then I ate an omelette for breakfast for a looong time (thanks, Mom!). Then super sweet sugary cereal with milk. Nowadays, all rehabilitated from my unhealthy eating habits, most of my mornings are a green smoothie kind of mornings. The next best option for me would be oatmeal. Weekends sometimes give birth to pancakes (yes, weekends are pregnant with pancakes all week, and if everything is alright, they give birth on Saturday or Sunday).
Soup, for me, is usually a huge 5 quart pot to last our 2-person household a couple of days. I feel like soup, more so than any other dish, gets better the longer it stays in its pot and intertwines all the flavors and ingredients (silently, at night, in the fridge – not creepily at all). So, all my soup recipes are usually for a couple of days, or for 6-8 people. This soup is slightly spicy, sweet and savory. Whenever you get a caper in your spoon, it’s like an explosion of flavor. The collard ribbons add a bit of bite to it, and the avocado ties it all in. Also, if you arrange the collard ribbons into little roses, it looks really fancy and would look great at a dinner table.
I bet you think that our ingredient limelight today will be jackfruit, because it’s so exotic. But no. So what if it’s exotic? Yes, the texture is funky and freakishly resembles the stringy texture of chicken/turkey. Yes it’s a fruit that absorbs any flavor you give to it – be it sweet or savoury. But we have another important ingredient in our super short and sweet recipe: tomato. Well, strained tomatoes to be exact, but who strives for exactitude? I do actually, but moving on.
Of course. I would not be Moldavian/Ukrainian (Yes, I am both) if I didn’t post a borscht recipe here. But you know what’s interesting? When I first moved to Canada and I kept hearing people from here saying “Borscht”, obviously I got the idea of the dish they were referring to, but I didn’t get the “t” in the end. And no one seems to bring it up. Or do they? Well, the fact of the matter is that there is no “t” in “borsch”. And I wonder who was the first person to add a “t” to this word. I agree, not the easiest to pronounce, but I wouldn’t say that the “t” makes it a lot easier. For me, the word “murder” is more difficult to pronounce than others. But if I add a “t” to it, it wouldn’t make it easier…murdert.
You know when you have a recipe, but you’re so lazy that you don’t follow instructions till the end, and in return you get a totally new recipe – much better and easier? Yes, this is one of them. Initially I had to stuff all this jazz back into the sweet potato skins. But, with the difficulty of scraping the flesh from the skins, and the impatient hunger that prohibited me from baking these another 30 minutes, I ended up with deconstructed sweet potato skins. And by southwestern, I mean the southwestern flavors of the US, but it works nicely since I’m in the southwestern part of Ontario.
Today’s post is a little bit different, because I am guest posting at Eating with Katie, so for the recipe and my usual ingredient limelight, head on over to her blog. Katie’s a wonderful person who I’ve met randomly and this randomness grew into an online type of friendship with guest posting and stuff She’s all the way from Australia, so it’s nice to branch out internationally. Thank you, Katie for inviting me over to your blog!
One last thing about this meal – please feel free to eat it with whatever you think works best with the flavors, but I found that combining the skins with sauerkraut and avocado sprinkled with some black pepper just tied everything into perfect harmony. The sweetness of the sweet potatoes, creaminess of the beans and tahini goes so well with tart (preferably homemade) sauerkraut and refreshing avocado.
When I worked at my previous job in Toronto, I would come home so tired after work, that the last thing I wanted to do is cook a wholesome, healthy dinner (although I do love that shit). I was so tired and drained, that all I wanted was to lie on the floor and have someone feed me (preferably something healthy and wholesome). Instead, I ate a combination of foods I had on hand (now comes the sort of embarrassing part) – potato chips, then I progressed to tortilla chips, then baked rice chips (over the course of years, people). If I was lucky to have hummus, I would add that. If I was the luckiest, I would take brown rice cakes and put an avocado on top. And then, when I was still hungry, I would still eat those damn chips. Convenience food is addictive, people! The taste is one thing – but the convenience is definitely there! It’s fast, it’s ready, just a package-tear away. I knew I needed to make some changes in my daily routine, because even though I was mostly having a green smoothie for breakfast (or oatmeal) and some home-cooked lunch, my refined, processed snack intake was over the roof.
I was very reluctant to do research on this topic and write about it. Not because I don’t think this should be discussed, but I was afraid as to what I would find out. Sure, animal testing in cosmetics industry is, more or less, straightforward. No face lotion is meant to save your life, or affect your well-being. Animal testing in medical research, though, is trickier. Although much more (and by much more, I mean 1,000,000 fold more) cruel than cosmetics animal testing. And the majority of animals used are those that are pets (or more like friends, kids or siblings to you) in so many homes that are patiently waiting for you to get back and show them some love.
Hi there, lovely people! As a plant-based human, I get asked a lot about the source of my protein. Actually the question sounds more like this: Sooo, where do you get your protein? *Skeptical tone is a must* That’s probably the 2nd most frequent question I get asked when I mention my dietary preference. The first one is: So, what do you eat? I think, slowly, with the recipes on this blog, this question will fade away. One step to set the record straight about the protein is this mega recipe. One serving of just the sauce can give you around 20 grams of protein, and the bean pasta (depending on the brand) can give you an additional 23 grams. What whaat? 43 grams of protein in one sitting and all plant-based? Hooray for that!
So, now that we’ve explored how animals are exploited and the absolutely valid alternatives, I want to do a rundown of the brands that are safe to use, those that aren’t, and those that seem to be safe to use but, they fall under a semi-gray area.
When I was working in downtown Toronto, what seems now ages ago, I would bring my own lunch most of the time. But on those rare occasions when you just want to eat out and not carry glass containers of home-goodness, I would be on the lookout for places with healthy, wholesome options. One of those places was Aroma cafe, with excellent, customizable lunch options and amazing coffee! In that cafe, when I was still eating dairy, I ordered the Sweet Potato Lentil Salad. It was glorious – light yet filling, with different textures yet a balanced flavor. I had to recreate it at home. I did modify a couple of things (such as omitting goat cheese and granola, and adding wild rice for a crunchier texture), but to me, it hits the spot just the same.