Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Vegan Korma

I just got back from a week of travelling to find a new home in Moose Jaw and in my travels I happened across a wonderful little vegan place where I had the yummiest Palak Paneer for lunch. It was such a wonderfully bright and well rounded dish taking advantage of nutritional yeast, lemon juice and tofu to substitute for the typical cheese base. As I ate it the weather turned downright miserable and gave me a craving for something that would create comfort but still fit in the 30+ degree weather of summer. So I gathered a few things and decided on an Indian Korma. Kormas are rich and creamy but still have a bit of heat to warm the insides to perfectly offset the lunch I had.

I put together (very rough measurement guesses):

1/2 a large Spanish onion
1 inch of a fresh ginger root, cut finely
6 cloves of garlic
3 medium sized Yukon gold potatoes, cubed
4 large carrots, cut same size as potatoes
1 jalapeno, cut finely, tossed the seeds
a handful of crushed roasted, unsalted cashews 
some salt

I cooked up the onions, added the ginger and garlic then dumped in the rest of the items and added a little water then covered it up to kind of steam the carrots and potatoes. Once those got going I put in 2 tbsp of curry powder and then started sprinkling in about a teaspoon each of cinnamon, turmeric powder and cumin. I put in 4 cardamom pods that happened to be around and then maybe 1/2 tsp of nutmeg.

Once the potatoes and carrots were tender I cut up a bell pepper to throw in, dumped a whole can of coconut milk and let it simmer for 15-20 minutes. I cooked some basmati rice while this was all going on, put them both on a plate and garnished it with some fresh cilantro. It ended up tasting awesome but if I could do it again I would have added frozen edamame beans after the carrots and potatoes were cooked and then had more crushed cashews to sprinkle on top. Give it a try and let me know what you end up with!

Saturday, 1 August 2015

Farmer's Markets

So today, as I do every Saturday that I can, I make my way to one or two farmer's markets depending on what is available at each. Most farmer's markets happen during the week on a lesser scale as well but Saturdays are where you go to get the good stuff. I do my best to get as much fresh, local produce from here as possible for a number of reasons. Most dear to my heart is the fact that you're getting local, in season, and fresh, produce.

Eating what is local to yourself not only helps to support the farm families in your community, but, for me, feels like I am eating what is more natural to my surroundings. Having it come straight from the farm to your mouth without travelling, and while being in season is critical to eating a plant-based whole foods diet. You can get all the items to fill your belly from a grocery store but it has traveled, it could be out of season, it could be many things. That is not to say I don't go to the grocery store as well. Sometimes there are some great deals on stuff there that is absolutely worth buying up, but the farmer's market is the number one priority here.

Here is  a sample of what I got this week (minus the spilled red lentils...):

For me, colour and variety make meals seem so much happier and more enticing so I like to take advantage of that when possible with varied produce at all times. Nothing beats the joy of biting into REAL produce that comes in all shapes, sizes, and other oddities. Take pride in having "weird" looking vegetables, this is the natural way!

I encourage you to check out your local farmer's market on a Saturday morning, see what they have to offer and if you can get involved by going regularly or maybe even join a Community Shared Agriculture (CSA) if you are living in a singular area for an extended period. This is where local farms allow you to pay a monthly fee to get a box of fresh produce every week. This means cheaper for you and reliable sales for the farmer. I don't have the luxury of a CSA due to my nomadic nature. But look into it, get involved, and eat all the plants!

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

A Buddha Bowl

So today I spent most of my time wandering the aisles of Bulk Barn so I could get together an at least passable amount of spices in my single room where I currently reside. I was even so adventurous as to mix together everything required to get an adobo spice going as I can't seem to get the idea of Mexican foods out of my mind.

I also broke free from my standard slow cooker recipes and went with a Spicy Rainbow Quinoa Bowl recipe I found on Livestrong.com

I threw together broccoli, red cabbage, onion, quinoa, some water, the adobo spice I just made, and some garlic powder then heated it up, and added frozen peas and some flax seeds. Finally topped it off with wonderful avocado and sriracha as it needed that extra kick. This was super easy to get together and I made five portions of it to last throughout the week here. I'm thinking I want something Indian next week...


Here is the little set up I have going for spices. I know it isn't much but when you're living in a single room, just having one decent knife and the top of a dresser to work with is all you can ask for.