Amazon.com order, yey!!

When I took a look at amazon.com the other day after getting the $30 gift certificate from my brother I was so overwhelmed by the amount of options I had.  I never buy music and all the dvd’s I wanted were too expensive.  I had to stay within the $30 including shipping since I don’t have a credit card, which made it interesting to find items that I could use the free shipping on.  Since I’m in Canada I wasn’t even eligible for free shipping so I remedied that by getting it shipped to Cos’ place (I knew him living in the states was good for something!).  My original order included vanilla beans, a book, and chocolate super vegetable powder since they have such a huge vegan food section, which has stuff that is difficult to find in Canada, but I decided to stick with books as they’re easier for Cos to pack when he comes out (March!!).

I ended up ordering 2 books.  The first one is a book I’ve been trying to find at Chapters here in Winnipeg since it came out last June, but nobody seems to stock it.  Not having a credit card is a blessing and a curse!  It is “The Vegan Scoop” by Wheeler del Torro.  I don’t even own an ice cream maker (yet) but after reading Hannah’s review on her wonderful blog, “BitterSweet“, I HAD to find a copy and drool all over the pictures.

The other book I ordered is more of a nerdy kitchen book…”Alton Brown’s Gear for your Kitchen“.  I’m honestly not a very big fan of Alton himself, sometimes his mannerisms grate on my nerves, but I absolutly love the wealth of information he has to share about everything kitchen.  Since I’m slightly running out of room in my kitchen (since I have to share it with roommates and got a food processor with multiple attachments this week) I figured it would be nice to have so I can streamline a bit..maybe…if I can bring myself to throw anything out. 

Hopefully these purchases are everything I hope they will be, they shipped today and Cos should have them by next week sometime.

Ramen Noodles and Almond Butter

Before you all go “ewwww” and turn away, no, I did not use them in the same recipe.

Yesterday while going to pick up bus tickets (I had bought a bus pass for this week but lost it on tuesday morning  😦  ) I found beef mr. noodle on sale.  It was $1.99 for a box of 12 packages.  Now I would’ve preferred another flavour, but I don’t really use the spice packages anyway, they’re too salty.  They’re mostly for Adrian when he comes out in March-ish so that he has something to eat while I’m at work.  Well…I got home last night and was feeling very lazy so I threw together a package of ramen noodles, a can of chili-style beans, and some cheddar cheese melted on top.  It was fairly tasty, but I didn’t finish all of it.

I didn’t make my steel cut oats this week sunday because I still had some left from last week that I finished tuesday morning.  This has left me with a breakfast shortage so I’ve been bringing rye bread to work and today decided to have it with all natural, organic almond butter and organic honey.  I don’t know if I’ll do it again, but it was good for today.  Next up for snacks is a variety of fruit, mango, kiwi, pineapple and orange slices.  Yum!

Birthday’s and “oh so yummy but oh so bad for you” food.

It was my birthday on Sunday, which was rather exciting.  My parents were planning on coming over and bringing supper with them instead of us going out like normal.  Things went down a more fun road when it ended up storming all weekend and Mom didn’t have time to make anything.  If they had given me warning the night before I would’ve been able to make something but I didn’t find out till Sunday morning and anything I would’ve made was frozen solid.  We ended up ordering chinese food from the restaurant down the street.  It’s literally a 3 minute walk and is the best chinese food in Winnipeg.  For dessert they bought a Dairy Queen Ice Cream Cake, which I’ve been wanting for MONTHS but could never justify the cost.  I’ve still got 3 pieces of cake in the freezer and leftover chinese food in the fridge, including white rice which I’m going to use to make homemade mushroom fried rice tonight for supper.

As far as presents go, I got what I wanted…a really nice Black and Decker food processor with a 10 cup and 3 cup mixing bowls and a blender attachment.  I also got a hand mixer, a stainless steel caddy thingy for the shower, and a $30 gift certificate for amazon.com.  I do already own a blender, but I have limited counter space so it’s going in storage right now and I’ll probably end up selling it on kijiji or at my parents garage sale this summer.  Overall it was a pretty great birthday, I’m content with it.

Inspiration-less

This week has been a pretty un-inspiring week for food.  I’ve been taking wraps for lunch, eating steel-cut oatmeal for breakfast (which really gets my metabolism going apparently), and something really easy for supper.  Monday was a chicken and mushroom sautee with pasta and tuesday was a frozen pizza with leftover pizza last night.  The oatmeal in the morning has been driving me crazy tho.  I finish my bowl of steelcut oats with dried fruit, honey and soymilk around 7am.  By the time 8 or 8:30 rolls around I’m starving again and I tend to remain hungry till after lunch even tho I will eat during my first 15 minute break.  I’m also taking suppliments in the morning, including Chromium which has been shown to help insulin work more efficiently, but I still don’t think I should be so terribly hungry right away.  I’m going to keep it up for awhile longer…we’ll see how it goes.

Indian food…yum

I was invited out for supper on Saturday and we ended up going to this East Indian restaurant on Pembina.  It’s called “City Heart: East Indian Cuisine” and it’s a really good buffet.  I hadn’t had Indian food since I was in the UK in 2003 and while the entire restaurant smelled like my apartment 3 days after my roommate finishes cooking, it was very tasty.  I have no idea what any of it was called, but they had a goat dish, lentils, spinach, fresh naan, pickled veggies, curried potatoes, and rice to name a few.  Everything was nice and spicy, and one of the biggest disappointments was that they were out of some stuff (like samosas) and didn’t refill it till we were just about to leave.  We found out later that they had been catering a party for 300 people that evening so the missing dishes were understandable.  One other issue was that their dining room is terribly small and very drafty.  Overall I’d be interested in going again, but might just do take-out next time.

Black Bean and Rice Wraps

For the last week I’ve been trying to find a black bean and rice recipe that I can use as a wrap filling for lunches.  The biggest problem I had was that I didn’t want to rely on store bought salsa for flavour and heat but didn’t necessarily feel confident enough in my tex-mex cooking to do it myself.  After finding some things and being completely uninspired by them, I decided to wing it last night and make my own.

Black Bean and Rice Wraps

 

1 cup uncooked Brown Rice

2 1/2 cups water

1 (14oz) can Black Beans

1 medium Onion, diced

1 tsp olive oil

4 cloves garlic, diced

1-2 jalapenos, diced (with or without seeds)

1 medium Green Pepper, diced

4-5 Tomatoes, diced

1 cup frozen corn

1/2 tsp cumin, chili powder, salt, red pepper flakes

1tsp black pepper

1. Put rice and water into a medium saucepan, bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat, and simmer untill rice is done and water is absorbed.

2. Heat oil in a large saucepan or wok, add onions and garlic; sautee till soft and onions are translucent.  Add green pepper, jalapeno, and spices, sautee for about 5 minutes.  Mix in tomato, cook untill tomato is soft and mostly broken down.

3. Drain and rinse black beans.  Stir in black beans and frozen corn, heat through.  Add rice once it’s done, mix well.  Use in wraps with lettuce, sour cream, cheese, and avacado. 

Out of this recipe I got 2 wraps last night, 2 wraps for lunch today plus 5 1-cup portions in baggies which I froze for later.  I used jalapenos I had bought, diced and frozen when they were on sale this summer.  It wasn’t spicy enough for me, next time I’ll use fresh jalapenos and leave some seeds in.  I’ll probably up the spices used next time too, except for the salt and pepper.  You could probably use quinoa or some other grain instead of the rice and could use a mix of beans as well.

Fig and Cranberry Slowcooker Oatmeal

At about 10pm last night, when I was supposed to be crawling into bed, I decided to throw some of my new steel cut oatmeal into the slow cooker to see how it was going to work out.  The recipe inspiration came from this cookbook.

Fig and Cranberry Slowcooker Oatmeal

1 cup steel cut oats

2/3 cup sweetened dried cranberries

2/3 cup chopped dried figs

4 1/2 cups water

1/2 cup soymilk

1. Put everything into a 2 quart slow cooker.  Cook on low for 8-9 hours.  Serve with brown sugar and soymilk.

It was alright, I definitly prefer the taste and texture of steel cut oats to rolled oats in oatmeal, but it wasn’t as sweet as I thought it would be as I find dried figs rather sweet.  The figs weren’t as…figgy…tasting and I couldn’t really taste the cranberries.  I added about 1 tbsp of brown sugar and a drizzle of soymilk after the initial taste and it was much better afterwards.  It filled my 2 quart slowcooker and I put the rest in the fridge for tomorrow and the weekend.  One of the best things about doing this was that it took me literally 5 minutes to throw everything together and turn it on.  It would also be really easy to add different types of dried fruit.  (dates, cherries, raisins, and apples come to mind)  Adding some chopped walnuts or pecans before serving would also be tasty.