Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Chickpea Salad Sandwich

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What do people eat for lunch? I feel like now that I'm back in the daily grind I just don't know what to eat for my mid day meal. I prefer to pack my own for several reasons, the main two being cost and health, but unless I've got a good amount of leftovers from the previous night's dinner, I just don't know what to do. Sandwiches are an easy option but when you don't eat meat, cheese and veg can get a bit boring. It's time like this that make me miss certain foods now that I've cut land animals from my diet. Chicken salad sandwiches are just one of those things.

While skimming through the delightful and infamous Angela of Oh She Glows' cookbook I found a chickpea salad sandwich that took me back in time like no other. In reality, the base of this recipe is just your favourite chicken salad with chickpeas in place of the chicken, which is genius in it's simplicity. This is the kind of lunch I can get into. I used celery, bell pepper, pickle, and shallot to pad this out, but next time I think I'm also going to add shredded carrot, because why not?

To make this vegan, use veganaise in place of regular mayo and away you go.

Keep reading for the recipe!

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Vegan African Peanut Stew

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Breaking news internet world: Target is withdrawing from Canada. Here are 3 reasons why this is good, 3 reasons why this is bad, and 1 reason why I'm even mentioning it.

The good:

  • Support local businesses! Shopping local diversifies our products (so we don't all have the same everything like those creepy GAP commercials from the '90s) and helps humans support themselves who actually live in our communities.
  • Serves 'em right! 133 new stores in less than 18 months. Are you cah-razy!?!? No one should expand into a new market that quickly. It was cocky and now you've lost a billion dollars. 
  • I'm just not a fan of the big box world. So there.
The bad:
  • Where the crap am I going to get a half decent sports bra and a cute bathing suit for less than $20!?
  • This whole debacle just made me mention my bra... I'm sorry. It was probably weird.
  • So long cheap peanut butter
  • *note there are also approximately 17,000 jobs disappearing, this also bad. Right up there with the sports bra and peanut butter.
Why I'm even mentioning it:
  • The peanut butter. It gets consumed quickly in this household, and is a key ingredient in my new favourite meal - African Peanut Stew. And now I have to buy it at a regular priced store!?

I have been wanting to make this recipe for years. About 5 years, in fact. It was first and only other time I've eaten it, a friend shared some she had made and I thought it was the most delicious stew I'd ever tasted. Mostly because it doesn't really taste like stew. I don't have anything against stew, but it doesn't feature sweet potatoes and collard greens and peanut butter like this one does, so it obviously wins hands down.

I always had the notion that it would be difficult to make with lots of ingredients that I probably didn't have in my already fairly well stocked pantry. So every few months I would see some peanuts and think, hmmm I should make that stew. And then I wouldn't because I'd be concerned about the effort and the ingredients.

I'm laughing at my old self now because oh-boy-oh-boy is this a snap! It uses totally normal ingredients and it's really simple. It is also hearty and fresh and a touch sweet and savoury and just so, soooooo good.

Go stock up on peanut butter before all the Targets close and then make this!

Keep reading for the recipe!

Monday, 5 January 2015

Another Year Gone By

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Happiest of New Years to you all!

So I didn't quite get to posting in between my two trips like I had hoped, but that's only because I was too busy rolling around in holiday spirit and enjoying time with loved ones, just as it should be.

As it's time for another (another!?) new year, I can't help but think about the amazing one that just passed. 2014 was a big year. I got married (woop!), watched friends get married, moved back to Canada, travelled to Burma, Nepal, around China, Chicago, France, Bahrain and Cuba, had an existential crisis when I thought I'd never find work, found work, made friends, and learned to make my own lip gloss. It was big guys. And almost all of it was amazing. I'm a very lucky human.

There have been times in my life where I have managed to recognize the feeling of pure and simple happiness. Times when I think "this is it". I often race through experiences without taking the time to pay attention to how I feel and just assume that if I don't feel bad/sad/mad, I must feel good or happy. And I probably am most of the time. I'm a very optimistic person. However sometimes, I know that "this" is happiness, and I love those times because they make me smile without realizing and they often sneak up when you're not even paying attention.

In the past year I have felt that feeling:
  • On my wedding day - this is a time when I was paying attention. This may seem like an obvious one, but I was very conscious of the time speeding by and so I tried as hard as possible to reflect on the feeling as it was happening
  • Sitting on a catamaran in the sun in Cuba - the whole trip was a blast, but right then it was simple and awesome
  • Sitting on a noisy, dusty, bumpy, sweaty, colourful, and crowded bus in Nepal listening to my students totally let go and belt out every imaginable, safe-for-work, top 40 song in existence. 
  • Waking up to find my cat curled up on my belly snoring away
  • Drinking mimosas with my family
  • Lounging in a friend's backyard after recently returning from China
Perhaps there were more, but these are the ones I can remember most from the last year, and I feel pretty darn lucky for it.

Over the last year you dear readers have really been into this hiking trip to Hong Kong and this guide to packing light, this classic Mac & Cheese, two ginger drinks in the form of this Elderflower Lime Refresher and this Ginger Beer Cocktail, and these Pumpkin and Carrot Muffins.  I thank you for your interest in these things and I hope you continue to find items of interest on this space - my goal is to offer things of delight, but I'll settle for mild curiosity if I must. I'm hoping that over the next year, with the start of this new job and continued settling in to Toronto that things will only go up for this little blog, but who really knows. As long as I've got adventures, I'm good - and I hope you are too.

So until next time, have a happy new year!


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