I cook better than I write

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Vegan camping breakfast

So what do vegan campers eat? I don't know about all of them but here is a little overview of my favorite camping food.

In the city, a vegan breakfast is very hard to pull for me; I can't do just cereal with milk in the morning even with nuts and fresh fruits it makes me hungry the minute I finish the bowl. I am yet to bake some vegan breakfast muffins.... so my usual breakfast is a peanut-butter-jelly sandwich (something I've never had as a child and thus I am not completely sick of it), but on the weekend I cheat and enjoy an amandine (almond croissant). But hey, enough of city-breakfast, what I was trying to say is that in the city breakfast is either boring or non-vegan, but it all changes during camping - the options are endless:

Scrambled tofu - the tetra-pack Mori-nu tofu keeps for several days, and there are always some dehydrated or even fresh veggies to mix in.

Hash browns with vegan sausages and mushrooms - another filling breakfast choice. I usually bring 4-5 little red skin potatoes (they keep for a while). To save the cooking time, I cut them in 4 and parboil (while rehydrating my mushrooms). Then I fry some garlic/onion with mushrooms (you could add tomatoes or any other vegetables for that matter), add the potatoes, let them fry just a bit, and then add the sausages.

The good old porridge (oatmeal or cream of wheat) - let your imagination go wild. Add some nuts, dried fruits, chocolate chips, spices (cinnamon, nutmeg) ..... The individual packets available at most grocery stores come in different flavors so you can mix and match (we end up eating 2 packets each because one is way too small). I've also noticed an organic alternative (Nature's Path) to the Quaker that has some nice "grown up" flavors. Porridge is also good for those days when you have to wake up and go (no time to parboil potatoes or fry some veggies)
NOTE: Quaker now also has the organic oatmeal!!!
NOTE #2: Check the ingredients; the cream of wheat sometimes already has powdered milk, so it's not vegan!

Pancakes - I still have my non-vegan Aunt Jemima mix that I use but you can always make your own. Mix flour, brown sugar, egg replacer, and powdered soy milk. When you get to the camp ground, just add water and bake the wonderful vegan pancakes. You should try it at home first to make sure that the proportions are right. Don't forget to bring some syrup.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

More sporks

While answering the comment to the previous post I went on the "Light my fire" website and ..... oh, no, there are more pretty sporks there!!! The sporks hunt is not over, after all.

On the bright side, the kit of 4 is now available at the "Canadian Tire" - impressive!!!!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


The first place I visited in Redmond, WA was .......... those of you who said Microsoft can stop reading my blog and cross me out from your friends list (unless you are Jaihoon) ;)

no, the first place I visited was the REI store!!!! I saw it when we were driving home and I was ecstatic, yelling to Jaihoon: "oh, my G-d, you have REI store, oh my G-d!!!!" And so the next day, the very very patient Goli and me went to explore all the wonders of the place.

We spend about 2 hours inside, me blah-blahing about all the stuff they have, scaring the sale-person who assumed we would by "one of everything", trying stuff on, debating whether to by half-the-store and ask them to ship it to Montreal..... well, you got the picture, right? And for those of you who is still curious about what I ended up getting ..... drum roll.......

Here are finally, long-waited-for, wonderful, colorful, light, and magnificent
Light my fire sporks!!!!!!!!!

Aren't they pretty??? ;)

East and West approved stuffed Portobellos

Here is an easy recipe I came up with one day in Montreal. It was also great hit on the West coast when I cooked it for my non-vegan friends. I served these mushrooms with rice and simple green salad.

Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms.

4 Portobello mushrooms
2 Granny Smith apples
2 medium size carrots
1/2 block of firm tofu
~ 7 Cremini (or regular white button) mushrooms
~ 1 cup of blanched almonds (optional but helps to make the filling sticky. Try substituting with 1/2 of wheat germ and 1/2 nutritional yeast)
1 tbsp of finely minced fresh ginger
3-4 finely minced garlic cloves
2 zucchinis
1/2 cup of cauliflower florets (optional)
4 tbsp olive oil, divided
~ 3 tbsp of Tamari (or Soy) sauce
I used the Herbes de Provence mix first time, but when I was cooking it for my friends I experimented with the mix of oregano, basil, marjoram, parsley, and sage. It was very delicious as well

Preheat the oven to 400C
Grind the almonds in the blender/food processor to create fine mix.
Shred carrots, apples, and tofu in different bowls.
Quarter the Cremini mushrooms. If they are too big cut them in 8.
Cut zucchinis in half, and scrape out the pulp (use the spoon). Reserve the shells - you can stuff them and bake with the mushrooms.
If using cauliflower, cut the florets in small pieces.
Heat 3 tbsp of olive oil on the medium-high heat in a frying pan, add garlic, ginger, mushrooms and fry for 7-10 minutes, or until the mushrooms loose most of the liquid.
Lower the heat to medium and add carrots, apples, zucchinis, cauliflower, mix well and let fry for 5-7 minutes, or until all the vegetables are tender.
Add spices, tofu, and Tamari. Keep mixing until the tofu is thoroughly warm.
Taste and adjust for seasoning.
Add the almonds and stir the mixture. Now it should be easier to work with the filling.
Let the filling cool; meanwhile cut the stems of the Portobellos and scrape of the gills (spoon works the best for this).
Lightly oil the baking pan with the remaining olive oil
Stuff the Portobello cups and the zucchini shells with the stuffing, be generous :)
Put them on the baking sheet and start the timer.

The mushrooms come out best after 20-25 minutes of baking. Zucchinis would take as long as 40 minutes of baking.
You could add some shredded vegan cheddar on top during the last 5 minutes of baking.