Page 305. Summer is a busy time of year for me in Toronto. There are a lot of people to see and many social engagements to attend. Last week was the Inside Out LGBT Film Festival, and I saw one film, G.B.F., and two documentaries, The Continental and I am Divine.
On top of that I caught up with old friends, Raquel, Christine, Alex and Alisha. In addition I attended the Rob Ford protest and the Veggie Pride Parade.
Sufficed to say I’m tired. Today is my first day of a month-long coffee detox, and I’m cutting alcohol out for two full weeks to let my internal organs heal!
But that doesn’t mean I’m slowing down. I’m still baking, and of course, I have plenty of recipes still to make from Martha Stewart’s vegetarian cookbook, meatless.
I’ve wanted to make the meal depicted on the book cover since I purchased it, but I admit that I had to trade the kale for spinach because that’s all I had in my fridge. Evidently I did have golden cherry tomatoes, ricotta cheese and plenty of garlic.
To add a little flavour I included some vegan butter to the recipe. It turned out pretty good if you ask me. The subtle flavours left a pleasant aftertaste on my palate.
Oh and welcome home Matt and Lisa! I hope Amsterdam and Paris were a dream.
Page 366. Polenta is an Italian dish made from ground cornmeal. It’s similar to grits, the popular cornmeal dish popular in the southern United States. Variations exists in North and South America. Polenta can be served as a cheese or herb-flavoured alternative to mashed potatoes.
For dinner tonight I wanted something simple, so I flipped to the back of the cookbook meatless and found an easy to make polenta recipe. Within 30 minutes I had a gluten-free and completely vegan meal, that I ruined by grating parmigiano-reggiano cheese all over it. I forgot! Whoops. It was too late to fix the mistake but it’s still vegetarian, so there!
Don’t hate me.
Page 107 and 155. I was hesitant to make lasagna because I had eaten store bought this weekend. Well, this recipe was simple to make so I figured I’d give it a go. The zucchini strips replace the pasta noodles, which makes the dish gluten-free. Which is probably why I feel so heavy at the moment. The crumpled tofu adds the protein to the rich tomato sauce. I added a lot of ricotta, because I was afraid that it would taste plastic-y but, the recipe called for it! In the end, it was satisfying.
I’m not always in love with all the meals in this cookbook, but I also figure that in the future I can tweak the recipes a little to suit my needs, and personal tastes.
The best part about today’s selection was the garlic soup pureed with potatoes. Garlic is well-known in its ability to boost immunity and help stave off colds. I didn’t serve it with bread like the book suggests, because I don’t want to gain a ton of weight.
One gripe I have is that the cheese these dishes recommend are expensive, like $50 for one brick. I don’t eat a lot of cheese, but now I’m going to have to, which means I’m also going to have to get a probiotic to deal with the bloating that comes with it. I’ll try to substitute with vegan cheese. We’ll see how that goes.
Life is hard!
Before the oven
Well I outdid myself. I truly made this recipe work and it left me more satisfied than sex. Well, let’s not go crazy. Actually I kind of screwed up. This cinnamon rolls recipe is supposed to be made with raisins. But I forgot to include them in the 11th hour. Well, it didn’t really matter because I sprinkled them on top, but not before I drizzled the glaze all over these babies. That kind of sounds dirty. Get your minds out of the gutter people!
The best part about this breakfast favourite is that no animals were harmed in making it.
Recipe courtesy of Whipped Baking.
The final product!
Page 73. Breakfast is definitely the most important meal of the day. It’s what kick starts our metabolism and helps regulate our weight. But even more important, breakfast provides us with the energy to get through the day.
Torontonians are busy people, and many of us leave little time in the morning to eat. We usually grab something at Starbucks or the nearest Tim Horton’s, but it’s often unhealthy and high in calories. Just one muffin has over 500 calories if you can believe it. And don’t get me started on donuts. Of course these things don’t hurt if consumed in moderation, but if you’re eating them everyday, well, that’s another story.
Even if you’re too busy in the morning to prepare something big it isn’t hard to eat a bowl of cereal (I prefer Cheerios these days), or some yogurt with blueberries.
The weekend is probably the best time to prepare a more hearty breakfast. This recipe from meatless is an excellent meal to make on a Saturday morning. Or Sunday! I’m not picky.
It takes about 30 to 45 minutes to assemble and cook all the ingredients, but the end result is worth it. I decided to poach the egg, and to include a side of asparagus roasted in a tablespoon of olive oil, but butter would probably be more tasty. Depends on what you prefer, but either way the asparagus is a delicious addition, just note that olive oil is a lot healthier than butter. Sprinkle with some sea salt and fresh ground pepper.
You can find the recipe here. I substituted the russet potatoes with fingerlings, because that’s what I had in my refrigerator. Use what you have, is my motto.
Side note, I’m going to create a separate page on my blog with all the recipes I’ve duplicated from Martha Stewart’s vegetarian cookbook meatless. You’ll be able to find it on the top navigation within a couple of days with links to the posts.
Also, most of these meals can be found on Martha Stewart’s comprehensive website. I’ll also be writing an upcoming post about why I think gay people admire Martha so much. I hope it’s interesting.
Those are bread crumbs, not cheese.
Page 168. Three hours to cook one meal is a sin. A SIN! That’s how long it took me to make this dish. I couldn’t find any seitan nearby my house in Toronto, so I used tofu instead. Seitan is a more hearty meat substitute while tofu is much softer, but it worked for me anyway. They’re both rich in protein and absorb flavours easily. It’ll do pig, it’ll do.
Another ingredient that took me a long time to find was nutritional yeast, but rest assured, you can find it at health-food stores and even some grocery chains carry it.
You can check out the recipe on Martha Stewart’s website here. Also buy the cook book meatless from the kitchens of Martha Stewart. There’s my plug!
It did take a long time to prepare though, keep that in mind and give yourself the time to make it, you’re going to need every second.
This meal is entirely vegan, and filling. Tastes amazing!
Those who read this blog will know that I consume a primarily plant-based diet. I love baking, but have moved to choosing vegan ingredients when I do. I never eat meat and haven’t digested an animal in over eight years. I’m leaning more to a vegan lifestyle, but I’m trying to inform myself as much about it as possible, before diving head first.
My friend Alex is probably the most knowledgeable person when it comes to food. Over the past couple of years she has developed a dairy allergy and is now completely dairy free. Just yesterday she came down with a nasty case of food poisoning after eating a piece of fish, and the experience is strongly influencing her to adopt a vegan diet full-time.
She recently emailed me about the documentary Forks Over Knives which I watched when living in Argentina last year. The film makes the bold claim that all of the degenerative diseases that afflict human beings across the world can be controlled, or even reversed, by rejecting animal-based and processed foods.
This is not a new claim, people like Kathy Freston have been talking about this kind of stuff for years, and scientific research has overwhelmingly shown that eating animals is not only bad for the environment, but is responsible for increases in cancer rates and other complex chronic diseases.
Anyway, I thought that I would share the trailer and put the film into your consciousness, as it makes a compelling case. Personally I can’t imagine living without fruits and vegetables, and not a day goes by that I don’t consume them with a vengeance. I could never eat meat, for a plethora of reasons, as many of you are aware. But it’s astonishing how the majority of people never think about how delicious plant food can be, and are grossed out by eating things like bananas!
Thanks for reading.
Page 315 and 324. I’ve been enjoying summer a little too much. Every night I’m nursing a glass of wine, or a pint of beer, or several of each at the same time. Summer in Toronto is a special time, there’s so much to do, and the city is tremendously walkable that I love getting up off my butt and taking long walks to High Park, or Riverdale Farm, or taking the ferry to the Toronto Islands.
The other great thing about summer in Toronto is that it’s patio season. There’s never an empty pub or restaurant and the patios are chalk full of people basking in the sun, relishing the chance to expose some skin and recovering from the harsh winter months.
Before you correct me, I’m well aware that it’s actually springtime, which is why I’ve been cooking a lot more lately. I also love to make food and share it with friends and family outdoors with the leaves gently bustling above us. It’s the only time when we can comfortable enjoy food, the environment and loved ones at the same time.
As part of my Martha Stewart project I made an Asparagus mimosa and I really enjoyed the vinegar, mustard and egg vinaigrette. To accompany the asparagus I also made a potato salad, but substituted the mint with spinach, and the red potatoes with white potatoes. So adventurous! Such a rebel.
You can find the recipe to these meals by clicking here and here. However, they can also be found in meatless, which offers over 200 vegetarian recipes from the kitchen of Martha Stewart.
This is what I made for dinner tonight. Page 294 from Martha Stewart’s vegetarian cookbook, meatless. You can also find the recipe here. This is part of my Martha project: I’m on a quest to cook all 200 recipes from meatless. Check back to see how I’m progressing.
1 pound red beets, trimmed, scrubbed
1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1/2 cup toasted walnuts
1 tablespoon chopped tomatoes
12 ounces farro spaghetti
1/2 cup fresh ricotta
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Drizzle beets with oil and season with salt. Wrap tightly in foil and roast until tender, one hour. Peel and chop once cool.
2. Pulse beets, walnuts, and tomatoes in a food processor. Season with salt and red-pepper flakes.
3. Cook pasta in salted water according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1 cup water, and return to pot.
4. Toss with beet mixture, adding pasta water until creamy. Serve with ricotta, a drizzle of oil, and red-pepper flakes.
Pages 191 and 363 from Martha Stewart’s vegetarian cookbook meatless.
During this project I’ve foolishly committed myself to, there have been a few times where I have thrown my hands up in the air and exclaimed rather loudly, “Come on Martha! I don’t know what the hell saffron even looks like!” But then I’m happy to expand a little more of my knowledge about food and how wonderful my meals can be without the need for meat.
For lunch today I made Portobello burgers accompanied by an arugula, potato, and green bean salad with walnut dressing. It was sublime. Divine, Superb. Delicious. Whatever complimentary adjective you can use to describe it, that’s what it was. I especially enjoyed the walnut dressing, with roasted walnuts and walnut oil.
I wish I could include the entire recipe here in this post, but I don’t want Martha to sue me, so the only thing you can do is pick up the book yourself, and go crazy preparing all 200 recipes.
I’m still determined to cook every dish in meatless, and I’m making progress, probably not as quickly as I had promised, but rest assured, I will complete my task.
Thanks for reading!