Archive for ‘MEkitchen’

June 17, 2011

Commingled Quinoa Concoction

Splendid Superfood Soup

There is a 50/50 chance when I mention the superfood Quinoa that I get a kind of blank stare but this didn’t stop me from throwing together another MEkitchen favourite for Puree Fantasia. I call it the Commingled Quinoa Concoction, call is quinoa soup if you like! It’s yum, very filling, and very healthy. We’re talking over 13 grams of protein and 6 grams of fibre per serving. This is a great main dish soup, that should be served warm with a nice crusty roll or a piece of ancient whole grain bread. For Puree Fantasia, it was of course, pureed but it doesn’t have to be.  The 4th entry in the 5 part series is sure to delight.

 

If you want to print it off, click on the MEkitchen tab and bring up the printable format.

 

Peace

Leslie

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June 16, 2011

MEkitchen Molten Muschetta

You Say Bruschetta I Say…

Its day 3 of the MEkitchen Puree Fantasia series and today’s is a personal favourite,  Bruschetta Soup or as I like to call it MEkitchen Molten Muschetta. Another super simple recipe that is very versatile. It’s delicious as an appetizer or a main course, serves well cool or warm, and can be pureed or left as is.  A great make ahead and freeze item, but when something is so easy, there is really no need. Whip up a batch the day before your next dinner party or BBQ and your will have a winner with all.

As is the case with all MEfurbish recipes you can go over to the MEkitchen tab and find all recipes available in a printable format.

Peace,

Leslie

June 15, 2011

MEkitchen Green Salad Smash

Slurp Your Greens

Day 2 of the Puree Fantasia recipe series and today we will do our salad course. This recipe is amazing simple and surprisingly delicious. Its great for using up leftover greens, and a fun way to get more greens into your child’s diet as well. As is the case with most soups, it is tastier on the second day once the flavours have had a chance to mingle. Make it a day ahead and your laughing ! I like to garnish it with a drizzle of vegan sour cream, I have found none better than the one here.

So without further ado, here is the recipe for the MEkitchen Green Salad Smash.

For a printable format of this recipe, please check out the MEkitchen tab.

Peace,

Leslie

June 14, 2011

Belgian Flag Hummus

Hummus Triple Play

So as I shared in my Puree Fantasia post, I recently enjoyed an entire meal of pureed food with friends. Today, I will share with you the first recipe from that meal called Belgian Flag Hummus. The is a really simple recipe, actually three recipes, that present really well together. You will end up making three creamy MEkitchen versions of hummus, a black bean hummus, a roasted red pepper hummus, and an anything but standard chickpea hummus. They are all delicious in their own right, but amazing served together. For easily printable versions of these recipes please go to the MEkitchen tab or click on the recipe image. Lets get started with my friends personal favourite MEkitchen Roasted Red Pepper Hummus.




June 13, 2011

Puree Fantasia

Damn You Universe!

There’s a pretty good chance that you are reading this post solely because you saw the headline and want to know what the heck puree fantasia is. Just because I am a pain in the butt I am going to make you wait for a bit on that one and spend some time  on some of the details leading up to the main event.

A dear friend of mine was recently in a pretty serious bicycle accident and lost some of her teeth in the process. EEEEEK! I know, your nose just involuntarily scrunched up and you are a little queasy.  Imagine her! In a recent Facebook post I vented that I have a bone to pick with the universe. This is just the latest in a long line of BS that my friend and her husband have had to go through. It’s starting to piss me off! Let me take this opportunity to wish her a speedy recovery.

Here’s To Us

This past weekend we had planned to get together with another couple to enjoy a delicious vegan meal, have a few drinks and celebrate our friendship. The accident and her health brought into question whether or not we would be able to get together at all, with her own care being priority number one. If it was going to happen though we would need to think about what menu would work with her newly re-inserted teeth and doctor’s orders to stay away from solid foods.

The group of us all quickly bough-in to the idea that we would never sit around a table eating a meal that she could not partake in, so it would be puréed food for everyone! In a conversation with my friend I was letting her know that if she could make it, we still wanted to go ahead and celebrate and that the menu would be a “puree fantasia.” The word fantasia just popped into my head that moment so I said it, feeling silly, but the name stuck all weekend. I was pleased to see today when I looked up the definition that it actually rings true! According to dictionary.com fantasia is defined as the following:

fan·ta·sia [fan-tey-zhuh, -zhee-uh, fan-tuh-zee-uh]

noun

  1. music
    1. composition in fanciful or irregular form or style.
    2. potpourri of well-known airs arranged with interludes and florid embellishments.
  2. fantasy
  3. something considered to be unreal, weird, exotic, or grotesque.

Mushy Goodness

That actually works! The menu was a composition of fanciful and irregular form. It was a potpourri of well-known items with interludes and florid embellishments. It was most certainly weird, unreal and possibly grotesque should the wrong person stumble into the room.  In reality, there was no better description for the 5 course meal I planned out. In the end it was very well received and by all accounts quite tasty for all involved.  The evening’s menu was as follows:

  1. Belgian Flag Hummus
  2. Green Salad Smash
  3. MEkitchen Molten Muschetta
  4. Commingled Quinoa  Concoction
  5. Pulverized Pumpkin Pudding

Starting tomorrow, for the next five days I will share the recipes above prepared with love in the MEkitchen. Each of them is vegan but liked by all. Not in the mood for pureed food? No worries. All of these recipes can be made without the final step of blending, though I would not recommend it for the hummus or the pudding. Come back tomorrow for recipe number one, then prepare, share, enjoy and let me know what you think!

Peace,

Leslie

May 19, 2011

Enough Wise Ideas

The Execut(ion)er

I’m a great starter. It’s always been one of my strengths to come up with big ideas. I do great research, I plan well, I create custom forms of tracking and accountability and then I get at it. Occasionally this gets me into trouble.  After the high of all the strategy and planning wears off, I am left with delivery. Execution. Monotony.

It is clear to me today that this is a short sited view when I quickly forget why I had the big idea to begin with. There was something I wanted to manifest in my life, some goal I wanted to reach, or some problem I want to solve. Without the execution of the plan true MEfurbishment will never happen. This is the insight I had when I was meditation this morning.

Happy Life

I have had lots of ideas and lots of plans lately and I want to make sure I take stock of my progress but also remember where I am heading with all of this. I want to MEfurbish my life. My buckets are clear and my plans are made. That is not to say that this are rigid or unchangeable but rather that I must not allow myself to become distracted. I am aiming for good health, good relationships, and a happy life.

All this is to say that the tone of is moving out of an ideas phase and into an action phase and this is what I will continue to share with you in the weeks ahead. To that end I have added a new widget to my sidebar that shows my weight loss to since I started tracking my food and exercise on myfitnesspal.com

I have a lot to do to move the needle in this and my other buckets before I get back to ideas.

Wish me luck!

Peace,

Leslie

April 26, 2011

Right Back At It

Four Day Week!

It was a busy Easter weekend, and while it was great, and it was nice to spend some extra time with family and friends, I am glad that it’s over. In my journey of MEfurbishment, one of the most important things I have going for me are my routines. Much has been said and written about the routines of children over the years. I have come to believe that routines are equally important to adults too but certainly they are to me.

My level of awareness, regarding what contributes to stress and what alleviates it in me, has grown considerably over the past year. While I absolutely love holidays and special events, they also add more stress in my life because of their impact on my routines. Routine becomes a stress reducer in many ways because of its familiarity but also because it ensures that I am getting what I need to be happy and healthy. As long as my routine is set up with my MEbucket’s in mind, there is a dramatically positive impact on my happiness and well-being.

Our routines ensure that we have a balance of all of the buckets that we want to work on in our lives. Changes to these routines can sometimes swing a pendulum too far in the direction of one particular area. For example, I can very easily put all of my focus on family and friends and take time away from things like health, finances and creative endeavours. Coming out of a holiday weekend I can often feel like I have spent too much money and really need time to myself. In recent months I am also discovering that when I don’t prioritize my creative endeavours I really notice a difference in my energy and contentedness.

Going into this long weekend, I took a look at each of my buckets and decided how I would ensure I maintained the balance that I need in my life. Let’s have a look at how I did:

Health

Going into Easter weekend I wanted to focus on two major things to ensure that I was prioritizing my health bucket.  I wanted to make certain that I kept up my meditation practice during the weekend. This is something that I can easily let slip on a long weekend and I really notice the difference in my level of grounded-ness when I meditate. The other key ingredient was healthful food choices. I managed to make both of these happen despite a visit from the Easter Bunny.

Finances

My tendency is to spend too much money at holiday times and I wanted to make sure this was not the case this Easter. Perhaps surprisingly, it’s not the holiday event itself where I regret my spending but in the other things I write off in holiday weekend cash dumps. Going out for meals, additional un-needed shopping sprees, and a desire to fill up my long weekend with additional events like, movies, concerts, museums and the like are all things that have derailed me in the past. This Easter weekend I was able to keep my spending in check which is a great feeling coming into the start of the week.

Creativity

Normally the first thing to go during a busy holiday weekend, creativity was something that I was really focused on making sure it still had its place. A couple of things helped me out in that area. I wanted to make a new and exciting Vegan Easter feast, this being my first Vegan Easter. Cooking is always a creative experience for me because I rarely use a recipe as it is written. I will often use a recipe as a base and experiment with it until it is perfect for the MEkitchen.  I ended up with a delicious Carrot Coconut Bisque and a hearty Mushroom Quinoa Loaf. Next was time spent writing and taking pictures of my gastronomic fun to share on MEfurbish. The photography aspect of the recipe posts really got my creative juices flowing. I have missed photography and while I would not call the quick point and shoot stuff I did this weekend very creative, it really got me thinking about what I could do with recipes and photography in the future. I am really looking forward to working on this more in the months ahead.

Environment

There were a few ways that I made the environment a focus this weekend. With all its busyness it would have been easy to just pick up something like Tofurky instead of spending the time preparing my own meal, especially with the fact that I am the only vegan in my home. Taking the time to pick up bulk, and mostly local ingredients, saved on packaging and travel and making a large batch of food will save on energy costs in the upcoming few weeks as I enjoy leftovers. Another way in which I expanded on the environment bucket was to attend a local EcoExpo here in my home town of Ottawa. Any time I can educate myself and make new contacts I am making progress here.

Community

Community is something that was fostered by the EcoExpo I was at as well. The ‘Green”  community as well the Vegan community both had a presence at the Expo and networking with these individuals and gaining awareness about the industry as a whole is helpful.  I also made a decision to attend a function of another community organization I belong too instead of one of the family events that I have taken part in every year since my childhood. The event I let go of  does not feed me in the same way as the function I chose. It was a hard decision to make, but one that I am glad I made in the end for my own peace of mind.

Fun

This was an easy one for me to work on. Spending time with family and friends, buying treats and gifts for my daughter, cooking, listening to tons of music, and spending lots of time writing are all things that I find fun. I was able to easily work these and more into the four days of the weekend.

Relationships

Like fun, relationships are easy one for me to focus on within a holiday weekend. Spending time with family and friends works on these relationships by default. In looking for opportunities to take special action in working on key relationships I made a concerted effort to spend time with some of them that have taken a back seat lately. One area that may seem trivial but that was important to me was taking the time to send a few emails that I haven’t made the time to do recently. Out of all of the steps I took this weekend, this simple one, may have had the greatest impact on my mood, and serenity. Clearly, it was something that was taking up too much space in my head.

Even with all the work on keeping things balanced, things just seem to go smoother when the day to day routines kick back in. Spontaneity and routine used to seem like polar opposites to me, but what I have found is that my routines allow me to be spontaneous without feeling like I am taking away from something else. This is a big shift and an enjoyable one.

Peace,

Leslie

April 25, 2011

Mushroom Quinoa Loaf

Vegan Easter Main Course

The main course of this year’s Vegan Easter was a Mushroom Quinoa Loaf with gravy that turned out great.  As was the case with the Carrot and Coconut Bisque that I made for the appetizer, I had a couple of inspirations for this recipe. Last week a wonderful friend made a delicious Quinoa loaf with onion chutney and it was just absolutely delicious. I decided to do some exploring online and found that Joel at vegangoodeats.com had posted a recipe for another take on Quinoa loaf. I used this recipe as a base, my friend’s recipe as inspiration, and a little MEfurbish modification to make it my own. Please try this, it is very easy to prepare. There are some great tips for cooking quinoa on vegangoodeats.com as well if you are not familiar with this very versatile superfood.  I also made Joel’s mouth-watering super healthy Cashew Mushroom Gravy to serve with the loaf. Coupled with fresh veggies and roasted potatoes, this made a fantastic Vegan Easter meal. I will make it again, long before next Easter!

Have a look at some photos of the preparation in action!

Enjoy!

Leslie