Lady Who Lunches



In case you haven’t realized yet, I love food!  All my childhood memories are connected to food in some way.  I remember sneaking my aunt’s spaghetti and meatballs, cold from the fridge after my cousin and I had been out pubbing in the town of Sydney, Nova Scotia.  I recall the strawberry angel-food birthday cakes that my mom made for me (at my request) again and again.  The many breakfasts that my husband and I have shared in some hole-in-the-wall in Toronto during our early days of marriage—all come back to me at a moment’s notice, replete with their aromas, tastes and even the textures in my mouth.  Yes, I love my food!

Being vegan has in no way impinged on this great adoration.  In fact, it has only served to enhance my appreciation of everything that I put on our plates, or we select from a menu elsewhere.  I have a new respect for vegetables and fruits that I never had before.  I get palpably excited to discover new things in corners of health food stores.  Last weekend, I was over the moon to find an entire section in The Stone Store that had jar upon jar of organic herbs and spices.  I brought home a whole nutmeg to grind my own, and it gave me as much pleasure as it might to win a 100 bucks in a lottery.  I’m serious.

Lunch is something I now look forward to way more than I ever have.  I know that it will usually be based on three principles:

  • a bowl
  • a carbohydrate
  • as many veggies as I can manage to cram into the bowl

This is how I came to create this wonderful dish you see in the image above.  It started with some leftover whole wheat spaghetti, and went from there with the following organic ingredients:

kale and romaine, chopped

1 gala apple, chopped

about half a cup of a package of Tofurky Chorizo style ground ( I don’t like to use the word, “beef”)

1/2 cup frozen corn

1 Tbsp. nutritional yeast

2 spoonfuls of kim chi (optional) (because I am an admitted addict)


I heated the Chorizo stuff with a little E.V.O.O., added the kale/romaine to wilt a bit; tossed in the corn, dropped in the apple, stirred it all up.  I often break my pasta (don’t report me!) so my mother can manage to eat it easily, so I had short lengths to begin with, which I added to the mixture, stirred up to heat through; tossed in the nutritional yeast (just because) and then scraped it all into the bowl and plopped the kim chi on the side.

These Vegan Days are here to stay!

Coming up today, it’s leftover boiled, steamed potatoes with …???





Things Fall Apart, but that’s okay.



Yesterday, I was checking out my WP reader and I came across a very tasty-looking recipe for a “burger” at the Girl Eats Greens blog.  I was so tempted by it that I immediately printed it off, and since I knew that I had everything in to make it, I decided to do just that.

If you check the recipe at Jamie’s site, you can see what she used to make the burgers, but I will tell you that I don’t believe I have ever followed a recipe to the letter in my life, so no surprise, I didn’t with this one.

I cooked up a package of organic quinoa and set it aside.  I also sliced up some sweet potatoes (since the ones in her photo were calling my name), tossed them with a little olive oil, basil, black pepper and smoked paprika and put them in the fridge.

Then I set about to make the burgers.  My original intention was to make them small and put them in a wrap, but they seemed to be quite substantial what with the quinoa and black bean combo; I felt a bun or wrap might prove unnecessary.  Besides, I had leftover super-salad (kale, romaine, apple, carrot, beet, hemp hearts, walnuts with a tahini dressing)  in the fridge to have on the side as well.

I got out my big trusty stainless bowl and dumped in a can of black beans (rinsed and drained) which I mashed with a positively ancient metal potato-masher that has been in my family since the 1960s. (I’m usually very good at parting with things when they’ve done their time; not so, my mom).

Next, I added in some chopped scallions, a bunch of chopped cilantro. Jamie’s recipe called for 2 cups of spinach.  I didn’t have fresh on hand, but I had a zip-bag of spinach that I had frozen a while back, so I had taken it out to thaw and then pressed it between two paper towels to get most of the moisture out.  I also dropped in, 1 tsp. garlic (from a jar), 1 tsp. cumin, 1 Tbsp. lime juice, 1 loaded tsp. of sriracha and some freshly ground black pepper.  I kept on mashing it all together and then added the quinoa and stirred it well.

I had a notion to add some frozen organic corn kernels too, as I love corn – I can eat anyone under the table when there is fresh corn on the go.  I will hunt you down for your own cobs if they look unfinished to me. *kidding  No, I’m not, but don’t judge me.

So anyway, I mixed up the whole mess and tried to make patties with it, but it was just not holding together.  Granted, Jamie used a food processor which I don’t own, so maybe that’s what went wrong – there was just not enough liquid squeezed out of the beans to bind it together. Also, I may have got a little over-enthusiastic with the quinoa.

In an effort to remedy this, I threw in a huge Tablespoon of tahini and it worked!

I formed the patties, lay them out a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (God’s gift to cooks and bakers, imho), covered them with foil and put them in the fridge until I was ready to bake them.

As per Jamie’s instructions, I did up my sweet-tater fries in a 425 degree oven and then left them on the stove in an old baking pan on low, to stay warm.

I baked the patties on one side for 10 minutes, but when I tried to flip them—disaster! They started to crumble and there was no piecing them back together.  Thankfully, I had only made the attempt on two burgers and the rest were intact.  I put them back in the oven and baked for another 10 minutes.

Apart from a little bit of crumbling from pan to plate, they stayed together.  I drizzled some of my tahini dressing left over from the lunchtime salad, put some fries on the plate and salad on the side.

Things fall apart sometimes, but honestly, I don’t care if it’s not magazine-cover material as long as it tastes good on my tongue and nourishes my belly and no animals were harmed to put it on my plate.

Have a look at these babies!