Category Archives: Challenges

Vegan Waffles: Do Not Try This At Home

Le sigh.

To be honest, I wasn’t that nervous entering vegan week. I knew I had a bunch of delicious vegan recipes up my sleeve. There was no way I would go hungry.

But there was one nagging issue.

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I mean, I’m the self-proclaimed Waffle Queen. Waffles are what I do. I often make waffles without the use of cow’s milk. But I rarely make waffles without eggs.

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I searched the internets, finding picture upon picture of successful egg-free attempts.

Just leave out the eggs? Just like that? No chia egg or flax egg?

I started up the waffle maker. Mixed up my flour, vegan protein powder, baking powder, cinnamon, vanilla, coconut oil and almond milk.

I waited. Made coffee. Then it happened.

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The split.

The worst thing that could happen when making a waffle is for the thing to split down the middle, sticking to both sides of the press. I was screwed.

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Parts of the middle were still a little mushy, so I threw it into a frying pan and scrambled the vegan mess.

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In all fairness, the batter was downright delicious. Made only better by topping with toasted sliced almonds, coconut, blueberries and maple syrup. It was more than edible and filled my belly. Which in most cases would be a success.

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But this is my second waffle fail in a row. I would like to blame my waffle iron, but it still churns out waffled pieces of art for my roommie. I would like to blame the recipes, perhaps I should stop experimenting and stick to what I know. At this rate, I’m going to develop a waffle complex.

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At least I can still make a mean cup of coffee. Thank god coffee is vegan ;)

In other news, I am off to Ottawa tomorrow!

I’m taking the train for the first time ever.

To hang out with this girl…

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Sister Sara.

And this girl…

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Soeur Jane.

I hope to do something I’ve been dreaming of since I was a kid.

 
Skate on the canal in our country’s capital!

And hopefully eat more Elgin Street Diner poutine.

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Veganweekwhat?? :P

 

Question of the Day: What is one dish you feel intimidated to make? Right now croissants are at the top of my list. But I hope to tackle them soon!

Veganism: It’s Not All About The Food

I am loving the enthusiasm surrounding vegan week! Even if you love your animal protein (and believe me, I do too), an excuse to add more plants to our diets is never a bad thing.

But as a past (yet brief) vegan, I find myself noticing a huge part of veganism has thus far been neglected.

The point of veganism is to stay away from all animal products. But that doesn’t end with what we put in our bodies. It also includes what we put on our bodies.

I’m talking leather.

Suede.

Fur.

Down.

Wool.

Silk.

To me, veganism doesn’t end at the food. 99% of people make the choice to be vegan because they take issue with animals being hurt and used for our benefit.

I guess it’s all about finding where you want to draw that personal line. There are some vegans out there who believe wearing wool is cruel to the animal and won’t have anything to do with it. Then there are vegans who just don’t want to digest anything that came from an animal.

I don’t think there’s a right or wrong way to do it. It’s all about making choices that suit you. However, it is definitely food for thought. If I were to ever do veganism again, I would probably try to stay away from all animal-derived products because it’s what makes sense in my brain and in my gut. But I would never poo-poo on someone who thinks that’s silly.

For example, there is one vegan “rule” that I just can’t get down with.

Honey.

Bees run on instincts. They don’t have a central nervous system. I’m not sure what the environmental impact of farming them is. But in my own “Hypothetical Vegan Creed” honey is is a-okay.

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I grew up eating peanut butter and honey sandwiches every day that my dad packed us for lunch. Of all the things in the world to pair with peanut butter, honey is probably my favourite.

Why then, why, has it never occurred to me to put this dynamic duo on top of oats?

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I will take my honey-topped oats eaten in bed, whilst wearing my fake synthetic wool socks, thankyouverymuch ;)

 

Question of the Day: What are your thoughts on this? Is veganism just about what you eat, or about all products that you buy?

Vegan For a Week Challenge

No, I am not cracking down on my eats after a booze and donair filled weekend. I don’t roll like that. But I am kindasorta taking part in Morgan’s Vegan For a Week Challenge.

And by “kindasorta” I mean I’m going to Ottawa on Thursday and there is no way I’m going to have my favourite poutine there without cheese curds. At least they use mushroom gravy! ;)

Instead I’m making a concerted effort to choose foods this week that are animal free. Perhaps this seems like a huge departure for my burger-loving self. But I actually spent one month as a vegan six years ago. Otherwise known as “the dark period.”

It was during my 8-year stint as a lacto-ovo vegetarian. I found out my favourite beer was vegan and decided to give it a shot. I was ill prepared. My body wanted to know where the eggs went. I spent a lot of money on nutritional yeast and gomashio. There was a vegan mayonnaise disaster that leaves me gagging at the thought of apple cider vinegar or silken tofu to this day.

But I’m all about the second chances. I’ve now got an arsenal of amazing vegan bloggers and their recipes behind me.

To start, my fellow Torontonian and New Brunswickan – Angela. I’m determined to use up what’s in my cupboard for vegan eats this week and not spend any more money than usual. Thankfully I stumbled across a recipe of hers that allowed me to use up both bags of lentils and walnuts I had taking up space in my cupboard.

Lentil Walnut Burgers from Oh She Glows.

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I made a few changes based on what I had on hand:

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup 1 cup lentils, picked over and rinsed
  • 3/4 cup 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted
  • 1 piece bread, toasted OR 1/3 cup breadcrumbs 2 wasa crackers
  • 1 tsp 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 chia/flax egg (1 tbsp ground chia or flax + 1/4 cup water)

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I otherwise followed the directions, baking for just a smidge longer to ensure they hardened up. They turned out awesome. I ate some crumbled on top of a salad with a lemon/mustard dressing and loved it. A texture similar to falafels, with a sweet/spiciness thanks to the roasted walnuts and cumin.

I’m going to test out new vegan recipes this week (including for Waffle Wednesday!) but here are some of my favourites. They get my stamp of approval both as a former vegetarian and a current carnivore who loves bacon and cheese with just about everything.

Tofu Balls from the Post Punk Kitchen.

Actually pretty much everything from The PPK. That site is a goldmine of delicious vegan recipes.

Tofu Balls are meant to replace meatballs in pasta, but I liked them best cold and dipped in Averie’s peanut sauce.

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Traditional Scottish oatcake. Just replace the “bacon fat” with something a little nicer like coconut oil or margarine ;) I make these all the time with the addition of soy protein powder and peanut butter to make a filling breakfast out of it.

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Peanut ButterNut Squash Muffins.

My favourite muffin recipe of all time.

Simply Bars!

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Vegan and gluten-free. Cathy doesn’t pay me to say that, I just really love them.

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Mama Pea’s Pumpkin Spice Roasted Chickpeas.

The Fitnessista’s Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili.

Wonkynut Squash Soup (by me!).

Best Vegan Mac and Cheese in the entire world….seriously.

Yummy Vegan Maple Baked Beans.

Italian “Pizza Cheese” from Choosing Raw

Dreena Burton’s Super-Charge Me! Cookies.

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And if all else fails, there’s always Froot Loops.

Yup, completely vegan. Pair it with a splash of almond milk ;)

 

Question of the Day: How about you? Are you/have you ever been vegan? What’s your favourite vegan meal or snack?

 

You can follow the Vegan For a Week Challenge on Twitter under #7dayvegan and join the Facebook page!

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