Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Winter Blues - Salty Snacks to the Rescue!

Well is has certainly been a busy past few weeks. Christmas is sneaking up on us all again; I can't believe there is less than two weeks to go! This year, I decided to do as much as my shopping as possible online. Maybe I was taking the lazy way out this time, but I saw it more as efficient shopping with a glass of wine in hand. Can't get much better than that!

My sister now knows about my blog so I can't divulge any secrets just yet. I have to say though, I think she had the better idea of shopping local. I am guessing she found much funkier gifts. Ah well, on the right side, I will be the recipient of one of them! Woo hoo!

So this year is the first time doing the holidays while eating a vegan diet. I made it through BBQ season and have just one Christmas party to attend. Man, what am I going to do! I don't think the non-vegans of the world realize how much time you can spend trying to figure out how to get through holiday season with good food and without bothering anyone. It's madness! 

I think I will have a similar plan of attack as I did for BBQ season. Vegan emergency pack! Basically I pack a cooler (a small one, like the ones that can hold 12 beers). Inside the cooler I pack something sweet and something salty, vegan condiments etc etc. During BBQ season I packed it with home made black bean burgers, toppings, salad and.or vegan salad dressing, and ice cream.

Now for Christmas... I will have to think about this, but I am thinking I will need an appetizer, something to substitute the turkey, a dessert or at least coconut ice cream, and.. soy nog... Man do I have my work cut out for me!

I shall do my best to have a full reporting of the Christmas festivities including what the hell I am going to pack with me. To be continued!

Alright.. On to the good stuff.. lately I have had a major case of the winter blues. It's cold out and all I want to do is sit at home and eat junk. So rather going out and buying junk food, I did with what I had at home.. and it was a million times better than potato chips and candy!

Roasted Lotus Root, Leeks and Sweet Potato
  •  Lotus root, about 4" peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled (or not) and thinly sliced
  • 1 leek, thinly sliced (White part only)
  • 1-2 tbsp of olive oil
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1 tbsp of maple syrup

This recipe is adapted from Alicia Silverstone's cookbook, The Kind Diet a fabulous book with lots of tasty recipes.

I modified the recipe a bit as I did not have all the veggies listed in the books. I did, however, happen to have lotus root on hand from a shopping trip to T&T. Every time I go there, I wonder why I bother with shopping at Safeway. Everything is cheaper, fresh and they have lots of ingredients that aren't easily found in western grocery stores.

Now, back to the recipe.. Pre-heat the oven to 375 F and get a baking sheet out. I did not grease the sheet and things stuck a bit. Maybe use some cooking spray. Peel and slice all the veggies and put them in a bowl. pour the olive oil on top and mix it up with your hands so everything is covered. Sprinkle the salt and pop it in the oven for 12 - 15 minutes. Take them out and stir then drizzle the maple syrup over top and put them back in the oven for 10 minutes.

How easy is that! Salty, sweet and yummy. I served mine with some left over lentil loaf and sauteed spinach

Vegan Onion Rings
A couple days after this tasty treat, I was again feeling the craving for something salty. I had not been grocery shopping in some time, so my kitchen was not exactly well stocked. After some searching on the internet, I found a recipe for vegan onion rings!

I did not change much as this was a first time making something like this. I did change the seasonings and added some paprika and Chile powder. I have to say that this recipe is easy to do and pretty good. It was not as good as the deep fried version, but pretty close and probably a lot lower in fat, so I will definitely make these again before I go find the fast food alternative. Here are some snap shots of my attempt:

Found all the ingredients. I actually made half of the recipe on the PPK because I only had a little bread crumbs left.

After taking this pic, I realized that this was not the right order! Onion, wet, dry, pan! :)

 Ready for the oven... and now the final results!

trust me, make these! They are salty and sweet and fab!

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