Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy New Year!

Well, welcome to 2011! I have to say 2010 has not be the greatest of years. While I am not a believer in resolutions, I thought that this year I would start off with some goals.

When I graduated from college, I promised myself that by 2011 I would make some major changes in my life. Now that it's here, I need to really start making some changes for myself.

2011 Goals
  1. Move out of Edmonton - I am not really sure where I want to go, but I do know that I have been over living in Edmonton for a long time. I never intended on staying here and I think I have only because it was easy.
  2. Purge - Not in a diet way! I have a lot of trouble throwing things away. I have a storage closet full of useless things. I have boxes in my living room full of items for a garage sale that did not happen this summer. I think after a while, your things can really start to suffocate you. So with that in mind. I am going to try and purge things as much as possible.
  3. Get more active - Over Christmas I started going back to the gym. I am not a fan of gyms (I feel a bit like a hamster on a wheel), but since I also don't like the cold, a gym is all I got right now in Edmonton! I am going to start slow as I am incredibly out of shape and I think I will try some classes as well to help keep me motivated. Hopefully by summer, I will be in shape enough to use my bike as primary transportation.
  4. Eat more veggies - Even as a vegan, I can forget about eating my veggies! I noticed that so many things that I make are treats and rarely have a side of veggies with it. I find all sorts of reasons, but in the end eating more veggies will make me healthier, cut back on calories, and overall give me more balance.
  5. Write my blog weekly - I thought that blogging would be pretty easy and I would be able to post at least once a week. This has proved to be a huge challenge. I have a back log of recipes I want to post and it becomes overwhelming. I have a problem with procrastination and I think that keeping on top of the blog will hopefully help with this.
OK, so there are five goals. They are big ones, so we will see how I do. Now, how about a recipe? I was having a lazy day today and abandoned a few. I did manage to make an amazing stir fry from my vegan bible, Veganomicon:

Quinoa Pineapple Stir Fry
  • 1 cup Quinoa
  • 1 cup pineapple juice (I used a bit less, the juice from a can of pineapples)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 tsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 cashews
  • 3 tbsp peanut oil (I used sesame)
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red hot chili, thinly sliced
  • 1/2" ginger, mined
  • 1 pepper, diced (I used red and green)
  • 1 cup frozen green peas
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped mint
  • 2 cups of fresh pineapple, chopped (I used canned)
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp mirin
  • lime wedges for garnish
Since the book calls for cold Quinoa, I made it the night before:

Combine the Quinoa, Pineapple Juice, water, and 1/4 tsp of soy sauce in a pot and bring to a boil. One boiling, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for about 15 minutes. When it is cooked, cool it in the fridge until cold.

The stir fry:

Prep all the ingredients

Now heat a large wok or frying pan to low heat and dry toast the cashews

Once the cashews are toasted, remove them from the pan and set aside. add the oil and heat the pan to medium heat. Add the green onions and garlic and cook for a couple minutes until it's sizzling.

Next, add the red hot Chile and the ginger. Cook for 2 more minutes. Next add in the peppers and the peas and cook for 5 minutes or until the peppers are soft.

Now add in the mint and the basil and cook for another minute. Add in the quinoa, toasted cashews and the pineapple and toss to combine. Now take the soy sauce, stock and mirin and combine together and pour over the mixture. Stir well so it is all combined and cook for 15 minutes. Stir it every once in a while to make sure that the bottom doesn't burn.

And that's it! Serve with lime wedges for garnish. Recipe makes four large servings.. I ate two because it was that good! Perfect way to start the year!

This recipe comes from Veganomicon, which is now one of my favourite cookbooks. It is a vegan book, but I think vegan or not, this book is great for anyone looking for unique recipes or wanting to dive into the world of vegan cooking. The authors really know what they are doing and are masters at veganizing common dishes and jazzing up tired recipes.

Now, I know I promised to post Christmas, but I promised my sister I would get this recipe up right away. She has just recently discovered the goodness that is Quinoa. If you have not tried it yet, please do. It is a bit pricey in the grocery store, but I found that Cost-co has big bags that are a steal of a deal!

Christmas posts will be coming next, I promise!!


  1. Great Stirfry! Tasted even better leftover the second day.

    Definitely add more cashews :)

  2. Agreed, I think the best part of this stir fry is that it doesn't taste like a normal stirfry. It is kind of tropical...