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Archive for April, 2009

Treading Water

This year, so far, has felt like I’m drowning. I keep getting pushed under and the water is rushing all around me and I can feel like I’m going to sink to the bottom soon and never get out and then for a blessed moment, I surface and I get a gulpful of air and then it starts all over again.

I’ve been really struggling financially, job-wise, and in my personal life. My Mom tells me that I should be patient, that this Year of the Ox means I’m going to just keep my head above water and not much else. She says I just have to keep treading water this year, not really going anywhere. I HATE that. The first few months of this year have been ass, for lack of a better term. I’ve done nothing but screw up my personal life, my “career” decisions have brought me nothing but debt and because of that, I’ve been very stressed and haven’t really slept well since January.

I’m bothered by all of this because last year was my year. I finally reached a breaking point at my going-nowhere job. I was working long hours, for little money, doing a really dull job, surrounded mostly by people I couldn’t stand the sight of. And then a friend came along and showed me how easy it is to just let go of the bullshit. She showed me how to manifest for positive things to happen and to have the balls to get out of a bad situation. And I quit! Just quit! I had never felt so great. A few days later, I found a new job and that was that. Everything seemed perfect. Unfortunately, that didn’t last long. I haven’t made a good decision since.

Husband and I made a ballsy move a couple weeks ago to help cut back our stress in the long-run. We up and gave notice at our apartment building. We have no idea where we’ll be June 1…none! At the same time, I surfaced and took a big gulpful of air when we handed in that notice to our building management. I guess my Mom was right. I have to try and keep my head above water and stay treading so I don’t drown. Wouldn’t it be nice to just float, though?! Or how ’bout get the hell out of the water entirely for awhile?! *sigh* Maybe next year…if I manifest hard enough.

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apple-pie-french-toastI adore breakfast. If I had to pick one meal to eat for the rest of my life, it would be breakfast. That’s probably due to my rather strong need for a combination of salty and sweet at every meal. I can make some salty tempeh bacon and serve it with pancakes, waffles, French toast, etc…

In this case, I was craving French toast and was out of maple syrup and Earth Balance to top the toast, so I came up with this idea to make an apple compote for the toast, reminiscent of apple pie. The basic French toast batter is a heavily altered version of several different recipes; so, I feel comfortable posting it here. I served it with some crispy tempeh bacon on the side…mmm….

For the French Toast:

-1 cup soymilk

-1/2 tsp. vanilla

-2 T. brown sugar

-1 tsp. cinnamon

-1 T. nutritional yeast

-2 T. chickpea flour

-8 slices sourdough bread

Combine all ingredients but the bread slices. While preheating a greased pan, start soaking the bread slices in the batter. (Continue to soak your next bread slices in batter while you cook your batches of French toast.) Fry the slices of bread over medium-low heat till golden brown, about 3-5 minutes. Flip over and fry till golden again. Remove from pan and keep in a 200 degree oven until serving time. Repeat with remaining bread slices. Meanwhile, prepare the apple compote:

-2 small peeled, chopped apples (I used Ida Reds)

-1/2 tsp. cinnamon

-pinch nutmeg

-3 T. sugar

-1 oz. vanilla liqueur

Stir together all ingredients in small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, stir again, cover and reduce heat. Let simmer until the apples are soft and the liquid thickens to a syrup. Spoon over the French toast slices and enjoy.

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Simplicity

tofu-and-saladThere is something to be said for simplicity. The above is my dinner far more often than I’d like to admit. If Husband or I is working an evening shift, we usually turn to basmati rice, Italian-marinated baked tofu (from the Veganomicon…if you don’t own that book, buy it! Buy it right now!) and either a steamed veggie or spring mix salad. It’s quick, healthy, super-easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. This salad is sprinkled with some chopped radishes and a really basic mustard-y dressing. I don’t ever measure when I make salad dressings; but, the ingredients are roughly as follows:

Mustard Vinaigrette:

-2.5 parts vegetable oil

-1 part red wine vinegar

-spoonful each agave nectar and grainy mustard

-a small clove of peeled, minced garlic

-salt and pepper to taste

I just put everything in a little jar and shake it up really well before drizzling it over the salad. I like my dressings more tangy and vinegar-y than oily; so, feel free to adjust the vinegar to oil ratio to suit your tastes.

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curried-broccoli-soupThe past few days in Toronto have been a little less than spring-like, with chilly winds and unseasonal low temperatures. I decided to show Mother Nature who’s boss with a really spring-like meal last night. I wanted something to erase the chill from the gloomy weather but invoke the airy lightness I so desperately needed. This soup was perfect: warm and comforting; but, also light and simple. I served it with some lemon-garlic rice and steamed green beans; but, I’m sure it would be just as good with some baked tofu or even naan.

Curried Broccoli Soup:

-1 small onion, chopped

-T. extra virgin olive oil

-2 stalks broccoli, chopped (I used what I had left-over after making a stir-fry with the florets earlier this week)

-2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped

-0.5 tsp. each dried basil and mint

-1.5 tsp. curry powder

-4 cups vegetable stock

-1 cup light coconut milk

-salt and pepper, to taste

Heat the oil in a medium-sized pot over medium heat. Stir in the onion and sauté for 2 minutes, or till clear. Add the broccoli and garlic. Sauté 5 more minutes to soften the veggies a little. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, stir, cover, reduce heat and simmer 25 minutes. Transfer in batches to a blender or food processor and blend till smooth. Serve.

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