So I was under the impression, as a child, that summer was the time for relaxing. You have this massive surplus of free time to do things such as: lie around in a hammock, run through a sprinkler, sit in the grass and eat some popsicles, or read endless novels. That is really what I thought summer was, until this year. I have no idea why this didn’t happen last year, but this year I have finally realized summer is actually much worse for being insanely busy than the rest of the year tends to be. Then I had a really horrible thought – is this just the new normal? Is summer only the beginning, and fall will be so much worse? NO. Please, no it can’t be. I’m getting so desperate, I’m making to-do lists and budgets and everything else in Excel – I thought I hated Excel, why is it suddenly my saviour??
Anyway, the point of all that was to explain myself – I haven’t posted anything since the end of May when I ran the 10K at Ottawa Race Weekend. That was a really great time, just before that race. I had way more free time than now, I remember it well.
Somehow, I will have to make time because I have more recipes and info to post here and fall is coming up – my all time favourite season. It is a magical time that I adore and I don’t care if that makes me ‘basic’ (look it up, not a good thing). I loved fall LONG before it was cool to love fall, which yes, makes me a hipster. An autumnal hipster, which now seems like a great new name for my blog.I wrote a post detailing a few of the reasons fall is so amazing, but I’m waiting to post when it’s more relevant (i.e not in the middle of summer), and also I’ll add some yummy fall recipes.
Until then, here’s some recipes I tried out recently! Most are substitutes for common things you would be eating as a vegetarian or omnivore. When you’re transitioning (and even long after the transition), these are awesome recipes to help you stick to your new dietary choices even if some cravings creep up on you. When you just want some real comfort food, turn to one of these awesome recipes.
Easy Cheezy Broccoli Potatoes
First (and most drool-worthy in my opinion): “cheezy” broccoli potatoes. These actually taste so great! I was skeptical – cheeze sauce? Gross. But no, I was proven very wrong. The cheese sauce was awesome! Not on its own necessarily, but with the potatoes and broccoli it was heavenly. Vegan comfort food at it’s finest and overall a pretty easy recipe. For some reason, all I have is the actual recipe and I have no idea where I found it – when I find it, I’ll post the source.
- 2 cups broccoli, cut into bite-size pieces
- ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk
- 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- ½ tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
1. Steam broccoli: Place broccoli in a steamer over a pot of boiling water, and steam for 4 to 7 minutes or until desired tenderness is reached.
2. While broccoli is steaming, whisk all cheese sauce ingredients in mixing bowl. Remove broccoli from heat, drizzle with cheese sauce, and enjoy.
Ingredients for baked potato
- 1 medium Russet potato (350 to 380 grams)
- salt and pepper
1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Pierce potato with a fork.
2. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes. It is done when it is soft all the way through. Let cool, season with salt and pepper, and top with cheesy broccoli.
This does not taste exactly like scrambled eggs, but it’s a great substitute. Before going vegetarian, the very last meat item I gave up was breakfast sausages. I loved breakfast sausages which was really strange because other than that, I almost never ate red meat of any kind. It was chicken and turkey for me the majority of the time, plus eggs and fish. Breakfast sausages were really hard to give up, especially because the fake versions do not taste anything like the real thing – at all, not even close. Eggs were surprisingly not that hard for me to give up. It’s not my place to explain to anyone exactly why it wasn’t hard to give up eggs, but if you do care to stop eating eggs just go searching on YouTube or watch one of the many food documentaries on Netflix these days, they’re very interesting and informative.
Tofu scramble is a great alternative when you really want something like scrambled eggs for breakfast. The whole point is it’s a flavourful, warm mixture. Find this recipe right here, from the Happy Herbivore. I received her recipe book for my birthday and have slowly been trying the recipes. This one is a winner for sure.
Eggless Salad & Broccoli with Dijon Rice
After trying the Chickpea Salad from the Oh She Glows cookbook, I figured I was all set as far as sandwich spreads go. I was oh so wrong. That one is fantastic, I actually made it twice last week so try it out too. Again from the Happy Herbivore cookbook, I decided to try making the Eggless Salad aaaaand the Dijon Broccoli Rice. Both were amazing, and pretty great together as a lunch! Another favourite of mine before going vegan was egg salad, it was so easy to whip together and filling. This is really a perfect substitute, the flavour is amazing and it’s creamy and chunky just like real egg salad.
Eat Your Greens Detox Soup
Okay so not a substitute but kind of a comfort food I guess? This is the Eat Your Greens Detox Soup, from Oh She Glows. I couldn’t find it anywhere online, but it’s in her cookbook which I highly recommend, probably for the millionth time. Although there are also tons of amazing recipes on her blog. The only change I would make when making this soup next time, is less nori. I didn’t measure how much I put in, I just threw like 3 sheets in and that was wrong. It’s got a pretty strong flavour that kind of overwhelmed the soup. I took some out, and luckily after a night in the fridge, broccoli became the overwhelming flavour. I will make it again for sure but probably just fully omit the nori sheets because it’s just not my preference.
Asian Stars – Nepean
Yay I finally tried Asian Stars this summer! On the vegan Ottawa Facebook group, it is very rare for a week to go by without someone posting something about Asian Stars. That’s because they have an entirely separate vegan menu. I tried the pad Thai and a vermicelli bowl with “chicken” and tofu, both were so delicious. Since I was on this whole substitute comfort food theme, I figured this was yet another great example although obviously I did not make it myself. The substitutions don’t stop in your own kitchen, they’re everywhere now! It was amazing, I really wish they had a location downtown.
I Drink Green Tea Now 🙂
Best update to provide is that operation Green Tea/No Coffee has been extremely successful for the past couple weeks. It seems like every summer I go through this because towards the end of winter I get into coffee BIG time. It can last for months. Especially if I’m faced with any stress in my life. Maybe I just don’t sleep as well at the end of winter, it’s a tiring time so that would make a lot of sense. My BEST sleeps are soon to come – fall and early winter. Basically from September to January, I get the best sleeps of my life and then after that, it’s really not guaranteed. Going to try to really savour it this year, my good sleeping season and once again, try to stay on the tea for good.