Monday, April 30, 2012

Brand New Bag

2012, new year, a ring on the finger (the date is September 29th) and lots of new things - new commute (skytrain), new outlook, and a new challenge, as far as eating goes.

On May 1st (tomorrow), I am embarking on a 21 day vegan challenge with some co workers. We will be consuming no dairy, no eggs, no meat, and nothing derived from animals (this includes stock, sauces, and condiments!). The challenge with me will be the last one. I <3 Malaysian and Thai food which includes some form of belechan (shrimp paste) and / or fish sauce as an ingredient.

Why vegan? I work for a conscious, compassionate company, and I have been eating a "light meat" diet since before I began working here (as you may see in a lot of the last posts). I agree with a lot of the values of the company, and also strive to achieve the personal and professional goal of echoing these same values. After all, in promoting the lifestyle / values of the consumer you only go to promote the brand...

But! The main part is also that I am interested in lowering my carbon footprint. By having just one meat-free meal a week (meatless Mondays), is the same as taking 9 million cars off American roads! (Environmental Defense Fund)

 More on this new venture soon. Take care!


Friday, July 22, 2011

Rant: Vegetarian Pizza, and work.

Here is a rant.

I apologize for the drunkeness and any mishap that may occur, but here is a real treat: a veggie pizza made with sauteed mushrooms (oregano, basil, salt, fresh ground black pepper, a dash of seasoned salt and a dash of white wine - Cono sur from Chile).

Kids, here is a fantastic healthy pizza - meatless so you can save the planet and your waistline. Perfect pairing with a Cono sur Gew├╝rztraminer.

Prep your thin crust dough - stretch it thin and try to copy one of those youtube videos that teach you how to stretch and roll out your dough. Use your fists, twirl it around. End up with an almost see-through dough on parchment.

Smear on some prepared pesto. Slice some vine-ripened tomatoes and distribute them evenly onto the crust. Not too many - you don't want your dough to be soggy. Slice some olives. Grate some Greek cheese - the kind they use for sfinaki. A salty, ever-fresh (ours was, admittedly, a couple weeks / months old. ;p it was a Klefitaki [sp?] genre made from non-cow milk) Greek cheese. Chop some local kale and hot house peppers. Scatter all your toppings on your crust. Dot some goat cheese on top. Scatter your cooled prepared mushrooms around a bit. Grind some black pepper on top. Bake at 475F for 10 minutes, then turn it up to 500F. Glug some white wine and return to a delectable pizza with excellently salty toppings and crispy kale.

This is GOOD. Drink some wine, munch on some pizza, return again. Even the carnivore bf enjoyed it. (He had some scotch and shared some wine.)

Enjoy boys and girls. And to a certain co worker, if you are reading this (even though I promised bf that I would not drunk text or drunk email, I am very sorry that you had to endure what you did today. You should not have to be submitted to what was dealt to you today. It was offensive and I should have spoken up. I am sorry I did not.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Produce Drawer Spaghetti!

Folks, the last year has been a journey.

I get "Photo Capsule" emails of my Flickr photostream via Photojojo. In the last email there were photos from an event at Regional Tasting Lounge that I went to with M last year. In an instant, our visit to last year seems like a long time ago, and at the same time it seems like it was only days / weeks ago. And a lot has changed.

Two weddings ago (Rs, and the Ms). One engagement ago (my cousins). A 10-10-10-10-10 baby (born at 10:10pm, on October 10th, 2010) ago. Three funerals ago. A job ago...

A mixture of emotions (good, bad, and ugly) have come and gone; a couple seasons have past...I've made a lot of new friends and there have been a hobby or two that I've picked up along the way. :)

I'm going to try to ease into this blogging thing again - tonight, it was produce drawer spaghetti. I believe that my new career (as in, career, something that I love versus a job where I just show up to work...) has changed some of my eating habits. As you may have remembered, I embarked on a self-imposed meat ban late last spring . . . it seems that that simple fact transitioned me into the company where I am now.

I am not vegan, nor even vegetarian at this point - but I am definitely living a more conscious, awakened lifestyle (or so I like to believe). I have even gone jogging a couple times this month already. Lets see where this everchanging journey takes me.

Tonight, it was produce drawer spaghetti. This is not vegan - I used butter and topped it with finely grated piave mezzano, a cows milk cheese that is aged within a range of 60-180 days. The taste is slightly sweet, with slight bitter "barnyard" flavours that are associated with a baby parmiggiano, but without the same intensity.

There are no real rules to this "recipe". Slice up some onion. Melt some butter over medium heat with a couple swigs of olive oil. Saute. Add sliced veggies (I used mushrooms, green beans, and leftover cauliflower - yes, I still love my cauliflower). Sprinkle with some salt, chili flakes, oregano, and fresh ground black pepper. Add some more oil or butter if you have to. Splash with something alcoholic (sake used here). Splash with leftover stock or leftover tomato puree from the fridge. Add cooked pasta, mix in sliced olives. Twirl around your tongs to transport to a shallow pasta dish; grate with piave and love yourself for going easy on a Monday evening.

<3 Jessica

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Natural (Anaheim, CA)

Just a quickie before I turn in for the night!

I had the most *wonderful* opportunity to visit Anaheim this past weekend for work and gratefully traded in my umbrella for flip flops and sunglasses.

 On the morning that we left for the airport to go home, I talked M into visiting Natural, a clean little "fruiteria"-like eatery less than 5 minutes from Disneyland / Anaheim Convention Center. While I must say that that most of the eats during the trip were far more healthy than what we usually eat during trips, we *did* have a couple of guilty indulgences as well.

In fact, the reason why we visited Natural was mostly because of a heavy meal the night before!

Natural is unlike anything we have at home, or on trips - it is fresh, fruity, and can be light. Can be? Well, aside from Mexican-style fruit cups and salads, there is a delicious looking shrimp cocktail, an interesting corn cup, and fresca con crema (strawberries with cream|) that intices other indulgences.

On this particular occasion, we ordered a bionicos, a mixture of watermelon, cantaloupe, succulent papaya, apple slices, banana chunks, sweet strawberries, coconut, and pineapple. The fruit salad was topped with honey-sweetened yogurt, raisins, and a sprinkle of granola. This totally hit the spot as we had a huge meal the night before (more on that later?) and were in a hurry to get to the airport.

As Natural offers fruit, salads, smoothies and other fresh dishes, the menu can be customized to become vegan friendly (minus any honey & dairy products), or be served vegetarian as is.

Since I've been told that this particular business trip would become an annual homage, I'm looking forward to visiting Natural again and trying their other offerings!

Natural on Urbanspoon

Friday, February 18, 2011

Happy Birthday to my Baby Sister.


I still want to blog!

I'd like to take this time to wish my baby sister a Happy Birthday.

Sarah its your birthday,
Happy Birthday Sarah...
Sarah its your birthday,
Happy Birthday Sarah...

Sarah its your birthday,
God bless you this day.
You gave me the gift of a little sister,
And I'm proud of you today.

Yes, I know I'm not original...but somethings have already been perfectly said. And you can find many a comfort in cartoon quotes. :)

More when I return for an official "I'm baaack" post. This post (and this day) is about my sister.
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