Sunday, May 1, 2011



Monday, April 25, 2011

Tofu & Veggie Coconut Tomato Curry

ooommmggg. I love tofu. I love veggies. I love curry.

So (not surprisingly), I was craving curry the other night. Mixed into that craving was a desire for tofu & brown rice...and damn there is always room for my veggie passion <3 Though I was feeling exhausted from my busy week, I somehow wanted to make my own food, rather than having anyone do it in a restaurant. (Though there are truthfully some fabulous Indian restaurants here in Nanaimo!)
It sounds like a lot of work, but it really wasn't and I ended up with a wok full of food.

*ahem* a wok full of delicious food! :) enjoy, foodies.

From my kitchen to yours <3

1-2 tbs coconut oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
1/2 large onion, diced
1 cup extra-firm tofu, cubed
2-3 tbs curry powder

1-2 tsp cumin
2-3 tbs tomato paste
1 can coconut mylk
1 roma tomato, diced
1/2 large head cauliflower, chopped
1 head broccoli, chopped
1 cup crimini mushrooms, chopped
sea salt & black pepper, to taste

1) In a large wok over medium heat, saute garlic, ginger, and onion in coconut oil for two minutes. Add tofu and sautee until golden.
2) Add curry powder and cumin, stirring to coat evenly. Slowly add in coconut mylk and tomato paste, stirring to mix evenly. Add roma tomato. Cover and let simmer for 5 mins.
3) Add cauliflower, broccoli, and crimini mushrooms. Cover and let simmer, stirring occasionally until veggies are tender.
4) Season to taste with S & P, and serve warm over brown rice.
5) Now chow. Wipe the curry off your face and watch out for broccoli teeth ;)

peace, love, food <3
Char, xo

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Tropicana Rolls, and a Collection of Favourites! :)

Banana & avocado?! Yeah, I never woulda thought so, either :D

I've been keeping kinda hush-hush about my new man, though we've been dating for just about two months now. But as scared as I am about having my heart-broken, I'm not willing to let that fear hold me back from being happy anymore <3
Though he says he doesn't play around much in the kitchen, he practiced for days to surprise me with these sushi rolls...which he's made for me three times now :) I'm definitely finding this pretty awesome, because I haven't even figured out how to make inside-out rolls yet. But to be fair, I've spoiled him with some favourites: 
Mexican Rice Paper Wraps;
Spinach, Mushroom & Tomato Mini Pizzas;
Creamy Vegan Baked Alfredo;
Raw Zucchini Pasta w/ Avocado Orange Dressing;
Green Mylk Smoothie;
Pancakes; get the idea :)

If you wanna make these rolls, use my recipe for sushi rice (though we discovered it doesn't work at all with brown sushi least not for us), and use equal parts banana & avocado for filling. When I figure out how to actually do the inside-out rolls myself, I will post the instructions ;) But if you really can't wait... YouTube has help for everything! :)

Sushi Rice

3 cups sushi rice
3 cups water
3 tbs rice vinegar
3 tbs agave syrup or sugar
3 tbs sea salt

1) Wash sushi rice, rinsing well.
2) Put rice & water into rice cooker & allow to cook.
3) Once cooked, gently add rice vinegar, agave syrup or sugar, & sea salt. Set aside & allow to cool before using.

peace, love, food <3
Char, xo

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Sushi Mash?

Remember when I made an avocado roll...without the roll? Weeeell, this one is even better! I was having a major sushi craving (they seem to come around every few days or so), and didn't have time to make a roll...because it was breakfast and I had to head to work :p Thankfully, I had some cooked basmati rice in the fridge and decided it would work for a sushi mash!! :D Probably the yummiest, most random breakfast I've had in a long time (not including my smoothies...because I freakin' luuurrrve my smoothies <3).

Do you take short-cuts with certain foods? Do they end up tasting just as delicious?

From my kitchen to yours <3

1/2 cup cooked rice
1 tbs rice vinegar
1 tbs mayo
1 tsp agave nectar
pinch sea salt
1/2 ripe avocado, mashed
1-2 tbs Bragg's soy seasoning
1 nori sheet, torn into pieces
1 tbs sesame seeds

1) Mash mash mash!! :D :D
2) Eat eat eat!! :D :D

peace, love, food <3
Char, xo

Monday, April 18, 2011

Thai Sweet Chili Baked Tofu

And the birthday celebrations continued!

I went to respite last week, where I truly feel like one of the family. They had made a whole pot of yellow curry sauce, as well as a little bit of red curry sauce. We chopped up a bunch of veggies (broccoli, potatoes, carrots, zucchini) for the yellow curry sauce, which we turned into a soup with chickpeas :) Added in some soy sauce, & it was freakin' delicious! With the red curry sauce, we stirfried some asparagus & yellow pepper, adding the sauce when the veggies were golden. Then I marinated some tofu in the sweet chili sauce & baked it! Awesome birthday dinner :)

...and they bought me a present?!?!

Look how pretty the wrapping is! The card was super cute, too :) I didn't expect that they would buy me a present!


They bought me a mortar & pestle!!! :D :D :D !!!

It's HUGE, and sooooo beautiful!! <3 And because it's so heavy, it doesn't move around at all while in use. I am SO SO SO EXCITED to use this!! :D :D
Among my other gifts? A new 6.5qt slow cooker from my Mommy! (to replace my last one that broke), and apparently there are more prezzies in the mail, coming from my Dad and my Auntie Lolo! :D super stoked.

...and someone special brought me yellow flowers (my favourite), and vegan chocolates from Bernard Callebaut...but I'll save that story for another post :) <3

With leftovers a couple days later, I added some spiralized zucchini to my soup, and baked some more of the tofu w/ steamed cauliflower. I also finished up the last of my amazing cake :) <3 This has truly been the best birthday ever! Happy day, foodies!

From my kitchen, to yours <3

Sweet Chili Baked Tofu:

1 pkg extra firm tofu, drained, pressed & cut into cubes
2 tbs sesame oil
3 tbs Bragg's
2 tbs Thai sweet chili sauce

1) Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Whisk together the sesame oil, Bragg's, & Thai sweet chili sauce. Toss the tofu cubes in the sauce and allow to marinate.
2) Bake tofu cubes for 20-25 mins, or until golden & slightly crispy. Turn pieces halfway through cooking to allow them to bake evenly.
3) Serve warm, with love :)

peace, love, food <3
Char, xo

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Capers & Salad!

So I finally tried capers for the first time..Are they ever yummy! :) Perfect for satisfying the salt craving.
What did I toss them with?

  • a head of chopped romaine
  • cucumber
  • sauerkraut
  • green pepper, sauteed in Bragg's
  • bean sprouts
  • flax oil
  • balsamic vinegar
This was a pretty simple, throw-together kinda meal, but I love those! Satisfied my veggie craving and got me trying something new. Now, after a suggestion on my Facebook page, I'm thinking of making a pasta dish with capers & Tofutti 'Better than Cream Cheese'....mmmmm ideas! hehe :D

What's a food that you're curious about, but have yet to taste?

P.S. I know posts were basically non-existent last week, but I promise I've made more time for them ;) and I've got LOTS of food to share with you!

peace, love, food <3

Char, xo

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Gina's Mexican Cafe!

Ohhh gosh, I love authentic Mexican food <3

For years I had listened to people rave about Gina's Mexican Cafe, about how fabulous the food is, the decor, the service...but it took awhile before I finally decided I needed to make dinner there happen.
My first visit was about two months ago, and I have been back twice since then. Unfortunately, this picture is the only one I've taken of my food there, but each dish has been freakin' tasty! <3 Last week, I celebrated my birthday dinner at Gina's, and chose to dig into their veggie burrito (pictured). Containing tofu, soy mozza cheese, spinach, and a variety of other veggies, it also came alongside corn, rice, and refried beans (which remind me so much of Cabo San Lucas). The guacomole? I ordered a side of it. Because you can't have Mexican food without guacamole! <3
Gina's salsa is made fresh in-house, and the first serving with tortilla chips is complimentary. I promise, you'll never eat better salsa than Gina's.
Among my other dinners? I have tasted the Veggie Variety combination plate, and another time requested that my enchiladas contain rice, beans, guacomole, salsa, and soy cheese... The staff happily obliged! So far, Gina's hasn't let me down...and I don't think they ever will ;)

peace, love, food <3
Char, xo

**this restaurant review is entirely the opinion of the author. No compensation was or will be recieved for this review.**