27 September 2012

curried chana dal soup

alright mother nature, i fold - i'm finally ready to give in to autumn.  and not just because the equinox told me so, or because i've tucked away my sandals for another year, but because i'm ready to simmer soup.

i love one pot meals and this soup was the perfect lunch.  and then dinner.  and then next days lunch.

if i can help myself, next time i'll try to freeze a few portions as i begin to stock my freezer with quick post-babe meals.

curried chana dal soup inspired by this recipe from 101 cookbooks
2 cups yellow split peas {chana dal}
7 cups water
2 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 small cooking onion, diced
3 green onions, diced
1 1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp corriander
1/2 tsp amchur powder {optional}
3 tsp sea salt
1 large carrot, chopped
3 tbsp tomato paste
1 can coconut milk
2 cups kale, stems removed & thinly sliced

start by rinsing the split peas under cold water, then place them in a large pot along with 7 cups of fresh water and bring it to a boil.  add the ginger, cover, and reduce to simmer for 25-30 minutes.  in a small frying pan, saute the onion in the olive oil until starting to brown.  then add in the spices and stir to cook through.  scrape this into the pot along with the carrots, tomato paste and coconut milk and stir well.  allow the soup to return to a simmer for another 15-20 minutes, then fold in the kale and serve.

thin the soup with more water if you like, or keep the pot simmering to thicken it up more.  we ate up our first servings as is and then as it sat on the stove until dinner it thicken to a wicked stew-like curry which we enjoyed over some short grain brown rice.  so hearty and wholesome and warming.


on another note, i'm a little sad to say that i won't be participating in vegan mofo this year.  i loved it last year and had so much fun getting creative in my kitchen and also keeping up with everyone else's kitchen antics.  this year is proving to be a little bit busier for me and i don't think i've got it in me.  but i do hope to keep up with all of you who are going to mofo!

i'll be keepin' an eye out for one pot meals too...  

25 September 2012

winners all around

happy autumn everyone!  i hope you all enjoyed a beautiful weekend of seasonal transition whatever you did.  i was cooped up working all weekend and spent the better part of yesterday recouping from the craziness.  {more on that in another post though...} 

i did manage to get out to cinefest this year though, even if it was only for one screening - but since i took in the "shorts" i got to see at least a dozen films!  friends of mine had one of their incredible creations screening and it was amazing - i don't know how they managed to make such a moving piece that was all of 6 minutes but they succeeded.  and they took home the award for "best in shorts" too!  congrats anne & john, the runner is incredible.

oh, and did i mention i even made my big screen debut for a cameo?  that's me hiding out in the background of the poster! 

also it's time to announce the winner of the christy robinson designs necklace.  i have to tell you i SO enjoyed reading all of your comments - what thoughtful lovely people you all are!  i really wanted to respond to your comments too, but for the matter of making things easier of selecting a winner at random i had to abstain!  so, without further ado...

after counting {and double counting} the comments, the lucky winner is noelle!  congratulations noelle, i hope you wear it with love.  please email me with your contact information at cupcakesandkale@gmail.com and i'll get this pretty little number in the mail for you :)

enjoy a beautiful day everyone.  it's cool and damp up in these parts so i think i'm going to be making some soup... 8am isn't too early to start, is it?

19 September 2012

christy robinson designs - review & giveaway!

when the fine folks at vegan cuts got in touch with me and asked if i'd be interested in reviewing a product from their popular marketplace, i jumped at the chance before i even knew what they had in mind.  when i found out i'd be receiving something from christy robinson designs i was over the moon!  i mean, what girl doesn't like a little jewlery, but when we're talking ethically crafted works from a vegan artisan?  even better!

christy's fun, pro-animal jewellery is wonderfully unique and is made form sustainable materials - here's what the artist herself has to say about it:  "I strive to create hip, modern, affordable, jewelry that is Earth and Animal Friendly!  Most items are made to order and many can be customized to suit your needs, feel to send an email with your special request.   Most designs can now be made out of Recycled Sterling silver!"

with her pieces you can really wear your heart around your neck.  when my package arrived i was blown away to find not one - not even two - but three little boxes wrapped up for me to open!  my fingers found their way to the first bow and i unwrapped this beauty of a necklace.

i had actually found myself drooling over this exact piece from her newest collection while exploring her website.  the chevron necklace features a recycled aluminum "v" for vegan with small lapis & turquoise accent stones {the other stone is found at the closure} and a brass vegan tag.  i love it so much & have warn it every day since it's arrival!

her other designs are all equally amazing too.  it's no secret that i love kale, {heck i love it so much i had to weave it into the title of my blog!} but now people who don't even know me can know too.  look at this other beaut that i found in box number 2!

amazing right?

good things come in 3s, but at this point i knew i wanted to share the love!  after opening up these two gorgeous necklaces i decided that i wanted to share the contents of the third.  i even contemplated leaving the box unopened as a surprise to the future owner, but in the end my curiosity got the better of me....

inside the last box was the "not a nugget" chick necklace which is so sweet & i can't wait to see it find a happy home with one of you!

to enter this giveaway, simply leave a comment telling me why you'd love to add this piece to your wardrobe or how you wear your beliefs for the world to see.  the deadline to enter is monday september 24th at midnight - the following day i'll choose a winner at random.  this giveaway is open to anyone in canada or the usa!  only one comment per person s'il vous plait.

{edit: this contest is now closed & the winner has been announcedthank you to all who entered!}

but even though i only have one necklace to giveaway, you can still all get your own!  just hop on over to vegan cuts and check out the fabulous pieces they have available.  and that's not all, you can save an additional 10% off your order by using the discount code "BLOGFRIEND"!  {discount doesn't apply to shipping & expires october 31st} and don't forget to visit christy robinson designs to see her ever expanding collection.

big thanks & hugs to vegan cuts for providing us with such a wonderful vegan marketplace & to christy for sharing her beautiful art with us!

14 September 2012

pretty in pink quinoa bowl

as i promised earlier today i've got a recipe for you!  this one is amazing for many reasons but the most important one for me is that it's quick.

you see, quick dinners have been the essential in our home for the past couple weeks.  i've been finding that when i'm hungry i need to eat quickly.  like NOW.  it used to be that i'd start to feel that little twinge of peckishness and i'd make my way to the kitchen and take an hour or two cooking up a meal, but i'm far too impatient lately.  plus with the fact that our fridge is always overflowing with gorgeous produce from our csa there's plenty fresh, almost ready-to-eat foods around to get creative with.

this quick fix dinner has made 2 appearances already in the past week {4 actually if you count the lunch leftovers it provided each time!}  it's quick, filling, crunchy and totally satisfying.  i can't get enough asian-inspired dressings lately either.

pretty in pink quinoa bowl
serves 4

pretty in pink salad
1/2 head savoy cabbage, cored and shredded
1/2 cucumber, diced
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 carrots, grated or shredded
1 beet, grated or shredded
toasted sesame seeds - lots of them!

asian vinaigrette
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp braggs
2 tbsp seasoned rice vinegar

1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
pinch of sea salt

start by preparing the quinoa.  rinse and drain the quinoa with cold water and place it in a small pot with the water and salt over high heat.  bring it to a boil, then lower heat to simmer, cover and let it cook for 15 minutes.  remove it from the heat and let it sit {still covered} for 5 minutes.  fluff with a fork and it's ready to serve.

while the quinoa is cooking prepare the salad by washing, chopping and shredding your veggies.  put them in a large bowl {this makes a lot!} and then make your vinaigrette by whisking together all of the ingredients.  pour this over the salad and toss well.  top with mucho sesame seeds.

to serve, divide the quinoa into bowls and top with a generous serving of of the salad.  using a big spoon, fish out some of the dressing from the bottom of the salad bowl and drizzle over top of the quinoa bowl.  top with cubed avocado.

shared at wellness weekends {my favourite healthful recipe roundup!}

the other 2 things about it i love?
1} the grated beets quickly turn everything a beautiful shade of pink, and
2} m will eats it up while raving about how much he loves it - this, the man who once detested cabbage, thought that quinoa popped weirdly in his mouth, and claimed beets tasted like dirt.  oh how things change...

have a glowing weekend everyone!

vegan pregnancy: 29 weeks

appologies for being a little MIA of late - it seems i've been so wrapped up in other goings on that i haven't been posting regularly - so if you're still hanging in there with my sporatic, generally no more than once a week posts, hurrah!  {and know that you've got not one, but two posts comin' at ya today!}

i know i should count my lucky stars but i am just feeling incredible.  at 29 weeks, i'm technically in my 3rd trimester now, i'm still basking in that 2nd trimester glow that so many women talk about.  my bump is cute & getting rounder by the day but not so huge that it's getting in the way of doing simple tasks, i've no aches or pains to speak of, i'm not having any trouble sleeping and i can still move around without feeling awkward or cumbersome.  life is good! 

my only real discomfort is that i'm pretty much guaranteed to have indigestion after eating.  and i should specify, after eating anything.  an apple?  yep.  toast?  yep.  salad?  yep.  rich and spicy curry?  yep.  {not that i wouldn't get it anyways after that!}  i think partially it's the pregnancy talking but the other part is that i've been so hungry that i tend to inhale my food too quickly {something i'm guilty of in non-pregnancy days too}.  when i'm hungry, i'm HUNGRY. 

so, needless to say tums have also become a bit of a staple for me.  they're in my purse, in the car, in my desk and squirrelled away in other hiding spots.  a small sacrifice if this is the worst of it though, right?

in other news i got a much trim at the salon yesterday and had such a lovely time.  the best part was that my stylist is vegan and so we just talk about food the entire time!  us foodies have to stick together you know...

oh and this: i realized after taking the bump shots for today's post that had worn the same top when i took bump photos at 23 weeks - check out all that vegan baby growing i've been doing in the past 6 weeks! 

anyways, check back later today and i'll share with you one my quick dinner fixes that's been a favourite recently...

06 September 2012

simple tomato salad

this salad is brought to you by the gorgeous beasts in my csa box this week.  sweet, juicy, local, farm-fresh organic tomatoes... i could barely wait to get home before digging into them.

and so, i didn't wait to create anything fancy or new, just a simple tomato salad so that i could enjoy them in all their glory.  there's no recipe to speak of {is there really a need when we're just talking about some sliced tomatoes?}, but i will tell you that i paired them with briney capers, rich extra virgin olive oil, fragrant basil from the garden & some coarse sea salt.

as i said - nothing earth shattering, but hot damn it was tasty.

and if i do say so myself, gorgeous to boot.

03 September 2012

vegan pregnancy: 27 weeks

happy holiday monday everyone!  i hesitate to wish you a happy labour day because that only reminds me that i'm only a mere 3 months away from my own future labour day -- i'm having a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that it's september and i'm 27 weeks along already!  seriously, where is the time going?

as you can see i am getting huge!  the little vegan bun in the oven is growing and becoming quite the little mover and shaker.  i love it though - my favourite time of day is right when i wake up in the morning and the babe seems to rise at the same time.  i love just lying there and feeling his or her morning stretches!  new this week is that the bun has taken to doing what feels like the worm across my belly.  hah, quite the visual, yes?
i don't think i've said so yet, but thank you all so much for the supportive words as to my eatings throughout my pregnancy - i felt a little "exposed" putting it out there, i'm not sure why i have such insecurities of being judged, but your support was so very welcomed.  there's not much new to report in the way of food things, although my sweet tooth is still hanging around in a big way.  i'm certainly indulging it here and there but am also trying to make my choices count and trying my best to reach for extra kale calories instead of cookie calories as sayward's guide encourages.  i'm also really thirsty these days and have been loving a cold-brewed dandelion tea that i've been gulping down like crazy.  i've been brewing a 1-litre mason jar overnight and chilling it in the fridge and then enjoying it sweetened just slightly with a touch of raw agave & some frozen berries thrown in for good measure.  yum.  i've got some dried nettle leaves too that i've been meaning to brew up and plan on getting around to that this week.  nettle tea is a great way to get some added iron and trace minerals in.

oh yeah, and this:  apparently i'm now more uncoordinated than ever {which isn't really saying much}.  i keep finding cracks in the sidewalk to trip over, i can't seem to finish a meal without dropping something on my shirt, and get this - m says i keep chewing with my mouth open!  i don't even know i'm doing it though - weird, right?
i really can't get over that it's september already.  although it's a gorgeous sunny day, yellowing leaves from the apple tree are falling around me from the little table where i sit writing this.  maybe it's time for an apple pie....