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Chana Masala

I think it’s pretty funny how I never really enjoyed eating or making Indian food when I lived in BC.  Now, since I can get any decent ‘ethnic’ meal in a restaurant out here, I crave it, and absolutely enjoy creating dishes for my friends and family.  One of my favourite things to make is Chana Masala, or curried chickpeas. 1) because they’re so easy to make and 2) they taste amazing >|with practically anything!

You can use canned chickpeas if you don’t have dried ones, just omit the step where you boil them until tender

Chana Masala

For the dried chickpeas

3 cups dried chickpeas.  Soak in 6 cups of water with 2 tea bags over night

When you’re ready to make them the next day:

Pour the soaked chickpeas into a saucepan, leave in the tea bags for now.  Add in some extra water to just cover the top of the chickpeas.  Boil over medium-high heat, adding more water as desired.

1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 small green chili, or ½ tsp red chili powder (adjust to taste)
5 Tbsp Garam Masala (don’t be afraid to make some of these heaping)
1 medium tomato, chopped
1 tbsp Tumeric
1 tsp ground cumin (optional)
3 Tbsp oil or butter
1tsp black pepper
Salt to taste

Heat oil in a frying pan over med-high heat and add the onions, cook down for about two minutes and then add the garlic; cook until onions are translucent.

Add in everything else listed except for the chopped tomato.  Cook the onion and spice mixture for another three minutes, and then add in the tomatoes.  Cook for an additional 10 minutes on medium-low heat

Add the masala mixture to the chickpeas and give it a stir, keep cooking until the chickpeas are done.

**If you are using canned chickpeas, rinse and drain them and wait until the masala mix is cooked before you pour everthing in a pot and add as much water as you’d like, add in two tea bags and cook for approximately ten minutes.  Adjust the salt and heat as needed.

Serve over rice, with samosas, with roti or eat on their own.

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Fall into Fall

I’ve mentioned the vintage shop that I used to work at a few times in previous posts, and the amazingly rad bosslady that runs the place, I loved her then, but I think I love her more now. She recently hosted a Fall into Fall Harvest potluck fest at her place and DAMN, it was really the best night that I have had since moving out here. Absolutely Spectacular. Food, Friends, Fog, Live bands and just an all around great vibe; the photos cannot do it justice, but it’s the best I can do!

Wish you were here!

*this recipe is really sort of a non-recipe. Make as much couscous as you’d like, sauté up whatever veggies you like; combine the couscous and veggies, and then top with the vinaigrette. Eat!

Couscous with Veggies and a Lemony Vinaigrette

Cook Couscous (check this post for the best liquid to couscous ratio) and set aside
in a frying pan, sauté any veggie you’d like; I use what I get in my weekly produce pack:
Kale
Carrots
Beets
Corn (from the supermarket, or from a can (GASP!))
Spinach
Brocolli
Etc. Etc.

Lemon Vinaigrette

2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
1/2 tsp Lemon Zest (I rarely have actual lemons on hand, so each time I’ve made this recipe the zest has been omitted)
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
2 Tbsp Rice Vinegar or Red Wine Vinegar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp Oregano
1/2 tsp Honey
**I add some black pepper and red chili flakes.

using a blender or a Bullet (love that thing) stick all the ingredients and mix until you cannot mix it anymore…haha. good times.
Pour over the salad. Eat. This is my go-to potluck submission and the salad I’ll make for a large crowd at my own place. I swear, it really is the best salad ever, you’ll make it again and again. YAH!

Table of Goodness

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The AMAZING Lindsay Ferguson, her voice haunts me. LOVE
http://www.lindsayferguson.com

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Saving the best for last. Ceti Alpha. Seriously, check them out NOW
http://cetialpha.bandcamp.com/

I didn’t get to snap a shot of the first act of the night, but you definitely need to check him out as well.

Ostrea Lake http://ostrealake.bandcamp.com/
Lindsay Ferguson http://www.lindsayferguson.com/
Ceti Alpha http://cetialpha.bandcamp.com/


You’ve Been Warned…

Vegan Bacon.

I’ve never been a fan of oxymorons, especially when they relate to food, and especially when they make things as wonderful as bacon sound and look absolutely horrendous. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of vegan fare; when done correctly. But there is nothing worse than someone saying “This is going to blow you away, it’s so good, and it’s VEGAN…” and then it tasting like how a dirty floor looks. Picture a dirty old leather boot. An old man boot, if you will. Now think about the tongue of that boot…picture it in great detail. See how it just sits there? Look closely at it, feel it, a little rough to the touch, bends slightly but not without a little pressure, right? Now I want you to think about cutting that dirty old man boot’s tongue out, and placing it in your mouth, and chewing it… Voila! You have vegan bacon. I kid you not, this stuff was vile. The best part is that it’s dyed a couple of different shades of brown and tan to have the appearance of real bacon, as if regular folk are going to pass it by in the supermarket and say to themselves “well…it looks somewhat like bacon, so it must taste like bacon!” that is precisely (according to me) what my best friend did last month, she may have a different explanation for her purchase, but for now, I’m saying she was under the influence of extreme hunger and everything looked good at that point; that, and she’s slightly insane. (I apologize in advance for the very shitty Iphone photos, I am working on getting a proper camera soon.)

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So after making an amazing amount of grilled pitas for abovementioned best friend while we were still working together, she had me over for Singularity (post about that, coming soon!) and grilled pita. She opened her fridge up to grab some ingredients and there it was, staring at me. I pointed, and laughed my single laugh, “HAH!” I said, “What the hell is that?” She looked at me sheepishly and the only words out of her mouth were “Don’t judge me” We inspected the package and I was instantly disgusted, as I mentioned before, it was dyed different shades of brown-ish tan to have the appearance of actual bacon, frightening. Absolutely frightening. So, what do you do with a packaged food-stuff that terrifies you? Well…cook it of course! Liberating the atrocity from its confines it sort of just flopped over, sadly, hopelessly. We pulled out the grill pan and let those vegan puppies ‘cook’

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We took a shot at it, and as mentioned before, it was vile. Take a look for yourself!

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We thought that butter flavoured syrup would make it better, and it did! It tasted like shoe dipped in syrup, so it was perfect, we had a little fun…tearing and dipping, it still tasted like crap, but that’s ok, Notice the Stella glasses filled with Singularity in the back, it made everything all better

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There are many tofu/vegan products that are quite good, I’m a big fan of veggie ground round; and dessert tofu, and soy beans etc etc…but I have to say, stay away from fake bacon and hot dogs…blarg. Moral of the story is: If you eat meat, don’t eat vegan bacon. Period. And if you’re Vegan, why would you be eating it anyway? It tastes nothing like what it’s supposed to, and it’s filled with terrible ingredients that will do terrible things to your taste buds.

You’ve been warned.