27 April 2012

Midweek Foodstagrams

Untitled Swans: an almost Emily-Meal.

Untitled No Instagram filter can make this pizza look good. First time in a long time walking and eating a pizza slice. A signifier that I AM BUSY.

Ensemble tap Post-Cabin In The Woods beer flight at Ensemble Tap.

Untitled Jay's streak of amazing, creative stir-fries continues. Featuring, this time, ginger, red peppers and cabbage.

P & E Emily: an almost Peanut-Meal.

Marshmallow strawberrieeeeees Dollar store marshmallow strawberries.

So THAT'S how they make them... How the marshmallow strawberries are made. WHO KNEW

25 April 2012

Further Meditations on the Carrot

Three years ago this blog found me complaining mercilessly about the soullessness of the carrot. Perhaps it was my own lack of mindfulness that was really to blame.

I have since visited farmers markets and tasted organic produce, made carrot soups and carrot fritters...

...and I have learned that carrots can be tasty, or at least tastier, than the pre-packaged, whittled down variety pictured here:

I would like to present to you an excerpt from Thich Nhat Hanh's The Art of Power, a fitting passage due to its carotenoid subject matter.
I invite you to eat mindfully. Before you put the carrot into your mouth, you might say its name silently: "Carrot." It's as if you are mindfully calling the name of your beloved, and the piece of carrot reveals herself to you clearly. When you put it into your mouth, you are aware that it is carrot you are putting in your mouth. As you chew the piece of carrot, you know that you are chewing your carrot and not your projects, your sorrow, your anger, the past, or the future.
You do only one thing at a time. When you pick up the piece of carrot in this way, you may have a deep insight about the carrot. You see all the elements that have made the carrot possible. You can see the clouds floating in the piece of carrot, you can see the sunshine, you can see the earth in the piece of carrot. In fact, the piece of carrot is a representative of the whole cosmos coming to you. And you can smile to it. It doesn't take a lot of time. Maybe one second is enough. If you are mindful and concentrated, you will attain insight into the true nature of the carrot.
THINK ON THESE THINGS, the next time you begrudgingly reach for that crunchy, cruciferous orange stick. Think deeply, and take a bite of sunshine and clouds and outerspace and everything ever. Or try making the fritters, they're really good!

23 April 2012


What we ate.

What Peanut ate.

A Weekend Bookended By Pizza

FARINA, a new pizza place to looooove. Even without a liquor license.
On Friday night we ate at Farina, which immediately joined the ranks of my favourite pizza places in town. Goldies, Nicli, Farina and Barbarella cut a solid line of delicious pizzas intersecting the city of Vancouver from downtown to Broadway. Thank you, Vancouver, for becoming such an amazing pizzaland in the last couple years.

Pictured above: Funghi (left: mushrooms, mozzarella, parmesan, red onions, garlic and arugula) and Finocchiona (fennel sausage, tomato sauce, provolone, basil, spicy peppers and parmesan). The former was so flavourful you don't even notice the absence of tomato sauce. Which is, in my opinion, the ingredient that makes pizza pizza. The latter rivals Barbarella's Salsiccia, and it is the best pizza I have had since I don't even know when.

Lunch/dinner at The Main on Saturday: AVGOLEMONO. A creamy Greek soup made of eggs and lemon, that tastes not unlike Hollandaise sauce with rice (in the best possible way). Also consumed: nachos (not pictured).

More Jay Food
Sunday night dinner part one by Jay: broccoli, veggie sausage and onions with MSG (Maggi) and sambal oelek.

Dr Oetker, a doctor of pizza
Sunday night dinner part two: a frozen Dr Oetker's Casa di Mama peppers and three cheese pizza; highly satisfying for the frozen variety. The cheese is good! Sauce is good too. It's definitely a "buy".

19 April 2012

Jay Food

Broccoli steamed in olive juice, with caramelized onions and green olives. Smothered in couscous. THANKS JAY

EDIT: Jay wants the world to know that there was also roasted garlic in this meal. Thanks again Jay.

Memories of Salt Spring II

Last night, two very special ingredients --

sun-dried tomatoes (from Euro Food Plus) ...

and oyster mushrooms --

came together with the help of a little olive oil, rice noodles, black pepper and nutritional yeast, to make this super-delicious super-super-easy meal. It was another attempt at recreating one of David's dinners from my visit to Salt Spring Island (he used shiitake mushrooms and rigatoni). YOU MUST MAKE THIS. You will not be disappointed.

Tip: add a few spoonfuls of the oil that the sun-dried tomatoes were preserved in. You don't reeeeally need the nutritional yeast if you don't have any, but it does take it to the next level.

18 April 2012

Memories of Salt Spring

I tried to (loosely) remake Dinner at David's with veggie sausage, broccoli, onions and bok choy, seasoned with kecap manis (Indonesian sweet soy sauce), tahini, crunchy natural peanut butter, and nutritional yeast. If it were a President's Choice product, I would call this seasoning Memories of Salt Spring.

Memories of Salt Spring
Anyway I'm pretty happy with the nut butter/soy sauce/nutritional yeast combo. I plan to conduct further experiments in this realm.

ALSO. Up until last week I was a microwave popcorn person. Then my budget lead me to discover that it is totally easy to make your own popcorn on the stove. WHO KNEW. We've done some experimenting this week and it seems to work best using almost 1/3 cup canola oil, on medium-high heat. When the pot and oil are good and hot, pour in enough kernels to cover the bottom (and put a lid on it, of course). Pow! Pow pow pow. Shake a little as necessary to make sure everything pops! Smother with melted butter and nutritional yeast, and then continue eating it long after you are full.

17 April 2012

Stir-fry + Nutritional Yeast

Stir-fry with leftover orzo! And broccoli, carrots, onions and mushrooms. My part in the making of this meal was running to the store to buy mushrooms.

And the addition of a liberal sprinkling of this nutritional yeast. I was trying to get in touch with my inner Salt-Spring.

16 April 2012

Weekend Roundup

Saturday: A CAN OF SOUP. Mushroom-flavoured, in keeping with last week's mushroom theme.

Soupe aux champignon
Adding frozen peas and corn made it feel more like cooking. But without the actual work of cooking.

Sunday: ACTUAL COOKING! I call this meal "Mediterranean Wonderland." I tried to think of as many Mediterranean ingredients as I could, and threw them all into a pot. Come with me, and take a walk through a Mediterranean Wonderland, you guys:

It begins with a trip to the Euro Deli, which netted me various marinated things, such as these here artichokes. And some sun-dried tomatoes. (Actually, just those two things.)

Across the street at Aria, my current favourite (and the cheapest) market in the West End, I stocked up on veggies that seemed like they might be Mediterranean. (I actually don't really know anything about Mediterranean cooking.) Are zucchinis Mediterranean? They seem to have about the right amount of mushiness when cooked. Is that what makes things Mediterranean? A capability of mushiness.

So, all ingredients: onions, eggplant, zucchini, red pepper, tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, artichokes and green olives. With some orzo mixed in. You don't need to add any kind of sauce or flavouring to this; the marinated things flavour it just right. Especially if you throw in the oil that the artichokes and sun-dried tomatoes came in. To top off your Wonderland experience, enjoy this with a glass of red wine. Happy Mediterranean Sunday.

14 April 2012

Portobello Mushroom Burger

The last of the bun-meals. With Swiss cheese, fried onions, tomatoes and tomato relish.

13 April 2012

Two Dinners

Bun-meals II: veggie sloppy joes with a Peanut on top
Dinner #1 (5:40 p.m.)
Leftover Veggie Sloppy Joe, with a Peanut on the side.

Dinner #2 (10:30 p.m.)
Last week I made a SUPER SECRET RECIPE for black bean hummus from a cookbook that does not actually exist yet. We ate most of it with some nachos in a Game of Thrones stupour.

This week, I bought my first ever (expensive) bottle of coconut oil! I used it to stirfry some vegetables and mixed in the leftover hummus.

Highlight of this meal: the subtle flavouring of the coconut oil, and the juicy mushrooms. I really need to cook with mushrooms more often. Other vegetables present: onions, broccoli, zucchini, tomatoes, and corn.

12 April 2012

Bun-meals: Veggie Sloppy Joes

Ingredients: black beans, Yves Italian veggie ground round, onions, tomatoes, zucchini, mushrooms, avocado, the remnants of two different bottles of salsa and a little Tabasco sauce.

Made by Jay. In fact, it seems like I don't even need to cook since he's moved in. I'm more of a co-meal-planner/kitchen director.

11 April 2012

Back to Basics

Michelle Meals superfans will notice that I have not been blogging every day like I used to. Gone are the days of daily posts with sad pizza slices on the way to band practice, even sadder burnt frozen pizzas, and platefuls of cheese that I ate for dinner. But I have been hard at work behind the scenes all this time. MORE ON THAT LATER.

In the meantime, while I'm working on my SUPER SECRET PROJECT that I will explain sooner or later, I'm going to go back to old school Michelle Meals-ing it for the rest of the month of April. Starting yesterday:

That weird curry.
Except that yesterday I forgot to take a photo of our dinner. So here's a photo of the dinner from the night before, which also served as yesterday's lunch. It's that ole super-easy veggie curry from a little while ago. It didn't taste as good as back then, which I attribute to using that weird lime juice that comes in a lime-shaped bottle instead of the juice of real limes.

Last night was portobello mushroom burgers, which I hope to have again soon because they were so delicious. And I likely will be having them again soon, since I bought a giant bag of buns to eat them with. BUN-MEALS AHEAD.

05 April 2012

Healthier times ahead. Starting... now...

Since I last posted, I:

• invented the open-faced foie gras-blueberry sandwich.

Hello, more calories than I should consume in one day.
• spent some time photographing (and eating) fast food for a book.

• spent just as much time playing Draw Something on my phone.

ultimate nacho toppings
• discovered the ultimate nacho topping combination: black beans, tomatoes, jalapeños, green peppers, green olives, red onions and extra old cheddar. Served with sour cream, Herdez Mexican Salsa and an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

The culmination of all of this weekend's leftovers for lunch today. After I ate this my pants ceased to fit.
• combined all the week's leftovers into a lunch that made my pants cease to fit.

Fine day for a tennis match.
Not everything I did was unhealthy. I did manage to actually hit a tennis ball a few times on a rainy day when the courts were free. I also ate the BEST BROCCOLI I HAVE EVER TASTED. I know nothing of its origins. But I have tasted the ultimate broccoli. It is sweet, and flavourful, and somehow I found it in the produce section of Save-On Foods in North Vancouver, Friday, March 30 at approximately 11 am. Is it broccoli season? Was it genetically modified? It wasn't even organic! But when I took a bite of the stem, it was as if the clouds parted and the sun started shining, right on my tongue.
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