Time to Mend

Well it’s a new year.

2010 was a really rough year for me. I had previously thought that 2009 was sucky. 2010 was most likely the worst year of my life. But there was a shining star, amidst the dark night clouds.

And no it wasn’t my cookbook! My second cookbook came out in December. That was literally 5 plus years of aggravation for me. So no, that was not the bright shining star that illuminated the dark corners of my life!

Truth comes out – I fell in love in July. Yes. That was a long time ago. Now trust me, I wasn’t just flippantly writing these blogs with some sick pleasure. It’s not hard to dig up feelings of loneliness and heartbroken-ness even when you are in a wonderful relationship. Sometimes these feelings are just right under the surface. So I was retreating to these crummy (yet sometimes positive!) places in order to keep the blog going.

What happened to me –  totally unexpected and out of the blue, a total miracle, can happen to you too. But the last thing you wanted me to do was write about how happy I was 😉

Pain and despair are always right around the corner…

But so is happiness. You just have to have a keen eye sometimes. It doesn’t always come the way you figure it will.

Anyhow, despite feeling so different when I first started this blog, my heart still hasn’t healed. So I’m still with ya all… but sometimes you gotta shake yourself and take that leap to a better place if you are so lucky to have it offered to you.  Mending is hard when you are taking a magnifying glass to all the cracks.

So I’ve decided that my posts will be dwindling quite a bit. Not quite dead I guess, but perhaps it might be worth your while to subscribe if you are interested in reading the next one in a timely manner!

I want to give my new partner the whole heart, even if there’s still some dents and chips that make me want to hide bits of it.

Broken Heart Vegan Tip #23: It will be hard for you to notice a good thing when it comes your way. You will remember past traumas and hurtful moments. You’ve probably built a brick wall to keep you from being in those situations again. Well, listen to a person who’s been there – you’ve got to throw yourself in. You’ ve just got to do it. Don’t let yourself become so afraid that you get cold. There’s warmth around the corner. Embrace it when it comes your way!

Broken Heart Song #23

Thanks for reading peoples! I hope your broken heart is mending and I hope you are getting some awesome vegan food into your belly 🙂


January 29, 2011. Tags: , , , , . Uncategorized. 2 comments.

Let’s stay calm here…

I come from a long line of emotionally conservative English and Scottish people.  Growing up I was part of a large group of hippie hating spiritually conservative anarchic atheists. When the idea of “meditation” or yoga ever came up I was always mildly revolted and needed to suppress my eye rolling in order to not offend the company I was with.

So it came as a great surprise to me to suddenly find myself a little interested in meditation. I have been told time and time again that you can get sick from stress and from holding in your emotions. Over the years I began to believe this was entirely possibly. But at the same time, I didn’t think I was THAT stressed out.  I’m a pretty positive person, no matter what life throws in my path, and laugh a lot during the course of each day. I don’t take things incredibly seriously unless they warrant it, and I’m always hopefully. But I’m beginning to believe I have no tools to manage stress and so I deal with it like I do with my emotions – just sweep it under the rug and don’t think about it. It’s probable that unlike my mind, the rest of my body is dealing with it!

Another month of pain in my shoulders, that I had been seeing different therapists off and on for a few years for. Two emails regarding breakdowns in groups I belong to. A sudden specialized chocolate order. Suddenly I’m fretting and grumpy and thinking my chocolate business is never going to make it. It was that day when I thought “Holy smokes! What the heck?! I need to calm down here! There’s no reason I should feel so overwhelmed, out of control and gloomy!”

So that evening, with the help of a pro, a took some deep breaths and sat on a cushion for 15 minutes trying to only focus on my breath.

Despite it being totally hard, with my multi tasking mind wandering, I really DID feel more calm after that sitting! So I’m going to start trying to “meditate”  two times a day and see what happens.  Part of my brain still screams “You’re turning into a hippie!” but I think the gradual calmness I will start to feel will override this, and even that part of my brain will start giving the peace sign and dressing in tie dye (ha ha ha just kidding!)

Again with raw food (I just love it!) – here is possibly the best raw dish I have ever had. A faux chicken salad on onion bread. It’s available at Rawlicious in Toronto. They just opened a new location in Yorkville – so congratulations to them! All those richies sure have enough money to spend on good food like that 😀 I use to live pretty close to the junction location, and was sad to move from the neighborhood for that reason alone. They don’t serve up the sandwich all the time, but I bet if we all keep asking for it they might permanently put it on the menu!

PS. Don’t forget to try your luck and win a cookbook from last post!

Raw Vegan Chicken Salad Sandwich from Rawlicious

Broken Heart Vegan Tip #19: Read the above post. AKA Sit in a quiet room and try not to think about anything for 15 minutes!

Broken Heart Song #19

November 7, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , . entree, raw. 6 comments.

Guess what this is and win!

Sometimes when you have a broken heart you just don’t want  to cook. Or eat. Or work. Or take your dog for a walk. Sometimes all you can muster is a quick meal of canned beans and left over rice. Sometimes you end up with crazy concoctions that would never have come to you if you hadn’t had a broken heart.

Below is one such crazy concoction. What to do with left overs. You probably have not thought of this before. For what it’s worth I’d probably not do it again!

Anyhow, study this picture closely. In the celebration of Vegan Food Month I’m giving away an awesome cookbook by my friend Joshual Ploeg – Something Delicious This Way Comes. Joshua is a touring chef and I will bet my Monty Python DVD collection that you have never tasted such awesome food! He also has a new book with Microcosm called In Search of Lost Taste. I will be delving into this book a little bit in the next couple weeks.

Something Delicious This Way Comes has such tantalizing dishes as Avocado Mousse, Tangerine Curry, Rose Fritters, Banana Custard! All you need to do to win this baby is comment what you think this concoction is below. The first right answer gets the prize, or the closest answer by  Nov 15th gets it 😀

hint: left overs

Broken Heart Vegan Tip #18: Cut out news for 2 weeks. All news! Even good informative stuff like Znet, Democracy Now or community radio. Keeping up with the horrids of life can be quite taxing. And while you have a broken heart you need to focus on healing it.

Broken Heart Song #18: (includes the best lyrics to go along with the last blog: If life’s not beautiful without the pain,
well I’d just rather never ever even see beauty again.)

November 4, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , . entree. 17 comments.

…still baking…

I have a couple friends, and this probably goes for a lot of people out there, who think that getting broken hearted is just part of the cycle of love and they would rather have loved and lost than not to have loved at all.

I suppose it would be responsible for me to encourage this kind of thinking, but frankly I don’t believe it. At least it doesn’t work for me.

For me, the broken hearts hurt so bad I don’t want the love anymore.

I guess I should halt all this right now and make sure that everyone knows I am a 37 year old woman. Sometimes I re-read my writing and get a little twinge – the twinge that I get when I read heartbroken posts from 18 year old girls. They are in such pain, but I know the pain will go and they will find peace and happiness again – because they are young. Well, I can’t be fit into that category. I have enough “wisdom” by now to know what’s what and who I am.

Anyway, for a few months I have seen flyers on light polls advertising hypnotherapy. I started wondering if I could get hypnotized not to need love. I’m supposing it is possible, but that ethically a hypnotherapist would never do it. It’s probably extremely unethical… and yet  for some of us it would do a world of good.

Now on t the sweet stuff. Baking away. And I LOVE cookies. So of course when Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar finally came to my end of the world I hungrily snatched it up.

There are so many to try (although a lot would probably make me gag. I was never a fan of Pepperidge Farms and that sort of “middle class” lacking – flavour – cookie. And off topic even more – why perpetuate the “Lazy Samoa” racist cookie name? Even the Girl Scouts have at least officially taken the “lazy” part out.) Where to start?

I’ve made three so far: key lime shortbread, Mexican chocolate snickerdoodles and peanut butter blondies. I’ve loved blondies ever since I moved to Toronto. I have this vague memory of a blondie that use to knock my socks off -but I can’t remember what it was. It could have been Glenny’s – but I know their blondies are no longer vegan.

I definitely wasn’t disappointed with the peanut butter added to the blondies. The richness goes through the roof.  For the key lime shortbread I used my authentic key lime juice I got in Key West (although it disturbs me to no end wondering if it really came from Florida or somewhere else!) – tangy little suckers they are!

Peanut Butter Blondies and Mexican Chocolate Snickerdoodles

Key Lime Shortbread Rounds

1/2 c vegetable shortening

1/3 c margarine

1 c plus 2 tb powdered sugar, sifted (aka icing sugar)

1/4 c lime juice

1/2 tsp vanilla

2 rounded teaspoons finely grated lime zest (about 2 limes)

2 c all purpose flour

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1. In a large bowl use electric beaters and cream together the shortening and margarine until fluffy. Beat in powdered sugar. Add lime juice, vanilla, zest and beat about 30 seconds to mix, scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally.

2. In a medium bow, sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Add half of this to the other bowl and beat to moisten. Add remaining flour and beat about 1 minute until soft ball of dough forms.

3. Divide the dough in half and place each half on a separate large sheet of wax paper. Roll each into a 7 to 8 inch long by 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 inch thick log. Wrap each tightly in wax paper and chill for about an hour until very firm.

4. Preheat oven to 350. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. With a sharp thin knife cut the logs into 1/2 inch slices. Place on baking sheet 1/2 inch between each cookie. Bake 10 to 12 min until slightly puffed and edges are turning golden. Cool for 5 min before transferring to rack to cool completely.

Broken Heart Vegan Tip #17: Be honest. Just be honest.

Broken Heart Song #17

November 1, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , . dessert. 3 comments.

in the beginning…

Things start off hunky dory. Then… sometimes the world grows dark…

If you’ve had your heart broken it’s pretty common to want to drown your sorrows in crappy food like chips, ice creem, donuts, cinnamon buns, soda… Lucky for me I had been planning on doing a fast. So when the sky darkened that day I had a choice of eating chocolate chip pancakes for 5 days straight, or sticking to the fast idea. I decided on the healthy option. If you have it in your spirit to choose the healthy option do it! The pint of butter pecan ice creem will fill good for the first 10 minutes but then you’ll probably end up feeling  :p

The fast is something I got from a popular book found at most health food stores “Prescription for Nutritional Healing“. You do 2 days of raw food, 5 days of watered down fresh juices and 2 days of raw food. While doing the juicing you also take extra fibre and plenty of water. I found psyllium husks in capsule form to be the best way to  do this. (Honestly straight psyllium in water is seriously gross and really trying to get down!)

With the gorgeous colours of carrot and beet we start off with Juliano’s Raw Borcht from Raw: The Uncook Book

Swirl of amazing colours - carrots and beets!

And to those amazing colours we're adding even MORE glorious colours! I used golden beets - just to make things even more eye popping.

Thinny sliced apples tops it all!

3 medium beets (for 1 cup beet juice)
1 pound carrots (for 1 cup fresh carrot juice)
¼ cup chopped green onion
½ cup green cabbage, shredded
1 teaspoon dill
½ cup beet, finely grated
1 large avocado, spooned out into chunks
½ apple, thinly sliced

Put beets and carrots through a juicer so that you have a cup of juice from each.

Place beet juice, carrot juice, green onion, cabbage, and dill into blender and blend.

In a serving bowl, mix grated beet, avocado, and the blender contents. Chill the borscht in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve it.

Garnish the borscht with apple slices and serve.

Broken Heart Vegan Tip #1: Find at least one friend you can spill your guts to. Someone who’s ready to hear  everything and lend a shoulder for your tears whenever you need them.

Broken Heart Song #1 (my favourite part is the women in the background!)

April 25, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , . entree, raw, soup. Leave a comment.