Thursday, December 29, 2011


This is kind of an odd post, but we really like this dish. It just comes off the back of a Korean vermicelli package. We enjoy the vermicelli. It is made from sweet potato starch, and I tease the kids that they're worms! Yep, that's how we roll here at Chateau Chaos!!! :)

I cook the vermicelli according to the directions, then drain it. The directions on the back of the package call for meat, but we use tofu. We fry that up with some Bragg. I also stir fry an onion. When those are done I dump in the sauce which is:
2 tbsp Bragg Liquid Aminos
3 1/2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp sesame oil
roasted sesame seeds (I use about 3-4 tbsp)
black pepper (I just dump in whatever I feel like! Helpful, no?)

After the sauce is mixed in, I dump the noodles in, and then put 1/2 pounds of spinach in. Turn off the heat and mix until the spinach is wilted. I also cook up some baby bellas in olive oil, lemon juice, and black pepper to put in mine.

That's it! Pretty simple, vegan, gluten free, and pretty healthy!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Moroccan-Inspired Lentil Soup

Tonight I made Moroccan-Inspired Lentil Soup out of Vegan on the Cheap. I really liked it, and it smelled incredibly fabulous cooking! I cooked some quinoa and put the soup (really more like a stew) over it. I am usually leery of dried fruit or fruit juice in savory dishes, but I was feeling adventurous. :) The dish is super healthy. It's filled with lentils, vegetables, and spices as well as dried fruit (I used raisins), fresh parsley, and a small amount of lemon juice. I, having seven people to feed, made more than what was called for, but I still have lots of leftovers. I know what the kids are having for lunch tomorrow! This dish makes a lot. My husband enjoyed it as well as my oldest daughter. The younger kids ate it, but I don't think they were as crazy about it. They didn't complain about it though, so that's good because they're going to get it again! This recipe is definitely a keeper. So far, I am liking this book.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Black Bean Soup with Kale and Rice

Tonight I tried my first recipe out of Vegan on the Cheap by Robin Robertson. I have to say, it was a big success. I made the recipe called Black Bean Soup with Kale and Rice. I didn't exactly measure out all the ingredients which is par for the course for me! I did measure out the spices, but I should have added more because it was a little diluted. I think it was because I added more beans and more rice than was called for. I also didn't have fire-roasted tomatoes, so I used regular canned tomatoes, and I didn't add the olive oil. I also added dried kelp to the beans. The recipe calls for pre-cooked or canned beans. I soaked the black beans overnight, then threw them in the slow cooker. Since I was coming home early today, I cooked them by themselves with the kelp for several hours. When I got home, I added the vegetables, spices, and rice. Next time I think I'll just throw it all in together in the morning. I added some Sriracha in my stew, and it was delicious. This recipe was easy, healthy, and yummy! It was also vegan and inexpensive, so it is definitely a keeper. Tonight was a fabulous start to Vegan on the Cheap!

Vegan on the Cheap

Here's my new cookbook! Seriously - how perfect is this book for me right now? I am trying to eat vegan, and all the recipes are vegan. I am trying to cut out all gluten, and most of the recipes are either gf or easily adaptable. I am trying to eat cheaply but healthfully, and well, look at the title! Perfect. I am trying out my first recipe from the book tonight. It is in the slow cooker as I type. I am thinking about adding a section to put links to blogs where I have tried recipes from specific cookbooks, or maybe groups of cookbooks by the same author. Thoughts?

Energy balls

My friend Christmas told me how to make these energy balls. They are simple and very versatile. Oats, dried fruit, some kind of nut/sunbutter, and liquid sweetener (I use agave). I haven't experimented much. Usually I make them with oats, raisins, peanut butter, and agave. I can get organic raisins and organic peanut butter at Costco, so that's usually what I make. This time, I forgot the peanut butter, but luckily I bought organic almond butter at Costco, so these are made with that! They are yummy. My kids prefer the peanut butter ones, but they ate these this morning. I don't have measurements because I don't tend to measure stuff! Just put the oats in a bowl, dump in the raisins, and then start playing with the nut butter and agave until you can make the mixture into balls. You can eat them then, but I prefer to chill them in the fridge first. I think they taste better that way, and since I use old fashioned oats, the oats have a chance to soften. Also, they don't break apart as easily when they are chilled. Kid friendly - vegan - healthy!

Monday, November 21, 2011

An overhaul!

I have not kept up with this blog very regularly as of late! I started back to school in January, and things have been beyond cuh-razy since then! It is my goal to get this blog up and running again. I have had a long and interesting food journey. I originally cut out gluten due to some digestive issues. When I started adding gluten back into my diet, things seemed to be going fine. Long story short, with a lot of experimenting, I have realized that I cannot continue to eat gluten. I continue to have digestive issues with gluten. I also have insomnia. I have dealt with chronic insomnia for pretty much all of my life. I have tried everything that I have researched to help it. Some things help, but nothing has fixed the problem - UNTIL I cut out gluten. The only time in my life that I did not have to deal with insomnia was when I was completely gluten free. I also have issues with mental fog and energy. The most troubling issue for me though is pain. When I eat gluten, I have pain in my legs and feet. When I don't eat gluten, the pain goes away. That is pretty clear cut - the gluten has to go - for good.

I am also cutting out dairy and eggs. While this is a health issue as well, it is more of an ethical issue for me. I have never eaten much dairy and eggs anyway. It is both an environmental and an ethical issue for me. Honestly, I have no ethical problem with eating an egg that a chicken shoots out of it's booty. I DO have a problem with the way the chickens are treated, the horrible conditions they have to live in, etc. So, from now on, all the recipes on this blog will not only be gluten free, but they will be vegan as well.

I've toyed with the idea of changing the name, but several friends have pointed out to me that Going Against the Grain works perfectly fine, so I am going to leave it as is! I will be changing some other aspects of the blog though. I will revamp the recipe link section to reflect which recipes are vegan/vegetarian, etc. So bare with me while I get everything in order, and I would love to hear feedback as the changes are implemented! Thanks.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Sesame-Broccoli Stir-Fry

I tried a recipe out of Robin Robertson's Vegan Planet recently called Sesame-Broccoli Stir Fry. It was pretty good and pretty simple. My husband really enjoyed it. The recipe called for steaming the broccoli which I didn't do. I just put it in the pan raw and stir fried it. (I should add that due to having to referee kid issues, my veggies got a bit over done which was a bummer.) The recipe also called for red bell pepper, but I switched that out with carrots and bean sprouts. The sauce had sesame oil, soy sauce (I used Bragg), hoisin sauce, and sesame seeds. I, personally, thought there was too much hoisin sauce, and I will reduce the amount next time I make it. Overall though, it was pretty good. Kids ate it, hubby ate it, I liked it - recipe success! We also had green beans with tomatoes, corn, greens, and fresh tomatoes and basil with gf crackers. Yummy meal!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Green smoothie love and recipe fail!

Who says kids won't drink green smoothies? My kids love them. They get the best "green" moustaches as you can see. My 7 year old daughter asked me, "How come you don't get a moustache?" Hee hee. Then she proceeded to tell me they were fun! Apparently, I'm just not doing it right. :-)

I've recently started back to school full time which has been super challenging when trying to cook scratch, gf/df healthy meals for 7. I've started relying on my old favorite Vegetarian Times. VT is pretty reliable with their recipes. I saw a magazine on the stand at the HFS that they put out called Quick & Healthy 30-minute Meals. I bought it because that is exactly what I need right now. The first recipe I tried out of it was called Southwestern Salad with Avocado-Lime Dressing. The picture in the magazine is pretty because it did not have the dressing on it! I am sad to say that this is one of the very few recipes from VT that I have tried that was AWFUL. I did switch out the sour cream with a pine nut sour cream substitute to make it vegan. However, the dressing was just kind of gross. I ate it, but I think that is mainly because I felt guilty wasting so much food. The kids wouldn't even eat it. I am very disappointed, but given VT's excellent track record, I will definitely try more recipes out of the magazine.

Monday, March 28, 2011

New green smoothie

I tend to stick to the same old same old when it comes to green smoothies just switching it up very little. I saw a recipe for a very different smoothie on another food blog, and I thought I'd try it. It has a pear, a banana, a bunch of parsley, blueberries, and water. I decided to put in a couple of dates because I like my smoothies sweet. I was very curious to see what it would taste like, and I was pleased! The parsley adds a sort of minty taste to the smoothie. I will definitely keep the dates in it though. It added just enough sweetness. I did take a picture of mine, and hopefully I'll get it up on the blog soon. For now, here's the original recipe with a picture! Enjoy.

(okay - picture is added! It's not the greatest picture in the world due to the lighting, but it was a yummy smoothie. For the record, I got tired or waiting on the hubs and just figured it out myself. I am woman - hear me roar! LOL.)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

more questions...

Yep - still waiting on the hubs, so.......

what's your favorite spice or spice blend?

you have $20 to spend on fresh groceries and produce for the whole week (with a fairly well stocked pantry of dry goods, legumes, grains, and spices).
spinach, potatoes, bananas, tomatoes

what's your favorite way to make tofu?
Marinate it in mirin, Bragg, and sesame oil then bake it and serve it with a raw satay sauce

vegan guilty pleasure?

were you always interested in cooking, or did veg*nism change the way you saw and interacted with food?
I started cooking in the kitchen with my mom at a very young age and have always been interested in cooking

excluding analogues, what new things have you tried that you probably wouldn't have as an omni?
Can't think of a thing. I'm pretty adventurous.

what is the one vegan staple that everyone seems to love, but you can't get behind?
Daiya "cheese" - yuck.

what question about being veg*n do you HATE answering?
Where do you get your protein? Ugh.

are your pets vegan? if so, what do you feed them?
No. I feed the cats Kumpi cat food supplemented with locally grown, chemical free meat. I feed the dog Kumpi dog food supplemented with the same thing as the cats as well as fresh fruits and vegetables.

what’s one “veg*n myth” you’d like to squash?
That the diet is boring. I can't tell you how many times I've told people about something I've eaten, and they have NO IDEA what it even is. My diet is quite interesting and varied. I eat a much greater variety of food than any omni that I know.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


So, my hubby was going to help me get recent pictures off my phone (long story - phone issues) tonight, so that I could finally update my blog, but he got all grouchy about it. *grump* I guess that'll have to wait until tomorrow! So, I swiped this from Veganza for fun!

1. Favourite non-dairy milk?
Homemade cashew milk is the best.

2. What are the top 3 dishes/recipes you are planning to cook?
Well, the TOP 3 changes all the time, but the upcoming 3 are: 1) avocado wasabi salad, 2) pressure cooker Ethiopian stew (although I have no pressure cooker, so I'll have to improvise! I've been looking for a reason to make injera again though.), 3) Cuban-style black beans from Vegan Planet.

3. Topping of choice for popcorn?
Nutritional yeast for sure

4. Most disastrous recipe/meal failure?
A gazpacho that was WAY too green peppery. I was 17 or 18 and learning to experiment in the kitchen and try new recipes. God bless my parents who ate everything I made EXCEPT the gazpacho. It was pretty bad.

5. Favourite pickled item?
Cucumbers. Boring - I know, but still yummy!

6. How do you organise your recipes?
The recipes I have on cards go in a file under the general categories.

7. Compost, trash, or garbage disposal?
Compost! We built our own awesome, huge compost pile. We just emptied one side two weeks ago and puts lots of lovely compost in our garden!

8. If you were stranded on an island and could only bring 3 foods…what would they be (don’t worry about how you’ll cook them)?
1) tofu, 2) peanut butter, 3) tomatoes

9. Fondest food memory from your childhood?
Mom's homemade beans with cornbread. Yum.

10. Favourite vegan ice cream?
The best is vanilla Tofutti - hands down. Not the healthiest - but still the most delish.

11. Most loved kitchen appliance?
My Blend-Tec blender. Although my cast iron skillets come in a close second.

12. Spice/herb you would die without?
Fresh basil. The smell is intoxicating and the taste is out of this world!

13. Cookbook you have owned for the longest time?
The New Farm Cookbook - it has masking tape holding it together!

14. Favourite flavour of jam/jelly?

15. Favourite vegan recipe to serve to an omni friend?
Thai peanut pasta

16. Seitan, tofu, or tempeh?
I can't eat seitan (and please don't call it say-TAN - it just sounds stupid, really stupid.) because it's gluten. Tempeh (and no, it's not tem-PAY) is good, but it takes a lot of prep for it to be good, so it's labor intensive! Tofu is just yummy and versatile.

17. Favourite meal to cook (or time of day to cook)?
One favorite meal? Gosh.... I like making oat balls or oat sausage balls.

18. What is sitting on top of your refrigerator?
Bento stuff and the snack box.

19. Name 3 items in your freezer without looking.
Blueberries, orange juice, kale burgers

20. What’s on your grocery list?
hummus - yes, I know I should make my own, but I don't often.

21. Favourite grocery store?
Well, I love Whole Foods because it just has so many cool things, and I love all the fruits/veggies. I also love Costco because I can buy organic fruits/veggies in bulk! What can I say? I have five kids.

22. Name a recipe you’d love to veganize, but haven’t yet.
I'd love to make a vegan (or at least dairy free) version of cottage cheese loaf - although since the main ingredient is cottage cheese, I don't know that it is possible!

23. Food blog you read the most (besides Isa’s because I know you check it everyday). Or maybe the top 3?
Yikes! Lately I haven't been checking the blogs because I've been so busy. I love Vegan Dad, Vegan Yum Yum, and The Spunky Coconut though.

24. Favourite vegan candy/chocolate?
I don't know the name of it, but Vitamin Cottage sells these coconut bars covered in dark chocolate that are supper yummy!

25. Most extravagant food item purchased lately?
A bottle of Acai juice. It felt extravagant.

26. Ingredients you are scared to work with?
Scared? Ha! I laugh in the face of.... uh, unusual ingredients. I just bought some fufu flour to try. That's one of my favorite things about cooking, to grab something unusual just to give it a try!