Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Adventures on my quest to the best veggie burger EVER!

So this whole obsession with the best veggie burger ever began when my husband came home from his annual camping trip with his girls and told me that he had to take me to Miss Patate to taste the veggie burger there.

He loves my cooking and in our twenties I introduced him to his first vegepate sandwich with sprouts and he never forgot it. He said he tried to re-create it many times but was never able to do it without me he just couldn't get the combination of ingredients quite right.

Photo credit to Ken Nagano via blog Mont Tremblant

After he had that veggie burger at Miss Patate he was feeling the same way. How did she do that? I have to take you there so we can make something like it at home. He kept asking questions like: :Why can't we find a veggie burger like that in Montreal?" Even up to a year later! 

Since we got a new used car last spring we have been going on little day trips because we are not so afraid that we'll get stranded somewhere and today we finally went to Miss Patate and he was absolutely right! The veggie burger was delectable.

Photo credit to Ken Nagano via blog Mont Tremblant

 There it is in all it's glory. What is unusual is, you are, what we Montrealers say,: "Up North" which is known for it's "cantines" and maybe some fancy restaurants around ski resorts but definitely not for any vegetarian friendly fare. So to begin with that is special in itself but like so many great things the passion and the love put into the product comes from a special woman Huguette. 

When she saw me picking away at the bun trying to figure out what this amazing bun was, with all of it's freshness, softness and ORANGE specks all over it she asked me: "Do you like your veggie burger?" . Seemingly worried that I didn't and I said I love it but I am trying to figure out what this bun is made of because it is so delicious and she didn't just smile me away. She actually got the buns out from the back and showed me the packaging and told me where I could get some. 

She uses these carrot buns from an organic bakery in Sainte Sophie, a veggie patty with white melted cheese (not necessary for vegans) along with her house grown sprouts, some sweet onions, lettuce, tomato, banana peppers and her special sauce. As she puts it it's almost like cake and I agree. It was so good. 

When I asked what inspired her to do this in such an unlikely place she said that it was because she didn't eat alot of meat so she was trying to find easy things to eat at work and over five years she developed this product. After talking for a while I found out that her poutine was also veggie, no meat gravy, just vegetable. 

Huguette and her son Julien photo credit to Ken Nagano via blog Mont Tremblant

She also serves veggie pogos and hot dogs. So vegetarians eat your heart out. It is not healthy food or anything but vegetarians like to go to cantines too and now they can and enjoy more than some fries. Her son is there to help her and it's impressive the way they all work together, we got there in a rush and they were rushing about cooking everyone's food and still had time for a friendly chat. 

I didn't even tell her I was going to write a blog post about her. I didn't know I would but I was so impressed with her passion, kindness and generosity that I didn't see how I couldn't. Thanks Huguette et Julien!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Occupy Movement and A Painted House by John Grisham

One thing you may not know about me is that I read a lot of books! All kinds of books, any books,  people give me books all the time and they are all read and then passed on. It is pretty rare that I don't like a book. 

I find I learn about life and life experiences with fiction even more than an informational or non-fiction book. I admit it may be my  state of openness when I read fiction because I am doing it with pure joy without any obligation and complete receptivity.

I think all stories even science fiction which is even in worlds that don't exist have elements of truth or something to ponder about; a place, a time and relationships. I mark off passages that move me or made me think about something I want to talk about or share with my family or write about; either in my journal to help me along with something I'm struggling with or just explain something I've been feeling but couldn't put into words. 

I thought I'd share this one with you today because sometimes we think the stock markets and the world we live in today puts us at the mercy of wall street. Now what you may know about me is that I love the underdog so I resonate with the occupy movement much more that I do with the one percent but this passage on page 78 of "The Painted House" by John Grisham assuaged me somehow.

The story is told in the voice of a young boy which was really refreshing it was a great little read: 

"My pop says the cotton prices are goin' down," Dan Montgomery said as he tossed a rock into the darkness. "Says the cotton traders in Memphis are pushin' down prices 'cause there's so much cotton."

"It's a big crop," I said. The Montgomery twins wanted to be farmers when they grew up. I felt sorry for them.

When the rains flooded the land and wiped out the crops, the prices went up because the traders in Memphis couldn't get enough cotton. But the farmers, ofcourse, had nothing to sell. And when the rains cooperated and the crops were huge, the prices went down because traders in Memphis had too much cotton. The poor people who labored in the fields didn't make enough to pay their crop loans.

Good crops or bad crops it didn't make any difference."

See what I mean? This made me remember that we have to be careful with nostalgia. Many people have struggled for a long time and well there have always been the ones who beat it or find another way and even thrived when things were much harder so we can too. What do you think?

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Relish this.

I love Isuu! It is my connection to all sorts of gorgeous free publications like this one. Relish is a small magazine with only two copies. The second publication is about Montreal and it is so brilliant and beautiful. I was so proud to see my city looking so good. Check it out it's free!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Purple Palace

Every summer the Mccord Museum closes a small street named Victoria between Sherbrooke St. O and President Kennedy Ave. and has benches and picnic tables, and art exhibit and events. 

This is my favorite place to meet my husband for lunch when we're at work so we are always thrilled when it's time for the street to close and look forward to the events and art we will find. 

Yesterday we brought our own lunch and it was a nice day so the street was really vibrant. There was free Tim Horton's coffee and there was a classical pianist playing piano outside.  

There was a food truck named Lucky's Truck who serves poutine with Duck and red wine sauce which is apparently delicious and if the crowd around it was any indication it must be good. 

To be honest this year the decor or art project leaves something to be desired though. In our experience over time things are added to the exhibit so I am hoping there is more to come.

I don't know if anything can replicate last year's Urban Forest which we dubbed the purple palace. I was so in love with that exhibit it was my definite favorite in the last three years we've been going. 

When I got back from lunch I just had to search through my cell phone hoping I took pictures last year so I could show you what I mean.


I don't often share my pictures because I find them so disappointing. I am not gifted in taking photos and I am hoping I will learn but in the meantime many times I have to ask my friends and daughter to take the pictures for me. It is just a mystery to me.

In this case I took them. Sorry in advance for the quality but I still think you'll get a good idea of what a relaxing place this was last summer. The street was carpeted in purple astro turf and there were these metallic trees lavender ribbons always flowing in the wind. Everything was pink and purple and white. It was just absolutely delightful.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

On my quest to the best VEGGIE Burger EVER.

Sometimes I am just way too ambitious for my own good. 

Last weekend I decided that I would buy all the ingredients to make veggie burgers for every night of the week this week and make them all on Sunday.

Does that sound like too much? 

If not you're absolutely right it doesn't sound too bad. 

Every week I do a version of this Sunday blitz preparing and cutting veggies and fruit for the week as well as a few meals and possibly something baked without writing about it. The problem is I have a tendency to just to put too much on my "TO DO" list.

My husband always warns me "Now don't do too much!" and I say: "No no" with this faraway look and I always do.

I can safely say this time even if I did too much it was so worth it! Everything was delicious! I had complete dinners for every night of the week and even had enough to share with friends. 

This is one of the 5 veggie burgers I made. This one is from Oh she Glows that I shared with my friend Jen. It was served with sauteed mushrooms and onions and pickled mustard seeds another new recipe that I tried this week that I am thrilled with and some turnip fries that my cute husband had cut up over the weekend to help me out.

Photo credited to Jen from The Lady's Lounge

So last Sunday when I got up at 6 am veggie burgers were not the only thing on my mind. The first thing I made the pizza dough for the Sticky Buns and Cinnamon Rolls.

It was pretty good timing though since my really handsome husband got home from the night shift around seven am and I followed him around, drinking my coffee listening to his stories about work while I waited for my dough to rise.

Once my husband went to bed I got busy and when my teen son got up I greeted him with Hot Sticky Buns and coffee and sat with him with a yummy piece of leftover dough I had stuffed with chocolate chips and also shared that with him.  

Photo credited to Everyday Food Blog

When he went to his room satiated I got busy with my Tofu dishes. For lunch it was Sesame Crusted Tofu with Nuoc Cham from Alexandra's Kitchen absolutely delicious and we later used the tofu and Nuoc Cham in sandwiches during the week for our lunches.

Photo credited to Alexandra via her blog Alexandra's Kitchen

 For dinner my main inspiration for writing about my cooking over the weekend was this recipe I discovered that I absolutely must mention because it is life changing. 

Are you curious to know what it is? It is one of the most amazing dishes I've ever eaten: Bulgogi Style Tofu. It is now hands down my favorite meal!

Picture and recipe credited to Manifest Vegan


Now I'm not a stranger to tofu. I like it but it is not something that I consider tasty on it's own. I usually use it ground up in egg rolls or dim sum with cabbage, onions and carrots and lots of tamari, ginger and garlic for flavor or to roll in sushi to eat with some nice pickled ginger and wasabi.

I am telling you if that is what you think when you think of tofu well you absolutely need to try this recipe. 

 Tell me what you think if you do and I'll let you know the results of our veggie burger taste testing.

 Last but not least I want to tell you about one more thing. Blurb  the number one place to create books is now offering 15% off cookbooks. 

I will be creating one with all my favorite recipes how about you? If yes no need to go anywhere you can just click here and it will take you through the process step by step.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Monday's Daily OM inspired musings

Copyright the*Glint via flickr

Learning to let go of our need to acquire things brings us closer to the beauty of our soul. Nowadays it can be difficult for us to turn against everything our world is built upon and truly see what is valuable in our lives. Opening our eyes to this, however, brings us to a deeper realization that nothing material can satisfy our needs or stay with us and only the love and generosity of soul remains constant. By finding abundance within, you will see that that is all you truly need today. 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

I am suffering from Teenitis

Not only am I on a weight loss plateau that is giving me WRITER'S BLOCK

I am suffering from Teenitis: a response of body tissues to injury or irritation by a teen; characterized by pain and swelling and redness and heat in you heart as if you forgot to give your child his lunch when he went on a field trip and you couldn't bring him one or contact him!

Symptoms: Loss of  wisdom, weight gain, loss of motivation and
feeling of failure.

credit for photo to Box Life Tumbl'r