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28 recipes down, 225 days to go

Saturday, October 17th.

Earlier today I was revamping this blog, sitting outdoors listening to some raucous rap music my neighbors were blasting next door while playing basketball. Okay, maybe I am being too harsh in my judgement. It was actually surprisingly good music when it comes to rap—I even found myself dancing along to some of the beats. I got into a productive working groove and was enjoying myself. In fact, I was disappointed when they turned it off, and voiced my want for them to keep it on. They probably didn't hear...

Even earlier, this morning, our softball team played its first "game" (more like friendly scrimmage). But it was against another team, which is what counts! This was the first time playing another team since quarantine started... so about six months. How crazy is that?!

Otherwise, it was REALLY hot today, like in the 90's. I think we've had a heat wave this week. I've been telling the weather to get a grip...I mean, it's October, shouldn't the days start cooling off into the fall season? Please, please, let there be fall! I for one want to get down to cooking some cozy vegan fall dishes...


- Creamy Quinoa and White Bean Risotto with Crispy Brassica Florets -

The First Mess

I started the process of making this recipe at 6pm, and by then I was already hunger—not a good sign.

My mom and sister had gone out and my dad and brother were at gym, so believe it or not... I was alone in the kitchen and had a quiet house. That doesn't happen often! It is the definition of luxury when it occurs. There was no one to yell at me. No one to critique and pester me with questions. There was no one to get in my way. No pressure about when it would be ready and need to accommodate everyone else's schedule. It was just me and Taylor Swift.

I admit, Taylor Swift wasn't actually there; it was her voice keeping me company. Taylor Swift is one heck of singer, perhaps my favorite singer. When I thought about what would make cooking more pleasant, I realized, since I had the house to myself, I could play her new album folklore! Listening to her voice, and the soothing sound of her guitar, definitely made my evening. With her music playing and a timer ticking away simultaneously on my phone resting on the kitchen table in front of me, I got started chopping the broccoli florets.

When it comes to all the vegetables I've worked with, broccoli is one of the easiest to chop, but also the most imperfect in chopping into florets. I wouldn't even call all the pieces of broccoli I chopped florets. There were some pieces I was seriously worried about because they just looked so strange!

With the broccoli 'florets' roasting in the oven, I moved on to making the 'risotto'.

The first step was dicing the shallots—four total. Dicing the shallots was easy...

It was peeling the shallots that caused this dish to be done 30 minutes after I had planned on, pushed my patience to its limit, and literally made my stomach growl from hunger.

I've never had any problem peeling an onion; after chopping off the top part and cutting it in half, it peels quite nicely. Those shallots were another story entirely.

For one, each shallots was made up of multiple smaller ones all fitting inside the outside peel. I had to break each shallot up into its parts and peel them all SEPARATELY!! For two, it was hard to tell which layers were part of the peel, as there were multiple layers, and they didn't all peel off together. For three, each layer of peel was INCREDIBLY thin, which made it a time consuming, highly painful process. For four, THERE WERE FOUR OF THEM! After I had peeled one shallot, I still had three more to go. It seemed like I would be there peeling them forever... and ever... and ever...

Up next was sauteing them with minced fresh thyme leaves. I got the fresh thyme leaves it called for, because I've heard that fresh herbs are always better than dried herbs, and I decided, why not? I only used 4 sprigs, and now the rest of the little container is in the fridge... I'll see if I can make use of it in recipes next week. I could have definitely used dried thyme instead, but I'm glad I tried the fresh thyme this time.

After the shallots had become translucent and the thyme smelled fragrant (it was a wonderful smell), I stirred in the quinoa and vegetable stock, and left it to simmer while I made the 'cream.'

The 'cream', is what Laura Wright names the best part of risotto. And she certainly got creative with making this vegan replication.

It is made with quinoa, not rice like in a 'normal' risotto, which threw my mom off because she wasn't aware of that. I thought it was quite good, and it turned out wonderfully creamy like it was supposed to.

I saved a bowl of leftovers in the refrigerator for my lunch tomorrow! I have found that leftovers can taste the best, because there is absolutely no work and labour involved, it's already made, and all there is to do is enjoy it!

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Hello Friends! It's almost time to close off what's turned out to be a rather sporadic nine months of blogging on this platform, but nevertheless transformative in my learning and personal growth—WOW!

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