Welcome to LGV!

Joy Deveeve brings you a fresh Canadian blog dedicated to the healthiest and tastiest vegan recipes on the planet. Tested in her own kitchen, Joy delivers recipes that are sure to inspire new ideas and bring your meat loving friends over to the good side of life!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Crockpot Veggie Curry

Spring Has Sprung

My home office and bedroom are both facing the east, so most days I get to enjoy the morning sun. In front of the office and bedroom windows are the beginnings of my new herb and veggie gardens. I can't help but feel like it's time to get started on my spring cleaning. Perhaps that is why I spent my entire afternoon last Saturday, cleaning out the pantry and the fridge. Now that I'm better organized and there is so much room for new stuff, it got me thinking about cooking up some new dishes.

I was inspired to search for some spring recipes. Typically, during this time of year, supermarket magazines are all splashed with crisp salads or fresh obsessed dishes. But from a food standpoint, I don't think I am ready for spring yet. First of all, here in Kitchener, Canada, it's still cold outside and most mornings, I'm still scraping frost off of my car windows. By mid-afternoon, I can still feel a chill in the house. Really, the only thing I have been craving lately, is a hearty stew. One that will warm me up and keep me energized.

I decided to bring out my dusty crockpot, which has never been used. I bought it in the thick of winter last year with the intention of making a hearty stew, but at the time I got discouraged because I had a lot of trouble finding the right veggie recipe. I finally decided that if I was going to do it, I had better get it done now! (I have this "pitch it" rule when it comes to not using appliances for one year...poor waffle maker and crepe maker!)

You will be very pleased to know that I finally created the perfect recipe which I adapted from one I found on a Facebook group called Vegan Recipes.

My husband and I had this for dinner last night. We'll be eating it again for dinner tonight...yes, it was that good!

Makes 4 generous servings or 6 smaller servings.

-1 lg carrot, sliced
-1 med onion, chopped
-3 cloves garlic, minced (or a tablespoon of the stuff from jar)
-3 tbsp curry powder
-4 thin stocks of fresh coriander
-1/4 tsp cayenne (optional, be careful, this is hot stuff!)
-2 lg potatoes, diced
-1 small sweet potato, diced
-a handful of snow peas
-11/2 cups of chick peas
-15 oz canned diced tomatoes
-2 cups veggie stock
-1/2 cup green peas
-Half a can of baby corn
-1 tablespoon of cornstarch (for a thicker sauce)

This is the first time I tried this recipe and I couldn't believe it. The potatoes weren't fully cooked all the way through after 8 hours! So, I strongly advise cutting potatoes extra small, or if you want larger chunks, partially boil them beforehand to avoid disappointment. Put everything but the peas in a crockpot and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours (You can cook on med to speed up the process. Just before serving, add the peas.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

A Touch of Vegan

Hello everyone,

This is my first post which marks the beginning of Vive La Vegan, a new blog that I hope you will enjoy reading as much as I enjoy creating.

About me...

I have been cooking and baking since I can remember.  The eldest of three children, I was the one who opted to forgo play and games to stay inside with mom and help her cook.  I can actually remember a time when I was six years old and I enviously watched my mother buttering bread, wishing that I could hold the knife and spread the butter as gracefully as she did. All these years later, the cooking bug has morphed into something even more creative and exciting for me.  

Around the time of the mad cow disease epidemic in the late 90's, I decided to do a little research about the meat industry and vegetarian diet alternatives.  It led me to the Toronto Vegetarian Society, where I read books, watched videos and talked to real life vegetarians.  I was horrified by my ignorance and with my new knowledge, I couldn't continue to ignore reality.  Since then, I haven't really looked back.  Despite the challenges and inconveniences, I decided it was time for me to make a change to a healthier and kinder lifestyle.  

I have been an aspiring vegetarian for about seven years.  I am not a saint about it and I have been known to fall off the wagon and eat chicken wings at the pub, bacon bits on caesar salad and pork sausages at the breakfast restaurant from time to time.  Fish is not off limits and I'm careful to eat fish that isn't endangered.  I confess my meaty sins because unlike many of the websites and books out there, I don't advocate completely swearing off meat, at least not immediately.  For some, it's just not a practical or healthy thing to do.  There must be a middle way! 

The logic I have when it comes to living a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle is this: even if you can only add a touch of vegan to your lifestyle, you will be more aware of the food you eat, you will be healthier for not eating meat and the planet will be a little less taxed by your meat consumption.  And who knows, if you learn something about cooking from this blog, you might eventually get to the point where you can safely ween yourself off meat completely. 

I believe that you can only become a true vegetarian or vegan over time.  You need time to educate yourself and learn about health and nutrition.  When I first decided to become a vegetarian, I quit cold turkey (pun intended) and it wasn't good.  During the first two years that I swore off meat, I became ill, undernourished and weak.  I wasn't doing anything to help my health, so I decided to reintroduce chicken and fish.  I don't advise becoming a vegetarian overnight for this reason.  You need to do your homework and learn about vitamins, minerals, nutrients and ingredients your body needs to function well.  I've been at it part time for several years now, there is still much for me to learn.  I know that this blog will be a part of that process!

While mom taught me how to cook meat with the best of them, I think it is even more challenging to create a dish without meat.  I think it is even more challenging to create vegan dishes (without the dairy, eggs, honey, etc)  So, this blog is my personal challenge.  To seek out and find the best recipes for me and people like me.  I hope you enjoy!