Guys, all my wistful blogging was right! Spring is finally here! Well, technically it won’t be here until Saturday. But as I walked through Toronto in just my sweater and a military jacket yesterday, I really felt it. “It.” Spring! There was sunshine beating down on my face through the window of La Hacienda on Queen (near Bathurst) and dogs walking out without booties on. I mean, that’s the true sign of spring, isn’t it?
Okay, so, two major developments in my life to share. One — I finally own a DSLR camera. Thanks to my amazing friend Lance, I am the new proud owner of a Cannon Rebel XSi. I’m still experimenting with it and will likely take a long time to figure out all my settings, not to mention how to compose photographs so elegantly like all my favourite food bloggers. But learning is a process and I’m a proud lifelong learner, so there you have it.
Second, and one I’ve been bursting at the seams to share, in five days time I will be reunited with my darling cat, Benny!
For those who don’t know me personally, Benny was my cat last year. He is a five-year-old black and white Norwegian forest cat with large paws, a love for brushings and a dislike for being told what to do. Benny came into my life in an amazing way. My roommate last year got him from the Toronto Humane Society rather impulsively. She had never owned a cat before, so I was worried about how she’d handle him. Now, without getting too into the drama that was my old roommate and I, I can safely say that her ownership of Benny didn’t work out very well. After she lost her fascination with him, she basically stopped taking care of him, which included emptying his litter, brushing him and even feeding him. Benny is very affectionate and he quickly became “my” cat, which I didn’t mind at all. Then in March my roommate took a two month trip to Europe and did not pay her rent, nor did she tell our landlord she was leaving the country. I was pretty eager to get out, so I took the eviction notice as a sign. However, I couldn’t leave poor Benny alone, so he came along with me to my parents’ place.
Months later when the time came to move out again, Benny had become well-acquainted with a) my Mom, b) her cat and dog, Maggie and Tessie and c) the back yard. My Mom thought it would be cruel of me to take that all away from him, so I moved back to Toronto without him. I have Lucy (Chris’s cat), but I miss Benny every day.
Well, now that my Mom is selling her house, she’s eager to get Mister Fluffy Pants out of her hair (more specifically, to get his hair out of her hair). It’s time to transition Benny back to living with me… and living with Lucy. How will this go? Only time can tell!
Spring is all about rebirth, that first breath of a renewed life and energy. And that’s what Benny will be bringing to our home.
In the meantime, I’ve been switching up my eats lately. Not so warm and hearty — more cool and light. I’ve been looking at recipes for a raw zucchini lasagna lately, and in general look forward to having to use my oven less as the months warm up (especially because our place isn’t air-conditioned, and our windows get the direct sunset light).
This raw taco “meat” that I made for my burrito is a nice change from just beans in my burrito (although as you can see, there’s beans as well — I tossed on some of my festive fresh bean salad). There’s a crunch and crumble, but the vegan mayo also adds a creamy texture that goes against type.
Raw zesty taco “meat,” makes three servings
- 1 cup raw unsalted walnut halves/pieces
- 2 tbsp sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil (about 5-6 tomatoes), finely chopped
- 2 tbsp vegan mayonnaise (I used Wildwood Aioli for a garlic zing, but if you want a soy-free variety, Earth Island makes soy-free Veganaise)
- 2 green onions, copped
- 1-2 cloves of garlic, finely copped (use less or none if using aioli)
- 1/2-1 jalapeno, finely chopped (seeds removed if that’s not your thing)
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp ground coriander
- 1/4 tsp smoked paprika (optional)
- In a food processor, pulse the walnuts until they are crumbly without being dusty (like regular ground taco meat) and set in a medium-sized bowl
- Once your tomatoes, green onions, garlic and jalapeno are chopped, add to the bowl
- Add the mayo and the spices and mix thoroughly until everything is coated and even.
In case you’re wondering what I had on my burrito, it wasn’t a 100% raw or GF wrap — but you could totally go that route if you’re trying to be conscious of both (or if you’re just looking for a good cooking challenge). Maybe try a lettuce wrap (way more fun and tasty than a gluten-free wrap).
My wrap consisted of:
- A whole wheat burrito wrap
- Roasted garlic hummus
- Romaine lettuce
- Roma tomatoes
- My bean salad (yum!)
- Raw taco “meat”
Even though today is dreary and cloudy, I’m still just really feeling this spring weather. However, now that I’m no longer wearing tall boots all day, this was a terrible way to realize that ALL MY PANTS ARE TOO SHORT. I love skinny jeans, but I’m a long-legged lady, and this simply will not do. Time for shorts/skirts weather to come back into style. QUICK.