Gothic Granola

Category Archives: Cats

Hot Dang! Chocolate Chilli

No pictures, again!

Greetings.  Busy week, but what can I say.  The going-to-class part of the semester is almost over and done with.  Exams, however, will not conclude until the end of January.  Great Scot!  My undergrad years better be the last time I go to a school that has exams after winter break.

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Non-Thanksgiving Food: Curried Lentils

I understand, it is expected that I should post something about Thanksgiving food, since the American holiday is next week.  But I’m not going to.  Maybe next week.  Defying expectations, that’s what we’re good at.


This recipe picture is lost | Vegan Gluten-Free |  Cape | Gothic Granola

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Coconut Heart Cakes

Have a piece of my heart.  Or tear my heart to pieces, can do that, too.


Coconut Heart Cakes

Makes 6 muffins or a short 8*8” square
½ cup brown rice flour
½ cup Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose GF Baking Flour
½ teaspoon xanthan gum
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon ginger
2 tablespoons coconut oil
½ cup applesauce
½ cup coconut milk
¼-½ cup agave nectar (depending on how sweet you want it)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup flaked unsweetened coconut
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  Grease or paper 6 muffin wells or an 8*8” square pan.  In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.  Stir in the coconut.  In a large measuring cup, melt the coconut oil.  Whisk in the applesauce, coconut milk, agave, and vanilla.  Add wet to dry and mix well.  Transfer to the pan and bake for 25-27 minutes or until it passes the toothpick test, springs back when touched in the centre, and pulls away from the edges.  This cake browns quite a bit because of the agave.  Cool completely in the pan.
Black Cat Society | Vegan Gluten-free | Gothic Granola

What can I say, it was a coconutty kind of day.
Come to the Dark Side…we have vegan and gluten-free goodies.

No-Cook Chilli

Speaking of flesh, my mom and I made chilli side-by-side last year, she making carnivorous chili and I making vegan chilli.  Chilli is one of those dishes that I think people can get really up-in-arms about since everyone knows someone who makes a good one.  Or they make a good one themselves.  I offer a chilli recipe that’s been adapted for the dorm.  I found a recipe on the interwebs sometime last April and neglected to bookmark it.  

I have no pictures of the chilli so all food pictures have been replaced with cats.

I’m hereby giving someone else credit for the idea of putting specifically Maya Gold chocolate in chilli, but I’m sorry, I forget the site.  I made this around finals because the concept was to use as much disparate food as I had in my freezer and under my bed before leaving campus.  It’s also a good dish for finals time when school manifests itself as the marvellous inconvenience that it is, and I allow the demands of a student to eat into my eating and cooking time.  

This freezes well.  The salsa label described the contents of the jar as “voluptuous,” and I would agree, the salsa is sensually pleasurable, if you like it when the corners of your lips hurt because you’ve been eating spicy food.  As you peruse the ingredient lists for both versions, you may ask, “Hey, where’s the fat?  It won’t taste good without oil or something…”

Chocolate has fat, hello.  Chocolate is what makes it delicious.

Version 1 is completely dorm-friendly.   Version 2 requires a little more work.

Use-Up Chilli

Version 1:
1 jar 3-bean roasted corn tomato salsa
2 cans beans, rinsed (black beans and kidney)
1 can Italian-style tomatoes, juice and all
1 bag frozen corn
1 bag frozen collard greens (defrosted and cooked)
Chilli powder
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 1.2-ounce bar Maya Gold chocolate, melted (NO LONGER VEGAN)

Combine all ingredients except for the chocolate in a large bowl.  Melt the chocolate and stir it in (it doesn’t have to be completely melted).  Portion it out into containers.  Freeze and reheat.  Serve with rice, cornbread, nutritional yeast, and/or vegan cheeze.

Version 2:

1/4 cup white vinegar
1 onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, diced or pressed
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/3 teaspoon cinnamon
1 16-ounce cilantro-green olive salsa (I had Salpica brand and it’s mild)
1 16-ounce can black beans, rinsed
1 16-ounce can kidney beans, rinsed
1 16-ounce can whole tomatoes and juice (salted or not is your pref)
1/3 of a 3.5-ounce bar of dark, spicy chocolate (50% cacao and up; I used Green & Black’s Organic Maya Gold chocolate, which is 55 percent cacao AND NO LONGER VEGAN)

Brown rice

Heat a 10-inch sauté pan over medium heat.  Add the vinegar once it’s hot.  Once that’s sizzling, add the onions.  Cook until translucent. 

While the onions are bubbling away, combine the salsa, beans, and tomatoes in a large bowl.

Back to the range: add the spices and stir around for a minute until they’re fragrant (thanks for the tip, Ownie Mom!).  Add the garlic and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated.  Break in the chocolate and stir around until melted.  Remove from heat and stir into the salsa-bean mixture.  Add whatever amount you’re going to be eating right that second back to the pan and heat it up.  This is also tasty cold as lunchbox fare.

If you are so lucky as to have a big pot or Dutch oven, then you can sautee the onions and garlic in that until they are translucent.  Then pour in the beans, tomatoes, and salsa.  Cook until heated through, then break in the chocolate and melt.

This is not chilli…it’s rice, banana, and nooch in a stack. And carrots, soymilk, and tea.

Serve with brown rice, cornbread, cheeze…and tissues as your nose will run if you make it nice and spicy. 

I’ve been wearing a bandanna over my hair for the past few days for two reasons.  One: my hair is long; the hairagami only holds so much hair out of my face.  Two: I’m avoiding wearing a hat since my hats rest a little too close to my new left upper conch piercing, and my head is cold since I’m so used to wearing a hat.  Net effect: I look like a pirate, especially with my piercings and tattoo.  I’m the dread pirate Captain Q.

I enjoy wearing an apron while I cook since it’s a visual reminder that I’m focused on cooking and little else when I’m in the kitchen.  I also wear an apron because I make messes, and messes don’t work with all black.  Now with my head-kerchief habit, I’d like to think I’m channelling my Italian great-great-grandmothers.  ‘Cept they didn’t have tattoos and non-earlobe piercings, I’ll bet.
Come to the Dark Side…we have vegan and gluten-free goodies.

Gettin’ the Vitamin A

Long time, no blog.  My supper today was an updated or healthified version of a dish floating around in my family, called Hot Dogs, Peppers, Potatoes, and Onions.  The original’s basically all of those ingredients, sautéed and steamed and served with catsup.  I’m not a fan of two taste sensations—salty and oily—and my modifications do away with the oil and extra salt, instead replacing those with spice.  The curry powder I recently purchased is spicy, and of course, you are free to spice or not spice to your palate’s preference.  Sweet potatoes are a good source of vitamin A (tell me that’s common knowledge, eh?).

Spicy Sweet Potatoes, Kale, and Hot Hot Dogs
Serves 2ish

2 sweet potatoes, washed and cubed in 1-inch or smaller pieces (I left the skin on)
2 yellow onions, some diced and some half-mooned
2 cups vegetable broth (1/2 teaspoon Better-than-Bouillon plus 2 cups boiling water)
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon curry powder
3 tofu hot dogs, cut into bite-sized pieces (I had only three in the freezer; six or eight would be better)
one large bunch of kale, washed and chopped
2 teaspoons mild vinegar (I used pomegranate-acai vinegar)

Heat a large frying pan (that has a lid) over medium heat.  Add about a cup of broth, which should begin to steam and boil soon after hitting the pan.  Add the sweet potatoes and turn up the heat to medium-high; cover pan with lid.  Boil in the shallow layer of broth for about five minutes—no need to stir—or until there is only light orange around the edges of the potato pieces near the skin.  They should give easily to a knife poke.  Add the onions and about a quarter-cup of broth (just replenish the broth since the potatoes have absorbed some).  

Replace the lid and cook the onions until they begin to turn translucent.  Add the cayenne and curry and stir.  Cook for a minute and then add the hot dogs.  Stir them in and cook, with the lid on, until they are heated through (they will turn yellow from the curry powder and you want that to happen).  Pile the kale on top, replace the lid, and cook for two minutes, or until the kale begins to wilt and turn brilliant, Emerald City green (hey, I saw Wicked recently).  

Turn off the heat.  Let the kale wilt completely, then remove the lid and stir in the two teaspoons of vinegar.  Serve with catsup and (spicy!) mustard.

Some notes: Obviously, if you don’t like to burn your face off, don’t add all the spice; curry powders vary in heat intensity so use the one you like.  The cooking times I give are approximate, and in my experience, it’s better to look at the colour of the food and poke it to see if it’s done.  Eating it with catsup and mustard is just one of my quirks and is not required.  Yes, two cups of broth means there’s a lot of liquid in the pan; this is normal.  Drink it, it’s good for you.  It’s best served in a bowl.  Also, I didn’t cook the onions for a long time since one, I was impatiently hungry, and two, what I dislike most about the original is its lack of texture.  Kale adds texture, too.


No, cat’s down.

Just printed out some paper dolls today that I downloaded from Liana’s Paper Doll Blog and I hope to cut them out this weekend.
Come to the Dark Side…we have vegan and gluten-free goodies.

Realness {FAQ}

Doing the teaser is tough.  The teaser, in case you’ve never tried Pilates, is a move where a person balances on hir sacrum, legs and arms up at a forty-five-degree angle, and spine-rolls up and down to complete that pose using the powerhouse/core/abdominal muscles only.  I was better at it when I was recovering from surgery almost a year ago (T-minus four days, in fact, from today) since all I was allowed to do was Pilates and other stationary exercises.

Hey look, I match my towels!

What kind of surgery did I have?

The second of two surgeries from which I discerned the title of this blog: bunion surgery on my left great toe.  I am the proud ownie of four titanium screws, two in each big toe, as a result of each surgery.  Bunion surgery is relatively minor surgery; the procedure lasts about forty-minutes and I had mine in a surgery centre instead of in a hospital.  I could put weight on it on the same day, and I had a walking cast (the “boot”)four about four weeks.  My brother called me a pirate since I stumped around like Captain Barbossa.

Q, what’s an ownie?
Q—is that your real name?

Does anyone comprehend how cheeky that question is, asking someone if what they just told you to call them is their real name?  My name derives from my first nickname, Ownie.

Say what now?

Here’s the long story: I began collecting plush cats when I was four. 

Pepper, the first cat:

When I was five or six, I thought, instead of calling myself a pet owner–for I viewed my cat collection as my pets and playmates–I should call myself Ownie.  Ownie was a either feminised or diminutive version of owner.  Like the nickname Suzy Q, my mother (“Ownie Mom”) began calling me Ownie Q.  Then my family shortened that to Q.  Now all I go by is Q.  So, yes, it’s my real name, in my reality.

Now I have over two hundred plush kitties and I am always looking for more.  I collect other plush critters, too, but I’m mainly a cat person.

Maximus eying my veggie burger:

I’m living with this brash cat and his shy sister this summer.

Pie and pasta coming soon.
Come to the Dark Side…we have vegan and gluten-free goodies.