Vegetarian meat loaf..

I bought a great cookbook in Costco about 2 years ago.

‘It’s called 330 Vegetarian Recipes for Health, published by Hermes House. Its a lovely British production which really reminds me of that other esteemed publisher, DorlingKindersly., simply because it is a great encyclopaedic aid for all the types of ingredients you might want to use in vegeatarian and healthy cooking.

It lovingly photographs each item and explains all information in detail. Then the recipe section , has a ton of tempting ideas

Anyhow, I made a “meat loaf” and we liked it so much that I have gone to that page again and again, so that the recipe itself is almost obscured by spilled ingredients and often, it’s hard to even open the page as it has somehow glued itself to it’s neighbouring pages using the handy spilt ingredients as a very effective glue.

I do have various cookbook protectors and contraptions to hold the book while cooking but somehow they never get used.

Here’s the recipe;

“A great vegetarian alternative to meatloaf. Works great as leftovers as well. If you don’t have a food processor, you can mash up the beans with a potato masher.”


  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 onions, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 celery ribs, finely chopped
  • 14 ounces kidney beans, canned (in Canada, our cans of lentils and kidney beans always seem to be processed in 19 oz cans. You COULD remove the extra beans and use them for something else OR adjust the recipe accordingly)
  • 14 ounces lentils, canned
  • 1 eggs
  • 1 carrots, coarsely grated (I put in more of everything, because I use more beans..)
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, finely grated
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F Lightly grease a 9″x5″x3″ loaf pan.
  2. Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the onion, garlic & celery and cook gently for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the pan from the heat and cool slightly.
  3. Rince and drain the beans and lentils. Place in a food processor with the onion mixture and egg and process until smooth.
  4. Transfer the mixture to a bowl, add all the remaining ingredients and mix well. Season with salt & pepper to taste.
  5. Spoon the mixture into the prepared loaf pan and level the surface. Bake for about 1 hour, then remove from the pan and cut into slices to serve.
  6. Can be eaten hot or cold.

It is SO yummy; husband and all and sundry have approved it….

recipe experiments

Don’t you hate when you try a new recipe and it DOESN’T turn out?  You begin with such high hopes, and assemble your ingredients(can you tell that I am a cooking show junkie, lol) carefully,

You(I say you but, of course, I mean myself. Hopefully my dear readers,  you will have had a similar experience) have learned, over the years, that it is MUCH better to so do than to be suddenly faced with a task such as peeling and chopping apples, while your pan with a batter containing (among other things, baking soda) languishes coldly upon the counter, its rising abilities reducing by the second….(did you not read the recipe? Another wise thing to do.  :(

But I digress.

Its not nice to labour over a difficult recipe(or even , it could be an easy one, but you don’t know this, because it is NEW to YOU)  only to have it fail. Yikes.

If you have a sweet significant other, as I do, they are now faced with the onerous task of gamely sampling the disaster, trying to hide the horror as they eat, all the while , bravely telling you that, “no honey, it is DELICIOUS!!! ”

But happily, the recipe that I tried this afternoon, did NOT fail.

It was (and is, as it still exists, but won’t for long) a carrot cake but one made with healthy ingrdienets, and NO SUGAR and minimal oil AND spelt flour.

A recipe by Ania Catalano

This moist, luscious cake is a tropical twist on an old favorite–made even better with Agave nectar and wholegrain flours.

Serves 8 – 10

Pineapple Coconut Carrot Cake:
3 cups carrots, finely grated in food processor
½ cup unsweetened, canned pineapple, drained well and chopped
½ cup unsweetened, shredded coconut (plus extra to garnish outside of cake, optional)
2 cups sprouted spelt flour or 1 ½ cups barley flour and ½ cup oat flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoons cinnamon
¾ cup light Agave nectar
3 eggs
½ cup canola oil
1 cup non-fat plain yogurt
1 tablespoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Lightly grease two 9” cake pans with canola oil ( can use an 13×9 pan)
Mix together carrots, pineapple and coconut in a large bowl
In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon
In a food processor, blend Agave nectar, eggs, oil, yogurt, and vanilla
Add egg mixture to flour mixture and stir to blend
Add carrot mixture and stir until combined
Pour batter into prepared pans and bake for 30 – 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cake comes out clean
Let cool in pan, then invert onto platter
Frost with Cream Cheese Frosting

Cream Cheese Frosting:
6 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
1 8 oz. Package cream cheese at room temperature
½ cup light Agave nectar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Cream together butter and cream cheese
Add agave nectar and vanilla and beat well until creamy
Refrigerate frosting for about ½ hour to thicken (if needed) before frosting cake
Spread frosting in center of the two layers and over entire cake
Sprinkle with coconut, if desired

DELICIOUS!!!!! RECOMMENDED for anyone,…..

super moon; did you see it?

Did you see the super moon last night? This was one of rare times when the moon is very close to the earth(it called when the moon is in perigee) and I did get up to see it, here, about 11 pm(ashamed to say, that even on the weekend, I go to bed around 10pm, lol.)

It was SO bright, that our whole living room seemed to have a spot light trained upon it, and even to look at the moon was almost too much to take, as if one was looking into the sun, instead…

It was amazing,but I  didn’t take a photo,, am instead, “borrowing” from some awesome photos posted on the weather networks site……


This picture is by  Laura Watts ;

This one is by David Behren; it’s taken in Quebec, over Lac St. Louis

This one is taken in B.C. by Merton Sprengal

It was an event that had people right across Canada reaching for their cameras.

On Saturday night, the moon was just 357,000 km from our planet – the closest it will get until 2014 – and about 30,000 km less than it’s average distance from Earth.

For observers, that meant that the moon appeared about 16% larger and 30% brighter than other full moons of the year.

It’s what’s known as the “supermoon,” and it caught the attention of thousands – especially those lucky enough to have clear skies during the event.

“Conditions were ideal across many parts of Ontario and Quebec, parts of the Maritimes and British Columbia,” says Dayna Vettese, a meteorologist at The Weather Network. “There was a little more cloud cover in the Prairies and Newfoundland.”

If you got clouded out on Saturday night, astronomer and “night sky guy”Andrew Fazekas suggests watching Sunday night, too. He says the moon should still look great just past its full phase.

The best time to catch the sky show is just after local sunset – looking towards the eastern horizon as the Moon rises. The silvery orbit will probably appear unusually big while near the horizon – a visual illusion, making it an even more impressive sight and photo opportunity.

With files from Andrew Fazekas

supermoon info 

How about you, did you see it?

When there’s a will, there’s a way

Do you have a will?


Maybe, you never thought it was necessary unless you have children or a lot of assets?

Everyone should have a will, because if you pass away and have not indicated in a will how you want your possessions and assets to be divided or apportioned, most governments will step in, freeze all bank accounts and even make it impossible to access safety deposit boxes.

When one works hard all of ones life, it sure would seem like a slap in the face…

Our  friend that recently passed, had no will.  She was only 56 and probably never imagined that there might not be time to sort things out for that final day. Sorry if this sounds gruesome, but life is so uncertain, we all know that.

It is a HUGE problem and mess for her poor husband,  as you can imagine.

Making a will – why it’s important

There are lots of good financial reasons for making a will:

  • you can decide how your assets are shared out – if you don’t make a will, the law says who gets what
  • if you aren’t married or in a civil partnership (whether or not it’s a same sex relationship) your partner will not inherit automatically – you can make sure your partner is provided for
  • if you’re divorced or if your civil partnership has been dissolved you can decide whether to leave anything to an ex-partner who’s living with someone else
  • you can make sure you don’t pay more Inheritance Tax than necessary

No will?

more information


We have a reception to attend this afternoon, in honour of the friend who passed away, a couple of weeks ago. Not looking forward to it, obviously.

I am also not looking forward to seeing her mum , not just because of the circumstances, but because her mum is totally insane. She is one of these people who love to stir people up and to utter controversial and inaccurate information; about anything, but now she can feast upon every detail, from her daughter’s last minutes to fabrications about the findings by the coroner.

I know it sound morbid but she loves morbid topics(it comes from her fear of her own mortality, obviously) and always upsets people.  My other friend from college called me to tell me about the phone conversation she had had earlier in the week with the mum; it was terrible, and upset my second friend dreadfully.

So I have instructed Harvey to simply greet her, but not to linger with her, and to mingle with the others instead.

Sad to have to orchestrate such events, but I KNOW what her mum is like and really hope that I am wrong about her expected behaviour.

We will hope for the best….

(and I have been going to Tai Chi often this week, in preparation; arming myself with relaxation!)



quinoa and raisin pudding

Image.I just made this, and it is so yummy that we both have had huge servings already..

2 cups quinoa, cooked (basic recipe)

½ cups raisins

3 cups milk

½ cup shredded coconut

1/3-cup honey or ½ cup brown sugar( I used agave syrup)

1 tsp vanilla

½ cup almonds or walnuts, ground

3 eggs, beaten

½ tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp salt
½ tsp lemon or orange rind, grated(wow, made it even better!)

1 Tbs butter

1 tsp lemon juice

Combine all ingredients. Pour into greased baking dish or greased individual custard cups. Bake in 350-degree oven until set, about 45 minutes. Serve hot or cold, topped with yogurt, cream or apple juice. Serves 4-6.

This recipe was borrowed from an old favourite that originally called for rice. Quinoa substitutes nicely to almost any recipe designed for rice.

This recipe and many others for quinoa that look good are from this page