Last Sunday, with a group of friends, we went to a Cabane à Sucre outside Montréal. Cabanes à Sucre or Sugar Shacks in English are popular traditional establishments in Québec where maple syrup and everything sweet are celebrated. It’s basically an institution and a must-stop for anyone visiting the Belle Province between October and April.
I have a confession to make. I hate bananas! In fact banana is probably one of my least favorite fruits. I just have a complex relationship with bananas; I hate eating them but I’m also aware of their positive benefits on people’s health. I think the only time I could find myself willingly eating bananas is when I’m working out because bananas are a great energy supplier. Most of the time, I hate bananas in fruit salads (too mushy to look appealing for me), drinks, smoothies, ice creams or yogurts. Without even trying to taste it, I was categorically opposed to the idea of eating banana bread. And it wasn’t as if my sister, who loves everything bananas, hadn’t tried to convert me.
The Lingala word for donut is Mokaté (in plural the right word is Mikaté). Mikaté are commonly served for breakfast and for snack time. In Brazzaville (Congo), Mikaté are a street food favorite that you can find on the stand of almost every street vendor in popular neighbourhoods. It’s also the case in Brazzaville’s twin city across the Congo River, Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of Congo). In fact, Mikaté are without a doubt among the most liked and eaten dishes in both Congos.
I ended my Vegan week challenge with a simple and healthy recipe. My sister introduced me to quinoa six years ago and since then I’m totally hooked. I usually eat quinoa in salads, however from time to time, I find myself replacing rice with quinoa to accompany my curries or stew dishes. Quinoa is also listed as one the world’s healthiest foods because it’s a nutrient-rich grain with countless health benefits. Quinoa is easy to prepare and also gluten free.
Madesu is the Lingala word for beans. Beans are one of the staple ingredients in the African cuisine and they are cooked in every part of Africa in different ways. That’s why as part of my Vegan week, I decided to make a vegan version of the African red beans stew I used to have when I was growing up. Usually in Congo, Madesu or beans are served with beef, pork, salt cod or tripe sheep, however since I’m fully vegan this week; I decided to make this stew without adding any type of meat or fish.
On Day 2 of my Vegan challenge I decided to make a vegan and gluten free snack. Usually for a crunchy snack I would pick a bag of potato chips or shrimp chips when I do my grocery shopping. However, since this week, in the spirit of trying new vegan dishes, I decided to give this recipe of chickpeas a try because I had heard from many people who are vegans and not vegans that roasted chickpeas were delicious to eat. To be honest with you, after making them myself, I can tell you that I wasn’t disappointed. I would go as far as to say that this vegan snack will remain on my must-eat even after this Vegan challenge ends.
Going Vegan for one week!!
Weeks ago, a friend of mine who is vegan taunted me about not being able to spend a week without my proteins. So this week I decided to accept her challenge by going fully vegan for a week. As a meat and dairy lover, I wanted to challenge myself and see if I could spend an entire week by only eating vegetables and substitutes to meat and dairy. You have no idea how it’s difficult for anyone who likes to have meat and dairy in their daily meals to be deprived of it for seven days. However, I’m ready for the challenge.
This recipe was inspired by a recipe shared with me by a friend of mine who is from Chinese descent. When my friend made me taste her cookies years ago, I instantly loved them. I probably ate a good bunch of them within minutes. It was simply addictive, especially with a cup of tea. After years of eating them, I finally decided to try to make them myself. This recipe basically is a twisted version of my friend’s Chinese Almond Cookies. For example, my friend’s cookies didn’t have almond meal; however, since I wanted the almond flavor to be more present in the cookie dough, I added almond meal in my recipe. And I quite liked the result of it.