Monday, October 19, 2009

vegan mofo: snack time

I snack a lot throughout the day. I have to or I’ll freak out. Hunger turns me into the Hulk. I need to keep my blood sugar even and my metabolism going otherwise…RAWR!!!!

Here’s what I’ve been snacking on lately:

1. Tea and Toast

When I’m feeling sluggish or tired, tea and toast is my go to. I have a pretty big assortment of teas to fit any mood. My afternoon tea is usually something green like Jasmine. I drink mostly decaf, but the energy green tea gives me is pretty balanced. I’ll make a little pot (or french press, rather) of tea and half a piece of toast with peanut butter. That usually gets me going.

2. Apples

My husband lost 40+ lbs by balancing his meals, minimizing his portions, taking daily walks and eating 2 – 3 carrots a day. Ask him what the most important factor of his weight loss was and he’ll say it was the carrots. One between breakfast and lunch and another between lunch and dinner to keep his metabolism up. He’s lost his weight, but he still eats two carrots a day. What does this have to do with apples?

I don’t need to lose weight, but I like the idea of a high metabolism and not gaining 5lbs every time I eat french fries. I don’t like carrots so I went for apples. I snack on apples a lot, but I’m not as vigorous with them as he is with his carrots. The problem is that there was a time in my life where I was eating 3-4 apples a day. After, like, a year of that I got kind of sick of apples. Still, I like them more than any other crunchy fruit and they do the job. If you’re feeling stuck in your weight loss, may I suggest carrots or apples?

3. Trader Joe’s Seaweed Sesame Rice Balls

Oh my dear God, these things are heavenly. They taste like Funyuns only so much better! I ate half a bag the first time I got them and I could have kept going. I had to stop myself because I knew I would want more later. Get them and let Trader Joe’s know that they can NEVER EVER EVER discontinue them. Ever.

4. Daiya Not Cheez Its

I’ve got to stop buying Daiya Cheez. These crackers are always calling my name. At first I wondered if it was a waste to use Daiya in crackers. It’s not exactly cheap, y’know? But after making the Not Cheez Its I feel like it’s a waste to use it for anything else.

5. Garlic Teriyaki Noodles

Noodles don’t sound like the smartest choice for a snack, but these are so easy. They’re great when you’re lazy or drunk. And they’re perfect late at night. The recipe is only for 1oz of pasta so it’s just a small little snack.

Garlic Teriyaki Noodles
  • 1 oz dry udon noodles
  • 1 – 2 tsps olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tsp. teriyaki sauce (I don’t measure, but if you must.)
1. Boil the pasta for 4 minutes. Drain and set aside.
2. In a skillet over medium low heat, heat up the olive oil. Once hot, add the garlic. You’re sweating the garlic, not sauteeing. Let sweat for about 2-3 minutes. Until the garlic gets a little golden.
3. Turn the heat up to medium and add the noodles and toss around in the garlicky oil. Let them cook for about 3 minutes, tossing often.
4. Add the teriyaki sauce and toss to coat the noodles. Let them cook for about 2 more minutes. Serve!

Yay eating!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

vegan mofo: taste of life

We are beyond blessed in LA with the Hollywood Farmer’s Market. It has so many FANTASTIC options for vegans. Sorbet, truffles, chili, tacos, korean goodies, thai goodies, tamales and many many more. Many more including the star of the market, Taste of Life. Vegan soul food served with smiles and snark. I love them, I love their food, and I love that they’re in my life. Here’s me (in the red hoodie) excitedly buying what would become my only real meal last Sunday:

Here’s what I got:

kale, pot roast (seitan), bbq tofu and macaroni and cheese,

The kale was the star for me. I had never had it before and now I crave it every. single. day. The pot roast was really really good, but really really intense. I get it every now and then and space it out throughout the day. It’s…strong. The tofu was reminiscent of the BBQ Tofu from Mothers in Austin. It’s saucy and nutty. Definitely a a winner. The mac and cheese is, I’m pretty sure, world famous at this point. There’s nothing I can say that hasn’t been said. It’s delicious, unique and worth any stomachache you might get from eating it too fast.

Not pictured was a white peach ginger juice that the guy makes. It’s sooo gingery and refreshing. I don’t think they advertise it though, so next time you’re there, ask him about it.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

vegan mofo: mint cacao nib ice cream

….whaaaaat? There’s a gelato stand at the Hollywood Farmer’s Market that sells awesome vegan sorbets and (sadly) not vegan, but amazing looking gelatos. They make their goodies using only things from the farmer’s market. Many a Sunday afternoon I have enjoyed Spicy Strawberry or Cucumber sorbet while my husband enjoyed his Brown Sugar Vanilla Bean or Mint Cacao Nib gelato. While the sorbets are fantastic, I’m always a little jealous of the flavors he gets to experience. Knowing this, he said “This is silly..we’ll just make them vegan.” I love him.

We decided to start with Mint and Cacao Nibs. He told me that the NV version was unlike any mint ice-cream/gelato he’s ever had. The mint is not from an extract, it’s from leaves infused into the milk. It has a strong mint flavor, but with an herb-ness not present in extract.

He found a nonvegan recipe online, bought some Mimicream and had a go. Perfection. The mint is definitely strong and herby and SO FRESH. The cacao nibs offer great texture and a chocolate element that isn’t sweet. The nibs really tie the ice-cream together. If you like mint chocolate chip ice-cream, this recipe will blow your mind.

Mint Cacao Nib Ice-Cream
  • 2 c. Mimicream, sweetened
  • 2/3 c. sugar
  • 3/4 c. fresh mint leaves (Any will do, I’m sure. We used spearmint.)
  • 1/2 c. rice milk
  • 1/2 c. soy creamer
1. Put the Mimicream, sugar and mint leaves in a stainless steal pan over medium heat. Stir constantly until the mixture begins to boil. Remove from the heat and let steep for 1 hour so the flavors can infuse.
2. Once steeped, scoop out the mint leaves and discard. Add the rice milk and soy creamer to the infused Mimicream. Cover and let cool completely (about an hour or two in the fridge or overnight.)
3. Pour into your ice cream maker and run according the manufacturer’s directions. Once done, stir in the cacao nibs.
4. Cover and put in the freezer. Eat right away OR let it freeze at least two hours for maximum tastiness.

Veganized from this recipe.

Friday, October 16, 2009

vegan mofo: vegan 100

Vegan’s 100

1) Copy this list into your blog, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out or italicize any items that you would never consider eating.

1. Molasses
2. Cactus
3. Scrambled Tofu
4. Grilled Portobella Caps
5. Horseradish
6. Sweet Potato Biscuits
7. Cornbread
8. Vegan Cole Slaw
9. Carrot/Squash/Sweet Potato Soup
10. Fiddlehead Ferns
11. Roasted Garlic
12. Umeboshi
13. Almond Butter
14. Aloe Vera
15. Fresh Bagels
16. Butternut Squash
17. Truffles/truffle oil
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Wasabi
20. Coconut Milk Ice Cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Apple cider
23. Mango
24. Quinoa
25. Papaya
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet
27. Goji Berry
28. Fennel
29. Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie
30. Radishes
31. Starfruit
32. Sourdough bread
33. Sangria
34. Sauerkraut
35. Acai
36. Blue Foot Mushrooms
37. Vegan Cupcakes
38. Tempeh
39. Falafel
40. Spelt Crust Pizza
41. Oyster Mushrooms
42. Jicama Slaw
43. Edamame
44. Hemp seeds/milk
45. Champagne
46. Persimmon
47. Avocado
48. Tofu Pesto Sandwich
49. Vegetable juice
50. Seitan
51. Prickly pear
52. Almond Milk
53. Concord Grapes
54. Ramps
55. Coconut Water
56. Arugula
57. Vidalia Onion
58. Kale/Collards/Swiss Chard
59. Honeycrisp Apple
60. Taro root
61. Vegan Smores
62. Grapeseed Oil
63. White Peach
64. Pita bread with hummus
65. Chestnut
66. Guava
67. Vegan Oatmeal Cookies
68. Vegan marshmallows
69. Plantains
70. Mache
71. Beets
72. Pickles
73. Liquid Smoke
74. Meyer Lemon
75. Veggie Paella
76. Vegan Lasagna
77. Kombucha
78. Soy Milk
79. Loose tea
80. Lychee fruit
81. Tempeh Bacon
82. Sprouted Grain Bread
83. Lemon Pepper Tofu
84. Vanilla Bean
85. Watercress
86. Carrots
87. Vegan Pie
88. Edible Flowers
89. Corn Chowder
90. Vegan (raw) chocolate
91. Yellow Kiwi
92. White Flesh Grapefruit
93. Harissa
94. Coconut Oil
95. Jackfruit
96. Risotto
97. Spirulina
98. Tangerine
99. Sorbet
100. Fresh Peas

vegan mofo: migas

God, I miss Texas. I miss Texas so much, that I will go through pain staking efforts to feel like I’m there. I pretend I still live in Austin so much that it’s bordering crazy. People say “Man it’s hot” and I say “Well that’s TEXAS for ya!” and then they look at me like I’m nuts. Which I kind of am.

Naturally I cook a lot of Tex-Mex and Texas food. I have to. If I’m going to stay slightly sane, I need to at least eat like I’m in Texas. Yesterday I was feeling particularly homesick so I made kick ass migas. I ate them right out of the pan and they were delicious. Had I not been so desperate, I would have served them with some refried black beans, tortillas and homefries.

  • 6 – 8 oz firm tofu, lightly pressed and crumbled
  • 1/4 tsp. black salt
  • 1 – 2 tbls. oil
  • 2 corn tortillas, cut into strips
  • 1/2 an onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, small diced
  • vegan cheddar cheese to taste ( I use a teeny amount, but you may prefer to load it on)
  • 1/4 c. salsa
  • salt and pepper to taste
1. Stir black salt into the tofu. Set aside.
2. In a medium skillet, heat the oil over md – high heat. Add the tortillas and fry, stirring often for 3 minutes or so. Add the onions and jalapeno. Cook until onions are translucent.
3. Add the tofu and scramble. When the tofu has browned to your liking, sprinkle with cheese. When the cheese is melted, add salt and pepper to taste. Add more black salt if you want it to taste more eggy. Top with salsa and serve.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

vegan mofo: oatmeal cookie owls

The next recipe for Percy Jackson week is Oatmeal Cookie Owls. Athena (rather her children) play a huge part in the books. They’re smart, strong and all together awesome. When thinking about what food to do for them I thought, obviously, it needed to be owl shaped no matter what. I don’t know why I decided on oatmeal sugar cookies, but I’m glad I did. They have potential. They’re good and totally passable, but not amazing. I think they’d really benefit from some icing. I might ice them tomorrow and repost my thoughts. Until then here’s the veganized version of this recipe:

Oatmeal Owls
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup vegan margarine
  • 2 ener-g egg replacer “eggs”
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Cream sugar, margarine, “eggs” and vanilla. Mix in oats, 1 3/4 c. flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Dough should be roll-able. Add the rest of the flour if needed.
4. Roll dough to 1/4 inch thick. With an owl shaped cookie cutter, cut out the shapes. Place on ungreased baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes.

Hope that all makes sense! I’m a little under the weather tonight.

UPDATE: No need to ice. They’re so much better the next day. YUM.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

vegan mofo: blueberry blue pancakes

My second post for Percy Jackson week is Blueberry Blue Pancakes. In the books, Percy has an ongoing thing with his mom about blue food. His stepfather made a stink about blue food, so they did it to spite him. They would eat blue candy, blue cakes and, of course, blue pancakes. I thought about making them a really fake neon blue, but it would be ridiculous to ignore the blue-ing effect of blueberries. The pictures aren’t a great indication of how blue these guys are. They’re really blue. They’re also perfect. In their tastiness and their blueness.

Blueberry Blue Pancakes
(an very blue version of the Vegan Brunch Perfect Pancakes)
  • 1 1/4 c. all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tbls. canola oil
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 1 c. pureed blueberries (About one cup whole berries. If it doesn’t exactly equal a cup after pureeing, just even it out with non-dairy milk)
  • 2 tbls. maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
1. Preheat a large skillet over medium heat for at least 2 minutes.
2. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Make a well in the center and add the oil, water, blueberries, maple syrup and vanilla. Mix until just combined.
3. Spray pan with canola oil spray. Pour pancakes one at a time and cook until bubbles form and the top looks somewhat dry (about 3 minutes). Flip over and cook for another minute or so. Serve!

Monday, October 12, 2009

vegan mofo: ambrosia blondies and nectar of the Gods smoothie

VeganMofo: Percy Jackson style!

I LOVE this book series. I want mayhem to surround them. I want to see other people who love the book as much as I do. I want to see kids running around in Camp Half Blood shirts with pretend armor. I want lines at the theater when The Lightening Thief movie comes out! I don’t know if it’ll happen, but maybe it will. Maybe there’s this whole group of fans that I don’t know about. In any case, I’m embarrassingly obsessed with these books.

If you’ve never heard of it, Percy Jackson and the Olympians is a book series about a boy who finds out he’s a Demi God. Things chase him, there are prophecies and adventures ensue. The series takes place in our world but with the understanding that the Greek Gods are alive (and reproducing) and Olympia now resides above New York City. People relate the series to Harry Potter, but really, that’s bollocks. The similarities are the age of the boy and the fact that he’s not all together human. End of similarities. Read some reviews and check out the books at the local library. You won’t regret it!

This week is going to feature some delicious Percy Jackson related food. Starting with Ambrosia Blondies and a Nectar of the Gods Smoothie!

Ambrosia Blondies
(adapted from the Macadamia Blondies from Vegan with a Vengeance)

Nectar of the Gods Smoothie
  • 1 banana
  • 1/4 c. coconut milk
  • 1 c. orange juice
  • 1 tbls. ground flax seeds
  • 1 – 2 tsp. anything else tasty (peanut butter, berries, coconut, anything that makes you feel fantastic)
1. Throw everything in a blender and blend. Drink, replenish and re-energize! Yeah!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

vegan mofo: bad vegan

“OMG I’ve been such a bad vegan. I can’t help but eat these cookies/brownies/chocolate bars/pizza/etc etc etc…” I’ve noticed this trend on the message boards and it really shocks me. I feel like I’m going to come across as a douchey vegan, but I need to say this:

These threads remind me of a story my vegan friend told me about a friend of hers who’s really bad at basic care taking. I don’t want to get into the whole story, but this girl (SORRY VEGANS) killed her pet bunny via neglect and then proceeded to call my vegan friend for sympathy. If you killed your bunny, wouldn’t a vegan be the last person you’d call for sympathy?

Asking for vegan hugs whilst you admit to eating non vegan food but still call yourself a vegan is so similar to me. Do you expect sympathy? Look, I’ve been there. I had a little stint where I was not being el stricto with my diet, and you know what? I felt AWFUL. I felt selfish and absolutely neglectful. I knew the truth of what I was eating, and I let convenience and laziness get the best of me. Never once did it cross my mind to ask for okays from a group of vegans. I told myself “Enough is enough!” I moved on and got my priorities straight. I suggest you do the same.

Sorry to be “that vegan” but honestly. I’m not going to tell anyone that “it’s ok. It happens to all of us. Being vegan is hard.” It’s not. It’s hard when you’re lazy and/or have stopped caring. It happened to me, but it doesn’t happen to everyone and that fact was one of the things that kicked my ass back into shape.

So, here’s what: Buck up. Figure out why you’ve stopped caring, reorganize your priorities and move on. Just..please spare us the sympathy cries. I can’t realistically speak for all vegans, but I’m going to try:

We’re all about the love, but no ones perfect and there are things we hate: meat and dairy related nonsense, years of people “not getting it”, Rush Limbaugh, non-vegetarian tofu dishes, people who “used to be vegan but stopped because it wasn’t healthy” and people who say they’re vegan but cry because they aren’t really.

It’s fine. Just tell yourself that tomorrow is a new day and from now on you’re vegan for life. And then live it. If that’s what you want, it’s in your grasp. The end, no tears, just do it.

Thank you and stay classy.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

vegan mofo: ginger ale

Last year I had a blog that I never used and no one ever read. Of the 7 things I put up there, my favorite has to be my homemade ginger ale. I’ve taken it to potlucks and it’s always a hit. Not only is it delicious, but it makes you feel better when you’re a) hungover b) sick c) sad or d) all of the above.

I know I’ve been a little ginger crazy this week, but it’s so good. Can ya blame me?

Homemade Ginger Ale:
  • 1 c. water
  • 1 c. ginger (peeled and sliced)
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • sparkling water
1. Combine all ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil. Cook until it becomes thick and syrupy (about 4 – 7 minutes). Remove from heat and allow to cool. Strain and refrigerate to cool.
2. Once cooled, mix 1/2 c. ginger syrup with 3/4 c. sparkling water. Garnish with cinnamon stick or lime wedge and enjoy.

Friday, October 9, 2009

vegan mofo: muddy buddies

I have a distinct memory of making these with my older sister and our cousin at Oma’s house. I feel like we were alone and in desperate need of sugar. Really, if you can’t handle crazy amounts of sugar, I would steer clear of this recipe. It is amazing, delicious, addictive, loved by all who try it and full of sugar.

Seriously, this is a warning. Make them, but be careful. Before you know it….gone.

Muddy Buddies
  • 9 c. chex (rice or corn)
  • 1 c. vegan chocolate chips
  • 1/2 c. peanut butter
  • 1/4 c. vegan margarine
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 c. powered sugar
1. Put chex in a large, clean paper grocery bag.
2. In a small saucepan over low heat, melt margarine and peanut butter. Mix in chocolate chips and stir until melted. Take off heat and add vanilla.
3. Carefully pour melted chocolate into the bag of chex. Roll up the top of the bag and shake. You may need to carefully stir with a spatula and then shake again. Just to make sure you get even coverage. Once the chex is evenly coated, add the powdered sugar. Roll up the bag and shake again until coated.
4. Pour into a bowl and try not to eat all of it! We keep it in the fridge when we’re not finishing it off.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

vegan mofo: Grandma’s chex mix

I said that I was going to talk about Gingerbread Waffles, but..ehn. They were delicious but I didn’t even get a good bad picture of them. It’s ok because I have something equally delicious to take it’s place.

Chex Mix! I’m so surprised by the amount of people who say they’ve never had homemade chex mix. It’s worlds better than the bagged stuff. Barely even tastes the same! My Grandmother always makes huge tupperwares of the stuff around the holidays. Obviously I kept the tradition. Unfortunately I’m crazy and for me, the holiday season starts on October 1st. Fall time! Autumn! It’s all a part of the brisk yet coziest time of year. My Grandmother’s chex mix is the same as the recipe on the box, but with celery salt instead of seasoned. I veganized it and altered the contents. I’m writing the recipe so you too can customize your fillings and the level of crunch. I like my chex mix not too crunchy and sans bagel chips. Now you can decide exactly how you want yours. Join in the chex mix tradition. Yay Fall!

Customizable Homemade Chex Mix
  • 9 c. chex (any combination that you want)
  • 2 c . snacky things (pretzels, cheerios, bagel chips, sesame sticks, etc)
  • 1 c. nuts
  • 6 tbls. vegan margarine
  • 2 tbls. vegan worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp. celery salt
  • 3/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
1. Preheat oven to 300F. Combine the first three ingredients in a HUGE bowl or clean paper grocery bag.
2. Melt margarine in a small sauce pan over low heat. Once melted, turn off the heat. Mix in worcestershire sauce, celery salt, garlic powder and onion powder. Pour over the cereal mix and stir or roll the top on the bag and shake shake shake.
3. Pour mix onto a large baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Take it out and stir around. Bake for another 15 minutes and take it out and stir around. Do this until you reach your desired level of crunch. Mine takes 30 – 45 minutes.

Coming up tomorrow or so: Muddy Buddies! Chex Mix’s delicious cousin.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

vegan mofo: sweet potato (or yam!) and sausage hash

Today’s post is all about hash!

I’ve made this for numerous potlucks and family events. It’s a fool proof omni approved dish. The ingredients aren’t “weird” or foreign. It doesn’t dare people to eat tofu. It doesn’t scare the dieters (too much….) because it uses sweet potatoes (or yams!) Again, no pretty picture. Just a fantastic recipe!

Sweet Potato (or yam!) and Sausage Hash
(a shamelessly altered “Spicy Sweet Potato Hash” from Vegan Planet)
  • 1 tbls. olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeds removed and diced
  • 1/2 lb. vegetarian sausage crumbles (I use Gimme Lean), crumbled
  • 1 1/2 lbs. sweet potatoes (or yams!), peeled, diced, and roasted (see below)
  • salt and pepper to taste
1. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over md-high heat. Add onion and bell pepper. Saute until onions are translucent, but not browned. Turn heat down to medium.
2. Add sausage to skillet and let brown, stirring often.
3. Add sweet potatoes (or yams!) and cook until browned and heated through. Season and serve.

Cooking sweet potatoes (or yams!)
Preheat the oven to 350 – 375. Peel the potatoes (or yams!) and dice largely. Toss in a little bit of olive oil and spread out on a baking sheet. Roast until tender, about 20 minutes or so.

Tomorrow will be all about Gingerbread Waffles! Come back for those!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

vegan mofo: tofu scramble with caramalized onions, tatsoi and “bacon”

This scrambled tofu was really well received with my omni brunch guests. There was none left when all was said and done. The onions were sweet, the tatsoi was buttery and the “bacon” brought it all together. My friends couldn’t believe that tofu could taste so eggy and delicious.

The only thing I regret was not getting a better picture. I was hungry!

Scramble Tofu with Caramelized Onions, Tatsoi and “Bacon”
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 Tbls. olive oil
  • 2 large handfuls of tatsoi (or spinach or any soft leaf green)
  • 1 package firm tofu, lightly pressed and crumbled
  • 1/4 c. TVP Bacon
  • garlic powder, black salt, regular salt and pepper to taste

1. In a heavy skillet, heat up olive oil over md. heat. Add onions and let caramelize, stirring around a bit to get them all even. When the onions are all sweet and brown, add tofu. Let brown, stirring often. Add more oil if necessary.
2. When tofu is browned and scrambled to your liking, add bacon and season to taste.
3. Fold in tatsoi until wilted.
4. Serve warm! Mmmm

Monday, October 5, 2009

vegan mofo: ginger champagne and ginger bread cookie tea

Happy Monday Mofo’ers!

This week has a theme. Autumn Brunch! This Sunday I invited a few friends over and made them a complete Autumn feast. All week I’m going to feature recipes from the brunch. Everything went along perfectly. So perfect in fact that I wasn’t worried about taking beautiful photographs of the goods. I did take regular photographs though!

Today features the beverages: Ginger Champagne and Ginger Bread Cookie Tea!

Ginger Champagne

I got the idea from my homemade ginger ale. I figured, if I could mix the ginger syrup with bubble water, I could probably mix it with champagne. This was a HUGE hit. A very festive, refreshing and welcomed change from mimosas and bloody marys.

Ginger Champagne
  • 1/2 c. ginger, peeled and cubed or sliced
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 1 bottle champagne
  • sugar
  • ground ginger
  • cinnamon

1. Place ginger, water and 1/2 c. sugar in a small saucepan. Stir to dissolve. Bring to a high simmer (not quite a boil) and let simmer until in gets thick and syrupy, about 5 – 10 minutes. Set aside.
2. To make rim sugar, put a small amount of sugar in a bowl. And ground ginger and cinnamon to your taste.
3. Wet the rim a of cocktail glass (or champagne flute) with a little ginger syrup and coat with the spiced sugar. Mix 1 part syrup – 2 or 3 parts champagne. Pour into glass (or flute). Drink!

Ginger Bread Cookie Tea

Using my Great Grandmother’s tea set, I served up my favorite tea: Ginger Bread Cookie from Teavana. An herbal tea with a beautiful pink color, Ginger Bread Cookie uses a bunch of different foods and spices to get it’s flavor. From dried fruits to cinnamon sticks to popcorn, it tastes more like Autumn and Winter to me than any other beverage.

It’s on sale on the Teavana website so go and get some! I drink mine with soy creamer and vanilla (or spiced) sugar.

Recipes coming up this week: Tofu Scramble with Caramelized Onions, Tatsoi, and “Bacon” Bits, Gingerbread Waffles, Sweet Potato Hash with Sausage and Peppers and more!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

vegan mofo: creamy broccoli soup

Hey Mofo’ers! This post is all about creamy soup! Mmmm! Snuggle up with your honey and a mug of soup on this happy Fall Sunday.

I go about making my creamy soups a little differently. I don’t like boiling the vegetables and immediately blending it with the cooking liquid. I can’t control the consistency that way. I take the extra step to strain the cooking liquid into a bowl and then reincorporate it with the veggies until I reach the consistency I like. It’s totally worth the extra step if it means I’ll always get perfect soup.

This says it’s about creamy broccoli soup, but you could make it with any vegetable. Carrots or asparagus would be especially be nice. The important ingredients are the cauliflower and potatoes. That’s what makes it reliably creamy.

Creamy Broccoli Soup

  • 1 small – medium head of broccoli, washed and cut into florets
  • 1 half head of cauliflower, washed and cut into florets
  • 2 – 3 medium sized yukon gold potatoes, washed, peeled and cubed
  • 1 – 2 garlic cloves, peeled

1. Place all ingredients into a large sauce pan. Cover fully with water or vegetable broth.
2. Bring to a boil over md-high heat. Turn down to a heavy simmer until potatoes are cooked through.
3. Strain into a bowl so that you save the cooking water. Put the strained vegetables back in the sauce pan (or blender).
4. With an immersion blender (or regular blender), blend the vegetables until you get a smooth and thick puree.
5. 1/4 c. at a time, add the cooking liquid to the veggies, blending after each addition. Do this until you reach your desired consistency.
If you run out of water before you reach that consistency (you must like it watery!), just replace it with vegetable broth and keep going.
6. Season with salt, pepper and your choice of herbs. Garnish with TVP Bacon Bits if you want 🙂

Saturday, October 3, 2009

vegan mofo: southern fried seitan, “fried” okra and healthy mashed potatoes aaaaand a survey

This meal is healthy in some ways and unhealthy in others. The fried seitan is, well, fried. However, the okra and mashed potatoes make up for it. The okra is breaded and baked but somehow comes out tasting fried. The mashed potatoes are actually a mashed potato and cauliflower combo. A great way to sneak vegetables into something starchy. The recipe for the fried seitan is from VeganMom so I’ve happily posted a link on the bottom of this entry. The only thing I changed in her recipe was the method of frying. She pan fried and I deep fried.

Mashed Potatoes and Cauliflower
(makes 1 serving)

  • 1 md. sized yukon gold potato, washed and cubed
  • 1 good handful of cauliflower florets (about 3/4 – 1 cup)
  • vegan margarine (I use Earth Balance), garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste

1. Put cauliflower and potatoes in a md. sized pot. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Continue to boil until you can pierce a potato with a fork. Drain.
2. Mash potatoes and cauliflower with a potato masher or fork*. It should mash with no problems. Add margarine, garlic powder and salt and pepper to taste.

* This leaves the cauliflower a little lumpy which I like. If you want a smoother mash, use an immersion blender. Always mash before adding milk or margarine as the cauliflower tends to be watery and creamy on it’s own.

“Fried” Okra

This recipe isn’t for any portion size. It’s just my formula.

  • Okra, washed and sliced
  • Any non-dairy milk
  • Flour
  • Cornmeal
  • Salt and Pepper To Taste

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Mix 1 part flour to 2 parts cornmeal. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
3. Add a little bit of milk to the sliced okra. Just enough to make it slimy.
4. Put okra and flour mix in a paper bag and shake.
5. Place the breaded okras on an ungreased baking sheet and spray with canola oil spray.
6. Bake for 10 minutes. Give the pan a shake and re-spray. Bake another 10 minutes or until slightly brown and crunchy.

Check out Your Vegan Mom for the stellar Fried Seitan Recipe!

Annnd the survey from Whoa Wren:

1. Favorite non-dairy milk?
Rice milk! No favorite brand so far. We buy Trader Joes rice milk because it’s easy. I like it ok 🙂

2. What are the top 3 dishes/recipes you are planning to cook?
Fried Pickles, Oatmeal Sugar Cookies and Magnolia Cafe Gingerbread Pancakes

3. Topping of choice for popcorn?
Salt and sometimes nutritional yeast

4. Most disastrous recipe/meal failure?
My first time making tofu was pretty bad. Lets just say that neither pressing nor marinating took place.

5. Favorite pickled item?
Cucumbers :-). Or cabbage.

6. How do you organize your recipes?
Snacks, Desserts and Breads, Veggies, Proteins Soups and Entrees, Pasta & Grains, Drinks and Misc

7. Compost, trash, or garbage disposal?
Trash and disposal.

8. If you were stranded on an island and could only bring 3 foods…what would they be (don’t worry about how you’ll cook them)?
Tofu, chocolate and bread (or rice!)

9. Fondest food memory from your childhood?
Oh there are so many. I always loved Fall time at my Grandmothers’s. She’s one of those people that decorates the house according to the season. She always had chex mix made and pizzelles out. I also loved visiting my Oma. Waking up to the smell of S.O.S is amazing.

10. Favorite vegan ice cream?
Good Karma Rice Divine anything. Or anything with Oreos.

11. Most loved kitchen appliance?
My small pot.

12. Spice/herb you would die without?

13. Cookbook you have owned for the longest time?
Vegan Planet. My first vegan cookbook. Well loved and used.

14. Favorite flavor of jam/jelly?
Marmalade or berry.

15. Favorite vegan recipe to serve to an omni friend?
Vegan Explosion Queso! And/or Wheatsville Popcorn Tofu

16. Seitan, tofu, or tempeh?
Tofu usually, seitan sometimes.

17. Favorite meal to cook (or time of day to cook)?
That’s hard. Lunch I guess. It’s usually the tastiest and healthiest for me. Otherwise dinner. Or breakfast. Ugh. Next question.

18. What is sitting on top of your refrigerator?
Cereal, mixing bowls, whirley pop, tray, toaster oven, rice maker, press’n seal, sandwich bags

19. Name 3 items in your freezer without looking.
Edamame, cocoa nibs, ginger

20. What’s on your grocery list?
Too big to list! Various fruits and veggies, almonds, oats, cornmeal, flax seeds, coconut, tofu, pretzels, maple syrup

21. Favorite grocery store?
Wheatsville Co-op! But I live in LA so Trader Joe’s I guess.

22. Name a recipe you’d love to veganize, but haven’t yet.
Sopapillas. It’s gonna happen this month!

23. Food blog you read the most (besides Isa’s because I know you check it everyday). Or maybe the top 3?
Quarry Girl

24. Favorite vegan candy/chocolate?

25. Most extravagant food item purchased lately?
Wine. Always wine.

26. Ingredients you are scared to work with?
I’m pretty adventurous 😉

Friday, October 2, 2009

vegan mofo: daiya not cheez its

GOD, I’ve missed Cheez Its. Yeah, I’ve had the Eco-Planet crackers. I’ve even made the Cheezy Quackers. While those are delicious, they taste like Nutritional Yeast Its.

But oh my sweet Daiya. Thanks to the magic vegan cheese, I was able to make vegan cheese crackers that totally taste like Cheez Its. In a scary, “are you sure these are vegan?” sort of way. But they Totally Are.

Make often and enjoy!

Daiya Not Cheez Its
  • 1/4 c. vegan margarine (I use Earth Balance)
  • 3/4 c. Daiya cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 3/4 c. all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1 Tbls. (more or less) cold water
1. Put all ingredients, except water, in a food processor. Pulse until the mixture becomes coarse and crumbly. Pour into a large enough bowl to mix.
2. Add enough water to bring the dough together into a ball.
3. Knead for a few minutes and let it rest for half an hour. Maybe use this time to preheat the oven to 350.
4. Roll the rested dough to 1/8″ thick and shape and cut however you want. Place the little crackers on an ungreased cookie sheet and top them with salt. Lightly pat the salt into the dough a little bit to make sure it sticks.
5. Bake 10 – 15 minutes, checking the oven often to shake things around. Cooking time really depends on so many factors, so it may take more or less time than what I suggest. I find that 10 – 15 minutes is pretty perfect for my oven. If you want them to taste as Cheez It-y as possible, let them brown a little. The crackery they are, the better.