Friday, October 31, 2008

MOFO closing comments

leggo my EGO!

all in all, i think i did well seeing how this was my first MOFO experience. sure, i couldn't get the friggin' logo to display. i learned a ton and feel even more connected to my fellow vegan blogging buddies.

one of the best things i love about being vegan is the improved relationship i've made with food. i've become more adventurous, and much, much, pickier about what i eat. i like cooking for myself and my family. i don't like to eat many frozen meals or get fast food-(there aren't many vegan options anyway). i like knowing that i'm taking care of my body, saving an animal's life, and reducing my carbon footprint with my dietary choices. i remember being afraid of eating certain things because of a fear of getting fat. i don't worry about that much anymore. being vegan isn't a diet--it's a frame of mind and a design for better living.

i say all of this knowing that i'm just preaching to the choir because most of you are vegans. but maybe--just maybe a curious vegetarian or omni has stumbled across this blog and feels that they might try to implement these ideas into their lives. that would be totally awesome. i'd like more people to go vegan, but realistically this won't happen. for now, i'll just settle for others trying a vegan dish, or reducing the amount of animal products they consume.

(devilishly tapping fingers together) then it's just a matter of time before they realize that they're hooked!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

it's pot pie season!

i was raised on a cornucopia of processed foods, and one of those foods was the pot pie. back then i think you could get 5 for $1. we'd pick our pies, carve our initials in the frozen crust, stick them in the oven, wait for what seemed like forever for them to cook, then screamed as our taste buds were burned off by the lava hot contents. good times!

this week was lazy week at our home and i needed some vegan frozen items for lunches. since it's getting colder outside, i felt it was appropriate pot pie weather. i saw some amy's dinners on sale at kroger's and picked this one just to eat and review it for the blog. like so many of amy's dinners i found it to be adequate. the crust is whole wheat, but dry. IMO, if you're gonna eat a pot pie, the crust should be nice and full of buttery-like-flaky goodness. not so here. the insides were good and needed no salt. it was satisfying, but not so awesome that i'd want to purchase it again. it just made me want to make one myself!
the second item in my lunch was a goodbelly shot. i scored two 4 packs at the food bank. i was excited to find a pro biotic drink that contained no dairy! i believe they are also allergen free as well. i have the blueberry acai and the strawberry rose hip flavor. the blueberry was nice and tart. i haven't tried the strawberry one just yet. the containers are tiny--just little plastic shot glasses of digestive health, which is a nice alternative to grabbing a cookie, which sadly i'm usually inclined to do.
i have no pictures for this third review, but kashi has added another vegan meal to their frozen food line. the rancheros beans were yummy and filling and make a nice to-go item if you're someone who doesn't have time to cook. we bought this one on sale too. i would never buy any of these items at the regular's just too expensive!
MOFO question: excuse me if i'm repeating myself, but what are your favorite frozen quick fixes?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

U-G-L-Y, you ain't got no alibi..

sorry i didn't post yesterday. i had one of those day long headaches and just wanted to come home and go to sleep. do i have the beginnings of a cold? i don't know for sure, but i can be proactive by making some killer soup. like most of you out there, sometimes i just don't want to take a ton of time cooking the perfect soup. i want simple.

there will be no food porn shot of said soup. it looks disgusting. it does taste absolutely yummy and is super easy to prepare. you'll be done in less than 15 minutes. so, without further aideu:

Jewbacca's Looks Like Barf but Tastes Like Heaven Bean Soup

1 can refried beans
1 can water
1/2 c. nooch
1/2 t. wet mustard
3T Bragg's
2T lime juice

empty the beans in a pan, fill can with water, and dump in pan. add other ingredients and whisk together. cook like soup-duh. i topped mine with salsa and soy sour cream, but i'm sure this would also taste good with fakin' bacon bits in it. use your imagination, but i guarantee the end result will still look like throw-up.

happy eatin' y'all!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

spoon fed

i love the camera on my cheap ass cell phone. it gives me the chance to take pictures of food porn surprises. the pic doesn't really do this dish any justice, though. i went to the runcible spoon for lunch today, and i didn't have much money. i ordered one of their "sides" from the menu...home fries with veggies for $4.20-(get it?) the waitress came out with a deep dish plate containing what appeared to be a mountain of seasoned home fries in a tasty sauce with tons of roasted veggies on top. i didn't think i'd be able to eat it all, but i did and felt like they should have awarded me with a teeshirt that said something like, "i can't believe i ate the whole thing!" my whole bill ended up being $7 because i wanted a decaf and tipped the waitress. FYI- the runcible spoon is an awesome place to go get a coffee, but you really should go there just to see their bathroom. they have big goldfish living in the bathtub!

Friday, October 24, 2008

where can you find vegans?

no, angela lansbury isn't a vegan...but she's gonna help us solve a mystery!

after my accidental potluck post, chocolate covered vegan presented me with an interesting question: where can you find other vegans when most of your friends are omni? fear not, armed with this autographed picture of ms. lansbury, i can help!

1) women's music festivals. especially if the word woman is spelled as "womyn". point in case: michigan womyn's music festival. they only fix vegetarian food and have vegan options. i don't go to that festival any more because they have a really stupid policy that only allows you to attend if you are a "womyn born womyn", which means that you have to be born with the "proper" female equipment, if you catch my drift. i am a biological woman, but have many friends who are not and don't think that is fair at all, so i protest with my pocketbook.

2) speaking of protests, that's another place you can find vegans. think about it: the world bank, the RNC, anywhere good ol' humanist hippie gutter punk protesters are, there's bound to be vegan vittles. if you don't feel like cleaning your plate, you can throw your leftovers to the po-po.

3) college towns. live near one? there's always a vegan constituent there. try looking for the campus animal rights group.

4) anarchist or GLBTQ bookstores

5) a potluck at a unitarian universalist church or a reform synagogue: there are so many people at these places with obscure food allergies everything is labeled and you will find something meat, egg, and dairy free. my synagogue only allows kosher vegetarian/vegan food because it's easier to observe the laws of kashrut that way.
6) the city of portland, OR is one giant vegan. i haven't made it to mecca yet. shame, shame, shame on ME!
so there you go. if you're vegan, chances are you already know this stuff. if you aren't then happy hunting!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

accidental potluck

today we had an accidental potluck at work. i brought some green beans with homemade plum sauce and some butternut squash soup from VWAV to share with my co-workers. my boss (and inspiration for getting back to the veg way) brought some curried lentil and sweet potato over rice dish with the same intentions. BLAMO! potluck happened in the mail order department. this pic isn't the best but it looks great, huh?

so go do it...right NOW. go have an accidental potluck. get those dishes sittin' in the fridge that you couldn't possibleh eat by yer lonesome and go share it with a couple o' peeps who have the same thing. the results could be interesting!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

i croak, you croak, we all croak for artichokes!

i've had the marinated artichoke hearts you get at the store a few times in my life time, but i had never tried to eat an actual artichoke until 7 or 8 months ago. we were at my friend vicki's and she had made some for us to eat. i was thinking it must taste like the tops of asparagus because that's what they kind of look like--abnormally large tops of asparagus. i tried to eat it, but i couldn't do it. i'm sure she sighed as i painfully tried to eat a few leaves, gave up, and left the beautiful veggie sitting on the plate. i couldn't understand why she kept sucking on her leaves and throwing them in a bowl. i was too embarrassed to ask.

then a week later i saw more artichokes at the food bank. i picked them up and looked up an article on how to properly cook and eat an artichoke. i felt my face turn red hot as i realized i wasn't eating them right and that i had wasted such a beautiful, tasty, and expensive treat. my friends mari and tony came over that night to eat with us and mari showed me how to nom an artichoke. i learned that the artichoke isn't a vegetable per se, but it is a giant thistle! since then i've become a born-again okey dokey artichokey head. my favorite dipping sauce is some veganaise mixed with balsamic vinegar and ms. dash. pictured above i used the tahini dressing from VWAV and it was also supremely righteous. you can also trim and eat the stems.

my favorite part is getting to the choke. it looks so obscene! i like scooping the chokey part out and noshing the bottom-(gosh, that sounds so dirty as i type this!). the bottom is completely different from the flesh on the leaves. it melts in your mouth!

MOFO question: what food item have you tried that you didn't really know how to prepare or eat? what did you do? do you like it now?

MOFO survey part deux

look at me, here i am in all my glory talking to a customer. now you know what i do for a living.
anyway, here's the second MOFO survey:
1. If you have to choose between locally grown or organic, which do you usually choose?
most of the time, locally grown=organic. we usually get what we can afford. i score some amazing shit at the food pantry.
2. Favorite way to prepare potatoes:
a few months ago, i would have said "fries", but today i liked baked potatoes.
3. Do you press your tofu before preparing/cooking it (if you eat soy)?
yes. i don't own a tofu press, so i sandwich it between 2 big plates and place a big ol' heavy can of veggies or my aerobic weights on top and let it sit for a while, drain, and repeat until it's nice and dry.
4. Name your favorite recipe that is a tradition in your family:
my family tradition is alcoholism, so i didn't really have a favorite recipe growing up. my mom cooked with the following foods: hamburger, government cheese, SPAM, and veggies came from a can. i do get frequent hankerings for mashed potatoes with the skins on them.
5. Any food allergies?
i thought i was allergic to peanuts and tree nuts because of outbreaks of canker sores that i'd get in my mouth when i ate any products with said nuts in them. i was tested by an allergist and i'm not allergic, but she said i'm "intolerant", like people who are lactose intolerant. when i found that out i went on a week long peanut butter binge! i paid the price with a party of sores on my gums and one on the back of my throat. so looooong answer to short question.
6. When you want to go to a fancy dinner, where do you go?
i've only been to a couple 'fancy' places in my life. the most memorable was the blue nile ethiopian restaurant in detroit, mi. that ws the most amazing culinary experience i've ever had.
7. When you have a cold, what do you crave?
mashed potatoes, oatmeal, and in my pregan days hot n' sour soup.
8. What kind of water do you drink? (Filtered, spring, tap, etc.)
from the toilet. JK-cold tap water or tap filtered. i'm sure my ovaries are radioactive.
9. Name a flavor of soda you'd love to see:
i'm sure it exists but if they made a mexican chocolate soda, that would rock!
10. If the recipes you ate as a child were compiled into a cookbook, what would the title be?
SPAM-(Some Parts Are Meat) A Collection of Trailer Trash Favorites by Judy Fish
11. If you were allowed to grow one food that can't grow in your climate, what would it be?
12. Favorite type of mushroom?
i like portobellos and morels-although i haven't had a morel in years.
13. Most frustrating part of your kitchen?
no counter space!
14. Last food you burned?
fronch toast i made this last weekend.
15. Usual response to a veg*n's favorite question, "But where do you get your protein?":
i actually don't get this question. i just get the typical "i couldn't go vegan because i'd miss cheese and eggs too much..." comment in which i reply, "well, a vegan diet isn't for everyone." because it isn't. there are always going to be some people who don't get it. it makes me a little sad.
16. If you were baking your own birthday cake today, what flavor would it be?
devil's food
17. Favorite brand of chocolate chips?
if money isn't an issue, tropical source. but we're broke and we get kroger valu-brand which is totally vegan.
18. You have $200 of your tax return reserved for Williams Sonoma- What do you buy?
who the fuck is williams sonoma? is he related to lillian vernon?
19. Do you plan your menus in advance? Any tips to share?
kind of. i write comments on recipes that i use with a grading system on how it rated with the family. i try not to repeat stuff and make use with what we have around the house or what we've scored at the food bank.
20. You have 3 minutes before you have to leave the house and you're starving- What do you eat?
i'll grab food in bar or smoothie form or have a glass of soy milk. i'm a grazer.
21. If Martha Stewart, Paula Deen, and Rachel Ray got into a fight, who would win?
i think paula deen would kill the two with her heart attack inducing cuisine, chop them up, dredge them in egg, fry them in butter, and then die from choking.
22. If you eat oatmeal, what do you add to it before serving?
turbinado, a pat of EB, and silk creamer
23. If you got to travel to one country and learn all the traditional dishes there, where would you go (ignore commitments in your current place of residence)?
24. Favorite late night snack?
ice cream.
25. Favorite springtime food?
matzos-not because they're my favorite per se, it's just the food i associate with spring because of passover.
26. Favorite food-related magazine?
i don't subscribe to food magazines. i've read an issue or two of martha stewarts living mag and i enjoy the challenge of veganizing some of the food i see in there.
27. Which do you prefer: shoyu, tamari, conventional soy sauce, or Bragg's Aminos?
i love bragg's. patricia kind of creeps me out with her evangelical bible health philosophy.
28. What vegetable or fruit do you dislike the most?
beets are NASTY. so is okra.
29. Name a holiday food you look forward to all year long:
persimmon pudding
30. If you could convert anyone to veganism with your magic wand, who would you convert?
my spouse, because i love him and want him to be around for a long time. i think switching to a vegan diet would improve his health.

Monday, October 20, 2008

i've been tagged!

well, chelsea tagged me. i've never been very good at tag. who should i tag? when i was a child, i was a fat kid and couldn't run very fast so i could never tag anyone.

looketh at my freezer. as you can see there's some vegan representation, but you can also see the stuff my omni husband eats. on the bottom shelf in the plastic ware are all the frozen fruit concoctions that i use for smoothies. the keys are for my teething son.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

name this dish!

seriously readers--name this dish for me. it's one i like to make. i usually call it 'enchilada casserole', but i think it needs something with more zing. i was thinking maybe calling it "the chelsea" after chelsea of vegan mecca girl since she likes to make mexican stuff, but it occurred to me she might not want a dish named after her. it's super easy to make. place the following in a round deep casserole dish: layers of brown rice, black beans/corn, and spicy pinto beans separated by tortillas. bake until bubbly at 350 for 40 minutes. top with my signature ass of fire salsa and some guac.

Friday, October 17, 2008

kiwano taste something good?

the original title for this entry was going to be, "what in the hell is this thing?" i picked up the kiwano at the local food bank last night. it was sitting all lonely among the bruised mangoes that no one wanted.

*sidenote: i go to this amazing food bank once a week because a) we're poor and b) i'm a nursing mom. this food bank takes care to stock shelves with good wholesome food, and lets the customer pick what they want making for a more dignified/empowering experience. most of the time i'll see really awesome things that i love to eat but never buy from the grocery store because they're so expensive. these products get ignored and eventually composted. point in case the aforementioned kiwano, mangoes, artichokes, etc. meanwhile other patrons of the food bank fight over frozen pizza and my pretty pony edition rice krispy treats.

when i see these items i grab 'em. that's how i learned about jicima, kohlrabi, and the rutabaga. so when i saw this spiny orb i had to liberate it and see what it had inside. i thought it was going to be a squash, but was amazed by the anti-freeze green seedy goo that glistened once cut. i tasted it and it reminded me of a citrus flavored cucumber. i ran the pulp through my strainer and kept the frothy slimy juice to mix with the mangoes, papaya, and baby bananas i picked up-(also food bank finds!) and put them in the freezer for future smoothie use. that's gonna be a taste bud blowing tropical smoothie!

keep in mind that at the time i still didn't know what this thing was. this morning i took pictures with my camera phone, hoping i'd post them on PPK and find out what this mystery thing was-- and they turned out terrible! so i googled the image for "spiney fruit" and found the kiwano. it is also known as the horned melon. origins are from africa, and as i suspected hella expensive at $4 to $6 per fruit! you're supposed to eat them like a pomegranate, but i don't have time for that so i'm glad i strained the pulp from the seeds.

for now, i'll cross my fingers and hope the pantry will get durians in the future.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

bring me a scramblery!

sometimes i don't feel like cooking. to cover my vegan bases i'll get an amy's entree if it's on sale. you have to read the label to make sure it's vegan--but all vegans know this, right? it cleared. i heated it, i ate it. it was satisfactory. the hashbrowns were not crispy crunchy, but hell--what was i expecting from a frozen dinner? the tofu scramble did the job of making me not hungry, but i wouldn't describe it as delicious. more like suitable. grade=C+ sorry to be so harsh. the amy's dish i do like (but can no longer have to my dismay) is her meatless loaf, potatoes, and gravy. why? honey. who the fuck puts honey in meatloaf and gravy?

MOFO assignment: i know you're lazy, so don't even try to tell me you aren't. gimme a review of a vegan frozen meal or suggest one for me the next time i feel like worshipping my microwave.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

rocking the casserole

i try to do a bulk of my cooking on sundays so the rest of my week will be easier in the kitchen. so far it has worked pretty well, but it has been an exercise in balance. at first i was too ambitious--i wanted to cook 3 main dishes, 2 sides, and a dessert. i would then spend 6-8 hours in the kitchen doing just that and not getting to spend any QT with the fam. this drove us ALL crazy, so i've narrowed it down to 1 or 2 mains, 1 side, and 1 dessert.

something else that has come in handy is baking potatoes in bulk. on said cooking day i scrub, rub with olive oil, and bake 6-8 potatoes and they can be used throughout the week for anything i wish: hash browns, casseroles, or heck--just to eat a baked potato! i used these taters to make cheezy taters n' asparagus.

inspired by vegannifer, i utilized left over frozen asparagus, cubed baked potatoes, cheez sauce from veganomicon, and topped with french fried onions (they're totally vegan, chemical but vegan!). put everything in a casserole pan and baked at three fiddy for fo'ty minutes. i thought it was tasty but to my chagrin, mr. jewbacca thought it could use some real cheese.

MOFO assignment: what casserole do you rock most often?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


pictured above: my son, october 2007
i decided that i would get with the program and write an entry dedicated to the pumpkin. and why not? it's frickin' october month o' the pumpkin. my friend nicole who has an omni food blog has been pre-occupied with pumpkins lately and i've caught the bug.
i tried vegan crunks recipe for pumpkin pie oatmeal and i really liked it! sorry, no pictures were taken because i ate said breakfast treat with such voracity that it was gone before i turned the camera on. i have quite a sweet tooth, so i topped the oatmeal with a little turbinado, raisins, and some vanilla silk creamer. it was so decadent! pairs well with a cup of black coffee.
as mentioned before, i've been feeling under the weather and my throat hurts. i used some of the leftover canned pumpkin to make a pumpkin shake that was quite tasty. in my pregan days, i would go to DQ and get a pumpkin pie blizzard. i'm sure this one is a bit healthier:
1/2 c. pureed pumpkin (NOT PUMPKIN PIE FILLING)
1/2 t cinnamon
1/2 t nutmeg
1 frozen banana
1/2 c apple cider
3/4 c vanilla soy milk
3/4 c soy delicious vanilla ice cream
blend everything in a blender until smooth. sprinkle additional cinnamon or nutmeg on top if you wish.
i know vegans don't eat food if it has a face, but would this one count?
my favorite pumpkin recipe is by miki at random hag. it is also in la dolce vegan:
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup applesauce
egg replacer = 3 eggs
1 16-ounce can pumpkin
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts (optional)
Preheat oven to 350.
Mix together sugars, oil, applesauce, egg replacer and pumpkin. Sift together flours, spices, baking soda, salt and baking powder. Mix the pumpkin mixture into the flour mixture. Mix in chocolate chips and walnuts.
Butter and flour two 9x5x3-inch loaf pans.
Bake about 1 hour and 15 minutes, until knife comes out clean. Let cool 10 minutes, then remove from pan and let cool on a wire rack. this makes two loaves-so give one to a friend!

how awesome!

Monday, October 13, 2008

vegan tiger beat

image borrowed from the get it, onion=vegan! who knew obama sang in the shower?
i've seen a number of these food interview thingies floating around, and it takes me back to the days of tiger beat magazine. since i don't have any food pics with me today, i figured i'd just use this as my lazy blog entry... so here's your vegan TB interview with me!
1. Name a song that involves food in some way. duh, eat it by weird al yankovic!
2. What criteria do you use when choosing a new cookbook to buy? a) do i have enough money to buy this, b) does it have recipes i'll actually use?, and c) are there any food porn pics?
3. What did you eat today? miki's pumpkin bread, decaf with silk creamer, and some soy yogurt. i'm feeling under the weather and not in my nom-centric mode.
4. Name a vegan food that you know exists but you have never tried: kim chee
5. The Food Network just called and needs you to start your new show tomorrow. What will the title of the show be? eat like you give a damn, inspired by a teeshirt sold by herbivore magazine.
6. Favorite hot sauce or other spicy condiment? frank's red hot and maggi sweet chili sauce. i eat it on damn near everything.
7. How old were you when you became vegetarian/vegan? this is a complicated answer- i was exposed to vegetarianism at 16 but didn't adhere to a vegetarian diet until i was 21. i was on the dairy/omni go-round until 27 when i tried being vegan the first time for the wrong reasons. back on the dairy-go-round/omni wagon until four months ago. i was inspired to re-examine veganism based on my very cool vegetarian boss and her copy of veg news. i'm currently 35.
8. Favorite vegan cheeze? i never thought i'd ever catch myself saying this, but i'm not interested in cheese very much anymore. if i have to have it it's tofutti cream cheese or the cheez sauce recipe from veganomicon. follow your heart is okay, but i just don't think melty vegan cheese that tastes good can be replicated.
9. Cutest baby animal? this question isn't even fair. i can't pick one--all baby animals are cute!
10. Favorite type of jam/jelly/marmalade/preserves? grape
11. Do you take any vitamins/supplements? i'm a nursing mom, and i take a prenatal vitamins and other medicines that i'm sure aren't vegan. i know this would make me not a "good" vegan-(or even vegan at all) in the eyes of the Vegan Police, but i haven't transitioned that part of my life into veganism yet.
12. What food/dish most embodies the Fall season? squash or chili
13. What food would you have a hard time living without? chocolate and other sweets
14. Coffee, tea, or hot chocolate? a decaf mocha sans whipped cream
15. It's 10PM and you're starving. What do you eat? whatever baked good i've made that week or have a glass of soy milk.
16. If you have an animal companion, what is his/her favorite food? i have 3 petz: clairisse the cat is 15 and very picky, and engages in what i call "stunt eating"-(eats non-edibles like used Q-tips YUK) if we don't feed her at the exact time she's hungry, maury bernstein is our other cat and lives exclusively outdoors and likes to eat baby animals (making sad face) , and ladymutt the hoople our doggie will eat just about anything you give her, but has a preference for peanut butter.
17. Worst injury you've gotten in the kitchen? i nearly cut the top of my thumb off because i was mad while dicing something. this happened back in 2001.
18. When you have a food-related question, who do you call? no one, i just make shit up.
19. Summer is ending- What food will you miss most? heirloom tomatoes to make salsa
20. What snacks do you keep in your purse/backpack/desk at work? it depends. i usually always have kroger valu-brand chocolate chips to feed my cheap vegan choco fix.
21. Favorite soup to make on a rainy day? chili-my omni husband makes the best vegan chili.
22. What's your favorite combination of fresh vegetable and/or fruit juices? i'm more of a smoothie person and i like the TDs Peachy from soma coffeehouse. we're really poor, so getting that is kind of a luxury thing.
23. Favorite brand of root beer? gale's root beer it has vanilla and ginger in it!
24. what is the first vegan thing you baked? miki's pumpkin bread (from random hag). it was awesome.
25. (make up your own question) do you think malicious gossip about others is vegan?

Sunday, October 12, 2008

let me tell you about persimmons!

i didn't even know what the hell these things were until i moved to indiana. hoosiers are big on making pulp from the persimmon and transforming it into delicious pudding. i have an aversion to bread puddings, so i shied away for several years. i finally tasted some a few thanksgivings ago and was hooked! persimmons are technically berries, and originated in china and other asian countries. the indiana variety are really small about the size of a gumball. the caliornia variety that i've purchased in the store are the size of my fist and REALLY expensive--$1.50 each! i've found that they don't have a dominant flavor, they just taste like sweet goo. NOTE: persimmons should be processed or eaten once soft, not hard or you'll be gettin' a huge mouth of alum like flavor. lucky for me, my neighbor has a couple of trees and has given me permission to grab as many as i can.

the pulping process is tedious. hard core foodies usually own a food mill, but i don't--so i use a small fine mesh strainer and wire wisk to grind the berries into said pulp. the indiana variety has a TON of seeds, so sorting the seeds from the pulp is what makes these babies such a pain in the ass. once finished, the pulp has the consistency of an egg, so i'm wondering if it could be used as a vegan egg in baking instead of using a banana. i don't mind using bananas, occasionally i'd like my baked goods to not have that dominating banana flavor. i'll have to try it! anyway, here's the recipe for the persimmon pudding that i LOVE. of course i've given it a vegan make over! food porn pic is on the "yum kippur" entry from a few days ago:

Persimmon Pudding- Originally from Marty Connerly of Rush, Cty. IN, Veganized by Jen Molica

preheat your oven to 325 and spray a 13x9 pan with cooking spray.

water mixture: combine the following ingredients in the baking pan
1 1/2 c turbinado
1 T molasses
2/3 stick of Earth Balance
1 c boiling water

place the pan in oven and allow the mixture to melt and get really bubbly. leave pan in oven while preparing batter.

batter mixture: combine ingredients in a large mixing bowl
1 c turbinado
2 "eggs"- i used one large overripe banana
3 t baking powder
1 1/2 t vanilla
1 c soy milk (i'm sure you could use rice milk or a nut milk)
2 c ww pastry flour
1 c persimmon pulp (i used used both indiana and california varieties, either will work)
1/3 stick of earth balance
2 t cinnamon
1/2 t salt
1/2 t. nutmeg

mix batter ingredients thoroughly. take the baking pan out of the oven and pour the batter over the water mixture. DO NOT STIR. the batter will be surrounded by the glaze and eventually soak in during baking making it all really deliciously gooey.
bake for one hour at 325. serve warm with a scoop of vanilla soy delicious if you please.
pictured below are the berries and the pulp.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

finally! a decent food porn pic.

i've figured how to take a decent food porn pic. i took this pic in natural light outdoors. looks much better, huh? not super nice, but better. anyway--this was the best batch o' pesto i ever made and seriously doubt that it can be replicated. try it if you can and serve with these adorable yellow pear tomatoes.

jewbacca's you-got-lucky pesto
1 1/2 c loosely packed basil leaves
1/4 c olive oil
1/2 c unsalted cashews
2 T tofutti better than cream cheese
1/4 nooch
2-3 cloves of garlic crushed
few splashes of bragg's liquid aminos
1/4-1/2 c water
dashes o' black pepper

chop your basil leaves up a bit and blend all ingredients in a blender until beautifully smooth. add additional braggs if you think you need it. i feel the cashews bring a different kind of creamy to the pesto that you can't get with pine nuts. mix with your favorite pasta. don't be mad if it doesn't come out as awesome as i say it does, because it was probably just luck.

Friday, October 10, 2008

what's in your lunchbox?

this was taken a month or so ago. my ol' standby: the burrito. this is one of amy's burritos topped with my ass-of-fire salsa and some tofutti sour cream. after reading vegan lunchbox, i really want one of those laptop lunch boxes, although i want a really big one because i'm a big girl with a big appetite.

MOFO question: what's in your lunch box? doesn't have to be from today.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

yum kippur

am i just torturing myself by blogging about food on yom kippur? probably. i actually like to call it "yum" kippur because after not eating all day to atone for my sins everything tastes really good and i eat like i've never seen food before. actually, i'm doing a modified fast. i'm drinking water and soy milk because i'm nursing and need some sustenance.

anyway, this post isn't about the's about the feasting. specifically eating dessert for breakfast. MOFO assignment: have you eaten dessert in place of a meal? sure i know it's not nutritionally sound to have decadent persimmon pudding topped with vanilla soy delicious for breakfast, but i don't think it's any different than eating a couple of doughnuts, pop tarts, or a big stack o' pancakes drowned in maple syrup. i don't do it all the time, just most of the time. i'm surprised i'm not diabetic.

i'll post the recipe later with some info on persimmons. for now, look at the pretty.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

simple and filling-beans, greens, & gimme lean

i don't know where in the hell i came up with this combo: greens-(kale, chard, spinach), gimme lean, and white beans. i'm sure i saw it in a cookbook, on someone else's food blog, but it could have been in a magazine, or saw a glimpse of it on the TV. i think wherever i saw it the dish was an omni concoction with real sausage, and i made a pledge to give it a vegan makeover. maybe i had a dream about it--does it really matter? not really. it was really good and a cinch to fix.

i sauteed the greens first in some olive oil and crushed garlic, then i added the gimme lean well cooked with some red pepper flakes, and added a can of drained & rinsed white beans and some braggs. it was hella good. i served this mixture with some itallian bread drizzled in olive oil and slices of plum tomatoes from my ghetto garden.

MOFO assignment: what are your on-the-spot signature pieces? i think this dish will be part of the collection along with isa's banana bread.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

vegan tour of bloomington

a view from IU's sample gates onto kirkwood ave
if you're blessed enough to live in portland, or--good for you and i'm totally jealous! bloomington, in is a wonderful place to visit, live, and be vegan. it's a gem, a huge blue stain in a really red state. for my entry today i thought i would brag about the place i call home. there are many vegetarians and vegans who live here so you can go into most restaurants and ask them questions and they won't look at you like you're from mars.
first restaurant, roots. it's on the square in downtown. it is also where i bought the obnoxiously expensive vegan shake. they make a country fried seitan, gravy, and taters that are vegan. their sweet potato fries are great too!

sahara mart: it's a small middle eastern grocery that carries many different kinds of ethnic foods and wines. good vegan finds there--and their olive selection is amazing! the business has grown to have two locations. it's the cheapest place in town to get silk soymilk (less than $3).

bloomingfoods co-op has three different locations. this photo is from the downtown store. the membership isn't that great of a bargain, unless you spend more than $900 a year. the prices aren't that great--as you can find comparable items at kroger in the natural foods section, or for up to 25 cents cheaper at sahara mart. i haven't been to the newest location on the near west side yet. the east side has a full line deli that is just AWESOME, and baked goods that are clearly labeled of all products-(in addition to VEGAN being in all caps) so you have no doubts in yo purdy lil' head whether it's vegan or not. i suggest the chocolate chip cookies, bbq seitan, and anything vegan off their hot bar.

yeah, yeah--you portland peeps got laughing planet ova there, but did you know the original one started here in b-town? yep. you can get just about anything there veganized, but my favorites are the 'holiday' burrito and the chili. you can even get tofutti sour cream on request!

just below the laughing planet cafe is soma coffeehouse. best fucking smoothies ever! seriously, i've been to chitown, nyc, olympia, memphis, kzoo, dtroit, etc.--all smoothies are subpar in comparison to soma's. best ones are the pb&j and the TD's peachy. they also have vegan baked goods to go with your coffee. if you're gonna have a foo-foo coffee drink, get the lewinsky.
other faves:
  • siam house- yes, it's thai but you can tell them you're vegan and they'll give you plenty of options.
  • anatolia- really good veggie moussaka
  • samira-not sure of the veganness of the dishes, but they offer lots of vegetarian fare. one of the best lunch buffet bargains in town.

modern trends- not food related! a hair salon in the college mall that offers cruelty free haircare by two of the most eccentric townie ladies. i get my mane tamed there.

MOFO assignment: imagine that i'm not a broke ass vegan and i have money to go and visit you. tell me about your city, specifically where and what to eat.

Monday, October 6, 2008

my dream kitchens

i've posted pics of my simpson's themed kitchen in an older post and thought i would dedicate this entry to my dream kitchens. now that my love for cooking has been rekindled, i'm finding that i want a NEW kitchen. that's not gonna happen for some time, but these pictures really inspired me!
i liked the yellow/purple futuristic kitchen, but i don't think there's enough counter space, and the island in the middle would not fly in our home. the baby can walk now and would break anything he could get a hold of! in the middle pic, i would love one of those ovens that are built into the wall, preferably two of them. counter space is really important to me, so i think the most important feature would be counter space, which is why the last picture rules so hard. sure the kitchen looks like it's straight outta santa's acid trippin' workshop, but i don't really care.
MOFO assignment: tell me about your dream kitchen. aside from being clean, what do you want in yours? in a perfect world it would come complete with a isa robot that would do all the cooking for me. realistically, i'd be happier with some more storage/counter space. i would also like the following appliances: george foreman grill, dehydrator, food mill, new set of knives, a peeler that actually peels, a pasta mill, and a hand blender.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Do you...

my son at his first birthday party. it's so funny how some behaviors are so instinctual!
...lick the plate when you're done eating? c'mon, CONFESS! i sure as hell do, but only when the food is really good and that is quite often. favorite plates to lick are ones where the dish has been smothered in gravy, chocolate, or some sort of asian-fusion sauce. it's how i get my dishes done. so, if you ever eat at my house you'll know how the plates get so sparkly clean!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

moo-ha-da-ra what?

i think the spelling is moujadara. i suspect the pronunciation is moo-HA-dar-ah, but i could be wrong seeing that i'm as honky as they come. ANYway, the recipe is simple: seasoned lentils over a bed with basmati rice, and topped with super delish caramelized onions. fucking amazing. i could eat this every day. (using Sarah Palin voice) and also it gives you really spectacular farts.

MOFO question: how do you caramelize your onions? i'm not speaking in euphemisms either. i slice the onion in half, make sure the slices are in strings and rings-(not diced), saute them in a nice little bath of olive oil, and once clear i CHEAT by adding a spritz of balsamic vinegar and just a pinch of turbinado to make them gloriously brown and super sweet.

Friday, October 3, 2008

sweet n' salty

today was sweet n' salty at work day. this means that all my omni and veg co-workers brought in an array of delicious noshables that i couldn't eat. fear not...per vegan freak observance of the motto "meek vegans suffer"--i made sure i had a stash of stuff i could nibble upon. i took some of my chocolate chips-(kroger value brand are vegan!), melted them in the microwave, smeared them on regular graham crackers and topped with salted cashews. i don't know what to call them...evening at the improv choco-nachos? they were tasty. i was so stoked about it, i took a picture of it with my cell phone and e-mailed it to myself so i could post it on the blog-(and i'm pretty technologically inept).

ps: please ignore my orthodontic wax on the side of the plate.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

(sung to the Klondike jingle)-what would you pay for a vegan shake?

the price i paid for my vegan milkshake was a crime AND it didn't even look this good!

okay, okay--to clarify, the "favorite vegans" entry was dated as Sept. 30th, but didn't get posted until Oct. 1st, so technically that's my first post for Vegan MOFO. what is Vegan MOFO, you ask? it is the vegan M onth O f FO od. here's the scoop: peeps keepin' vegan blogs post daily about food, or in my case about everything vegan. don't worry, i'm fixin' to post a plenty about food--i just like talking about other stuff too.

one day my spouse suggested that i treat myself to a vegan shake at Roots, b-town's exclusively vegetarian restaurant. sooooo, answer my question: what would you pay for a vegan shake? more than $5? well, i paid more than the aforementioned price for a rather average vegan shake. i didn't know it was going to cost that much. i'm a very broke ass vegan (and a jew to boot), so i love bargains--and had i been properly informed of the price of the shake, i would have said a big fat "NO!" it was $6.37. here's some more info that made me cry: it was kiddie sized, and the very complicated recipe was soy delicious and soy milk--no fun chocolate syrup was added!
for the cost of the shake, i could have purchased a pint of soy delicious and a container of soy milk and made a metric buttload of vegan shakes that would bring all the boys, girls, and third sexed people to the yard. the chick who made it took way too long, and the restaurant was dead. i used to be a waitress and understand how important it is to tip--but i was so mad i didn't tip. to some vegans this could be considered cruelty to another animal, but don't you think the price of that shake was cruel? i'll still eat there if i get the hankering for their chicken fried seitan-(which is awesome), but you can bet your tuchus that i will not be ordering me a shake.
Vegan MOFO assignment: tell me about your worst vegan rip off. this can be a dining experience or an item you purchased at the store or online.