Tuesday, November 25, 2008

happy unturkey day!

hey readers, i'll be off the intertubes for a few days because of the holiday. we're going to CO! don't worry, i'll be back with posts of some great unturkey day food. i hope y'all will do the same! for now, i'll leave you with this picture of some baby wild turkeys. we have tons of these critters running around our neighborhood. the adults aren't as cute, but it's clear that all of them deserve to live.



Monday, November 24, 2008

whipped topping and butterflies

i received an e-mail from a reader that asked for clarification about my vegan whipped cream claim. yes, it really exists. yes, it contains no dairy whatsoever--just a bunch of questionable chemicals, which are vegan unless i haven't done my home work correctly. i'll double check with my animal ingredients a-z book tonight. the allergen information specifies this by stating that it contains soy. if it contained milk it would specify that in the allergen information because people get really cooky about their allergies and could/should sue companies that don't print this info on their labels. food allergies are real, yo! the brand name "classic cream" also makes a real whipped cream that does have dairy, but the product i found at the food bank is whipped topping. i hope none of you are confused. believe you me, i looked at the level several times before putting this in my bag.

in other blogging news, i've been awarded ye olde butterfly award by vegan view. (((dramatic award acceptance sobbing))) i'd like to thank G-d, the academy, and my momma.... seriously, i'm flattered someone thinks the blog is great, because i occasionally become plagued with self-doubt and wonder if i should axe this project. after all, i don't have a book coming out and oprah doesn't want to mimic my eating habits. i'd be lying if i said i wasn't a little jealous of my blogging buddies that get a nice patch of traffic. sigh.
so following the butterfly award rules, here are some blogs that i'd like to recognize. NOTE: a couple of these aren't vegan related, i just happen to really like them.
tofu mom- she has an awesome vegan blog, is on a mission to veganize omni comfort food, and takes the time to give little stories when she makes an entry. i really appreciate how she talks about being a vegan parent in her blog and clearly cares for her beautiful daughters. back in the day, i think i would have been a much better vegetarian and stayed a veggie if i had her as a maternal role model. then again, i think we're the same age, so she'd be my peer.
vegan crunk-i love the picture of bianca in the frumpy dress and wig, she posts really good food porn pics, and i can't get enough of her southern anecdotes.
CCV- this girl is ADORABLE. i'm really impressed with her cupcake decorating skills, and she shows pictures of all her meals. she is really good at representing all the vegan food groups, and i have never met someone who is SO in LOVE WITH GRAINS. she's really opened my mind. since coming across her blog, i've never looked at cereal the same.
random hag- i met miki many years ago via an ex of mine. she was a vegan warrior way back then and she's still one. her recipes really rock. she more than likely doesn't remember me, or is actively choosing to not remember me, because i was a major asshole when i met her.

nico's eats- nicole is a really good friend of mine and a fellow bloomingtonian. her site isn't vegan, but she shares my passion for really good food and does make a considerable amount of vegan and vegetarian items for an omni food blog.
whisk it good- this used to be called whisk like a motherfucker, then changed to something else, now it's whisk it good. i haven't known mari for very long, but i really have come to like her! she is a bloomingtonian (for now) but is moving to MI very soon. i'll be sad when she's gone. she is a real demon in the kitchen and makes tasty veggie/vegan morsels. in addition to her mad cooking skills, she is a roller derby girl, and musician! can you say triple threat?
i wish i could put all of you on my list as butterfly award recipients, but i just don't have the time! do know that i wouldn't put you on my roll if i didn't like you, and i come across new blogs that i really like every day. i'm so grateful for the vegan blogging community, because your love and support has really helped open my mind and enjoy my new eating choices.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

chili chili bang bang

my vinnie makes a mean vegan chili. i couldn't tell you the recipe, because that's classified information and i don't really know the recipe. just trust me when i say it's vegan. i like to top my chili with guac, soy sour cream, and some frank's red hot sauce. i also like to take chili and make what i call a "diablo dog"-(something i heard once on Strangers With Candy). Here's the recipe for the diablo dog, sorry I don't have a photo.

diablo dog

1 vegan hot dog
1 vegan hot dog bun, buttered with vegan marg.

vegan chili
frank's red hot
chopped jalapenos
chopped onions
dill relish
mustid (hot if ya got it)
fakin' bacon bitz
cheez sauce from vcon

dee-reck-she-oh-nays: cook yer vegan wiener and toast that buttered bun-(GOD that sounds dirty!) place wiener in bun and top with the aforementioned condiments. this will be messy, so you should have some chips to scoop up anything that falls off the dog. tastes great with a cold root beer, or beer-beer if you are into that sort of thing.

triple whipple whoops!

hey P.I.T.A.V. readers: on my way home from getting groceries i realized that i should have brought my cocoa recipe to work with me, because i forgot a couple of ingredients. the first one was turbinado! how can you have delish hot cocoa without some sort of sweetener? was i high? no. just another case of "i can remember it on my own" failed miserably. the second ingredient is a pinch of clove powder. i made the corrections in the "outta this world" entry.


jen (aka jewbacca)

ps-i scored some vegan reddi whip at the food pantry! mostly chemicals, but still vegan. YAY! brand name is classic cream whipped topping.

outta this world

it seems that dedicated readers of this blog want to hear about my UFO sighting. i know it sounds cool, but it is kind of embarrassing to talk about because part of me feels like it never happened and the part of me that knows it happened recognizes the stigmatization that accompanies the experience. for the record, i'm not one of those people that get all crazy about area 51, nor am i a sci-fi geek. i'm just a white chick from the midwest.
anyway, i was either 18 or 19 at the time. i hadn't been drinking and i wasn't high. it was night time and i was driving my brother home. we were on one of the back roads outside three rivers, mi. i think it was fall. out of the complete darkness there was a very low flying aircraft--it was much too large to be an airplane and the lights were much too bright. the light was blinding. then it was gone. my brother and i looked at each other and said nothing. i have no idea if he remembers the incident, but i can't erase it from my mind. every now and then when i'm driving alone at night i hope i'll get to see another one.
that's the story. now go have some hot cocoa!

jewbacca's outta this world hot cocoa
1 c. your favorite non-dairy milk (i like to use home made cashew milk)
2T your favorite non-dairy creamer (cinnamon or hazelnut works well)
3 t. cocoa powder
1T + 1t. of turbinado, agave nectar, or maple syrup
pinch of clove powder
1t cinnamon

whisk everything together and cook in a saucepan over med heat. serve immediately in your favorite mug.
if you haven't made cashew milk, it's pretty easy. i take 3/4 c. unsalted cashews 1 1/2 c. water, 1/2 t. vanilla, and simmer in a sauce pan for a few minutes so the nuts are tender-(heh heh, tender nuts). then i put it in a blender and puree the shit out of it. pour through a strainer and store in the fridge for a week. this makes very thick rich milk. you'll probably get some stuff that settles, so remember to stir or shake your milk before using. use the cashew pulp as an add in for gravy, lentil loaf, or veggie burgers.

Monday, November 17, 2008

yay for carbs!

at work the first friday of the month is 'free food friday' and the company buys everyone lunch. this last friday's lunch was from bucetto's. i ordered the greek calzone (olives, peppers, red onions, and spinach) sans feta. the thing was huge! so big, that it didn't fit in the frame of the photo. it was carberific. it was the size of one of my butt cheeks.
this got me thinking. it seems most ethnic cuisines have their own versions of the hot pocket. i realized that thought process was pretty arrogant, flipped that thought around, and figured that no, it was america that bastardized really awesome cuisine by making the hot pocket.
question: what's your favorite portable food?
ps: thanks for all the commenting love. after discussing this debacle with my spouse, i probably won't go over each and every entry to find all the hot links-(between all 3 of my blogs that would be a TON of work), i'll just quit doing it. again, i didn't know what i was doing was wrong.

Friday, November 14, 2008

quick update

okay, okay--i learned what 'hotlinking' is and how using someone's bandwidth is like taking money from them. needless to say, i have a ton of editing to do. i feel like such a schmuck.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

evening at the improv burrito

i made this burrito last friday night. i scored some yams, chipotle peppers, and salsa verde at the food pantry. i took some tortillas and made a burrito filled with yams, said peppers, and some pinto beans i had in the freezer. grilled that burrito good and topped with tofutti sour cream and salsa verde. holy cow that was delicious! i shall call it the "vegannifer" after well, vegannifer because she is notorious for doing amazing things with the contents of her freezer.

my fellow vegan blogging friends, i recently learned a harsh lesson. apparently i've been posting pictures incorrectly on my blogs-(with the exception of my own pictures). that pretty baked potato from a few posts ago was hot linked-(i don't even know what that means because i am so un-tech savvy) and the person's site it belonged to sent me a message that i construed as kind of shitty. so i posted a different picture of a potato, and continued to happily blog-(posting the adorable pic of the squirrel on skis) and i received an e-mail from this person telling me i was still doing it wrong, and i still thought they were being shitty. that's the problem with the inter tubes...you can't see the person face-to-face to know if they're being shitty or not. anyway, it put me on the defense because i get embarrassed when i make mistakes, and i get angry when i feel someone is rubbing my nose in the pee-pee carpet about it. i thanked her for bringing the information to my attention and suggested she channel her energies elsewhere, because i can't imagine i'm the only one in the entire world that has done this. i don't want to have to go back over every entry i've posted in every blog i write and change all this. isn't it enough to know and understand my mistake and commit to not doing it again? how would you respond to this? why do people waste their time policing other people's blogs?

happy friday. now go make an improv burrito!

good lord....again?

Didn't I mention that I grew up as a fat kid and have never been good at tag? I’ve been Double tagged by Vegannifer and Veganview for a fun meme that asks me to highlight random facts about myself. Here are the rules for the meme:

Link the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog.

Share 7 random and/or weird facts about yourself. If I'm double tagged, does that mean I have to share 14 things? Since I'm so awesomely random, I'll do it.

Tag 7 random people at the end of your post and include links.
Let each person know that they’ve been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

Here we go!

1. I went to high school with another girl with the same first, middle, and last name as me. It made life very confusing for both of us.

2. I have seen a UFO, only once. There wasn't an abduction or an anal probe.

3. There are many vegans who say that they are grossed out by meat, eggs, and cheese. I am sad to say that I actually like the taste of all three. I became vegan because I care about animals and wanted to be connected with the foods I eat. I can no longer with good conscience eat meat, eggs, and cheese knowing what has happened to animals to get them to my plate. It's the slaughter of innocent animals that gross me out, not the end product. I know, I know--I'm a hypocrite. At least I'm a hypocrite that knows she's one, and I believe I'm living in the solution by abstaining from animal products.

4. My hair color isn't natural.

5. I do not smoke, drink, or do drugs--and do not care to be around people who do, especially smokers. I used to smoke, but since quitting have found myself to be severely allergic to it.

6. My favorite band in the whole wide world is wEEn. They are masters of taking a genre and making it their own.

7. I think Seth Green is the sexiest man alive. I'm sure this bothers my husband. As for women, I think Beth Ditto is the sexiest woman alive.

8. I think it should be law that every sad news story needs to be followed by footage of good news. For example: "150 people died in an earthquake in San Fransisco...and now here's a shot of a squirrel on water skis." and "Another GM plant closed today laying off as many as 85 people...wait--this just in, a little girl in Poughkeepsie just uttered her first words: I love you!"

9. Becoming vegan has made me seriously consider starting a vegan B&B. I don't know when this will happen, but I assure you it will.

10. I just sent a letter to my favorite doughnut company, sweetwater's and asked them to consider making a vegan doughnut. I received a very positive response. No final decisions have been made.

11. I failed driver's ed twice before passing.

12. Gentile funerals creep me out, yet I can't stop watching Six Feet Under.

13. I think I'm addicted to sugar, and probably need an intervention.

14. I'm the first person in my family to graduate from high school.

who shall I tag?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

yes, i want to go there!

ask 10 vegans the same question and chances are you'll get at least 6-7 different answers. i want to draw attention to the elephant in the living room and ask my fellow vegans a few questions. please answer honestly, i won't judge you. i just want to hear your opinions.

1. sugar, do you use regular refined sugar? occasionally i do, but since going vegan i only buy turbinado or organic sugar. it's expensive! with all the baking i do-(about 2 cups worth a week), i'm considering going back to the good ol' white sugar.

2. honey, do you use it? i've done my best to stay away from things with honey in them, but have occasionally gone to a friend's house where they've made dinner for us and the dish has honey in it.

3. why does vegetarian cheese have to have milk protein in it-(i don't use it), and why does vegan cheese cost so damn much? i hardly use vegan cheese for that very reason. if i'm desperate, then i'll buy some follow your heart, but i found in my pregan days i was far too reliant on drowning everything in ranch dressing or cheese.

4. what about personal care products? what if you get a cosmetic item that's free? my family isn't in the financial position to afford vegan ingredients for food AND vegan personal care items. i use things that aren't tested on animals, and i'm still going to be using some items that i've had from my pregan days. any suggestions on cheapie items-(specifically baby products).

5. what about gossip? i don't think gossip is vegan at all. i say this because i was driven away from the vegan way the first time because a) i became vegan for the wrong reasons, b) i didn't have a good vegan cooking education, and c) i hung around some very self-righteous vegan douche bags that lived for making other people-(including other vegans) miserable. i still find the vegan community to be fairly cliquey, but i'm pretty happy with my blogging buddies.

6. many people view veganism as "radical" or "going too far." what aren't you willing to do as a vegan? for instance, i'm not willing to do crazy protesting things that would get me jailed and taken away from my family. i'm not willing to push for veganism in my family-(i've been given the blessing to raise our son vegetarian, but not vegan) so much that i would divorce my spouse because he isn't vegan.

discuss. thanks for reading and i look forward to your responses.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

what can you do with a....

...baked potato? during vegan MOFO, i've listed baking potatoes in bulk as a wonderful way to have food on hand when you don't wanna cook. when you spend your special day during the week to cook other foods, take an extra 15 minutes to scrub, rub, wrap, and bake some taters. go out on a limb and bake sweet potatoes too. they're really versatile! i like to do the following with them:

  • eat them with toppings. have an official baked potato bar night and fix up some toppings: soy sour cream, gravy, chili, onions, facon bacon bits, caramelized onions, jalapeno peppers, roasted red peppers, cheez sauce, use your imagination! when you use sweet potatoes, you can make sweet toppings: brown sugar n' butter, vegan marshmallow topping, pineapple sauce topping from VWAV. GO CRAZY!

  • grate them through a cheez grater and pan fry for some good hash browns or cube them up and pan fry for some awesome american fries. i use the following recipe for home fries: ms. dash, caramelized onions, and facon bacon bits. get 'em good n' crispaaay. top with some frank's red hot and ketchup.

  • chop them up and add broccoli or asparagus with them in a casserole dish. mix some cheez sauce from v'con and top with french's french fried onions--voila, yer rockin' the casserole!

  • returning to the cheez grater: grate a cooled baked potato and mix with some chopped onion, spices, flour and just enough plain soy milk to hold the mixture together. drop spoon fulls into a non stick pan with a pool of oil. they should look like little bird's nests. latkes! for those of you who don't know what a latke is, it's a potato pancake.

  • cubed up as an add in to stews or soups. then you don't have to wait as long for your stew/soup to cook.

  • sliced up in long wedges, bathed in a splash of olive oil/bragg's, and dredged in a mixture of ground up dry cereal, paprika, ms. dash, garlic powder, and cornmeal. bake at 350 for 20 minutes. mojos! (((imitating billy bob thorton's voice from slingblade))) "some people call them steak fries, but i call them mojos."

Friday, November 7, 2008

it's all gravy!

i have found a substitute for ranch dressing. i now drown my joys, sorrows, and dinner in this fabulous miso gravy. pictured above is the aforementioned goodness covering some napa cabbage with onions and potatoes, a home made red bean burger, and some kale with basil dressing.

i found the dressing on some medical web site of all places. this chinese doctor was discussing the heath benefits of miso. it's a fermented soy/rice product that has a distinctive salty flavor and has beneficial bacteria that will make your tummy and soul happy. i made some changes because i didn't have any garlic or onions around at the time-(the original recipe calls for sauteed garlic and onions), and i'm sure they would have made it even more awesome. here's my version. feel free to tweak it to your own liking.

jewbacca's miso happy gravy

3T white miso
3T whole wheat flour, and an additional T to thicken post-miso
3T nooch (that's what us vegans call nutritional yeast)
1 1/2 T olive oil
1 1/4 c. water (or i imagine plain soy milk would make it richer)
1 1/2 T ms. dash (or generic ms. dash is fine)

heat the oil in a sauce pan. toss in the flour and nooch. brown it a little. pour the water and ms. dash in and whisk to thicken. keep on low heat and babysit your gravy until it gets thick. take the gravy off the heat then add miso. you don't want to cook the hell out of it post-miso because you'll destroy the nutritive properties of it. (nutritious gravy? get the fuck outta here!) add the last T of flour to thicken, but you can omit it if you want. goes great over everything. you'll be mainlining this shit in less than a week.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

all i want for chanukkah...

let me preface this with the following: this ain't no food post. it is a rambling of some vegan shit i want. really. bad.

you know how it is in this country--after halloween has come and gone, every one is promoting the hell outta christmas. well since us jews don't have something as cool as santa, frosty, and rudolph-(we just produce all those awesome shows) we have to play up our lame ass choliday of chanukkah and pretend that it's just as cool as yours. eight nights of candle lighting and fried tater pancakes compared to an explosion of animatronic sparkly lawn ornaments, endless cookies, and a fat man that leaves you presents? the heebs just don't measure up. over the years i've come to making a list and becoming a leech that sucks off the the teat of x-mas. i call the list my chanukkah harry list.

and here's what i want:

cowhugger teeshirt from herbivore.com

bad assed shoes from mooshoes.com

Vegan-a-go-go by Sarah Oh-So-Hot Kramer
Veganomicon by Isa Fuckin' Chandra Moskowitz

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


actually it wasn't an oops. it was a slip. i couldn't help myself. actually, i could have but i didn't.

i took some non-vegan candy from my spouse's candy bowl AND ATE IT! specifically 2 reese's cups and a snack sized butterfinger. i'm so embarassed. it wasn't worth it.

does this mean i have to turn in my card?

have any of you had a vegan slip?

Monday, November 3, 2008

food review monday

i'm hoping i can try enough commercially made vegan products to do a review each monday. today's feature is the Kashi Black Bean Mango frozen meal. it was pretty good, but (as i say with all frozen meals) i think i can make a version that is better. if you're traveling where there isn't a vegan vittle in sight, taking one of these along would be a smart choice. and i love the grain combination. it's a nice change from just having something over a bed of rice.

i'm bummed that a company like kashi makes meals that have animal products in them. if they are a company that is truly dedicated to healthy living, why would they peddle omni food? i think i'll write them a letter and thank them for providing vegans with options and encourage them to come up with more meals that don't utilize animal products rather than bitching about them selling food with meat in it. it's all about the approach when writing a thank-you letter. i can't tell you how many times i've seen comment cards at co-ops and restaurants that slam the establishment for what they fail to do instead of what they are doing right. i think those kinds of letters make us vegans look like whiny negative assholes.

with that being said, i urge y'all to write one thank-you note to a food company, restaurant, or store for carrying a vegan item. spread the love!