Thursday, January 29, 2009
They'll SCONE you when you're at the breakfast table
They'll SCONE you when you are young and able
They'll SCONE you when you're trying to make a buck
They'll SCONE you and then they'll say good luck
But I would not feel so all alone
Everybody must get SCONED
this is actually dedicated to isa and jess. these are the banana date walnut scones from veganomicon. they were the size of texas and very good.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
now doesn't that look good? i wasn't ambitious enough to make a vegan gyro, so i had it with a bagel and tofutti cream cheese. i love eating green beans prepared like this. i ate the whole bowl over an entire week, every night as a side or main dish. they're super easy to make. i topped the beans with homemade vegan parmesan. i never measure, but i use the following: nooch, granulated garlic, 6-8 raw almonds, sea salt, sesame seeds, and sun dried tomato basil ms. dash. i put it all in a coffee grinder and get an awesome tasting faux parmesan. i imagine it would be rad on popcorn, but i'm not much of a popcorn eater.
i'm a bonafide cookie monster. i love the chocolate chip cookie recipe from VWAV, but i tried this one from vegan-a-go-go. the recipe is very similar-(i found the dough texture to be the same--crumbly), but these came out a little better than the VWAV ones. i like to make my cookies by pressing the dough in muffin tins, half-way full, so you get a very thick cookie cup. they are even better fresh outta the oven and served ala mode with some soy delicious or rice dream.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
there's a topic that i don't think i've ever covered on this specific blog: my eating disorder. and why would i? that's a really ugly part of my life i never want any of you to see, and who wants to read about that subject on a gourmet food blog?
i've been in remission from bulimia for a number of years, an incredible feat. according to a clinician i spoke with years ago, many people with EDs have periods of on again/off again abstinence throughout their lives because food issues doesn't work like other addiction illnesses. one can live without booze and drugs, but one can't be food-free and survive. it just isn't possible. so "success" in the eyes of many clinicians is to get their clients to practice harm reduction. for example, if someone throws up 10 times a day, they want to work on getting that person to take it down a notch to 9, then 8, then 7...and so on until they get down to 1 time a day. then that moves onto 1 time per week. that turns into 1 time per month...you get the idea, right?
i started the b/p cycle at the age of 13. i never had a good relationship with food. i was a fat kid and started my first diet when i was 9 or 10. when my disease manifested, i was hospitalized for 3 months in a mental institution when i was 17. i still didn't stop. i just became more discreet about my behavior.
anyway, i don't want to get too deep with the details, because i'm still pretty ashamed of that part of my life. for a while i discussed this issue as a subject in my artwork, but i stopped for some reason, i'm guessing because it got too uncomfortable to dig so deep. shelby gave me courage to discuss it again. i think of it this way: if our blogs can help any of you out there that struggle with your body, mind, and spirit--well, i want to help you. so, i'm gonna let you in on what has helped me over the years:
1. i don't skip meals, ever.
2. i don't diet, ever.
3. i don't engage in fasts. this can be hard around certain jewish holidays. what i do instead is a modified fast with juices and liquids. i do give myself permission to eat if i don't think i can handle it. one can break a jewish law to preserve a life-(including one's own), and i consider my illness to be a life or death matter.
4. i got involved with the fat acceptance movement. what?!?!?! yes, the fat acceptance movement. EDs aren't so much about food or being fat as much as being in control. i learned a lot about myself from reading the book Fat?So! by Marilyn Wann. i even got involved with some message boards for a while. i learned that my fear of fat and fat hatred was the fuel that kept the fire of my illness going. i had to face that fear head on and work on it. i still have some fat hatred (mostly with myself) and still have work to do. i know this for sure: no one should ever have to apologize for their size. i had to quit making assumptions about people based on how they look. being fat ain't a death sentence and being thin doesn't guarantee a clean bill of health.
5. accept that once you start eating, you're going to gain weight. duh.
6. going vegan truly repaired my relationship with food. making the connection between an animal and how that animal sacrifices its life for you by existing as a #6 on a fast food menu is humbling. i really respect the food and what it does for me. i believe in holistic veganism; that is, that my veganism doesn't stop with my eating and cosmetic choices. it's about being kind to me and other human beings.
7. i had to find people i could trust to talk to. some people just won't get that you have an ED. they'll try to tell you what they think is best for you and never realize they're hurting you. i only have a few select people i discuss this subject with.
8. i had to get professional help. ask the clinician if they have experience working with ED. many say they do, but they don't. therapy will take a long time.
9. i have to get exercise. i've never been much of an athlete, but i love to work out. i have a goal of doing 2-4 30 minute workouts using weight bearing exercise every week.
10. i don't believe what i see in the mirror. ED messes with your eyesight, ya heard? when i start to go with, "oh i'm so...." i stop because what i'm seeing is an illusion. all those years of puking messed with my brain.
11. i had to quit lying about everything. utilizing point #8 helped with this.
12. if i find i'm super emotional, i don't eat alone.
thanks again shelby.
Monday, January 26, 2009
just look at that awesomeness! check out that crunchy assed coating! this is a much better choice because you're saving some chix from death row, but i'd be lyin' if i told you eating fried foods is good for you. the tempeh was great with the gravy, but i thought it would have been even better with some cole slaw, buttermilk biscuits, and a tall glass of sweet tea. i didn't have time to make those, i was just samplin' the platter. i don't eat fried foods too often anymore because my tummy can't take it. i'm super excited about this cook book of hers.
ever heard of a foodgasm? it's that moan one makes after they've taken a bite out of something really good. i usually release foodgasms when eating desserts, but i couldn't hold myself back after nomming this bowl of soup. and believe you me, i'm picky about soup.
Friday, January 23, 2009
i got this book for the holidays and couldn't be happier. if i had an unlimited amount of money at my fingertips, i would probably donate it to various causes, but reserve a nice chunk of it so i could go to sarah kramer's tattoo shoppe tp get inked and buy all her books--srsly. she's absolutely adorable, has awesome fashion sense, and her recipes are great. my only complaint is that there isn't any food porn. i like that she lists other people's recipes in her books as well, with one of my favorites being miki's pumpkin bread.
in VAGG (heh-heh, the title reads VAG), kramer packs all of her tried and true recipes (plus some new ones), and vegan travel tips into a sturdy, handy-dandy travel book that fits right in your purse, rucksack, or luggage. this book is a must have for the traveling vegan, supportive friend, or family member of a vegan.
i don't normally rate things on a star system, but if i had to VAGG would get 4 out of 5. again, if there were photos of the dishes, it would be perfect.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
- 1pkg super firm tofu, pressed- i press mine by putting the block between two deep plates and setting a 5lb hand weight on it, or a big can. to see a picture look at the "in the bitchen kitchen i worship seitan" entry. the details are there.
- nooch- i start out with 1/2-3/4 cup, but sometimes will add more to taste
- braggs- i imagine it's less than 1/4 cup. probably 3T worth at least
- frank's red hot-about 2-3 T worth
- ms. dash- or spike, or kroger brand ms. dash
- garlic granules-about 1T worth
- wet mustard-again, i'm guessing between 3-4T
- a small onion-chopped fine
- veggies- i like the frozen kind because it's easy, but you could just as easily chop up a carrot, celery, spinach, veggies of your choice
- olive oil for the non stick pan
saute the onion, garlic granules in the olive oil until clear. in a separate bowl mix your pressed tofu with everything else. i mix this with my bare hands (gasp! have no fear, they're clean) so the tofu is well mixed with everything else. put the tofu in the skillet and mix it around for a while until it starts to get a little crispy like scrambled eggs. i always try a bite and will add more ingredients until i think it's just right. i like to eat mine with buttered toast, miso happy gravy, and hash browns.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
this is the chocolate upside down pudding cake from vegan-a-go-go. let me tell you something, after you eat this cake--you'll be buzzing around your living room like beavis and butthead doing the cornholio dance because it's full of some bad-assed sugary goodness. i'm not going to be the kind of vegan that says, "oh i don't eat sweets because they're so toxic for you!" i really don't give a shit. i don't drink, i don't smoke, i don't do drugs, and i quit eating animals and their by-products. if i'm gonna be guilty of anything, let it be my foul language and insatiable sweet tooth.
if y'all haven't made this kind of cake before, it seems a little confusing. i felt like i was doing something wrong. the cake batter is kind of like cookie dough, and you put it in a loaf pan. then you spread the sugar cocoa mix on top of the batter and cover it with boiling water. once the cake is in the oven *****magic*****happens. the cake rises to the top and the sugar/cocoa/water mixture turns into a glorious chocolate pudding-y syrup. of course, to cut the sweetness it only makes sense to serve it with a scoop of rice dream.
i thought it would be appropriate to dedicate this awesome dessert to Chocolate Covered Vegan. i really enjoy her blog. i enjoy many vegan blogs, but i find her style to be quite endearing. she's really good about taking pictures of her meals and has an awesome habit of actually representing all of the vegan food groups, a practice i wish i could follow. she's super cute to boot. actually, she's that kind of gorgeous that i find intimidating, but that's just my insecurities talking. i have a feeling that her spirit is just as attractive as her doe eyes and phenomenal smile.
do i have a nerd crush? ((((blushing)))) wouldn't be the first one.
Monday, January 19, 2009
- preheat oven to 350. shown above: get some eggplant, slice it long ways thin and grill it. i cheated and used some frozen grilled eggplant that i scored from the food pantry. i've done this from scratch as well, it's just more time consuming doing it that way. after you grill the eggplant, line a pre-oiled spring form pan or round deep casserole dish allowing the pieces to droop over like flower petals. reserve a few of the uglier grilled pieces to cover the very top, shown in step #4.
3. put the filling on top of the eggplant. don't over fill it, or you won't be able to do the next step.
4. take those drooping petals and fold them in like you're folding a sweater. the package should be tight and neat. use the ugly grilled pieces on top if you have bits of the innards poking out.
5. i baked mine for about 30 minutes. let it sit for about 5-8 mins outta the oven. to present, put a plate on top of the spring form pan and turn it upside down, like you would a pineapple upside down cake. garnish with basil if you're feeling fancy.
6. here's the finished product. the challenge i have is keeping the pieces intact when serving. it usually looks like a blob. i garnished the piece with some marinara sauce. it was mighty effin' tasty, if you ask me. even my non-eggplant eatin' spouse ate this.
Saturday, January 17, 2009
these are the sparkly ginger molasses cookies from VWAV. these were really, really good. pardon the shitty photo, but these darlins really do sparkle with the loving glow of turbinado crystals. i want to try another molasses cookie recipe in the near future: delaware cry babies. anyone ever heard of them? my co-worker made them once (in my pregan days) and they were super soft, fluffy, and chewy--like a cake masquerading as a cookie. i just don't know if veganizing it will work. i'll let you know how it works out.
these cookies also make a gnarly soy delicious ice cream sammich.
Friday, January 16, 2009
confess...what do you HAVE to add to a recipe to make it just right for YOU?
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
there's no way around it, i have to have my food with some sort of sauce. no dry stuff for me. pictured above is VWAV's pumpkin seed crusted tofu with some roasted winter veggies. my sauces of choice are the on-the-fly sage/cranberry/pecan jelly sauce i made for the tofu and my signature miso happy gravy on the veggies. this was a really good dinner. instead of frying the tofu, i cooked it in a non-stick skillet with pam. maybe it's because i'm getting older or sumptin' but i just can't handle a ton of deep fried foods.
jewbacca's sage cranberry pecan jelly sauce
1c. dried cranberries
1/2 c. cranberry juice
1T brown rice syrup, agave nectar, or maple syrup
2c. sage tea
1/2 c. chopped pecans
cook everything together under m. heat until, well jellified. add more cornstarch for thicker sauce or less for a runnier sauce.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
here's my punk rock tofu press. i put the tofu between two plates and set a big-assed can of apple butter to squeeze the excess water out. it usually takes 4 bouts of 20 minutes to get it perfect.
i'm a seitan worshipper. thank g-d i'm not allergic to wheat, because i don't know what i'd do without the lord of the meat substitute underworld. shown above is raw seitan after i've mixed in spices and water.
now, here it is cut into chunks before boiling. seitan takes on the flavor of what you knead into it and what you boil it in. i like to make a broth with nooch, ms. dash, bragg's, and the eye of a newt. JK! seriously, i throw all sorts of shit in that pot.
here it is after being boiled AND baked. baking after boiling the seitan gives it a super meaty texture.
voila! here's the finished product. this batch came out tasting very beef like. perfect for fajitas. yes, it's true--making seitan takes time, but it is really worth the work. for $4 i can make a few batches to freeze. commercially made seitan costs at least $5 at the food co-op.
Monday, January 12, 2009
since i'm a tester for her cook book, i can't disclose the recipes. this main dish and tasty side went well together. just look at that chickpea glory and the corn bliss.
are you hungry?
Sunday, January 11, 2009
sesame chili oil
4 red Serrano peppers, seeded and diced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
3 cloves of garlic
red pepper flakes
brown rice syrup
sauteed the chillies and garlic in the oil, added everything else until it was kind of syrupy. at the end i added a shot or two of apple juice. i let it cool, poured it into a container and let it sit overnight. the next day i pureed it and added 2T of peanut butter to make a thai style peanut sauce. i mixed that with some spaghetti noodles, lime juice, and fresh cilantro. voila, dinner was served.
turns out we had sweet chili sauce in the back of the pantry and i didn't see it. oops. this was good anyway.
Saturday, January 10, 2009
i wish i could tell you i've liked everything i've tried. the recipe for the nacho cheez sauce on pg. 65 was NASTY and i made the following adjustments: add the juice of 1 lemon, 1T of frank's red hot instead of cayenne, up the nooch to 3/4 cup, and up the soy milk to 2 1/2 cups. that made the sauce PERFECT.
the most recent recipe i've made from the book is the buffalo mostarella (pg 163). pics are above and below. for shitz and giggles, i poured the cheez batter in an old fish mold i had lying around. while making this cheez, i couldn't help but to think of donny MOST (aka ralph malph) from happy days. i'm not sure if donny is a vegan, and i don't really care. so i've re-named the cheez Donny Most-arella. the results were mediocre but amusing, just like donny's acting career. it took to the mold quite well, and as the recipe states you'll need a wet or greased knife to cut the cheez (((guffaw))) because it's sticky. this is a very tangy, soft, powerful cheez. it doesn't melt well, and shouldn't be eaten alone. it reminded me of something more in the brie family that should be paired with fresh fruit and table water crackers.
since i didn't want to eat strong cheez all week, i cut up the fishloaf of donny and put him in the freezer. i'll make another post in the future to let you know how this cheez handles being frozen. prior to this experiment, i put it to the melting test and made a quesadilla shown below.
again, it doesn't melt well. maybe it would have if i had sliced it thinner. the tanginess complimented the beans, salsa, and soy sour cream quite nicely.
what recipes have you tried that weren't as great as you had hoped?
Friday, January 9, 2009
seriously, i don't feel like paying $1.60 for a fucking larabar. yes, larabars are awesome, but i can't afford awesome. even if i were what the gangstas refer to as "ballin", i'd probably be a slave to my stereotype and insist on bargain shopping anyway. i took this recipe from vegan-a-go-go by sarah kramer and made gerry's date bars. i had to sub apricots for the dried cherries and blueberries, made another sub for the walnuts and used almonds, i opted for sesame seeds instead of hemp seeds, and i didn't have enough dates so i added some figs. do you see why i never follow a recipe? these turned out really yummy and make the perfect brain fuel snack. the taste reminded me of a pimped out fig newton. the recipe suggests you freeze them until you eat them and that's true. they're too mushy otherwise.
here's the mixture out of the food processor. btw, i used cold water to soak the fruit in instead of hot water b/c i didn't want to kill the nutrients. i can't call these bars 100% raw because i used dried fruit that i got for free from walgreen's (and they have icky sulfates). i can't complain because we're broke and i don't turn down free food. had i spent real money making these bars, good organic ingredients would cost $20-$30.
i was able to make 7 bars. i'm sure i could have made a total of 10 smaller ones, truer to larabar size. if i had to spend actual money with cheap-o ingredients, the cost would have been about $10 to get everything, and that would definitely make more than one batch. so to answer the question, "is making these bars really cost effective?" yes, if you go cheap. no if you go organic.
have any of you tried saving money making your own versions of favorite commercial food? what worked? what didn't?
Thursday, January 8, 2009
is there a food you can't live without? what is it?
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
if i had to answer RIGHT NOW, i'd say Vegan With a Vengeance. How It All Vegan-(which i don't own, but have my fave recipes written down) is a very close second. i'm super excited about my other three cookbooks i scored over the holidays, so they'll be getting more use. i'm also psyched about testing for vegan crunk too and will be wielding a wooden spoon in her honor this weekend in my kitchen.
i had another kitchen disaster. i don't have them too often, but when i do they are so jarring i get all shy about getting back in the kitchen. i tried to make an indian dish with curried spinach, fenugreek, and chickpeas. i misread the recipe and ground fenugreek seeds instead of using dried fenugreek and the dish was so bitter it couldn't be doctored. i cried as i scraped the pan into the compost pile. I CRIED. we're poor and i hate wasting food. i don't even think the worms will eat that.
the picture above is the fettuccine alfreda from VWAV. it's so easy to make, you'll cry, but they'll be tears of happiness. you'll cry harder after you eat it too(more of an orgasmic cry)--it's that rich. not low in fat, but it's the good kind of fat from nuts and plants so you don't have to worry about cholesterol. i like accompanying pasta dishes with asparagus. i don't care if it makes my pee smell. i could eat it every day. now that i think about it, there aren't too many vegetables that i wouldn't eat.
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
don't screw up your face like that. it's actually really good. one of my favorite places to get pizza is aver's and they make a black bean and cilantro pesto pizza that rocks-(minus the cheese). well aver's is not cheap so i made my own version and topped it with follow your heart mozzarella. (((singing))) this-is-how-you-do-it...
i don't feel like paying for aver's black bean and cilantro pesto pizza
- 1 pizza crust- i used Pillsbury's, totally vegan (full of chemicals, but vegan) you can also do what my friend mari does and buy a ball of finished dough from a pizzeria for a couple of bucks, OR you can just make the damn thing.
- 1 can of black beans (drained and rinsed to get rid of that pesky sodiumy bean juice)
- follow your heart mozzarella or another favorite vegan cheese. this isn't mandatory, the pizza is fine without it.
- 1 c. cilantro chopped
- 1 handful of plain almonds
- 1/4 c. olive oil
- 1/4 c. lime juice
- 1t liquid smoke
- 1/2 t salt
- 1/4 c. water
- 1/2 small onion, chopped
put all the sauce ingredients in a blender and puree the shit out of it. god, i love doing that. spread the pesto on the dough while you're pre-heating the oven at 350. top with beans, banana peppers, fake cheese, and jalapenos. bake for about 15 minutes.
Monday, January 5, 2009
jewbacca's lima bean hummus
1 can of lima beans (drained and rinsed, please. canned beans are SO high in sodium)
1 lemon, juiced
2-3 big cloves of garlic (i'm a garlic whore. seriously.)
2 T of tahini
1 T of ms. dash sun dried tomato and basil blend
1t sea salt
1/8 c. of olive oil
1/4 c. water
put that shit in a blender and puree until it's smooth. garnish with extra ms. dash and some olive oil. goes well with buttered n' grilled pita
Sunday, January 4, 2009
with tofu and cashews as the heart of the cheez, it makes for a very decadent dessert. i'm not gonna lie to those of you that are hardcore cheeseheads either, it ain't cheesecake. cheese is a very difficult thing to replicate in the vegan world. most of it sucks--but i assure you, this recipe DOESN'T. i topped it with a chocolate sauce i made with melted chocolate chips-(the kroger valu brand are vegan) and rice milk. the recipe states that it fits in one pre-made pie crust, but it that's bullshit...you'll need two or you'll need to make one big assed cheesecake in a spring form pan, which might take longer to cook. i know this is silly, but i have a fear of using those things. one day i'll address all my food fears head-on: using yeast, spring form pans, rolling my own sushi, and using agar flakes. hey--i used agar in that recipe, so i guess i've taken care of that one.
i'm testing for vegan crunk's southern cookbook. this picture is of the cinnamon pecan waffles. they were VERY tasty, but i cannot disclose the recipe because it is classified information. call me crazy, but i don't wanna get my ass kicked by a southern belle because i'm a bettin' she could do a number on me, even in her hoop skirt. with a name like jewbacca, i'm sure you think i'm super-tuff but i assure you that i'm a giant wuss.
Friday, January 2, 2009
so whadda you do when you have to work the day after x-mas? yes-yes, cry a little on the inside because all your friends and family members have the day off and are chillaxing in front of the t.v. stuffin' their faces with great food. here's what i did: i softened the blow of workin' and made an awesome breakfast for me and my other two co-workers that had to spend the day in the mail order department.
i made the biscuits with the VWAV recipe, and because i used whole wheat flour that wasn't sifted, they were a tad heavy. but anything, i mean anything can be doctored with gravy. am i right or what? i made my miso happy gravy and used imagine's creamy portobello mushroom soup instead of the regular water and it turned out super rich-(and kinda gross lookin').
as for my tofu scramble, i make it with whatever i have on hand and i don't have an official recipe. i should really be more mindful and take notes with what i throw in the skillet. all i know is that it's really effin' good, and i could probably eat it every day. i know you think your tofu scramble brings all the boys, girls, and thirds to the yard, but i think it's just a matter of preference. personally, i'm not that wild about anyone else's tofu scramble except mine and the one they serve at michigan womyn's music festival. side note: i quit going there some time ago because of their stupid assed womyn-born-womyn policy. that's for another blog.
a week or so before x-mas, vin and i carved out some time to have a lunch date-(just the two of us, no bebeh) and we went to one of my favorite buffets at the siam house. thai food isn't hard to veganize, but typically is made with fish sauce, so you have to be a good pain-in-the-ass-vegan and ask ahead of time. i did and the management informed me that the vegetarian items are not made with fish sauce. that's the cool thing about b-town. there are so many veg heads here that many places know what a vegan is and will happily make something vegan for you if they don't have anything on the menu. i had a helping of the cold veggie salad, mango sticky rice with plantains, and some red curry tofu. it was soooo good.