Friday, April 29, 2011

never underestimate your influence on others

i have a love/hate relationship with facebook. if i could get away with it, i would cut it from me with a big ol' bowie knife because it is such an addictive time waster. seriously. i get on there for what i think has been a few minutes, then by the time i know it, it's friday. boo! on the other hand, i've been able to find people and relatives i've been out of touch with for years and make friends with people from all over the world. yay!

i often post links to this blog to let everyone know what i'm up to. i also post to let the omni world know i don't sit around and eat iceberg lettuce and blocks of raw tofu-gag! i was super touched when a FB friend of mine sent me the following message-(i wasn't sure if she'd be embarrassed if i posted her name so i left it out):

Hi Jen~ I love your vegan blog! I am not a vegan but recently my Great Uncle came to live with me and he is. He will eat some cheese and eggs but i can't stand to see him eat salad and toast all the time. I will be rummaging through your blog taking recipes to try, I have learned that boca burgers are just nasty! dry, and i would rather eat cardboard covered in cardboard and sawdust than spend another $5 for 4 patties. I would truly appreciate any suggestions or thoughts on how to incorporate his veganism into our "flesh" eating household, and is it possible to incorporate more meatless dishes for my family. Thanks in advance~

isn't that the best? these are the moments i'm grateful for cooking as activism. don't preachy preach, cookie-cook! i gave her some suggestions about how i use lentils as a stand in for dishes that call for ground meat.

and what have i been cookie-cookin'? wouldn't you like to know. i've been testing some things out, and i've had a few disasters that have set me back a little. remember that GF sausage? disaster. remember the GF experiment? not a disaster, but it didn't help my husband's chronic pain issue. back to the drawing board. i'll post about that later.

what wasn't a disaster was the eggplant chili mole from appetite for reduction. wowza, that was great! recipe makes a ton and freezes well. i had a friend over to try it and she said it reminded her of skyline chili. SKYLINE CHILI! so there.

here's another shot with the scallion cornbread on top. i left out the scallions:

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Paul Reuben

mecha lecha hi, mecha yummy ho!

feast your eyes on that one, won'tcha? look, the reuben has been done 1,000 times over until the tofu cows have come home to play yahtzee. everyone says, "my reuben is the best!" everyone also says, "look how cute/smart/funny my kid is!" we know the truth: this reuben is the best and my kids are the cutest/smartest/funniest.

what separates this one from the others is a) i named it after paul reubens-(one of my favorite jews of all time) and b) the use of the tofurky cranberry n' stuffing slices. in place of the ol' swiss cheez thing, i used avocado slices. i was inspired by melissa "the unicoroner" r. one of my favorite derby athletes. she told me that avocados and sauerkraut were a match made in heaven. she's right.

The Paul Reuben (note my use of caps. i'm serious!)

in a non stick pan, grill your tofurky slices until slightly crispy and brown. now throw that sauerkraut in there too! toast your bread and coat each side generously with vegan mayo. pile on the tofurky, kraut, avocado, onion, ketchup, and pickles. make sure to have your jaw surgically removed prior to eating. netflix pee-wee's big adventure while yer at it. pat your belly when done and wipe your mouth on the sleeve of your shirt. this sandwich goes great with a ginger ale or root beer.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

you know you're a foodie when...

...the idea of a sandwich with less than two toppings scares the bejeezus outta ya. i was dreaming about this on the way home: i didn't just want a sandwich, i wanted THIS SANDWICH. focaccia roll? check. vin's marinara sauce? check. smoky roasted eggplant? check. balsamic sauteed red onions and mushrooms? check. now--what am i missing?
every now and then i get a cheesy craving, so i wanted something that would compliment this sandwich. i know one would think a mozzarella sauce would do, but i wanted something to go with those onions and shrooms. i chose the swiss fondue out of the ultimate uncheese cookbook. i know it doesn't seem like it would go with the marinara, but it really did.

the basil sprinkles were for good luck.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Whoooooo loves vegan food?

the owlery, that's whoooooo! these photos are a few weeks old. bloomington is a great city for all kinds of eats. we have ethiopian, italian, indian, chinese, mexican, afghani, tibetan, thai, turkish, korean, japanese, and vegetarian. all places do have options for vegans because they know we eat too. hell, even the local outback steakhouse will happily custom make you a salad free of any animal products and plain baked baked potato if you tell them you're from planet vegan. believe you me, i've been stuck in that scenario. i am glad i have the power of being a pain in the ass vegan and not being afraid of asking questions.
so--we have this new place to eat, the owlery and it is pretty good, AND AFFORDABLE. the restaurant specializes in vegetarian food, but all dishes with the exception of the meatball sub and eggplant parm can be veganized by the chef. you can visit their website here as well as follow them on both social networking sites. above is the tofu fish served with coleslaw. i wasn't that impressed with the slaw, but the tofu fish was tasty.
"but mommy," my daughter asks. "i could really go for some tofu ribs--can they make the bun gluten free too?" Done and Done!

check that out--gluten free comfort food!we ended our family lunch date by sharing a slice of oreo cheezcake. Delicious and vegan!

final review? 4 out of 5 stars, but largely because i was distracted with the kids. they do have a mug of crayons to keep 'em occupied, but we all know how crazy toddlers can be, don't we? their hours are split--so if you're a late riser, you'll have to wait until 5:30 to eat.

Friday, April 8, 2011

planet gluten free

here's a closeup of a savory GF pancake topped with the cashew crema from viva vegan. what's in the pancake? i'm so bad about not writing down measurements for a recipe: a bit of bob's red mill GF AP flour, some millet flour, some corn flour, some flax seeds, some onion powder, salt, baking soda, and some soy milk. nice and crunchy. it went well with the crema, sauteed greens n' brussels sprouts and tofu scramble.
my spouse has had chronic pain for 6+ years, so he's on the GF wagon for a couple of weeks to see if it will help. we've spent thousands of dollars in testing to try to find an answer to his pain and the results have been nil. so frustrating! week one is almost over and he doesn't feel better. for any GF peeps--how long does it take for the diet to work?

what will we do if this doesn't help? ugh.

what have i been up to this week? let's see--gardening, i've made some nice GF desserts, had a GF bread disaster, and am working on a GF-soy free sausage patty. you heard me right, kids--vegan. sausage. patty. GF. soy free. i'm not happy with it yet, not like i'm about to come out with a cook book or anything. there are too many out there in veganland. besides--i'm too busy doing my mom thing, and thinking about starting another blog.

whuuuuuut? have i piqued your curiosity?

vegan highlight of the week? manic panic mascara and eyeshadow set. gets two turntables and a microphone. so does that blueberry tea from celestial seasonings. that shit is excellent iced.

be well, eat cookies, drink tea, and for the love of eyelashes--stay vegan!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

worth a short stack of beans

i've reported this in an earlier post: my son is an extremely picky eater. look at those gnawdorable monster sammies above made with ww pita, almond butter, pointy pear teeth, and grape eyes. i'd eat it, wouldn't you? he shredded it to bits and most of it landed on the floor. if it ain't breakfast cereal, bananas, milk, or pb--forget it. i've tried the sneaky chef approach, and that didn't work either.

then god threw me a muse--beans.

beans. go jen, put beans in pancakes. he'll eat it.

whuuuuut? for an elastic second i thought i was having a hallucination. i patted the top of my head-- did i need a tin foil hat? then i heard it again: beans. so i did it--ground up oat flour, cinnamon, cardamom, and ginger. mixed it with some maple syrup and pureed vegetarian baked beans.

holy shit--IT WORKED! i've tried hidden veggies in pancakes before and ended up with a bunch of whining and gagging noises. these worked. i made them small so they were perfect for the toaster. fiber! protein! yay!

what have you made into a pancake lately? stay tuned, i've been practicing some GF cooking for-(some successes, some frustrations, and a new appreciation for living without bread) my spouse's chronic pain condition, some big love for manic panic eye makeup, and robin robertson's mayo recipe from vegan on the cheap-(my favorite cookbook for 2011). seriously, you'll NEVER buy veganaise again!

eat well, be happy, and for the love of pancakes--stay vegan.

be well