Friday, March 25, 2011

why no, i don't eat dirt or cardboard

asparagus, broccoli, rutabaga, fresh ginger, mustard greens, poblanos, brocco slaw, and the hydro tomatoes from the previous entry made several meals and sides that we all enjoyed.

one misconception omnis tend to have about vegans is that we must eat dirt & cardboard. couldn't be further from the truth. i eat tons of different kinds of veggies and have found my horizons broadened by eliminating all animal products from my diet. one might believe that makes eating a pain in the ass (now you know how the blog earned its name), but its only bothersome if you enjoy eating garbage.

i won't lie: i loved fast food for a long time. it was a sid and nancy relationship--we used each other, i ate, felt like crap, and would swear off the #6 combo from wendy's. i read fast food nation, and some of that changed. i still ate meat. but enough of my pregan days. if you're truly curious, you can read all about that here or here. sure i eat my share of fried food, but i know who is making it--me!

the photo above is the bounty i'm able to obtain from my local food bank- mother hubbard's cupboard. it's a humbling feeling to publicly admit i need to use this service to provide healthy meals for my family. if you are a family that needs assistance and you don't qualify for food stamps or WIC, i beg of you to seek out (or start!) your own service that provides food for those in need. the pantry is set up to help many people in between situations or working class families that can't afford to adequately feed their families after paying bills. thursdays are made priority for pregnant and breastfeeding women, so i go on that day. if it weren't for MHC, we would eat a lot of pb&j or pasta. that's why it means so much to me that y'all visit this blog. every click earns me some change that i end up donating to the pantry. all people deserve to eat well, and fine dining shouldn't be the stuff of privilege, but in this country it is. the american meal has become bastardized, and most residents of this country believe a meal consists of a sandwich, fries, and pop. rarely do we eat together as a family anymore. balsamic sauteed peppers, onions, mushrooms served with tofurky sausage and broccoli

pita halves stuffed with dr. praeger's veggie burgers*-(probably the BEST store bought vegan burger on the market-no one paid me to say this), made with REAL VEGGIES that you can actually see!, rice vegan cheeze, hydro tomato, pickles, onion, and veganaise. served with a side of jerk roasted asparagus and broccoli slaw.
*=wait for a coupon or sale!

i know this isn't the prettiest food pic, but it was damned tasty: dal over rice in the background sits quietly while a big mess o' steamed mustard greens is topped with a wild yam and pine nut saute. wowza!

enjoy those veggies, check out your local food bank, start your own if your town needs one, and for the love of rutabagas--stay vegan!

Friday, March 18, 2011

no robo tomatoes for me

these are hydroponic tomatoes. aren't they gorgeous? my co-worker has a few plants in the greenhouse and i snagged these babies, rinsed them off, and they made the best end-of-winter sandwich topping. i refuse to buy grocery store tomatoes. they are effing gross. no robo tomatoes for me.

have any of you started your gardens yet? if not, it's time to start your seeds. there's no better way to stick it to the man than to grow your own food. fresh produce prices are not going to stop rising, especially organically grown produce. in early spring one can start spinach, peas, broccoli, lettuce, herbs, kale, and chard. contrary to popular belief, the best way to start seeds ain't by plunking them into the ground. i like getting a potting mix or super starter plugs and placing the seeds in flats. then i rest them on a propagation mat and under a shop light. then i put the seedlings in the ground after they've grown their first two sets of leaves.

a vegan diet is awesome, but so is obtaining your produce locally. if you don't want to take a second mortgage out on your home, just grow it yourself. the world of hydroponics isn't as cerebral as you think it might be, there's passive hydroponics--(doesn't require electricity and produces gorgeous results), or you can rock out your small space with container gardening. trust me, i work in the industry.

as vegans, gardening can be tricky: most plant food contains animal by products. ask 10 vegans if a plant food is vegan and you'll likely get 10 different answers. me? i do use worm castings, which could make the vegan police grumble--but they don't have to live my life. i do. plants aren't vegan, they like to eat organic matter no matter what the source is. unfortunately, some of the sources of animal derived byproducts are from slaughterhouses. ick! in chemistry terms organic doesn't mean natural or pesticide free, it means that the food source is carbon based. don't you remember the coneheads referring to humans as carbon based life forms?

the best source for vegan plant food is growing comfrey and using compost that contains zero animal products. grass clippings are a great source of nitrogen. if you want to up the ante, here are some great vegan plant food sources you can buy. if you buy them from my place of employment, you'll increase my job security-(nudge-nudge, wink-wink):

  • rock phosphate-you need phosphorous for fruiting and flowering--make sure it is 100% rock phosphate!

you can also look for food that contains liquid seaweed or neem cake. just check the label to make sure it doesn't have bone, feather, fish, blood, or meat meal.

what are you waiting for? get growing and brag about your haul at the next potluck. and for the love of heirloom tomatoes, stay vegan.

Monday, March 14, 2011

alternate pizza universe

(insert twilight zone music here)
you have entered a universe where pizza is not only made without cheese, but without red sauce....
whuuuuut? yep, you heard me right--this is the tuscan white bean pizza from vegan on the cheap, quite possibly one of the best kept secrets in vegan cookbooks. mr. j downloaded it for me on my kindle and i've cooked a couple things from it and just love it times infinity. THAT is the book you get for the new vegan who is lead to believe that veganism is too expensive. i did cheat a little and used a pre made whole wheat crust from trader joe's-(not a huge splurge and at 99 cents it was an amazing time saver!). i also added banana peppers and olives. i subbed the roma tomatoes with sun dried ones from my pantry. super cheap to make and it is so rich, people will only think you picked it up from some fancy schmancy eatery.

more to come! enjoy those beans and for the love of pizza, stay vegan.

Monday, March 7, 2011

just give me the tops

don't you think the cookie to the right looks like a googly eyed face? i do. these are the blueberry walnut oatmeal breakfast cookies from the vegan cookie conoisseur. the description reads that they are like eating muffin tops, and i would say that is spot on--but they're a tad dense. that's perfectly okay because that's how a breakfast cookie should be, sort of a stick to your ribs sensation followed by a swig from your mug o' dark coffee or cold glass of non dairy milk. i made the cookies on the small side and two of them kept me fueled until lunch. so stay in your cubicle and be all kinds of productive while those jealous omnis gossip about how you're a flake by the water cooler. what do they know? nothin' i say, absolutely nothin'.

they also make a perfect snack to tide you over until you make dinner.