Thursday, May 31, 2012

Pudgy Pie Friday, I'm in Love!

Okay, well it's not Friday just yet. But it probably will be by the time you read this. My computer decided to give me some problems, so I took a break from blogging. I missed all of you profoundly.

Man, what an amazing thing my little sammich maker is. I would like to say that I bought it, but that's a lie. I liberated it from my last place of work at the garden store because no one loved it at all. It was lonely and cried to me on a daily basis for me to take it home with me and adopt it. Done and done! I was able to take perfectly useless white bread, Earth Balance, and some blueberry pie filling to make this gnawesome pudgy pie.

What, you say? Don't bum me out by telling me you don't know what the fuck a pudgy pie is! It's a camp comfort food. You can buy special irons to roast over fire pits and make a sammich filled with anything you like, or you can cheat and use a snackmaster sandwich maker by some X appliance company. The campfire ones are better, but I don't have time to camp, not right now anyway.

  • Grab two pieces of your favorite bread
  • Get a couple T's of vegan butter
  • Get some pie filling, or the sweet filling of your choice

Grill, baby grill! It'll be a disco inferno in your mouth. You might want to let stuff cool a bit, so you can keep your precious tongue. Oooh, I have a late idea! Top that baby with some vegan vanilla ice cream. Yeah, that's the ticket.

Imagine the possibilities:
Cinnamon swirl bread with peach or apple pie filling
Brioche with vegan cream cheese and apricots
White bread with pumpkin pie filling and chocolate chips
Wheat bread with a dates, apples, and walnuts
Peanut butter and jelly!
What about a s'mores pudgy pie?

Tell me about your pudgy pie fantasy...

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Summertime Can't be Beet

 Hey readers! I've been so busy diggin' it up in the garden, cookin' in the kitchen, and just loving this weather. It's official, I'm a convert to beets. Never thought I'd like them. Always loved the colors, but would scrunch up my nose at borscht. Then I had Biotta brand beet juice last year and felt differently. This year I wanted to grow some in my garden and this is the first harvest of candy striped beets. Aren't they just bee-you-tiful? I can't bring myself to cook them, so I'll eat them raw. Good thing, they taste like sugar. Seriously. Toss that in some vinegar, oil, with a little dill and salt, --BOOM! Salad time. Or you could do the whole sweet n' salty thing by making a nice vegan feta like spread and dip the beets in them.  I played scientist with some of the slices and am letting them soak in the leftover brine from a jar of banana peppers. What color will they turn? Tune in and see.
Did you know Stauffer's chocolate animal crackers are accidentally vegan? Yep. I like to melt chocolate and dip them in it. Then I stick 'em in the fridge and I have a portion controlled sweet treat to eat when it is hotter n' balls outside. I made this batch with a nice chili chocolate, which is a pleasant surprise after sticking a frozen piece of chocolate cookie in your mouth--wait for it, wait for it! Feel the burn. I love to torture myself.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Mean Greens

It's that time of year--let salad season begin! But do it right, don't mess around with iceberg lettuce. That shit is awful. Go grow yourself some greens or get some at the farmer's market.

The picture above is of my mean green bowl. I have a special blend that is just right for me, so I'll share it with you. Top it with whatever you want, it's a friggin' salad! I topped my greens with Beanfield's Plain Bean and Rice Chips, avocado slices, salsa, and some spicy three pepper hummus.

Jen's Mean Green Blend
  • A bunch of red cabbage leaves
  • Butter crunch lettuce
  • Portuguese Kale
  • Tat Soi (aka spoon mustard)
  • Spinach
  • Swiss chard
  • Beet greens
Rinse, chop, and mix all the aforementioned greens. The tat soi is pretty strong, so use it to taste. Serve in a tofu scramble, or eat as a salad! Greens are awesome and make you super duper hotter than the average person. I just made that up, I have no idea if that's true, but let's pretend it is. Go green. Eat your greens. Be a sex machine.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Gimme Some Lovin'

Not to get off the topic of food, because I do have a point discussing my life homework in this post: I am taking a Death and Dying class at church and part of our homework is to take the day of the month we were born on, -(in my case it is the 13th) and do something we've never done before. Well, I travel to MI all the time to see relatives and friends and pass the Auburn Deussenberg Cord Car Museum right outside of Ft. Wayne, about an hour or south of the MI state line. I got my fill of classic cars--golly, they were beautiful. I also got my fill of the Loving Cafe in Ft. Wayne.
 The food selection was overwhelming. I went for the BBQ bun sandwich which was a very pork like seitan smothered in a rich BBQ sauce and topped with creamy cole slaw. I chose potato kale soup as my side.
I was licking sauce off my fingers the entire meal. That's how BBQ is supposed to be!

I also ate a nice breakfast at Sarah's Family Restaurant, right across the street from the Hilton Garden Inn on SR 24. I requested a double order of hash browns with all house veggies and dry toast. It was really really good! Sorry, no pic. The hash brown or home fries trick has never failed me. You simply go to any local restaurant and ask them to make up a plate of unique home fries for you while everyone else noshes on bacon and eggs. It's a great vegan on the road survival tip, and most places are happy to make it for you! I even had the waitress ask if it was okay to add squash and spinach to my hash browns. Hell yeah!

So I challenge you to find a museum or some sort of park in a podunk town near you and make a mini vacation of it. Take a tour, go to the local eateries, and enjoy yourself. I often forget all the little treasures outside of my own unique college town!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Beans, Beans, the Magical Chip--The More You Eat...

I'm tellin' you, the blogging is paying off. Why? A representative from Beanfields asked me if I wanted to give their product line a try. I was curious. They did receive a swanky award from Veg News, but I could care less about that. I just wanted to expand my vegan snack chip horizons.

 I love rice and beans already, but in chip form? Of course. Most things in chip form are pretty dang good. So don't get too frustrated with other bloggers that get care packages from other companies, because if you keep putting yourself out there like I do, people will approach you. I used to get really down on myself about not being good or cool enough for the vegan blogging world. Once I relaxed, miracles started to happen. I know, I know--kind of schmaltzy stuff but oh so true.

So of course I wanted to try the chips. I was banking on a single bag of chips, but I got this motherload of a sample platter: Nacho Bean & Rice, Pico De Gallo, and Sea Salt and pepper. I love them all. Guess what? You don't need to dip these in anything. You can if you want to, but I'm fine with these as is. You read that right. The Queen of Stacking Stuff on Chips says to put that stuff away.

The sea salt and pepper ones could be ground up and used as a mean breading for baked tofu. My favorite was the pico de gallo. The nacho cheese ones had a slightly noochy buttery taste and I found to be much better than that one chip made by a major snack food company that I can eat in one sitting. You know, that company that rhymes with Neato Way. I don't think I'll be buying that corporations products any more, even if they are accidentally vegan. I'd much rather make with the snacky face with Benfields &Co. Not to mention these chips have more flavor and nutritional value. Next person who asks me where do I get my protein, I'll just say snack chips and watch them furrow their brow.

Thanks to Beanfields for the hook up of super flavorful snacks! You get The Official That Pain in the Ass Vegan approval, two turntables and a microphone.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Might as Well Face It, I'm Addicted to Owls...

 I am an Owlery junkie. It's official. They've been re-opened at their new downtown location for slightly less than a month now and I've been there 3 times. This pic is from my recent unofficial Indiana Post Punk Kitchen meet-up. I'm going to use everyone's user names on the forum, so please don't think these people have really weird names. Featured above is Abstract Nonsense's brunch plate of scramble, hashbrowns, TVP sausage, toast, and some fresh pineapple. That was my first time meeting him and I think he's really neat, and oh-so-nerdy in such an adorable way.
 Here's my jaw breaker: farm bread housing tofu scramble, tofu bacon, tvp sausage, lettuce, daiya cheese, tomato, and veganaise. Yep, I ate the whole thing. THE WHOLE THING!
 Same thing, on a biscuit. Skinny Daisy likes biscuits.
 Quark is a biscuit and gravy gal. She said this was really good: biscuits, mushroom gravy, and TVP sausage with a side of home fries to the right.
Vegans are so SEXY! Left to right, Flounder, Sarahclaire, Skinny Daisy, me, and Abstract Nonsense
Now I have at least four or five new crushes. Quark is positively gorgeous!

You can find out more about The Owlery right hizzere.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Berry Whites

So I know these strawberries don't look so sensual. What's going on there? Don't knock it until you try it.
This here is my own concoction and saving grace from eating an entire pie. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but I gots to be careful of that stuff and moderate my sugar intake. No problem!

So here's how you make these Berry Whites...get it Barry White? He would rise from the grave to nosh on one of these.

You'll need:

4 Large strawberries BIG ONES. ZOMG! The more ginormous, the better
1/3 cup of Cracklin Oat Bran Cereal and one single coffee bean, run through the coffee mill and set aside. Really, any vegan cereal will do. I just like me some COB.

  • Wash and pat dry the berries. Set aside.
  • Prepare your Cracklin' Oat Bran Dust. Set aside in a shallow dish.
  • Make an assembly line near the pot: strawberries, pan, dish of cereal, wax paper.
  • Heat the JNB on super low heat on a non stick skillet or pan. Stir constantly. Watch that butter!
  • Lightly brush or roll each berry in melted JNB. 
  • Roll each berry IMMEDIATELY in the pulverized cereal.
  • Set on wax paper. 
  • Stick in fridge.
  • Eat once cooled. 
  • Impress your friends.
  • You're welcome.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Stu, Stu, Studio! Woah-Oh.

The Menu! Imagine my surprise seeing vegan pancakes on the menu. Next time, that Texas Tank will be mine.
 Here's the testimony from my visit to the Studio Grill in Kalamazoo. I was expecting to arrive to a place where I would once again order my custom hash browns-(home fries with veggies and a side of salsa) and some dry white toast. I do it all the time, but it does get boring. I was flabbergasted to see the words vegan pancakes. Who is Daphney and where can I get my mitts on that recipe? They tasted like snickerdoodles. Yum!

Next time I plan on wrapping my big ol' yapper around a Texas Tank. For those of you who can't read the menu because the photo is so shitty, here's what it is: a black bean burger, vegan chili, and hummus. Dude.

So whether you live in the Kalamazoo area or are just passin' through, I encourage you to stop by and give this place a try. Let 'em know how much you appreciate a breakfast joint offering vegan options. 
The Pancakes. Note I capitalized. They were that good.
A blurry photo:  The Adorable Chef/Owner Craig. He can cook for me anytime. I'll even pay real money.