Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A Tale of Two Soups and My Opinion on Farts.

 Brrrr! It's cold outside! Time to warm up with soup. Today we have a tale of two soups. The one above is a tasty red lentil vegetable soup complete with a giant dumpling. The spice blend used is my new favorite: Mediterranean. For X-Mas, my kids got me this big container of the stuff and I've been using it for soups, vegetables, and veggie burgers! It's a mixture of cumin, coriander, oregano, rosemary, salt, and a pinch of cinnamon! The dumpling is the rug that ties the room together. For an elastic second, I forgot that it is just 7 degrees outside my door!
The second soup is a vegan ham n' bean soup that I found on VegWeb. My spouse wanted to try it, so we did. We used pintos instead of the recommended black eyed peas, and had fantastic results. When I was little, I was a bean with bacon soup junkie, and this reminded me of that commercial canned soup from so long ago! If you're craving a smoky, salty, bacon-y, and beany soup, this is for you. To answer the question, "Will this make me fart?" The answer is "Yes, duh." If you're gonna go vegan, expect some gas. After all, you're eating a lot of beans! I'd still take a room full of morally superior vegan farts any day over the stench of one omnivore fart.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Product Review: 2 New Flavors from Lilly's Hummus!

I know, you're probably sick of me being an advertisement for Lilly's Hummus.  I'll tell you something, once you take a bite, you'll be converted--this shit is insanely good, and I'm not one to buy store bought hummus. I sent them a tweet asking for coupons and guess what I got? Not one, not two, but THREE containers of hummus: my favorite smoked jalapeno, and TWO NEW FLAVORS! Cracked pepper hummus is a delightful schmear with cracked peppery goodness that goes perfect with anything. The spice blend reminded me of the spices found in fried chicken breading--this would be the thing to eat if you were missing fried chicken. The black bean is a zippy spread that would tie together any southwest inspired sammich. I think I'm going to try making a pasta bake or burger with that one.

They also sent me a slick Lilly's Hummus T-shirt which I will wear with pride. PRIDE! Another fabulous reason to love Portland, OR.

Lilly's also sent me some kitchen magnets and a couple recipe cards and suggested the following ideas for hummus!

  • Schmear for a bagel. Duh. We all know this.
  • Use as a binder for a veggie burger- I never thought of this and will be experimenting in the kitchen with this soon!
  • Salad dressing- I've seen bloggers talk about using this as a salad topping. You just thin with a vinaigrette or juice, toss into salad, and enjoy!
  • Vegan Pasta sauce- Why haven't I thought of this? 
  • French Fry Dip- of course I'll dip those taters in some Lilly's!
In addition to thanking Lilly's for this care package, I wanted to take a moment to thank my local food bank for having this hummus for me to try in the first place. You can find out more about Mother Hubbard's Cupboard by clicking on this link. Please consider donating. $1 buys 7# of food! So never underestimate what a difference a small donation can make. I donate what and when I can, because without this valuable resource, me and my family would be eating a lot of pb&j, which isn't a bad thing--it just gets boring for every meal. This food pantry helps a lot of people, and many patrons are those who are in the "in between" set--those who can't qualify for public assistance, but still cannot afford nutritious food after paying for basic expenses like housing and utilities. That's us! The other thing that is different about this food bank is that the patrons can shop and choose the food they take home rather than get set packages of food to use. There isn't a lot of paperwork to fill out and it is all based on the honor system. They offer cooking and gardening classes, something I've never heard of other food banks doing. I've written an article about me using the food bank and how it inspired me to start writing That Pain in the Ass Vegan.

Thanks so much to Lilly's and Mother Hubbard's Cupboard!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Easy Vegan Brownies

Have no fear, you can haz brownies even when vegan! AND you don't have to be any kind of a culinary genius to do it. Most commercial cake and brownie mixes are vegan by default (check your labels for milk and egg ingredients), you just need to find an egg substitute. For this batch, I used So Delicious brand coconut milk yogurt-(vanilla flavored). I used the yogurt as the egg and for the beautiful cream cheese swirl! It was really easy: just subbed yogurt for egg  in the batter and dolloped the yogurt on top of brownie batter once in the pan. Using a butter knife, I swirled the yogurt into the batter and it baked and set beautifully. Cream cheese brownies in a jiffy! You could probably use any kind of non-dairy vanilla flavored yogurt, but I chose So Delicious out of sheer preference.