Friday, November 30, 2007

The Last VeganMoFo Entry...


...sad but true. The Vegan Month of Food has come to an end. An era passed. A time gone by. Actually, I am quite relieved. The guilt I was feeling when I missed a post was killing me.


I will end this post with a picture of a burger inspired by one of my testers, Liz. She was at a restaraunt and had a burger she really liked. She described it and asked if I could recreate it. Hopefully this will satisfy her needs. I call it the Fire Roasted Red Pepper Burger.



Here's the fire rosted red pepper getting fire roasted:

Thursday, November 29, 2007

VeganMoFo and what to make next...



Oh my. There are so many things I want to make. Christmas baking aside, I have recieved PapaTofu and Don't Eat Off the Sidewalk 2 and Veganomicon and I want to make new burgers and...

There are so many choices, that I am overwhelmed! I am determined to make at least 2 different burgers before the weekend is over and I want to try at least one recipe from each of the above three books. Since it is Thursday already, I'd better get to cooking!

VeganMoFo, Amazon and Veganomicon



My apologies for falling behind on the 'mofo! I was doing so well up to Thanksgiving and then...

Anyhow. Back in August, I preordered my copy of Veganomicon from Amazon. As I sat reading blog after blog and post after post on the ppk about how wonderful it was and how many wonderful recipes were awaiting me, I just became more and more frustrated as my copy hadn't arrived yet. And to add insult to injury, I kept getting emails from Amazon "Recommending that I purchase Veganomicon based on other books I have already purchased" (They also sent me an email recommending that I buy Cozy Inside, which made me giggle.)

It finally came last week, on the day before Thanksgiving.

I had already planned my Thanksgiving menu, so I had to set this beautiful baby aside until after the holiday. And then there were the leftovers. So finally, I was able to bust it out and break it in. The first recipe I made from the V was the Mac Daddy.



Let me start by saying that Mac and Cheeze has been a favorite of mine since I was a wee little girl. I can eat it all by itself, or as a side...whatever. I love mac and cheeze. I knew that if anyone could come up with an awesome, satisfying, comforting mac and cheeze it would be Miss Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero. After all, they are America's Best Selling Vegan Chefs right?

I have never made a Isa or Terry recipe that I didn't like. So, as you would expect, my hopes were extremely high for this, the first of many, from V'con. The results...just okay. It tasted fine, but I felt like there was something missing. But what? Richness and creaminess. It was tangy and tart, and definitely noochy, and I especially loved the idea of the tofu ricotta type texture in the mix, and it certainly didn't lack in flavor...but the cheeziness left me wanting just a bit more.

I made it as written, without any of the variations. I have read others' posts about the Mac Daddy and they have all said it would be better with greens, like peas or spinach. Well, I don't want any greens in my mac and cheeze. I just want mac and cheeze. So, while it was okay, I probably won't be making the Mac Daddy again any time soon. I will, however, mix crumbled tofu into my Macaroni and Cheeze recipe from now until eternity.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Friday, November 23, 2007

VeganMoFo and the day AFTER!



The day after Thanksgiving is sometimes better than Thanksgiving itself! No stress, no rushing around...just fuzzy slippers, sweats and a big ol' plate of leftovers.

I forgot to post pictures of a few of the other things I made yesterday, so here they are:

Julie Hasson's Pumpkin Spice Cake made into a 2 layer cake with cream cheeze frosting from VCTOTW. Everyone loved the cake. Sadly, I didn't even get to try it, because my husband and I had to leave to go to his mom's house for round two.


The Festivous Loaf, sliced and ready to eat:


And a really horrible shot of the "Vegan Buffet"...my camera died after this shot, so I didn't get a better one, but it's the only shot of the pumpkin raviolis so I posted it anyways. Also, we got to put our food in the actual DINING ROOM this year, and the TURKEY was shoved onto the little crappy kitchen table. I guess it pays to have a pretty presentation!


All in all Thanksgiving was a success. I wish I could've stayed at Dad's longer, but I had a wonderful time at Dan's Mom's house as well. Now off to put on those fuzzy slippers and get to my leftovers...

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Festivous Loaf



Festivous, you know, for the rest of us?   The holiday meant for those who don't celebrate those other holidays and made famous by the memorable Seinfeld episode.  But every holiday needs a signature dish, right?  Alright. Here it is. The one, the only, the Festivous Loaf.


Ingredients:
2 cups vital wheat gluten flour
2 cups garbanzo bean flour
2 cups all purpose flour (can sub whole wheat pastry flour here too)
2/3 cup vegetable broth powder (I used vegetarian chicken flavor)
2-3 cups water
Pesto (I used sundried tomato flavor, but any pesto will do)
2 boxes of storebought stuffing mix (prepared with vegetable broth)
4 cups additional vegetable broth

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix together the flours with the vegetable broth powder and slowly add in the water. Start with 2 cups and add more if needed. Knead together until a nice smooth dough ball is formed. Knead for 5 more minutes, and then cover and set aside to rest for 20 minutes.
While it's resting, prepare 2 boxes of storebought stuffing according to package instructions and set aside. (Most boxed stuffings are vegan, infact they are really just a bag of seasoned croutons or bread crumbs so if you have a favorite stuffing recipe, this would be a good place to use it.) Set aside.
After your dough has rested, roll it out on a well floured surface, trying to keep a rectangular shape...mine ended up being almost as big as the cutting board:



Spread a hearty layer of pesto all over the dough:



Sprinkle on a good amount of prepared stuffing:



Roll that puppy up!



Pour about 2 cups of vegetable broth into a 9 x 13 baking dish, then place the loaf in the dish:



Add the remaining stuffing all around the loaf:



Place in the oven at 350 degrees F for about 90 minutes, basting with the remaing broth every 15 minutes or so. You'll know it's done, when it is firm.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!



I realized that I didn't even post yesterday, so today you get two posts! First off, I would like to wish all of you out there the warmest Thanksgiving wishes. May all of your families and friends be nice to you when you show up with a vegetable or a festivous loaf rather than partake in the dead bird.

The countdown is on and I think I am on schedule. The festivous loaf is in the oven, and all I have left to do is finish the raviolis and make the gravy and frost the cake.

Here is a picture of phase one completed. All that needs to be done is to reheat and enjoy! Clockwise from 9 o'clock is Garlic Smashed Potatoes, Greek Stuffing, Bourbon Sweet Potato Mash, and Bryanna's Pumpkin Pie:



I will post a tutorial on the festivous loaf next! Enjoy your day!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

VeganMoFo and Thanksgiving Preparations



Alright. I went shopping. Did the dishes, and I am ready to start this feast.

My official menu is:
Cozy Inside Greek Stuffing (recipe below)
Ravioli with Pumpkin filling and a pumpkin seed creem sauce (will post recipe soon...)
Festivous Loaf (will post recipe soon...)
Cozy Inside Roasted Garlic Smashed Potatoes (recipe below)
Bourbon Sweet Potato Mash (I veganized this recipe)
Bryanna Clark Grogan's Pumpkin Pie (recipe here)
Julie Hasson's Pumpkin Spice Cake (recipe here) I am subbing chocolate chips for the fruit and frosting it with cream cheese frosting as a 3 layer cake for my Dad's birthday.

I may also make some bread, and a "fried cheese" appetizer, and if I have time I am going to make Joanna's Green Beans, from Yellow Rose Recipes.

Hopefully I'll be able to out do last year's feast!

Recipes:
Garlic Smashed Potatoes
Ingredients
4 large russet potatoes
½ cup soy creamer
¼ cup vegan margarine
¼ cup vegan sour cream
1 head of roasted garlic (see below)
Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
Directions
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Wash potatoes and cut them into approximately one inch chunks. Place chunks into the boiling water and cook until tender, usually 10-15 minutes. Drain and return to pot. Add in the creamer, margarine, sour cream and garlic. Smash with a potato masher until you get your desired consistency. I like mine with lots of lumps. Serve nice and warm smothered with Earth Balance and Mushroom and Onion Gravy. For cheesy garlic smashed potatoes, try adding in a quarter cup of nutritional yeast.

Roasted Garlic
Ingredients

1 head of garlic
Olive oil for drizzling
Sea salt to taste
Directions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove excess outer layers of skin, but do not peel. With a knife, cut the top off of the whole head of garlic, exposing just the tips of the garlic cloves. Place on a sheet of aluminum foil and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt. Wrap the entire clove in the foil and bake for 30-35 minutes. Remove from oven, let it cool to the touch. Squeeze each clove out and use in garlic smashed potatoes, eat them on their own as an appetizer, spread onto bread, or add into any recipe calling for garlic when you want a milder, roasted flavor. To roast more than one head of garlic at a time, use a muffin tin!


Greek Stuffing
Ingredients
2 1/2 cups uncooked wild rice blend
500 grams vegetable bouillon (2 cubes)
24 ounces seitan, about 3 cups chopped into tiny little pieces, (or any other meat substitute like Boca Crumbles, Textured vegetable protein, or Tempeh sausage crumbles)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 large onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
4 tsp cinnamon
1 cup golden raisins
4 tbsp tomato paste
1 cup pine nuts
2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
Directions
Prepare rice, according to package instructions adding bouillon cubes to the water. Cook seitan, or other meat substitute, in a separate pan in a smidge of olive oil, until browned. Use about 1/2 of the olive oil in a large pan (I used a wok) and sauté the onions and garlic on medium high heat for about 5-7 minutes, or until onions are translucent and garlic is fragrant. Reduce heat, add the seitan, then all other ingredients to the pan, mix well and remove from heat. After rice is fully cooked, add to the sautéed ingredients along with the remaining olive oil and mix it all together.

VeganMoFo and the last "Pantry" experiment



This is the last meal of the great grocery experiment of 2007 as it is time to begin prepping Thanksgiving dinner and go grocery shopping!

This "Experimental Loaf" was made to see if it would work. It worked, so now I just need to tweak the thickness of the dough and change the filling so I can make a larger one for Thanksgiving dinner.



Basically it is a dough made with a mixture of vital wheat gluten, chickpea flour and whole wheat flour, rolled out, and spread with an herbed paste then rolled up and baked. When I tweak it to perfection, I will post the recipe.

Now I'm off to work, and after work...I'M GOING SHOPPING!

Monday, November 19, 2007

VeganMoFo and "Pantry" Ravioli



I am almost done with the pantry experiment. I could easily go longer, if it weren't for Thanksgiving, and specific ingredients I need to make certain things. Today I boiled up a HUGE batch of seitan to have on hand for lunches and for Thanksgiving.

I also made ravioli from scratch. I have never done this before, but I had the necessary ingredients so I figured why not. All the recent posts about ravioli really madse me want to try it. My first shot at it was successful. The pasta came out great, and the filling was rich and tasty. My biggest problem was my filling to pasta ratio. Next time I will either make the ravioli's smaller, or put more filling inside!

Rolling out the pasta dough:


Placing the filling:


Ready to boil:


Ready to eat (topped with some jarred marinara):


I followed this recipe, subbing whole wheat pastry flour for the whole wheat, and needing a bit more water to get the dough to come together. For the filling, I just mixed together a can of spinach, drained, with some garlic powder, onion powder, toasted pine nuts and Tofutti better than cream cheese. It was pretty tasty!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

VeganMoFo and "Pantry" Tofu with Cabbage



I had half of a block of tofu in the freezer, and half of a bag of coleslaw cabbage and carrots in the fridge. I defrosted and cut up the tofu, sauteed it with some peanut oil, salt and pepper, along with the cabbage and called it dinner. It was better than I expected!



Other food today included coffee with silk creamer for breakfast, leftover tamale filling for lunch, above mentioned tofu and cabbage for dinner and some soymilk and soy nog mixed with kahlua.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

A Moment of Silence

Our sweet queen Marci passed away last night. She will be dearly missed. As I look back on her life, she had a long and wonderful one. She lived with me in two different apartments in Long Beach, and with Dan and me in Huntington Beach, Costa Mesa and now Orange. Always spoiled, and always the queen of the castle. She will always hold a special place in our hearts.


Friday, November 16, 2007

VeganMoFo and my first REAL dinner party



After my husband and I got married, we received so many wonderful kitchen gifts, that we wanted to throw a dinner party to actually use them. Seriously, we now had matching silverware and dishes. The only thing we did not have was a kitchen table!!! So we improvised. I placed a hollow core door on top of four TV trays and rustled up 6 chairs and a bench from around the house. I covered it up with a home sewn table cloth, and no one was the wiser.

The dinner menu was green salad, VwaV Stroganoff and french bread. Dessert was yellow cake with chocolate frosting. It was before my food porn days, so all I have is a picture of the table. But since it was also my birthday, no one complained, not even my husband, that everything was vegan. Maybe that is because it was so delicious!

A door on top of a couple of TV trays made a tiny dining area into a huge dining table!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

VeganMoFo and the 10 things I never knew I needed until I was vegan.



Not much culinary action at my house today. I pretty much ate leftovers and coffee, so nothing exciting to report. So, I decided to post an article/list that I originally wrote for CROQ 'zine. I also reprinted it in Cozy Inside, so if you've already read it feel free to stop reading this now.

10 Things I Never Knew I Needed Until I was Vegan

Mama never taught me how to cook. But I always wanted to learn. I always wanted to WOW people with my culinary masterpieces and found myself doing lots of experimenting to the dismay of my friends and family. It wasn’t until I became a vegan that I really learned my way around a kitchen. I was determined to prove that vegan food was “real” food and could be enjoyed by vegetarians and meat eaters alike.

Over the past few years I have come up with a top ten list of things I can’t live without. I didn’t put fresh, organic produce on the list. I figured, vegan or not, these should be a staple in every kitchen. I also omitted tofu and soymilk from the top ten, because, although I use them a lot, I can live without them and still make wonderful meals. So here it is. The top ten things I never knew I needed until I was vegan.

10. Raw Cashews. They are used in so many recipes and sauces that I don’t know how I ever cooked without them. (For example: Dragonfly’s Bulk Uncheese Mix)

9. Bulk Spices. Forget about those dainty little jars. You’ll go broke. Vegan cooking requires a lot more spice than its omnivore counterpart. Find a local health food store or gourmet shop that sells spices in bulk. They are fresher, tastier and cost less than half the price of their jarred cousins.

8. A Coffee Grinder. This handy, inexpensive little gadget has proved to be an invaluable tool in grinding small amounts of nuts and spices into fine powders.

7. Vital Wheat Gluten. Huh? It’s the protein part of wheat. It can be purchased as a flour in most health food stores. It is essential in making Seitan and other fake meats. I don’t like to buy overly processed meat substitutes and prefer to make my own when possible. Seitan is a meaty like food made almost completely out of wheat gluten. (Here’s a link to an easy recipe)

6. Cookbooks. Everything I’ve learned, I learned from cookbooks. After a few months of half assed, junk food veganism, my husband brought me home the “Vegan with a Vengeance” cookbook. It changed my life. Really. Since then I have slowly but surely built up a library of vegan cookbooks. I also buy regular cookbooks and veganize the recipes. (Some of my other favorites include “The Native Foods Restaurant Cookbook” “The Uncheese Cookbook” “Hot Damn and Hell Yeah” and “Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World”)

5. Good, Sharp Knives. I never thought this would be so important to me. But, it is. You will make yourself crazy, and possibly cut your finger off with crappy knives. Spend the money. Get yourself a really good quality Chef’s knife. You will feel like a professional chef when using one. And, you will save a lot of time and grief in the process.

4. TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein.) These little flakes of goodness are always in my cupboard. I actually freak out if I get down to only one bag. Look it up on Wikipedia for all the science of how it’s made. I use it at least twice a week. It makes a mean taco meat, excellent in spaghetti sauce, works well as a sausage substitute in breakfast scrambles and burritos, can be flavored to suit almost any dish, it’s high in protein and low in fat, has a great texture and is relatively inexpensive.

3. A Cast Iron Skillet. A pan you never have to wash? Enough said. Seriously, a good cast-iron skillet will make your life easier. They are naturally non-stick, they heat evenly and you can fry, simmer, even bake in them. Did I mention you don’t’ have to wash it?

2. A Food Processor (and/or a Blender.) I used to think chopping, peeling and shredding ingredients by hand was romantic. Sexy, even. Now I think it’s just a waste of time and energy. My food processor has become my best friend in the kitchen. If I only used it to make hummus, it would have paid for itself 10 times over already.

1. Nutritional Yeast.
Some hate it, and some love it. I simply cannot live without it. One of the hardest things for me to give up when I became vegan was cheese. I have tried almost every “fake” cheese out there, and none have ever tasted good to me. Besides being overly processed and chemically tasting, they don’t melt, are too expensive and not readily available. Then I discovered Nutritional Yeast, or as some lovingly refer to it, “the Nooch.” There are many reasons this stuff is number one on my list. It contains vitamin B-12, which is a nutrient extremely lacking in a vegan diet. It is extremely versatile. You can sprinkle it on pasta, popcorn, salads, casseroles, or just about anything, right out of the can. Or use it to make sauces, “uncheeses,” add it to gravies, or mix it with veggies. But the number one reason this stuff is number one on my list is that it tastes so good.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

VeganMoFo and Mini Mexican "Pantry" Pies



Even though I have burgers in the fridge, I wanted to make something a little spicier. I used the same recipe for masa that I used to make tamales a couple of weeks ago, spread it into ramekins, topped with a mixture of TVP & taco seasoning and baked in a water bath at 350 for 45 minutes. For the larger ones, I put an extra layer of masa on top as well. Now I can bring these tasty little "pies" with me to work, pop 'em in the microwave and have a yummy, satisfying lunch.

Ready to go into the oven:


Topped with sour creem, ground chipotles and chopped jalapenos:


Edited to add my food for the day: Breakfast was coffee with silk soy vanilla creamer. Lunch was a very dry, cold, veggie burger (no vegenaise and I can't buy any more until after Thanksgiving!) on two pieces of wheat bread (no buns either!) and a bag of Have'a Chips. Dinner was 2 glasses of Soy Nog and two of these little pies.

Just a Reminder...

When ordering a print version of Cozy Inside, it takes 7-10 days to arrive. So, since you are planning on ordering a few as gifts for the holidays, please keep this in mind.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

VeganMoFo and "Pantry" Burgers



Having neglected the burger testers for quite some time now, I came up with this burger only using stuff I already had in my pantry. As I was making it, Dan (my husband) said, "What are you making?" "Why? Do YOU want one?" "Yeah, that looks and smells really good."

I therefore call this a success. He NEVER eats what I make.

CousCous Pantry Burgers (uncooked):

Cooked:
Add caption

Sorry guys, no recipe. I'm giving it up to the testers.

Monday, November 12, 2007

VeganMoFo and Answers to Questions



When I was about 21 or 22, I worked two jobs AND went to school full time, AND I still found time to have fun. Now, having two jobs seems like the end of the world! I am so exhausted when I get home that I don't feel like doing ANYTHING! Not even cook, or bake, or blog, or ANYTHING! I am sure I will get into a groove, as this is only the first week. Because I made nothing in my kitchen today, but leftovers, for today's entry...

...I have decided to answer the list of questions that Liz posted on her blog.

1. Favorite non-dairy milk?
It used to be silk, but lately it has been the Von's (Safeway) Organic Storebrand light version.

2. What are the top 3 dishes/recipes you are planning to cook?
Butternut squash/pumpkin ravioli, cinnamon rolls, more burgers

3. Topping of choice for popcorn?
Earth Balance, Salt and Nooch

4. Most disastrous recipe/meal failure?
It was a curry recipe. The lid fell off of my curry bottle and the entire bottle of curry powder fell into the skillet. I tried to scoop most of it out, but there was a lot of curry in there. I served it anyways...my husband tried to politely eat it, but finally said, "I'm sorry, babe, but this just doesn't taste right." I started cracking up.

5. Favorite pickled item?
Pickles

6. How do you organize your recipes?
In a 3 ring binder with clear protective sheets

7. Compost, trash, or garbage disposal?
trash and garbage disposal (and dogs!)

8. If you were stranded on an island and could only bring 3 foods...what would they be (don't worry about how you'll cook them)?
Nooch, Pasta, Soy Nog

9. Fondest food memory from your childhood?
My sister, Kristen, and I would make "dough" when we were home alone in the summertime. we would just mix together flour and other sweet ingredients until it was a dough like consisitency and then eat it. We also used to melt butter and pour it over dry frosted flakes!

10. Favorite vegan ice cream?
So Delicious

11. Most loved kitchen appliance?
Cast Iron Skillet, followed closely by the food processor.

12. Spice/herb you would die without?
Garlic

13. Cookbook you have owned for the longest time?
Vegetarian cooking of the Mediterranean

14. Favorite flavor of jam/jelly?
Grape

15. Favorite vegan recipe to serve to an omni friend?
Cupcakes...or Mac & Cheeze

16. Seitan, tofu, or tempeh?
Seitan!!!

17. Favorite meal to cook (or time of day to cook)?
Dinner/Evening

18. What is sitting on top of your refrigerator?
A big basket with a Wok and a few other things that won't fit anywhere else inside it.

19. Name 3 items in your freezer without looking.
edamame, tofu and brocolli

20. What's on your grocery list?
Nothing! No grocery shopping until Thanksgiving for me!

21. Favorite grocery store?
Whole Foods

22. Name a recipe you'd love to veganize, but haven't yet.
Lemon Meringue Pie

23. Food blog you read the most (besides Isa's because I know you check it everyday). Or maybe the top 3?
Cakemaker to the Stars, have cake, will travel, Julie's Kind Kitchen

24. Favorite vegan candy/chocolate?
Chico Stix

25. Most extravagant food item purchased lately?
Soy Nog (totally unnessecary splurge.)

26. What was your favorite food BEFORE becoming veg*n?
Bacon. Sorry.

Today I had coffee, black, for breakfast, leftover pasta from yesterday for lunch along with a burger bun (as a side?) and a couple of cookies. Skipped dinner, but had 2 glasses of soynog. One with Kahlua in it.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

VeganMoFo and Pasta a la Pantry



My love for pasta goes back to when I was a very wee little one and my sister and I would eat spaghetti noodles with melted margarine sprinkled with salt. I think, other than lasagna (because that was Garfield's favorite food), that was my favorite meal.

When I first became a vegetarian, I relied heavily on pasta. And still do today, especially when dining out and eating over at friend's and family's homes. I always have a stash of pastas in my pantry. It's easy to make, and easy to make fantastic. Pasta is my go to food on busy days like today. I put the water on to boil, and go get ready for work. After my hair is done, I go put the pasta in. By the time I am dressed, and the make-up is on, I mix in a tasty sauce, then hit the road. And hopefully, I remember to bring it with me.



This is a really easy noochy sauce that I use some variation of when I don't feel like going to the trouble of making a full on baked mac and cheese. Very simply, I add to 1 pound of prepared pasta, in this case fettucine:

about 1/2 cup soy cream (like Silk)
about 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
about 1/4 cup ground cashews
about 1/4 cup of vegan sour cream (like Tofutti Sour Supreme)
about 3 tbsp of margarine (like Earth Balance)
about 2 tbsp white miso
a touch of garlic powder
a touch of paprika
a touch of parsley
a touch of salt

I just throw it all in the pot and stir it up until it gets nice and creamy. It's pretty rich, but it definitely hits the spot. Yum.

Edited to add: Today, for breakfast I had coffee with plain silk creamer, lunch was the above pasta, dinner was the above pasta and leftover garlic knots from yesterday. And a few generic oreos to satisfy my sweet tooth.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

VeganMoFo and Petits Pains Lail et au Persil



All I can say about tonight, is that when I saw this, I couldn't NOT make it! So yum, so easy, so perfect! The way she describes it just made me swoon. And the way she talks about the goodness and equally the badness of garlic bread just spoke to me. Besides, I had all of the ingredients to make it. (Remember that I cannot buy any groceries until the week of Thanksgiving.)

We decided to make this tonight. I, as I cannot follow directions, did not follow her folding directions. Everything else was followed to a "T."

For the shapes I used, I called unto my past. When I was in highschool, I worked at Subway. It was there that I learned the fine art of "braiding" bread. I surprised even myself when I pulled this long lost talent right out of my behind.


The "knots" are inspired by the garlic knots served up by the local pizza delivery joint, Zitos. They have parm on them, and therefore I cannot eat them. So I made my own. The spirals? Why not?


Today I worked. I forgot to pack a lunch (I had to be at work by 6am so my brain wasn't quite awake yet) and therefore had to buy lunch. I am not sure this counts as a violation of the great grocery experiment or not. I drank some coffee for breakfast with some vanilla soy creamer. For lunch it was a "Gardener's Wrap" and Have'a Chips from Wild Oats, and for dinner I had the above mentioned garlic bread. Yes, I had garlic bread for dinner. In conjunction with some soymilk and generic Kahlua. Lots of it. Sue me. Geez. It is Saturday night, and I've had a helluva week.

Friday, November 9, 2007

VeganMoFo: Thanksgiving



Thanksgiving.

I love Thanksgiving! Dead birds aside, my family has a great time together, eating drinking and telling really stupid stories about eachother from year's passed. We always crack up, and we always have a good time. This year, same as last, I will be responsible for the "vegan" table. Normally there are 5 of us, but this year, only 3 will be there. I usually make enough food for a small army, but it's always awesome. The omnivores are always interested in tasting the "weird" stuff and they always have nice things to say.

This is last year's feast (not everything is showing) :


Our table consisted of pumpkin gnocchi, Bourbon Sweet Potato Mash, Greek Stuffing, VCTOTW Pumpkin Cupcakes, VwaV Punk Rock Chickpea Gravy, Garlic Smashed Potatoes, A Tofu Not-A-Turkey with Stuffing, Green Bean Casserole, Nutty Cheeze Sqaures and crackers (because not only do we do dinner, we also do appetizers and snacks), SunDried Tomato Focaccia, and of course, SoyNog!

This year I am making Greek Stuffing, Bourbon Sweet Potato Mash, Fried Nutty Cheeze Sticks with Marinara, Butternut Squash Ravioli in a sage cream sauce, Traditional stuffing, a loaf of ho'made wheat bread, Joanna's Sesame Green Beans, and I am still trying to think of a dessert.

What are you making?

Today was the first time in over four years that I had to punch a timeclock at a "job." I have forgotten what it's like to work a straight 8 hour day. I really like being my own boss, so this transition is going to be strange. Especially when it comes to meals. I have decided to pack my lunch, whenever possible, to save money and time (I only get a 30 minute lunch break.) Today I had coffee with vanilla silk creamer for breakfast, a Scarborough fair burger on a bun with vegenaise and some generic oreos for lunch, and I totally skipped/forgot to eat dinner because when I got home from work I cuddled up with my sick kitty, and konked out for the night.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

My first Food Porn and how the PPK changed my life.



Today I ask, "When did you discover food porn?" And before that, did you care about the presentation of your food? I have always loved to prepare meals for others and I love having dinner parties. But I always did it buffet style and therefore never really cared about the presentation on each plate. Then, I received "Vegan with a Vengeance" as a gift, and discovered the PPK. It's strange to think that anyone can even be a vegan without knowing about the PPK. Yet so many are. Even I had been making recipes from that book before I ever checked out the website. In fact, I had many other vegan and vegetarian cookbooks before, but none had ever changed my life! Now I take pictures of almost every meal I make, and blog about it, and post about it. Literally, the PPK has changed my life. Making dinner was no longer just making dinner, it was an experience. Isa (and Terry, and lots of other talented folks) inspired me to not only cook, but create.

This was the first food porn I ever posted. Be nice. I remember it well, because those biscuits were as hard as a rock and tasted like crud! It was on October 18, 2006. Just a little over a year ago. So much has changed since then.

Another very busy day. I got a new (2nd) job and today I had orientation. First I had to go the vet with my kitty, then to my real job, then the orientation for the new job, then I finally got to come home. Needless to say, I was pooped. I forgot to bring my lunch with me to work, so I had the coconut curry seitan I made last night waiting for me when I got home. Thank goodness. For breakfast I had coffee with soymilk and a plain bagel. I skipped lunch, but had a soy latte on my way from one job to the next, dinner was the curry, and a late evening snack was some kahlua and soymilk with some cookies. Not the healthiest of days, but...
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2012 Copyright/Permissions/Disclaimers

All recipes written by me, Joni Marie Newman, unless otherwise noted. Please feel free to refer to or link back to any of my recipes, but please ask for permission, or remember to give credit when reprinting recipes in their entirety. I do provide links to affiliate programs (such as Amazon) in which I receive a small commission for items purchased. I do not provide paid reviews. All reviews done on products or books are of my own unsolicited opinion. On occasion I may receive a book or product to review. I will note when this is the case, but rest assured, it will not affect the authenticity of my review. Thanks!--Joni