Saturday, October 24, 2009

Vegan MoFo: Recipe Thievery!

How about some MoFoing, KT, jeez?! It's been busy around here... I apologize for my neglect. I have been busy being a recipe thief from across the blogiverse. And with excellent results! Let's take a look.

What're these babies? Why, these would be Happy Herbivore's Baked Low Fat Whole Wheat Chocolate Glazed Vegan Doughnuts. But... I don't have a doughnut pan, so they're pastry lumps. Yum. Seriously. These are so rich and scrump-shuss... who cares what shape they are? And they're relatively healthy. Whole wheat flour and I used hemp milk as the non-dairy milk component (omega-3's!), and they're baked instead of fried! Try these now!

Nom... Veg Is Sexy's Pumpkin Pancakes! It's been so long since I've had a pancake breakfast and these left me full nearly all day! Very, very, very tasty. :)

All cut up and smothered in syrups... *drool*

All of my meals today came care of Veg Is Sexy's delicious creativity. Andria's World-Rocking Sweet Potato Chili! Oh, is this good... nothing beats a big bowl of piping hot chili w/ a chunk of bread for dipping on a chilly (ha!) autumn day. Mmmmmmmmm. This dish was super healthy, too. Fresh ingredients, organic beans, and for the tomato sauce called for, I just pureed 3 tomatoes in my Vita-Mix instead of using a salty canned variety. I had two of my besties over to share noms and, luckily, I still have 2 (big) servings leftover! I am absolutely hell bent on making this again in the future. Soon.

Lastly, I would like you all to wish my baby girl, Dorian, a Happy Birthday!! She's 2 today and has been nom-ing on her new toy all day. :) What a sweetie.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Vegan MoFo: Raw Wednesday and Whole Foods Haul

That's right, my sickly ass made it to Whole Foods this weekend. I am feeling much better today though... I do have a mad case of man-voice, sometimes interrupted by puberty-voice. It's flattering, trust me. Check out my haul:

A couple highlights: 100 calorie Lara Bars!, red curry paste & lite coconut milk (oh, I've got ideas...), a bag of avocados, and a bunch of bulk spices: Bac'Ums (not a spice, but delicious nonetheless!), bay leaves, mustard powder, poppy seeds (muffins soon!), and garam masala for curries! I love Whole Foods... I spend about an hour in there each time I go... sigh!

Yup. Hurry Up Alfredo, indeed. This stuff can be prepared in a jiffy, and that's great for a gal who really shouldn't be leaving the couch much...

And here's my sneaky little wiener trying to score a bite of my vegan chocolate chip cookie which I couldn't resist at WF's bakery. Mah cookie!

And, as you all know, today is Raw Wednesday! You all know this, of course, because you all read Gena's blog. *glare* You should, at least. Her recipes and insight are magnificent. Anywho, this is KT's first Raw... Anyday and I'd say it was a success! I noticed I was only a tad more hungry than I usually am running around @ work. What I did find is that I was much gassy-er from all those fruits and veggies... hmm. For breakfast I had a green smoothie... (2) 100 calorie Lara Bars as mid-morning snacks... a spinach/jicama/red onion/almond salad with balsamic/maple/dijon vinaigrette and a big juicy pear for lunch... and dinner:

My own take on a raw tortilla soup using whatever the hell was in my fridge. Into my Vita-Mix went: 2 tomatoes, 2 inches or so of cucumber, handful of cilantro, 1/2 cup water, couple T of olive oil, clove of garlic, cumin, paprika, onion powder black pepper, salt. Topped with raw corn, which is surprisingly delicious. This soup all together, however, was not... :/ I don't think I'm used to the whole cold soup thing yet. Maybe I'll get there? My guacamole lettuce roll-ups were tasty, though! I'm starting to understand Gena's obsession with avocados. Yum!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

VeganMofo: Take Out Noms for the Sick Lady

That's right... I'm sick. *snerf* Needless to say, I've been doing a lot of lounging and very little cooking lately. But I still have some delicious noms to share. :) On Friday, for lunch, I zipped over to VegiTerranean and had Mr. Justin as my waiter! Whenever I'm feeling crappy, I crave really heavy, greasy foods... so that's what I got!

The Rubber City Melt! This sammich reminded me of weekends spent w/ my dad getting lunch @ Bob Evans or Rockne's... except this one is cruelty-free! Smoked Gardein chicken, pesto aioli, oven roasted peppers and arugula with a side of Chrissie's fries topped with tofu ricotta and a side of balsamic ketchup. I couldn't finish the fries... but I wolfed down the sammich no problem.

Mmm... Orange Tofu with vegetables from Thai Gourmet in Stow - same owners as Pad Thai, and mostly the same menu. My mom and I had a girl's night in last night, which means movies and take-out! This provided me with three servings... so good.

Took a trip to Mustard Seed Market today (after a long nap and a hot shower...) and got some foods. I'll be going to Whole Foods tomorrow to get produce since it's MUCH cheaper there than Mustard Seed. Got some nooch, almond butter, delicious delicious avocado-jalepeno hummus, Tempt Mint Chip ice cream, Tempt Chocolate Hemp Milk, Lightlife Bologna slices (2 for $5!) and a cherry tart bar thingy. Comfort foods indeed. :)

For dinner I also picked up a slice of Tofu Vegan Oatloaf from the deli - it was pretty good! Very tomato-y, even w/o the ketchup.

I hope to post something more interesting once I'm feeling better. :)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Vegan MoFo: Out of the oven and into my belly.

I promise I'll try and eat something more exciting later this week (Chow Vegan... I'm thinking of your meat loaves!) The end of the week (and middle) I am usually so drained. I still haven't gotten used to my new job cycle. AND it's getting dark at fuggin' 7:00... what's that about. Depressing.

Some sweet tater fries and roasted broccoflower cheered me up. I've had 2 huge sweet potatoes over the course of a day. And I'm not ashamed.

Here's the latest Vegan 100 I got from Bazu!:

1) Copy this list into your blog or social networking site profile, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out or italicize any items that you would never consider eating.
4) Optional extra: Post a comment on this post linking to your results.

The Vegan Hundred:

1. Molasses
2. Cactus/Nopales
3. Scrambled Tofu
4. Grilled Portobella Caps
5. Fresh Ground Horseradish
6. Sweet Potato Biscuits
7. Arepa
8. Vegan Coleslaw (yummm!)
9. Ginger Carrot Soup (ooh... *takes notes*)
10. Fiddlehead Ferns
11. Roasted Elephant Garlic
12. Umeboshi
13. Almond Butter Toast (BEST BREAKFAST EVER)
14. Aloe Vera (it's squishy/chewy in drink form...)
15. H and H Bagel NYC
16. Slow Roasted Butternut Squash
17. White truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Freshly ground wasabi
20. Coconut Milk Ice Cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Orchard-fresh pressed apple cider
23. Organic California Mango (in season Sept-Oct only)
24. Quinoa
25. Papaya Smoothie
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet or Habañero pepper (you kidding me?!)
27. Goji Berry Tea
28. Fennel
29. Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie
30. Radishes and Vegan Buttery Spread (not yet, but have always wanted to- with a bit of salt)
31. Starfruit
32. Oven fresh Sourdough bread
33. Sangria made with premium fruit and juices (no, but I've had college-grade jungle juice - so suck it!)
34. Sauerkraut
35. Acai Smoothie
36. Blue Foot Mushrooms
37. Vegan Cupcake from Babycakes nyc
38. Sweet Potatoes and Tempeh combo
39. Falafel
40. Spelt Crust Pizza
41. Salt and Pepper Oyster Mushrooms
42. Jicama Slaw (adds to list)
43. Pumpkin Edamame Ginger Dumplings
44. Hemp Milk (I've had hemp milk ice cream... and it was amazing!)
45. Rose Champagne
46. Fuyu
47. Raw Avocado-Coconut Soup
48. Tofu Pesto Sandwich
49. Apple-Lemon-Ginger-Cayenne fresh-pressed juice...with Extra Ginger
50. Grilled Seitan
51. Prickly pear
52. Fresh Pressed Almond Milk (give me a few more weeks with my Vita Mix!)
53. Concord Grapes off the vine
54. Ramps
55. Coconut Water fresh from a young coconut
56. Organic Arugula
57. Vidalia Onion
58. Sampler of organic produce from Diamond Organics
59. Honeycrisp Apple
60. Poi
61. Vegan Campfire-toasted Smores
62. Grape seed Oil
63. Farm fresh-picked Peach
64. Freshly-made pita bread with freshly-made hummus
65. Chestnut Snack Packs
66. Fresh Guava
67. Mint Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
68. Raw Mallomar from One Lucky Duck, NYC
69. Fried plantains
70. Mache
71. Golden Beets
72. Barrel-Fresh Pickles
73. Liquid Smoke
74. Meyer Lemon
75. Veggie Paella
76. Vegan Lasagna
77. Kombucha
78. Homemade Soy Milk
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Lychee Bellini
81. Tempeh Bacon (NOM)
82. Sprouted Grain Bread (I need to give this stuff another try...)
83. Lemon Pepper Tempeh
84. Vanilla Bean
85. Watercress
86. Carrot you pulled out of the ground yourself
87. Vegan In-Season Fruit Pie
88. Flowers
89. Corn Chowder
90. High Quality Vegan Raw Chocolate
91. Yellow fuzz-free Kiwi
92. White Flesh Grapefruit
93. Harissa
94. Coconut Oil
95. Jackfruit (I'd love to try this!)
96. Homemade Risotto
97. Spirulina
98. Seedless 'Pixie' Tangerine
99. Gourmet Sorbet, not store bought
100. Fresh Plucked English Peas

Hmm. 30/100. I need to get to work here.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Vegan Mofo: Lazy Creations...

Ugh... once the work week starts I get so effin' lazy! I don't have much to report on, but it's MoFo, so I'll post what I've been eatin'. I've officially joined the "green smoothie for breakfast" crowd. They're so simple to make and, depending on what produce I use, usually delicious! It's nice to know I'm getting some greens in the morning so that if my day takes a turn for the crazy-hectic, I don't have to worry about jamming them in elsewhere.

My favorite combo so far is almond milk, banana, raspberries, and spinach. Mmm...!

The Vita Mix website warns you to use less garlic cloves if you're making a dip or spread b/c it "pulverizes those cell walls" & can get overpowering. They weren't freaking kidding. This black bean hummus I made is almost non-edible from one largish clove of garlic! I'll use a small amount of garlic powder next time, yeesh!

Very lazy Monday night meal: tomato cream sauce on whole wheat spaghetti & steamed broccoli. It' was damn good, though!

My dinner tonight that sent me into carbolicious coma! Don't Eat Off The Sidewalk's Tempeh Wingz and mashed sweet potato! I didn't finish this plate... but I sooooooooo wanted to!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Vegan MoFo: Butternut Bisque and Mock Duck!

One of my favorite autumn recipes is Vegan Yum Yum's Delicata Squash Bisque - subbing butternut for delicata. It's so creamy and rich and really hits the spot when you want a warm and filling meal. Let me tell you, peeling and halving that butternut is a bitch and a half, but the end result is so effing worth it:

All blended up in the Vita-Mix, this soup was so easy to whip up (after nearly dislocating my shoulder trying to carve that damned squash). Look at those cashew cream drizzles! I had my mom and brother over for lunch today & it was the first time my mom had tried the recipe - and it went over well!

I also prepared the Citrus Ginger Dressing in the Vita-Mix cookbook which was pretty good...

And this would be my baby girl giving her Uncle Al some smooches (probably smelling the bisque on his breath!). :)

Whaaa?! That's right! For dinner tonight I went to a swanky new Thai/Sushi restaurant downtown, Cilantro, which had pages of different Asian-inspired dishes, including an impressive vegetarian section. And I was so excited to see mock duck on the menu! After double checking to make sure it was vegan and the red curry sauce had no fish sauce in it I ordered away - and was VERY pleased!

My camera pics from the restaurant were far too dark, so here's a leftover shot! Now, I've never tasted authentic duck before, so I can't say much about the similarity between the two, but damn... this was delicious. It tasted a bit like a mixture between seitan and tofu and was just the right texture so that it wasn't too creepy or too chewy. I'll definitely be ordering this again! :D Oh, and I ordered a Thai Pear Martini, which had pear and lychee liquor - a very interesting and fragrant beverage! I'm very pleased to have finally experienced a bit of the Asian mock meat foods.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Vegan MoFo: It's here...

It has arrived... behold: my sexy new Vita-Mix 5200!

Isn't it gorgeous?! And it's HUGE, as well. The frigging thing doesn't fit on my countertop underneath my cabinets when the lid is on. But who cares, right? :D I'm so happy, I don't even know what to do with myself. All those days of lusting have led up to this one. And, let me tell ya: it comes with an amazing cookbook! Over 300 pages of recipes and full-color photographs in a spiral binder with room for notes. I haven't gone through the whole book yet, but there are some naughty looking pics in there. Yum!

Ohhh, mama. This is Vegan Yum Yum's Hurry Up Alfredo - my first Vita-Mix creation! And it was out of this fucking world! This is the first time I've attempted making a cashew-based cream sauce and it was so effing worth the wait. This just might be a weekly staple. I only altered Lauren's recipe a tad: I used 1T of sweet yellow miso instead of tahini and didn't notice until after the sauce was made that I had used Silk Vanilla... but it didn't affect the taste. :P This sauce is SO GOOD, GO MAKE IT NOW. With broccoflower. (Hey, gotta have some green in there somewhere, right?)

For dessert I whipped up some chocolate ice cream! The recipe, I thought called for far too much ice, so it will take some tweaking before it's perfected. On top I crumbled some maple chocolate fudge I had made a few days ago. Nom! I'm going to try my hand at a mint chip ice cream next time... oh,yeah!

In other news: Earth Balance e-mailed me back about their palm oil!

Thank you for your interest in our Earth Balance products.

Our oil comes from the palm fruit, and it’s sourced primarily from Malaysia. The palm fruit oil we obtain only comes from existing palm plantations and not new jungle-clearing projects. We purchase our oil from reputable, law-abiding plantations that are registered with their respective national governments.

Our palm fruit oil comes from peninsular Malaysia and not Eastern Malaysia (i.e. Sarawak and Sabah on the Island of Borneo). There are no orangutans in the wild on peninsular Malaysia. We DO NOT source palm fruit oil from Indonesia (Sumatra), the other primary home of orangutans. Indonesia has been the focal point for most of the concerns regarding sustainable palm oil production.

Palm fruit oil is a key ingredient in the natural oil blend that is used in our spreads. Palm oil provides the solids needed in our balanced fat blend to make a buttery spread and is what helps to make Smart Balance a heart-healthier product that is naturally trans-fat free. Many people have suggested using soy oil instead of palm oil but we would have to use a synthetic manufacturing process such as hydrogenating the vegetable oils which creates trans fats. In addition, it would not be a balanced fat product.

You can find out more information about the palm oil cultivation through The Malaysian Palm Oil Council web site

If I can be of any other service, please do not hesitate to contact us or visit us online at

I was very impressed by how in depth they went about their supplier's practices and location. High fives to Earth Balance for this e-mail. They gave far more information than I had ever expected. Now I just have to sit on this information for a little bit and see if I can allow myself to continue to buy their products. *Jeopardy music*

Until next time!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Vegan MoFo: I didn't intend on giving that much of a crap.

Once I became vegan, it was one slippery slope. I started caring about my surroundings more. Caring about every single animal, large and small, cute and hideous, that inhabits this Earth. Caring about where my trash was ending up after the garbage men hauled it away. Caring about lowering my "footprint" by unplugging electronic devices when I'm not using them. Caring about buying local and in-season produce to help my community farmers.

Actually giving a shit about how my diet affects other animals and our shared environment opened my eyes to a whole new set of factors, to which I was blindly contributing, that are just as detrimental. And upon investigating further the impact palm oil has on rain forests and rain forest-dwelling creatures... I knew I had another product to add to my Boycott List.

Palm Oil (palm fruit oil, palm kernel oil) can be found in many processed foods and soaps in our supermarkets and is a very profitable industry. Palm oil is marketed as a "healthy" fat by boasting a lower saturated fat content than coconut oil. But what these popular health claims ignore (as they often do) is the health of the environment from which these plants are mass produced. It is estimated that 1,000 orang-utans, an already endangered primate, are killed yearly in the areas of Malaysia and Indonesia through the systematic deforestation and complete devastation of rain forest areas. Infant orang-utans are orphaned daily by the deplorable and naive actions of plantation workers. If these practices continue, we could see the extinction of this species in the next generation. Another horrifying effect of palm oil production is the environmental impact: peat bogs are cleared for plantation land, releasing carbon into the atmosphere, and contributing 4% to global greenhouse gas emissions.

For us vegans, perhaps we are less likely to unknowingly support these practices, considering many of us eat less processed foods as it is. But there are some companies which cater specifically to vegan diets that are part of the problem:

Earth Balance uses palm oil.
Nabisco Oreos uses palm oil.
Newman's Own uses palm oil.
Alternative Baking Company uses palm oil.

I have sent e-mails to Earth Balance and Alternative Baking Company to inquire about their palm oil suppliers' sustainability practices. There is an organization, Pro Forest, which works to establish guidelines for "sustainable management" of many different products. Newman's Own claims to use suppliers who follow these guidelines in their FAQ's section (scroll down to the very last question), so, as consumers, we also have the choice to avoid all palm oil products or just the ones which cause the most devastation to the environment and wildlife.

My friend Olivia has been boycotting palm oil for some time now, but when she first told me of her decision I was relatively new to veganism and had just become adjusted to my new dietary possibilities - the thought of further restricting my choices was not something I was ready to embrace. But I am ready now. This means giving up some of my vices (Oreos) and some of the products I depend on for comfort foods (Earth Balance). But I've made both of those "sacrifices" before, so I know I'm capable.

And so are you!

P.S. EB isn't the be all, end all of vegan margarines. Olivia has been using Willow Run soybean margarine and says it's even better. :)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Vegan MoFo: Office BBQ!

So, my office had an employee BBQ luncheon on Monday, boasting veggie burgers as well as beef burgers. In my head: "Yeah, yeah. Nice gesture, but..." But NOTHING! When I stepped outside and gazed at the vegetarian-designated grill (squee!), I saw co-workers flipping Boca Original Vegan patties over the fire! They had at least three different kinds of Boca burgers and I was so relieved/impressed/touched that they included a cruelty-free option! Now, the director of my department is a vegetarian, so I'm sure she pushed for all those options. Which just makes her rock even harder. Here's my plate:

I ended up having two. :O

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Vegan MoFo: Asian noms and warm roasted veggies...

Yesterday was a day of productivity (... today? Not so much.) I ran a bunch of errands, including visiting two different Asian markets. I did this mostly because I was hoping to find some interesting mock meats (like how Chow Vegan has posted!), but neither had anything beyond tofu. :( The second market did, however, have a lot of prepared foods. Upon asking the woman who worked there about any vegan options, she recommended the vegetable medley...

Clockwise from top: steamed spinach, daikon (I believe) radish w/ chili flakes, soy bean sprouts, an interesting vegetable she called "fern" (um...), and carrot with a barbecue-like dipping sauce. I was a little weirded out by the textures, so I didn't finish this...

But the seasoned tofu she also recommended was pretty tasty! I steamed some baby bok choy and some vegetable dumplings as well. The dumplings were the very best part of this meal. :)

I must have still been jonesing for an Asian meal this morning (by morning I mean 11:30am -gotta love Sundays!), so I whipped up this tasty soba dish. Boiled the noodles and then stir fried some zucchini, baby bok choy, and onions in sesame oil before adding the noodles back to the pan and covering it in a hoisin-plum-ginger sauce. Yum!

I love huge plates of roasted vegetables. It's such a comfort, especially when carbo-licious potatoes are involved. ;) And when I found a white sweet potato in the grocery store, I jumped on the opportunity to try it - they taste just like their orange counterparts, but I find they're much easier to roast in a jiffy b/c of their shape. Also pictured is broccoflower - so freakin' good when roasted!

Sabra's newest hummus addition - Spinach and Artichoke. I was very let down by this flavor... I believe my hummus tastes have begun really to favor the more authentic texture/simplicity varieties. Sabra's just too thick. Having said that - I am VERY much excited for Tribe's new Pizza Hummus. But the stores near me haven't started carrying it yet... to be continued!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Vegan MoFo: I spoil myself.

Look what I just ordered!! :D Having a big girl job is starting to pay off, ha. I have been lusting after this thing for over a year and have been recently torturing myself with tutorial videos on the Vita-Mix website... and it shall finally be a part of my kitchen. A very important part. On my list of things I'm going to make first: hot SOUP!, fresh almond butter, fresh almond milk, green smoothies, salad dressings, jalapeno-avocado hummus, guac!... I'm so excited, oh-my-eff. And I'm going to blog the living hell out of it the second it hits my door - be warned.

Here's my little girl nom-ing on the very last of my sweet corn... isn't she aDorible?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Vegan MoFo: Chesapeake Tempeh Cakes!

That's right, folks! It has begun! Let me tell you, I was giddy to find my blog roll filled with new posts from all of my favorite bloggers, many of whom I haven't seen update their page in months! I hope I can contribute even a wee bit of enjoyment to everyone's daily blogging. :) So, let's get started:

My meal tonight: Isa's Chesapeake Tempeh Cakes! These turned out remarkably well, especially considering I'm very picky about how my tempeh is prepared... Frying the cakes gave them a delightful crunch. And I have a tip about getting them to stick together: Using a 1/4 cup tool, I scooped up a heaping mound of the mixture and patted it all down with my thumbs. I then turned it over and lightly patted it on my palm until the formed cake slipped out. Super simple! I think the remoulade needs some tweaking, but my god was this a tasty meal!

Mmm! I told you I'd be trying that BLT salad w/ spinach, and I wasn't kidding! Spinach is my favorite green, so I was very pleased with this salad. And I'm really enjoying tempeh these days, if you haven't noticed...! Also pictured is the last of the sweet corn in Ohio. :( I'll miss those tasty little morsels, but mostly I'll miss watching my dog maniacally gnaw the leftover ears off of her plate and into the corner of the kitchen.

Baby artichokes! These little guys were so good - and they took a fraction of the time it takes to steam regular old artichokes. In the background is "Forbidden" wild rice w/ leftover enchilada sauce... that's right, I made the potato-kale enchiladas from Veganomicon again and the leftovers have been providing me lunch all week!

Happy Vegan MoFo-ing!