Monthly Archives: June 2008

Open Sesame!

So, I decided to venture out of my Isa/Terry cocoon and onto the Vegan Planet. (That was a crappy segue, I apologize.) Don’t get me wrong, I love these babes with all my heart and I would never say a bad word about them. Once in a while, though, I want to look at other recipes. I want to check out other vegan cookbooks. It’s not their fault, i swear. It’s not them, it’s me. They’ll understand…………….right?

This book is just as amazing as Veganomicon, I must say. Not quite as entertaining, but it has things like sauces and chutneys and even a gremolata that you can make yourself and I like that kind of recipe. I hate stuff like vegan sour cream, and vegan cheese. Gross!! Also, there’s nothing worse than buying a vegan cookbook and all the recipes contain wierdo ingredients or stuff that costs eighty dollars an ounce. (Not that Vcon does that, don’t misunderstand, please.) I’m a cheapskate, or as I like to refer to myself, parsimonious. Oh, and I’m super lazy. Ask anyone. Here’s the food…

This recipe is packed with calcium so if you’re looking to put more of the bone-strengthening mineral in your diet, this is for you. Plus, it says ‘three-way’ in the title. Yeah, baby.

Three-way Sesame-coated Tofu Strips with Spicy Broccoli (pg. 341)

2 1/2 cups broccoli florets

1/4 tahini

2 Tbsp tamari or soy sauce

1/3 cup water

1 cup sesame seeds

1 lb xt firm tofu, drained and cut into 1/2 in. by 1/2 in. strips

2 Tbsp peanut oil

1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

2 tsp toasted sesame oil

Steam the broccoli only about 3 minutes, until tender-crisp. Immerse into cold water to keep that beautiful green color. Drain and set aside.

Heat 1 Tbsp of the peanut oil in a skillet over medium heat.

In a small shallow bowl combine the tahini, 1 Tbsp of the tamari and enough water to make a smooth paste. Place the sesame seeds on a plate. Dredge each tofu strip in the tahini first, then coat with the sesame seeds.

Working in batches, add tofu strips and cook on each side until lightly browned, about five minutes total.

Once tofu is done cooking, heat remaining Tbsp of oil in skillet and place broccoli with the red pepper flakes. Stir-fry until hot, about two minutes. Splash with the remaining 1 Tbsp of tamari.

Place broccoli and tofu together on platter and drizzle with the toasted sesame oil. Serve hot.

*****I needed more peanut oil for frying, and more time to cook. My stuff was not browned after three minutes on one side. I also don’t have toasted sesame oil, for Pete’s sake, I’m not Martha! So there was no drizzle at all. Boo hoo.

This was delicious hot off the pan but only so-so reheated the next day. Either halve the recipe if it’s not all going to get eaten or prepare to NOT be dazzled at lunch the next day, like I wasn’t. Pictured is what mine looked like. It tasted pretty awesome but my intestinal tract was angry with me for a few days. Apparently, it doesn’t get along with sesame seeds.

Hooray! I got Skinny Bitch in the mail today! I have been reading and trying to decide what to make, so my next post will include a review and a recipe. Until then…

Viva La Vengeance!!

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Low Fat Cupcakes

By their very nature, I’m not sure if cupcakes were meant to be low fat. Most of them have twice as much frosting as a slice of cake, and that’s a-okay with me. When I eat sweets, I know how fattening they are, how bad for me, how, whatever the heck it is, it’s going right to my midsection, or perhaps my ass. I know this, you see, and it has yet to stop me from eating what I want, when I want it.

However, my cooking goddesses have come up with a low fat vanilla cupcake recipe that I immediately knew I had to try, and this is it. I tried to follow the recipe to the letter but decided I would do one better and remove the oil completely and up the applesauce a bit. I learned years ago from every female baker in my family and life that you can replace fat in your baking with a few different options, and the one that worked best for me was applesauce. However, I’m not so sure about this glaze. I kinda want frosting. No nagging please.

Oh, and before I get to the recipe, I saw The Happening last night. I liked it. A lot. Something else I need you to NOT nag me about. So far, I have loved all of M. Night Shyamalan’s movies. That includes The Village, mainly because I’d like to climb on top of Adrien Brody. I mean the movie was good and all but I could stare at that nose all day. If you put him in a movie where all he did was ride a bicycle for two hours, I’d pay to see it. Am I creepy? Possibly. But the movie was…relevant. Interesting. Thought-provoking. We talked about it the whole car ride home and here I am thinking and talking about it again. I know some people will see it and hate it, as my friend Marilee did, but she has bad taste in movies. She liked Freddie Got Fingered, for chrissake.

Anyways- the cupcakes. they were so-so, and it’s not because of the recipe that was given to me in Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, it’s because I jacked with it. I didn’t have, nor could i find- plain soy yogurt, so I had to use strawberry soy yogurt. Mistake number one.

Then it became necessary to use sliced strawberries instead of the plump, juicy, delectable raspberries they have pictured. Dumb idea. I also decided to screw with their glaze a bit. I wasn’t happy with it being just a glaze so i tried to convert it by adding 2 tbsp of Smart Balance vegan light margarine into the mix along with a little more powdered sugar. God, what a nightmare of epic proportions!!

It wouldn’t stay still, it kept running over the sides of the cupcakes. So, here I’m thinking I’m going to get one up on these little buggers by putting chopped fresh strawberries on top hoping it will keep the glaze/weak frosting in place. WRONG-O. The sugar drew every gram of juice out of all the berries and it drizzled down over the sides and made a huge fricking mess on my counter. Blagh!!! To top it all off, i used these cheapass fricking wrappers i got from a friend for my birthday and upon removal, they also took HALF the cupcake with it!!!! Anger abounds!

This is what they look like up close. Pretty huh? Well, I had to throw out more than half of them because they made me want to gag heartily. The strawberries kept sliding off the tops of the cupcakes and getting lost on my shirt, stepped on by my toddler, and eaten, then thrown up, by my dog. I wanted to rub dirt into my own eyeballs as it surely must have been a more pleasurable experience than these cupcakes.

Suffice it to say, I will stick to the recipe. I will fall into line. I do it under protest, but I do it. I want my things to come out great, not tasting like play-doh. Here it is….

1/2 cup vanilla soy yogurt   * i had to use strawberry, it was all i could find

2/3 cup vanilla or plain soy milk

1/4 cup applesauce   * i upped this to 1/2

3 Tbsp canola oil  * i nixed this

3/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 tsp vanilla

1 1/4 cup AP flour

2 Tbsp cornstarch

3/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

Oven at 350. Mix wet. Mix dry. Mix together. Pour into lined muffin tin, then bake for 22-24 minutes. Let cool completely then make this glaze:

1 cup confectioners sugar

1 to 3 Tbsp soy milk

1/2 cup seedless spreadable fruit or other preserves

1 cup fresh berries, washed, patted dry, sliced if necessary

Mix confectioners sugar with 1 Tbsp of soy milk using a whisk. It will resemble a thick paste. Carefully drizzle in the rest of the soy milk a tsp at a time until the mixture resembles runny cake batter. If too watery, add more confectioners sugar a Tbsp at a time.

Spread the top of the cupcake with the a thin layer of spreadable fruit. Spoon a tiny circle of the icing into the center of the fruit spread, on top of it. Decorate with fresh fruit then drizzle more icing on top.

If only I had followed the directions. If only I had not been a cheap ass and just bought the damn raspberries already. I’m certain these would have been heaven. I really suck at baking sometimes.

Oh, and I just got Skinny Bitch in the mail. I heard it sucks so you’ll get  a full review on my next post, which will also include me cooking from, gasp, OTHER vegan cookbooks.

Until next time, please do good in your life…somehow.

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Falafel- yum!

***Edited note: Originally I had a link to a site but she has since made her blog private. I will never understand why people even bother writing blogs only to make it so others can’t read them. Just keep your diary under your mattress for crissake! She lost a lot of points with me. Booo….

First and foremost- this broad is H-I-L-arious. Go here and read her stuff. If you’re easily offended, well too freaking bad. She swears, she yells about people who are stupid- she does all the things I wanna do but get in trouble for when I do them. People tend to hold you to a higher standard when you’re a mom but I still make fart jokes and I call my fifteen year old daughter a douche bag. I’m going to try real hard not to swear(too much) because this site links to my business site and I don’t want to scare away money, but she has inspired me to be a little more…myself. And if THAT scares away money, well, you’re probably a huge pain in the ass I don’t want to deal with you anyway. Honestly, uptight people who offend easily should never come around me.

Plus, I totally agree with her about the Tina Fey stuff. Tina’s funny and all, but I expected ‘Mean Girls’ to be way funnier. I did totally love Janitor from Scrubs (one of my favorite TV shows of all time) as the dad, so here’s my shout out to good casting.

To the food!! I made this fantastic falafel(p98 ) from Vegan With a Vengeance. To your left, is my daughter enjoying hers. And in case anyone’s wondering, yes, I DO own other vegan cookbooks. In fact, I have two more coming from Amazon so don’t get your panties in a twist about it. I just happen to love these broads and I’m hoping that if they get enough press, they can get their butts on the Food Network and open the world’s eyes to good food that is cruelty-free. I’m sick and tired of people asking me where I get my protein and “what do you eat anyway?” Me- “Oh, you know, rocks, sticks, grass. I found some flowers the other day and sauteed them with garlic.” What idiots, I can hardly stand it sometimes. Here’s the recipe-

2 cups cooked chickpeas (i used two cans and drained and rinsed them)

1/4 c whole wheat bread crumbs (NOT Italian style, which is all i have, and it has parm cheese in it, so i had to used an old dried up heel of bread that i tossed in the blender. But if you’re not vegan then go nuts with it, girl! Or boy!)

2 Tbsp AP flour

1 medium sized onion chopped (I hate onions so I only used 1/4 of an onion, for flavor)

2 cloves chopped garlic

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp coriander (I left this out because I hate cilantro/coriander)

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1/4 c chopped fresh, Italian flat-leaf parsley

1/2 tsp salt

a few grinds of fresh ground black pepper

veg oil for frying (I used corn oil)

Pita breads sliced in half to make pockets(I used 100% whole wheat), sliced tomatoes(you may want to leave these off with the current salmonella outbreak and all), lettuce(I didn’t bother since eating lettuce is pointless for me- I may as well put it directly into the toilet), red onion(which I hate so no go on these either), sliced cucumber, and tahini dressing.

Put everthing up until the veggie oil into a food processor. Scrape down the sides occasionally, but make sure you have a nice pasty consistency. Put it into a bowl, cover and refrigerate for about an hour or until it firms up a bit. I ended up leaving mine in there for two days because I had to work and didn’t have time. I assumed it would take a long time but I guess i didn’t really realize all i was making was a damn sandwich.

Put your oil in the pan to heat up. Take the bowl out of the fridge, make about 16 little balls then flatten them into patties. I have large fry pans so I was able to make them in two batches of 8. Place in the oil and let sit until they get brown on the bottom, you will be able to see the brownness. Very carefully, flip them over and cook another 3 minutes or so. Maybe 5, who knows. I wasn’t counting, I just waited until I saw brown. The book says 2 1/2 to 3 minutes per side. You do what you want. I sure did.

When they come out of the oil, place them onto paper towels for draining and your best bet here is to eat immediately. Although, i ended up having two later on that I had to micro and they weren’t bad at all, just not crispy, and I think the crispness is what you’re going for here. Oh, and I’m thinking of renaming them Crabby Patties since I’m an old grump and my little peanut loves Spongebob. She may just eat them, you know?

Then you put them into pita breads that you have already spread with tahini. You put tomato, lettuce, onion and cucumber in there too. I used two patties per sammie but you can make it more veggie-based by just using one pattie and filling that pita up with the toppers. Yum! these were fantastic! I thought they would be hard and a pain in the arse but not so much! Just mix the stuff up, chill it, make patties, fry it, then assemblage of sammies. I served them with homemade guacamole but I don’t feel like posting the recipe since all i really did was throw an avocado into the magic bullet with some lime juice, jalapeno, cumin, salt, pepper, and garlic. Just pretend there are pictures, okay? Thanks.

Also, this thing rules the school for chopping. It is god, really. God. It was given to me by my hubby’s grandma because she heard me talking about how i wanted to buy one. It would have only been twenty bucks, and I’ll tell you what- for as much chopping as i do on a daily effing basis, I love this thing, totally worth it. You should spend the twenty bucks. They were at Bed, Bath, and Beyond last I checked. It has a smaller blade for garlic, or just smaller onions I suppose. I hate chopping onions. Don’t you? Ick.

Here’s what I had for breakfast for the last three days. It was simply scrumptious. I sauteed in a large pan one Tbsp of corn oil, one package of extra firm tofu crumbled, a cup of Morningstar Farms vegan sausage crumbles, a tsp of cumin, half cup of Trader Joe’s fire roasted corn, salt and pepper. I spread some Earth Balance on a piece of toast and away I went! It fed me for three days!! And it was awesome!!! I have always loved my eggs soft-scrambled(but not runny, that’s just gross) so this was perfect for me! I’m going to make it again, thank you very much!!!

Until next time, kiddies….

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Tiramisu cuppies, garlic soup, Trader Joe’s and Veggie Bite!!

I’m not gonna lie…I’ve never like tiramisu very much. It’s just not chocolaty enough for me. In fact, the only chocolate in there is a lame dusting of cocoa powder on top. Blah. The first time I had it was when my mother and I went to eat at a restaurant in Colorado while visiting my brother about 13 years ago. I don’t know what I was expecting, but I was sorely disappointed, let’s just put that out there.

Last week, my best friend Robert went to a wedding in California. I told him that when he got back, I would make him the tiramisu cupcakes(p119) from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. So, these are for you, gayhole.

You are making the basic vanilla cupcakes(p33) but doing things to the cupcake afterward to make it all tiramisu-y.

1 cup soy milk

1 tsp cider vinegar

1 1/4 c ap flour

2 Tbsp cornstarch

3/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/3 c canola oil

3/4 sugar

2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp almond extract

Put the soy milk aside with the cider vinegar to curdle, making it our version of buttermilk. This should only take about 5 minutes. Next, mix wet ingredients into it. Mix dry stuff separately, then mix it all together until there are no large lumps. As always, and you’ve heard it a million times, DO NOT overmix. Please.

Fill your lined muffin tins about 3/4 full or until you’ve used all the batter to make 12 cuppies. Bake for 20 minutes, maybe 22 if your oven is a jerk. Let cool.

I did not let mine cool completely, instead, I only let them cool for about 15 minutes. Then I cut out a cone shape with a paring knife. One of the only good uses for a paring knife, I believe. (How often do you use that thing? I mean, come on.)

Next, I made the cream cheese frosting(p158).

1/4 earth balance (or any non-hydrogenated vegan margarine)

1/4 vegan cream cheese, i used toffutti

2 c powdered sugar

1 tsp vanilla

Cream margie and toffutti until fluffy, add vanilla, add powdered sugar. Bam! This didn’t taste very cream cheese-y to me, but it was still the shiz, so I’m keeping it.

I then mixed 1/3 cup Starbuck’s coffee liqueur with 1/3 cup water and 3 tsps of instant coffee mixed and microwaved. I wanted it strong, yo!! (You can use any coffee liqueur, really.) And for my straight edge friends, obviously if you omit this, add more of the extra strong coffee, probably espresso powder instead of coffee would be better. And if you have an espresso machine…well, you rule. Use that instead. And marry me, please.

You put about 2 Tbsp of this into the cavity of each cupcake, make sure it’s nice and soggy. Believe me, you want to taste the coffeeness. Pipe in your cream cheese frosting, and the replace the cone once you have dipped it into that coffee ooze. Use your sifter to dust a mixture of 1 tsp cinnamon and 1 tsp cocoa powder over the tops of these.

These were amazing. I am totally hurting my shoulder patting myself on the back right now, but they were THAT good.

I also went to a place called Veggie Bite today and had the most amazing chocolate shake. My friend lives right by the one on 111th (which I had no idea of) in Chicago so I told her i would be visiting her more often. Even she, the veal and pate loving omnivore said, and I quote, “I am really impressed with how good this shake is right now.” Then she proceeded to argue with me- right in the joint- as to why cow’s milk is totally normal and good for you and okay to drink. Sigh. And she’s in law school, ya’ll. Don’t ya just love lawyers? They can rationalize anything.

And Trader Joe’s- what’s that all about?? I went there like ten years ago and forgot it even existed for while but I went back today. I wanted to take a picture of my receipt because, seriously, everything I bought was like two dollars. Seriously. I will be shopping there from now on. I think it’s totally worth the 25 minutes drive.

Oh, and I made this kickass garlic and white bean soup from Vegan With a Vengeance(p67). I served it with crusty wheat artisan (vegan) bread. It had just enough fennel to NOT be overpowering, because I totally hate that black licorice crap flavor, and I got to put my immersion blender to work. That poor thing has been collecting dust for far too long. Even my omni hubby loved this hearty and filling soup! But really, who wouldn’t like two whole bulbs of garlic roasted then squeezed and blended into soup? Especially these crazy eye-talians I find myself suddenly related to!

Until next time…vengeance is mine!! Oh, and so is the falafel.

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Vcon or die!

Not really, but you know what I mean.

First things first, congratulations to my 8th grader who graduated this past Monday. Woot! I made these cupcakes. They and the frosting were vegan but of course the Ghirardelli caramel squares, mini Reese’s peanut butter cups, mini M&Ms, and fruit by the foot were not.

Back to Vcon. I love this book. I decided to go back and read some of the reviews on Amazon for Veganomicon and I gotta tell ya, most of them are spot on. Great recipes, easy to read, FUN to read, etc. Of course there were a couple who didn’t care for it, one lady saying all the recipes she tried turned out terrible (to which I personally would say, “news flash! you suck at cooking!”) and one guy who said everything was too complicated and the recipes weren’t healthy, calling most vegans chubby. Really? Are you sure? And here I figured a diet of fruits, vegetables, and grains would be good for you. What on earth was I thinking? Douchebag.

Oh, one other person pointed out some misprints and typos and I did actually find a couple of my own, but we can’t all be perfect. And honestly, if you don’t know your way around a kitchen enough to figure out what might be missing, you should probably just stick to eating at IHOP.

Today’s dinner consisted of the ‘braised seitan with sun dried tomatoes and kale’ (p182) recipe. I scrapped the sietan since I have a gluten sensitivity (more on that later) and instead, used my favorite alterna-protein, tempeh. It was pretty easy to make. I happen to really like the one pot dishes, being that I am a lazy piece of crap. Hey man, until my dishwasher gets put in and hooked up, I’m not doing any more dishes than I frigging well have to.

I also made the ‘polenta with broccoli’ (p114) recipe but instead of broccoli, I used a bag of frozen mixed ‘california vegetables’ and i used my

muffin tin (no shortage of those around here!) to mold them into individual servings. I then broiled them to reheat them.

Oh, and I also made the ‘parsnip chips’ (p183) recipe. Yum! They were great! I’ve never had a parsnip before so I was leary (sp?) at first, but they smelled wonderful, so I came around, of course.

So, this gluten sensitivity…it started when I was pregnant. It didn’t stop after I gave birth. Now, when I have one or two cupcakes, it’s not THAT bad, because let’s face it- one cup of flour divided by twelve does not make for too horrible a tummy ache. However, seitan…I’m just asking for trouble. Bathroom trouble, that is. So no more sietan for me. Too bad, because there’s a shirt I want with an inverted pentagram that says ‘praise seitan.’ Oh well.

Speaking of shirts, I did some t-shirt shopping recently. I have decided to give my money to people who will use it for greater good. I already know that Target does this, as they constantly pat their own backs about it. This one to your left I bought for my husband because when he saw that I bought it for my daughter, he gave it such a…longing look. It was only $12.99 and it is AWESOME, isn’t it? Who doesn’t love Rock Band? It even has a bunch of hands throwing up the devil horns! You gotta love that stuff. I know I do. Plus, Target now has a whole line of organic cotton stuff. Yips all around.

Lately, I’m really into Herbivore clothing. I bought two shirts from them along with a lot of buttons and stickers. I’m not huge fan of American Apparel shirts, which is what they use, but I do like that the reason they aren’t using anything else is because America is too fat. “Most T-shirt manufacturers are increasing the size of their sizes to fit an ever expanding public. Our manufacturer is sticking to the sizing styles from the 70′s and 80′s. So if you’re used to jumbo Fruit of the Loom or Hanes T-shirts, know that ours are a bit smaller.”And that’s a direct quote from the website.

Next, I will buy something from the Peta website, even though sometimes I think they can be a bit scary in their tactics. Do what you gotta do, I always say. I kinda like the really gross one that says ‘would you like fries with that?‘ but they only make it in dude style and I need boob room. I’m definitely getting their little green V for vegan pin. Just because.

Before I stopped shopping at Wal-mart (see ‘Wal-mart:The High Cost of Low Price) I bought a couple of shirts that were allegedly organic transitional cotton. I’m trying-against Stacy and Clinton’s wishes- to have an entire lot of shirts that say stuff on them. You know, environmental stuff. Vegan stuff. Ecological stuff. And etcetera. I don’t have a ‘real job’ or any reason to go get what my friend Natalie calls ‘big girl clothes,’ but when I do, I can always give these to my kids who will probably be blessed with the same giant boobs I have been ‘blessed’ with.

Until next time, with a vengeance!

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