Monthly Archives: July 2008

Vegan MoFo Survey

So, here is a picture of some yummy coffee cake that I made from a recipe from Vegan With a Vengeance. It would have been much better if my daughter Abbey had told me we were almost out of frozen blueberries. I only had about a cup and a quarter, but the recipe calls for two full cups. When blueberries are involved, I usually add in another half cup because I love them so much, but I really screwed the pooch with this one. I ended up having to use about a quarter cup of frozen raspberries to try and make up for it but it just wasn’t the same. Next time I will do what I am supposed to do before making a recipe and CHECK THE INGREDIENTS LIST. You may call me idiot if you wish. It was still yummy, jerk. Anywhose….

If you are unfortunate enough to be my friend on Myspace, then you know how I love to fill out surveys. Even though I’m supposed to be using it as a semi-professional place for people to contact me for cupcakes (no one has yet, I get orders through friends), I still post stupid surveys with stuff like “what are you wearing right now?” and “who was your last kiss?” I know, I’m lame and Myspace does NOT qualify as having a life.

Imagine how thrilled I was at finding a cool vegan survey! I pulled it from “Food Snobbery is My Hobbery” which was taken from the PPK site first. Vegan MoFo simply means Vegan Month of Food and it was intended for November of last year. I’m only eight months late, right? Whatever, here are my answers!

1. Favorite non-dairy milk? I’m not gonna lie, I love Silk Low Fat Chocolate. And i dislike Trader Joe’s brand of chocolate soymilk. It’s gross.

2. What are the top 3 dishes/recipes you are planning to cook? I reaaaaally wanna make the chickpea cutlets from Veganomicon, then try my hand at some sort of cheese sauce to make for an alfredo dish, then perhaps something more Indian, since I have a pound of curry laying about my house.

3. Topping of choice for popcorn? I’m not the worlds biggest fan of popcorn, so I don’t eat it, but I hear that people looove nutritional yeast with garlic and cracked black pepper.

4. Most disastrous recipe/meal failure? I can honestly say that nothing has been truly disastrous but there have been things I absolutely did NOT like versus things i loved. The most recent is that chocolate maple nastiness i posted about in my last blog. *shudders*

5. Favorite pickled item? Umm…I like dill pickle flavored chips from Lays, does that count?

6. How do you organize your recipes? They are all in recipe books that I got from Amazon. Yay me! I also have a huge database of bakery-type things on my laptop that I am trying to convert from non-vegan to vegan.

7. Compost, trash, or garbage disposal? I recycle the crap outta my garbage, like were talking every plastic wrapper and scrap of cardboard. Everything else goes into the trash. Compost gives me the heebs. Sorry.

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)? Tempeh, ice cream (vegan of course), and wheat thins with hummus. oh that’s four isn’t it? Oh well.

9. Fondest food memory from your childhood? Hanging outside the VFW with a coke and a butterfinger so my dad could get his drink on. I thought I was the luckiest kid on earth. Nowadays, they call that child neglect. Oops!

10. Favorite vegan ice cream? I make my own super chocolate vegan gelato and i make it all the damn time.

11. Most loved kitchen appliance? my muffin tins from wilton with the lip on either side for my potholders.

12. Spice/herb you would die without? garlic. i absolutely love it! curry is fo sho number two, though. I actually don’t think garlic is a spice or an herb, but an aromatic. You’ll live, right?

13. Cookbook you have owned for the longest time? I bought them all at the same time like 12 years ago- The Vegan Gourmet, The Compassionate Cook, and Linda McCartney on Tour. They were all on sale at Barnes and Noble.

14. Favorite flavor of jam/jelly? Apricot, mmmm….

15. Favorite vegan recipe to serve to an omni friend? The All-American Pot Pie recipe from Veganomicon. Holy hell, is it good!

16. Seitan, tofu, or tempeh? I love tempeh more than my own children. Did i say that out loud?

17. Favorite meal to cook (or time of day to cook)? Lunch, because then we have leftovers for dinner.

18. What is sitting on top of your refrigerator? My cupcake toppers, a bunch of booze that hasn’t been touched since ’83, a lot of dust, and all the remotes to the various appliances that my two year old should not be touching.

19. Name 3 items in your freezer without looking. Tempeh, sweet potato fries, So Delicious mint ice cream sandwiches. There’s a lot more. Wanna hear it all?

20. What’s on your grocery list? Vital wheat gluten, tofu sour cream, non-hydrogenated shortening,hemp milk, almond milk, you know, the usual.

21. Favorite grocery store? Trader Joe’s.

22. Name a recipe you’d love to veganize, but haven’t yet. Hmm, good question. I don’t usually bother with this since I have so many cookbooks with awesome recipes to choose from, including my latest thing, Julie Hasson’s website, Everyday Dish. I’m going to make the whoopie pies from My Sweet Vegan’s Hannah Kaminsky.

23. Food blog you read the most (besides Isa’s because I know you check it everyday). Or maybe the top 3? Oh yes, Isa’s blog is definitely number one, then it’s Bake and Destroy! and Bakerella and Cakespy. Wherever I’m going to get the most recipes, honestly. I love trying new recipes. And also, whoever has the most interesting pictures or the most sass to offer. I don’t like reading about foo foo cupcakes and sugar paste flower nonsense. Call me lowbrow or whatever, but at least I’m real. I need to see that other people aren’t perfect in their cooking/caking either.

24. Favorite vegan candy/chocolate? I haven’t really tried any vegan candy. I have some twizzlers bites laying round, but I don’t really know where to get the good stuff. you know, real live vegan candy. I feel like I I might as well learn how to make it myself or pay an assload of shipping for like one ounce of candy.

25. Most extravagant food item purchased lately? Coconut oil for like $16!!!!! Ridiculous! Oh, and I bought a bunch of overpriced So Delicious ice cream because let’s be frank, that time of the month is just a free pass for me to eat what I want. Shove it.

26. Make up your own question to put here (and answer it). So, who was the last person you made out with? My husband. Oh and my two year old tried giving me the tongue, does that count?

Below is a blank list of the questions for you to copy and paste and answer on your blog. Post a comment so I know to read yours!

1. Favorite non-dairy milk?

2. What are the top 3 dishes/recipes you are planning to cook?

3. Topping of choice for popcorn?

4. Most disastrous recipe/meal failure?

5. Favorite pickled item?

6. How do you organize your recipes?

7. Compost, trash, or garbage disposal?

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)?

9. Fondest food memory from your childhood?

10. Favorite vegan ice cream?

11. Most loved kitchen appliance?

12. Spice/herb you would die without?

13. Cookbook you have owned for the longest time?

14. Favorite flavor of jam/jelly?

15. Favorite vegan recipe to serve to an omni friend?

16. Seitan, tofu, or tempeh?

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

18. What is sitting on top of your refrigerator?

19. Name 3 items in your freezer without looking.

20. What’s on your grocery list?

21. Favorite grocery store?

22. Name a recipe you’d love to veganize, but haven’t yet.

23. Food blog you read the most (besides Isa’s because I know you check it everyday). Or maybe the top 3?

24. Favorite vegan candy/chocolate?

25. Most extravagant food item purchased lately?

26. Make up your own question to put here (and answer it).

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Lots of Goodies

And one baddie. Let’s start with that.

I decided to try my hand at a vegan layer cake. I know what you’re thinking- “You should probably stick to cupcakes.” And after the grossness of it, I would have to agree with you. I’m not posting the recipe or what book I got it from because I don’t think it’s the recipe, I think it’s my lack of awesomeness in the kitchen that effed this one up. It’s called “Five Spice Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Maple Frosting.” Sounds tasty, right? Wrong, chief. Waaaayyyyy too many spices, first off. I think I put in too much ginger or cloves or something crappy that made this cake trigger my gag reflex quicker than a Jessica Simpson music montage. (God, I hate her.) Plus, I could totally taste the prune puree that was supposed to go in there in place of oil. “Oh, don’t worry, the chocolate will totally overpower the prunes, you won’t even notice them!” (Lies. All lies.) I’ll take the oil, thanks. I don’t mind fat. Really, I don’t. Look at me. I haven’t met a fattening vegan food that I was like “Oh no!!! I can’t eat THAT!!!”

Anyways, the frosting was a tofu based frosting. I have had tofu frosting/mousse before and it was super tasty so I wasn’t opposed to this but for some reason…I dunno…it just wasn’t right.

The cake itself was very moist and chocolaty tasting, but also pruney tasting and too spicy-like. The frosting was too runny and wierd. So, it’s back to the drawing board for me. Next time, more oil, no prunes, no spices AT ALL, and make the tofu mousse and frost with that instead. I’ll let you know how THAT hot mess turns out.

Lunch today consisted of these sweet garden burgers from Trader Joe’s and some delicious edamame, corn, and sesame salad. I was a little worried about how it would turn out, but I was soon eased by the very tangy flavor of the dressing, and lord knows how I love me some corn and edamame. From my previous posts, you remember that sesame seeds make my tummy mad at me, but they are full of calcium so I left them in the recipe.

This recipe was taken from Veganomicon (p. 82) and printed without permission. I had to substitute the corn I had and I had to double the recipe, sort of, so maybe I’ve changed it just enough to not be that butthole that reprints recipes without author permissions. We’ll see. Here’s how I did it-

Dressing:

3 Tbsp toasted sesame oil

2 Tbsp rice vinegar

1 Tbsp tamari

Whisk together in a small bowl while you wait for the salad to cook and chill.

Salad:

1 bag frozen shelled edamame (i think it was a 16 oz bag, and it ended up being a little less than 4 cups)

2 cups frozen fire-roasted corn

3 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds (i toasted them myself in a pan over medium heat for a few minutes)

Bring water to a boil, place edamame carefully in pot and boil fro three minutes. Place frozen corn in pot carefully and boil all for another two minutes. Drain in colander and run under cold water until cool enough to touch. Add the dressing and toss to coat. Add the sesame seeds and toss to coat. Salt to taste. Cover and chill thoroughly. Eat as a side dish or alone, it’s up to you.


These were our dessert after that yummy lunch. Delicious sunny corn blueberry muffins from Vegan With a Vengeance. I used fresh blueberries because they were on sale at Jewel. However, when I tried these with frozen blueberries- way different. I’m going to stick to fresh with this recipe.

So, I hope you enjoyed today’s post. I’m not very interesting as of late and I haven’t had much inspiration to do much of anything at all, really. To be honest, I’m feeling a little put out by life in general so I may not be back for a week or so. We’ll see. Check out the blogs in my blogroll in the meantime. They’re there for a reason. Peace.

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Skinny Bitch

Okay, so the other day, I gave a pretty so-so review to the recipe book “Skinny Bitch in the Kitch. ” I’m not going to retract my review because I will always stand by everything I say, no matter who it may annoy. However, I got my copy of “Skinny Bitch” (the book they wrote before the recipe book) today and I must say, I am impressed. They cited their sources for everything, one of their sources being a book I actually own, Diet For a New America by John Robbins.

The book is put into plain language that I can understand and relate to. They use four letter words all over the place, which I personally appreciate, and they tell it like it is, no holds barred. Hey, it is dead, decomposing, rotting flesh in your colon. Just because you call it steak, doesn’t mean it wasn’t at some point in time part of a cow’s ass. Now deal with it.

I think I called the recipe book irrelevant, or something like that. Not true. See now, if my dumb ass would have waited until I got the first book and read it before getting the accompanying recipe book, I would have had different things to say. First of all, these ladies just want you to be healthy as you can possibly be and stop eating animal products at all costs. If you aren’t a home cook and can’t even boil water, have no fear, their recipe book is easy enough for you to figure out. I got all snobby about it because I know how to cook, that’s all. They’re just letting idiots know that they can do something as simple as buying vegan meat and cheese to make sandwiches and every little bit helps. So, my apologies ladies.

I did indeed find a recipe in “Kitch” that is actually my current lunch favorite. Right next to that is my new favorite side dish. I jacked with them a little to make them what I like, so if you read the original recipe it will be slightly different. Enjoy!

Hummus, Tempeh, Cucmber Wrap (pg142)

1 Tbsp canola oil

1/2 tsp garlic powder

2 Tbsp tamari or soy sauce

1 8 oz package tempeh, cut into strips

whole wheat tortillas

1 cup hummus * i used chipotle spiced from Tribe brand- it’s my fave and it adds a kick

1 cucumber, peeled and diced, or sliced into thin discs

1 bag triple washed baby spinach

Heat the canola oil then sautee the tempeh until it is brown on one side, about 5 minutes. Flip it over, then sprinkle the garlic powder and tamari on top of it and get ready for a stinky kitchen. Let it cook for a few more minutes, making sure not to burn the tempeh. Remove from heat. Then you just assemble the wraps. It goes a little something like this, in case you’re a moron and can’t figure it out- tortilla, hummus spread on that, tempeh next, then spinach and cukes. See how easy? and freaking delicious, too. I’m sure you could switch it up to suit your tastes. For instance, the original recipe called for vinaigrette dressing to pour over the top once everything was assembled but I forgot to buy it the first time I made these, then found that these little buggers didn’t need any more flavor. They were delicious without it. The original recipe also called for romaine leaves, but I find them to be of very little nutritive value so I went with spinach. They also used refined coconut oil as their oil of choice for frying and I did use it the first two times I made these, but I SWEAR i could taste the coconut, even though Robert said he couldn’t. So this last time, I passed on the coconut and went with canola. ( I put a link to Robert’s myspace page so you can all know who I’m talking about, since I tend to talk about him a lot. I talk about my husband a lot too, but he thinks myspace is gay, so he doesn’t have one.)

Peanut Noodles (adapted from a recipe in Wonder Time, July/Aug issue, 2008 )

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (or you could use chunky here, and omit the need for half of the chopped peanuts later)

3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

1/3 cup orange juice

1 clove garlic, pressed or chopped

1/4 cup tamari or soy sauce

1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil

1 Tbsp grated ginger (use fresh! there’s nothing like it! when you have leftover ginger root, put it in the freezer for later use)

1/4 cup hot water *i used some of the hot pasta water because it contains starch from the pasta that will help this yummy sauce cling to the noodles)

1/2 cup chopped peanuts

1 lb whole wheat, or some other healthy type of thin spaghetti noodles (brown rice spaghetti from Trader Joe’s works here)

1 English cucumber, peeled and diced (or you can use two regular cukes if you can’t find these or don’t care about the seeds)

Whisk together the first nine ingredients and toss with hot pasta. Toss in cucumbers. You won’t believe how the cold cucumber marries well with the warm pasta. The original recipe calls for chopped scallions and cilantro as garnish but I hate both of those, so there. Use if you want to, but I sure as hell won’t be kissing YOU later. Oh, the original recipe also wants you to serve this as a cold dish, but we all decided we liked it better warmed up. It wasn’t as sticky and thick in our mouths.

Together, these two dished were awesome. Lots of veggies, whole grain, and protein. Spectacular!

I’m working on expanding my soup repertoire, so next time, you may see some corn chowder or butternut squash soup. Until next time….

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Banana Split Pudding Brownies

I have been craving some chocolate lately, and in a mean, mean way. Since I can’t just run out an buy a candy bar, I have to make my own stuff. Normally, I would bust out my copy of Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World, close my eyes, hold out my finger and randomly pick a recipe (then flip around until I found something I REALLY wanted to make). However, I was in the mood for something a little more…fudgey. Not to mention we had a bunch of brown bananas that needed to go away as they were housing a colony of fruit flies on my damn windowsill. So, I opened my bent, dirty, sticky copy of Vegan With a Vengeance and found this heaven sent jumble of words. I’m not sure why they are called Banana Split Pudding Brownies, they were more like fudgey brownies with a creamy banana topping, but they were awesome nonetheless. Another home run by Isa. Love you, girl.

As usual, I made some adjustments to my liking and to how I do things, so if you see things differently here as to what’s in the book, get over it. I think next time I make these, though, I will put them in a smaller pan, maybe 9×9, and bake them longer. I’ll let you know how that turns out. Here they are-

For the brownies-

4 oz semi sweet chocolate chopped, or 4 oz mini chips

2 large overripe bananas, mashed

1/3 cup canola oil

1 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla

3/4 cup flour

1/4 cup cocoa powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/8 tsp salt

For the topping-

2 large overripe mashed bananas

2 Tbsp sugar

1/4 cup soy milk *i used vanilla soy milk, it was all I had. Boooo….

1/2 tsp vanilla

1 Tbsp arrowroot powder

For decoration and even more banana yumminess-

1 ripe, but not too ripe banana, sliced

Oven at 350. Spray a 9×13 pan with no-stick.

For the brownies…melt the chocolate chips in a small glass bowl in the microwave for one minute. Stir until smooth, set aside. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix bananas, oil and sugar with your hand held mixer until well combined. Mix in vanilla and melted chocolate. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Add this to the banana mixture in batches and blend completely, but you know, as usual, don’t over mix.

In a small bowl, combine all topping ingredients and beat until well combined, about a minute.

Spread brownie mixture evenly in baking pan. pour banana topping over that and spread evenly. Bake for 30 minutes. Let cool for 15, then move to fridge until fully cooled. To the left is what mine looked like when they came out of the oven. Cut into twelve portions, top with sliced bananas and serve. YUM. I actually cut them into 24 portions and there was no evil uprising. I kept them in the fridge because, I dunno, they just seemed like a fridge type thing. Her directions say to top with sliced bananas, place on plate, and eat with a fork but after cutting them smaller and refrigerating them, totally not necessary. The extra bananas are totally up to you.

Here they are again as smaller bars and with a movie I watched last night that I frigging loved to little bloody pieces. Best line ever- “You two took away everything I ever loved. Fuck you both.” Lucky Number Slevin. Go rent it.

So, my review of “Skinny Bitch in the Kitch” is going to be kinda negative. If this was a book you liked, well, you should buy better vegan cookbooks, truthfully. I didn’t hate it, let’s be honest, if I wrote a cookbook, it would have the kind of mean-spirited butthole-ishness that this one has. As I put in my previous post, one of the pages in the book states, and I quote, “There’s nothing more annoying that recipes with a million obscure ingredients.” Agreed. But then some of their recipes call for stuff like kelp powder, or refined coconut oil to the tune of $16 for 16 ounces. OUCH! Evaporated cane sugar? I couldn’t find that crap anywhere. A good portion of their recipes consist of things like “vegan cheese, vegan turkey lunch meat, vegan chicken cutlets, etc.” You know, the kind of stuff I could have figured out for myself, for pete’s sake. I was not impressed. Sigh….

I think maybe this book was made for girls who don’t know how to cook and just got into the whole vegan thing. In that respect, I can dig it. But if you are a seasoned home cook, like I am, this book won’t cut it. No offense ladies. However! I have found one recipe that I am willing to try and I will post/bitch about it in a few days.

Until then, have a good one! I know I will. I get to spend tomorrow night in Chicago while my daughter is at the Good Charlotte(gag) show. I’m going to see the Hulk and then it’s off to Veggie Bite or Joy’s Noodles. Probably Veggie Bite. I effing love their shakes. Woot.

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Wheat-free Blueberry Pancakes

An old man awoke before sunrise to see a youth standing at water’s edge, heaving a starfish back into the ocean. He asked the youth what was the purpose of his effort. The youth replied that the tide had washed all the starfish onto the beach and they can’t get back to the ocean by themselves. If they don’t get back into the ocean before sunrise they will die, he said. Upon further surveying of the situation, the old man saw the beach was littered with starfish in numbers beyond calculation. The hopelessness of the effort became clear and the old man told the youth that there were more starfish than he could ever hope to save before the sun comes up, and that surely he could not make a difference. The youth paused briefly to consider the old man’s words then bent to pick up a starfish and threw it as far as possible. He turned to the old man and said, “I made a difference to that one.”

The reason I am telling you this story is because I go through something similar quite often with friends and family members on a weekly basis and I’m getting a little tired of it. “Oh you couldn’t possibly make any kind of a difference to the situation! Blah!” However, according to PETA’s website, and I quote, “every vegetarian saves the lives of a hundred animals per year.” Now, considering how much meat my kids and I ate before going veg, I’m going to bump that number up. In fact, I think most people eat much more meat that. So suck it, omnivorous pricks.

I chose this recipe because I wanted to experiment with all the flours I went out and bought. It is a mix of Isa’s wheat free mix that I found on the PPK forum, the pancake batter mix I found in “eat, drink, and be vegan” and the blueberry pancake mix I found in “vegan with a vengeance.” It has a lot of different flours in it so that may be a problem for those on a budget but the thing is, when you bake for gluten-free folks, you have to use a bunch of different flours because each one does something different in the recipe. I don’t know much about chemistry but I know when things taste like sawdust.

Wheat-free Blueberry Pancakes

3 Tbsp tapioca flour

1 Tbsp ground flax seed

1/4 cup

1/3 cup plus 2 Tsbp white rice flour

1/3 cup plus 2 Tbsp quinoa flour

3/4 tsp cinnamon **this helps mask the ‘earthy’ taste of these. don’t leave it out.

1/2 tsp salt

2 tsp baking powder

1/3 cup water

1 1/4 cups soy or rice milk **I used almond milk

1 tsp vanilla

2 Tbsp pure maple syrup **at $6 per 8 oz, I just use regular cheapy syrup and my stuff tastes fine

1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries, doesn’t matter. **I used frozen because that’s always what I have

Mix the holy crap out of this stuff. Since there’s no gluten, you don’t have to worry about them getting all tough on you, but you do have to worry about everything getting distributed evenly. I read somewhere that you should add xanthan gum to wheat-free baked goods and I bought a bag of it, but I forgot to add it. So add at your own risk, if you want. Anyways, cook them in a fry pan greased up like a pig at a county fair. You know how to do that, right? I don’t have to walk you through it? Cool. Top your pancakes with this stuff-

Celestial Cream

1/2 cup to 3/4 cup pure maple syrup **again, too expensive! the cheapy stuff works fine! If you’re watching your sugar or cutting back on processed crap, then yeah, use the expensive stuff.

1/2 cup vegan margarine (earth balance or smart balance light)

1 tsp vanilla

12 oz silken tofu, like Mori-nu

1/4 tsp salt

Heat syrup and margarine on low heat until margarine melts. Add vanilla, tofu and salt. Place in blender and blend until smooth. Delicious!!! ***I actually just threw all this in a blender instead of heating it up. Still yummy!

So I hope you enjoy these. I have a recipe for vegan pancakes that just has plain old flour but what fun is that?

Oh, and a preemptive strike into “skinny bitch” and “skinny bitch in the kitch.” First of all, in “kitch,” the authors state that they know how much it blows when you have a recipe that has a bunch of goofy ingredients that are hard as hell to find. However, these broads want you to run out and buy refined coconut oil ($15.99!!!), safflower oil, kelp powder, and shit like that. Come on, ladies. Let’s keep it real, shall we? I’m still determined to find a couple of recipes that I like and can use more than once so keep your fingers crossed.

Until then, have a fabulous day!!

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