Tag Archives: vegan planet

Foodness, Part Deux

Woohoo! I love vegan food! Here are some more lame-ass pictures of the food I ate, only I don’t think it’s lame because I was eating it. Here’s some roasted cauliflower with sauce and pan-fried seitan.

If you’ve never had seitan, it’s made from the gluten of wheat flour or something like that. I can’t have it very often because quite honestly it runs like hell screaming through my intestinal tract. Usually when I make it, I follow the kickass recipe from Veganomicon, but I decided this time to follow the recipe on the back of the box of gluten. Bad idea. I won’t be doing it again. It came out all weird and sponge-like. Eerily juicy, which just didn’t seem right. The cauliflower I simply roasted in the oven with some olive oil, salt and pepper. the sauce on top of it is called faux choron sauce. It is a mayonnaise-based sauce, or in this case, veganaise-based. The recipe called for dry white wine and I used sweet thinking it would be no big deal but it really was a big deal. It was too sweet and therefore gross. I ended up tossing most of it out. Oh well!

Maple Glazed Root Vegetables with Sauteed Tempeh

Maple Glazed Root Vegetables with Sauteed Tempeh

This next lunch of mine was some serious good eats. (That’s my shout to Alton Brown, whom I adore.) Simple sauteed tempeh, hit with tamari and Bragg’s. That’s it. The veggie mix was parsnips, turnips, and carrots. It was supposed to have rutabagas but Jewel was out, so no rutabagas for Tara. I tossed them in pure maple syrup and sprinkled them with salt and pepper. Roasted for a while and tossed every 20 minutes made this another favorite of mine.

Szechuan String Beans with Seitan

Szechuan String Beans with Seitan

This next lunch was hotter than the hinges of…you know where. It had ginger, garlic, crushed red pepper, toasted sesame oil, balsamic vinegar, tamari, mirin, shallots, scallions and a pinch of sugar to make everything sticky. I ended up sauteeing the seitan in some garlicky stir-fry sauce I had in my fridge, and then tossing it in with the green beans. Feeling hot hot hot!!! (And there’s my shout out to the New York Dolls, although every time I see that guy, I think Buster Poindexter. He TOTALLY ruined his image for me. Blah.)

Southwest Seasoned Potato Cakes

Southwest Seasoned Potato Cakes

Here we go with the potato cakes. These were just boiled then mashed potatoes mixed with a little soymilk, some cumin, chopped red peppers, frozen corn kernels and some other stuff to make them yummy. They were fried in the pan with corn oil, but you could use something else if you want. Who cares, really.

And in case you were wondering, I’m not sure why wordpress only lets me put captions on some pictures but not all. Sometimes they’re pretty gay. Also, the first three recipes I got from Vegan Planet by Robin Robertson. That last one is from The Vegan Gourmet by two ladies who’s names I can’t remember, and like you’re going to run out and buy the damn book anyway, you lazy cur. Isn’t that why you peruse the internet for recipes? So you don’t HAVE to buy any actual books? I though so.

If you want actual measurements and stuff, email or comment me.  And remember: a moment on the lips, a lifetime rotting in your colon. Beef. It’s what’s for dinner if you’re an uneducated fool or an asshole who chooses to wear blinders through life.

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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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Affordable Veganism

First off, my husband has been hard at work making this giant Plex from Yo Gabba Gabba. I wish I could get him to put that much of himself into dishes or laundry, but oh well. A giant robot is the next best thing, right? On to the food…

I’m going to warn you up front that this is a loooooong winded blog but I think you’ll find the info interesting if you stick around to read it all.

I have been working on a feature for this blog titled- you guessed it- affordable veganism. My point is to simply let others know that you do NOT have to spend two hundred dollars a week at your local health food store in order to make this lifestyle choice.

Your first purchase as a vegan will undoubtedly be about four or five cookbooks, like mine was. I have some that I can suggest, but I would also like to suggest others that I do not have, but have researched and my sources tell me they are fabulous. Vegan Planet is awesome and has recipes for stuff like tofu sour cream and little things that you don’t want to have to spend all your money on. Veganomicon is kind of like the bible in that I reference it about 9 times a day and I am always quoting it. It has a few casseroles and one pot dishes that you can switch up a bit to suit your tastes, and they aren’t horribly expensive to make. Eat, Drink and Be Vegan is good, but some of the recipes can get a little pricey or weird. Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World is great for sweet treats but you’re going to have to buy things like non-hydrogentated shortening and vegan margarine to make the frostings. The good news is, you only need a quarter cup of each so they will last you a while, but sticker shock may keep you away from them. Don’t let it. Oh, and Smart Balance makes a vegan margarine that is sold at your local chain. Good times!!!

Ah, unfrosted poptarts. The lazy vegan’s best friend for about a month until you get sick of the same three flavors.They are always on sale at my Jewel for like five dollars for three boxes.

My Jewel also carries it’s own line of organic crap so yay me. This soy milk pictured was $2.50 per half gallon. It sounds like a lot when cow’s milk is three bucks for a whole gallon but whatever. It’s cheaper than Silk. Also, this oatmeal (vegan) pictured is two for three dollars right now, so stock up.

I would go on Amazon.com for your cook books. While normally I would suggest giving your money to the authors of these books, we are doing this on a budget, right? And the point is to not exploit, harm, or kill any living being because of the food we eat so we’re not going to worry too much about lining the authors pockets at this point. Although, I guess technically they are living beings as well, but let’s not go there right now. However, if you can afford it, go right ahead. You only make it possible for them to write more wonderful cook books in the future so it is definitely good karma, or feng shui, or whatever.

In the front of most of these books is a “pantry” section where they tell you what you should always keep on hand. Some of the staples include coconut milk, canned pumpkin, etc as well as things you’ll REALLY need like canned tomatoes, beans, pasta, etc. I’m here to tell you scrap the coconut milk and canned pumpkin for now.

One of the cheapest, easiest things I make at least four nights a week is simply this- pasta, veggies, and beans. If tofu was on sale that week, i toss it in there, too. Of course, make sure your pasta is vegan, some of them use eggs. Go to your produce section and buy whatever is on sale this week- zucchini, yellow squash, spinach, escarole, tomatoes, eggplant (although, this can be a little tricky to cook with if you aren’t experienced in cooking), broccoli, carrots, green beans, etc. You can even be super cheap and go to the freezer section and buy frozen. It doesn’t really matter. This also works when certain things are not in season.

Next, go to your canned goods aisle and buy canned, chopped tomatoes. They come in all flavors now including olive oil with oregano, basil, garlic, and/or parsley, so half the work is done for you. Then you scootch down a few feet and pick out cannellini beans or garbanzos or navies and presto. Dinner is done for a couple days. This makes a huge pot of goodies. This picture above is of some spices and herbs that my Jewel carries for a dollar a bottle. They taste just as good as McCormick only without the price that makes you feel like your being violated in some way. Only thing is, it’s back by the dog food. I know, right?? And this giant bottle of pre-chopped garlic was like five bucks when i bought it a few months back. When I’m cooking for other people, I use the real peel and chop stuff, but when it’s just us…there you go. Anthony Bourdain says if you are too cheap and lazy to buy and chop your own garlic then you don’t deserve to eat it, but I disagree. I still love him, though.

Last week at my local Jewel, this hummus was buy one get one free. I bought a box of wheat thins (also on sale AND vegan) and baby carrots and my snack time was taken care of. This seasoned tofu was BOGO, too. The Italian stuff I’m using for tonight’s pasta dish. The Asian stuff went for yesterdays lunch with broccoli and carrots and white rice.

It’s all about looking through your paper and finding what’s on sale and making it work for you. Pre-sliced apples were buy one get one free also. I would never buy those things otherwise.

Each one of the canned goods I have pictured was right around a dollar. I am somewhat health conscious so I make sure my kids and I all get our veggies in, as well as our fruits, and mass amounts of protein in bean form, usually.

I do recommend picking out one or two of the meals from one of your books so that you can keep your family NOT bored with your food. I could eat the pasta stuff all year long with all the different combos of veggies and beans and it wouldn’t bother me. My kids, however, are a little more fickle. They get that from their dad.

This stuff is leek and bean cassolet with biscuits from Veganomicon. Next we have matzo ball soup from Vegan With a Vengeance. Tasty, but a pain in the ass to make. Then we have cholent, also from Veganomicon. My kids loved this stuff!!!

Next week, I’m going to make something a little more pricey. It has sun dried tomatoes, brussel sprouts, and some other stuff. Oh, and seitan, which i made myself last week and ate with my pasta but discovered that having a gluten intolerance means that eating

something made from gluten is a bad idea. Duh. Eating the pasta is bad enough but that only gives me minimal amounts of pain and torture. So, I’m going to use tempeh from now on.

And here’s one last picture of my little peanut. You know, doctors do everything they can in the emergency room to save lives so that they can say just that- “We did everything we could possibly do.” I don’t have much of a chance to make a difference in the world so I’m going to do it in a way so that I can say to my children some day, “I did everything I could possibly do.”

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Just Desserts going vegan?

Nah…but I am going to dabble. Okay, here’s the deal.

Over a year ago my daughter decided she was done eating things that were once alive. She was surfing the web one day and came across the infamous PETA video of minks being skinned alive so that J-Lo may wear their precious fur. She was inconsolable. She said it made her feel guilty, and honestly, like she wanted to throw up all the meat she ever ate in her life. I supported her and tried to make things that i could easily set aside a portion of before i threw the meat into. You know, spaghetti, stir fry, that type of thing. I ended up buying her pre-made vegetarian stuff that while tasty, was not nearly as healthy as it should have been. She informed me that she wanted to do it the healthy way so i told her to go look at my cookbooks, since i have an arsenal of vegetarian and vegan cookbooks from my days as a person who once gave a crap about the environment.

That was so long ago, almost 8 years since i gave it up. Like all new vegetarians, i armed myself with the PETA starter kit-complete with stickers and a list of things that would be different if people would stop eating meat- and a brand new attitude about the sanctity of life. I was ready to be a good vegetarian, to have a plant-based, peace loving life.

I was shot down by about every single stinking person i came into contact with. I got laughed at, called names, had burger patties thrown at me. Yes, these were actual adults stooping to this level of childishness. I worked in a restaurant and no one there had any patience for a person like me. I was basically against everything they stood for, i suppose. I started to question the aforementioned sanctity of life thinking, “if i shanked one of these jagoffs, would anyone notice? Really?”

Anyhow, I was a vegetarian for quite a few years. I went vegan for about 8 months but I became skeletal because of my work schedule as well as my finances. I was too busy to make things and too broke to buy things pre-made. There was just nothing i could eat so i started eating cheese again and after about a month’s worth of shakes from Steak and Shake, i gained all my lovely weight back. Hooray!

I then met my now husband. He thought it was ‘cute’ that i didn’t eat meat so he tried to have meatless frozen dinners for when i would come to visit. Mmmm. Yummy. Not! When we moved in together, we settled into those sickeningly domestic roles of “I’ll cook and clean, you mow and take out the garbage.” It got too difficult to make two separate meals so i gave in and started eating flesh again. Fast forward almost 8 years and I’m ready to make my move against meat.

As you may have read in an earlier post, my hubby and i started the Nutri-system diet and i have chosen the vegetarian option as a precursor. I have many reasons for doing this. One of them is that my toddler won’t touch meat no matter how i cook it. She chews it, then spits it out. Another reason is my middle child pretty much goes with the flow and as long as there’s food, she’ll eat it. Myself, well, I’ve always been lactose intolerant so cheese hurts, as does a milkshake. I’m wheat intolerant, too, but that one i’ll deal with accordingly. I think the main reason is that whole environmental thing. Going green. You can’t avoid it anymore. Even celebrities are like “i like meat and all, but if it helps get Obama elected, I’ll stop” or whatever lame reasoning those creeps have. I don’t even care anymore, as long as people start doing something. Anything, really. I even called my garbage company and asked for two more recycle bins because i know i can throw more stuff in there and NOT in the local landfill.

I’m listening to my beautiful, wonderful Edward Norton narrate and host a program on channel eleven that i am DVRing to watch later. He’s talking about our country going to shit. Depressing. He said “it’s not enough to do just one thing anymore, we have to do more, but if only one thing is what you’re willing to do, then stop with those little plastic grocery bags. Many countries have banned them already. Why not us, also?” I love him.

Vegan is definitely the ultimate goal, or at least mostly vegan so i bought an arsenal of books online tonight, all of which i have posted in my blog for you to look at and then go purchase for yourselves.

Here’s a link to cupcakes made by my friend Natalie. They are vegan cookies and creme and i think she did a nice looking job, don’t you? you should tell her so. Chicks love compliments. And presents.

Vegan Cookies & Cream Cupcakes

So this will conclude my post on hopefully going vegan. My only issue will be dealing with all the extra gas from all those delicious veggies. I’m gonna have to buy up some stock in beano. Ahem.



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