Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Vegan MoFo’

Alright! For the Love of Guava tagged me to showcase my vegan freezer. This is interesting, since I’m housesitting right now, so my freezer isn’t actually mine. However, I’ve been slowly taking over, and here’s what it looks like:

The meat is definitely not mine, so it gets an X. I’ve been doing a decent amount of freezing things when they’re in season so that I can enjoy them when they’re not. There’s a good amount of tomato sauce and some apple pies my friend and I made, as well as some shell beans. And tofu, since it gets better when frozen!

And the door! Whenever I make rice, I make a lot and freeze it in smaller quantities for use later. Also had some oatmeal pancakes leftover.

Sorry it’s not more interesting! I don’t know that I know the requisite 5 vegan bloggers, but if you’re reading this, and you’re doing Vegan MoFo and haven’t gotten this yet, steal it! Cupcake Punk, I don’t think I’ve seen it on your blog yet…

Who saw Project Runway last night? Yay Leanne! I was really rooting for her — I loved her collection, the way she used a simple color palette to showcase her architectural designs. I made some vegan sugar cookies for our Project Runway Finale party last night. I tried to make them look like pincushions, which is totally the idea of my friend (check her out: Tatiana Supports the Arts).

I veganized a Martha Stewart recipe (here). For the best vegan egg substitute, I’ve had luck with this combination in baking:
– 1/2 tsp baking soda
– 1 tsp baking powder
– 2 Tbsp flour
– 3 Tbsp water
Mix together in a separate bowl — will get frothy. Equals one egg.

The frosting is just powdered sugar (2 c) with 7-ish tsp of soy milk. Plus all the red food dye I could muster. The frosting worked perfectly! Nice and thin — I’m not a huge fan of super thick frosting. And it dried in time for Runway fun!

For more Project Runway fun, check out Walking the Vegan Line’s Project Runway cupcakes. And, if you’re not into it yet, Project Rungay is my favorite way to relive my favorite Project Runway episodes.

Read Full Post »

The farmstand this week brought some winter squash. You can imagine my excitement! I’ve decided this is the winter I learn to prepare winter squash, so I snatched some of these babies up. First on the chopping block: delicata squash.

First of all, if you’re looking for economical food, winter squash has got to be it. This one weighed a little over a pound, and at $1/lb right now, that means that a good amount of food for two people was about $1.50 total, plus tiny amounts of sugar and stuff. Of course, one can’t live on squash alone, but I might try…

Squash friend needed seeds removed. Cutting winter squash can be a challenge. Get out your biggest sharpest knife and proceed cautiously. After much thinking, I figured out the best and safest way to cut the elusive squash. First I cut in half the circle way (so now two half as long pieces).

Then I cut the squash lengthwise, giving me four pieces that were open and half as long as the original squash.

Then I grabbed a trusty spoon with a sturdy handle to scoop out the seeds. I’ve done this with less sturdy spoons. They bent. As you can see from the above picture, the membrane inside the squash is not as moist as that inside a pumpkin — the seeds are also more compact in the drier insides.

And save those seeds! You’re going to use them.

I cut the squash into 1″ wide or so half-moons. After doing that, I got on to what ended up being my favorite part of the meal: caramelizing the seeds. I melted 1 Tbsp of margarine in a pan and put the seeds in on low-ish heat. Move them around constantly so they don’t stick or get burnt! After 2-3 minutes, add 1/2 Tbsp of brown sugar. Keep ’em moving for about 5 minutes or until brownish and caramelized. So good.

After the seeds have been removed from the pan and set aside for later, the squash goes into the pan, gets drizzled with olive oil, salt and pepper. Then 1/2 cup of water goes into the pan. Cover, and let cook for 15+ minutes or until you can stab quite easily with a fork. The texture will be really smooth and soft. Watch them at the end — the bottoms of mine got a little overdone, I think partially from the leftover sugar in the pan.

Remove to a plate and cover with seeds.

Yummers! I love that the shape of the squash is retained — and delicata is the only winter squash whose skin is edible, so you get that lovely color too. This was way more delicious than I expected. The seeds were sweet and toasty, and the squash had a really smooth texture and wonderful flavor, all by itself. I ate mine quite happily.

This was the right amount of squash for two people. You could, of course, make it for more by using more squash! This recipe came from my UCSC CSA cookbook — I feel like it was such a simple way of making it that it’s okay to reproduce here.

And hey, I also made some totally non-vegan Snickerdoodles from a family recipe. I’m pretty proud of how they turned out, but I guess that’s what happens with a good recipe!

Read Full Post »

I was wandering outside today, and guess what I found hiding in the rosebushes?

What IS that? Is it trying to camouflage itself, or does it just have a special affinity for flowers and bad metaphors?

…okay, you’ve got me. I knit a uterus.

A friend of mine is having some uterine trouble, so I did the obvious thing and knit her a uterus. Isn’t that what all of you would have done? I’m sending it in a care package to help her on her way. The pattern is from Knitty, and can be found here. I knit this on size 7 dpns with worsted weight yarn, so it came out a little smaller — actually close to the size of a real uterus!

And hey, for you Vegan MoFos out there, I have a cookbook recommendation:

I bought Farmer John’s Cookbook recently on a quest for more veggie-focused cookbooks. While I’m a fan of fake cheese and fake meat, I’ve been working on shifting my vegetarian diet to something that’s actually focused on, you know, vegetables. This cookbook does just that, with a bunch of recipes for almost every vegetable you could imagine (although not artichokes!), arranged by season. It’s full of pictures and anecdotes from the farm, as well as some slightly eccentric commentary from Farmer John. Maybe best of all, this cookbook in particular focuses on seasonal eating, so recipes for early spring produce won’t have you buying tomatoes from who knows where in the middle of February.

I’ve been realizing that the best vegetable cookbooks are those with less glossiness, less pictures, and more text. They appear boring at first, but end up being a wealth of information on how to buy, store, and prepare vegetables — more of a how to cook vegetables guide than anything else.

Tonight? I try to tackle eggplant. I will let you know if I survive. Eggplant and I have a tumultuous past.

Read Full Post »

On a whim, I bought some coconut milk ice cream last night. I opted for Coconut Bliss ice cream, choosing Chocolate Hazelnut Fudge. How could I not?

Oh my goodness. It was delicious — a sturdy enough chocolate flavor, not too sweet but avoiding bitterness, with chunks of real (!) hazelnuts. The coconut flavor from the coconut milk was subtle but added a richness to the chocolate and really brought out the hazelnut flavors. The texture was incredible, possessing a smoothness and creaminess that, although light, didn’t feel airy.

Best of all, Coconut Bliss is totally vegan and free of soy, dairy, and even sugar. It’s sweetened with agave syrup, which is supposed to be a more stable sugar for the body, evening out any blood sugar spikes that would normally happen. Agave has the added bonus of being totally vegan, for those of you for whom that is an issue. Apparently, too, coconut milk offers “better” fats that work with the metabolism, so don’t get scared off by the seemingly high fat content. The ingredient list is simple, and I easily recognized all its components. With its fair trade chocolate ingredients thrown in there, this seems to be the most well thought out and conscientious ice cream I’ve ever had.

This is absolutely my new favorite ice cream. The richness of the texture and flavor, combined with the responsibility Coconut Bliss takes for the quality and production of its ice cream, totally sold me. I can’t wait to try the other flavors (which include Cherry Amaretto and Mint Galactica).

Read Full Post »

I woke up this morning. It’s October. It’s been October for a week now. And what was the thing that got me out of bed?

Pumpkin! It’s pumpkin-flavored-coffee-drink season!!

Decaf pumpkin soy latte. Seasonal flavored goodness.

And, of course, the (October) February Lady Sweater continues apace. I’ve got a few more inches left on the body and then it’s on to the arms. I may be a convert to top-down knitting for sweaters. Call me an instant gratification fiend. Go on, do it!

Decided to commit a little time tonight to a more epic dinner, since the boy’s been a little stressed. How very domestic of me. Enter: vegan “chicken” Caesar salad from Veganomicon, complete with home-made dressing, home-made croutons, plus some of the delicious tofu I keep making that I just can’t get over.

I loved the tanginess of the dressing, plus the fact that, hello, my salad dressing is made of to-freakin-fu so I can eat as much of it as I want. The croutons were a little tedious, but a good adventure. And this tofu keeps performing! It was the perfect complement to the lemon of the dressing, and cut the intensity of the garlic nicely.

He and I both reek to high heaven right now, but it was worth it.

Read Full Post »

Friends, colleagues, fellow vegetarians and vegans alike,

Do you struggle with tofu? Do you feel as though you’re one of those infomercial people in black-and-white, wrestling with preparing tofu? Have you gotten your hopes up for a broiled, steamed, fried, or baked tofu recipe, hoping this could be “the one,” only to be met with disappointing results?

Well, join me in the color part of the infomercial. I think I have figured out how to make tofu perfectly, every time.

I’m going to walk you through the steps. No monthly payments.

1. Procure some tofu for yourself. I used this:

I’ve found that tofu that comes with minimal water is usually the tofu that has the best texture. Tofus that come in plastic containers seem to hold more water. Obviously, you want extra firm or firm tofu.

2. Cut your tofu into 1/4 – 1/2″ slices.

This will give you a high surface area to volume ratio (crucial for flavor absorption and crispiness), but also give you tofu that, in the end, is good for anything.

3. Freeze your tofu for a few hours! This helps to really firm up the texture and give it a very chicken-like texture — I like a sturdy tofu. This is a departure from how I was taught to make this tofu, and I think it’s an improvement.

4. Thaw your tofu.

5. Marinate your tofu.

Marinade recipe: juice of 1 lemon PLUS 2 – 3 Tbsp of soy sauce, PLUS a little water if you don’t have enough for your tofu to soak up. You could add minced garlic to this, or red pepper flakes.
Let this sit for at least an hour, turning regularly to make sure it is evenly coated. You should see that your tofu is getting darker, because it is soaking up the marinade.

6. Dredging time! Put some (1/2 c?) nutritional yeast into a container a little bigger than your tofu slices, add a piece of tofu, shake to coat, flip, repeat until all the surfaces of the tofu are covered in yeast. The nutritional yeast will soak up some of the moisture, so you may have to flip a few times.

7. Frying time. Heat a frying pan, with enough oil to coat, over medium-ish heat (depends how hot your burner is). Fry each piece until golden-brown, about 3 minutes. Flip. Repeat.

Hooray! Tasty tofu with a bit of a crust. Should keep at least a week — probably way longer — in the fridge.

Ideas for using:
– eat with your hands
– use on a sandwich
– slice up in salads (I did this last night and I think it’d be good in a “chicken” Caesar)
– add to a rice bowl for some extra flavor and protein
– substitute for breakfast “sausage”
– eat with ketchup and a little hot sauce instead of “chicken” nuggets
– make “chicken” parmesan

Go forth and make tofu! I’m looking forward to cooking amazing tofu from here on out…

Read Full Post »

My dad recently asked for some instructions on how to cook kale. I’d showed him before, but he needed a written step-by-step.  I figured I’d share this how-to! A lot of this is informed by Greens Glorious Greens, which is the best cookbook (as far as I’m concerned) if you want to get eating some photosynthetic goodness.

Kale is a great source of all kinds of good things for vegans and meat-eaters alike. It’s full of calcium — more than a glass of milk! I love making some to throw into a bowl with some brown rice, miso-tahini sauce, and tofu.

Without further ado, I present you with a wordy post on:

HOW TO MAKE KALE!

1. Buy kale. Go for local and organic (it’s available almost year-round at any farmers’ market). Get whatever looks happy to you! I like the curlier sorts with red/purple stalks because they’re pretty and the curliness gives it a little more texture. However, it may be more difficult to get every little last bug out. I figure that possibly accidentally eating a few aphids is better than for sure eating a lot of pesticides. Of course, you must:

2. Bring your kale home. Store wrapped in a paper towel in a bag in the crisper drawer. I’ve had kale stay good for at least two weeks. When it’s K-Day:

3. Wash your kale. I fill my sink with some cold water and put all the kale leaves in. Kale and other greens cook down a LOT so one bunch is actually not too much for two people. I sometimes eat a whole bunch all by myself. If there are a lot of aphids (they can be greyish), put a little salt in the water. They should fall right off. Swish around, pull them out, and dry.
– This is a good time to start boiling water. Get out a wide pan with a lid and put 1/2″ – 1″ of water in it (about 1-2 cups). Any less than that and it may burn; any more and you may pull out too many nutrients. As it boils:

4. Cut your kale. I go for 1/2″ to 1″ wide strips. I don’t take the rib out but I do trim the stalk at the bottom. Some people don’t like ribs. I really don’t find them an issue. I will sometimes cut the leaves in half along the rib if they’re big leaves. I guess taking the rib out would inevitably cut it into half anyway… Bring the kale to the stove and:

5. Cook your kale*. Put the kale into the now-boiling water and cover. It will take about 5-7 minutes to get the kale the way you want it. Check every few minutes and give it a teeny stir to make sure nothing’s sticking. If you like the flavor and texture, turn off the heat and:

6. Drain your kale. BUT!! The liquid the kale cooked in holds a lot of the nutrients — in the pot likker/liquor. I put a colander over a wide bowl and use that to drain the kale. Let the water coot and drink it later; take the kale out and:

7. Make your kale delicious. It really only needs salt and maybe some lemon juice and pepper. Maybe toasted sesame seeds? It will take well to anything kind of acidic (red wine vinegar will also be good).

Now go make some kale! A cup of cooked kale has more calcium than a glass of milk… and adding the lemon juice adds Vitamin C, which helps your body absorb the calcium, and if you drink the pot liquor… you’re in great shape.

*There’s a lot out there on the internets that will tell you to saute your kale, or maybe suggest you add citrust to it when it cooks. Don’t believe it! It won’t go all radioactive on you, but it will make your kale ugly. Leafy greens have acids in them which, when released by cooking, turn them a boring brownish-green color; adding your own acid will have the same effect. By boil/steaming in water, you’re reducing the concentration of these acids in the kale, while simultaneously diluting the flavor compounds in the kale that make it taste bitter. Hooray cooking science!

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »