Sunday, April 30, 2006

Blink and you'll miss it- my weekend

Yikes! Our weekend has been nuts and it's gone by super fast. I gave notice on Friday. Not nearly as scary as I thought it would be, but I certainly did a good job getting myself all worked up over it. It's nice to have it out in the open now, so I don't have to be secretive about things anymore. I hate lying and I'm really bad at, so I'm glad it's all over.

I had to work yesterday and we had a potluck so I made this key lime pie. I will admit, I'm a bit squeemish when baking recipes call for tofu. I have had some nasty experiences, but this recipe has such great reviews I decided to give it a go and I'm so glad I did! It was just heavenly. Very creamy, sweet but not too sweet so you could still really enjoy the lime flavor. Oh yeah, and that "I hate lying" thing? Well, that doesn't apply when it comes to co-workers asking me "what's in this?" No way was I going to say tofu! Like they'd eat it then... hehehehe.

I also made a batch if my killer vegan brownies, which will be in my upcoming cookbook. They are chewy, slightly fudgey and have that thin little crust on top of them, just like the "classics". Mmmm.

When I got home yesterday I helped Jim make falafel. It was from a box mix (remember, he's taking baby steps). It was an okay mix (Near East) but I think I like the Fantastic mix better. I was too tired/lazy to whip up some tahini sauce, so we just used some hummus and filled up our pitas for movie night.

This morning I had a nice, leisurely morning, which I haven't had in a long time. It was great. I slathered up with some sun screen, grabbed my iPod and walked up to the farmer's market that's near my apartment. On my way there I freaked out a little, wondering if it was already done for the season, since it's getting warmer here and the growing season is coming to an end. Thankfully it was still there, albeit smaller than normal. I ended up with a grand array of yellow/orange colored fruits, some tangelos, Fuji apples, a pomello and one large navel orange. I have been on the biggest citrus kick since it started warming up, which is strange since the most citrusy I normally get is drinking lemonade. The tangelos are wonderful. I love citrus that you don't have to struggle to peel, unlike most oranges.

So yeah, busy weekend and now I'm getting ready to start my work countdown! 2 weeks and counting!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Revisiting the past

For dinner tonight I threw together a simple curry using my tried and true mish-mash of a coconut curry recipe. I had some leftover coconut milk from another recipe so I made this with some potatoes, carrots, lentils, and peas. It turned out quite nice and now I've used up some more lentils and all my jasmine rice is gone, so one less thing to pack!

Every once in awhile I get a serious craving for some warm chocolate pudding and tonight was one of those nights. I made some chocolate "truffle" pudding (I stuck a square of Endangered Species mint dark chocolate in the middle while it was still warm as a treat). The recipe is from the 'zine Don't Have a Cow . Well, I added the "truffle" part, but that's because I'm a GLUTTON! The 'zine is pretty good. There are some good recipes in there and some excellent quotes, but there's this little bit of vegan resentment that seems to come up from time to time that seems a bit out of place to me. I mean, you care enough to make a vegan 'zine in the first place, what's with the bitterness?

Last night we went out to dinner with one of our friends who has recently gone veg (yay Lauren!) so we took her to Green, where I, of course, forgot to bring my camera. I had an acceptable vegan pizza (I've gotten spoiled from making them at home), Jim had the "green" burger, which is actually red (from lentils and oats) and Lauren had the Thai peanut. Mmmm...

Well, that's all for tonight, I suppose. I'm going to finish off my pudding ramekin and get myself to bed. I have a big day tomorrow: I'm giving my 2 weeks notice! Eeek! I'm quite freaked out about it, as I hate confrontation and really like my boss. Every time I think about it my stomach literally flops. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Thanksgiving in April

Since we're trying to use up stuff in our fridge and freezer I pulled out a seitan roast and decided to make a Thanksgiving style dinner tonight. It was a simple, throw-together meal. I tossed the roast in a roasting bag with half a sliced onion, 2 chopped potatoes with the skin on, a large handful of carrots, a pack of Lipton's "accidentally vegan" onion soup mix and a drizzle of olive oil. Jim, in his eternal quest for junk food, rode his bike up to the grocery store to get some "accidentally" (or, as I think, freakily) vegan Pillsbury crescent rolls. If they're vegan, what the hell is in those things? Dessert was a mint chocolate chip Tofutti Cutie. Mmm...

On a side note, to the person who mentioned sweet potatoes in my last entry, I made one up to take to work for lunch tomorrow. I sliced it up and then put a thin slice of pineapple between each slice and baked it, then I just tossed it in the fridge with a marichino cherry on top. I'm going to pack a little container of Ricemellow Fluff with it tomorrow. Ooh, I can't wait!

Monday, April 24, 2006

Lo Mein

Late last night we finally got to having dinner. Our friend, who is trying to go veg, was over so I showed her how to make lo mein. Fast, simple and filling. I make my sauce from a simple low sodium soy sauce and sesame oil blend, with some steamed veggies and baked tofu. Mmm. Lots of leftovers so I got to indulge again for lunch today.

Yesterday morning Ravi was being too cute. I was exercising and I noticed this little couch we bought the cats awhile ago. Just as I was silently musing over how they never use it, Ravi gets up, walks over to it and gets comfy! I had just enough time to snap a few pictured of him before he got irritated and left the room.

Saturday, April 22, 2006


Tonight our theme was kabobs. I marinated some seitan in a garlic lime marinade and broiled them on kabobs along with some cherry tomatoes and onions. I would have like to grill them, but we don't have a grill and the ones in the park (which is basically our backyard) are questionable at best and it was a crazy windy day. We also had baked potatoes, but in an unconventional way. I sliced them and stuffed slices of garlic between the potato discs. Then, I gave each potato a healthy splash of salad dressing, just a simple olive and vinegar blend. They were then sealed in their foil containers and baked. With a fresh crack of sea salt, they were melty and flavorful. For dessert, inspired by Jennifershmoo, I made fruit kabobs with pineapple and strawberries and a dipping sauce with some vanilla yogurt and a splash of orange juice.

Mmm, we were full and I am so happy to have an abundance of fresh pineapple at home!

Friday, April 21, 2006

We have a winner!

Drumroll, please...

Allison! Please email me your address and the button will soon be on your doorstep.

Thanks for participating, everyone!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Wild Rice Pilaf

Tonight I didn't have much time (also why I didn't post yesterday, we had leftovers) so I made a box of wild rice pilaf we had from Trader Joe's. We also had some tomatoes from the co-op that I worried were going to go bad before we used them up, so I sliced those as well as a handful of canned artichoke hearts, tossed them with some olive oil and Italian seasoning and then broiled them for about 2 minutes. It only took me about 25-30 minutes from start to finish. Yummy and light plus I managed to use up some produce and get another box out of my pantry. Yay!

I will get the Shepherd's Pie recipe up soon. I have bits and pieces of it scattered in chicken scratch on several pieces of paper and I haven't written out any kind of directions, so it will take a little bit to pull together and I've just been nutso busy when I get home from work. If only I could use Blogger at work.... Sigh.

Monday, April 17, 2006


Okay, I see lots of other blogs doing giveaways and it seems like a really fun thing to do. Sadly, I have no corporate sponsors, so you'll all just have to settle with little, fun things that I find.

First up, a button that I also have a copy of on my purse. It's one of my favorites, from Northern Sun . They are a great progressive clothing/bumpersticker/button/misc. company based out of my hometown, Minneapolis!

My end of the deal: I'm going to have a random drawing. I will accept entries (1 per person, please) until Thursday night and then I'll annouce on Friday who has won. The winner must then contact me within 3 days to claim their prize and provide a mailing address.

What do you do?: Email me at with your name and, for the fun of it, the one kind of fruit you would pick if you were on a desert island and could only bring one.

Sound good? Let me know if you have any questions!

Shepherd's Pie

It's getting a bit warm down here for hearty comfort food, but I just couldn't resist tweaking a recipe for vegan shepherd's pie, especially after seeing these beautiful carrots at the co-op this week. So pretty! Oddly enough, when I peeled the purple ones they were just orange inside. They were quite nice to look at, though.

So, we had some seitan and mushroom shepherd's pie. It was hearty and yummy with a thick mushroom gravy spread over the bottom layer, some carrots, sweet corn and peas on top of that and some creamy garlic mashed potatoes on the very top. Now I'm way too full!

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Food, food, food!

Man, this has been a really busy weekend! I worked yesterday then went to lunch with some friends that were up from Tucson (we went to Green), went grocery shopping (which is an event unto itself as I shop at up to 4 stores every week) and then came home for bed. Today was baking experiment perfection day, cleaning day and packing day. We now have a wall of boxes and bins and we made it to the thrift store with a load of stuff (I was surprised they were open on Easter, almost nothing was). Now we're starting to look like we're making progress, rather than just having chaos in the apartment.

My BIG exciting find at the health food store was Follow Your Heart's vegan Caesar dressing. OMG. When I was an omni I considered myself a bit of a Caesar connoisseur. I would eat it at every opportunity and could tell you the best and worst restaurants to get salads at. Then I went vegetarian, but finding vegetarian Caesar dressing wasn't too hard. Then we went vegan and I hated every one I tried. I tried fruitlessly to make them at home and had gotten pretty used to using Goddess dressing when this beautiful bottle presented itself from the heavens. It's so good. SO good! And it's even decorated with a pretty little vegan V on the back. It doesn't get better than that. So, for a quick lunch we had some Caesar wraps with lettuce and romaine. Mmm, I'm in heaven!

My baking adventure today was perfecting a chocolate raspberry swirl muffin recipe for the cookbook. I think this one is keeper! Jim and I have been noshing on the minis all day. I'm making him take some to work tomorrow to share with a vegan co-worker so I don't eat too many! Yikes!

Lastly, here's a picture of Bindhi, my youngest cat. She has made this box her clubhouse and she hangs out in it with her toys for hours on end. She's a little territorial about it, but in a playful and adorable way.

That's it for now! Hope you all had a lovely holiday!

Friday, April 14, 2006

Stuffed Crust Pizza

Every 4 weeks I have to work the "late" shift at my work, which means you have to work a 4 hour shift on Saturday. Of course paying overtime is unheard of, so instead we only work 4 hours on Friday- 2 to 6. It's nice because it goes by really fast and you have the whole morning to do whatever.

The past two late shifts I've worked I've tried something new with my Friday mornings off. I heard of this concept called "being constructive with your time" and I thought I'd check it out. Normally, a Friday off would have resulted in me sleeping in too late, eating breakfast and surfing the internet in my pajamas until about 11 or 12 then laying in bed reading a book for another hour or so then jumping in the shower and racing to work to get there on time. Not that those days aren't needed and well earned for many people and we all deserve them, but I am tired of feeling like a sloth and letting my mornings slip away with nothing to show for it.

This morning I got up when Jim left for work, ate breakfast, washed some dishes, made pizza dough, washed two loads of laundry, worked out, showered, punched down my pizza dough for it's second rise, drove out to the pet food store for cat food, came home, made banana walnut muffins as a house warming present for my sister-in-law, made pesto, prepped the pizza, Jim came home for lunch and we noshed, got some materials together for a project for a craft swap on the Vegan Freaks forum and went to work. Whew! When I got to work I wanted to take a nap!

This pizza is stuffed with my sundried-tomato pesto. After stuffing the crust I added some tomato sauce (I haven't made my own yet. I buy this premade stuff from Trader Joe's that'd dee-lish), little blobs of pesto, sauteed mushrooms and some black olives, on Jim's half. Mmm, it was good and there were leftovers for dinner! I always make my pizzas on a pizza stone, the end results are amazingly better than a pan and it cooks up from raw dough to crisp-to-perfection in about 6 minutes. Nothing beats that!

I'll be posting the pesto recipe in the recipes section.

Now I'm off to bed where visions of pizza pies will dance through my head.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Luckiest Girl in the World...

This morning I awoke to a startling surprise: my husband making breakfast on a weekday! Wha? I have to admit, I'm a bad girl. We celebrate the anniversary of our first date as a slightly more significant day then our wedding just because it was such a chance meeting. Once we knew each other there was no doubt we would get married, but there are so many little things leading up to our unlikely meeting that it has an air of mystery to it. It's a long story, so I won't go on.

Anyhow, I forgot about our anniversary! I remembered it last month and then things got so busy with our trip and the impending move that I forgot! Well, he didn't. I'm not letting myself feel too bad because someone who will remain nameless forgot about Valentine's Day, when I handmade him a very personalized gift, so I guess this evens that out.

So, this morning I was treated to a beautiful display of French toast made in a banana batter, with EB and some maple syrup, fresh strawberries, my favorite sparkling apple cider and a vase of roses, one for every year since we met. I was so stuffed that after I went to work and clocked in I left again to go for a little walk. Oof-dah! It was a wonderful middle-of-the-week surprise.

Then, as if I haven't been spoiled enough, he made dinner! Jim's really into Mexican food, so he picked Karen's Mexican Burrito Pie from La Dolce Vegan. He replaced the soy cheese with Tofutti sour cream because we're not big on the soy cheese. It was great! This was his first dinner ever made from scratch and I was so proud of him. We munched on some chips and salsa on the side and for dessert split and ice cream cone with Soy Delicous chocolate peanut butter ice cream.

Mmmm, I am one full, lucky lady!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

TVPcos and Veggie Burgers

In an attempt to lessen the bulk of food that we have stored about our apartment (especially in the freezer!) we're trying to eat up stuff that we don't want to go to waste/pack. So, it's been prepacked soy food dinners! But they've tasted good, so that's what matters, right?

Last night we had tacos made with TVP, whole wheat tortillas, some pico de gallo, lettuce, chips and organic salsa. Mmmm, salty. I swear, we have to start watching the salt intake. My love of salt almost rivals the fact that I'm a sugar whore. Almost.

I took some leftover tacos to work today for lunch. I tend to eat outside now that the weather is perfect in AZ (for the next week, at least). There's an area behind my work with actual GRASS and TREES. Not that I support growing those things in the desert at all, but that's a different topic for another day. Anyhow, after feeding most of my tortilla to the birds, I made my deformed taco and was munching away, reading, when a little piece of TVP dropped onto a paper I had. I brushed it off and thought nothing of it. A few minutes later an ant crawled by and was furiously inspecting the area where the TVP had fallen. So I broke off the smallest piece of TVP I could get (which was still huge compared to him) and he heaved it up and headed back home! Who'da thunk. Not that ants are that picky, but still...

Tonight I was craving veggie burgers and, wouldn't you know, we had 2 in the freezer! They were the Amy's California Veggie Burgers. We fancied them up with some ketchup and mustard, lettuce, tomato, pickles and Vegenaise (for Jim only, yuck!*). On the side we had some homemade steak fries and some steamed carrots and green beans which I tossed with lemon juice, fresh cracked pepper and sea salt. Mmmm, I have leftover veggies for lunch tomorrow!

All in all it was all good. We have a rather large pantry that I have filled rather well, yet I never have all the ingredients I need. Odd how that happens, no? Anyhow, I need to start working through it all, so you may see some strange concoctions in the weeks to come.

*Vegenaise is actually a very mayonnaisey tasting condiment, but I don't like mayonnaise or anything that resembles it. Ick.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006


I added a recipes section, which is linked on the right side. I added a few for now and will be bulking it up. I will be keeping most of my baking recipes top secret, however, because I'm writing a book on vegan baking.


Monday, April 10, 2006


OK, Blogger is working again, so here we go!

I forgot to take pictures of about half of our food so this is more representative of breakfasts in Portland, but you'll get the point!

We got to Portland on Thursday after a really early flight. First thing on the agenda: find breakfast! Armed with our trusty map we navigated ourselves to The Paradox Cafe. I immediately set my sights on some French toast and Jim had a breakfast burrito. Paradox is a mostly veg*n restaurant with incredibly yummy looking diner food. They also have a huge assortment of desserts- all vegan!

We proceeded to drive to Food Fight to stock up on some essentials: peanut butter cups, jerky and nougat! Hells yes, it was delicious! I can't wait until we live there and I can take advantage of all the incredible treats they have to offer, like vegan whipped cream in a can!

Later that evening we met up with Mr.Herbivore himself (Mrs. and Baby were out of town) and we went to dinner at Veganopolis . I forgot the camera, but we all ended up knoshing on some sandwiches. I had a seitan Caesar. Mmm.... Sadly, I was too full for dessert. They had frosted cupcakes that looked like they'd make Isa proud!

The next morning Jim and I went to hunt down the ever-elusive vegan donuts at a place called Voodoo Doughnut . They had a, um, interesting display of donuts in their case, including one that looked like male genitalia and another that was a vampire, stabbed through the heart, complete with oozing raspberry filling. We got several donughts to try and headed out to explore downtown. (Jim looks a little stoned in this picture and doesn't think I'm posting it. Shhhh!)

Later that afternoon we went out for some vegan pizza by the slice at a place that I can't remember the name of. The pizza, however, was named Yummy. It had a roasted red pepper sauce, veggies and tempeh. Drool...

That night we went out with a friend to a concert at The Aladdin. We saw Natalia Zuckerman and Willy Porter. I wasn't too sure if I'd like Willy, as his songs sounded a bit subdued online, but MAN, can that guy put on a show! Half mad-scientist musician, half comedian, I was alternating between laughing and crying. Excellent show.

On our last full day (we had to leave fairly early on Sunday) we went to indulge in the breakfast buffet at Veganopolis. Included in the yummy fare was an incredible savory bread pudding, which is now my goal to recreate, tofu scramble, roasted potatoes, a spelt faux ham and cheese biscuit, some sausages, gravy and Jim and I split a delicate blueberry pancake. Yeah, we shared this and were still stuffed!

Our dinner the last night was enjoyed at The Kalga Cafe, which is a vegetarian restaurant next to Food Fight. I was tempted to order the pizza, which has vegan mozzarella, but I opted for my old standby, falafel. It had great ambiance and food, we will definitely be going back for many more meals.

So that was our trip to Portland! We basically spent 3 days driving around and eating. I never ate a single thing I didn't like. In fact, I'm having severe French toast pangs in my tummy right now! It was a wonderful time and now I'm just counting down the 6 weeks we have left in Phoenix until we are residents there!

I want to apologize for not always being as prompt as I'd like to on responses and posting. In the past Blogger was a site that I could dabble with at my work, but it's become a RESTRICTED page (we have this scary pop up that comes out of nowhere and scares the be-jezzes out of you), so I have to wait until I get home and I don't always have as much free time as I'd like. So, sorry!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006


We are moving to Portland, OR in May, so our lives are a bit chaotic right now. We are going up there to visit and scope out housing on Thursday, so in an effort to not make dishes and to have more time to get ready for our trip, we are eating out. Tonight's dinner was from a delicious local place called Green . They are an all vegan restaurant (they call themselves vegetarian, but I think that's more for marketing) and they are great! They make their own vegan soft serve ice cream on the premises and you can get a "Tsoynami", which is their version of a Blizzard. Their menu is varied and everything is delicious. I LOVE the crabpuffs!

Tonight Jim ran up there to collect dinner. We had Buffalo "Wings" with cucumber ranch, a No Harm Chik'n Parm sandwich and some Spicy Peanut Thai. As always, the food was wonderful. Not only that, but it's so cheap! We can get an appetizer, two entrees and dessert for under $20.

My only issue with the place (and it's a bit of an issue) is how, ironically, un-green they are. They have stickers all over their trash cans that say "Recycle!" and things along those lines. But they don't. And everything is disposable. Disposable bowls and forks, even if you eat in. STYROFOAM cups! It's just plain weird to me. They recently opened so I'm hoping that this is a transitional thing and not for good. It's sadly another one of those things where Phoenix almost does something, but not quite. But, to be fair, Phoenix is really a decent place to be vegan, with tons of alternative grocery stores to choose from as well as a strong handful of good veg*n friendly restaurants. So, for that, I am grateful.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Pinenut Pasta

Tonight we revisited an old favorite, pinenut pasta. I picked some multicolored pasta swirls, more for color than anything else, but I typically always pick multicolored pasta for this dish. This is a really simple dish made with mushrooms (I used cremini), spinach, onions, garlic, olive oil, pinenuts and white wine. The quantities for the mushrooms and especially the spinach seem really obscene, but the spinach wilts to nothing if you cut back the amount.

I threw together a quick artichoke dip on the side with some artichokes, spinach, onions, garlic, a splash of oil and about 2 tablespoons of Tofutti cream cheese. We ate it with some tortilla chips as a little appetizer.

Nice and light, yet satisfying. I'll be posting the recipe soon.

2 yums up!

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Jimmy Does Breakfast!

Jim promised to make brunch this weekend, so I was excited to have the morning off. He worked yesterday, so we each did our own thing for breakfast, but this morning he was playing in the kitchen, making banana pancakes. He used a pancake mix and veganized the add-ins, with soymilk and a large mashed banana. He added his secret ingredient (which is the same "secret ingredient" that every man I know who makes breakfast uses): cinnamon, and he was off.

This was a very successful run at breakfast. We have had our fair share of melted spatulas and burnt breakfasts over the years, but now he's got the basics down well enough to not want me supervising anymore. He used to think it was a good idea to heat the skillet on high first, to get it warm, then turn it down. Or maybe not turn it down, thinking they'd cook faster on high. And so we would have blackened pancakes with bits of plastic in them, lol. Thankfully, he's learned the fine art of adjusting the heat and when to flip them and to not leave the spatula sitting in the pan, etc, and he's making flapjacks like there's no tomorrow! We had them with some banana slices, crushed walnuts, melted Earth Balance and organic maple syrup. Mmmm. Good husband!

2 yums and a tail up! (Bindhi was helping us eat!)

Seitan Medallions

I decided to be ambitious yesterday and I made some marinated seitan medallions from The Artful Vegan which is the second cookbook from The Millennium Restaurant. First, the seitan is prepped and cooked in boiling water for 1 1/2 hours. Then it is cooled, sliced and then cooked some more in a marinade consisting of red wine, veggie broth, rosemary, garlic and some other spices. I halved the recipe in the book to make four servings, but it still made A LOT!

We felt like having some home cookin', so I whipped up some garlic mashed potatoes and we still had a container of Tofurky gravy in our freezer. The picture makes it looks like a spectrum of browns, but the seitan was actually a really pretty shade of purple from the wine. It was really yummy, too yummy because we ended up having seconds then ended up feeling way too full!

For dessert I took two ice cream cones and filled the bottom tips with some melted chocolate, then put them in the fridge to set. We filled them with some Soy Delicious Neapolitan ice cream. Mmmmm... it was delicious to have that little chocolate surprise at the bottom, like a Drumstick, but better!

2 yums way up!