Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thanksvegan Recap, Photo Heavy!

I missed my first MoFo post yesterday! I was really on a roll, too! It wasn't even because I was busy or lacking ideas, I just forgot.

I'm ok with it, though. I'm proud of myself for only missing one day! Onto Thanksvegan!

The dinner went over really well. I had a total of 17 people (a total of 4 vegans, including myself) in my apartment and plenty of food, spirits and laughs for all. I feel so lucky to have so many people in my life that are so accepting and curious about vegan food.
 I made shamrock shaped sweet potato biscuits, just because.
 Don't Eat Off the Sidewalk's pumpkin cinnamon rolls, pre-icing.

 Apple sausage stuffing, delicious sweet potatoes.
 BCG seitan tofu roast, FFV green bean casserole, roasted brussels and leeks, roasted squash and roasted potato dishes in the back.
 Rosemary olive focaccia, whole wheat rolls and my little shamrocks.
New Farm mac (which went over SUPER well with the non-vegans!), mashed butternut squash, mashed potatoes

My plate of awesome.

Friday, November 26, 2010

In Preparation.

My fridge, emptied of science experiments and half full bottles of liquid in preparation for tomorrow. My awesome Thanksgiving is two days late and I don't care.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Crackberry Pie

I had great plans for this pie.
 (that weird shape was supposed to be a shamrock, the cookie cutter was bent)

It's my aunt's blackberry sour cream pie aka crackberry pie. I haven't had a piece of this baby in years and finally got around to veganizing the beast. It is not in any way or form healthy, just so you know.

Aunt Bridget's Crackberry Sour Cream Pie

1 recipe pie crust, enough for a top and bottom crust (I used the crust in this post)
4 cups blackberries
1 cup sugar
1 cup vegan sour cream
1/2 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt

Heat oven to 450F. Place bottom shell of pie crust in pie plate. Top crust with blackberries. Mix remaining ingredients together and spread on top of blackberries. Layer top shell of pie crust on top. Bake for 10 minutes at 450F and then 30 minutes at 350F or until brown.

Look at the blackberry juice!

We were having dinner at my sister's house, so I dropped a couple pieces off at my sister in law's house beforehand. I couldn't resist trying a bite.

It was tart. Very, very tart.

My sister in law asked if I added any sugar. No, my aunt didn't include sugar in the ingredients, I replied in dismay. Maybe we could just chow down on the blackberries and the crust?

The pie solved the problem itself, though, by falling off of the top of another pyrex container and shattering all over the driveway.

Tip of the day: don't forget the sugar in the pie!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Roastin' We Will Go

My food intake today has been weird and I'm kind of embarrassed about it. I mean, chips for lunch? BAD.

Right now I have a half recipe of Bryanna Clark Grogan's tofu+seitan roast in the oven in preparation for tomorrow. I had to do a trial run and what better use than to have my own protein at my sister's house? Tomorrow will be spent making my aunt's blackberry sour cream pie, one of my absolute favorite pies ever. It's taken me too long to veganize it, really.

As soon as that baby is out of the oven, I will have pics and a recipe for you!

For now, I give you another random food pic. This is pizza with roasted squash as the base and a pizza cheeze I found on the internet. It's smoky and one of my favorite toppings!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Taters Be Constant.

It's cold in Portland.

Apparently it's the coldest November day in 13 years. Today, my bus was 20 minutes late after school and my mittens did jack shit to combat the cold from getting to my fingers. I'm missing a toe and a pinky.

I told Jeff no more big cooking until Saturday, and he agreed. And asked for twice baked potatoes. I agreed.

So, so good. And the recipe is all over the internet and easy to customize. I used a wee bit of oil total (maybe 1/2 tsp?) so that I could enjoy some wine and chocolate and not go over my daily points. A favorite recipe of mine (though not used tonight) is the Samosa stuffed baked potatoes in V'Con. Mmmm.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Thanksvegan, Take 2!

Today was pretty uneventful. My husband has the week off and we spent today playing Donkey Kong Returns on the Wii (it came out yesterday!!) and I wrote some papers.

Thursday will be pretty uneventful, we're visiting my sister in law for a short while and then spending Thanksgiving with my mom and sister. Saturday is the day for me. I'm hosting my second Thanksvegan and I'm really excited. I wrote about the first one here: My very first vegan Thanksgiving.

My menu as follows:

Pomegranate Glazed Seitan Roast (ala Bryanna Clark Grogan, I am attempting to shove that deliciousness in the crockpot!)
Fat Free Vegan's Best Green Bean Casserole
Roasted Leeks and Brussel Sprouts (I totally only had the sprouts originally, but saw a post today for the leeks and sprouts and am intrigued)
Sweet Potato Biscuits
Pumpkin Cheezecake Pie (which may be changed to Ginger Roll - a tasty take on the pumpkin roll)
Pumpkin Cinammon Rolls
Blackberry Sour Cream Pie (a family recipe veganized!!!)
Mac N Cheeze Cups

I also hear that stuffing, pecan pie, pumpkin pie, rosemary & kalamata olive bread, cranberry sauce, pumpkin butter and chocolate green tea pudding will be running rampant.

I'm hoping that my lovely friends will bring tupperware for the abundant leftovers!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Kung POW!

Tonight I talked my husband in Chinese takeout.

I called Green Wok, a vegetarian Chinese place that I've written about here and one of SW Portland's redeeming qualities. In fifteen minutes it was chow time.

We got the kung pao chicken and potstickers. It totally hit the spot on this rainy/snowy day.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Broccoli + Potatoes + Cheeze

Growing up, my mom used to make us steamed broccoli or cauliflower, cover it with cheese and sprinkle sunflower seeds on top.

This is still my favorite thing to eat.

Today, I roasted two small potatoes and a head of broccoli and smothered it with the Cheesy sauce from V'Con. I like to add a little extra mustard to the sauce, I am a fan of the tang. Lunch was so good.

While my lunch equaled 12.5 points, more than I'm usually comfortable allotting towards the daytime meal, I've had a weird day and will gladly eat greens for dinner.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Accio Pasty!

I remember when I was in high school, a somewhat international type of restaurant opened in my somewhat hick hometown. They were advertising pasties on their windows. Always the giggly types, my friends and I laughed and laughed. Because a pasty was dirty, dude.

Then I grew up and visited the UK and learned that a pasty is actually a delicious type of pie. And Americans always have their mind in the gutter. Especially those in and around Portland, the strip club capital of the world.

But pasties aren't the only amazing thing to come out of the UK. Take J.K. Rowling. She wrote about this boy, you see, and built something incredible out of his life. It was a series that made reading cool again, the series that was heartbreaking and amazing at the same time. The series has inspired tattoos and costumes worldwide and made us ordinary people believe that we all have a purpose, whether it's defeating a man built of pure evil or simply giving a hand to someone less fortunate.

Of course, I'm talking about Harry Potter.

I first started reading Harry Potter right after the first book came out and my cousin left it at my house, but I didn't pick up any more until 2004, when I made it through the fourth book. This summer I read the entire series and caught up on the movies to be prepared for today, the release of the first part of the final movie. The final book made me tear up. The trailers make me tear up. The actors promoting the movie on the Today show make me tear up. I'm going to be a stupid emotional wreck in the theater today.

But that's ok, I made these.

Kris' pumpkin pasties. The crust is so light and buttery (thank EB!) and the filling is sweet, but not too sweet. My fellow moviegoing friends are gonna love them.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

MoFo Survey

Tomorrow, I will have special treats to mark the release of a special movie. But tonight, we dance! Or, um, answer questions.

What is one food you thought you’d miss when you went vegan, but don’t?
Cheese! This was a huge surprise, I was addicted to the shit. I do miss fried eggs, I'm not afraid to admit it.

What is a food or dish you wouldn’t touch as a child, but enjoy now?
Lentils! The texture used to gross me out, but I think I've gotten past that!

What vegan dish or food you feel like you “should” like, but don’t?
I really don't like Tofurkey slices.

What beverage do you consume the most of on any given day?
You want me to say beer here, right?

What dish are you “famous” for making or bringing to gatherings?
I'm not really sure, I'm varied in what I bring! I had mucho compliments on my kabocha squash and tempeh bacon risotto for Fakin' Fest, though!

Do you have any self-imposed food rules (like no food touching on the plate or no nuts in sweets)?
Unless it's soup, my food can't be liquid-y. This can be a problem when it comes to casseroles.

What’s one food or dish you tend to eat too much of when you have it in your home?
Pasta. I am a carb-o-holic. I can't stop eating it, so I make my husband put the leftovers away.

What ingredient or food do you prefer to make yourself despite it being widely available prepackaged?
Gnocchi! I make a bunch and freeze it for pennies of what it costs in the store.

What ingredient or food is worth spending the extra money to get “the good stuff”?
This may stem from my carb leanings, but bread. There's a brand local to Portland called Dave's Killer Bread that's mostly vegan and so, so worth the $4+ splurge. I don't get it all the time though.

Are you much of a snacker?  What are your favorite snacks?
I have a small problem with Oreos.

What are your favorite vegan pizza toppings?
Extra sauce, mushrooms, tomatoes and artichoke hearts.

What is your favorite vegetable?  Fruit?
My favorite vegetable is squash of all kinds, and my hands down favorite fruit is raspberries.

What is the best salad dressing?
Tahini + lemon juice + soy sauce + salt + pepper.

What is your favorite thing to put on toasted bread?
Smart Balance (the vegan one, obviously!) and nooch.

What kind of soup do you most often turn to on a chilly day or when you aren’t feeling your best?

What is your favorite cupcake flavor? Frosting flavor?
I'm a huge fan of chocolate cupcakes with vanilla frosting. Simple and sweet.

What is your favorite kind of cookie?
OREOS! Homemade, I love chocolate peanut butter pillows.

What is your most-loved “weeknight meal”?
New Farm Mac & Cheese, get sconed Style. I'm kind of ashamed by how much I make it.

What is one dish or food you enjoy, but can’t get anyone else in your household to eat?
Eggplant! Jeff tries it each and every time I make it but still hates it. He's such a trooper <3

How long, in total,  do you spend in the kitchen on an average day?
Maybe an hour as of late, and that's pushing it.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Just a photo, the sequel.

 It was requested that I explain this photo.
It's kind of a love story, I think. I was invited to a birthday party that included pizza. Pizza Hut, to be specific. So a friend that was also going suggested I bring dough and just build my own pizza for myself and another girl who has to avoid dairy.

In some cases, this would be an annoying request, but I was gung ho for the task, and excited to share my most favorite dough recipe. I made an amazing sauce (tomato paste, water, garlic, agave and spices) cut up some mushrooms, broccoli and onions and bought Daiya on the way.

The girl that I was supposed to share with didn't come, so my friend Maria jumped in and built her self a mini-pizza. She proclaimed her excitement over the broccoli. And offered to buy sauce from me if I made it in bulk. Another friend tried a bite and seemed to love it (Crystal, I mean you!).

The party also included Planter's Punch, which I may have had a tiny bit of. It was delicious.

The end.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A single random photo.

I just found this floating around in my photo folders. It looks really damn good. I have no idea what was involved.

Monday, November 15, 2010

WW Mofo.

 Oh hey, I finally hit 100 posts! Technically, this is my 112th post. Yay me!

I know I've touched upon my weight struggles before. And you may wonder how this might tie in to the vegan month of food? Well, had I not started Weight Watchers, I may have never tried eating a vegetarian diet.

The year was 2004. I was struggling with two years worth of weight gain stemming from a pretty bad break-up and subsequent "the world is my buffet" thought process. I put on 80 pounds in 2 years, and I hated it.

Some coworkers were signing up for Weight Watchers, and invited me to come with them, knowing I was pretty unhappy. Stepping through those doors and onto that scale was the most frightening experience of my adult life. I had no idea how bad I had gotten, I was in denial about my clothes ripping and fitting badly. That first meeting was a major wake up call. I had always been on the lean side from working with horses and riding my bike miles and miles during my teenage years.

I stuck with Weight Watchers for about two months and then stopped, citing the price. But I stayed "on plan" on my own. I decided to try vegetarianism in November of that year, just in time for Thanksgiving. I went to a close friend's house for the holiday, a friend that knew of my decision to stop eating meat. For some reason he tried to tell me it was ok to eat the turkey, for this one day. What was so weird about that, though, was that he was vegetarian himself and not eating the turkey! As soon as I stopped eating meat, the stomach troubles I had suffered my entire life up until that point disappeared. Sure, there were times when I subsided on beans and rice and instant couscous, but I was losing weight.

Four years later, I was down 80 pounds and had reached the weight I should be at. I felt great about it! I played indoor soccer once a week (I miss it so much!). My work had started a "healthy living program" and included two weekly training sessions for employees and I took part in them. I was honored at a safety meeting for losing all that weight safely and keeping it off. I decided to try veganism for the first time in 2008, also in November. I was one of the few that put on weight after going vegan, but I'm pretty sure it's because I *had* to try the new-to-me cupcakes, cookies, scones, etc. But I wasn't worried about it.

And then, in 2009, days after we returned from this amazing trip to Europe and spent ALL OUR MONEY, I got laid off. I had to quit the soccer team, we couldn't afford it. During the summer I did some yard work and rode my bike, but I was bored. And I have this tendency to eat when I'm bored. So I quickly started putting on weight that summer, and I was very unhappy. I re-joined Weight Watchers in an effort to curb the gain, but I couldn't stick to it. I ended up cancelling my membership when my unemployment ran out and haven't really given a shit since.

Until now.

I'm back on the plan and determined. One of my big steps is cutting out drinking, or at least cutting back. I really love beer, it's obvious. And I don't want to stop drinking forever, but it's a huge roadblock for me. I haven't had a drink since Thursday and I'm itchy about it, and I don't like that. I don't get sugar cravings all that often because it makes me feel like shit, but beer cravings? You betcha.

The plan works if you stick to it. The plan works if you stick to fresh, whole foods. I can do this.

But I gotta have lunches like this:

This whole thing, tahini sauce and all, is 6.5 points.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Just a photo.

Two little vegan pizzas against the world.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Samosa Casserole

(If it looks like this picture was taken in the morning, you're right! The pictures from the night before were just so awful.)

Thursday night I made a recipe I've been meaning to try for a long time. It was from an older issue of Vegetarian Times. The Samosa Casserole. They have the recipe on their site!

I'm slowly learning that I'm the queen of substitutions as of late. I only had two potatoes, so I mashed in a sweet potato. No ginger powder, so I threw in some garam masala. And I was without corn, so I used broccoli. The pie was so delicious! Very little fat, all vegetable filling....mmmm.

Each serving is also six point, if that's what you're looking for. I'll share my story about why I'm telling you that tomorrow.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Survey Says!

I'm going to be running all day and not have access to blogging stuffs until super late, so today I bring a survey. Tomorrow samosa pie!

What's your favorite spice or spice blend?
I love me some ginger.

You have $20 to spend on fresh groceries and produce for the whole week (with a fairly well stocked pantry of dry goods, legumes, grains, and spices). what do you buy?
Broccoli, potatoes (regular and sweet) some kind of winter squash, kale, onions and garlic.

What's your favorite way to make tofu?
Dry fry ala Vegan Yum Yum, add delicious sauce.

Vegan guilty pleasure?
A tie between Oreos and the Mahalo bar.

If you could make anyone vegan, who would it be?
This is a hard question, I don't wish anyone to be vegan when it's not their choice. Buuuuut, for the sake of the survey, I will say my friend Sarah, she's a proud vegetable hater and hunter.

If you could only read one other vegan blog, what would it be?
Oh man. Oh boy. Peas and Thank You.

Were you always interested in cooking, or did veganism change the way you saw and interacted with food?
I cooked before I went vegan, but it was always quick things like couscous and oatmeal. Losing my job shortly after going vegan forced me to learn the ways of the kitchen.

Excluding analogues, what new things have you tried that you probably wouldn't have as an omni?
Leeks, kale, collards, nutritional yeast.

What is the one vegan staple that everyone seems to love, but you can't get behind?

What was your first "wow, I'm such a stereotypical vegan" moment?
Some ladies were discussing the "weird things on the stalk" at a CSA pickup and I said, "oh, those are Brussel sprouts! You should totally try roasting them."

First recipe you veganized?
Ha! An oatmeal cookie pie thingy - it went very badly.

What would you like to veganize, but haven't yet?
My aunt makes a killer blackberry sour cream pie.

Favorite kitchen utensil/appliance?
My favorite knife!

Most disastrous kitchen failure?
Some mini broccoli calzones that were not good. Not good at all.

First vegan cookbook?

What question about being vegan do you HATE answering?
What do you eat?

If you could tell the world one thing about vegans, what would it be?
Some of us are not the activist type.

Funniest vegetable?
Eggplant because it's also known as a aubergine, which sounds way funner.

What is a family recipe you have veganized?
My mom's peachy porkchops, using seitan. Grease ball city.

Weirdest food combination?
Hummus, roasted eggplant and roasted squash.

Is there something you wish you could veganize, but can't/couldn't?
My mom used to work at bar that had a "spotted owl" burger with a chicken patty and swiss cheese. Vegan cheese just doesn't translate well.

Favorite ways to prepare tofu, seitan, tempeh, any other vegan proteins?
Tofu, see above. Seitan is most delicious in cheezesteak form and tempeh goes well in shepherd's pie.

Are your pets vegan? if so, what do you feed them? tell us about having vegan furbabies!
My cats are not vegan.

Favorite non-dairy milk?
Unsweetened almond milk for everything but drinking, chocolate soymilk for drinking.

What’s one “vegan myth” you’d like to squash? 
We do, in fact, get enough protein. I'm willing to bet I get more than I should.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Deep thoughts.

Something has been bothering me a lot lately. Enough for me to lose sleep over it.

I have so many friends and family that are accepting and eager to share veganism with me. For example, I have a friend who was celebrating a birthday who sought out a Tofurkey pizza, without my knowing, so I could have pizza at his party. I have friends in other cities that jump at the chance to try new places with me. I have a sister in law who made all the side dishes at last year's Thanksgiving vegan so I wasn't stuck with what I brought. I am so, so thankful for every single one of these people and try to tell them as often as I can.

Sometimes, though, I get down about the few that just don't get why it's so important to me. I've gotten into scuffles over it, and I hate it. I became vegan for health reasons, not because I wanted to spread the horrors of eating meat, dairy and eggs. I don't push gross videos or photos. I'm incredibly passive when people tell me "Oh, I couldn't give up cheese" because I didn't think I could, either. And I'm not expecting anybody to give it up just because I did.

I just wish that I could tell them why it's so important and have them understand without getting screamed at, or given the cold shoulder, or losing my sister completely. I'm tired of hearing "we don't eat like you do, so stop trying to force us" when that's not what I'm trying to do. I'm only looking out for myself, but they see it as an attack.

I know this is something that a lot of people face, whether it has to do with veganism, sexuality, personal life choices or whatever. It's kind of silly, though, that the ones that we should feel closest to are the ones that don't want to understand at all.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


 Hey, check out some bad photos of delicious food!
Sweet and Nutty Roasted Plantains from Viva Vegan!
 Local Como bread and the best hummus ever courtesy of Barbur World Foods, one of the most magical places in the world.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Lately I have just been feeling yucky. So much, in fact, that I don't want to post the chili recipe because that means I have to look at the photo. The chili itself did not make me sick, but still. *shudder*

Today I woke up too late to have breakfast before school, but I wanted to eat before I left, so I made peanut noodles with cabbage and braising greens for brunch. It was mild and perfect for the unsettled tummy.

Well, it was settled until I got on the bus. Do you have advice to beat carsickness? Ginger ale doesn't cut it!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Lunch Made of Accidental Awesome

Today, on this lovely (well, rainy here) 8th day of MoFo, I was going to share a chili that I veganized hardcore.

See that in the top left corner? That's said chili. But do you see the other magic? See, that quesadilla was merely an experiment, but it was an amazing experiment. Here is my method:

Get flour tortilla.
Spread tortilla with roasted garlic hummus ( I used King Harvest, a local supplier).
Layer roasted eggplant and squash (mash squash down to make it even better!).
Cook in a lightly oiled skillet.

I've never made a quesadilla with hummus before, and I shall never look back.

Chili recipe tomorrow!