Monday, September 1, 2008

The Vegan's 100

How many of the following have you tried? We're talking vegan versions of all the below.

From Bittersweet:

"Your mission, should you choose to accept it:

1) Copy this list into your own blog, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
4) Post a comment here once you’ve finished and link your post back to this one.
5) Pass it on!"

1. Natto
2. Green Smoothie
3. Tofu Scramble
4. Haggis
5. Mangosteen
6. Creme brulee
7. Fondue
8. Marmite/Vegemite
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Nachos
12. Authentic soba noodles
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Taco from a street cart
16. Boba Tea
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Gyoza
20. Vanilla ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Ceviche
24. Rice and beans
25. Knish
26. Raw scotch bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Caviar
29. Baklava
30. Pate
31. Wasabi peas
32. Chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Mango lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Mulled cider
37. Scones with buttery spread and jam
38. Vodka jelly
39. Gumbo
40. Fast food french fries
41. Raw Brownies
42. Fresh Garbanzo Beans
43. Dahl
44. Homemade Soymilk
45. Wine from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Stroopwafle
47. Samosas
48. Vegetable Sushi
49. Glazed doughnut
50. Seaweed
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Tofurkey
54. Sheese
55. Cotton candy
56. Gnocchi
57. Piña colada
58. Birch beer
59. Scrapple
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Soy curls
63. Chickpea cutlets
64. Curry
65. Durian
66. Homemade Sausages
67. Churros, elephant ears, or funnel cake
68. Smoked tofu
69.Fried plantain
70. Mochi
71. Gazpacho
72. Warm chocolate chip cookies
73. Absinthe
74. Corn on the cob
75. Whipped cream, straight from the can
76. Pomegranate
77. Fauxstess Cupcake
78. Mashed potatoes with gravy
80. Croissants
81. French onion soup
82. Savory crepes
83. Tings
84. A meal at Candle 79
85. Moussaka
86. Sprouted grains or seeds
87. Macaroni and “cheese”
88. Flowers
89. Matzoh ball soup
90. White chocolate
91. Seitan
92. Kimchi
93. Butterscotch chips
94. Yellow watermelon
95. Chili with chocolate
96. Bagel and Tofutti
97. Potato milk
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Raw cookie dough

Hmm, I think I did pretty well. it's good to be a vegan in NYC with enough disposable income to eat out. Lucky me can get most of these dishes within a few minutes walkign distance of my apartment or my office. A few pressing concerns have been brought to my attention though-- namely, a vegan baklava (been meaning to make this forever), gazpacho (seriosuly, how could I have never eaten this?) and a meal at Candle 79. I've been to pretty much every other NYC vegan restaurant, but somehow I've missed that one. Not on the UES too often I suppose.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Chocolate-strawberry cupcakes!

Baked especially for For my little cousin's sweet sixteen: chocolate cupcakes from vctotw with vanilla buttercream frosting from jovb, filled with strawberry jam and topped with sliced strawberries and mint leaf garnishes. Jealous much?

Voulez-vous des crepes végétaliennes?

Would you like some vegan crepes? Er, maybe I should ask you in Italian since these babies are seasoned for a more Mediterranean palate. In any case, they are le kick-ass. Totally impressive looking but not too complicated. The ratio of fancy lookingness to relative ease of preparation is just right for a dinner party or a night in with your kitties if you have, as I do, very judgemental animal companions. Another plus is that the various components of the dish (crepes, fillings, sauces) can be prepared in advance and assembled and baked the day of. Bon appetit, er mangia, er, NOMZ! to you friends. Special thanks to Roomie for helping out with the prep work.

You need:
*2 batches of somewhat thicker-than average savory vegan crepes. Make this recipe if you don't already have a favorite. Omit the vanilla and double the whole thing if you're wary of you crepe-making abilities and need to practice. I also used some evoo to make them too instead of earth balance and canola.
*2 jars of your favorite marinara sauce or a similar amount of homemade for the more impressive among us
*1 recipe of tofu ricotta from Veganomicon (firm tofu, cashews, garlic, olive oil, lemon, spices)
*1 can plain pureed pumpkin
*1-2 cups sauteed greens of your choice
*Spices! I used red chile flakes, oregano, basil, nutmeg, salt and black pepper.
*9 x 13 inch glass or ceramic baking dish or 2 smaller ones (how much space you need depends on how tightly you roll your crepes)

Make them:
1.) Make your crepes! Refrain from scarfing them all down immediately. I know, it's difficult isn't it?
2.) Whip up some vegan ricotta in your food processor
3.) Spread out a generous layer of tomato sauce in the bottom of your baking dish
4.) In a mixing bowl combine ricotta, whole can of pumpkin, greens and salt and spices to taste
5.) Fill crepes with the pumpkin-ricotta mixture, roll them up and lay them into your tomato sauce filled baing dish
6.) Continue untill dish is filled
7.) Pour another layer of sauce on top of rolled crepes
8.) Cover dish with foil and bake at 375 degrees until bubbly and thoroughly hot, about 25 minutes

Local (vegan) color

Pasta Primavera D'Estate (that's Italiano for summer kids): Whole wheat macaroni with local collards, summer squash, tomatoes and garlic sauteed in earth balance with salt, pepper, red chile flakes, oregano and chopped walnuts.

Summer is coming to an end and I'm really going to miss the fresh local produce even if I havent been as diligent as I should have about getting my butt to all the Greenmarkets New Yorkers have to choose from. Recently I checked out the Red Hook Farmer's Market run by Added Value which is just a 15 minute walk from my apartment in Brooklyn. Added Value is a non-profit focused on sustainable development in Red Hook and youth-powered urgan agriculture helps supply the market with gorgeous fresh produce. When I was there I picked up onions, tomatoes, garlic, collard greens and tiny yellow sugar plums. I only wish I had started checking out the farm sooner; they are doing some amazing things over there. In addition to youth empowerment through urban agriculture (including the market and farm-to-school education programs), they also work on sustainable business development and restaurant partnerships, critical in a community where, according to the Added Value webiste:

"Twice in the past three years Red Hook's only full-service grocery store closed, forcing residents to walk three miles and cross an eight lane road or take a $10 cab if they want to shop there. If you are have limited resources or are physically unable, as much of our population is, the only options are corner stores and delis which stock few fresh fruits and vegetables, carry meat and dairy products of questionable quality and charge inflated prices. With few healthy choices available, our neighbors eat many meals at fast food restaurants; and the preferred diet among teens is chips, honey buns, and a "fruit drink".

Limited access to healthy safe and affordable food and limited understanding of proper dietary practices has contributed to a neighborhood health crisis. Red Hook residents suffer disproportionately from asthma, hypertension, high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes. Child hospitalization rates for diabetes are over twice that of NYC; for adults, the ratio is roughly three to two."

Lucky and priviledged person that I am, I can generally afford to pay for the more expensive organic foods and have the luxury of time, transportation and education to think about these issues both generally for my city and our planet and also specifically as they apply to my dinner table. Unfortunately many New Yorkers do not have access to these resources and as a result poverty is the largest idicator of obesity and many other diet-related illness. Currently I am doing some research at work on how to integrate food security as a social justice concern into my office's best practices. Since all of our clients are all indigent and low-income people in crisis situations, many of them could benefit from our assistance with issues of hunger and nutrition.

Speaking of lucky, lucky me and my fantastic workplace, I came into some organic produce from Norwich Meadows Farm of Norwich, NY, when a foodie enthusiast co-worker generously offered to let me pick up her weekly CSA (community supported agriculture) share at the Stonehouse Olive Oil shop near our office while she was out of town. I was pretty excited to recieve baby salad greens, assorted summer squashes, tomatoes, garlic, red onions in addition to some sizeable red beets which I have previously been too intimidated to cook. That's one thing I love about the seasonable, local food available through CSA's and farmers markets: unfamiliar or uncommon vegetables inspire culinary innovation and bravery in the humble home cooks like myself. Anyway, I'll let you know what I make with the beets and also how much surface area of my kitchen has been stained hopelessly red.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

I <3 sleeping late...

Lazy weekend mornings and homemade brunch. Yum.

Homemade whole wheat flatbreads (flour, water) with carob-almond spread (raw almond butter, carob powder, agave) and sliced bananas.

Black bean tofu scramble with cilantro sour cream and baked sweet potato fries: in scramble: tofu, black beans, tofu, tahini, tamari, fire roasted tomatoes, cumin, turmeric, served on a whole grain tortilla. sour cream: raw cashews, silken tofu, cilantro, olive oil, salt. sweet potato fries from bag o'frozen.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Vegan pronto

Two quick Italian dinners:

Basil-almond pesto with kale: basil, almonds, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper, brown rice pasta, kale.

Polenta with spring vegetable ragu: cornmeal, artichokes, spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, pine nuts, onion, garlic, red chile flakes, oregano, basil, rosemary, thyme, salt.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Curried plantains

Curried plantains: green plantains, chickpeas, grated unsweetened coconut, broccoli, tomatoes, garlic, onion, yellow curry powder, red chile flakes, allspice, oil, salt.

Monday, August 4, 2008


I love tomato season! Whole wheat sourdough toast with tempeh bacon, sliced tomatoes, spinach, vegenaise and mustard.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Baking with Agave Nectar

Um, hey guys, I don't know if you've er, noticed or anything, but I kinda eat a fair amount of sugar. What with all the cupcakes and the blogging and saving the animals the children and the world and such and such it all adds up... You know what I mean, right? Anyway, I have been trying to cut down on my sugar consumption but found that this pretty difficult for a hard-core dessert addict such as myself. "If only I could have my cake and eat it too," I thought. Then I realized, of course I could as long as its baked with agave nectar!

Yes, agave nectar, everyone's favorite unrefined low-glycemic vegan liquid sweetener! Agave nectar, or syrup, is harvested from the same cactus that tequila is made from and is imported from Mexico. It comes in both light and dark (raw) grades and kind of tastes like a mellowed out version of maple syrup. Many vegans know it well as a replacement for honey. Besides not being regurgitated by enslaved little bees (who are having a hard time these days after all!) agave is also safe for diabetics as it won't mess with your blood sugar and it actually has a bit of nutritional value as opposed to refined table sugar. Normally I just use a squirt in my tea or drizzle a bit on toast with almond butter and cinnamon (breakfast of cruelty-free champions), but this month I dove deeper.

Baking with Agave Nectar was my initial inspiration. This cookbook is not 100% vegan, but is still totally worth investing in. There are lots of vegan and easily veganizable recipes in here. Also, all recipes use unrefined flours and many recipes are gluten free. Indeed, several and fairly low fat! If you're looking to health-ify your dessert options this is a great place to start. I anticipate making many more recipes from this book, hopefully gettting around to treats like chocolate peanut butter mousse-filled cupcakes, dairy-free blueberry cheesecake, chocolate silk almond pie, tropical rice pudding, and gingerbread cake with lemon creme topping. NOM.

My first attempt at the recipe for blueberry pie with almond crumb topping from BwAN led to more of a berry crumble type dish, but it was the perfect end to a sweltering city night with friends. It was also a nice start to next day too as breakfast cold from the fridge ;)

Attempt number two at pie, with the same recipe as above, this time with fresh cherries and mangoes, was more successful. I added a bit extra starch and that seemed to do the trick. I think I will make an all-mango pie sometime soon as they worked out so well in this!

Speaking of mangoes, here is a mango raspberry smoothie next to a green tea and chocolate smoothie, both made with fruit sweetened Soy Delicious ice cream which I like a lot because they're not overly sugary but still have a nice texture and awesome range of flavors. Oh, and you can polish off a pint for under 500 calories. Yeah. In the mango raspberry: mango raspberry ice cream, frozen raspberries, mango nectar, agave nectar). In the green tea and chocolate: green tea ice cream, fair trade cocoa powder, soymilk, agave nectar, matcha green tea powder.

Vanilla agave cupcakes fwith not-too-sweet blueberry mousse rom the recipes in my beloved Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. Indeed the mousse was not too sweet, so I added a bit more agave than was called for. With tofu-based frosting these were the healthiest cupcakes I've ever made. Jackie and Roommate agreed that the bright blue topping (which tasted a bit like yogurt actually) with a little shredded coconut on top made the cakes look very cartoonish-- sort of like Dr. Seuss food. Better than Green Eggs and Ham anyway, blech!

Vanilla snap cookie from a BwAN recipe. I added chopped dried mango and lime zest and served them with dried kiwis (an exciting new find from the magical land of Bulk Food Bins at Sahadi's), mangoes and cranberries.

Banana date bread (I also added cashews) from BwAN toasted and topped with a scoop of almond-pecan fruit-sweetened Soy Delicious and homemade caramel sauce is comfort food in multiple snuggly layers. Boy (who went vegan on our second date!) agreeded that we probably can't ever break up now that I've made this for him. I guess banana bread sundaes are just that heartwarming :)

Monday, June 16, 2008


I don't care how hot it is out-- I could just bathe in Thai curry. Easy and yum.

Masamun curry: Tofu, carrot, kale, potatoes, peanuts, garlic, onions, coconut milk, masamun curry paste, tamari.

Green curry noodles: Brown rice noodles, red peppers, broccoli, mushrooms, garlic, onions, bamboo shoots, kale, coconut milk, green curry paste, tamari.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Baking from Veganomicon

Quinoa muffins a la Roommate. These are healthy-type muffins that I would eat for breakfast with my usual pear-berry smoothie. Often on Sundays Roommate will make muffins for the week which is lovely, but she is prone to very bran-y or dense health muffins while I am advocating for blueberry or chocolate or something. These were a nice compromise since they stay light and fluffy. Also, since we had red quinoa on hand they came out looking like "freckle space muffins." Mmm hmm.

I made "Terry's Favorite Almond Cookies" to take with me to a volunteer shift at Bluestockings where they were much appreciated. The cookies come out nice and chewy and perfectly gorgeous but I think if I make them again I will *not* use the peanut oil suggested and opt for canola and also omit the sesame oil and replace it with more almond extract. A few people thought the cookies were peanut butter cookies and while I have nothing at all against those I really do want something distinctly almond flavored.

On a broader note; sorry I haven't been blogging much lately. I've been really busy with work, personal stuff and volunteering. I have been going to a ton of AR and food politics events and even joined a food justice bookclub so I should have plenty to blog about when I get my lazy butt around to it. I also got a free package from Pro-Bar that I will be reviewing and I was accepted to a "Food and Farm Action" advocacy training at Just Food this month. I think it will be really interesting to learn more about food policy and work on some new projects and I also think its important to hold a vegan perspective amongst food justice folks since they seem usually not to be AR type people. I will do my best to represent though really I just want to work on a project that promotes eating more vegetables-- who can argue with that, right?

Sunday, April 13, 2008

More cookies for indecisive vegans...

*Open up your copy of Joy of Vegan Baking by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, which you obviously own, being a reader of this blog and all, to the recipe for chocolate chip cookies
*Prepare batter as usual
*Add 1 cup vegan chocolate chips, 2/3 cup dried cranberries, 1/3 cup flaked coconut and the zest of a small/medium orange.
*Roll 1 1/2 - 2 tbs of dough into balls, smooshed slightly
*Bake about 8 minutes

Oh, and try to use unsweetened cranberries and coconut if you can get your hands on them (your heath food store will have 'em) and if you can't, reduce your sugar a bit. Also, I used 1/2 AP flour, and 1/2 "white whole wheat" flour from King Arthur Flour which is magical stuff. It bakes like white flour, but is all whole grain goodness. If you wanted to increase the health factor further, sub 1/3 of the vegan margarine for applesauce. I've done it before with nice results, but alas, I was out of it today.

Spicy ginger peanut sesame noodle salad

Brown rice fettucine slathered in dressing (peanut butter, tahini, water, rice wine vinegar, tamari, sriracha, ginger, sesame oil, agave, lime juice), tossed with raw veggies (shredded carrot, sliced scallions and seedless cucumber), served on a bed of baby spinach and sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds. Next time I might add some avocado slices on top too since it goes so well with peanut (try an avocado peanut butter sandwich for lunch some time. I promise I will not steer you wrong here). I was also thinking that this would make the perfect summer potluck barbeque (meat-free hopefully) dish. It doesn't need to be re-heated, it's fast and straightforward, you can customize it with whatever you like (add whatever veggies are hanging out in your fridge, maybe some corn, some snap peas or mushrooms, or some tofu or tempeh), and it doesn't scream; "OMG THIS IS VEGAN FOODZ!?!" to omnivore friends. Really, it just says, very politely "hey, I am very delicious, ask for my recipe," and then coughs; "go vegan..." Heh, talking food.

Sweet and Sour Tofu

It's not complicated at all! Just press some tofu, dust it with cornstarch, fry in some canola or peanut oil, toss with pineapple chunks, sweet and sour sauce (I found a bottled one without high fructose corn syrup). Serve with brown rice and steamed or sauteed vegetables with a little fresh garlic. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Ta-da!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Pretty, pretty food...

And lots of it. Happy spring all!

Cilantro-pignoli pesto on brown rice fettucine and steamed broccoli.

Fried plantains and citrus-cayenne-garlic black beans and corn over brown rice with avocado, salsa and cilantro-basil-pecan pesto.

Pistachio rosewater cookies from Veganomicon are fantastic, just make sure not to over bake them!

Really delicious coconut cupcakes from an everybody loves sandwiches recipe. The texture is a little more dense than the VCTOTW coconut-lime recipe, which my sister and I decided tasted somehow more traditional. Like the cupcakes you brought in for an elementary school bake sale or class birthday. Also note the ironic decorative papers-- Easter eggs on ovo-free baked goods, heh.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Palak Tofu and Sweet Potato Paratha

Here is the Palak Tofu from Mahanandi, a recipe I've had bookmarked forever, alongside some red quinoa and Sweet Potato Paratha, inspired by a post by Kamutflake Girl.

The palak tofu was made with palak (spinach) and with collard greens, so I guess it's really saag (greens) tofu. There is powdered poppy seed in the recipe, but since I was unable to powder the whole seeds in my food processor I just added them whole, and I don't think they did very much thickening, though they certainly didn't hurt the flavor. Next time I'll used ground cashews instead and save the poppy seeds for lemon bread. I also used canned tomatoes since those are no way in season in NYC, and I don't think I hurt anything. Overall, this is very tasty, and pretty low-fat (for me anyway), and didn't require any ingredients that I didn't already have so I will definitely be making this again. I will continue to tweak this recipe a bit though and also probably try some new ones. Saag paneer was always a favorite of mine and I'd love an Ultimate Vegan Version of the American-ized version I ate in the past. Plus dark, leafy greens are probably the healthiest things on the planet, like ever.

The parathas (whole wheat chapati Indian flatbreads with vegetable filling) were very yummy, and are made with unbelieveably simple dough, so I think I'll probably just make them instead of buying flatbreads from the store from now on. Seriously, just some flour, water, oil, maybe some earth balance for frying and a *little* bit of time and you're on your way to impressive, homemade, customizable breads. I couldn't figure out how to fill they correctly so they were more chapati than paratha on my first shot. Now that I've watched this helpful tutorial though, I will try again very, very soon. Also I still have all this leftover sweet potato filling in my fridge, so I kind of *have* to. Life is soo-o-oo hard!

I'm still very, very much a novice at Indian Food, but I love cooking it at home so far. I can control how much oil I use, and I can use substitutes for dairy (like tofu and margarine in the case) or vary my grains by using quinoa instead of rice if I'm in such a mood. Which I was. And of course at home you can make huge quantities to eat later. Which I will. Yum

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

PB&J, Ginger-Chocolate, and Pumpkin Chocolate Chip with Cinnamon Icing Cupcakes

Made cupcakes for office's "Happy Designated Mid-Month Birthday Lunchbreak" party. Both of the other vegans at work were born in February, so I had to come through, plus my baking was subsidized by the petty cash box. Oh, I *have* come a long way baby, I have. Now, why do you ask?

The trio in all their glory: PB&J are the Fluffy White Cupcakes from Schmooed Food that always seem to come out perfectly topped with VCTOTW peanut butter frosting, which, if made correctly (use the mixer for the correct amount of time people) comes out super awesome. They are also filled with organic raspberry jam of course. Also pictured are the Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cupcakes with Cinnamon Icing from Vegan Cupcakes take over the World. I had been skeptical that these would be muffin-y, but behold, very cake-y and the extreme cinnamon goo on top was a nice compliment. Finally we have Ginger-Chocolate Cupcakes which are just the basic chocolate recipe from VCTOTW with a ginger infused ganache topped with chopped crystallized ginger. They look very classy-like but are quite simple to pull off.

Here is a shot of the PB&J cakes sliced open. Look at the cute little "v" I made by scooping cones out of the cake tops, filling the holes with jam and re-inserting the cake bit. It was um, so intentional...

Monday, February 25, 2008

Sushi, cupcakes and dip: the belated birthday post

My birthday was um, a month ago. I had an awesome party and ate awesome food. Much thanks to Roommate for help making sushi (which is usually more fun to make when you don't also have to clean your apartment the same day). Here is the spread:

Peanut avocado rolls.

And mango, cilantro and red pepper rolls. I also made butternut squash and shitake rolls and spicy chickpea rolls (chickpeas mashed with vegenaise, sriracha and tamari).

A sesame-peanut dip from The Native Foods Cookbook with rice crackers and fresh veggies.

Awesome vanilla cupcakes from the Vegan Lunchbox blog topped with berry jam and fresh sliced strawberry.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Wheeler's Black Label I-Don't-Care-What-You-Call-It-It's-Freaking-Delicious: A Bitchin' Vegan Kitchen Review

Several weeks ago I had the pleasure of test-driving some of the infamous Wheeler's Black Label Vegan Ice Cream. I had talked to Wheeler on the phone myself beforehand about some generous samples that had sadly gone missing in the mail (get your own frozen non-dairy desserts FedEx carriers!) and about the then roiling mini-controversy that erupted on his blog (now cleared, and the product over there remains Very, Very Vegan of course). I found him to be such a nice and convincing guy that I left my cozy apartment and trekked into Manhattan on a day so cold I doubted the very existence of the pants on my butt... to go sample ice cream!

All this is to say that the odds were not all in favor of this scrappy little product in the face of my lazy food journalism. Yet when I finally arrived at the super packed East Village art gallery Little Cakes to wrap my icicle-hands around some of the goods, all I could muster in the way of accolades was...


I honestly don't recall exactly which flavors I sampled - I'm not sure I was ever told or ever asked. But there was some peanut butter-y-ness, some chocolate chips, some cinnamon, I think I recall some coconut and I know I definitely remember seriously surprising quantities of booze per bite. In general, the flavors were intense, the mix-ins were generous, though not overwhelming, and the various notes worked together in perfect harmony; a 1 + 1 = 3 sort of situation. One memorable"experimental" batch which included fancy tequila, black pepper and earl grey was frankly mind-blowing despite being consumed on the frigid walk back to the F train. Even if my memory has faded a bit and some details are blurry around the edges, I do know this; Wheeler's Ice Cream had far and away the best texture of all the vegan frozen desserts I have tried--which is to say, many. Since this smooth, thick, consistent texture is the most elusive quality in vegan ice creams, I feel pretty confident that you could pass this stuff off as its evil dairy counterpart. Though with such a remarkably better nutrional profile and inspired attention to flavor, who the hell needs to?

Lucky for me Wheeler's will be live and local in Brooklyn this weekend for an Oscar party with wunderkind guest star Hannah Kaminsky of Bittersweet and My Sweet Vegan fame. Check it out.

Also, please, please, please out Wheeler's website and blog for photos that do the ice cream more justice than my sad, sad little dixie cup snapshot above. *Drool.*

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Spicy pineapple cashew stir-fry

This is one thing I'm always ordering out, but always need or want it tweaked exactly to my specifications; no egg please / no fish sauce, right? / can you make this with brown rice? / extra pineapple/ extra cashews (I wish I could get raw cashews...) / with extra veggies too! / oh, and make it spicier, and add some garlic... and some ginger! Obviously I don't subject the waitstaff at local Thai restaurants to all those demands, so ...

Finally when some leftover takeout rice (uh, yeah, the irony) presented itself, I finally made it myself, just the way I wanted it.

Disclaimer: I have no idea if this is the proper way to make a stir-fry, or Thai food, or really anything. Further tips are appreciated!

Spicy pineapple cashew stir-fry:

*About 2-3 tablespoons of safflower oil
*About 1/2 teaspoon of dark sesame oil
*1 clove garlic, minced fine
*1 inch ginger, minced fine
*1 large carrot, grated
*4-5 mushrooms, sliced
*Large andful of green beans, trimmed and cut in half
*Large handful of broccoli florets
*About 3 cups leftover cold rice (I used a combination of brown and white)
Tamari to taste
*Sriracha to taste
*Black pepper to taste
*1/2 pinapple (or one can, drained) cut into chunks
*3-4 scallions, green and white parts chopped thinly
*Large handful of cashews (roasted or raw,) crushed lightly

*Heat your oils in a large wok. Remember, the key to a good stir fry is moving quickly!
*Add garlic and ginger, as soon as they sizzle, add your carrots, mushrooms, broccoli and green beans and cook briefly until slightly, slightly softened.
*Add the rice, tamari, srirach and pepper, letting the rice get toasty by spreading it out on the wok and not stirring for a bit.
*Add pineapple onto an open well in the bottom of wok and allow it carmelize slightly, then stir it together.
*Toast cashews slightly in a well in the bottom of wok.
*Stir, make sure everything is warmed, slightly browned and veggies and just tender.
*Serve immediately, enjoy!

More yummy optional ingredients:
*Smoked or bbq baked tofu, cubed
*Chopped cilantro
* a Spoonful of curry powder

Monday, January 14, 2008

In which global warming confuses my taste buds...

The random warm days apparently now sprinkled here and there this January made me seriously crave salad. It's a nice change from all the roasted root veggies and brown rice I've been consuming lately. (Truly, has there ever been a more vegan-er-ish comment than that?)

Peanut-Sesame covered Rabbit Food:

Salad: romaine, purple cabbage, shredded carrot, cucumber, scallion, chickpeas.

Dressing: peanut butter, tahini, tamari, sesame seeds, sesame oil, tangerine juice, agave nectar, sriracha, dijon mustard, black pepper, water.

Oh, and while the title is (kind of? hopefully?) a joke, I'm linking to one of the many meat = bad for the environment articles right here.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Have it all cookies <3

Ok, I'm still working on the recipe, but I promise to post it eventually:

*coconut lime shortbread raspberry jam thumbprint cookies with dark chocolate drizzle*


They're pretty awesome right now, but since I've never posted an original baking recipe before, I want everything to be juuuust right.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

More festive foods

I saw a recipe for something like "maple mustard glazed potatoes and green beans" in VWaV while I was planning my x-mas dinner contributions and spending time with the family. I thought it looked pretty yummy, but we ended up going with the standard amandine preparation anyway. I knew I'd make it for myself eventually, but alas, when I returned to my apartment I realized I had left the cookbooks at my parents house. Arg! Anyway, I decided to improvise my own recipe and it was *awesome.* It included: maple syrup, dijon mustard, olive oil, red pepper flakes, lemon juice, black pepper and sea salt. You whisk it up (the mustard makes the whole thing emulsify perfectly). I poured the mixture over some veggies in a casserole dish and baked until tender at 375 degrees. I've already made this again using brussels sprouts and I think the monster butternut squash on my kitchen table awaits a similar fate. Maybe also beets...or sweet potatoes. These are great on their own, but some leftover veggies/sauce + cranberries + pecans + baby spinach = best...salad...evvvver.

New Years Eve food included some store bought taro and red bean steamed dumplings and massive amounts of fried veggies (onion rings, sweet potato fries, whatever else was in the crisper...?) for no especially good reason other than perhaps a latent desire to give all of my otherwise healthy young guests some early coronary events. Anyway, my friend Momo and I created a very effective deep-fried assembly line and the best dish of the night was really his idea: champagne tempura batter! We dipped some baby bella mushrooms and some green beans in it and I have to say, the mushrooms were really the star here. I mean seriously, perfectly puffy, golden, fatty, little mushrooms. Nom. Nom. Nom. Everything was served with an impromptu aioli (roasted red pepper, vegenaise, white beans, garlic, basil, sea salt, pepper).

Champagne tempura:

*1-1 1/3 cups liquid: we used almost all cold champagne, but you can use water too. If you use champagne you'll probably need more liquid.
*1/2 cup AP flour
*1/2 cup rice flour
*2 tbs ener-g egg replacer powder
*pinch salt
*pinch sugar
*pinch red pepper powder

*mix egg replacer with liquid, whisk until frothy, add rest of ingredients.
*dip your veggies (mushrooms strongly suggested,) and roll in panko if desired.
*fry in canola or safflower oil.
*remove veggies from fryer, drain.
*finish with lots of black pepper.

Enjoy! And happy new year!