Ccchhanges (Sung to the tune of Changes by David Bowie)

May 3, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Posted in Life | Leave a comment
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Lots of time has passed and many changes have happened in my life since then. Its been almost two years since I abandoned this blog in one of life’s many cubby holes to picked up and re-examined later on down the road. And here I am re-examining my life and this blog. To make a long story very short I got married; returned to work full time; had a (beautiful and healthy) baby girl; and quit my job to be a stay at home mom. I am re-activating this blog in an effort to express myself and maintain a facade of sanity in my life. The blog will be pretty much the same themes as before: cooking, reflections, photography, spirituality, feminist stuff, etc. But now I will also be adding in subjects such as lactavism and parenthood’sImage adventures.

So many good eats!

March 14, 2011 at 12:56 am | Posted in cooking, Life, tempeh, tvp, utah, vegan, vegetarian | 1 Comment
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Hi! It’s been about a month or two since I’ve posted last. Sorry about that. I have just been so busy working overtime and long days that I have had no motivation to blog, just too pooped. But that hasn’t stopped me from cooking up some great food. When I downloaded the pictures to the PC today I was overwhelmed, with 115 pictures! Can you believe it? That’s a lot of food. I have been experimenting a lot with recipes from Appetite for Reduction. Its a great cookbook, if you don’t own a copy run out and get one right now! I think I must make that Jerk Asparagus twice a month now as it’s so darn tasty. I am also a bit obsessed with the Cajun Blackened Tofu too. My husband said it was a little bit spicy though, so if your not a pepper head like me you might want to tone down the spices in the recipe a little. Here are some of the pictures of things that I’ve cooked over the past month.

Rainbow Chard with Shells, TVP, and Daiya

Not healthy, but yummy tasty comfort food. And it tastes pretty kid friendly too

Fronch Toast with real Maple Syrup.

Smokey braised turnip greens and tempeh.

Italian tofu with uncheese bread and Panko n herb Cauliflower.

Seitan taco night!

A salads not complete without raw sunflower seeds!

Chickpea Seitan patties with Coconut Rice and Jerk Asparagus

Leftover Chickpea Cutletts with Mustard Sauce and Rainbow Chard

 

Thats all for now. I’ll post more later. :)

Breaking America’s Oil Addiction

February 13, 2011 at 1:21 am | Posted in enviroment, Greenwashing, Life, nature | Leave a comment
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Brown Pelicans covered with oil after BP oil spill

The saddest picture from the oil spill that I have seen.

In the wake of the BP Oil spill I have decided to cut as much oil out of my life as I can. I did some research and learned that it is in well, everything. Which I find even more disturbing. While oil really is in everything we consume from contact lenses to linoleum I am bound and determined to stop my house holds consumption of it as much as possible. There are many natural brands of cleaning products out on the market and even 100% biodegradable un-plastic bags for trash available now. Last night I bought non-chlorine all natural color safe bleach by Ecover and some all natural fabric softener by Seventh Generation. It was a good thing to do, but it disturbs me that the cost of the environmentally friendly products is so much more expensive than the chemical stuff. What I paid for a tiny bottle of fabric softener would have bought me a large bottle of the chemically laden (and don’t forget the animal tallow!) stuff. Why is it that all the products that are bad for humans and the environment are the ones that are government subsidized? The earth gets the rottenest end of the oil spill/environmental rape and pillage of the earth and our children will have to pay the ultimate price. They will be the ones stuck with an earth that has an ocean full of dispersed oil and weird storms due to global warming and whatever environmental disasters big business can think up in the meantime. I was born in 1977, here is a list of ALL the recorded oil spills in my lifetime.

1977
April, North Sea: blowout of well in Ekofisk oil field leaked 81 million gallons.

1978
March 16, off Portsall, France: wrecked supertanker Amoco Cadiz spilled 68 million gallons, causing widespread environmental damage over 100 mi of Brittany coast.

1979
June 3, Gulf of Mexico: exploratory oil well Ixtoc 1 blew out, spilling an estimated 140 million gallons of crude oil into the open sea. Although it is one of the largest known oil spills, it had a low environmental impact.

July 19, Tobago: the Atlantic Empress and the Aegean Captain collided, spilling 46 million gallons of crude. While being towed, the Atlantic Empress spilled an additional 41 million gallons off Barbados on Aug. 2.

1980
March 30, Stavanger, Norway: floating hotel in North Sea collapsed, killing 123 oil workers.

1983
Feb. 4, Persian Gulf, Iran: Nowruz Field platform spilled 80 million gallons of oil.

Aug. 6, Cape Town, South Africa: the Spanish tanker Castillo de Bellver caught fire, spilling 78 million gallons of oil off the coast.

1988
July 6, North Sea off Scotland: 166 workers killed in explosion and fire on Occidental Petroleum’s Piper Alpha rig in North Sea; 64 survivors. It is the world’s worst offshore oil disaster.

Nov. 10, Saint John’s, Newfoundland: Odyssey spilled 43 million gallons of oil.

1989
March 24, Prince William Sound, Alaska: tanker Exxon Valdez hit an undersea reef and spilled 10 million–plus gallons of oil into the water, causing the worst oil spill in U.S. history.

Dec. 19, off Las Palmas, the Canary Islands: explosion in Iranian supertanker, the Kharg-5, caused 19 million gallons of crude oil to spill into Atlantic Ocean about 400 mi north of Las Palmas, forming a 100-square-mile oil slick.

1990
June 8, off Galveston, Tex.: Mega Borg released 5.1 million gallons of oil some 60 nautical miles south-southeast of Galveston as a result of an explosion and subsequent fire in the pump room.

1991
Jan. 23–27, southern Kuwait: during the Persian Gulf War, Iraq deliberately released 240–460 million gallons of crude oil into the Persian Gulf from tankers 10 mi off Kuwait. Spill had little military significance. On Jan. 27, U.S. warplanes bombed pipe systems to stop the flow of oil.

April 11, Genoa, Italy: Haven spilled 42 million gallons of oil in Genoa port.

May 28, Angola: ABT Summer exploded and leaked 15–78 million gallons of oil off the coast of Angola. It’s not clear how much sank or burned.

1992
March 2, Fergana Valley, Uzbekistan: 88 million gallons of oil spilled from an oil well.

1993
Aug. 10, Tampa Bay, Fla.: three ships collided, the barge Bouchard B155, the freighter Balsa 37, and the barge Ocean 255. The Bouchard spilled an estimated 336,000 gallons of No. 6 fuel oil into Tampa Bay.

1994
Sept. 8, Russia: dam built to contain oil burst and spilled oil into Kolva River tributary. U.S. Energy Department estimated spill at 2 million barrels. Russian state-owned oil company claimed spill was only 102,000 barrels.

1996
Feb. 15, off Welsh coast: supertanker Sea Empress ran aground at port of Milford Haven, Wales, spewed out 70,000 tons of crude oil, and created a 25-mile slick.

1999
Dec. 12, French Atlantic coast: Maltese-registered tanker Erika broke apart and sank off Britanny, spilling 3 million gallons of heavy oil into the sea.

2000
Jan. 18, off Rio de Janeiro: ruptured pipeline owned by government oil company, Petrobras, spewed 343,200 gallons of heavy oil into Guanabara Bay.

Nov. 28, Mississippi River south of New Orleans: oil tanker Westchester lost power and ran aground near Port Sulphur, La., dumping 567,000 gallons of crude oil into lower Mississippi. Spill was largest in U.S. waters since Exxon Valdez disaster in March 1989.

2002
Nov. 13, Spain: Prestige suffered a damaged hull and was towed to sea and sank. Much of the 20 million gallons of oil remains underwater.

2003
July 28, Pakistan: The Tasman Spirit, a tanker, ran aground near the Karachi port, and eventually cracked into two pieces. One of its four oil tanks burst open, leaking 28,000 tons of crude oil into the sea.

2004
Dec. 7, Unalaska, Aleutian Islands, Alaska: A major storm pushed the M/V Selendang Ayu up onto a rocky shore, breaking it in two. 337,000 gallons of oil were released, most of which was driven onto the shoreline of Makushin and Skan Bays.

2005
Aug.-Sept., New Orleans, Louisiana: The Coast Guard estimated that more than 7 million gallons of oil were spilled during Hurricane Katrina from various sources, including pipelines, storage tanks and industrial plants.

2006
June 19, Calcasieu River, Louisiana: An estimated 71,000 barrels of waste oil were released from a tank at the CITGO Refinery on the Calcasieu River during a violent rain storm.

July 15, Beirut, Lebanon: The Israeli navy bombs the Jieh coast power station, and between three million and ten million gallons of oil leaks into the sea, affecting nearly 100 miles of coastline. A coastal blockade, a result of the war, greatly hampers outside clean-up efforts.

August 11th, Guimaras island, The Philippines: A tanker carrying 530,000 gallons of oil sinks off the coast of the Philippines, putting the country’s fishing and tourism industries at great risk. The ship sinks in deep water, making it virtually unrecoverable, and it continues to emit oil into the ocean as other nations are called in to assist in the massive clean-up effort.

2007
December 7, South Korea: Oil spill causes environmental disaster, destroying beaches, coating birds and oysters with oil, and driving away tourists with its stench. The Hebei Spirit collides with a steel wire connecting a tug boat and barge five miles off South Korea’s west coast, spilling 2.8 million gallons of crude oil. Seven thousand people are trying to clean up 12 miles of oil-coated coast.

2008
July 25, New Orleans, Louisiana: A 61-foot barge, carrying 419,000 gallons of heavy fuel, collides with a 600-foot tanker ship in the Mississippi River near New Orleans. Hundreds of thousands of gallons of fuel leak from the barge, causing a halt to all river traffic while cleanup efforts commence to limit the environmental fallout on local wildlife.

2009
March 11, Queensland, Australia: During Cyclone Hamish, unsecured cargo aboard the container ship MV Pacific Adventurer came loose on deck and caused the release of 52,000 gallons of heavy fuel and 620 tons of ammonium nitrate, a fertilizer, into the Coral Sea. About 60 km of the Sunshine Coast was covered in oil, prompting the closure of half the area’s beaches.

2010
Jan. 23, Port Arthur, Texas: The oil tanker Eagle Otome and a barge collide in the Sabine-Neches Waterway, causing the release of about 462,000 gallons of crude oil. Environmental damage was minimal as about 46,000 gallons were recovered and 175,000 gallons were dispersed or evaporated, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.
April 24, Gulf of Mexico: The Deepwater Horizon, a semi-submersible drilling rig, sank on April 22, after an April 20th explosion on the vessel. Eleven people died in the blast. When the rig sank, the riser—the 5,000-foot-long pipe that connects the wellhead to the rig—became detached and began leaking oil. In addition, U.S. Coast Guard investigators discovered a leak in the wellhead itself. As much as 60,000 barrels of oil per day were leaking into the water, threatening wildlife along the Louisiana Coast. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano declared it a “spill of national significance.” BP (British Petroleum), which leased the Deepwater Horizon, is responsible for the cleanup, but the U.S. Navy supplied the company with resources to help contain the slick. Oil reached the Louisiana shore on April 30, affected about 125 miles of coast. By early June, oil had also reached Florida, Alabama, and Mississippi. It is the largest oil spill in U.S. history.

Information Please® Database, © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.

Read more: Oil Spills and Disasters — Infoplease.com http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0001451.html#ixzz1DlgH21eY

Disturbed yet? I hope that you are. I am pretty disturbed by the fact that there has been at least one major oil spill happening almost every other year that I have been alive for my entire life! This is just one of those situations where if you are not part of the solution you are part of the problem.  Being disturbed and uncomfortable is a good thing when the sour taste in our mouth is used for a better good. The vote that has the most impact is the money vote. Where our hard earned dollars are spent and on what has a great impact. Do you really want your hard earned money to go to some evil corporation who doesn’t give a fig about you or the environment? If we all lay off the oil as much as we can it will make a difference. Did you know that only 50% of a barrel of oil goes into our gas tanks? The other half is to satisfy our consumer lust for oil. Here is a short list of products you will find it in.

Nearly everything in our lives is made from oil, made by machinery and systems dependent on oil, and transported by oil as either gas or diesel fuel.

Ammonia, Anesthetics, Antihistamines, Artificial limbs, Artificial Turf, Antiseptics, Aspirin, Auto Parts, Awnings, Balloons, Ballpoint pens, Bandages, Beach Umbrellas, Boats, Cameras, Candles, Car Battery Cases, Carpets, Caulking, Combs, Cortisones, Cosmetics, Crayons, Credit Cards, Curtains, Deodorants, Detergents, Dice, Disposable Diapers, Dolls, Dyes, Eye Glasses, Electrical Wiring Insulation, Faucet Washers, Fishing Rods, Fishing Line, Fishing Lures, Food Preservatives, Food Packaging, Garden Hose, Glue, Hair Coloring, Hair Curlers, Hand Lotion, Hearing Aids, Heart Valves, Ink, Insect Repellant, Insecticides, Linoleum, Lip Stick, Milk Jugs, Nail Polish, Oil Filters, Panty Hose, Perfume, Petroleum Jelly, Rubber Cement, Rubbing Alcohol,  Shampoo, Shaving Cream, Shoes, Toothpaste, Trash Bags, Upholstery, Vitamin Capsules, Water Pipes, Yarn

http://www.3k88.com/products.htm

In light of all this information I hope you decided to start cutting down on the amount of oil you consume. In addition to switching over to all natural and sustainable cleaning and beauty products I also do 99% of my laundry in cold water (only bedding and pet bedding get a hot water wash) and use my clothes line in the summer. If we all do something it will have a positive impact on the environment.

I leave you with this short five minute film about the state of our beaches in Alabama.

Red chard where have you been all my life?

February 3, 2011 at 9:28 am | Posted in cooking, Life, vegan, vegetarian | Leave a comment
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I have been trying to make dinners that consist of a vegetable, a protein, and some sort of bread and/or a second vegetable. Last night I cooked Red Chard for the first time. Absolutely beautiful and tasty.  This was the first time I have cooked Red Chard, I have cooked White Chard in the past, but I think I prefer the red. It had a real nice taste and texture, and paired well with the skillet pasta with red sauce I made as the main course. Greens are so simple to cook and so tasty. So far my favorite greens are Collards and Turnip greens. They are so delish it makes me question why the only green I ate growing up was Spinach? I enjoy my greens with salt, pepper, Tabasco, and a little Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar.

Skillet Macaroni and TVP

Ingredients

2 cups prepared tvp “beef”

Large pinch of hing

  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped fine

    1 cup elbow macaroni

    1/2 (29 ounce) can tomato sauce

    1 cup broth

    1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

    salt and pepper

    1/2 cup shredded vegan cheddar cheese

Directions

  1. Cook TVP in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat about 3 minutes.
  2. Add oil, red pepper, and hing in skillet and cook, covered, until softened, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add macaroni, tomato sauce, broth, and oregano to skillet and bring to boil.
  4. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until pasta is tender, 8 to 10 minutes.
  5. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with cheese. Serve.

Basic Vegan Ground Beef

Ingredients

1 cup TVP
1 cups water
3 to 4 tablespoons Bragg Liquid Aminos or soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon cumin
2 to 3 tablespoons oil
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
a couple shakes of liquid smoke (optional)

Directions:

1) Place dry TVP in a skillet and cover with water and about 2 tablespoons Bragg Liquid Aminos or soy sauce. The water should completely submerge the TVP.

2) Cook over low-medium heat until the water is completely absorbed.

3) Add the oil, seasonings and more Braggs, if desired. Fry over low-medium heat until the chunks are firm and the mixture resembles ground beef.  Stir occasionally to make sure that it cooks evenly and does not stick.

Please note that these measurements are approximate, feel free to adjust as you see fit. The same method should work for any amount of TVP, just keep in mind that it will double/triple in size once the water is added.

Winter eats!

February 3, 2011 at 12:00 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

This is the time of year where I just want to cook all the time to keep the house warm! When I woke up this morning it was only 7 degrees, in the blink of an eye (literally) it dropped one degree to 6. This is not the type of cold that I am accustomed to. This is no 45 degree cold. This is the type of cold that cuts right though your clothes. Layer layer layer. Hence the Sweet Potato Shepherds Pie out of Vegetarian Times. This is one of my tried and true winter recipes. The filling is turnips and canielli beans. Yum! Lots of little steps, but well worth the effort. Instead of Parmesan on the top, I used nutritional yeast.

Have I mentioned yet how much I enjoy eating Collard greens? They have become my favorite number one green. Their only setback is their cooking time which is quite lengthy. They are so versatile. Will  easily go well with any leftover marinade that I cook them in or I just cook them in plain water. In this picture I believe they were served with the Smoky Tempeh out of VWAV.

Speaking of greens, I recently made the Sauteed Spinach and Tomatoes from Vegan With a Vengeance and it was really good. I don’t really like eating cooked spinach but I wanted to give it a try for two reasons. #1- All Isa’s recipes are foolproof and #2- I am trying to eat more greens.  The spinach is served with Hot Sauce Glazed Tempeh from the same cookbook.

Easy and delicious food.

January 13, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Posted in cooking, Life, prasadam, vegan | Leave a comment
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Lately I have been in the mood to cook food that is simple, quick, and relatively un-processed. To do this I have revisited the Skinny Bitch in the Kitch cookbook and have cooked 2 more of the recipes with great success. Tonight dinner only took me 30 minutes (plus prep time) and was offerable without any alterations to the original recipe. Tonight’s dinner was Steamed Veggies & Tofu with Brown Rice. I think it was the tiny details that made this recipe stellar. The tahini sauce was the stand out superstar in this recipe. I have never made anything other than hummus with tahini and had no idea what the sauce would taste like. It added a much needed “oomph” to the steamed vegetables and rice. The sauce was a pleasant alternative to olive oil and Braggs. Or Braggs and hot chili paste. Or teriyaki sauce. “Steamies” and either rice or a baked potato is a staple at our house. So inexpensive and versatile. It reminds me why I became vegetarian in the first place. To eat vegetables. The picture does not do this dish justice.

The other dish that I made recently (last night) out of Skinny Bitch in the Kitch was not quite as healthy as tonight’s dinner. However it was vegan and easy. I made a variation on Sausage, Peppers, Onions, and Garlic over Soft Polenta. I omitted the garlic and onions and was short on bell peppers so I substituted with some zucchini. I also didn’t have polenta, but I did have grits. Which  was close enough for us. The meal was heavy and flavorful. I drizzled balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil on it as was suggested in the recipe. It really brought out the flavors and gave it a touch of sophistication.  I’ve only eaten grits for breakfast before this and I now understand why folks in the south eat them for dinner. We used Tofurky Italian Sausages and they were good but I think it would have been better with Field Roast sausages as they are much lighter.

Tomorrow I return to work after an absolutely lovely staycation. It has been nice to spend time with my friends and family and go to the temple and see Krishna. I plan on  returning to work with a positive attitude and completely refreshed. This was a great way to begin the new year.

The wonders of Lord Jagannath.

January 13, 2011 at 9:41 am | Posted in Life | 1 Comment
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The manifestation of Lord Jagannath is transcendentally wonderful. His appearance in that form is described by Jaimini Rsi in Skanda Purana to an assembly of sages. The story of King Indradyumna who became the first worshiper of Lord Jagannath, and his life’s expression of devotion, is in itself a great delight. In short, the king was exceedingly eager to see the form of Lord Vishnu on this earth, and at the end of a sequence of miraculous events, the Supreme Lord had revealed through His representatives Narada and Lord Siva that He would appear in a `daru’, a wooden log, and that Vishvakarma would carve His form from that transcendental log. Vishvakarma had stipulated that he not be intruded upon for 21 days during the carving, but when there was a break in the chiseling sound, the greatly anxious king hastily came into the room where the Deities were being carved, only to find what he thought to be unfinished forms of the Deities. The king was in utter despair, thinking that he had committed a great offense. But Sri Narada Muni pacified him by explaining that it was the Lord’s transcendental will to manifest in that particular form.

Then Narada narrated the following pastime of how the Lord had originally manifested this extraordinary form that was now before the king.

Once the residents of Dwaraka became very eager to hear about the childhood pastimes of Krishna in Vrindavana. They knew how attached their Lord was to Vraja and its residents, but they did not know much about His pastimes there.

So they inquired from Rohinidevi, the mother of Balarama and one of the wives of Vasudeva, who happened to stay in Vrindavana with mother Yasoda during the entire childhood of Krishna-Balarama. Rohini was of course very happy to oblige, but there was one concern: if Krishna happened to overhear the glories of the love of the residents of Vrindavana, His feelings and transcendental emotions of separation from them would become attract the attention of Krishna to such a degree that His ecstasies would prevent Rohini from completing her narration of Krishna’s Vraja-lila. Therefore Subhadra devi, the sister of Krishna, volunteered to guard the door and keep Krishna from entering the room where Rohini’s Vraja-katha was taking place. But as Rohini devi started recounting the wonderful pastimes and the depth of intimacy in the loving exchanges between Krishna and the Vrajavasis, Subhadra devi became stunned. Just then Krishna and Balarama came and stood on either side of her hearing these narration and They too became stunned. Their eyes became wide, and in a mood of indescribable ecstasy, Their hands and feet retracted within Their bodies. This is the form of Lord Jagannath – Krishna in Dwaraka, enraptured and overwhelmed in thinking about the unrepayable and intense selfless love of His Vraja-bhaktas.

Narada who happened to be there also requested the Lord to please manifest this most wonderful form for the benefit of the entire world, and thus Lord Jagannatha unfolded the pastime of manifesting in that form to Indradyumna in Sri Jagannatha Puri. This amazing form of the Lord is said to indicate that even though He does not appear to have hands, the Supreme Lord accepts the offerings of His devotees, and even without feet, He comes at once to protect His devotees. Lord Jagannatha is famous as most merciful even to the most fallen and is very affectionate to His devotees.

By: Romapada Swami

http://www.veda.harekrsna.cz/encyclopedia/rathayatra.htm

 

The most perfect sandwich, ever.

January 11, 2011 at 2:21 pm | Posted in baking, cooking, dehydrator, Life, vegan, vegetarian | 1 Comment
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No really, this is the most perfect sandwich I have ever had. After eating this particular sandwich I realized that I really can be vegan the rest of my life. The sandwich I am talking about is the Hummus, Tempeh, and Cucumber Wrap out of Skinny Bitch in the Kitch. These Skinny Bitches know whats up too as every recipe that I have used out of this book is easy and foolproof. This was my first vegan cookbook, back when I didn’t know what seitan was. No really, one of the recipes calls for seitan and I bought tempeh. It took me an entire year to figure out why the recipe came out so bad. My husband makes the best hummus, he is the Hummus Master and I made the tempeh. I guess that makes me the Tempeh Mastah. Basically the sandwich is a hummus wrap filled with cucumber, tomato, and tempeh. (The book has cucumber, lettuce, and tempeh.) We wrapped them in warmed whole wheat tortillas. I steamed the tempeh before I cut and fried it in the spices. Steaming tempeh before use reduces some of the bitterness and makes it more ready to absorb flavors. Steaming tempeh also gives it an undeniably moist and delicious texture. The spices and flavoring stuck nicely to the tempeh forming a tasty crust.

Fried tempeh.

Worth the effort.

I am currently making tofu jerky in the new dehydrator that I got for Xmas. It’s not done yet, but it will be soon. Well I hope so because I don’t want to have to stay up all night waiting for it. It’s been in the dehydrator for almost four hours. I have tempeh in the marinade right now that I plan on dehydrating overnight, I did not steam it before marinading as I want the jerky to have a chewy texture. I am also afraid that steaming it might cause it to fall apart in the dehydrator.

Tofu jerky in the dehydrator.

Here is the recipe I found online. I kept seeing it everywhere so I figured this must be the “official” vegan jerky recipe. Then I found it that it’s by my vegan fashion heroine Sara Kramer out of How It All Vegan. I still don’t own any of her cookbooks, but my house smells like jerky and I can’t honestly understand why I don’t yet. This will have to change sometime soon.

     

  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 3 to 4 tbsp liquid smoke
  • 1/8 cup water
  • 1 tbsp onion powder (devotees use hing instead of garlic and onion powder, about a tsp.)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder or 1 clove crushed fresh garlic
  • 1 tbsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp agave
  • 1 pound firm or extra firm tofu
  •  

In other food news I ate the most delicious prasadam bagel for breakfast this morning. Thank you Aarti. :) It was a sweet little mini bagel. I now wish all bagels came in that size as I didn’t have to slice it to make it fit in the toaster. And I covered it in Toffuti Better than Cream Cheese.

Mmmm, prasadam...

Being on vacation has been wonderful. It’s enabled me to relax, center myself, and detox from caffeine and oodles of processed foods. (Thank you evil yet convenient work vending machines.) This vacation has enabled me to spend some much needed time with my husband to as he took this week off with me. I have been working almost non stop since our honeymoon ended. The last six months have passed very fast and I don’t plan on letting this year pass nearly as fast. I am going to stop and smell the roses more often, or in this case stop and smell the Toll House Cookies.

Gooey....

I used the “official” Toll House Cookies recipe off the internet but instead of eggs I substituted flax seed meal and water and I added about a teaspoon of baking powder. They rose nicely in contrast to last time where they barely rose at all. Last time I made these cookies I used Egg Replacer mix and they were extremely dry so I believe the flax seeds and baking powder were a better choice but not the correct one. The cookies were crumbly this time and had a nice mealy taste to them due to the flax but they were not dry and hard. Next time I bake these cookies I will add apple sauce to moisten them up and see how that goes. If that fails I will substitute out the flax seeds and apple sauce with plain soy yogurt and see how they come out.

Here is the recipe.

Original Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies:


2 1/4 Cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup soft butter (margarine)
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs (I used powdered Energy egg replacer)
2 cups chocolate chips
1 cup nuts (I left these out)

Combine flour, soda, and salt.
Beat butter, both sugars, and vanilla in a large bowl. Add the egg substitute and beat once more. Slowly add the flour mixture until well combined. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts.
Drop rounded tablespoons of batter onto baking sheets.
Bake in a preheated 375-degree oven for 9-11 minutes, or until golden brown.

PAN COOKIE VARIATION: PREPARE dough as above. Spread into greased 15″x10″ jelly-roll pan. Bake in preheated 375ºF oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in pan on wire rack.

My fave coffee substitutes.

January 10, 2011 at 1:00 am | Posted in vegan | Leave a comment
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As a Hare Krishna devotee and health foodie I am not supposed to drink coffee. Oh but how I enjoy the aroma and taste of it. I have worked as a barista for Starbucks, Boudin Bakery, and Zen Coffeehouse and Bakery. This is about seven years of my life and I have grown rather affectionate towards coffee and its products specifically espresso and French Press coffee. As I have grown older (and wiser I hope) I have begun to notice negative side affects when drinking coffee such as: racing heart, sweating, and panic attacks. I have gone back and forth on the coffee front for about five years now and I think I have finally found a point of equilibrium where I am content. I drink the “real bean” only once in a while and very rarely start my day with a cup of Joe anymore. Now to get my coffee craving satisfied I drink Pero or Roastaroma . Of the two I think I prefer Pero because of its ease of use. Its powdered and very easy to make. Its simply roasted grains and chicory and tastes and smells like coffee. Right now I am drinking Pero mixed with dutch process baking chocolate, (unsweetened organic soy milk, and turbinado (vegan) sugar) and it makes a delish Cadillac. A Cadillac is coffee with hot chocolate mix stirred in. I remade this classic drink vegan and caffeine free.

My second favorite coffee substitute is Roastaroma by Celestial Seasonings. It smells like a very mild coffee and tastes the same. I prefer it at night or late afternoon when I am craving a cuppa something warm and roasty. I like to add a little cream and sugar or agave to it. For some reason I only sweeten my coffee substitutes, but I never ever sweeten real coffee. It just seems sacrilegious to me.

My third fave and honorable mention goes to Good Earth Original Caffeine Free Blend. It has a nice roasty flavor and doesn’t need any cream or sugar added to it, however it is a little sweet for my taste so I don’t drink it very much. My husband on the other hand is a big fan of it. Sometimes though I do get cravings for it and I like to bring packets of it to work with me in the morning

Do you drink coffee or coffee substitutes? What are your favorite brands?

Down home American cooking.

January 9, 2011 at 6:02 am | Posted in cooking, utah, vegan | Leave a comment
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Meatloaf and mashed potatoes with gravy. To me, that is about as American as it gets. Well, my husband had a craving for mashed potatoes with Isa’s Corn Gravy and I wanted some tempeh but was too lazy and impatient to make any that night so I made (un)meatloaf instead. This is some freaking delicious and healthy meatloaf. I made some minor changes to the recipe to make it resemble the one I grew up eating. Instead of garlic/onion powder I used hing and I substituted out the ketchup for the same amount of pasta sauce. (My mother would never put ketchup in her meatloaf, never.) I also added about a half teaspoon of liquid smoke in an effort to make it taste more meaty. It was nice and subtle. Next time I am going to try adding Worcestershire sauce and see what happens.

Recipe by Bryanna Clark Grogan from “The Fiber for Life Cookbook”, also reprinted in “No More Bull!” by Howard F. Lyman

Yield: One 10-inch round loaf or one 9 x 5-inch rectangular loaf

2 C boiling water

Vegetarian bouillon for 4 cups broth (optional)

1/2 C ketchup

2 Tbs soy sauce

2 C textured soy protein granules

1/2 C oat bran

1/2 C wheat or rice bran

1/4 C ground flaxseeds

2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil or roasted sesame oil (*I have omitted this before; no problem*)

1 Tbs nutritional yeast flakes

1 tsp each: garlic granules, onion powder, and dried thyme (or other herb of choice) (Vaishnavas, sub out the unofferables for a large pinch of hing)

Freshly ground pepper to taste

Ketchup, tomato sauce or barbecue sauce as topping

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, dissolve the bouillon in the boiling water. Add the ketchup and soy sauce. Add the soy protein and let stand 5 to 10 minutes, or until the liquid is all absorbed. Add the remaining ingredients, except the topping. Mix well. Pack into an oiled 10-inch shallow glass casserole, or a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan. Spread the topping sauce over the top evenly. Bake for 45 minutes.

Oh, I had the pleasure of stopping by Cakewalk Vegan Bakery in Salt Lake City yesterday and I picked up the most delish eclair. Yes, Virginia, there is a vegan eclair! The eclair was amazing, and the filling was to die for. I regret only picking up one.

And the product I am reviewing this week is Roads End Spicy Nacho Chreese Dip. I was over at Cakewalk Bakery on Xmas eve with my husband picking up our holiday treat boxes order and I saw this dip and felt inspired to pick it up. They only had one bottle left so I took it home with me. It was so delicious. Nachos are my comfort food of choice and I really really like to dip my jalapeno kettle chips in nacho cheese dip also. This stuff rocks. You must buy some now. It tastes great and it has a great texture and the spicy flavor is actually spicy. I can pronounce most of the ingrediants too which is an added bonus. It is basically a thick nootch based sauce with jalapenos. Yum.

****** out of 5 (Yes, six out of five!)

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