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.

Plantain Tacos and holiday eats.

December 30, 2010 at 2:37 am | Posted in cooking, Life, utah, vegan, vegetarian | Leave a comment
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Haribol! How were your holidays? Good I hope. Did you receive any vegan or vegetatrian gifts? I recieved a few. My mother in law blessed us with a crock pot and a dehydrator. I am so exited! My dear husband gave me this really cool Vegetarian/vegan hoodie and Isa’s new cookbook Appetite for Reduction. This is perfect crock pot weather and I have so many things to dehydrate!

Now that the new year is almost upon us a real blizzard has come to Utah. It snowed a couple of inches in the blink of an eye and it was snowing sideways! Now isn’t that crazy?

For Christmas we decided to forgo the Tofurky and have a Greek Feast! It was pretty good. We prepared falafel, hummus, tabouli, tzatziki, and gyros marinated tempeh. All in all it was a pretty nice alternative. For dessert we ate pastries from Cakewalk Bakery in Salt Lake.

I had a hard time finding a good  marinade recipe for the tempeh. Any suggestions?

A few weeks back we had a craving for tacos and we made Plantain and black bean tacos! Yum! These tacos are my fave quick lunch to make as if I already have some salsa and guacamole prepared I can get them ready in 30 minutes or less.

Thank you for reading! More exiting meals to come!

Linguine in Lemon Cream Sauce

December 14, 2010 at 12:59 am | Posted in cooking, Life, utah, vegan | Leave a comment
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I am trying to be more frugal and make wiser grocery store trips. I am upset that food gets wasted and decided to write a meal list for two weeks and try to target 7 dishes. The meal list is as follows: Sweet Potato Shepard’s Pie , Cauliflower Mash, Mexican Food, Masala Cornmeal Brussels Sprouts , Linguine in Lemon Cream Sauce, Mustard Sauce, and Chickpea Tagine.    Sone of these I have made a million times with consistent success last winter so they were easy choices: Sweet Potato Shepard’s Pie, Mexican Food, and the Chickpea Tagine. The rest of these just looked good and had economical ingredients.

So far I have made the Linguine in Lemon Cream Sauce. It was pretty good, but my husband liked it more than I did. I also think it would have tasted better if I had followed it as written, with real cream cheese. I used Tofutti cream cheese which I don’t think tastes very much like cream cheese but I use anyways. The sauce just tasted a little off to me, but in all it was a satisfying meal in 30 minutes.

I recently had a lucky find at the grocery store, some biscuit cutters with fluted edges. They were inexpensive and I was so exited! I decided to break them in last week and made biscuits and gravy with tvp sausage. This was my first time using all purpose wheat flour instead of pastry flour on the biscuits. They were good and tasty, but I prefer a flakier biscuit so back to pastry flour. I found the most amazing white gravy recipe on Chez Bettay The Vegan Gourmet. I prefer to make my own soy crumbles out of tvp, but in a pinch breaking up patties would work pretty nice too.

Stuff we have tried lately.

The Sweet and Sour stuff was good. It tasted a lot like all the other vegan “meat” we get from the Asian grocery store. We were not in the mood to eat any grains the night we ate this so we put it on top steamed broccoli and zucchini. These fake meats are nice to have around the house for work nights and lunches on days off. I just microwave them for 2 minutes.

The product I am reviewing this week is Smart Deli Turkey Slices. Yum! I eat these alot and they taste great and are inexpensive. They are also pretty easy to find as I see this brand whenever I go to a major grocery store like Smiths or Wynco.

**** 4 out of 5 stars

Something to be thankful for…

December 1, 2010 at 5:47 pm | Posted in baking, cooking, Life, vegan, vegetarian | Leave a comment
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A vegan Thanksgiving is something I am sure that the animals are thankful for. Our Thanksgiving was 99.999% vegan as I used Amy’s Semi-condensed Mushroom Soup for the green bean casserole which had a little bit of butter in it. I was afraid of using a non-condensed soup in my casserole as normally make this dish traditionally with  Cream of Mushroom soup and make it my one non-vegan meal of the year. I subbed out silken tofu for the cream. My husband liked it, but I thought it was a little bit off. Hopefully It’ll come out better for Christmas.

Tofu Pumpkin Pie

Cranberry Chutney made by my dear husband. 🙂

Cranberry Chutney Rules! Perfect blend of sweet and spicy.

Note to self, put more marinade in next time. The taters stuck to the dish.

Green bean casserole.

Mashed squash, yum! Also my husbands idea.

Dinner, is served.

Thanksgiving dinner was great. A few things I feel the need to improve- such as the Tofurky. I have cooked many a Tofurky in the past and I have never had one dry out on me like it did this year. I guess I just need to use more basting sauce next time. I thought I used enough, but I guess I was wrong. I also forgot to buy carrots to put with the potatoes and that was a real bummer. I also need to find a solution to my green bean casserole crises. To me, it just isn’t a holiday dinner without it and I want it to be both vegan and flavorful. For all the flavor and texture I lost I almost wish I’d just made it the normal way with the canned cream of mushroom soup. I don’t want to make it gourmet or sophisticated or anything, I just want it tasty and vegan. Any suggestions folks?

Simply Vegan

November 21, 2010 at 8:58 pm | Posted in cooking, Life, vegan, vegan mofo | 2 Comments
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Three years ago when I decided to become vegan it seemed an insurmountable task. I had become a pretty good vegetarian cook by that point in my life, but becoming vegan I had to learn to cook all over again and rethink how I eat. First I learned how to make a whole bunch of seemingly complected stuff out of Vegan With a Vengeance. Those initial recipes have become some of my staples. Then I learned how to make two things that changed how I eat: cheeze sauce and prepare tempeh. This post is about super simple food and how good it can be. The ingredients for the following picture are: baked potatoes, can of black beans, vegan shredded cheese (I used cheddar Daiya), and a pat of non-hydrogenated margarine.

Vegan CAN be easy!

The next easy vegan dish I would like to share with you is Smokey Tempeh with Collards. Mmmmm, deliciousness. Both recipes came out of Veganomicon, but I barely followed the Collards recipe as I disbelieve that you can cook them in under an hour. I don’t like to eat chewy greens. Oh yeah, eating this tempeh will change your life. If you havent cooked some yet give it a try.

Tempeh marinating.

Instead of sauteeing onions I used cherry tomatoes as they are also very flavorful. It worked out well.

Mmmmm. Dinner is served.

Today’s packaged food review is for Four Seasons Cakes that I picked up at the Asian Market.

Well, here’s the rating. The pink one that I am eating in the above photo was the best. It tasted like a very high end Hostess Snowball. Eating this makes me think that this is where they got the idea. The green one was weird. It had a gooey jelloey outside that tasted like seaweed and the inside was a yummy mung bean paste. My husband thought it was gross and could only take one bite. The yellow one was okay, I would eat it again. I can’t explain what it tasted like but it did have coconut in it. The black one still remains uneaten after eating the green one. When we took it off the plate to store it it stuck to the plate like a snail would. Weird.

Gaura Nitai last Sunday.

Italian Marinated Tempeh

August 27, 2010 at 8:56 pm | Posted in books, cooking, Life, vegan, vegetarian | Leave a comment
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I remember the first time I tried to go vegan way back in say, 97ish. I was living in Ocean Beach in hipster/hippie town. Full of cool dives and antique stores. There is a really nice vegetarian Co-Op in OB called People’s and I spied tempeh one day, and brought it home and cooked it with disastrous results.  I had never eaten it before and had no friends who knew how to cook it either. I think I cut it up and fried it in oil. So gross. I vowed never to cook it again. Fast forward to 12 or so years later when I buy Isa’s Vegan With A Vengeance. It has a really great recipe for Tempeh Bacon. I held off for almost a year before I took the plunge and bought some tempeh and made this stuff. It’s so delicious and easy to make. After that I was sold on tempeh, but that was all I knew how to make out of it. On our honeymoon in Vegas I bought a copy of Veganomicon and it has a recipe for Smokey Grilled Tempeh. Due to these two cookbooks tempeh has been demystified. No more is it some strange hard to cook substance. It is now something I cook on a pretty regular basis and I have future plans of teaching myself how to make it at home. I am even starting to make my own recipes for tempeh marinades. Today for lunch I made Italian Marinated Tempeh. I used the Italian Tofu Marinade recipe out of V*Con and steamed the tempeh and marinated it for a few hours while I went and got a much needed mani-pedi. 🙂 Fried it up and served it with some mashed potatoes.

Do any of you have the Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook? I just got my copy in the mail a few days ago and I really want to make the block cheeses but I am unsure as to what to use as a mold. Any suggestions?

A Mexican Odyssey.

May 10, 2010 at 8:34 pm | Posted in cooking, vegetarian | Leave a comment
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I love eating and cooking Mexican Food. Thankfully I lived in Tijuana for a few years back in the “day” and picked up some technique and learned a lot about what is and is not Mexican cooking. For instance, yellow cheese IS NOT used in Mexican cooking. All authentic Mexican cheeses are undyed and left to their natural color. For some reason here in Orem Utah there are a lot of very good Mexican grocery stores and I don’t even have to drive to the bad part of town to find tortillarilla fresh tortillas. This pleases me more than you can imagine. So, without further ado here are my latest health Mex creations. 🙂

Zucchini Corn Tacos:

Queso Casero and my homemade salsa.

Last week I bought some plantains and cooked up some delish Black Bean and Plantain tacos.

Fresh tortillas from down the street.

I have been playing with so many fun new recipes lately. Last week I made Sicilian Style Roasted Veggies with Riccotta Cheese Stuffed Tomatoes. Those roasted veggies were to die for. I have never eating anything like them before and I am sure they will be in the regular meal rotation in the future. There is no real recipe for the stuffed tomatoes. Just take a medium size container of ricotta cheese, mix in some thyme, baby spinach leafs, salt and pepper. Mix well and spoon it onto the halved tomatoes. Bake till bubbly and brown on top (ours were undercooked) at 450.

Last night my fiance and I went to the new Wynco grocery store that opened down the street. I was surprised and impressed by their organic and natural foods selection. They have a great selection of vegetarian meats and I can buy organic sugar in the bulk section super cheap. I had heard at work how great their muffins were so I had to hit the bakery. Alas, as expected they were contaminated with eggs. 😦 But there was light at the end of the tunnel.  The Wynco bakery cooks up fresh chunky granola every day so I bought a pound. Well this is some great granola. I topped it with some unsweetened  Almond Breeze almond milk and was in heaven. Yummmmmm.

Our wedding is only 26 days away and we are going on honeymoon to Vegas for a week so my blog postings might have to slow down a bit as I make and remake the same meals in an effort to clean out our fridge.

Somethings gotta give….

April 13, 2010 at 4:31 pm | Posted in cooking, vegan, vegetarian | Leave a comment
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And it seems that that thing is me. I have been trying for two and a half years to be vegan and I am doing a pretty lousy job of it lately. I just have this thing about cheese  and yogurt, even though it makes me sick (literally as I have an allergy to cow dairy products). The rest of the stuff I can leave. I don’t crave milk or feel the need to bake with dairy as I am a competent vegan baker and chef, I just have this cheese problem. I can go for months without eating it and this weekend I found myself eating some good quality artisan blue cheese and as its a soft cheese I didn’t become ill. Eating faux cheeses do not satisfy me at all. I crave good artisan cheeses so I have decided to drop the vegan moniker as I am not interested in living a lie publicly or privately. I still consider veganism the highest ideal which we should all strive for. I am not planning on over indulging in this product like I used to before my vegan experiment. In the future I plan on trying this again, but sadly- for the moment I am merely vegetarian. This blog will continue to focus on vegan cooking but now you should expect to find something with cheese or yogurt thrown in. The addition of dairy to this blog will only be an occasional thing, just once in a while.

Thanks for listening.

Live simply so that others may simply live.

December 24, 2009 at 8:36 pm | Posted in Animal Rights | 2 Comments
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Have a happy holidays. I am getting prepared to bake like a mad woman! 2 pumpkin pies and some vegan fudge. If it turns out well I will post pix and the recipe.

Are humans meant to eat meat?

November 5, 2009 at 5:05 pm | Posted in why vegetarian? | 2 Comments
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Hi! Here is a vegetarian cartoon I really like. It is a pig explaining why humans do not eat meat.

funny-pictures-deer-sticks-tongue-out

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