Key Lime Pie!

Posted on 6:16 PM In: , , ,

Before going veg, Key Lime Pie was one of my favorite desserts - I'm just NOT that into chocolate and there was always something light (ya right) and refreshing a bout Key Lime Pie. Well, since I have gone veg, I have not tried nor have I attempted any recipes to replicate my Key Lime splendor - that is, until now. When my new issue of Vegetarian Times magazine arrived and I read it from cover to cover, I couldn't help but notice the Key Lime Pie recipe contained therein. This recipe was different in that is wasn't just a bunch of tofu and lime juice - I was intrigued.

So, I made it and brought it to a friend's house last night for dinner. It was REALLY good! The lime flavor was great - the perfect balance of sweet and tart. The texture was good, although because it contained cashews, it was not quite the smooth, silky texture of the egg yolk and condensed milk laden classic version, but I hardly noticed. I really, REALLY liked it. In fact, if you like Key Lime Pie, I would say rush out and grab this month's (February 2010) issue of Vegetarian Times so you too can have the recipe! If you happen to doubt me, the only other evidence I can provide is that of my hosts' reaction... I was advised, after consuming the dessert course, that it would be ok if I left the Key Lime Pie behind. :-)

Sorry for the sad picture of this single piece of pie. I neglected to take pics when it was whole and this is the piece I did bring home with me to enjoy!

Incidentally, making this recipe also gave me the opportunity to try out my new gadget - a Cuisinart Elite Die Cast 12 Cup Food Processor. It has two bowls - a large and a small one, two adjustable blades that perform a total of like 8 functions and three blades. After this, its maiden voyage, all I can say is FABULOUS! I L-O-V-E-D that I had two bowls to use and therefore did not have to take the time to wash the bowl between smashing my graham crackers and pulverizing my filling ingredients into submission... very cool! I also really liked the 1000 watt motor, which proved it's worth when dealing with the cup of whole cashews in this recipe. I look forward to having more excuses to use it!

Reactions: 

As it Turns Out, I'm Not Vegan Afterall...

Posted on 5:10 PM In:
I was taking a survey the other day for Vegetarian Times magazine and as part of the survey, I was asked to specify my eating habits. Out of habit, I selected "Vegan" and while doing so, read the description specifying that Vegans not only eliminate animal products from their diet but also from their life - leather, wool, silk, down, etc. For various, that does not describe me. I have long known that the majority of people consider Veganism to exclude these products, so I have opted to call myself a "dietary Vegan"... makes sense, right? Well, after reading the description for "Vegan" that this survey provided, I kept reading and the classification right below Vegan was "Total Vegetarian". The description for this was: "I eat only food derived from plants and refrain from eating any animal foods, including fish, eggs, dairy products and honey"... so, with the exception of honey, I guess I am Total Vegetarian... who knew?? And I thought the typical waitstaff found "Vegan" confusing... wait till I unleash this on 'em!

Turns out there's lots of nuances of vegetarianism - check it out! Vegetarianism on Wikipedia.com

Reactions: 

One of the Coolest Kitchen Gadgets Ever!

Posted on 8:21 PM In:
This one'll be short and sweet. I cook, I love to cook and I also love to collect kitchen gadgets. One of my favorite is pictured below. Not only does it give you a convenient place to put spoons while you are cooking, but it also ensures that drips from the spoons drip right back in the pot you are cooking in - sweet!

Go ahead, tell me you don't have gadget envy!

Reactions: 
Recipe #2 from The Conscious Cook is Cornmeal Crusted Tempeh with Smoked Tomato Sauce, Green Chili Relish, Black Bean Puree and Braised Kale. Holy cow is this good!!

it took me a solid two hours to prepare. It's basically tempeh, that has been cooked in a broth of water, shoyu, ginger, garlic and chilis, then coated in cornmeal and pan fried, layered with a black bean puree, braised kale, a spicy tomato sauce and a chili relish. I have no idea how the chef, Tal Ronnen actually intended for it to be plated, but the above was my best guess. I honestly don't know that it matters how you stack it, because I think it would be delicious regardless.





Again, still really loving this cookbook. I do, however, have a couple of additional observations that I would like to share. First, in the description of the book, it indicates that Chef Ronnen is a former lover of steak and this is a "ground-breaking book filled with delicious and hearty meals that will satisfy even the most devoted meat-eaters." Based on my experience thus far, mission accomplished. The other thing I would like to note is that even though these are all vegan recipes so they are healthier than their meat and potatoes counterparts, the two recipes I have made so far do not feel healthy. There is fairly generous usage of oil and other fats - this particular recipe called for 3 tablespoons of Earth Balance to put melted into the tomato sauce after it was pureed, but I just could not bring my self to do it. In addition, there's nearly a cup of oil used throughout the rest of the cooking, either for pan frying or sauteing. Also, he instructs you to add the liquid that comes with black beans into the pot; maybe there's nothing to it, but I have always drained and rinsed my beans to remove excess sodium and whatever other things were added so I was left with just beans. Now, I have thumbed through the book and this is not indicative of all 70 recipes, but it is a point worth making.

What does this all mean to me? Well, it means that I will look for ways to modify the recipes to reduce the amounts of fat and sodium, where necessary. That, combined with the complexity or time required for some of the recipes, this will be a cookbook reserved for special occasions and lazy Sunday afternoons. But still, I have to say this is a cookbook that every vegan should have, especially if they are called upon to entertain from time to time, or love to try different things.

Now, which cookbook to cook from next week...???

Reactions: 
As previously mentioned, the cookbook of the week this week is Tal Ronnen's The Conscious Cook: Delicious Meatless Recipes That Will Change The Way You Eat. The first recipe I made is Tempeh Creole Over Brown Rice, page 150.It was braised tempeh, simmered in a stew consisting of a broth infused with soy sauce, ginger and garlic along with onions, green pepper, celery and seeded, peeled tomatoes along with some spices. It had just the right amount of heat and great flavor!

I am really excited about this cookbook. The pictures are all great and it really puts a little bit of a fancy flair to vegan cuisine. One recipe in particular I am excited about is the cashew cream recipe, which is made to replace dairy-based creams in a variety of recipes - apparently you can even whip it to make a whipped topping! The one drawback is that many of the recipes require two plus hours to prepare. But, this is perfect for a lazy Sunday!

Stay tuned for recipe #2!


Reactions: 
It has been so very long since I even logged into my blog - I am embarrassed. Good thing I don't have a lot of readers. :-)

One of my New Year's resolutions is to pick a different one of my lovely cookbooks each week and select two brand-spankin' new recipes to try. I decided to do this because I really do have so many beautiful cookbooks and I always just rely on the internet when I am looking to try something new. Incidentally, I have become a huge fan of several vegan blogs and look forward to reading them everyday! I gain a lot of inspiration from their various entries.

Last week, the cookbook I chose to cook from was Vegan Planet by Robin Robertson. This was a cookbook I received last year as a gift and had never cooked anything out of it. This was partly because it was a big book (555 pages of recipes, not including the Resources section or the index) and it doesn't have any pictures - I tend to find cooking inspiration from pictures. Well, that has now changed. Last week, I selected Indonesian Style Rice with Tempeh (page 235), Ziti, Artichokes and Olives with Spicy Tomato Sauce (page 245) and finally Artichoke and Root Vegetable Gratin (page 355). Before I talk about the recipes, I want to confess that I did not take any pictures as I didn't know I was going to blog about them until about 5 minutes ago.

I found the Indonesian Style Rice with Tempeh to be ok. it was basically brown rice with shredded cabbage and carrots, some poached tempeh and a very light sauce made of tamari and light brown sugar, garnished with shredded cucumber and chopped peanuts. it didn't have a lot of flavor - next time I would likely add more veggies and kick up the spice a few notches.

The second recipe was the Ziti, Artichokes and Olives with Spicy Tomato Sauce. This was pretty good - the recipe title being a pretty indicator of the ingredients. I did use fresh tomatoes and based on how I tend to like my pasta a little more saucy, I would probably use canned whole San Marzano tomatoes next time. I think the recipe could have used a little more kick and perhaps some roasted red peppers.

Finally, I saved my favorite for last - the Artichoke and Root Vegetable Gratin. Again, the title says it all - a potato, large carrot and parsnips, all sliced thin. Then leeks and artichokes sauteed with some garlic. Layer the sliced root veggies in the gratin pan, alternating with the leek and artichoke mixture, top with some bread crumbs and bake. It was really good! The artichoke and leek mixture made it a little more sophisticated and the lack of a sauce made it healthier than your typical gratin. of course, I served it topped with some hot sauce, but I really enjoyed it a great deal!

I really like this cookbook. It contains 400 recipes, all organized in an inventive but easy to navigate way. I do miss the pictures, but with this many recipes, there would hardly be room! The author has incorporated a lot of common ingredients in some unique ways and I appreciate the descriptions she has taken the time to write. I will certainly be turning to this cookbook in the future for cooking inspiration!

Up next week: The Conscious Cook by Tal Ronnen.

Reactions: 
I am not sure what came over me, but I got all adventurous - vegan style - today. First, there are a couple of products, both cheeses that I have been wanting to try... Dr Cow and Teese. Now, I completely understand why Dr Cow isn't available locally, but I have no idea why the many local natural / vegan / whatever groceries have not picked up Teese... it seems like I can't go a week without one or more of the vegan blogs I follow making something with it. So, today I ordered them BOTH off of VeganEssentials.com. I can't wait to get 'em!

The 2nd adventure I had today was that I made vegan buffalo wings... anyone who knew me in my omnivore days knows that one thing I loved and did a pretty darn good job of making, was buffalo wings. Now that I have been vegan for more than a year, I decided it was time I tried them. I found a wing recipe here at Don't Eat Off The Sidewalk and even found a vegan blue cheese dressing recipe here at Munchy's page on Group Recipes and the verdict? WOW! I couldn't be happier! The only things I did different or want to note are:
  • I had to double all of the dipping ingredients for the wings. It's probably because I used my fingers and a great deal of the ingredients ended up coating my fingers, but nonetheless...
  • I did not use the posted sauce recipe as I have a favorite that was given to me years ago by one of the best wing makers ever, Jon Jay.
  • I omitted the tofu from the blue cheese dressing. It seemed like it was only there for the texture and I did not have any thawed.

Check 'em out!






Reactions: 

No Cheese Pleese!

Posted on 4:42 PM In: ,
So, those who know me know that not too long ago, I lived by the credo "there is no such thing as too much cheese" seriously... and this is a long standing obsession. I remember going to OOB Pizza on Lisbon Street in Lewiston when I was in high school. I went with my best friend at the time, Veronica and we ordered a triple cheese pizza and the thing had to of had a solid inch of pizza piled on top of sauce piled on top of crust... it was fabulous! But as it turns out, I had no idea what I was missing!

Nowadays, pizzas are piled high with artichokes, roasted red peppers, kalamata olives, fresh tomatoes, spinach, caramelized onions... and not one bit of cheese. Who knew cheese-less pizza could be so fabulous!?!?

This particular gem was made with a garlic artichoke sauce instead of the traditional tomato sauce.

Reactions: 

Spicy Thai Stew

Posted on 5:21 PM In: , , ,
So, maybe I am actually back in the practice of adding to my blog? Or maybe I am so excited about things I have been cooking lately, that I want to share it with someone!! Tonight, it is a Spicy Thai Stew. I found the recipe at Vegan Peace, reprinted from Dreena Burton's The Everyday Vegan and it was fantastic. There are a couple of ways I deviated from the recipe: I used chili paste instead of the chili pepper, I used natural peanut butter instead of the almond butter, I used bok choy instead of chard and I used way more than 4 Tbs of cilantro, perhaps double that - what can I say, I L-O-V-E cilantro. I also served it over brown rice and it was really REALLY good - a keeper! Take a look:

Reactions: 
I'll start with the second topic mentioned in my title: Seriously, I mix together two cups of whole grain pastry flour (I am sure any would do), 1 tsp of baking soda, 1 tsp of baking powder, 2 cups of soy milk and 2 TBS of oil and voila - perfectly delicious and simple vegan pancakes. Of course, I rarely make a pancake without including blueberries, lots of small native Maine blueberries, so I beg the question: why is there no restaurant in this wonderful city that will make such a thing?

And now, motivations to being a vegan. I am a vegan for health reasons. I've suffered from chronic aches and pains throughout most of my adult life, in one form or another. I have tried PT, regular exercise, supplements - all to no avail. Then I went to a OT who suggested I remove sugars from my diet. I did it for a month and I did feel better, but seriously, no sugars, ever?! No juice, no wine, careful on the fruits and veggies I eat?? Needless to say, not the ideal diet for me. So then I was at the gym one day, sweating my tail off on the elliptical and I caught the end of Ellen where she has these guests I had never heard of - Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin. I could only catch a snippet of it, but what I hear, I like, and it turns out they wrote a book, so I buy it: Skinny Bitch. Then, like a week later, I am sitting at a restaurant and a friend of mines parents tell me about another book The China Study, and then it's on! I try it for a month and I am hooked - both on the food I have been eating and how I feel. This is how I came to be vegan for health reasons. I still wear leather and wool and alpaca and hell, I even bought a yak sweater for my husband this past Christmas. Does this make me a bad vegan? Or maybe I'm not a true vegan? Do I have to stipulate that in conversations with other vegans? Oh, I also eat honey! The whole thing is a little confusing to me. Truly, I am comfortable calling myself a vegan but it does get a little weird for me if I go to a vegan event and I am sporting my leather Danskos.

Don't get me wrong, I have seen some footage and read some detailed accounts about the treatment of animals that absolutely disgusts me, but I am just not sure I can take that step to remove all animal products from my life. I also do NOT want to become of those people that protests and throws paint. The one exception to this is that I would protest a circus... they are disgusting and they make me sick.

So, what do you think: are there other people who share my practices? Maybe I should call myself a "dietary vegan"?

Reactions: 

Wow, so it's been 4 months since I have done a post here. I guess I do not feel too bad about that because my blog isn't very interesting to begin with so I am sure no one missed my riveting posts but also because I have been oh-so-busy with the website at my place of employment. So, needless to say, when I come home, the last thing I want to do is post something to my blog. but here I am...

Last night I made vegan whoopie pies! I am not a huge dessert person but one thing I have always loved was chocolate and peanut butter. My husband likes dessert alot, so I try and make something sweet on occasion, but since I have gone vegan, I have been pretty disappointed with my endeavors. Either trying to veganize an old favorite recipe or trying something out of a cookbook... it just hasn't gone well. However, I picked up the latest copy of VegNews, and among other things, inside, there was a recipe for vegan whoopie pies. I opted for the peanut butter filling alternative ending and I have to say, they came out pretty darn good. In all honesty, the filling is not as fluffy as I would like, but like I said, they taste pretty darn good!

Reactions: 
So I spent the day today preparing to go away on a business trip and in doing so, was required to spend some time cooking. I do this for two reasons: I do not want my DH to spend the next week eating Little Debbie snack cakes & Snickers bars but also to supplement my own diet while I am in the great unknown. I am going to Fargo, ND and I am willing to bet there are not alot of cool vegan friendly restaurants, so I bring my own stuff, afterall there is only so much salad a girl can eat.

Funny thing about this trip is that it is actually a sales and marketing thing for Microsoft and when you sign up, part of the process is to indicate any special requirements you have: wheelchair lift, equipment for the hearing impaired and of course, dietary. I am not deaf nor do I require the use of a wheelchair, but I am vegan, so... Jasmine, presumably one of the coordinators of this event called me late friday afternoon and inquired as to what exactly is vegan. She's going through all the meals and making sure there will be something I can eat. I thought this was very kind and unusually considerate, yes? The thing that I actually found funny was that she, like so many others I'm sure are completely unaware of what they eat. During the rundown of the food, she told me that for breakfast I would have to skip the eggs and sausage, but at least there would be muffins for me to eat... no, muffins generally have butter, eggs, maybe even milk... oh, she hadn't thought of that.

It is certainly not my intent to make fun of her or anyone else, and I do know that veganism is not for everyone, but I cannot help but feel if the average person was more aware of what they put in their mouth, the less disease and obesity we would have.

So, back to today's cooking. I made a double batch of oatmeal raisin cookies, pumpkin spice bread for my DH and then banana bread with chocolate chips for myself. Ok, I did sneak some of the cookies into my suitcase, but Bo got the most of them. I also made an interesting twist on an Oriental noodle bowl, presumably to feed him for a few nights this week.


The Oriental noodle bowl was a spicy peanutty sauce with all the veggies I could find, all tossed with soba noodles.


The sauce was made up of:
  • minced onions, sauteed until translucent
  • 1 1/4 c water
  • 3/4 cup Thai chili sauce
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1/4 cup Sriracha chili sauce
  • 1/3 cup organic peanut butter

I simmer this for about 30 minutes, then I add

  • 1/4 lime juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

The veggies I added, after stir frying were:

  • 1 coarsely chopped onion
  • 1 coarsely chopped orange bell pepper
  • 1/2 head of broccoli, chopped
  • 1 bunch of asparagus, blanched for 1 minute
  • 8 carrots, chopped diagonally
  • 1 zucchini, coarsely chopped

And then finally the noodles were just a package of buckwheat soba noodles that I found in the organic section of Hannaford. After everything was mixed together, I through some scallions on top. Yummilicious!


Reactions: 

Summer harvest rocks!

Posted on 2:13 PM In: , ,

There are so many things to love about summer, but by far, my favorite thing is readily available fresh produce, including from my own garden! although happily, there are several farmer's markets available to supplement where my meager gardening attempts fail!)

Well, it's a beautiful Saturday afternoon and I have nothing to do, so instead of being outside like most Maine folk (who know what winter is just around the corner) I took today to cook!

Because I have an abundance of ripe tomatoes from my garden, I decided to make a sauce, either for immediate consumption or for freezing for those cold winter days. I started with about 15 medium sized tomatoes...



Tammy's Tomato Basil Sauce

15 medium sized tomatoes
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic
1 large onion
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 habanero pepper

  1. First, I skinned and seeded the tomatoes, then chopped them roughly.
  2. Add tomatoes and finely chopped basil leaves to a large stockpot and bring to a simmer.
  3. Meanwhile, finely chop onion, mince garlic and finely chopped habanero pepper to a small fry pan with oil oil and saute until onions are translucent.
  4. Add onion mix to tomatoes, cover and let simmer for 2 hours. Buon appetito!

So, while I waited for my sauce to be ready, my rumbling stomach reminded me I needed lunch. So I scrounged through my refrigerator and sound ingredients to make a yummy veggie wrap.

I started with a sun-dried tomato wrap and covered it with out 1/3 cup of my homemade red pepper hummus, then I piled on cucumber slices, quartered grape tomatoes, brocco sprouts and some blanched asparagus, folded it up, put it on my panini maker for a couple of minutes and voila - lunch is served!




Reactions: 

What to do with all that zucchini...

Posted on 8:36 PM In:
I have a small garden where I plant what I feel are my essentials... tomatoes, summer squash, peppers, more tomatoes, hot pepper and zucchini. As anyone else who has ever planted zucchini, you end up having more than you can use, so you have to start getting creative with what you cook. In addition to being plentiful sometimes they grow 12 inches in one night... slight exaggeration, but zucchini is one of those examples where smaller tends to be better. So, what to do with plentiful, over sized zucchini? Stuff 'em! I took three over sized specimens tonight and did just that!

I started with concocting the stuffing, mainly from leftover stuff and this is roughly the recipe:

1 medium onion, diced
4 cloves minced garlic
1 1/2 cups brown rice, cooked
2 ears of corn, kernels cut off
1 bell pepper, diced
1 can cannelloni beans
1 T cayenne pepper
1 T dried basil
spaghetti sauce
  1. Saute onions with garlic until onions are translucent.
  2. Combine onions with right, corn, pepper, beans, spices and approx 1/2 cup of spaghetti sauce
  3. Cut the zucchini lengthwise, remove seeds and blanch the zucchini for 1 minute.
  4. In a large baking dish, put approx 1 cup of water, then lay zucchini halves in. Fill each zucchini with stuffing. using approx another cup of spaghetti sauce, cover the stuffed zucchini.
  5. Cover Pan with aluminum foil, cutting a couple slits in it to allow steam to escape.
  6. Bake at 375 for approx 30 minutes - serve.

It was really good. With my next batch of over sized zucchini, I might try a Mexican twist and instead use black beans, cilantro, salsa and of course some hot peppers for good measure.

Reactions: 

Day 60

Posted on 1:26 PM In: ,
I cannot believe it is Day 60 of this 30 day experiment. In all honesty, I guess I have to stop calling it an experiment and call it what it is: a life change.

Over the past two months, I have developed some new habits and found new restaurants to frequent. I read labels alot more... anything with more than 8 ingredients, I generally do not bother. Have you ever read labels consistently? I work part-time in a retail store that specializes in high-end cooking implements as well as many food items. I have been shocked and disappointed in how many of the food items contain animal products. What on earth does CHICKEN STOCK add to a Artichoke Lemon Pasta Sauce? It's been an education. I have come to the conclusion that perhaps this high-end store I work at doesn't put as much emphasis on high-end food as I would have thought it did.

I have really enjoyed the cooking end of things. Although, I have to say I wish I had more self-created inspiration instead of having to rely on cookbooks so much. I sometimes follow recipes to the letter, but more often than not, I use them as inspiration and put my own twist on the creation. Most recently, I have made alot of sorbets. Who needs ice cream when you can have fresh berry sorbet, right? I just made a blackberry version which was really good. I took 3/4 raw sugar and combined it with 1 cup water in a small saucepan. I brought it to a boil, stirring constantly and allowed it to boil for one minute. Then I put the mixture in the refrigerator to allow it to cool completely. meanwhile, I take about 5 cups of blackberries and puree in a food processor, then push through a sieve and then finally through cheese cloth to remove the seeds (lots of seeds in blackberries!). Once the syrup is coll, I combine it with my pulverized berries, add it to my ice cream machine and let it run for 30 minutes. I have also read that you can accomplish the same result without the addition of the ice cream machine. Simply add the fruit and syrup to a large Ziploc bag, then put this beg into another large Ziploc bag full of ice. Then, take this bag-in-a-bag and shake it around for 30 minutes. Either way, put the finished product in the freezer and in an hour or so, voila - sorbet! Healthy, refreshing and most importantly - delicious!!


Reactions: 

Sunday Brunch

Posted on 2:47 PM In:
So, since I've gone vegan, my brunch options have been nill. What's so hard about making a vegan waffle or blueberry pancake folks? Pre-vegan, my hubbie and I were regulars at The Frog and Turtle for, among other meals, brunch. One of my favorite parts about brunch was the Bloody Mary. Now, it's not just any Bloody Mary... it is a fantastic, mood altering, spicy concoction... best I've ever had.

Well, my favorite barkeep, Ian, seized the challenge and made me a vegan batch. So, guess where we had brunch this past Sunday? Granted, I had fruit for the meal part which wasn't exactly filling, despite how delicious and beautiful it was, but my Mary put a smile on my face all the same!

Now I just have to work on James and those vegan pancakes!


Reactions: 

Grand Plans

Posted on 10:56 AM
So, my grand plans of cooking and experimenting this week fell by the wayside. I figured with my husband away for the week, I'd have time, right? Well... Monday night I grocery shopped and went to the gym, Tuesday night I worked @ WS, Wednesday night I had dinner and a margarita at my favorite eating drinking establishment, Frog & Turtle and then Thursday night, he was home!

I did however make some banana bread that turned out really nice. I also made some preserves, this time it was strawberry blueberry jam.... yum!


Every day of being a vegan is a learning experience. I just found out yesterday I cannot have Worcestershire sauce. I think I knew it had anchovies in it, but I think I forgot or blocked it out because of my deep seeded hatred of anything aquatic (to eat that is... love the animals - really) because once my very favorite bartender told me he'd make me a special batch of vegan Bloody Mary's for me for Sunday's brunch, I was perplexed for a minute and then when he brought out the bottle, it didn't come as a surprise.

Ya, so that's all I got. Another fairly uneventful week in my world.

Reactions: 

Who's the worst blogger ever?

Posted on 11:43 AM In: , ,
Well, that's easy! me... (ahem)

So, here it is, the 3rd freakin' week of July. I say it every year... oh hell, everyone says it every year... summers go by way too quickly.

Since my last post:

1) We have gone to Boston for our anniversary... and tried several vegan restaurants, all varying in levels of fantasticness. My fav was Addis Red Sea Ethiopian restaurant. Neither Bo nor I had ever eaten Ethiopian, but once we got used to the tiny little chairs, the table, the lack of utensils, we were fine! On a scale from 1 to 5, I'd give it a 3.75. I'd def go back, I just may order differently. Others that we tried include Grezzo (raw, vegan food, very good, phenomenal dessert but over priced) and The Grasshopper, which was ok, but not outstanding.
2) I went to Vermont for the Brewer's Fest in Burlington. I had fun, it was good seeing old friends from my previous life.

I've also been cooking, reading and berry picking!

As far as cooking is concerned, I have been doing a lot of experimenting with items I pick up at the farmer's markets as well as recipes from my newest cookbooks. My garden has also come alive with zucchini! I made a vegan zucchini bread, which was fanfreakintastic, recipe originating from The Joy of Vegan Baking. I resist the urge to freely post a recipe, because I want you to buy the books and support the folks who work so hard to put them together, but that being said, if you send me an e-mail, I will send you the recipe... but I still think you should buy the book! I also made some fried plantains with black bean dipping sauce from one of my other fav cookbooks from Cafe Sunflower. I have pictures of neither because, well, I am still a blogger in training and it does not always occur to me to take pictures... I'll get better, I promise.

On to reading... at the suggestion of the parents of a friend of mine, I am now reading The China Study and have been for a while. Truth be told, once I got back from ATL, I have not had a lot of time to read. But, I have the best of intentions of getting back at it this week. fantastic book, it'll change your life if you are open to it.




Berry picking... strawberries, raspberries and blueberries, oh my! I have a number of strawberries frozen and have made both raspberry and strawberry jam. The jams were a bit of a challenge. I'm off the white sugar and I will not use the artificial stuff (Splenda, Nutrasweet, etc) so what to sweeten the jam with? You need sugar for it to set. I have opted for turbinado sugar, but would be interested in suggestions of anyone has any.


Lastly, there are a few things that I have recently discovered and feel strongly about that I would like to share here:
  • Blue Mango Veggie Burgers - very tasty, absolutely delicious
    I think that's it... you are up-to-date. I have some serious cooking plans this week, so stay tuned for a more successful effort at picture taking and posting.
  • Maria & Ricardo's Tortilla Factory wraps - yummy, elastic-y, makes it easy to stuff 'em with the good stuff, then slam 'em in my panini press. I got Sundried Tomato... would be interested in knowing what other flavors they come in. I called the company and they aren't a lot of help as they sell through distributors and the guy I talked to told me they only had white and whole wheat... what?!? (no website that I found, but I bought them at Lois' Natural Marketplace in Scarborough)
  • Healthy Living Market on Dorset St in Burlington, VT. They are kinda like a WFM, but are smaller, have a eat-in deli / cafe area and carry some really cool stuff that I have yet to see at WFM... like lots (10 maybe) of different flavored tofu / tempeh...BBQ was the only one I can recall but they all looked fantastic. Their bulk area was also way cooler with more choices for grains and pilafs.

Well, I believe that concludes my rambling. Stay tuned as I have some serious cooking plans this week and I will be more diligent about my pictures.
Ciao!


Reactions: 

1 Month off the juice...

Posted on 10:46 AM In: ,
Ok, not really juice, but Diet Pepsi. Today is my one month anniversary since I have ingested a DP... pretty cool!

Bo and I went to Atlanta last week and my in-laws were great about trying to accommodate my eating preferences. On our last full day there, Mom and Dad wanted to eat someplace Vegan,. so they could see what it was like. We found this fabulous restaurant in Buckhead called Cafe Sunflower. I cannot wait to go back! My FIL even had desert - a chocolate peanut butter pie which he LOVED and it was mostly tofu... go dad! Everyone really enjoyed their meals. Truth be told, the only one I was concerned about was dad.

I have started reading this book called The China Study. Wow... did you know they (the rest of the world) refers to cancer and heart disease as WESTERN DISEASES. OMG... this was news to me... kinda scary news. How is it that the wealthiest and most powerful nation in the world, the one who spends the most on health care lays claim to the most horrible diseases?!? It's our diet and lifestyle. The more I read this book, the more I want everyone I love to be vegan. It has definitely shown me how people can become extremists and even preachy about the subject... this is some really scary shit!

About my veganism... I am loving it! I am excited about the foods I can cook and the new veggies I can incorporate into my diet. I know I do not have to be vegan to have to do this, but it has been a great motivator. During my recent trip to Atlanta, I also found 2 new cookbooks: the cookbook from Cafe Sunflower (of which I was excited to see they have included many recipes from their restaurant) and also The Joy of Vegan Baking, which has some fabulous recipes for everything from biscuits and cornbread to apple and pumpkin pies.

Bo is also being amazingly supportive. Do you know he actually requested soy half-n-half for his coffee the other day when we were at the grocery store. It means so much to me that he is being so wonderful and supportive about this. How lucky am I??

I guess that's all for now.

Reactions: 

Little Lad's Herbal Corn is Crack Corn

Posted on 9:11 PM In:
it is zesty and spicy and delicious and has all of the addictive characteristics of crack... can't get enough.

Reactions: