Wednesday, March 17, 2010

TTFN



When Kell and I started Sisters Vegan back at the beginning of 2008, we had nooo idea how much fun we would have. We've met so many cool people, eaten so many yummy things, and been to so many great places.

But all good things come to an end, or in this case, a beginning (wait how does that work, I don't know just roll with it plzkthx). Kell and I have decided to move on up to our own projects for right now. She's right about to graduate from art school and start an amazingly successful career, and I'm applying to cooking school and trying to write a cookbook. Neither of us have as much free time as we used to, so for now, we're going to put Sisters Vegan on a bit of a hiatus.

We really, really appreciate all the love and kind words we've received over the past two years. It makes me so happy to see how we've both grown as vegans during that time, and how much more acceptance veganism has gained! It's practically fashionable!

If you'd like to follow either of us on our continuing (mis)adventures, you can check out Kelly's artblog at http://meltykelly.blogspot.com/, and you can check out Meg's new vegan cooking blog at http://suchavegan.blogspot.com/.

See you around, and happy veganing!

XOXO,

Meg

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Tester fun + a question



I'm still on a roll with testing for Isa's newest book, so here's a taste (har) to keep you excited!

Tamarind BBQ Tempeh & Sweet Potatoes (Isa tester)
Tamarind BBQ Tempeh & Sweet Potatoes

Potato Celeriac Soup with Brussels (Isa tester)
Potato Celeriac Soup with Brussels

Tortilla Soup (Isa tester)
Tortilla Soup

Chickpea Piccata (over mashed potatoes and arugula) (Isa tester)
Chickpea Piccata over mashed potatoes and arugula

Brussels Sprouts Potato Hash (Isa tester)
Brussels Sprouts Potato Hash

Tempeh & Black Eyed Pea Meatballs and Olivada Marinara with gf pasta (Isa tester)
Tempeh & Black Eyed Pea Meatballs and Olivada Marinara over gluten-free pasta


Speaking of GF pasta, I am totally in love with Ancient Harvest Quinoa's gluten-free pasta. It holds up equally well in stove-top pasta dishes as well as baked casseroles. The elbows and the spaghetti are my favorite. And it doesn't give you crazy poops the next day! I just wish they made lasagna noodles. Anyone got a recommendation for other GF pasta to try?

I'm working on a post about vegan knitting. Any questions about vegan knitting, or yarn, or anything else you'd like to see in the blog, please leave a comment and let us know! I'm curious to see what sort of direction readers expect/want from this blog. We kind of started it as a chronicle of our first baby steps as vegans. It's still important to us to help out newbie vegans as much as possible (Mom, Dad, come on, you know you can do it!), but also that we explore other topics as well. So let us know!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Yikes!



We haven't blogged in FOREVER. Eeps. Sorry. That's going to change soon. Mostly it's because I used to do all my blogging while at work (productive use of company resources mmmyes), and now I've changed positions and am super fucking busy during the day, and pooped when I get home. I promise though, we'll be better. XO!

Well with that out of the way, I wanted to point y'all in the direction of some awesome things going on this month.

Vegan valentines


First of all, on February 12th there's this awesome Vegan Valentine's Dance thingy being put on by a bunch of great people and featuring food from TONS OF PEOPLE including the fabulous ladies at both Sugar Beat Sweets and Fat Bottom Bakery! The price is a little steep but you get lots of free shit and since everyone vegan in the Bay Area knows each other, you're bound to see at least a couple peeps and guzzle beer at the same time! Also I've been to a different event in that same building, and I gotta say, the Brower Center is like California in that it knows how to party. It's pretty and big and super awesome.

SF vegan bakesale


Speaking of Valentine's Day and baked goods, the next San Francisco Vegan Bakesale is the following day, February 13th! Come stock up on sweets for your honey agavebunny, as Valentine's is the NEXT DAY FOOLS ack ack I totally have no idea what to get my BF, ideas plz!!!!! I'm probably going to bring persimmon walnut chocolate chip blondies again yo, so come eat that shit up before I do and gain more winter weight oops.

Speaking of bakesales, check out Fat Bottom Bakery's review of the first ever East Bay Vegan Bakesale, complete with photos of cute people and dogs, here! (I'm the hottie in the blue hoodie and braids.)

Friday, January 8, 2010

East Bay Vegan Bakesale TOMORROW!



We've been absent from the blogosphere for a while but we're coming back soon, and bettah than evah, so stay tuned.

In the meantime, go here and eat awesome things while supporting great organizations and maybe even picking up a $1 book or three!!

ebvbsflyer



East Bay Vegan Bake Sale!
Saturday Jan. 9 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
@ Issues, at 20 Glen Ave. at Piedmont Avenue in Oakland


See you there!

Friday, December 4, 2009

San Francisco Vegan Bakesale!



In case y'all hadn't heard, tomorrow is the December San Francisco Vegan Bakesale! All proceeds go to Save a Bunny and The Food Empowerment Project. Over 50 bakers (yours truly included) + adoptable bunnies + Ike's sandwiches = a most excellent day of delectableness.

SF Vegan Bakesale!


So I'll see you in front of Ike's Place @ 3506 16th St, San Francisco, CA, between 11am and 4pm, yeah?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Giving thanks





Grandma Mildred in her garden


Things have been quiet at the Haus Sisters Vegan (+JP) lately. School, health, and family things have been keeping us busy. But I wanted to make a quick post, because this Thanksgiving is going to be a little different for us this year.

My grandma, my mom's mom, passed away on October 11th. She was diagnosed with mesothelioma in August, and a few months later, she was gone. It's been really hard for everyone, but especially my mom, my aunt, and my cousin. They were taking care of Grandma (and my Grandpa), and the rest of us, too. I may have made over 12 dozen cookies for the memorial service, but mom, Joanne, and Michelle were the ones to talk to the doctor, Grandma's pastor, and relatives. The hard parts.

Grandma Mildred was a very special person. She was kind, supportive, funny, loving, strong-willed, and a wonderful cook and baker. More than one speaker at her memorial service mentioned her blackberry pie, myself included. Even though I don't think she really understood it, she was super awesome about me being vegan, and made her signature rolls and berry pies with vegetable-based shortening instead of butter for me. How lucky were we?! She always always made sure there was food we could eat, even driving all the way out to Whole Foods in Petaluma one time for us. Grandma Mildred supported her children and grandchildren unwaveringly, despite our flaws, and I think that's why we all turned out alright. (It may also be the reason why she had so many grey hairs on her head...I'm looking at you mom! ;)

I feel like of all the parts of me, as much as I constantly struggle to define who I am and come up with no answers, the parts of my life that have Grandma in them make sense, and those parts are solid and reassuring, and make the rest of the puzzle pieces fall into place around them.

This will be our first Thanksgiving without Grandma. I haven't felt the loss as hard as I do right now. But out of this loss came the amazing realization of how much my mom's side of the family loves and supports each other through loss and hardship, how awesome it is to have these super-awesome women and men in my life, and no matter what, I can count on them. Especially in contrast to my dad's relatives. I also discovered that I have a really great group of friends in the Bay Area and Oregon (and elsewhere!) who care for me and that I can count on them, too.

I have so much to be thankful for this year, even though it's been one of the hardest of my life. Thank you, readers, for making this blog so fun. Thank you, friends and family, for being there for me. Thank you, Kelly and JP, for hugging me when I come home.

I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving! We're making what is now the traditional vegan dish of Pumpkin & Black Bean Casserole (this year made with butternut squash), and the (vegan) Pumpkin Cheesecake with Candied Cranberries from last month's issue of Vegetarian Times. We'll report back.

(Grandma didn't like to have pictures taken of her, so I couldn't find any of her in the kitchen, but the one above is of her in just a small portion of her AMAZING beautiful and bountiful garden, and the one below is from Thanksgiving of last year.)

Thanksgiving 2008

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Autumnal Gleegans



Autumn is at our doorstep, and so is our Gluten-free friend Mark! Mark has known longer than we have about the trials of having dietary restrictions around other people, so I learned a lot from him regarding ingredients and substitutions.
However, Vegan cookbooks are increasingly having more and more gluten-free recipes, doing all the work for us. Vegan Brunch was the culprit this time. We made Gluten-free Buckwheat Pancakes and updated Tempeh Bacon. Word of caution to the Gee-Effers - use Tamari or Braggs Liquid Aminos instead of soy sauce. I really almost screwed that one up.
Needless to say, the pancakes were gorgeous and poofed up more than any GF baked goods I have ever made (remind me to tell you the sad tale of the GF vanilla cupcakes sometime) and despite all of the different flours and flax, its substantial, nutty taste was not at all 'health-foody'.
Tempeh bacon is definitely a staple in this household, so I already knew that I could depend on it. I was really pleased to be able to make something so quickly and easily that everyone could eat.



Additionally, we had to serve our vegan guest lunch as well, so we broke out some more McDougall soup. Four of the soups I mentioned in my last post are gluten-free, and Mark took on the Lentil soup, which I can only guess that he enjoyed, seeing as how he wolfed it down just an hour or two hours after we had our glorious vegan breakfast. I had Minestrone, which didn't impress me as much as the chunky tomato, but it was good.
I would recommend heating these soups up in a pot on the stove. I think my problem keeping them warm enough while I eat is because they're really thick and hearty, and a Microwave even on 2 minutes or so just don't do the trick, at least not evenly. So if you're close to a stovetop, use it, otherwise give it a stir halfway through nuking.



Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Vegan Mofo Day 27: Ike's - A Love Story in Photos




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If you live in the Bay Area and have not yet been to Ike's Place...get off your ass. Run, drive, fucking get your butt onto BART for christ's sake and get one of these sandwiches into your belly. They are the size of a baby and ten times as delicious (OH I'M KIDDING baby-eating = so not vegan and also immoral I think). All sandwiches come with a random lollipop and they are super nice about making sure vegan 'pops go with the vegan 'wiches.

They have an insane menu, most of which can be made vegan, and even some shit off the menu that's vegan, too. Ask the super friendly/nice/hot people who work there for suggestions if you are overwhelmed by the choices, they'll never disappoint! They also now have gluten-free bread, so all you gleegans can get in on this shit (I'm rapidly coming over to the dark gluten-free[ish] side so this makes me ecstatic).

Me: vegan Paul Reuben, add avocado, extra pickles, on the dutch crunch bread
Kell: vegan Not So Sloppy Ike with 'meat'balls (see picture) on dutch crunch bread

Just look at that delicious fucking sandwich:

Kelly has a sammich <3  Yay Ike's!


We ate at Ike's last weekend to get hella fat fuel up before the San Francisco Walk for Farm Animals (more about that later). LET THE EATING COMMENCE!

Om...
Om...

...nom!
...nom!


That is one fucking HALF of the sandwich. Srsly you guys, this shit is intense.

Also Ike is a very sexy man. When he gave me and a friend our sandwiches, he was all "Here you go ladies, and btw, the lollipop is vegan" and gave us a VERY handsome smile. I would have fainted but I had a sandwich to devour. PRIORITIES!

This is the last entry I do after eating four Late July organic vanilla bean sandwich cookies. SQUEE!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Vegan MoFo Day 22: Doctor Mc D and Me




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Day 22 of Vegan Mofo is also Day 1 of...Dr. McDougall Chunky Tomato Ready-to-Serve Soup review!
I'd like to preface the review with a little information about Dr. McDougall, though, because I had heard about him long ago before I knew what the term "vegan" meant, and I realize that not everyone knows what he's all about.

As you can see from his website, Dr. John McDougall developed a diet to help at-risk individuals reverse the effects of health conditions through a vegan diet program. This all began in Santa Rosa, very close to where Meg and I grew up. He even had a spot on the local radio station (the token Celine-Dion playing lite rock station that our mother adored) where he would talk about diet versus health versus the risk of heart and weight problems. Tons of restaurants in Sonoma County have a "McDougall" menu, which are generally much healthier, and vegan. Pretty cool, right? Personally, I feel like even though generalized or fad diet programs always have issues, his program lends some credibility to the *already* proven good effects of a vegan diet on one's health. He also seems up to date on happenings in the vegan health scene. I just noticed that he has a podcast page that touts interviews with folks like Dr. Ornish, Howard Lyman, and other folks who either advocate a vegan diet, or alternatives to drugs, pills, and surgery.

Now, onto the IMPORTANT business. I had in my paws a carton of McDougall Chunky Tomato soup. Now it is in my belly.



Being a healthy vegan when you're harried and always on the go and constantly buried in homework or your job can be difficult. In the household of the Sisters Vegan, we cook and make our own lunches as often as we can so we have control over the ingredients, and we save money. However, in a perfect world, midterms would not exist. So, Meg has left it to me to do some reviewing of something I eat a lot - Ready-to-serve soup.

I'm not sure if this tasted so great because vegan tomato soup is just so darn hard to come by in stores up north, but this soup was AWESOME. I consider myself something of a picky eater when it comes to soup, and I loathe blandness, but honestly, this was right on the mark. The tomatoes tasted really great and fresh and sweet, and entirely unlike a lot of tomato soup I've had - that is, something that smells like spaghetti-O's and tastes about as good.



What's even better is the fact that each serving is ninety calories and packed with some pretty good stuff. My ONLY qualm is that they have no microwave time listed on the box ("Just heat and serve!") and any college student knows that the likelihood of having a stovetop nearby is...well, unlikely. I found that 2 minutes does it just about perfectly.

Most evenings when I feel like something nutritious and delicious I envision myself pulling out Isa Chandra's new low cal cookbook, or cruising through Vegan Express. However, for those nights when I'm just plum pooped from 10 hours of class, I can definitely see myself pulling some of this soup out of the pantry.

McDougall Soup 1 of 7 = success!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Vegan Mofo Day 13: Color Me Vegan!




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Check out my fajita quilt. I was bound and determined to veganize the Chili's Fajita Recipe, one of my favorite things to eat in the world, and I think I succeeded. Sadly, we were all so bent on eating them, that I have only photos of the ingredients before they were horfed down:



More and more I have read in magazines about studies claiming that the more colorful something is, generally, the better it is for you. Obviously fruits and veggies have some of the most vibrant colors, and the most nutritional content, compared to colorless starchy foods. This is probably nothing new to anyone who's reading a cooking blog, but I liked this quote:

"[I suggest eating] seven servings a day of fruits and vegetables, each from a different color group. (To meet your orange-yellow needs, for instance, eat a papaya, nectarine or grapefruit). For most people, iceberg lettuce, French fries and catsup are their three vegetables. [] This is an attempt to bring us back to our evolutionary roots."
- Dr. David Heber, the founding director of the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition and author of the just published What Color Is Your Diet? (HarperCollins)