Friday, March 27, 2009

Animal Place Widget!

Hey - just thought I'd throw this up. I made a widget for Animal Place because I figured it might help them get some more donations if they could get the word out more, and I think people would like to learn more about it. If you click on "share" you can post it to Facebook, Myspace, Blogger, Livejournal, tons of places. Our widget builder ( is free to registered nonprofit organizations - they're a great way to virally spread the word about animal sanctuaries, vegan events, books and other stuff. :)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Irish Soda Bread aka Breakfast

For some reason I can't fathom, I haven't made anything from Joy of Vegan Baking by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau in a long time. I pulled the thick volume out on Monday, however, because I knew there was a recipe for Irish soda bread within. My workplace had a St. Paddy's Day potluck yesterday, and I wanted to bring SOMETHING I could eat! (I was pleasantly surprised, incidentally, that a coworker brought a cabbage sesame salad that was not only accidentally vegan, but AMAZING!)

The recipe is quite simple, and I was impressed by how simple the ingredients were. This is a recipe you could make almost anywhere. Flour, salt, baking soda, white vinegar? Who doesn't have those on hand? If you're a college student who goes home for the holidays, this would be a really easy recipe to contribute to a holiday meal, and show your famfam that vegan baking IS indeed possible and also ZOMG delicious. The only tricky ingredients might be the soymilk and the vegan margarine. But soymilk (or another nondairy milk) is so easy to find these days, and you could always bring some Earth Balance with you in a little tupperware container.

Very quick to mix up, then 35 minutes in the oven and you're done and you have yummy , slightly moist, thick bread to share with your family and friends.

I added the optional raisins, and also the zest of one orange, because my boyfriend says that's how he likes it, and the boy's ridiculously Irish, so I'm not going to argue. I also replaced half of the all purpose flour with white whole wheat flour.

I ate the leftovers for breakfast this morning at work with a cup of jasmine green tea.

Irish Soda Bread (JoVB

Colleen recently posted the recipe on Facebook, so if you haven't added her as a friend already, you should!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Read the map!

Long story short, I was going to take my snazzy new bike out for a nice long ride yesterday...a nice, easy to intermediate, 12 mile bike ride in the Berkeley hills and up through Tilden Park.

Well due to me not writing down the right directions, it ended up being a 23 mile, mostly uphill, lost out somewhere near San Pablo Dam Road, can't feel my ladybits anymore type of ride. It was so so so worth it though, just look at this view, and that wasn't even the top yet:

On Grizzly Peak Road, Berkeley, CA

Luckily, I'd planned ahead, and stuffed myself full of some healthy things (and some not so healthy things) to give me plenty of energy for the long hard way up and the terrifyingly fast way down!

Meg's Mexicalifornia Tofu Scramble and JP's Taters

I wanted tofu scramble, but lacking mushrooms or any of the other things we usually put in our scrambles, we decided to play the "look in the fridge, see what we've got, and throw it in, too" game. And you can't have breakfast without taters, so we made some of those, too.

And thus, Meg's Mexicalifornia Tofu Scramble and JP's Breakfast Taters were born. It's Mexicalifornia because it's got cumin and oregano and beans and onion, and avocado and broccoli. Understand? I don't either, some genius out there decided to call anything with broccoli or avocado in it "Californian" so dammit, I will too, it's my right as an American to blindly follow where others tell me to!

In my opinion the best of the best of tofu scrambles is Isa's from Vegan with a Vengeance, the recipe for which is available here, but you should buy the book anyway. Her recipe has never let me down and it's so fun to play with. Anyway if I make tofu scramble I use her recipe as a guide, but hopefully these are different enough that I can post this here and put my name on it. Anyway this is a great recipe to use when you've got leftover broccoli, beans, or onion, as we always seem to do.

I should also say that I normally enjoy my tofu scramble more...smushed? Scrambly? Whatever, than cubed tofu, but we had bought a package of Nasoya Cubed Super Firm Tofu because the nearest market to us (which is evil Safeway) recently started carrying it and we try to make it known that the neighboring vegans like it when they carry stuff we can eat, so we thought we'd just use that and make some potatoes to go with it.

Meg's Mexicalifornia Tofu Scramble

Meg's Mexicalifornia Tofu Scramble

1-2 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium red onion, large dice
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1 green onion, sliced thinly
1 3-4 oz can diced jalepenos
1 small carrot, sliced thinly and then chopped
1/2 cup chopped broccoli florets
2 tsps cumin
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp tumeric
Salt/pepper to taste
1/2 pound of super firm or extra firm tofu, cubed
1 Tbs nutritonal yeast
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup red, black, or pink beans (I used black and pinto beans)
1/2 bunch dinosaur kale, destemmed and torn into bite-size pieces

Top it with:

1/2 avocado, sliced
1 small tomato, seeded and diced
Get saucy: Yumm sauce, sour cream, ketchup, hot sauce (Sriracha!)

Heat up oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add onion, red pepper, and green onion, and saute for 3-5 minutes, until onion is softened. Add jalepenos (the liquid will help out if your pan gets a bit dry), carrot, and broccoli, and saute for another five minutes, until broccoli is bright green and carrots have softened a bit. Add spices and salt/pepper and mix up, then add tofu, stirring to coat everything. Cook, stirring occasionally for 5-10 minutes, or until tofu is cooked through to your liking. Add nutritional yeast, lemon juice, and beans, stir to coat, and then add kale and put a lid on your skillet for 2 minutes, or until kale has wilted slightly. After kale has wilted, mix everything up one last time, and serve up with avocado, tomato, and accoutrements of your choice.

JP's Breakfast Taters

JP's taters

3 medium russet potatoes, cut in half lengthwise and sliced very thinly
2 Tbs - 1/4 cup canola oil, depending on how guilty you feel
4 cloves of garlic, chopped

Heat up a tablespoon or two of oil in a skillet over medium heat, and add potatoes. Stir to coat in oil. Cook covered, stirring occasionally so that potatoes don't stick together in a lump, for about 20 minutes until potatoes are soft and golden brown. Add more oil if they start to burn or stick. After the potatoes have cooked, add garlic and cook uncovered, stirring frequently so that garlic doesn't burn, for 2-3 minutes. Salt to taste and serve that shit up.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

When you have the plague...

...Eat PPK Chili. Works wonders!

I'm not the greatest cook in the world - lord knows I can't cook like my other half! But occasionally something turns out really great, and this is definitely one of those things. I used chipotle chili powder instead of regular, and it was the perfect amount of heat (I'm about medium wussy on the scoville scale. Though, my father thought it would be funny to feed me part of a scotch bonnet once). Everything was just creamy and delicious and wonderful.
Even with a few substitutions, like the poblano chilis that Whole Foods DIDN'T HAVE, it turned out nicely. I used chili-seasoned pinto beans (I had them in the pantry, was convenient) and I used the mexican-style smart beef grounds instead of the standard ones. Didn't end up using any dried chilis but I think the chipotle powder probably made up for it. So good! And it's the first time I've tried this recipe. Actually, it's the first time I've ever made chili! In my life! See, I had this problem with beans before I went I horf them down like you woudn't believe.

Anyhow! PPK has never let me down. Now I have enough delicious vegan chili to keep me warm for the rest of the week, even if I'm sneezing and miserable. Check out the chili montage:

Monday, March 9, 2009

You like me, you really like me!

I got a late birthday present from my wonderful cousin, and it was so awesome I wanted to share it:

Birthday presents from Michelle!

Polenta, rice, and more legumes than you can shake a stick at (as well as handmade coasters and potholders!). NOM! I love having a well-stocked cupboard!

I came home late on Thursday to find a care package from the lovely and talented Mihl of Seitan is my Motor!

Care package from Mihl!!

LOOK AT ALL THAT GERMAN STUFF! :D In addition to a sweet letter, there was waldbeer tea (my favorite!), Mamba (like Starburst but vegan!), Gummib√§rchen (gummy bears), marzipan Rittersport chocolate, Mr. Tom (vegan caramel and peanuts, tastes kind of like Cracker Jack without the popcorn...there used to be two of them but, uh, someone ate one...clearly not me...*shifty glance*), and a bag of Gr√ľnkern, which is spelt grains that are harvested when they are still green and then dried, and have a smokey taste! I think I am most excited about them. :3

My friends and family know me well. Food = a happy Meg!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

You must make this soup. I command it.

I've fallen in love with the Smokey Refried Bean Soup from FatFree Vegan Kitchen.

Smokey refried bean soup (FFVK)

Why, you ask?

1. Easy to find ingredients available at any grocery store (except for perhaps chipotle chili powder, but really, that's worth a trip to infinity and beyond, so get yo'self some NOW!)

2. Go home, chop some shit up, throw it all in a pot, simmer for 20-30 minutes, BOOM, dinner is on the table.

3. During those 20-30 minutes, you can clean up, chop up some avocado and cilantro for the top (my addition), AND, you can cut up some corn tortillas, throw them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, spray with oil, throw on some coarse salt, lime juice, chili powder, whatevs, and bake at 400 F degrees for 10 minutes, for fresh, crunchy homemade tortilla chips that aren't nearly as oily as store-bought. And the last couple ounces aren't smushed to tiny bits at the bottom of the bag.

Homemade tortilla chips!

4. Per serving: Per serving: 257 Calories (kcal); 1g Total Fat; (4% calories from fat); 15g Protein; 47g Carbohydrate; 0mg Cholesterol; 895mg Sodium; 14g Fiber!!!

5. It's delicious, so much so that I want to make sweet sweet love to it.

The flavors get even better overnight, which means nommable leftovers for me for lunch at work the next day.

Monday, March 2, 2009

'Italian' food & pie

More 'Italian' food! My heritage must be showing; it's been rainy, gray, and dismal for the past few days and it's not supposed to stop any time soon, and it makes me cranky. I need the sun!

So, I made comfort food:

Spaghetti and Beanballs (Vcon)
Spaghetti with Beanballs with Caramelized Oion & Roasted Red Pepper Marina, both from Veganomicon

This hit the spot. I haven't had spaghetti and "meat"balls in a very long time, and I'd been craving them for a while. The bean ball recipe is very similar to the chickpea cutlets, but different beans/spices (obviously) and in ball form (also obviously). I probably would have baked them a little longer to get them a little more firm, but that was probably due to my oven; it has been even finickier than usual lately, heating 75 degrees over what it should be! Grr. I can't wait to move.

And what's dinner without dessert? Despite my cranky oven, I decided to use the abundance of citrus sitting on my counter (thanks, Mom & Dad!) to make another pie from Hannah's Mission: Impossible Pies e-cookbook:

Lemon Curd Pie
Lemon Curd Pie

Creamy and delicious and tart! I decreased the amount of sugar a bit because JP and I are sugar-wusses, but that was the only change. I love this recipe because it uses ingredients readily available at any, and I mean in the middle of Podunk Nowhere, grocery store. I have plans to make the Mint Chocolate Chip Pie for my family's next get-together!