Tuesday, October 27, 2009

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


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!



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


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!


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)

Friday, October 9, 2009

Vegan MoFo Day 9: Poor Woman's Tempeh Bacon


I love tempeh bacon. I could probably eat my weight, and Kelly's weight, in tempeh bacon, in one sitting. And I would die happy.

I am also a busy girl. I work, I jog, and I volunteer, and sometimes I like to sleep and see my friends (preferably not at the same time) - so what's a girl to do when she wants tempeh bacon NAAAAOOOOOWWWWW?

When I want delicious tempeh bacon, I reach for the recipe from Vegan With a Vengeance. When I'm being a lazy asshole, I make Poor Woman's Tempeh Bacon.

Poor Man's Tempeh Bacon
Don't judge my filthy teakettle

I kind of wing this recipe, so you should feel free to not measure and splash away. It's done in less than 10 minutes.

Poor Woman's Tempeh Bacon

Cube or slice 8oz of tempeh into your desired shapes. Heat 1 tsp of olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Brown tempeh for 4-5 minutes, flipping occasionally. Add 1-2 tablespoons of the following, to taste:

Soy sauce (or tamari)
Maple syrup

...and 1/4 tsp of liquid smoke, if you like it smokey.

Stir tempeh to coat and cook for a few minutes, depending on your desired level of sauciness.

I've used this recipe for quick BLTs, to top soup with, and to eat on top of kale/rice bowls. Use your imagination and use the extra time to crochet that baby blanket that's been sitting in your basket forevs, or give your cats some extra scritchin'.

Poor Man's Tempeh Bacon (on split pea soup)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Vegan MoFo Day 8: Soup Weather


With temperatures dipping (well as much as they dip in California...), and my freaky body that gets cold at the slightest breeze, my mind turns to staying warm. Scarves, tea, blankets, baking cookies as an excuse to stay near the hot oven (uh huh)...and soup!

Chopping vegetables for soup

Soups are one of my favorite meals because you basically chop a bunch of shit up, throw it in a pot, and it cooks itself. Okay, maybe it's not as simple as that, but they're quick, economical, and you'll have lotsa leftovers, especially if you double the recipe, which doesn't take that much more time, but does make a ton of food.

I thought I'd throw up my top 10 soup recipes. Most of them are pretty easy and quick, and all of them are delicious and belly-warmin'. I don't have pictures for all of them, and some of these photos are pretty awful, but let me assure you, they're much prettier than I can show here.

1. Chili Sin Carne (from Vegan with a Vengeance by Isa Chandra Moskowitz)
Chili with avo, Tofutti sour cream, and cilantro

2. Smoky Refried Bean Soup (from Fat Free Vegan) with avocado and cilantro and lime on top
Smokey refried bean soup (FFVK)

3. Hungarian Mushroom Stew (veganized, from The Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen)

4. Smoky Split Pea Soup (from Eat Drink & Be Vegan! by Dreena Burton) with tempeh bacon squares on top

5. Apple & Carrot Soup with Coriander (from Get It Ripe! by Jae Steele)
Apple & Carrot Soup with Coriander (from Get It Ripe by Jae Steele)

6. Ancho-Lentil Soup with Grilled Pineapple (from Veganomicon by Isa Chandra Moskowitz & Terry Hope Romero)
Ancho-Lentil Soup with Grilled Pineapple (Vcon)

7. Chipotle Corn & Black Bean Stew (from Vegan with a Vengeance by Isa Chandra Moskowitz)
Chipotle, corn & black bean stew (VwaV)

8. Chickpea Noodle Soup (from Veganomicon by Isa Chandra Moskowitz & Terry Hope Romero)
Chickpea Noodle Soup (Vcon)

9. Thai Corn Coconut Stew (from Eat Drink & Be Vegan! by Dreena Burton)

10. Cream of Broccoli (veganized, with added potatoes, from The Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Vegan MoFo Day 6: SF World Veg Fest


As I mentioned in my last post, on Saturday I was tabling for Compassionate Cooks at the San Francisco World Veg Fest in Golden Gate Park.

Holding down the fort at the Compassionate Cooks booth!  (SF World Veg Fest 2009)

Colleen Patrick-Goudreau is a lovely wonderful feisty person and I had such a good time being her sidekick and talking to people about veganism and cooking!

Me and Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, after six hours of tabling!
Me and Colleen, repping it East Bay style

Both of her awesome cookbooks were selling like hotcakes!

I was STOKED to find out our table was right next to Sugar Beat Sweets, the hottest new thing since hotness was invented!!

Me and half of the Sugar Beat Sweets ladies!
Erica, me, and Melisser

Seriously though, the ladies of SBS rock vegan baking like no one else and I was lucky enough to sample a cinnamon bun the size of my head, a chocolate cheesecake bar, a s'mores cheesecake bar (made with Dandies!!, and a rice krispies treat (I shared! Kelly and JP were stuck at home doing homework so I brought some back for them). It was all so insanely decadent I can't even begin to describe how happy it all made me. If that's not enough sugary deliciousness for you, how about some FROSTING SHOTS?!

Frosting shots.  Yes.  It's exactly what it sounds like.
Yes. Exactly what it sounds like (ie, amazing).

So cannot wait for their storefront in SF to open!!

Also got my picture taken with Josh from Herbivore! (I also promptly bought the girly version of the shirt he's wearing.)

Me and Josh Hooten of Herbivore fame
I feel faster/smarter/sexier just after having stood next to him. Like a vegan Jesus.

Much food (other than wonderful baked things) was also consumed: a raw curry avocado wrap, a parfait and a SUPER DELICIOUS blueberry limeade from Alive, yummy taquitos from Flacos, and afterwards, a fun dinner with friends at Cha-Ya's new location!

I saw so many people I knew this year! I realized that it was a year to the day that I had met Melisser for the first time, mere weeks after I'd moved to the Bay Area. So much has changed in a year! I have a new position at work, I've made lots of friends, I moved in with Kelly and JP, I picked up some new hobbies, and, nearly doubled my cookbook collection in size, and we'll be getting a few furry additions to our little family in 1-2 weeks! There's some not great stuff that's happened as well, and I miss Oregon and my friends like whoa, but I'm happy I'm finally feeling a little settled into my East Bay digs for the moment.

It was just a really awesome Saturday.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Vegan MoFo Day 2: Testers


On this, the 2nd day of Vegan MoFo, I am eating a chai latte persimmon muffin spread with a little vegan cream cheese and a crisp juicy Johnathan apple. GOD I LOVE AUTUMN. I can wear my cute sweaters and plaid shirts and my sexxxy new boots and drink gallons of hot chocolate and gain 10 pounds and blame it on holiday cookies bahahahaha!


Isa testers!

Eggplant-chickpea curry & cashew cranberry biryani (both Isa testers)
Eggplant-Chickpea Curry with Cashew Cranberry Biryani

Baked Falafel (Isa tester) on top of tomatoes, cucumbers, and grilled squash
Baked falafel

Spicy Black Eyed Peas & Greens with Ginger Mashed Sweet Taters & Apples (Isa testers)
Spicy black eyed peas & greens with ginger mashed sweet potatoes & apples

Unfried Fried Rice & 5 Spice Delicata Squash
Unfried fried rice and 5 spice delicata squash

If any of you are going to the San Francisco VegFest tomorrow, and you see a fidgety looking girl with brown hair and a tattoo, it's probably me. :P I'm helping the lovely Colleen Patrick-Goudreau table, so come by and say hi!