Archive for RL

Veganmofo:Thanksgiving In Canada

This weekend, but seeing as I am in the states I celebrated by bringing a feast to a turkey named Troy. Which he loved and it was super fun and awesome. Although quieter, calmer and without all the tasty vegan eats this may just be one of the best thanksgivings I’ve had in a while.

I was planning to participate in this weeks Vegan Iron Chef, but due to our night out last night I didn’t get any groceries. I will still be making PB Pear stuffed French Toast, but not until later this week.

Here is a Short and sadly poorly shot video of the days events. Feeding food animals instead of eating them is a tradition that should be widely practiced.

(apologies for farm apparel)

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Sometimes things just don’t go right

For example me and following recipes. Measuring and following a set path is something I always find myself drifting from. I don’t sift. Measures are half assed at best, mostly guess work.

That being said, I love recipes and cookbooks. I read them like novels and my collection is always expanding. From cookbooks exploring the divine world of vegan gourmet, damn tasty food and the simple “students” cookbooks which contain more ideas than insight into the culinary world.

For example here is a dish from one such student cookbooks which sounds good in theory but needs a little something on flavour. Not sure what that will be yet, it was edible, maybe even ok, but it could be so much better.

Broccoli Soba with spicy peanut sauce, leaves a little to be desired. All the flavours are there but down played, I saved some sauce to fix up later and will post about the results. Fresh broccoli would improve this dish immediately. Up the ginger, the garlic and the peanuts because frankly it was a little bland.

The concept is good and this would be palatable for the masses, but I find myself craving more flavour. Perhaps the addition of hot sauce and roast nuts. The sauce needs to be richer, but when on a time restraint its a filling meal thats easy to make. Good hot or cold, I’ll get back to you on my additions.

This may turn the vegan community against me, but I just have to say it

It has to be said.

I hate Garlic Presses. There, I said it. I know everyone loves them, and I’ve tried time and time again to get on the band wagon. Their easy, quick, efficient blah blah blah and more lies.

Don’t get me wrong, I love kitchen gadget and tools,sure I may never need a mango slicer, oranger peeler or countless other fun tools. And maybe I’ve bought a few too many toys, used them once or twice and forgot about them. I am guilty. I love kitchen stuff. All stuff, especially tools and gadgets. But not, the garlic press.

Maybe I’ve only had bad presses in my life, but I find them tedious. They are hard to clean, with their little compartments and I always manage to get tiny garlic pieces into all kinds of odd places. Worst of all they don’t even press all the garlic, you are always left with that icky, smushed, wad of what used to be garlic that just won’t press through no matter how hard you pull. So after all the fussing with the stupid gadget the garlic juice squirting you in the eye and whatever else, you have to fish out these ends bits and chop em by hand or heaven forbid dispose of them.

Sure you can try and use it without peeling, which I guess could be appealing but really does anyone spend that much time peeling? One slice to remove the end, smack the clove with the blunt side of the knife and it pops right off. Same with mincing, a few quick slices and YOU ARE DONE. Easy clean up, use the whole clove, finished in a minute. Maybe I’m missing something, but chopping garlic is a breeze. Yeah, maybe your hands smell like garlic and it lingers for hours but hey, I like garlic that’s why I am using it in the first place.

So everyone can fiddle with their presses and shun their cutting boards, but I think I’ll skip the hassle and enjoy the scent of garlic on my hands and let some other poor soul figure out how to clean those darn things.

Veganmofo: A Word about food choices

I know this month is about food and the awesomeness of vegan cooking, baking and food in general. Maybe its a downer, but our food sends an important message. Whether we buy eggs/dairy/meat/etc can be the difference for thousands of animals yearly and the industry knows it. Dean foods owns a soy milk brand (which brings about a whole other set of issues), if there wasn’t money to be made selling dairy alternatives do you think this dairy giant would take the resources from their veal and milk to promote, produce and sell a vegan beverage?

Each time we sit down to eat we are making choices. We choose what to eat, what not to eat, what message to send, who should get the bulk of the profit, if money should be spent on chemicals, on health care for workers or if the money should be spent hurting animals.

I have never felt a greater urge or need to promote a plant based diet, because as much good as vegetarianism, cutting back and everything else does, they need more. They need us to make the choice, because not everyone is going to be moved by compassion. In fact, most will be moved by profit.

I just got back from yet another stockyard visit, and I will spare you the gritty details but to have looked the newborn calves in their teary eyes and have to explain to them why they were there. Why their mothers were being moved, and why large men where sizing them up has really gotten me thinking about how important what we put on our plate is.

VeganMoFo: Kick ass greens (as promised)


Despite the blog title, I do love me some greens and when I’m not making Kittee’s amazing Collards, I like to make something like this:

Kick Ass Greens

  • One Large bunch of Greens (I used Rainbow Chard)
  • 3 Large Garlic Gloves
  • Earth Balance or other Vegan Margarine
  • Raw Sunflower seeds
  • Liquid smoke (just a few drops)

To start wash greens and get ride of any super tough ends. Mince your garlic and melt a generous wedge of EB in your pan. Add garlic and saute until fragrant and tender. As garlic is cooking, slice greens into thin long strips (I like to keep my stems and just dice them finely, their good for you!!). Once Garlic is starting to brown, add in your Seeds and roast until golden. Shake off most of the water and add your greens in batches, allowing them to cook down before adding another handful. Keep stirring and as they cook add in a few drops of Liquid smoke until that hickory scent begins to fill the kitchen. Serve as a side dish, or add to pasta sauce for a healthy kick.

These are also great is diced finely and mixed with a vegan cream sauce over pasta.

VeganMofo: Cooking for Community


Food is key. People thrive on it, we need it to sustain ourselves, we use it for pleasure, comfort and most importantly food is social. We build our communities around food, celebrations and even nightly dinners. Food brings people together. Which is why I love cooking, and feeding others. It truely is one of the best things out there.

That being said living in a house full of vegans, the kitchen becomes the central focus. People gravitate to it, cooking and chatting surrounded by the heavenly scent of spices and vegetables. Some come to watch the process, others to anticipate its arrival and more still simply to be around the wonderful environment cooking creates.

Here is a meal I made the other night to feed the Vegan House Farm Crew, Joanna’s Bechemel sauce and what I like to call kick ass greens (recipe tomorrow).

VeganMofo: Poor Gal’s Soup

Here is a recipe for a soothing soup when your wallet is looking bare.

Poor Gal’s Soup:

  • Tomatoes (fresh is best, but canned works or a combo of both)
  • Onion (for a milder soup, green onions are best but they are pricer)
  • Garlic (I like garlic so I use 3-4 cloves)
  • oil
  • Water
  • Seasoning: Optional but this is best with fresh thyme and a little S&P
    • Thyme*
    • Rosemary*
    • Oregano*
    • Pepper
    • Cayenne if you like the heat
    • Mix it up and use whatever you have on hand or like

*On a super budget, Italian seasoning will do and you can use granulated or powdered
onion/garlic.

This soup is great with just the bare minimal (water, tomatoes, flavorings), but some easy add ins include: Small quick cooking pasta, rice, beans or lentils, veggies like greens, zucchini, peppers and anything you like. This time I had some Quinoa (lucky me!) so I used that.

Directions:
Heat your saucepan with a little bit of oil, chop your fresh garlic and onions add them to the oil and cooked until soft. If you like you can add your spices now to flavor the oil. Chop your tomatoes (or open your can). Add them as well, cook them for 3-4 minutes and then begin adding your water, it may look thin but as the tomatoes cook down you will begin to thicken the soup base into a surprisingly think and tasty broth.

Notes: if you are adding any extras like beans or veggies you can fry them with the tomatoes or simply add them after the water. Grains or pasta (uncooked) add them once the water is boiling.

This is a great light soup, easy for when you sick or studying, and filling when your fridge is bare.

VeganMofo


Will soon be upon us, prepare for updates… maybe I’ll even finish that Oyaki’s entry.. it’s saved in draft form now, really it is. Just mixing in photos/text on blogger is a pain.

Doughtnut days


That’s right, we made doughnuts and they were awesome. Recipe curtsy of Random Girl .
We double the recipe and added some extra Mace (worth the purchase it gave the dough a lovely sweet spice). Some where fried, other’s baked (with a unfortunate accident for those on the lower rack >.<).inside shots!

We started with taking the warm baked donuts and dipping them first into melted earth balance and then into a bowl of cinnamon sugar with cinnamon. Very good, although messy our technique was not presented. We also took confectioners sugar with water as suggested for a nice white glaze which was very pretty. Doubling the dipping action for extra sweet crispy goodness. I also turned the eb/brown sugar bowl into a glaze of its own, cinnamon style. Here they are in various forms. Assembly line

Fired VS Baked Bowl for the nerds.

These ones were on the bottom rack…. oops.

And you people thought vegan meant healthy

Well as usual, I am here to prove you wrong and bring you down into the gutters of vegan cuisine and eating. No, I’m not going to re-create mike’s Tater pig, but we are headed into Lazy, Processed, No Effort, Heart Attack promotive Eating.

First up on our way to triple bi-pass, my introduction to solid food one week after wisdom tooth surgery. It ain’t pretty, but damn if it isn’t tasty. Simple, spicy fries and gravy. Gross you say? I thought so too, packaged spicy fries are to be enjoyed on their own or preferably not at all, but thanks to my little brother and his disgusting habits, I’ve given it a shot and by Goddess if it isn’t white trash good eatings.

Extremely simple, prepare frozen spicy fries as directed by package. Once fries are done and hot, open your can of mushroom gravy (vegan of course) and ladle on top of plated fries.

Normally I would suggest you heat the gravy first, but as I wasn’t supposed to be eating hot foods this combination of hot fries and room temperature gravy turned out to be a great combination (not warm enough for it to be an issue with my stitches but not so cold I want to hurl and give up eating all together). This was especially helpful if allowed to sit for a few minutes in order to soften up the crispier edges of the fries. Those of you not recovering from Oral Surgery are encourage to eat immediately.

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