Friday, October 31, 2008
So with my now heavy bag of groceries, I took the subway the remaining 28 blocks. Then in Grand Central I remember I need olive oil, too, so I went O & Co (pricey, but awesome) and got a nice grassy bottle of olive oil and some balsamic vinegar.
All in all not a bad decision, but my adventure emphasizes 2 things. I need to exercise more(I pay for a gym) and I really need to spend less money on groceries since I have a pantry full of things to eat.
So I'm making November, the month of the pantry. Let's see how long I can make it without going to the grocery store.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Even better if you're in NYC on the last Thursday of most months, there's Vegan Drinks. http://www.vegandrinks.org/
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Friday, October 24, 2008
When you're not buying local, check out the awesome stuff at Food Fight. I've not made the pilgrimage to Portland, but shipping is about the same environmental impact as driving to the grocery store to buy their shipped products. I just got my first order and can't wait to chow down on some tofu jerkey and test out the blue cheez.
Also they post current issues, like how after getting 12,000 e-mails, Zappos has decided to stop selling fur! Now it's time to get Amazon to on board. I already sent them my anti-fur e-mail. Didn't we do this already in the 80's?
Thursday, October 23, 2008
I shouldn't be surprised at the one star reviews on Amazon, but I am. It's like the brainwashed leading the brainwashed. I updated my review and I'm going to put out more good reviews of vegan stuff I have read.
Monday, October 20, 2008
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Friday, October 17, 2008
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
I've been trying to figure out what to do with said giant celery monstrosity. It doesn't fit in the fridge and I have yet to totally hack it up. Some went into the weekend veggie stock.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
The first is an amaretto sour pear-tini spritzer aperitif.
1 part Amaretto
1 part Pear infused vodka
1 part sour mix (or lemon juice and agave nectar)
3 parts pear juice
Top with seltzer
Garnish with fresh pear
The second dish is a toasted pecan, roasted pear and fennel salad with a lemon pear vinaigrette.
Vinaigrette: 1 part lemon juice, 1 part pear juice, 2 parts olive oil, squirt agave nectar (or a little sugar,) salt.
The third is a walnut pear pesto with angel hair pasta, topped with almonds and parsley.
Chop together 1Tbs walnuts, 1Tbs pine nuts, 5 basil leaves, 1Tbs olive oil and a little salt. Chop 1/2 pear and mix together. Mix with pasta. Chop 1 Tbs parsley with 1Tbs almonds and sprinkle on top of pasta. The pear lends a nice sweetness to the pesto.
Finally for the 4th dish, we have a baked pear topped with almonds, raisins, and cranberry in a rum pear sauce.
**My camera is continuing to revolt after last week's sauce incident, hence the fuzzy photos.
Saturday, October 11, 2008
If you have access to a farmer's market, you'll probably be carting home vegetables with even more extras. Carrots with the green tops, celery with lots of leaves, broccoli and cauliflower with leaves and stalks, leeks with big roots and huge fanning tops, greens with tough stalks, mushroom stems, corn husks, and cobs, and that doesn't even cover the peelings and skins of root vegetables, squash, onions, garlic and potatoes.
Just wash the undesirable trimmings, leaves, stems, and put in a big pot, cover with water bring to a boil, and then simmer for about an hour. I usually add bay leaves, peppercorns, and a good size hunk of kombu (japanese seaweed.) The kombu adds a salty dimension that makes it taste good plain without adding extra salt. Most likely you'll add salt to whatever final product you're making with the broth, so you don't want to salt it here. Just drain and when the veggie parts cool, you can squeeze the remaining broth out of them.
If you're trying to shed a few pounds, a cup of broth before a meal is a good way to fill up on zero calories and help feel satisfied if you have smaller portions of the main meal.
Also vegetable broth is a key component in the popular cleansing juice diets. Even if you're not into the whole diet part of it, sometimes it's good to give your digestion a rest for even part of the day. It's also nice on a rainy day or when nursing a cold/flu or hangover.
Todays mixture includes the carrot greens, tops, and peelings; broccoli and cauliflour stems and leaves; some leftover chopped red onion; some basil leaves that fell out of the bunch; leaves from the celery (word of caution, too much celery can be overpowering, 1-2 stalks is usually good;) stems from some collard greens; the papery skins from some garlic, 3 bayleaves, 3 peppercorns and a 3 inch piece of kombu. Brothy goodness.
*My camera "works" now but it seems to be having trouble with lighting.
Friday, October 10, 2008
I have the 3 cup capacity and it is perfect for 1 or 2 people. It's small and cute and can sit on the counter if you have space, or easily stored (retractable cord hides underneath.) There are bigger models for larger families.
I use it for sushi rice, basmati rice, wild rice, Rice & Beans, Mexican rice, brown rice, porridge, oatmeal, polenta, wheat berries; basically anything that absorbs its cooking liquid.
The real perk is that the perfectly cooked rice stays perfect LONG (hours and hours) after cooking. I can turn it on when I get home and it's ready whenever I get around to putting together whatever is going with the rice. There is also a timer; if you're really organized you could set it in the morning for dinnertime.
I forgot to even mention that the cooking bowl comes out and is so easy to clean. Thanks for the comment Binx.
1 cup long grain (brown) rice (plus water according to package)
1 Tbs annatto oil (annatto seeds steeped in oil-I use corn oil)
1/4 cup pitted alcaparrado (fancy name for olives with pimentos and capers)
1/2 cup sofrito (onion, garlic, peppers, cilantro)
Throw all that in the rice cooker with the water amount for the type of rice you're using and press the shiny red button (in the voice of stimpy) or:
Cook rice with the amount of water and cooking time on package, adding oil, olives and capers (and a little extra brine if you like) and sofrito.
Thursday, October 9, 2008
I haven't bought it yet, but so far there are ZERO customer reviews on Amazon. Even if you didn't buy it at Amazon, someone must have a review to share!
I'm going to pick it up after work, so try if you can to beat me to the first review. www.amazon.com/gp/product/1551522403/ref=kinw_rke_rti_1
I did pick it up and read it on the train home. At first I didn't see it next Sarah (and Tanya's) other books because it is quite small. Someone did beat me to a review. Yay for the internet! It's quite a bit cheaper on Amazon, but I did get a discount at Borders. I left a review on Amazon and there's one in the comments.
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
They even print nice things in the catalog, like suggesting the Pork Chop Seasoning on thinly sliced tofu fried up for a bacon substitute. Easy and yummy salty tofu goodness. I haven't tried it on tempeh yet, but you get the idea.
Other good ones are the Chicago Steak Seasoning on grilled portabello mushrooms. Smoky and hearty.
English Prime Rib rub in meatless meatballs or lentil nonmeatloaf.
The Pizza Seasoning has fennel in it, so you get an Italian sausage flavor, without the fat as they say. The Italian sausage seasoning does about the same thing. And the breakfast sausage seasoning is nice, too with your tofu scramble.
For the lazy vegan who doesn't shun TVP, any of the above spices are great mixed in for fast analogs that will satisfy the non-veg husband.
Check them out for everything from cocoa to lemon extract to dried chili peppers to curry seasonings. I find the "normal" herbs and spices are always fresher and stay fresh longer than grocery store varieties. I am a fan.
Monday, October 6, 2008
I brought some in for lunch.
Instead of a traditional eggplant parm, I used whole wheat panko and made a cheese sauce from the uncheese cookbook. I should have tried this cheese sauce thing earlier, because it turned out better than expected. I even made some maccaroni and had a mac & uncheese snack while I was cooking the eggplant.
One of my friends' grandmother makes an eggplant parm with both American and Mozzarella cheese. I remembered it being awesome, so I veganized it with the american style cheese sauce, some basil tofu ricotta and some almond/pine nut/noochisan topping.
My husband LOVED it. He had to look at mine to make sure we were eating the same thing and was totally shocked it was vegan.
Sunday, October 5, 2008
I finally heeded my own advice. I was all packed up with my reusuable grocery bag collection, shopping list, I'm even wearing leg warmers (don't worry, I already I know I'm a dork.) Then...I heard the familiar rumble. But I can make it. The store is minutes away and I only need a couple of things for my actual Sunday MoFo post...WRONG. You have the fixin's for tofu scramble burrito, now get to it. (I apparently talk to myself when I'm hungry.
Yes, I always have that mori-nu vacuum pack when all else fails, but I have real fridge tofu in there. Tortillas, check. Everything else, is really just bonus. That field roast chipotle sausage is super bonus. It's twisted up in the plastic casing in 4 parts, so even though I used the other two pieces ages ago, the remaining part is still factory sealed and is good until expiration. Woo-hoo!
I'm sure it's also a swell babyfood processor, but this baby version of a real food processor gives a lot of bang for a small buck. It'll run you about $40 at a Bed Bath and Beyond near you, but if you can score a 20% coupon, it's yours for only $32.
I don't like big pieces of onion in anything. I don't like chopping onions or garlic into tiny bits. I have a really small kitchen with no counter space. I love the mini-prep.
The downside over a big food processor is sometimes you have to chop things in small batches and mix them together in a larger container. It's still worth it when you're making one of those PPK recipes where Isa swears you really need a food processor. Also ideal for making your own sofrito.
Adapted from Daisy Cooks (not vegan-PBS show chef) to impress my Puerto Rican Mother in Law (it worked)
1 big onion
1 big green bell pepper
1 big red bell pepper (or orange or yellow)
1-2 heads garlic (10-20 garlic cloves)
1 bunch cillantro
1 cup chopped tomato (fresh or canned-drained)
Chop everything in a food processor. Store in 1/2 cup portions in ziploc bags in the freezer.
More on what to actually do with the sofrito later.