Sunday, December 30, 2007

Pan-Asian Fusion and Nouveau Comida Mexicana

As promised a couple posts ago, I made the Pad Thai Wraps and Avocado Boats. It was some fun food to make with little preparation or time in the kitchen. I especially love how the Avocado Boats turned out. I think they'd be great for serving people as an appetizer or just a side dish like I used it as tonight.

The term "Nouveau Comida Mexicana" is just a term I came up with when thinking about what type of cuisine the "boats" could be classified under. Obviously, "Pan-Asian Fusion" is already an established phrase that I thought fit nicely with the wraps.

Pad Thai Wraps:

Avocado Boat:

If we truly are what we eat, I think I might be the Jolly Green Giant or maybe his cute little imp "Sprout."

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Intelligence Quiz

Haha!! Apparently I'm not a logical person!

Your IQ Is 115

Your Logical Intelligence is Below Average

Your Verbal Intelligence is Exceptional

Your Mathematical Intelligence is Exceptional

Your General Knowledge is Exceptional

V*gan "Pigs in Blankets"

I was feeling so lazy this dreary Saturday evening so I whipped up the easiest dinner I could. I made some veg. "pigs in blankets" by just rolling veggie dogs in Pillsbury Crescent dough and baking for about 15 minutes.

I've never had a vegan version of ranch dressing, so I looked around online and made some tonight. It was super easy. I can't figure out the link thing but I got the recipe at:

Friday, December 28, 2007

Fridays Are For Lovers

Or maybe "self-lovers"? I don't know, I'm just happy it's the weekend so I can have a little time to rest and not think about work or the holidays or whatever. I was planning on making Pad Thai Wraps and Avocado Boats for dinner but I decided that I should try that another time...maybe tomorrow, maybe next weekend. But look out for it because it'll be soon. I was looking forward to using my new food processor and I found a recipe online for a Tofu Frittata which looked abso-toot-a-lutely amazing so that's what I made tonight. And I got use out of some of my Christmas gifts. Especially my new knife set, my new food processor, and my new kitchen utensils. I wanted the frittata to come out of the oven solid and together, but, unfortunately, it fell apart while I was lifting it out of the pan to my plate. I know for next time that I will cut the frittata into pieces like a quiche or pie before I transfer it to my plate. It didn't retain it's shape but it tasted amazing and here is the big unveil:

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

I went to the family's place for the holidays and everything went smoothly. I had a great Christmas. Hope YOU did as well!

Anyway, I made delicious Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

We had a pretty great Xmas. I had a nice time and now I'm looking forward to New Year's and getting totally shitty drunk and passing out naked on the highway.

Until then, I'm just gonna work and go home day in and day out. I ate falafel for Boxing Day (December 26).

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Almost Made From Scratch

Between the Christmas shopping and the Christmas movies on TV I made myself a special dinner. One that required a bit of time to prepare.

A neighborhood child came to me one day a couple months ago selling magazine subscriptions for a school fundraiser. Usually I would just say "no thanks" but she is the daughter of neighbor-friend of mine so I decided to peruse her list of magazines. She insisted on me getting "Sports Illustrated" but I turned down that idea because most sports featured in that publication are utterly boring to me. I saw that there was a subscription to "Vegetarian Times" so I ordered that instead. I have gotten a couple issues already and I have been eager to make something from them.

I bought a book recently titled "The Complete Book of Raw Food" because I have heard the amazing health benefits of eating raw. I am not gonna become a raw foodie but I thought once in a while it would be nice to eat "living foods."

So, cue the drum-roll, for this beautiful winter's evening, I made Soy Sesame Tofu with Peanut Sauce and a Mesclun Salad with Creamy Cumin Dressing.

Recipes follow pictures

Soy Sesame Tofu:

1 block of water-packed extra-firm tofu, drained, cut into 1 inch cubes, and marinated

For marinade I used:

Low-sodium Soy Sauce
Toasted Sesame Oil
Ground Ginger
Garlic Powder

The amounts of each ingredient are up to you and your taste

Spray or lightly coat a pan with olive oil over medium-high heat and brown tofu, flipping or stirring occasionally.

Peanut Sauce (recipe taken from Vegetarian Times magazine):

1 cup smooth peanut butter
10-15 sprigs cilantro, chopped
3 Tbsp. sugar or sweetener
2 Tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce or tamari
2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
Cayenne pepper to taste

Whisk peanut butter with 1 cup of hot water in a large bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients until combined.

This sauce is not just great with tofu but is perfect for a vegetable dip or atop noodles.

Raw Creamy Cumin Salad Dressing (recipe taken from The Complete Book of Raw Food):

1 cup raw sunflower seeds
2 cloves garlic, peeled
20 sprigs cilantro
1 tsp. sea salt
3 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/8 cup flax, hemp, or olive oil
1/2 tsp. cumin powder

In a blender, thoroughly mix all ingredients with 1 cup of water until smooth. Dressing may thicken upon refrigeration, so add a little water when using later. It will keep in the fridge for about 2 weeks.

Really good dinner. And it's enough for 2-3 meals for one person. I'm looking forward to eating more for lunch tomorrow.

I have to go wrap gifts and watch a couple Xmas movies. Enjoy. If you make anything from this post, make the peanut sauce. It's so delicious and easy, honest.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Cappellini Alfreda

I absolutely love pasta. I love Italian food. I love making new things. I love trying new meals and enjoy making dishes that contain ingredients which I already have at home.

I am, however, always looking at recipes online for inspiration. Today I really wanted to cook some pasta that's been sitting on the shelf for a while looking all sad and wanting to be boiled. When I usually make pasta I use a vegan pesto powder that I boil with olive oil and water. I didn't feel like pesto tonight so I decided to do some research.

I was looking for a vegan alfredo sauce recipe that I can use, but, unfortunately, most of them contain tofu, which is fine, but tofu sauces require a sturdy food processor in order to get them right. Right now, I just have a little cheap blender that overheats easily so a tofu sauce recipe is out of the question. I did, however, find a recipe in VwaV (Vegan with a Vengeance, for those of you not in the secret vegan circle). It called for Fettucine but I had Cappellini on-hand and it worked well.

I have a new love affair with Cilantro. Actually we go back pretty far, but, now I am addicted. I want cilantro, I need cilantro, I love cilantro, I want to give a hug and kiss to my cilantro. Oh, how do I love thee, monsieur cilantro?

Yum for Cappellini Alfreda. It's like sex on a plate! But, unlike sex, it doesn't disappoint!


Looking over my posts I realized something...I always make something brown and something green. Just a random thought. Go over my earlier posts and see for yourself.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

No Protein tonight!!

I made some food that doesn't really have too much protein. Don't worry, I'll make up for it tomorrow. Bitches, get ahold of some INDIAN CURRIED RICE AND LEMON GARLIC BROCCOLI!

You better watch out. You better not cry. My Indian Curried Rice is hot. I'm telling you why! Kyle is coming to town.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

What Mixed Drink Are You?

You Are a Bloody Mary

You're a fairly serious drinker, who's experimented a lot with different drinks.
You're a drunk, but a stable drunk. You don't ever let your drinking get out of control.

Southwest Black Bean Patties

I threw together some canned veggies and some Southwestern patties for dinner.


1 can (15-19oz.) black beans, drained and rinsed
2 Tbsp. vegan mayo (vegenaise, nayonnaise, homemade, etc.)
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup Panko or other breadcrumbs
1 tsp. hot sauce
1/2 tsp. cumin
salt and pepper to taste

-In a large bowl mash beans and mayo with a fork or masher until smooth
-Mix in the rest of the ingredients and stir until combined
-Heat some oil in a skillet on medium-high heat
-With lightly-floured hands, make mixture into 4 patties
-Brown patties in skillet for about 3-4 minutes on each side

Serve with salsa and jalapenos, etc.

Full Plate

Last weekend I got to the Farmer's Market just in time to get some Soul Food. I usually get enough for just one meal but when I ordered it "to go" I got a huge portion. Definitely enough for two meals, but for the same price. I'm not quite sure how that all worked out but I was happy. I picked Sweet Potatoes, Barbecue Tofu, and Mustard greens over rice from their selection. The barbecue tofu was so good I tried to make it myself at home a couple days later.

As I said I tried to replicate the tofu that I got at the market and it was quite good but not quite as good. I should have marinated it longer. I chose to make a couple side dishes with it: roasted potatoes and sesame roasted asparagus. It was all really amazing. Especially the asparagus!

Sesame Roasted Asparagus:


1 lb. or 1 bunch asparagus, washed and hard ends trimmed
2 tsp. sesame oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. sesame seeds

-Preheat oven to 475 F
-Toss ingredients in a large bowl and then lay them on a baking sheet
-Put them in the oven for 10-12 minutes

Roasted Potatoes


4 medium potatoes, washed and cut into bite-size cubes
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. basil
1/2 tsp. rosemary
1/2 tsp. thyme
1/2 tsp. dill
1/2 tsp. parsley
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder

-Preheat oven to 475 F
-Toss all ingredients in a large bowl and lay mixture, in a single layer, on a lightly greased baking sheet
-Bake for 20-30 minutes until brown and crispy, stirring or flipping ever so often

Some people just prefer to use potatoes, oil, salt, and pepper, which it great too if you don't have all the spices.

BBQ Tofu:


1 block tofu, drained of liquid, or if using frozen tofu, thawed and drained, cut into cubes
1/2 cup BBQ sauce
1 Tbsp. oil

-Mix tofu cubes with barbecue sauce in a bowl until well-coated
-Heat oil in a medium skillet and add tofu
-Brown over medium heat until crispy
-If needed, add extra bbq sauce after the tofu is done

That same day I was still hungry a couple hours later so I made myself a quesadilla with vegan cheese and hot sauce before bed.

I'm thinking about making some black bean patties tonight. But, I'm not quite sure how to do it and I don't have a food processor so I'm just gonna wing it and use a fork or masher. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Get Out Your Spanish Flare!

I felt like buying some Soyrizo (veg. chorizo) today and I found a recipe that used chorizo online which I easily veganized.

This meal is called, simply, Potatoes with Peppers and Soyrizo. It makes me think of something they might make as a comfort food in Spain.


5 medium potatoes (russet, idaho, etc.), cut in 1 inch pieces
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
2 fresh jalapeno chiles
1 large onion, halved and then cut in 1/4 inch strips
2 large green bell peppers
1 package of "soyrizo" (found in most grocery stores [at least in my area])
3/4 cup white wine


-Heat oil on medium high heat in medium or large skillet until oil is hot
-carefully add potatoes and salt and saute for 20 minutes or until browned and cooked through, stirring occasionally.
-when potatoes are done, use a slotted spoon and place them on several paper towels to soak up excess oil, reserve oil in the skillet for other ingredients
-cut a 2 inch slit in the sides of the jalapenos, add to skillet along with onions, peppers, and soyrizo and reduce heat to medium
-cook, uncovered, stirring frequently, until vegetable are cooked and softened...about 6-10 minutes
-add wine and boil until the mixture thickens...about 5 minutes.
-discard jalapenos, and mix the onion-pepper mix with potatoes in a large mixing bowl
-add salt and pepper to taste

So damn good! Those Spaniards sure know how to cook. And now, so do I.


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

A Little Eastern, A Little Western

I bought a bunch of asparagus on sale last week and I needed to use it up before it went bad. That's why the speared member of the lily family is making an appearance in this and the last post. I was thinking about what to do with the asparagus and I thought, "maybe I can fry them like potatoes."

I have had some falafel patties in the freezer for about 6 months and I figured I would try to deep fry them. I don't have a deep-frier so I just used oil in a medium saute pan and that worked beautifully.

I started making dinner by frying the falafel patties:

Then, I dipped the asparagus (by the way, is the plural form asparagi?) in soy sauce and breaded them in a flour mix. I fried them in oil and, unfortunately, most of the breading came off in the process. I was hoping they would come out crispy like french fries (chips) but they were pretty wilted. That's okay though, they tasted great.

Lastly, I made a "cheesy" sauce from nutritional yeast, flour, oil, soy sauce, salt, dijon mustard, and water. I drizzled it all over the falafel and asparagus. I absolutely love how it turned out. Unfortunately, I didn't make enough for lunch tomorrow. :(

Monday, December 10, 2007

King Dong

I went to eat at a restaurant called "Herbivore" in downtown Berkeley and I ended up parking right in front of a Chinese place that had a funny name...King Dong. That gives me quite the mental image, haha.

Kai, Jay, and Ronnie had their housewarming party and we all made a great set-up. The apartment was completely transformed just in time before people arrived. They got these great set of lights that I just thought were amazing. I gotta get myself some of those lights.

Tonight I made a Creamy Potato Asparagus Soup. I was hoping that it would turn out to be a new favorite but it ended up just average. I won't display the recipe here because I don't think it's good enough yet. I'll have to change it up a bit next time, and then maybe I'll show you how to make it. It wasn't too bad though. I ended up adding a lot of salt, pepper, and dried dill last minute to make the flavor come out a little more. However, it looked great!!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Chocolate chips

I just spotted a recipe for chocolate chip muffins and I was interested. In fact, many chocolate chips are already vegan. The most common chocolate chip brand in the USA is Tollhouse/Nestle and they contain milkfat...therefore not vegan. But I had no problem finding some that taste the same as the Tollhouse/Nestle kind. Besides, doesn't milkfat sound disgusting. The chocolate chips I recently bought are 365 brand.

I'm not sure if you can see the ingredients on that last picture, but they are:

Sugar, chocolate liquor, cocoa butter, soya lecithin (added as an emulsifier), and vanilla extract.

Don't be surprised if I show up at your house wielding desserts this holiday season!!

One of the Easiest Things You Can Do with Tofu!!

Fried "Egg" Sandwiches:

2 slices tofu (large enough to fit on bread)
2 slices whole grain bread, lightly toasted
1-2 Tbs. nutritional yeast
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/2 Tbs. oil
miscellaneous sandwich fixings (I just used soy mayo and spinach)


-squeeze liquid out of tofu with multiple towels (cloth or paper)
-on a plate, mix nutr. yeast, salt and pepper
-dredge tofu slices in yeast mix
-heat oil on medium high
-slap tofu slices on the pan and brown
-make toast and sandwich fixings
-lay tofu on top and serve open faced or put them together to make a "big mouth" sandwich

This took me about ten minutes tops.

The Unincredible, Inedible Egg can't stand up to this lovely sammy!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Tempeh Cutlets and Spinach Salad

I set out to make Faux Beef today by using gluten made from scratch, but, the gluten wouldn't solidify and form together well so I scrapped that. I made worcestershire sauce for the "beef" anyway and now it's sittin in my fridge. I thought about making the "beef" using a box of tempeh I had, but I wasn't quite sure how much I should use with the broth that it's suppose to simmer in. Anyway, I looked at the back of the tempeh and checked out their recipe; it was for tempeh cutlets. I changed the recipe a bit as I've been experimenting a little bit more with cooking. It came out tasting a little cheesy which was a nice surprise because I didn't use any vegan cheese or nutritional yeast.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Year of the Dog

Okay, once again, thank you Kai for the tip. I remember seeing the previews for Year of the Dog but I kept it on the back-burner until you told me that it was totally me. I immediately put it at the top of my rental video list and I just finished watching it. It was amazing! Stylish, depressing, funny, subtle, and thought-provoking. I didn't realize from the movie description what it was really about. But now I know. Thanks Kai for the movie pick. And I hope all you readers will go out and rent this poignant film. By the way, Mom, if you're reading this post, this movie is pieces of ME and YOU.

Molly Shannon is brilliant and so is the director, Mike White!!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Scary Horse and Tri-Color Napoli Casserole

Michelle and I went to Target to get some Christmas things and we came across this scary animatronic horse. We couldn't figure out how to work it except for when you stick the carrot in it's mouth it chomps down on it. Weird!

I saw a recipe online for a casserole that they called "Exploded (Unstuffed) Peppers." After I tweaked the recipe and cooked it I changed the name because I didn't think the taste or look of the casserole was representative of the original name. I changed the name to Tri-color Napoli Casserole. Tricolor because of the green, red, and white (the colors of the Italian flag) and Napoli for the Italian form of Naples.

Tri-Color Napoli Casserole:


1 14oz. package Tofurky Italian Sausages, sliced in 1/2" pieces
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 cup Non-instant brown rice, uncooked
2 cups vegetable broth
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 medium sized white or yellow onion, diced
1/3 cup pasta sauce or tomato sauce with some oregano and basil added
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups mozzarella flavored soy-cheese, shredded

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
-Warm oil in large skillet over medium high heat
-Add "sausage" and lightly brown
-Add peppers, onions, garlic, and rice; saute until veggie become soft and rice browns slightly
-Add vegetable broth and pasta sauce; bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes

Pour contents into a 2 or 2-1/2 quart casserole dish. I know it looks soupy now but during baking the rice will absorb a lot of the liquid.

Top with "cheese"

Bake covered 40 minutes; uncover and bake an additional 10 minutes.

This dish is seriously yummy. It's one of the best casseroles I have come across so far.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Just Add One

I got a package today in the mail and on one of the inside flaps I noticed printed was "B11". It reminded me to take my multivitamins. If you add 1 to B11 you get B12, the only vitamin I can't get from plant-based foods. My multivitamin is geared towards vegans and so it has lots of B12 (actually it has 100 micrograms [that's 1332% of the recommended daily value]). No aenemia here!! It has lots of other B vitamins as well. If you're omni, veggie, or vegantastic you should take your B vitamins because they are the happy vitamins. If you take them long enough you will feel less depressed and maybe even have a more optimistic outlook.

This is me before taking my B vitamins. So so sad.

and this is me after my "B"s:

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Messy Messy Wrap Day

For lunch I made a Spinach-stuffed Bolani Bread with Basil Pesto and Lentil Curry. I've never really had Afghani food before but after today I'm definitely gonna eat it more often. The flavors were so varied but it all came together so well.

I drove by a road sign today that I thought was kind of funny. I made it my motto for the day!!

For dinner I felt like making another wrap-type thing. It came out really messy, but, that's okay. I made a Burrito with Spanish Brown Rice, Black Beans, Green Chiles, Hot Sauce, "Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream," and Avocado. BTW, to make it extra special I grilled the tortilla directly on the stove burner. Thanks, Kai, for that tip.

Well I should be going. A Charlie Brown Christmas is coming on TV. Check ya later.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Same Day Different Post

Tonight I made Brussel Sprouts, Onions, and Garlic in a Balsamic Glaze with Cajun-Spiced French Fries. It was so good and I ate it so fast I have to go unbutton my pants now. Bye bye.

Long Weekend

Last Thursday was Thanksgiving and I decided to make myself something to take to my Father's house because I knew I wouldn't be able to eat anything but salsa and chips. I finally made the Stuffed Peppers.

My Dad's place is quite a drive from me and I was bored so I thought I would show you a picture. Can you spot the windmills on the hill?

Kai and I walked down to The Burrito Shop and I took this beautiful pic. Mine's the green one. Looks kind of like a shrunken watermelon, no? It was a roasted veggie burrito with rice and beans.

Later that same day, Friday, I got a cheeseless pizza. Too much take-out food last weekend!!

My friend Blake and I went to San Francisco on Saturday and I got this beautiful shot of the city.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Black Bean Quinoa Stuffed Mug

My intentions tonight were to make stuffed bell peppers. I ended up making the filling but didn't stuff it in the peppers because A) I was lazy and didn't want to have to bake it for an additional 15 minutes and B) I cut into the pepper and saw that the seeds where brown or black, so I think it was spoiled. My inspiration came from The Urban Housewife blogger when she made the dish from a recipe in VwaV (Vegan with a Vengeance.) It was super, let me tell you. Stick a fork in me; I'm done!!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Weekend Fun

This is a weekend update:

Michelle and Vladi got married in SF, yay! We ate dinner at the Tonga Room in the Fairmont Hotel and I got the Sesame Crusted Tofu with Veggies in a Garlic Sauce. The sauce almost seemed like it was butter-based but I'm really hoping it wasn't. We got these crazy big drinks. We got a couple Scorpion Bowls for four people.

View from 23rd Floor hotel room ^^^

Kai and I made some pan-seared tofu cutlets with vietnamese hot garlic chili sauce for sandwiches.

I was so happy on Saturday because Kai, Jay, and Ronnie just moved within 5 minutes walking to the Oakland Farmer's Market. They have an awesome Vegan Soul Food stand there. I got there late so they were out of mustard greens and lentils but I got the Breaded Tofu Burger and Potato Salad. So damn delish!!

View from Kai, Jay, and Ronnie's apartment. Go Freeway Overpass Activism!!

Lastly, we went to IKEA where they have this awesome huge chair sculpture thingamabob. I'm the Incredible Shrinking Kyle.