Friday, February 29, 2008

Bread Garden

Wow! I love my new pita bread. I have really found a winner. You can stuff and stuff and it doesn't bust out the bottom.

I made a super-simple, filling, nutritious dinner. It was so easy to make that it will become one of my lazy day staples. I just whipped up some guacamole, and stuffed it in pita with cucumber and tomato slices.

Green Garden Pitas:

With all the spare time I had after making such an easy dinner I was really bored so I decided to make some bread. I love me some foccacia and I haven't made it since I first became vegan. It's been a while and I'm happy I made it.

Check this pretty cut loaf:

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Yuck, I'm Sick

I have never had the flu but I think I just got it. When I woke up, I felt like I just worked out. My muscles are aching, I have a slight fever, and I'm really tired. Hopefully it will only last a little bit and I can still go to work. To be honest I don't want to go to work but the last time I called in sick was probably about a year-and-a-half ago so I'll see how it goes, and if I'm too under-the-weather, I'll just go back home. I'm not a big tea drinker but I really wish I had some right about now.

Tomorrow on the Oprah Show they are having a special about Freegans. I always found the concept interesting but I don't have the desire or courage to become Freegan. It seems a little too harsh for me. Although I love to read about how people made the switch and what their motives are. If after tomorrow I find a link to the show, I'll try to link this post up to it.

I had an extra box of tempeh in the fridge so I went cruising the recipe websites and I came upon the Tofurky/Turtle Island Company which actually made this particular tempeh. You know how I love those picnic-type salads!! So I made a great Mock "Chicken" Salad. It didn't taste at all like chicken salad but it was sublime. I made this a few days ago.


Great as a sandwich or served on a bed of lettuce, garnished with tomatoes and sprouts.

8 oz. Turtle Island Soy or Five Grain Tempeh
2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup celery, chopped fine
1/4 cup minced onion
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 tsp. dill weed
1/4 cup vegenaise (or homemade vegan mayo)
1 1/2 tsp. mustard (wet) prepared
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
2 Tbsp. toasted sesame seeds
Grate Tempeh and marinate in 1 quart of water with salt for 20 minutes.
Drain and place in a bowl with chopped onion, celery, parsley and dill weed.
Mix remaining ingredients together and add to Tempeh and vegetable mixture.
Mix well, serve in salads or on sandwiches.

Actually I went into work last Friday and a client came into our office and peaked over my cubicle wall as I was eating lunch and he exclaimed in a horrible Texas accent, "WHAT THE HELL ARE YA EATIN', SON!!" I told him I was eating Quinoa and a Tempeh Salad. He was so lost. I don't think he knew I was speaking English. And I'm sure, being from Texas, that he only knows what burgers and fries look like. Granted, quinoa kinda looks like tan caviar, but it was embarrassing to have to explain my foods to him.

Being sick I just prepared a quick meal of Curried Tofu (V-Con), Barbecue Black Beans, and a sad piece of wilted celery with chili pepper hummus. The Curried Tofu was really interesting and some of the burnt edges tasted like bacon, which was a suprise. Maybe if I slice the tofu thin enough next time I can make my own soy bacon.

I almost favorite stand at the Farmer's Market in Oakland is opening a Vegan Soul Food restaurant. YAY! Apparently the demand was so high that they got enough money to open. I can't make it to the Grand Opening but I'll be there soon enough. :0)

Come back again real soon ya hear!!

Ryan Seacrest and his lover, Ryan Seacrest

Monday, February 18, 2008

Black History Month with a V*gan Twist

Sorry...this is a long post but it's necessary to show my admiration for the people below.

February in America is Black History Month so I want to honor those who struggled in the past to build this country and in the present day to bring hope and kindness and culture to US society.

I want to honor a couple people in particular for the talent and celebrity that they have brought to the forefront of present-day modern America.

These men and women have fought adversity to shine through and show their creativity to all of us in profound ways. Although I should be honoring all African-Americans, this is a vegan blog so I am going to honor just a select few Black Vegans.

Russell Simmons (vegan):

Russell Simmons (born October 4, 1957 in Queens, New York), is an American entrepreneur and activist. Simmons was the co-founder of the pioneering hip-hop label Def Jam, a founder of Russell Simmons Music Group, and the creator of the clothing fashion line Phat Farm and the fragrance label Atman.

Erykah Badu (vegan):

Erykah Badu (born Erica Abi Wright, February 26, 1971) is a Grammy Award winning, American R&B, soul, and hip hop singer and songwriter, whose work encompasses elements of jazz. She is best known for her role in the rise of the neo soul sub-genre, and for her eccentric, cerebral musical stylings and sense of fashion. Early in her career she was recognizable for wearing very large and colorful headwraps. For her musical sensibilities, she has often been compared to jazz great Billie Holiday.[1] She was a core member of the Soulquarians, and is also an actress having appeared in a number of films playing a diverse range of supporting roles.

Reverend Al Sharpton (vegan):

Alfred Charles "Al" Sharpton Jr. (born October 3, 1954) is an American Baptist minister, political and civil rights/social justice activist, and radio talk show host.[1][2] In 2004, Sharpton was a candidate for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. presidential election. Sharpton has many critics who believe he is doing more harm than good. Sharpton sees much of the criticism as a sign of his effectiveness. "In many ways, what they consider criticism is complimenting my job," said Sharpton. "An activist’s job is to make public civil rights issues until there can be a climate for change. So when people get angry at me for raising these issues and making them public, well, that’s my job! That’s what I’m supposed to do. If I could not get the public’s attention on an issue, then I’m not a good activist."

He is an activist for equal rights for Blacks, Gays, and Animals. He would definitely be a great president for this flawed country.

Andre 3000 (vegan):

André 3000 (born André Lauren Benjamin on May 27, 1975 in Atlanta, Georgia) is an American musician, singer, songwriter, rapper, hip hop producer and actor. He is half of the successful hip hop duo OutKast and is also the creator of Cartoon Network's Emmy-winning show Class of 3000. André is also a vegan. In 2004, alongside Alicia Silverstone, André was voted by PETA to be the 'World's Sexiest Vegetarian Celebrity.' He is a force in the music industry and joins hip hop, rap, pop, soul, funk, and doo-wop to become a creation all his own.

Coretta Scott King (vegan) (R.I.P.):

Coretta Scott King (April 27, 1927 – January 30, 2006) was the wife of the civil rights activist Martin Luther King, Jr., and a noted civil rights leader, author, singer, and founder and former president of the King Center in Atlanta, Georgia. She is a recipient of the Congressional Gold Medal and the Gandhi Peace Prize.

A long-time advocate for world peace, in 1957, King was one of the founders of The Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy.
King called her adoption of a vegan diet in 1995 a blessing. Her son, Dexter, had been vegan since 1988, saying that an appreciation for animal rights is the "logical extension" of his father's philosophy of non-violence.
King was vocal in her opposition to capital punishment and the 2003 invasion of Iraq, thus drawing criticism from conservative groups. She was also an advocate of feminism, lesbian and gay rights and HIV/AIDS prevention.

And in honor of these innovative, creative souls I made a dish just for them.

I made Blackened Cajun Tofu:

I also made a side of Waldorf Salad (which doesn't have anything to do with Black History Month but was a great side dish):

Blackened Cajun Tofu:

1 lb. extra-firm tofu, drained, pressed, and sliced into four thin slices, then each piece sliced from left top corner to bottom right corner forming 8 long triangles
2 TBSP nutritional yeast
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 TBSP olive oil

Mix yeast, salt, pepper, chili powder, and cayenne pepper on a plate, set aside.
Preheat a pan over medium-high heat, add 1 TBSP oil and let heat for about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Take a slice of cut tofu and dredge in yeast-pepper mixture. Place 4 dredged tofu triangles in pan and brown on both sides, approximately 3-5 minutes on each side. Take blackened tofu off of pan and lay on paper towels to absorb excess oil. Add last 1 TBSP oil to pan and heat for 30 seconds-1 minute. Dredge the other 4 tofu triangles in yeast-pepper mixture and add to pan. Brown both sides and place on paper towels when done.

Simple Waldorf Salad (I know the ingredients seem odd but trust me, it's awesome):

1-1/2 apples, cubed
1 TBSP lemon juice
2 medium stalks celery, sliced in 1/4" pieces
1 cup red seedless grapes, each grape sliced in half
1/2 cup vegan mayonnaise
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped.

Chop apples and place in large mixing bowl, sprinkle with lemon juice. Add celery, grapes, walnuts, and mayo. Stir until well combined and chill in refrigerator for an hour or so.

It sounds weird but it's really good.

Parts of the biopics on modern Black Vegans were quoted from their respective Wikipedia pages. To get more info on each person, simply go to and type in a name.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Beef Recall!

There is a massive beef recall in the United States, actually the largest recall in history. 143 million pounds of beef is being recalled.

This latest undercover investigation by the Humane Society of America is not anything new. Investigations by PETA have been going undercover for years but since the news corporations and government deny PETA credibility because of ties to the ALO (Animal Liberation Organization) they don't show all of the other companies' practices that have gone on to sell sick and diseased meat and dairy to unwitting consumers.

These practices happen way too often and more than half of the meat supply in the USA is contaminated by harmful bacteria (that's why you must cook your food to kill harmful bacteria.)

Need I say more.

Link (copy and paste in URL):;_ylt=AumqQeYioIQDYJ8enAd.30ys0NUE

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Barbecue In the Kitchen

Okay I didn't really barbecue in the kitchen because I would probably die from carbon monoxide poisoning from the smoke, however I have made a few really great smoky BBQ flavored dishes lately. There's nothing like some Liquid Smoke to lend it's hickory flavor to any number of recipes and meals. I remember looking for it forever in supermarkets and I could never find it until one day I did and I almost crapped my pants. I was so excited that I didn't mind shelling out the $4.50 for a small bottle. And it's been a great investment. It's great for marinating things, used when sauteeing vegetables, and much much more.

Here is a view of some of the things I've made since the last post:

Beans and Rice (I made the Messy Rice recipe from V-con, and then warmed up some black beans and added some jalapeno slices, capers, salt, pepper, and Liquid Smoke):

Smoky Pan-Fried Tempeh with Sauteed Collard Greens:

Vegan Jalapeno Ranch Burger with a side of Tofu Egg Salad:

Inspired by the Apples and Twigs blog from Steffi, I decided to buy a bento box and it seemed big enough from the description online, but when I got it in the mail it was so small...only about the size of two apples so I doubt I'll be using it often because I eat a lot of food. However the box is super-cute:

Monday, February 11, 2008


YAY! So I have finally joined the ranks of vegans from around the world who own a copy of VEGANOMICON: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook (V-con). It is truly an amazing book, and quite thorough too. It includes everything from over 250 recipes, how to cook certain veggies, beans, and grains, stocking items in the vegan pantry, and how to have fun while cooking. I love it! This book is authored by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero who also wrote Vegan with a Vengeance, but this book is way way better. Since the first book was an extension of the Post Punk Kitchen Show, does that make this book the Post-post-punk vegan book?

I made the Brooklyn Deli Macaroni Salad from V-con. I'm in love. It tastes as good or better than it looks. This will be a must for any BBQ or picnic in my opinion.

Brooklyn Deli Macaroni Salad:

Oh by the way, this was the first day I have ever used radishes in a dish. Radishes remind me of my grandmother for some reason. I think it's because she always used them in green salads. The last time I had a radish, in fact, was probably about 10-15 years ago when I spent my summers in Canada with my grandparents. Good memories. I miss you Grandma!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

My Computer Literacy Rate is 5%

I have been writing this blog for the past few months and always had a problem with my pictures. They would always be cut off and when you scroll over the picture you can't click and open the picture in a new window. I consulted my friend who's good with computers and he showed me what I was doing wrong (apparently, there is a button on the top of the "new post" screen where it says "add image"). Goddamn I am such a ditz. It was right there in front of me the whole time. So anyway, from now on my pics should appear in normal blogger fashion; not the way I was posting them before.

I've seen many recipes for things like Rice Salad, Bulgar Salad, and Quinoa Salad and they all sound gross. Why would I want a salad that the base ingredient is a grain or grain-like? After all a salad to me should be fresh tasting and make you feel all healthy. And grains are more comforting to me; not so fresh. I was thinking this until I came across some website (can't remember which one) where there was a Toasted Quinoa Salad where the ingredients sounded really good. So I went with it, and soon enough I made it. It's actually very good and super easy to make. It takes only about 20-25 minutes (not including waiting times) so it's great for when you are having a lazy Sunday like I am today. This salad mix is tangy and spicy and fresh tasting above all.

Toasted Quinoa Salad:


3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
1-1/2 cups vegetable broth or water
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 red bell pepper (capsicum), diced
1/4 cup minced parsley or cilantro (cilantro works best, in my opinion)
2 sliced green onions (scallions)
Juice of 1 small lemon
Juice of 1 small lime
2 Tbsp. soy sauce, tamari, or Bragg's Liquid Aminos
2 cloves garlic, minced finely
2 tsp. Asian garlic chili sauce or hot sauce of choice


Rinse Quinoa and drain. Put in a pot and toast over medium heat until a few grains begin to pop. Add broth or water and bring to a boil. Turn down heat, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and let quinoa cool, covered, for 10-15 minutes.

Mix carrot, red bell pepper, cilantro or parsley, and green onion in a large bowl. Add cooled quinoa and toss to combine. Whisk together lemon and lime juices, soy sauce, garlic and hot sauce. Pour over salad and mix well.

Chill until serving.

You can add some fresh raw vegetables to this like peas, green beans, corn, etc. I added some sugar snap peas (as you can see from the picture).

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Pretty? Ugly? Pretty Ugly?

As I said I'm sticking to making a veggie dish and some grains...most of the time. I was dying to make some peanut sauce again because I'm a dirty slut for peanut butter lately. It was super, lemme tell you. Some Blanched Broccoli always goes well with Peanut Sauce so I made some of that with some Tofu sauteed in Sesame Oil.

The Broccoli and Tofu over Brown Rice looked very pretty without the sauce so here it is:

With the Peanut Sauce, however, it looked just plain ugly:

I haven't baked in a long time but with my crazy (almost pregnant) cravings for Peanut Butter lately I made Peanut Butter Banana Muffins.

I just discovered this great new market that I drive by everyday. But, today I stopped in and I'm in love! They have a lot of great Israeli, Greek, and other Middle Eastern things as well as some hard to find health food items. I can't believe I missed it before! Today I bought 3 bananas, 1 lemon, 1 lime, some sugar snap peas, and a bottle of capers for only $5.00. I can't wait until I run out of food and go shopping there again!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Hello, Green Bean

I have been eating really bad lately. That's probably why I haven't been posting so much lately. I have just been eating packaged foods and veggie burgers and things that I can make quickly. But now I'm sick of it and I went out shopping and I want to start eating better again. My plan is to make a great tasting veggie dish with grains or rice. So that's the plan but we'll see what happens. I've been so lazy lately.

Tonight, however, I sauteed some green beans with garlic, sesame oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and red pepper flakes. I also made some spicy quinoa. Quinoa with some Asian garlic chile sauce mixed in.

Wow! From the look of this, it could be a great thing to serve at Halloween time. It kinda looks like a melted witch face with snakes for hair.

Anyway, I feel better already. I love veggies and grains, and I love love love spices and sauces and condiments and herbs. And I love you!!