Thursday, April 24, 2008

Vegetarian Meat and Potatoes Cookbook

I bought a new cookbook that is filled with vegan comfort foods that are meant to satisfy vegans, vegetarians, and omnivores alike. It's called the Vegetarian Meat and Potatoes Cookbook by Robin Robertson.

I made one recipe so far and it was heaven on earth. What I ended up making was Shiitake-Stuffed Tofu Steaks with Hoisin Glaze. Is your mouth watering yet? I was suppose to cut the tofu into four pieces and then put a knife through the side in order to form a pocket with which to be stuffed. But, unfortunately, the tofu didn't want to make it easy for me so I scrapped the idea of stuffing them and instead I put the filling on the top.



2 TBS olive oil
4 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and chopped
3 green onions, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
Salt and pepper
1 pound extra-firm tofu, cut into 4 equal slices
1/2 cup hoisin sauce (found in the Asian/International aisle of the supermarket)
1-2 TBS minced cilantro


Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the shrooms, green onion, cilantro, garlic, and ginger and cook, stirring, about 3 minutes. Take off heat and set aside.
Heat remaining oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add the tofu and cook until golden brown on the first side. Turn and cook for 1 minute longer. Add the hoisin to the pan, spooning it over the tofu to coat. Flip tofu and make sure both sides are covered with hoisin sauce.
Serve and eat.

Serves 4 as an entree or 2 if your really damn hungry.

If this recipe is any indicator of how good the other ones are, I'm excited.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Greek Lentil Salad

Greek Lentil Salad (recipe below):

This "salad" is magnifique!! It's refreshing, hearty, and flavorful. The olive oil, lemon juice, and dill combine to create a complex creamy-yet-tart taste. I got this recipe from the May 2008 issue of Vegetarian Times.


1 cup green or brown lentils, picked over and rinsed
1-1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1 cup diced cucumber
1 cup chopped green onions
1 Tbs. dried dill OR 1/3 cup fresh chopped dill


1-2 garlic cloves
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

Here's how you throw it together:

-Place lentils in saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to med.-low and cook, partially covered, 25-30 minutes or until lentils are tender. Drain excess liquid, if needed.
-To make dressing: place garlic cloves on cutting board. Sprinkle with salt and mash with the side of a knife into a paste. Transfer to a bowl and whisk in olive oil, lemon juice, and pepper.
-To make salad: Toss lentils in dressing. Cool to room temperature, then stir in tomatoes, cucumber, green onions, and dill.
-Add more salt and pepper, if desired.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Earth Day!

Today is Earth Day. A couple years ago I didn't take the event seriously but now I am doing things to change my ways. In the past year I went vegan; bought biodegradable, plant-based cleaners and household products; use reusable bags when going to the store; recycle paper, aluminum, plastic; turn off lights in rooms that I'm not in; bought less bottled water (I mostly use one bottle per week, then just refill it with tap water). Unfortunately, I still have a long way to go.

Some things that I hope to do in the future:
-stop smoking
-start using my bicycle more instead of the car
-unplugging electronics when not in use
-line-drying clothes instead of using a dryer

Yes, there is still quite a bit to do. But those things will come in time.

Tuesday is not a good day to have Earth Day because most people are commuting to work, using computers and office lights, etc. Some friends and I got together last Saturday to observe the holiday/event.

Kai and I went to Lake Merritt in Oakland and picked up some trash. We also cooked up a dinner and ate by candlelight. We didn't use any electricity for about 5 hours. It was pretty cool. There was a question that was brought up by a friend which was, "Since electricity and energy go into the candle-making process is it really better for the environment?" I don't have an answer for that but our candlelight dinner was more symbolic than anything.

We (mostly Kai) made a Lentil Curry Stew, Brown Basmati Rice, and some Foccacia bread. It was an amazing, mostly vegan dinner.

Flour handprints:

Curry Stew:

Dough by Candlelight:

Calzone stuffed with Curry Stew and Rice:


Monday, April 21, 2008

Food Update!!

It's been awhile since I last posted. Partly because I have been busy with my Birthday (I'M 24!) and partly because I've just been plain too lazy to post. But now, I have a quick run-through of what I've been making in the past 2 weeks or so. If you would like any recipes feel free to email me at

Tofurky Italian "sausage", Green Pepper, Onion Sandwich:

Vegan Pasta Primavera:

Vegan Parmesan Cheese:

Indian Tofu and Stir-fried Veggies

Hash in a Flash (potatoes, bell peppers, onions, "sausage", red pepper flakes, salt & pepper):

Mirepoix mix (celery, onion, carrot) used for a brown rice dish with some bell pepper added:

My friends, family, and I celebrated my birthday during the weekend of April 11th. On Friday (April 11) my mother and I went to Santa Cruz for a beautiful day by the beach.

Santa Cruz:

At "The Mystery Spot" in Santa Cruz. In this picture I am actually hanging vertically but the building is at a slant so it looks like I'm hanging at a weird angle:

Here's another picture at "The Mystery Spot" where you can see the building is definitely leaning:

On Saturday April 12 it was hot so we had a little pool party. This is a picture of me looking at a deer's backside. Notice the deer's eyes!!:

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Asparagus Olive Frittata

A frittata is a type of Italian Omelette similar to a French Quiche that is usually made using eggs.

Since I don't eat eggs I made the frittata out of tofu, added veggies, and herbs and spices.

I got this recipe from Vegan with a Vengeance but I used my own combination of vegetables.

Asparagus-Black Olive Frittata:

Falafel and a Springtime Day Hike

Falafel is a fried ball or patty made from spiced fava beans and/or chickpeas. It is a popular form of fast food in the Middle East, where it is also served as a mezze (snack or tapas). It is usually served in pita bread with vegetables, tahini sauce, and hot chili sauce. Also, it can be served on top of salads, or as an appetizer with hummus.

I love falafel. I could eat it most days but I don't. I bought a box of falafel mix and simply added water. I let the mixutre sit for 20 minutes to develop and then I made patties. Then I fried them in olive oil over medium-high heat until they were browned. Then I served them in pita pockets with romaine lettuce and tahini sauce.

Before frying:

After frying and built:

Tahini Sauce for Falafel:

1/2 cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
3 gloves garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon parsley, finely chopped (optional)

In a food processor or blender, combine garlic and tahini. Add salt.

Remove from food processor and add olive oil and lemon juice, stir until combined. Add 1/4-1/2 cup of water and stir. Mix in parsley if using. Refrigerate or serve immediately.

In the Bay Area of California I have access to some of the most beautiful scenery I have set my eyes on. Only minutes from San Francisco and San Jose lies forest, beach, hills and valleys. I decided to take advantage of the sunny Spring day and take a hike in the Santa Cruz Mountains with my friends. It was even more beautiful than I had remembered. It was actually a little cold, but we warmed up as soon as we were trekking up the hillsides.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Foodie BlogRoll

I have joined the Foodie BlogRoll which is a network of food blogs from all over the world, spanning many types of cuisines. I am excited to be part of it. If you have a food blog, you should come join too! There is a link in the left-hand margin that will take you promptly to the website. Enjoy!!