Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Tempeh Fries... where ya been all my life?

ho-lee-schnikees! Tempeh fries are the bomb!

I adapted this recipe from Vegan Express and it was one of the most wonderful things I've ever done!

I took 1/2 of an 8oz package of plain tempeh and sliced it into to 'fry' sized sticks. I heated 2 T safflower oil and 1 T soy sauce in a skillet (this spattered a bit, so be careful) and fried em up till crispy and brown- then drained on a paper towel.

Meanwhile I made this mouthwatering dipping sauce- also adapted from Vegan Express's Wasabi-Dill Mayonnaise. I don't have any wasabi on hand so I did this instead:

In a tiny food processor- 1 garlic clove, half of a small jalapeno (seeded and de-veined), 2 T soy milk, 1/4ish cup of veganaise (I eyeballed this), 1/2 T lime juice, several pinches of dried dill, and several pinches of course salt.

Oh my gosh, it was so good. I had made a little bowl of pasta as my main dish, but this was so satisfying and yum that I only ate a couple bites of the pasta. I'm going to start making this sauce for everything!

Sheesh- I keep forgetting to take pictures of my stuff! But here is a pic of the kind of tempeh I used:

Monday, June 29, 2009

Yuck vs Yum

So of course the news all over the vegan world is this crazy post over at QuarryGirl.com about non-vegan items in vegan restaurants in LA.

Since I am very newly transitioning to veganism- I'll call myself a strict vegetarian for now because I'm learning all the ins and outs- I find this article especially distressing and overwhelming.

The whole 'fake-meat' realm is kinda creepy anyway. One reason I've given up meat is because I don't like it all that much (along with the myriad other positive aspects of giving it up- health, saving animals, environmental...). So why would I want to eat things that seem "just like meat"?? I don't. I had some vegetarian kung pow chicken the other day and it was so chicken-y that I was put off. It tasted good, but I just kept thinking, "this is like eating chicken and I don't want to eat chicken, I want to eat fruits and veggies and tofu and whole grains..." And one of the few advantages of living in farmville is the awesome accesss to local, organic, affordable produce of ALL kinds! Like the big ole basket of organic strawberries I got today for $3.50 and they were grown less than an hour from my house! Boo ya!

I'm sure I'll partake in the occasional Tofurky sausage, but the least processed the better- in every aspect of life!

What I'm gonna eat this week!

I only have to work three days this week! Woop Woop! Thursday is my furlough day and Friday is a holiday due to July 4th falling on Saturday! I made up some stuff Sunday night for the week:
Breakfast- home made bluebery muffins (I'm becoming a serious fan of the Ener-G Egg Replacer) with almond butter and fresh fruit.

Lunch- herbed couscous with sauteed zucchini, summer squash and tofu cubes seasoned with a little Braggs herb seasoning packet I got as a sample at an Earth Day event.

Dinner- I think I'm gonna do pasta with marinara, zuchini, and tofu to keep things simple this week. I was going to make coconut corn soup from Vegan Express, but decided it's too hot for soup this week. (supposed to be 104-107 all week! eek!)

Sunday, June 28, 2009

is there anything better than home made pizza??? maybe blueberry muffins.

I made both today! I used a pre-made multi grain crust- first time I've tried this kind (Rustic Crust) and it was thin and super crispy just like I like it. I brushed a touch of olive oil over the crust, spooned on just enough organic marinara sauce and then spread it with red and gold bell pepper strips that I had sauteed with fresh garlic. The finishing touch- some pineapple chunks.

When I was a little kid I had a serious dairy allergy so my parents would always order half of our pizza (or an extra one) with no cheese for me. I loved it that way and when I eventually "grew out" of my allergy (that clearly never happened since I get a major mucous overload anytime I eat a significant amount of it) I would pull off nearly all the cheese on a traditional pizza. I've always been grossed out by melted cheese... luckily, I won't have to worry about that anymore. :) So far I haven't found a vegan cheese that I like (except the Eat in the Raw Parma), so I'm happy to do without.

I'll talk about the muffins tomorrow. They deserve their own post.

sweet, sweet victory

My husband is not opposed to eating vegan or vegetarian foods, but they would certainly not be his first choice on a menu. He is a very meat & potatoes guy. He does, however, love everything I bake, and almost everything I cook.

I make this bomb chocolate cake from the Vegan Express cookbook that he will gobble up. When I told him it was vegan he said, 'yeah, it tastes "healthier" than regular cake.' He did not mean that "healthier" was a bad thing- just different.

So this weekend I baked up two vegan items that he is diggin'. Yesterday afternoon I made oatmeal cookies- basically used the recipe on the canister of oatmeal but used egg replacer instead of eggs. They were dense and spicy and yummy. He said, "these are GOOD." :) And this morning I just made pancakes, again, he ate 'em up!

We love to go to breakfast on the weekends, but unless I want to get a dry bagel and country potatoes, there aren't many options at the greasy spoon diners in these parts. Making breakfast is a perfectly fabulous option for me!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Thank You, CPK

I was successfully able to get a completely meat/dairy free meal at California Pizza Kitchen without having to make any special requests!

I had the hummus platter (hummus and pita with tomatoes- can't go wrong there), and the grilled vegetable salad which consisted of grilled corn, eggplant, asparagus, sun-dried tomatoes, and avocado on a bed of romaine with a dijon vinaigrette. YUM!

I finished the meal off with a chilled glass of pino grigio. I am a happy camper now. Gonna watch the boob tube with David and maybe fall asleep on the couch. Big day planned tomorrow- a massage at 10:15 and then.... well, that's it... big day.

edit- 9/29/09- I have since found out that the pita bread at CPK isn't vegan (?), weird. They suggest that vegans order the hummus with thin pizza crust instead... so now I know for next time. :)

Afternoon Delight

It is Friday so I must celebrate: end of work week/beginning of glorious weekend. I'll be heading out to date night dinner with my partner in crime, David, in a while, but in the meantime I need a glass (or two) of bubbly and a light snack.

Enter: Eat in the Raw Parma! Vegan Parmesan. I heat up a tortilla and spread it with the tiniest dab of Earth Balance non-hydrogenated organic 'buttery' spread and sprinkle on the Parma. Yum! and satisfying until dinner.

I'm also enjoying a glass of PINK (by Yellowglen) sparkling wine. You can read about it here or here. It is fruity but dry and most importantly, Pink!

Now it is time to veg out for a while...

le premier

Alrighty... I've been contemplating this blog for some time but needed a perfect title. I'm a re-committed vegetarian transitioning to veganism (who loves- no worships- champagne)... how to capture, how to capture? Enter my fabulous friend, Anna, who brainstormed with me and basically came up with this title that I fell in love with. I AM a tofu lush- I love, love, love tofu, so there you have it.

I live in a mid-sized city in the southern portion of central California where a vegetarian, let alone vegan, is a rare occurrence. This is the land of cattle, cowboys, and Coors. So I aim to blog about my adventures- culinary and otherwise.