Teenage Vegan

Monday, February 19, 2007

Well, this week was pretty busy, so I didn't have much time for cooking (we even had *gasp* cereal for dinner one night!) Plus, I was pretty worn out on cooking after our Valentine's Day cooking extra-vegan-za!

Me finishing off the rest of the B'Cous Cous I Love You, from Vegan Eats and Treats. Originally, we were going to make homemade ravioli, sauteed arugala, and frizzled leeks from Voluptous Vegan, but after making all of the desserts, we just weren't up to it anymore!

A very happy (and full) boyfriend!

Dessert #1: Believe it or not, these are the chocolate cherry tallcakes from VCTOW that so many people seemed to make for V-Day. The first half of them I attempted to decorate the way suggested in the book, but it just wasn't working, and I blame it all on this:

William Sonoma's Mechanical Pastry Bag... after seeing this on a blog, I begged and begged and was delighted when I unwrapped it under my Christmas tree. But so far, it's been nothing but trouble! The plunger is so difficult to push down that I usually need my boyfriend to do it for me, and then it either shoots out across the room or only comes out in a few sporadic thin lines. Plus, cleaning it is a bitch; no matter how much I scrub, there's always some damn frosting left in the nooks and crannies! So I settled on just frosting the last half of the cupcakes with a knife an then topping them with cherries, and they turned out just fine. Not as pretty, but still tasty.

Dessert #2: Chocolate dipped strawberries, drizzled with vegan white chocolate!

Dessert #3: Dark chocolate coffee truffles, from The Vegan Feast Kitchen. These were Tommy's least favorite dessert, but I've been snacking on them all week! Unfortunately, after slaving away in the kitchen for hours to make all of these delicious sweets, I sat down at the table and realized that sugar (and, more specifically, chocolate) sounded disgusting. So I stuffed myself on coucscous and had one chocolate dipped strawberry (which I only ate because it seemed a shame not to!). Oh well, I suppose it was better for me in the long run!

And one not-V-Day post: Deja Vu Sloppy Joes from Students Go Vegan Cookbook (which we're currently borrowing from the library) and polenta fries from the Vegan Vice blog. I had this with the left over apple cider while watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Can life get any better? I think not!
Have a good week, all!


Saturday, February 10, 2007

A congratulatory... grapefruit?

Yes, that is what I received from my best friend and her mother after learning that I was accepted into the University of Washington! I was so excited, because UW was definitely my first choice school. I plan on majoring in sociology and minoring in women's studies (a professional feminist in the making!). It was especially nice since I heard back before the other applications were even due, meaning that I didn't have to finish filling any of the others out! Mwahaha :)

Baked tofu from Bryanna Clark Grogan's Almost No Fat Cookbook, served with vegan tartar sauce on top and fit fries on the side. Although this was greedily devoured by my family, I just couldn't bring myself to eat it after adding kelp powder into the breading for the tofu because it smelled like fish food! It tasted fine, but I put up a mental blockade against it and settled for eating everyone's fit fries for dinner instead (sweet potatoes are good for you, right?)

Curried tempeh filling from The Fat Free Vegan Kitchen on two slices of sprouted barley bread with macrobiotic squash soup (you can see half of the butternut we used in the upper right corner!) and three bean salad from Trader Joe's. This was originally supposed to be sushi, but I was still feeling a bit iffy on sea vegetables after the kelp powder incident, so it turned into sandwiches. Delicious all the same!

Really really yummy vegan raspberry "jell-o" from a box I got at Sidecar (Seattle's vegan grocery store) for only $0.79! I added frozen raspberries in and topped it with soy whipped cream (Soyatoo brand), which I used to hate but now love. I wanted to make the jell-o cute, but the only molds I had were for Easter - hence the rabbit shape.

Pretty much the whole reason I go to Pike Place Market: yes, that is a vegan snickerdoodle the size of my hand. They also have really amazing gigantic vegan cinnamon rolls, but since Tommy and I had just split one at The Globe (which we went to after seeing it featured in the Get Sconed blog, btw) I decided to go for a cookie. I also got yummy wheat-free sugar-free applesauce bread. I'm pretty sure the place is called Cinnamon Works, but I could be wrong.

Really, really good lemon date squares from the Vegan Vittles cookbook, which is pretty much my new favorite cookbook ever. So delicious - just the right combination of sweet and lemony, and perfect to pack in a lunchbox the next day!

Greek Salad also from Vegan Vittles - tofu feta, cucumbers, kalamata olives, roma tomatoes, and garlic caper dressing (our own addition) on top of romaine lettuce with sourdough bread on the side. I'm usually not too big on salads (I know, what a crummy vegan, huh?), but this one was yummy!

Gyros, also from - you guessed it - Vegan Vittles! Seitan stir-fried in a mixture of soy sauce and herbs with sprouted wheat pita bread (which, btw, does not hold together very well) and a tofu-cucumber sauce. We also had lettuce, onions, and tomatoes on them. A bit salty, but good!

Our standby healthy meal: roasted acorn squash with rosemary and olive oil, three bean salad (same as from the sandwiches) and quinoa with a tahini-tamari dressing. Quick, easy, and nutritious (a good source of complete protein!)

PMS + Veganism = amazing chocolately goodness. The World's Best (And Easiest) Chocolate Pudding from Vegan Vittles with soy whipped cream, organic sprinkles, and crumbled up fruit sweetened wheat free chocolate cookies. Definitely made both Tom and I sick, but it was so worth it.

Tofu Yung patties from Chicago Diner cookbook, with brown rice and frozen edamame on the side cooked with mirin. This tasted just like egg foo yung (or so my mom said, I've never had it); it definitely had a very egg-y texture and a delicious Asian flavor.

Peace out everybody!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Man, this was just like, the weekend-o-good-food!

I am absolutely perplexed by the fact that so many Seattle-area vegans don't like this!! This is a slice of the the garlic sauce pizza from Pizza Pi, the only (as far as I know) vegan pizzeria in the United States! It has this amazing, gooey, garlic sauce and is topped with mushrooms, olives, spinach, and veggie sausage so real that it makes you feel like you're cheating. We also got a box of breadsticks with "cheese" on top and marinara sauce for dipping, and cinnamon sticks with vegan frosting. Pizza Pi is pretty far away so it's an occasional treat, but oh man. I seriously want to cry everytime I bite into one of their lighter than air breadsticks, and I am psyched beyond psyched that it will be closer once I move to Seattle in the fall!

As I mentioned earlier, I'm working at a new vegetarian Indian restaurant that I used to love eating at, but they recently changed their menu from North Indian cuisine to South Indian cuisine. I'd never tried south Indian food before so I was a bit apprehensive, but it is goooood. I like it miles better than the north! The big pancake looking thing is a dosa, which is basically like a big, peppery pancake filled with vegetables cooked in Indian spices and served with some kind of savory chutney. It's incredibly rich so I could only finish about 1/3 of it, but with a glass of ice cold mango juice, this really hit the spot!

We went a bit crazy with Indian food that night, so we also got this other Indian bread which was full of peas and tomatoes (the name escapes me, although I do remember that it started with a 'u'.) It looks kind of like pizza, doesn't it? It was greasier than the dosa, but it was really, really good. I brought it to school for lunch the next day (I wanted to bring the dosa but we forgot to put it in the refrigerator! I was heartbroken, haha)

And then all of this pictured above is all the cool and unique things I purchased this week! We went to Sidecar Pigs for Peace, an all vegan grocery store in Seattle, and also to Oujimaya, which is a local Asian grocery store.

First, there is strawberry flavored ricemellow cream (which I think used to be not-vegan, but it is vegan now!) To the right in the white box is some raspberry "jello" made with agar agar that you just add water to. Behind are two more jello-y desserts: in the brown box is a coffee flavored agar agar dessert, and the white box is just agar agar powder with sugar added, both from Oujimaya. The most exciting part? The boxes were about $1.75!! Agar agar usually runs for around $6.00 per 4 oz. or so in these parts, so I was completely psyched about how cheap this was. I'm thinking that I can use the plain powder in some of my dessert recipes that call for flakes, and just omit the sugar from the recipe.

To the right of the agar-dessert boxes are two really adorable rice bowls from Oujimaya; one has monkeys on it and the other one has giraffes. Since monkeys are Tommy's favorite animal and giraffes are mine AND we eat a lot of rice, I figured these were worth it.

They're a little hard to see, but aren't they adorable?

Of course, the bowls in the first picture are sitting atop the brand new bento boxes that I also bought this weekend so I could start bringing lunches to school. You can really clearly see the red one, but the black one kind of fades into the stove (the red one is for Tommy, the black one is for me.) In front of the bento boxes is a stick of... vegan jerky? I couldn't believe it! I'm so used to my eyes glazing over anything that size and shape, but then I realized I was in a vegan grocery store! I haven't had a chance to try it, but it looks good! Next to the jerky is some dried dragon fruit, which tastes like nuts - crazy! I like it a lot better than the fresh stuff though (plus, it's way cheaper - fresh dragon fruit is like $10.00 a pound!)

The big pink package to the right is freeze dried rambutan. This stuff is a trip - has anyone tried it? It falls into the fifth flavor (Americans tend to eat only four), and is characterized by what the Japanese call Umami. It starts off sweet and ends kind of bitter, and it almost tastes deep fried, which is so weird because its just freeze dried! I think I like it, but it will take some getting used to.

The last two jars are probably the most boring of the lot, but I'm still excited about them nonetheless since I've been trying to do more macrobiotic recently. The first is raspberry spreadable fruit sweetened with brown rice syrup, and the second is chocolate flavored brown rice syrup (they had maple flavored brown rice syrup too, but then I thought, "Hey, if I want something maple flavored and syrupy, then it probably makes sense to just have some maple syrup." )

Anyway, tolo is coming up soon and I bought this slinky black dress (for $15.00 at Buffalo Exchange, I might add) and I want to make sure it looks good, so I'm eating a bit lighter for awhile. That doesn't mean I'm going to be sacrificing any flavor though! Here's this weeks menu:

Spaghetti with vegan meatballs (last night's dinner - nice and lazy, didn't want to miss any of Heroes!)
Baked tofu with "tartar" sauce and fit fries (yam fries with no oil, essentially)
International quinoa salad with loads of veggies
Macrobiotic squash soup and curried tempeh sushi rolls (from the Fat Free Vegan Kitchen blog.)
Have a good week!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

So this week I started working at a vegetarian Indian restaurant, which has been quite the interesting experience. I feel really conflicted because the owners are so kind, they really need extra help, and I already agreed to work there on Fridays and Saturdays, BUT I really don't like it, I don't get any breaks, they pay me out of their pockets, and even though I'm the waitress, I don't get any tips. It's really not the best situation. The one plus side, though? I get free food whenever I want. I'm thinking about quitting, even though I know that would be really irresponsible.

Anyway, onto the food! I'm super excited because yesterday I picked up The Almost No Fat Cookbook: Everyday Vegetarian for about $6.00 at Half Price Books, in practically brand new condition! We're big fans of all of Bryanna's recipes that we've tried from her website, AND my mom is trying to go on a low-fat vegan diet to help her lose weight, so we really couldn't have found this at a better time. (At Half Price books I also picked up a book called "The Science of Vampires," written by a PhD, which promises to be really cool, plus a book on the relationship between plants and humans called "Food of the Goods" for my boyfriend, and then a random girly book about how to do your makeup. So probably the most random assortment of books ever.)

Here is the Caramelized Fennel and Shallot Risotto from "Fresh and Fast Vegan Pleasures," topped with minced tarragon and fennel fronds. On the side is a bitter green salad with balsamic vinaigrette. This was very good; the flavors were very subtly sweet, which was nice for the cold weather.

In the words of Rachel Ray: Yum-o! This was the Seitan Piccata with White Wine and Capers from the "Candle Cafe" cookbook, and it was super good. I'm a sucker for any type of piccata! On the side are some oyster mushrooms and asperation (a hybrid between broccoli and asparagus) that my dad grilled. This felt very gourmet so Tommy and I cracked open a bottle of cranberry cider to go with it :)

Of course, we had leftover seitan, so the next night we just heated it up in the microwave and served it with some store-bought BBQ sauce (as you can see, it came out of the bottle a bit faster than we had anticipated!). Tommy and I split a roasted acorn squash between the two of us (which was just mediocre - I didn't think to put olive oil or rosemary on it, like I normally do) and we each had a big old leaf of raw dino kale with some lemon juice, olive oil, and salt - the only real way to eat raw kale. Yum!

And here was this morning's breakfast: Egg Free French Toast from the Almost No Fat Cookbook topped with organic strawberries and maple syrup, served with vegetarian sausage patties, half a pear, and some Odwalla orange juice. My mom and I both enjoyed this immensely; it was quick, easy, and extraordinarily satisfying! (My mom commented that it's weird to be on a diet that allows her to be full and happy!)

Have a good week everybody!

Monday, January 15, 2007

So, what's on the menu for this week?

Seitan piccata in a white wine and caper sauce, served with grilled oyster mushrooms and grilled (or maybe steamed?) asperation

Caramelized fennel and shallot risotto with fresh tarragon and a nice big salad on the side

A nice and "plain" meal that I'm desperately in need of: Brown rice, adzuki beans cooked with kombu, steamed kale, roasted squash, and beets, maybe with a tahini miso dressing drizzled over all of it.

And for our raw meal of the week (from my new "cook"book Rawvolution): collard green wraps filled with seed cheese and a variety of veggies

Midweek Munchies, a veg*n meme!

Midweek Munchies: What AUTUMN is contributing this week

The majority of this (I'm talking upwards of 90%) was organic, but I honestly don't remember the few things that weren't.

Sprouted barley bread
Bulk adzuki beans
Bulk arborio rice
2 Luna Bars (Peppermint Stick and Toasted Nuts and Cranberry flavors)
1 bag dulse
Baked rice crackers
Vegetable broth
Hemp granola
Multigrain "milk"
StonyfieldFarm soygurt
Suzanne's Better Than Honey
Asperation (a cross breed between broccoli and asparagus, I'm excited!)
1 Avocado
1 bunch bananas
1 bunch beets
1 carrot
1 bunch cilantro
1 bunch collard greens
2 fennel bulbs
1 head garlic
Fresh basil
Fresh tarragon
1 bunch dinosaur kale
2 kiwi
2 lemons
3 or 4 oyster mushrooms
1 bunch green onions
1 red onion
1 yellow onion
1 bunch parsley
2 or 3 anjou pears
1 or 2 bosc pears
1 or 2 comic pears (pears are my new obsession, if you couldn't tell!)
1 shallot
1 big bag salad mix
2 acorn squash
1 box strawberries (terribly, horribly out of season, but they smelled soooo good!)
Bulk olives

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PURPOSE of Midweek Munchies: Put together by a small group of Veg Women, we hope to spread the word about healthy vegetarianism while obtaining idea starters for meals, recipes, learn about new products, and meet other female veg*n bloggers. Visiting and commenting on other participants lists are encouraged but not required.
Have fun and Go Veg!

Friday, January 12, 2007

Snow!! And lots of it!!

This has been the wackiest year of weather. First, in November, we had these awful floods that qualified Washington as a national emergency area. Then we had a huge snow, followed by a windstorm that resulted in a power outage that lasted over a week for some people (during Christmas, nonetheless!), and now we have another foot of snow. We go entire winters without ever getting snow, so this is really odd. The bonus, of course, is that school was canceled yesterday and today, and Monday is a holiday, so I have a five day weekend! Yay!

This is in our backyard; our inflatable pool pretty much turned into an ice skating rink! I haven't been able to make it to a grocery store since we live on top of a hill, but I did manage to whip up some delicious recipes nevertheless.

This is the "Snow Pea" and Soba Noodle "Salad" from Vegetarian Times, which I modified heavily because I didn't have snow peas or lettuce. I used edamame instead, and added in some big chunks of firm tofu on top of the soba noodles, green onions, cilantro, and red bell pepper. Drizzled on top is a peanut sauce (another recipe which I modified), and on the side are some baked rice vegetable crackers. A very nutritious and yummy lunch!

Also from Vegetarian Times was this yummy quinoa curry. This was originally a non-vegan recipe, but I just substituted plain soy yogurt in and voila! This dish features cauliflower which has been lightly cooked in a curry herb blend and is served with quinoa, peas, cashews, and fresh cilantro.

And yet again from Vegetarian Times was this absolutely AMAZING pudding (which is supposed to be made with bulgur, even though that's not what I used), served with some fresh pumpkin bread that I made that morning. Next time you have a cold winter's night and need something sweet, warm, and filling, you have to make this.

Couscous Pudding with Figs
1 tbsp. Suzanne's Better Than Honey or real honey, depending on whether or not you eat it
1/2c. dried figs, soaked in warm water for a few minutes (until they are soft)
1/2 c. + 1/8c. couscous
1/2c. multigrain milk with 1/2tsp. vanilla added, or any other vanilla flavored nondairy milk
1/4c. dried currants
1/8tsp. allspice
Chopped walnuts, to taste

Bring 1 1/2c. water and honey or honey replacer to boil in a saucepan, stir in couscous. Cover and remove from heat. Let couscous stand for five minutes, or until the water has been absorbed (make sure it doesn't get too dry or burn onto the bottom of the pan!)

Stir in multigrain milk, currants, and allspice. Bring to a boil, add in figs. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer, uncovered, for 3 minutes, or until it looks kind of like oatmeal. Stir in nuts or sprinkle on top. Serve warm. (When I had this for breakfast this morning, I also added in a couple teaspoons of margarine, which made it even creamier than before.)

Pumpkin Bread
1 3/4c. whole wheat pastry flour
1/2c. spelt flour
2 1/2tsp. baking powder
1/2tsp. baking soda
1/2tsp. ground allspice
1/4tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4tsp. fresh ground nutmeg
1/4tsp. salt
1 (15-oz) can pureed pumpkin
3/4c. Just Like Honey, real honey, or brown rice syrup
2 1/2tbsp. walnut oil
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 and grease 9 by 5 loaf pan. In a medium bowl, sift together the flours, baking powder and soda, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, honey or honey replacer, oil, lemon juice, and vanilla. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir until just incorporated, being careful not to overmix. Spoon the mixture into the loaf pan and bake until it is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs, about 55 minutes. Let cool before slicing. Serve with maple butter or honey replacer on top. Delicious!

Monday, January 08, 2007

So after a week and a half of eating really well (lots of macrobiotic and raw), and after starting to PMS, I decided that I just couldn't take it anymore. I needed some good, old fashioned, down home comfort food. So Tommy and I had the idea to do a vegan "KFC" night - everything was so delicious that thinking about it now is making me hungry again! Next time I would like to add coleslaw, biscuits, and gravy to the mix. The best part about it all though? The whole dinner (including dessert!) took me less than an hour!

Clockwise from bottom left we have mashed potatoes from scratch, some raw dino kale with olive oil and lemon juice (not anything you'd typically find at KFC, but I needed something green!), vegan fried steak, and macaroni and "cheese." Both the vegan fried steak recipe and the macaroni and cheese recipes were taken from vegweb, here: http://vegweb.com/index.php?PHPSESSID=f94d3b5b9163122ccbcba29def887c9c&topic=7534.0 and here: http://vegweb.com/index.php?PHPSESSID=f94d3b5b9163122ccbcba29def887c9c&topic=8295.0, respectively. I'll post them in the blog later, but I have school soon!

Dessert #1 (yes, we had two) is surprisingly NOT from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, but rather from the first Millenium restaurant cookbook. It's an individual Mad Good Chocolate Cake, filled with a rich chocolatey ganache (which unfortunately baked into the cake, it was supposed to be a rich molten center) and topped with coconut sorbet. There was supposed to be a caramel rum sauce too, but we're trying to cut back on sugar (the cake recipe only used maple syrup, which was awesome). Very delicious, but I was sad because of the lack of molten ganache center, because I tasted it while it was cooking and it was really, really good. Next time I'll just pipe it in after baking.

Dessert #2 was more of the coconut sorbet (Palapa brand), with a cut up mini banana, some dried figs, cinnamon, and homemade carob sauce from the failed banana ice cream on Friday. Nice and refreshing!