01 December 2010
When I'm only checking out a cookbook, I usually write the page numbers for the recipes I like on the back of the rental due receipt. When I finally decided this was a book I just needed to own, I had already written down about 20 numbers!
The recipes are all vegan (duh!), but are easily adaptable to vegetarian palettes as well. Latin food has been friend to the vegetarian for a long time with it's dishes rich with beans and veggies. Who even misses the meat when you have Cuban Black Bean Soup, Fried Sweet Plantains, Arepas, Creamy Corn-Crusted Seitan Pot Pie, and Dulce Batata?
The book also includes some simple seitan recipes (can you ever have enough) and is conscious of what products are and are not readily available in your local supermarket. I'm lucky to live in Texas so I have easy access to things like plantains, chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, yucca, and more. I cannot wait to make so many things from this book!
13 November 2010
1. Cook udon noodles as per package directions and set aside. (This is where I used the Tamari. I think I will heat them in water first instead so they don't fry as long, then add the Tamari to the cabbage when I add the onions).
3. Add onion mixture to the cabbage and stir to combine. Add drained noodles and toss together until heated through. Sprinkle with parsley and serve!
06 November 2010
One of my favorite bloggers, An Opera Singer in the Kitchen is participating and she posted a really cool survey that I am totally stealing. I changed some of the questions to reflect a vegetarian lifestyle and not just vegan. Thanks!!!
1. What is one food you thought you’d miss when you went vegetarian, but don’t?
Steak. I thought I would miss it more than anything but it's the weird things I miss, like hot dogs.
2. What is a food or dish you wouldn’t touch as a child, but enjoy now?
Anything with veggies! I only liked green beans, carrots, and ice berg lettuce. Period. Now, I eat all kinds of interesting things like asperegus (in small quantities), avocados, cabbage, radishes, parsnips, etc.
3. What vegan dish or food you feel like you should like, but don’t?
Vegan cheese, except Daiya but that's only good for pizzas or quesadillas or where ever it can be melted. This is one of the reasons I am not vegan.
4. What beverage do you consume the most of on any given day?
Water or pomegranet cranberry juice
5. What dish are you famous for making or bringing to gatherings?
I don't know! I think I'm just famous for bringing something homemade.
6. Do you have any self-imposed food rules (like no food touching on the plate or no nuts in sweets)?
Oh, I'm sure there are a lot I just can't think of. I am still nervous about a few veggies like beets and Brussel sprouts. I don't like nuts in desert (though the vegan brownies at Spiral Diner are amazing!)
7. What’s one food or dish you tend to eat too much of when you have it in your home?
Fudge. Or at least that's what I'm guilty of eating right now!
8. What ingredient or food do you prefer to make yourself despite it being widely available prepackaged?
Pizza. I love homemade pizza!
9. What ingredient or food is worth spending the extra money to get the good stuff?
10. Are you much of a snacker? What are your favorite snacks?
I try not to keep a lot of snacks around but it's usually a piece of candy or something. Thankfully, I can easily eat just a few spoonfuls of ice cream or gelato, or just a couple pieces of fudge.
11. What are your favorite vegan/veggie pizza toppings?
Field Roast Italian Sausage. I am also in love with marinated artichoke hearts on pizza. yum!
12. What is your favorite vegetable? Fruit?
Green Beans and apples.
13. What is the best salad dressing?
It changes. I eat a lot less Ranch dressing now that I'm vegetarian which is weird. Maybe it's just that I've grown up. I usually do a simple Balsamic with oil, or French dressing, or homemade Mustard Shallot dressing.
14. What is your favorite thing to put on toasted bread?
American Cheese! Honey is a close second.
15. What kind of soup do you most often turn to on a chilly day or when you aren’t feeling your best?
Okay, I think I can answer one of the above questions better now. I am not a soup fan. Growing up soup always meant you were sick. Now, I like it every once and a while and I always keep some on hand, but I never really go for it. That being said, Whole Foods makes an amazing Roast Garlic Potato soup that I really like with crostini.
16. What is your favorite cupcake flavor? Frosting flavor?
Red Velvet with Cream Cheese Icing.
17. What is your favorite kind of cookie?
Chocolate Chocolate Chip (vegan)
18. What is your most-loved weeknight meal?
Tempeh Piccatta (converted from "The Kind Diet")
19. What is one dish or food you enjoy, but can’t get anyone else in your household to eat?
It's just me so none! Though, I'm nervous about my birthday this year. Where can I go that my parents will also enjoy??
20. Favorite non-dairy milk?
So Delicious Coconut Milk Unsweetend. It is yummy in oatmeal, eggs, deserts, anything. I'm still having a problem drinking it straight, but what are you gonna do?
21. Most disastrous recipe/meal failure?
Disaster? Failure? I know none of these things! (Although, as much as I love to make curry, I don't like that my apartment smells like it for days afterward)
22. Favorite pickled item?
Pickles! I'm also on the hunt for an inexpensive Kimchi.
23. If you were stranded on an island and could only bring 3 foods…what would they be (don’t worry about how you’ll cook them)?
Apples, eggs, and black bread
24. Fondest food memory from your childhood?
I loved watching my Dad cook. He and my mother had completely different styles. He never used a recipe and rarely measured anything. The whole house would smell great while he was concocting something new.
25. Favorite vegan ice cream?
I like gelato. So Delicious Coconut Water gelato in Lemonaid is wonderful!
26. Most loved kitchen appliance?
Is it lame to pick my rubber spatula? It's perfect for flipping and mixing and stirring. I heart it.
27. Spice/herb you would die without?
Shallots. I am obsessed.
28. Favorite flavor of jam/jelly?
29. Favorite vegan recipe to serve to an omni friend?
Enchilada's with seitan and peppers. My best friend couldn't believe they were vegetarian!
30. Seitan, tofu, or tempeh?
Tempeh. I'll change my answer to seitan when I learn how to make it from scratch!
31. Favorite meal to cook (or time of day to cook)?
I love breakfast. I only really cook it on my days off so it's a real treat. I also love to make nibbly bits for parties.
32. Name 3 items in your freezer without looking.
Frozen veggies and fruit, puff pastry, Quorn Turk'y Roast
33. What’s on your grocery list?
Food grade lavender blossoms. I think I'll have to special order them and it bums me out.
34. Favorite grocery store?
Whole Foods or Central Market
35. Name a recipe you’d love to make vegetarian, but haven’t yet.
City Chicken- a pan fried veal dish my Dad makes
36. Food blog you read the most (besides Isa’s because I know you check it everyday).
Some days I feel like that's all I read! I like An Opera Singer in the Kitchen, C'est la Vegan, and Kirsten's Kitchen
37. Favorite vegan candy/chocolate?
Vegan chocolate chips are awesome. Also, Oreo's are now vegan!
38. Most extravagant food item purchased lately?
I bought this crazy salt that I still haven't used. It's a really pretty lavender colour and smells divine! I think I'll use it in my next egg dish. I also finally bought liquid smoke and my Boca burgers thank me!
02 October 2010
** In an attempt to supplement my Fair beer diet, I also tried some fried Texas caviar (black-eyed peas) tossed with seasoning (including Old Bay). They come in regular and spicy, though as a lover of all things spicy I cannot imagine eating that one. The regular was so flavorful and spicy I'm pretty sure the hotter version would kill me.
** Of course, before you leave the Fair you need a little something for the ride home or to comfort you until you can come back again. Might I suggest some cotton candy or salt water taffy (my personal fav)?
I'm sure I forgot something deep fried and wondrous, but I can't remember anymore. It's a good thing I started the day with a small salad, just to keep me grounded. I also never want to see anything fried for a really long time.
25 September 2010
28 August 2010
Ever since Twisted Root opened near downtown Dallas I have been a fan. Even before "Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives" hit the scene, the line at lunch often ran down the block. So, what's the big fuss over a burger joint?
25 August 2010
Quorn is a UK brand of meat and soy free products (though not vegan as some contain eggs). It is made from mycoprotein which is a type of fungus like mushrooms or truffles. So far, this product is the closest in taste and texture to chicken that I've had. That is not to say it actually tastes like chicken, it doesn't, but the texture is more enjoyable than other products on the market. It is low in fat and cholesterol, and high in protein. Yum! I've tried the Chik'n Nuggets, Naked Chicken, and Garlic & Herb Chik'n Cutlets. All are delicious and easy to incorporate into any meal. I've made mock chicken salad with the naked chicken and it's a great sub in your recipes. I cannot wait to try the meatballs, turkey roast, and stuffed chik'n breasts. (Watch out Mom & Dad! This is what I'm bringing to Thanksgiving dinner). Now, if only they had coupons...
I am also obsessed with Newman's Own Organics Ginger O's. My sister turned me on to these and I've tried to be "good" and not buy them but my resolve wore out. These cookies (hell, the whole line or Newman's Own) is delicious and the profits after taxes go to charity. I love that they use organic ingredients, are free from trans fats, and taste delicious. You can have your cookie and eat it too! You can find coupons for Newman's Own here.
The other night, I tried WestSoy Seitan strips in a Szechuan style stir fry. As of now, the company website only lists their soy milk products so I'm not listing it here. It's weird and I don't know why they would ignore the other half of their catalog. Oh well... The stir fry was awesome! I was inspired by the scechuan style string beans I had from my favorite Chinese take out place. The sauce is spicy and delicious. Here's what I did to the best of my memory:
Brown the seitan strips in a bit of peanut oil, then set aside on a paper towel to drain. In a small pot, par boil green beans and chopped carrots. Add a bit more oil to the pan and add sliced onion, garlic clove, and orange pepper until tender. Add vegetable stock, hot sauce, tamari (or low sodium soy sauce), red pepper flakes, and a touch of flour to thicken. When reduced by half, add the green beans, carrots, and seitan. Saute until coated and serve with rice or quinoa.
Super yum and easy!
Which brings me to my last obsession: Tamari. I first heard about it in "The Kind Diet" and have been loyal ever since. Tamari is a richer, more complex, gluten free Japanese shoyu. My favorite brand is San-J which is available at most major groceries, Whole Foods, and Asian markets. It has a depth of dimension or umami (thanks Iron Chef!). Trust me when I tell you, you will never want soy sauce again!
15 August 2010
(Special thanks to Alejandra from Always Order Desert for turning me on to this site)
30 July 2010
"I've never met a vegetarian that wasn't taking some sort of supplement"
Do you really think the average American is eating healthfully? How many fresh fruits and veggies do you consume in a day? Even better, how many portions/individual serving size of fruits and vegetables do you eat in a day? Until recently, I would have said one unless we're counting potatoes. Almost everyone could benefit from a multivitamin regardless of if you are a vegetarian, vegan, or meat lover.
The only thing I really miss so far about eating meat is the convenience of it. I can go anywhere and eat anything. Most of my cookbooks focus on meat proteins. However, I know that with time and research comes experience and ease.
"You need to eat meat!!"
Uh, not really. There are several cultures that do not eat meat and many more where meat is limited. They're doing just fine. Did you know the average vegetarian lives anywhere from 2-7 years longer than an omnivore? Vegetarians have a lower risk of heart disease and many cancers. A balanced diet, regardless of if you eat meat or not, will provide you with the nutrients your body needs. For vegetarians, that means being conscious of B12 and Omega-3 in our diets but both can be found naturally (B12: dairy, eggs, nutritional yeast, and fortified foods; Omega-3: flax seed, nuts, soy products, and leafy greens).
"No happy meat eater will become fully vegetarian"
That's just the dumbest thing I've ever heard. I did. Will it last? Who knows! I haven't eaten pork in over 15 years and it never kept me down. I guess the worst thing I did was learn about my food, where it came from, what was in it, how they made it, and how it got to my house. For now I'm happy, feel great, have lost some weight, and love the new to me thought of "what's for dinner?"
29 July 2010
30 June 2010
My sister sent my this recipe for No Egg Egg Salad that she was addicted to during her month long vegan experiment. According to her, you can eat this for days and it is delicious. I decided to try my hand as I've been missing sandwiches something fierce. Cucumbers and cream cheese is delicious but not necessarily the most nutritious. It is important to note that not all silken tofu is created equally. I had no idea there was both soft and firm style so of course I bought the wrong kind. I basically made soup. The firm silken tofu is not refrigerated and is in a small cardboard box. Let me know if you try this and how it was!
No Egg Egg Salad
1 cucumber diced small
1 carrot diced small
1/2 package Mori-nu silken tofu, extra firm, diced a little larger
1/4-1/2 c Veganaise
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
caraway seeds to taste
salt and pepper
mix together and enjoy!
Last night I decided to finally make the couscous I bought ages ago, but what to put with it? I haven't made curry in a while and I really wanted to get a bunch of veggies on the plate. I forgot to take pictures, but will try to get a good one of the leftovers. This is super easy, rustic, and easy to adapt to whatever fresh vegs you have. I will say, I like my curry hot to desi hot so you may need to adjust some of the ratios.
Couscous with Vegetable Curry
For the couscous:
1 c couscous (I get it in the bulk foods section)
1 c water
1c vegetable broth
Salt and pepper to taste
For the vegetables:
1 T extra virgin olive oil
1/3 c onions, large dice
1 clove garlic, diced
1 medium white potato, cubed
1 carrot, chopped
½ c green beans (or 1/3 12 oz can)
1 Roma tomato, seeded and chopped
1 T tomato paste
½ c water or vegetable broth
½ t curry powder (get a quality one)
½ t hot paprika
½ t red pepper flakes
¼ t ground coriander
1 t Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
In a medium sauce pot, bring the water and broth to a boil. Gradually stir in the couscous to avoid clumping. Reduce to a simmer and cook 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cover and remove from heat. Let sit about 15-20 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed.
Bring water to a boil in a small sauce pot. Add potato and par boil, about 4-6 minutes. If using fresh green beans add them as well.
Meanwhile, in a medium to large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until just soft. Add the carrots and cook until they begin to get tender, about 4 minutes. Drain and add the potatoes and the rest of the veggies. Toss in red pepper flakes. Let cook about 5-7 minutes or until the potatoes begin to brown. Add spices, Worcestershire, tomato paste, and ½ of the water/broth. Bring to a simmer. If there is not enough broth, add the rest of the water/broth. Cook until the liquid begins to reduce and thicken up, about 5-7 minutes.
Fluff couscous with a fork and pile into a bowl or deep plate. Top with veggies and enjoy!
Risotto is a cooking style where the rice (or other starch) is slowly cooked in liquid while stirring. The stirring releases the starch from the rice and thickens the sauce. When you're done, you are left with a creamy treat that will satisfy any craving.
Last night I made the most amazing risotto, my best one yet! I was inspired to try something new while watching "Chuck's Day Off" on the Cooking Channel. He made a risotto with potatoes and I thought, "Genius!"
[As always, I rarely measure anything, preferring to "eyeball it" and simply knowing how much 1c or 1T looks like. Please keep this in mind.]
Potato Risotto w/Beans
serves 3-4 as a side, 1-2 as main
1 medium white potato, cubed
1/2 c arborio rice
4-5 c vegetable broth
2 T olive oil, extra virgin
2 T vegan butter
1/4 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, diced
1/4 c spinach, chiffonade
1/4 c green beans, cut in 2-3 bits
Vegan Parmesan (4-5 shakes)
1 T soft silken tofu
salt & pepper
In a small sauce pan, par boil the potato until just soft, about 2 minutes. Drain and set aside. Then, cook green beans until almost soft, about 2 minutes. Set aside. In same pan, bring broth up to a boil, then reduce to barely a simmer. The idea is to get it hot but not to cook it.
In a large sauce pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Saute onion and garlic until soft, about 2-3 minutes. Add rice and stir until opaque, about 2 minutes. Add potato and stir.
Now, to risotto: Turn up heat to high/medium high. Ladle in about 1/2 c of broth to the rice (this is 1-2 full ladles) and stir. The liquid should come to a slow boil then simmer as you stir. Once the liquid is absorbed, add another ladle. You must stir frequently or risk the rice sticking and burning on the bottom of the pan. If you must divert your attention, add a second ladle of liquid.
When you have about 1 c left of broth, add the green beans. Keep adding liquid until it is all absorbed.
[This is a great time to taste the rice. Is it hard or crunchy? If so, keep adding liquid until fully cooked.]
When your rice is cooked, add the tofu, butter, Parmesan, and spinach. Salt and pepper to taste. Stir together well. Serve!
Farm Sanctuary Donation
Turtle Mountain, LLC
Eugene, OR 97402
* The Huffington Post offers some tips for those who "hate" cooking. You can also check out my beginner cooks larder (that's pantry for the rest of us) on The Art of Throwing Stones. You can also find my fledgling food writing there by clicking on "cooking" or "food".
* Dangers of soy. And more evidence from Scientific American
* Very exciting news: The USDA has approved new rules for the National Organic Program (NOP) called The Access to Pasture rule. It states:
"The Access to Pasture rule specifies that organic milk and meat products come from organically‐raised animals that are actively grazing on pasture. "
Basically, it requires organic livestock to have access to pasture throughout the grazing season and that that intake must account for at least 30% of the animals diet. Of course, organic livestock must still refrain from using GMO's, antibiotics/vaccinations, synthetic parasiticides, 100% organic feed with no animal by-products.
So, how is this different from what is currently labled "organic"? I had to look that up myself, and found a great side-by-side chart from the USDA website. Many of the changes have to do with verbage and further definition/inclusion of verbage (a crop is more than just the plant but also now includes the pasture, cover crop, catch crop, or any part of the plant used for food to either humans or animals or to feed the soil).
The point is, to be labled organic is now a more defined and policed process which protects the integrity of the product and the brand. Also, all those cows making your milk and chickens laying your eggs are now entitled to more time running around outside in pastures and enjoying their lives to the fullest!
19 June 2010
I just finished reading (and copying) recipes from "Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook" written by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero. Both ladies are also the minds behind the Post Punk Kitchen and their previous best seller "Vegan Vengeance".
What I love about this cookbook is the author's relatable and funny writing style (yes, they did come up with the name for this book from repeat watching's of "Army of Darkness". Come one, that's just cool). The recipes run the gamut from simple homemade seitan (I'm still convinced I would need more counter space than my barely 2x3') to stuffed peppers to BBQ. Everything sounds delicious and the colour photos included read like food porn 101.
My only complaint with the book is that some recipes are way too long. If it can't fit on one page, there's something wrong. Besides that it's off putting, it makes it hard to photocopy which is kind of what you do when your rent from the library.
[side note: I totally rented this from the Library! So excited! I hope to one day own it, but in truth, shoes were calling my name instead.]
I am not vegan, but I love the creativity of the food and am always interested in expanding my culinary repertoire- who isn't?! This book is a nice primer for those who are considering veganism, vegetarians looking for more, and the curious (definitely omnivore friendly).
What are your favorite cook books?
11 June 2010
Have you tried any recipes listed here? Successes? Failures??
~ I just learned about Preserve Products through The Kind Life website and have fallen in love! I can't wait to get paid and buy a bunch of Tupperware and travel ware from them. All of their products are made from 100% recycled plastic and paper. You can even send your old (preserve) toothbrushes back to be recycled. Kinda gross, but also kinda cool. The pricing is pretty great. Has anyone tried any of their products before?
~ The UN is now advising a vegan diet for the world. The reason is simple: By 2050 there will be an estimated 9.1 billion people on this planet (WOW) and a diet high in meat and dairy will no longer be sustainable. We can help now by eating more veggies (organic of course!) and less meat in our diets. Besides, it just feels better!
~ I just signed this Petition asking for the end of arsenic laced animal feed. Who wants to ingest that?!
~ I started eating better in an attempt to get healthier and avoid the gym. Part of what inspired me was my sister (the vegetarian- vegan for June!) and my friend shine (vegan for April and now mostly vegan). I never thought I would be put on this list, but the other day I had a conversation with a friend who revealed she too had recently started thinking about the way she eats and how to make changes. She said speaking to me about how easy it has been and seeing my success has motivated her. To date, she has lost 12 lbs and looks amazing just by becoming veggie friendly. It really made me feel good to hear that someone is listening and that change happens everyday. Do any of you have any success stories?
07 June 2010
I'm trying not to eat so much processed/frozen dinners, prefering to save the processing for when I really need it like packaged tempeh, seitan, and Tofurky deli slices. However, while cruising the aisles at Central Market the other day when the word "NEW!" caught my eye. Morningstar Farms (my favorite breakfast sausages by the way) now have TV dinners- Sweet & Sour Chik'n and Lasagna. I am a huge sweet & sour fan so I decided to try it. The sauce is good, as are the chik'n bites, but there are not enough of them. The box promised chunks of pineapple, carrots, and peppers. I think mine had three small pieces of pineapple (Okay by me. I don't really like pineapple) and was over running with carrots and peppers. Mostly, what I had was peppers and rice with carrots and a bit of chik'n. Maybe it's because I haven't had a TV dinner in a while, but I also thought it was a bit salty. Overall, I'd give it 3 stars- Perfect for a quick meal when you're out of time, but not good enough to make it into regular rotation. This is also good for anyone just starting out on a more veggie friendly path.
My favorite new discovery is the Naan pizza by Tandoor Chef. So far, I've only found them at Whole Foods but they are to die! Your choices are Margharita, Roasted Eggplant , Cilantro Pesto, and Spinach & Paneer (which I had). I am in love with paneer, a soft Indian cheese, but have never found a good "instant" version. I don't know how one pizza would feed two people because I would have cut someone if they tried to take the other half! It is delicious and flavorful and I want one right now. I can't wait to try out the other versions (Minus the eggplant. I'm just not there yet). 5 stars! Everyone will enjoy.
What are you eating this Meatless Monday?
02 June 2010
Last weekend, my sister and I checked out Kalachandjis Temple & Restaurant. Open for over 27 years, it claims to be Dallas' longest running vegetarian restaurant. This beautiful Hare Krishna temple is located in an "eclectic" neighborhood in East Dallas. Truth is, if you are not an "East Village" (as I've dubbed it) regular or resident, the area can be kind of scary- think bars on windows, broken cars, roaming pit bulls- but that shouldn't stop you from trying any of the amazing hidden gems located here. Trust me, I'm a local.
30 May 2010
What a difference a brand makes! I love ONE! The consistency is much more like water and less syrupy. I tried the passion fruit and mango flavours, with the passion fruit being my favorite. Because the price was better/lower than the VitaCoconut, I will probably keep picking up a few of these delicious and nutritious beverages.
The other really cool thing about O.N.E. (check them out on twitter and Facebook), is they support several non-profits in the Amazons and 100% of the profits from their "bottled" water is donated to charities chosen by the consumer. Super cool!
I'm super excited for this evening. My sister is in town for the holiday weekend and we are going to explore some vegetarian restaurant we've never been to in Dallas. At the top of the list is Kalachandjis Krishna Palace and Restaurant. We've been talking about going there forever and it's so close to my house. Kalachandjis serves mostly vegan cuisine inspired by the middle east. The menu changes daily based on what's fresh and lunch and dinner service are paid for by donations only. The suggested donation for lunch is $7.95 and dinner is $10.95. Of course, if you enjoy your experience (or eat a lot) you can pay more. If you're a bit strapped for cash, you can pay a bit less. I love it! I can't wait to tell you all about our experience.
28 May 2010
I love Philosophy products. They smell great and are economical (a 16 oz body wash/shampoo/bubble bath is $16 and lasts forever). I've had this scent in my shower for a couple years now and it's maybe half way gone. It's sweet without making my teeth hurt, and feminine yet not juvenile. Every time I use it, I stare at the recipe on the label (all the food related scents have one) and dream about the day when I might tackle baking. Well, no more!
The recipe calls for dried lavender blossoms, but I have no idea where you would find those. Maybe a fancy baking/sweet shop would have them and I'm sure you can order them online, but they are just not available at my local Whole Foods or Central Market. What I was delighted to find where the leaves and stems of the flower. They are not available year round. I would have thought autumn would be a better to find them, but whatever. I picked up a bundle and off I went. Below is the recipe as it appears on the bottle with my adjustments in green.
Lavender Pound Cake
2 c flour (or whole wheat pastry flour)
1/2 t baking powder
2 sticks butter, softened (I used Earth Balance margarine sticks. I prefer the soy free blend but it seems to only be available in tub form and I learned my lesson last time- super messy)
1 c sugar
1 1/4 t lavender blossoms, dried (I used about 3 t fresh leaves which I baked in the oven for a couple minutes then chopped)
4 eggs (next time I'm going totally vegan and using egg replacer or silken tofu)
1/2 t lemon zest
1/2 c milk (soy milk)
Preheat oven to 325 and lightly grease an 8x4x2 1/2 pan (basically a loaf pan. I used parchment paper because I saw Martha Stewart do it once and the cake comes right out)
Sift flour and baking powder, set aside.
Cream butter. Add lavender, sugar, and zest. Beat until light in colour and texture. Add eggs one at a time and mix well.
Add 1/2 flour and mix. Add milk. Fold in remaining flour. Pour into loaf pan.
Bake about 1 hour then cool on a wire rack.
To go with it, I made some simple icing:
1 c confectioners sugar slowly mixed into 2 T warm milk (soy milk). Drizzle over top and let cool.
It was so delicious! Watch out this holiday season because everyone is getting one!
Let me know how if turns out if you make it!
22 May 2010
* Vegetarian Times is a great magazine for veggies and friends alike. Their website has some awesome info, including a veggie storage guide and Ingredient Substitute guide. I also recently checked out an issue of VegNews, a vegan (somewhat vegetarian friendly) magazine. What can I say? They caught me with a pic of Ginnifer Goodwin, and I loves me some "Big Love". There were some cute recipes and product recommendations in both. Definitely worth a look.
* In the latest issue of Veg News, there was a short article talking about the dangers of soy. In it, they quote Dr. Neal Barnard (author, researcher, and physician) who says that soy is healthy for both men and woman and may even help reduce the risks of fibroids and osteoporosts. You can read more on The Huffington Post.
* Check out Soy Happy for a complete list of Ballparks offering vegetarian and vegan fare. (Good job Rangers!)
* I was super excited to hear that Nestle has vowed to stop using rain forest-destroying palm oil in their products. The company says it will avoid "high risk plantations or farms linked to deforestation." The production of palm oil for commercial use has lead to the destruction not only of the rain forest but also to the animals (elephants, orangutans, etc) and peoples who live there. If you can, try to avoid products that use palm oil and opt for friendlier options instead.
Heather Eats Almond Butter (mostly vegetarian with great recipes)
Homesick Texan (not a veggie site, but she makes plenty of Texas style veggies!)
Kristen's Kitchen (vegan blog)
Look 2 Beauty: A Vegan Blog
An Opera Singer in the Kitchen (great vegan blog with awseom pics and recipes)
18 May 2010
What was even more exciting was that all the food we brought to nosh was vegetarian. We didn't even plan it that way! I (attempted) to make Goat Cheese with Sun dried Tomato Profiteroles from Giada on the Food Network. They were delicious, but somehow my profiteroles did rise the way they should. Instead, they came out looking more like biscuits (hence the picture above is from The Food Network's site) but still tasted great! Also at our spread was a veggie tray with homemade dip, pita chips with hummus or spinach artichoke dip, salad and bread sticks from Olive Garden (genius! I hope people forget to make things more often if it means OG salad- surely the best thing on the menu), and Oreo cheesecake cups. Didn't help my healthy eating much, but at least I didn't have to worry about what I was going to eat. Setting these movie nights on Meatless Monday is certainly a risk, but all my friends have been really supportive.
On a separate note:
**An Opera Singer in the Kitchen is having a great giveaway right now. Check out her site for how to enter to win a really cool Sunbeam mixer plus Naturally Nora products to use it on! She also has a lot of really cool vegan recipes that I can't wait to try. Definitely one of my new favorite food blogs! ***
16 May 2010
In a fit of coughing rage, I decided ice cream was the best way to go. Who doesn't like ice cream when you're feeling sick? What else works to counteract the fire that seems to emanate from your face? But, I don't want dairy. That has never helped a cough.
Enter onto the scene: Purely Decadent Coconut Milk Ice Cream. The whole line of coconut milk ice cream is free from dairy/lactose, gluten, soy, cholesterol, trans fats, and certified vegan and Kosher.
The flavor of coconut is not over whelming; giving the ice cream a subtle sweetness and hint of the exotic. I tried the Cookies and Cream flavour and while it does not taste just like the dairy "real thing", it hit all the points I needed in a cold dessert: soothing to my throat and completely yummy. It is sweetened with agave nectar so I found it to be sweeter than dairy ice cream (even though it has less sugar), however this helped stop me from eating the whole pint in one sitting. Way to keep me within the recommended serving!
I can't wait to try some of their other flavours, especially the mango and lemonade coconut water sorbet. Purely Decadent offers another great alternative to dairy and soy-based desserts. I just wish they would fortify more of their foods with Calcium. It's present in the coconut yogurts I crave, but not in the frozen desserts.
Check out their website where you can find coupons and more info!
15 May 2010
* Daiya and Peta are joining forces to sponsor a really cool contest: Just tell them what you would make with Daiya and how you would share it with friends and you could win 10 lbs of Daiya cheese! That's a lot of cheese! Click on "contest" above to enter, but act fast- the contest ends June 1st.
* Eating Well and Organic Valley are sponsoring a holiday cookie contest as well. Submit your favorite, healthier cookie recipe and you could win a $2000 Baker's Dream shopping spree and a years supply of Organic Valley products. Check out the guidelines and enter here.
* I've heard a lot about the dangers of soy. An excess of soy in the diet can cause growth problems in children, thyroid issues, infertility, and certain cancers (like breast cancer). That's a pretty hefty list and it doesn't include everything that has been linked to soy. What's more, soy is in so many products today either as a filler or as the main source of protein. So, how much is too much and what should you do? The average recommended use I found online, called for soy no more than 3 times a week. That's not very much when you take into account soy milk in your cereal, veggie burgers for lunch, or tempeh/tofu for dinner. It is super important that you check in with your doctor regularly and before you start any type of new diet. Also, experiment with other milk, dairy, and meat substitutes. I love coconut milk and have been putting it in my oatmeal all week. It's naturally sweet and delicious. Sub seitan (wheat gluten) in recipes that call for tempeh or tofu. Daiya cheese is soy free and melts great. What have you heard or experienced about soy?
13 May 2010
10 May 2010
It's been a pretty successful Meatless Monday so far. Last night I made Oatmeal (Steel Cut Oatmeal!- sounds gnarly) for the first time ever. Seriously. I'm not sure why, but oatmeal always skeeved me out and I never ate it as a child. I love cream of wheat though, how ironic. Anyway, it was another impulse buy while at Whole Foods (I really should be banned) and a recommendation from the "Becoming Vegetarian" handbook. What's great is you can make a big batch and keep it in the fridge til you're ready to use. Another tip: be sure to set your timer or at the very least check what time it is when you start cooking. I'm a genius and totally forgot to do this until I had already stirred the oats a couple times. I ended up over cooking them just slightly for re-heating but they were perfect last night around 1 AM. I also used a 3:1 ratio of water to coconut milk instead of all water or all milk. Now, all I need is something called blackstrap molasses and I'm good to go!
Lunch was supposed to be a salad made at home but of course I went to Whole Foods to get bread (and join the bread gang) and ended up buying some prepared foods too. I had some delicious roast garlic and tomato soup, smoked mozzarella pasta salad, Asian cabbage slaw, and French lentils. I have no idea what made them French, but there were carrots.
If I'm lucky, dinner tonight will be pizza with olive oil, roasted red and yellow peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, goat cheese, and mozzarella. Yum!
What did you do for Meatless Monday?
(I seriously need a better camera phone)
09 May 2010
08 May 2010
* New study shows eating charred red meat can increase your risk of bladder cancer.
* Eat Green DFW blogs about sustainable food in North Texas. This week, they shared some delicious recipes to keep in mind when you're at your local farmers market. I haven't been about to get down to the new market at Mockingbird Station yet, but am looking forward to it. I'll probably wait until more produce is available next month.
* There's a bill being argued right now that would make it next to impossible to require GMO and non-GMO labels on food. Seriously? Don't you want to know what's in your food? At the least, don't you want to be able to choose what kind of food you eat? What bugs me the most about this bill is that it effects those who use non-GMO ingredients and already label their food that way. Personally, I only buy soy products that say non-GMO and would be pissed if I were no longer allowed to differentiate between the two. Please click on the above link to learn more and sign a petition to stop this blatant infringement on the rights of farmers and manufacturers.