Tuesday, December 30, 2008


These are dinner-style nachos with refried beans, chipotle peppers, banana peppers, broccoli, carrots, and garlic. Nachos really don't need cheese or cheese imitations to be tasty and filling. Guacamole is another favorite topping but you can really throw just about anything savory or vegetable on top.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Lentil Soup recipe

Lentil Soup
This is my favorite soup, excellent comfort food. Mung dhal can be found in Indian grocery stores. We score ours at the Fair Price Market on 14th Street in DC.

lentils, split yellow mung dhal works best
potatoes, peeled
onions, chopped
jalapeno, chopped
canola oil
lemon juice
cilantro, chopped finely
salt & pepper to taste
touch of sesame oil

Boil lentils and potatoes separately. Saute onion in large stock pot with canola oil. Add water, turmeric, and asafoetida to the stock pot and cook. Mash or puree the cooked lentils and potatoes, making them as smooth or chunky as you like. Add these mashed items to the soup with chopped cilantro. Season with lemon, cumin, and salt and pepper to taste. Add a small amount of sesame oil at end. Serve with bread, pitas, or chapati.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Holiday Tofurkeys

These are Thanksgiving weekend and Christmas Eve meals featuring Tofurky. Tofurky has become our holiday splurge. Roasted veggies and mashed potatoes with gravy aren't everyday eats for us either. So it is a great treat. The roasted veggies included yams, carrots, parsnips, rutabaga, garlic, mushrooms, and onions. Mushroom gravy with local portabello mushrooms that appeared on our salads.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Injera week

These photos are from a week when Matt picked up some injera at a local Ethiopian market. We had many styles of dishes on it, including an Indian style aloo gobhi, garlicky spinach, potatoes with bell peppers, lentils, brussels, and salad with jalapenos. Injera is great for folks with celiac disease. Matt used to live next to an "injera factory," a busy wholesale kitchen where many women cooked injera on flat skillets.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Pizza, pizza, pizza

Somehow it has been a month since my last entry. Perhaps I can catch up in the last weeks of December. I'm now sporting a lime green cast on my left foot which is my excuse for lazy blogging.

Tonight we had vegan "cheese" pizza on frozen Vicolo corn meal crusts. Looks like Vicolo makes a spelt crust too. Also posting earlier nights' colorful tomato pies, one with soy meatballs. Banana peppers and broccoli are the hot toppings of late. Still doing the big salads, now with red cabbage.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Richmond, VA trip

Well back from a trip to Richmond, where I was planning to run a marathon. Ended up convalescing in the hotel instead. I could see the race from our room with a view. I did make it out for one meal to a real destination spot. A vegan buffet called Panda Veg. My boyfriend is a huge fan. It isn't the greatest Chinese food ever but it is all vegan, all-you-can eat. Enough said. (I'm surprised Philly's Chinatown doesn't offer similar.) Here are some photos of the buffet score.

We also had to-go orders from two other veg-friendly spots in Richmond. Harrison Street Coffee shop had great sandwiches and blondies. (Sadly, they didn't photo well. Full disclosure: I ate too fast take a decent photo.) Also, I finally tried Sticky Rice's Dirty Vegan takeout with cute sake bottle. I'm eager to try out the D.C. Sticky Rice location in the flesh, once my foot heals up.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Chinese food binge

Here are two more nights of dishes. We seem to be on a Chinese food binge. The first dish is a wide, flat noodle with veggie stir fry. The second is a kung pao-style bok choy and tatsoi stir fry. Both were great. We are traveling to Richmond, VA this weekend and I'll take some photos. No doubt more Asian food awaits us.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


I haven't been cooking or baking much yet, due to this lingering foot injury. But I have had plenty of reading time and would like to briefly note two recently consumed books here.

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver, Camille Kingsolver, and Steven L. Hopp

Heads up to compassionate, caring people, this book is hard to swallow. I've enjoyed Barbara Kingsolver's fiction in the past and think she should stick to it. This nonfiction account of her family's adventures in locavorism is staggeringly earnest, cloyingly confessional, and often downright bitchy. At least, that is the case for the sections Kingsolver penned herself. Her husband and daughter echo in calmer, awkward prose. Barbara offers passionate raves about organic, local vegetables (yay!) and organic, local meat and dairy (ugh). She rails against vegans or as she calls them "vevangelicals," while glorifying her "ethical" cheese making projects (hard to stomach) and poultry slaughters (nightmare inducing). I grew up on a farm and am disabused of romantic, pastoral notions of small farm life. Kingsolver buys many agrarian myths wholesale, including happy meat fantasies. So read this book if you like to be good and outraged. Or just skim the veggie sections and be on your way.

Invincible Summer: An Anthology by Nicole Georges

A charming, personal graphic zine from an artist who offers a unique, compelling voice and amazing portraits of animals and people. Unlike Kingsolver, Georges doesn't pretend to have all the answers. Her life is messier and her vegan recipes sound much tastier. I admired the section about her internship at Farm Sanctuary, which was heavy but honest. This collection is great to share with creative, artsy friends. It also made me want to drink more coffee and move to Portland. I've ordered up and am looking forward to reading part two.

Beans and rice

Here are dinners from two nights. Beans and rice is a great dinner staple. This night's featured sweet potatoes, which we also had as a side to chick pattie sandwiches on a following night. Boy, I do like the faux chicken pattie style. Boca makes a good version but you have to check for egg whites on some boxes. I think all veggie burgers should just say "vegan" or "cheese: warning not vegan" in big letters on the front.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Hot and Sour Soup

Here is another recipe of sorts. My boyfriend's cooking style is more improvisational but I like to have something written down. Call it a crutch. So I pinned him down once for these instructions to take on a trip home to the farm. My parents adore hot and sour soup but usually go for the meaty version. They liked this style when I made it for them. Tien Garden in NYC serves a fine hot and sour soup.

Hot and Sour Soup, "crutch recipe"
1. First make soup base (soupy part).
--In a pan with some oil, cook onions, carrots, black pepper, mushrooms, hot pepper, baby corns, pepper, etc., with a little water and veggie base or a vegetable stock.
--Boil a while.
2. Now make sour.
--Add cider vinegar, soy sauce, and MSG.
3. The rest.
--Add more veggies, frozen or fresh. Such as broccoli, dark leafy greens, bok choy, etc.
--Add rice noodles, preferably the thick kind.
--Add tofu or gluten if you like.
--Add corn starch & water mixture to thicken at the end.
--Put a few drops of sesame oil on top.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Pasta with vodka sauce

Last night we had an old favorite dinner, pasta with vodka sauce. Soy milk makes it much healthier than any heavy cream version. Generally, we use a whole wheat penne, rotini, or shells for this style of sauce but all we had on hand was linguini. The bread was for sopping up the sauce.

Monday, November 3, 2008


This weekend I made truffles, from Eat, Drink, and Be Vegan by Dreena Burton. I really like this new cookbook, especially the clarity of her recipes. I was considering to make the truffle recipe from Get It Ripe!, which is very similar but was having trouble parsing that one. I couldn't figure out from her description when to add the coconut milk to the chocolate messiness. Anyway, Dreena's truffles really are "Unbelievably Rich" and can be found on page 212. I rolled some in walnuts and some in cocoa/powered sugar. Below is a set I gifted a chocoholic friend.

Vinegar Burritos recipe

Last night we had vinegar burritos. Here is the recipe.

Vinegar Burritos
This is a simple, easily adaptable meal that my boyfriend often makes. The vinegar isn't too overpowering. My mom calls it "cleansing." I recommend making a large pot of beans because the leftovers are good.

onion, chopped
canola oil
bell pepper, diced
garlic, chopped
frozen greens, such as collards, spinach, mustard greens
potatoes, pre-boiled
beans, preferably kidney or pinto beans, pre-soaked and cooked or canned
cider vinegar
hot sauce
black pepper, freshly ground
other spices to taste, such as oregano, thyme, basil, etc.
tortillas, preferably corn or whole wheat

Saute onion in oil. Add peppers and garlic. Add frozen greens and pre-boiled potatoes. Add beans, vinegar, and hot sauce. Add ground pepper and spices to taste. Serve with tortillas to make burritos. Avocado, cilantro, and more hot sauce are great condiments.

Friday, October 31, 2008

VeganMoFo: Lentil Soup

The last night of VeganMoFo already! That was a fast month. Tonight we had my hands-down favorite meal, a mung dal soup, and salads. No Halloween trick-or-treaters have stopped by; we have an emeregency bowl of Newman O's on hand.

This month I was inspired by the creative efforts and passionate, funny writing of so many amazing vegan bloggers. I'm planning to keep reading about everyone's cooking adventures and will continue to post my own here. So more dinner photos, some recipes, and holiday baking to come.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

VeganMoFo: Sweet n' Sour Mock Duck

Never before this month did I realize how much bok choy we consume in our lives. Tonight was a sweet and sour mock duck. Our vegan cat is nuts for mock duck. She gets crazed whenever someone opens a can, assuming it is the blue gluten can. She demands to inspect the contents of every freshly opened can, usually to find that something less appealing is inside (baby corn, coconut milk, tin tomatoes, etc.). Tonight she fished her wish.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

VeganMoFo: Survey Catch Up

I thought I'd tackle a few of the fun surveys before the month is up. Here are two.

Survey I:

1. Favorite non-dairy milk?
Living Harvest's hemp milk.

2. What are the top 3 dishes/recipes you are planning to cook?
My friends want my to try and make pumpkin ice cream for the fall season. Plus, forever I've been wanting to make Matthew's Spicy Tomato Peanut & Kale Pasta from La Dolce Vegan. Then anything from Get it Ripe! which I finally purchased and looks great.

3. Topping of choice for popcorn?
Nutritional yeast or hot sauce.

4. Most disastrous recipe/meal failure?
I baked brownies recently that were like bricks.

5. Favorite pickled item?
Dilly beans, okra, beets, cukes, any pickled veggies really.

6. How do you organize your recipes?
Ever growing cookbook collection with many loose leaf recipes falling out of each tome.

7. Compost, trash, or garbage disposal?
Trash and garbage disposal for now. Compost someday, when living less urban.

8. 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)?
Fresh berries, dark leafy greens, and lentils.

9. Fondest food memory from your childhood?
All the just picked produce from our farm, especially corn.

10. Favorite vegan ice cream?
Any ice cream I make. Temptation also is great.

11. Most loved kitchen appliance?
Our toaster oven because it is like a mini-stove.

12. Spice/herb you would die without?
Cumin is important. We ran out the other day and I almost died.

13. Cookbook you have owned for the longest time?
My mom's copies of Laurel's Kitchen and The Joy of Cooking.

14. Favorite flavor of jam/jelly?
My mom's black raspberry jam, which is great spread on anything.

15. Favorite vegan recipe to serve to an omni friend?
Cupcakes or other desserts usually do the trick. Also nourishing, homemade soups that wow Progresso fans.

16. Seitan, tofu, or tempeh?
All three, please.

17. Favorite meal to cook (or time of day to cook)?
Weekend, low pressure baking is my favorite.

18. What is sitting on top of your refrigerator?
Cloth napkins in container and vegan cat food. Possibly the cat.

19. Name 3 items in your freezer without looking.
Broccoli, whole wheat tortillas, vodka.

20. What's on your grocery list?
Brown rice and dried beans are staples.

21. Favorite grocery store?
Our new, next door Safeway has to win for convenience. I do wish we had a local coop.

22. Name a recipe you'd love to veganize, but haven't yet.
Ethiopian honey wine, could we make an agave version?

23. Food blog you read the most (besides Isa's because I know you check it everyday). Or maybe the top 3?
I'm still new to regular blog reading and need to catch up.

24. Favorite vegan candy/chocolate?
Green & Black's vegan chocolate. The espresso bar is the best.

25. Most extravagant food item purchased lately?
Umeboshi plums.

26. Ingredients you are scared to work with?
Arrowroot, phyllo dough, pie crusts.

Survey II:

1. What was the most recent tea you drank?
Yogi ginger tea, to which I am addicted. I like the feel-good quotes on the tea bags.

2. What vegan forums do you post/lurk on? If so, what is your username? Spill!
I'm not a vegan forum poster but I've been meaning to lurk more.

3. You have to have tofu for dinner, and it has be an Italian dish. What comes to mind first?
An old favorite from when I first went vegan was red sauce with loads of crumbled tofu stirred in, served atop penne and broccoli.

4. How many vegan blogs do you read on an average day?
I generally read a few from my daily google alerts for the word "vegan."

5. Besides your own, what is the most recent one you've read?
Through this blog, I've discovered and enjoyed cravin' veggies, Heathen Vegan, Life on the Vegan Highway is good!, The Pink Apron, Spotted Devil Cat and his Vegan assistant, and more.

6. If you could hang out with a vegan blogger that you haven't met, who would it be, and what would you do?
It'd be fun to sample some of the amazing food that everyone is cooking. Especially the creations of Tami from Vegan Appetite.

7. If you had to base your dinners for a week around one of the holy trilogy – tofu, seitan or tempeh, which would it be?
Maybe tempeh. It'd be a hard challenge because I do like to mix it up.

8. If you had to use one in a fight, which would it be?
Frozen tofu blocks would do well in a fight. Or a soft tofu pie in the face.

9. Name 3 meals you'd realistically make with that tough protein of choice!
Reuben-style tempeh sandwiches, grated tempeh sloppy joes, and Asian-themed tempeh stir-fry.

10. What's a recipe in vegan blogland that you've been eyeing?
Sweet potato rosti made by Heathen Vegan. I haven't had rosti since I was a teen, traveling in Canada.

11. Do you own any clothing with vegan messages/brands on them?
Herbivore and Spicy Brown t-shirts are my yoga class staple. Very ahimsa duds.

12. Have you made your pilgrimage to the 'vegan mecca' yet? (Portland, duh)
No. Portland, ME was pretty vegan friendly when I visited this past summer.

13. What age did you first go vegan? Did it stick?
Yes, 25 and it stuck. I was a well-intentioned but misdirected lacto ovo vegetarian before that.

14. What is the worst vegan meal you've had? Who cooked it?
Home cooking for me is the best stuff, tasty and nutritious. I eat out at least once a week and the worst is when it turns out the restaurant's dish isn't vegan as promised. Most recently, this happened at Teaism in Penn Quarter, when I found a large chunk of raw, uncooked meat in the veganized tempeh plate. Not cool.

15. What made you decide to blog?
Blogs are a nice way to capture and share the vegan lifestyle. They are proof that vegans don't starve or just eat raw tofu every night. Plus, this particular blog is a nice visual tribute to the culinary talent of my boyfriend Matt.

16. What are three of your favorite meals to make?
I love vinegar and we often make three dishes that feature it: vinegar burritos, vinegar-garlic pasta, and hot and sour soup.

17. What dish would you bring to a vegan Thanksgiving-themed potluck?
Man, I would love to go to such a potluck. I don't think our family celebrations this year will be "gentle" Thanksgivings. We do have supportive moms, so we'll have lots of veg options. If it was all vegan food, I'd probably break the Thanksgiving mold with a portable seaweed salad.

18. Where is your favorite vegan meal at a restaurant? How many times have you ordered it?
At Java Green, I get the chicken rice bowl with lots of hot sauce. I think I've had it a dozen times at least.

19. What do you think the best chain to dine as a vegan is?
Maoz falafel is really good. We ate at many locations on a recent trip to Barcelona. They also have locations in NYC and Philly. The DC location is coming soon.

20. My kitchen needs ………
Pie pans. I want to make pie someday.

21. This vegetable is not allowed in my kitchen…..!
Iceberg lettuce.

22. What's for dinner tonight?
Leftovers, I'm thinking because we have lots of food in the fridge.

23. Compose your perfect vegan sandwich, right now.

Tofu hoagie from Fu-Wah in West Philly. It's perfect.

VeganMoFo: Veggie Burgers and Roasted Brussels

These are photos of last night's dinner. Sometimes, you gotta do the quick veggie burger thing. These are Amy's Kitchen All American veggie burgers with nayonaise. Roasted brussels made a good side.

Monday, October 27, 2008

VeganMoFo: Chili Mac, Roasted Veg, Beans

Here are dinners from last night and tonight. Chili mac is a good way to use leftover chili to make a new dish. I never had chili mac before moving to DC, where they make a good veggie version at local Hard Times Cafe locations. (Hard Times serves it with spaghetti but penne works well too. Their veg chili has peanuts, which is an interesting option.)

Roasted vegetables are great comfort food and use up a lot of odd and end veggies. We generally eat them for holiday suppers. The green beans were another roasted side and here's a big salad.