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.