Friday, October 31, 2008

Vegan MoFo Day 31 - Boo!

It's Halloween! And you know that that means. Just like last year, Anna's once again dining on human flesh.

Last year it was a free range child we kept penned in our back yard.

Little Timothy was fed a natural diet free of growth hormones and antibiotics and was allowed to leave his cage and go outside and play for sometimes up to a few hours per day! And he lived four happy years before he was shipped off to the slaughter house and took a bolt gun to the head...


This year we just bought some human liver at a supermarket. You'd be amazed the crap you can buy in supermarkets.

So here are a few more of Anna feasting.


Here, she's saying, "Oh, I just can't bear to eat any ... aw what the hell, I can always take the belt off. Gimme another piece of the breast meat!

Ahhhhhh, she's going to really hate me for this when she grows up.

And for the record, it's juice from frozen blueberries. These photos were taken before it got really out of hand.

It was a fun VeganMoFo. Now I think I'm going to take a break for at least a few days. Thanks for reading! Have a happy Halloween! And for those of you who live in the United States of America, please, for the love of all that is real and good, vote for Obama!

Vegan MoFo Day 30 ... sort of - Gimme a Break

Oh jeez.

I guess the running theme in these waning days of VeganMoFo is my inability to keep up with VeganMofo.

What can I say? I'm a busy guy.

Tonight I made some banana cream pancakes from Eat, Drink and Be Vegan. They were fantastic as always (though I should give credit where credit is due - my wife usually makes them because I seem to always ruin pancakes ... but for some reason I was successful tonight). We made the Celestial Cream from ED&BV too.

If you've never made this stuff, you really should. It's super easy. One block of silken tofu. One bar of margarine. About a fourth cup or so of real maple syrup (not that corn syrup crap ... I'm talking maple syrup, you know, from a maple tree). Some vanilla (1 or 2 teaspoons ... the more the merrier, I say). And there you go. Cream of the heavens.

I intended to take pictures, but they were scarfed down in just a couple minutes. We were all really hungry.

And I rolled up some GimmeLean sausage and fried it up like little links, because every once in a while I want my fake meat to remind me of something important: That I can eat the same old greasy shit without causing the unnecessary suffering of another sentient being. I feel the need to prove it about ... oh ... three times a week or so.

- - - - -

So, I think the best compliment someone could give me is walking into my house and saying, "It smells like a restaurant in here." I just love that. My sister came over with her son today to hang out and she said that as she walked in. She was smelling the salsa I had just finished making minutes earlier. It was actually sitting right by the front door because I had just finished eating half of it in the span of ten minutes. Yum.

- - - - -

I forgot to say that a couple weeks ago Anna and I were in the grocery store and she pointed something out and I picked it up to look at the ingredients. After a couple seconds I said, "Oh, no. We can't buy that," and put it back on the shelf.

She then said, "No, Anna doesn't drink cow's milk."

I know! I swear I'm not coaching her. I know that I've mentioned it to her in the past, explaining that when we say we're giving her milk it's almond milk or soy milk. That she doesn't drink cow's milk. But honestly, I've probably explained this to her twice at the most. And it was many, many weeks if not months ago.

Anyway, I'm a proud papa in case you can't tell.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Vegan MoFo Day 29 - Because People Like to Say "Salsa"

So I've been making some salsa from all the tomatoes we've gotten from our CSA and my dad.

I found this really easy recipe that is just delicious. I looooooove homemade salsa. It's like a fresh limey tomatoey Mexican morning exploding in my mouth with every bite.

Wait ... does that sound appealing? It's supposed to. At any rate, here's a photo:

Here's the recipe. And because I can't leave a recipe alone, here are my notes on it:

1. Don't worry if you don't have roma tomatoes. "Regular" tomatoes work just fine.

2. You can leave out the jalepeno if you want and it still tastes really good.

3. Do you love garlic? Then you probably want to put some more in there.

4. I'm a huge fan of cilantro, so I put more in than the recipe calls for.

Off you go. Make your salsa. Enjoy. Savor. Think of exploding Mexican mornings with every bite.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Vegan MoFo Day 28 - Little Piggy

Here's Anna's, "oh-no-dad-did-you-remember-to-write-a-veganmofo-post-today?" look:

It's a pretty specific look.

And no. I didn't. Though I wonder if this one counts?

She is wearing a bib in that photo. I guess I could talk about what she's been eating lately. That's about food, right?

Smoothies. Frozen blueberries and frozen peas. Peanut butter sandwiches (today she had one with just a little grape jelly in there). Almond milk. Soy milk. Water. Guacamole.

She loves guac. In fact, she pretends to make guac a lot. She sits at her little table and uses her stacking cups as bowls and then she'll use mini maracas as the spoons and forks and say that she's making guacamole (which she pronounces with near perfection).

I ask her what she's going to put in there and she usually says garlic first. Atta girl.

She always wants to know what's in everything. If there's ever more than two ingredients in something she'll ask, "What's in there daddy?" and then I'll tell her everything that I put in it, including individual spices and the oil that it was cooked in (when the food was cooked in an oil ... which is often in our house). So I'll tell her all the ingredients and she'll be satisfied.

Until a couple minutes later when she'll ask as if for the first time, "What's in there daddy?" I tell her as many times as she asks. But sometimes I single out an ingredient. Like I'll answer just garlic.

And then she asks again and I'll say, juice from a lime. And so on and so forth.

Well there you go. There's a post about food. That wasn't so hard.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Vegan MoFo Day 27 - BBQ Baked Tofu

Barbecue Baked Tofu from Veganomicon.

On behalf of animals everywhere, the duck that sings the Chicken Dance would like to say thank you.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Vegan MoFo Day 24 - My Dad's Gardens

I've mentioned my dad's gardens a few times in the blog. I've referred to them as small fields. So now here's the proof. When we were back in North Dakota this summer (one of the 10 times, I think?) I took some photos of the gardens.

The first one here is right next to my parents' house. It's a big L shaped garden. In it grows asparagus, tomatoes, peas, strawberries, raspberries, green onions, cilantro, carrots, dill, cabbage, cauliflower and a lot of other stuff.

Then you walk across the highway...

... to his second garden, where he grows squash, corn, cantaloupe, cucumbers, pumpkins, more peas and other stuff.

So those are my dad's gardens. The photos were taken in early July, so the gardens aren't nearly as lush as they get later in the year.

We reap the benefits of these gardens every year. I was in ND just a couple weeks ago and I got a whole box of tomatoes, a whole box of apples, a plastic grocery bag full of carrots, two buttercup squash (which I'm eating as I type), some onions, four cantaloupe, some peppers and a huge pumpkin that's all wrinkled. We call it Grandpa Pumpkin at my dad's request.

Anna loves Grandpa's garden and she loves eating things from the garden, especially when she picks them herself (with help from Mommy in the photo below).

Anna and cousin Joe enjoying the fruits of Grandpa's hard labor (literally):

The person who can first identify the Ghostbusters action figure in one of the photos above wins a mystery prize*.

So, it was my dad's birthday a few days ago. Happy birthday Dad!

*Mystery prize not actually a prize. Must be four years of age or younger to win prize. Contest rules available upon request. Self-addressed envelope with postage paid must be sent to the address below in order to receive rules. Ghostbuster action figure is not a character that actually appeared in any of the movies, but I think it was maybe in the cartoon once ... or not. Must be resident of Uzbekistan to win.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Vegan MoFo Day 22 - I Mean It. Seriously. Make It. Now.

Make this NOW.

You can thank me later.

What's up with me, you ask? Well I made some Peanut Butter Chocolate Balls last night for a big school potluck tonight. And today I'm going to make that Polenta And Stuff With Cornbread On Top for the same potluck.

But seriously, make this. Now.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Vegan MoFo Day 21 - Orange Food

This is a carrot from one of my dad's gardens.

And we got a couple sweet potatoes from our CSA. So I diced both up and tossed them in a bunch of cinnamon, chile powder and margarine (after steaming them for a few minutes in the microwave) and put them in the oven in a casserole dish covered with tinfoil for a good hour or so (take them out and stir every 20 minutes). And this is what came out.

The sweet potatoes carmelized a bit, which resulted in little nuggets of heaven in our mouths. The carrots could have been sweeter, but they worked. I've done this before with just sweet potatoes and it tasted even better. Definitely something to make again come Thanksgiving.

Ooh, and last year during Thanksgiving I put a bunch of Sweet & Sara marshmallows on top of a bunch of sweet potatoes with just a little cinnamon sprinkled on them and holy crap was it good.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Vegan MoFo Day 20 - Pumpkin Soy Cream

"I am a soy cream GOD!!!"

These are the words that humbly came out of my mouth Saturday night after I made pumpkin soy cream.

Do you like pumpkin pie? Then you'll want to copulate with this soy cream. I seriously cannot believe how good it is. I don't think I've ever had pumpkin flavored ice cream before - even before I went vegan - so I don't have much to compare it against. But I am a huge fan of pumpkin pie. I could eat a whole pie in a sitting if you let me. I kid you not.

So, like I said, if you like pumpkin pie then you'll want to get down and dirty with this pumpkin soy cream.

1 cup cream of coconut milk (open an undisturbed can of coconut milk and use the cream from the top ... should give you about 1 cup)
2 cups soy milk
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 box of silken tofu
15 oz can of pumpkin pie mix

Blend all ingredients in a blender until it's all one color. Then follow your ice cream maker's instructions.

To paraphrase a favorite campfire song of mine: Oh lord, it's hard to be humble when your pumpkin soy cream is perfect in every way.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Vegan MoFo Day 18 - Special Weekend Edition

So I made some Mac 'n' Trees today:

It wasn't amazing, so I'm not going to post the recipe. Though this one and this one look really good. So ... you should probably make those.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Vegan MoFo Day 17 - Baked Tomatoes Sicilian Style

My wife had book club last night. Her book clubs are usually potlucks as well, so she had to bring some food. I usually make that food, which if fine by me. I like cooking.

But it's really weird to not be able to watch the food I make being eaten. I mean, she'll tell me whether or not the girls liked it, but still ... I want to watch the act of mastication, to analyze the forehead scrunches and body language with each bite (does that sound creepy? ... Yes? ... What's that? ... You never want me to cook for you?).

But I can't be there, so I feel like the band director who can't make it to the big concert. The auto maker who never gets to drive in the car he makes day-in, day-out. The cook slaving away in the kitchen who never emerges to see what the patrons think of his masterpieces.

Was that last one was too literal?

Anyway, I made these Baked Tomatoes Sicilian Style. They were good. I got to eat one before Mrs. Piggy whisked them away.

Note: I doubled the amount of bread crumbs that the linked recipe calls for. I did this for a couple reasons: 1. The amount called for wouldn't have filled up the hollowed out tomatoes, and 2. I refuse to make something without altering the recipe in some form. It's makes me feel in control of my kitchen.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Vegan MoFo Day 16 - A Lot Of Food I've Never Eaten

This list is going around and I've been saving it for just such a night (meaning a night where I don't much feel like putting thought into a post). Gimme a break, I have a decent photo and dish for tomorrow.

1) copy this list into your own blog, including these instructions.

2) bold all the items you’ve eaten.

3) cross out any items that you would never consider eating.

4) post a comment here once you’ve finished and link your post back to this one (note: I have no idea where this originated ... sorry unknown blogger!)

5) pass it on!

1. natto
2. green smoothie
3. tofu scramble
4. haggis
5. mangosteen
6. creme brulee
7. fondue
8. marmite/vegemite
9. borscht
10. baba ghanoush
11. nachos
12. authentic soba noodles
13. pb&j sammie
14. aloo gobi
15. taco from a street cart
16. boba tea
17. black truffle
18. fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. gyoza
20. vanilla ice cream
21. heirloom tomatoes
22. fresh wild berries
23. ceviche
24. rice and beans
25. knish
26. raw scotch bonnet pepper
27. dulce de leche
28. caviar
29. baklava
30. pate
31. wasabi peas
32. chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. mango lassi
34. sauerkraut
35. root beer float
36. mulled cider
37. scones with buttery spread and jam
38. vodka jelly
39. gumbo
40. fast food french fries
41. raw brownies
42. fresh garbanzo beans
43. dahl
44. homemade soymilk
45. wine from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. stroopwafle
47. samosas
48. vegetable sushi
49. glazed doughnut
50. seaweed
51. prickly pear
52. umeboshi
53. tofurkey
54. sheese
55. cotton candy
56. gnocchi
57. piƱa colada
58. birch beer
59. scrapple
60. carob chips
61. s’mores
62. soy curls
63. chickpea cutlets
64. curry
65. durian
66. homemade sausages
67. churros, elephant ears, or funnel cake
68. smoked tofu
69. fried plantain
70. mochi
71. gazpacho
72. warm chocolate chip cookies
73. absinthe
74. corn on the cob
75. whipped cream, straight from the can
76. pomegranate
77. fauxstess cupcake
78. mashed potatoes with gravy
79. jerky
80. croissants
81. french onion soup
82. savory crepes
83. tings
84. a meal at Candle 79
85. moussaka
86. sprouted grains or seeds
87. macaroni and “cheese”
88. flowers
89. matzoh ball soup
90. white chocolate
91. seitan
92. kimchi
93. butterscotch chips
94. yellow watermelon
95. chili with chocolate
96. bagel and tofutti
97. potato milk
98. polenta
99. jamaican blue mountain coffee
100. raw cookie dough

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Vegan MoFo Day 15 - Scrambled Tofu

I don't feel like writing much. So here are a couple photos of my scrambled tofu.

Basic ingredient list:
Tofu - one block, squeezed
Some frozen diced potatoes
Diced peppers
Fresh ground pepper
Nutritional yeast

Lazy directions:
Just fry it all up.

And just because I have nothing else to say right now, here's a link to a site.

There you go. Another day of Vegan MoFo in the bag.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Vegan MoFo Day 14 - Polenta and Stuff with Cornbread on Top

So here's something I made up a while back. I know the price of quinoa has shot up in recent months, so maybe it's not the most economical thing to make these days, but what the hell, it's VeganMoFo.

Also, you can totally make this without the quinoa and it's almost just as good (I've done it both ways).

Polenta and Stuff with Cornbread on Top

1 log of polenta
1 package firm tofu, drained and squeezed (no need to press, but do so if you want)
2 cups cooked quinoa (I like the red kind better, but regular works too)
2-4 cloves garlic pressed or diced fine
15 oz. can of diced tomatoes, drained not rinsed
15 oz. can (or two) of chili beans
15 oz. can of corn
1/2 a block of your favorite vegan cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 cup of taco sauce
1/4 cup green enchilada sauce
1/4 cup vegan sour cream
1 tablespoon of cumin
1 tablespoon of chili powder
1 tablespoon of nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon of salt
whatever ingredients you need to make your favorite corn bread

NOTE: As long as you have the tofu, polenta, garlic, tomatoes, beans of some sort, cumin and chili powder, you're good. The rest is just gravy. Sweet, sweet gravy.

And by all means, throw in extra spice or leave some out. You may scoff at a mere tablespoon of nutritional yeast and want to put in a full cup. Well more power to you, I say. I'll probably do the same thing next time I make it.

Or you might want to throw in cyanne powder. Rock on.

Maybe some diced peppers?

You get the drift. Now on to the part where I tell you how to make it.

Preheat oven to 425 (or whatever the cornbread recipe you use says to bake the cornbread at).

Take the log of polenta (the kind you can find at your co-op) - slice it in really thin rounds and lay on bottom of lightly greased caserole dish - overlap the rounds so you can't see the bottom of the dish. 1/4 to 1/3 of the log may be left over. That's fine and actually preferable.

You may want to slice the polenta along the length instead. That's fine. Whatever floats your boat.

Now that the casserole dish has a layer of polenta lining the bottom put it in the oven while you get everything else ready (the oven may not be done preheating and that's fine).

Mash remaining polenta in a large bowl. Add tofu and mash. Trow everything else into the bowl including the spices and mix it all up.

Remove casserole dish from oven and spoon the tofu-tomato-bean-etc. mix over the polenta. Distribute it evenly, but leave some texture on the top (don't flatten it out completely, otherwise the cornbread that you're going to put on top won't grab it like it should).

Put it back in the oven while you get your cornbread batter ready. It should be in the oven for about 15 minutes, so if you can whip up cornbread batter in 5 minutes you may want to take a breather. Go check your email or something.

Mix together your cornbread batter. If you're using a recipe that makes an 8x8 dish of cornbread I'd suggest doubling it. I use the cornbread recipe from Vegan Family Favorites, in case you're wondering. I add a bit more soy milk to the mix so it spreads better.

Remove casserole dish from the oven yet again (I promise, the next time you do this you'll be done). Spread out the cornbread batter evenly on top of the tofu, beans, etc. and make sure it covers it fully. Sprinkle chili powder over the batter and maybe throw some freshly ground pepper on there too.

You may have some batter left over. Throw it in a dish and put it in the oven along with the casserole dish. You can never have too much cornbread.

So then just bake until the cornbread is done.

Cut it into squares and enjoy. Tastes great on a cold day.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Vegan MoFo Day 13: Smoothie

So here's the smoothie that I make for Anna almost every day, it seems. All measurements are approximate.

2 large bananas
Fistful of spinach if we have some
1/4 cup frozen blueberries
Handful of strawberries (about half the volume of bananas)
2 tbsp shelled hemp seed nuts
1 tbsp flax seed oil
1/2 cup of soy yogurt
Then some soy milk or almond milk or orange juice to get it to the desired consistency. I usually put the blender on "liquefy" and then go do something else for a minute.

Blend until it's all one color and there you go. This makes about three coffee cups full.

I added some blackstrap molasses to it the other day. It was good and even healthier. It bitters it up a little though. So I put agave nectar in there to counter the bitter.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Vegan MoFo Day 10: Obvious Kitchen Tip #3

This Little Piggy Had Tofu's Obvious Kitchen Tip #3

Don't leave plastic bags on a hot stove.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Vegan MoFo Day 9: Wedding Reception Food

A couple months ago I wrote a letter asking if the chef for a wedding reception we were attending could make a vegan meal for us, since the rest of the reception food would not be vegan.

Well, I got a letter back from the manager of the establishment and she just happened to be raised vegan! What are the odds?

Answer: They're getting better and better every year!

Gooooooooo vegans!


So, the wedding was last weekend and they served us a portobello sandwich on some great bread with veganaise and tofutti cheeze and a great beany soup thing. It was good. Not punch the table good, but it was vegan and tasted good and we were thrilled to not have to stop at a restaurant between the wedding and the reception.

And to top it off, the favors on the table (you know, those little candies or chocolates that they put on the table for desert or to take home) were little vegan Endangered Species dark chocolate bars.

Gooooooooo vegans!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Vegan MoFo Day 8: Overcoming My Fear of Char

So I roasted red peppers again today. Readers of the blog will remember that I did the same last week and made roasted red pepper hummus. It was good, but I thought I should have roasted the peppers for longer. I had a fear of char.

I overcame that fear today.

Or, to put it another way, I beat that fear into a form beyond recognition.

I got less than a fourth of a cup out of these. So sad. But I winged the recipe, added olive oil where none was called for, threw in some extra ground cayenne pepper and a little garlic salt. It still turned out fine. Not quite as roasted red peppery as I would have liked, but burners can't be choosers.

I considered posting this as an Obvious Kitchen Tip, but I thought "Don't Burn Your Food" was a little too obvious. Even for me.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Vegan MoFo Day 7 - Snobbery Survey

Liz over at Food Snobbery is My Hobbery (which I vote for best blog name ever) has posted a survey! In doing so, she has given all of us VeganMoFoers a worry-free day. What's easier than answering questions? I guess not posting anything would be easier, but this is the Vegan Month of Food and that is unacceptable.

1. Name a song that involves food in some way.
"French Fries with Pepper" by Morphine

2. What criteria do you use when choosing a new cookbook to buy?
I need to see a lot of food made from it on various food blogs. And it needs to have a good index.

3. What did you eat today?
Smoothie, tortilla filled with nacho "cheese" and chili and taco sauce (it was an improvised lunch), potato chips and Better 'n' Sour Cream, Spinach Enchiladas (recipe from Vegan Family Favorites), Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter, Chocolate and Marshmallow Rice Krispie Bars (but I didn't cover them in chocolate this time), and a couple chocolate covered peanut butter pretzel bites ... oh and coffe, soymilk and water.

4. Name a vegan food that you know exists but you have never tried.

5. The Food Network just called and needs you to start your new show tomorrow. What will the title of the show be?
Cruelty-Free Comfort Food

6. Favorite hot sauce or other spicy condiment?
I really like red hot taco sauce.

7. How old were you when you became vegetarian/vegan?
Vegan at 22. I was never vegetarian.

8. Favorite vegan cheeze?
Follow Your Heart Nacho Cheese (melt it with a bit of taco sauce and eat with tortilla chips!)

9. Cutest baby animal?
Human ... but then I'm biased, I guess.

10. Favorite type of jam/jelly/marmalade/preserves?
Oh boy ... I guess plain old grape jelly from the store. I've never branched out in this regard.

11. Do you take any vitamins/supplements?
B12 and DHA

12. What food/dish most embodies the Fall season?
Dumpling soup.

13. What food would you have a hard time living without?

14. Coffee, tea, or hot chocolate?

15. It's 10PM and you're starving. What do you eat?
Saltines with peanut butter.

16. If you have an animal companion, what is his/her favorite food?
We have no companion animal, so I'll answer the question using my daughter instead. Currently, I think it's garlic sesame sticks or graham crackers. Or frozen blueberries.

17. Worst injury you've gotten in the kitchen?
Sliced my thumb when I broke a glass washing dishes. No biggie though.

18. When you have a food-related question, who do you call?
My mom.

19. Summer is ending- What food will you miss most?
Cheap strawberries.

20. What snacks do you keep in your purse/backpack/desk at work?
I don't work! But when I did I almost always had a bag of raw cashews close at hand.

21. Favorite soup to make on a rainy day?
Dumpling soup, again.

22. What's your favorite combination of fresh vegetable and/or fruit juices?
Apples, bananas and blueberries.

23. Favorite brand of root beer?
Sprecher. Their beer beer rocks even harder.

24. Make up your own question! - Favorite cooking utensil or dish? My cast iron skillet.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Vegan MoFo Day 6: Obvious Kitchen Tip #2

This Little Piggy Had Tofu's Obvious Kitchen Tip #2

Keep a clean kitchen.

It should be noted that I did not say orderly.