Fourth of July

July 11, 2008 at 4:21 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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I’m finally getting around to posting my 4th of July pictures! I attempted to make a vegan hotdog, based on Susan V’s vegan pepperoni recipe. I changed a few things, to try to make it more hotdog-like; I didn’t use all of the seasonings in the pepperoni recipe, and instead used a mixture of cayenne pepper powder, garlic powder, paprika, and I can’t remember what else. I also mixed ketchup, miso, and water for the liquid ingredients, leaving out the cashew butter, liquid smoke, and agave nectar. I also added pureed firm tofu with the liquid ingredients. My attempt at changing this recipe wasn’t quite successful– I think I didn’t get it quite right. It ended up being kind of tough and chewy, although it did taste pretty good.

I also made a red, white and blue salad for the 4th of July! I got my inspiration from this NY Times article about picnics, and this NY Times article about healthy foods. I used white peaches, orange tomatoes, frozen blueberries, sunflower seeds, and grated raw orange beets. For the dressing I mixed together white wine vinegar, lime juice, a little bit of olive oil, and sugar. It was good!

In other happenings, I’ve discovered spelt! It’s a variety of wheat, as I understand, and it is easy to cook– just boil with water, as you would for rice. It cooks quicker than brown rice does, and it tastes really good– it has a chewy texture and nutty, sweet flavor. I used it in this garbanzo bean salad: garbanzo beans (cooked from dry), spelt, tomato, cucumber, onion, dill, powdered ginger, and olive oil-apple cider vinegar-lime juice dressing, with salt and pepper.

I also used spelt like rice or pasta, topping it with a stroganoff-like dish (mushrooms and rehydrated soy strips).

Finally, here’s my favorite sandwich right now: a mock egg salad sandwich, made by mashing firm tofu with your favorite brand of vegan mayo, dill, and garlic salt.

My weekend

June 30, 2008 at 12:06 pm | Posted in Auto-biographical | Leave a comment
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This past weekend my husband and I traveled to North Carolina for my sister-in-law’s wedding. It was a wonderful weekend, and we had a great time seeing our families! I enjoyed being a bridesmaid in the wedding, and it was so much fun to visit with everyone! I put a lot of thought beforehand into how I would handle my vegan lifestyle while traveling: I took vegan soap, shampoo, conditioner, and cosmetics in 3-oz. containers, in a plastic quart-size ziplock bag (for air travel). I bought some vegan shoes to wear with my bridesmaid dress. I took some healthy snacks with me– Odwalla cereal/fruit/nut-type bars, tamari-roasted cashews, a banana, and some date/raisin/sesame seed squares.

Even though I’d been worried ahead of time about how I would manage to eat vegan food in the heart of the South, I managed to (mostly successfully) navigate my way through all the meals. When my in-laws picked us up at the airport, they took us out to eat at an Indian restaurant, which was the first time they’d ever eaten Indian food, I think! So that was fun! I ordered a lentil curry and rice, and it was delicious! The next morning, for breakfast, my mother-in-law fixed me a breakfast of fruit (fresh local organic plums!), tea (she knows I like tea, so she always makes tea for me when I visit her– she’s so sweet!!), and a cinnamon bun. I ate the cinnamon bun, even though it was not vegan– in cases like this, when I am someone’s guest and they make an effort to feed me, I feel it’s more important to appreciate their hospitality, than to make them feel bad by refusing their food (although I don’t ever eat meat). For lunch that day we ate at a Mexican restaurant, and I ordered veggie fajitas without cheese, sour cream, or beans (they only had refried beans with lard).

The rehearsal dinner was a bit difficult: the dinner was at a steak-house. The guests had their choice of steak, chicken, or salmon, along with salad and a baked potato. When the waitress took my order, I asked for just a salad and a plain baked potato, without any meat. I asked what salad dressings were available, and she said that they all came with ranch, so I asked for a plain salad without dressing. And I ate some bread, without any butter. I had mixed reactions from the people at my table: I got some very strange stares from the groom’s mother when she heard me say that I am vegetarian, but my husband’s uncle, who was sitting next to me, asked if I was vegetarian or vegan, after seeing what I ordered. He was very impressed that I was vegan, and said that his son had been vegetarian for two years. He also said that he and his wife have started eating a lot of raw vegetables after reading about the raw food movement. I was impressed!

The next morning was the bridal brunch. It was a buffet, with bacon, eggs, sausage, chicken salad croissants, various pastries, and a fruit salad. I knew that this would be the only meal I would get until dinner, since we would be busy with getting ready for the wedding during lunchtime, so I decided that in order to not starve during the day, I would eat some (non-vegan) pastries. I felt like I really didn’t have much choice, so I don’t regret it. I ate an apple-walnut danish, a biscuit with jelly, and some fruit. It was still not a substantial meal, but at least I was able to avoid meat. (And I munched on my vegan snacks around noon.)

After the wedding, at the reception, I ate some fruit and crackers (the only vegan items), and for dinner that evening, my mother-in-law prepared a really great meal– I was so happy and impressed!!! She made brown rice (since she knows I like healthy foods), and a vegetable stir-fry (fresh local organic zucchini, squash and onions, with olive oil, sesame oil, and soy sauce), and sliced tomatoes. She also made chicken with mushrooms and onions, separately, for the meat-eaters. All the vegetables were really fresh, and really local– they were grown by a local couple who have a vegetable garden behind their house, and sell the veggies at a roadside stand next to their house, just 2 miles away from my in-laws’ house! The veggies were delicious!!! I was so happy– that was a very good meal!!! Anyways, so that was my weekend. I had a wonderful time; it was great to see family!!

To finish up, here are a few pictures. This is a meal I made sometime last week– mashed yellow potatoes (with a little almond milk stirred in), topped with portobello mushrooms (cooked with olive oil, onion, a sun-dried tomato tapenade, garlic powder, cumin, and coriander), and broccoli topped with a “cheesy” white sauce (pureed cannellini beans, firm tofu, olive oil, almond milk, garlic powder, salt, and dried sage). (In this picture you can see Mirabella sitting on a chair underneat the table– isn’t she cute?!!)

And here is a yummy, easy breakfast dish: cornmeal mush (cornmeal and water), with a little wheat bran, some flax seeds, walnuts, almond milk, a little salt, and pure maple syrup.

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