Archive for April, 2008

vanity.

April 30, 2008

Let me just say OH NOES!!!!! I HAVE GREY HAIRS! At least 6 by now. Did I mention, I am only 25 years old?? Look at this! (You can actually kind of see it if you click for a larger view.)

Yes I know. You can barely see it, if you can see it at all. I can assure you, this is a new grey hair (in addition to the several others I already had).

Here’s another, that you really can’t see at all. (But it’s a pretty picture. So I’m posting it anyway. So there. Try and stop me. You’re just jealous because you don’t have pretty red hair for at least another year and a half before it all goes grey.)

Actually, I kind of like the grey hairs for the time being.  I think they’re neat.  I’m not sure I’ll feel the same when they get to be noticeable though.

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scarlet runner beans

April 30, 2008

My new beans from rancho gordo arrived today. I was tempted to cook the christmas limas, but instead decided to try something I’d never eaten, so I cooked the scarlet runners. I cooked them very simply (salt, a bit of olive oil), so I could really see what they tasted like. They were odd. Perhaps a bit bacony (not that I’ve ever tasted bacon, so what do I know)–definitely a bit smokey. Tasty, though. I ate them with simple polenta.

They’re also quite beautiful before cooking. (After cooking, they are just black and very dark burgandy–but they do keep some of their markings.)

I think next time I cook them, I will try some sort of dip or spread, possibly with kalamata olives (just a few–to avoid overwhelming the smokey taste of the beans).

kumquat-almond butter cookies

April 29, 2008

I had some kumquats left over, and wanted to use them before they went bad. This is what came out. They taste AMAZING, but the texture could use some work. They use whole wheat flour, not too much fat (aside from the almond butter), and kumquats, which I’m sure have vitamin C and other good stuff, so they’re pretty healthy. They are also not too too sweet, which is a bonus for me.  Let me reiterate, they taste AWESOME.  I don’t usually like citrus much, but these are good.

Kumquat-Almond Butter Cookies

1 c white whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
6 kumquats, quartered, deseeded, sliced thin
1/3 c almond butter
2 tbs tofutti non-hydrogenated better than cream cheese
1/2 c granulated sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
1/2 c soy milk (I used unsweetened)

Preheat oven to 350 (the oven thermometer is your friend!). Combine flour, salt, and baking powder. In another bowl, mix remaining ingredients well. Combine wet and dry ingredients. Spoon onto a cookie sheet (I got 13 cookies out of it, but I’m sure you could do 12). Bake for 15 minutes.

baked eggplant & spinach ziti

April 28, 2008

My at the time very much not vegan ex-boyfriend introduced me to baked ziti. Recently, I’ve been using it as the lazy way of getting the comforting taste of lasagna with only half the effort. The basic recipe is just boil some ziti (or rigatoni, if your store, like mine, has never heard of ziti), mix with your favorite tomato sauce, bake. I almost always include tofu ricotta as well.

Today’s picture is even less glamorous than previous pictures I’ve posted, but hey, it’s baked ziti. What do you expect.

My original recipe involves covering the ziti for most of the cooking time with aluminum foil, and while I would recommend doing so if you have aluminum foil, I certainly wouldn’t go out and buy it just for this purpose. And since this is the only thing I ever used it for, I’ve stopped buying it. This is, of course, more important if you’re using soy cheese which likes to be covered in order to melt properly.

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spinach & soba stir fry

April 27, 2008

This is a very adapted “recipe” from my first college roommate. (Yes, I was fortunate enough to randomly be assigned a vegan roommate my first year!) She introduced me to tofu, Braggs, and stir-frying. Yes, I know, hard to believe that I was vegan, enjoyed cooking, and hadn’t ever eaten tofu or stir-fried anything. I was sheltered, what can I say. Anyway, this was my favorite food for two years… I ate it at least three times a week when I had money for fresh spinach and tofu.

Spinach & Soba Stir Fry

soba noodles (~1/3 package)
1/2 package tofu
3 leaves napa cabbage
lots of spinach
sesame oil
lots of black pepper
Bragg’s to taste

Cook sobas according to package instructions. Drain and rinse with cold water. Rinse pot, put back on medium heat to dry. Once dry, fry tofu briefly in sesame oil. Turn heat up to med-high, add napa cabbage, stirring almost constantly (or. constantly, if you’re not lazy like me). Once the crunchy bits of the napa cabbage is almost cooked to your liking (I leave it pretty crunchy), add Bragg’s. Cook for another 30 seconds or so, then add spinach, more Bragg’s, and black pepper. Stir for 10 seconds or so, turn off heat, and continue to stir until spinach is wilted. Stir in soba noodles (and more Bragg’s to taste).

More pictures after the jump.

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mac&cheese, cocoa, and cherry blossoms

April 25, 2008

The cherry tree right by my bus stop just started blooming. It’s very pretty!

cherry blossoms

Also, I made hot cocoa with my very tasty new green & black brand cocoa powder (plus some soyatoo whipped topping) and mac & cheese with tofurkey sausages, sage, and thyme for a late lunch/early dinner.

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Maybe…

April 23, 2008

this wants to be a foodblog. Who knows. At any rate, I’m going to try out posting food when I have it. The worst that can happen is what always happens–I get busy and don’t post. Or maybe it’s worse… maybe everyone finally learns how horrible my photography skills are (or more likely, that grad student life does not allow enough sleep for the required steady hand).

Here’s what I ate for dinner!

polenta, beans, guacamole

This is what one might call (*cringe!!!!*) semi-homemade, in the sense that I used Spicy Southwest Bean Soup mix, available in the bulk section of the store formerly known as Wild Oats (now bought out by Whole Foods, yippee). It contains many kinds of beans and peas, including that very large Christmas lima bean you see in the front, corn, bell peppers, spices, and the occasional bonus crunchy bit (which, if you’re more ambitious than me, you may want to remove before cooking). Just so you know, the only reason I really buy this mix is because it has those Christmas lima beans, which are amazingly tasty. And yes, I confess to possibly maybe just a little taking a bit more than my fair share of Christmas limas when I buy the mix. But no more!!! Thanks to smitten kitchen, which I found via a link from Vegan Dad, I have found Rancho Gordo, which sells neat heirloom beans, and I have ordered Christmas limas of my very own. No more need to pillage the bulk section of Whole Foods (not that they don’t deserve it).

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Veganism, random acts of kindness, and guilt

April 14, 2008

Early this morning, when I was driving home from David’s, I stopped for gas, and there was a tiny stray kitten sitting around looking sad and forlorn and just a bit hopeful.  As I pumped my gas, I watched him, and considered taking him home with me.  I worried, of course, whether he would have some horrible disease and make Elephant sick.  I would obviously have to keep them separated until the kitten went to the vet and was checked out.  And then, I’d probably have to keep them separated indefinitely because Elephant is so much bigger and might bully the tiny little kitten.  And besides, how was I going to safely transport this little kitten 5 more hours home?

Anyway, when I finished pumping my gas, I figured I’d go think about it while I went inside to get something caffeinated.  By the time I got back outside, the kitten was gone… it was dark, so probably he had just been spooked and was just hiding somewhere nearby.  And now, I feel kind of guilty, and kind of sad, that I didn’t try to catch him when I wanted to.

But why? I mean, I did my part… I rescued Elephant, a 15 lb adult male cat who no one would want. I have no obligation to do that–I certainly have an obligation to make sure animals I have don’t reproduce, and maybe call the appropriate authorities or rescues when I see a stray.  But I’m not even sure I believe that euthanizing this kitten would be better for him than leaving him begging at the gas station.

In the end though, why is it important that I help this kitten?  Why don’t I just go to a shelter and adopt a second cat who would likely be euthanized without my help?  And I guess the answer is that I feel like random opportunities for acts of kindness should be taken when they present themselves.  I can’t control how other people behave (though obviously I would prefer if they felt the same way and acted accordingly), but I can change my behavior.

I think that my recent very strict veganism is related to this.  In the past, I’ve been “mostly vegan”, meaning that I wouldn’t look too closely at ingredient lists, as long as they didn’t contain actual meat.  Whey, once in awhile, was fine.  Recently though, I’ve stopped drinking beers that I don’t know are vegan (isinglass, which is fish gelatin, is sometimes used in the “fining” process), I won’t eat soy cheese which has milk protein (casein), and I never buy anything which has “natural flavors” or other ingredients I don’t recognize.  I tell myself (and others) that this is simply because the idea of eating meat or dairy just really grosses me out a lot, but I’m beginning to think that’s not the case at all, and instead, very strict veganism is a very long string of very small random acts of kindness (at least symbolically).

Anyway, in the end I don’t know whether the right decision was to take the kitten home or not.  My responsibility to care for Elephant as well as possible should come before my random acts of kindness to a stray cat, and I don’t really know how risky this kitten was.  I really hope that poor little kitten in Effingham will be alright, though.

Look at the cuteness!!!

April 14, 2008

bunny!!!

Yes, David and I got a new pet. She is an adorable little bunny.  We named her Snow White.  (Sickeningly sweet? Yes.)  She is pregnant.  (Bad idea? Yes.)  See more pictures of her on flickr.