Sunday, November 13, 2011

This makes everything OK

I’m not a girl with many vices left. I don’t really perform too many acts or entertain thoughts that cause me much guilt. I feel my mental, moral, and physical health is more intact than at any point in my past. That being said, I must confess that I do have one addiction left that I’ve long been unable to deny: Cookies. I fiend for them. My palms sweat and my eyes glaze over thinking about them. They infiltrate my dreams and cloud my reasoning.

But there’s good news: My depravity does know some bounds. I made a compromise with cookies that came out entirely in my favor. I invented a chocolate chip cookie recipe that I’d define as pretty damn healthy and really damn delicious. So, I don’t have to resign to a life of debauchery and decadence, but I still get to eat cookies every day. I mean, not that I’m saying I eat them every day, but... OK, I eat them every day.

Throw all this crap in a large bowl:
⅔ cup flour (I use white whole wheat)
½ cup stevia (or spenda, or sugar)
Spoonful of baking soda
Spoonful of vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
Splash of vanilla soy milk
Dump of apple sauce
2 spoonfuls of flaxseed meal mixed with 3 spoonfuls water
½ cup semisweet chocolate chips (verify that the ingredients aren’t nasty or dairy)

Mix everything together and scoop out blobs of cookie shapes on an oiled sheet pan (around 8 or 10).
Bake at 350 until they look like cookies, maybe 10-15 minutes.

They’re a little lighter and fluffier than normal cookies, but that’s to be expected since we swapped saturated fat and refined carbohydrates with dietary fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. And seriously, they’re good.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Meatless Meat Sauce/Cheeseless Ricotta Lasagna

Get this:
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup semolina flour
Olive oil
Water
Salt, pepper
Basil flakes
Oregano
Garlic cloves
A few Roma tomatoes
An onion
A pound of extra firm tofu
½ cup of raw cashews (blended to oblivion with a little water to make a cream)
¼ cup nutritional yeast
A cup of textured vegetable protein (TVP)

The noodles
Mix a cup each of the following: whole wheat flour, semolina flour and water, along with a pinch of salt and a little olive oil. Knead it into dough and roll it flat. Cut it into lasagna noodles. Drop each noodle into a pot of boiling water for around 10 seconds, and lay them out on a towel.

Ricofu (Tofu ricotta)
Mash the tofu in a bowl to the consistency of ricotta. Stir in the cashew cream, garlic, basil, salt, pepper, and ¼ cup nutritional yeast.

Meatless Meat Sauce
Peel and crush the tomatoes. To peel, slice X’s on the bottom of each and boil them for 10 second, then soak them in ice water. The skins should come off easily. To crush, squeeze them to bits with your hand.

Chop and saute the onion and some garlic in a little olive oil in a largish pot. Add the tomatoes, basil, oregano, salt, pepper, and a few cups of water.

Simmer for a long time. Like, an hour or two. Stir in TVP and cook a couple more minutes.

Build it and Bake it
Layer sauce, then noodles, then ricofu in a casserole dish, and repeat until it’s all in there. Bake at 375 for 45 minutes.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Fettuccini Alfredo (of the low-fat, high-protein, mouth-watering vegan variety)

So, it turns out making your own pasta with no pasta-making machine is kind of a pain in the ass, but kind of worth it. It takes time, but if I have time to write a blog no one reads, then I have no excuse not to hand-make noodles. Plus, it’s fun. And through some experimentation, I’ve developed this vegan alfredo recipe, which is really damn good, and incredibly easy. I guess not as easy as unscrewing a jar, but far more rewarding. Besides, does vegan alfredo even come in jars?

Here’s what you get:
Whole wheat flour (half-ish cup)
Semolina flour (same as wheat flour)
Water (same as semolina flour)
Olive oil (spoonful)
Broccoli
Tofu (half a pack)
Soy milk, unsweetened and unflavored (a cup or two)
Nutritional yeast (like a quarter cup)
Garlic cloves (lots is always best)
Basil, oregano, salt, pepper

Here’s what you do:
-Knead together equal parts (about ½ cup for 2 people) whole wheat flour, semolina flour, and water, along with a spoonful of olive oil. Roll it flat as it gets and cut it into wide noodles, in the fashion of fettuccini. Lay them out on a towel and let them dry for a while.
-Cut broccoli into small pieces and steam it.
-Blend tofu, soy milk, nutritional yeast, garlic, and herbs and spices into a creamy liquid. Heat it in a sauce pan on medium heat.
-Bring salted water to a boil and cook the pasta for just under 5 minutes. Drain it.
-Stir pasta, sauce and broccoli together in a bowl.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Because

OK, it's short essay time. I'm tired of repeating a well-rehearsed answer to an all-to-frequently asked question, so here's a blog about it.

Why I became vegan
By me

It was a natural progression.

I became a vegetarian 9 years ago when I refused to lose a bet. I was 18, angsty, and raised on a horrendous diet of animal fat and refined carbohydrates. My only characteristic stronger than my lust for fast-food chili-cheese fries was my perversely unyielding resoluteness. Someone said I couldn’t, so I did. But time passed, and I evolved in small increments. It quickly became by choice, rather than stubbornness. Then it went from being just a preference, to also being an ethical obligation and social responsibility.

That’s why I became a vegetarian. Why I became a vegan has to do with my husband. Up until a year and a half ago when I met him, I still maintained what I would consider now to be fairly disgusting eating habits. I wasn’t terribly concerned with or even cognizant of the adverse affects of what I was putting into my body. Top Ramen was a perfectly acceptable breakfast and a half-pound of peanut butter M&Ms seemed like a reasonable dinner. And then I picked up cooking, you know, real food. And we started making changes here and there -- cutting out high-fructose corn syrup, then partially hydrogenated oils, then this, then that, then eggs. Every decision has been in collaboration with him, often suggested by him. We made the choice to become vegan this spring, and it’s abundantly clear to both of us that it’s a lifestyle we’ll never choose to deviate from.

It should be noted that my husband was not a vegetarian when we met. He had a slew of health issues and most of his meals were procured at a Wendy’s drive-through and consisted of deep-fried flesh. Now, he rather enjoys walking with me 12 miles to try a new organic vegan restaurant. In a little over one year, he reached a state that I’d been slowly gravitating toward for almost a decade. He’ll credit me with this, but he’s mistaken.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Torts

Yes, I refer to tortellini as torts. These are delicious and contain ridiculous amounts of protein. They're filled with tofu ricotta, which I have deemed ricofu, and topped with pea pesto cream.

You need this stuff:
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup semolina flour
Olive oil
Water
Salt, pepper
Basil flakes
Garlic cloves
Pound of extra firm tofu
A cup of raw cashews (blended to oblivion with a little water to make a cream)
½ cup nutritional yeast
¼ cup pine nuts
Bag of peas

For the dough:
Mix a cup of whole wheat flour, a cup of semolina flour and a pinch of salt. Stir in 2/3 cup water and a drizzle of olive oil. Knead it into dough. Roll it flat, as much in the shape of a rectangle as possible. Cut it into 2-ish-inch squares.

For the filling
Mash the tofu in a bowl to the consistency of ricotta. Stir in half the cashew cream, garlic, basil, salt, pepper, and ¼ cup nutritional yeast.

For the pea pesto cream:
Blend most of the bag of peas with pine nuts, garlic, a little oil, salt, pepper, basil, ¼ cup nutritional yeast, and the rest of the cashew cream. Stir in the leftover whole peas and heat through on low.

For the rest:
Fill and fold the pasta. YouTube how to fold it. It doesn't really matter if you do it right; I didn't. Boil for 7-9 minutes. Be gentle; they want to break. Fish them out with a holey spoon instead of dumping them to drain. Top them with the pea pesto cream and any leftover ricofu, warmed.

Monday, August 8, 2011

NACHOS: The absolute best inauthentic Mexican dish ever created

These are incredibly delicious and will blow your bowels and your mind. In a good way.

Get this stuff:
Half a bag of dried black beans
A few avocados
Quarter of an onion
A bunch of jalapenos
A couple tomatillos
Cloves of garlic
A lime
Salt
Pepper
Tortilla chips
Vegan cheese (Daiya and Follow Your Heart are good)
vegan sour cream (Follow Your Heart is incredible)

For the guacamole:
-Mash avocados.
-Blacken the tomatillos and some of the jalapenos (Slice the rest to put on top) in a frying pan (no oil).
-Blend a third-ish of the onion, a few cloves of garlic, and the roasted jalapenos and tomatillos together in a food processor.
-Add most or all to the mashed avocados (any left out can be salsa).
-Add lime juice and salt.

For the beans:
Put beans, the rest of the onion chopped, a few cloves of minced garlic, and some salt and pepper into a pot with lots of water and bring to a boil. Simmer until the beans are squishy (like a little more than an hour). Add water as necessary.

For the cheese and sour cream:
Buy it. Follow Your Heart is an awesome vegan brand. It doesn’t melt well but it tastes good.

Put chips in a pie pan, cheese on top, and beans on top of that. Bake at a high temp until you can’t wait any longer, which is generally about 10 minutes. Take it out. Add guac, sour cream, and jalapenos.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Chickpea-Avocado Wraps

Mash avocado with cooked chickpeas, salt, pepper, minced garlic, and lime juice. Then slap it onto some sort of flatbread. Which means you will need avocados, chickpeas, salt, pepper, garlic, a lime, and some sort of flatbread. It's minimal and amazing.

Another vegan meatloaf to rival Loafu

Get these things:
A couple fistfuls of oats
An onion
Garlic
One pack of tempeh
A few tomatoes
A little baking powder
A little sugar
A little vinegar
Some italian herbs
Some olive oil
Half a jar of marinara


And do these things:
-Cook a quarter of the oats with some garlic.
-Saute onion, add herbs and garlic, then add tomatoes. Crumble in tempeh, add vinegar and sugar.
-Blend tempeh mixture with cooked oatmeal. Stir in raw oats and baking powder.
-Press into loaf pan. Pour marinara sauce over the top.
-Bake at 350 for an hour.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Some more amazing dinners for you and yours

TVP & Brown Rice Stuffed Red Bell Peppers


Get this:
TVP
Cooked brown rice
Tomatoes
Onion
Garlic
Salt, pepper, oregano
Red bell peppers
vegan cheese

Do this:
Bell peppers: Cut tops off, gut, boil
For the innards: Cook brown rice. Reconstitute TVP. Saute onion and garlic. Add tomatoes and chopped pepper tops for a minute. Mix it all together.
Stuff.
Top with cheese.
Put in casserole dish.
Bake.

And also delicious... Sweet Potato/Carrot/Tempeh Stew



You'll need:
A big onion -- Peeled and chopped
A few cloves of garlic -- Peeled and chopped
Carrots (A bag) -- Peeled and sliced
Sweet Potatoes (A bag) -- Peeled and cubed
Tempeh (2 packs) -- Cut into cubes
Vegetable broth
Salt, pepper, red pepper, basil, oregano & whatever else you want

And then:
In a big pot, saute the onion and garlic in oil. When they're close to done, add the spices. Then add vegetable broth and/or water (I used something like half and half; whatever to make it enough liquid covering everything), and sweet potatoes and carrots. Bring it to a boil and let it simmer (I covered it but I don't know what difference that makes) for 10ish minutes. Then add the tempeh and let it simmer for 10ish more. Once the shit's all soft, it's ready.