Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Three Years Later...

I just checked back into this blog and discovered that there have been 2,000 page hits since my last post.

Holy crap, people.

Is the world so hard up for vegan food that I've got folks lurking long after I've given up?


I am no longer vegan.  However, I still feel for vegans.  I am living in Chicago, cooking, eating, making merriment.  I'm starting a new blog, which was going to be devoted to books, music, and movies, but I can feel your hunger from wherever you are.  I think I'm going to have to help you, poor vegans.  I will help you as much as you can be helped.  I will post recipes that are either vegan or can be modified to suit your highly specific dietary standards.  I will do this while feeling that desperate need to eat something you actually have to chew, remembering my meltdown at the Food Conspiracy Co-Op when they ran out of my favorite seitan and tried to tell me that the mushy crap was just as good.

It wasn't.

I'll post a link to my new blog as soon as I decide what it is.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Black Bean Soup

It's been pretty cold and rainy here lately, which would usually inspire me to go on a baking frenzy. However, I spend eight to ten hours a day at work...baking. This has led to a soup making frenzy, but I'm usually pretty tired by the end of the day so it's more like a soup making need because I can just put everything in a pot and forget about it for thirty minutes or so. If that sounds like your kind of soup making experience, you've come to the right blog. This soup is ridiculously easy to make and pretty tasty, if I may say so myself.

You will need:
*2 tbsp olive oil, or some other vegetable oil
*3 bunches green onions, chopped
*1 can diced green chiles, drained
*1 can diced tomatoes, drained
*1 red bell pepper, diced
*3 cans black beans, drained
*4 cups veggie broth/stock
*1 cup frozen corn
*2 tbsp chile powder
*1 tbsp ground cumin
*2 tbsp granulated garlic
*1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
*salt and pepper to taste

1. In a medium sized pot, saute the green onions, green chiles, tomatoes, and bell pepper in the oil until fragrant.
2. Add the black beans and stir.
3. Add the veggie broth (or stock).
4. Add the corn.
5. Add the chile powder, ground cumin, granulated garlic, cilantro, salt, and pepper.
6. Simmer, covered, for about thirty minutes.

I had this with a dollop of Sour Supreme on top and some crusty bread...and some cat hair because Valhalla couldn't keep her big puffy face away from my bowl. At least I know it's cat-approved.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Daughterly Guilt Meme's

My mom has meme'd me twice, which is her way of kicking me in the ass to update this blog. Here you go, Mom. Two meme's for the price of one.

The Book Meme

Total number of books owned:
Not nearly as many as I'd like. Since I'm usually broke, I don't get to buy books very often so I probably own about eighty. I'm hoping that my big girl job will soon supply me with enough expendable cash to buy all the books I've been gazing at longingly in the aisles of the bookstore.

Last book bought:
The God Of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

Last book read:
A Tree Grows In Brooklyn by Betty Smith. I read this book about five times a year. It never gets boring.

Five Books that Mean a Lot to You:
A Tree Grows In Brooklyn by Betty Smith
Cunt by Inga Muscio
The Velvet Room by Zilpha Keatly Snyder
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

Best Five Books You Read in the Last Year:
Jesus Land: A Memoir by Julia Scheeres
Stranger Than Fiction: True Stories by Chuck Palahniuk
The God Of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
Dry: A Memoir by Augusten Burroughs
Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close by Jonathon Safran Foer

Seven Random Things You Might Not Know About Me

1. I am a chronic school drop-out. I am completely and totally unable to spend any extended period of time sitting in a stifling classroom listening to someone drone on about a bunch of shit I couldn't possibly care less about. I can't force myself to go every day, and I can't force myself to stay once I'm there. I genuinely enjoy learning new things, but I really truly hate school.

2. If you tell me to do something, chances are I won't do it. It could be something I really don't mind doing at all, but as soon as you say "Go do this," I can guarantee you it's not going to happen. I could be walking toward the sink to wash the dishes, but if I hear you say "Wash the dishes," I will turn around and walk away and let those dishes pile up for a year, fuck you very much.

3. I feel stupid about 99% of the time.

4. I used to be straight edge, but I'm not anymore.

5. I hate being wet, but I love swimming.

6. I love crossword puzzles, knitting, cats and Scrabble, and as such I believe the transition to old age will be pretty smooth.

7. I hate the saying "The road to Hell is paved with good intentions." I spend much more time than I'd like to admit thinking about how much I hate this saying.

There you have it. I've meme'd. One of these days I might even post a recipe or two.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

This is one of the recipes going on my super fancy vegetarian tapas plate at work. You can use canned roasted red peppers if you want to cut a corner or two, but if you want to roast your own there are two methods.

Gas Stovetop Method!

1. Lightly coat a red bell pepper in olive oil, or another vegetable cooking oil.
2. Turn your burner (this only works with a gas burner!) on medium-high heat.
3. Using heat-resistant tongs, hold the pepper directly over the flame (in fact, it should kind of be in the flame) until one side chars. Rotate to the next side, char it, repeat til done.
4. While the pepper is still hot, wrap it in plastic wrap or in a ziploc baggie and let sit for about five minutes.
5. Peel the plastic off. You should now be able to peel the skin off the pepper with relative ease.

Oven Method!

1. Preheat your oven to about 400 degrees F.
2. Lightly coat a red bell pepper in olive oil, or another vegetable cooking oil.
3. Place the pepper on a baking sheet, put in the oven, and bake until the pepper's skin looks shriveled, and the pepper is soft. Remove from the oven.
4. While the pepper is still hot, wrap it in plastic wrap or in a ziplog baggie and let sit for about five minutes.
5. Peel the plastic off. You should now be able to peel the skin off the pepper with relative ease.

Hummus is one of those easy-to-make recipes that people really love to screw up. This recipe is simple, delicious, creamy, and fool-proof. Not that I feel any of my readers are fools.

*2 medium cloves of garlic
*2 tbsp olive oil
*2 cups chickpeas
*1/2 cup to 3/4 cup roasted red pepper, depending on your preferences
*3 tbsp lemon juice
*1/3 cup tahini
*1 tsp salt
*1 cup water

1. Put it all in a blender or food processor, and puree until very smooth. The consistency should be thick and creamy, not dry and blobby.
2. Refrigerate an hour or two, to let the chickpeas soak up all the goodness.

This is yummy with warm pita bread, rice crackers, veggies, dolmades, sandwiches, and pretty much anything else you can think of.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Vegan Pizza

Since yesterday's recipe was a little labor-intensive, I'm giving myself an easy one today. There aren't any places in Southern Illinois willing to accomodate my need for vegan pizza, so I've decided to suck it up and make my own Supremely Excellent Holy Mother Of Vegan Pizza. I think that has a nice ring to it, don't you?

This will make one 16" pizza.

Oven 500

The Crust!
*1 cup warm water
*2 tbsp active dry yeast
*2 cups flour
*1 tbsp salt
*1 tbsp olive oil

The Sauce!
*1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
*1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
*1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
*2 tsp garlic powder
*1 tsp ground paprika
*1 tbsp dried basil

The Toppings!
You can really use whatever you want here. My favorites are:
*fresh spinach
*portobello mushrooms
*black olives
*roasted red peppers
*super thinly sliced white onion

1. Soften the yeast in the warm water. Set aside, and let soak for five minutes.
2. Combine the flour, salt, and olive oil.
3. Add the yeast and water to the flour mix, and combine until a dough forms.
4. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough for 8 to 10 minutes until smooth and elastic.
5. Put the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover with a towel or plastic wrap and let rise for 1 1/2 hours.
6. In a medium mixing bowl, mix all the sauce ingredients together.
7. Chop the vegetable toppings.
8. When the dough is finished rising, punch it down and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead it about four times, and roll it out until it's about 1 inch thick.
9. Place your rolled dough on a lightly greased surface, spread the sauce over it leaving about an inch around the edges, and cover it with toppings.
10. Put the whole shebang into a preheated 500 degree oven and bake 7 to 10 minutes.
11. Eat it!

If you can find a parmesan cheese substitute that doesn't taste like feet that have been soaking in a Port-A-Potty for 40 days and 40 nights, feel free to sprinkle that over the whole pizza before or after baking.

Have fun!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Cinnamon Rolls

My new job is at a coffee shop/wine bar/cafe, and although I was hired as a barista it seems that I'm going to be working in the kitchen late at night, baking. For those who don't know me, this is my dream job. I will be working alone, allowed to wear whatever I want, allowed to listen to all my obnoxious music as much as I want, and baking. This is what I do at home, and now I'm just getting paid to do it in a much bigger, more well-equipped kitchen than my own. Needless to say, I'm swooning. So here's my new recipe for Cinnamon Rolls, and they probably taste better if you're listening to Pissed Jeans while you make them.

*1 cup warm water
*1.5 tbsp active dry yeast
*1/2 cup margarine
*1/2 cup sugar
*1/4 tsp salt
*equivalent of two eggs (I would definitely use Egg Replacer for this)
*3 cups flour

*1 cup sugar
*2 tbsp ground cinnamon
*1/4 cup melted margarine

*2 cups powdered sugar
*1/4 cup-ish vanilla soymilk

1. Stir the yeast into the water and set aside.
2. Combine the margarine, sugar, and salt and mix until well combined, but not whipped light.
3. Mix the egg replacer in gradually, stopping when combined.
4. Add the flour and the yeast/water mixture and mix to a smooth dough.
5. Knead the dough for about two minutes.
6. Set the dough aside to rise in a warm place in a lightly greased bowl, covered with a towel or some slightly loose plastic wrap, for about 1 1/2 hours.
7. Mix the sugar and the ground cinnamon together in a small bowl.
8. Punch down dough to release gases and set on a lightly floured work surface.
9. Divide the dough into two equal halves. Roll each half out into a 20x10in rectangle. You can trim the edges if you'd like a neater roll.
10. Brush the melted margarine over the entire exposed surface of the dough.
11. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar evenly over the dough. Leave a narrow band of dough uncovered along the top edge.
12. Roll the dough up tightly from the bottom edge into a cylinder (make sure your cylinder is 20 inches long, not 10).
13. Using a serrated knife, each roll into eight 2 1/2in thick slices.
14. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet and tuck the loose edge of the roll underneath. Using the palm of your hand, flatten each roll to about 1in thick.
15. Allow to sit in a warm place for 25 minutes.
16. Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes. Glaze when cool.

To prepare the icing:
Put the powdered sugar in a small bowl. Very slowly add soymilk to the sugar while mixing continuously. Stop adding soymilk when you've reached a creamy (but not thick) consistency.

I promise they aren't nearly as difficult to make as they look!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Midwestern Vegan

After neglecting this blog for many months, I'm back. I've moved to Southern Illinois, and despite my initial fear that I would be forced to survive on nuts and berries alone things are going well. There's an amazing food co-op in a nearby town, and they carry a lot of interesting vegan foods that I can't wait to start cooking with. Expect recipes for Rocky Road Brownies, Spinach-Feta Puff Pastry, and Roasted Red Pepper Hummus with Fresh Baked Pita Bread.

My stomach is growling just thinking about food. New recipes soon!!!