Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Today’s Contest

April 19, 2010

Today’s contest is brought to us by Vegan Crunk (Bianca).  She’s giving away a copy of American Vegan Kitchen, which I SERIOUSLY hope I win! : )


Healing with Everyday Superfoods

April 2, 2010

I just discovered Meghan’s website and I love the premise: “If food and lifestyle are the greatest contributors to ill health, why not turn that right on around and make the awesome choices that allow our food to heal us?”

A Cookbook Giveaway from Ricki and Sally!

March 29, 2010

Sally’s asking what your favorite childhood dessert was and how you feel about it now.  Me?  I miss Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pies…ah, trans-fatty goodness in a plastic wrapper.

The Top 3 Questions I Get Asked

March 14, 2010

Lunch for my abbreviated work week: North-South Chili from Moosewood Restaurant Cooking for Health.  I replaced the kidney beans with pinto beans (’cause I like ’em), but otherwise stayed faithful to the original.  Next time, the only modification I will make is to add more spices!  I’m not sure where the “North” comes from, but you can certainly see the “South” portion, chock full of sweet potatoes, okra, and bell pepper goodness.  The spices were reminiscent of gumbo.  I enjoy taking soups for lunch because 1) my office is chilly and, duh, soup is warming and 2) soup is filling without costing you a lot of calories.

Moosewood Restaurant's North-South Chili

Yes, I pretty much rely on other peoples’ recipes, whether I find them online or in cookbooks.  And, I confess, I typically choose recipes that contain nutritional information.  That information could be completely arbitrary, but I feel better with a reference point (so I have some quirks, I admit!).  I have 3 cookbooks that are my go-to for meals: Colleen Patrick-Goudreau’s Vegan Table, and 2 Moosewood Restaurant cookbooks, Cooking for Health and Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favorites.  The Moosewood cookbooks are not totally vegan, but are easily adjusted.  As you may have noticed, I also use Colleen’s Joy of Vegan Baking a good bit and I’m learning my way around Robin Robertson’s Fresh From the Vegetarian Slow Cooker.  My favorite websites for recipes are listed over to the right.

I’m constantly surprised by how many people know what “vegan” means…and also how FEW people know what “vegan” means.  “So you don’t eat eggs?”  Well, last time I checked, eggs DO come from an animal and I try NOT to eat animal products, so….  The top 3 questions or comments I normally get are (and I know this is a general vegetarian favorite): “Where do you get your protein?”, “Don’t you ever crave a big, juicy hamburger?”, and “That seems very restrictive”.  Only the protein question bothers me.  Let’s be clear.  Given my height and weight, I need 44 g of protein a day.  1 serving of tofu has 40 g.  I think I’ll make it.  Not to mention that too much protein is what most Americans suffer from, resulting in kidney issues and osteoporosis.  But I digress.  Actually, no, I don’t ‘miss’ any meat dish.  And if I did, I could eat it, I just choose not to!  I really and truly do not have any cravings for meat.  In fact, when I came back from Iraq and went 100% vegetarian, my first stop was the grocery store, where I spent $70 on 3-days worth of fresh vegetables and fruits!  Finally, I would posit that eat a much greater variety of foods than most ominvores.  I didn’t know what quinoa or bulgur or winter squash or kale looked like until I became vegetarian, and now these items are kitchen staples. 

Anyways, I actually enjoy and appreciate questions and comments because it gives me a chance to think through my reasoning and most people are just genuinely curious.  I was the same way before I transitioned!  I don’t mean to sound smug or pretentious or know-it-all-ish, so please forgive me if this came across as a soapbox diatribe.

On a completely different subject, I’m off to enjoy the rest of a rainy Sunday with Season 3 of The Tudors.  Fantastic historical soap opera if you take it for what it is–soft-core porn loosely based on history.  I leave you with this photo of the world’s hardiest pansies.  I have not watered or fertilized these suckers since I planted them in September.  They’ve had 2+ feet of snow on top of them, but look, they’re still going strong! 

Still Going Strong!

Oh, and one final question.  KitchenAid mixers?  Worth the investment?  How are they better than a hand mixer?

Fingers Crossed!

March 11, 2010

A few giveaways I couldn’t resist…just trying to increase my slim chances of winning : )  Please enjoy!

Madame Zucchini Breath is giving away vegan cookbooks here:

Mary’s Gone Crackers Organic Cookies here:

Sassy Gay Friend: Romeo and Juliet

March 10, 2010

I love my little bro and our shared sense of humor.  This is R-rated.

The Quest for Vegetarian Kimchi

February 21, 2010

Today, a good friend drove 3.5 hours one way from NJ just to come see me in Fredericksburg, VA.  We spent most of our time together running our mouths non-stop, but still enjoyed seeing some new sites in the Historic District and enjoying good food.  After a lunch of sandwiches, we enjoyed the Trolley Tour of Fredericksburg  After nearly 4 years as a Fredericksburg resident, this was my first time on the trolley and it was well worth the $17.  I was concerned that I might be bored since I’ve been on 2 Fredericksburg Ghost Tours, the Tour of Homes, as well as visited Chatham Manor, the Battlefield, and other local historic sites, but I was pleasantly surprised to find we went on streets I’ve never seen and I learned A LOT that I didn’t know.  For instance, historic Fredericksburg has 86% of its original structures, versus Colonial Williamsburg, which is almost entirely a reproduction built from the ground up by the Rockefellers.  Who knew?  Also, 8,000 men died in the first day of the Battle of Fredericksburg, the same amount that died on the first day of the D-Day assault on the beaches. 

After our tour, we wandered around the shops downtown, discovering Colonial Cupcakes along the way.  I found it disconcerting that the salesstaff was garbed in colonial dress since I wasn’t aware cupcakes were a popular treat during the American Revolution, but nonetheless , I do like to support local businesses…now if only they had VEGAN cupcakes…(  We also stopped in Goolrick’s Pharmacy, which claims to have the oldest soda fountain in the country.  We made a trip out to 5 Mile to the International Supermarket and I walked away with some great loot: taro, a purple yam, pickled eggplant, pickled mustard greens, and a buttercup squash.  If only I could find vegetarian-friendly kimchi, but although the market had every brand under the sun, they all contained shrimp, fish, or squid.  I was tempted to get a can of vegetarian imitation duck, but I just can’t buy any meat in a can, even IF it’s not really meat.

5 Mile International Supermarket Loot

Finally, to cap off a lovely day, we had dinner at Sammy T’s (, which is extremely vegan friendly.  We started with the black bean dip and substituted their homemade ‘hot sauce’ (salsa) for the sour cream.  I had a cup of 8 vegetable soup and the House Simpleton salad.  I know, vegetable soup, so boring.  But this has 8 VEGETABLES.  Let’s see: 1) broccoli, 2) celery, 3) zucchini, 4) peas, 5) mushrooms, 6) tomatoes…don’t remember the last 2.  With a glass of pinot noir, it was a perfect light dinner for conversation and warming up my ice block toes.  No pictures, sorry, I still haven’t gotten comfortable enough to photograph my food in a public place.

My continued explorations of the town further convince me that I’m really lucky to be here.  The town itself just has so much character and I continue to discover new nooks and crannies everytime I venture out. 

A few recaps from dinner this week.  Every week, my nightly salad features something different–this week was radishes, with the leftover Low-Fat Poppyseed Dressing I used on my broccoli slaw.

Japanese Eggplant with spices

Neither seasonal nor local, but cut me some slack.  I wanted eggplant.  I baked it for ~20 minutes and the spices are garlic powder, kosher salt, cumin, and curry powder.

BBQ Tofu and Garlic Ginger Broccoli

I still have not perfect my baked tofu, probably because I’m too darned impatient to actually press the tofu really well.  I’m looking for that perfectly crisp/crunchy exterior and soft interior, without frying.  Here, I just baked some tofu and threw in roasted portobello mushroom, orange bell pepper, onion, and leftover eggplant, with a bit of Wegman’s BBQ sauce.  I like it better with Susan’s Golden Mustard BBQ sauce, but I was ridiculously hungry and the bottled kind will do in a pinch.  The broccoli was just steamed in broth with a ton of garlic, dried shiitake mushrooms, and grated ginger.  There are so many wonderful recipes on Susan’s website that I would like to try, and I have tried a good many, but truthfully, when I get home in the evenings, I’m so darn hungry and tired, I just don’t have the energy.  This also explains my less than stellar photography skills.  I’m trying to capture pictures of the food before stuffing my face, so you’re lucky there’s even a crumb left on these plates!

I’m very excited because this is the last week of February and March is the beginning of champagne mango season.  I’ve been waiting since July!  I’m also looking forward to this week because another friend will be coming to visit from Raleigh, NC, giving me more chances to enjoy good vegetarian food in the area, with someone who will appreciate it!  Tomorrow, grocery shopping and preparing my lunches for the week.  It begins, all over again…

Check out these cool giveaways if you have the chance: