Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year

It's a New Year tomorrow, so I'm making my public declaration of dedicating myself to my Vegan life. What's more, I got a belated Christmas gift from my lovely girlfriend: a new digital camera! So future posts will include photographs of glorious food creations!

Happy New Year to all!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Much Vegan Deliciousness!

It's been awhile since I've posted, but I wanted to share some of my recent experiments from a variety of Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero's cookbooks:

1. Classic Broccoli Quiche from Vegan Brunch: I am a big fan of quiche. And I was very skeptical of this one, as there is, of course, no eggs or cheese involved, but O...M...G! Delicious! Everything that a quiche should be and then some! As I mentioned before I really don't like tofu, but this recipe is amazing and I will make this again and again.

2. Peanut Butter Blondies and Chewy Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar: Both incredible, especially the chocolate oatmeal ones.

3. Spicy Tempeh Broccoli Rabe Pasta from Veganimicon: I love it! Tempeh may be my new favorite veggie food.

Meanwhile, I received The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone for Christmas. I'm about a third of the way through it and I'm really loving it. Granted, there's really nothing here that I didn't already know from other readings about Veganism, but I'd definitely recommend it for total newbies. To boot, there are a snarkload of scrumptious looking recipes that I can't wait to try. And what do I love best about this volume? The fact that Silverstone doesn't for a second pretend that she is superhuman and admits to her slip ups over her years of transitioning from a meat eater to a vegetarian and finally to a vegan. She doesn't preach perfectionism and even claims that she's tempted by cheese once in a blue moon, which for me, is phenominal and makes me feel so much less of a hypocrite and horrible person for my failings in my new vegan life. She may be my newest vegan hero.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Toll House Pie...for Vegans

Since I was about 13 (approximately 21 years), it has been a tradition that I make Toll House Pie on Thanksgiving. Almost no one ever touches it, except me, but I make it annually anyway. This year, I decided to veganize it. It was quite an adventure, as the extra shortening I put in to replace the eggs ended up dripping over the sides of the pie pan and eventually led to literally setting my oven ON FIRE.

However, the end result tasted exactly the same as the dairy variety. It might have been a little crisper, though, which I actually preferred, because it had a more cookie like texture

Okay, so this is not going to technically be Toll House Pie, since it doesn't use Toll House chocolate, but this is my rendition. ***Be sure to bake on a cookie sheet so you don't set your oven on fire too.

Faux House Pie


1 unbaked 9-inch (4-cup volume) deep-dish pie shell - make your own or buy your fave

For binding mixture:
4 tbsp flour
1 tbsp non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening
1 tsp baking powder
4 tsp water

To complete filling:
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup margarine, melted
1 cup (6 oz.) vegan chocolate chips
1 cup chopped nuts (I like walnuts in mine, but pecans or something else of that ilk work just as well)

Preheat oven to 325° F.

Mix 4 tbsp flour, water, shortening, and baking soda in a small bowl

Combine 1/2 cup flour, sugars, and margarine in a separate bowl. Add binding mixture and blend with a hand blender until smooth. Stir in chocolate and nuts. Pour mixture into pie crust.

Bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until knife inserted halfway between edge and center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Veggie Chili

This is one of the quickest recipes that I like to throw together at this time of year. It involves veggie crumbles, a can of diced tomatoes, a can of tomato sauce, and a prepackaged chili kit. I usually like to toss some onions and peppers in with the mix, but felt kinda lazy about it today, so went without. All in all, it turned out pretty good. It was mild, because I left the cayenne pepper out, but I'm not much for super spicy foods anyway. Served it up with some multigrain saltines and called it dinner.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Vegan Burritos and Pasta with Squash

I made a couple of dinners this past week. Since I live alone currently, I usually live on leftovers until their gone or until I just can't stand to eat the same thing again. Sunday's venture was vegan burritos. I threw some taco seasonings and vegetarian refried beans in with some Morningstar Farms crumbles and added some sweet peppers and onion to the lot. I rolled that stuff up with some homemade guacamole and vegan sour cream in a big flour tortilla. Not too shabby.

Last night, my sister was over, so I threw some onions, garlic, summer squash, broccoli, pine nuts, and diced tomatoes together with a few vegan meatballs I had floating around in the freezer (okay, they weren't really floating, they were still in their original packaging), tossed in a few spices and poured it over some linguine. Pretty fantastic, if I do say so.

Dude...I need a digital camera to document my cooking genius! It's on my list, I swear.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

An Attempt

After weeks, perhaps months, of putting it off, I made my first batch of scrambled tofu today. Sigh. I was disappointed. I admit I'm not a big tofu fan, but after reading about Isa Chandra Moskowitz's (my vegan hero, btw) Scrambled Tofu in her books and on her blog, I just knew this was going to be a life saver. It's a no-go for me. I used her basic recipe and added sauteed onions. In addition to not being a big tofu eater, I also just wasn't feeling the curry-esque flavour palate.

I'm going to look for some other flavour combinations, however, and see what I can come up with, as I'm not totally ready to give up on scrambled tofu quite yet.

Meanwhile, I made a lovely accompaniment of oven home fries. I am the QUEEN of oven fries and simply adapted my recipe by adding some chopped onion and cutting the little potato guys into smaller chunks. While they tasted just fine, I wasn't really feeling them either.

Sadly, the past few months my breakfast appetite has depleted, so perhaps that was the biggest culprit in my disappointment in the whole meal.

For lunch today: Vegan own recipe. Stay tuned! Meanwhile, here's my quick oven-fry throw-together:

Oven Fries a la Deedee


2-4 small to medium russett potatoes
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp cajun seasoning


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine the oil and seasonings in a large bowl. Cut the potatoes into french fry sized strips. Toss potatoes in the oil mixture. Spread on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Turn potatoes and bake for another 5 - 15 minutes, depending on desired crunchiness.

To turn these puppies into breakfast home fries, simply chop the potatoes into bite-sized pieces and throw in a quarter of a large chopped onion. Baking time stays the same, depending on preference.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Spiral Diner

Last night I visited the Spiral Diner in good ol' Fort Worth, Texas for the second time. It's a completely vegan restaurant and it is freaking deliciously fabulous!

The first time I went a little over a month ago, I tried the Chk'nless Chk'n Salad Salad. A delightful tossing of various lettuce-like items and fake chicken salad. Last night's choice was even better: The Ate-Layer Burrito. Filled with veggie taco meat, avocado, vegan sour cream, and various other acoutrement. Delicious. They also make a mean potato salad and their baked goods are to die for!

So if you live in or near Cowtown, or ever plan to visit, make sure you stop here! I believe there is another Spiral Diner elsewhere in the DFW area, but can't for the life of me recall where. And I'm a lazy blogger, so I'm not going to go to the trouble to research it just now.

In summary: 10 thumbs up!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Latest Discoveries

So, I've been doing a lot of quick meals this past week and have discovered two delicious products that I will buy more of in the future.

1. Amy's Roasted Vegetable No Cheese Pizza

OMG! This is the BEST frozen pizza I have ever eaten in my life. I didn't "research" the box too closely, but whatever is used as the sauce/base is freaking amazing! Sweet onions, artichokes, and shitake mushrooms. Fabulous!

2. Whole Foods Pantry Vegan Meatballs

Threw these puppies into a batch of spaghetti with tomato sauce and they were to die for. My non-vegan sister tasted one when she was over that night and she even thought they were delicious. They have a really yummy bready taste that I enjoyed. I'll be making spaghetti with these meatballs for many a day to come.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Roasted Veggies

Made this dish this weekend and it's pretty much just something I threw together. I could LIVE on these vegetables. This particular blend works nicely I think and has a certain autumn yumminess.

Roasted Veggies


4 or 5 russet potatoes
2 large sweet potatoes
2 cups baby carrots
1 large onion
2 green bell peppers
2 yellow squash
2 tbsp minced garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup pine nuts


Preheat the oven to 400. Roughly chop the bell pepper, squash, and onion. Peel the potatoes (though I like to leave the peel on the russets) and cube. Toss all vegetables with olive oil, garlic, and a little salt and pepper. Roast for 20 minutes. Toss the vegetables. Roast some more for another 20-25 minutes. Toss again, this time adding the pine nuts. Roast an additional 20-25 minutes or until done to your likeness.

Friday, October 9, 2009

S'mores Cupcakes

I got this little gem from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. These are my faves and this is the second time I've made them. The buttercream frosting is to DIE for, people. To DIE for! This time I was a little more lazy than the first time, so I didn't top them with the suggested graham cracker crumbs and ganache. Now I would like to mention how difficult it is to find vegan graham crackers unless you are located near a Whole Foods or other such store.

There are still about 500 other recipes in that little cookbook that I want to try out, so I will keep you posted. Meanwhile, go buy this book, immediately!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Sloppy Joes & Tuscan Potato Salad

Yeah, so I've been a blogging slacker, but here's a little ditty for Vegan Month of Food Trois....

I made one of my favorites last night: Vegan Sloppy Joes and Tuscan Potato Salad. The sloppy joe recipe is my rendition of one that I got a year or two ago when I was receiving menus and recipes from Saving Dinner. I think the tanginess of the potato salad works well with the sweetness of the sloppy joes.

Sloppy Joes


12 oz. fake meat crumbles
1 tsp. olive oil
2/3 vidalia onion, choppped
2 medium stalks celery, chopped
2 tbsp. garlic (I like to buy the pre-minced kind that comes in a little jar)
1 1/2 cups organic ketchup
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 1/2 tbsp yellow mustard


Brown the crumbles, onion, celery, and garlic in the olive oil for about 3 minutes or until the crumbles are defrosted. Meanwhile, mix the remaining ingredients. Add the sauce to the veggie mixture and simmer for about 10 minutes or until you personally feel that it's good to go. Serve on your favorite hamburger rolls. Makes 6 servings.

Tuscan Potato Salad


4 medium russet potatoes
1/4 cup Vegannaise or Nayonnaise
1/4 cup Tuscan style Italian salad dressing
1/3 cup sweet onion, finely chopped
2 tbsp dijon mustard
2 tbsp pickle relish
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp Rosemary leaves, crushed


Cut the potatoes up into bite size chunks. In a large pot, cover the potatoes with water and boil for about 20 minutes or until done. Meanwhile, prepare the dressing, mixing together all remaining ingredients. You can also throw some celery into this puppy too if you so choose. Chill (yeah, daddy!)and serve. Makes 6 servings.

Meanwhile, I'm still between digital cameras and trying to figure out how to post pictures that I email to myself from my phone, so please bear with me! :)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Chickpea Cutlets

I made the Chickpea Cutlets from Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero's Veganomicon last night. I was pretty pleased with myself, because 95% of the time, the first time I try out a new recipe, it usually ends in disaster (such as the tamales I made Sunday night from the same cookbook). However, the cutlets turned out pretty swell. I guess the best comparison I can make would be to say they tasted a lot like veggie chicken nuggets. Only better. I served them up with some mashed potatoes made with Earth Balance and light soy milk. I think next time I might try sauteeing some onions and throwing them on top.

I have some pictures, but have yet to upload them, so shall do so soon.

And for anyone who is Vegan or Vegan-ish and hasn't heard of Moskowitz and Romero, because they have clearly been living under a rock, check out The Post Punk Kitchen ASAP! I'm pretty much obsessed with the website and have collected all the cookbooks that these ladies have written. OMG!

Monday, September 21, 2009

First Post

Hi! So welcome to my little home in the blogosphere. Just a couple of things about where I've been and where I'm heading.

I've been on a "journey" for over 4 years to drop weight and keep it off. Long story short, I turned to vegetarianism a little over a year ago both for health and ethical reasons. Shortly thereafter it seemed veganism was everywhere I turned. Maybe it was divine intervention. Two instances really stand out. I started listening to this podcast, "Yell at Your Fat"( a GREAT show, btw) and Wendy, the hostess with the mostess has successfully lost 139 lbs due in large part to her veganism. Not long after I started listening to YAYF, I came across a little book titled Skinny Bitch by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin. I had no clue until I got underway with reading it that it promoted veganism. Well, I took those little inspirations and ran with them. Back in February of this year, I went on a 30-Day "Challenge" and eliminated dairy, caffefine, alcohol, and sweets from my diet. I managed to lose 20 lbs in a month and hit my lowest weight in almost 10 years. Immediately at the end of the 30 days, I came down with strep throat and not long after recovering from that, I herniated two discs in my lower back and have been dealing with sciatica ever since. I became depressed and just didn't care, quickly putting those 20 lbs back on plus 20 more.

Well, enough is enough. I'm in my 3rd week of Weight Watchers and I'm recommitted to learning all I can about vegan cooking, foods, and resources. Here I will share my trials, tribulations, successes, and failures.

So...why reluctant?

Simple. I LOVE dairy. I adore chesse and ice cream in particular and have yet to find a suitable replacement for either. So I AM a reluctant vegan - but I'm working hard to stay committed.

So, thanks for reading and stay tuned!