Sunday, October 29, 2006

Saturday Veggie Saturday

Last Saturday I shunned all other activity in order to devote my afternoon to the Boston Vegetarian Festival. I'd been excited about this event for weeks, so finally when the day came I could hardly contain myself! M and I had fun trying to find a parking spot (the lot with free parking was a good walk away, we were just trying to get something closer) and discovered all wonderful hidden slices of Roxbury and Mission Hill.

[Okay, so it wasn't like a cute sightseeing expedition, it was more trying to find good places to either A. turn around or B. get back on to main roads]

Boston is a quaint city.

[Quaint being a nice way of saying something akin to 'pain in the tuchus']

We walked in and...WHOA! It was great. It was marvelous! I walked in and thought, are there this many vegetarians (or vegetarian friendy) in and around Boston? I couldn't believe it! I was thoroughly amazed. I mean, I feel like we are so gastronomically underrepresented in this area... I can count the number of strictly veg eateries on one hand (correct me if I'm wrong folks!), while the area boasts hundreds of steakhouses. Perhaps I exaggerate a little...

It was thoroughly packed when we arrived, and the first booth we went to was Grey 2K. The people there were so nice, and M pulled out his phone and showed off pictures of Sam to the people working the booth and to interested passers by. We spent some time trying to convince a nice couple to adopt a grey as well. This is always common for us...I think when we adopted Sam we also took on the role of 'greyhound ambassadors'.

After our improptu PDA assisted "Why You Should Get a Greyhound Now" presentation, we went off in search of food. I had promised M that I would get him a nice plate of Indian food as I knew that Cafe of India was supposed to be there. Sure enough they were, and he got a plate with pakoras and samosas. Cafe of India has some significance for us as a couple because we actually had our first date there four years ago!

I know, it's cute. :) I actually remember what I ordered that night, isn't that sweet?

Anyway, back to the fest. Tons of really cool products (food) to try! Here are some of the highlights.


This is by far the best vegan cheese ever. I can't WAIT until this is sold in the states. It is so rich and creamy and get MELTS!

Trader Joe's

TJs had such a dynamic crew manning their booth! They were passing out samples of two of their creamy soups, Butternut Apple and Veggie Medley Bisque which were both really yummy. Not only did they give out little sample cups, but also the full size aseptic packages! Free! Yeah! Unfortunately they do have honey in them, but I will keep them around.

Turtle Mountain/Pure Decadent

This was my favorite freebie of them all. Turtle Mountain (maker of So Delicious Dairy Free Frozen Dessert) was giving away samples and coupon books. You could either get a soy ice cream bar, or a soy ice cream cup. I got a cup of the Peanut Butter Zig Zag, which was rich chocolate ice cream with peanut butter swirls. Yes, Belinda, heaven is a place on earth, and then it was in my cup. So good...and the coupons will help me to score more soon! :)

Mambo Sprouts gave out these great goodie bags filled with all sorts of stuff (lotions, coupons, chocolate crisps, beauty samples, luna bars, chocolate dairy milk, etc). We each got one and have been going through them slowly, M receiving the non-vegan items.

There was this great booth run by a family fortunate enough to have both a chef and a nutritionist in the group. I wish my family could be so fortunate! Their business is called Nutri Ahaar and they run it out of their homes. Their website url comes up with nothing, so I can't link to them. They make trail mixes and dried fruit treats and they also made some sort of saffron drink powder to mix with milk. I was assured that the saffron mix did well in non dairy milks, but I decided to pass. I got an assortment of their dried fruit treats, which reminded me of truffles! One treat was made with almonds and figs, another with apricot and nuts, and the last with figs, cocoa and sesame! Yum!

MartinOrganics had a great spread and was selling all kinds of great vegan cookies and some vegan cereals. We bought a ginger cookie that I tell you was a large ginger snap! Crispy and sweet and wonderful! The Silveira cereal which we tried is amazing. VERY sweet, and NO sugar. I was amazed!

I've always been addicted to pickles. It's a crazy addiction, and perhaps the toughest thing about keeping to a semi Fuhrman happy diet is staying away from all things salty, like my beloved. I threw caution to the wind and stopped by the Real Pickles booth with the idea in mind only to try them. Of course I walked away with a huge jar and a super cute t-shirt (as if I really needed to broadcast the pickle love!). These are so good and so different as they are naturally fermented and raw. So no vinegar! Very very good. Their products include all sorts of pickled treats, not just cucumbers! Check them out if you like those little ambassadors of brine as much as me!

Speaking of t-shirts, there were so many being sold there it wasn't funny! I wanted to get one of the super cute Herbivore shirts but they were a bit pricey. Then again, most of the shirts were pretty pricey! I did find one that I had to have! Little Vegan Monsters was selling these great "Choo-choo-choose Vegan" shirts printed on American Apparel t-shirts (yay!) and I absolutely had to have one. They were all super nice at their table and have a cookbook coming out soon! Oh, and the guy who sold me my shirt had some of the most beautiful tattoo artistry done on his arms. I was totally taken aback as it was just that breath taking. Anyhoo, here's what my cool new shirt looked like on!

In other wardrobe related news, No Sweat was selling their wares at a table and there were some serious discounts to be had! I really wanted a new scarf (scarves are a total obsession for me) and they were all selling for ten bucks a piece. I went through the selection carefully and chose the funkiest one they had.

I was trying to avoid buying any and all cookbooks with the exception of VCTOW, but they sold out WAAAAAYYY before I got to the table, but one of the other book tables was selling things for half price and they had a few of Bryanna Clark Grogan's books for sale, which I have never had the good fortune of coming across offline. I love BCG-all of her recipes come out wonderfully for me! So I got The Almost No Fat Holiday Cookbook

because I had heard some good things about it, but primarily because it had this recipe:

Growing up in a French Canadian-American family, this is a staple food around the holidays! Of course, its not something that a vegetarian could ever think about, but I'm hoping that Bryanna's recipe helps to fill that void!

Also on the book front, I stopped by Dr. Fuhrman's table and picked up a copy of Eat to Live for my mom. I chatted with him for a bit and he signed my book. Nice man but he looked totally out of it.

Who could blame him? I'm tired just writing about it!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

I'm not feeling the love...

Yes, it was love. There was music and poetry. Goodness, you remember the poetry!

It all seemed so perfect. Now I've had the rug pulled out from under me much like your formulaic Lifetime movie complete with smudged mascara.

Folks, I'm left with a dilemma. Now, in the past I know that I have been responsible for contributing to the untimely (well, it was timely) demise of my fresh produce. I would forget about it, or I would feel a little too lazy to prepare a particular item, or take out just seemed more fun... I own up to my faults as a lackadaisical ...

I guess I should stop beating around the bush. I'm thinking about kicking my new passionate love, Boston Organics, to the proverbial curb. I know they send me great things every week. I know that I look forward to Thursdays as if it were a holiday. But... First there were the weeks of the nearly rancid oranges. Fine, I put them on our do not send list. Cool. Then, half of our delivery that we received just before Columbus Day weekend (Thursday mind you, Thursday!) was rotten by mid Monday afternoon. Now I'm not talking getting mushy or slightly unseemly, I'm talking something that causes one to scream out, "Oh dear God!" when happening upon it in the fridge. Let's just say that gloves were involved. I think my last straw was Sunday night when I wanted to whip up two things: 1) Veggie Burgers from VwaV and 2) Lentil Soup. We received a beautiful bunch of small carrots in our Thursday delivery, so I thought that I could use them up between the two recipes and the snacking that I would have to be doing during the cooking process. I pulled out the carrots and went to peel one when I noticed they were limp. Limp is a fairly relative term...but I really don't know how to describe that they felt like FINGERS. Call me crazy, but I think carrots are supposed to be on the hard/crunchy side. It wasn't like I left anything lying around for very long (3 days people!) and everything was refrigerated immediately upon delivery. So what gives?

I feel like it's an unhealthy relationship. I sit and I struggle internally and think that it's just a rut and that they'll make it up to me. Then I think that it's somehow my own fault and that I'm not doing something right. Ugh. I really should call and complain. I feel bad about that because I really support the idea and philosophy of Boston Organics. I don't get it...I've never had produce with such an embarrasingly short shelf life, either conventional or organic.

Am I crazy? Am I wrong? Are there actually types of carrots out there that should feel limp and fleshy like fingers?

Soup started the fire...

Soup. It's what's for dinner.

This is my version of chili. It's the simplest recipe in the world.

Easy Chili (Eat 2 Live friendly and wicked out Ray Ray)

4 cloves garlic
4 scallions
1 15oz can black beans (no salt is preferable)
1 15oz can pinto or kidney beans
2 15 oz cans no salt added diced tomatoes (organic is best)
1 cup frozen corn (I suggest Trader Joe's Super Sweet Organic Corn or TJs Cut White Corn)
1 bunch broccoli florets (about 2 cups) or one bag frozen broccoli (I like the Trader Joes broccoli florets...both organic or conventional)
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
2 tablespoons chili powder
cilantro (I use the frozen spice cubes from TJs)
1 teaspoon dried italian seasoning
cayenne pepper to taste
a few splashes of liquid smoke.

Steam fry the garlic/scallions & cumin seeds in a little bit of water until tender. Add tomatoes and beans and rest of spices. Add corn and broccoli and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for at least 20 minutes or so. Add liquid smoke within the last few minutes of cooking.

Oh, and the book the chili is resting on is pretty great. I got it at a company flea market thing we did to raise money for our in house charity. I got that and "Simply Vegan" for a buck a piece. One of my co-workers made sure to put aside the vegetarian books for me. Why anyone would want to get rid of them is beyond me...

Last week Emmy posted about this lovely vegetable soup she made. That post inspired me to use up my dying vegetables (spot a trend?)and make my own!

I don't have a recipe, but I'll tell you what I put in it...

1 bunch kale
2 zucchinis
3 or 4 carrots
1 can of no salt tomatoes
1 vegan bouillon cube (I use Rapunzel)
white bean puree (1 can of canneloni beans after a trip to the blender mixed with some water)
one bag of Trader Joe's Green Garbanzo Beans

Delicious! Totally not soup. It was definetely stew. And SO not stoup. I really don't like that expression. And soup tastes even more fantastic when eaten on a pile of books one has scored from a recent library sale.

My new issue of Vegetarian Times arrived today...and oddly enough, there was an entire section devoted to this very topic. There was a quick and simple recipe for 'Creamy Broccoli Soup' that I made but was not impressed. It wasn't really all that photo worthy either.

Moving on from the soup...

I went to go visit a friend from my hometown up north who just had twins at the end of last month. The boys are wonderful adorable bundles of giggles and poop, and I was so happy to meet them. I did make sure to make copious amounts of baked goods for the new family because I know that they have their hands full and food is ALWAYS welcome. I made them all vegan items, with the exception of some chocolate cookies that I made with regular sugar and some Reese's peanut butter chips. They *loved* everything, and it made me smile because they are both serious carnivores.

This is what I brought:

1 batch Chocolate Chip Scones (VwaV)
1 batch Awesome Chocolate Cookies (Vegweb)
1 batch Multi Grain Cookies (Back of canister)
1 batch Chocolate Chip Cookies (VwaV)

Awesome Chocolate Cookies

Ingredients (use vegan versions):

3/4 cup margarine
1 cup unrefined sugar
1 egg equivalent
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/3 - 1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup any kind of vegan chips (peanut butter are awesome)


Preheat oven to 350. Mix margarine and vegan sugar until creamy. Add egg and vanilla. In a separate bowl, blend flour, cocoa, soda, and baking powder. Add dry mixture to wet mixture and mix until everything is well blended. Stir in the chips. Form balls and smash them down a little bit on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 7-9 minutes until the tops are no longer gooey

Multigrain Cookies (from Country Choice Organics)

1 c. butter or shortening (I used EB)
1 1/2 c. packed brown sugar
egg replacer for 2 eggs
1 T water
2 c. flour
2 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
Blend: Flour mixture with butter mixture
1 1/2 c. quick multigrain mix (or oatmeal)
1t. grated orange peel
Drop: Slightly rounded teaspoonfuls onto greased baking sheets
Bake: 10 - 12 minutes at 375° F.
Makes 3 1/2 dozen 3" cookies.

Phew! :) So now tell me...anyone in the area going to the BVF?

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Ode to Produce (organic, that is)

"Look at us," the Apples said,
To Bananas ripe and fruity.

"We start off green and end up red,
That is our only duty."

The Bananas they did not reply
Merely chuckling to the Pineapple

Who furrowed its brow and asked, "Now why
Should any of us give a crabapple?"

The Squash did sternly shake its head
And nudged awake the Broccoli

Who snored so as to wake the dead
Nearly frightening the Kiwi.

The Carrots strove to do their best
To ease the conversation

But then the Salad walked around undressed
To everyone's consternation.

The Mango jumped on Zucchini's head
Which made him rather snooty

The Mushrooms simply went to bed
And dreamt of Kale, the cutie.

I can't take credit for this one--this was all M's brainchild! And yes, such a poem does make me swoon! :)

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Road Trip!

We're STILL recovering from a whirlwind trip to New York this past weekend to see some family. Poor Sammy is not the biggest fan of the car, but he stuck it out like a trooper.

I think that he 'puts up' with the car ride because he knows that once he gets there there is an unlimited source of treats & people food at his disposal. People who aren't dog owners tend to cave into his undeniable cuteness within about 2.2 seconds. He's such a con man.

Also, he remembers that the extended families homestead contains LOTS of carpet, whereas home is hardwood and throw rug. Carpet is much preferred by the Samhound as it gives him something to feel between his paws when he scratches about 50 million times before laying down.

Though the above rate beyond wonderful to Sam, they pale in comparision to his passion; the very thing that he desires most in this world...

The couch, of course.

Since Sam was spending so much time on the couch luxuriating, he left me time to whip up a feast for our gracious hosts. I figure it's the least I can do when I visit...especially when my little one deprives them of such an important piece of furniture for an extended period of time.

I decided to make some simple "stealth vegan" dishes that I thought would go over well.

1. Lentil Soup

This ended up being the absolute most delicious lentil soup I've ever eaten. It was crazy good. It's also one of those things that is so simple that I don't even have a recipe for it! It's just carrots, celery, scallions, garlic (I used a whole head), veggie broth(whole foods brand-about half a container), veggie cubes (rapunzel), water, lentils and within the last 15 minutes of cooking some fresh rosemary. The trick is letting it simmer for a wicked long time (I did about 3-4 hours).

2. Eggplant Lasagna

This is the simplest recipe ever. Three ingredients: Eggplant, your favorite marinara sauce, and one batch of Tofu-Basil Ricotta as prepared in Vegan with a Vengeance-or whatever version of tofu ricotta you like. I just slice the eggplant (no salting, peeling or anything funny) and alternate layers of the eggplant with sauce and ricotta, saving a whole load of ricotta to shove on top. I bake it at 400 for about 45-60 min until the eggplant is really soft and tender.

3. Hummus

This was a dud. Well, not really, it was REALLY yummy. I just didn't take into account that M and I were the only ones in the house who actually liked hummus. It's okay, I took home the leftovers. Oh, and it was HELL trying to make this in the blender at the house. I really missed my food processor!

4. Apple Crisp

There was an abundance of apples at the house because there had been mention that there was the possibility of making some pies. I was too darn tired to attempt pie crust, so I did a crisp instead. Very very easy! A little brown sugar, lemon, whole wheat flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and Earth Balance. The apples we used were Macs and Cortlands. I had to fight to get a picture! It was that good...

So what was Sam doing all this time I was in the kitchen?

Lazy Bug!

Monday came around and it was time for us to head home. Sam was again a little unhappy in the car, crying ever so softly...

Something tells me I *know* what he's missing... I wonder if any furniture stores will let me bring him in to test out some models?

I wasn't feeling too hot when we got home either, but I did have the energy to whip up something so ridiculously quick and simple it would make Rachael Ray jealous.

Not so Sloppy Joes!

This is just some TVP (I used Bob's Red Mill) rehydrated in some hot water mixed with half a jar of marinara I had in the fridge (I used the Whole Foods generic). I served up with some leftover roasted potatoes as the only bread I had in the house was Ezeikel Bread, and those make for some difficult Sloppy Joe eating. Simple and good. I won't say the Y-word, but I'll think it.

Monday, October 09, 2006

C is for Cookie!

Thursday was so fantastic. Not only did I have my Boston Organics delivery to look forward to, I also had a package waiting for me. Yay!

I got my cookies from Tania and I was totally excited!

They are so cute, they look like little cookie nuggets. They're very good, some raisins, a hint of boyfriend thinks almond, I think something coconutty.... I don't care, they were really yummy!

Thanks Tania for the great cookies!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

What kind of Vegetarian am I?

You scored as vegan vixen. You're a vegan vixen! You use your good looks and body to encourage people to go veg. You're probably a little perky and a little adventurous. You may have tofu-wrestled, worn a lettuce bra, or are about to do one of the two! If you're a guy, consider yourself a virile vegan (vixen generally refers to women...). Though you may have feminist beliefs, it's fine to use sexual attraction to get people to stop eating animals. More on

vegan vixen


health-conscious vegetarian


militant vegan


welfarist vegetarian


quiet vegetarian


lazy vegetarian


new veggie


What type of vegetarian are you?
created with

Grrr baby, very grrr...

Bad lighting does a vixen good, I've found...

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Treats fit for a SamHound!

I haven't had a chance to run over to Whole Foods or the specialty dog food store to get Sam his Wellness cookies this week. His treat supply was dwindling and I was feeling so very guilty...then I thought I should just make him some treats!

I based the recipe on a recipe I have for human cookies, but tweaked it a little.

My doggie treats

1/4-1/2 cup of oat flour (or whole wheat-Sam's allergic to wheat)
1/2 cup natural peanut butter (I use crunchy)
1/2 cup natural unsweetened applesauce (I used a plastic single serving cup)
1 medium to large banana
2 1/2 cups oats
1-2 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon flax meal (optional)

I used a food processor to do everything. I didn't have oat flour so I just put some rolled oats in my processor and ground it to a course flour. Whole wheat flour would work great, but Sam is allergic! I then added all of the wet ingredients except for the oil and pulsed until everything was combined. I then turned on the processor and added the oil and oats incrementally (I did the oats in 1/2 increments) and kept it going until everything was combined well. The mixture shouldn't be too dry or too sticky. I rolled into balls and baked at 350 for about 15 minutes or so.

This recipe can make quite a few treats depending on the size of the balls you roll. Guaranteed to make your puppy happy. :)

reincarnation or the karma of curry

Friday night I decided to put my ailing eggplant out of its misery and employed it in the only way mushy nearly bad eggplant can be used in an honorable manner. I roasted it and used it in a makeshift curry.

I should have called it "Curry of the Damned" as it contained most of the items in my fridge that were on their last legs, but still clinging. You know, the veggies that you really aren't sure they have another 24 hours left in them. Such was the fate of my mushrooms, my cilantro, my tomatoes, my eggplant, my garlic... I found that steam frying the mushrooms with the garlic and roasting the tomatoes and eggplant until tender provided me with a veritable renaissance of flavor and after adding a can of pinto beans and half a bag of peas, I was left with a rather serviceable dish.

Of course, by the time I had finished with it I decided to just eat my left over chili and save the curry for later.

Sunday I decided that the rest of my veggies needed to be used before I could buy anything else. Solution? Batch cooking!

I made:

~Shepherd's Pie (using leftover mashed potatoes and the other half of the bag of peas)

~Chickpea Broccoli Casserole

~Tempeh Helper (my fancy name for VwaV tempeh sausage crumbles & gravy mixed with mushrooms, corn and steamed collard greens)

The Shepherd's Pie (not fit to be photographed, believe me!) was very good! I used a mix of red and green lentils, carrots, cremini mushrooms and peas for the filling.

Chickpea Broccoli Casserole is SO good! I got fresh broccoli in my Boston Organics delivery, so I used that and some organic carrots. I didn't use the breadcrumbs or the leeks, but it still tasted fabulous.

Tempeh Helper has become my new favorite dish. I think I just love anything flavored with fennel seeds and then adding gravy and CORN on top of that just makes it all better. The greens add a nice touch, and the gravy will get even the pickiest of eaters to dig in! The trick is to water down the gravy enough so that everything in the dish gets coated.

I swear, the beauty of left overs/batch cooking is that not everyone has to eat the same thing! M has been eating Shepherd's Pie two nights in a row and was not jazzed about the potential for leftovers for dinner. I promised him that I would do something good...

The curry was looking a little dessicated, so I heated about a tablespoon of Earth Balance in a pot and put in some curry powder and cumin seeds for umph. After things got sizzling, I added the curry and some soymilk. I added a little more EB for flavor and let it simmer. I cooked some rice and dug out some Trader Joe's Naan out of the bottom of the freezer. The naan, while very tasty is totally not vegan. Since M is an omni and a naan fiend, this tidbit is a non-issue (the punner in me really wanted to have a go there).

And voila! Curry, reincarnated.

Oh, and tip for all of you Trader Joe's fiends out there. If you haven't tried it yet, you HAVE to get some of their frozen Organic Super Sweet Corn. Words can't describe how awesome it is.