Friday, September 19, 2008
So anyway, here's the recipe for Pumpkin Crepes:
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups soy milk
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp melted vegan chocolate chips
1 Bartlett pear
1/4 cup soy milk
Mix together batter ingredients, and let sit for 10 minutes. Run over Criss Angel. Mix together pumpkin filling ingredients, except for chocolate.
Spoon batter into olive-oil sprayed medium skillet, spreading to make a thin crepe. Cook for 3 minutes; flip. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes. Transfer to serving plates.
Spread pumpking filling along center of crepes. Melt vegan chocolate chips in microwave for 90 seconds. Spread over pumpkin filling. Fold crepe into thirds.
Puree pears and soy milk, allowing large chunks of pear to remain. Spoon over crepes. Sprinkle with cinnamon.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Autumn Veggie Tacos with Roasted Corn Tomatillo Salsa
4 corn tortillas, taco size
1 cup asparagus, trimmed
1 cup yellow squash, diced
1/2 large jalapeno, diced
1/3 xup red bell pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chopped portabella mushrooms
1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro
1/2 tsp groud cumin
1/4 tsp ground cayenne
1 tsp olive oil
1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and mashed
1 can yellow corn, drained
3 large tomatillos, husked and diced
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Juice of 1/2 lime
2 cloves garlic, diced
1/32 jalapeno pepper, diced
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Drain corn; empty onto kitchen towel. Press dry with a second kitchen towel. Spray a baking sheet with olive oil cooking spray; arrange corn in a single layer; bake for 15 minutes.
Combine olive oil, asparagus, yellow squash, red bell pepper, garlic, and jalapeno. Stir fry on medium-high heat for 7-8 minutes, or until vegetables begin to soften.
Meanwhile, mash together avocado, cumin, and cayenne. Set aside.
Combine chopped tomatillos, cilantro, 2 cloves chopped garlic, and lime juice in a medium bowl. Place in refrigerator for 15-20 minutes to allow flavors to combine.
Warm tortillas in a microwave for 30 seconeds, or steam for 2 minutes to soften.
Fill tortillas with vegetable mixture; top with avocado mixture. Serve with tortilla chips and corn-tomatillo salsa.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
I'll be giving this a shot sometime over the next week (doing a little veganizing, of course), and I'll post my own results here.
Monday, September 15, 2008
As you might have guessed, I did it as much to give myself a sense of accountability, as to bore the hell out of my readers.
Seriously... for you smokers - how many times have you thought, "I'll quit, and then I'll tell everyone, just in case it doesn't stick"? I'll tell you, I played that stupid game many times. And you know what happened? I'd find an excuse not to quit smoking, because there really wasn't any embarrassment, any real accountability.
So that's why I blathered on about my official quit smoking date. Even though I've never met most of you in person, I thought of you every time the craving for a cigarette hit. And I knew that sooner or later one of you would ask, "So how's that non-smoking thing going?"
But since none of you have done that (*sob*), I'll ask it myself. :-)
"So how's that non-smoking thing going?"
Quite well, thank you. Really, getting through the habit changes once (driving to work without a cigarette, having a cup of coffee without a cigarette, etc.) was enough to make it stick. Of course, the simple act of wanting to quit was far more powerful than any gum, patch, pill, psychological trick, or anything else. Trust me, I've "tried" to quit dozens of times when I really didn't have the desire.
So a week has come and gone, with little more than a passing thought of smoking. The thought of being around to watch my daughter grow up; to grow old with my wonderful wife; and maybe even to teach a few people a bit about healthier living - these things are far important to me than the "privilege" of filling my lungs with disease-causing crap.
Anyhoo, that's it. One week down, the rest of my life to go. :-)
Saturday, September 13, 2008
I've made a few changes from the old version... I used to use soy sauce (probably out of a lack of imagination more than anything else), but for this version, I substituted tarragon vinegar and added fresh chopped sage.
The old version also involved stir-frying the filling before stuffing and baking the eggplants. I dunno - maybe I was afraid of getting Mad Mushroom Disease. Anyway, I skipped this step, and it greatly improved the dish.
Tarragon Stuffed Eggplant
1 large eggplant (aubergine), cut in half lengthwise
2 baby portabella or 2 large white button mushrooms, chopped
1/3 cup orange bell pepper, chopped
1 large roma tomato, chopped
2 tbsp fresh chopped sage
1/3 cup tarragon vinegar
2 oz vegan mozzarella"cheese"
1/2 tsp dried parsley
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Scoop out flesh from eggplant halves, chop coarsely and place in a large bowl. Mix mushrooms, orange bell pepper, tomatoes, and sage with the chopped eggplant. Add tarragon vinegar and mix well.
Stuff eggplant shells with vegetable and mushroom mixture. Place stuffed eggplant sells on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.
Sprinkle dried parsley over top and serve.
Sprinkle vegan "cheese" on top and bake for an additional 5 minutes.
Friday, September 12, 2008
Mid-September also means one scrawny, middle-aged vegan is itching to make the season's inaugural batch of chili. Really, I try to wait until the leaves start falling and you can *shoof* through them in the yard... but it never happens that way.
This year, I have home-grown habanero and jalapeno peppers, so I was even more anxious than usual.
Now, I never make chili the same way twice... this time I opted to use soyrizo... and as much as I generally dislike meat analogues, this turned out pretty tasty. Too bad I forgot pics... but I'll get 'em tonight and update the post.
Also, I tend to favor crockpot-friendly varieties. There's nothing like coming home and having comfort food ready to eat!
Vegan Soyrizo Crockpot Chili
1 12-oz package Morningstar Farms Soyrizo, crumbled
1 40-oz jug tomato juice (alternately, I sometimes use V8 Hot & Spicy)
4 large tomatoes, chopped
1 large red onion, chopped
2-3 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
1 habanero pepper, seeded and finely minced (wear kitchen gloves!)
1 can dark red kidney beans, drained
1 can light kidney beans, drained
1 can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained
1 can black beans, drained
1 can sweet yellow corn, drained
2 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp cumin
1/2 tbsp turmeric
Optional for garnish:
chopped fresh cilantro
Veggie Shreds cheddar "cheese"
Tofutti vegan sour cream
Add all ingredients to a large crockpot and stir. Cook on high for 4 hours; then turn on low and cook an additional 2-3 hours. Ladle into soup bowls, garnish with cilantro, Veggie Shreds and Tofutti sour cream, and enjoy!
Note: Ok, you have probably guessed that I like my chili pretty damned hot. Really, you could probably get away without the habanero just fine... but I think it imparts a distinctive flavor in chili, if you don't mind the heat.
Let Chili Season 2008 begin!
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Enter The Vegan 100. I got it from Vegan Deliciousness, who got it from Bitter Sweet, who channeled it through a spirit who would only be identified as "Disco Joe".
Ok, maybe I made that last part up.
Anyway, I'm a little late in the game with this ("The Vegan 100 is so, like, last week") but this just further solidifies my position as "uncool dad" and perhaps even "rogue nerd".
So here we go:
1) Copy this list into your own blog, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
4) Post a comment here once you’ve finished and link your post back to this one.
5) Pass it on!
2. Green Smoothie
3. Tofu Scramble
4. Haggis - I almost crossed this out, but you never know... I could get stuck in a fallout shelter with a Scotsman someday.
6. Creme brulee
8. Marmite/Vegemite - Hell, damnation, morning breath, and teal carpet, that stuff's bad!
10. Baba ghanoush - yum. and I finally got the hand of making my own. Wanna see? Mebbe I'll post it.
12. Authentic soba noodles
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Taco from a street cart
16. Boba Tea
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes - yes, I even made some! (It was quite dreadful.)
20. Vanilla ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
24. Rice and beans
26. Raw scotch bonnet pepper - thankfully, access to these was limited back when I was stupid enough to try that.
27. Dulce de leche
31. Wasabi peas
32. Chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Mango lassi
35. Root beer float
36. Mulled cider My late friend Elrick Morningstar used to make it... Valhalla rest his soul.
37. Scones with buttery spread and jam
38. Vodka jelly
40. Fast food french fries - a personal weakness of mine.
41. Raw Brownies
42. Fresh Garbanzo Beans
44. Homemade Soymilk
45. Wine from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more - yeah, and I have to say I've had $10 plonk that was just as good. Guess I'll never make a good wine snob.
48. Vegetable Sushi - Yes! And it even comes with free weird looks!
49. Glazed doughnut
51. Prickly pear
55. Cotton candy
57. Piña colada - only once. As far as I'm concerned, alcohol and coconut should never mingle.
58. Birch beer
60. Carob chips
62. Soy curls
63. Chickpea cutlets
66. Homemade Sausages
67. Churros, elephant ears, or funnel cake
68. Smoked tofu
69. Fried plantain
72. Warm chocolate chip cookies
73. Absinthe - Another relic of my misspent youth
74. Corn on the cob
75. Whipped cream, straight from the can
77. Fauxstess Cupcake
78. Mashed potatoes with gravy
81. French onion soup
82. Savory crepes - Boy howdy! Er, I meant, mon deiu, these are good!
84. A meal at Candle 79
86. Sprouted grains or seeds
87. Macaroni and “cheese”
88. Flowers - um, eaten? No! Wait... I mean yes!
89. Matzoh ball soup
90. White chocolate
93. Butterscotch chips
94. Yellow watermelon
95. Chili with chocolate
96. Bagel and Tofutti
97. Potato milk
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Raw cookie dough
So there you go. More than half... who says vegans can't be adventurous?!
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
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It also went to a number of my copywriting clients, so I've been doing a lot of damage control with that.
So anyway, rather than take it down, I figured I'd leave it here as a neatly framed testament that SPAM is alive and well on the internet. And, unfortunately, so are the people who serve up this poo.
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Anyway, one question that a friend-of-a-friend asked was whether vegetarians digested food faster than omnivores. I should have asked her for the reasoning behind the question, I guess... I assume it has something to do with the myth that vegetarians are perpetually hungry. Good question, anyway.
The thing is, how fast food is digested really doesn't have much to do with it - the vast majority of the digestion process takes place in the intestines, not the stomach. So whether vegetarians digest food faster or slower than omnivores doesn't have much of an effect on how often they feel hungry.
Now, as far as the omnivore vs. vegetarian digestion speed comparison issue, all the research materials I can find suggest that plant foods are quite a bit tougher to break down than animal flesh, so it takes your body longer to digest plant based foods. It appears that's why humans have intestinal tracts that are quite a bit longer than strictly carniverous animals, but shorter than those of strictly vegetarian animals.
So, for all practical purposes, it seems that the digestion process is actually slower for vegetarians than for omnivores. This is assuming, of course, that we're talking about a vegetarian that primarily eats plant foods, rather than one who primarily eats Twinkies and potato chips. Processed foods are, of course, excellent straight-to-fat vehicles that don't require a whole lot of consideration from your digestive tract.
To the extent that digestion speed actually matters, the slow process of plant food digestion faciliatates even, long term energy, while the faster process of animal flesh digestion provides faster (but shorter-lasting) energy. I suppose that makes sense from a practical perspective, too (or at least it did, once upon a time) - hunters of old needed quicker energy to keep from becoming dinner themselves, while gatherers needed long-term energy to search for edible vegetation.
Although, to me, it's largely an academic question, I still enjoyed researching it... and maybe the slower digestion of plant-based foods does partially account for why I started feeling better, and having more consistent energy, when I went vegan. I plan on doing additional research, though, to see if this digestion issue has other implications.
The "vegetarians are always hungry" thing is still a sham, though. I mean take around my blog, and the others on my blogroll. There are enough amazing recipes to try something new every day for years! Many of us have a backlog of things we're waiting for the chance to try out.... how many carnivores do you know that can say that? :-)
All this hoopla about healthy eating, and all along I've been doing something to my body that is as bad, if not worse, than living on fast food.
It's pretty interesting how the human mind can rationalize all sorts of crazy shit in the interest of staying in its comfort zone. I mean, what person in the developed world doesn't know that cigarettes wreck your body, pollute the environment, and just generally suck ass?
And yet, it was always "okay", because:
- I only smoked outside
- I was eating good food to make up for it
- I could quit whenever I wanted
- It would be far worse if I was out drinking and crashing cars instead
- I always kept it under a pack a day
- I'm still relatively young
Never mind the fact that I felt like the south end of a goat every morning when I lit that first cigarette. Never mind that cigarettes contain acetone, formaldehyde, arsenic, benzene, hydrogen cyanide (gas chamber poison) and a host of other nasty chemicals. It's easy to forget about all of that when you wake up and your body is screaming for nicotine.
Then there were all the times I would have to drop everything and go have a smoke, no matter what the weather or what had to be put on hold. It was more important for me to stand out in the snow in January, trying to light a cigarette with half-frozen fingers, than it was to start another game of Chutes and Ladders with my daughter. She would understand.
Well, anyway, today I finally declare myself free from the idiocy. Few things are more important than my health, and I can no longer pretend that smoking and having good health are concurrently possible.
So I'm done. I quit.
Actually, I quit about 1:00 PM yesterday... but since this is my first full non-smoking day, I'll call this my quit date.
And you know what? I'm not ready to mangle somebody like I thought I would. I'm not even really any more irritable than usual. (I mean, come on - I am a curmudgeon-in-training.) Getting to sleep last night was kinda tough, but a short meditation (and the ousting of a couple of daredevil cats) fixed that.
You do bump up against all kinds of situations that remind you of the "smoker programming", though. I woke up this morning and started to head outside out of habit. Then I just kind of went, "Oh, right, I don't do that anymore", and went in the kitchen and made a smoothie instead. Then, the drive to work. Then, the morning coffee run. Then, the daily "meeting", which was just an excuse for the department to go out to smoke.
Funny how a smoker's brain associates everything s/he does with a cigarette. What's even more interesting, though, is how freaked out the human mind gets when the prospect of changing those associations is introduced. "What?! Drive to work without a cigarette? I'll get stuck in traffic and have nothing to do and end up dragging someone out of his car and and and..."
Now for all of that fear, here's what really happened:
I got in the car, drove out of the subdivision, got on the freeway, and ended up in a traffic jam (big surprise). Oddly, though, instead of committing battery, I plugged my iPod into the stereo and cued up a collection of Mussorgsky compositions. ("The Great Gate at Kiev" makes it kinda hard to get too mad about anything; "Night on Bald Mountain" just makes me silly.) In about 3 minutes, traffic started moving again, and I made it to work with no altercations whatsoever.
Not so bad.
So now, it becomes not so much about "getting through my day" as "getting my life back". I can handle all of the little habit changes. It's worth it to start getting my health back.
Goodbye, Marlboro. Don't let the door hit you in the ass. Or do. Whatever.
I'm done with you.
Note: Sorry about the irrelevant tangent/post. I know this is a vegan blog, and this post had absolutely nothing to do with veganism. But it is about optimal health, in a rather convoluted way.
Maybe somebody out there wants to quit with me today. If you've been thinking about quitting, I challenge you to speak up and make your decision known.
We now return you to your regular Veggie Guy, already in progress.