Thursday, September 30, 2010

Garlicky Not-Fried Not-Chicken

I have a many, many more photos from my Texas trip I want to go through, but I’ve been unusually busy since I have been home. I agreed to travel to Louisville for work the day after I got back from Texas and had to leave at 6:30 a.m. (when I am usually still sleeping) and wear nice clothes (not usually a requirement). Complaints about getting up and the almost two-hour drive aside, the day went well.

I was outside all day yesterday, under a tent, in the parking lot behind an anonymous-looking corporateplex.

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The weather cooperated, and a cold morning turned into a beautiful day, although the nice breeze insisted on blowing the papers from our tables. Lunch was provided, but I packed my own (again, not something I normally have to do as I am home for lunch):

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I packed tempeh salad, mixed greens and Ezekiel bread. This was a perfect first opportunity to use my bamboo To-Go Ware. The night I got back from Texas, I whipped up a quick batch of tempeh not-chicken salad. This is only my second batch, but this is a favorite for me. I mixed in grapes, walnuts, dried cranberries, and celery.

Are you wondering what I was doing under the tent? This was a health and wellness fair. I sat next to a man from the American Heart Association who, although he didn’t ask why I was photographing my lunch, did express interest in my vegan lifestyle. He said he was trying to be more healthy, too.

One of the most popular things people were collecting, besides the free massages and glucose tests, was healthy recipes. The most popular recipe was the Garlic Oven-Fried Chicken. Everyone wanted to try it! So, I decided to try it myself, but veganize it. Plus, Alex has been asking for me to try out breading seitan.

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Success! I served this in true American style, with skin-on mashed potatoes and oven roasted broccoli. This dish was really good. I made the seitan the day before, so that really sped things up. Alex was thrilled to have breaded seitan, and I found this to be especially delicious as well.

Garlicky Not-Fried Not-Chicken

Ingredients:

  • One recipe seitan (I used the cutlets recipe from Veganomicon and had 6 pieces)
  • 1 teaspoon Earth Balance
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2/3 (or more) cup panko
  • 1/4 cup vegan Parmesan (I used Alemsan from Veganomicon, I have a batch in my fridge)
  • Italian Seasoning blend, or your favorite spices, to taste (I used a lot, probably 3 tablespoons. Actually, I just emptied the jar because it was getting old.)
  • Salt and pepper, if desired

Method:

Preheat the oven to 400F, and prepare your baking dish or sheet. Use either a nonstick silicone sheet or spray your dish with cooking spray.

In a small skillet, melt the butter and oil and saute garlic until fragrant. (Note: The original healthy recipe called for 2 tablespoons of each; I found this excessive. I pulled the seitan from the broth so it was still slightly wet, and the garlic and breading stuck just find without six times as much oil.)

Mix the panko, parm, and seasonings in a shallow dish.

Press the seitan pieces into the garlic mixture, allowing it to pick up pieces of garlic. Then press the seitan into the breading mix, coating all sides. Place on your prepared baking sheet or dish.

Repeat with each seitan piece and then bake for 20-30 minutes or until browned, turning halfway.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A day in Austin, part 2

After our sno-cones, we were only a few blocks away from the Congress Avenue Bridge, which is famous for being a bat roost. We were there pretty early because we couldn’t get a conclusive answer to when the bats normally fly out for the night. Many, many people had gathered in a nearby park and along the bridge to watch the bats fly out at dusk. Once the bats started flying out, they continued in a thick stream for several minutes. And by several, I mean as probably more than 10 – I wasn’t counting.

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I only took a few photos, thinking they might not come out well and what would I do with them anyway – put them on a blog about what I eat? What I like best about this photo is that you can see little screens in front of everyone around; I wonder if they captured any images of the bats better than I did. It was pretty cool to see so many people coming to see these bats, especially as I’d heard some Austenites wanted to get rids of the bats when they first started roosting under the bridge.

For supper, we went to Kerbey Lane Cafe, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary. One of Shelby’s colleagues had suggested this place knowing it had a vegan menu. This is a popular chain of 24-hour diners in Austin, and we even had a short wait for a table around 9 p.m.

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Alex ordered from the all-day breakfast menu and chose the vegan platter, which features tofu scramble scattered with potatoes and packed with tomatoes and green onions. This also came with two house-made sausage patties and the featured pancake, which on our visit was cinnamon pecan. All in all, this was a tasty dish. I tried some of everything and the sausage patties were my favorite. They were packed with flavor and the texture was perfect. Unfortunately, I was too hungry and focused on chowing down to try to discern the seasoning. Sometimes it’s good to just enjoy the food.

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I chose one of the specials, which was barbecued tofu, braised spinach, and sweet potato hash. I was really excited to get some Texas barbecue. However, just before our waiter brought out the food, he mentioned that they were out of sweet potato hash and asked me if there was another side I would like instead. He was met with a disappointed dumb look – the hash was featured as a favorite dish, plus I had no idea what my other choices would be. He suggested the sweet potato fries. Then everyone else’s food came out, and mine was about 10 minutes behind.

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When it finally arrived, though, it was pretty good. The barbecue sauce was described as being peanut butter barbecue, but it was more of a peanut butter tomato, with big chunks of tomato, whole cloves of garlic, and peanut pieces. This was tasty, and this place was a good suggestion.

Andy and Shelby each got pancakes and bacon; Shelby really enjoyed her pumpkin pancakes. They sell their mixes in the store. Then we suffered through the long night ride back to their home. We had talked about spending a weekend in Austin, but our hosts live pretty far out from any city and they needed to come home to the pets.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Getting Lost-in Austin

I’m visiting my brother in Texas, and we went to Austin for the day. After learning the limitations of our GPS when it comes to overpass highways and feeder roads with exits, then fighting the UT pre-game traffic and searching for parking, we were ready for lunch.

We ate at Mellow Mushroom, which is mainly a pizza place, but I selected a tempeh sandwich. This guy was really good – better than it looks. It was grilled tempeh cubes, grilled onions, green bell peppers, and mushrooms, along with lettuce and tomato. We were at a pizza place, so a few red pepper flakes from the shaker on the table really rounded this sandwich out.

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It didn’t come with a side, but we got some hummus as a starter for the table. My sister in law likes hummus, but it’s one of those (many) things my brother won’t eat, so she enjoys it with company. A dollop of hummus can look so unappetizing; I’m glad they dressed up this plate with carefully arranged pita triangles.

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After lunch, we headed to Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Preserve. We walked around a saw some wildflowers, some cacti, and climbed a little tower to get an aerial view.

033 I like how much bigger my brother is than Alex. Even I’m a little taller than Alex!

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Me trying to make a pirate face with the monocular on top of the tower.

058Alex practiced his Spider Walking in the entryway.

After a bit of walking around, it was time to eat again. We headed out to sno-cones at a place that came highly recommended, Sno Beach, located in the food truck court. Each table had paper towels and Windex in an attempt to curb any bee problems.

2010-09-26Shelby using her iPhone, which really proved helpful navigating a new city.

The place had a lot of flavors, so many that it was difficult to choose what to get. I went with cantaloupe and really enjoyed it; Alex selected grape and validated his choice of simple flavor by pointing to the giant sunglass-wearing sno cone atop the stand. This was a fun little break. Next, on to the bats…

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Moffles!

So, I took the advice offered when I talked about the last time I made mochi and made mochi waffles!


I did a little research first, though, and found some pretty awesome Japanese videos about the mochi waffle craze (they call them moffles). There are even specially made moffle makers. Of course, I thought to myself that I could use my regular waffle maker – and it worked well, but I didn’t exactly come up with moffles.

I split the mochi in half to make the strips thinner, and this was surprisingly easy. I had in mind that I’d stuff the mochi waffles as suggested in the video, but it didn’t happen. Guess you need that special moffle maker after all. My waffle maker doesn’t have hinges, so it didn’t close when I stuffed my moffles.

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I used the cinnamon-raisin variety and it smelled so very good as it cooked. I paired this with a fall pear. Much of the pear was enjoyed raw, but a few slices did make it into the waffle maker. As you can see, they puffed up much more without the pear slices, but the cooked pear was delicious. The pieces were crisped on the outside and chewy inside, and I enjoyed them with a little syrup.

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Even without a moffler, making mochi waffles was pretty easy. My waffle maker has an automatic beep indicating the waffle is ready, but it couldn’t judge the time of the moffles. So you might need to be smarter than your waffler to make moffles. Go ahead, I know you can do it.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Frozen Ravioli Faceoff: Soyboy vs. Rising Moon

Tonight, supper was in a hurry. For the third time this week. I had my first Italian class. How best to prepare for class? Ravioli!

Alex and I are taking the course together, and I think his jealousy was apparent when another classmate announced he’s taking the class because he has an Italian wife. Alex has me, who serves up experiments in frozen vegan ravioli. Just kidding, he never complains about what I cook. In fact, he likes it.

Screen Captures

I didn’t make both packages of frozen ravioli tonight, just the Rising Moon. I had some old photos from the Soy Boy package and decided to post them together. I know I get ideas of what kinds of packaged foods are worth trying from reading what others have to say – do you have a favorite vegan ravioli?

First up: SoyBoy. Great name, but not something I would purchase again. For as much as I complained about my own ravioli dough being too thin, these were thick and heavy. Maybe I would try another flavor; after all, we didn’t throw out any ravioli.

I got the Ravioli Verde, which is a spinach pasta with a tofu filling that is flavored with tomato and herbs. Sounds good, but wans’t great.

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Maybe I would be more likely to purchase the SoyBoy if there wasn’t a much better alternative through Rising Moon Organics.

I tried the butternut squash variety and it was delicious. Perusing their website, I see they have many different ravioli options and other products, some vegan and some not, and I see several other things I’ll be looking for in my grocer’s freezer.

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Looks similar, I know. Why? Ravioli or pasta along with some jarred sauce (usually Classico, Newman’s, or Trader Joe’s) and some spinach is a quick and easy fallback meal. Plus we really enjoy it. And if I’m really on top of things, some mushrooms would be a perfect addition.

Anyway, these butternut squash ravioli were incredible, even with the tomato sauce. I might try another sauce later that might be better suited to the sweet squash. And if I’m going to try the tofu-ricotta filling, I think I’ll try it from Rising Moon before I go back to SoyBoy. The second set of ravioli had a much lighter dough and the ravioli were pillowy.

Anybody have and tips other than trial and error for finding convenience products you like? How about a sample day like at the grocery store?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Between Summer and Fall

I’m enjoying both summer squash and sweet potatoes topped with smarshmallows.

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I found some really gorgeous yellow squash and fried it up along with some sweet onions, and I also made some dried black eyed peas and brown rice. I love my black eyeds with some sort of pickle or relish, Pickapeppa sauce, or both. This time I had sweet onion relish that was pretty good. Eventually, I’ll want to make my own relish for my peas.

The star of the show, though, was the creamed sweet potatoes with Dandies marshmallows on top. I baked the taters, then whipped them with some maple syrup and almond milk. The Dandies went on top for a quick blast in the broiler to make them all gooey and delicious.

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I’m not waiting for Thanksgiving to enjoy a treat like this. The beginning of fall, even when it’s still in the 90s, is a perfect time for me.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Breaking up on Valentine’s Day

…is wrong. Littering is wrong too.

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Today, I ate leftovers. Right after work I had the opportunity to go a meeting of sorts to talk to leaders in the city about recycling, from curbside packaging to electronics and building materials from deconstructed buildings. It was a great night.

I try not to take home free stuff just because it’s free because that’s usually wasteful in itself, but I grabbed a cool cup featuring the Keep Cincinnati Beautiful ad campaign about littering. I like it.

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Honestly, I don’t understand some of the other wrongs. Like, “Putting Ketchup on Your Cheese Coney.” But you can submit your own wrong. I’m still coming up with mine.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Restaurant: Claddagh Irish Pub; or, French Fries are a Vegetable

Claddagh Irish Pub at Newport on the Levee wasn’t a place I expected to like. There, I said it. Besides the beer, I’ve never had great success at an Irish Pub. I used to go to Fado weekly for trivia night and always struggled with what to eat.

Claddagh, though, is my exception. I have been there twice recently; the first time was during the summer heat when our air conditioning unexpectedly went out. We went to a movie and had lunch at Claddaugh’s because we were already at the Levee. We both enjoyed our meals, and so we recently returned.

They call their veggie burger the “Cornucopia Burger” and it’s one of those precious few veggie burgers that’s a true veggie patty, not one imitating meat. (I like those too, but only when done really really well. I’m thinking of you, lovingly, Huey’s.)

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Not too appetizing, I know, but it's good.

On our second trip, Alex got the cornucopia burger again (pictured above) and I went for the curry fries. This is a meal of fries alongside green peas, onions, and red bell pepper in a curry sauce. It was delicious.Delicious.

I was a little worried after ordering this for two reasons. First, our chipper waitress proudly announced that this wasn’t available without the chicken because it’s pre-made. I informed her that the menu states otherwise, but to let me know if it couldn’t be done so I could select something else. So I was worried because she neglected to tell me the outcome, and I was also worried that the dish wouldn’t taste fresh. (Can you blame me after hearing her glowing introduction?)

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Anyway, my worries dissolved as I enjoyed the view along the river on the cool night*, and I was pleased with my dinner. I’m really impressed with the amount of peas I got. I’m not pretending this is healthy, but I like it. You may notice that I wasn’t even about to take a photo until I’d had a few bites. Maybe I should have removed my fork and restructured the plate?

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As a sidenote: In pulling up their menu now, it seems that the vegetarian option is now more reasonably priced; I got a dollar discount for having them omit the chicken. Now the online menu shows a $3.00 discount – if this is true, that will encourage me to come back again.

*a couple of beers


Claddagh Irish Pub on Urbanspoon

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Weekend contrasts: Quiet walks and Oom-Pa-Pa Music

Saturday, I made a trip back to my alma mater and remembered how quiet it can be there.

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Some things change, though. That picnic table is new, but a nice addition. And I found an unnecessary addition: they have now put a plaque on the so-called kissing rock.

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Then back home for Oktoberfest and the crowds.

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Somebody was probably doing something crazy off the side.

How was your weekend?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Homemade Pasta, Take Four: Ravioli

Like many things, cooking gets easier with practice. Homemade pasta is taking a lot of practice, and when I begin making strides I also increase the difficulty. I’ve finally gotten the homemade fettuccine company-ready, but this time I decided to make ravioli.

I know deep down, though, that the eventual reward when I perfect the tougher feats will be totally worth it. For now, though, this trial was entirely delicious, even though I want to tweak my technique.

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As I’ve done before, I used Vegan Dad’s recipe for fresh pasta dough. At this point, if you’ll allow me to flatter myself, the dough making is old hat. In other words, I found a good recipe and it’s not as difficult as I thought it was at first. Hoping for more success from Vegan Dad recipes, I looked into what he had to say about ravioli.

I knew I wanted to make spinach and mushroom ravioli, so I diced some mushrooms and cooked my mushrooms and spinach with lots of garlic, knowing that I wanted my filling mixture to be pretty dry before I started stuffing my pasta.

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What I’d change next time, though, will be to roll the dough less thinly. As in, leave it more thick. Vegan Dad has the same Kitchen Aid pasta roller as I do, and he said he rolled his to setting 5 (on a scale with 1 being thickest and 8 being thinnest). If I had a more delicate filling, a thinner pasta might be better. That’s my only change.

I got a little creative. I started layering strips of pasta over the filling, but I ended up just folding it over. And in the end, I just twisted up the ends like precious purses.

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But in the end, this didn’t affect the taste. Fresh pasta is one of my favorite treats. I’m not complaining at all about eating my practice batches.

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I am happy that none of these little dumpling ravioli lost their contents. I did let them dry for a more than an hour before boiling them, so that might have helped.

I know this is a lot of work, but I enjoy it and I want to master pasta making. Thanks for coming along for my practice runs.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

One cookbook, two recipes

Can you guess what it is?

002 azuki beans with {buttercup} squash, pg. 241

013 fried udon noodles, pg. 229, with napa cabbage and broccoli

The Kind Diet. I hesitated to purchase this cookbook because I figured much of the introduction wouldn’t really be useful to me. I also don’t like to fall in line with what’s hot, or what some high profile person tells me to do. (Maybe Alicia Silverstone isn’t high profile to everyone, but I was a teenager when Clueless came out and she made a formative impact on my youth.)

Every recipe that I’ve made from The Kind Diet has been marvelous, simple, and delicious. The recipes are more like instructions on how to use what might be unusual ingredients. There aren’t many ingredients and there aren’t too many steps.

I’ve always thought of myself as a pretty good cook, but now that I’m trying so many new ingredients I find myself in need of a little guidance. This book has been perfect for someone like me.

I’m not saying this is my favorite cookbook, but it’s impressing me. Actually, I only have one cookbook that’s not been worthwhile so far, and I’m still giving it more chances. What’s your favorite cookbook?

Monday, September 13, 2010

My own end of summer rolls

Summer roll? Spring roll? I’m not about to get into a debate about authenticity, because I think the only authentic thing I can make is banana pudding and I don’t want to. Okay, I want to, but I’m not going to. Yet.

So, the last time I was at Loving Cafe (new review coming soon, I hope) they ran out of summer rolls just before I ordered. As in, they had three left and the people in front of me ordered all three. I saw them flash before my eyes.

But I’ve seen people all over making their own, so I figured I should, too.

How difficult could it be?

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I think I can work on my technique, but I started to get the hang of it as I went along.

You may already know, but for all the beginners out there, the wrappers are stiff and you soak them in warm water and they become sticky and pliable.

In these guys, I put:

  • broiled tofu slices, marinated in soy sauce and ginger
  • rice noodles, tossed with sushi vinegar
  • thinly sliced cucumbers
  • thinly sliced carrots
  • romaine
  • shredded basil and mint

And I made a quick sauce of almond butter and hoisin, whisked together with a little water to thin it slightly and some sambal oelek for heat.

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Easy enough, and delicious. Who cares if Loving Cafe sold their last three right in front of me? I can do for myself.

Do you try to make things you have in restaurants? Do you have success?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Cincinnati Oddities: Fast Food Sushi and Food Trucks

Over the weekend, we spent a lot of time downtown. We had a uniquely Cincinnati experience, and not just because I sat by the fountain from WKRP. I also had the opportunity to see things I’ve seen or heard about on local blogs or twitter but never experienced for myself, mainly because these are lunch things and I’m rarely downtown for lunch.

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That’s me in the middle of the fountain there, with a shopping bag. We had just been to Macy’s, which is right across the street. I’ll let you in on a secret here: I hate clothes shopping, especially in a crowded mall. We were at the downtown Macy’s during their monthly One Day Sale and it was not crowded at all. Alex wanted to go because he needed new pants. Between eating my healthy-ish food and his Ninja Warrior training, he’s dropped several sizes. I suggested we go to the beer festival on the square after Macy’s.

At the festival, we saw Cincinnati’s two food trucks. I guess this is just in time for the national popularity of food trucks, but people here are puzzled by and fascinated with these. The latest has been what to do when it gets cold: should we build a heated tent around them?

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And in the line of beer, a tent dedicated to tomato soup & grilled cheese, including grilled cheese on a glazed donut. Yes, you read that right. The donut is sliced like a bagel and the glazed sides are on the inside of the sandwich, right up against your choice of cheese. I wonder if this is a Cincinnati original. It might be. Tom + Chee is open weekdays on Fountain Square.

005It wasn’t that crowded, so maybe I should have waited until everyone was out of the way. That man is not Alex. I don’t know who he is.

The other oddity to mention is a sushi place a block away that we went to a few weeks ago, actually on our way to a preseason Bengals game. I had been holding these photos and wasn’t sure whether I would post them. Most of the restaurant posts I write are to show off good places to eat and eventually compile a pretty good list useful to visitors or new veg folks. I don’t write about places I don’t like. But this seems to fit in the local oddity section, and I don’t exactly dislike it.

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Soho Sushi is a fast food sushi place. You walk up to the counter and they build the rolls right in front of you. It’s an assembly line. There’s a machine the workers fill with loose cooked rice, and it forms the rice sheets to go on the nori. Then they fill the roll with your choice of foods and place it in another machine to cut it. Finally, there’s a variety of sauces they want to douse the rolls in, and they think you’re weird if you don’t want sauce. Or sesame seeds.

Temp1_sushi2 Two vegetable rolls, 10 pieces each, $4.00 each

Not quite what you’d get from another place, but this was okay. The roll on the left includes three vegetables: asparagus, carrot, cucumber, topped with a mild wasabi sauce. The one on the right is simply avocado, carrot, and scallion, and so the roll went around several times. Can you see the green in all that rice? The worker suggested I add sweet chili sauce, which was more like a syrup.

I’m not sure I’d go back unless I needed a quick, cheap meal. The only problem I have with the rolls is that the veggie portions weren’t big enough for people like us, not getting any meats.

There’s a quote often attributed to Mark Twain (but probably never actually said by him): “When the end of the world comes, I want to be in Cincinnati because it’s always five* years behind the times.”

Sometimes that seems true, but other times it seems like Cincinnati is its own Porkopolis of a planet completely outside of the times. Has anyone else heard of grilled cheese being served with donut for bread? Or nearly automated sushi? (The link I found for the sample machine is from Australia – perhaps this is popular there?)

*The number of years in this statement varies; I’ve seen it be as many as twenty!


Soho Sushi on Urbanspoon

Friday, September 10, 2010

Seven things, give or take

1. I like getting to know bloggers. That’s one reason I read blogs instead of just looking at recipes online or using cookbooks. That’s also why I’m playing this game. I hope I’m not flattering myself in thinking that someone might be interested.

2. With it being Friday afternoon, I’m trying not to think about work. Work is off-limits (and irrelevant) for this blog, but here’s an interesting tidbit: I hate talking on the phone, but it’s how I spend the majority of my day. I also make calls for other people that I’d be too shy to do for myself.

3. I am a wannabe gardener. I’ve grown basil and mint with great success, and this year I tried to grow tomatoes and jalapenos. I started them too late.Well, the cats ate them and then I had to restart. Twice. Here’s my first two tomatoes, which may not ripen at all:

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and my first jalapeno (yes, in a container):

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4. I am not really an adventurous eater, although I do like nearly all fruits and vegetables. I’ve been trying to be more open minded about some seemingly weird combinations. It took me a long time to try a green smoothie, and now I love them. Yesterday I made a blender soup from Kristen’s Raw. This includes mango, spinach, avocado, lemon juice, ginger and cardamom. Not really the kind of thing I typically eat.

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5. I am a reluctant cat person. I never had a cat until a roommate got one, then left the cat with me when she moved out. Now I’ve had Athena for seven years. Thankfully, Alex truly is a cat person and takes good care of these guys. Me? I annoy Twinkie waking him up from nap time.

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6. We rent our house. Right now we’re both commitment-phobic about getting a real place of our own, and we’ve moved three times in as many years. Each time, we add new necessities to our dream housing list. Now I’m adding no wood paneling (even in the basement) and good wiring.

7. In college and graduate school, I spent a lot of time learning ancient Greek. What a waste of time, but an interesting factiod. I don’t use that skill now, but it was neat to see that I picked up a book of Plato and recognized the words.

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So, to pass it on… to five bloggers. This is just as difficult as coming up with my seven things! In no particular order, my Most Versatile Bloggers are:

VEGeneration, where Diana shows off her love of oatmeal (don’t roll your eyes, she makes it look good!) and her adventures around New York City as a student. Although I was vegetarian back in college, I didn’t eat nearly as well as she did. Plus she and her family have an awesome garden.

lovinlivinvegan, where Michelle documents her journey as a new vegan. I love to see her trying new things and finding foods in a small city in my home state of Tennessee. I can’t wait until she reports on her first trip to Whole Foods as a vegan!

Coffee & Sunshine, where Carissa shows off her pets as well as delicious food she whips up on the fly. She’s a passionate animal lover (yes, that’s in her bio, but I was looking for the right word – ‘cause she really is). Plus she recently moved to Nebraska. I love seeing how other people navigate cities that you wouldn’t think of as being veg-friendly.

Vegan Awakening is a blog I’ve only recently started reading, but it’s one where I started digging through the archives because I find it so interesting. Kiersten addresses some questions that come up sometimes, like when veganism is viewed as an overly restrictive diet rather than a healthy, compassionate lifestyle choice.

And that’s only four. I am super shy about these kinds of things and I don’t want to leave anyone out, but I did want to play this time. So if I didn’t mention you, it might be because you’re very open about your life already or you’re a mysterious character who frowns upon memes. Maybe you’re busy getting back to school. Here’s an offer: let me know you want to be my #5 and I’ll update this post, ok?

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Soupy Soba and Broccoli Stems

Is there any reason that the tastiest foods don’t make for good photos? Maybe cupcakes and pizza and fresh whole fruit pose well, but soups and pastas just don’t.

I might be making several soups in the next few days while Alex is recovering from having his wisdom teeth extracted. This soup, though, was something I wanted to do for me. (I’ve already made a big batch of mashed potatoes for him.) Plus it feels healthy after a bad week for food so far. Last night for Alex’s last meal before the oral surgery, he chose Macs Pizza Pub so I enjoyed another delicious vegan pizza and some Magic Hat #9.

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This soup is made from dried mushrooms and the soaking liquid, plus all my favorite soup vegetables, like cremini slices, carrots, celery, nappa cabbage, and broccoli.

I even used the broccoli stems, which I’ve never done before. I peeled them and sliced them like carrots – they were perfect and not too tough as I had always thought. I finished off the soup with some white miso, bean sprouts, and sriracha.

How did I forget to mention the soba noodles? I was worried that these noodles would soak up all my broth and become mushy, but they were perfect soup noodes.

I wanted to make this quick as I’m headed into work for a half day today, but I’m honored to have received a Most Versatile Blogger award from Bianca and Vegan Crunk. Super! I’ll think of a few things to share about myself and a few bloggers to pass this along to soon. Can you handle the suspense?