Sunday, December 26, 2010

Merry Belated Christmas!

And a very belated happy Hanukkah!

I don't like blogging without pictures, which is the reason I'll blame for the long stretch of time with no posts. Though I bought a new memory card to replace mine back in the beginning of December, so really my excuses don't hold strong.

What's happened since I last posted? Well, I went to Seattle with Jess Scone. She had to go for work purposes, so I was ecstatic to tag along for a free hotel and gas money. I had been wanting to go for another visit and it's fun to go with another (vegan) food enthusiast. It was also nice to meet a couple new vegans/fellow PPKers while there.

I also went to the penis of America. AKA Florida. My hometown is Sarasota and I spent a week there, hanging out with mom, some with dad and some with friends. Unfortunately, the 80 degree weather that my mom was bragging about when I bought my ticket disappeared while I was there. Dang cold front. I'm happy to report that though it got warmer after I left, the last week has been cold again. (I'm happy because at least I have the comfort of knowing it wasn't warm during Christmas when my mom would've had me come.) The vegan scene in my hometown is definitely wanting, but it's getting better each visit. Though most of it leans towards the raw foods.

I did have a soup and salad at Simon's Coffeehouse. This is a place that's been in Sarasota for a long time, but for some reason I've never really gone. I mean, I went once several years ago, but not since. I heard they use vegan sausage and have tofu scrambles for breakfast. Unfortunately, I went with my mom for lunch. Fewer options, which is weird, no?

I got the soup simply called Green. It was a slightly salty soup of spinach and some other pureed greens. I quite liked it, actually.

The salad was the Thai Tofu special salad of the day. i had to get it with a balsamic vinaigrette instead of the creamy (nonvegan) thai dressing that went with it. The sprouts were a little odd with that mix, but all in all, not bad. The seedy bread that came with it was an end piece and pretty tough. I had a little salad left over. This was $9.95. I would've thought $8.95 would be more reasonable.

While at home my mom made some cinnamon rolls for me. She always has bread starter (or so it seems) and makes cinnamon swirl bread often. She made cinnamon rolls using the Earth Balance she bought for me and then also didn't butter the tops of the cinnamon bread she made.

Time to rise!

The middle piece was mine, all mine!

I would have to say that this is the first time (that I recall, anyways) my mom has offered to make me something vegan. I really appreciated it. This trip my mom was very awesome about going to places that had vegan options, as well.

We went to the Saturday Farmer's Market.

My mom in the crowd.

I was happy to see such a bustling farmer's market. I guess it was probably more bustling since it was so close to Christmas.

After walking around the market, we stopped at the nearby Whole Foods for lunch. Which is where I got this donut:
It wasn't the best donut ever, it was a little dry/old, but I'm sure that if I didn't have the likes of Sweetpea Baking or Voodoo Donuts I would be ever so happy to have these at my grasp.

I did try going to the beach on the warmest day, but it was a no-go. I was there for 10 minutes and was cold in my shorts and hoodie, my towel draped over my legs.

Sad face.

As always, I'm excited to come home to Florida, but always ready to come back to the Pacific Northwest, my new home.

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Tofurky Feast

(Took pictures, they will eventually come!!)

I was excited to get asked to try out the whole Vegetarian Feast from Hood River, Oregon's Turtle Islands Food Company. (I just found out they spell is Tofurky, not Tofurkey...which is kinda weird, no?) I've had the Tofurky Roast before, just not with all the fixin's.

At $15.99 (the price at Fred Meyer), this 2lb stuffed roast feast is supposed to feed 6 people. Included is Giblet Gravy, a wishbone made of jerky, and (new this year!) is Amy's Kitchen Chocolate Cake. Not included: mashed potatoes. Sad face for this girl who didn't have potatoes to make some mashed taters.

I didn't thaw it for the suggested 24 hours, but it was close enough for me to follow the thawed out directions. They give 2 marinade options for those of us who can't think of one ourselves (me!). I picked the olive oil, soy sauce and sage one. I surrounded the roast with some onion, carrots and sweet potato. After about an hour and a half, it was ready to eat.

Right after I put the roast in, I started in on the chocolate cake loaf. (I hadn't eaten breakfast yet!) This moist chocolate cake reminds me of the sheet cake my mom used to make and top with white frosting. It's not a lot of cake, but I guess after eating a large Thanksgiving smorgasboard meal that we're used to here in the States, a small slice of chocolate cake will hit the sweet spot. Final thought on the cake: yuuuuuuum! (gah, I just ate some more of it! yum!)

The first time I had Tofurky Roast I didn't much care for it. I tried it again after I found them on sale for cheap after the holidays. They are LOADED with protein, it's crazy! For real, 1/6 of the roast is 42grams! The roast grew on me though. The texture is a tad bit on the rubbery side, but, if I may say, in a pleasant way. If you're not into realistic fake meat, you may not care for this. It does have a turkey-like consistency. I found the "meat" to be (...for lack of a better word that doesn't gross me out) moist.

The stuffing inside is pretty good as well. It's nice that it's included so that you have one less side to make. If you're looking for something to replace turkey, I think it does a pretty good job. I never was huge on turkey and my family didn't do the turkey-carving-at-the-table thing (they cooked the turkey and took it off the carcass and had it piled onto a plate, so perhaps that's why I don't worry about replacing it on Thanksgiving). I do, however, love fake meat! Give me a Boca burger over a Gardenburger Original any day! The more realistic, the better! My, how I miss the faux chicken pieces that Food Fight! used to sell...sadly, the manufacturer stopped making them...

Oh, the gravy! Hm. It was too salty for my tastes, which is strange since I like salt! Perhaps if it was on top of some mashed potatoes, it would nicely even out the saltiness.

I haven't gotten to try out the wishbone yet, but I love the idea! And that you can eat it after you've pulled it apart!

I'm a big fan of many of Tofurky's products. Trader Joe's carries their italian sausages and their smoked turkey deli slices, so handy. I think these feasts are great for those who want a replacement for the turkey or chicken that is traditionally part of a holiday meal. It does feel weird when you're surrounded by the nonvegetarians and you're not able to partake of, what feels like, the main part of a meal. And if you don't feel like making a roast yourself (if you traveled, don't have time, lazy, procrastinator, etc), this is a great option!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

i've decided to be the worst MoFoer ever.

I think I may have decided to quit. Yeah, it's only been 13 days and I'm quitting. See, my camera has decided to hang on to a video I made and now it won't let me even play it (it doesn't even show that it's there, it's only when I connect to my computer does it say it exists) and then it refuses to upload the pictures I have on it. This is the second fucking (sorry, ma) time this has happened to me!!! This is my second memory card. I don't feel like buying a new one. Does anyone know how to fix this?

I just have been really uninspired, foodwise, lately and don't think I want to try and pressure myself into continually blogging for MoFo. I think blogs without pictures aren't as fun and I don't want to continue being unfun.

Most of the reason I feel uninspired is that I've been living with my sister since February and still am not truly comfortable in her kitchen. I never feel like cooking in it. All I ever make is sauteed tofu and vegetables with some grain. I'm also bad at taking pictures of food I eat. This is due to the fact that I feel like every time I load pictures onto my computer I'm bogging it down. It's old and doesn't have much memory...

Yeah, I have lots of excuses. Sorry.

I'm sure I'll post one or two by the end of the month, but I'm going to just take the pressure off myself.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Shoes, how I love thee, let me count the ways...

Sadly, I can't find a pair of boots -that I like and that fit my skinny calves- to save my life! I do own a pair of Rocketdog boots:

They don't really fit like I want them to. I can't wear them with skirts because of how loose they are around my chicken legs. They're not slouchy-cute, they're slouchy-stupid.

But I have better luck with other types of shoes. I own at least 4 pairs of the ubiquitous Chucks. The reason there are 4 pair, by the way, is that 2 pairs of them have holes in the sole so I can't wear them when it's been raining/is raining. As you know, Portland isn't known for it's dryness.

My favorite shoe brand is BC Footwear. They're not all vegan, but they have had a lot of cute shoes. Samples of such that I have had the pleasure of owning:

Michelle C's cute vegan Saucony's on the left, my beloved BC's (RIP) on the right

I love this pair, I'm wearing my brown pair right now...

Yes, I have 2 pair of the same shoes in brown and in black. There's a good reason for this! My sister and I found these shoes on sale in a Delia's catalog and we each got a pair, but hers were too small (and they didn't have the half size larger she needed), therefore I got both. The black ones now have a hole in the sole and so no longer are wearable in the rain...sad face.

Ok, now, I have 2 pairs of another BC this might seem like I have a problem. It does sound like it. BUT! These shoes are so cute! I thought I found them in a better color, so I had to get the second pair when I saw them at Buffalo Exchange, a used clothing and shoe store.

They're the ones at the end. Man, I love the red ones even more than the ones I have!

So I initially got them in navy patent pleather...then found them in a white and black striped fabric. Both have the white wedge. I've never worn the white and black stripe pair and have only worn the navy ones once. It's sad, I love them so, but never feel like they go with anything I wear.

I own 2 pairs of the same kind of Vans, one in Citrus (Florida native represent!) and the other in an awesome green (they were on sale!). I easily find tennis shoes, it seems. I also find Chuck's to be really comfortable, so I'm fortunate. I hike and work in them, no problem.

I love checking in at Ross, Marshalls, Payless and the like for vegan shoes. I haven't found any lately, but I it's always the surprise of a good shoe find that keeps me going. I currently have banned myself from buying any black colored flats. I, sadly, lost my favorite pair of flats about 6 months ago. They were red, from Target, and awesome.

Online store:
Lulu's - they even have the vegan shoes tagged
Zappos - I had an expensive experience recently and now don't ever want to buy from an online place that doesn't do free shipping to you and return shipping.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Not just about food.

For most vegans, veganism isn't all about food, it's also about not wearing animal products. For some reason, vegetarians aren't as into this belief. I asked my sister, a pescatarian, aka seafood-eating vegetarian, about this. She buys leather shoes, but wasn't interested in buying a leather couch (I believe that's because the fabric doesn't need to be as sturdy..or something). She says it's because leather shoes last a lot longer than man-made materials and (I think she said this) that the cows were already being killed for their meat. I was once when of those vegetarians that didn't think about leather, but now I wonder why I didn't. What about becoming vegan gets someone thinking more about what they're wearing?

I think your opinion about this matter depends a lot on why you abstain from the animal products you do. If you're eating vegetarian/vegan for health reasons, obviously you're not going to care about wearing leather or not. And if part of the reason is for environmental reasons...well, I'm not sure what the effect of man-made materials are on the Earth. I would say that from I've read, leather doesn't sound that much better.

What has your experience been with this subject matter?

In upcoming posts I will post about where I buy my vegan shoes, etc. But, for now, I must go, my job calls!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

My Favorite Vegan Bloggers

I look at a lot of blogs on the regular. Several of them have nothing to do with food, most are about everyday lives. I like those best. I like to see what people are doing and eating.

Here's some of my favorites:

1. Awesome. Vegan. Rad. - she's a fellow PPKer and I wish I could hang out with her. Her blog posts are interesting and funny. They're what I wish mine were.

2. GetSconed - another fellow PPKer and I do hang out with her. She posts many recipes and lots of pictures of her food life. She's a vegan that's involved in several vegan-centered activities, such as Vegan Iron Chef and the upcoming Vida Vegan Conference here in Portland!

3. Joanna Vaught - Yeah, another PPKer...There's not a lot of vegan bloggers who aren't on the PPK, it would seem. Joanna is a friend of mine as well. We bonded over "cycles" of America's Next Top Model and I even landed myself on the cover of her cookbook (headless), Yellow Rose Recipes. On her blog, she talks about her favorite things/books/etc, her adorable son Milo and food. She also has a beautiful yellow rose tattoo on her forearm that I love.

There are just a few, perhaps I'll do another posting of some others a little later.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Ye Olde Vegan MoFo Standby: Questionnaire

If you know me even somewhat well (like, if you were ever my Myspace or Facebook friend...or read this blog), you'll know that I love questionnaires! Perhaps because I am horrible at coming up with things to just write about willy-nilly...

Anyways, I was reading through my Google Reader feed at MoFo posts and came across Singer Eats post that had a questionnaire and decided to do it too.

What is one food you thought you’d miss when you went vegan, but don’t?

Cheese. Usually. I don't think there's anything that I 100% don't miss. I just don't miss it as much as I thought I would. Brie and feta were two of my favorite cheeses and are hard to replace with vegan versions. I'm fine without and I don't spend time all my time thinking about stuff I'm not eating anymore, but, on occasion, it's missed.

What is a food or dish you wouldn’t touch as a child, but enjoy now?

Hm. I don't think I was a very particular child when it came to food. (Mom?) I don't remember ever pushing away food, it's more like I had my favorites and stuck to those. I wasn't exposed to a huge variety of foods growing up. My mom had her repertoire of dishes and didn't experiment much with her cooking. Oh, actually, I do remember making a gross face when my sister and mom would eat asparagus! Surprising since asparagus are such a fun looking veggie.

What vegan dish or food you feel like you “should” like, but don’t?

I dislike flowers in my baked goods and cooked dishes. The idea of lavender or rose disgusts me and they seem to be everywhere!

What beverage do you consume the most of on any given day?

Probably water, but just barely beating out the other stuff I drink on a given day.

What dish are you “famous” for making or bringing to gatherings?

Probably cake/cupcakes, but that's only when it's a birthday. I get really lazy/procrastinator for potlucks and end up bringing alcohol.

Do you have any self-imposed food rules (like no food touching on the plate or no nuts in sweets)?

No raisins in oatmeal cookies, it's a tease! you think they're chocolate chips and then you bite into the cookie...sigh...

What’s one food or dish you tend to eat too much of when you have it in your home?

Dr. Pepper.

What ingredient or food do you prefer to make yourself despite it being widely available prepackaged?

Umm...baked tofu, I guess. It seems hideously overpriced.

What ingredient or food is worth spending the extra money to get “the good stuff”?


Are you much of a snacker? What are your favorite snacks?

Lately, I've been getting into prunes, they're so yummy! Dried plums makes them sound so much tastier, no? Also, peanut butter and jelly, apples with peanut butter, soy yogurt with rolled oats-sunflower seeds-pumpkin seeds-flax meal, various baked goods from vegan bakeries here in Portland.

What are your favorite vegan pizza toppings?

nutritional yeast, vegan sausage or faux pepperoni, mushrooms, roasted garlic cloves

What is your favorite vegetable? Fruit?

veggie: kale. fruit: avocado!

What is the best salad dressing?

Goddess- i use it on the grain/bean/greens bowls i make, so yum!

What is your favorite thing to put on toasted bread?

Earth Balance.

What kind of soup do you most often turn to on a chilly day or when you aren’t feeling your best?

Veganomicon's Chickpea Noodle

What is your favorite cupcake flavor? Frosting flavor?

I like plain vanilla. For both really. But not always some reason I can't think of a flavored frosting or cupcake that I like better than vanilla...

What is your favorite kind of cookie?

I really have been diggin' the Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip ones from Vegan Cookies Invade.

What is your most-loved “weeknight meal”?

The aforementions grain/beans/green bowl. So easy, so healthy, so good!

What is one dish or food you enjoy, but can’t get anyone else in your household to eat?

I don't think I have that problem.

How long, in total, do you spend in the kitchen on an average day?
Depends, anywhere from 10 minutes to 1 hour.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Oh, hi, November 3!

Yeah, it's 3 days into Vegan Month of Food and this is my first post. But, hey, it could be worse! So, so much worse...

As ever, I don't have a theme (at the moment) that I'm going with, but it's going be whatever's knocking around my brain. If you have any suggestions, bring it!

I'm going to start with a post about the most beautiful bunch of lacinato -aka dinosaur- kale (which I've been misspelling and, therefore, mispronouncing...I've been saying lacinto...) I ever laid eyes on.

See how beautiful and crisp it is?? Well, perhaps you can't, but I promise you, it was lovely. Also, it was bugless, none of those pesky aphids to convince to rinse off. I got this bunch from the Farmers Market and I don't remember what booth I got them from, so not sure if it was organic, no spray, or what. Most likely not organic though since they normally have little bugs on them...

Anyways, I decided to use some of them for a scramble:

The above is onion, garlic, Anaheim pepper, a little Tamari, thyme, oregano and extra firm tofu. And probably some s&p.

The final product: kale and broccoli added towards the end. A piece of Dave's Killer (and he's not lying, it's the best bread ever!) Bread with some Earth Balance. I always top my tofu sautes with some nutritional yeast and hot sauce (Chalupa and Srirachi being my favorites).

I would love some suggestion for a flavor helper! I like these scrambles of mine, but they're not something I would serve to others because the flavor is a bit...blah.

Today was a sunny, beautiful day in Portland, I hope yours was too! I need to go get ready to hang out with a friend at Tube (vegan ham and cheese!! boozy vegan milkshakes! $2 well drinks!)...

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Vegan Month of Food begins...tomorrow!

Every fall Vegan MoFo asks us vegan bloggers to blog the most that we can blog. Every year, I've gotten better at it. As in, I blog more times, not that my posts get better...
But so far, the most I've done is half the month. Let's just see if I can do better this time, shall we?

Click on to the above link for the hundreds of blogs that are participating this year! I love reading tons of blogs! Hopefully I won't be hungry when I do because it makes my stomach make hungry noises...

And a photo of me and my niecepup Matilda. We enjoy spending time together under the warmth of covers.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

GoodBelly (Plus!)

I've been finding myself in poor health this last month or so, with various ailments coming and going. I've always considered myself to be "healthy as a horse" (wtf kind of phrase is that??) and have never been to the hospital, just urgent care for a 4 wheeler accident and the normal chicken pox crap. Oh, and I have back problems, but, really, I rarely get sick.

So for one ailment or another, I decided I wanted to take some probiotics. I haven't been eating a lot of (vegan) yogurt, so a supplement seemed necessary. I got some vegetarian cap Acidophilus, but decided to also buy some GoodBelly Plus, which is found with yogurts and the like in the fridge at your local grocer (though if they don't even carry soy yogurt at your local grocer, you're probably shit outta luck). I've tried GoodBelly before and I really enjoy their packaging and interesting flavors. This time I picked the Pomegranate Blackberry (looking online I realize I now have tried them all but the Strawberry). The "Plus" is the added vitamins and minerals, which includes 100% of both your B12 and Vit C. Flavorwise, I don't think this one was my favorite. The two flavors with berries kinda taste the same to me. I think the Mango may be my favorite. I wish they were less sweet, but you can't complain they taste gross. They're fruity and drinkable.

My favorite part about this product is the container. I think it's very Europeanesque. And, really, how can you resist a container that is smiling at you???

These little guys are about $1 a piece, so as a multi-vitamin with probiotics (20 billion "at time of manufacture" perhaps some are dead by consumption?), it's not that pricey, but I think I would prefer a pill for everyday.

I would like to try some of their other products, such as GoodBelly Splash and their family sized quarts. The quart sized have about 21 grms of sugar per serving, so a little more than I'd like in my juice, but not as much as I get when I'm guzzling the sweet nectar of the gods.

Just an FYI, this wasn't free. I did this product review of my own volition and money.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Nature's Path Gluten Free Cereals

Vanilla to the max!

I was given two samples of Nature's Path's new gluten free cereals. I have an on and off love affair with breakfast cereals. I'll eat it everyday for weeks and then I'll get sick of it and not eat it for at least a few weeks, if not months. I have been dabbling with eating less gluten and so this offer of free gluten free cereal excited me.

My first taste of both was a dry run, if you will. It was in my car when I picked up my salmonella-poisoned sister from Urgent Care and she thought she should eat something, so we opened them both up. Kim's opinion: Gross. My first, initial, opinion: Meh. But they grew on me! The Whole O's practically have no sweetness to them (actual nutrition facts: 4gm sugar per 2/3 that much?) and the taste But the more I ate them, the more I wanted to pop the little spheres in my piehole.

The Crunchy Vanilla Sunrise was a bit better initially. Again, it grew on me. I think I've mentioned before that I am suspicious of vanilla flavor in cereals. It usually comes off as too vanilla-y to me. I ate some of this with plain soymilk and thought it was good but that the vanilla flavor could be kicked down a I took the flavorless Whole O's and added them to the mix and it was good! It just evened out the vanillaness a bit. I've enjoyed bowls of the merry mix now, it makes a lovely snack or breakfast!

Thank you to Nature's Path for the free boxes of cereal! Thank you for making gluten free products for my celiac friends and for those trying to eat less of gluten!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Pizza Time!


Hey, y'all! I'm back with a review of Tofurkey's new pizzas. I got a coupon for a free one and so I picked up the Italian Sausage & Fire Roasted Veggie. People rave about Daiya cheese, but I'm one of those nonravers. I don't hate it, but I don't see how it's better than Teese or Follow Your Heart. I also think they should do thicker shreds because, normally, it has such a weird thin look when I see it on pizzas. I'm not sure if that makes sense, but perhaps you've seen what I'm talking about...

Anyways, the pizza was good. Not great. Not something I would spend $9, usually. I can see myself splurging on this in certain situations. It does have a lot of toppings and I think it's a bit bigger than your average small frozen pizza (But my memory could be wrong).

I dislike pizzas where the toppings and sauce go to the edge of the pie, which Tofurkey has done. It's a bit of a pet peeve of mine. I used to work at Hot Lips Pizza and the owner insisted on doing that. Personally, I like having a place to grip where my hands won't get messy. I also like pizza bones, you know, the crust, nice and plain. If I didn't want pizza bones I would order it Sicilian style or something!

Final Thoughts: Good in a pinch, but my homemade pizzas (made with the fantastic dough from Hot Lips here in Portland) kinda kick their ass...But when have you thought otherwise about a frozen pizza? I do love using Tofurkey's sausages on my pie, so they're still getting my money! :o)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Vega Shake & Go Smoothie

I was given a free sample of Vega's new line of Shake & Go Smoothie. Or should I say, "smoothie"? I'm just not able to call something a smoothie if it's not a frozen treat where ice or frozen fruit is involved. Shake, yes, smoothie, nah. Out of the 4 flavors (Bodacious Berry, Tropical Tango, Choc-o-lot, Vanilla Almondilla), I chose Tropical Tango. The 300gr pouches of the product retails at $23.95 and are available online.

Forewarning: I have never had a protein/supplement powder that I have actually liked and used continually.

It took me awhile to finally try the product. I love the idea that I can just shake it up with some water and go, especially when I haven't felt like cooking in the a.m. as of late, but these types of products don't get me excited. I don't have a lot of luck with them tasting great and something needs to taste great (or my life has to depend on it) for me to continue using something. I tried this product twice and I couldn't get over the texture. The flavor wasn't bad, it was totally doable, but there was a bit of grittiness to the smoothie. Perhaps I didn't shake it enough? What I did learn was that it gets really gross looking if you let it sit around for awhile, this is because it consists of xanthan gum.

I did give the Tropical Tango to a friend who was really interested in trying it. She had this to say:
It is great in yogurt with a banana, but it is not great w/ soy/rice/almond milk b/c it is too sweet. I haven't tried it w/ water but the sour quality of plain yogurt seems to cut down on some of the 'starburst-sweet' quality. I like it, the bag style is convenient, and I keep it in my lunch sack and when my blood sugar starts to drop at work I mix a little into a container of yogurt and it stabilizes the blood sugar much better than using just yogurt alone, actually almost as well as a high protein animal source like cheese. I would recommend it for anyone with blood sugar issues who needs pick me ups through out the day and doesn't want to use protein bars (I think this would be healthier and cheaper). anyway, thanks for the sample, it is great to have at work!

I think it's a great idea to put it in some yogurt, much better than plain water. Have you tried it? What do you think?

Thanks to the Vega people for the sample! I appreciate you guys making healthy vegan products!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

French Meadow Woman's Bread Review

I was given a coupon for one free French Meadow product. I have had a couple of their products in the past. If you're looking for good soft, fluffy bread for sandwiches, such as your childhood favorite, the peanut butter and jelly, you will want to look elsewhere. For dense, healthy-tasting bread, French Meadow's your best friend. Previously, i had tried their Hemp Bread and their Hemp Bagels. Neither was horrible tasting, but they're definitely not for the faint of heart. Dense, y'all!

I was at Whole Foods when I remembered I had their coupon. The selection at this Whole Foods was actually not that great. I looked in both the fridge and the freezer and they seemed to only have 4 varieties, 2 of which had just come in that day. I guess 4 isn't a bad number, I was just hoping to have a pick of pretty much everything French Meadow sells. Anyways, I chose the Woman's Bread, since Men's Bread seemed silly to get (since I'm a woman and all) and the other options were of the hemp variety.

So, the Woman's Bread...I toasted slices for breakfast and snack times and smeared with jam or Earth Balance. This bread isn't very sweet, even with it's inclusion of cranberries (actually, now that I think about it, cranberries are only sweet once you add sugar to them and I'm pretty sure these were straight up cranberries, with no sugar added.) and then it's also not savory enough for me to want to put veggies on it, like cucumber or tomato slices on it. This bread was formulated when the owner of the bakery didn't want to take hormone replacement therapy after a hysterectomy and decided to get phytoestrogen from soy isoflavones. This is what I don't like about the bread: soy that I don't want. I already think I eat plenty of soy as it is. I've actually been trying to eat less of it by switching to a different kind of nondairy milk. I feel like this bread is for nonvegetarian women whose diets don't tend to include much tofu and tempeh.

As I've said previously, this isn't sandwich bread. I think it's an all right bread, but I doubt I'll ever buy it. I'm still going to stick with Dave's Killer Bread, which is made locally and is perfect for sandwiches and toast alike. Oh, and cheaper.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Owl Necklace Giveaway!

Not on my blog, but this one!
Fingers crossed, y'all!!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Helen's Kitchen, Part One

A few months back I noticed Helen's Kitchen products in the freezer of a grocery store I was at and I was intrigued. So I was happy when I heard that they (or a PR person) wanted to send me coupons to try out a couple products. I picked up GardenSteak TofuSteaks and the entree Thai Red Curry. Not all of their products are vegan, so keep that in my mind when purchasing.

The first item I tried was the Thai Red Curry. It's a small entree so, thankfully, I was not completely famished and this filled me up just right. It's all organic, gluten free, gmo free and has 13 grams of protein in it. The red curry sauce was the perfect amount of spice for me (I'm just a bit on the wussy side of spicy). The TofuSteak chunks are extra extra firm and have a nice slight chicken-y flavor (the TofuSteaks come in both regular and "chicken"). The peas and butternut squash in this are tasty as well. I actually really enjoyed this meal, but, honestly, I'm unsure if I'd buy this if choosing a frozen meal. It's mainly because if I'm going to get Thai food, I'm going to head over and pick some awesome to-go at Pad Thai Kitchen. When eating frozen, I tend to go for nonAsian dishes. Just my preference, I guess.

Have any of you tried their stuff? I look forward to trying the TofuSteaks! I love love love firm tofu!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Vegan Iron Chef

On Sunday, June 6 Try Vegan is hosting an event in Portland called Vegan Iron Chef. Yes, it's exactly what it sounds like. Tickets are all sold out, but there will be live-streaming!

The chefs:
Aaron Adams from Portobello Trattoria- yum! All new restaurant opening in a few weeks!
Quasu AsaaseYaa of Asaase Ital Palace- a food cart which I hear is delicious!
Wes Hannah of Blossoming Lotus- killer Sunday brunch menu and I hear the 4 "Cheese" Lasagna is amazing!

vegan chefs are dreamy...

If you watch the live streaming, look for me! I'm the judge (or chef...can't remember) liaison and will getting whatever they need so may end up on camera a little bit.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

More Teese, please!

This weekend I had a great birthday celebration vacation with some friends in preparation of my big 30th birthday on Wednesday. It's nuts that I've lived in Portland for over 5 years now, but what it's even more nuts is that I no longer will be in my 20s!! It's not that I don't like getting older, I'm totally fine with it. It's that I don't feel like I thought I would at this age. I still haven't had, what I would consider, a real adult relationship. I haven't had someone I called my "boyfriend" since I was 18. I have definitely matured a bit, but I would say I feel more like I'm 25. And I definitely look less than 25. Well, at least when you don't see the darkish circles under my eyes... :o)

But you're not here to read about my circles, or my feelings, right? Right! So back to food. After I received the 2 small (but still a lot) tubes of Teese a couple months ago, I received an email saying they (Chicago Soy Dairy) were sending me a tube of their new formulated Mozzarella style Teese. It's supposed to be less liquidy after it melts and to be more stretchy. I did notice my first tube of Mozzarella had been a bit liquidy after it was melted, so I looked forward to testing this new one out.

The time to test came when we decided on making pizzas for Saturday dinner. None of my friends that came to the weekend are vegan and I had deemed this an all vegan weekend because there's nothing better than being able to eat *anything* (which is why I love vegan potlucks so much!) and not have to ask if something's vegan, etc. Some friends made the pizza dough and pizza sauce and for toppings we had: fresh asparagus, sauteed onions, mushrooms, zucchini, Tofurkey Italian Sausages, shredded Mozza Teese, fresh tomatoes, kalamata olives (I didn't partake of the pizza with those awful things on it). Of course, there was optional hot sauces and nooch. Johnny made 5 pies total and did an assortment of pies. My favorite was asparagus, sausage, zucchini, onions and Teese. It was so good!!! I wouldn't consider the Teese stretchy exactly, but I enjoyed it on my pie, it held the ingredients on to the crust. One friend didn't even think about it til afterwards that the cheese wasn't the real stuff. Two of my friends thought it tasted good uncooked, though I disagree. I wouldn't waste eating it raw when I could eat on a pizza!

Unfortunately, I forgot to take close up shots of the pizza, but shoot on over to Jess Sconed and check hers out!

Johnny & Amanda- makers of pizza pie!

Thanks to Chicago Soy Dairy for the awesome samples!!!

Friday, April 30, 2010

New Blog & A Review

I've been ignoring this blog a bit, somewhat due to that I now have another blog. I had been discussing with a friend that I frequent coffee shops with about how I was thinking of starting a fashion blog. So many times I'm looking online at online shopping, fashion blogs, etc and I think "what the eff??" and I feel the need to show someone else what crazy thing I have seen. So I've been posting links on my Twitter, but I don't get much feedback from that and you can only fit so much in 140 characters and I feel annoying if I post several posts in a row. While I was discussing this with my friend I got the fun idea that we could co-host a blog together. I have a friend that does a blog with a penpal of his. It's like they're talking back and forth to each other, a conversation in photographs and art that they've done. But this way I could also interact with whoever else was interested. So 'anchor and crow' was born...So far I'm the only that has posted, but I hope soon (nudge, nudge) Miss Crow will post something.

This, my dear readers, is a delicious vegan frozen dinner. I've been really diggin' fried plantains as of late (Mostly from a great dining experience at the food cart Fuego de Lotus). Description of product:
Plantains with roasted sweet potato, black beans and kale. Spicy ancho sauce with pumpkin seed garnish over Kashi seven whole grain polenta, plus amaranth.

I tried amaranth for the first time a few months ago. It kinda looks like a smaller version of quinoa. Mine ended up pretty gloppy, but I think it's supposed to actually stay separate. I don't love love love it, but it's not gross. It's eatable and knowing that it's very good for me persuades me to continue eating it.

I was surprised by how much I liked this. If stars were given, I would probably give 4 out of 5.

If it's on sale, I'll definitely buy it again for those desperate times when I don't have any food prepared and don't feel like making any.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Teese Experiment #2

As I mentioned a week or two ago, I received 2 types of Chicago Soy Dairy's Teese to play around with. This past week I did something with my Mozzarella style. I had some cremini mushrooms to use up and also had some Gimme Lean sausage on hand, so I decided upon Baked Stuffed Mushrooms with Sausage & Mozzarella. I didn't follow it exactly. I didn't have green onions and I didn't use any faux Parmesan (even though I had some...I think I just forgot to put it in). I didn't have Italian Seasoning, but had the separate ingredients and I may have added thyme. What I love about this recipe is that it allows you to input how many servings (which for this recipe equates to how many mushrooms you have) and then it changes the recipe for you so there's no thinking "hmm, what is 2/3 of 1.5 teaspoons?" They do all the work for you!) Also, I added some s & p.

I didn't love this recipe, but I did like the mozzarella Teese! I noticed that the more I used, the better it tasted! If I used this recipe again next time I would use less sausage and add some bread crumbs. Oh, and more mozza Teese!

Yesterday, I made another dish with the mozzarella Teese. I had no recipe this time and just used up the veggies that were going bad in my fridge with some marinating tofu also needed usin' up. The tofu had been marinating in tamari, water, sage, rosemary and nooch. I sauteed some leek, garlic, red bell pepper and the tofu in olive oil and after it was done cooking I grated some of the mozza into it and stirred it up. I put a piece of Good Seed bread in the toaster oven with a couple slices of the mozza, then plated it up, piling the tofu/veggie mix on top. I enjoyed this quite a bit! Next time I would add more mozza and perhaps some kind of gravy. Yum!

I definitely think this is the best mozzarella vegan cheese I've had so far! I look forward to making a panini sandwich with it with some pesto and summer-fresh tomato!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Eggplant Burger

Eggplant Burger with a side of my mom's favorite, lima beans!

So I finally got to the other eggplant product by the folks at Dominex! Woot! Finally!

Well, so there's the Eggplant Burger. I put it on a slightly toasted whole wheat bun with some vegenaise, ketchup, yellow mustard, lettuce and a piece of Tofutti "American" cheese. I didn't realize that this was going to be a like a Boca patty, as in, meaty soy product. For some reason I didn't get that idea from reading the box, but I didn't read it very carefully and I just glanced at the ingredients and didn't really think of it. I thought it was going to be, like, 98% eggplant....which I thought sounded kinda weird. So when I was cooking it on the skillet in a little oil, I was, like, oh, it's just a fake meat patty with some eggplant thrown into the mix.

Flavorwise, not impressed. It tastes a bit off and it's definitely not as good as Boca, which is one of my favorites. The texture is fine and since my nose has been stuffy and my memory is bad, I don't have anything to say about the smell.

Yeah, this burger did nothing for me except give me some nutrition.

The lima beans are frozen from Grocery Outlet, I think they were Green Giant but I can't find any proof online about that. I believe they were 99 cents. You take them out of the box and put them in the microwave for 5-6 minutes and walah! Ready to eat limas! Semi-dry tasting, just as I remember from my youth!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Green Chili Cheese Grits

*Cilantro for looks only

I am one of the many bloggers that are participating in the Teese vegan cheese challenge. I was able to choose which of the flavors I wanted (we picked a back up flavor, they ended up giving us both, which so awesome!) and then were asked to make something that really hadn't been done before.

The flavors I got were Mozzarella and Nacho Sauce. First up: Nacho!

I thought and thought, trying to come up with something I hadn't seen yet. And based on the google search for recipes, this isn't something that's come up lot. Perhaps it's because there's only a small population of people out there who actually like grits.

I normally only see cheddar cheese in Cheese Grits, but I thought the Nacho would give a nice mexi flavor. This is the recipe I ended up with:

3 cups water
3/4 cups quick cooking grits (I used white)
2 garlic cloves, put through a garlic press (roasted garlic would probs be alot better)
2 green chilies from a can, chopped small
2-3 T nooch
fresh ground pepper
1/2 t red pepper flakes
Teese nacho cheese sauce (a 1/4 of the small tube...maybe 1/4 cup?)

I boiled the water, the lower heat to simmer and put in the grits, salt and garlic. Whisk, leave uncovered and stir occasionally for about 5-7 minutes. Stir in the rest of the ingredients and top with hot sauce if desired.

Personally, this isn't my favorite. I think I would prefer it with a non-nacho cheese, but I am going to try it again tomorrow because I believe time will make the flavor better. It's not bad, but it's just not something I'm excited about. Perhaps it could also use some baking? The cheese has an odd smell to it, like an artificial smell, that I found a bit disconcerting. But it didn't taste weird. I would like to try it as a melted queso sauce and will perhaps try other things with my leftovers of it. Do you have any suggestions?? Also, suggestions for the mozzarella?? I'm thinking of stuffing mushrooms with it..

Update, next day: I just ate a delicious breakfast burrito that consisted of the chili cheese grits, avocado, sauteed Gimme Lean sausage, green pepper and onion. So yum!! Also, the grits do taste better with a little aging (doesn't that look misspelled?)!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Butter Pee-can

I came across Soy Dream's new flavor, Butter Pecan, at Fred Meyer's tonight and I was feeling old (have you ever heard a 5 year old ask for some Butter Pecan ice cream? I didn't think so...), so I bought some. My sister, our housemate Helena and I usually watch the new episode of Greek on Tuesday nights together, so I thought ice cream (I mean, non dairy frozen dessert*) would be a nice accompaniment. Helena was missing, but Kim and I dug into the pint of Butter Pecan. We thought it was good, especially when you had a lot of pecan pieces, but it wasn't great. I don't think it's something I would buy again unless it was very on sale. It's just that with the greatness of Trader Joe's/Double Rainbow Soy Very Cherry Chip, you feel ripped off when something else you bought just doesn't make you as swoony. It makes me wish they had more flavors at Trader Joe's. The problem with the Butter Pecan was the soybeany aftertaste and the ice cream didn't have the luscious creaminess that Double Rainbow's has. 

I give this 3 out of 5 stars.

* Did you know that in America, your product has to be at least 10% milk fat for it to be legally called "ice cream"? Stupid. To me, that's like saying you can't call a vegan sausage a sausage because it doesn't have real meat in it. I've encountered people who have gotten up in arms about the ice cream thing (I'm talking to you, commenter dude, on Grant Butler's vegan blog!). I sorta get it because you want ice cream to mean literally iced cream...but no. Actually, I don't get it. As long as it's labeled correctly, with either "non dairy" or "vegan" before the words "ice cream", why does it matter? Those words describe what it is, or trying to be. "Frozen dessert" could be anything; push pops, fudge pops, creamsicles....Ok, rant over...

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Eggplant Product Review

So a few months ago, I received some coupons to try out Dominex products. They have several products, but don't expect something without eggplants, their logo says Dominex "The Eggplant People." I'm not a huge fan of this vegetable, to me it's like cats or celery, if they disappeared from Earth, I wouldn't be upset. Ok, actually, I know quite a few cats now that I like and would be sad if they disappeared and celery is a vegetable I actually dislike, so I wouldn't say it's in the same category as eggplant, which I neither like nor dislike...So really, ignore that whole sentence...It's all to say, that currently none of my favorite things involve eggplant. But that I'm thinking about it, I do enjoy some baba ghannouj, the stuffed mini eggplants from Ya Halla's are so good, and breaded eggplant is yum. Though the last doesn't count, because have you ever had something breaded and fried that you didn't love? 

Which brings me to the first product I've tried: The Eggplant Cutlets. Aka breaded eggplant. The way I cooked them was on the stovetop and in the oven. The stovetop ended up being the preferred method. The oven ones took longer than instructed. Which is probably just the fault of the oven, but I'm not sure what the deal was and why it took so dang long. The above picture shows them (stovetop cooked) with a Cluckphrey "chicken" patty (I will blog about those soon) and whole wheat pasta with tomato sauce and nutritional yeast. They tasted good, they tasted like you think they'll taste. I added some salt on top of mine. Because I dislike making breaded eggplant myself, I would possibly buy these. If they were on sale. My friend Jess quite liked them.

I still have yet to try the Vegan Burgers that are in my freezer. I never have buns for burger-shaped foods and have this mental block where I don't like using pieces of loaf bread for burgers. Also, it doesn't seem like the type of burger that you should eat breadless. So...eventually, my dears, I will get to trying those out.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Higher Taste are makers of yum.

Last fall me and the GetSconed chick were gifted with a large amount of goods from Higher Taste, a local company that is known for it's buzzitos and hippie-healthy (for real, they put a shit-ton of shredded carrots on them and use hearty whole wheat buns) sandwiches. 

Included was the buzzitos, hummus, their deli salads, and one of their sandwiches, the Spicy TLC. The deli salads are served in various grocery store deli's and not available in the self-service area like the buzzitos and sandwiches.  

Jess took the hummus and let me have all the deli salads. Unfortunately, I got all these goodies at a time where I was unable to get to everything before their expiration date. I don't remember what was going on, but for some reason I ended up having to throw some of the stuff out. But I did try at least a bite of it when I first got it. My favorite deli salad was the Vegetarian Chicken Salad. The only thing I didn't like about the (vegan) mayo based salad was the celery. I'm a hater of celery. It has to be very finely chopped or cooked to death for me to be ok with it. They use chunks of very firm tofu as the "chicken." I enjoyed the curry goodness of the Curried Rice salad. I'm a sucker for those curry rice salads that have a nice sweet kick that comes from the addition of raisins. The Spicy Yaki Soba is just that, spicy. But as a person who's a bit of a wuss when it comes to spice, it wasn't too hot. Also, it's labeled vegan, but technically not since it's got honey in it. I'm a honey-eatin' vegan, so I didn't mind. Then there was the German Potato Salad. I thought it was...ok. Nothing to write home about. I would eat it happily if served it, but I wouldn't go out of my way for it. 

The salads are sold at the following places:
1. Both Food Front locations (NW Thurman & SW Capitol Highway)
2. Zupan's (W Burnside, SW Macadam, SE Belmont) However, at Zupans they list them as "Zupan's insert name of salad here  Salad"
3. Fred Meyer's Hawthorne 
4. Ross Island Deli
5. First Alternative Co-op in Corvallis
6. The Kiva in Eugene

I don't have anything bad to say about any of the buzzitos I had. The standout was the new Ya-hoo BBQ. The yummy BBQ sauce, the soycurls....yum! If you still haven't had soycurls, you need to get to it! Like tofu, they aren't flavored so they soak up whatever flavor you give them and they have a delightfully shredded chicken texture. (If you know me at all, you know that I love going to Taqueria Los Gorditos and order a burrito, torta, taco, whathaveyou with soycurls. They do an awesome job with the soy curls...and everything. but i digress...) The thai and teriyaki ones are sorta strange b/c it's like eating a thai or teriyaki dish wrapped in a tortilla...b/c that's what it is. Good, just weird.

My favorite sandwich is still either The Golden Slice, a fried piece of tofu with the usual shredded carrots, vegenaise, whole wheat bun, or the Bhima Power Burger, a hearty sandwich consisting of a tempeh burger with the same extras. 

You can go check out Jess's review here. Do you have a favorite Higher Taste product?

Friday, February 12, 2010

Moving day quickly approaches...

I'm in the process of moving back to Vancouver, Washington. Because some may not know, let me explain that Vancouver is really just a suburb of Portland. You cross a river (the mighty Columbia) and booya, you're there. The river crossing is actually the most annoying part. There's only 2 bridges that go over there (the other is highway 205) and traffic gets really bad from about 7:45-9:30am going into Portland and then again at 3:00-6:30pm going back to the 'Couv. It's ridiculous. I forget about it when I'm in Portland, but whenever I visit (or today, when I took a car load of boxes) and I'm like, crap, this sucks. Today I left at 2:40pm and the traffic was already shitty. I believe this happened so early because of the 3 day (for some people) weekend. When there's no traffic I can get to my sister's house in about 15 minutes. Today it took 35 minutes. Blah. 

My hours at work are pretty weird, so I hope to not hit traffic much on my commutes. 

Remember awhile back when I posted what was in my fridge? Well, Jess reviewed the products a couple weeks ago and I'm about to. That shall be my next post after I've moved! 

I shall miss this girl and this porch...

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Favorite Bars

I'm currently in Sarasota, Florida, my home town. The time here is 4:30am, but that's 1:30am Portland time and I'm still on Portland time...I just got here this morning (Friday morning) and I took a nap after arriving here on a red eye flight. But, yeah, kind of wide awake.

Note: LAX is one of the worst airports I've been to. I expected more since celebrities use it quite a bit. It's dumpy looking (ok, it's under construction, I think, so hopefully improvements are on their way) and the food choices suck. My sister and I shared a cheeseless veggie pizza at a California Pizza Kitchen Express. It was so blah. 

Today I have eaten: hashbrowns with green peppers and onions, french fries, more french fries (mmm...Chick-Fil-A waffle fries), some white rice w/veggies that my mom got at a mall food place, pretzels, mom's homemade handheld cherry pies, Tempt ice cream, a piece of mom's cinnamon bread....and some Dr. Pepper and beer. Yeah, a real good healthy day...

Only 9 days left...

But back to the subject, me and Jess planned on doing this post during Vegan MoFo, but never finished it before the end of October. Well, correction, I finished it, someone else didn't finish it. ahem. Well, she posted it on her page, so I'm just going to link it. Please let us know what your favorite bars are and what's vegan there that you like! (this includes out-of-Portlanders!)

Monday, January 18, 2010

More Waffles...and some sausage

This morning I was perplexed at what I would eat for breakfast. I was out of my English muffins that I normally eat, toasted with peanut butter and jelly. Then I remembered that I had bought these new waffles, Nature's Path's Flax Plus with Figs. I think they were on sale, I definitely bought them spur of the moment style. The inclusion of figs just sounded so delicious. 

I haven't been in much of a waffle mood so I had forgotten about them. So when I remembered them this morning, I decided to give them a go. I also had Gardenburger's faux sausage patties in the freezer. I had gotten them a long time ago and hadn't been mad impressed with the two I had eaten so I hadn't finished the box. I really miss Morningstar brand sausages. Those are the best faux sausages! Unfortunately, they have egg in them so I had to stop buying them. I think I heard they are working on making more of their products vegan, so I look forward to see if that is one of things they are changing. 

Anyways, I put two of the waffles in the toaster oven and then heated two of the sausage patties on the stove top. I topped the waffles with a little bit of maple syrup and had some ketchup and Chalula mixed up to dip the sausage in. I really liked the waffles! It was a lot like the other waffles I get from them, but with the addition of tasty fig bits. Frozen waffles are one of my main convenience foods. I do have a waffle maker but I used it only once, a couple weeks ago. My sister is the one that actually used it, I watched. It's a Hello Kitty one that I got from her a couple years ago (it was a presentfor her brother-in-law and he didn't want it, "too girly"). The waffles were tough to get out and....yeah, work....frozen waffles are cheap. Granted, they don't come in cute Hello Kitty shapes....

And the sausages. Well, they came out better than I remember! Not sure if I'll buy them again, but good to know they don't suck as much as I thought.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

One of them Shout Out things

If you aren't already looking at Are You My Ghost's Tumblr, you should. Renai picks out the best things to look out. It makes me happy when I see the close up of kitten paws, cute kittens, many lovely pictures, -oh, did i mention kitty pictures? For reals, it makes me almost want a cat. She gets alot of her images from SkyInMyPocket, so thanks, Alethea for your lovely posts!