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!)...