Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Busy November...

What a month...I have been so busy with work, a Peace Market, finishing a movie, working on a show with amigas, and turning 30. I haven't properly celebrated in the sense of cooking a beautiful meal and sweets of my choice...but some day soon...maybe after the new year. I also had a pretty decent T-day...didn't take photos, but I love me some chickpea cutlets...I finally purchased a beautiful camera even if I am still mourning my lost in the universe elf. I need to get connected with it so that I may present proper food photos.

Last month, I sold mainly earrings at the Esperanza's annual Mercado de Paz. It was totally cool to sell things I made. Next year, I will prepare enough ahead to pass out vegan treats. While prepping last month, I managed to check out the Un-cheese cookbook and compared Alfred-esq recipes to those of PPK and Candle. I settled for Isa's sauce and Italian-grilled tofu...tossed in a few (not nearly enough) red peppers...let's just say that I will be serving this to a huge gathering some point soon...

"Alfreda" Cappellini with Italian Tofu


Mac and Un-cheese, All-Purpose Tofu, and Sauteed Spinach

Not creamy enough, but nothing was wasted...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Fall breakfast...

Pumpkin pancakes, sliced bananas, and vegan cocoa

Dava's Birthday and Obama for President

We had a little surprise party and I brought a few dishes...

One of my more favorite tofu recipes after somebody picked...

Grilled zucchini and tomatoes with Cilantro sauce...recipe will follow at some point....

Quinoa Pilaf


Cupcakes

Lit cupcakes, both vanilla and chocolate, in a blurry state...perhaps because I was overcome with joy of the election results....

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Day of the Dead


My favorite celebration and Gabriel's birthday...

Will add my altar later, but made homeboy a birthday apple pie...

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Saturday, November 1, 2008

Keeping it Frugal

Next time you hit up a potluck and have little to spend and the creativity is flowing- I offer a suggestion:

Head of cabbage
Brown or while rice
A block or two of tofu
Tamari or Bragg's
Sesame Oil and Seeds
Ginger
Garlic
Marinade of your choice

Saute cabbage in tamari and finish with sesame oil
Make rice- enough to feed
Marinate tofu with your choice of recipes...I have suggested Candle in the past, but most awesome books and even blogs can help you out...same ole' ingredients...ginger and garlic a must and so on...sorry BAKE your tofu...

Not sure why I didn't take a photo, but it filled a huge glass dish...spread cabbage and placed tofu on top....sprinkle sesame seeds ...serve rice in separate dish...seriously...awesome and cheap. I recommend that you bring some sweet chili sauce for a bit more heat or flavor...

Asian Tofu with Sauteed Cabbage and Brown Rice


Friday, October 31, 2008

A Simple Bowl of Pasta




Sometimes, all you need is vegan bolognese...I always keep a few extra cans of organic crushed or peeled tomatoes...so cheap at Whole Foods. Garlic, onion, red bell pepper, mushrooms, tvp, olive oil, crushed red pepper, salt, pepper, pasta...it all adds up to ease and taste...and always add greens of your choice.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

And one more for good measure....


Last day in Baltimore...on my own...I walked over to Dukem-an Ethiopian restaurant in Baltimore. I wish I had someone to share the meal with. I believe I ordered a veggie plate...again something like $12, but there was so much food. Spicy and spicy and I enjoyed it. Lentils, potatoes, cabbage, and greens. The lentils were a bit harder than I prefer, the greens were okay...but the others were yummy.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

If You Are Ever in Baltimore


Check out The Yabba Pot...not fancy...$12 for 3 piece meal. BBQ tofu was okay. The greens were fine. But the mac and "cheese" was the best I have tried yet. Dishes vary from day to day and I would have gone back if I had time and cab fair. I give thanks to any ALL-VEGAN restaurants.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Airport Surprise


I tend to travel with snacks, but I was behind on that for this trip to Baltimore. I had a way-too-long lay over at Minneapolis airport and was thrilled to have found something to hold me down...Wok-n-Roll offered veggies with soba noodles. If I could re-order it, I would have asked for extra shitake mushrooms. It was simple, but warming and filling. I added soy sauce for extra flavor, but not bad for airport food. They also offered a decent flavored tofu dish...again...NOT BAD FOR AIRPORT FOOD!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Rolls


Once upon a time, a vegan blogger fan skimmed through various blogs and found an idea for croissant-like rolls...so she prepared pizza dough, made sauce and sauteed mushrooms and spinach. She rolled and baked and came up with this...


Pizza Rolls ???


I don't like to "should" all over myself, but in the future I will need to add soy cheese or tofu ricotta, because it was too dry. Oh and the the soda wasn't good...too sweet...

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Fall and muffins

Zucchini muffins make Fall that much better...of course if I were on the northeast coast...it would be THAT much better...

#1 Fave muffin at the moment...

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The Joy of Vegan Baking rocks my socks!!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Curry Up

Nothing is easier than heating a pan...adding coconut oil...minced garlic...canned curry...coconut milk...and chopped veggies...potatoes, onions, green beans, cauliflower, red bell...methinks that's it...oh...and brown rice

Curry and Veggies

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Not the best photo...but...definite flavazzz

Monday, October 20, 2008

Staples

I am a busy girl...the recipe of my life might look something like this:
3 cats
2 dogs
1 boyfriend
2 jobs
2 Parts Activism ...mainly the Free Speech Coalition these days

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3 parts creativity- movie, jewelry, crafts, etc.
4 parts cooking (as longs as I have the energy to stand in the kitchen, time, and ingredients of course
2 parts entertainment (documentaries, film, friends, wine, and family
1 part movement (NIA, yoga, dance)
Sleep for taste

I tend to keep it simple when I don't have too much time for cooking and one of my most favorite meals is seitan with bbq sauce, kale, and [enter random side dish]. I am a girl from
Texas and while I don't do beef, bbq sauce with baked tofu or grilled seitan always makes me happy. I love me some sour pickles and good bread to accompany the bbq'ed food. I prefer Chipotle BBQ Sauce from the Candle Cafe and I love to include grilled onions, mushrooms, and red bell pepper. It is comfort for me...well...that along with kale. Greens rock my belly, but kale tends to take first place. I baked acorn squash with a recipe from Candle as well. That book is awesome.

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Sunday, October 19, 2008

Weekend Breakfast

I swim in the pond where sweet and savory are both included in a meal...but for some unfortunate reason- I might have only included fruit preserves that day.

Tofu Scramble, Spicy Potatoes, PPK Biscuits, and Sauteed Kale

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I wouldn't say that I have tried a lot of recipes for scramble, but I am happiest with the Candle Cafe's version so far.

My girlfriend once was lucky enough to land a job there...otherwise I would have missed out on this amazing restaurant.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

A Week in Baltimore

I am hitting up Baltimore the last week of October for work...already on happy cow for research...I was aware of a restaurant in Maryland called Great Sage from Veg New ads, but I won't have the transportation to check it out...but there are two other restaurants that I am looking forward to The Yabba Pot Cafe and One World Cafe.

I am excited...I have only been to Baltimore once for a show and didn't spend enough time there to even eat. If anyone as any food recommendations or knows how to get in touch with John Waters...let me know.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Randomness is for lovers....

Kevin, my bff, just recently opened a burger joint and has included a home-made veggie burger as well as a portabello burger...I have donated a jar of veganaise...

The reason I bring this up is because it is pretty cool that they bake their own buns...sourdough and such...I snuck a sample of sourdough and messed around at home.

A whipped up some pesto ( basil, garlic, pine nuts, olive oil, salt) and sauteed a few crimini mushrooms and added a touch of veganaise and slice tomato...HOT DAMN!!!!

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and just because I am now relying on Gabriel's mini-digital camera...which does take amazing photos, but not like my baby...

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Gabriel came home and had to get him some of that, but unfortunately, we had only half a tomato. Ah, the tomato....there aren't words for its gifts. I sauteed more mushrooms, red pepper, and onion and served it on some rosemary bread...again the pesto and a hit of veganaise for creaminess...

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It felt good to use growing basil from the backyard...

Life is good with improv eating.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Cakes Without Borders

I have misplaced my camera and I am bummed. I am asking it back from the Universe.


On a lighter note...I baked a cake for my gramps, recently. He is quite the baker and it was an honor to have received his compliments...chocolate-mint with buttercream icing. That was the night that I realized my chocolate chips could only accessorize the cake...decorating improv...it was messy, but amazing. The cake recipe is from PPK....It calls for 1 and 1/2 cups of maple syrup...that is an expensive cake for San Antonio...but the best that I have tasted yet.

Mint- Chocolate Cake with Buttercream Frosting

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I got messy with the buttercream, but it was a beautiful mess.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Yum-Yum Pasta

I believe this to be the night Michelle Obama gave her speech at the democratic convention....Lolo's recipe for

Super Quick Tomato Basil Cream Pasta



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Best I could do that night when I was hungry. A few adaptations given it was prepared on one of those random nights when my fridge carried less than 1/2 of a garlic bulb. It was a semi-grouchy/ semi-touching night...served with collard greens....yummy...oh and I threw in the tofurky sun-dried Italian sausage...

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Gettin' My Grill On...

Not too far back, Gabriel hit up the grill and bbq'ed some kabobs and I did the marinading and boiling. I messed with a few cookbook recipes because I didn't have every ingredient but I do remember mixing ginger, garlic, tomato paste, ??? Mushrooms, peppers, squash, mango, onion...

I made PPK's Coconut Rice with out the zest and stick and shredded coconut...it goes with so many dishes.

Thai Q'ed Veggies Kabobs y Coconut Rice




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Tuesday, October 7, 2008

One time in Boulder...

An old dinner ( back from July) that deserves recognition. The tofu was so good that I done ordered a copy of The Garden of Vegan. Lalo, my home-girl, had checked out a copy at the library and felt that I would really enjoy the flavor. Take the all-purpose seasoning, add bragg's, and fry in extra virgin olive oil. She baked butternut squashed and sauteed cabbage and the meal was simple, but delicious.


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Monday, October 6, 2008

Cilantro-Ginger Tofu A Go-Go

I am an extra firm kinda of gal. I like solid texture and what I tend to do for stir-fries and such is simple...
Drain the tofu
Cube the tofu
Drizzle the tofu with soy or Bragg's
Bake the tofu @ 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until I find it firm enough.

I find that most guests who aren't tofu regulars seem to enjoy it and do less comparing.

Now I am a fan of Rainbow and Trader Joe's, but I live in San Antonio...1.15 hours away from the home of Whole Foods...don't judge...just hold a space for me...at this moment in life...my options are few....

So my brother works at an Austin location and he sneaks me some recipes....what a guy...I have played with their Tofu-cilantro recipe and here is a simple one that leaves it to your tastebud's discretion...

Cilantro-Ginger Tofu

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Block of tofu---preferably baked...no, recommended!
1- inch chuck of diced ginger
1 bunch of cilantro - leave out as many stems as possible
1 juice of a lime-
Safflower oil...coconut...whatevas...
Sea salt

Blend the cilantro and ginger and add half a juice of lime. Taste and see what you like. Add the oil and salt and blend until it is ready to pour over the tofu and mix.


I don't mean to leave it up in the air, but some of you might like it tangy and while others spicy.
I always like a bit more sauce to the dish to coat the rice or veggies that might accompany the tofu or main entree.

Loads of non-vegans love this dish and my boss has happily mastered it....Enjoy.


and just to be clear...there is a Whole Foods in San Antonio...

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Cupcake Appreciation

Veg News put out an issue a year or two ago about various bakeries in the country and I was eager to try out a vegan cupcake. When I made it out to NYC to visit friends, my friend Melanie accompanied me to Baby Cakes. We had coffee and a cupper and I remember feeling good about eating something that usually felt "bad".

To cut it short, I appreciate these days that much more for my ability to make many a vegan cupcakes. I don't do eggs or butter any more and most of my peeps are thrilled to chow down on something cruelty-free. So thanks to the bakers and shakers that share their recipes...I now don't have to travel across the country but across the house I rent.

Fun with cupcake photography

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La Cupcake Vegetariana

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Shout Out to VCTOTW
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Friday, October 3, 2008

Viva Mexico!!!

When I make it down to the Rio Grande Valley (the Valley), I do my best to cross the border in Progresso and hit up Arturo's- a bar/ restaurant. Many memories have been spent here- mainly with my mom. I honor a woman who knows how to enjoy life. She frequents this place with her fellow teachers and pals. There is life music-mainly a man and a keyboard. But hitting up the bar after a few hours of shopping for avacados, shirts, dishware, etc., etc is a must for me.

I love me some margaritas...the tequila is cheap, the limes are sour, and the sugar is minimal

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Happy hour is always the best time to show up and it is some time in the afternoon...but it isn't like drinking in an American tourist area. My own special recipe is simple and soon to come.

In my past days, ordering a plate of nachos (just cheese) was a norm, but these days I do just fine with simple mashed avacado...one might say guacamole, but they don't seem to add any spices...sometimes to good to shoot a photo

Along with that are salted peanuts...

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Protein, vitamin C, healthy fats...oh and always garnished with the frozen or rock rita would be an olive on a toothpick...sometimes that little extra touch of salt just doesn't do it for me...so I order a small bowl full...I know, I know...isn't that crazy...olives...con chile...trust me...it isn't a complete meal, but it sure is a way to pass the time...

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And a bottle of topo chico (mineral water) is a must.

Energia y comida

Since it is still yesterday in Hawaii, I believe this entry counts. I had to work both jobs today- I am beat and am still cursing at cheap tippers in my head. So this would be an example of bad energy. Had I prepared something when I came home tonight, the food would have been a disaster. One of my favorite books is Like Water For Chocolate by Laura Esquivel. It is a sweet story with a bitter ending, but it deals with something closest to the kitchen and mind. I truly believe that if I am negative while preparing something, the food soaks in the bad energy and reacts...almost like a child crying. There have been countless times when I have not been grounded and rather than attending to the dish- I am a dark cloud. Muffins don't rise, salsa is tastes gross, seitan loses it's purpose.

So my friends out in the world....leave the negativity outside...ask your guide to change it to white light, burn incense, do a happy dance...whatever you need to rid yourself of foulness. The kitchen is a place of healing and creativity...

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

And they're off.....

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And so it begins...it is still the 1st of October here, so technically I am still in the game. Just got back from seeing Towelhead and one of my cats was playing "Scare Aissa"...that would be Penny- she was missing for an hour!!!

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She has her windows of love, but makes me so nervous that I start promising to give up little joys like myspace. She finally came home.

Well, for my first entry- I want to focus on two faves... the Candle Cafe's Asian Baked Tofu and Vegetarian Planet's Sesame Glazed Green Beans. Yum-my! I know I mentioned it in my last entry, but I am drawn to the East in more ways than one. Starting off with the tofu, it tastes great in a simple salad, sandwich, or alone. The beans recipe calls for honey, but agave subs just fine. Both books are awesome...obviously V Planet isn't cruelty-free, but I think it is worth owning.

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I doubled the glaze to add a little something extra to the rice...

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Korean Pancakes

I love me some Asian food and while veganizing isn't too challenging, I am thrilled to have come across The Asian Vegan Kitchen by Hema Parekh. I found it it at the library and purchased it right away. It covers comida de Japan, China, Thailand, Vietnam, Burma, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Korea. I have tried a few dishes from the Chinese section and enjoyed a few dishes. Can't find those photos.

Kevin, my bff makes some mean pancakes and I have put off making them because they are too heavy on my belly. Parekh's recipe is pretty good, but I have many ideas for variations...will get back on that. Gabriel's camera is fancier than mine- especially with his new lens,- but I am saving for something lovely... he did his magic on the photo, though...I can't take credit for that...

Vegetable Pancakes

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I was too excited to wipe the edges of the dipping sauce bowl... it happens and something went wrong with re-sizing

and I am up for the VEGANMOFO challenge... along with some updates on San Antonio Activism...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Food I Don't Like!!!

That title seems boring, but should you be searching for recipes or ideas as I do- let it be known that I don't care for the following foods and will probably not add them to meals unless finely processed for flava...like carrots...hhhmm... part of the holy trinity of flavor. In 2003, I worked in a B and B up in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware and learned that adding red onion, celery, and carrots to a processor and pulsing the crunch out of them adds the "umph" to a dish. Well, mainly side dishes...but think soups, chile, under the panko crusted _____, mac salad, pot salad, plain rice....get it?

So not in any order... me no likey:

carrots- dig the juice and Candle's ginger dressing, though
peas- I blame elementary lunch land
raisons- Still can't connect them to grapes...
processed/ shredded coconut- fresh rocks and love the milk
okra-- those veins are too slimy
grapefruit- can't name it...perhaps the acidity
celery- just don't like the flavor as a snack...but good pureed

I have tried to connect or at least appreciate them for who they are, but there is just no chemistry...

I have shot many photos in the last month...at times too excited to work on the lighting of the photo and now with the new computer and my photos being on the old one...I am behind. But perhaps I should leave you with an older photo.

BBQ Seitan, Veggie Rice, and Sautéed Swiss Chard

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Friday, August 8, 2008

Bienvenidos y Introducciones

Like many, I come from a long line of cooks in my family who don't jive with the concept of compassionate cooking. This has been my challenge and though it has been a struggle to get here, I am proud of myself. I do feel guilty some times, but I am grateful that I have gained some awareness.

I have been struggling with eliminating dairy and eggs from my diet for a few years and am getting there. I am a full-time vegan baker, but in a town where breakfast tacos rock- I break down sometimes.

If you come across any my homies in Alamo-land and ask them about my dishes, most will probably tell you about my yummus hummus. It was the first recipe I ever mastered on my own and because it is cheap, easy to prepare, and transport- it is has been the thing I contribute to parties and potlucks. So I start here...

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I imagine in the next few posts, I will share some food and travel experiences with other introductions of my loved ones, projects, and all that jazz.