Archive for December, 2011

feast and famine.

Despite my years of Weight Watch-ing, city travels and general attempts at bourgie livin’, I am a simple woman with simple needs who will revert to her most basic roots when in need of comfort.

Seen here: McDonald's cheeseburger and a Miller High Life, posted partially to illustrate my basest hungers and partially because my hair looked pretty good that night.

That said, I know I need to eat cleaner. And when it gets cold, I love to make soups. Lo and behold, xojane.com published a really good cabbage soup recipe, which can be detox-y and delicious when you need it to be, and also filling if you add the right ingredients. Here’s my take on it:

You’ll need:

Garlic, one big red onion and one small yellow onion, all minced

Crunchy veggies. I used celery, a green pepper and leftover matchstick carrots

One head of cabbage, shredded, or a bag of shredded cabbage

One big can of unsalted tomatoes (I stuck my immersion blender in there for a little while to make everything more liquid-y)

Herbs aplenty. Whatever you got.

Here we basically follow directions. Get your biggest pot, drizzle some oil in the bottom, get your garlic/onion combo going. Then dump in the crunchy veggies. Let everything sweat it out a bit. Dump in your cabbage. Cabbage is the best and it’s not used enough except in old Polish people’s kitchens. Let that look a little wilty before you dump in your can of tomatoes, and add a little water. Let it stew up for a while. And your herbs and some salt and pepper. Eat it when everything seems good and tender but still has some crunch.

Now that there is a fine vegan soup. If you want to make it a hair more filling, I throw in some rice. Still vegan! On spicier days I cook up a chicken andouille sausage from Trader Joe’s and pop that in there too. That is not so weight-lossy or detoxifying but it’s good for one’s own state of mind, I think.

This soup will last all week and keep at least that long. It’s healthy and delicious. But remember: It’s OK to have a cheeseburger and a beer every once in a while, too.



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Hello. I promised you a Thanksgiving post. This is the one, you guys.

It started, as it always does, with an invite to The Vegans’ (trademark pending, I’m sure) annual Vegan Orphan Thanksgiving. God bless these small, thin people and their yearly no-meat gathering on Thanksgiving day. I attended last year for dessert (you may, perhaps, recall that I made a vegan bourbon pecan pie), but if we’re being “really real,” as the kids say, I gotta have turkey on Thanksgiving. It’s a tradition. So I invited folks over for the first-ever Woho Meaty Thanksgiving for Orphans.

Only one person could come.

That, I suppose, ┬áis to be expected. Why would the vegans travel home specifically for a family meal they can’t eat? Why would any omnivore stay in town when their Granny is cooking the most amazing meal of the year?

I wasn’t deterred, though, and good pal CJ even bequeathed me a turkey that he got from his work. A 13-pound frozen beast. For two people.

That’s my head, for scale.

So, being the recipient of the most generous holiday gift to date, I knew I needed to make this bird sing. First thing: I knew it wouldn’t fit in my apartment-sized oven. BUT! I’ve broken down a whole chicken a few times (did I ever tell you guys about the knife skills class I took this summer?), so I figured a turkey would be the same thing, but bigger. Rachael Ray has pretty good suggestions on her website, too. I got myself a new 8-inch Henckel knife and got ready to get down.

Problems I encountered en route to bird eating:

– The center of the bird remained frozen, despite putting it from freezer to fridge on Monday and from fridge to enormous cooler with a single ice pack on Wednesday.

– A 13-pound turkey is a lot stronger than a three-pound chicken.

– My knife skills need more sharpening, har-har-har.

But! When it was all said and done, I had two legs, two wings, most of two breasts, and plenty of back and neck meat. I treated the breasts and a leg as you would your regular turkey, EXCEPT I also fried up some bacon, chopped it up pretty fine, and massaged that under the skin with the butter and herbs. GENIUS.

The pieces I prepared went into the oven and in two hours were a delicious golden-brown. The bacon flavor really added a smokiness, as well as much-needed fat to the white meat.

Here’s the rest of our two-woman spread:

Remotes in there for realism.

– Twice-baked mashed potatoes (mash ’em the night before with sour cream instead of milk, scoop into baking dish, heat before dinner)

– Sauteed green beans with slivered almonds and garlic

– Grandma H’s cranberry salad

– Candied carrots

– Southern sausage stuffing

– Sweet potato coins

And of course, we still joined the vegans for dessert, with this bourbon pecan pie recipe that I veganized (it’s Paula Deen. Also, please make your own crust. It isn’t hard, I swear).

The leftover turkey and green beans went into a soup later that weekend, and I’ve been enjoying it with rice all week. Your move, Christmas.


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