Archive for the ‘vegan’ Category

It is possible that this summer, I am leaving Boston. As of right now, I have no idea. Even if I stay, I will likely not live in the same apartment, same neighborhood, the same job…

this has two food-related implications.

A) I have started a mental Eat This Before You Leave List. All the places in Boston I’ve been meaning to try out…


B) I am already getting nostalgic for my favorites and wanting to eat them all the time, knowing that my time might be running short.

Add those two together, and it is clear that I will be leaving Boston quite plump and quite broke.

Today, an ode to the Clover Foodtruck that parks outside of my school.

Chickpea fritter sandwich, I love you.

Hummus, warm falafel, carrots, cabbage, pickle, tahini sauce, whatever else is in there…

you’re the best.

I will miss you.




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So I was checking out the stats on our li’l blog here this morning. Jessica’s posts, overwhelmingly, are the ones people search for, particularly her take on Mark Bittman’s quinoa and her transformation from vegetarian to paleo. By and large, I can only assume that people come to my posts by way of “remy the rat cooking,” “cake ruined,” “homemade poop shit cake,” and a bizarre number of people researching blood in their cats’ stool (though, to be fair, Jessica has a cat, not me, so that might be her too). Whoever came to us via searching “pretty women,” thank you, you made my day.

So I’m not really a hit on the blogosphere! Doesn’t bother me, because a) I always forget to tag my posts, and b) I gotta do me, and “me” is baking. I’ve tried to shy away from it for the last few months, mostly because I don’t want to tempt myself with a whole cake in my house, and also because I’ve started seeing a personal trainer at my gym and I want to prove it’s worth the TOO MUCH MONEY. So I’m only baking when I have somewhere to bring my treats and leave them.

Vegan dinner club this month was Presidentially themed, so because I love Catholics and sluts equally, I thought I’d honor the Kennedy clan with a Boston cream pie. I adapted the recipe I found here, which was very, very thorough. I made my tweaks mostly because I couldn’t be bothered to deal with a few ingredients or steps. It seemed to be a hit last night, so you should absolutely try to make this at home. Fun fact: It does not “taste vegan,” i.e. of twigs and dirt. But nothing at vegan dinner club ever does. They’re champions.

For the cake, you’re going to need:

1 1/4 C unbleached all-purpose flour

1/4 C cornstarch 

2 tsp baking powder
1/2 C unsweetened almond milk (at room temperature)
1 C sugar
4 TBSP Earth Balance
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract (you can go crazy here and add a little more; who am I to stop you?)
1 tsp almond extract (ditto!)
4 1/2 tsp of Ener-G Egg Replacer mixed with 6 TBSP room temp. water (equiv. of 3 eggs)
3 TBSP oil
Here’s what you do:
Preheat your oven to 350. The original recipe calls for a 9″ cake pan, and then cutting the cake in half, but why do that if you have two 8″ or 9″ cake pans? You’re a smart cookie. You tell me what’s easier. Whatever you decide, spray ’em both with Pam and set them to the side.
In one bowl, you’re going to sift your flour, baking powder and cornstarch together. In a different bowl, add your fake butter, sugar, salt, vanilla and almond extract. (The original also calls for butter extract, and you know me, I frickin’ love my butter, but I was not spending five dollars on 1/8 of a teaspoon for this recipe. Deal.) Beat those guys together until they’re fluffy. Now add your fake eggs and oil and mix it up again. Now you’re going to do that thing your granny taught you: Put in a third of the flour, and half the milk, then mix, do it again, mix, add the last of the flour and mix until smooth. So simple. Pour into your pans, make sure everything’s smooth on top because you’ll be layering later, and pop in the oven. I checked at 30 minutes and they were nearly done. Things may differ in your oven.

This is not a "clean-as-you-go" kitchen.

While that’s happening, make your “custard” and your chocolate sauce (say it like Epic Meal Time!).
For your creme filling, you’ll need:
5 TBSP Earth Balance
5 TBSP shortening (I used butter-flavored Crisco. So vegan!)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 1/2 C powdered sugar
1 tbsp tapioca powder (it asked for soy powder, but naaaaah)
3 TBSP tofu sour cream
Just mix this. Yay!
For the chocolate sauce, you’ll need:
1/2 C light coconut milk (it asked for vegan unsweetened coconut creamer, but whatever)
1 TBSP light corn syrup
1 C vegan chocolate chips
pinch of sea salt
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
So here’s what you do:
Put the coconut milk and corn syrup into a small pot, like your Paula Deen butter warmer, for instance. Let it cook until you start getting a few bubbles around the edges. Quick! Take it off the heat and add the rest of that shizz, and whisk until smooooooth as silver.
To put this delightful beast together, you may have to cut your one cake in half, but if you were the smartest cookie in the land, you’ll just pop your two cakes out of their pans. Pick the ugly one, and cover it with your faux custard. Then, pop the pretty one on top, and cover it in your delicious chocolate sauce. Let that business run all over the sides. We aren’t prim here. You can chill it or not, but you will not be able to stop yourself from eating it.

All that was left at the end. Yours will be prettier, I promise.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I believe I have some paczki to make. Details to come.

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You guys know I’ve been a part of a Vegan Dinner Club basically since I moved to DC, right? We’ve been over this. It’s a pretty good crowd, and it’s a nice reminder that I don’t need SWEET, GLORIOUS MEATS in every meal. It’s also good to step away from my weekends, which, if I’m not passed out on my couch in front of a Chopped marathon, are usually pretty busy affairs. I think we’ve made a pretty solid argument for “food as communal event” on this blog, so I don’t need to bore you with those details.

That’s why I’m so bummed I missed tonight’s VDC. The theme was “Spreads, Schmears, and Dips,” and I had a hankerin’ for veggies and bread with STUFF on them like you wouldn’t believe. I even had a dish already made! Knock-off vegan Nutella. Sorry dudes and ladydudes, I could not share this Tupperware of what looks…. pretty gross actually.

Tragically, I had a boatload of stories that weren’t going to write themselves for work, so I had to stay home and eat this alone. It’s not as good as the real thing, but it’ll do. I modified the recipe from here.

You’ll need:

1 1/2 C hazelnuts (I would toast these if I were you, to get some oils going. I didn’t, and I regret that decision.)

1 tsp vanilla

3/4 C powdered sugar (I used way more than this, because it wasn’t sweet enough for my taste. Maybe I just haven’t had Nutella in a long time?)

1/4 C powdered cocoa (Ditto)

3-4 TBSP veggie oil (a sweet almond oil would work nicely here, I think)

2 TBSP soy milk (again, use more here for your texture of choice)

What you’ll do:

Pour the hazelnuts (which you’ve toasted like a champion) into your food processor, and process the hell out of them. If you have a powerful food processor, ALLEGEDLY they’ll become liquid. Clearly, my food processor is not that good. Add the rest of your ingredients and kind of mess around with it until you’ve got a consistency you’re cool with. Mine was kind of like peanut butter, which is good for sticking your finger into the Tupperware and eating sans other food. It’s legit, OK?

In all seriousness, I wish I could have shared this with the vegans, if only for them to tell me where I went wrong. Until then, I guess my morning smoothies are  getting hazelier.


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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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I was on a quest for a good quinoa recipe for awhile. Nothing really looked like it would meet my needs. Maybe I was being picky, but maybe I was waiting for this recipe to come into my life.

But boy howdy, it did.

Mark Bittman’s Spicy Chipotle Quinoa with Corn and Black Beans

You can find the recipe here, but I’m fairly positive this was from Mark Bittman’s Food Matters Cookbook. I think he uses a regular onion, which I would recommend.

If you like this recipe (you will, you will!) you should consider buying it or checking it out from your library. I’ve made a few other recipes from it that were everything I love in food – simple, healthy, and flavorful.

Back to the quinoa at hand… this meal is a treat.

Pillowy quinoas, meaty beans, sweet corn (I use frozen), and all with a chipotle kick (don’t use too much of the adobo sauce. really. a little goes way too far)

We eat this as a main course, but it would be a great potluck offering, and if I said I’d never made a double recipe so we could eat it cold,  out of the tupperware, on a long car-ride?

Well, that would be a bald-faced lie.

Might I also recommend a side salad as well? I’m getting back in the swing of homemade salad dressing. This champagne vinaigrette knocks my socks off. If I said I’d never licked it off my fingers….

well, you know where this is going.

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My Grandma W makes some of the best Christmas cookies in the business. Nary a year went by without the full menu of Christmas cookies: sugar cookies (obviously; my sister and I went nuts trying to help her with these), snow balls, pecan cuplets, pecan sandies, jelly thumbprints, etc., etc., etc., until the whole house was cookie-filled and we stashed boxes and boxes of ’em in the chilly vestibule.

My mom’s favorite when I was growing up was a staple in both Grandmas’ houses: Cat turds. Yeah, we eat cookies called CAT TURDS. This is why: when done right, they’re kind of log-shaped, and then you roll them in coconut, sooooo…… you get the picture. The best part about the name is it grosses out the kiddos, so you can keep these in full view but have adult dibs on them.

You’ll need:

1 C chopped dates

1 C brown sugar

1/2 C butter, melted

1 C chopped nuts (I used walnuts; pecans work really well too)

1 egg, beaten

Combine all these in a sauce pan and bring it to a boil. Make sure the bottom of your pan is good and buttery otherwise you’re going to scorch it. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

Stir in 1 tsp vanilla and 2-3 C Rice Krispies. Take off heat.

Shape this goo into turd-shaped logs (balls also work) and roll in coconut. Let cool on a wire rack.

Now, I might feel like Cookie Monster this year, because my sister and I will both be home, and she’s vegan, so all of the old standards are off-limits. SUCKS TO BE HER. But, I found a vegan cookie recipe in the Washington Post that I’m a big fan of, so I’ll probably try to make these while she’s home so I’m not the only one hoovering treats.

You’ll need:

1 C fake butter, like Earth Balance

3/4 C evaporated cane sugar (don’t beat yourself up if you can’t find this. Straight up sugar works just fine)

1 tsp vanilla extract

A little lemon zest

1/4 almond milk (soy probably works OK, too)

1/3 C roasted, unsalted pistachios, chopped (you’re allowed to go overboard on this)

2 tsp ground cardamom (I found this was too much; it was like putting a tea bag directly in your mouth. I cut it by a teaspoon and added some chopped crystalized ginger)

Combine the fake butter and sugar in a bowl and beat for 2-3 minutes. Add vanilla and beat again.

By hand, stir in the almond milk, lemon zest and pistachios. Then add sifted flour and cardamom (and ginger if you threw that in too). You should have a soft dough – but you might need to add a touch more fake milk. Work gently until you have a dough ball, then refrigerate that puppy for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 350. Make little balls of dough and flatten them a bit, then cook ’em up for about 13 minutes or until they’re getting golden on the bottom.

Merry Christmas! Hope Santa likes these under your tree tonight.


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