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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

MoFo: Snacktime!

Last week, I had a few friends over for a Harry Potter marathon to get us ready to go see the new one in IMAX. We only made it through 4 movies, but only because we devoted so much time to cooking tasty treats! We wanted snack food, but wanted to keep it semi-healthy, so we decided on minestrone soup, jalapeno poppers that we baked rather than fried, and pigs in a blanket. We didn't use recipes for anything, but I'll explain the basics.

For the soup, we started with a mirepoix of onions, celery, and carrots with potatoes and minced garlic. After those softened, we added four cups of water and a couple couillion cubes. We used one Edward and Sons Not-Beef cupe and one Rapunzel Sea Salt and Herb cube. Then we added a can of fire-roasted tomatoes and a bunch of seasonings (from the Penzy's trip I talked about earlier!) and let everything simmer for about 45 minutes while we made the rest of our snacks. A few minutes before we were ready to eat the soup, we added some mini pasta shells we had boiled earlier and some chopped zucchini. It actually ended up being super (soup-er! ha!) delicious! We probably should have added more water, because it was more a stew than a soup, and we also all wished we had thrown some cabbage in, but all-in-all extremely satisfying.                                                             For the jalapeno poppers, we made a filling out of Tofutti cream cheese, minced onions and garlic, salt, and chili powder. We cut one of the walls of each pepper completely off, stuffed the pepper, and "glued" the panel back on with the filling. We then dipped each pepper in a rice milk/flour/nooch combo before coating it in a panko/nooch/salt/pepper mixture. We baked them at about 375 degrees until they were golden brown and the pepper was softened. We were pretty happy with these, especially considering they were baked instead of fried. Next time we would blanch the peppers for a few minutes first. They would probably be a little trickier to stuff once blanched, but it would shorten the cooking time.

Coated pre-oven.

About to be in my belly.
The pigs in a blanket were so easy there's not really instructions, just ingredients. We got a package of Apple Sage and a package of Chipotle sausages from Field Roast. We found some crescent rolls that are vegan. Ours were just some cheap store brand with the same ingredients as Pillsbury Original Crescent Rolls which are also vegan. Rolled out the dough, wrapped a piece of dough around 1/3 of a sausage, baked according to the temp and time on the dough package, wham-bam done. Oh I lied. We also fried the sausages for a couple minutes before wrapping them in dough just to get them all browned and crispy. So good and so easy. Next time we are making the ultimate snack and stuffing a jalapeno with sausage and cheese then wrapping the whole thing in dough. NOM. 

***These awesome snacks were brought to you by Harry Potter, mimosas, and organic wine in a box.

The Chrissy, Vegan style @ Shakabrah Java: I'm not gonna bore you with times and location and all that, it's on their facebook page......but they do a delicious breakfast and will substitute tofu for any of their scrambles, and seem to have a pretty clear idea of what vegan consists of (i.e. Don't have to explain that they need to leave off the cheese when you order your scramble vegan) So yes, I appreciate them. And while they are right across the street from Caffe Dei, which creates some conflict, this is the perfect place to go when you and your carniwhore friends need a little breakfast fix, but don't want to drive to Seattle, and you don't have to order just hashbrowns and dry toast. Amen to that!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Mofo: Pizza Roll Madness 2! Ok, not gonna lie, the first batch turned out better. One of the mysteries of life I guess....I was a little disappointed which is why I didn't post anything yesterday. The filling was delicious on it's own, but a little dryer than the first sauce. And the dough was dryer also, although that's because I had the epiphany almost 24 hours after first making it, that I had forgotten the olive oil......Dumb!! *sigh* I'll come up with something cool this weekend to makeup for the intense buildup I created around my pizzarolls. I was going to today, but started reading The Sexual Politics of Meat by Carol J. Adams, and can't put it down! Maybe something breakfasty this weekend, hmmmm.........

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Mofo: Pizza Roll Madness!!

So I was scouring the internets last week for some new pizza recipes, because perfecting my own pizza dough has become a little big of an obsession of mine lately.  The You Wont't Believe It's Vegan! has a pretty good one that i've been using, and it's worked well for me many a time, but I wanted to shop around a bit before I commit wholely to this one pizza dough....Anyway, I end up on the Vegan Dad blog, and I gotta say, that guy really knows his stuff.  I lust after his food and his mind, you gotta check it out if you haven't.  So what do I find, but a recipe for vegan pizza rolls.  After my initial rage that I had to get this idea from someone else instead of coming up with it myself, I immediately started making them!!  I used the reposted pizza dough recipe he had up from Vegan With a Vengeance, I'm not sure how it's possible that I don't own this cookbook, but somehow I dont.  Weird.  I liked this recipe more, although to be honest my pizza dough turns out differently enough each time I make it and the two recipes were similar enough, that I suspect the difference was more user error that the actual recipe.  Either way, bygones.....
 They turned out sooooo GOOD!! And they were pretty easy too, I have to say.  You basically take the pizza dough and roll it out into a big square, slather it with sauce/toppings, and roll up.  Very similar to a

cinnamon roll.  It actually makes me want to attempt cinnamon rolls again, so that may be a later  post.  Anyway, I'm not gonna go into too much detail because while I was super stoked about these bad boys there were a couple things I wanted to do differently, which is why I had my dear friend, Caitlin (formerly a carniwhore, but probably not anymore due to a nasty run in w/ some salmonella), over last night.  We were going to reinvent the pizza roll, yet again, this time with a mexi-twist! So we went grocery shopping, got some wine, got some super top secret ingredients, bought nothing for a side dish because my smart self thought I had brussel sproats in the fridge that were still good (first time ever in the history of the world that I've had to throw out brussels), go back to my apartment, make some dough, make some filling, turn on season 4 of The Office, put our feet up, and WHAMMO!!!! Electricity goes out! First time since I've moved in, and of course I have no flashlights, candles seemed dangerous as we had already finished the bottle of wine, I do have a fireplace but nothing to burn, and it didn't seem like the ideal time to operate the fireplace for the first time ever, and I don't have a fire extinguisher, and honestly, for how much I cook, I should really buy one.

Epic Pizza Roll Fail!  We'd also thrown together some pineapple, red onion, brown sugar, and spicey bits to roast in the oven and they were almost done, but unfortunately abandoned in our pursuit of Light and more wine.  Completely forgot about them til I woke up this morning and pulled them out of the oven. Sad, sad day.  But all the pizza roll necessities are in my fridge waiting for me, and I will be posting pictures and a recipe for my new and improved pizza roll success, so hold tight!  Either later tonight or tomorrow, although if I do post it later tonight I'm totally going to change the date on this post and pretend I did it yesterday;) shhh, don't tell! 

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Oh by the way...

Last night I got off work at 3am and knew I should blog when I got home. But I was being a lazypants so   I procrastinated by hanging out with the good ol' interwebs for a few hours then started another blog. Because that makes so much sense. Sigh. But it's about fashion! And shoes! And stuff I should not be putting on my credit card when I have real bills to pay off! Here you go.....Hot Piece of Class.

Hemp shoes will NOT be featured. : )
Unless they are amazing. Or really awful.

MoFo: Gateway to India aka Bring Your Fat Pants

I ate this. And more.
I love Indian food and the best bet in Tacoma for vegans is the lovely Gateway to India on 6th Ave. There are definitely other Indian places in town, some of which I heavily frequented before I was vegan, but Gateway labels vegan items and options right on the menu. If I have a choice between asking a million questions and just ordering, I'm gonna stick with ordering. Sorry other Indian places that probably have vegan potential but I'm too lazy to find out. So I have been to Gateway countless time and always knew in the back of my head there was a lunch buffet, but, cynic that I am, I guess I just assumed there would only be like one vegan thing on the buffet if I was lucky and what's the point of a buffet if you don't get lots of options. Luckily I recently discovered I was oh so very wrong. While dining one evening, I guess I overcame my laziness just long enough to ask about the buffet and its veganness. I was told there are always at least 3 or 4 vegan dishes and just that very afternoon the whole buffet had been vegan! This got my attention.
The delicious chutney.
The first time I went to the buffet I think there were 4 vegan items, not too shabby. But when I returned with Becca a few days ago, there were 8 vegan options! We had vegetable biryani (veggie rice), eggplanta bharta, basmati rice, pappadum (crispy cracker wafer things), green salad (skip the dressing), kabuli channa (garbanzo bean curry), daal maharani (lentils), and curried zucchini and potatoes. THE NAAN IS NOT VEGAN. We also ordered a side of the vegan cilantro chutney off the dinner menu. There is usually cream added to the chutney, but 90% of the time they have some that has not yet been adulterated by dairy. The buffet is only $8.99 and the vegetarian items on the menu are $10.50 and up, so it really is a super deal. Also if you have more self control than I and don't eat until your body starts to shut itself down into a food coma, Caffe Dei is right next door for a sweet treat to end your lunch!
I would totally recommend going here for dinner as well, but the price of the buffet just can't be beat and it's a great way to get some of everything.

NOTE: I usually hate buffets. This isn't a vegan thing, I have always hated them. That said, if there is a buffet with excellent vegan options and the restaurant and fellow customers look classy and clean, I will gladly partake. I'm far from a germaphobe, i regularly eat off my floor if something jumps off the counter, buffets are just one of those things for me.

Gateway to India
(253) 552-5022
2603 6th Ave
Tacoma, WA98406

Monday thru Friday: 11:00 am to 3:00 pm
Saturday: 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Sunday: 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Closed Monday

Tuesday thru Thursday: 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Friday: 5:00 pm to 9:30 pm
Saturday: 4:00 pm to 9:30 pm
Sunday: 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Closed Monday


Saturday, November 13, 2010

MoFo: Strapping the feed bags on in Portland

Soooooo we missed a couple days because Blogger may have deleted my whole post when I pressed preview and it made me MAD and I needed to remove myself from it til I cooled down for the sake of the relationship. Moving on...
This box is only part of our haul.
I recently went to Portland just for the day to see Tim Kasher (AKA secret boyfriend. Secret because he may not be entirely aware of the relationship.) at the Doug Fir so obviously I needed sustenance while down there. I wanted to go to Portobello because my friend Caitlin who was with me had never been, but unfortunately it's closed on Sundays. So, although my feeding times are usually planned out to the minute when visiting Portland, we just decided to wing it. We started our day at Penzeys Spices where we spent approximately one bazillion dollars. Seriously, if you love to cook, get yourself to one of their locations. Or website. This place is epic. The staff was super friendly and helpful and even gave us some free goodies since we cleared out our bank accounts there. They also spent the time to look over our order and give us any promotions or bulk discounts that were available. I will definitely be back. By the time we were done huffing spices, we were absolutely starving so we headed over to the area the show was going to be and busted out my iPhone to see what was nearby.
Enchilada Plate with Soycurls
Turns out Los Gorditos, which I had been wanting to try, was right by there. Any restaurant that translates to "the fatties" is fine by us. Los Gorditos has a whole separate vegan menu with the option of choosing soy curls, tofu or soyrizo as the protein in the meal. They also offer vegan cheese ( pretty sure it's Follow Your Heart which I actually really like. I know some aren't fond of it.) and vegan sour cream. Just so you know, Los Gorditos is a whole order at the counter, get a number, CASH ONLY kind of place. Luckily, I am a baller (or bartender, whatever) so I had cash. Caitlin didn't, so she got to starve and see what survival of the fittest is all about. I kid. We decided on empanadas with soyrizo and enchiladas with soy curls from the "Plates" part of the menu which means both are full meals that come with rice and beans. After taking a number and finding a table, we inquired about the veganocity of the hot sauce bar and found out that they are all vegan. YES. I love spicy and prefer to be in physical pain while eating a meal. We (by we I mean Caitlin, I kept my lazy ass at the table) brought red, green, and white sauces back to the table. The green was not very spicy but delicious. I'm partial to tomatillo sauces though, so take that for what you will. The red was good and spicer than the green. The white was HOT. As in we both immediately reached for our water, hot. I mean this in a good way; I went on to pour all three sauces all over my food. The white sauce made me a happy camper and even more excited for my food. Usually, when places say something is hot they are lying and it is barely spicy at all.
Empanada Plate with Soyrizo
When the food arrived, we saw that the portions were huge! I definitely need to bring my boyfriend here (real boyfriend, not secret) because he likes to shovel mexican food in his mouthhole two hands at a time. It is quite horrifying to witness. Horrifying, yet fascinating. The enchiladas were of the standard tortilla, sauce, soycurl variety. The empanadas, on the other hand, weren't quite what I was expecting. They were really flat and only the cheese was inside them, the soyrizo was on top. I'm sure this is just because the empanadas are premade and they don't want to stuff them ahead of time with every protein option available in case some don't sell as often. This is fine by me because mexican food becomes a unified slop pretty quickly anyway, it was just not what I was expecting. Everything was delicious with one small exception. The beans were flavorless and really thin and watery. They were good mixed in with everything, but a bite of them on their own was just a boring, soupy mess. I would have preferred thick refried beans or just plain black beans. After dinner, we stopped at Food Fight because I will do slightly less damage there if I have a full belly. SLIGHTLY. My cupboard told me it needed to be filled with vegan cheese and jerky before I left.
I will definitely be back to try their other options next time I'm in town! They also had breakfast listed on a specials board which look amazing. I would be at Los Gorditos constantly if it was in my hood! Side note: the concert was amazing. Go see Tim Kasher, the Good Life, or Cursive (his other bands) if they are in your area.

Los Gorditos

1212 SE Division
Portland, OR 97202
(503) 445-6289

Mon-Sat 8 to 9
Sun  8 to 3