Friday, October 31, 2008

VeganMoFo Day 25-Black Bean Cutlet Taco Salad and DIY lightbox!

I was pretty excited about dinner tonight! In layer order: there is sauteed swiss chard (sauteed with lemon juice, olive oil, pepper), crumbled blue corn chips, Vcon cutlets made with black beans (I used cumin and hungarian paprika for spices in it), Nacho sauce from Yellow Rose Recipes (this is my go-to nacho sauce; so yummy. I replace the jalapenos with half of a red onion, and decrease the cumin to let the nooch shine through. Also, i was out of lime juice, so I used lemon), homemade GUAC (with half of a red onion and two cloves of garlic, and a dash of lemon juice), and some more crumbled chips.

I'm even more excited for the leftovers for lunch tomorrow!

Now, more about that homemade lightbox. It was super-easy, free, and not time-consuming at all, but now that I've used it a bit, I know what to do better next time. First off, selecting the right sized box is important. I like to be able to take a picture from all sides and from above, and the smaller sized box that I chose pretty much only accommodates straight-on shots. So! Next time, I will choose a taller box, that will accommodate overhead shots (or maybe some sort of flap that opens on top for the camera...hmm...) and wider, so that I'm not having to cut down colored paper to fit or so that I'm able to go in for a more angled, side-shot. Not to mention, my dinner plates don't fit into this box (so my above dinner was NOT taken in the lightbox)!

Otherwise, SUPER-easy. Just cut out each side (even the bottom, so you can just lay it over something that you arranged), and duct-tape either tracing paper (what I had), tissue paper, or even really thin cheap-o copy paper over each cut-out square (except the bottom and one side that you will stand at with your camera. That's it! I just taped pretty colored paper on the back panel or laid it under my subject.

p.s. Is anyone else having trouble with Blogger uploading your pictures in the REVERSE order than you selected? Argh!! *copy/paste/copy/paste/copy/paste*

Thursday, October 30, 2008

VeganMoFo Day 24-Chickpea Cutlets, gravy, and Pea Shoots!


Also, I made a light box tonight! So simple; why didn't I make one sooner?!? More on it tomorrow; I'm TIRED and it's muh bedtime!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

VeganMoFo Day 23: Veggie Pancakes!

Super-yum! I made Vegetable Pancakes tonight, with a side of steamed broccoli. Mega-easy and quick. Also, more filling than they look!

Vegetable pancakes
(This made 4 thicker pancakes, about 5-6 inches across.)
1 1/2 cup flour
2 TBS Rice Flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sesame seeds, toasted (optional)
1 1/2 cup water
Any spices you want to throw in (i minced a clove a garlic, and added some ground pepper)

Chopped veggies (i used 4 small carrots, 1 leek, a bunch of scallions, and a small green pepper)
Oil for sauteeing and frying


1. Saute veggies in pan with a little oil until tender. Turn off heat and set aside.
2. Mix batter ingredients together. Should be a pouring consistancy, but not too thick.
3. Heat some oil in a small, crepe-sized pan (I use olive oil, but only because nothing else ever even comes close to being as tasty for me. Super-italian baby.) and ladle some batter in and spread evenly. Quickly sprinkle some of the veggies over top and press down with spatula.
4. Let cook for 5-ish minutes, on medium heat, until it easily slides around in pan, and then flip to cook for a few minutes more until browned and crispy.
5. Repeat with rest of batter and veggies.

Serve with dipping sauce of your choice.


Time to go watch It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!

Monday, October 27, 2008

VeganMoFo Day 22: DEOTS Tempeh Wingz and potatoes

Tonight was a comfort dinner, as I greatly needed it. I've had a horrible week, capped by this past fridays mass layoffs at work. I was spared, but so many of my coworkers, some who had been there 10-20 years, were just let go at the drop of a hat. This is the first time that I have really felt the effect of the nation's economic woes so directly, and it brought a somber mood to my weekend. Today finally came, after a feeling of dread all weekend, and the tension at work felt like there had been a death...

Sorry this is a somber post. One good thing that has come from this, is a clearer direction on some art things I have been working on. The mood and theme is all happy, because damned if the world needs any more misery.

Oh yeah, food. I made the DEOTS Tempeh Wingz with a simple side salad and some lightly seasoned potatoes. Apple-Pear pie for dessert.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

veganMoFo Day 21: Apple-Pear Pie and Ny Art Book Fair

I'm slow on the VeganMoFo Boat this weekend, but I did make an Apple-Pear Pie! I've had a lot going on this week and pie is almost always the best solution.

Today I went to the NY Art Book Fair, held at at Philips de Pury. It was super-crowded, with today being the last day of the event, but I managed to find a few gems.

This is a bag that two girls were happily silk-screening right there for a donation:

This was a super-intricate zine and fun grab-bag I picked up from the Eternal Love table:

This was my crowning gem I found, from the Cinders Gallery Table. "Prowla," by Noel Freibert. Pop-out! The whole book is silk-screened, 3 colors (4 on cover) and a fancy clear-ish ink on the cover over the image (that you can kinda see with in the picture in the upper right-hand side) Holy wowza:

Thursday, October 23, 2008

VeganMoFo Day 20: Whiiiiite Lasaaaagna

I know, ooey-gooey-what-is-that??!? That, my friends, is a super-awesome garlicky white sauced lasagna. I really was going to add a little green into it, but when I opened my vegetable saver tupperware to get some kale, I was horrified to find a "frozen little green worm perched on top! Ack! Like, he/she was standing half-way up into the air! It was traumatizing! Such a dramatic death to be found for the poor little guy when he reached the top of the mountain of kale. And to top it all off, he crapped all over the container. Lesson learned: Never let the BF wash and put away the greens without supervision.

Anyways, back to the lasagna. I made a big saucy-pan full of the sauce (didn't measure anything, sorry...but I used unsweetened soy milk, blended tofu, garlic, olive oil, crushed red pepper, sea salt, pepper, basil, and some flour to thicken it up.) I layered the lasagna noodles alternately with the sauce and a mashed tofu/nooch concoction. Super creamy and decadent.


In art/doodle/silliness news, I am fast at work on my calendar for next year. Detailed sketches now, paintings later. Also planning on printing some new bookmarks/business cards with my gocco this weekend. Dr. Sketchy's is Saturday, with a steampunk theme and I'm going to see Broken Social Scene tomorrow night. Super-excited!

This weather is chapping my lips like crazy! H2OOoooo!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

veganMoFo Day 19: Chinese Take-out Burger!

I have been eyeing all of Joni's burgers that she is working on, for her new burger book, for awhile now and finally decided to make one tonight. I love that all of her burgers have such unexpected combos. Breaking boundaries man. Can't wait for the book!

I tried the Chinese Take-out burger, on a bed of greens, with some sweet potato fries on the side. The sauce is SOOO good, and I will use it the next time I make a stirfry. The burger itself was tasty, but I think I made them a little on the thick side. Good thing there was lots of sauce to drizzle in it! OH, and sweet potato fries are the best kind of fry that there is! nom nom nom.

Totally going to try the Thanksgiving leftover burger next month!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

veganMoFo Day 18: Comfort

I've felt a little under the weather today, so I made up a big pot of lentil soup, full of all sorts of veggie goodies. I always add a dash of liquid smoke to the pot at the end of cooking it. I like the smokey + lentil combo.

I made some butter pecan ice cream! I just used soy milk + Earth Balance + sugar + vanilla extract + arrowroot +pecans. I have become very, very unprecise in making ice cream. I basically just dump stuff in the pot, bring it almost to boil, and then let it cool in the fridge until throwing it in the ice cream maker later on. Sometimes you just have to forget everything you ever learned in science class about being exact. On a side note, I really love this site, dedicated to vegan ice cream. I wish she updated more!

Monday, October 20, 2008

VeganMoFo Day 17:S'Mores!

Super-mega-random s'mores craving before heading on a plane to visit a friend for the weekend, so I stopped at Whole Foods and picked up the ESSENTIALS. This was my first time trying Sweet & Sara vegan marshmellows, and most certainly not the last. So great! My friend and I made some s'mores and it was damn awesome. Perfectly creamy/squishy/melty inside and toasty/sweet on the outside. Better than any "real" marshmellow I remember. There will be many a hot cocoa with these melted in them in my future!

This was a birthday doodle for my pal Nate, a few weeks back, but he received it already so now I can post it. Just done w ith my trusty uni-ball pen. This is a start of a new series of mine, possibly my calender (yeah, I'm behind on starting that). I plan to paint this series. Super-colorful!

Friday, October 17, 2008

VeganMoFo-Day 17: Liz Lovely Cookies

I have a SERIOUS sweet-tooth right now. I just went to Whole Foods and picked up some s'mores materials (first time trying out Sweet and Sara's vegan Marshmellows! Stay tuned!) for this weekend and I had to get one of these Liz Lovely cookies. I picked out my favorite, Mochadamia Mountains, that have macadamias, coffee, and chocolate. They are super-sugary, but in a "I must eat this in its entirety right now" kind of way. I never drink coffee, so pair this with chocolate and I'm bouncing off the walls. Awesome.

I've blogged 17 days in a row! New record! I'm totally breaking it this weekend though, as I am heading out of town. Happy weekend everyone!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

VeganMoFo Day 16-SuperMegaSpaghetti


Every veggie I need to use up in my CSA + a jar of Newman's Own Fire-Roasted Tomato Sauce + spaghetti=Super-mega-awesome.


I'm going to do one of those surveys floating around in mofo-land:

1. Choose between locally grown or organic, which do you usually choose?
Local AND organic (my CSA)

2. Favorite way to prepare potatoes:
boiled and then sauteed. mushy/creamy inside and crispy and spicy on the outside. mmm. with a bit of ketchup.

3. Do you press your tofu before preparing/cooking it (if you eat soy)?
I pat it dry with a towel, but only because it revolts against the olive oil if I don't.

4. Name your favorite recipe that is a tradition in your family:
I still want to try a veganized version of my Gram's cucidati recipe...

5. Any food allergies?

6. When you want to go to a fancy dinner, where do you go?
Hangawi in NYC

7. When you have a cold, what do you crave?
Tea and soup.

8. What kind of water do you drink? (Filtered, spring, tap, etc.)
Water cooler at work, and tap filtered through Brita at home.

9. Name a flavor of soda you'd love to see:
You mean POP! I'm not into fizzy stuff.

10. If the recipes you ate as a child were compiled into a cookbook, what would the title be?
So much food, you'll bust your gut. (food from a giant Italian family)

11. If you were allowed to grow one food that can't grow in your climate, what would it be?
Oranges? Bananas? Avocado? Yeah, Avocado. ::drool::

12. Favorite type of mushroom?
I haven't tried any fancy mushrooms, so I'll go with either shiitake in soup or portabellos on the grill.

13. Most frustrating part of your kitchen?
My kitchen sink is also my Bathroom sink. This means all dishes must be done or I will be brushing my teeth over them. grawr!

14. Last food you burned?
I had a smoke-out incident with my oven last week, after some earth balance dripped down. I thought I set my apartment on fire. It took a few tries to get it to stop smoking.

15. Usual response to a veg*n's favorite question, "But where do you get your protein?":
I don't think I've ever been asked that question.

16. If you were baking your own birthday cake today, what flavor would it be?
Chocolate-PB-AWESOME. Or, if my b-day was when strawberries were in season, I would be all over that (alas, it's not).

17. Favorite brand of chocolate chips?
I either get the accidently vegan chocolate chunks at the grocery store or Whole Foods vegan brand of chips ( I prefer the WF's , but I'm usually lazy about going there).

18. You have $200 of your tax return reserved for Williams Sonoma- What do you buy?
Do they sell soymilk makers there??

19. Do you plan your menus in advance? Any tips to share?
The CSA dictates my menu.

20. You have 3 minutes before you have to leave the house and you're starving- What do you eat?
Rush out the door and get an everything bagel with tofu cream cheese at The Bagel Store, which is conveniently right next to my train stop. Eat it on the train to wherever I'm going (but not if it's crowded; I hate being THAT person munching down in someone else's face.)

21. If Martha Stewart, Paula Deen, and Rachel Ray got into a fight, who would win?
Paula Deen scares me and I effin' hate Rachel Ray. I'm neutral on Martha Stewart, so she wins by default.

22. If you eat oatmeal, what do you add to it before serving?
Brown sugar and a dash of cinnamon.

23. If you got to travel to one country and learn all the traditional dishes there, where would you go (ignore commitments in your current place of residence)?

24. Favorite late night snack?
I pop a few chocolate chips in my mouth.

25. Favorite springtime food?

26. Favorite food-related magazine?
I read only two magazines, and neither are food-related (Bust and Paper Mag)

27. Which do you prefer: shoyu, tamari, conventional soy sauce, or Bragg's Aminos?
SHOYU. I could drink it.

28. What vegetable or fruit do you dislike the most?
BEETS. it's like eating red dirt.

29. Name a holiday food you look forward to all year long:
Stuffing on thanksgiving is the best. The end.

30. If you could convert anyone to veganism with your magic wand, who would you convert?
That boy sitting over there in the other room.

VeganMoFo Day 15-Roasted Calabasa Squash

I made a quick dinner tonight; throwing that beautiful Calabasa Squash in the oven to roast, seasoned with olive oil, sea salt, and pepper. I also baked some tofu (and made up a quick bbq sauce) and sauteed some greens with a pear, apple, and leek and a bit of lemon juice and ginger. The presidential debate (OMG my utter frustration and dislike of McCain becomes even more apparent every time he opens his mouth lately) and the season finale of Project Runway (yaay Leanne!) were what occupied most of my night, along with a few freelance projects.

By the way, that Calabasa Squash was AWESOME. It kinda tasted like a sweet potato. It was the first time I have ever seen one, so I just blindly bought it. It would have been really good mashed up with some Earth Balance. Total Thanksgiving side dish.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

VeganMoFo Day 14-Roasted Tomatillo Chili with homemade tortillas!

Homemade tortillas! I made my own tortilla press with two wooden cutting boards, plastic wrap to sandwich the dough, and myself on the floor sitting on the cutting boards to smoosh the dough. Works like a charm! My kitty cat thought I was totally weird though, and kept sniffing around and giving me an inquisitive look.

Tomatillos are so pretty! I roasted them, along with a hot pepper, carrots, radishes, and garlic. To make the chili, I sauteed an onion, and pureed the roasted tomatillos. I added them in with the onion, along with the chopped up roasted pepper and garlic. I super-spiced it up with (too much) hot sauce, sea salt, pepper, cumin, and hungarian paprika. I just dumped in a bunch of tvp (enough to soak up the juices, I eyed it) and then added some braising greens at the end. I served it up with a spread of black beans, the roasted veggies (I prolly could have just chopped them and added to the chili), and the nacho cheese sauce from Yellow Rose Recipes (I looooove this cheese sauce). Totally messy to eat, but in a seriously yummy way.

Monday, October 13, 2008

VeganMoFo Day 13-More sammiches in my life!

In an attempt to incorporate more sandwiches in my life, I bought a giant peasant loaf at the farmer's market on saturday and enjoyed some of it tonight. Next step: make my own bread.

Garden Tempeh Sammich:

1 package of tempeh, (prepare ahead of time: crumble into pan and cover with water. Let boil until all water is absorbed and crumbles have browned a little. Let fully cool-I put mine in the fridge while making the rest of the recipe)..

1 carrot-finely grated
1 radish-chopped tiny
3 scallions
some chives ( I didn't count them)
sea salt (to taste)
pepper (to taste)
1 tsp. Dill
3 tbs. vegan mayo

Good bread

Combine all ingredients (make sure tempeh is cool!) until well-mixed. Slather on yummy bread and enjoy!