Wednesday, September 24, 2008

This Is Only A Test...

I was gifted a half day off of work today and deemed it necessary to take complete advantage of this miracle. Of course, that meant I chose to make soup and bake on a day that was 100 degrees F. When will I learn?

This is Spaghetti Soup, a delicious test recipe for the incredible Happy Herbivore. Here's the latest news about Happy Herbivore's next e-cookbook. You can (and most definitely should) buy the inaugural issue here.

I've also had the great fortune of being chosen as a tester for Diet, Dessert, and Dogs's upcoming cookbook Sweet Freedom. This is her wonderful Old Fashioned Spice Cake.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Vegan Food Donation

While I have no affection for Heather Mills, I thought this was a pretty cool thing to do.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Native Foods

On the last day of August, I was lucky enough to attend the Jack Johnson concert at UCLA. I love his music and his dedication to the environment.

Before the show, I ate dinner at Native Foods, a great restaurant where I don't eat nearly enough! Although I've eaten there several times before (and own the cookbook), I've never reviewed it here. This time around, I ordered the Soul Bowl (from the menu: Red beans and "jazzman" rice, steamed veggies and greens drizzled with Ranch dressing with BBQ fried "save the chicken" and cornbread) and iced tea (it was a hibiscus, agave-sweetened, tea). Wow, "save the chicken" is delicious! There were two nice-sized pieces in the bowl, each with a tiny bit of barbecue sauce and ranch dressing. Under the faux chicken was a huge helping of broccoli and cauliflower with occasional pieces of kale and carrot and, under the veggies, were jasmine rice and red beans. I wish there had been a little more dressing because I ended up eating that last handful of veggies with organic ketchup. The cornbread had a distinct orange flavor and was very crumbly, but good. All in all, I really enjoyed this meal and I'm looking forward to the next time I get a chance to eat there.

Monday, September 15, 2008


Happy Herbivore and I are both baseball fans. My team of choice is the Angels, but for a vegan, their food options leave a lot to be desired. I always bring food with me to the game to ensure that I have a fabulous vegan meal and this time, I brought Happy Herbivore's tester corndawgs! Borrowing a trick from Vegan Lunch Box, I baked my corndawgs in a Twinkie pan (see the original Twinkie dog post on VLB here), and they turned out perfectly! Many thanks to HH for a recipe worthy of a baseball game! Don't forget that you can now buy her e-book, which contains this recipe.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Make Love Not Landfill

I'm extremely fortunate to have a select few people in my life who know exactly what will bring a smile to my face and who just happen to have perfect timing. After a long, difficult week, I got home tonight at 11 p.m. to find a brown box on my doorstep. Knowing that I hadn't ordered anything, I wondered what the heck was in it and who sent it. Since there was only one way to solve the mystery, I opened the box and found inside the most fabulous Sigg bottle. "Make Love Not Landfill" is the message written in fuchsia on a black bottle with a groovy blue, green, and purple design. It's like my favorite 60s protest song, but in reusable bottle form.

The only evidence linking my beautiful new treasure to its sender was the packing slip and guess whose name was on it...that's right, ma meilleure amie. You see, we often have long, drawn out conversations via text since we live on opposite sides of the country and, last week, I told her how I'd love to have a Sigg bottle to refill. She looked them up and then realized that she'd bought one for her older son while recently on a trip to Switzerland (where she spent much of her childhood). Of course, she was thrilled to learn that these eco-friendly bottles are Swiss-made, too. Little did I know that, about a week later, I would have in my possession a Sigg bottle that seems custom-made for me. And to think that, just this morning, we were talking about how it's the little things in life that matter most.

Alors, MERCI BEAUCOUP, ma belle! Je serais perdue sans toi.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

High Fructose Corn Syrup

Have you see this: HFCS ad 1 and this: HFCS ad 2? (Sorry, I don't know how to embed videos in a post.)

Apparently, the Corn Refiners Association is so afraid that word has gotten out about the negative health impact of HFCS that they've deemed it necessary to run not just one, but two propaganda commercials. Instead of creating a healthier corn-based sweetener, they figured they'd just try to convince us that HFCS are "fine in moderation." These ads are running on networks with very expensive ad time (think Bravo and TLC), meaning that they're pulling out all the stops. Not to mention the fact that they brought out 2 ads on the heels of each other instead of allowing one to make an impact before rolling out the other. I smell fear. I find these Stepford-wife-like ads amusing, but they're certainly not going to change my mind on the HFCS front.

There's great information about HFCS in Alex Jamieson's The Great American Detox Diet, so read it if you haven't already!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


I have had Katie's Don't Eat Off the Sidewalk zines since they were first published. However, it took a holiday weekend for me to finally make the infamous Tempeh Wingz (recipe). Unfortunately, the photographic evidence is horrid and, since Katie has very high standards for food photography, I thought it would be a bad idea to publish said wretched photograph.

Instead, I will tell you that these wings were really good! The flour coating was extremely flavorful and the wings came out of the oven very crispy. I think they, without the delicious wing sauce, would be a great vehicle for other sauces, such as barbecue or mustard. I used Tapatio for the hot sauce and ended up adding an extra 1/2 tablespoon because it didn't taste very spicy while it was cooking. Umm, I was wrong about that! They ended up very spicy, but still very good! Some of the panko coating came off during the wings' dip in the sauce and there wasn't quite enough sauce to thoroughly coat each and every wing, but those are minor issues.

I've never had the omni version of wings, but I understand that they are eaten with ranch dressing, so I made my own ranch, too! I used this Veggie Terrain recipe, but substituted one 6 oz. container of plain Wildwood yogurt for both the vegan mayo and soy milk to reduce the fat. It was the perfect substitution! I also used frozen parsley instead of dried (I had an overabundance of parsley from the farmers' market several weeks ago and froze most of it). The ranch worked well to reduce the sting from the wing sauce.

I learned, or maybe reinforced, something from this experience; I'm not in love with tempeh. I like it. However, I can only take so much of its texture. For my palate, tempeh is best left sliced very thinly (as in tempeh bacon) instead of in thicker slabs (like the wings). I think that, from now on, when a recipe calls for tempeh, I will substitute tofu and see what happens.

Don't forget that the 15-recipe sneak peak of the Happy Herbivore cookbook is on sale now! Go buy yourself a copy and try her fabulous recipes for yourself!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Follow Your Heart Market & Cafe

You guessed it; I ate lunch at Follow Your Heart again! A little disclaimer about their online menu: They have recently overhauled their site and, in re-entering the menu, have omitted many important facts about each dish. Just so you know, almost every item on the menu is vegan optional with the exception, I believe, of the spanakopita and the lasagna. I might be missing another dish or two, but those are what specifically come to mind. I almost went for one of the brunch specials this time around, but instead opted for my favorite vegan reuben. It totally hit the spot!

Since I was dining with my dad, who is amazingly supportive of my veganism and happily eats at Follow Your Heart with me when he is in town, I also got to go grocery shopping in the little Follow Your Heart market. Believe me, they pack a lot of goodness into this market! I know many of you are fond of posting photos of your famers' market bounties, so here is a photo of my Follow Your Heart bounty:

Clockwise from back left: Purely Decadent Mint Chocolate Chip, Follow Your Heart spicy barbecue sauce, Spectrum organic toasted sesame oil, chocolate Silk, Living Harvest chocolate hemp milk, Muir Glen diced roasted tomatoes, 4 Larabar flavors (Jocolat chocolate coffee, chocolate coconut, cashew cookie, cherry pie), coconut Sweet and Sara marshmallows, Sunspire vegan carob chips (not pictured, Purely Decadent Peanut Butter Zig Zag).

I'll try to remember to write a separate post reviewing the Purely Decadent flavors I bought on this trip, along with three others I've tried in the recent past. Follow Your Heart's spicy barbecue sauce is incredibly delicious; I keep trying to make up reasons to eat it! I believe I've talked about the Sweet and Sara marshmallows. I really like the coconut covered ones. The vanilla ones are a little dull for my taste. I love Sunspire carob chips so much that I often just eat them plain as dessert. That was the quick run-down of what is pictured. In case you were wondering why I didn't buy any plain faux milk, the answer is that I favor Vitasoy fat-free plain soy milk that I buy at Trader Joe's. :)

Up until now, I've resisted trying Larabars. Their fat content is FAR higher than my comfort zone for such a tiny bar. However, my dad was generous enough to treat me to this little shopping trip and I decided to buckle down and see for myself why many of you rave about these. So far, I've tried the two chocolate ones and the cashew cookie and I wasn't impressed with any of them. The chocolate coffee was fairly bitter (and, if I'm going to eat chocolate, the darker the better, so that wasn't the issue). The chocolate coconut was a little better, but mostly because I liked that it had coconut and a bit more of a chewy texture. The cashew cookie occasionally tasted like cashew butter, which I love, but not consistently, and the texture was crumbly. I have yet to try the cherry pie and my mom just gave me a key lime and a lemon, so I'll try those, too. I'm curious about several of their other flavors, but I think three misses is a pretty good indication that Larabar and I have no future together, so I won't waste my money or my fat grams on them after I finish the three I have. That means more for you!