Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Fa La La La Latkes

I know I already did the Fa La La gag this year, but hey, I'm Jewish. It's the only Christmas carol I know.*

ANYWAY, I made not-quite potato latkes for my family's not-quite Chanukkah party. Actually, they were Zucchini Parmesan Latkes, veganized from a recipe in some Jewish magazine I found in my mother's room and used as a coaster. I was lazy and used Galaxy Nutritional Foods' Vegan Grated Topping, but these would probably be even better using nutritional yeast or a homemade parmeseanish topping (I like the one from Yellow Rose Recipes - but I also don't like Parmesean).

The zucchini makes these a little lighter than regular potato latkes, and the parmesean makes them...stinky. Just for shits and giggles, I fried them in peanut oil, but if you're going to serve them on real live Channukkah, you'd probably want to do the whole olive oil thing.

Alas, I have no photos; the family inhaled them before I got to. I guess that's a good thing, yes?

Monday, December 28, 2009

'Tis the Season to Be Baking

Fa la la...etc.

I did so much baking last week that I forgot to take pictures of most of it. Whoops.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


One thing I forgot to mention about my trip to Barbados is that I missed my flight. Oops. That was my first time missing a flight, ever. I'm usually there ridiculously early. I once even got there before the ticket counters opened and slept on the floor. Thankfully, I was able to fly standby and get there the next day without having to pay a load of fees. This was yet another day with nothing to do but cook, so I checked out the tester forum for Isa Chandra Moskowitz's upcoming healthy/low fat/whole foods book and got to work.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Sunday. Sunday! SUNDAY!

This is where I was Sunday, December 20:

This is where I was Sunday, December 27:

Monday, December 21, 2009

This is a Post...

...In which I prattle about my Caribbean vacation and what I ate there.
Let's get the obvious out of the way: Barbados is beautiful.

Moving on!

Their system of agriculture is VERY different from that of the US. I had a whole list of fruits I wanted to try, but only got to some because my host's friends and family didn't have any at the time. And we couldn't just go to the store and buy some. According to my friend, if you want breadfruit, soursopp, etc. you don't go to the store. You go to your neighbor, who cuts some off the tree for you. One person seemed offended we went to the coconut guy (below) instead of getting our coconut water from him.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Quiche Me, You Fool!

I love quiche. Now. I don't know if I ever had quiche, pregan. If I did, it would have been about sixteen years ago, and I probably didn't like it at all because I didn't like eggs. Tofu quiche, on the other hand is the stuff dreams are made of. In fact, the quiche section is one of the most awesome parts of Vegan Brunch (which has lots of awesome parts). So when a quiche recipe was posted to test for Vegan in the Sun, my excitement was palpable (to me).

In my excitement, I may have overcooked it a bit, but hell, no one's perfect.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Looking Forward to Leftovers

One thing the veg-friendly of NYC look forward to this time of year is the Thanksgiving Leftovers Sandwich from 'SNice (which now has two locations). This year, I was inspired to make my own.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Morning After

What do you do after you've spent days in the kitchen preparing Thanksgiving dinner for your whole family? If you're me, you get up early (relatively) and make brunch.

Back when I first learned to cook (and had stopped eating all animal products, though I still thought of myself as a vegetarian, not vegan) and my family was still eating turkey during Thanksgiving dinner, we came up with Flesh Free Friday: the day after Thanksgiving, I make brunch and dinner and the whole family goes vegan for the day. This year, the main attraction was the Coconut Orange Dessert Pancakes with Candied Spiced Coconut and chocolate ganche from Vegan in the Sun:

Monday, December 7, 2009

Just Desserts

Throughout Thanksgiving dinner, I warned everyone to save room for dessert and they were all very glad they listened. So glad, in fact, that I didn't get to take a picture of the whole table full of sweets before we all started digging in and I forgot to take pictures of the insides of the desserts (the best part) because once they were cut, they went straight into our faces.

Friday, December 4, 2009


Oh, holidays! Hope everyone had a lovely day.

This was my first time trying to do a somewhat traditional Thanksgiving (apparently, chili and a cornbread boat aren't traditional for Thanksgiving. Who knew?). My family doesn't really have many traditions (the only thing that seems to happen with any regularity in my house around Thanksgiving is the basement flooding), so I stole some from my friends and the Internet (and my friends on the Internet). Here's what I came up with:

Monday, November 16, 2009

Ginger Beer Three Ways

No, I haven't been getting up to bizarre hijinks with Caribbean beverages. I just made three different types of ginger beer while testing for Vegan in the Sun.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Currying Favor

I love curry. I say this despite knowing most of the curries I eat are not authentic and most authentic ones burn my face off. So far, none of Isa Chandra Moskowitz's recipes have burnt my face off, for which I'm grateful. I most recently tested her potato spinach curry and tamarind quinoa recipes.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A Moveable Feast

I have a confession to make: Sometimes, when I'm going someplace, I look more forward to packing something to eat than to what I'll be doing. This is especially true of going to work. And so, here's a post dedicated to the food I've been packing myself for the last few days.

Behold! Today's lunch!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Macaroni Pie

Back in my pregan days, when I would discuss food with my Bajan friend, she would tell me all about the wonders of macaroni pie and how I have to try it. She would sing its praises, telling me how great it is, "It's just like macaroni and cheese, but better!" and I'd smile and nod and think "Better than macaroni and cheese?! Inconceivable!" Then I went vegan and never got to try her macaroni pie. Sadness abounded. But, thanks to Vegan in the Sun, all is not lost! Last night, I tested Tay's recipe for Bajan Vegan Macaroni Pie and it's so good, maybe I'll make it for my friend when I go to Barbados, instead of the other way around.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

It's Always Better on Holiday

I am very excited. In December, I'm going to Barbados to visit one of my closest friends (JetBlue had amazing introductory rates from JFK). This will be my first time leaving the country since 1998 and my first straight up vacation (as opposed to traveling for an event) since 2000ish.

Just when I thought I couldn't get more excited about this, I found out about Vegan in the Sun, an upcoming vegan Caribbean cookbook. All those pictures look so delicious, I just want to hop on a plane right now and go to the islands just to eat. I can't do that, but I can test for the book, which is almost as exciting. The first recipe I tried was roti:

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A Very Dandy Halloween (Part III)

I may have gone a little overboard with the sweets over the holiday weekend. After the Dandies and the cookies, I thought "Gee, I really ought to make a pie," so I poked around the kitchen and ended up with a Gingerbread Pumpkin Apple Cranberry Pie (which is clearly in need of some kind of clever name, since it's almost too long to Tweet.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A Very Dandy Halloween (Part II)

As previously mentioned, I can recognize the hand of fate when it places delicious goodness in my path. But when Dandies, Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar and Halloween all coincide, that's not just fate. That's celestial voices* calling out "Oi! We need some sweets up in here! What are you waiting for?" Never dreaming of ignoring a divine request, I broke out my cookie sheets and made with the baking.

Monday, November 2, 2009

A Very Dandy Halloween (Part I)

I wasn't raised celebrating Halloween, so I never really worried about it much, but even I can recognize the guiding hand of fate when it brings Dandies to my local supermarket just days before the holiday. We spent Halloween night at home, warm, cozy and out of the rain, indulging in all sorts of sugary sweet treats.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Closing MoFo

If you just pay attention to the name, you might thing VeganMoFo is all about the food. And, to an extent, it is. But really, when over 500 people get together (whether it's online or in real life) with a common goal, I think it's even more about community. So what better way is there to wrap up VeganMoFo than with a potluck?

Thursday, October 29, 2009


I have a confession: I've never made risotto. Not because of intimidation by all the stirring and the waiting and the stirring (and the stirring), but because whenever I decide to make it, I get distracted by a recipe that sounds even better. Usually quinoa. So imagine how thrilled I was when I saw that Terry posted Quinoa Roasted Pumpkin Risotto to test for her upcoming book.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Autumn Rolls

I was sorting through my pantry recently and found a load of rice paper rolls. Suddenly, all I wanted to do was roll things. But what? Last time I had used these papers was for the Mango Summer Rolls from Vegan With a Vengeance, which were delightful, but I wanted to make something seasonal. Thus the Autumn Roll was born.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Bubbles Don't Squeak

This post is kind of meta-MoFo: a VeganMoFo post inspired by another VeganMoFo post.

A couple of weeks ago, Heathen Vegan posted instructions for making Bubble and Squeak, which sounded really good to me. Just coming off a detox, I didn't want to stuff my face with fried potatoes, so I attempted a baked, parsnip-based patty that I'm going to call Bubbles Don't squeak.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Mom Lunch

Yup, I'm still talking about my mother's new eating habits. I'm proud of her, dammit. And it gives me something to do while I detox. Here's a lunch I made her last week:

(I didn't use flash or play with this picture in Photoshop in any way, so the brightness of those carrots is scaring me a little).

Friday, October 23, 2009

Thanksgiving Bars

I decided we should close out Sweets Week with something that won’t send us all into a diabetic coma just by looking at it: raw bars.

My mother is still trying to watch what she eats and is doing pretty well. She balanced out a big cheesy portion of baked ziti one day with tofu and mixed vegetables over brown rice (her first time ordering brown rice!) the next. And she ate all the fruit and nut bars I made her last week (she liked them so much she was hoping to have more last night and was very disappointed when I told her they’d still be in the fridge, firming up, when she went to bed), so it was time for another go around.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Birthday Baking

One of the all time best compliments I can get is when someone asks me to bake or cook for them. I know this is really more of a tribute to the person who created the recipe than me for just being able to follow instructions, but it's still exciting that they like what I do so much that they want me to do it again (and are even willing to pay for it, if I allow them to), instead of just asking for the recipe and doing it themselves. So we're continuing Sweets Week with cupcakes that were requested for a coworker's birthday. She asked if I could bring in chocolate mint cupcakes, using the same recipe I used for my birthday cake back in May (from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World), so I did.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Ode to a Chocolate Chip Cookie

The last batch of cookies I made for the people who contributed to our bake sale was the chocolate chip cookies from Isa and Terry's upcoming Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar. I've made and posted about them too many times to count, so I won't get all redundant about how easy, fast and delicious they are, or about how everyone who's ever tried them has loved these crunchy cookies (once I solved the crumbling issue - make them a wee bit smaller).

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Mexican Hot Chocolate Snickerdoodles

How do I love these cookies? Let me count the ways.

OK, I'm not going to actually count the ways, because if you've been following VeganMoFo at all, you already know how awesome they are. I think at least half the participants have posted about them already. I'm a little late to the posting party, but not to the eating party - I've already made them quite a few times.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Sweets Week

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it’s Sweets Week here at SSD HQ. This week’s VeganMoFo posts will feature cupcakes, cookies and maybe some other things to widen your smile and your waistline.

As you can see, Sunday was a very busy day:

Friday, October 16, 2009

Fruity Friday: Mystery Fruit

Welcome to The Ides of MoFo. In honor of this auspicious occasion, I am pleased to present Fruity Friday.

During the summer, a coworker and I went to Grand Central Market every Friday to treat ourselves to a new fruit. Toward the end, we ran out of things we hadn't tried, but were lucky enough to come across a new fruit elsewhere. One Thursday night, we went to the Vegetarian Dim Sum House in Chinatown and passed a vendor selling fruit neither of us had had before. We didn't even know what it was called (and the signs were in Chinese). So we decided to buy it and eat it the next day for Fruity Friday. Help us discover what it is!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Mom's Fruit and Nut Bars

My mother and I are on a quest to get her to eat better. After having absolutely no luck getting her to read The China Study, she's currently reading Eat to Live and thinks it makes a lot of sense. I don't think she'll ever go vegan, but in the past month or so, she's definitely become a barelyanymeatatarian, which I think rules (she even ordered her first cheeseless pizza today).

While looking for healthier alternatives to the candy and snacks she usually eats, my mother came across an ad for Mrs. May's Trio Bars and wanted me to order them for her. I refused, saying we can make them better ourselves. I hit the Internet, bookmarked about 473892 different raw bars, figured out what the basic deal was and got to playing with food myself. Thus Mom's Fruit and Nut Bars were born.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A Night of Improv

The only thing I can think of that could be worse than your oven breaking during VeganMoFo is your oven breaking during VeganMoFo when you have a birthday cake due in about a week*. So far, no one has been able to repair our oven and I have no idea when we'll be getting a new one. Just as I was about to give up hope, I had a brainfart: Try the toaster oven! Improvise!**

So I did:

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

I Knew I Forgot Something

Welcome to today's VeganMoFo trip down Memory Lane. Back in 2008, I offered to bake for everyone who sponsored me in that year's AIDS Walk. It ended up taking me ages to make something for everyone and even longer to remember to blog about it. Even longer = until today = over a year. Oops. Sorry, Internet! Better late than never, here's a small sample of what I made to thank the people who contributed.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Curry Laksa

When it's not too spicy, I love curry and all things curry-related, so it surprised me when I realized I had never cooked with curry paste before, just powder. I remedied that recently, by testing a new recipe for Isa Chandra Moskowitz's upcoming whole foods book: Curry Laksa.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Asparagus Muffins

If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times: I love asparagus. I would gladly eat it in prepared any way, in any dish, at any time, in any place. My latest new asparagus experience was in a muffin, in August, at a picnic, in Prospect Park (suddenly this post sounds like a game of Clue).