Sunday, February 26, 2012

From Becoming To Being

Since I have been Vegan for almost two months, and I know I could never go back to a less compassionate lifestyle, I've changed the title of this blog. I think it's true that I have fully "become" Vegan.

Good Looking Out

Went to Elephant Bar with some friends last night. In my pre-Vegan days, I loved their fish tacos. I took a quick glance at the menu online but didn't decide on anything except probably an entree salad.

Just as I was resigned to order one of those salads minus this and that, my friend said, hey, they have a vegetable stir fry, and showed me where it was. Nothing but veggies, sauteed in sweet and sour, served over rice and wontons. Yay! And it was delicious. I was very thankful.

So I definitely recommend this awesome veg dish if you're going there. Haven't been? It's at Penn Square Mall, off of Northwest Expressway and I-44. And they also have a great kids menu, if you're like me and still having to feed your kids, well, kid food. If not, they also have a special salad on the kids menu, apples, and steamed veggies :) My child had a corn dog :/ But we'll get there someday...

Thanks Danielle, for being so thoughtful, and thanks to you and Justin for a fun night out!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

A Seed Planted?

A non-vegetarian friend was over last night for dinner. I was making my pan-fried beans and kale (see "recipes"). She said she grew up poor, and had eaten beans so much as a kid she really didn't like them anymore. I told her she was welcome to give it a try, and I could make her something else if she didn't like it. We talked about my decision to become Vegan, and she shared that she could barely eat meat herself, limited to grilled chicken. She asked me if my new diet is expensive. I told her, not necessarily, I have a tight budget so I only go out of my way to buy organic if it's something like tofu or bread, that most of my staples come from the big-chain supermarket.

She loved the meal and was really surprised by the flavor ;) Then she had some of my Uncle Eddie's Vegan Oatmeal Raisin Cookies, and loved those. She said, I've never really cooked without meat. So, she may have a new perspective, and will be visiting more often so will be treated to more Vegan meals. Who knows, she may be on the side of the animals before long :)

Saturday, February 18, 2012

A Vegan Spread

Today is my son's birthday party. Besides fresh fruit and Vegan cupcakes, I'm providing Follow Your Heart Vegan Gourmet mozzarella style, cubed. Hope they like it as much as I do! I won't force anyone to eat Vegan, but it is what I will serve in my home.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Tofu Is My Friend - Don't Diss My Friends

I'm going to go on a small rant here and then I promise I'll leave it be. Why would someone who doesn't eat tofu on a regular basis, let alone know anything about preparing it, keep interjecting "tofu sucks" into my conversation with a non-vegetarian who genuinely wanted to know how to prepare tofu?!?! I made it my goal to educate both of them at that point, but the tofu-hater just kept saying tofu is bland, etc. He obviously hasn't had my tofu ;)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Birthday Time!

Below are the recipes I'm using for my son's 3rd birthday party this weekend. Both are from "The Joy of Vegan Baking" by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau (thanks again, Amanda!). To be sure this is the recipe I wanted to use, I've already made one batch and tested them out on my coworkers, none of whom are Vegan but gave me the thumbs up! And this was even with a slightly unleavened batch, since my baking powder is a bit old. With a new can on hand, I am ready to make 36 cupcakes for our guests :)

Vanilla Cupcakes

  • 1 1/2 tsp Ener-G egg replacer powder (equivalent of 1 egg)
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 1 3/4 c nondairy milk
  • 1/2 c water, divided
  • 1/2 c non-hydrogenated, nondairy butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 c granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 c unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt

    1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease standard muffin tins or fill the muffin cups with cupcake liners.
    2. In a food processor or by hand, whip the egg replacer powder and water until it's smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Add the nondairy milk and 1/4 c of the water.
    3. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract and the remaining 1/4 c water, and beat well to thoroughly combine.
    4. In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add this, along with the egg replacer/milk mixture, to the butter/sugar combination. Beat until combined.
    5. Fill the muffin cups with the batter and bake for 20 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
    6. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Make sure the cupcakes have cooled completely before frosting.

    Yield: 10 to 12 cupcakes

    Chocolate Frosting

  • 1/2 c non-hydogenated, nondairy butter, softened
  • 3 c confectioners' (powdered) sugar, sifted
  • 1/3 c unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract or 1/2 tsp peppermint extract
  • 3 to 4 Tbsp water or nondairy milk, or more as needed

    1. With an electric hand mixer, cream the butter until smooth.
    2. With the mixer on low speed, add the confectioners' sugar, and cream for about 2 minutes.
    3. Add the cocoa, vanilla, and milk, and turn the mixer to high speed once all the ingredients are relatively well combined.
    4. Beat on high speed until the frosting is light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add 1 to 2 Tbsp more milk if it's too dry.
    5. Cover the icing with plastic wrap to prevent drying until ready to use. Store it in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Rewhip before using.

    Yield: Enough for one 9-inch cake or 8 cupcakes*

    *I was able to ice all 12 cupcakes with this batch and had enough left over to save for the party
  • Monday, February 13, 2012

    Yay! More Indian Food

    Since I know now I like the cuisine, I got a package of "Sukhi's" Samosa & Chutney. They are Vegan, crispy wraps with spiced potatoes and peas, with a package of chutney, that green sauce. It was yummy! And again, leftovers.

    Tuesday, February 7, 2012

    Yummy Tempeh

    If you buy West Soy brand tempeh, this recipe is right on the package. If not, here it is. And it was goood :)

    Tempeh Stir Fry
    1. Slice or cube 8 oz. tempeh
    2. Heat 4 Tbsp. nondairy butter, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1/4 tsp coriander (I substituted a dash of allspice and a squeeze of lemon for the coriander) over medium high heat
    3. Add tempeh and 2 Tbsp tamari
    4. Saute until golden brown

    Sunday, February 5, 2012

    I Heart Indian Food

    I finally went to an Indian restaurant with a couple of friends. If you're in OKC, it's called Himalayas and it's in Moore off 12th. Definitely unlike anything I've ever had, but in a delicious way. What's more, they were kind enough to have "Vegetarian," "Vegan," "Contains Milk" and such signs above the different items on the buffet. I wish I could tell you what I had, but couldn't pronounce any of it then and today is no different.

    Saturday, February 4, 2012

    A Picky Toddler

    I may be throwing in the towel a bit early, but my child has got to eat. It turns out that he's attuned enough to what I'm putting on his plate that he can tell it's not what he used to get. I've tried the best Vegan "chicken" and "hot dogs" and he very plainly doesn't like them. I've given these things to him for a couple of weeks now and he is not being fooled. He loves beans. But he shouldn't and won't eat them every day.

    Hopefully, when he's a little older, we can have a discussion about the foods we eat and he can make a decision for himself. I'm obviously not the one to do it for him. It would have been much different if I'd been living this way before he was born. So, begrudged, I bought a bag of Tyson chicken nuggets today.

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