Tag Archives: vegan

What’s a-Masala with You?

30 Apr

Well, now that we’ve officially established that my pun-circuits aren’t working.

I apologize for my lonngggg absence.  There’s lots of stuff going on with me right now and I’m trying to keep up with it.  In order to maximize schedule ease, I’m planning to update with new recipes Mondays and Wednesdays, possibly Fridays.  I’ll try.  But homework, you see, and moving.  So, we’ll see how it goes.

In any event, I return to you from a request: chana masala!  This is an exciting day for me, because I love, love chana masala, and how relatively easy it is to make.  And it makes a TON.  I made double the recipe I’m about to post, and ate it with some basmati rice for lunch all week.

Chana masala. Not my most recent vintage, but an excellent approximation of what yours should look like.

You can even plate it easily!  I’m not a great food photographer (I’m improving slowly!) but just piling rice on a plate with beans on top and a spring of either parsley or cilantro, depending on which way your tastes swing, is a totally acceptable and actually rather attractive way to get your food on the plate, that last way-station on a garbanzo bean’s long but inevitable journey into my stomach.  (Yes, all garbanzo beans.  I love garbanzo beans!)

Total time is about an hour, but only about thirty minutes’ worth of actual work, and worth it, especially to not make lunch for the next day.

Recipe after the cut!

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A sad story about an animal auction.

4 Apr

“Livestock” animal charity auction in Houston [TW?]

TW if you’re the kind of person who is really, truly upset by even hearing about animal slaughter.

I thought this was an especially sad and weird article:

After school and basketball practice, Mr. Leach would look after Kipper, massaging his legs and brushing a lotion on the bottom of his cloven hooves to help his sore feet. Out of the 2,526 barrows at the Houston event, the judges declared Kipper the 2012 grand champion, making him the star of the swine auction. Mr. Leach is still trying to get his head around it: His pig will put him through college.

Awww, that’s really sweet!  Appreciating animals usually thought of as chattel as creatures just like dogs and cats (and rats, can’t forget about my sweet rat babies.)  It sounds like the kid formed a real bond with the pig.

Inevitably, the auctions turn out better for the animals’ owners than for the animals themselves. Three days after the auction, Kipper was put in a trailer and driven to a meat science laboratory at Texas A & M University, where he was slaughtered and placed in a cooler. Once his drug test results come in, Kipper will be butchered, boxed and, along with 66 other top-ranking barrows, donated to charity. The four couples who bought Kipper will each receive a 54-pound gourmet pork package.

Oh.  Never mind about that, then.  Did nobody at the auction find this a little creepy?

Also: “meat science”?  Texas A&M, what are you doing?

Interlude from the Wynn: Thoughts on Weekday Vegetarianism

25 Mar

I’m on vacation at the Wynn, which is vegan paradise for two reasons: 1) Every restaurant–and there are plenty–offers a vegan option! and 2) The vegan menu is way cheaper than the regular menu.

For example (pictures to come) I got a vegan burger, fries, and a little shake (yes!  Too minty, but a good consistency and taste otherwise, especially if you’re into mint, which I’m not) for $9, or more than double that if you go carnivorous and feel like fries, too.  Nice!   So we also got the cashew cream spinach and artichoke dip, which was both huge and delicious.  This morning?  Vegan blueberry muffin.  Yesterday evening?  Vegan chocolate chip cookie.

While I agree that it’s a joy to go to a vegan restaurant and eat anything on the menu, even more exciting to me is just knowing you can ask, “Is there a vegan menu available?” knowing that the answer is always yes, and then being able to eat ANYWHERE, basing your decision on what kind of food you feel like instead of what places offer something you could maybe eat if you were a rabbit half your current size.

Anyway.  Awesome!  (My omnivorous boyfriend is even eating a bunch of vegan food here, partially because it’s good, and also because it’s cheap.  Motives aside, the adorable little cows thank you very much.)  Actually, it’s because my boyfriend is taking some time to do schoolwork (poor thing) that I am taking a break to write once again, this time about the merits and demerits of weekday vegetarianism.  I must caution that this is a long article, but it’s an interesting topic since the whole “Meatless Monday” and “flexitarian” thing is gaining ground.

As I write more, I realize this is approaching dissertation-length, so I’ll sum up my points before the cut.

  1. Weekday vegetarianism is not inherently more eco-friendly than eating meat–that is, the mere elimination of meat and its replacement with any old thing does not necessarily consume fewer resources.  A romp with some statistics shows us how.
  2. The use of “vegetarian” to mean things other than its commonly accepted definition detracts from our ability to understand each other when we describe things or people as vegetarian.  It has nothing to do with exclusion or smugness or only wanting Certain People to be given the title of vegetarian; it just has to do with having a comprehensible debate with agreed-upon terms.
  3. If the ethical precepts of vegetarianism are given any credence by weekday vegetarians, as they seem to be in the TED talk referenced later in this post, then weekday vegetarianism becomes “I only kill things for fun on the weekends, but it just doesn’t bother me as much when I limit it to those particular days!”

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Defensive Omnivore Bingo

21 Mar

Print some of these out next time you get in an argument with someone about eating a vegan diet.  Keep refreshing the page, and get a new bingo card!

Gems include:

“Expresses shock that you “force” your child to eat this way, depriving them of vital cholesterol.”

“Wonders how we’d grow enough food to feed us all if everyone went vegan overnight.”

“Something irrelevant about cavemen.”

“Expresses concern for plant suffering.”

“Speculates about how many salads you eat each day.”

True confessions: for the most part, I don’t like salad!  I actually just subsist on the Kumbaya Motherfucker vapors that follow me everywhere as I coo over baby animals.  I suspect it is due to the massive crummy dinner salad overload that I ate in my younger days while I was very concerned about my weight.

I still exist! News and updates.

17 Mar

School has been VERY stressful for the past couple of weeks!  I am sorry to abandon my heretofore very dedicated blogging endeavors, but between end-of-quarter stuff like exams/projects/redos and dealing with some minor medical scheduling issues, trying to keep the house cleanish, baking a cake installation (I promise to discuss that later!), and testing new recipes all the time, I just haven’t had the time or the energy.  Fortunately, I am now done, and look forward to not being tired and eating my meals in a civilized fashion, not wolfing down a meal that should be savored because twenty minutes is enough time for lunch in someone’s mind.

In any event, I have a huge backlog I will be publishing over break, and I am excited to announce some new sections!  Click to read more, since I didn’t want to clutter the page.

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The sort-of saddest food post ever.

26 Feb

World's easiest tofu recipe. I mean it.

You may be wondering what is going on in this post, because it doesn’t look like where I usually take my food photos.  That’s because it isn’t.  This is an awkwardly-taken picture from me sitting (alone, like all the other saps in there enjoying a five-seater table to themselves) in my university lunchroom on a very short lunchbreak with my undeniably hip $5 food thermos thing I bought from CVS when I picked up my prescription last.  You can even see my Kindle (on which I’m currently reading this and this) and backpack in the background.

I am in class 5 days a week, generally for 3-5 hour stretches with (maximum!) a 25-minute break.  I now bring my own lunches for two reasons: 1) eating out vegan at a place that isn’t expressly vegan can be an exercise in frustration that I don’t have time for and 2) a healthy lunch won’t make me crash in the middle of the day (or I could just get a pile of fat on a piece of bread or something, but whatever).  Usually, this is pretty easy, since I just take a pile of leftovers from the night before.

But this time, the night before, I made curried tofu.  Big mistake.  The spice blend smelled great!  But both my boyfriend and I discovered that we are not fans of turmeric-heavy, super-spicy Indian food (though there are types of Indian food I like!)  The recipe came out fine, it was just not my favorite, because it burns.  So, even though I usually use leftovers to make lunch, I was left in a tight spot.  I didn’t want a pasta dish and I didn’t have leftovers–what to do?  Emergency tofu!

Read about how emergency tofu preparedness after the cut.

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Stout Little Cupcakes

21 Feb

I mean it!  There’s stout in these!    (Fortunately, Guinness Extra Stout, North America is vegan according to Barnivore.)

I was going to do a writeup of some of the more practical and also-delicious things I’ve made lately that are backlogged, but I feel like I don’t make enough pretty things to post here, so I am posting this takeoff of the Chocolate Stout Cupcake recipe from Vegan Cupcakes Take over the World, which we all know is the only cupcake book for vegans.  Be happy!  Now you have a recipe to impress your coworkers, friends, and other people who need impressing.

The only change I would make is to not whisk the dry and wet ingredients for two minutes, as suggested in the original recipe, because I personally think that’s over-mixing and it resulted in slightly crunchy tops, despite a moderate sugar content, smooth batter texture, and a constant oven temperature, which I watch like a hawk while I am cupcaking (thanks, oven thermometer.)

The original also called for a crumb topping, but I had just made a crumb topping for the ginger snap-apple-peanut butter thing I have in my fridge right now, but I don’t like cupcakes to be smothered in sugar and fatty toppings, so I decided to go a little different.  Chocolate and raspberry go together!  So I made a half-recipe of raspberry buttercream frosting, a little chocolate ganache, and got out some powdered sugar/unsweetened cocoa powder (trust me, you’ll like it!) to make little pink flowers crowned with an eensy ganache truffle rolled in cocoa powder.

They turned out pretty attractively!

Cupcake group photo. See, not too terribly boob-shaped.

They’re a little boob-like, thanks to the lighting that is washing out the color of my icing (because I’m an awful photographer), but if you’re really worried about it, add extra red to the icing and make your rosettes bigger and more floral.  You can also substitute a little piece of fruit for the ganache drop, but personally I like them fine this way, and think their appearance as boobs is questionable enough to serve in settings unrelated to the Vagina Monologues.

In the interest of preventing well-intentioned cupcake disasters (and strudel sadness), I am making a “Challenging” category for this blog–stuff that requires special equipment, assembly, lots of time, or exotic ingredients.  This would probably fit here–both ganache and frosting should be prepared ahead of time, for example.

Click through for this moderately-challenging recipe!

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