Tuesday, June 23, 2009

San Antonio is for Vegans

So, it has been forever since I posted; I have my reasons (laziness, procrastination, school, etc.) But anywho, I became a fabulous vegan on May 17th of this year, and I'm rather happy about it. On June 5th, I flew 1000-some-odd miles to San Antonio, Texas for my yearly stay with my sister, Stef, and I am super duper proud to say I stayed vegan the entirety of my stay. We ate out quite a bit, and, even though I didn't write down the order and days I went, I have top-notch Blackberry-quality photos of some of the strange and awesome food I ate. =P

In the airport, the day of my departure, I stayed on my phone practically the entire time, texting my now boyfriend, Nick Green. It really made the terrible time in the airport somewhat enjoyable, for he is quite the dashing fellow, and made me smile endlessly. :D

I got to San Antonio, and I literally had not eaten a thing all day (which isn't strange for me), and Stef is quite the extravagent one. So, we went out to one of my favourite places EVERRR, Zushi Sushi and I had some amazing noodle dish, my usual seaweed salad, and the best ever veggie sushi rolls.
My green tea settled my nerves and it was off to H.E.B. (Herbert Eugene Butts =P)for some health food shopping. I found the BESTBESTBEST venezuelan dark chocolate there. I spent a few nights chopping on it in the apartment, one in which I was watching the Titanic and talking to my sweetie. What a girl....

I also went to this insanely delicious mexican restaurant with Stef and her work partner, Gerald, and it was just wonderful. I wish I could remember the name, but I had grilled vegetable fajitas and had the best salsa I have ever had in my life. (I'm a chips and salsa enthusiast.)

Another night we stayed in and I made this soup that my mum came across while watching Giada de Laurentiis one day, and other than the chicken broth changing to Vegetable broth, it was already vegan. Here's the recipe via foodnetwork (I made a few alterations, in italics)

Quick and Spicy Tomato Soup (courtesy of Giada de Laurentiis)


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 (26-ounce) jar marinara sauce
  • 2 (14-ounce) cans vegetable broth
  • 1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup pastina pasta (or any small pasta)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 can fire roasted tomatoes


Warm the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the carrots, onion, and garlic and saute until soft, about 2 minutes. Add the jar of marinara sauce, vegetable broth, cannellini beans, red pepper flakes, fire roasted tomatoes, pasta, salt and pepper. Simmer for 10 minutes. Ladle into bowls and serve.

I spent a lot of my time at the Riverwalk, listening to the Native American-esque band play, as I sat on my little marble slab and drank my delicious vanilla soy latte from the starbucks downstairs. I overspent while I was there, but I loved every second. I'll put some pictures from my real camera up later.

Anywho, for lunch one day, I ran to the probation office to meet Stef and her co-worker and friend, Kim. I literally ran as soon as I woke up, so by the time I got there I was ready for some foooooood. =) So we went to the Guenther House, which is a historical little cottage that serves up the best coffee and awesome-ass food. I got the same thing as I got last year, trading the cream cheese pesto for mustard, and I was in loveeee! =DD

The last night in town, i went out with friends to a movie, Land of the Lost. Fucking hilarious. =) That night, we got in an accident. Not huge, but the car was undriveable, we were on the South side of San Antonio, and I had to board a plane back home in 4 hours from then. Although it sucked, I was pretty optimistic about it. It let me spend more time with my friend who is leaving for the airforce in a few months. =/

John and Dre showed me a great time. Dre, I'll miss the hell out of you when I don't see you the next time I go to San Antonio. Good luck in the airforce. <3

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Thanksgiving for your special, lovely vegan.

Miss Al!ce Fields, photographer extrordinare and vegan chef, introduced me to the power of blogging!
I do my share of vegetarian/vegan cooking in my spare time, and hey, I want to share my expertise. =D

My first recipe I would like to share with you is one I made a few months after I transformed into a vegetarian. I call it Stuffed Sesame Tofurkey with Gravy. It turned out beautifully on that rainy Thanksgiving day in my sister's Walker, Louisiana residence. I was very proud. Even my 4 year old neice liked it, and she tells people straight up if she doesn't like things:

Stuffed Sesame Tofurkey with Gravy (Vegan):

Turkey/Stuffing/Basting Liquid/Gravy

-5 pounds of firm tofu
-2 tablespoons olive oil
-1 large onion, chopped fine
-4 stalks of celery, diced
-1 cup mushrooms, finely chopped
-4 cloves garlic, minced
-1 teaspoon dried sage
-2 teaspoons marjoram
-2 teaspoons thyme
-1 teaspoon winter or summer savory
-salt and pepper to taste
-1 teaspoon rosemary
-2 teaspoons celery seed
-1/4 cup soy sauce or tamari
-3 cups Pepperidge Farm Herb Stuffing

-1/2 cup toasted sesame oil
-1/3 cup soy sauce or tamari
-2 tablespoons miso (I used the powder from my tofu miso soup dry mix. I like it because it gave the gravy pieces of seaweed in it. =D)
-2 tablespoons orange juice
-1 teaspoon dijon mustard

-1 tablespoon Earth Balance Margarine
-1 tablespoon Flour
-Unused basting liquid

(I used half of the recipe for me because I was the only vegetarian there, but if you have a family to feed, make the whole thing. =D Half is quite a bit though.)

Mash tofu and place on a frying screen (one to prevent splatter when frying in pans) placed over a large bowl or your sink, and place a teatowl over it and place something very heavy on it. You are trying to get all excess moisture out by doing this. Leave it for 3 hours at least. If after 3 hours it is still not dry enough, put it in the tea towl, close and squeeze it, it'll work, but use as a last resort. Having the tofu sit at room temp. gives it a nice workable texture.

To make basting liquid:
Mix basting mixture ingredients together and set aside. (If it sits together long enough, the flavours will meld and it is best that way.)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

To make stuffing:
Heat a medium sautee pan to medium-high heat and put in oil and all the veggies except garlic. Cook for 5 minutes. Put in the rets of the ingredients except the stuffing and cook another 5 minutes. Stir in stuffing. Set aside and let cool.

To assemble Tofurkey:
Place about 2/3 of the tofu mash in a round bowl, sprayed with non-stick spray. Get a smaller bowl, press in center of tofu mash and push down. Make sure to have plenty of tofu on the sides for proper structure. Place the stuffing inside (Doesn't have to be all of it. DON'T OVERSTUFF, FOOL!). Put the remaining tofu on top and pack firmly.
Prepare a cookie sheet with non-stick spray and turn out the tofurkey. If it falls apart (which mine did), just pack the tofu around it. It's dry enough to work, so make sure it is dry.
Baste with half the basting liquid, cover with foil, and bake for 1 hour. after an hour, remove from the oven, take off foil, baste with a little more (use about half of what is left), and pop it back in the oven for another hour.

To make gravy:
In a small saucepan, heat to medium-low heat and put in margarine and flour. Stir with a wisk and let it get golden, about 7 minutes. pour in remaining basting liquid and let simmer until thick. if not thick enough, sprinkle in flour until it is. Trial and error will get you the right consistancy. Wisk constantly to prevent clumping.

---Serve and enjoy on your veg holiday!--- =D