Monday, May 18, 2009

Mmmm... Artisan Bread...

Nothing induces a Homer Simpson like mumble and drool quite like freshly baked bread. I was at my local grocers, looking at the bake shop and it's baked bread. I'm not going to lie. I was drooling in the middle of Giant Eagle. Fantasizing about sandwiches and paninis. (Did I mention that we NEVER have bread in my house?) So, I bought some. 

Have you ever heard of these? My yoga teacher made them for me the last time I was over her house, and yeah. They're pretty tasty. Sometimes you just want tofu now. And you don't want to press it. And marinade it. And cook it. These, you take out of the freezer and just plop them into a bit of oil in a pan, and turn until they're nice and brown. And they're vegan. And they're organic. And gluten free. And pretty tasty. The only thing I wasn't thrilled about, was all the packaging... (I'm trying to reduce my daily waste)...
So I made this noshtastic sandwich. Thick slices of artisan bread, a tofu steak, some sauteed kale, a little bit of red onion, some avocado slices, and a dash of salt and pepper... Omg. Yum. And I bet this would be AWESOME grilled panini style... I think I'm going to go make one right now...

OMG cake batter!

Thursday my mom had surgery. So when she came home from the hospital, I wanted to do something special for her... So I made cupcakes! And let me tell you, the batter was so good, I kept eating it by the spoonful!! (and you don't have to worry about getting sick from it, because there's no nasty uncooked eggs) 

Its just golden vanilla cupcake batter, and chocolate ganache frosting from, VCTOTW. I added rosewater to the batter for a little something extra... Oh, and please don't turn me into CakeWrecks. I'm not a pro cake decorator. These were for my mom... sheesh..

Omg. These were sooooo goood. 

And I had a few left over cupcakes, so I gave them faces. And took some to my boyfriend at work... Apparently, I have a bunch of fans up at GC now...

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Oh so sweet, Sweet Chili Tequila Lime Tofu

Well, tonight has started off, much like any other night. I'm hungry. And I don't know what to make. So naturally, I start perusing the net for something new and interesting and delectable, that isn't too complicated, and includes ingredients that are currently residing in my kitchen. Well, I found a couple of things, but nothing really seemed right. So I went back to an old favorite. Which I ended up changing up and adding tequila to. And OMG! Soooo much better. I mean, everything is better with tequila. :)

Sweet Chili Tequila Lime Tofu,  Adapted from Lolo at Veganyumyum

Ingredients: (serves 2)

1/2 block extra firm tofu, drained and pressed


3 Tbs sugar
3 Tbs reduced sodium soy sauce
2 Tbs lime juice
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 large clove of garlic
1/4 tsp salt
about a shot or two of tequila

Also need:

1/2 cup quinoa (or rice or couscous or whatever grain you like)

3 or 4 large leaves of kale, washed and cut how you like it.


additional lime juice and chili powder


Start by pressing tofu. I like to squeeze any excess moisture out first. And then wrap in a paper towel, and wrap that inside of a terry towel, and place in between two large plates. Then place some heavy cans that take up space in your pantry, that you never actually eat, on top of the plate, for about 30 minutes or so. So, meanehile... Measure 1/2 cup of quinoa. And rinse and scrub. Add quinoa to 2 1/2 cups of boiling water in medium sauce pan. Bring back to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer. And cover. Leave alone for 10 minutes and then check periodically. It's usually done when the germ peel starts to lift off and the center gets translucent. Meanwhile, mix together the marinade. Whisk until the sugar and salt are fully combined. (at this point, it's totally acceptable to take a shot or two of tequila to the face) Next, start slicing and dicing your tofu into whatever shape you like best. I like triangles. (but try to get thin, even slices... although... I'm not too good at the whole sliced evenly thing...)We're going to dry fry the tofu, so we need a pan that the tofu won't stick to. Heat a non stick skillet over medium heat. Start adding tofu. Wait a minute or two until the bottoms start to get goldenish. Then start flipping every couple minutes. I like to alternate my flipping with smooshing. Think prevegan grilled cheese days. Where there was a stubborn piece of cheese that didn't want to melt thoroughly. So you would take a spatula and smoosh the crap out of it. I call this, "the grilled cheese effect." You want to get as much of the moisture out as possible from the tofu. It'll result in better textured tofu. So after about 10 minutes or so, your tofu should be nice and browned. Turn off heat. Stir marinade. Dump over tofu. (You want the pan to be hot, but not too hot, or the sauce will basically evaporate) And stir tofu into sauce. Sauce should be bubbling up nicely now and getting all glazey. At this point, dump tofu and sauce into a seperate dish. Add kale to same skillet. Stir for a bit. Heat is now on mediumish. Add 1/2 cup of water to skillet and immediately cover. Allow to steam for a couple minutes, until kale is all pretty and green and softened. Oh, check on your quinoa. If it's ready, strain the grain.. (ha. it rhymes).. and add a couple squirts of lime juice and a couple shakes of chili powder. And now, Plate up. Don't forget to drizzle any remaining sauce all over the dish. And prepare to smash... ok... Smash!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Hello Pixies!

Well, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Kristina. I live in a hellishly barbaric town in Ohio. I'm 5' tall. Vegan. And a virgo... in case you were dieing to know. So let me fill you in on some backstory, so we can get to know one another... 

I have been vegetarian since 5th or 6th grade, and I went vegan about 4 or 5 years ago. So, I've been meat free for about 14 years now, (except for a 3month stint when I was forced to bring chicken back into my diet. More about that later.) I've never missed meat, or felt deprived. I do miss the convenience of it though. It's not easy to go to family get togethers and birthday parties and stick to the veggie tray. And to just get french fries at the local drive thru... but that's life. And I'm OK with it.

I remember when I decided to go vegetarian. You see, I never liked eating meat. I didn't like the texture. I didn't like how it tasted. And I really didn't understand why we were friends with some animals, and ate others. I thought they were all the same... (Dude, chickens can be friends too) So anyway... It was right around the time that Clueless came out. (the movie) So I was like in 4th or 5th grade... and I was watching an interview on MTV with Alicia Silverstone. And she mentioned that she was a vegetarian. And I was like, "what?! you can do that!?" So after a year or two of my annoying pestering, my mom finally gave in and let me stop eating meat. She actually thought it was a little comical, because she said that when I was little, I was one of those headstrong kids that when I made my mind up, that was it. If I didn't want to eat something, I didn't. My mom was telling me the other day, that she would make me sit at the table until I finished my food. And I was such a headstrong child, that I would sit there all night if need be, but I still wouldn't touch whatever gross meaty thing that was presented to me... ok rambling... 

So. I stopped eating animals in 6th grade or so. Fast forward a bit. I'm in college. Dudes, I was totally broke. And not just college, ART SCHOOL. So I was living off ramen noodles, pizza, french fries, and massive amounts of alcohol... yes I know... totally healthy. Well, I was having some health problems, (ya think!), and then I was involved in an accident and I injured my spine. Pretty bad. It took a long long time before I could walk, or function, anyway, so my doctor basically forced me to start eating chicken because my recovery time was nonexistent, and he thought more protein would help... Well, I could only stomach eating boneless breaded chicken tenders, slathered in bbq sauce to mask the fleshy taste... And guess what. I got worse. My weight kept fluctuating. I was super bitchy. And pain was at an all time high. So I was like, FUCK THIS! And I cut the chicken back out. Along with dairy and eggs. And here I am. 5 years later. I don't need painkillers to get me through my day. I can walk. I do yoga. I eat better, most of the time... ( I do love me some pizza and beer.) But most of all, I'm happy.