Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Fettucine with Three-Herb Pesto, Black Kale, and Oyster Mushrooms

                                       from the Veg Times

The first day I made this I was like, Meh. Yet another simple but somewhat boring recipe from the Veg Times.

But second day: scrumptious.

Point being, the flavors really need to meld on this one and really soak into that pasta in order for you to enjoy it in all its glory.

Also: I have no idea what the f- black kale is. I am cheap and lazy and not into obscure vegetables. So I just subbed in regular.

Oh, and I didn't use fresh rosemary/thyme. I'm including the measurements for the fresh stuff, but I think I subbed 1/4 t. dried rosemary and like 1 t. dried thyme. Or something.

Also, the whole "tossing shit into the water with the noodles"-deal, I kinda skipped that (except for the garlic) since I wasn't using fresh.

Also, I subbed in portabellas instead of oyster shroomies.

And I only used like 10 oz. of portabellas. So not nearly 1 1/4 lbs. But it still turned out just fine.

Let's see. What other changes can I toss at you?

Hmmm. Since I didn't have black kale, I used black water to boil the noodles in instead.

I also tossed some of your mom into the cooking water to lend it a bit more spice. BLAM!

Does that make it unvegan? I think not! No moms were actually harmed in the making of this pasta.

Also, and slightly unrelatedly: Greens have been battling it out on my palate lately, all in an effort to decide which is deserving of the position as my favorite green. And right now, collard greens have got kale up against the ropes, but kale could conceivably be pulling a bit of the ol' rope-a-dope, so stay tuned.

  • 3/4 c. fresh parsley

  • 1/4 c. walnuts

  • 5 cloves garlic, divided

  • 1 t. finely chopped fresh rosemary, plus 2 large sprigs, divided

  • 1 T. fresh thyme leaves, plus 2 large sprigs, divided

  • 4 T. olive oil, divided

  • 8 oz. black kale (1 bunch), stemmed and coarsely chopped

  • 12 oz. Fettucine

  • 1 1/4 lb. oyster or other large mushrooms, halved (I used portabellas)

  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped (about 2 c.)

  • 1 c. low-sodium veggie broth

  • Vegan parmesan, to taste


Blend parsley, walnuts, 3 garlic cloves, thyme and rosemary (minus the sprigs) in the food processor until finely chopped. Add 3 T. oil and blend until smooth.

Cook kale in a large pot of boiling water about 5 mins or until tender. Remove kale to drain but keep water. Bring to a boil again and add pasta, garlic, and remaining sprigs of thyme and rosemary, and cook according to pasta directions and drain.

Heat remaining 1 T. oil in a large pot. Add shrooms and onions and saute about 12 minutes or until tender and golden.

Add pesto and saute 2 minutes or until sauce begins to stick to bottom of pan and turn golden brown. Add broth and simmer 2 minutes or until liquid is reduced by half, scraping sauce from bottom of pan.

Add kale and pasta to the pot and toss to cook. You can stir in a tiny bit of water as well to moisten, if necessary.

Season with black pepper, vegan parm, and/or salt.

Serves 6.

(Recipe from the Feb. 2009 Veg Times, p. 45)

Monday, January 26, 2009

Hummus Soup

                                       from VeganYumYum

Holy crap, this soup was so fricking good. It tasted strangely reminiscent of broccoli cheese soup from days of yore. But it's healthier 'cause it's got ever-awesome and nutritional quinoa in it.

I did, however, make quite a few adjustments to the original recipe, mostly because I was suffering from a momentary measuring-deficiency the day I made it.

The soup calls for 2 cups hummus. I looked at my small can of chickpeas and was like, Hm--this has 2 cups of chickpeas in it. So it will make 2 cups of hummus.

Did it?

I remain unsure.

I suspect, however, that once you mash 2 cups of chickpeas into a mushy of hummus, it ends up being far less than 2 cups.

And when I used just that amount of hummus for the soup, it initially was INCREDIBLY thin soup, and the hummus wasn't powerfully flavorful.

So: I figured it probably WASN'T 2 cups of hummus after all. But I didn't want to take the time to make another batch of hummus. So instead took another small can of chickpeas, drained it, and mashed it up and tossed those in.

The end result: motherf-ing good!

I also don't have chipotle powder, so I just used some chipotles in adobo--about 1-1/2 minced.

I've asterisked all the parts I changed. If you want to see the original, the link's below.

Brilliant idea though. And seriously so very winter-weather yumtastic. So thanks, Melody!

  • 2.5 T. olive oil*

  • 1 onion, diced

  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped finely*

  • 8 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 t. dried basil

  • several grates fresh nutmeg

  • 1 to 2 chipotles in adobo, chopped finely*

  • 16 oz frozen broccoli florets (or 1 pound fresh)

  • 2 small cans of chickpeas, drained*

  • 1.5 T. tahini*

  • 2 T. water

  • 2 T. lemon juice*

  • 4 c. water/stock

  • bouillon cube if using water

  • 1/2 c. quinoa

  • 1/4 c. nutritional yeast

  • salt/pepper to taste

  • 1 T umeboshi vinegar (optional)


Toss 1.5 T. of your olive oil, 2 cloves garlic, 1 small can of chickpeas (drained), 1.5 T. tahini, 2 T. water, and 2 T. lemon juice into a food processor and process until smooth.

Take your other can of drained chickpeas and mash (with a potato-masher or whatever else suits you) until none of the chickpeas are whole any longer. (They don't have to be perfectly smashed into nothingness, so don't stress over that. But make sure they're all somewhat mashed.)

Saute the onion, pepper, remaining garlic, basil, nutmeg and chipotles until the onion is soft. Add the broccoli, hummus (as prepared above), mashed chickpeas, and stock. Bring to a boil for several minutes.

Turn heat down to low and add the quinoa. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

Turn off heat and stir in the nutritional yeast and umeboshi vinegar (if using) then season with salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper.

(Original recipe from Melomeals)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Crumb Cake

                                       from VeganYumYum

N/A didn't put Bac-os on this. So: TWO THUMBS UP!!


But even though N/A and I were on the same page about the Bac-os for once, I *DO* think this recipe needed something more.

Does that mean this recipe is a bad one?

Heck no.

The problem is that I can't really be too objective when:
  1. I like chocolate.

  2. This did not have chocolate.

  3. I like cakes with tons of frosting.

  4. This cake had no frosting.

  5. Though I love vanilla in things, I do not like things whose core flavor is "vanilla."

  6. I associate anything that's "Vanilla" in title to be "absent of flavor." Vanilla ice cream? Ice cream that has not yet been flavored.

  7. This is essentially a "vanilla cake."

  8. Somehow, despite the fact that the crumb topping is an all-out fucktastic sugar-fest, it wasn't sugary enough for me.

  9. Or crumb-cake-y-topping-ish enough for me.

  10. Or something.

  11. It mostly just tasted a little bit floury.

  12. Then again I did not use molasses. I followed the original (asterisked) directions.

  13. E = MC[2]

  14. My crumbs were not as moist.

  15. They were also not as pretty and sexy and caramel-esque-looking as Lo Lo's.

  16. Which reminds me: Sidenote--yesterday I ate this apple THAT TOTALLY SMELLED LIKE A CARAMEL APPLE but wasn't caramel at all. I kept sniffing it. And thinking: damn you smell like a caramel apple. And then I'd eat it and imagine it as a caramel apple, and it almost DID taste like one. But it wasn't!!!!

  17. This cake is easy.

  18. Not easy like a Phi Delta Kappa sorority girl, but like: simple.

  19. That was nice.

  20. It's also pretty.

  21. And vanilla-y.

  22. Your mom is simple.

  23. And vanilla-y.

  24. Touche.

So yes: this probably is a really good cake recipe. But it just may not be my kind of cake.


Crumb Topping
  • 8 T. (1/2 c.) Earth Balance Margarine, melted

  • 2/3 c. granulated sugar*

  • 1 t. molasses

  • 3/4 t. cinnamon

  • 1 pinch salt

  • 1-3/4 c. flour (cake flour or all-purpose)

  • *The original recipe calls for 1/3 cup granulated sugar and 1/3 cup brown sugar. I was out of brown sugar, so I used only granulated sugar with added molasses. Afterall, that's how brown sugar is made commercially-they simply add molasses back into the sugar after processing.

  • 1-1/4 c. flour

  • 1/2 c. granulated sugar

  • 1/2 t. baking powder

  • 1/4 t. salt

  • 1/3 c. canola oil (or 6 T. Earth Balance Margarine, softened)

  • 1/3 c. soymilk + 1 t. apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice)

  • 1 T. cornstarch mixed with 1/4 c. water

  • 1-2 t. vanilla extract

  • Powdered sugar, for dusting

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Whisk the still-warm melted earth balance with the sugar, molasses, cinnamon and salt. Mix in the flour with a spoon, or your hands, until a thick dough forms, similar to the texture of cookie dough. Let sit to cool for about 10 minutes. It should be ready when after you've put together the batter for the cake.

Line an 8x8 pan with aluminum foil (two sheets in a cross formation, leaving excess draped over the edges to help you remove the cake later). Spray with vegetable oil. Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add oil, soymilk mixture, cornstarch mixture and vanilla extract. Whisk until smooth, but do not overmix.

Add the batter to the lined pan. Begin to break apart the crumb mixture into smaller, pea sized pieces. Cover the batter evenly with all the crumb mixture. It will seem like a lot! Use it all, as the cake will expand and the crumb mixture is tasty.

Bake for 40-50 minutes at 350F, or until the crumbs are slightly browned and a toothpick in the center of the cake comes out clean. Use the toothpick to push over a crumb or two in the middle an make sure the top doesn't look gooey (I went the whole 50 minutes).

Grab the aluminum foil and gently lift the cake out to cool for 20-30 minutes on a cooling rack. Give it a nice dusting of powdered sugar, slice and serve.

Serves 9.

(Recipe from VeganYum Yum)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Things I Did with Stale Bread This Weekend

Jesus, not THAT, perverts.

Anyways: I fricking love bread. If it wouldn't be scratchy and stuff, I'd fill up my tub with it and just lay in it.

So I was a bit bummed out when I realized that a nice artisan-loaf of white bread was sitting in my fridge and it seemed PERILOUSLY long ago that I bought it (long enough that I couldn't remember the circumstances, but I think it may have been before X-mas).

So: stale bread origami:

Fed the birds.

Made French toast (soy milk, flour, nooch, sugar, cinnamon).

Made bread soup:

                                       from Everybody Likes Sandwiches

First off, let me just say--the idea of bread soup is BRILLIANT. I love the deviancy of people taking a painfully healthy food and COMPLETELY DEMOLISHING THE HEALTHINESS OF IT. I say that in jest really, 'cause no doubt this soup is healthy even WITH the bread.

But I'm thinking of my friend J's distrust (and also LOVE) of carbs, one which I share wholeheartedly, and it makes me kind of snort, 'cause along comes this otherwise low-carb soup that's like OH BITCH, YOU ARE SOOOOOO GETTING TRICKED INTO EATING CARBS and then BLAM!!! Carbed up.

(My food is talking a lot to me lately I just realized.)

Nonetheless: fuck low-carbs. This soup rocks, is fricking easy, is fricking quick (like 15 minutes), and is brilliant.

I am a total soup-dipper. Nice crusty bread + hot soup = winter orgasm.

And this soup takes it one step further: bread cooked INTO the soup.

Granted, I would recommend serving this fresh only (sog-factor). But I *will* say that I ate leftovers the second day, and it was still delish. By the third day though, it was just freaking me out, so I couldn't do it.

Mush creeps me out after a while.


  • 1 T. olive oil

  • 1/2 onion, diced

  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 1 stalk celery, diced

  • 1 t. dried hot chili flakes

  • 1 t. dried oregano

  • 4 c. vegetable stock

  • 1/2 small loaf of stale bread, cubed

  • 1 small can of diced tomatoes

  • 1 bunch spinach (or I used kale)

  • 2 T. vegan Parmesan cheez

  • salt & pepper to taste


Saute the onion, garlic and celery in the oil over medium-high heat. When softened, add in the chili flakes, oregano and some salt and pepper.

Add in vegetable stock and tomatoes and simmer over medium heat for a couple of minutes.

Add in bread and spinach/kale, stir and cover pot.

When bread is soft and spongy and the spinach/kale is wilted, throw in some vegan parm. Taste adding more salt or pepper if necessary.

Serves 3-5.

(Recipe from Everybody Likes Sandwiches)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

This is Not Related to Food at All, But Either is Your Face, So Suck It

I think this may be my all-time favorite someecard not to mention e-card:

But I think that mostly may be because I think about sending it to one of my coughing/snorting/hacking/mucusing co-workers about 337 times a day, and seriously: the thought of doing so is about the only thing that keeps me sane.

Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie

                                       from Bok Choy Bohemia

So apparently the key to making things taste bloody is:

a) Hickory smoke flavoring; and

b) Red wine.

At least I think that combo makes things taste bloody. (And by bloody, I mean steak-like. And by steak-like, I mean meaty. And by meaty, I mean bloody.) It's been a long long LONG time since I've had blood. Or steak. Or meat. Or blood. But let me tell you, some red wine mixed in with hickory-smoke flavoring DEFINITELY lent this shepherd's pie a surprising meatiness.

Granted, when I took a bite and said out loud: Wow, this is surprisingly meaty in flavor! N-A did not in fact chime in. Which means the 12+ years since meat last sat on my tongue has clearly demolished any memory I have of the flavor of meat. However, N-A did say it was damn tasty. So there you go.

If you want bloody, stab your finger and lick. If you want the delusional long-term veg*an memory of blood, then join me in this shepherd's pie, won't you?

(Sidenote: Seriously--I highly recommend trying out this flavor combo out in a seitan recipe or two. I think it'll be brilliant. When you do, get back to me and let me know. Vicarious trial & error: that's what I'm all about.)

Oh, and ps. For once, I'm actually gonna flip my love of the salty-sweet combo on its head and say that--though I loved this recipe--I actually probably would've used regular potatoes in it, as the sweetness doesn't lend much and I think salty-salty would've ROCKED OUT.

PPSS. And if you didn't guess it, my main incentive for making this was to throw N-A into a state of Bac-O confusion since it already HAS Bac-os in it, so I was like, Take that, motherfucker. NOW what you gonna do now that I've taken your Bac-O revolution away?!?! BLAM!

  • 4 large yams, peeled and cubed

  • 1 c. frozen peas

  • 1 medium onion, minced

  • 5 large mushrooms, minced

  • 1 t. liquid smoke

  • 1/4 c. red wine (I think I used a pinot something--"that's what she said!")

  • 2 c. TVP

  • 2 c. vegetable stock

  • 2 T. Bac-Uns

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 t. garlic salt

  • Salt and Pepper


Preheat oven to 400F. Peel yams, cube, and boil until soft. Add Salt and Pepper, and mash.

Combine the stock, wine, and liquid smoke, and stir in TVP to reconstitute.

In a large skillet, add olive oil, garlic, onion, and spices. Cook until onions are just becoming translucent,and add mushrooms. Cook for another 1-2 minutes.

Add the TVP with liquids, and the peas. Simmer until everything has reduced and resembles ground beef.

Grease a large casserole dish. Coat the bottom with the TVP/Vegetable mixture, and layer the mashed sweet potatoes over that.

Bake for 15 minutes.

Serves 4-6.

(Recipe from Bok Choy Bohemia)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Butter Bean Soup with Portabellas and Wild Rice

                                       from the FatFree Vegan

There exists in the food-world an unspoken Soup Code, and #1 on the Soup Code is this:

Soup should not be stabby.

Which means, if there were a don of the soup world, he surely would've put a hit out on this soup. This soup would be lying in its bed right now, four bullet-holes to the head, surrounded by a bunch of coppers covering up their noses 'cause of the horrible horrible stench as they whisper under their breath that they think the killing might be linked to the Soup Mafia.

If you're not catching on: This soup is stabby.

And yet: it's also fantastically tasty. So don't let my talk of stabbiness dissuade you.

Honestly, I think I may, in fact, be responsible for the stabbiness: 1) I didn't crush the rosemary (which was Stabbiness Part

1)--I'm not really sure how one goes about doing that, seeing as MY ROSEMARY DOESN'T SEEM TO ACTUALLY CRUSH and if I try to dice it up tinier with a knife, it just pings and shoots all over my kitchen. So any suggestions would be appreciated.

2) I don't know that I cooked the wild rice to its ultimate tenderiest (Stabbiness Part 2). Then again, wild rice is like the barbed wire of the rice world, so maybe I'm not to blame with this one.

Nonetheless: essentially, eating this soup kind of reminded me of my favorite Chuck Palahniuk book and how everyone loves Rant's mom's cooking because she bakes/cooks stabby things into her food (like pushpins or pieces of foil) which makes them all eat her food slower (so as not to accidentally bite into something injurious) and actually appreciate and savor it more.

Which actually kind of was the case with this. I'm not particularly partial to non-tomato-based soups, but this was actually really really tasty. It's hearty and yet kind of delicately flavored. It's savory. And it's a perfect warm-me up.

Just be careful you don't poke out an eye.

  • 2 medium onions, diced

  • 2 ribs celery, diced

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 6 c. water (I also added a bouillon cube)

  • 1 lb. speckled butter beans or Fordhook lima beans, fresh or frozen

  • 6 oz. baby portobello mushrooms, sliced

  • 1/4 c. wild rice*

  • 1 t. thyme

  • 1 t. dried rosemary, crushed, or 2 tsp. minced fresh rosemary

  • 1/2 t. sage

  • Salt (to taste)

  • 1/4 t. black pepper

  • 1 t. soy sauce

  • * If you don't have wild rice, pearled barley or another grain can be used instead; just be sure to pick one that cooks in less than an hour.


Heat a large non-stick pot. Add the onions, and saute until they begin to brown, about 6 minutes. (Add a tablespoon or two of water to prevent sticking, if necessary.) Add the celery and garlic, and cook for another two minutes.

Add the water and butter beans and bring to a boil. Add all remaining ingredients, bring back to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until the beans and wild rice are both done, 45-55 minutes. If necessary, thin soup with water as it is cooking, according to taste. Just before serving, about 1/2 cup of the beans may be mashed or blended to make the broth thicker.

(Recipe from The FatFree Vegan)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Porcini Mushroom Stroganoff

                                       from The Candle Cafe Cookbook

It is currently 14-degrees. I am indoors. It is lightly snowing outdoors. I am listening to weird Radiohead covers. And I'm worrying about the damn outdoor stray that I built my cat shelter for.

I bumped into him yesterday when I got home from dinner with a friend. He was sitting in the snow. It was freezing.

I gave him some more food.

And then he did something out of the ordinary: he let me pet him all sorts of crazy. Normally, he'll barely let me touch his head, but this time he was GUNG-HO.

Which made me feel bad. Because I thought: he's probably being super-affectionate in the hope that I'll let him indoors with me.

So I fretted. And I tried to coax him into the cat shelter (which he doesn't seem to have used this past week). And I came back out and tried to coax him into a cat carrier (I figured since he wasn't being skittish, perhaps I could finally coerce him to come live with my mum, but no luck). And I pet him. And I lectured him about getting somewhere warm and STAYING there instead of sitting in the snow. When I tried again to coerce him into the carrier, he leisurely trotted off and scooted under my back neighbor's porch.

And that was that.

It upsets me though. Because the poor thing doesn't deserve to have to deal with this bitter cold. He's a big sweetie. And that makes it EXTRA-sucky.

Both N-A and my mom reminded me yesterday though that he made it through a winter or two already, so clearly he knows how to keep himself safe and warm. And they're right.

It just bothers me, going to bed, all snug under tons of covers, my cats all snuggled up against my legs, knowing that the poor thing's outside just trying to keep warm. And that there's only so much I can do.

So yeah.


Nonetheless: Since we don't have much choice, I figured I'd post this recipe today as it is a nice F- You to the snow. It'll warm you from your belly out to your toenails and the tips of your hair.

It's thick and heavy. And it's warm and very home-cooking-esque.

**AND** it's real super-easy to make.

So if you're cursing the snow, go whip some up.

And send your good vibes in the direction of my little neighborhood stray.

  • 2 T. extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 T. unbleached flour

  • 2 T. soy margarine

  • 3 garlic cloves

  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped

  • 1/2 T. sea salt

  • 1 T. freshly ground back pepper

  • 2 oz. dried porcini mushrooms

  • 1 lb. button mushrooms

  • 1/4 c. white wine (or veggie broth works too)

  • 1 T. tomato paste

  • 1 c. soy milk

  • pinch of dried parsley

  • pinch of dried dill

  • 1 thyme sprig (or a pinch or two of dried thyme)

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 1/2 c. chopped fresh chives

  • 1 lb. fettuccine


In a large saucepan over medium heat, heat the oil. Stir in the flour and cook for four minutes, stirring frequently. Add the soy margarine, garlic, onion,salt, and pepper and cook for an additional 4 minutes.

Add the porcini and button mushrooms, wine, tomatoes paste, and soy milk. Stir in the parsley, dill, thyme, bay leaf, and chives Bring to a boil, then simmer over low heat for 20 minutes.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the fettuccine according to package directions. Drain.

Spoon the sauce over the fettucine and serve at once.

Makes 4-6 servings.

(Recipe from the Candle Cafe Cookbook, reposted at Bodhi Studios)

Thursday, January 08, 2009

"The Most Bizarre Google Searches by Which People Stumble Across This Blog": Resuscitated!

(For past editions, click HERE)

So just the other day, I was bemoaning the fact that the wild and fascinating plethora of strange google searches that bring people to this blog has dropped off drastically. And it was starting to bum me out a wee bit. I mean, how could you NOT get bummed out when you haven't seen a good "orange oily feces" search in months??

But then: this morning, I log onto the computer, and suddenly, it's like X-mas all over again! Not one ridiculous search, but handfuls!

So enjoy!

And God bless us, every one!
  • shit licking sex

  • insides of a butt

  • vegan shitting my brains out

  • shits New Year resolution

  • This is my favorite shit

  • vomit on her basil says

And these two are contenders for my all-time favorites, as they were both googled WITHIN THE SAME HOUR and BY TWO ENTIRELY DIFFERENT PEOPLE (who apparently abide by the misguided belief that they are, indeed, the shit and that the internet can verify this for them):
  • yeah im the shit yeah am shit up in this bitch

  • cause i'm the shit yeah i'm the shit

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

The Improvisational Cooking of the Ass-Less

N-A has been a cooking SLUT as of late. As he said recently, "Thanks for reintroducing me to my love of cooking. And also you are super-awesome and sexy and will one day rule the world and I shall bow to you and lick your feet." (That's not a DIRECT quote, of course.) Anyways, he had a brief stint as a cook at a local tavern/concert venue, so over the past month or so, he's been whipping out (tee hee) several recipes from days of yore for us to eat.

His ability to improvise in the kitchen actually makes me quite envious. Envious, but also inspired. It's been kind of a kick in the butt for ME to start improvising more in the kitchen as well. (Yesterday's recipe, and my Vodka lasagna recipe, being a couple such examples.) New Year's Resolution #17: Keep the improvising up for as long as possible.

The only problem with this as a resolution is a lack of concrete recipes. Which isn't much fun for YOU all, dearest readers. So I'll definitely try to balance out the improvisational cooking with some concrete recipes that I can share.

But unfortunately, because N-A's recipes are of the improvisational variety, I don't have any real recipes to share with you today.

But I do have pics that you can drool over and that will make you consider kidnapping my boyfriend.

But don't even try it.

I bite.

(Mango guacamole--a mix of canned mango/syrup,
avocado, saltines, onions, etc.)

(Stacked tacos--shrooms, tomatoes, beans, corn, peppers, etc., baked,
and topped with vegan sour cream and the aforementioned guac)

(Curried lentil stew--lentils, tofu, broccoli, spices, etc.)

(Some sort of bean/lentil stew--can't remember)

(Tacos--tomatoes, shrooms, beans, corn,
olives, avocado, vegan sour cream, etc.)

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

"The Most Bizarre Google Searches by Which People Stumble Across This Blog" Has Clubfoot

I haven't posted a new edition of "The Most Bizarre Google Searches by Which People Stumble Across This Blog" in quite some time, nearly two months to be exact. Sadly, this is because all you readers are apparently stumbling across my blog through NORMAL, non-pervy, non-oily-feced means. And although that's probably a GOOD thing... a JOYOUS thing... Etc., I've kind of been jonesing for some really tawdry google searches. I mean, the most interesting search I've seen in the past couple months was "seitan is bad." Boo. And that's not even FUNNY. Or INTERESTING. Clearly the fact that I actually took the time to write that one down is just an indication of how hard-up I am.

Then--thankfully--today, I stumbled across this little google-search, and although it isn't scatological, it DID cute me up for a second. Mostly 'cause I have no clue wtf this would've brought up on my blog:
  • "Volcanoes--how you make them start"
Let us hope it is a sign that the google-times, they are a-changing.

Orangey Kalamata Fettucine with Asparagus

So the other day, I had the world's most specific craving: asparagus, orange juice, and kalamata olives.

No: I am not pregnant.

Thankfully, however, I was at the grocery store, so I picked up all of the above for dinner. Playing on a variation of the whole Roasted Asparagus with Orange Gremolata pasta idea, I decided to whip up a quickie fettuccine dish. (I just now realized that I think I've been spelling fettuccine wrong.)

And fuck if it wasn't tasty. No seriously: right now. On top of your desk. Or bent over your kitchen table. Or in the shower. Do it.


Anyways, I actually liked it much better than the aforementioned gremolata dish. It didn't have the bitterness of the orange rind. And the saltiness of the kalamata olives tickled the sweet oranginess in just the right way.

Unfortunately, I didn't write down any specific measurements. And unfortunately, I just whipped up one gut-busting serving for myself. So this recipe won't have a whole lot of specificity to it. But consider it a jumping point to explore your own variation.

  • One generous serving of fettuccine noodles

  • 10-12 kalamata olives, pitted and diced

  • Juice from one orange

  • 3-5 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced

  • About 4-6 stalks of asparagus, cut diagonally into thirds

  • 1-2 T. olive oil

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Toss in your garlic until fragrant. Add your asparagus and cook until nearly tender, maybe 5 minutes or so. Add your orange juice and kalamata olives and heat a couple minutes more until just warm. Grind some fresh black pepper into your sauce and serve over your fettuccine.

Serves 1-2.

Monday, January 05, 2009

New Year's Resolutions & Spicy Vodka Lasagna


So it's been like 3 weeks, give or take, since I last posted. Twenty-four whole days to be exact.


But I must admit, during the time I was off from work, I didn't use the internet at all. Not even once. And *looking around to make sure no one's listening too closely* I LOVED IT. I know, I know. As a blogger, such a comment is like treason. But I've got to admit, it really was kind of great. NOT to get you scared. I *will* still be faithfully blogging here. But man oh man, is it nice once in a while to not be beholden to the interwebs. *sigh*

So yes: it's the New Year finally.

And I know a lot of hipsters think New Year's Resolutions to be uncool, but I'm not one of them.

So here's my list of New Year's Resolutions for 2009:

  • Write more poetry/fiction--get a rhythm down so I'm not all rusty and clunking along anymore like a 5-legged robot.

  • Stop drinking alcohol on weeknights, except on special occasions--this is a variation on the "lose weight" resolution that usually makes it on folks' lists. I could use a little bit of deflabbing, but I think indulging in alcohol only on the weekends is a good start.

  • Keep up this winning-streak with N/A.

  • More frequently place myself in situations that I would normally avoid due to uncomfortability.

  • Get it on with your mom more often.

  • Wow--I know I had some more when I was talking to N/A about them, but now I can't remember. *sigh*

Now onto the food!

Since the reason I haven't posted in so long is because of the holidays, let's start off with that for today.

I'm not religious. But I do like X-mas. There's just something warm & squishy about it--the hustle and bustle (as long as it doesn't include people getting trampled to death by crazed shoppers), the snow, snuggling under blankets with loved ones, X-mas lights, friends in town, my cat Zooey trying her damnedest to figure out how to reach my little X-mas tree. Good stuff.

This X-mas, I spent X-mas eve with N/A. And it was a wonderful and lovely night, one whose details I refuse to indulge 'cause they're what made it special. So MEH!!!!

X-mas day I spent dinner with (most of) the family. We accumulated at my mom's, and we chowed on delicious grub, boozed, and bullshit.

My mom made mushroom paprikash (w/the world's most perfect dumplings), black bean & corn salsa, and pumpkin oatmeal cookies. My brother whipped up some rice with peppers. And I scrounged together a lasagna and some VwaV chocolate chip cookies.

It was a DELICIOUS delicious night.

Most of the recipes have already been posted here, but the lasagna recipe was my own creation, so I'll post that at least today. It makes for a pretty hefty and spicy lasagna, one that even my brother (the constant vegan-skeptic) really liked. So enjoy!

Oh, and that there's a pic of what I think may be my favorite X-mas ornament, which my bff got me one year for X-mas. Doesn't it rock?

And now: Time to play catch-up on all the vegan blogs I've not read over the past three weeks. Wish me luck!



  • One batch vodka sauce--recipe below (I omitted the almonds, but I'm sure it'd taste just as good with them)

  • One box of lasagna noodles, cooked

  • One 1 lb. bag of veggie "ground-beef" crumbles

  • One tube Gimme Lean "sausage"

  • 3-5 cloves of garlic, minced

  • 1-2 T. olive oil

  • 2 t. Italian seasonings

  • One batch of tofu-ricotta recipe below

  • Vegan parmesan, to taste


Whip up both the vodka sauce and tofu-ricotta according to the directions below. Follow the directions on the box of lasagna noodles and cook accordingly.

Heat up your olive oil in a large pan. Add garlic and cook until fragrant. Add your "sausage" and smoosh it up with a fork as it cooks. (It'll be mushy and clumpy at first, but as it begins to brown you can crumble it apart with a fork.) You'll want it to be the consistency of crumbles. Cook until browned. Add your "ground-beef" crumbles. Cook until browned and heated through. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 400F. Spoon a thin layer of vodka sauce over the bottom of a lasagna pan. Cover with a layer of lasagna noodles. Cover with 1/2 the "meat" mix. Spoon out some vodka sauce over the meat and smooth. Cover with another layer of noodles. Smooth the tofu-ricotta across them. Add some more vodka sauce. Add another layer of noodles. Top with the rest of the "meat" and a little more sauce. Add a final layer of noodles and spoon out the rest of your vodka sauce over the top until noodles are totally covered. Sprinkle a generous amount of vegan parm over the top.

Cover with foil and cook for about 20 minutes. Remove foil and cook about 30-40 more minutes or until heated through.

Let cool for 10-15 minutes, slice, and serve.

Serves 7-10.


  • 4 t. olive oil

  • 8 cloves minced garlic

  • 1/2 t. crushed red pepper

  • Two 28-oz. cans crushed tomatoes

  • 1/2 c. vodka

  • 1/2 t. dried thyme

  • 1/2 t. dried oregano

  • Salt, to taste

  • A few dashes fresh black pepper

  • 1 c. sliced or slivered almonds

  • 1/4 c. finely chopped fresh basil, plus a little extra for garnish


Preheat a saucepan over medium/low heat. Add the oil, garlic and crushed red pepper to the saucepan and saute for about a minute, until fragrant, being careful not to burn. Add the crushed red tomatoes, vodka, thyme, oregano, salt and black pepper. Cover, and turn the heat up a bit to bring to a simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Once the sauce has simmered for 20 minutes, add the almonds. Use an immersion blender to blend the almonds into the sauce until creamy and only slightly grainy. Add the basil to the sauce.

(Recipe from VwaV, Posted at Answers.yahoo.com)


  • 1 lb. firm tofu, pressed

  • 2 t. lemon juice

  • 2 t. olive oil

  • 1 clove garlic, minced

  • 1/4 t. salt

  • 1/4 c. nutritional yeast flakes

  • handful fresh basil leaves, chopped fine (ten leaves or so) -I just used some dried basil

  • dash fresh black pepper


In a large bowl, mush the tofu up with your hands, till it's crumbly.

Add lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper and basil. Mush with hands again, this time you want it to get very mushy so squeeze through your fingers and mush until it reaches the consistency of ricotta cheese. May take 2-5 minutes.

Add olive oil, stir with fork. Add nutritional yeast and combine all ingredients well. Use a fork now, because the oil will make it sticky.

(Recipe from Veganomicon, posted at Recipe Exchange)

PS. Anyone know what happened to the PPK website??