Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Vegan Bolognese Sauce with Red Wine

I don't know what possessed me to try veganizing Bolognese Sauce since I always LOATHED meaty-spaghetti sauce when I was little. But for some reason I was craving a heavy-duty, hearty spaghetti sauce this weekend. So I ended up veganizing a recipe from my giant pasta book.

It was tasty and hearty, though nothing that knocked my socks off. Who knows though--if you're a meaty pasta-sauce lover, maybe it will knock YOUR socks off at least. Which would be kinda sweet. If that happens, I'd appreciate it if you could videotape it 'cause I've never actually SEEN it happen before, though I've heard much about it.

Thank you, and good day.

  • 1 medium onion

  • 1 small carrot

  • 1 celery stalk

  • 2 to 4 garlic cloves

  • 1 to 2 T. olive oil

  • 1/2 c. of veggie "beef" crumbles

  • 1/2 c. red wine

  • 1 c. tomato sauce

  • 1 T. tomato paste

  • 1 t. dried oregano

  • 1 T. chopped fresh Italian parsley

  • 1/4 c. veggie stock

  • 8 baby Italian tomatoes (optional)

  • Salt & pepper, to taste


Finely chop all the vegetables. (I used that mixer-chopped thing until they were finely diced.) Heat the oile in a large saucepan and add the veggies. Cook over low heat, stirring frequently, for about 5 to 7 minutes.

Add the veggie crumbles and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the wine and mix well. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, then add the tomato sauce, tomato paste, herbs and stock. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir well and bring to a boil.

Cover the pot and cook on low heat for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the tomatoes (if using) and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes more. Taste for seasoning, and serve over fresh pasta.

E for Ectoplasmic?

Where's the Beef just ever so kindly stamped me with an E for Excellence on her blog. And although I would've preferred an E for Eccentric, Egregiously Eggheaded, or Emu-like, I appreciate the blog-love. So thanks, Where's the Beef!

In turn, I pass along the lovin' to two of MY favorite vegan blogs:

Love Like a Vegan--drooliest pictures in town

Have Cake, Will Travel--again, it's all about the pics

So, ladies: you've been rating-memed. Unless you're stingy (you're not stingy, are you?!?!) pass along the love!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Let Me Introduce You...

These are the reason I'm never going to get laid ever again.

They are roasted garlic-stuffed olives. And they are my new obsession. Stink stuffed in stank. And yet THE BEST THINGS EVER. I discovered them the other week at my local grocery store, and now I can't stop eating them.

I figure, I can easily get my jollies on by myself, you know? I have hands and contraptions. I cannot, however, duplicate the taste of these potent little bombs of green deliciousness. And hey, if I ever bump into a boy whose breath is equally stank with the billowy fumes of pungent olives and garlic, I'll know that I've met my soulmate.

So essentially these garlic-stuffed olives are like a soul-mate detector. And also a chastity belt.

What other food can you say that about??

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Fire-Roasted Tomato Pumpkin Sauce

For some reason, (what I think was) Creed's only quote from last week's episode of The Office has been popping into my head all day and making me grin: "When Pam gets Michael's old chair, I get Pam's old chair. Then I'll have two chairs. Only one to go."

He is so creepy and the comment is just so inexplicably menacing that it delights me.

Anyways, this is "portabella mushroom cap grilled on my hubcap topped with angel hair and Celine's fire-roasted tomato pumpkin sauce." Portobella mushroom: juicy and plump. Sauce: delish... sweet with a hint of autumn from the pumpkin.

I am easily distracted today, so I'm not gonna yammer on about this recipe much more than that.

Oh, and I used diced tomatoes because my stupid grocer doesn't carry fire-roasted whole.

Oh, and I tossed some fresh basil on top. Its sweetness complimented the pumpkin well.

Your mom.


  • 28 oz. can fire-roasted Muir Glen whole tomatoes, mostly drained

  • 1/2 c. pumpkin puree

  • 1 big garlic clove, pressed

  • 1 t. onion powder

  • big pinch cumin powder

  • big pinch oregano powder

  • generous amount freshly ground black pepper, or to taste

  • 1 T. chili powder


Place everything in a medium saucepan, squeezing the tomatoes as you put them in (or if you use diced, just put them in). Heat until it starts bubbling a little, then lower heat. Cover and let simmer for 15 minutes.
Serves about 4.

(recipe from Have Cake, Will Travel)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Albino Sweet n' Sour "Chicken" from the Mystical Albino Forest

No offense to any albinos out there. Or the forests of any albinos.

But seriously: have you ever SEEN a food more albinic (yes, I made that word up) than this here sweet-n-sour "chicken" coating?

You know how every once in a while you hit a recipe that leaves you standing longer than normal in front of the stove/oven, peering quizzically at the food that's cooking, and muttering to yourself "Well, maybe it just looks strange because it's only 1/2-way done in the cooking process"? And so you continue to stare at it and stare at and stare at it because secretly you want to be there to witness the EXACT MOMENT that it suddenly blossoms from "weird blob-like ugliness" into "beautiful Julian-Casablancas-esque swan"? And it never does, so then you try to convince yourself that, despite the fact that it looks like someone threw up into a pot, that's actually what it SHOULD look like? And then you convince yourself that surely it's edible, and you serve it out to yourself and actually spend a few minutes eating it and convincing yourself that it's not QUITE so terrible as you thought until you just can't fool yourself any longer and you just about gag on the very last bite that sends you pitching it all in the garbage?

This was that recipe.

Allegedly, it was supposed to coat sweet-n-sour chicken in a sweet-n-sour-chicken-coating-ish-type way. Clearly, it did not.

I unfortunately don't have a link TO the recipe to warn you, but suffice it to say, it was obscure enough that you probably won't accidentally stumble across it and try to use it.

It looked innocent enough, but somehow after dipping and then baking the "chicken" (which was essentially homemade seitan, coated with this recipe) the result was a weird rubbery biscuit-type breading that I suspect, were I to try it, might've actually BOUNCED, and which was weirdly impenetrable to tearing and/or fork-piercings. In fact, it might've offered decent-quality material for a) bullet-proof vests, b) helmets, or c) elbow & knee-pads.

And I tried. I really did try to eat these. As you can see from the picture:

The sweet-n-sour SAUCE itself wasn't too bad (though nothing special). But seriously: it was like chewing on somebody encased in scuba-diving gear.

So finally I gave up.

And pitched it.

All the while mourning the waste and wanting to punch the recipe-author in the left testicle.

Ultimately, I ended up having to eat shitty indian-food from a plastic bag.

So ends the tale of the Albino Sweet n' Sour "Chicken" from the Mystical Albino Forest.

Moral of the story: Always be skeptical of unendorsed internet-recipes.

*cueing trumpets and confetti and albinos being shot from cannons*


Oh yeah, and the TOP TEN VEGAN RECIPES OF 2008 at your service, via


Curried Eggplant Soup

Last night was such a rough night. Old Guy Neighbor's dog is dying. And as much as I joke about Old Guy Neighbor, and as much as he drives me INSANE sometimes, I still dig him. So I feel for him.

What's so difficult about the situation is that he's had his dog for 15 1/2 years, so he just DOESN'T want to part with him. So for the past few days, he's been talking constantly about how he's not going to have him put to sleep. And I understand. I went with our family dog, Lucy, a few years ago to have her put to sleep, and it seriously was THE most horrible experience I've ever had. The whole idea of "playing God" and making that decision to end a life is so horribly conflicted to me. I'm torn in about 23 different directions on the topic of euthanasia and pets. So I feel for him. I really do. And I know he doesn't want to have him put to sleep because, really, he just doesn't want to part with him EVER. EVER EVER.

But Old Guy Neighbor's dog is in REALLY bad shape: Abscessed eye. Bleeding from the nose frequently. Can barely get up or down the stairs. Eyes so riddled with cataracts that he looks like an extra in a zombie movie. And apparently these past couple days: seizures. So, despite my complications on the subjects of euthanasia, I can understand wanting to stop this poor dog from having to suffer anymore.

Last night he finally came to that conclusion as well. But the problem is that Old Guy Neighbor does not have family, and most of his friends have passed. He also doesn't have a phone. So last night, I spent much of the night jotting down phone numbers that he was shouting at me from his window, phone numbers that he'd scrawled down mostly illegibly and couldn't make out. Calling wrong numbers, accidental fax numbers, getting nameless voicemails, trying to get ahold of one of two folks that stop in to check on him a few times a year so that they can come over today and help him get his dog to the vet to be put to sleep. And last night he had reached that point where he'd suddenly realized that his dog really NEEDS to be put to sleep, as in, he can't BEAR to be around this poor dog anymore because he's just in SUCH bad shape. So he's frantic, coming to the window every five minutes to check on whether I got ahold of anyone, whether anyone's called back. And there's nothing I can do because most vet-places are closed anyways, and Old Guy Neighbor has problems walking, so there's no way he and I can get his dog down the steps and into my car to run him up anywhere. And my heart's just breaking, because each time he comes out, he's vascillating between waxing nostalgic about his dog--telling me stories about when he first got him, what a fat little thing he was--and making statements to convince himself that it's a GOOD thing that his dog is passing on--telling me how nice it'll be that he won't have to rush home from the market anymore to check up on him and stuff. And even moreso than the nostalgia, it's THESE statements that just make me want to cry my eyes out because THESE are the statements which reveal how much his dog means to him. They're the statements that he needs to feed himself so that he can try to make sense out of it and make himself feel better. And that sucks.

And it sucks when I think about how he's gonna be sitting up there in his room with NO one now. Before he at least had the companionship of his dog. His dog was sort of like his wife. Old Guy Neighbor was constantly chiding him and hollering, but you KNOW he'd jump in front of a speeding car to save that dog. I mean, Old Guy Neighbor has told me on numerous occasions that he has the ashes from two previous dogs, and he'll retrieve the ashes of his current dog as well, and when Old Guy Neighbor dies, he's having them all buried with him... Because, as he says time and time again, "They're the only ones who stick with you through thick and thin, rich and poor, and don't ask for ANYthing from you."

Terrible. And bearing witness to his loneliness just floors me. It's just terrible to see someone who has NO one on a daily basis. And now the one little thing they DID have, which kept them going every day and which gave them someone to talk to, is gonna be gone.

And it's rough because it calls up all my memories of putting our dog Lucy to sleep, of looking her IN THE EYES as her life blinked out of them. It was seriously the most terrifying experience I've ever had. And it makes me sad because it just tears me apart that such a level of loneliness can exist in the world. And it's hard because all night I'm getting a play-by-play of how his dog is dying--how he just had a seizure, how there's blood all over the bed--AND THERE'S NOTHING I CAN DO. And I can't even be a good support system because I just cannot even HANDLE hearing that. I cannot handle being in the middle of it all. I cannot handle the visceral nature of KNOWING that this dog is dying right across from me, of hearing him talking to him through the half-open window, of hearing barks in the night and not knowing if it's his dog in his last moments. I mean, it was just too palpable. In the air. In the sounds of the evening. I finally had to go inside because I needed to escape it.

Seriously: a rough night.

Sorry to yammer on about it, but I think I just needed to speak it out. Especially amongst people who will understand.


Boobs! Penis! Tits! Titties! Orange oily feces!

That's a little bit better.

On a happier furry-critter note: I see the stray I built the shelter for frequently nowadays. She makes my heart thrum somedays because she is just the epitome of spring. She also makes me wish that I could let my cats roam around outdoors (moreso than just on our roof), chase squirrels up trees, and roll around in the grass. But in the middle of the city, I fear for their safety. So they're resigned to the roof.

The other day, I came home to find OK (my nickname for the stray--stands for "Outside Kitty") stretched out in the grass, basking in the sunshine. For a minute I thought she was dead, she was that sound asleep. And normally she's skittish, but this time I was able to snap a few pictures. Cute, ain't she?

And on the food front (which is what this blog is all about, right? RIGHT?!?!), I seriously made the BEST soup EVER this weekend. Honest to god.

It's one of the best soups I've ever made. And it's also one of the best soups I've ever TASTED.

Let us just say that SusanV is a goddess of all things souply.

This soup has sexy velveteen roasted eggplant in it. It's FIERY with curry, and yet perky and sweet with apple and agave nectar. And it's just got this buttery, decadent sensuality to it that... sweet jesus... I'm getting tingly just thinking about it. You will be in awe of the fact that this thing is fat-free. Seriously. 'Cause it's got it going ON in the way of richness.

Only recommendation: I'd aim for the low-end of the curry-powder measurements. Because I only used 1.5 T. of curry powder, and my lips have been on fire for DAYS.

Nonetheless: I highly highly recommend. And bless you, SusanV, for sharing this recipe with the rest of the world.


  • 1 large eggplant (or 2 smaller ones)

  • 1 large onion, diced

  • 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and diced

  • 1/2 c. diced tomatoes (drained canned tomatoes or fresh)

  • 1 1/2 to 2 T. best-quality curry powder

  • 1 pinch cayenne (or more, to taste)

  • 1 T. soy sauce

  • 2 t. agave nectar (or other sweetener)

  • 1 15-oz. can great northern beans, rinsed and drained

  • 4 c. vegetable broth, divided

  • 1/2 c. soy milk or other non-dairy milk

  • Salt and pepper, to taste

  • 6 T. soy yogurt (optional)

  • Parsley or cilantro, chopped (optional)


Preheat oven to 400F. Peel the eggplant and slice it 1/4-inch thick. Place the slices on a sprayed baking sheet and cover with foil. Roast until eggplant is very tender, about 30 minutes.

Remove the eggplant from the oven and allow to cool. Put half of the slices into the food processor. Chop the other half coarsely and put them in a large pot. Add 3 cups of the vegetable broth and bring to a low simmer.

Spray a non-stick skillet with canola oil and get it hot. Add the onions and sauté until tender, about 3 minutes. Add the diced apple and cook for another 2 minutes. Stir in the tomato, curry powder, cayenne, soy sauce, and agave nectar and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the reserved 1 cup of broth and cook another minute. Pour this mixture into the food processor with the eggplant.

Add the beans to the food processor and puree until it forms a thick paste. Scrape the paste into the pot with the broth and eggplant, stir well, and add the non-dairy milk. Season to taste with salt and pepper (and more curry powder if necessary). Turn down to very low and barely simmer for 15 minutes.

Serve hot or chilled, stirring in one tablespoon of soy yogurt into each bowl (if desired) and sprinkling with parsley or cilantro.

(Recipe from FatFree Vegan)

Friday, April 18, 2008

Fudgy Wudgy Blueberry Brownies

Ok. Yeah. So they were ugly as shit. And they were crumbly as a motherf-er.

But MOTHER OF GOD were they heavenly.

What am I talking about?

Your mom?

You wish.

I'm talking about the fudgy wudgy blueberry brownies from Veganomicon, most certainly one of my favorite recipes from the cookbook thus far. I know I've given the cookbook a bit of a hard time on occasion (though I think it's been justifiable), but seriously: well worth the money spent if for no other recipe but this one.

I'm not sure why mine turned out so crumbly and un-brownie-like, especially when the pics of them IN the actual book were all dense and heavy-duty-brownie-esque-looking (yes, that is a word), but they were. (The only thing I can think of, now that I *AM* thinking about it some more, is that perhaps the fact that I used FROZEN blueberries instead of fresh somehow got all Mr. Wizardy on these brownies' asses and somehow altered the chemical composition of them. CO2 and NA and O2 and K. Or something.) Then again, they seriously were so good that I didn't care. And no one else who tried them complained a bit either.

Decadent. Uber-chocolatey. Delightfully complimented by mouth-watering blueberries. These things are the cat's meow.

  • 2/3 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips + 1/2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips

  • 10 oz. blueberry preserves (spreadable fruit, smooth, no whole blueberries)

  • 1/4 c. soymilk

  • 3/4 c. sugar

  • 1/2 c. canola oil

  • 2 t. vanilla extract

  • 1/2 t. almond extract

  • 1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour

  • 1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 1/4 t. baking powder

  • 1/2 t. baking soda

  • 1/4 t. salt

  • 1 cup fresh blueberries


Preheat oven to 325F.

Grease a 9x13 inch baking pan.

Melt 2/3 cup chocolate chips over a double boiler or in microwave, your choice.

In a large mixing bowl combine bluberry spreadable fruit, soy milk, sugar, canola oil and extracts. Mix on high until no large clumps are visible, about 2-3 minutes. Sift in flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir until well mixed, batter will be thick. Mix in melted chocolate. Fold in remaining 1/2 cup of whole chocolate chips and fresh blueberries.

Spread batter in baking pan and bake for 45 minutes. Toothpick test is null and void here because the whole chocolate chips will stick anyway!

Remove from oven and let cool.


(Recipe originally from Veganomicon, posted at Recipezaar)

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Sweet & Heart-y Winter Pesto Gnocchi

I am so lazy.

And senile.

I am so lazy.

And senile.

(Get it? BAHAHAHAHAHA. Mother of god do I crack my shit up.)

Anyways, that's why I'm dragging ass when it comes to posting recipes.

Like this one for example.

I forget how I made it. <--- senile

I wrote it down somewhere, but I forget where I wrote it down. <--- senile

I could go home and try to find it, but I won't. <--- lazy

I give you the general gist below.

Urban Vegan's Winter Pesto recipe is exact though.

And I'm pretty certain the other crappola is close to exact as well.

All in all I was pleased with this recipe. It was pretty to look at. And it was sweet and flavorful.

And I was surprised by the winter pesto itself. Granted, spinach is no sexy sumptious basil, but it makes for a surprisingly tasty (and healthy) pesto.

However, using store-bought gnocchi reminded of how much store-bought gnocchi sucks in comparison to the real thing.

So if you're lazy, you can use the storebought shit. <--- lazy

Otherwise, make your own, for god's sake. It's so much better.

Otherwise, make your own, for god's sake. It's so much better. <--- senile


(This pesto pic looks like it
should be accompanied by a
harmony of angels' voices)


  • 3 c.s fresh organic spinach (or arugula), packed

  • 1/2 c. + 1 T. extra-virgin olive oil

  • 6 cloves garlic

  • 1/2 c. walnuts (or pine nuts, or a mixture)

  • 1/4 t. salt & fresh ground pepper, to taste

  • Nutritional yeast (optional--I tossed in a T. or so)


Place all ingredients in food processor. Process 'til smooth, scraping sides of processor as needed

Makes about 1 1/2 cups pesto

(Pesto recipe from Urban Vegan)



  • 16 oz. gnocchi (fresh or store-bought--Gia Russa Potato Gnocchi is vegan), cooked

  • 2 red peppers, roasted and sliced

  • 1 small jar/can quartered artichoke hearts, drained (I can't remember the size, maybe 8-oz?)

  • 1/4 to 1/2 c. winter pesto (depending on how pesto-y you like it)


Throw your (hopefully still-warm) cooked gnocchi in a large serving bowl. Add sliced roasted red peppers, artichokes, and winter pesto. Stir. Serve.

(You could either serve this heated or at room temperature. I threw my pesto into the microwave for a few minutes before tossing it in with everything else.)

Serves about 4.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Raspberry & Brownie Pudding Volcanoes

I love weird-ass recipes. And black beans in brownies sounds FUCKED UP. So I have, of course, been wanting to make black bean brownies since forever.

And I know I've seen a black-bean brownie recipe posted on some vegan blog or another, but unfortunately I never ended up bookmarking it. So instead I decided to veganize a version from (If you are the person who, within the last couple months, posted a black-bean brownie recipe on your blog, and you read this, if you'd post the link in my comments, that'd rock! Please and thank you.)

I was a little bit disappointed when my brownies didn't cook all the way through--the edges started to pull away from the sides of the dishes as mentioned after 30 minutes, so I removed them. They didn't appeared to be cooked all the way, but as most of you vegan bakers know, there are tons of cookie/brownie recipes out there that don't firm up until they've sat outside of the oven for 10 or 15 minutes. So I thought perhaps this would be the case.

Unfortunately it was not.

They were mush on the inside, not even CLOSE to being cooked through. Part of the issue may have been that I chose to add some baking soda. (Looking back at the original recipe, I have just realized that one suggestion for the recipe was to add baking POWDER which I mistakenly remembered as baking SODA, so now it all sort of makes sense.) Anyways, I decided to take my lemons and make lemon bars (because lemonade is just SO over and done with).

I stirred my mushy brownies, realizing they had a kind of brownie/bread pudding consistency to them. Cool, I thought. Let's play with this a little.

So I took the warm mushy brownies and scooped them into a muffin tin, to create little molds. I then inverted them onto plates and topped them with a couple teaspoons of raspberry preserves. And weirdly, I was kind of happy with the results. They were reminiscent of the chocolate-raspberry volcanoes at Johnny Mango--deep and richly chocolate-puddingesque undercut by the slippery sweetness of tart raspberry preserves. And (since up until now I've not even MENTIONED what the fuck beans and chocolate tastes like and whether it is puke-a-licious) surprisingly YOU WOULDN'T EVER GUESS THEY HAVE BLACK BEANS IN THEM UNLESS SOMEONE TOLD YOU. Which is something that always attracts me to recipes. It's fun to bake something, have people gush over how good it is, and then be able to shout IT HAS TOFU IN IT MWAHAHAHAHA or IT HAS BLACK BEANS IN IT MWAHAHAHAHAHA or IT HAS TINY MIDGETS DRESSED UP AS ELLIOTT SMITH IN IT MWAHAHAHAHAA!

Unfortunately, the very same night I ate these, I ended up with the WORST stomachache ever. All night I was a bit uncomfortable, and then I woke up at 4 in the morning with cramps. I thought for certain that the black bean brownies were slowly eating out my insides, filling my gut with cavernous and noxious gaseous fumes. I then got even MORE concerned because when I was initially making the brownies, the black beans looked kind of peculiar to me upon opening the can. The fluid they were housed in was gelatinous and clumpy and kind of gross-looking, but I had decided to take my chances and try using them anyways. At 4 in the morning, my stomach revolting against the rest of my body, I thought to myself, perhaps using the degenerate-looking black beans wasn't the best idea.

So I ended up pitching my leftovers, which was mildly disappointing. But I didn't want to chance that the black beans WERE in fact Evil Black Beans sent to destroy my stomach.

So yeah: probably not the most rousing of recommendations: EAT THESE WEIRD BROWNIES WITH BLACK BEANS IN THEM AND REJOICE IN YOUR STOMACH'S REVOLT! Then again, perhaps it wasn't so much the fault of the recipe as it was mere coincidence and/or Killer Black Beans.

I would definitely like to make these again sometime, leaving out the baking soda (or adding in baking POWDER) to see what they would be like in actual brownie form. I would also like to make them again in the fucked-up way they ended up coming out, to try them on a healthier stomach, as they WERE quite interesting in flavor. AND GLUTEN-FREE!!! I forgot to even mention that. One of the main reasons I wanted to try these out is that they are gluten-free, and one of the guys in my class this semester can't have gluten, so I always feel bad when I bring in treats because he can't eat them. So I figured I'd try these out.

The one major change I would make is to make sure the black beans are BLENDED THE FUCK DOWN. Because it's slightly disconcerting to be chewing on a decadently chocolate dessert to find a black-bean skin stuck in your tooth. THAT will definitely creep out the folks you're feeding these to. So I've accounted for that in my recipe adjustments below. You also will want to serve these warm--if you don't, they coagulate. So if you have leftovers, make sure to reheat in the microwave before serving.

And now I give you the assignment of trying these out on your own, that way I know whether there IS some sort of toxic combination in the ingredients that will send EVERYONE's stomach revolting against them or whether it was just a freakish coincidence that I got a stomachache from these. I also can't decide whether they were actually tasty on their own or whether it was partially the novelty that made me think they were good (as in: "Wow, for having black beans in them, these weren't so bad"). So if you DO end up trying these, let me know what you think. If they make you throw up everywhere, I am not legally responsible.

Thank you, and good day.

  • 1 (15.5 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained

  • Egg replacer equivalent for 3 eggs

  • 3 T. vegetable oil

  • 1/4 c. cocoa powder

  • 1 t. baking soda

  • 1 pinch salt

  • 1 t. vanilla extract

  • 3/4 c. white sugar

  • 1 t. instant coffee

  • 1/2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips

  • Raspberry preserves


Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease an 8x8 square baking dish.

Throw your black beans in your blender/food processer, and blend as much as possible (they'll probably start sticking to the sides). Use a spoon to get all the beans off the sides of your processer. Add the egg-substitute, oil, and vanilla extract, and blend the SHIT out of them again until there is not an intact bean in sight. (This is important, because, good lord will it gross people out biting into an intact bean while chewing on their dessert.) Add cocoa powder, salt, sugar, baking soda, and instant coffee and blend until smooth. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top of the mixture.

Bake in the preheated oven until the top is dry and the edges start to pull away from the sides of the pan, about 30 minutes.

Remove from the oven and allow to sit for about 10 minutes.

Take a large spoon and stir until they are a brownie-like, pudding-esque consistency.

At this point you can just scoop out the "pudding" as is or you can transfer the brownie pudding into muffin tins to give them a little bit cuter shape. Either which way, top with a generous amount of raspberry preserves and chow down.

If you refrigerate the leftovers, make sure to reheat in the microwave before serving.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Toothy Bajingos and Snobby Joes

So I saw a movie about vagina dentata yesterday, and seriously: it was like the best horror flick I've seen in quite some time. It was so vag-clenchingly disturbing and horrible and yet wonderfully horrifically funny, that I can't stop talking about it today. Which is why I ramble on here as well. (What's even MORE disturbing is that at one point during the movie, which was fairly heavy with sex-scenes, I actually thought to myself, Man, I really needs to get me some action 'cause it's been a few months. And then immediately after thinking THAT, I thought to myself, Seriously, woman... If a movie about bajingos chomping on penii is making you want to get some action, that is really kind of disturbing and a good indicator that you really really DO need to get laid. Ha ha ha.)

Anyways, you can watch the trailer here--the trailer itself is its own little whimsical gem. It had people laughing out loud in the theater.

The movie itself had people shouting, moaning, laughing, and shifting uncomfortably in their seats as well.

It was a weirdly communal experience.

What any of this has to do with snobby joes I'm not really sure.

I could probably make some sort of connection, but it would entail talking about gory man-parts, so I'll just let it go.

Snobby Joes: I was skeptical. Lots of chili powder. And they didn't taste quite so sloppy-joe-ish when I nibbled straight from the pot. But slathered on a bun: delish. They are sloppy. They are snobby. They are 100% yum. And they are complaint-free.

(As you can see, even Zooey liked them)

  • 1 c. uncooked lentils

  • 4 c. water

  • 1 T. olive oil

  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced small

  • 1 green pepper, diced small

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 3 T. chili powder

  • 2 t. oregano

  • salt, to taste

  • 8-oz can tomato sauce

  • 1/4 c. tomato paste

  • 3 T. maple syrup

  • 1 T. yellow mustard (wet mustard)

  • 4 to 6 kaiser rolls or sesame buns (I used vegan potato rolls)


Put the lentils in a small sauce pot and pour in 4 cups water. Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, until lentils are soft. Drain and set aside.

About 10 minutes before the lentils are done boiling, preheat a medium soup pot over medium heat. Saute the onion and pepper in the oil for about 7 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic and saute a minute more.

Add the cooked lentils, the chili powder, oregano and salt and mix. Add the tomato sauce and tomato paste. Cook for about 10 minutes. Add the maple syrup and mustard and heat through.

Turn the heat off and let sit for about 10 minutes, so that the flavors can meld, or go ahead and eat immediately if you can't wait. I like to serve these open faced, with a scoop of snobby joe on each slice of the bun.

(Recipe from Veganomicon, posted at the ppk)

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Eggplant-Potato Moussaka with Pine Nut Cream

Worst picture ever,
so suck it!

I've gotta admit. This recipe pissed me off a little bit. Not in the taste or quality, but measurement-wise.

I mentioned about a month ago that the measurements appeared to be off for the Veganomicon beanballs, resulting in many complaints across the internet that the beanballs were mushy and kind of gross. I bitched about it. Then I got over it.

This time, however, I was making the moussaka for the holidays. And when you're making it for not one, not two, but THREE TO SIX PEOPLE, you want it to come out correctly.

And there is NO WAY IN HELL that the quantity of potatoes and eggplant can completely cover (without enormous gaps) the size of the pan the recipe calls for--and I even got a 1.25 lb. eggplant, for god's sake (I saw the dude weigh it). As I was layering them, I found myself muttering little cusswords under my breath, ones that I shan't revisit here.

Needless to say, if you're gonna make this, you need more eggplant and potatoes. So I've bumped up the measurements. Could you end up making too much of both with the new measurements below? It's possible. But I think there's a better chance of not having a layering fiasco if you double both quantities. Plus, it'll make it somewhat more feasible for the moussaka TO STAY TOGETHER instead of falling apart whenever you try to scoop out a piece. It's all about the layering, babies.

All that being said, I *DID* like this dish. Did it blow my mind? Not really. Was it nonetheless tasty? Heck yeah. Do I think the pine-nut cream was a LITTLE bit overhyped? *COUyesGH* But there WAS definitely something attractive about the tomato-cinnamon interminglings. And I love me some roasted eggplant.

*AND* Sam, the 7-year old son of a guy my mom's been seeing, gave it a hearty thumb's up, without me even asking. And apparently he's a picky eater. And he's 7, and 7-year olds usually aren't big fans of weird dishes like moussaka. (In return for his compliment, I then DESTROYED him at Spongebob Uno! Ok. Not really. He totally kicked me and my mom's ass. *sigh*)

Recipe........ GO!

    Vegetable Layer

  • 2 lbs. eggplant*

  • 1 lb. zucchini

  • 3 lbs. russet or baking potatoes*

  • 1/4 c. olive oil

  • Sauce

  • 1/4 c. olive oil

  • 4 large shallots, sliced thinly

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1/3 c. vegetable broth or red wine

  • Two 15-oz cans crushed tomatoes

  • 2 t. dried oregano

  • 1/4 t. ground cinnamon

  • 1 bay leaf

  • Salt

  • Pine Nut Cream

  • 1 lb. silken tofu

  • 1/2 c. pine nuts, plus additional for garnish

  • 3 T. lemon juice

  • 1 t. arrowroot powder (I used cornstarch, I forget what the conversion equivalent is)

  • 1 clove garlic

  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

  • Salt, to taste

  • White pepper

  • 1/2 c. dry, fine white breadcrumbs

Preheat the oven to 400F. Lightly oil three baking sheets or shallow pans.

Prepare the vegetables:

Wash the eggplant and zucchini, and trim the stems. Scrub and peel the potatoes. Slice the eggplant, zucchini, and potatoes lengthwise into approximately 1/4 inch thick slices. (Make sure the potatoes in particular are sliced thin enough, otherwise they will either take a long time to cook through or be hard.) Rub the eggplant slices with a little salt and set aside in a colander in the sink or in a big bowl for about 15 minutes to drain. Briefly rinse with cold water and pat dry with a paper towel.

Place each vegetable on a separate baking sheet. Distribute the 1/4 c. of oil among the three and sprinkle the vegetables with salt (except eggplant). Toss to coat the vegetables on each sheet, making sure each piece is completely coated with oil. Drizzle a little extra oil on the eggplant, as it has a slight tendency to stick. Spread out the vegetables on each sheet; some overlapping is okay. Roast the pans of zucchini and eggplant for 15 minutes, or until tender. Roast the potatoes for about 20 to 22 minutes, until the edges are lightly browned. Allow the vegetables to cool.

While the vegetables are cooking, prepare the tomato sauce:

Combine the remaining 1/4 c. olive oil and minced garlic in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan. Heat over medium heat and let the garlic sizzle for about 30 seconds, then add the shallots and cook until soft and translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the wine/broth and simmer until slightly reduced, another 3 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes, oregano, ground cinnamon, and bay leaf. Partially cover and simmer over medium-low heat for 12 to 14 minutes, stirring occasionally. The sauce should reduce slightly. Turn off the heat, remove the bay leaf, and adjust the salt.

Make the pine nut cream:

In a food processor, blend the pine nuts and lemon juice, scraping the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, until a creamy paste forms. Add the tofu, garlic, arrowroot, nutmeg, salt, and white pepper. Blend until creamy and smooth.

Final assembly:

Lightly oil a 9 x 13 pan and preheat the oven again to 400F, if necessary. Spread 1/4 c of sauce on the pan, then add successive layers in order of eggplant, potatoes, sauce, and half the bread crumbs. Spread all the zucchini on top of this. Top with a final layer each of eggplant, potatoes, sauce, and bread crumbs. Use a rubber spatula to evenly spread the pine nut cream over the entire top layer. Scatter a few pine nuts on top, if desired.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the top is lightly browned and a few cracks have formed in the topping. Allow to cool 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Notes from the book

The zucchini will likely be very water after roasting, so when it's cool enough to touch, gently but firmly squeeze the slices, by the handful, to remove any excess water. This will prevent an overly wet casserole and will help concentrate the flavors.

(Recipe posted at Veggie Diaries, originally from Veganomicon)

Tuesday, April 08, 2008


As I've mentioned many a time before, my mom is awesome in the way of vegan food, despite claiming that she can't cook worth a shit.

Though it's long past, I'm finally posting a couple recipes that she whipped up for us for Easter. (We don't really celebrate Easter--we just use it as an excuse to get available sibs together and eat lots of food.)

Both of these were simple and delish.



  • 8 oz. linguine

  • 1/3 c. lowat creamy peanut butter

  • 2 T. soy sauce

  • 1.5 T. rice wine vinegar

  • 1 to 2 t. chile paste w/garlic

  • 1/2 t. sugar

  • 1 medium red bell pepper, cut in strips

  • 3/4 c. seeded cucumber

  • 3 scallions, diagonally sliced in 1/4" pieces to make 1/4 c.

  • 2 t. chopped cilantro (or favorite seasoning)

  • lime juice


Cook linguine & drain.

Combine peanut butter with 1/4 cup water, soy sauce, vinegar & chile paste in blender & blend to consistency of cream.

Add linguine and vegetables.

Sprinkle with cilantro and lime.

(serves 6)



  • 12 oz couscous, dried

  • 2.5 c. vegetable stock

  • 1 T. vegan margarine

  • 1 T. chopped fresh parsley (or basil or herb of choice)

  • 1 T. lemon zest

  • 1 T. vegan parmesan cheese

  • 1/4 c. diced, dried apricots

  • sea salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste


Steam the couscouse: Bring stock & vegan margarine to a boil, then remove from heat. Add couscous to liquid, stir and cover for 5 minutes.
Fold in parsley, lemon zest, parmesan & apricots. Season, then finish with sea salt.

(makes 4 servings)

(recipe from Rocco Whalen of Fahrenheit restaurant)

Friday, April 04, 2008

Caribbean Black Bean & Quinoa Salad

Short and sweet today. ("That's what she said!" Oh man, I can't wait for that show to start up again. Anyways...)

My friend P rocks. I would totally have her babies, if she was a lesbian and I was a lesbian. But alas. WE HAVE BEEN FOILED BY NATURE! Anyways, every once in a while she invites me over on a weekday and cooks dinner for me. (I have yet to return the favor but plan on it. Soon. You hear me, P?!?!) I am so very happy that she recently moved to the area--as she said a month or two ago, "Since I moved here, I think we've hung out more in two weeks than all the time we've hung out previously put together." (She said it a bit more eloquently and grammatically suavely though. And also while batting her eyelashes at me and licking her lips seductively or epileptically or maybe a bit of both).

Anyways, having her in the neighborhood pleases me because she appreciates a sense of community the way I appreciate a sense of community. For example, for a long while, I've been wanting to do a montly rotation of Vegan Dinner Nights with a couple other friends in the neighborhood--I like that sense of community and sharing, especially since I love to cook. But of course, that never seems to pan out. Luckily P is weird like me and enjoys that kind of shit (which means we have to start doing this, just the two of us, P, and maybe inviting a few other worthies once in a while too--how 'bout it?). So it's really nice to have someone say to me, Hey, how 'bout coming over this week and I'll cook you some quinoa?

She also shares my fiendish hatred of raw onions. I mean, she gets me. She really gets me.

I guess what I'm saying is, I'M GLAD YOUR IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD, P! *tearing up a little and then throwing up a little just to diffuse the mushiness of this moment*

Now to the point of all this: she whipped up this quinoa dish for me last week, and it was quite delicious. Delicious enough that I overate it and had a stomachache when I got home.

It is simple. It is tasty. It is good for you. And it will make you gassy! Hurray for gas!

(Oh, and the original recipe uses rice, but P got all creative and used quinoa instead. So I'm putting the quinoa version below.)

  • 1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil

  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

  • 1 T. Dijon mustard

  • 1 t. ground cumin

  • 1 t. minced garlic

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • 2.5 c. cooked quinoa (about 1 cup raw, I'm guessing)

  • 1 15-oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed

  • 3/4 c. chopped red bell pepper

  • 3/4 c. chopped yellow bell pepper

  • 1/2 c. chopped scallions


Whisk oil, vinegar, mustard, cumin and garlic in a medium bowl until well blended.

Throw all other ingredients in a large bowl and toss with enough dressing to moisten.

Season with salt and pepper

(May be made 6 hours ahead, though it tastes yummiest when warm! Cover and refrigerate)

Makes 6 servings.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Red Lentil Soup with Lemon

I made this so long ago that I almost kind of forgot the how where when why of it.

But thankfully I found the link--thankfully because it was a really damn good soup recipe, and thus, it would be a shame not to be able to share it.

I'm such a sucker for lentils lately, and this soup just compounded my obsession. It is fiery and yet perky (from the lemon). And it is lentilicious. *Tip of the hat to Everybody Likes Sandwiches for her mad lentil skills*

My only word of warning: it is one spicy-assed mothafucka, so if you're wussy in that regard, you may wanna cut back on the chili powder and cayenne pepper.

Oh, and I had a leek I had to use up, so I subbed in a leek for part of the onions. Sue me.

  • 2 T. olive oil

  • 1 large onion, chopped (*OR* 1 sm. onion, chopped + 1 leek, white part thinly sliced)

  • 5 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 T. tomato paste

  • 2 t. ground cumin

  • salt to taste

  • 1/4 t. ground black pepper

  • 1/2 t. cayenne powder

  • 1/2 t. (mexican) chili powder (I just used regular)

  • 4 c. vegetable broth

  • 1 c. red lentils

  • 1 large carrot, peeled into shreds (or a handle of matchstick carrots from the bag)

  • Juice of 1 lemon

  • 3 T. chopped fresh parsley


Heat oil in a large heavy pot and saute garlic and onions until wilty. Stir in tomato paste, cumin, salt, pepper, cayenne and chili powder until fragrant. Pour in broth, red lentils and carrots.

Simmer until lentils and carrots are tender, about 20 minutes. Add lemon juice and parsley and serve in deep bowls.

(Recipe from Everybody Likes Sandwiches)

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Braised Seitan Medallions in a Wine-Demi-glace

I have the world's most enormous backlog of recipes to post about. It's like I'm suffering from recipe-posting-constipation or something. MUST TO LOOSEN UP THE BOWELS!

BUT TODAY, Laloofah will be happy to know (since she is bossy and insisted the other day that I need to Hezbollah-ize a Bourdain recipe already or she would punch me in the boob), I will be posting a Hebollah-ized recipe.

Duh duh-duh duhhhhh <--the sound of trumpets and fanfare

If you're not hip to the whole Bourdain-Hezbollah-Tofu saga, click HERE to get caught up to speed, and HERE for other recipes.

Anyways, I'd been wanting to try veganizing this veal shanks recipe for a while, mostly because most of us veg*ns agree that veal is the most egregious and misguided form of meat-consumption.

Plus, Bourdain had stated in an interview that "life without veal stock, pork fat, sausage, organ meat, demi-glace or even stinky cheese is a life not worth living," so I of course felt the urge to try veganizing one of these items as a friendly fuck you to the man. So I settled on the challenge of fiddling with the notorious veal demi-glace.

I wish I would've seen the following blurb from a Bourdain article prior to today, since it would've made my demiglacing much easier:

Simply take your reduced meat stock, add some red wine, toss in some shallots and fresh thyme and a bayleaf and peppercorns, and slowly, slowly simmer it and reduce it again until it coats a spoon. Strain. Freeze this stuff in an ice-cube tray, pop out a cube or two as needed, and you can rule the world. (Both Bourdain quotes are from THIS article)

But instead I tooled around the internet and researched what went into a demi-glace, ending up modifying a recipe I found on-line (one which was probably much more elaborate than necessary, but c'est la vie).

Basically, a demi-glace is 1/2 veal (or other meat)-stock, 1/2 espagnole. (Variations in a demi-glace recipe abound--many of them call for red wine to be included as well.)

Espagnole, on the other hand, is prepared by making "a very dark brown roux, to which are added several gallons of veal stock or water, along with 20–30 lb (9–14 kg) of browned bones, pieces of beef, many pounds of vegetables, and various seasonings. This blend is allowed to slowly reduce while being frequently skimmed. The classical recipe calls for additional veal stock to be added as the liquid gradually reduces but today water is generally used instead. Tomato sauce is added towards the end of the process, and the sauce is further reduced."

I decided that I would make a smaller-portioned, veganized version of this espagnole recipe and then mix that with an equal part "stock" to create my demi-glace. (My stock, I decided, would be equal parts strong brewed coffee--for a rich deep flavor--and vegetable broth.)

Now that I've read the above blurb from Bourdain, I wish I would've done so sooner as it sounds SO much easier. But maybe that'll just give me a good reason to try this again with a new demi-glace.

The long and short of it is this: I decided to make seitan "shanks" instead of veal shanks, bathed in a rich wine-demi-glace reduction.

  1. I decided to whip up a modified version of the simple seitan recipe from Veganomicon, subbing in coffee in place of the soy sauce, for a deeper, more husky flavor. I debated between using the seitan cutlet recipe (which involves baking the seitan) and the simple seitan recipe (which requires simmering the seitan in a pot on the stove) for a little while before settling on the simple seitan recipe. Why? Because it says right in the book that the simple seitan is more tender and less chewy. And, unfortunately, that's the attraction of veal: tenderness. So I figured it made sense. Unfortunately, as I quickly realized, boiled seitan is lumpy and ugly. I had wanted to make a pretty "shank" of some sort, but unfortunately it ended up looking more brainy than pretty. *sighing*

  2. After all was said and done, the sauce in this recipe came out WAY thicker than it should have. It was REALLY good. But it was thick like sweet and sour sauce, which obviously isn't the way a demi-glace is supposed to be.

    What the consistency of demi-glace SHOULD be

    I think what may have caused this problem has to do with surface-area, weirdly enough. Since the original veal recipe calls for veal patties, and mine were moreso little chunks, I think this caused the sauce to thicken up more because it had more surface area to cling desperately to and more flour-coating from the seitan to incidentally thicken up the sauce. So the end result wasn't thin and wine-like, it was thick and sweet-and-soury-looking.

  3. I was a little bit nervous about the demi-glace initially as it tasted REALLY kind of creepy. I kept thinking that maybe it DID taste weirdly bloody and meatlike and that's why I was grossed out by it. But it's been so long that I'm not even sure anymore when something actually tastes like meat or not. Once it was incorporated in with the rest of the wine-sauce, however, all was well.

  4. This is a really long-winded recipe, but would be much simpler if you just BOUGHT two pounds of seitan or whipped it up a few days before so it didn't seem so overwhelming.


I used a lot of coffee in this recipe, and I think it lended a throaty, jazz-singery, deep flavor to everything, making it taste a bit more meaty than it otherwise would have. This recipe is also a VERY rich, very butter/oil-laden, so be forewarned (*activating the SusanV Alarm*). I have not had such a rich dish in a really long time, and, though I really liked it, it was definitely more decadent than I'm used to.

Despite the clumpiness of the sauce, and despite my initial reservations about the way the demi-glace tasted before being incorporated with the rest of the sauce, I was super-surprised and delighted that the end product tasted so rich and sexy and delicious. Bourdain would no doubt scoff at my inability to create a like-textured demi-glace, but that just gives me reason to try this out again. And regardless of whether he would scoff, I was pleased with the end result.

Oh yeah, and I get to purr the word GRRRRRRRRRRRRREMOLATA again, as this recipe also called for a gremolata. The first night I had this, I forgot the gremolata (you can see the naked medallions in the pic below--the sauce looks prettier than in the other pics, but it's gremolata-less, so I decided to take pics of the leftovers as well), so as you can see, the dish and sauce looks sexier but more barren. Last night, I used the gremolata on my leftovers, and it definitely prettied it up and offered up a strange but lovely contrast to the rich decadence of the rest of the dish. That's GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRREMOLATA for you!

So, would I make this again in precisely the same way as I did below? Probably not, simply because it was so time-consuming.

Will I make this again in SOME form or another? Hell yes. Because it was damn tasty.

Changes I will make next time:
  • Use tomato sauce or reserved juice from the can of whole-tomatoes instead of the tomato paste.

  • Try it with the seitan cutlets instead of the simple seitan.

  • Perhaps incorporate some wine into the demi-glace itself.

  • Thin out the sauce a bit more.

Anyways, here are links to all the original recipes:

Espagnole recipe

Braised Veal Shanks recipe



  • 2 c. vital wheat gluten

  • 1/4 c. + 2 T. nutritional yeast

  • 1 c. cold vegetable broth

  • 1/2 c. cold brewed coffee (brewed strong)

  • 2 T. olive oil

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced finely

  • 16 c. cold water plus 6 bouillon cubes

  • 1/4 c. soy sauce

  • [Alternately, you could just buy 2 lbs. of pre-made seitan]


  • 1/4 c. onions, diced

  • 2 T. carrots, cut into chunks

  • 2 T. celery, diced

  • 2 T. vegan margarine

  • 2 T. flour

  • 1 c. veggie stock

  • 1 c. strong coffee

  • 2 T. tomato paste

  • bay leaf

  • pinch of thyme

  • pinch of parsley

  • Stew:

  • 1 c. of your vegan demi-glace

  • 2 lbs. of seitan

  • 1/2 t. salt

  • pinch of black pepper

  • 1/2 c. all-purpose flour

  • 3/4 T. olive oil (this may vary--you'll be using whatever amount it takes to cook up your seitan once it's floured)

  • 1.5 T. vegan margarine

  • 1 c. onions, cut into 1/4-inch dice

  • 1/2 c. carrots, cut into 1/4-inch dice

  • 1/2 c. celery, cut into 1/4-inch dice

  • 1-2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

  • 3/4 c. dry red wine (I used Yellowtail Merlot)

  • 1 (14-oz) can whole tomatoes in juice, drained and coarsely chopped

  • 1 bay leaf

  • Gremolata:

  • 1 t. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

  • 1/2 t. finely grated fresh orange zest

  • 1/4-1/2 t. finely chopped fresh rosemary

  • 1/4-1/2 t. finely chopped fresh thyme


For the seitan:

In a large mixing bowl, mix together your nutritional yeast and vital wheat gluten.

In a separate bowl, mix together all other ingredients except the water and soy sauce.

Pour the wet into the dry and mix until all the wet and dry ingredients have combined. Knead for 3 minutes or so, until the dough is elastic. Divide into 6 separate chunks.

Fill a large pot with water, bouillon cubes, and soy sauce. Add the wheat gluten chunks. Cover and bring to a boil, but watch carefully--try to lower it as low as it will go as soon as it boils, so that it's at a low simmer.

Partially cover pot, and simmer for an hour, moving the seitan around occasionally. Turn off the head, remove the lid, and let sit for 15 minutes.

Remove from broth and place in strainer until cool.

For the demi-glace:

In a sauce pan, cook the onions, carrots, and celery in the vegan margarine until browned. Add the flour to make a roux. Stir in only 1/2 c. of veggie stock, 1/2 c. coffee, and tomato paste. Continue to stir until it boils. Reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring frequently. This is your espagnole.

After 20 minutes, your espagnole should've thickened up some. Add in the rest of your veggie stock as well as your coffee. Simmer for about 10 more minutes, stirring frequently, and then set aside.

For the stew:

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat to 350°F.

Take your 1/2 c. of flour and put it in a large container with a lid. Toss your seitan in with it, in two batches, shaking until they are coated with flour. Shake off any excess. Set seitan aside.

Heat your oil in a pot over moderately high heat until just smoking, then brown your seitan on all sides. You will probably need to do this in two batches, adding a bit more oil between the two. (If some of your pieces of seitan still have white patches of flour that haven't been browned, don't worry. All will be well once you toss it in the oven.) Transfer your seitan to a plate and set aside.

Add vegan margarine to your pot and heat until foam subsides, then sauté onions, carrots, celery, and garlic, stirring occasionally, until onions are softened, about 9 minutes.

Add wine, scraping up any brown bits, then add only 1 c. of your warm demi-glace, tomatoes, and bay leaf.

Transfer your wine sauce to a 9 x 13 rimmed pan. Place your seitan in the pan as well, stirring gently until all your seitan is coated. Cover pan tightly with foil.

Cook for about 40-50 minutes, (or until sauce is clearly heated through and seitan is tender) stirring once or twice.

For the gremolata:

Stir together parsley, zest, rosemary, and thyme. Set aside.

All together now:

You can serve this over a plethora of things. The original recipe calls for it to be served over a wild mushroom risotto. I served mine over a bed of arborio rice, topped with tender, broiled asparagus. Sprinkle with the gremolata before serving.


(Serves between 4-8)

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Chocolate Orange Cake

I made SusanV's Chocolate Orange Cake on Saturday, to take over to my friend P's (since she was cooking me dinner on Sunday), and to take the remainder into school with me on Monday. I did not have a bundt-cake-pan, however, so I ended up baking the recipe in two loaf-pans, but it still turned out delightful.

The recipe is deliciously orangey and zingy. It's also wonderfully chocolatey, enough so that people were (and will be) amazed that it's fat-free.

When I took this into school yesterday, people cowed it all down very quickly and LOVED the recipe and the fact that it tasted so rich despite being fat-free.

I was happy that I brought it in, until my one instructor decided to subject me to not one, not two, but THREE of my vegan pet-peeves as he scooped a piece of the cake onto a napkin for himself.


  • "So is this vegan then?" It's a minor pet peeve, granted, but it drives me just a TINY bit nuts when people know you're vegan but ask if an item you have made is vegan nonetheless. I always wanna be like, "Well, actually THIS recipe called for the blood of 100 sacrificed babies, so I guess it's not vegan after all!" I forgive it with most people, because usually it's asked out of interest and not intended disparagingly. But when it's followed up by the next two pet peeves, it's hard not to want to KICK SOME ASS over it.

  • "It looks just like normal cake!" This is what my instructor said to me. Um, yes. I guess I didn't realize there IS such a thing as "abnormal" cakes and "normal" cakes. I thought cake was pretty much just cake. And who, praytell, my dear instructor, decided that non-vegan cake is the norm?

  • "Well, I guess I'll just have to go have it with a nice cup of coffee... WITH CREAM. [chuckling to self]" Yeah. That's fucking the fucking funniest thing I've heard EVER, dude. No one's EVER played that kind of funniness on me before! OMG YOU ARE SO FUN FUN FUNNY THAT MY SIDES ARE ACHING!

    *eye roll*

    Seriously: I don't understand why people constantly feel the need to undercut other people's veganness, especially when IT'S NOT BEING MADE AN ISSUE OF. I mean, I was nice; I brought in cake to share with everyone; I didn't stand up and say, Before you eat this cake, here's why you all should go vegan!; I just offered the cake up, verified it was vegan if anyone asked, and that was that. So I don't get it. I mean, even though I believe in, say, the right to choose, if I asked a classmate if they were at a pro-life protest over the weekend, and they said that they were, I would NEVER respond to their comment by being like, "Well, I think I'm gonna head on off and rip me a fetus out of my womb before I head home! Ha ha ha!" Only an asshole would ever say something like that. So I don't understand what compels non-vegans to always make smart-ass comments about vegan shit constantly.

What redeemed the moment, thankfully, and allowed me to bite my tongue was when I noticed that there was a large cat-hair stuck to the end of the piece of cake my instructor was lifting towards his mouth. Sweet sweet pacifistic revenge!

God bless my cats!

  • 1 1/2 c. unbleached flour

  • 1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour

  • 1 1/2 c. sugar

  • 2 t. baking soda

  • 1 t. salt

  • 1/2 c. cocoa

  • 1 t. cinnamon

  • 3/4 c soy yogurt

  • 1 t. vanilla

  • 2 T. balsamic vinegar

  • 1 1/2 c. water

  • 1/2 c. fresh orange juice

  • 2 T. grated orange peel

  • Chocolate Icing:

  • 1/2 c. powdered sugar

  • 1 T. cocoa

  • 2 t. orange juice

  • 1/4 t. vanilla extract (or 1/8 tsp. if double strength)

  • --plus extra orange juice as needed

  • Orange Icing:

  • 1/2 c. powdered sugar

  • 1 t. orange juice

  • 1/4 t. vanilla extract (or 1/8 tsp. if double strength)

  • --plus extra orange juice as needed


Spray a Bundt cake pan (or two bread-loaf pans) with non-stick spray and dust it lightly with unsweetened cocoa. (Poop--I just realized that this part was cut off in my printed directions, so I actually greased mine with margarine. Ah well.) Preheat oven to 350F.

Combine the flours, sugar, baking soda, salt, cocoa, and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl. Add the yogurt, vanilla, balsamic vinegar, water, and orange juice. Beat by hand or with a mixer on low speed just until well-combined, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in the grated orange peel, and pour into the prepared pan.

Bake for about 30-40 minutes for the bundt cake (30-35 for two loaves), until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then invert it onto a serving platter and cool completely.

When the cake is cool, make the icings. For each icing, mix the ingredients in separate small bowls. One half teaspoon at a time, stir in enough extra orange juice to make a drizzling consistency. Drizzle the chocolate icing over the cake, wait a few minutes for it to set, and then drizzle the orange icing.

(Recipe from The FatFree Vegan)