Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Intestinal Anarchy Soup!

Q: What comes out one end of Lindy Loo looking exactly the same as it did going in the other?

A: Black quinoa.

You get what I'm alluding to with this? Black quinoa. Placed in one end of the Loo. Black quinoa. Coming out the other end of the Loo. Nothing happening in the interim. YOUUNDERSTANDWHATI'MSAYING???


Strangely, this doesn't seem to happen with regular quinoa, so I'm not quite clear on why there's a serious lack of absorption going on here.

Perhaps my intestines are just becoming full-fledged anarchists.

Nonetheless, I liked this soup. And I invented this soup. Mostly because I had a random and fierce craving for kale this past week.

So voila.

It's simple. It's healthy (well, minus the sodium in the broth). And it's good.

Next time, I might liven it up just a wee bit more by making the broth mushroom-based and tossing in some meatier-type mushrooms, but either which way, I'd make this again.

  • 1 T. (or so) olive oil

  • 1 small onion

  • 4 cloves garlic

  • 5 c. veggie broth

  • 2 c. water

  • 3/4 c. black quinoa (or regular's fine too)

  • 1 small can great northern beans, drained

  • 1 red pepper, roasted

  • 4 c. kale, chopped or torn into small bits


Heat your olive oil in a large pot on medium. Add your onions and cook til nearly translucent. Toss in your garlic and cook a minute or two more.

Add the rest of your ingredients, except for the kale.

Bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer. Cook until the quinoa is tender, usually about 20 minutes or so. Toss in your kale, and simmer until wilted.

Makes about 4-6 servings.

So Fresh and So Clean!

I'm cleaning house again, and that means the little sidebar you see to the right is all squeaky and fresh once again. Anyone who hasn't blogged since November has been booted, I'm sorry to say. And any dead links have been erased.

This also means that once again, I toss the invitation out to you all:

If you have a vegan food blog, and you would like to be listed in my sidebar, then gimme a holler and I'll add you on.

As for the rest of you who haven't posted in months: GET COOKING!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Gastronomics and Intestinal Godzillas!!

                                       from A Vegan for Dinner

Yeah, so gluten makes me a fart-factory. OMG yes.

And I don't actually think I'm ALLERGIC to it. 'Cause I'm fine with foods with flour and stuff in them.

It's just recipes I make with vital wheat gluten.

I swear to you, within five minutes of the food hitting my stomach, it starts making THE loudest noises ever. And physically, it feels like a small version of Godzilla is stomping around down there.

Case in point were these "meat"balls.

Holy mother of intestinal distress!

They were like flatulence bombs, like if I fed them to others, I'd immediately be arrested for committing an act of terrorism.

But crap, were they yummy.

Now, things:

I didn't 100% stick to the recipe, 'cause vegan Worcestershire sauce and chicken/beef vegan bouillons are my archnemeses (archnemesises?). They are a pain in the butt to track down, so basically, I pretend they don't exist. I have MADE vegan worc sauce before (from a recipe from like Garden of Vegan or something), but it seems so elaborate for something that, when it comes down to it, sorta just tastes like soy sauce anyways.

So yeah: that.

Also, I wasn't sure if "bouillon" meant "dried bouillon" or "wet broth." And as I'm writing this, I realize it's probably the former, otherwise it would just say "broth." But WHATEVER. Sue me.

Other things: I subbed in 2-eggs worth of egg-replacer (prepared according to the box's directions) for the flax-seed mix.

And I think that was it. (I think I tossed in some oregano too, but BFD really.)

End result: I think I need to tweak my version of this recipe a wee bit (the "beef" broth probably WOULD help in that regard) just to get a more meatbally tasting meatball. But what I really liked about these was that: a) They actually have the consistency of meatballs! Meaning: they stay together and don't crumble if anything heavier than, say, a feather brushes up against them. *COUstupidveganomiconbeanballsGH*. And b) they even stood up against the imminent sogginess that Tracy warns about--I *DID* heat up leftovers IN sauce and let them sit, and they STILL were uncrumbly.

So: way to rock the "meat"ball, Tracy!

I mean, look at how goddamn firm and photogenic they are! For pete's sake!

They're like the Christie Brinkley of the "meat"ball world:

So yeah: I recommend them.

They would make for a nice, firm "meat"ball sub for sure. And they're real good over spaghetti. Plus, they make an assload.

I've put my changes in parenthesis, but I suspect you'd be better off following the original if possible (at least seasoning/bouillon-wise--the egg sub should be fine).

But try them out! Just don't sue me for intestinal terrorism if you do!


  • 1 c. hot water

  • 1 t. vegan Worcestershire Sauce (I subbed extra soy sauce)

  • 1-1/2 T. ketchup

  • 2 T. Soy Sauce

  • 2 T. beefy vegan bouillon (or I used a half-cube of veg bouillon tossed in with the hot water above)

  • 1 t. onion powder

  • 1 t. garlic powder

  • 1/2 t/ black pepper

  • 3/4 t. paprika

  • 1/2 t. thyme

  • 3/4 c. TVP crumbles

  • 1 T. ground flax + 3 T. water (or egg-replacer prepared to make two "eggs")

  • 2 T. cornmeal

  • 1/2 c. rolled oats

  • 3/4 c. breadcrumbs

  • 2 T. flour

  • 3 T. vital wheat gluten flour


In a small bowl, toss in all the ingredients up until the TVP crumbles. Stir.

Once combined, add in your TVP crumbles. Let sit until cool.

In the meantime, in a small bowl, mix together the flax and 3 T. water (or prep your egg replacer). Beat with a fork, then lit sit until it begins to gel. Set aside.

In a separate large bowl, toss in all the remaining ingredients. Once your TVP mix cools, stir it in as well and add the "egg" mixture of choice.

Knead dough into a solid ball.

Shape into 32 "meatballs" and fry in oil until brown. Alternately, you can bake on an oiled pan at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes. (I did the latter of the two.)

Use as you would any other meatball, like spaghetti or sweet and sour sauce. Do not allow the meatballs to sit in the sauce for an extended period of time; add close to the end of the cooking period, just long enough to heat thoroughly.

(Original recipe from A Vegan for Dinner)

Well, Shit I'm Just Gonna Say It: Today's My B-day...

So I'd like to take a minute to wax nostalgic about how old I am by sharing a few pics from back in high school--14+ years ago.

So little!!

Only pic I own of
me with bleach-blond hair

Ah, to be a teen again...

And this is me, ringing in my 32nd year:

A little bit of crow's feet creeping in
perhaps, but overall, I think I'm aging
pretty well...

And now I'm off to drink a beer for each of my 32-years!

Creamy Spinach-Artichoke Dip

(Please excuse the horrible pic.)

So yay! I made a really good spinach-artichoke dip for the Oscars on Sunday, and it was super-easy but super-decadent. I was inspired by the Don't Eat Off the Sidewalk recipe but ended up fattening it way the hell up ('cause I'm sorry, but that's the nature of spinach-artichoke dip--it ain't TRULY spinach artichoke dip if you don't feel concerned that it could give you a heart attack).

Anyways, it turned out really fricking well. You would never guess that there's a whole can of beans in there, and they do a nice job of balancing out the cream-cheezy flavor so it's not overpowering.

My brother (who loves spinach-artichoke dip) said, and I quote: "Wow. You wouldn't guess this is vegan. It tastes even better than the TGI Friday's spinach-artichoke dip from the grocery store!" Which I THINK was a compliment.

But yeah: I haven't had spinach-artichoke dip in years and years, and I fricking LOVED it. Thankfully I was pretty full from dinner, otherwise I probably could've easily plowed through half of this.

Oh, and I accidentally baked it at 0-degrees for 20 minutes because my mom's stove is confusing. But you may wanna skip that step. ; )

  • 1 small can Great Northern beans, drained

  • 1 T. olive oil

  • 1 small onion, diced

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 4 c. fresh spinach, shredded into small pieces

  • 1 14.5-oz can artichoke hearts (quartered or whole is fine), roughly chopped

  • 1 tub vegan cream cheez

  • 1/4 c. panko bread crumbs

  • 1-2 T. nutritional yeast


Preheat oven to 400-F.

Heat the olive oil on medium in a pan. Add onion and cook until nearly translucent. Add garlic and cook one minute more. Toss in your spinach and cook until wilted (2-3 minutes). Remove from heat.

Toss your drained beans into a food processor. Blend until smooth.

Empty the tub of vegan cream cheez into a casserole dish. Add blended beans and mix until well-combined.

Add artichoke hearts, spinach-mix, panko, and nooch.

Cover with lid or foil and cook about 20 minutes.

Remove lid/foil and cook for 10 or 15 minutes more, until a little browned and heated through.

Serve with chips or whatever other dippables you like.

Serves 4-ish or so

Monday, February 23, 2009

Shhhh! Secrets!

Bored. Tired.

Thus, I turn desperately to random surveys.

(Smagged from Maddy Maba's blog)

Have you ever licked the back of a CD to try to get it to work?:: Used spit but not licked.

What's the largest age difference between yourself and someone you've dated?:: 2 years dated; 6 years shagged

Ever been in a car wreck?:: no wreck--just minor fender benders

Were you popular in high school?:: Not really

Have you ever been on a blind date?:: No

Are looks important?:: Important but not the end-all-and-be-all

Do you have any friends that you've known for 10 years or more??:: Yes yes

By what age would you like to be married?:: Boo--patriarchal question!

Does the number of people a person's slept with affect your view of them?:: Sometimes, but not always

Have you ever made a mistake?:: Duh.

Are you a good tipper?:: Yes. Unless the waiter sucks.

What's the most you have spent for a haircut?:: 50-ish?

Have you ever had a crush on a teacher?:: Oh hells yes. Let me please introduce you to Bane of My Existence, my most wicked teacher crush ever

Have you ever peed in public?:: If you're talking "in front of a crowd, shouting HEY LOOK AT ME" then no. But I've peed in the woods and once on the side of the highway.

What song do you want played at your funeral?:: Ooooh. Tough one! First one that popped into my head: "You Shook Me All Night Long" by AC/DC. Hee hee. But the less impulsively random one: "Neighborhood #4" by the Arcade Fire might be nice.

Would you tell your parents if you were gay?:: Yes.

What would your last meal be before getting executed?:: Tough again! Sushi. Or Mama Santa's pizza.

Beatles or Stones?:: Beatles

Beer, wine or hard liquor?:: Beer

Do you have any phobias?:: Death.

What are your plans for the future?:: Hopefully still the LMT route until I become independently wealthy and buy the U.S.

Do you walk around the house naked?:: Sometimes. But I have a creepy old guy neighbor. So with limitations.

If you were an animal what would you be?:: Cat

Hair colour you like on someone you're dating?:: Who cares

Would you rather be blind or deaf?:: Deaf

Do you have any special talents?:: I am slightly above average at many things but never to the point of being overwhelmingly amazing.

Do you like horror or comedy?:: HORROR!

Are you missing anyone?:: Lesle, my sis

If you weren't straight, what person of the same sex would you do?:: I have some lovely ladies on my harem list, but none of them are really sounding delish to me today. So I'm not sure. =P Wait, no. Maybe Franka Potente. Rowr.

Where do you want to live when you are old?:: Somewhere good.

Who is the person you can count on the most?:: Dependability-wise, my friend P.

If you could date any celebrity past or present, who would it be?:: Tom Waits. Or Mike Doughty.

What did you dream last night?:: No idea.

What is your favourite sport to watch?:: Naked pole-vaulting.

Are you named after anyone?:: My middle name was snagged from a character on a soap opera

What is your favourite alcoholic drink?:: Beer--Sam Smith's nut brown in particular

Non alcoholic drink?:: Water

Have you ever been in love?:: Yes

Do you sing in the shower?:: Not usually

Have you ever been arrested?:: No

What is your favourite Holiday?:: Halloween

Would you ever get plastic surgery?:: No--unless something bad happened to my face or something where it was a matter of necessity

Have you ever caught a fish?:: Not

How do you flush the toilet in public? With my foot

Do you wear your seatbelt in the car? Yes

Do you have a crush on someone? Always

Name one thing you worry about running out of: Sanity

What famous person do you (or other people) think you resemble? I don't know nowadays. Comparisons I used to get though back when I was in grad school: Ani Difranco. And my students once randomly told me I looked like Alannis Morrisette. In high school: Jamie Lee Curtis and Brigit Fonda (but the latter was when I had short hair). I think all my friends are on crack.

What is your favourite pizza topping? Pepperoncini

Do you crack your knuckles? No

What song do you hate the most? Any other time I could've given you a list of 50. But I can't think of any right now. This one's pretty bad though

Did just mentioning that song make it get stuck in your head? No. Thank god.

What are your super powers? Third Nipple-osity. And the Power of Shouting Really Loud When Angry.

Peppermint or spearmint? Peppermint--even though she has yet to make out with me

Where are your car keys? Purse

What's your most annoying habit? Neuroticisms

Where did you last go on vacation? Shit. Michfest maybe?

What is your best physical feature? Eyes

What CD is closest to you right now? Two b-day mixes my friend Bo made for me

What 3 things can always be found in your refrigerator? Soy milk, peanut butter, margarine

What superstition do you believe/practise? Karma (if you consider that one); knocking on wood

What colour are your bed sheets? Chocolate brown

Would you rather be a fish or a bird? Bird

Do you talk on your cell phone when you drive? No

What are your favourite sayings? That's what she said!

If you could go back or forward in time, where would you go? Back

What is your favourite Harrison Ford movie? Star Wars--hot.

What CD is in your stereo? Bo mix

What CD will be in your stereo in a few minutes? Bo mox

How many kids do you plan on having? 0--stop being so assumptive, survey!

If you could kiss anyone who would it be? Other than my feller: spur of the moment answer--Jason Segel!

What do you do when no one is watching? Pick my nose. Fart. Talk to my cats.

If they made a movie about your life, what actor/actress would be you? No clue. Maybe I'd like Zooey Deschanel too since she's cute and low-key?

Would you rather die in a blaze of glory or peacefully in your sleep? Peacefully and unawares

Coffee or Tea? Coffee

Favourite musician(s)/bands you've seen in concert? The Strokes, Soul Coughing, Tom Waits

Do you talk to yourself? Yes yes yes, but in the guise of talking to my cats.

Is there anything pink within 19 feet of you?: Yes--a CLEAN HANDS AND FACE AWARD ribbon

What is the last thing you had to drink?: Water

What are you wearing right now?: Mustard yellow sweater and some blue cords

If a leprechaun stole your wallet, what would you do?: Steal his/her gold and then cancel my credit cards.

Are you clean shaven?: Hairy legs, hairy pits!

If you were a member of the opposite sex, what would your name be?: When I was like 5 to 13 years old and obsessed with the song "You Can Call Me Al," it would've been Al. (I even had name stickers with AL on them that I used to use.)

Height/weight/ happy with it?: 5'6", 130-lbs-ish. Like everybody, I would love to be taller and skinnier, but I'm actually ok with myself as is.

Brand of cereal?: Right now in my cupboard? Fruity Pebbles.

Candy bar?: none--eat them incredibly rarely

Disney princess?: Boo

CD?: I don't even understand what you're asking!

Board game?: Yes please!!!

Toothpaste brand?: Tom's of Maine.

Planet?: Uranus. *snicker*

Quote?: One of my favs--"You do not do the things you do because others will necessarily join you in the doing of them, nor because they will ultimately prove successful. You do the things you do because the things you are doing are right.-- Archbishop Tutu

Number?: 33

Word?: Loam

Childhood story?: Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

Inside joke?: You wouldn't get it. 'cause it's an inside joke. DUH!

Scent?: N/A. And on myself, pretty much anything from The Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab

Conformist or nonconformist?: Non

Ever kissed in the rain?: Probably

Would you ever hug your parents in public?: Yes

Why is the world unfair?: So we appreciate the good shit all that much more

Do you have problems with Canadians?: Hell yes! Way to pronounce things weird!

Do you like to touch sharp objects?: Um. I guess so.

What do you dream about?: Your mom

Do you have a neopets account?: I have no idea what that means.

Do you believe in God?: No

Karma?: Yes

Pie or 3.14159....?: Pi!

Cough or sneeze?: Sneeze

Do you want to go to college?: Been there, done that

Has anyone ever broken your heart?: Yeah, I guess so.

Do you think of them as "the one that got away"?: N-O

What color are your underwear right now?: *trying to remember* Yellow!

3 people you trust with your life?: Mo, N/A, Lesle

Have any cool scars?: Just lots of em on my arms from burning them on the oven. Oh, and the one I got when I got shanked in federal prison.

What color are your toenails usually?: The color of toenails

Closest thing to you that is yellow?: Underpants!

Closest framed picture to you?: My cats

Do you play air guitar?: No

Do you have a black dog?: No

Bizzare Ass Tube: The Newest Edition of "The Most Bizarre Google Searches by Which People Stumble Across This Blog"

Why oh why I stayed up to watch the entirety of the Oscars when I knew Slumdog Millionaire was gonna sweep 'em all I'm not quite sure, but now that I'm riding on only 4-ish hours of sleep and fluctuating between wanting to giggle at everything and wanting to punch some lady in the face who, after I said good morning to her, inexplicably stared at my shoes with a disgusted-looking face, I'm thinking it probably wasn't the best idea.

Even more amusing is that I went over my mom's to watch it because she was all excited that one of our favorite actors--Philip Seymour Hoffman--was up for best actor again. So it's like 11:30, and my brother and I are bitching about how EVERY YEAR the stupid Oscars go ridiculously long, (sidenote rant: WTF was with them NOT SHOWING THE MOVIE CLIPS for all the big categories?!? Seriously: probably like 50% of the population hasn't seen some of the films that the actors/actresses are up for, and that's when we rely on the clips to understand whether they did a decent job or not, f-ing morons), and they finally bust out the best actor category, and Philip SEYMOUR HOFFMAN ISN'T EVEN NOMINATED. My brother and I laughed our asses off.

Winner of Best Actor in the Oscar of Confused Moms

Anyways, the point of all that was that I really don't have a point but am tired.

So no food today. No wit. No recipes.

Instead, google searches. As always, they speak for themselves.


(For past editions, click HERE)

PS. Apparently lovers of bizarre sexual fetishes really need to learn to spell better.
  • cat bed from days of yore

  • vegan fuck vegetarians assholes

  • how to seductively lick your lips

  • bizzare ass tube

  • make it by the book because that's the way you make it get down bitch

  • mexican trumpets fanfare

  • baked beans toot

  • bored as shit

  • fucking pizza

  • shit on the pussy

  • mole ten porn

  • yeah that vegan hsit

  • ass shit licking bizar moves

  • pain in the goozy

  • fucking with vegitable

  • shitt licking

  • recipe for greatness

  • vegan ass licking

  • cauliflower penis

  • beautiful orgasmy

  • erotic third nipple

  • shit omelette

  • raspberry stomach ache

  • shitpeas

  • eating candles

  • vegan shit chowder

  • blue potatoes feces

  • authentic Italian my ass you've got thirty mexicans in the kitchen

Oh, I *did* make a spinach-artichoke dip for the Oscars, so stay tuned this week for the recipe. 'Cause it was fricking YUM.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Soup Epiphany: Black Bean Pumpkin Soup

                                       modified from Everybody Likes Sandwiches

I have been trying to figure out all week wtf this soup reminds me of and suddenly, two minutes ago,

it came to me!


Don't get me wrong: this is a very flavorful soup, and I think many of you out there will really enjoy it. It's just a bit too unsoupy for me.

And I kept wondering WHY, but it's precisely that: I feel like I'm eating a big bowl of enchilada sauce.

That being said: Hot motherf-ing damn would this make some mind-blowing enchilada sauce. In fact, I think next time I make enchiladas, this is gonna be slathered on top. It's only got a hint of pumpkin to it, but it's wonderfully yummy.

It also tastes really good with the beer bread I just posted.

Random question though:

When I was making this soup, I couldn't find my tablespoon, and only my 1/2-teaspoon was clean. So I was like, Well, there's 3 teaspoons in a tablespoon, so that means this recipe calls for 6 teaspoons. So I'll toss in 12 half-teaspoons, and that = one tablespoon.

Apparently not.

I carefully measured out 12 half-teaspoons into a little bowl, and by the end of my measuring, I was like, There is NO fucking way I'm adding THAT much cumin to this soup.

Then, after I grew curious about it, I hunted down my tablespoon and measured the "tablespoon's" worth of cumin I'd just dished out with my half-teaspoon: at least 2.5 T. of cumin was there.

Am I just a fucking idiot? Do I have some weird sort of malleable Harry Potter measuring spoons? Or is this common knowledge that you should always use as close to the size teaspoon/tablespoon as the recipe calls for because the little spoons don't actually measure up to the big ones?

Please, someone: enlighten me.

  • 1 T. olive oil

  • 1 can of black beans, rinsed and drained (quantity was not specified--I used a large can, but I suspect that a small can was intended)

  • 1 large onion, chopped

  • 6 fat garlic cloves, minced

  • 2 T. cumin

  • 1 chipotle in adobo, diced*

  • salt & pepper

  • 4 c. veggie broth*

  • 1-1/2 c. pumpkin puree

  • 1 T. cider vinegar


In a large pot, sautee the onion and garlic in oil until soft. Add the cumin and chipotle and the can of beans and mash with a potato masher. Dump in the pumpkin puree and the broth and bring to a simmering boil. Just before serving, add in the cider vinegar and season with salt and pepper.

(Recipe modified from Everybody Likes Sandwiches)

Whole Wheat Beer Bread

                                   from Vegan Crunk

Putting together this bread was a total Mr. Wizard experience.

I mixed all the dry ingredients together then dumped in my can of beer and...

Well, that, but in a more beer-foamy and less flamey kind of way.

It wooshed up into a big foamy beer-swirl that kept getting bigger and bigger as I whisked and then all the sudden FOOMP it instantaneously all vanished into a doughy mix.

Fun shit.

And despite my doubts about the bread--the directions said to "pour" it into my bread-pan, but the dough was thick and in no way "pourable" so I was a bit concerned--it came out quite good.

The top didn't smooth out 'cause of the thickness of the dough, but it gave it a kind of nice crumble-crunch to an otherwise soft squish bread.

The only other weird thing was that I *did* use sea salt (though only 1/4 of the amount called for) and it gave the bread the illusion that it had mold-pockets. The salt granules didn't dissolve all the way, they sort of just blossomed out into a white-pocket surrounding each granule, so I was forced to assure the folks eating it that it really wasn't moldy.

Ultimately though, I liked this bread. Mostly because it was super easy and didn't require kneading. And granted, I like crusty bread, and this certainly isn't that. But I'd definitely make it again, this time with a deeper stout-type beer (instead of the Brooklyn Winter Ale I used) as it's real good bread for dipping.

Also, it's fun to eat at work.

  • 3 c. whole wheat pastry flour (I just used whole wheat flour)

  • 3 t. baking powder

  • 1-1/2 T. sugar

  • 1 t. sea salt (I used 1/4 t.)

  • 12 oz. of tasty vegan beer

  • 1 Tbsp. soy margarine


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix dry ingredients. Add beer. Stir to combine. Pour into a lightly greased loaf pan.

Bake for 30 minutes, and then brush margarine over the top.

Bake an additional 20-25 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean.

(Recipe from Vegan Crunk)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Foods of Grossness: For LindseyG

So yeah, here I am all: "Unappetizing food pics? I can find an ASS-load of those to post for LindseyG, no problem." And then suddenly I realize: I actually haven't really taken too many of those in the last 6 months or so. Either that, or the fact that I haven't yet eaten this morning is making EVERYTHING look goddamn fricking fantastic to me.

Nonetheless, a slideshow tribute LindseyG and her diet. It's only a handful of pics, but hopefully it'll do.

Oh, and please do make sure to turn on the music. It will move you in ways you never would've expected.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Two Soups for the Price of YOUR FACE

Sometimes when I can't think of something stunningly witty or whimsical to say about a recipe, I put off posting about it.

And then when I finally realize I haven't yet posted about it, I realize I can't remember exactly what I thought about it, for all intents and purposes.

This first soup is one such recipe. I can't remember too much about it, other than thinking "I don't know that I'm gonna like this all that much" the day I made it, and then "Well, fuck--looks like I was wrong" the day after, when I had it for lunch and enjoyed it, and also "What the fuck is marmite?" somewhere in between.

More specific things I *do* remember: I was happy that this soup wasn't stabby--you know, cuz of the thyme. So thank you, Angela, for suggesting I use a mortar and pestle to ground up my stabby spices for soup. You are brilliant, and you shan't be forgotten.

Also: I don't know if I like thyme as much as I thought! Either that, or maybe I should've just halved the quantity.

And mmmm: good with bread.

So that is my slightly senile synopses of soup #1. (Check out that alliteration, my bitches!)


                                       from Veg Bitch


  • 2 yellow onions, chopped

  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced

  • 1 T. olive oil

  • 1 T. tomato paste (concentrate)

  • 2 medium carrots, chopped into 1 cm (1/2 inch) cubes

  • 3/4 c. red lentils, rinsed

  • 1 14-oz. can chopped tomatoes

  • 4 c. vegetable stock

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 1 T. paprika powder

  • 1 t. thyme

  • 1/2 T. marmite (optional, I use it for depth of flavour)

  • 1/4 c. parsley, finely chopped

  • salt and pepper

  • soyghurt for serving


In a medium size soup pot over medium heat, fry onion and garlic in the oil for a few minutes until the onion is translucent but not brown. Add the tomato paste and cook for another minute or so. Add carrots, lentils and chopped tomato and cook for a few minutes. Add vegetable stock, bay leaves, paprika, thyme and marmite and cook the soup for about 10 minutes until the carrots are softened. Season with salt and pepper and add parsley.

Serve steaming hot with a dollop of soyghurt in the bowl and some bread and a nice salad on the side.

Serves 4 to 6.

(Recipe from Veg Bitch)

* * * * * * *

Soup #2 I remember more vividly, though its memory is also starting to wane.

Things I remember:

I kind of kept forgetting what EVOO stood for and would have to doublecheck. This happened two or three times. Ultimately, I decided I liked the abbreviation because I couldn't help but want to pronounce it phonetically. And when you do so, it sounds kind of like a child saying "Evil." And you can't beat a soup that has evil as the first ingredient.

Secondly: Fennel seeds. I think I may love you in soup. You are a brilliant little tweak of freshness aftertaste. Kind of like I just brushed my teeth with soup. This pleases me.

Other thoughts: This was damn good. I DO remember vividly thinking THAT. I think this may be one of my favorite quinoa-vehicles. Sometimes I get sick of quinoa and a little *mocking voice* "I'm quinoa--I'm so good for you but look creepy like octopus suctions. Meh meh meh." But other times, like in the case of this soup, I want to run off with quinoa into the sunset.

Marjoram: You are still a god of spices. But I think fennel seed kind of whooped your ass this round.

Eggplant--when cooked perfectly, you are buttery and good and I wish my legs were soft and supple like you but then I probably wouldn't be able to support myself. And also that would be creepy.

So yes: all random thoughts aside. This soup: yum-fucking-tastic.



                                       from MeloMeals


  • 1 to 4 T EVOO (extra-virgin olive oil)

  • 1 large onion, diced

  • 8 cloves garlic, pressed

  • 1/2 t. red pepper flakes

  • 2 t. dried basil

  • 1 t. dried marjoram

  • 1/2 t. fennel seeds

  • 1/2 t. dried rosemary

  • pinch salt/pinch pepper

  • 2 T. balsamic vinegar

  • 1 medium eggplant, skinned & diced

  • 1 29-oz. can white bean of choice

  • 8 c/ water or stock

  • vegetable bouillon cube if using water

  • 28 oz. canned tomato (whatever you have on hand, crushed, sauce, stewed, whole--I used diced I think)

  • 1/2 c. quinoa (I think I may have used 1 c.)

  • Salt/Pepper to taste

  • Fresh Basil (optional, but VERY good--I used)

  • Baby Spinach (optional--I did not)

  • 1 t. EVOO and 1 T. nutritional yeast per bowl for finishing (optional--I used the latter, and it was damn good)


      In a heavy bottomed 4 quart pot over medium heat add the oil, onions, dried spices and a pinch salt/pepper. Sautee for several minutes then add garlic. When the onions are translucent, deglaze with vinegar.

      Add the eggplant, beans and water or stock, tomatoes. Bring to a boil for several minutes, then turn heat down to low, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

      Turn off heat, add quinoa, around a cup of fresh basil and cover for 20 minutes.

      Taste and adjust seasonings.

      Serve with more fresh basil, baby spinach and a teaspoon of evoo and lots of freshly ground pepper!

      Serves 6+ ish.

      (Recipe from Melomeals)

      Thursday, February 12, 2009

      Spiced Lentil Tacos

                                             from Self Magazine

      So I think I've mentioned before that I'm lucky enough to have a "boss" here at work who is uber-considerate about being inclusive to us veg*n freaks when we have food-oriented events at work. (Shout-out to the QBL!) And actually, you'll even occasionally see her commenting here. (Burn with jealousy, all you chumps with shitty "bosses"!) Anyways, she often brings me in some of the things she's cooked over her weekend--chili, soup, etc.--whenever they happen to be vegan. I've never featured any of her concoctions here 'cause, well, it would be kind of creepy taking pics of it at work. Especially when the dude who sits next to me likes to joke about meat with me all the time anyways (albeit non-maliciously)...

      Two actual conversations from yesterday:

      CONVO #1:

      [I bump into him by the coffee machine]

      CO-WORKER: Um, can you actually HAVE coffee? I mean, doesn't it have meat in it or something?

      ME: BAHAHAHA..

      CONVO #2:

      [a copy of Veg Times is sitting out on my desk]

      CO-WORKER (standing in my cube until I suddenly realize he's there): Vegetarian Times, huh? *snickering*

      ME: Yeah.

      CO-WORKER: I only get one magazine subscription, and you know what it's called? Meat... um, Meat-Eaters... Um...

      ME: (snarky laughter) BA HA HA! Yeah, it helps if you think of the punchline BEFORE you start talking.

      CO-WORKER: Gah. Shut it. (walks away looking dejected)


      So yeah: Taking pics of my vegan food at work would no doubt just give him more fuel for the fire. And although he's not malicious, I really don't want to encourage him. He's enough to handle, what with all his coughing and snorting and inexplicable trumpet and bomb noises.

      So despite the fact that I've not featured her cooking here at all, I DID want to give her a shout-out and post this recipe today, as she's the one who passed it along to me, and it IS really fricking simple and good.

      I'd never really thought about using lentils as a taco filling. I mean, it sort of makes sense, seeing as I dig them in snobby joes as well. But holy crappers! What a nice healthy substitute for faux-ground beef or something.

      And what's also great about this recipe is that it takes so little time to whip up, so it's definitely something I could scrounge up after work without starving to death before I was done preparing it.

      Oh: and the chipotle/sour-cream idea--fricking BRILLIANT. If you make these tacos, do not puss out on that, as it very well may be the best part.

      Remember: As I always say, many foods are just vehicles for condiments. And when a condiment is THIS good, slather slather slather.

      • 1 T. olive oil

      • 1 c. finely chopped onion

      • 1 clove garlic, chopped

      • 1/2 t. salt--I omitted this since the taco seasoning packet and veggie broth are salty enough

      • 1 c. dried brown lentils, rinsed

      • 1 package taco seasoning (I use I think Ortega, or whatever one it is that has the vegan seal of approval on the Peta site)

      • 2 1/2 c. vegetable broth

      • 1/2 c. vegan sour cream

      • 1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce, finely chopped (use half for less heat)

      • 2 t. adobo sauce

      • 8 taco shells

      • Toppings of choice:

      • Lettuce

      • Tomato

      • Some sort of fake cheez

      • Olives

      • Etc.


      Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook onion, garlic and salt until onion begins to soften, 3 to 4 minutes.

      Add lentils and taco seasoning. Cook until spices are fragrant and lentils are dry, about 1 minute.

      Add broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until lentils are tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Uncover lentils and cook until mixture thickens, 6 to 8 minutes.

      Mix sour cream, chile and adobo sauce in a bowl. Mash with a rubber spatula (or not).

      Spoon 1/4 cup lentil mixture into each taco shell.

      Top with sour cream for sure, and then any other toppings of your choice.

      (Recipe from Self Magazine, posted at

      Wednesday, February 11, 2009

      Not Really Ultimate Vegan Lasagna

                                             from Veg Times

      The most recent issue of the Veg Times had an ASSLOAD of tasty-sounding recipes, so I've kind of been whoring it up on the VT front. (I posted one last week I think, and I have another one in the queue. The queue being MY BRAIN.)

      Anyways, the recipe I was most looking forward to trying was their Ultimate Vegan Lasagna. It called for vegan Italian sausage links, which sounded f-ing delish. The "ricotta cheez" recipe sounded boss (I'm having a 1980s moment--please excuse). And the sauce was roasted red pepper-based which sounded yum.

      But when all was said and done, I wasn't sure whether to be angry at this recipe or embrace it and grab its ass for a wee little squeeze.

      1. There is NO way the amount of sauce the recipe calls for can cover a whole lasagna. NO MOTHERF-ING WAY. Allegedly, the sauce recipe makes 5.5 cups. And I'd like to believe that. Really I would. But there's no way.

        Fallacies: a) This sauce calls for two small onions. But then they say in parenthesis (2 cups). Now, if two of VT's small onions = 2 cups, then MOTHER OF GOD, I can only imagine what their large onions look like: Beachballs. Blimps. Small planets. And perhaps this partially accounts for the dryness of the lasagna, but b) giving this the benefit of the doubt that it DID make 5.5 cups, I'm STILL not sure that's enough for a whole lasagna. Consequently, this lasagna was extremely dry, especially as leftovers. My mom said she liked it that way, that it was nice to not have a sauce that was overpowering 'cause it let the other flavors shine through. Then again: it WAS my mom saying this, so although I don't doubt she liked it, I think I could poop on a saltine and she'd probably STILL give it a thumb's up. 'Cause she's my mom. But to me: incredibly dry. And maybe I'm a cracked-out sauce whore. (That IS a possibility.) But look at how dry it is in my pic. And if you can, check out the pic in the Veg Times. Entirely different sauce-fest.

      2. Regardless of whether or not this actually made 5.5 cups as it alleges (I'm gonna assume that it did): this is STILL not enough sauce to allow for you to not precook your noodles. You want to know how long this lasagna cooked before the noodles were remotely soft? At least an hour and a half. And that included me bumping up the temp of the oven to 425-degrees after the first 30 minutes. And it was supposed to take only 45 to 50 minutes at 375. FALSE! In order for that to actually have taken place, you need an OCEAN of sauce, my friends.

      3. I wasn't really bowled over by the inclusion of vegan Italian sausages in all this. Which was kind of disappointing since it was one of the things that attracted me to the recipe in the first place.



      1. This ricotta cheez recipe is the BOMB (1980s moment #2). Seriously. I haven't made a ton of fake ricottas, but this puts the ones I HAVE made to shame. And no doubt it's the inclusion of vegan cream cheez. It gives it a weird, sour, cloud-likeness that is weirdly reminiscent of ricotta in both flavor and consistency in a way that, say, the VwaV ricotta cheez recipe does not quite capture.

      So, my conclusion: I don't know that I'd ever make this recipe again. Even if I DID whip up extra sauce, I don't think it was worth the cost (which is pretty hefty, seeing as you need to buy two cubes of tofu, a tub of vegan cream cheez, AND vegan Italian sausages, which is at LEAST $10 or so, and that's not including the ingredients for the sauce, the noodles, etc.) because really, there isn't anything mind-blowing about this lasagna. EXCEPT for the tofu ricotta.

      Toss the rest of the recipe and steal that, my peeps. And start using it wildly, crazily, and all over the place.

      You will not be disappointed.


      • 2 t. olive oil

      • 2 medium onions, chopped (2 c.)

      • 3 cloves garlic, minced

      • 1 10-oz. bag fresh baby spinach

      • 2 12-oz. pkgs. firm tofu, drained

      • 1 8-oz pkg. vegan cream cheese

      • 1/2 c. chopped fresh basil

      • 1/4 c. nutritional yeast

      • 1 12-oz. jar roasted red peppers, rinsed and drained

      • 1 T. olive oil

      • 2 small onions, diced (2 c.)

      • 2 T. dried basil (or 3. T. finely chopped fresh)

      • 3 cloves garlic, minced

      • 1 28-oz can fire-roasted crushed tomatoes

      • 12 uncooked whole-wheat (or regular) lasagna noodles

      • 12-oz vegan italian sausage links, cut into thin rounds, or soy sausage crumbles, broken apart

      • 1 c. shredded vegan mozzarella cheez (I actually didn't have this, so I made a quick white-sauce that I poured over the top)



      Preheat oven to 375-F. Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Saute onions and garlic in oil 4 to 5 mins or until golden. Add spinach and cook 2-3 mins or until wilted. Transfer spinach/onion/garlic mixture to food processor. Add tofu, cream cheez, basil, and nutritional yeast. Puree until mixture is thick and smooth. Season with salt and pepper if desired.


      Puree roasted red peppers in food processor until smooth. Set aside.

      Heat oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add onions, and saute 5 mins or until golden. Add basil and garlic, and saute 1 min more. Stir in tomatoes and roasted red pepper-puree. Season with salt and pepper if desired.

      Simmer 10 mins or until slightly thickened.


      Spread 1/4 of sauce on bottom of 13 x 9-inch baking dish. Cover with 1/3 of noodles, then half of filling, and ladle on another 1/4 of sauce. Repeat layer of noodles and remaining filling. Spread sausage evenly over top, and top with 1/4 of sauce. Finish with a final layer of noodles and remaining sauce. Sprinkle with shredded cheez.

      Cover lasagna with foil, and bake 30 mins or until bubbling hot.

      Uncover, and bake 15-20 mins more, or until noodles are tender (which in my case was about 60 more mins with the temp bumped up to 425-F) and topping is melted.

      Remove from oven and let stand 10 mins before serving.

      Serves 8-12

      (Recipe from February 2009 issue of Vegetarian Times)

      Monday, February 09, 2009

      Veganomicon Pound Cake

                                             from Veganomicon

      So for N/A's b-day, I baked him (by request) a pound cake.

      Now, I'm not a fan of pound cake. Reason being, pound cake qualifies as "vanilla" flavored dessert. And as I've mentioned on prior occasions, when something is just "vanilla" I think of it in terms of being "plain"-flavored. So pound cake: boring. Especially since it isn't served with frosting. And that is essentially a crime within the cake community. Cake = frosting. So whatever, pound cake. Way to be a cake-wannabe.

      Nonetheless: I dig the boy, so I baked one, using the recipe from Veganomicon.

      And although it was good (both N/A and I liked it, and he alleges that one of his friends now has a crush on me after slamming like 3 pieces), it wasn't POUND cake. Granted, my knowledge of pound cake was always the shitty Entenmanns that my dad used to buy when we were little and that was both dense as fuck and dry as fuck. But isn't that the way that pound cake's SUPPOSED to be?

      So to me, the Veganomicon recipe wasn't so much a pound cake recipe as it was a sweet-bread recipe. It has the same consistency and flavor-realm of, say, banana bread or something: squishy, sweet, and moist. So yeah: it was good. Though boring (but that's just my vanilla prejudice talking). But it wasn't pound cake.

      All that aside though, what REALLY got my goat when making this recipe was this:

      O'Soy soy yogurt is NOT VEGAN.

      I don't know if any of you are consumers of their yogurt, but I've been on occasion for the last couple years. And from what I gather, at some point it WAS vegan (hence my confusion), but it isn't any longer. And apparently I missed that memo.

      So imagine how super-pissed I was to find out, midway through a lunch snack with my excess yogurt this weekend, that it has milk-derived cultures in it.

      WHAT THE FUCK IS THE POINT OF MAKING A SOY YOGURT IF IT'S GOT MILK-DERIVATIVES IN IT?!?! Seriously. That is THE dumbest motherf-ing thing I've ever heard.

      It's like making a veggie burger that has beef broth as an ingredient. Idiotic.

      O'Soy: please do suck my anus.

      Cat Bed from the Days of Yore

      Over the weekend, I bought my cats THE single most HIDEOUS cat-item I've ever seen in my WHOLE life: a nauseatingly pink cat bed.

      It is so hideous that it is awesome:

      (Click to read descriptions)

      Particularly because it was $3. Which explains the hideousness. And also explains why I purchased it despite this fact.

      Let us take a look at its hideousness. Join me, won't you?

      1. It is pink. Like really REALLY pink. Because apparently cats think of themselves in very strict and inflexible gender categories.

      2. There are inexplicable pictures of "days of yore" on it. I say "days of yore" in quotes because I'm not quite sure WHAT time period they're supposed to be representing or why. But we'll generalize it to "the days of yore" aka "the times of Huckleberry Finn." Apparently the print was added just in case your cats want to wax nostalgic about "the days of yore" back when they used to smoke their corn cob pipes and flash their bloomers at hooligans in their one-room schoolhouse.

      3. It is inexplicably trimmed in leopard print. Because, apparently in the days of yore, when one was busy rowing one's riverboat down the Mississippi, it was necessary to always keep one eye open for leopards lurking in the cattails:

      4. It possesses world's most hideous giant bow:

      5. It comes with a tiny pillow that is about the size of a cat's head. Which makes me think that the manufacturers actually thought that a cat might actually have a use for this or be like, "My god--FINALLY someone realizes that, just like humans, we like to use a pillow! I mean, maybe it doesn't seem like it since we'll sleep in the bathtub. Or on top of the cookbook you're using. Or in the gutter. Or on top of several pens and the spine of your spiral notebook. But that's only because we've been without a cat pillow for all these years. Really we're all ABOUT creature comfort, bitches! So it's about f-ing time!"

      6. It is all these things IN ONE PRODUCT. And that is the greatest part of all.

      The funny thing is, it's probably the best $3 that I've spent, because they LOVE the damn thing. Love it. As in, one will use it and the other will sit next to it, staring longingly at the one who's using it.

      When my mom came over on Saturday, she asked if they ever use it together. And I was like, No, there's no way the two of them can fit in it together.

      A couple hours later, I walk out in the kitchen to catch this sight:

      So yes: it would be an understatement to say that they're in love.

      I guess there's no accounting for taste when it comes to cats.

      Philosophical Nostalgia!!

      And also, only loosely related:

      I just noticed that apparently they spell the word "Defense/Defence" differently for Pollan's In Defense of Food depending on where the book is being published (it looks like the DEFENCE version below is from an Australian run). Which just struck me as kind of funny because back when I was (double-)majoring in philosophy, one of my philosophy instructors docked points from an essay test of mine because I spelled some word or another (I can't even remember what word it was at this point) with its "British" spelling (as he declared it) instead of the American. And I was like, "Are you fucking kidding me?" and then commenced to spell the damn word with the British spelling in every essay thereafter, just for the principle of it.

      Professor Donald Watts, if you're still out there somewhere and google your name (though I suspect you still don't quite understand how to use a computer): Defence! Realise! Grey! Analyse!

      So the Follow-Up

      I finished up Michael Pollan's In Defense of Food yesterday, and I've gotta admit: I liked it.

      (You can read my thoughts on the first half HERE if you haven't already.)

      The second half consists of some general guidelines of "how to eat" in such a way as to not fall prey to the consumerism/nutritionism/unhealthiness of the west. And they're simple but good guidelines, one of the more interesting and thought-provoking ones being: Don't buy products with more than five ingredients in them.

      And granted, Pollan allows a space for meat consumption amongst his "guidelines for eating." But, he DOES mention that our views on meat consumption are deserving of more thought because of other concerns (environmental, ethical, etc.)--albeit, he DOES only mention these things in a footnote.

      And although I clearly don't agree with him on the idea of meat having a legitimate place in the western diet (my contention being a strictly ethical/moral one), I will say this: within the confines of his argument, the ethical impacts of meat consumption aren't really relevant. His argument focuses on health, and how we perceive food regarding health. And ethics really isn't a part of this focus.

      Do I agree that meat has a place in the western diet? No.

      But although I thought his views on meat consumption perhaps didn't reach their logical conclusion in Omnivore's Dilemma, I will say that, given his thesis in In Defense of Food, this time he's at least not being inconsistent with himself in arguing that it does.

      So yeah: regardless of your stance on veg*nism/meat-consumption, I really do think this is a good book, one that will challenge the way you look at food and offer you some (booo hissss pun really not intended but I can't think of a better phrasing) food for thought, omnivores and veg*ns alike.

      So grab it if you see it, and prepare to be a little bit horrified.

      Thursday, February 05, 2009

      Michael Pollan, You're FREAKING ME OUT!

      So I'm currently reading Michael Pollan's new book In Defense of Food.

      I read his last book, Omnivore's Dilemma when it came out, and although it was extremely interesting (especially the part about mushroom hunting), I find certain aspects of his writing style extremely annoying and self-indulgent (namely the flippancy with which he writes about meat-eating). I also think the conclusions he drew from his experiences in writing the book were wobbly ones, and they don't logically extend from much of what he saw and wrote (namely his attitude on meat-eating—are you picking up on the pattern here?). And much the same criticisms have been lodged against his new book from vegetarians who've read it. So when I saw it in the "New Books" section at the library and grabbed it on a whim, I wasn't expecting much. I almost didn't read it. But then one afternoon I was bored out of my mind and had just finished the book I'd been working on, so I thought I'd give it a chance.

      And I must admit: I'm really finding it fascinating.

      Now granted, I'm only halfway through, so for all I know, the last 100 pages could be an argument for converting our diets over to a meat-only meal-plan. Or a step by step guide on how to eviscerate small animals. But damn if the first half didn't blow me out of the water.

      What I dig so much about it (and what really compels me towards certain books—the same thing happened when I first became vegetarian) is when a book makes me look at a subject in an entirely new light. And not only that, but when a book makes me realize that a subject that I'd always thought of as being philosophically neutral, like hamsters or my toenails, is actually PREGNANT with a variety of possible philosophical interpretations.

      And what is blowing my mind right now is essentially this:
      1. The idea that food is worthy of philosophical consideration. And that our VIEW of food is worthy of philosophical consideration.

        I mean, yes: as a veg*n, I'm obviously aware of the moral/ethical impacts of our meat-consumption. And I've read enough to realize that a simple food, like, say, coffee, is more than it appears to be—that the cup of coffee I guzzle down has humane impacts, environmental impacts, etc. But I've never really thought about how we view food before. And by that, I mean, what we perceive its purpose to be.

        I feel like I'm not being clear.

        In the west, we talk about what we should be eating to keep in good health. We talk about too much fat, too much cholesterol. We talk about trans-fatty acids. We talk about Vitamin C, Vitamin D. When we look at an avocado, we talk about it in terms of good fats and bad fats. We talk about how eggs are now being infused with extra vitamins to make them healthier. We look at the PARTS of the food and not the food as a whole. And we look at how these parts affect our health.


        Essentially, part of Pollan's argument is that we've reduced foods down to being nothing more than sums of their parts. We don't look at the avocado as a whole when thinking about it in terms of our health. We look at it as a vehicle for monounsaturated fatty acids. We look at it as a vehicle for potassium. We look at it as a vehicle for various anti-oxidants. Essentially, when we think about it in terms of health, we're not so much thinking about the avocado itself as we are thinking about its parts: the monounsaturated fatty acids, the potassium, the anti-oxidants. We talk about how THESE things are good for us, and how the avocado is good for us BECAUSE of these things.

        We don't look to the food as a whole.

        When we get overly reductive like this, when we start to talk about how monounsaturated fatty acids are good for us instead of how an avocado is good for us, we start to look at these nutrients/vitamins/etc. out of context and begin to move away from the foods themselves. And when we start to move these things out of context, we fail to look at their bigger picture: the monounsaturated fatty acids of the avocado are not the same as the monounsaturated fatty acids in say, nuts. Contextualized, the OTHER nutrients in an avocado may cause our body to process these monounsaturated fats differently than those in a nut. So two foods that have the same amount of monounsaturated fatty acids may not affect our bodies in the exact same way BECAUSE THEY'RE NOT THE EXACT SAME FOOD.

        Not only that, but when we start reducing things down to overly simplified tenets such as "Cholesterol is bad" or "Monounsaturated fatty acids are good," we fail to realize that these the "badness" or "goodness" of these things may vary from person to person, depending on the state of their bodies. For example (and this is a true example), I have high cholesterol. This is ridiculous because, well, I'm vegan, and every time they tell me I have high cholesterol and hand me the little pamphlet of foods to steer clear of, I DON'T EAT ANY OF THE FOODS ON THE LIST. And yet, some other meat-eating, egg-consuming, cheese-whore of a patient may have extremely low cholesterol, despite the fact that they consume all of the items on the No-No list. Our bodies treat what we eat differently depending on our bodies.

        Instead of contextualizing things in this way, we reduce things down to the statement "Cholesterol is bad" and we think that will save us. If we eat less cholesterol, if we eat low-fat foods, if we consume more antioxidants, we'll be a healthier person. And we've begun to take these oversimplifications to a whole new level, creating Frankensteined foods that aren't ACTUALLY foods at all but just various "good" nutrients (or "bad" nutrients, for that matter) half-assedly sewn together to create, say, Nutra-grain bars. Or popsicles. Or orange juice. Or oatmeal. (And note that I'm picking out supposedly "healthier" food-products.)

        There aren't ingredients on an avocado, because an avocado is just that.

        But when you start to look at HOW many ingredients are in the things we eat, and how they are "factory" produced "nutrients," it really does start to get scary and make you realize that really, we're not so much eating food any more as we are eating the parts of food duct-taped together.

        And I've never really thought about that. I mean, I HAVE. In a loose, kind of cloudy kind of way. But I've never really THOUGHT about it.

        And I've never really thought that the way that we look at foods for health is REALLY FUCKED UP. That we are so overly-reductive that we've stopped contextualizing them. That we don't think to ourselves "Maybe a banana is good for us BECAUSE A BANANA IS GOOD FOR US" and not "A banana is good for us because it is high in potassium."

        Do monkeys look at food this way? No.

        How many overweight, diabetic monkeys riddled with heart problems do you see roaming around in the wild?

        I mean, maybe that sounds silly, but the point is: Maybe the way we're looking at food has gone horribly horribly awry. Maybe we're pawns to the food industry and don't even realize it. Maybe we've been brainwashed into considering specially engineered "products" to be "foods" when really they aren't. Maybe we've been deluded into thinking the way to deal with an "unhealthy" food is just to artificially infuse it with the nutrients it's lacking INSTEAD OF JUST AVOIDING IT. I MEAN, GOOD GOD, THERE'S SOMETHING TO BE SAID FOR THE FACT THAT THESE FOODS HAVE EXISTED FOR HUNDREDS AND HUNDREDS OF YEARS IN THEIR CURRENT FORM WITHOUT, SAY, ACCRUING MORE VITAMIN C.


        *panting excitedly and hiccupping a few choked sobs*

      2. And you know what, that's not even the only thing that's got me excited about the book. But I seriously just got so worked up that I can't right at this minute even remember what the other thing was that I wanted to ramble about. *Pausing to think*

      3. Oh yes. Duh. The other point he makes that I find kind of interesting is this:

        We've oversimplified our view of foods so much that we tend to think of them mainly in terms of the fuel/health they physically provide our bodies with. But, as he pointed out, foods have many other functions for us. And one of them is just enjoyment. There's nothing wrong with enjoying a food. There's nothing wrong with eating a HUGE fucking piece of cake without neuroticizing the amount of calories you just consumed or how much fat you ate. And as a food-nerd and food-blogger, this pleases me. Because, yes, we eat because food tastes good. And that's not a bad thing.

        I had a lot more I wanted to say about this last point, but right now, I'm all rambled out.

      So the long and short is this: Although Pollan is not an endorser of the veg-lifestyle, and although he can be somewhat annoying in his writing, this book is worth checking out. It really WILL offer you an entirely new way of looking at how you eat. And how you look at food.

      Wednesday, February 04, 2009

      This Edition of "The Most Bizarre Google Searches by Which People Stumble Across This Blog" Is Attacked By Confusing Grammar

      Today's edition--mainly due to unclear grammar--has left us with many unanswered questions. Join us in answering them, won't you?

      Two cooks in one pussy

      1. How big is this pussy that it can hold not one but TWO cooks?

      2. What are they DOING there?

      Man hairy ass eating sleuths

      1. Are the sleuths hairy and ass-eating?

      2. Or is the ass hairy and enjoying a nice meal of sleuths?

      The world... pretty shit

      1. Is this a glass-half-full statement? (The world=full of pretty things)

      2. Or is this a glass-half-empty statement? (The world=shit)

      Shit balls recipe

      1. Is this asking for a recipe that will CAUSE you to shit balls?

      2. Or is this asking for a recipe FOR shit balls?

      3. If #2, are shit balls like meat balls but, well, clearly using things other than meat as the main ingredients?

      Girls get bummed and then shit

      1. Does bummed mean screwed?

      2. Or does bummed mean depressed?

      3. If the latter of the two, does the shitting help with the depression?

      Shit finger tube

      1. Is this an attempt to find a tube in which to store one's shit finger?

      2. Or is this person curious about why they shat a finger-tube?

      3. If #1, what exactly IS a shit-finger?

      4. If #2, what exactly IS a finger-tube?

      Swedish Mole Porn

      1. Are the moles Swedish?

      2. Or is it the porn that's Swedish?

      3. Are they referring to animal moles?

      4. Or are they referring to skin moles?

      5. How does one make either pornographic?

      6. If #1: Do they speak with a Swedish accent?

      7. If #2: What makes a porn characteristically Swedish?

      (For past editions, click HERE)

      Kitty Karma

      Despite the fact that I sometimes get overwhelmed by the knowledge that bad things often happen to good people, on good days, I do believe we're rewarded for the good things we do, even if it's in little ways.

      Yesterday was one such day.

      Monday, I lost a tiny hoop earring that I'd been wearing. (They're not expensive earrings, but they're unique and not ones I could find replacements for.) The latch kept coming loose on them all day, and when I returned home from work, I suddenly realized it was missing. With no clue as to when it had fallen off.

      Given that fact combined with this ridiculous snow lately, I figured it was a lost cause: Who knows where it I lost it (work, car, outside, apartment), and if it fell off outside, well, that's the end of that.

      Then yesterday, I go out to feed the stray I've been feeding for the past year. I bend down to leave the bowl underneath the bush in the backyard, and sitting on top of the mound of snow, just inches from where I'm bending down: my earring.

      The little things.

      (Quicker) No-Knead Bread

                                             from the kitchen

      I have a secret loathing for recipes that require kneading.


      I said it.

      What a weight lifted from these shoulders.

      I really want to ENJOY kneading, because as someone who loves to cook, it is probably one of the most intimate cooking activities you can engage in, considering you're actually--well--fondling the food. Like wrist-deep in it. Thrusting and smooshing and squeezing and... well, you get the point.

      But I don't like it.

      It's tiring. And 10 minutes of kneading seems like a fricking eternity.

      So I was pleased when I happened across this recipe on somebody's blog recently. I have no recollection of whose blog I originally saw it on, probably because I was entirely distracted by the excitement of a no-knead bread recipe. But thank you, whichever of you lovely vegans posted about it recently.

      It's super easy-peasy. And it's yummy.

      The consistency is wonderful. Crusty outside, FANTASTICALLY perfect inside. The flavor, although good, definitely could be spiced up a bit. So next time, I plan to add some roasted garlic and herbs. (I definitely recommend halving (or maybe even quartering) the salt quantity though, 'cause I only used 1/2 and it was a bit salty.)

      It really is ridiculously easy. And it's fantastic for dipping in soup and/or olive oil.

      Oh, and for those of you who--like me--are like, wtf is a dutch oven, you can easily half-ass it by tossing a circular casserole dish into the oven for 15 minutes or so before dumping the bread into it.

      And you can now use that extra 10 minutes you didn't spend kneading to do something else instead.


      Kneading someone's boobies.

      Kneading someone's ass.

      Baking me cookies.

      Baking me brownies.

      Baking me cake.

      Baking me bread.

      Getting baked.

      • 3 c. bread flour

      • 3/4 t. regular yeast (not instant)

      • 1-1/4 t. salt [I recommend 1/4 to 1/2 t.]

      • 1-1/2 c. water


      Mix all the ingredients in the morning before you go to work. This should take about 3 minutes and leave you with a thick, slightly goopy dough. Cover with a towel or some plastic wrap and leave it in the warmest spot in your kitchen. (I tossed mine in my mixing bowl with some plastic wrap over the top of it and tossed it in my closet that has my furnace in it.) It should get a 6 to 8-hour rise.

      When you come home from work lightly mist a counter or baking sheet with spray oil and turn dough out on it. Shape it roughly into a ball, mist with oil again, and cover with a towel or plastic wrap. (I shaped mine into a ball, poured a tiny bit of olive oil into the mixing bowl I'd had it in, and then tossed the ball into the mixing bowl and shook it around until it was coated in olive oil. I then covered the mixing bowl back up with plastic wrap and tossed it back in my closet.) Let proof for about an hour, or however long you have.

      Heat the oven to 450-F. Put a Dutch oven (or an alternative, such as a casserole dish) in the oven to heat. When the dough has doubled in size, put it in the pan. You may have to pour it, pry it off the baking sheet, or just roll it in - the dough is very wet. Don't worry if it looks a mess.

      Cover the pot with a lid and bake for 30 minutes. Remove lid and bake for another 15 minutes to let it brown.

      You can be really sure that the bread is done when an instant-read thermometer inserted into the side of the loaf reads 210-220-F.

      (Recipe from the kitchen)