One of the hardest parts of being a new vegan (or even an old seasoned vegan) is trying to keep up with all the new products out there. I must have spent over $50 looking for the "right" vegan cheese my first year being a vegan and I have over 50 vegan/vegetarian cookbooks in my arsenal but not all the recipes are the greatest. I’m the first born so I’m used to being a Guinea Pig and now I’m your Vegan Guinea Pig. So here are my recommendations and critiques. Let me know what you think!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Vegan Mofo: Garlic-Herb Twice Baked Potatoes

Vegan Mofo Post 20! I didn’t think I would actually be able to make it but, by the skin of my teeth, I have made 20 posts. Thank you to all my subscribers for putting up with nearly daily emails and notifications, I’ll be back to my regularly scheduled blogging sometime next week, and yes the recipe for Papa Chorizo Frittata is on its way!

For my last post of Vegan Mofo I wanted to help out my old and dear friend Leia (name has not been changed to protect the innocent). Although Leia has made it all the way through med school and is now a brilliant physician she has yet to master the art of a good twice baked potato. Earlier this week there was an unfortunate calamity that involved a potato, an oven, a microwave and hours of baking and labor which was not fruitful. So Leia, this one is for you.

Garlic-Herb Twice Baked Potatoes

2 medium-large russet potatoes
Canola oil
Salt (optional)

1 cup vegan garlic-herb cheddar cheese, divided*
¼ cup vegan sour cream
¼ teaspoon salt (optional)
Dash of freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

Scrub potatoes and stab with a fork several times. Rub potatoes with canola oil, just enough to coat, and lightly salt.

Bake potatoes in small baking pan or sheet for 45 minutes to an hour or until tender.

Remove potatoes from the oven and allow to cool slightly (about 10 minutes). With a serrated knife cut each potato in half and spoon out the majority of potato flesh making sure to leave the shell intact.

Add potato flesh, sour cream and salt to a food processor and process until completely smooth. Transfer to a medium bowl and add ½ cup of garlic-herb cheese and ground pepper. Stir to combine.

Spoon potato flesh back into potato shells and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Place prepared potatoes back in the oven for 10 minutes. Serve warm.

*Note: I used Cheezly’s Garlic-Herb Cheddar which, to my knowledge,it is only available in the U.S. at Cosmo’s Vegan Shoppe. You can order it online at or visit them here in Atlanta Tuesday – Sunday.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Vegan Mofo: Papa Chorizo Frittata

Being jobless has one major advantage, everyday is a weekend. Which means every morning i can crawl out of bed and make a big full breakfast for myself that would usually be reserved for a Saturday or Sunday. With just one Mexican Chipotle Sausage link left in the fridge I decided to make Papa (Potato) Chorizo Frittata's. Although I got off to a rocky start by nearly burning the onions in the first couple steps of the recipe, everything turned out well in the end and I have a full belly to prove it.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Vegan Mofo: The Breakfast of Champions - Banana Pancakes

This morning when I rolled out of bed I needed some inspiration. So, as usual, I wandered down to the kitchen and started cooking. I always buy bananas and never end up actually eating them. They end up in smoothies or in the freezer for months on end. This morning I decided to take one of the two remaining very ripe bananas I had left and make banana pancakes. They are so sweet and appetizing that they are good just as they are without syrup. I paired it with some leftover tofu scramble, a ripe pear and a glass of OJ (with calcium) and I have to say, now I'm feeling very inspired.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Vegan Mofo: Rustic Spinach Salad with Agave-Dijon Vinaigrette & Candied Pecans

The countdown begins. 3 more days left in the Vegan Month of Food aka Vegan Mofo. I can't wait to get back to life as just a little vegan guinea pig eating food, reading books and taking names. But for now 4 more post to go in Vegan Mofo.

Today for lunch I had a Rustic Spinach Salad with Agave-Dijon Vinaigrette and Candied Pecans. Although it sounds fancy and complicated this salad was actually really easy to prepare and I made most of the components last night so I could just throw everything in a bowl this afternoon and toss with the vinaigrette. This is another recipe I’m experimenting with for one of my upcoming cookbooks so, unfortunately, a concrete recipe isn’t available for the entire salad yet. I’m still working on the exact cooking time for the pecans and a couple components to the salad itself.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Vegan Mofo: Raw Black Walnut Brownies

Onward with my quest for raw dessert perfection. My first time making raw brownies turned out to be quite a success. I used an almond and medjool date base and added black walnuts in at the end for and addition boost of EFA (Essential Fatty Acids). Like the raw sweet potato pie the recipe is not 100% ready yet, it just needs one or two small tweaks to get the texture just right and then they will be perfect.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Vegan Mofo: The Raw Sweet Potato Pie Experiment

2 years ago I didn’t know that things like raw nachos, tacos, brownies and pies existed, never mind them even being good. Now I dine regularly at spots like Lov’n It Live and have a growing collection of raw “un”cookbooks. After years of trying and perfecting other’s recipes I’ve decided to branch out and try creating a couple raw dishes of my own. My latest attempt was a raw sweet potato pie. The taste is great but the texture is still not perfect yet so, unfortunately, I don’t have a good recipe to share right now. I do, however, have a great picture of it to share. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Vegan Mofo: Chorizo Breakfast Quesadilla

As promised in my review of Field Roast Mexican Chipolte Sausage I recently veganized the recipe of the Field Roast website for Chorizo Breakast Quesadilla's. The result was a scrumptious and spicy adaptation that brighetened up a very rainy day here in Atlanta.

Chorizo Breakfast Quesadilla
Makes 3 Servings

1 vegan chorizo sausage link
½ lb firm tofu (drained, pressed and crumbled)
1/3 cup yellow onion, diced
1 tablespoon canola oil
¼ teaspoon cumin
¼ teaspoon oregano
1/8 teaspoon turmeric
1/8 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon crushed chili pepper (optional)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup vegan Monterey jack cheese, shredded and divided
3 large flour tortillas

In a large skillet or sauce pan (I prefer cast iron) heat canola oil over medium heat and add onion. Sauté for 2-3 minutes or until they begin to become translucent. Add garlic and sauté for an additional 30 seconds. Add crumbled tofu, spices and stir constantly until tofu is completely covered with spices. Cook for approximately 2-3 minutes.

Add chorizo to a food processor and process until broken down into small crumbles (about 30 seconds). Add crumbles to scrambled tofu and continue to cook for an additional minute.

In a separate large sauce pan or skillet over medium heat add 1 tortilla (if using a cast iron skillet lightly spray with oil so tortilla doesn’t stick). Add 1/3 cup of monetary jack cheese and 1/3 of the tofu/chorizo mixture to one side of the tortilla. Fold in half. Cook on both sides until the tortilla becomes slightly crispy and cheese is melted. Repeat with remaining ingredients until all quesadilla’s are assembled. Cut in half and serve.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Vegan Mofo: Chik'n Parmesan aka The Best Meal I've Ever Made

I apologize ahead of time for there being no recipe to go along with this photo but this one must be kept tightly under wraps...for now. I think as an omnivore I had chicken Parmesan once, maybe twice. Somehow as a vegan I perfected the recipe and it's one of the most sought after and asked about dishes that I have ever made. My omnivore friends even preferred this over the "traditional" version of the recipe. Although I can't divulge the entire recipe just yet I can tell you that the secret is in the homemade marinara sauce and of course the addition of Cheezly to the top of the chik'n.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Vegan Mofo: Bulgar Sausage & "Egg" Biscuit

This picture is all that remains of this beloved breakfast sandwich. When you're working on 3 cookbooks at once (1 in post production and 2 currently being produced) it's hard to keep track of your recipes all the time and, unfortunately, this one has disappeared somewhere into a stack of papers and hand written recipes (on napkins, index cards, the back of envelopes and candy wrappers) to be never found again. All I remember is that it was delicious and made me do a little happy dance in my kitchen.

The components of it are:
Whole Wheat Biscuits
Bulgar Sausage
Vegan Egg with some type of veggies in it
Vegan American Cheese Slice

When and if I find this recipe I will post it, guaranteed.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Vegan Gathering: Potluck/Picnic at Candler Park (Atlanta)

Calling all Atlanta Vegans. This upcoming Sunday, October 26 at 1:30 pm there will be a Halloween inspired Vegan Potluck at Candler Park. We had a similar potluck in April and it was a huge success so hopefully this one can be even bigger. Don't forget to bring the following:

  • Plates & utensils for yourself and your guest

  • Folding chair - just in case we run out of space at the tables

  • To-Go containers to take home any leftovers

  • A vegan dish that will feed about 8-10 people

I hope to see you there!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Vegan Mofo: Pumpkin Cakies

I can't believe I'm already 12 post into Vegan Mofo! When it started I thought I would barely be able to get in 5 by the end of the month. The pumpkin theme continues with the invention of my Pumpkin Cakies which are a hybrid of a cookie and a mini-cake. These scrumptious little treats are soft and moist and I even tried to make them semi-good for you by adding in some whole grains. Unfortunately the sugar and shortening pretty much blow all hopes of them actually being rated as healthy but healthy or not they are still delicious!

Pumpkin Cakies
Yields 24

2/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2/3 cup unbleached flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon allspice
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¾ cup pumpkin puree
¾ cup brown sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
½ cup unsweetened applesauce
¼ cup vegetable shortening
1 cup chopped pecans, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In a small bowl combine whole wheat pasty flour, unbleached flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, allspice and nutmeg. Set aside.

In a separate medium bowl cream together pumpkin puree, brown sugar, granulated sugar, vegetable shortening and applesauce until combined (there might still be little specks of shortening but this will dissolve as you add flour).

½ cup at a time add flour mixture to pumpkin batter until all ingredients are incorporated.

Drop batter (about 2 tablespoons worth at a time) onto a prepared cookie sheet about 1 ½ inches apart and flatten slightly with the floured flat surface of a drinking glass – just enough to make an even surface on the top of the cakie. (This step will need to be completed 2 more times to bake entire batch)

Bake cakies for 12-14 minutes, remove from cookie sheet and allow to cool on wax or parchment paper.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Vegan Mofo Doggy Style: Rice & Peas with Peanut Butter/Pumpkin Gravy

No one enjoys leftovers more than my three pups (Brit, Tyler & Piedmont). Mainly because anything and everything that I have left over after making my own meal turns into a meal for the pups. Lately I've been going a little pumpkin and sweet potato crazy - I'm an Autumn baby, what do you expect?! I made a huge batch of brown jasmine rice to go with my favorite Costa Rican breakfast meal of gallo pinto (essentially black beans and rice) and I recently made enough spicy pumpkin soup for 6 people and had a little extra pumpkin puree left over. Along with a few ingredients I had laying laying around the kitchen I put together a delicious meal of brown jasmine rice and zipper peas for the pups and topped it with a peanut butter and pumpkin gravy. They went absolutely crazy for the zipper peas most likely because they have a similar flavor profile to edamame (a popular snack amongst the pups). Brit dove face first into the peanut butter and pumpkin gravy and spent at least 10 minutes trying to lick it off his nose and whiskers before he moved on to the rice and zipper peas. Piedmont and Tyler completely ignored me for a solid 15 minutes while they finished off their meals. No amount of sweet talking would get them to lift up their un-groomed little heads from their bowls, hence the pictures of the back of their heads. The recipe for peanut butter and pumpkin gravy will be available soon in my upcoming zine.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Vegan Mofo: Pigging Out...Vegan Style!

I remember it like it was yesterday, my very first trip to Veggie Bite (Chicago, IL). I didn't really know what to expect from a vegan fast food restaurant but as a faithful guinea pig I was compelled to try everything on the menu. I fell in love immediately (if it is possible to fall in lust with food then I might have done that too). Since writing my first review on Veggie Bite in April I have been to both locations at least 20 times - which is quiet a feat considering I don't even live in Chicago, or the Midwest!

My most recent visit to Chicago was this past August for my bestfriend's wedding. Imagine my joy when I did a quick mapquest search and realized that the church where the wedding would be held was only a couple miles from the Southside Veggie Bite! Immediately after the wedding my boyfriend and I headed over to Veggie Bite for our own version of a reception (since we already knew there would be no vegan food, aside from a salad, available for us at the real reception). Imagine me in a gorgeous dress and my date in his best suit sitting down to cheese fries, a Philly cheesesteak and a meatball sandwich. It's a wonder I didn't end up getting faux cheese and sliced seitan all over my dress. But we managed to make it out in one piece with some chix-free nuggets to go, just in case we got hungry during the electric slide.

The next day we woke up with Veggie Bite on the brain. We were staying within minutes of the Northside location and as soon as the clock struck noon we were lining up to pig out, vegan style. Here's where the above picture comes in. We got a little carried away with ourselves and ordered damn near everything in the place. It was so much that I just had to take a picture. We took up two tables with all of our food (and I'm positive I gained 5 pounds from this meal alone!) In summation we ordered: 1 Philly cheesesteak, 1 Italian melt, 1 large chix-free nuggets, 1 strawberry milkshake, cheese fries, chili cheese fries and a couple donuts. I believe I even threw in a salad for good measure but I can't be sure. So it's official I'm in love with Veggie Bite. The only thing that would make my life more complete is if they opened one up in Atlanta.
And for the record that's not me, that's Drew pigging out vegan style - you don't think I'd actually put a picture of me up with a mouthful of food?!

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Recession Proof Vegan Pantry

For Vegan Mofo I've been posting a lot more pictures of food and recipes than you're used to out of this little Guinea Pig. During these hard economic times I don't get to grocery shop as much as I like ( I can usually find an excuse to be at my co-op, Whole Foods or Trader Joe's at least twice a week), but this doesn't mean that I don't get to cook as much as I like anymore.

If anything I've become more creative with my daily menus basing them 99 percent on whatever I happen to have lying around the kitchen. As you can see from my pantry this leaves me a lot of options. But a pantry overflowing with vegan goodness doesn't take $700 billion to stock. You can have a completely stocked pantry that will have enough food to last you months for less than $250 - so far I've made it 3 months with just the food in my pantry and freezer (and you can see how much food I have left!)

So what's in this pantry? Let's start from the top. First you have to have your cereal grains. There's steel cut oats, quick oats and Kashi cereal (Go Lean and Go Lean Crunch are my favorites!) I also stock up on grains that are versatile enough for every meal including quinoa, amaranth, millet, buckwheat groats and kamut. Of course there's the old stand by grains as well: brown rice, jasmine rice and arborio rice for risotto. Next there's the canned goods section. For me this is mostly tomato products since I use dry beans (which are much cheaper than canned). There's tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, whole tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, enchilada sauce (even though I prefer making my own) and a little canned vegan dog food as a treat for the pups. Then there's the optional section which you really don't need but I have ended up accumulating over time. Its the protein powders. As a guinea pig I have a little of everything here (which I'll review and blog about a little later): hemp protein, Trader Joe's soy protein ( about $4) and brown rice protein.

On the next shelf down I keep all my miscellaneous items and extras from when I get stuff on sale and have a surplus ( i.e. Maple syrup, raisins, vinegar, cocoa powder, jams, nutritional yeast). Plus all my spices ( must haves are cumin, curry, onion powder, garlic powder, turmeric, chili powder, paprika and vanilla extract). I have two shelves full of every sort of bean imaginable. All dried, except for a couple cans of refried beans. The rest of the pantry is filled with an assortment of flours ( unbleached flour, 8 different type of gluten free flours, whole wheat pastry and masa), sugars, shortening, cold pressed extra virgin olive oil, non dairy milks (oat, soy, hemp, etc.) and brown rice pastas.

Along with these key ingredients I've had to make a couple trips to the store to get fresh greens like spinach and kale as well as fresh fruit (in season is cheaper), carrots and avocado.
So how do you fill your pantry full of all these goodies for cheap? Easy! There 3 very simple rules I live by:

  • Buy in bulk (grains, dried beans, spices, salt, sugar, flours, etc.)

  • Buy on sale (and clip coupons!)

  • Buy in season (when you have to buy fresh fruits and veggies)

My local co-op also gives me a 10 percent discount once a month so I take advantage of that as well. So there you go, the keys to my recession proof vegan pantry.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

2nd Annual Vegetarian Restaurant Week (Atlanta)

Here's some details about the Opening Reception:
Vegetarian Restaurant Week Opening Reception

Thursday, October 16 at 8pm

An evening of savory vegan appetizers, A Tea Experience: Learning & Tasting by Dr. Theresa Bey, Tea Educator with Green Tea, musical performance by Forgotten Foods Remembered with Baratunde the Herbalist a seriously Guitarist, The Golden Child, Spoken Word Artist and King Ma-at on Conga, give-aways and other surprises.... Our Featured Chefs are Jenny Jahfa and Chef Elitahl, Our Featured Exhibitors are Grammy's Kidz, Rah Eco Designs, and Djali's Healing Touch.

The Grounds Coffeehouse at Sky Lofts

898 Oak Street at the intersection of Ralph David Abernathy Blvd and Joseph Lowery Blvd; in the rear of CVS parking lot.
Reserve your space now, 770.621 5056 See you there!

Our door prizes so far...

10 subscriptions to VegNews, $20 value Gift pack from VegNews, including their signature over-sized tote bag, 6 jumbo vegan cookies, a one-year subscription to the magazine, and a copy of the current edition

1 Deluxe Gift Bag Body care by Grammy's Kidz, $50

1 half hour massage by Djali's Healing Touch, $30 value

1 bottle of Immune Protection 10th Power

2 bottles Blood Tonics, all are $40 value each

5- 21st Century Vegetarian Cookbook by Martha Theus, $19.95

1 Delicious Jamaica! by Yvonne McCalla Sobers $12.95

Restaurants Participating:

Enjoy three-course meals and special discounts at your favorite vegetarian restaurants for one week only.

Make sure you call and visit the restaurants and tell them you are participating in Vegetarian Restaurant Week.

Calabash Vegetarian Kitchen (an island inspired cafe)
10% off with at least a $6.00 purchase
404 957 7376
233 Mitchell Street
Atlanta GA 30303
404 957 7376
Monday - Saturday 10:30am - 7pm
(closed Sundays)


Healthful Essence Caribbean Vegan (cooked and raw)
404. 806 0830
875 York Avenue
Atlanta GA 30310
Tuesday - Friday 11am -8pm
12pm - 9pm Saturday
12pm - 6pm - Sunday
(closed on Mondays)


Lovin' it Live (all live and raw cuisine)
404 765 9220
2796 East Point Street
East Point GA 30344
(closed on Mondays)


Sunday, October 26 3pm
Sid's Gourmet Vegetarian Cafe
770 389 9181
1445 Rock Quarry Road
Stockbridge GA 30281

Monday- Friday 11:30am - 7pm
Sunday 11:30am -
(closed on Saturdays)

Friday, October 10, 2008

Vegan Mofo: Spinach Omelette & Pumpkin Waffles(GF)

Good morning!'s morning somewhere. Yesterday morning, after night 4 of virtual insomnia, I decided to make one of my favorite meals for breakfast to perk myself up a bit: spinach omelette's and sweet potato waffles. I've been trying to go gluten free for the last month so instead of my traditional recipe for sweet potato waffles I decided to try Susan V's (Fat Free Vegan Kitchen) recipe for Gluten Free Pumpkin Waffles. They not only look divine they were absolutely delicious. The waffles needed no added margarine or oil and went perfect with just a couple tablespoons of Grade B Maple Syrup on them. Susan says that the recipe makes about 4 waffles but mine made 8! I ate two, saved two for today and froze the rest to enjoy next week.

Susan also has an amazing recipe for vegan omelette's but I did not use hers for this omelette. I've actually been working on my own for about 6 months now and I think I've finally come up with a wonderful recipe that fits my taste perfectly. The filling was very simple to make. Usually I would wilt fresh spinach but the budget is tight so I'm using whatever is available in the house right now, which happens to be frozen spinach. I steamed about a cup of frozen spinach and squeezed out all the water I could. Then I lightly sautéed 1/4 cup red onion, 1/2 small purple bell pepper and minced 1 large clove of garlic. Breakfast heaven!

The best part about this breakfast is that I was able to work in two types of vegetables, a generous serving of essential vitamins and minerals and stay gluten free and very full.

The Spinach Omelette Recipe is available in Quick and Easy Vegan Comfort Food in stores now!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Vegan Mac & Cheese Two-Ways

When it comes to vegan mac and cheese everyone is a critic! As a new vegan you’ll probably see a vegan mac and cheese recipe in every cookbook and on almost every blog – and this blog will be no exception!

Because of the diversity of recipes I typically never make the same mac and cheese recipe twice (I am a guinea pig after all!) So far I have two favorites: The New Farm Vegetarian Cookbook’s Mac & “Cheese” Casserole and Vegan Dad’s Mac and Cheeze. If you like baked mac and cheese I would recommend you try New Farm’s version first and if you like your mac and cheese on the stove top then I would go with Vegan Dad’s version first. No matter which recipe you try first you should definitely try both.

Out of the two recipes the “cheese” sauce I love the most is my adaptation of Vegan Dad’s. It goes perfectly on cheese fries, nachos (just add a little cayenne and chili powder), over veggies or you can take down the amount of dry pasta you use by 1 ½ cups and add broccoli, peas, chickpeas and other veggies to make a filling casserole.

Another important thing to note about vegan mac and cheese is it never tastes anything like mac and cheese made with cow’s milk (unless you are using store-bought vegan cheeses like sheese, cheezly or follow your heart). But the best part is that it tastes 1000 times better. I’ve made various versions of vegan mac and cheese for my omnivore friends and relatives and they all loved every version. But I do always serve it to my omnivore friends with the preface that it will not taste like cow’s cheese.

I never make the same recipe twice but I also never follow the recipe to the letter when making a mac and cheese recipe. So below are my versions of both of these recipes:

Mac & Cheese Casserole Adapted from The New Farm Vegetarian Cookbook by L. Hagler & D. Bates

3 ½ cups dry macaroni, cook according to package directions
½ cup Earth Balance Margarine
½ cup flour
3 ½ cups hot water
2 tablespoon Bragg's liquid aminos
1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon turmeric
¼ cup canola oil (optional)
1 cup nutritional yeast

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In a saucepan, melt margarine over low heat. Whisk in flour and continue to stir over medium heat until mixture is smooth and bubbly. Whisk in boiling water, Bragg's, garlic powder and turmeric.

Cook the sauce until it thicken and bubbles. Stir in oil (optional) and nutritional yeast until completely incorporated.

Add cooked pasta to sauce, transfer to a casserole dish, sprinkle with paprika and bake for 15 minutes. Then put under broiler for a few minutes until the top is crisp (checking often).

Creamy Mac and Cheeze
Adapted from Vegan Dad (

½ cup raw cashews
2 tablespoons raw sunflower seeds
2 tablespoons macadamia nuts (about 8 whole nuts)
2 ½ cup unsweetened soy milk, divided
2 tablespoon canola oil
½ cup nutritional yeast
1 cup firm silken tofu
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon turmeric
¾ teaspoon Hungarian paprika
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
2 tablespoons white miso
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon arrowroot

16 ounces brown rice macaroni or shells, cooked according to package directions

Place all ingredients (except 1/2 cup soymilk) in a high speed blender and blend until smooth. Add remaining 1/2 cup of soymilk and blend until incorporated. Add sauce to a large dutch oven, over medium heat and cook until sauce begins to thicken (about 5 minutes). Add pasta and stir until pasta is completely coated.

At first it will seem like there is way too much sauce for the amount of pasta used but as pasta sits the sauce with absorb and take on a perfect texture.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Vegan Mofo: Fusilli with Spinach and Sweet Red Pepper Sauce

One of my favorite methods of creating new recipes is just to open up my pantry (which has enough dry goods to feed a family of 8 through a long winter) and my fridge and just start throwing a meal together from the first couple of things I see. I’m knee deep in midterms right now so I don’t have time to make complex meals that require more than 1 pot or 3 or 4 steps. My latest recipe for fusilli (using brown rice pasta) with spinach and sweet red pepper sauce fit the bill perfectly. All I needed to do was prepare the pasta. Add all the ingredients for the sauce in a blender combine it with the cooked pasta and spinach and voila! A meal so good it makes you forget we are at the periphery of The Great Recession as my friend Stiles would say.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Vegan Mofo: Chorizo Empanadas (Field Roast Mexican Chipotle Sausages)

As a California girl (born and raised) I am a sucker for any and every type of Mexican food. The traditional Mexican empanada is usually served as a dessert or breakfast dish but when I saw Field Roast's Mexican Chipotle Sausages I couldn't resist turning them into savory and spicy empanadas. I'm working on making an official recipe but basically the filling is just sautéed Mexican Chipotle Sausage (or soy chorizo) with chopped tri-color bell pepper, about 1/2 cup of red onion, a little garlic and the empanada dough of your choice (there are tons of recipes online for dough).

Field Roast's Mexican Chipotle Sausages are an amazing addition to any traditional Mexican dish. To date I've had them in tacos, burritos, nachos, enchiladas, tamales and taco salads. Each sausage has 23 grams of protein and only 250 calories. A little goes a long way, it only takes 2 sausages to make 24 empanadas, 1 to make about 6-8 tacos, and 2 to make about a dozen tamales. These sausages are now are permanent staple in my kitchen and I'm constantly experimenting with new ideas. My next project will be to veganize the Chorizo Style Breakfast Quesadilla on the Field Roast website and in honor of Vegan Mofo I will post the pictures and recipe here as soon as I do.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Vegan Mofo: Sweet Potato & Carrot Mini-Pies for Dogs

No one said that Vegan Mofo had to only be about vegan food for people. My companion animals (Brit, Tyler, Piedmont and Brodie) love all things vegan. They can't get enough of shelled edamame, brown rice, zucchini, kale, broccoli, sliced apples (no seeds they are toxic), peas, cucumbers, sweet potatoes, carrots and just about anything else you can think of.

I thought I would mix two of my dogs favorite foods into delicious mini-pies as an early autumn treat. Needless to say they gobbled them up with lighting speed and now every time I reach into the refrigerator they get excited.

I'm currently working on a zine of Vegan Dog Food and treats that will be out within the next couple months so hold tight for a recipe soon.

Tyler grabbing some pie

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Wilted Kale Salad with Creamy Chipotle Dressing

After about 6 months of eating vegan cupcakes and cookies with wild abandon the slight rip in my jeans told me that it was time to push those vegan cupcakes to the side for a while and focus on the basics of good healthy food. The easiest and tastiest way to do this is to start incorporating more raw foods into my diet. In the world of green leafy vegetables spinach and kale rule supreme for me, so Tuesday I set my sites on making a Wilted Kale Salad with Creamy Chipotle Dressing. The original recipe came from The Raw Chef but I adapted the recipe to fit what was in my fridge a bit better and bring the servings down to a more manageable size. What I came up with is an amazing entrée that even my omni friends are raving about. I hope you love it just as much as I did.
2 heads kale, stems removed and sliced very thin
1 tablespoon sea/mineral salt
1 cup grape tomatoes, sliced in half
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
Place kale in a large bowl, add salt and massage the kale until it wilts and takes on a "cooked" texture (will turn a dark shiny green)
Add tomatoes and sunflower seeds to the bowl and mix by hand

2 avocados
1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon raw agave nectar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender until creamy and mix into kale by hand.

Note: This taste amazing the day you make it but the flavors really sing once they have been allowed to blend overnight.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Come here you Vegan Mofo!

Vegan Mofo begins today! What is Vegan Mofo you ask? Well it's the Vegan Month Of Food. The goal of Vegan Mofo is to blog as much as possible about any aspect of vegan food for the month. The goal is 20 posts, but if you've been a GuineaPig reader for any amount of time you will know this will be a near impossible feat for me especially with midterms coming up but I will do my very best! I am just one of many bloggers participating in Vegan Mofo this year you can keep track of the rest of my fellow Mofoers (yep, just made that up) on the PPK Forums and Blog.
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