Saturday, August 30, 2008

Chili Chili Bo Billy

Well, it turns out that I have the works: IBS and Reflux Esophigitis. They did a biopsy for Celiac disease, so we'll see how that turns up. The worst part of the endoscopy was the I.V. Dear Lord!!! I cried my eyes out when the nurse put that damn thing in my arm. After the doc gave me the anethesia, I was out. I don't remember a thing, and I slept for over an hour. I got wheeled out of the hospital by an older gentleman. He was a volunteer there, a little shy, but I didn't care. I was so out of it, a serial killer could've wheeled me out and I wouldn't have noticed. Thankfully, my mama got me a hospital milkshake. They have the best chocolate milkshakes in the world!! I won't even compete with them because I'll lose. There's a beautiful picture of my almost-finished one. I ended up eating one of my muffins when I got home. They are AMAZINGLY DELICIOUS!!! Pretty much some of the best damn muffins in the world. After that, I slept for a few more hours. Then, I woke up at about 9:00 pm and made chili!!!

Yeah, I think I was kind of awake when I made this. Who knows? But it is VERY good chili. It's vegan, of course, but it tastes better than real chili. I found the recipe on Cookie Madness, but I changed it and added some sweet stuff. It's probably not very good for my stomach, but do I care?

Here's the recipe:
Summertime Chili

1 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 1/2 cups chopped zucchini
1 medium-size pepper, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp ground cumin
12 oz pkg Yves meatless ground meat, frozen
1 (14.5) oz can diced tomatoes
1 (14.5) oz can stewed tomatoes
2 tbsp chili powder
1 (8)oz can tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
2 tsp honey
1 tsp paprike
1 (15)oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 tbsp cocoa powder

In a large pot, heal oil over medium. Add onion and zucchini and saute for 3-4 minutes or until soft. Add 1/2 cup vegetable stock, pepper, garlic, and cumin and heat for another 2-3 minutes. Add frozen meat and stir well. Break the meat up as it begins to cook for 3 minutes. Now pour in both cans of tomatoes, chili powder, tomato sauce, and remaining vegetable stock. Stir well, then add honey and paprika. Simmer for 5-6 minutes, or until meat is broken up. Add drained black beans and cocoa powder, and simmer for another 1-2 minutes. Makes about 8 cups.

You're ready to eat!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Endoscopy Day

I have to get an endoscopy this afternoon. I haven't been allowed to eat or drink anything this morning, so I'm obviously very weak. haha. I had my mom call off work for me because I'll be too tired to go in... yeah. All right. I'm pretty much getting this done because my stomach just sucks. It always hurts and my mouth tastes like crap all the time. I got home yesterday from school and just went to bed because I didn't feel good. I ended up baking muffins to get my mind off of things. I didn't try one though. I ended up eating a few brownies, okay 3, that we had leftover. They were from a picnic I went to and they were the chewiest, chocolatelyest brownies I've ever had. I need some real food though. This vegetarian/vegan eating is just taking it's tool on my body!!!

These muffins that I made are vegan, though. haha. They look really beautiful, so I hope they taste amazing as well. I doctored up the recipe quite a bit just because I wasn't in the mood for following one. I also made them healthier by omitting the sugar and adding some almonds. The one I started with was Dreena Burton's Carob Chip Muffins. I'll change the title to Crazy C's Muffins just because I like that better.

Here's the recipe:
Crazy C's Muffins

Dry ingredients:
2 cups spelt flour
1/2 cup carob chips
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/3 cup blanched almonds
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp nutmeg

Wet ingredients:
1 cup plain non-dairy milk
3 tbsp maple syrup
1/8 cup agave nectar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp coconut extract
1/3 cup canola oil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Stir through until well combined. In another bowl, combine the wet ingredients and stir. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and gentle fold together until well combined. Spoon the mixture in to a muffin pan lined with cupcake liners, or lightly oiled. Bake for 21-24 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Makes 6 large muffins or 9 small muffins.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Tofu + Me = Toanna

I thought I was done with the crazy dreams for now, but I'm not. Last night, I had a wild dream. I was on a road trip with my friend, Brian (pictured to the left), and we were driving around the mountains. Isn't he sexy? haha He was the driver, and when we had to make this big turn, he turned the car off of a cliff and we were flying over the ocean. And let me just say that he did this on purpose; he wanted to show me that he could land it back on the mountain. Instead, he ended up landing the car on a big rock protruding from the ocean. I don't remember how we got off the rock, or if we even did. Knowing my dreams, we probably didn't. haha. But anyway, a few other people I know had random cameos in this dream, but I don't think they helped us either. I still liked this dream though. I woke up at 7, went to the bathroom, and went back to bed just to finish it.

Anyway, my recipe for today is a Dreena Burton creation. It's from "Eat, Drink, and Be Vegan" and I'm enjoying it right now for breakfast. It's a tofu dish with a Chinese flair. I really like it and have paired it with whole wheat penne and spinach. I didn't have some of the ingredients, so this is what I used.

Here's the recipe:
Orange Cashew Tofu

2 tsp arrowroot powder
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (zest orange first)
1 tsp orange zest
3 tbsp tamari
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
1/8 tsp sea salt
1 pkg extra-firm tofu, cubed
1/4 cup cashews, chopped


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In an 8 x 12 in baking dish, combine arrowroot with 2 tbsp orange juice and stir until fully dissolved. Add remaining juice and ingredients, except for tofu and cashews, and stir to combine. Add tofu and coat both sides in sauce. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or cook immediately. To bake, cover with aluminum foil and bake for 15 minutes. Turn over tofu, gently stir to cover tofu with sauce, and bake uncovered, for another 6-9 minutes, or until sauce thickens. Remove from oven, sprinkle with cashews, and eat up!!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I think I've gone Potatoes

This is my favorite bathrobe in the world!!!! Anyway, my mouth is still aching from getting 2 fillings done yesterday. Hopefully, I'll get a bruise or something on my cheek for what it's worth. haha. On a positive note, the Crater Cake was INSANELY good. It's in the top 5 best foods I have ever eaten in my life. Honestly, I could eat that cake every day and be perfectly happy. The cake was so moist, and it wasn't overly sweet. I mean, I could taste all of the unhealthy fatiness of it, but I don't care. It was just THAT good. Everyone at the picnic liked it, too.

I also had another doctor's appointment yesterday at the gastro. This Friday, I am scheduled for an endoscopy!! I'm actually really excited because I want to know what is wrong with this stomach of mine. I've had stomach cramps for a LONG time, and nobody can ever find anything. Doctors will just prescribe anything these days hoping it will work. I guess we will see, though. I still need to find someone to work for my ass on Friday. After the endoscopy, I can't be by myself for 12 hours because I'll be under the influence of anethesia. I'm actually positive I'll end up calling off along with all the other "dependable" cashiers. haha

But onto the recipe. I was in the mood for potatoes last night. We had half a bag of little yellow potatoes, so I made some roasted potatoes. They were delicious!! I ate mine with ketchup because ketchup is the best condiment. My favorite part about them was the smell- It was a crazy, good, garlic smell.

Here's the recipe:
Crazy Good Smelling Potatoes

1 small bag of baby potatoes
Canola Oil Cooking Spray
Sprinkle of Salt and Freshly Black Ground Pepper
1 tsp garlic powder

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cover a baking dish with aluminum foil. Cut potatoes in half and put them in baking dish. Spray with Canola Oil Spray and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Roast in oven for 35-40 minutes. That's it!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Great Day for a Pinic!

This morning is amazing. No work, no school, new Postsecret posts, delicious cereal breakfast, yoga, and painting my nails. This is the freakin life, I swear. Haha. So different from yesterday's hellish day at work. All day in the mens department + me = a hot, tranny mess. Well, actually a cold, tranny mess. I ended up taking the tags off of a jacket from the juniors department and wearing it during my shirt. I really like it and considered taking it home with me because we have no security anymore. Haha but I refrained from my thievish ways. but come on, it's a god damn freezer over there. I was just happy to leave at 4 and go to Bally's. My friend Dina was at the gym and we talked about love affairs and all the hot guys around us. She's friends with ALL of them, and she's probably in her 60's or 70's. Can you say playa?

But onto today's recipe. I'm going to a picnic today with my sister, dad, and grandma. It's at a place in South Park, so it should be nice and relaxing. I baked a beautiful cake last night after I got home from grocery shopping. My coworker gave me the recipe for a German Chocolate Crater Cake. I didn't have German Chocolate cake mix, so I used Devil's Food instead. I haven't tried it yet because it's still in the baking dish. It looks amazing though, and the smell was enough to make me faint... in a good way. haha

Here's the recipe:
Devil's Food Crater Cake

1 cup pecans, chopped
1 cup flaked coconut
1 box Devil's Food Cake mix, prepared as on box directions
1 8 oz pkg. cream cheese
1 (2.05 oz) Milky Way candy bar
3/4 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup butter
1 16 oz box powdered sugar


1. Preheat over to 350 degrees F.
2. Spray 9 X 13 baking dish with non-stick spray.
3. Sprinkle pecans and coconut over bottom of baking dish.
4. Prepare cake mix as on box. Pour over pecans and coconut.
5. Melt over low heat cream cheese and butter. Stir in powdered sugar and continue stirring until blended. (It will look like there is a ton of powdered sugar, but it cooks down, so keep stiring it)
6. Pour or spoon cream cheese mixture over the cake batter.
7. Place baking dish on top of a cookie sheet just in case the cake overflows. Bake about 40-45 minutes.
8. While cake is baking, melt milky way candy bar in evaporated milk. Cool slightly.
9. When cake is baked, poke holes over the top with fork. Pour the chocolate cream over the top of cake.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Easy as Cheese

Alrighty. Let me just say how tired I am right now. I have to work in a little bit, and I haven't been sleeping a lot. I think my lack of sleep is due to something my religions teacher said. He told us he knew a man named Dr. Chan who slept for 4 hours a night because anything more than that was a waste and there is too much stuff to do and learn. I think I agree with him, so that's probably why I'm so damn tired all the time! haha oh well. I ended up hanging out with Mitchel last night. We went to Giant Eagle- he stole doughnuts- I found a can of JACKFRUIT (thank god)-we tried Goober for the first time (it's delicious)-we danced in the Sears parking lot... I think that's about it. I'm gonna miss him though, heck I already do : ( Oh well, the good news is that I have a jar of Goober! I was gonna give it to my history teacher if we didn't like it, but I LOVE it.

Peanut Butter Jelly Time Peanut Butter Jelly Time Peanut Butter Jelly Peanut Butter Jelly Peanut Butter Jelly with a bowl of cottage cheese! Ok that's what I made. Vegan Cottage Cheese. I am addicted to cottage cheese, and with me wanting to be a vegan and all, that was the one thing I had to give up. Well, not since I found a recipe for it. It doesn't compare to rich, creamy goodness of real cottage cheese, but it does its' job. So in other words, I really like it! The cat wouldn't try it-she sniffed it, though.

Here's the recipe
Vegan Cottage Cheese

1 box firm or extra-firm silken tofu
1/4 cup soymilk, soy yogurt, or sour cream (I used soymilk)
pinch of salt
1 tbsp agave nectar

In a bowl, mash tofu into small or medium bits. Mix the remaining ingredients into the bowl and chill.

Note: If you want a creamier cheese, whip 1/4 of the mixture into a food processor or blender and then recombine it with the remaining mixture.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Vegan Mac and Cheese # 3

Well, I have no school today. THANK GOD!!! I do have to work, but just the fact that there's no class makes up for my crappy time spent at Sears. After work, I'm hangin' out with my friend, Mitchel. We'll probably dance in the Sears parking lot for a while cuz that's just what we do. He leaves for school tomorrow morning, and tonight is the last night I'll see him for a while. It's so damn depressing. I still have my friends here, though. Speaking of friends, I saw my good friend Ted at the gym last night. He's 70 yrs old and is a hardcore cyclist. I love that man. We usually have push up competitions but I had already done my set. And since we're on the topic of the gym. I just want to thank all the hotties that were there last night. You guys made my workout effortless. haha

Alrighty, recipe time!!!! This is my third vegan mac and cheese recipe. I'm on my second bowl for breakfast right now, and I'm enjoying it. There was a good amount of nutritional yeast, but it isn't a fake cheesy taste at all. I baked mine after I made the sauce, and I wouldn't recommend doing that. It dried out the sauce too much. It's still delicious even baked- I just added some tamari to moisten it a little. Tamari tastes good on EVERYTHING!! I found the recipe on some other vegan blog (can't remember what it was), but I changed the original recipe quite a bit.

Here's the recipe:
Cheese Wiz Mac n Cheese

2 cups whole wheat macaroni
1 15.5 oz can Cannellini Beans
6 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
3-4 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp tahini
1/2 onion granules
1 tsp prepared yellow mustard
1/2 tsp salt
dash of freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4-1/2 cup vegetable stock

In a large pot of salted,boiling water, add 2 cups of macaroni and cook for 7 minutes. Combine the rest of the ingredients in a food processor starting with 1/4 cup vegetable stock. Blend until smooth (if it's a little thick, add the other 1/4 cup of vegetable stock). When macaroni is finished cooking, drain the pasta, and place in a large dish. Add the "cheese" sauce and stir together until well-incorporated. You're ready to eat!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Pour Some Sugar On Me

Yesterday was my first day of class, and I am already overwhelmed with stuff to do. I have a lot of reading to do, but I guess I should've known that. I stayed up really late last night to take a Biology quiz online. Yes, a quiz on my first day. Go figure. I think that's what caused me to have another weirdly, vivid dream. It was about this one boy from high school who played hockey. I see him at the gym and Giant Eagle a lot. He's really corky, but totally bangin! In the dream, we met up at a swimming pool and wanted to surprise my one friend, Mitchel. We dressed up in eighties clothes and hid under the pool cover. It was at 3 am, so I have no idea how we got in the pool. This one girl that I really dislike was there and she wouldn't leave us alone. She said she had to clean the area and we couldn't be there. Oh well. I know it doesn't make any sense haha I think my mind is just too damn complex for these dreams. That reminds me... there's this quote in "Loving Frank" about dreams that I just have to put on here. Frank says, "To fare on-fusing the self that wakes and the self that dreams." Such a deep and beautiful quote!!!

So onto the delicious recipe. This is an old-fashioned vegan chocolate chip cookie- the best kind! It is honestly one of the best cookies I've ever had. I got about 2 weeks worth of ice cream sandwiches out of these puppies, and I had one every day. I was surprised how chewy they stayed in the freezer. I didn't even need to nuke them in the microwave from them to be soft again. It was like freakin magic. And of course, they are one of Dreena Burton's delectable creations from "Vive le Vegan."

Here's the recipe:
The BEST Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 1/4 cups spelt flour
1 tsp baking powder
1⁄2 tsp baking soda
1⁄4 cup unrefined sugar
1⁄4 tsp sea salt
1⁄3 cup pure maple syrup
1⁄4 tsp blackstrap molasses
1 - 1 1⁄2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1⁄4 cup organic canola oil (a little generous 1/4 cup)
1⁄3 cup non-dairy chocolate chips (or carob)

Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C). In a bowl, sift in the flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Add the sugar and salt, and stir until well combined. In a separate bowl, combine the maple syrup with the molasses and vanilla, then stir in the oil until well combined. Add the wet mixture to the dry, along with the chocolate chips, and stir through until just well combined (do not overmix). Place large spoonfuls of the batter on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and flatten a little. Bake for 11 minutes, until just golden (if you bake for much longer, they will dry out). Let cool on the sheet for no more than 1 minute (again, to prevent drying), then transfer to a cooling rack. Makes 8-10 large cookies.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

First Day of School

Well, it's the first day of the last day of my life. haha no but it is the first day of school. My friend Ashley is picking me up in a little while and of course, I'm still in my bathrobe with soaking wet hair. I'm really tired this morning. My friend Steve came over last night and was here til around 1:30. I knew I should've cut it off at 12, but it was a lot of fun. We had to catch up on an old episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm!!! Uhh love that show. And then, no visit to my house is complete until you've done a Carmen Electra video. Hands up one of the funniest things I have ever seen. My sister saw it and she loved it, too. The real cherry topper was when we were at the park. I hit my forehead and nose on the monkeybars, so I now have red marks on both of them. Just perfect for today, right?

Well, at least today's recipe is better than my face. I tried cookin' with SEITAN last night!!!! Dear Lord, was I nervous! It looked like a package of brains, so I had to take a ton of pictures with it. I made this random, crazy bbq seitan. I just kept throwing ingredients into the saute pan hoping it would be edible. And I LOVED it. I'm eating it for breakfast right now... which isn't surprising because I do that with every dinner I make. I gave some to my sister, and she nearly gagged. Steve claimed that he liked it, though, and he might have been telling the truth. I mean, he didn't spit it out. haha

Here's the recipe:
Girl Gone Wild Barbecue Seitan

8 oz pkg Seitan
1/4 cup vegetable stock

2 tsp Worceshire sauce

1/2 cup barbacue sauce

1/2 medium-size onion, chopped

1 tsp minced garlic

1 tsp onion powder

1 tbsp agave nectar

1/2 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/3 cup cashews, chopped


Over medium-high heat, pour vegetable stock and Worceshire sauce into saute pan. Add onion and cook 3-5 minutes or until slightly golden. Add seitan and minced garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until seitan is beginning to get crispy. Add barbacue sauce, onion powder, agave nectar, chili powder, pepper, and salt. Cook on low-medium heat for 10-12 minutes. The sauce should be thicken, but if it's too thick, add another 1/4 cup of vegetable stock. Add cashews when ready to serve.

Note: Cashews add crunch and pizazz to any dish, so feel free to add as much as you'd like! I served my seitan over a bed of spinach-the leaves wilted nicely and were very flavorful from the sauce.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Some damn good pasta

I love using the food processor!!!!! That is, except for cleaning that damn thing. But I'll clean it if I can get really good food out of it. And that's exactly what I'm eating for breakfast right now... really good food. I have a big meeting today for school to talk about events for the honors program. We have A LOT of things to discuss for this school year, so I knew I wanted to relax this morning. I'm watching the Olympics Table Tennis, and it's pretty darn tense right now. I've never been good at the game, but I've never met anyone really good at it either... so I'm not that disappointed. haha.

But here's the divine recipe for today! I found it on the Vegan Yum Yum blog, and it tastes so fresh. It's not creamy like it is on the blog, and I'm thinking that it might be because I used angel hair pasta? I'm not sure, but it still tastes good. I added some other ingredients to give it some flavor (I changed the title), and I just love it. I had it for dinner last night and the rest is gone as we speak. It's so much lighter than the pastas I've had in the past, so you have to try it!

Here's the recipe:
Tomato Basil Pasta with Sun-dried Tomatoes

1 large ripe tomato, 2 cups chopped
1/2 cup raw cashews
1 tbsp tomato paste
1/4 cup water

2 tbsp vegetable stock
3 cloves garlic, minced
6 oz whole wheat angel hair
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp onion powder
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 handful basil, chopped
2-3 handfuls fresh spinach

Boil a large pot of salted water. Core tomato and chop it. Add all of the tomato, cashews, tomato paste, and water to the food processor. Blend it until it's very smooth. In a large saute pan, heat the vegetable stock on medium-high heat. Add the minced garlic and cook until golden. When water is boiling, add pasta to water and cook for 8-10 minutes, or until al dente. Pour the sauce from the food processor into the saute pan with the garlic. Add the salt, pepper, and onion powder. stir and simmer for 4-5 minutes. When pasta is done cooking, drain, and add to the saute pan with the sauce. Add the basil leaves and spinach and stir until well-coated. And that's all folks!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Are you Sweet or Sour?

I love this shirt. I ordered one for my friend for his birthday present, and he had one already so I kept it. It's one of my favorite shirts, and I really should wear it more often. But anyway, last night my mom and I had another bonding moment. We watched "Strange Wilderness" together, which is one of the weirdest movies ever, but still funny. We were both cracking up during a lot of it, and we have horrendous laughs. She ended up konking out a few hours before me, though, and I just couldn't go to sleep. I stayed up til around 1:30 playing minesweeper and reading ridiculous craigslist posts.

Lately, I've been such a damn night owl. I usually read when I can't go to bed, but I wasn't in the mood. The book that I'm on right now is called "Loving Frank." It is about Frank Lloyd Wright and his affair with a married woman. It's really juicy, and I love reading it. I'm only about 60 pages in, so I'll finish it before I recommend it.

But onto food we go. My recipe for this beautiful Sunday is from Dreena Burton's vegan cookbook. It's called "Sweet and Sour Chipotle Tempeh with Sweet Potatoes." She used tempeh in her original recipe, but I had no clue what tempeh was or where to find it, so I used tofu. I looked in 4 grocery stores around me and they don't sell it. Regardless, everyone in my house loved this dish with tofu. Even people that don't live in my house tried it and asked for the recipe. It's VERY delicious, and as usual, I ate it for breakfast. As for the Chipotle part, I still don't know what that is. haha so I left that out and, too.

Here's the recipe:
Sweet and Sour Tofu with Sweet Potatoes

2 tbsp arrowroot powder
1 cup water
1/4 cup unrefined sugar (I used agave nectar)
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup unseasoned rice vinegar (I used seasoned)
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
2 tbsp tamari
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp blackstrap molasses
2 medium-large cloves garlic, quartered.
1/4 tsp salt, rounded
2 1/2 cups sweet potatoes, peeled, quartered, and sliced 1/4 in. thick
1 1/2 cups green bell pepper (1 medium pepper)
1 1/2 cups onions, thinly sliced (1 medium-large onion)
1 cup fresh pineapple, chopped
1 pkg tofu, drained, and cubed
1/2 cup cashews, chopped for garnish


Preheat over to 425 degrees F. In a blender, combine arrowroot, water, sugar, ketchup, vinegar, maple syrup, tamari, oil, molasses, garlic, chipotle, and salt and puree. Transfer to an 8 x 12 baking dish, add sweet potatoes, green peppers, onions, pineapple, and tofu and mix to combine. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 60-70 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sweet potatoes are soft and sauce has thickened. Serve, sprinkled with cashews.

Note: The cashews are a MUST in this recipe! They had the crunchiness to this dish because the tofu and vegetables are soft when baked.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Welcome to the Gun Show

I love Saturdays. Especially when I don't have to work until 5 pm. I think I'm gonna hit up yoga at the gym today with my friend, Barbara. I don't really like yoga at all, but maybe this instructor will change my mind. If not, I'm out 5 damn dollars. haha oh well. At least I'll pump a little iron while I'm there... and probably check out every sweaty guy in the place. haha. But anyway, last night after I got home from work, my mom and I watched this scary movie. It's called "Fear," and I nearly had a hernia just watching it. I love scary movies because I always get TERRIFIED/MORTIFIED when I watch them. Thank God I had some Cool Whip by my side. I love that stuff. haha. But honestly, I had to close my eyes during like half of it. I swear I'm 5 years old.

Onto the food. My recipe for today is Dreena Burton's Cashew-Ginger Tofu. It's one of my favorite tofu recipes, and I made it in West Virginia with one of my non-vegan friends. He absolutely loved it and said he usually hates tofu. I also didn't have a baking dish so don't even ask how I made it. I'll put the real recipe on here because it's probably even better when made inside the oven instead of on top : )

Here's the recipe:
Cashew-Ginger Tofu

1/3 cup cashew butter
3 1/2 tbsp tamari
3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 large cloves garlic, chopped
1 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
2 tbsp agave nectar
3/4 cup water
1 pkg firm or extra firm tofu, cubed in thick squares


Preheat over to 375 degrees F. Using a hand blender or food processor, combine cashew butter, tamari, vinegar, garlic, ginger, and agave nectar. Puree the mixture until smooth. Add water and puree again, scraping down sides of bowl if needed. Pour a little of mixture into an 8 x 12 in baking dish to cover bottom. Add tofu and pour remaining sauce to cover evenly. At this point either cover and refrigerate to marinate for 1 hour, or bake immediately. To bake, cover with aluminum foil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove cover, stir well, and bake again uncovered for 5-7 minutes, until sauce has thickened (lightly stir if necessary). Do not overbake, or the sauce will become too thick and pasty.

Friday, August 15, 2008

You say potato, I say "let's eat!"

Yesterday, I didn't work... again. It was amazing. Just the fact that I didn't have to be anywhere at a certain time was perfect, so I made no plans with anyone. haha. I spent the day watching Room Raiders on MTV and later, going to random stores. I got a new pair of athletic socks with sweat control from Kohls- I really needed them. I also got a new pair of black sandals with fake diamonds on them from Famous Footwear- those I didn't need whatsoever.

One of my best buys from yesterday was castor oil. Yes, castor oil. My doctor said to rub it on my stomach when I get stomach aches. I also had to wrap my stomach in saran wrap in order for it to be absorbed. I thought I would be uncomfortable, but I was fine. I'll probably put it on again today just for the hell of it. I just went crazy finding the damn stuff. I looked in and out of Giant Eagle and their pharmacy and realized they didn't sell it. But thank God, Walmart is right next door and they have EVERYTHING.

But I guess that's enough about my day. Today, we are talkin' about potatoes. I had bought a few bags of baby potatoes from Giant Eagle, and they had been sitting on the chair in the kitchen. I decided to make 2 kinds of potato salad. I hardly had enough ingredients for the recipes I wanted to use, so I just used what I had. My first recipe inspiration was from Dreena Burton's cookbook, and the next one, I just threw together a bunch of stuff that tastes good with potatoes. Enjoy!

Here's the recipe:

Whimsical Warm Potato Spinach Salad

1 1/2 lb baby red potatoes

2 1/2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 1/2 tsp agave nectar
1/2 sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
4 tbsp flax oil

Salad Mixture
2 1/2 cups fresh baby spinach leaves
1/4 cup chopped Brazil nuts
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, julienned
1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped

In a large pot of salted water, add potatoes and bring to a boil on high heat. Reduce heat to simmer for 12-15 minutes. In the meantime, mix together the vinaigrette ingredients until well-combined. Next, combine salad ingredients in large bowl. When potatoes are tender, drain, and cool until they are easy to handle, and cut into quarters. Toss the potatoes in the salad mixture and add the vinaigrette to the bowl. Serves 8 people.

Note: The spinach won't wilt if the potatoes have cooled before you add them to the salad mixture. If you want wilted spinach, add the potatoes while they are still hot. I prefer the salad served warm so nuke it in the microwave if it's been in the fridge.

Here's the next recipe:

"You Say Potato, I Say Apple" Salad

1 1/2 baby red potatoes

2 tbsp flax oil
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 tbsp Veganaise
1 tbsp prepared mustard
dash of pepper

Salad Mixture:
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup sprouts
2 medium apples, chopped


In a large pot of salted water, add potatoes and bring to a boil on high heat. Reduce heat to simmer for 12-15 minutes. In the meantime, stir together vinaigrette mixture in a bowl until well-combined. In a large bowl, combine raisins, sprouts, and apples. When potatoes are tender, drain, and cool. Cut into quarters and add to large bowl of salad mixture. Add the vinaigrette and toss.

Note: This salad is delicious served cold. It's tangy from the mustard and crunchy from the sprouts- a nice complexity of flavors.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Tofu Anyone?

I was cooking like crazy yesterday. It was my first day off from work in 6 days, and I was just happy to be away from that retched place. I needed some time to breathe and experiment in the kitchen. I really just wanted to wear my kick ass apron all day long. I love that thing. It says "Domestic Diva" across the front, and I got it as a Valentine's Day present last year. I rarely wash it, so it's bound to have something growing on it by now. But anyway, I had to use up this broken package of tofu I had. Somehow, it got a slit in the plastic and was leaking in the fridge. I didn't want to use it on all one recipe, so I used half of the block for each recipe; however, I converted the measurements as if you were using a full block of tofu.

I found my first tofu recipe inspiration in one of Dreena Burton's cookbooks. I changed it a lot and renamed it because I didn't have some of the ingredients she used. I really enjoyed it, especially the sun-dried tomatoes, and I just finished it for breakfast... along with the rest of my sweet potato casserole muffins. SOOO GOOD!

Here's the recipe:

Crispy Tofu Bites
2- 2 1/2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
2 tsp vegan Worcestershire sauce
couple pinches of freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp minced garlic
1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes
1 pkg extra firm tofu, squeezed dry and cubed


In a bowl, mix together all ingredients except for tofu. Add tofu to mixture, cover, and marinate for 20 minutes. In a skillet sprayed with PAM, add the tofu and cook for 6-8 minutes, or until tofu is crispy and brown. You are ready to eat!

My next recipe is from a food blog, but I can't remember what blog I found it on. I also changed the recipe a bit because I wanted to use some different ingredients. It came out nice and smoky, but I think I would've cooked it about 5 minutes longer to add some extra crispiness. It's very flavorful and the marinade is sweet from the agave nectar.

Here's the recipe:

Smokey Miso Tofu

2 tbsp brown rice miso
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp agave nectar
2 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
1/4 tsp liquid smoke
1 pkg extra firm tofu, squeezed dry and sliced

Directions: Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Spray baking sheet with PAM. Mix the marinade together in a large bowl and then add the tofu to the marinade, making sure all sides get covered. Let the tofu soak for about 20 minutes. Lay the tofu slices on the baking sheet and pour excess marinade on top of tofu. Bake for 20-25, depending on how crispy you want the tofu. I would do 25 for extra crispiness. The edges should be darker so you know that it's done. Now go ahead and eat up!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

A Sweet Morning

Well, I'm in a very good mood today, so I figured I'd wear one of my favorite shirts. The reason for the extra pep in my step is that my one manager quit yesterday. The whole store was happy to see her go because she was just treated everybody like trash. I'm also happy because these muffins I just baked for breakfast are ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS! I found a recipe for sweet potato muffins on the blog "have cake, will travel." Since sweet potatoes are my favorite food in the world, I knew I had to make these lovelies. I changed the recipe a little bit because I didn't wanna use some of the original ingredients. I also added marshmallows and pecans to make them sweet potato casserole muffins. I mean, who doesn't like a little piece of heaven in the form of a muffin? They came out so moist and the marshmallows melted inside so they were nice and gooey. Just pure heaven!!! You must try these!

Here's the magical recipe:
Sweet Potato Casserole Muffins

½ cup whole wheat flour

½ teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon baking soda

Pinch of sea salt

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ginger powder

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

2 tablespoons almond milk or soy milk

1/3 cup sweet potato puree

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

¼ cup pure maple syrup

¼ cup unsweetened applesauce

20 marshmallows

4 whole pecans, or a few chopped pieces


Preheat over to 350 degrees F. Spray muffins tins with PAM or use muffin liners. In large bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Add salt, cinnamon, ginger powder, and ground nutmeg to dry mixture. In separate bowl, stir together the almond milk, sweet potato puree, vanilla extract, maple syrup, and applesauce. Combine wet and dry ingredients and mix together. Scoop a tablespoon of batter into each of the 4 muffin holders. Add 5 marshmallows on top of the batter. Cover the muffins with remaining batter. Add pecans to the top of the batter. Place in oven for 16 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool in muffin tin for a few minutes until they have firmed up. Then place on cooling rack.

Note: I used 1 medium-sized sweet potato and had about 1/2 cup sweet potato puree leftover. I ended up just eating it out of the food processor with a spoon- You don't wanna waste that beauty.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Vegan Mac and Cheese # 2

Well, let me just say that this vegan mac and cheese recipe has nutritional yeast in it!!!!!!!!!!!!
Woohoo. That should tell you that it's good already. I searched grocery stores for weeks trying to find that damn stuff. I had no clue what it looked like, and when I ventured into Whole Foods, I found it in the bulk bins.

Ok. I just needed to get that off my chest. There's something else I just need to say, too. My dream last night was freaky. I met this group of kids in the military and we played on the playground together. I ended up doing boot camp workouts with them on the playground and my pajama pants fell off when I was climbing up this wall! It was terrible, but then I woke up, went back to sleep, and had a new dream. This one involved Chris from the "Date My Ex: Jo and Slade" show. I can't remember exactly what happened, but Chris is the most beautiful man alive. That's all I'm gonna say ; )

Alrighty. Here's my opinion on this second mac and cheese. I definitely liked Dreena's recipe of "Mac Oh Geez" better because it had more flavor. I added some dashes of tamari to this recipe because it needed some pizazz. This recipe comes from the Fat Free Vegan site, so I guess it's not supposed to be down right comfort food in the first place. It was very cheesy from the nutritional yeast, and the tamari definitely made me like it more. I added spinach to mine because spinach is delicious. I halved the recipe so it made 2 servings, but here's the adaptations I made to the recipe.

Here's the recipe:

Vegan Mac and Cheese

1 pound pasta (regular or gluten-free)

Blend together:

1 1/4 cups water

1 cup plain, almond milk or soy milk

3/4 cup nutritional yeast

3 tablespoons cornstarch or potato starch

1 tablespoon lime juice

1 teaspoon salt (or more to taste)

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

pinch cayenne pepper

2 tablespoons tahini

1 teaspoon brown rice miso

black pepper to taste

4-5 dashes of tamari

Put the pasta on to boil, according to package directions. While it's cooking, blend all remaining ingredients together in a blender. When the pasta is al dente, drain it, reserving about 1/2 cup of the cooking water, and return the pasta to pan. Add the sauce mixture and cook, stirring, until mixture boils and thickens. Add a little of the pasta water if more moistness is needed.