daiya wedges

It's Vegan MoFo, bitches!

Ladies and gentlemen… I have had my vegan mind blown.

For I have finally gotten to taste the Daiya hard cheese wedges. The Jack style, to be precise. Normally when I make a [vegan] toasted cheeser, I add tomato, avocado, and cayenne, but I tasted a little piece before I made the sandwich, and froke out. So nothing but the cheese on this one [well, I added a little cayenne. I kind of need spice on everything now.]

Look at the drippiness! Gaaaaaaaah! I want another right now. Shame on me for waiting until it was on sale. But you can be sure I’m loading up before that sale ends…


oh folly…

It's Vegan MoFo, bitches!

I used to work at a raw vegan place. So, as you will do, I bought random things that I wasn’t really sure what to use for, but was promised that I’d start using it in everything! I clearly did not, as I haven’t been at that place in almost two years, and I still have this small bag of lucuma powder sitting in the back of my cupboard.

As I was going through my ginormous pile of recipes in my Evernote, I came across this: raw caramel chips that use lucuma! Just a few ingredients, all stuff I had, I was all gung ho!

First problem? It’s such a small amount, too small for my powerful food processor, but a little too much work for my wee food processor. So the cashews got *mostly* ground up, but… well, not really. But it was paste-like enough that I was ready to move forward.

I started off with the prettiest of intentions. But after I got the whole batch loaded into my decorating bag with my little star tip… of course those less-than-chopped cashews plugged the whole thing up, so I had to keep going in and fishing out cashew bits with a toothpick. I was ready to keep pushing forward, but when the bag burst right by the tip, I went, “Eff this!” and dumped the whole thing out on the teflex, spread it thin, planning to chop them into not-as-pretty-but-still-delicious chunks when they got dried out.

So yeah. While the recipe is tasty [the lucuma gives it a nice fruity creamy flavor that isn’t really something I can relate to anything else], I think next time it might just be blended up and used as frosting, to be honest.

too much foooooooooood

It's Vegan MoFo, bitches!

You know how it is when friends come to visit. You end up eating out a lot, and eating way more than you should. Today has definitely been one of those days.

For brunch, we went to West Town [formerly Bleeding Heart] and ate like crazy people. I got the Vanilla Bean Buttermilk Belgian Waffle [made vegan, of course]. It was outstanding. Perfectly crunchy, thick, not overly sweet, with just the right amount of vanilla flavor to make it truly vanilla-y without feeling fake. I can highly recommend it [as I can also recommend the Vegan S’mores Pancakes, which are chocolate pancakes, layered with marshmallow fluff, marshmallows on top, chocolate syrup, and maple syrup. They are definitely a dessert, though, and they are easily two separate days worth of treat.]

While hitting things like Myopic Books, Reckless Records, Buffalo Exchange, and Quimby’s, we stopped at The Wormhole for coffee. I got a soy chai that was delicious.

Now, we were not hungry, but they were about to go back to Iowa, so I couldn’t let them leave without going to Native Foods! They got chili and nachos, both of which they [omnivores] were greatly pleased with! I got the Butternut Squash Polenta Bites and some Sweet Potato Fries [with the sweet sweet ranch dressing, I must figure out how to make you…] The sweet potato fries were amazing, as always, but I was also very pleased with the polenta bites. The polenta was creamy and kind of pesto-ish almost, and the butternut squash was so nicely roasted and whatever they dressed it in was savory and crazy delicious.

Note: I think this is the nicest picture my phone has ever taken. I didn’t even have to adjust levels or anything! And no picture of the sweet potato fries, ’cause I gobbled them up before I even thought to take a picture. Hell, there was another polenta bite here when I got it…

So yeah. I’m stuffed, I think I’ve eaten far more than my normal daily intake, and it’s not even 5:00. Guh. Time for food sleepies…

gran’s veggie soup

It's Vegan MoFo, bitches!

It got cold as #*&$ all of a sudden here in Chicago. Like, it was 80 degrees one day and 54 the next. It sucks. So when that happens, of course you’re gonna make soup! I just wanted a nice simple vegetable soup without anything complicated. Something like you’d get out of a can, except obviously way more delicious. You can make changes, you could do miso instead of salt, stuff like that, but this is meant to be your grandma’s soup! When I had leftovers for today’s lunch, I threw in a bunch of leftover rice from another day, and I can highly suggest adding it to the recipe, you’ll just have to up your water, obviously. Or make it separately and throw it in at the end, whatever, however you wanna do.

Gran’s Veggie Soup


-2 tbsp olive oil
-1 onion, sliced
-1 jalapeno, sliced
-2 carrots, sliced
-3 stalks celery, sliced
-4-5 cloves garlic, minced
-1 zucchini, cubed
-2 large potatoes, cubed
-7 c vegetable stock

to do

1. Put the olive oil in a large stockpot over medium heat, then add the onion and jalapeno. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the onions are starting to get a tiny bit translucent.

2. Add in the carrots, celery, and garlic, and keep cooking until the onions are nice and see through. Stir occasionally so you don’t burn that garlic.

3. Add in the zucchini for the last couple minutes of sauteeing.

4. Add the stock and the potatoes, bring to a boil, and simmer until the potatoes are soft [but not mush].

5. Salt to taste.

wilted kale salad with chipotle avocado dressing

It's Vegan MoFo, bitches!

Everyone has a favorite kale salad, right? Right? Well, most vegans do, anyway. Mine is this one!

The Raw Chef has an awesome wilted kale salad with chipotle avocado dressing. In my laziness/no time for morning things, I tend to just mash all the dressing stuff into the kale, rather than blending it together. Which also means I use chipotle powder instead of whole chipotles. On special occasions, I’ll go to the trouble, but most of the time, I’m throwing things together while going, “crap, crap, crap, I should have left already…”

But this salad, dear lord. So freaking good. It’s the Mister’s favorite salad. An outstanding addition is making the seitan chorizo from Viva Vegan, cooking it crunchy in chunks, and throwing that in. It’s definitely more spicy that way, so backing off on the chipotles is a good idea at that point. My cousin also made it once with tamarind replacing the agave, and that was pretty outstanding as well!

chocolate pudding

It's Vegan MoFo, bitches!

Any vegan worth their salt has some backup plan for when avocados go bad. Either you got overzealous when they were on sale, or you just somehow missed one, it happens. You crack one open and come upon this sorry state. [Admittedly, this one isn’t that far gone, but you get much farther and all it’s good for is face masks.]

One of the saddest sights.

My go-to? The simple chocolate pudding. Today, since it’s cold as crap, I wanted something wintery, so I added a tiny dash of peppermint extract and it was deliiiiiiiicioooooooooous.

Let’s be honest, we may plate things up nicely for the cameras, but doesn’t everything eventually end up in old tofutti containers? Honesty for Pixley!

Chocolate Pudding


-1 ripe avocado
-1/4 c carob/chocolate powder [it’s fine using all carob, but I wouldn’t use all chocolate, you’re gonna need a lot more sweetener if you do. I like a 50/50 mix]
-1/4 c agave/maple syrup [maple tastes nicer, but it’s pretty expensive right now…]
-1/4 tsp peppermint extract

to do

1. Throw everything into a little food processor. Big one or a blender ain’t gonna cut it, you don’t have enough stuff. If you don’t have a wee little food processor, you can mash it up real good, but it’s not gonna be as smooth. I highly suggest you get a wee one, they’re totally useful when you just want a small amount of something.

2. Bleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeend!

3. Stick it in the fridge for a bit, at least an hour, so it can meld flavors better and firm up a bit.

crazy rich fancy pants rice krispie treats

It's Vegan MoFo, bitches!

I feel like something as basic as a Rice Krispie treat is something that is taken for granted in the non-vegan world. Sure, we can sometimes find a peanut butter one, but even the premade pb ones at Whole Foods have dairy in them. Meh. Trader Joes has a premade box of vegan rice krispie treats, but they are… underwhelming to say the least.

So, we end up making our own. And I just can’t stomach spending $5 on a bag of Dandies and kind of wasting them on something like rice krispie treats. I’d rather savor them in their whole form, in smores, or hot chocolate, rather than burying them.

So my standard recipe has become a version of this one at Namely Marly. Until last night, though, I had never bothered with the peanut butter cream cheese layer.

Holy crap, were these rich as hell. When I make baked goods, Mister usually eats quite a few of them. Last night, he had one. Hell, I could probably have been good with half a bar. Not that I would ever manage to stop at that, but… yeah.

I used brown rice syrup instead of corn syrup, did not add the optional cocoa powder, used 72% dark chocolate for the top, and sprinkled grey Celtic sea salt on the top. Lord. I took some into the studio this morning and all the omnivores said, “Oh my god…” the second it went in their mouths.

While not the richest thing I’ve ever made [that would be a double fudge cheesecake, in pregan times], it’s a close second. On regular occasions, I’ll probably leave out the pb cream cheese layer. And I’ll probably try them with almond butter sometime. But you should totally make them in full at least once.

fresh ginger ale

It's Vegan MoFo, bitches!

Vegan Mania was this weekend, and believe me, I stuffed myself full of delicious vegan food.

The thing I was most excited about, though? Ginger Ale.

I used to love Reeds Extra Premium Ginger Beer, but then it switched from sugar to honey sweetener, and that meant that we were no longer friends.

Lately, I’ve been crushing on Fentimans, which is pretty damn good, and has a hell of a kick. But sometimes I don’t want something that’s so strong it’ll take me a number of hours to drink it. So I was very pleased when they were sampling this Fresh Ginger Ginger Ale that I had seen but never gotten the chance to taste. It’s got the bite, but it’s not crazy strong, it’s just crisp and nice.

So yeah, if you can find this in your area and you want a ginger beer that isn’t as strong, I can highly suggest it! Plus, it’s just water, fresh ginger, and sugar! Yea for lack of weird additives!

leprechaun food

It's Vegan MoFo, bitches!

Vegan MoFo 2012 is upon us! I’m going to try really hard this year to hit the total number of posts, which I came a bit short of last year.

I have never been an oatmeal person. The mush-ness of it just wasn’t for me. But everyone and their mom was going on and on about overnight oats, so I decided to give that a try, thinking that the lack of cooking it might allow it to maintain some actual texture instead of becoming a pile of glop. The first try was not to my liking, but I remembered I had a bunch of applesauce I needed to use up, so I attempted more of an apple pie kind of taste, and it worked pretty well! The thing was, eating this, and a lunch, and a big green smoothie, and yogurt with fruit, plus whatever dinner I was going to eat…well, that was too much damn food for me. So! I had the wonderful thought of trying to get some of the smoothie goodness into the overnight oats. Turns out, adding a scoop of spirulina to the mix, while making it a crazy emerald color that is not terribly appetizing to the layman, totally didn’t affect the flavor in any way! And then I get my seaweedy goodness.

So. Before you look at this picture and go “Oh dear god, there’s no way I’m eating that,” I just have to ask you to trust me and try it once.

Also, I never measure this, I just throw stuff in until it looks right. I suggest you kind of do the same, adjusting to your liking.

Leprechaun Food
adapted from Oh She Glows


-about 1/4 c of rolled oats
-1 heaping tsp chia seeds
-1 heaping tsp of spirulina powder
-a few good dashes of cinnamon [I usually put around 1/2 tsp]
-a dash of salt
-4 good scoops of applesauce [probably 5-6 tbsp]
-almond milk [maybe about 1/2 c?]
-1 banana, sliced
-a little agave or maple syrup [omit if you are using sweetened almond milk]

to do

1. Mix together the oats, chia seeds, spirulina, cinnamon, and salt.

2. Plop in your applesauce, and then pour a bit of almond milk in, then stir very well. You don’t want spirulina getting stuck in the corners or blobs of it unincorporated. It is so much worse than when you get a ball of hot chocolate powder left, believe me.

3. Slice up your banana [I like to cut it lengthwise, and then slice it, so you have smaller bits], and add to the mix. Mush it in a bit.

4. You want the end mix to be a bit runny, so add more almond milk if you need it.

5. Add a bit of agave or maple syrup if it needs to be a bit sweeter. This can also be adjusted in the morning.

6. Seal it up, stick it in the fridge overnight, and grab it on your way to work!

creamsicle ice cream – take one

It's Vegan MoFo, bitches!

As mentioned previously, I got Mom’s unused ice cream maker while back in Iowa. So despite the fact that it’s getting quite chilly here, I have been wanting to make ice cream. And since I overloaded on sugar last weekend, I wanted to make one that wouldn’t require me adding a pantload of it.

So I was quite pleased when I remembered Hannah’s Purple Cow ice cream recipe. It’s so easy peasy, and no added sugar! But Trader Joe’s didn’t have any grape juice concentrate, and the one at Whole Foods was $5. Boo. But Trader Joe’s did have [organic] orange juice concentrate for $3, so of course, “Creamsicles!” busts into my head.

I mixed it up according to the Purple Cow recipe, and added a tablespoon of [bourbon] vanilla. Which might have been my first problem, as the stuff just would not freeze up in the machine. It was still just liquidy when the machine shut off after 45 minutes. So I poured it in a container and stuck it in the freezer, giving it a couple manual stirs while it froze overnight.

Got it out this morning, and while it wasn’t hard as a rock, it certainly wasn’t ice cream textured. It was more like a granita. But still good? Actually, it was a little…saturated? and off for me. Like the ratio of oj concentrate to almond milk was not right. But it certainly didn’t need any sugar, so that was nice. I’ll probably just end up mixing it in to smoothies rather than eating it plain.

I’ll keep working on it. I will get an awesome creamsicle ice cream recipe, I promise you that.