June 2007

Going out to eat with people that don’t understand your lifestyle choices can be difficult. I will in no way act like I’ve been vegan or vegetarian for years or something–because that would be a lie–but I find it really frustrating to be hanging out with people and getting told I’m crazy for choosing to better my life and the lives of others by removing that stuff from my diet.

We went to a chinese restaurant and I went up with one one of my peoples and it kind of went like this:

“Oh! Coconut Shrimp! I love this so much!”

“I wouldn’t know. I don’t eat meat.”

“I couldn’t do that.”

That’s not so bad, right?

But being called crazy is. Yes. It’s not a sign of mental illness if you choose to remove animal products from your foods. Seriously. I’m sometimes so frustrated by that for even being all, “I’m vegetarian.”

This could be more coherent, but I’m exhausted. And need sleep. If you don’t understand what is being said, ask me again later and perhaps I could make it clearer.

*falls over*


“I went to a restaurant, and I saw a guy wearing a leather jacket, eating a hamburger, drinking a glass of milk. I said, “Dude, you are a cow. The metamorphosis is complete. Don’t fall asleep or I will tip you over.” ”
– Mitch Hedburg

I know that for a cooking blog I haven’t really had much to show, but I’ve been in Kentucky visiting a friend and I’ve been kind of adding a new dimension to my journal: my thoughts and other informative shit.

And I’d gone vegetarian in a step to ease into the veganism gig. I’ve felt passionately about it for a while and I have to admit that I took the scenic route. My first foray into vegan baking was a way to satisfy my sweet tooth while still being healthier with regards to things like cholesterol and such. I’d really fallen for the foods that I’d found on pages like, groups on Livejournal and The Post-Punk Kitchen.

But here’s the thing. Even as a vegetarian I don’t eat eggs, drink milk (actually, I haven’t for a while–I’m lactose intolerant), use vegan butter, and the only slight part of animal bits I consume would be from the baked goods that I buy… like bread. However, I can still find naturally vegan bread as well as other lovelies via Accidentally Vegan. So why not take that extra small step? Oh, and cheese, but I have soy cheese to cover for that one.

Christ, I mean, even my cookbooks are vegan! If I eat something that isn’t vegan, it’s because I changed it.

I mean, I avoided eggs even before I went to vegetarianism because of the fact that the cholesterol in them is at an astronomical level. It’s rather fucked up, folks. That and the industry for eggs is horrid.

So, I guess in the end, I will end up being all preachy but I don’t mean it to sound like that. I am sitting alone in my friend’s creepy house (And supposedly haunted but we won’t get into that. I will concede on creepy.) alone because her husband is having his graduation dinner since he is no longer a resident but a full-fledged doctor and when I’m alone I think. I am a thinker people, I’ll even do it when I’m supposed to be listening to what some one says, I’m a multi-tasker, yo.

Anyhow, I’m losing my point here. I’ve been pretty lucky as far as family goes and the reason is because my parents are supportive. Well, my mom is annoyingly supportive (she went vegetarian with me) and my dad doesn’t care either way. He pushes the losing weight bit far too much (I’m a chunky girl).

I’ve been chomping at the bit (I swear, it’s like the only colloquialism you’ll hear from me!) in anticipation of becoming a full-fledged member of vegan society. I’ve tried to be prudent about it because I’ve always been told it’s so difficult to go vegan. But here’s the thing, I’m a strict vegetarian as it is. So perhaps it’s time to take that plunge (Again with them! Ugh!).

Honestly, I may not even be able to eat cheese much longer since my lactose intolerance is actually getting stronger. So, I may as well give it up.

I don’t really wanna hear anything about health either. Especially when there are diets like the Atkins Diet. To go vegetarian, I had to start taking supplements and I’ve been healthier now than I’ve ever been as a meat-eater.

Okay, since I wanted to use my firefox browser to hold the links while I wrote and hand-coded it. Once again, I’m not trying to be elitist or anything and these are just the random thoughts that are rattling around in my head.

And, in the end, it’s healthier and a more ethical way to live.

Unfortunately, I’ll have to wait until I get back home to do so.

I know that I personally eat tofu and I hadn’t known anything about this. This link deals with the implications of eating “raw” tofu. It also addresses aceptic packaging as well. I am glad this was posted on the livejournal forums.

So, I unintentionally ended up making seitan. With the seasoning to be chicken! This came from La Dolce Vegan by Sarah Kramer! Another amazing recipe.

She also has a recipe for making your own vital wheat gluten. I suggest doing that because the box of vital wheat gluten doesn’t seem to be very big and it could get very costly… especially when you should have the materials if your food pantry is properly supplied. At any rate, I digress.

So, it wasn’t too hard to work the wheat gluten into the consistency you need to have it ready for the next phase. It’s actually got a really interesting feel. It’s kind of like one of those water tubes that you almost drop everytime you squeeze them because they have that oily liquid inside of them. It’s pretty nifty. I’m telling you. If you have a gluten intolerance, you’re missing out… like for real.

To cook them, you just simmer the pieces. I wish that Sarah had mentioned something about them getting explodo-huge. I freaked at first when I checked them because they grew to about 10-15 times bigger than they start out at but they start to shrink some as you let some steam out of the covered skillet. They don’t go back to the small cuts you’ve made, but they elongate and thin out (as with my experiences).

The concoction of herbs are used to simmer the “chicken” in until it’s cooked down. I think I’ll probably make the last run (which was the fourth ten minute interval of the recommended five or six) about half the normal interval time so that I don’t have them sticking to the skillet. Or perhaps there’s another way, I just don’t know how yet.

 This is the final product with breading that was simmered a bit in olive oil. The breading was some wheat pastry flour and blended total flakes. It is a nice, nice set-up man. The noodles, however, are from pasta roni and i will not be buying them anymore. This used to be a common noodle style in my family but this evening it nearly killed me. After changing my diet just three weeks, it seems to have been pretty much it for me.

Even as I’m writing this (noting how late it is) , my stomach is still upset with me. But not over the seitan, but the noodles.

For those of you who don’t know what empanadas are, they are basically meat or fruit pies that are fried. If I remember correctly, they are pretty popular in many South American Countries, but I know Argentina and Peru for sure. At any rate, however, they are quite lovely and I don’t know why they aren’t popular here in the States.

This is the pastry dough that I made. I found it out of the book Vegan Lunch Box by the uberneat Jennifer McCann of Vegan Lunch Box.  I actually did a 50/50 of all-purpose flour and wheat pastry flour. It works very well like this although I’m sure it’s fine with it 100% all-purpose flour. One thing I will suggest is to make sure the dough is moist enough. I do cook but it’s something that I’m still getting used to overall so I was starting to roll it out and had problems getting the amount she stated out of the dough. So, I had to go back and keep adding in water while kneeding it. Let me tell you, if you have more experience with pastry doughs, you’ll have no problems. I’m just obviously newer at it.

The next part after having finished the pastry dough was to add the meat to it and seal it. I didn’t have the taco spices like I should have *hangs head in shame* so I made do with just the plain ol’ crumbles from Morningstar which is 100% vegan for those of you that may be wondering about that. This is honestly the easiest part aside from letting it bake.

 This was my finished product. I had it in the oven a teensy bit longer than it needed to be, but it still wasn’t too bad. I love the pastry dough. It works really well. Edamame and corn (frozen not canned) work really well with this entree. I don’t even salt the side dishes and they still end up being wonderful.

Okay, so these are the amazing and delicous scones from Vegan with a Vengeance by the super lovely Isa Chandra Moskowitz. These scones are amazing fresh out of the oven and they are still pretty good when they’ve been out a couple days but I definitely favor them fresh from the oven. I made these a couple of weeks ago actually, but you know what? They were awesome enough that they had to be mentioned anyway.

I had to fudge with the recipe a bit to get the strawberry ones done because that fruit has to be cut up and everything before it can be put into the batter. I think if anything, I just needed to add more strawberries because I have very few that were still ripe/not overripe and so I made do with what I could find.

She does have a way to do fruits like blueberries but since I think they’re the devil or something, I obviously couldn’t do it. But I’m sure there are some of you who have this book and would be willing to vouch for the awesomeness!

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