Let them eat vegan!

For no other reason than “I wanted to,” I’ve adopted a vegan diet. I’ve been consuming less and less meat anyway… and I figured I may as well go 100% animal-free.

A few years ago, I gave vegetarianism a go and it didn’t turn out so well. (I binged on hard-boiled eggs one day. It wasn’t pretty.) However, I was young and dumb. I wasn’t yet living on my own so I didn’t do much of my own cooking. I just continued to eat the same foods only without the slab of meat on the side. Needless to say, I was lacking in protein (hence the egg-binging) and many vitamins. Things are different now: I cook every one of my meals (except the ones Alex cooks on the weekends when he visits) and I do all of my own grocery shopping. It was partially because of all the wasted groceries (mainly meats and dairies) that I decided to go vegan.

To aid me in my new culinary adventures, I sought out vegan cookbooks. The ones I ended up buying are by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero… and I love them to pieces. Every recipe I’ve made so far has been amazing! They’re appetizing even for those not following a vegan diet: pastas, risottos, sautéed veggies, sammiches, sauces, pancakes, French toast, ice creams … The list goes on and on!

Book cover: Veganomicon Book cover: Vegan with a Vengeance Book cover: Vegan Brunch

All of the recipes are seriously delicious. Here are some things I’ve already tried:

  • Banana-Nut Waffles (Veganomicon, pp. 75-76)
  • Israeli Couscous with Pistachios and Apricots (Veganomicon, p. 117)
  • Hot Sauce-Glazed Tempeh (Veganomicon, pp. 129-30)
  • Pineapple-Cashew-Quinoa Stir-Fry (Veganomicon, pp. 175-76)
  • Spiced Pita Crisps (Veganomicon, pp. 177-76)
  • Spaghetti and Beanballs (Veganomicon, pp. 189-190)
  • Classic Pesto (Vegan with a Vengeance, p. 132)
  • Sesame Scrambled Tofu and Greens with Yams (Vegan Brunch, p. 30)

…and I’ve only had the book for 5 days! I managed to take photos of some of the meals:

Israeli Couscous with Pistachios and Apricots (Veganomicon, p. 117)
with roasted veggies (Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, and red bell peppers)

Hot Sauce-Glazed Tempeh (Veganomicon, pp. 129-30)
with a baked sweet potato, sautéed kale, and fresh tomatoes

And this is what preparing one of these meals looks like:

Pineapple-Cashew-Quinoa Stir-Fry (Veganomicon, pp. 175-76)

Because I live in a tiny apartment in Brooklyn, I can’t compost all this biodegradable waste at home. But! The local farmers’ market collects food scraps! So I bought a 1.5-gallon compost pail that I’m hauling to the farmers’ market once a week.

…I’m such a hippie, biking to the farmers’ market to compost my vegan scraps. Oy.

Recipe: Swamp Thing

This is a very simple but delicious recipe that Alex concocted that yielded about 32oz of a sweet-sour-salty juice that he calls:

Swamp Thing
½ pineapple
1 Granny Smith apple
3 sticks celery

Throw all the ingredients into a juicer and go. It’s light and refreshing. I highly recommend it!

I’ve been here so long, I think that it’s time to move

Yesterday, I tried to make a loaf of banana nut bread.  It didn’t turn out so well.  (I ended up throwing out the ceramic dish along with the half-baked batter… because I dropped it and it shattered. D’oh.)  So I decided to prove to myself that I am not a completely incompetent baker so I made these muffins today.  Because I had a surplus of Macintosh apples (I bought a 3-lb bag at the supermarket for cheap) and some leftover cranberries, I hunted down a recipe for apple-cranberry muffins.  All I was able to find was a recipe for Autumn Muffins so I altered it to include only those ingredients I had on hand:

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 ¼ cups milk
  • 1 cup chopped cranberries
  • 1 cup chopped, peeled apple
  • ¾ cup chopped walnuts

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Grease muffin pans or line with paper muffin liners.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the brown sugar, white sugar, flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger.
  3. Make a well in the center of the dry mixture. Add the applesauce, melted butter, milk, and eggs. Mix until smooth. Stir in the cranberries, apple, and nuts.
  4. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin pans. Cups should be at least ¾ full.
  5. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven or until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean.

Yield
18 muffins

Enjoy!