Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Muffins, Soup, and a Cute Andydoodle

I made Triple-Berry Muffins with Crumb Topping the other day. Recipe was mostly based on Blueberry Muffins with Crumb Topping recipe from Vegweb. I don't have a large muffin tin (and wanted big muffins), so I used my popover pan and as you can see, the resulting muffins weren't able to stand up on their own. Oh well! They were gooood.

Tonight I made a tres yummy soup.

Creamy Cauliflower, Potato, and Roasted Garlic Soup
(topped with sundried tomatoes, sauteed oyster mushrooms, and garlic rosemary-infused olive oil)
makes 5-6 servings

1 head garlic
2 tbsp Earth Balance
2 tbsp flour
6 cups unsweetened soy milk
2 Russet potatoes, cubed
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1-2 tbsp onion powder
1 package oyster mushrooms
1 clove garlic
more evoo
lemon wedges
sundried tomatoes, cut into thin strips
salt and pepper to taste

1. Pull off as much skin on the garlic head as possible. Put in an oven-safe container and cover generously with oil. Bake for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees. (Or speed up the process and pull apart the cloves, leaving the skin on. Cover in oil and back for about 10 minutes.)
2. Melt the Earth Balance in a pan over medium-low heat. Whisk in flour and then the soy milk.
3. Add the potatoes and cauliflower and cook until soft.
4. Peel the garlic cloves and add to the soup pot. Add the rosemary and onion powder.
5. Saute the mushrooms in a pan in a little olive oil. Set aside in a bowl.
6. Crush a clove of garlic and add to 2 tbsp olive oil in the small pan used for the mushrooms. Cook on the lowest eat possible for ten minutes.
7. Blend the soup, either with an immersion blender, or in batches (after cooled) in a regular blender.
8. Add salt, pepper, and lemon juice to taste. Top with sauteed mushrooms and infused oil.

Also, cute pictures of Anderson.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Sushi Night!

DocDufresne came home yesterday evening to find me rolling up the last of the veggie sushi I was preparing for dinner. "Noo!! I wanted to make sushi!" he cried. He agreed to make a pot of oolong instead. Andy was happy to eat the unseemly ends.

Our sushi contained left over buffalo tempeh from Tuesday's dinner, avocado, carrot, cucumber, and boiled yam. I made a spicy mayo for dipping.

A Walk Through Woodlands

DocDufresne and I spent a little while walking around West Philly recently. We visited Woodlands cemetery, which is near Doc's old apartment. It's a lovely place to walk around.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Vegan Drinks Philly

DocDufresne and I went to the second ever Vegan Drinks Philly event this evening. The event was at Horizons, a gourmet vegan restaurant downtown. I forgot my camera. We met some very nice people and saw quite a few familiar faces. I hope I'll be enjoying some scrumptious vegan truffles sometimes soon as a result! (And I plan on trying a new chocolate/cherry idea I heard about tonight. Thanks!) I donated a painting for the event. Money went to a local sanctuary, Chenoa Manor, as well as the Humane League of Philadelphia. During the raffle, I was referred to as "Stephanie, a local vegan artist." Oh well. Anonymity may work in my favor in this case.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Spring is almost here

The trees are budding, the weather is getting warmer, and there are more and more people outside. Fortunately DocDufresne and I were able to do a bit more than our taxes this weekend.

We took a trip to the park with Andy and I managed to do some cooking. Then there was the usual grocery shopping run. Sometimes I feel like we're not in our twenties!

My mom sent us two tins of Hamentashen, a traditional Jewish triangular sugar cookie-type dessert filled with fruit preserves. She made them vegan (even foregoing fillings that had "natural flavors"! Jealous?

On Thursday I made "meatloaf" and sweet/white potato wedges for dinner. DocDufresne really liked the "meatloaf." (Now I'm trying to remember what I put in it!)

"Meatloaf" ingredients:
1/4 onion, diced
2 slices of toast, crumbled
1 package Gimme Lean "beef" or "sausage"
1/4 cup ketchup
pinch of cinnamon
1 tbsp molasses
1/8 cup unsweetened soymilk
1/8 cup vegetable oil

1. Sautee the onions in a pan with a little oil until translucent. Transfer to a mixing bowl and add toast and "meat."

2. Mix ketchup, cinnamon, molasses, soymilk, and oil in another bowl.

3. Reserve 1/8 cup of the sauce. Pour the rest in the mixing bowl with the other ingredients and mix with your hands until well incorporated.

4. Transfer the mixture to a lightly greased pan. (I used a large glass cakepan, molded the mixture into a loaf on one side, and added seasoned potato wedges to the rest of the pan.) Top with the reserved sauce.

5. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until the loaf has a nicely browned crust. Serve hot!

Hodgepodge Dinner
The main course on Saturday night was a tofu hash that was quite tasty!

Tofu Hash ingredients:
3 medium-sized white potatoes, diced
1/4 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1 package extra-firm tofu, drained and crumbled
1 tbsp turmeric
1/2 tsp dried parsley
A couple of dashes of soy sauce
1/2 tsp onion powder
3-4 tbsp nutritional yeast
salt/pepper to taste
hot sauce (Crystal is the best!)
Cheesey sauce, optional

1. In a large skillet, saute potatoes, onion and garlic with some oil until soft and browned. Add the tofu.

2. Mix in the spices/herbs, soy sauce, and nutritional yeast. Stir until well incorporated. Continue to saute until tofu is browned.

3. Serve hot with hot sauce and/or cheesey sauce.

Andy made a new friend at the park on Saturday!

DocDufresne made a stir fry for dinner tonight, but wasn't motivated to take pictures of it before we scarfed it down!

Friday, March 13, 2009

What are your favorite vegan products- food or otherwise?

Hey all! (As this is a new blog and I only have one official follower, I don't know who you "all" are!)

Please post your favorite vegan products and your reasons for loving them. Don't forget to provide links if possible.

I'll start:

1. Follow Your Heart Vegan Gourmet Cheddar Flavor "cheese" is so wonderful. My favorite way to use it is in mac and cheese. While the pasta is boiling, I chop the VG and add it to another pan with some nutritional yeast and unsweetened soymilk. Then, once the pasta's done and the cheese is melted, I drain the pasta and mix in the cheesey mixture. Sometimes I top it with a toasted panko/garlic/evoo/basil mixture and Voila! You have to eat it quickly though, because the "cheese" gets congealed as it cools. This has become such a staple at our house. (Grapeseed FYH Vegenaise is also quite wonderful.)

2. Earth Balance buttery spread.

3. Whole Soy Frozen Yogurt- Swiss Dark Chocolate Flavor. Oh my goodness, I miss this stuff. For whatever reason my local Whole Foods doesn't carry this. They carry Whole Soy Yogurt, just not the frozen kind and I've asked them about it several times. It's so spectacular though.

4. Baking Soda!! (You read right.) Thanks to a few friends, I have realized that baking soda is more than a baking ingredient or household cleaner and deodorizer. I now make a paste with baking soda and water and use this as the most awesome deodorant (and I think antiperspirant too) even. I promise. Thanks, Ninabobina and Sx2!

5. My new favorite: Duross and Langel (a local veg*n company) Ocean scented deodorant. I use the technique explained above and apply the deodorant to provide lovely whiffs of the delightful fragrance all day. So nice.

6. Trader Joe's soaps are all cruelty-free and superbly-scented. I'm a big soap fanatic.

7. Just about anything made my Method. I loooved the detergent that came in a green bottle (water lilly and aloe), but they discontinued it. I'm always concerned about this happening to my favorite products! I really like their lavender and cucumber/melon scented all-purpose cleaners, their almond-scented wood cleaner, and their laundry detergents. Their reformulated dishwasher tablets work well too! I wish more of their products were available at my local Target/Whole Foods.

Your turn!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Peanut Butter Cookies

Cookie recipe from Sinfully Vegan
Nonpareils from Trader Joe's (stick 'em on about 3/4 of the way through the bake time)

Sunday, March 8, 2009


Chimichangas for dinner tonight. These and all other chimis I make were inspired by my friend C. Yum :)

1 can refried beans (I used black)
6 tortillas
vegetable oil
small can of enchilada sauce
other toppings of your choice
1 package Follow Your Heart/ Vegan Gourmet mozzarella flavor
~3 tbsp nutritional yeast
~1/2 cup unsweeted soy milk

1. Prepare chimis by spreading 1/6 of the refried beans in line-shape in the center of a tortilla. Fold in the two ends on either end of the horizontal line about 1/2 an inch on either side, using refried beans as glue. Then fold in one of the large flaps, covering the bean line. Apply a little more bean "glue" on the outside of this flap so that you can fold in the last flap and it will stay in place. Repeat with the next 5.

2. Heat a pan to medium heat and add a couple of tablespoons of oil. Place as many chimis in the pan as you can fit. Cook until browned and then flip.

3. While your chimis are cooking, cut the Follow Your Heart into small cubes and melt in a small saucepan. Add the nutritional yeast and soymilk. Stir frequently until very smooth.

4. When the chimis are done cooking, top with enchilada sauce, "cheese" mixture, salsa, and other toppings.

(Mostly) Recent Art


Tulips from the 2009 PHS Flower Show





Earth Laughs in Flowers

(Ralph Waldo Emerson)

DocDufresne and I went to the Horticultural Society's Flower Show today. On the way we stopped at a soap shop featured in the latest issue of VegNews magazine. The author of the article is actually the local (much more experienced) vegan blogger of the UrbanVegan.

Duross and Langel is a lovely soap/bodycare/candle shop with a ton of great vegan stuff to smell. Soap-obsessed individuals like I could spend hours in olfactory heaven. I spoke with Steve Duross for a while about the ingredients used in their products and learned some valuable information from him. Silk protein is actually not necessarily from silk worms. It can be from the silk of corn or other substances. It requires a bit more research, but at least there are more vegan products out there than I knew about!

Some plants that really don't look like plants. DocDufresne took some of the photos.

Other shots from the Flower Show:

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Dinner at Vientiane

DocDufresne and I went to one of our favorite restaurants in Philadelphia, Vientiane. It's a small Laotian restaurant with a nice atmosphere, beautiful presentation, and great service. The food is also outstanding. They give you a complimentary fruit bowl (made from half an orange) and candies with your bill. The romantic, candle-lit setting makes taking photos of the food difficult, sorry!

We ordered:

-Fresh Spring Rolls w/ plum sauce and sweet peanut sauce
-Tom Yum soup with tofu
-Yum Salad with tofu
-Pad Thai
-Veggie Fried Rice

And to go:
-Thai iced tea (They were out of soymilk so I opted to take this to go and add my own at home.)
-Rice pudding (You get to keep the four teeny ceramic bowls they come in!)

Everything was delicious as usual.