This blog is about living Vegan. It includes Vegan lifestyle, Vegan events, and anything else I find interesting.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Peanut Butter Cup Double Fudge Brownie Tiers

These are amazing: two fudgy brownies stacked high with the insides of peanut butter cups mixed with chocolate fudge. They are topped with peanut butter and white chocolate drizzle. Words can't describe how decadently rich they are. Of course, they're a Vegan Treats original creation.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

CNN Article: "Vegan Diet Reverses Diabetes Symptoms"

The article on CNN's website tells of a study showing that people who ate a Vegan Diet lost more weight and lowered their blood sugar more than people eating a 'Standard American Diet.' The participants said that the vegan diet was easier to follow because they did not need to count calories or restrict portion sizes. Apparently, they don't live near Vegan Treats!

Stack 'em High, Tough Guy

French Toast. The quintessential weekend morning meal. When I was a kid, my dad made French Toast or Pancakes every Saturday and Sunday morning, it was great! As an adult, my husband and I have always had irregular schedules and we weren't able to continue the tradition. However, last week, my husband's schedule changed and he now has off every Sunday: let the tradition begin!! Last week we had a Tofu Scrambler breakfast and this week I made French Toast. Let's just say that I'm lovin' it.

French Toast

1 loaf white bread (I use Italian)
2 Tbs unbleached flour
2 Tbs sugar (if you don't use white sugar, it won't 'brown' like regular French Toast)
2 Tbs sweetner (I use Splenda, but you can use Sugar in the Raw, Sucanat, Maple Syrup, whatever)
1 Tbs Nutritional Yeast
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp oil
Vanilla Soymilk (about 1 1/2 cups)

In a 2 or 4 cup glass measuring cup, combine flour, sugar, sweetner, Nutritional Yeast, and Cinnamon. Add soymilk until mixture reaches the 2-cup mark. Add vanilla and oil. Whip together with a wisk until smooth. In a flat bowl, pour 1/2 cup of the mixture to cover bottom of bowl. Dip bread one piece at a time, using a fork to flip. Completely coat both sides with mixture. Place dipped bread immediately onto hot, oiled skillet. Fry over medium heat approximately 2 minutes per side, until browned and crispy. Repeat with each slice until mixture is used up. Place cooked slices on lightly oiled cookie sheet and place in oven on "warm" (120 degrees) until ready to eat.
Top with Maple Syrup and Margarine.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Burgers to go with the Salad!

I fried up some Bocas to go with the potato salad. I wanted to spice them up a little so I sliced a fresh tomato on top and also fried a slice of Tofurkey turkey and added that to the fixings, too.

It's hard to see, but they were layed with delicious toppings! I tried to get some lettuce, but the grocery store was out of organic lettuce!

Overall, the meal was a big hit! Perfect for a quick meal on a ridiculously hot night.

Recipe: Potato Salad

Today we got some fresh organic potatoes from my dad's garden. We decided to use them to make some delicious potato salad to have with some burgers.

We used Veganaise with the purple lid (Grapeseed Oil). I really, really think that the Grapeseed Oil Mayo has a much better taste than even real mayo (my parents and my mother-in-law, all omnis agree!).

Anyway, it was a delicious dinner, here's the recipe:

Potato Salad

5 lbs potatoes, chopped and cooked
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 1/2 cups Veganaise
2 tsp salt
2 tsp celery seed
2 - 3 sprigs fresh parsley

Mix all ingredients, let cool in fridge for 1 - 2 hours before serving. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve.

As leftovers, I added some chopped fresh basil to the salad, it was delicious!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Welcome to Vegan Treats

Here's my friend Eric acting as the counter person at Vegan Treats. He thought that the White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake was called "Jam Cheesecake." As if that sounds appetizing!!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Restaurant Review: Red Bamboo (Appetizers)

Have you ever seen that Seinfeld episode where George and Jerry talk about making a meal out of appetizers? Well, we decided to make a lunch out of appetizers at Red Bamboo (Manhatten location).

These are the Crispy Salmon Rolls. They're fried spring rolls filled with veggies and "salmon." I really like them because the flavor is light and not very "fishy" tasting. I've always hated seafood and don't really like any mock seafood, but these rolls have a very mellow flavor. The ginger dipping sauce is good, too.

We actually went to Red Bamboo specifically to get these Buffalo Wings. The "wings" are fried and smothered in a very tasty BB-Q sauce. The sauce is sweet and tangy but not at all spicy. They also come with a Blue Cheese dipping sauce that is ridiculously good. I want to put it on everything I eat! If they bottled this sauce and sold it as salad dresssing I would put it on everything I ate!!

Like traditional wings, they are served with celery (the perfect vessel for finishing off the Blue Cheese sauce!!)

I realize now that this doesn't seem like much of a lunch, but we actually ordered 3 orders of wings to split between us!!

Red Bamboo
140 W 4th Street
(near Washington Square Park)
NYC 10014

Friday, July 21, 2006

Grown-Up Ramen Picture!

I finally remem- bered to take a picture of my Grown-Up Ramen before I ate it!

My mom gave me another edible flower bouquet so I've been using them as garnish and as flavoring agents.

(Notice the cool Chococat bowl)

My friend's sister-in-law is an interior designer and is expecting a baby girl this fall. She decorated her "nursery" using Sanrio characters, pink stripes, and polka dot window treatments. It's the cutest thing, not too cutesy (the polka dots actually have *gasp* black dots). It's really neat, I wish I had a picture of it.

Product Review: Coffee Pod Maker

I do not like coffee.

I just wanted to get that out there! I add a lot of sweetner and a lot of Silk to my cup of Joe, mostly to disguise the bitter taste of the coffee!

Since I don't really like coffee, I don't have a coffee pot in the house. However, my husband sometimes likes a cup of coffee and we often have over houseguests or dinnerguests who would like some coffee. I considered buying a coffee pot to satisfy the masses, but they're so big, ugly, bulky, and fragile I thought it would never work in our already cramped kitchen.

Enter the pods!

(Notice the small amount of space taken up and the fun orange color!)

Instead, I got a single cup coffee maker that uses coffee pods. It's perfect. I keep a selection of coffee pods available (I have a plethora of flavors, including decaf, hazlenut, dark roast, etc.) and I also have tea pods (though I think brewing tea is just as efficient). Anyway, the pods available at the grocery store certainly wouldn't impress a die-hard coff-a-holic and the critics (aka my dinnerguests) say that while the pods are definitely a step above the instant coffee I previously served, they're not fantastic.

I did some searching earlier today and found that there are now Organic, Fair Trade coffee pods! I'm going to order some of these and see if they have a more "gourmet" flavor.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Recipe: Pizza Burgers

This is Gian's creation for dinner tonight: Pizza Burgers.

Pizza Burgers

2 Burger Patties (Boca has a good flavor for this recipe)
4 thin slices of Vegan Rella (2 per burger)
2 Whole Wheat buns (Arnold's is good and hearty)
1 cup Pasta Sauce (we always use Belletieri's Marinara)
1/2 small can Tomato Paste
1/3 cup Morning Star Farm (or Boca) Burger Crumbles
2 tsp Italian Seasoning
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed

Sautee garlic until browned, add Burger Crumbles and continue to sautee until crumbles are browned (approximately 4 minutes). Stir in sauce, tomato paste, and Italian seasoning. Fry burger patty in nonstick skillet for 3 minutes each side until hot in center and "well-done" on outside. Top with cheese, cover, and cook for 2 additional minutes on low heat (to melt the cheese). Remove burgers and place on buns. Top with sauce. You could use Pizza Sauce instead of the Pasta Sauce mixture.

Recipe: Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Pasta

In wandering the pasta aisle today, looking for something easy to make for dinner, this packet of Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto caught my eye. I don't generally use packets like this unless I'm making gravy or dip but it sounded really good.

I had a huge bunch of fresh organic basil from my parents' garden waiting for me at home.

Of course I modifed the directions a bit.

Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Pasta

1 lb Penne Rigate Pasta
1 Packet Knorr's Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto (I'm sure you could find an organic brand with less processed ingredients)
1 1/4 c Boiling Water
2Tbs Margarine
1 large bunch fresh basil, chopped

Prepare pasta according to directions on box. Mix packet of pesto with Boiling Water and Margarine. Stir well. Toss pasta with Pesto sauce and chopped basil. Serve warm with Vegan Rella or Veggie Parm.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Product Review: Emer Gen C

A few months ago I had a big job interview and when I woke up in the morning I felt horrible. I chalked it up to nerves, but then took my temperature and discovered that, in fact, I had a fever of 103! Anyway, cancelling the interview was not an option so my sister gave me a couple packets of her boyfriend's Emer Gen C.

I took some Day-Quil, some non-asprin, and two packs of Emer Gen C. I didn't feel great, but it certainly got me through the day.

Since then I try to keep a box or two around for days when I feel especially cruddy (you know, emergencies!). Sometimes I take a packet with me to drink for lunch as a multi-vitamin. You just mix a packet with a glass of water - it fizzes lightly and has a sweet but not to sweet taste.

As you can see, it's packed with vitamins. It tastes pretty good, too. You can get it at pretty much any health food store or pharmacy (they even carry it at Wal-Mart).

Restaurant Review: Gobo (lunch)

We went to Gobo for some take-out lunch and got their veggie burger. It came in this super-cute quasi-bento style box.
The "burger" was wrapped for easy on-the-go-eating and came with a side of yam and yucca fries (though I only had one yucca fry in my portion). The yam fries are battered with a very light tempura-like batter and were perfectly crispy and not too heavy.
The burger came topped with avacado, salsa, mayo, and sprouts. The burger consistency was pretty good, a little mushy/soft but well done and crispy on the outside. It tasted like a bean-base was used for the burger and it contained chopped up vegggies. Overall, very flavorful. Of course I also got a bubble tea, but didn't picture it since I've already reviewed Gobo's bubble tea (yum, yum, yum!).

401 Avenue of the Americas,
New York, NY 10014
(between Wverly Place & 8th Street)

Monday, July 17, 2006

Recipe: Scalloped Potatoes

I was so excited to try these when they came out of the oven, I forgot to take a picture of the finished product!

Imagine the above photo but with browned edges and melted-looking insides!

Scalloped Potatoes

5 medium sized white potatoes, sliced thinly
3-4 Tbs margarine
1/3 cup soymilk
3 Tbs whole wheat flour
1 block VeganRella, grated (can be optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a medium-sized greased casserole dish, lay thinly sliced potoatoes and lightly sprinkle each layer with flour (about 1/2 Tbs per layer). Once dish is full, top off with soymilk and pat with margarine. If using VeganRella, sprinkle 1/4 cup shredded Rella per layer. Bake for 45-60 minutes, until potatoes are soft. Test 'doneness' with a cake tester or sharp knife - if tester slides into potatoes, they are done!

Restuarant Review: SuTao

I only remembered to take one picture at SuTao which is unfortunate because I ate about 6 plates of food! SuTao is an all-you-can-eat all vegan buffet-style restaurant. They have about 10 entrees, 2 soups, 2 huge salad bars with bean/rice/sea vegetable salads, desserts, sushi, fried rice, lo mein, and other assorted delights.

On my plate above: Sauteed String Beans, Treasure Island (a mixture of every fake meat), Sweet and Sour Meatballs, Lemon Chicken, Fish Sticks, Vegetable Tempura, and Sushi. Everything was amazingly delicious!

They also have fresh apples in sweetened condensed (soy)milk! Sweetened condensed milk on fruit is one of my all-time favorite childhood desserts and they have it!

Weekday dinner is $8/person and weekend dining is $11/person. What a deal!

SuTao Cafe
81 Lancaster Ave.
Malvern, PA

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Recipe: Grown-Up Ramen

I know that Ramen Noodles are the quintessential college-kid food, but I had a hankering for them recently. I wish I had a picture because when I make Ramen it looks delicious!

Grown-Up Ramen
1 pkg Top Ramen Oriental Flavor Noodles (blue package)
1/3 cup frozen corn
1/3 cup frozen peas
1/3 block tofu, cubed and steamed*

Bring 4 cups water to a boil. Stir in seasoning packet (or use your own soup broth cubes). Add frozen corn, peas, and tofu; simmer for 2 minutes. Add noodles, simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and serve.

*Using a vegetable steamer, steam cubes of tofu for 3-4 minutes.

Product Review: Subway Veggie Delight

My husband is away for the week and took my camera with him, so I'll have to post some non-photo blogs for a while...

That said, I was pleased to find out that the Subway Veggie Delight recently changed recipes to omit all animal ingredients, making the veggie patty vegan! They use Gardenburger brand patties, so perhaps when Gardenburgers became vegan Subway followed suite.

The photo above is from Subway's website, I would never order olives! Regardless, I love the Veggie Delight sans patty and now I love it even more with the patty.

There are a couple perks avaliable at Subway that make it (in my opinion) the most Vegan-friendly sandwich shop chain:

If veggies aren't fresh they will replace them without complaint
Toasted rolls
Original Sun Chips
and...Veggie Patty!

Monday, July 03, 2006

Product Review: PB&Co White Chocolate Wonderful

Peanut Butter & Co. is a small shop in Greenwich Village that distributes its specialty peanut butters throughout the country. I first tried their PB through Food Fight, but since have been able to get it at my local grocery store. It's even come down in price from $6 per jar to $2 per jar (yay!). They have a variety of flavors including a jalepeno flavor, a cinnamon flavor, and my favorite: White Chocolate Wonderful.

I like to eat it on rice cakes, in an Elvis sandwich (with banana), as an apple dip, and plain with a spoon! Look for it in your local grocery store and check it out - it's smooth and a little sweet (but not too sweet!) and is made with natural ingredients (no high fructose corn syrup). Yum!

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Say Nope...

There was a 1970-something A-Team style van parked beside me in the parking lot. The sticker on the bumper (which also looked to be from 1970-something) said, "Kids Say... No Hope in Dope."

I don't know why I found it so amusing, but I did.

Restaurant Review: Panda House

There's a new Japanese/ Chinese (their descrip- tion) restaur- ant near my parent's house. It's easily the best sushi I've ever had.
They have a large number of vegan dishes, including fried tofu, bean curd and vegetable soup, miso soup, assorted vegetable dishes, and lots of sushi choices.

Our favorites are Sweet Potato Tempura Rolls, Mixed Vegetable Rolls (with sea vegetables), Avacado Rolls, and Asparagus Rolls (all pictured above). The best part: each roll is only $3-$4 each. We rarely spend more than $25 for two of us including appetizers, entree, sushi, and tip!

Panda House
25th Street Shopping Center
Easton, PA

Product Review: Double Rainbow Soy Cream

If you live on the West Coast, you're probably already familiar with Double Rainbow Soy Cream, they carry it at most grocery stores. However, if you live on the East Coast, you might not be as familiar with it. Oddly enough, to my knowledge, the only place you can buy it is Wawa. Wawa is a regional chain of convenience stores (like 7-11, Circle K, Quick Chek, etc.) and is generally not at all vegan friendly. I think the only other vegan items at Wawa are Peanut Chews and Ketchup. All Wawas stock three flavors of Double Rainbow Soy Cream: Mint Chocolate Chip, Caramel Cinnamon Swirl, and Very Cherry Chocolate Chip.

The Mint Chocolate Chip is pictured above (with copious amounts of Smackin' Good Whipped Cream) and is Gian's favorite. It's the only mint chocolate chip ice cream (not chocolate chunk or chocolate swirl) and it's very good. The Caramel Cinnamon is my favorite. It tastes like horchata. The Very Cherry is also very good, but I tend to shy away from fruit and chocolate mixtures.