It’s Not Easy Being Green

Maybe Kermit wasn’t referring to veganism, but it’s just as true for vegans as it is for frogs. The majority of the restaurant world heavily depends on diets of dairy, eggs, and meat, so unless you’re willing to cook for yourself, veganism is tough.

 

But it’s well worth it. In just over a month, I not only branched out and tried new dishes at a few vegan-friendly Asian and Indian restaurants, but I also prepared foods like tempeh and seitan that I’d never even seen before in grocery stores. And I even baked an elaborate four-layer, fondant-covered vegan birthday cake!   Continue reading.

July 20, 2011. Tags: , , , . Have a Heart. 2 comments.

Tofu for Tummy Aches

Guidebooks to France unanimously agree that it’s difficult to be a vegetarian in the country, and after 9 days, I will definitely vouch for that. Their idea of “vegetarian” consists of stuffing you full of fish, scallops, and other seafood. So being vegan is absolutely impossible (unless you only eat baguettes).

 

But before I rant and rave about the food in France, I have something to confess…   Continue reading for recipe.

July 16, 2011. Tags: , , , , , . Have a Heart. Leave a comment.

Sweet Celebrations

This past weekend was full of celebrations. Three, to be exact.

 

My birthday.

Don’t bother asking how old I am—a lady never reveals her age, after all!—but a huge thank you to everyone who forced me to change out of my pj’s and actually celebrate. I had the most wonderful time eating dinner, watching baseball, and hanging out with some truly sweet and special people.

 

Being vegan.

I originally challenged myself to try it for a month. For those of you paying close attention, that month actually ended over a week ago! But since it really hasn’t been all that hard and I enjoyed learning how to prepare new foods, I decided to continue being vegan for a little bit longer. Which gives me even more opportunities to surprise friends with tasty vegan treats!

 

My first fondant fiasco.

I wanted a birthday cake. But being vegan, I couldn’t go to the store like a normal person and buy one. And seeing as a large fraction of my friends and family avoid the kitchen like the plague, I wasn’t about to depend on any of them to make me one. Coupled with the fact that I’m absolutely in love with baking, I decided to spend a good chunk of my birthday weekend making myself a cake.

 

But not just any cake. A four layer, fruit-filled, fondant-covered cake. The first two parts were easy. Bake two cake rounds and cut them in half, dice some fruit, mix up a bowl of frosting, and throw it all together. Then came the fondant.   Continue reading for recipe.

June 28, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Have a Heart. 8 comments.

Love Triangle

Ever been in one? I stumbled across a doozy of a love triangle in my kitchen the other night, but far from being awkward, this one had a very delicious ending.

 

Three beans sat socializing and swimming on my stovetop. Long and lanky, the green bean lusted after the foreign and exotic soy bean. But he wasn’t the only one; the squat yet hardy lima bean shared the same amorous feelings. Since both beans looked so appetizing, the poor little soy bean just couldn’t make up her mind.   Continue reading for recipe.

June 23, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , . Have a Heart. 2 comments.

Desert Inspirations

I recently talked with a friend about Arizona culture. While he’s convinced it only consists of prickly cacti, I grew up ogling at the colorful red dirt landscape and beautiful adobe houses. (I’m positive I’m the only person who ever looked like a tourist in a perfectly ordinary suburban neighborhood. The Arizonans are probably still laughing at me.)

 

Those childhood summer vacations to visit my grandparents were definitely memorable. Although stepping outside felt like entering an industrial-sized oven turned all the way up to “broil,” walking to the local Mexican restaurants was worth the heat. They teased me with their delicious southwestern flavors, using ingredients I’m still too timid to handle.   Continue reading for recipe.

June 20, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , . Have a Heart. Leave a comment.

Cupcake Confession

I’m obsessed. It started with my discovery of “Cupcake Wars” on Hulu, then quickly progressed to countless hours of Googling photos and recipes of creative cupcakes. Because those searches had me drooling more than a newborn baby, I just had to try my hand at baking a batch of one (or five) of the different cupcakes I saw.   Continue reading for recipe.

June 14, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , . Have a Heart. 2 comments.

“Sorry, We Don’t Serve Vegans”

Certain restaurants might as well hang this flashy neon sign in their windows. Not a single vegan option exists on their menus. Although some kitchens are willing to take special orders, others can only serve me a cool glass of ice water. Which places are the top offenders?   Continue reading for recipe.

June 12, 2011. Tags: , , , , , . Have a Heart. 4 comments.

Mission: Complete

Most people spend their lives searching for the perfect soul mate, the perfect vacation location, or even the perfect tan. But my pursuit is so much more significant, and even more satisfying. What is it, you might ask? The perfect brownie.   Continue reading for recipe.

June 8, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , . Have a Heart. 8 comments.

Tackling Tofu

The rain brings out my creative cooking juices. I refuse to get drenched by walking to the grocery store, so I’m stuck making meals with whatever is sitting in the fridge or pantry. It normally comes down to either (a) strange pairings like lentils and salsa or (b) cooking whatever is about to mold. Even though my lentil-and-salsa bowl didn’t taste half bad, I thought that it was time to stop treating the big block of tofu in my fridge like an elephant in the parlor and make my first vegan tofu dish.   Continue reading for recipe.

June 6, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , . Have a Heart. 2 comments.

“Saucy” Child Phase: The Sequel

I was about the weirdest kid when spaghetti night rolled around. First, I went through a stage where I only ate the noodles. Mom begged me to eat the sauce, but all I wanted was a big pile of noodles completely showered with Kraft parmesan cheese. (Real fancy, I know.)   Continue reading for recipe.

June 2, 2011. Tags: , , , , , . Have a Heart. 2 comments.

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