Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Bug's life

Speaking of bugs (re bee/honey post below) I have had a PLETHORA of bugs in my home this summer. I believe someone has sent out an open invitation to anything and everything to enter my house. I live in the basement, so it wasn't a surprise to me that I would find some visitors, but my goodness...

Here is one that I found beside my bed.. when I woke up I heard him flopping around. I guess Munch had flipped him over and he was trying to get back up.

I find a lot of these little guys.

Met this little dude after the last storm. My back yard is solid concrete, so I helped him out a bit getting closer to vegetation.

I have a lot more scary things in my house, but to be honest with you I really don't want their pictures on my blog! heh. I do have to go on record...no matter how scary...(and there have been some HUGE scary spiders, people!) they all leave my house alive! I have a bug catching jar that I scoup them up in and send them on their (hopefully) merry way!

What's your opinion...is honey vegan?

I recently read this article and was curious what other people thought. I'm a bit on the fence. I don't buy honey, but I don't avoid it at all costs. What do you think?

Is Honey Vegan?

Monday, July 23, 2012

Anne Hathaway as Catwoman

Anne Hathaway's vegan diet got her into the catwoman suit!



In honour of our fabulous Vancouver summer (a nonexistent one) I decided to post about something that will offer some comfort and maybe a smidgen of guilt.

I still watch what I eat in the winter, but it seems to lean toward comfort food and I feel I'm in a bit of a need today with this gloomy weather.

Homemade Vegan Nutella

1 1/2 cups Hazelnuts
1 tsp Vanilla
3/4 cup Powdered Sugar
1/4 cup Cocoa
3/4 tbsp Coconut Oil
2 tbsp Soy or Almond Milk

Grind hazelnuts until fine and powdery. Process for another minute or two. If your processor is strong enough, the hazelnuts will eventually turn creamy and smooth.

Add remaining ingredients and process until smooth and creamy again.

I put my nutella into an old jam jar, seal it tight and try not to go to the fridge every 10 minutes to steal a spoonful. Arg...soooo good.

The plastic cow

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Seeds of Freedom

Seeds of Freedom - Follow this link to watch on Vimeo

A landmark film narrated by Jeremy Irons. Find out more at seedsoffreedom.info
The story of seed has become one of loss, control, dependence and debt.
It’s been written by those who want to make vast profit from our food system, no matter what the true cost.
It’s time to change the story.

Vegan Bacon

Ok, I'm not too sure you can handle this. Do you think you can? Do you even remember what bacon tastes like? I don't.. but hey, this sounded too exciting to not try.

I found this on a few sites that have been taken down for some reason, but I also found it on Vegan Nosh, who also credits more people for passing it on. This is what I love about the vegan community! Passing on amazing recipes!

Dry stuff, part 1:
3/4 cup vital wheat gluten
1/4 cup soy or garbanzo flour
2 T nutritional yeast
2-3 t smoked paprika **
1-2 t garlic powder
1 t black pepper
** (I didn't have smoked paprika, so I added liquid smoke - worked out really well)

Wet stuff, part 1:
2/3 cup water
3 T soy sauce
2 T maple syrup
1 T tomato paste

Dry stuff, part 2:
1/4 cup plus 2 T vital wheat gluten
2 T soy or garbanzo flour
1-1/2 T nutritional yeast
1/2 t garlic
1/2 t salt

Wet stuff, part 2:
1/4 cup plus 2 T water
2 t canola oil

You’re making two batches of seitan. 'Part 1' is the red, bacony 'meat'. 'Part 2' is the white-ish streaky 'fat'.

Part 1: mix the dry stuff; mix the wet stuff; mix together. This dough is easy to work by hand.

Part 2: see Part 1, only do it in a different bowl. I had 4 bowls going at one point, you are probably more efficient than moi.

Divide the reddish, Part 1 dough into 3 pieces.

Divide the white-ish, Part 2 dough into 2 pieces.

Lay down a piece of plastic wrap. Put one piece of the Part 1 dough on it. Lay another piece of plastic wrap over the dough. Roll the dough out until it’s about 1/4″ high. You don’t need to worry about shape all that much. Put the rolled dough on a piece of sprayed foil.

Repeat the rolling process (steps 5-8) for the other pieces of dough and stack them on the first piece, obviously alternating the white and reddish parts. If they don’t stack perfectly, that’s good. If you get really anal and precise about this stuff, it’ll look like it was made by a machine.

Put a piece of plastic wrap on top of the stack of doughs. Rest a heavy book or something on the plastic wrap for 20 minutes or more. Wrap the slab of scarily realistic bacon in foil.

Bake at 325 degrees F for about 90 minutes.

Cool it, slice it thinly, eat it cold or heat it up. I have been frying it in my iron skillet and it is pretty yummy. I think my slices were a bit too thick, but it was still delicious! Keeps in the fridge up to roughly 10 days.

I just realized that I forgot to take pictures...which is UNLIKE me, so this one is from Vegan Nosh.

I promise I'll take pictures next time because there definitely will be a next time with this recipe!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Portland for the weekend!

A few friends and I went to Portland this past weekend to celebrate a friends stagette. We had a great time and we laughed our asses off.

I was pretty excited to go (besides to hang out with these chickitas) because Portland is VERY vegan friendly. Except for a temporary insanity breakdown of getting McDonald's fries..(ugh, why?!?!) I had some pretty amazing food.

The first stop was in Seattle. I can't remember the restaurant.. but it was a cute small bar-ish place that had a lot of meat options. I just called the waitress over and asked what I could eat and she told me that the soup of the day was vegan (Mushroom, kale and navy bean), so I had that and a house salad and some bread. It was lovely!

We got to Portland quite late, so we just crashed, but the next day we went to Jam Cafe and Arthouse on Hawthorne. It had some vegan breakfast options that were so yummy. I had the El Beardo, because..well, it had 'beard' in the title.

 Tofu scramble, hashbrowns and vegan marble rye toast with vegan butter. Noms.

This was our waiter. He was AWESOME. He picked up on our moods/attitudes and ran with it. Sarcasm full tilt. We asked him a  few questions and he said.."I'm not google, look it up yourself' (or something to that effect) so we aptly and affectionately called him "Google" from that point on.

After shopping for a bit we ducked into a pub and had hummus, pita and veggies. Oh and beeeeer.

The next stop was Voodoo Doughnuts. OMG yum. I forgot what doughnuts tasted like. Let's just say I'm in trouble. I'm going to be a 300 pound vegan pretty soon. Kind of defeats the purpose.

 The above is a 'Fruit cake' doughnut with flake coconut. I also got a 'Triple chocolate penetration' doughnut...um...ya don't ask, but it was gooooood. It had coco puffs on top. I wanted to get 'Cock and Balls' but they were all out...I wonder why.

nom nom nom.

 We found this while shopping. Tofu would totally win, yo.

I had to take a picture of this. WTF? Seriously lady.. I also love hanging dead corpses over my shoulder too. I have plenty of words for this, but I will spare you all.

 Dinner was at Pok Pok. It was AMAZING! I had the 'Khao Soi' (Curry noodle soup) and a 'Hunny' which is fresh squeezed grapefruit juice with lime, som honey drinking vinegar and tequila. Oh good god. I was really full.

After that we rolled ourselves over to Dig a Pony for tequila shots and mayhem. And by mayhem I mean sitting in a booth and being complete idiots by having moonwalk competitions and taking pictures of the worst duckface impression. Oh guys...too funny. I'm not going to share those pictures and embarrass my friends..because I actually don't own the camera they were taken on...DAMN!

The next day we got up a bit late and headed out. I had to pick up a few things that I need for Burning man, and one of my friends had to bring some art to a gallery in Seattle, so we ended up taking quite a while to get home. We ate left overs from Saturday mornings breakfast and for lunch we stopped at Green lake in Seattle and ate Burritos by the lake! GREAT WEEKEND!

Monday, July 2, 2012

BBQ Jackfruit

This is becoming more popular lately. It sounds like it has the potential to be amazing! I made my batch last week and it was good, but not spectacular. I would like to try it again though! I got this recipe from The Sexy Vegan. He's pretty funny.

2 15 oz cans young or green jackfruit in water or brine, drained, rinsed, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
pinch cayenne
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
a couple grinds pepper
2 teaspoons olive oil plus 2 teaspoons for the pot
1/2 yellow onion, quartered
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 1/2 cup vegetable stock
1 teaspoon vegan worcestershire
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
couple drops liquid smoke
6 ounces beer
1 cup barbecue sauce, heated
4 whole wheat hamburger buns, toasted

Heat a dutch oven or large pot to medium. In a medium sized mixing bowl toss together the jackfruit, salt, pepper, cumin, paprika, cayenne, brown sugar, and 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Add the remaining oil to the pot and add the jackfruit, onion and garlic. Let the jackfruit brown on one side 5 to 7 minutes then toss and let the other side brown an additional 5 to 7 minutes. Add the vegetable stock, worcestershire, vinegar, liquid smoke, and beer. Cover and simmer on medium for 90 minutes or until liquid is gone and the jackfruit is soft. Then break up the jackfruit with a wooden spoon.

Preheat your oven to 400 F. Spread the jackfruit out on a foiled and oiled sheet pan and bake it for 20 min. Next add 1/2 cup of the BBQ sauce, toss to coat, and bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes. or until some of the edges of the jackfruit get a little dried out and browned. Place the jackfruit in a mixing bowl and toss it with the remaining BBQ sauce.

The Sexy Vegan says it makes 4 sandwiches....I made about 6, but I guess it depends on how much you like in your sammie and what kind of bread/bun you use.

Here is his video on how to make it. The brother is kind of annoying, but hey.. he loves his meat (sigh)

Ch ch ch Changes

I have been meaning to address my new blog look, but every Sunday since I have changed it, I felt I didn't have time to or just forgot. And now with some exciting new life changes to go along with it, I thought I might mention it.

So, hey....what do you think?  Can you find everything ok? It actually took ME a while to find my way around, so who knows how you are doing! My original layout was going to be updated, so I took a quick gander at other layouts and I actually liked this one better. It seemed a bit cleaner, a bit more minimalistic. If you have been reading my blog for a while you know that I am completely in awe of the minimal lifestyle...but have yet to achieve it! (Will I, really? Let's be honest here)

The other change that is happening is that I recently quit my job to take another part time one. Still in the same industry, but only 4 days a week instead of 5. This is a BIG step for me as I will be working more on my photography on that extra day off. This means that I actually have to produce some stuff *sigh*! Big big changes. I think I'm ready!

This means I will actually have time to set up an area to take food pics too. I have been taking them hastily on my iphone instead of setting it up. Weeee! This could be fun guys!