Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter


Friday, March 29, 2013

More Cemetery Photos

Large Celtic cross, by where we parked, kinda in the middle of this section of the cemetery from here we made it to the top and back down - I did not even fall or trip!, a flat Celtic cross marker, an interesting lighting bolt pattern with texture.

A few more photos from last Saturday's trip to Mountain View Cemetery in Oakland, CA. Again, I cannot wait to go back with Matt and explore the sections we did not get to last time. It is a really beautiful place and a great area to walk when the sun is out shinning with a nice breeze. Maybe a picnic is in order!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Eats Of The Week

Almond milk cappuccino from Timeless Roasters in Oakland.


Salad for lunch at Golden Lotus - random lunch since it was not our first option in Oakland. 

Dosa at Udupi  in Berkeley for dinner, I loved the coconut chutney but the service needed improvement.

Avo-Toast (Crazy Sexy Kitchen  - gift from a friend) with red pepper flakes on Judy's Breadstick bread - omg so good!

Taco night Tuesday, tempeh tacos from the I love Cooking With Trader  Joe's Vegetarian cookbook (my fave cookbook lately!). I topped them with avocado and Daiya shreds. Served with red rice and chili and lime spiked jicama.

What have you been eating?

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Stay At Home Girlfriend #4

 The newest issue of my zine is out: The Stay At Home Girlfriend #4 Please go pick up a copy today and get your fix of natural eczema cures, vegan (and many gluten free) recipes, doodles and more!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Mountain View Cemetery - Oakland, CA

Anchors away (Matt pointed this one out, I was to slow to catch on at first), a central crypt that had simple but cool structure and carvings, an interesting bench that looks a bit Victorian, the angel was way up on a crypt - if you look close you see a bird perched on her finger! I was like "ohh cool!!!".

These are just a few shots of Mountain View Cemetery (Oakland, CA) Matt and I took on our visit the other day. The cemetery is huge, it is like goth Disneyland. We saw two photo shoots going on, people walking their dogs, people reading...very peaceful and inspiring!

It was a beautiful day and I have more pics to share this week. I even took some video that I will try to post! I just wanted to get a few up without overwhelming anyone's feed! I want to explore more next time!

Friday, March 22, 2013

This Weeks Eats: Tex Mex & Peach Tofu

The Tex-Mex plate:
Chili lime rubbed tofu (Appetite For Reduction), black beans in a simple sauce (2 cans of rinsed & drained black beans, a dash of Mexican spice blend and a couple of shakes of hot sauce), red rice with lemon and salsa on the beans! Tasty, spicy but not crazy so and comforting!

East meets East sweet & savory plate:
Smoky peach  tofu (from Cooking With Trader Joe's Vegetarian - I love this book!), coconut water lime basmati rice (cook white basmati, replacing 1/2 of the cooking water with coconut water, juice of a lime and slices of lime floating on top (pick 'em out after cooking). I served pakoras from Trader Joe's on the side baked in the oven and toped with the sauce. Sweet and savory, comforting and tropical!

I love tofu, it is comforting and pretty cheap. I go for the super firm pressed stuff. That way no roll of paper towels goes down the drain and no extra prep. You can just use one paper towel to dry it off and cut and get busy with your dish. 
Rice is another cheap staple. I go for basmati, it has a texture and nuttiness that I enjoy. I buy my rice from Trader Joe's or go for something in the natural foods section. I check over my rice carefully because pantry moths are known to go for it in stores, especially in the bulk area. Icky right?


Monday, March 18, 2013

Open Faced Elvis

I was feelin' mighty sore yesterday - I think I have a pulled muscle in my shoulder or a bad nerve. I wanted comfort food - not only to heal my shoulder but to beat PMS cravings!

Enter the open faced Elvis: whole wheat toast, Earth Balance coconut peanut butter, a sliced banana, cacao nibs and a drizzle of that yummy vegan bacon syrup I posted about last week!

You might think this calls for a big mound of potato chips, not me! I did a super sized bowl of chocolate cereal with almond milk and more bananas. I also needed a bit of salt so I grabbed some sea salted almonds. Chocolate, nut butters and a touch of salt - that is how my PMS rolls!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Good Ol' Breakfast Sandwich

The breakfast sandwich: a fast food fave that is usually some sort of meat and egg combo...Well, I made my own tasty (if I do say so myself) vegan version for dinner a few nights back and we have a winner!

The Vegg kindly sent me a packet of their product to try out and I decided to bust it out for this. The Vegg is the first ever vegan egg yolk replacement and new on the scene, After reading what others were doing with it,  I wanted to try something simple. The package says to use a blender or a food processor - not to mix by hand. I read that this is to give you a smooth result. However since I was using a 1/2 teasppon and a bit of water my food processor would eat it up and it would just be a hassle. I whipped it by hand in a small bowl with a fork, not smooth but good enough. The smell hit me right away - very eggy, so much so I was kinda freaked out and had Matt smell it, he was like 'whatever'. After browning my crumbled tofu in some olive oil with a pinch of turmeric and other spices I mixed in The Vegg, right away it made my scramble get all gooey like scrambled eggs of past - something tofu just on its own cannot do. The Vegg is an interesting product to say the least! After a few minutes I sprinkled on some cheddar Daiya and pushed it off to the side to brown some vegan sausage patties all while toasting some English muffins. All the makings of an awesome breakfast sandwich right? Well, I followed Emril's advice and kicked it up a notch.

Enter VEGAN SWEAT (drum roll!!!)!!!!

2 parts maple agave to one part Toranni's bacon flavored syrup - which is vegan and kosher! Mix the two together and spread it on your English muffins or take a shot of it! It is so breakfast-y good. This idea came to me last week when I was watching some food/travel show taking place in San Francisco. They were at a bar and the cook was talking about vegan sweat a vegan maple-bacon product, I was curious, could not find it online and wanted to create my own! The next day I was in Cost Plus buying some hot sauce and tea, I saw the Toranni bacon syrup, Googled to see if it was vegan and it was, and my version of vegan sweat happened!

To assemble the sandwich you just coat each side of the English muffin with a bit (or a lot) of vegan sweat, place on a patty then top with the scramble. I served it with some rustic sliced potatoes I cut up and toasted with a bit of olive oil and sea salt. Eat and enjoy! If you have extra vegan sweat and vegan sausage patties try dipping the patty in the sweat and eating it - yummy!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Cheezey Pasta Bake & Garlic Bread

Last week I picked up I Love Trader Joe's Vegetarian Cook Book because the recipes looked great and each recipe had a vegan version. When I got home I spent some time with the book and decided to go for the Spaghetti and Meatballs Bake. However I did not pick up the vegan meatballs when I was in the store and made do with Tofurky Italian Sausage cut up into pieces. I tried the vegan mozzarella they started carrying for the first time, I have been hesitant to try it because besides Daiya, I really do not care for other cheese subs.I scaled the recipe down to a 8X8 baking dish from a 9X13 -  as always I cook for two (with a bit for Mar thrown in of course!) not a family.
With the pasta bake I made the garlic bread recipe featured in the new Everyday (with Rachele Ray) magazine, veganized of course. I used garlic powder instead of minced garlic because I had it on hand. This meal was a huge hit! Matt hates lasagna - I loved it growing up and missed it. Anything pasta-y is pure comfort food for me. So when I asked Matt if he wanted seconds as I was going for mine he said "yes - it is so good"...Mar even dug it but then again that cat loves pasta and pizza - well anything Italian. Mar is a real Meow-rio Catali! This pasta bake is easy to put together and reminds of lasagna but is friendly to those that hate it. The garlic bread was super good too, buttery and warm! We never really had garlic bread growing up, I remember seeing the plastic wrapped loaves in the frozen section but I was spoiled with grandma's fresh baked bread or a loaf from the bakery. Garlic bread is good!

The meal was around $12 for two people and a cat who love pasta, I used a fresh loaf of bread and the Tofurky - which made it under $10. Still budget friendly compared to going out to dinner.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Vegan Weekend Fun

It was a laid back, time changin' weekend around town! Complete with Matt getting an allergy shot, yum food, theater, meeting other veg folks, promoting and computer stress! Matt's computer is getting repaired so that means my zine is not going to be finished on my personal dead line. I print my hard copy on Matt's printer then go from there. It means I can fiddle with it more. Maybe make it a double issue at 40 pages!

I am part of the Veg News street team, I get to promote a magazine I really dig by carrying this cool new bag and handing out copies of the magazine. Last week in my promo pack I got to try the new Go Max Go Tumbs Up bar - ohh yes!  It was good!It reminded me so much of a Butterfinger!

Vegan fashion fact: the shoes I am sportin' are vegan sneakers that contain faux snake skin, faux suede and faux fur. With all of the Beyounce shoe drama lately I feel the need to wear my cool cruelty free kicks! They are by Akademiks and were really cheap with a bunch of mark downs! I know some people think wearing faux is wrong but I am all for faux. I think it comes down to showing people you can celebrate animals cruelty free and educate the clueless or ill informed. Saying racist things about a celebrity or calling her names will not change her mind or anyone's mind for the matter. 

In my Veg News bag I had my usual Target vegan food haul that I stock up on weekly (Rotel, Luna bars, snacks, chips) but I also picked up the new issue of Rachel Ray because it featured the vegan food truck Cinnamon Snail plus a recipe for their fig pancakes! Awesome seeing vegan food in a mainstream non-vegan magazine!

Camp 4 gave us a preview of a upcoming vegan sandwich on their new spring menu. It is a black bean hummus sandwich with black bean hummus, avocado, onion and a potato crisp (sorta like a thick slightly crisp waffle fry). Matt and I split the sandwich and salad (because Saturday is a sleep in day and we had a late lunch to begin with and would be eating dinner shortly). It was really good, fresh! I am glad they are offering something vegan on the menu and hope they will put another vegan option or two on it! Also I ordered a french press of coffee and they had two almond milks to choose from! Matt does not even like coffee but totally dug on my mug and insists we get a french press.

I am cooking up a lot of new food this week and can't wait to share! I hope your week gets off to a great start!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Happy 16th Birthday Mar!!!!

Mar turned 16 today! He woke up to a can of his favorite food, he loves it so much he sucked it down and proceded to barf it up minutes later. No worries, mama is going to go buy him another can once daddy is home from work. He opened gifts and played outside. It has been a nice sunny day and he enjoyed his outdoor sunshine break! I hope you enjoy the pictures I captured of him - he is often camera shy or camera grumpy, a mixture of both I assume!

Happy birthday and many more my to my wonderful companion, my baby, my best friend and furry soul mate!Everyone who knows you loves you!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Saying Thank You Contest! CLOSED

Ohh Girl Scouts, you tempting cookie sellers standing in front of the stores I frequent with your boxes of joy. I live in the ABC Cookie zone - 4 cookies are vegan, lucky me!

I have one box of the Thanks-A Lot cookies for one lucky reader! Yummy vegan cookies that give you a language and manner lesson in a tasty form - yes please!

I am a big believer in saying thank you! I do not like people who cannot say thank you. I want to thank you for reading my blog! Please comment below with something that you are thankful for - be it big or small, be it serious or goofy say what is on your mind. Easy huh? This contest is open to everyone. Let me know how to contact you. One winner will be picked on March 7th - the day of Mar's birthday - 16 years with my cat - yes I am thankful!