Sunday, August 30, 2009


I usually don't make brunches, but after going to the Farmer's Market, the urge just hit me. The next morning I was going to be going to a friends house, which was great, since I don't like making big fancy meals for just one or two people. I talked to my friends, looked up recipes, et cetera, and figured out the menu. I was making blueberry pancakes, breakfast sausages, mini quiches, and raspberry muffins (from the cookbook "Just Like My Mother Used To Bake", sorry, no sharing.)
I tried to do as much as possible the day before, since I really hate getting up early, so I mixed the dry ingredients for the pancakes to make a pancake mix, and put it in a bag and wrote the wet ingredients I needed to add. Then I made the breakfast sausages, made the quiche batter, and made the muffins.
Then the next morning when I got to their house, I baked the quiches, made the pancake batter, cooked the pancakes, and pan-fried the sausages. Then I made some tea, and we had brunch, it was just four of us, but it was still very tasty.

I made a few changes in the recipes, the original muffin recipe called for blueberries, but my friend and I agreed, that raspberry was better. The sausages were a little soggy on the outside, maybe I just didn't wrap them well enough or something, so that's why I fried them in the pan, that and to heat them up, but it worked out great, even if my sausages were not soggy, I think it gave them a more sausage-like texture. Other than veganizing the pancake recipe, I think I kept it the same, and for the quiches I subbed my maitake mushrooms for the button mushrooms, and added some chard and zucchini.

Everything was amazing, I should make brunches more often. And sorry, no photos.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Farmer's Market

I always like going to the Wednesday Farmer's Market, but we rarely do, but this week, we did! We got so many tasty things.

Here's what we got: a mini watermelon, some broccoli, beets, basil, green onions, wild maitake mushrooms, peppers (green, orange, and purple!), blueberries, raspberries, and cherry tomatoes. (Yellow, orange, and red)

Here is the maitake mushroom, I've never had it before but they gave me a sample, and it was sooo good. I had to get it even though they were expensive. ($6 for both of the ones in the photo) But I think they're worth it.

Here are the cherry tomatoes, they didn't last long. We were eating them by the handful.

And here's what we did with all that:
We just ate the watermelon and tomatoes as is, the broccoli went in a stir fry, the beets got roasted in the oven, the basil was turned into pesto, green onions went over pasta, maitake mushrooms went into a brunch I made (more about that in another post) The peppers were in stir frys, on pizza, and in the brunch, and the berries also in the brunch.
They were all wonderful.

Bagel sandwich

Keepin' it simple. Everything bagel, with mustard and Vegannaise, some veggie meat, tomato, and avocado.

Garden goodies

So, while at the Star Party, my garden decided to produce as much as possible, so I got lots of goodies when I got home. And here they are!

On the right there are four zucchinis, two large, two regular sized. One yellow squash, and in the middle there's some chard, and a single pea pod. On the left there's a bowl of strawberries, under that a few teeny tiny strawberries, and some raspberries. Then two tiny hot peppers, some lettuce, chives, and two green beans. ALL from the garden. They were busy. 

Close-up on the strawberry bowl.

The mini strawberries and the raspberries.

Strawberry-peach smoothie

Here's a nice strawberry-peach smoothie.
And here's an actual recipe!

-2 smallish peaches (Preferably hand-picked)
-2-3 chard leaves (Or more if you'd like!)
-Frozen strawberries

Peel and pit the peaches and put them in the blender, add the chard, and blend until there aren't any big leave pieces left. Then add a bunch of strawberries until you get to the two cup mark, blend it up until no chunks remain, serve and enjoy! Makes 2 cups, (16 oz) serves one.

Fancy meal

This is actually from a few weeks ago... But whatever, it's still just as post-worthy. I really need to get good at posting things when they happen, rather than weeks afterwards.

Up there at the top is some lemon baked tofu, with a nice lemony sauce. Then there's some quinoa, and some sauteed greens. I believe it's chard and spinach.
I thought it was very pretty. And it looks like a fancy meal. :)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Oregon Star Party

On Thursday, I went to the Oregon Star Party, which is why I haven't posted in a while. That, and laziness.

What it is, is basically a ton of people come to this place, in the middle of nowhere, in the desert. (Sounds appealing, right?) And then they all camp there, usually in campers, or RVs, or something. The surrounding area is not at all pretty. All there is is dust, rocks, and sad looking sage brush. And then past that is, sort of a forest. Sort of. There was a forest fire several years ago, so it's mostly burned down tree, or at least charred trees, with a couple flowers usually seen as weeds.
Now, why would anyone want to be in the middle of nowhere, in such an ugly place? Well, because they like the stars. A whole lot. There, because there are no city lights, street lights, or anything, and there is also a rule about no lights after dark (unless they're red lights) people have really good night vision, and can see TONS of stars, and the milky way.
Everyone brings their telescopes, and it's very beautiful, even with the naked eye.
During the daytime, there are seminars and activities, which in my opinion, are incredibly boring, but considering the fact that there are usually a bunch of people at them, they must not be boring to everyone.
There are also some things at night, where someone will point out certain stars, constelations and such, and talk about them. Which are nice at first, but then they get a bit dull.
There's a swap meet on Fridays, where people come and sell their stuff, usually telescope equipment. And then there's a shower truck, a coffee stall, and a snack stall, which usually has snowcones, but they didn't bring the snowcone machine this year. Then there are several other little tents and trucks with telescope equipment and the like.
The coffee stall has a couple vegan options, there's the soymilk option for fifty cents extra., and smoothies. However, the smoothies aren't great, it's one of those "Smoothies" where it's just crushed ice and an overly sweet fruit flavored syrup, not to mention the five dollars it costs for a 16 oz, and the$5.50 for the 24 oz. Geeze.

Right, on to the food. I got to be in charge of planning, prepping, shopping, and cooking the food. Which is fine with me, I enjoy planning for some reason. To make cooking in the tiny little kitchen thing easier, I chopped up all of the vegetables for the meals and put them in bags before we left, mixed up all the dry ingredients for the pancakes, and pre-made the breakfast burritos. The first day, before we left, I made the breakfast burritos for everyone.  On the car ride, we had snacks. Chips, almonds, fruit, et cetera. After we got there and unpacked we had some yakisoba for dinner. The next morning, we had hash browns, and sauteed vegetables, with sliced avocado and salsa.  Then for lunch we had dumplings from the Asian market with soy sauce. For dinner, we had minestrone soup with bread. For breakfast, we had these pancakes. (With soymilk replacing the milk, margarine replacing the butter, and 2 T water+1 T oil+2 tsp baking powder for the egg) I double batched it, and it made just enough for six people. They were REALLY good, they were filling, and somehow dense and fluffy at the same time. I made several different kinds, chocolate chip, strawberry, and blueberry, and all combinations. Some of us had maple syrup with our pancakes, others had crushed pineapple, which was great. That will definitely be the recipe I use from now on. For lunch we had hoagie sandwiches, with mustard, Vegennaise, tomato, avocado, and veggie meat. Mmm. Then for dinner we had lemony quinoa-vegetable soup. For the next breakfast we had breakfast burritos again, ate the last of the peaches, and headed home. 

Sorry, no photos. I brought my camera, but my batteries were dead. XP
So if any of you are astronomers, or just really like stars, maybe you'd like to go to the Star Party next year.

Wow, sorry for the huge post.

Garden goodies

Yum, nice big cucumber, tomato, and lettuce from the garden. I used them all for the raw Mexican dinner in the last post. The lettuce for the salad, the tomato for the pico de galo, and the cucumber for the "chips".

Some other things from the garden, this was a few days after. Three yellow squash, couple handfulls of strawberries, and some tiny red peppers. A friend gave us two pepper plants, this was from one of them. I was so careful about touching the peppers, because when you have really hot peppers, even just holding them will sometimes make your hands burn, and you can't wash it off. But it turned out, she gave us a really spicy pepper plant, and a tiny bell pepper plant. Turned out this one was the bell pepper plant. She said they're good in stir frys, but I just ate them as is since there weren't that many of them..

Raw tacos to live for!

First, sorry about the lack of posts recently. I'll explain why in a couple posts.

So,  the other day my friend sent me a recipe for raw tacos (recipe below), I thought it sounded great. And every Thursday, she and I, and a few of my other friends go to a friend's house. And about half of the time, I make dinner. So my friend and I decided to make some raw Mexican food for dinner this week, so we made raw tacos, a sort of Mexican salad, and some cucumber "chips" (Thick slices of garden cucumber) with homemade salsa.
It was very tasty, the tacos definitely got eaten the most, the salad hardly touched, and only a little of the salsa gone, until the tacos were gone, then most of the salsa got eaten. I really liked the tacos, and will definitely be making them again.

So here's the recipe!

Taco filling, or "meat":
1 1/2 cups raw walnuts
1/2 tsp each cumin and coriander powder (I used a bit more)
Nama shoyu, Bragg's liquid aminos, or other raw soy sauce, to taste

Other fillings:
Leaf of choice, such as lettuce, collards, et cetera
Pico de galo
Whatever else you'd like

Grind walnuts in a food processor until they reach a taco filling consistency.

Combine taco filling ingredients in a bowl and mix well, being careful not to over-salt with too much soy sauce.

Take a leaf of your choice, (I think romaine works well) and use it as your taco shell. Fill it with taco "Meat", and other fillings, and enjoy!

Sorry, no photos, I forgot to bring my camera.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Hot cocoa

I love hot cocoa. It's so good, especially when you just came inside from frolicking in the rain.
On top I have some Dandies (a brand of vegan marshmallows) The reason they look like whipped cream rather than marshmallows is because when I ordered them I thought "Oh, I won't need an icepack, it'll be fine." I was wrong, and they got pretty melty. But they're still delicious!
Anyway, some other things I sometimes like to do to spice up my hot cocoa is to add a tiny bit of peppermint or orange extract. And of course a sprinkle of cinnamon is always nice.
Oh, and in the Winter when there's soy nog around, I like to fill my mug halfway with soy nog, and the hot cocoa mix, and then fill it up the rest of the way with boiling water. It's so good.

Lemony quinoa-vegetable soup

I just LOVE quinoa, I'm not sure why I don't have it way more. It's so delicious, and so healthy. It's even a compete protein all on it's own.

The last few days it's been a little chilly, and there has been some light rain. I really love Fall and Winter, so this is great for me. I've been pretending it's Winter lately. I've been making hot cocoa, soups, snuggling up in blankets, frolicking in the rain, and so much more.

Right, anyway, back to the soup. I don't cook quinoa much, and wasn't sure how long it would take to cook, so I cooked it separately. But if you are very familiar with it's cooking time, you can cook it in the soup itself. 
So anyway, I started the quinoa cooking in a pot. (1 1/2 cups raw)
And started the vegetable broth boiling (4 cups I think?) I started chopping some veggies. Carrots, squash, onions, and chard. Once the broth was boiling, I added the veggies and some herbs and bay leaves. After a while the quinoa was done, and the veggies were almost tender. I added some lemon juice (I think it was one lemon, but it may have only been half) and some frozen peas and stirred. Once the veggies were tender, I added the quinoa, stirred, and served.
It was delicious.

Veggie-tofu wrap

Here's a yummy wrap I made. I sauteed some tofu pieces in a balsamic-soy sauce I made up. Then I put it on a whole wheat tortilla with some clover sprouts, tomato, cucumber, avocado, and some of that nut pate. On the side are some of the extra tofu pieces.

Green smoothies

So, I follow a lot of food blogs, most of them are vegan, but at the very least, they're healthy. And I've noticed lately, that a lot of people have started drinking "Green smoothies" every morning. Where it's basically a smoothie, but they also include vegetables, and usually greens. Whenever I see a photo or a recipe of one, they always sound so good. But I've tried making them, and really, when I drink it I'm kind of thinking "This could really use a LOT more fruit. Some sugar would help too." But I'd still like to like them. They sound good, they look good (most of the time), and they're usually very healthy. So I figured I could start trying for it, but just take baby steps. So when I feel like having a smoothie, or in the morning when I'm kind of hungry, but don't really want something big, I'll have my all strawberry smoothie, but add a few leaves from my chard plant into it. So far I can only really handle about 2-3 smallish or smallish-medium leaves. But even baby steps are good. :)

I think the strawberries are a good idea, they keep the color about the same, the taste about the same, and they're nice and sweet, to keep the bitter chard from making my smoothie bitter.
I've had a few of these, I'm enjoying them.

Garden artichokes, pasta, and veggies with a "butter" sauce

Garden artichokes, pasta, and veggies with a "butter" sauce.
I got a bunch of artichokes from the garden today, so I cut the big ones in quarters, the medium ones in half, and left the small one whole. I started cooking them in a pan. Simmering with some water, vegetable broth, herbs, nutritional yeast, garlic and margarine.
Once they were getting close to done (artichokes take a while) I started cooking the pasta. once the pasta was almost done, and the artichokes only needed about another minute, I added to the pan some yellow squash (from the garden) and some sliced onion. I also added some lemon juice. Once everything was done, I put an artichoke piece on the plate, added some pasta, and spooned some of the sauce over the pasta. (the sauce that the artichokes cooked in) I only needed a little, since I made a very flavorful sauce. 
It was REALLY good. I highly suggest it.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Snack crackers

Here's a nice little snack, I made them on Ritz, but homemade crackers would be much healthier, and yummier.

First I took a cracker, and spread on some of this nut pate.  (I recommend making a half-batch, it makes a lot) Then I put on a few clover sprouts, then a cucumber slice, and little slices of cherry tomatoes from the garden. They were very nice.

Minestrone soup

Here some minestrone soup I made a few days ago. Very tasty.

It has pasta, kidney beans, stewed tomatoes, carrots, collards, onions, green beans, basil, mushrooms, yellow squash, potatoes, and bay leaves. Maybe a few other things. 
It was quite tasty.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Garden photos

Here's some photos from the garden.

Sunflowers, doing very well.

More sunflowers.

And some more.

There's some of the chard, I've got many more plants like this. :)

Some cherry tomatoes. We've got a couple cherry ones, no large ones yet. They're getting there though!

Raspberries! We got practically none last year, I'm glad they're doing better this year.


Those were all the ripe ones that day. Plenty more unripe ones on the plant.

Saturday, August 8, 2009


Mom asked me to make her some muffins. She gave me a recipe for blueberry-almond muffins. they sounded great. However my mom really dislikes blueberries and asked me to use cranberries instead. I was really set on the blueberries. That just sounded great. So I split up the batter, put some dried cranberries in part of it, and since we didn't have any fresh blueberries I used a  frozen berry mix, which turned out to pretty much just be blueberries anyway. I made the muffins, and they both came out great. But I preffered the blueberry ones. 
Here they are. The cranberry ones in front, the blueberry ones in the middle, and some mini blueberry ones in the back. We ate some, and brought the rest to a friend's house. The mini blueberry ones got eaten very quickly. Then the big blueberry ones, then the cranberry ones. they were all great. I'd share the recipe, but it's from a cookbook. I think it was called "Just Like My Mother Used To Bake", but I don't remember. That cookbook however is definitely not vegan. But if you're good at substituting you should be fine.

Dumplings and soup

I really love soup, and the brief chilly weather that's been happening really made me want to make some. This soup is kind of a misoy Asian kind of soup. There were rice noodles, and mushrooms in a miso broth with sesame seeds. More for comfort and flavor than to fill me up. Then there were some dumplings from the Asian market with some soy sauce for dipping.


I made some curry. This photo is much more flattering. It was very good, and great with the brown rice.
I think there were some carrots, potatoes, onions, broccoli, squash, cauliflower, and maybe some other vegetables.

100% Strawberry smoothie

I had a bunch of frozen strawberries from when I went picking them, so I decided to make a smoothie. I defrosted a cup to 1 1/2 cup of the strawberries, once they were fully defrosted I put them in the blender, added almost twice as many frozen ones, and blended.

It was so thick, it was wonderful. Almost more like a sorbet than a smoothie. I had to eat it with a spoon, the straw didn't work.

It tasted great and so strawberry-y. Yum.

I purposefully made more than I could drink so I could make some of it into popsicles. They are also very tasty.

Mini pizzas

I bought some cute mini pizza crusts, and so I decided to make myself a little pizza, and make another for my dad for his lunch at work.

Here is my dad's pizza. I believe it had some sauce, fresh basil from the garden, mushrooms, onions, squash from the garden, peppers, sesame seeds, and sunflower seeds. Most people wouldn't think to put seeds on pizza, but I personally really like it.

Here's mine. Pretty similar. Sauce, the basil, mushrooms, onions, the squash, peppers, olives, sunflower and sesame seeds, cream "Cheese" and some nutritional yeast sprinkled on top. The cream cheese was wonderful. It had the texture of real cheese on pizzas (little burnt spots and all!) and the nutritional yeast and the original flavors made a pretty similar taste to mozzarella too. It was great.

I was still hungry after the first one, so I made another one for myself. Same ingredients (other than the olives, we ran out) and I put the cream cheese on the top so it got more brown spots. Very tasty.

Garden goodies.

Here's some more goodies from the garden. Pretty much the same as last time. Some chard, (used in some yakisoba) some green beans, some basil (used in the yakisoba), a yellow squash (also in that yakisoba), and a single soy bean pod.  
They were very tasty. I wish the camera could fully capture the beautiful color of the stems of the chard. Oh well.

Berry smoothie

Here are some smoothies I made. It's a mix of frozen berries (I think strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries) and some fruit juice (Cranberry-pomegranate). Very tasty. I don't think it needed any sweetener, but other people might. I like my smoothies very thick, so I added as little juice to the blender as was possible to get it to blend.

Monday, August 3, 2009


Vegan sushi is perhaps even tastier the next day.

Try to cut your sushi rolls as needed. If you have leftover sushi, you want it to still be a whole roll. Sushi with raw fish should not be kept for more than a day, vegan sushi, is perhaps even tastier the next day. It should last about four days. I like to dip mine in the leftover tofu marinade, along with some wasabi and pickled ginger.

Sushi: It's not all about raw fish!

This post is going to multi-task. It will show you how to make sushi (for the most part anyway) it will tell you that sushi isn't just about raw fish, and give you some ideas of what else to put in it, and it will also tell you about my recent sushi making party!

Lets start off with telling you that sushi is not all about raw fish, and give you some other filling ideas.

Many people think that sushi means raw fish, and that if no fish is involved, it is not sushi. This is not the case. The word sushi actually describes the vinegared rice that goes into making sushi. Raw fish however, is one of the most common ingredients to be a part of sushi.
So what should you put in your sushi if you're not adding in any fish? Simple. Vegetables. Sometimes some tofu or tempeh as well.

Here are some of the more common vegan fillings for your sushi:
Green onions
Tofu (baked, pan fried, deep fried, whatever you like)
Tempeh (I've never done it myself, but others have, and I think it sounds tasty.)
Sprouts (Alfalfa, clover, etc)
Sauteed mushrooms (Shitake is most common, but I like portobellos!)
Bell peppers
Broccoli (not very good in sushi rolls, but I like them in hand rolls)
Cooked yams
And probably some others that i haven't heard of, or am forgetting.
Really, you can put whatever you like in your sushi, it's up to you.

Now, on  to my sushi making party!

So, I decided that I should have a sushi making party. Unfortunately, I decided this the night before I was planning on having it, so I didn't expect many people to show up. Two people came, but I know at least two other people who would have liked to come, so maybe I'll do it again sometime soonish.
But anyway,  I set up the table with cutting boards and sushi mats, the rice, the fillings, and little sauce bowls, wasabi, pickled ginger, and low-sodium soy sauce.

Those are the fillings. There's broccoli, carrots, red peppers, avocado, sauteed and sliced portobello, green onions, cucumber, and tofu.
I was going to just buy this tofu, so I wouldn't have to heat up the house by cooking my own tofu, but it turned out that that tiny little thing costs more than a whole block of organic tofu. So I figured I'd make it myself. And I'm glad I did.
I cut my block of tofu into three thick slices, placed them on a towel, and pressed some of the water out. Then I coated them in cornstarch, and pan fried them until lightly golden (I did this to give it that nice outside skin you get from frying, without frying it) Then I marinated it in a mixture of this Teriyaki sauce, some low-sodium soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and I think maybe something else. I can't remember though. A few hours later (let it sit as long as you can though) I sliced it with a sharp knife, and i got something fairly similar to Pete's tofu.
Now let's learn how to make some sushi!

Take a bamboo mat, and wrap it completely in plastic wrap. Then place your seaweed (shiny side down) on your mat.

Thinly spread your rice on the seaweed. As thin as possible without having big gaps.

Then lay on your fillings. I think this one has green onions, carrots, cucumber and tofu.

Start to roll it over, just a little, then press it down with both hands.

pull the mat off, and roll a little more, and lightly press it.

Repeat until it's all rolled up. Try to roll it tight.

Tada! Cut it with a sharp knife. You may need it to be slightly wet.

Here's our sushi plate. We made a lot more, but most of it was eaten. Some of the sushi doesn't have seaweed, because one of the friends there doesn't like it. It's much harder to make without seaweed, so don't do that until you've got the hang of it.
There's also some hand rolls, and some inari.

Pad Thai

I made some Pad Thai today.
I've had some problems with making a good pad thai sauce without the fish sauce, so I used this one from the store. (No fish sauce!) They say you only need two sauce packets for a pound of the noodles, but I think you really need three.
In this pad thai is some onion, carrot, zucchini, and broccoli. And of course some rice noodles (1 pound), and the sauce. The veggies wouldn't really mix with the noodles, they liked to hide under them, so you can't really see them in the photo.
then I garnished with some basil from the garden, some lime wedges, and some chopped peanuts. Very tasty!