30 April, 2010


i like this picture so I made it BIG!Since I’ve been working late dinner has been out of my hands. . . but still, somehow, my brainchild. I was craving some “chicken” parmesan so I bought a bag of Boca chick’n nuggets and some linguini. I cooked the pasta and crisped the nuggets in in the oven then, in a 13 x 9 Pyrex dish lightly sprayed with canola oil, I tossed the pasta and sauce together, placed the nuggets on top and generously sprinkled mozzarella style Daiya all over it and tossed it back in the oven until the cheese melted. i added a little of my pasta sprinkle for zest and it was so delicious I had seconds. . .but I don’t have a picture.

What I do have a picture of is my bento from the day or so after. DSCN1087It’s not winning any beauty pageants but it sure tasted good. I added some fresh English peas and some of those trumpet mushrooms I was so excited about. YUM! I added more Daiya, as you can see. (^_^)


Here’s a picture of some visually boring soup. Yep, just a giant expanse of orange with some crusty bread in the back. However, this is a little orange gem of a soup. It was so surprisingly good that I’m actually going to post the entire recipe since it came from a bargain book that no one cares about. HA HA!

Lentil & Pasta Soup

1T olive oil

1 med onion, chopped

4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1.5c carrots, sliced (I used 3 medium)

1 stick celery, sliced

1.5c red lentils

2.5c vegetable bouillon

3c boiling water

1.5c small pasta shapes (baby farfalle or orzo)

.66c unsweetened vegan yogurt substitute (I used the coconut one)

salt and pepper

fresh chopped parsley to garnish

1. heat the olive oil in a large pan and sauté the onion, garlic, carrots and celery, stirring gently, for 5 minutes or until the vegetables begin to soften.

2. add the lentils, bouillon, and boiling water. Season well, stir, and bring back to a boil. Simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes until the lentils are completely tender. Let cool 10 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, bring another pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the package directions. drain well and set aside.

4. (For this step I just used my immersion blender.) Place the soup in a blender and process until smooth. return to a pan and add the pasta. Bring back to a simmer and heat for 2-3 minutes until piping hot. Remove from the heat and stir in the yogurt. Adjust the seasoning if necessary.

5. Serve sprinkled with freshly ground pepper and chopped parsley.

I made the soup part, cooked the pasta, and put them in separate containers before I left for work. Then, when I got home, all I had to do was warm them up together on the stove and add the yogurt. EASY! DELICIOUS! HPOORAY!

18 April, 2010

Days Off Are For Cooking Food!

Today was great! Mr. Crow and i had the day off together! We kicked off our extravaganza of unity by watching the latest episode of Dr. Who and marinating tofu. Thrilling, I know. For breakfast we made the Tofu Benny (or as Mr. Crow calls it “n’eggs Benedict”)from Vegan Brunch. I changed it up a little by adding Yves Veggie Ham and Sautéed spinach. I just used about a cup of frozen spinach for two servings and tossed in a little of the tofu marinade for flavor. Check out this sweet picture Mr. Crow took:


The only thing I didn’t care for was, for lack of a better word, the snotty-ness of the “hollandaise” sauce. It’s possible that I added too much arrowroot powder in the process of halving the recipe but i don't think so. Look for an update on my own version of this sauce in the future!

After doing some grocery shopping for the upcoming week, Mr. Crow ran me a bubble bath and baked me these cookies!

Me love cookie!!





This brings us to dinnertime. We dropped off our recycling, bought some original flavored Sunchips, and calculated the amount of money we’d need to save each month to buy a house by the time I turn 30. Meanwhile, dinner pretty much made itself. We threw some Zataran’s Dirty Rice into the rice cooker, reheated the left-over haricots verts with some crushed garlic, salt, and pepper in some olive oil, and microwaved our first taste of Gardein. Although I didn’t love it, I definitely would eat it again. For a quick protein thingy to toss into a meal, it was decent and that’s all we were looking for. Take a look:

Hot and Steamy. . . or the ghosts of vegetables?

Check out the amazing steam that Mr. Crow captured “on film”. Looks pretty good, huh? He’s my official photographer, now, in case you were wondering.

In other news, since I’ve been out of school my eyes have been craving the sensation of zipping across a field of black and white. Add this to the information that I may have found my “calling” and you have the perfect book-worm storm! My method is as follows:

Step one: visit Amazon and find a book on the subject I want — in this case, urban gardening – and find the books that people were interested in that book looked at.

Step two: type in all those book titles into the library search thing.

Step three: request all those book from the library

Step four: read them

It’s not an exact science, you know, but it works for me. I’ve got five or so books in my cue right now but I’ve only got two books in my possession at the moment: Gardens not Lawns and Fresh Foods From Small Places.

I also got Vegan Soul Kitchen after I saw it mentioned on the blog Vegan Dad. Pictures and comments are, of course, to follow.

Of course, on any trip to the library, like grocery shopping, you end up with a couple things that weren’t on your list. This Week’s extras include Water for Elephants and Bottomless Belly Button.

“Bento A Go Go” or “3-2-1- Lunch!”

I’ve been putting off writing this post for a couple days. I’ve been working mornings and that seems to take a lot out of me. Regardless, This one will be short since I just wrote the one that was actually for today and it was a bit long.


This was dinner: Italian seasoned green beans, carrot sticks, buffalo wings from Vegan Dad and some Tofutti sour cream.

I don’t think I cooked the “wings” long enough, or maybe I cooked them too long, but they were super chewy. I was a little disappointed until I reheated them the next  day and they were awesome so I’m leaning toward “not cooked enough”. Yeay dinner!

And now Bento-xtravaganza! Laa laa laa!



Rice with furikake, miso green beans, carrots, celery, caramelized onion hummus, and a buffalo wing! Yum!

14 April, 2010

A Little Joan Jett & Some Sunshine Helped Me Germinate

After graduating college I had to do some serious thinking. I’d been cast adrift in an ocean of relatively limitless opportunity and I didn’t know what to do with myself. I had a BA in Sociology, a really beautiful bracelet that my dad bought me to commemorate my success and a nominal student loan to show for myself. Although these things were my badges of honor they really didn’t provide any kind of direction. Thus, I was left on my own to contemplate my future and find a job somewhere that, supposedly, will fulfill me in some way other than strictly in the finance department.

Fortunately, I was blessed with a great friend who needed help at work. Mr. Mc (of potluck fame) just had a person disappear from his place and was kind enough to suggest that I work there with him. I was positively ecstatic to have found a full-time job only a week after graduating. I’ve been working there for two-ish weeks now and I rather like it. I get to talk to people all day, my coworkers are all interesting and nice, and the hours aren’t bad. The only trouble is I have this feeling like I’m not supposed to be there. It’s strange because I like it and I’m as good as I can be at something I’ve only done for two-ish weeks. . . something is just telling me, “this is not the place for you”. This nagging feeling drove me to fill out more of my Monster profile yesterday. I was trucking along filling out this and that until I came to the question about what my dream job was. I had no idea. I knew I wanted it to be something I felt was important, something that made a difference—even a tiny one. the trouble i ran into was: how do I define what is really important to me and put that in the contest of a job?

Which brings me to today when I was thinking about what my ideal life would be. I’d have a sunny little house with lots of plants, some chickens, and a backyard farm. My work would be educating folks on the personal and environmental benefits of backyard/window farming and being vegetarian. This little fantasy is all well and good but I don’t quite know how to wrangle into an actual career. So now, I’m planning on planning.

12 April, 2010

Tiggers Definitely Do NOT Like Fiddlehead Ferns

. . . And i was so excited, too. I saw these babies at Whole Foods yesterday and decided I should try and check off another thing on my “List ‘O Things To Eat Before I Die” – which I should probably write out one of these days.

Anyway, I got this little container, brought them home, washed them, sautéed them in Earth Balance, and tossed them with some fettuccini. After adding a little salt and pepper I called it “done” thinking, “If the Vegan Yum Yum Lady says “lightly sautéed” is the way to go then so goeth I.”

Perhaps, as the produce man said, these were nearing the end of their days, or, perhaps, the ones I picked were too big or something but, man, were these things bitter. It’s entirely possible that I’m just a bitter-wimp but I did not enjoy this culinary experience at all.

Ah well, the morel mushrooms, although a tad on the gritty side, weren’t so bad so I guess this Spring’s harvest wasn’t a total loss.

As a side note, I ate a French Trumpet mushroom at a local Vegan restaurant (that will get more press later) and it was positively divine! Someday I’ll cook some to show you.

Furthermore, this post will include a little adventure as well:

Here’s a picture of an amazing looking tomato I saw at the grocery store. If I liked tomatoes I’d have bought it on the spot just so I could say I’d eaten it.

Nature is weird.

Here’s a picture of the dinner Mr. Crow made:

YUM! See my cute cheese shaker?

Sorry for the even-worse-than-usual photos but I was using my phone. . . . It’s sundried tomatoes (Yes, I know I said I didn’t like tomatoes but these are different!) sautéed in olive oil then tossed with farfalle and fresh basil. We topped this with my favorite pasta sprinkle (1/2 cup pecans. 1/4 c nooch, and 1T salt. Whiz that in your food processor until it looks like parmesan. THE END!)

And, to top it all off, Here’s a picture of me and a happy fish at the aquarium store. If you look really close on the left you can see Mr. Crow’s chin.

How could you have a bad day with this guy to cheer you up?


09 April, 2010

Pizza Night – A Departure

We have a pizza night fairly often in our household. Usually it’s a simple “cheese” and sauce affair with the occasional “pepperoni”. Nothing special. recently, however I was reminded of a pizza that my mom used to make. It had seasoned ricotta cheese, sausage, and sautéed onions. I figured it would be an easy conversion and it was!

I used the pizza dough, tempeh sausage, and basil ricotta recipes from Vegan With A Vengeance. I made the toppings ahead of time so this came together really fast once the dough was done. All you need to do is follow the recipes. Once the dough is in the pan, Brush the crust with olive oil, sprinkle some pizza seasoning, dollop on the ricotta, toss on the sausage, spread the onions around, and top with some mozzarella “cheese”. You really only need half a recipe of the sausage and ricotta for the full dough recipe and I made a large sheet pizza (14x9 I think). I baked mine for 12 minutes at 450 degrees (F) but every oven is different so check it after 10.

Tempting, no?

04 April, 2010

“I Will Survive In My Mock Pho! In My Mock Pho, I Will Survive! Yeah! Yeah!” or “Fe Fi Faux Pho”

Hehehehe. . I crack myself up.

Anyway, for lunch today I made a vegan noodle soup after the style of a Vietnamese soup we used to eat at the North Market. . . you know, before.

You’ll need :

Rice noodles

Vegetarian Hoisin

Siracha Sauce

Some broth (I used Better Than Bouillon's No Chicken Base)

Wedge of lime/ lime juice

Thai basil (i didn’t have any but you should have it)

Mung bean sprouts (i didn’t have any of these either, oh well)


Follow the package directions to prepare the noodles.

Meanwhile, heat your kettle to make the broth.red= siracha, brown=hoisin, orange= better than bouillion, green= lime juice

I make this soup a lot (a lot) So I can eyeball the amounts of the hoisin, siracha, and lime juice that I like but I recommend serving this to first-timers as they do at the Market with the wedge of lime, basil, hoisin, sprouts, and siracha on the side.

Once the noodles are cooked and the kettle is whistling lunch is pretty much ready. Add appropriate amounts of noodles and broth to your bowl and then doctor it as you see fit with aforementioned the condiments.

pho, a long, long way to ruuun! (I got a million of 'em!)



I Have Been Lazy and That’s no Excuse

So I’m not being lazy anymore!

Actually, I was busy making sure that I would graduate this month and starting my new job. I feel like those were worthy pursuits so please don’t judge me too harshly. Also, now that I’m in the swing of things There should be many a post a’coming.

The joy of my life right now is the Vegan Yum Yum cook book I got from the library. I STRONGLY urge you to go and pick it up with all haste. I’m planning on hoarding this copy as long as I can until I can afford to buy my own. THANK YOU COLUMBUS METROPOLITAN LIBRARY!

Tonight’s dinner selection is the creamy tomato soup with vegan grilled cheese sammies.

Grilled Rice-Cheese Sammie Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup: Classic.

OH man. These were SO GOOD! I got some vegan rice cheese singles from the grocery store and buttered the bread with Earth Balance. Rice cheese is WAY better than tofu cheese. It’s got a slightly grainy texture but, to me, it’s better than the wet texture that the tofu kind has when it melts.

I think the soup would have been better if I had better blender options. currently it’s the food processor (wrong tool for the job) or my stick blender which is not especially thorough. So, in the end the soup was, how do i say it, a little more textured than it was supposed to be. That aside, however, it was the best darn tomato soup I’ve ever had. It was vaguely Indian in it’s spicing as opposed to the Italian style that most people around here offer. I liked that better because the Italian seasoned kind makes me feel  like I’m eating a mug of pizza sauce.

Other recipes from the Vegan Yum Yum book that i tried before I had to return it were the Barley Risotto, The Pasta Grematola (outstanding), and some tofu, snow pea, peanut sauce thing that was AMAZING. I feel like I made more but I took the book back to the library and I erased the menu and I didn’t take pictures and and and. .  . just go get it and try everything. (^.^)

And, for those of you who are wondering, the vegan cat food did not go over well. . . .not at all. I seriously believe I tried everything they suggested and the cats were just not having it. I can’t bring myself to force my cats to eat food that they hate and that goes against their very nature as carnivores simply to satisfy my selfish desire to make myself happy by disconnecting myself from the factory-farm machine. That’s the end of it.

Mr. Crow’s mother sent us some presents yesterday too! LOOK!

These were marketed for autumn but I'm gonna use 'em every day! 

Here are my cute new salt and pepper shakers frolicking amidst the basil. Yeay!



Here is the cool fruit I got at the store on Friday:muscat grapes and strawberries kiwi berries. . like kiwis but not.





Don't imagine me wearing just this to cook you perv!



And, finally here is my cute new apron, also compliments of Mr. Crow’s Mom.




Okay, That’s all for now.