Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Simple Cookies

You owe it to yourself to try Isa's chocolate chip cookie recipe from the PPK. They only take about 30 minutes total to make and you probably already have the ingredients in your kitchen.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

MoFo Survey Says...

1. Favorite non-dairy milk? Either almond milk or So Delicious coconut milk.

2. What are the top 3 dishes/recipes you are planning to cook? Pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, boiled chicken style seitan, vegan grillades and grits.

3. Topping of choice for popcorn? Earth Balance, Tony Chachere's creole seasoning, and nooch.

4. Most disastrous recipe/meal failure? You know, I don't think I've had any catastrophic food failures. I've made some gross food but nothing too bad.

5. Favorite pickled item? Not really a fan of picked items.

6. How do you organize your recipes? Either in cookbooks, a folder on my computer, or a pile on my cookbook shelf.

7. Compost, trash, or garbage disposal? Trash.

8. If you were stranded on an island and could only bring 3 foods…what would they be (don’t worry about how you’ll cook them)? Peanut butter, bread, and pizza.

9. Fondest food memory from your childhood? Every family Thanksgiving and Christmas in my parents house.

10. Favorite vegan ice cream? Cinnamon roll or peanut butter ice cream from Sweet Action.

11. Most loved kitchen appliance? It's a toss-up between my food processor and cast iron pan.

12. Spice/herb you would die without? Tony Chachere's. I put on nearly everything I cook.

13. Cookbook you have owned for the longest time? A cookbook put together by my elementary school's PTA.

14. Favorite flavor of jam/jelly? Strawberry.

15. Favorite vegan recipe to serve to an omni friend? Chili.

16. Seitan, tofu, or tempeh? Tofu!

17. Favorite meal to cook (or time of day to cook)? I like cooking in the afternoon and evening.

18. What is sitting on top of your refrigerator? Apples, a bag of plums, and some oranges.

19. Name 3 items in your freezer without looking. Coconut milk ice cream, edamame, and cooked black beans.

20. What’s on your grocery list? I make a meal plan every Saturday and go from there.

21. Favorite grocery store? Trader Joe's. I'm still in mourning that Colorado doesn't have any.

22. Name a recipe you’d love to veganize, but haven’t yet. Either andouille or my mom's red beans and rice recipe that's full of ham.

23. Food blog you read the most. Or maybe the top 3? The Urban Housewife, The PPK blog, and Don't Eat Off the Sidewalk.

24. Favorite vegan candy/chocolate? Raspberry and dark chocolate Chocolove bars.

25. Most extravagant food item purchased lately? A jar of Justin's Maple Almond Butter.

26. Ingredients you are scared to work with? Veganaise. I hated mayonnaise as an omni so I'm scared of its vegan counterpart ruining any recipe I try it in.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Product Review: It's All Good BBQ Skewers

It's All Good is part of Gardein's line of meat analogs that began popping up in local groceries within the past few months. These mock beef skewers had piqued my interest a few months ago but I was put off by the fact that they were pretty pricey. Yesterday, I noticed they were on sale at Whole Foods and picked up a pack thinking they'd make for a good, quick dinner. It was fortunate that I did that because the baked tofu I made last night for this week's lunches turned out inedible. It's All Good stepped up to the plate and became lunch.

The skewers look like turds on a sticks when uncooked. It was a little off-putting. After microwaving for 2 1/2 minutes they really took on the appearance of meat. The smell was pretty appealing, too. Upon the first bite I was a little alarmed; the taste and texture was very close to real beef. After getting over the initial shock, I really enjoyed these. They were pretty tasty straight out of the package, without any kind of added sauce. These would be probably be a great addition to a stirfry for a really quick dinner.

On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the best, I'd give these an 8. They'd be great to have on hand for a night when you don't feel like cooking or to replace the tofu you made for lunch that tasted like hot garbage. The downside is that they're not really cheap. A pack with 4 small-ish skewers will run you $4.99. Those 4 skewers will feed two people with moderate appetites. Cooking these for a family would probably get pretty expensive. They're worth it but they'll remain an every-once-in-a-while treat for me.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Pizza Extravaganza!

The Ninja Turtles and I share something - a love for pizza. I'm not sold on the whole living in the sewer thing, but I back their choice of favorite food. I could write you a novel singing the praises of pizza, but I wont. Instead, I'll review three restaurants here in the Denver area that offer vegan pizza.

(Rebellion's Chik'n BBQ pizza)  

The Rebellion is a small, take-out only, independently owned pizza joint located just outside of downtown Denver. They offer a vegan alternative for almost every non-vegan pizza topping they serve. You have your choice of veggie sausages, pepperoni, and even Canadian bacon. The dough for the crust is organic and made in house. The best part is that the employees actually understand what being vegan means. You get dirty looks and no one questions where you get your protein from when you order a soy cheese pizza there. 

The pizza pictured above is the vegan version of their Chicken BBQ. For Under $15 you get a huge pizza with a barbecue sauce base and topped with Follow Your Heart mozzarella, mock chicken, mock Canadian bacon, and red onions. It is a fake meat lover's paradise.

(Yeah, so this a picture of Pizza the Hut from Spaceballs. I don't actually have a picture of City O's pizza.)

City O' City is an all vegetarian and vegan restaurant run by the same people that own Watercourse. It's located in downtown Denver. I wish I could rave about the service here but I can't. The service generally sucks. The employees are way too busy being hip to pay a whole lot of attention to you and you'll wait a long time for food.  Fortunately, the food makes up for it.

City O's menu consists primarily of pizza but there are some baked goods and bar food-type fried wonderfulness thrown in. They make their own vegan versions of both ricotta and mozzarella. They also offer homemade seitan pepperoni and sausage, tempeh bacon, and BBQ tofu as toppings. Honestly, I find that the seitan toppings leave something to be desired. The real winner in City O' City's pizza department is The Urban Cowgirl. They take a thin, crispy crust and top it with chipotle marinara, pineapple, green pepper, and onion rings. You read that right. Onion rings on a pizza. It is the most magical addition to a pizza that I've ever encountered. Onion rings make anything better.

I'd be doing a great disservice to all 3 people probably reading this blog if I didn't mention City O's seitan buffalo wings. It's like they took heaven, deep fried it, and coated it in wing sauce. Honestly, the wings are better than the pizza. The wings might actually be better than sunshine. 

(Build Your Own pizza with caramelized onions, roasted peppers, and Daiya cheese)

Zpizza is the newest place on this list. It's sort of like a smaller, more expensive, fancier version of Pizza Hut. Except Zpizza's pizza actually tastes good.  The one location in Colorado opened about 2 months ago and just so happens to be located 5 minutes from my office in Greenwood Village. There's not much seating in the place so your best bet is to get it to-go. 

 Zpizza offers a good amount of vegetable toppings but it's the Daiya that really makes the pizza. Daiya is far superior to any cheese alternative I've tried. If it weren't for the Daiya, the pizza would probably be pretty average. The crust is good, but not remarkable. The price is fairly high. A small, two topping pizza with Daiya sets me back $13.  But the Daiya. Holy crap, the Daiya. It must be made from crack and the tears of unicorns because it is addictive and fantastical. 

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Let's get this party started.

Participating in Vegan MoFo has finally given me the inspiration that I need to get off of my lazy ass and blog. Please be patient with me as I'm a first time blogger with the photography skills of a poorly trained baboon.