Tuesday, September 30, 2014

MoFo #30: Liebster Awards x2

This MoFo, I've been nominated twice for the fun Liebster Awards. It's just a little way to connect with other bloggers and do something fun. It was suggested as a great way to end MoFo, so I'm going to do that. Tomorrow, I will share all the leftover photos that didn't make it into a post. :)

I received the first nomination from May The Veg Be With You.

(1) Favorite herb or spice - Chipotle powder! I like it spicy.

(2) #1 pantry staple - dried beans, since my spice cabinet doesn't seem like a proper answer. [Actually, I don't have a spice cabinet anymore. Donated everything to Food Not Bombs in Houston in prep for this move to Japan.]

(3) Fondest food memory - My grandma used to bake hardcore when we were kids. My mom is a mediocre cook, so seeing my grandma make pies from scratch as a kid was really cool.

(4) #1 comfort food - Anything with sugar, I love a good cookie or cupcake. ;)

(5) I'm vegan for the animals. I don't want to kill animals myself or pay someone to do the dirty work for me.

(6) My favorite vegan restaurant is Gracias Madre in Mission District, SF. Amaze-balls.

(7) Foods I can't live without - tofu, chickpeas, sugar

(8) Last meal selection - Hmmm that's tough one... It's a toss up between Mexican food and Southern comfort foods.

(9) I used to hate onions, but now I use them all the time. I really only dislike fennel seeds and anise. If it's vegan, I'll probably eat it.

(10) If I could be a kitchen utensil in my next life, I'd like to be something practical, like a sharp chef's knife.

I received my second nomination from Self Sufficient Cafe.

(1) I could not do without tofu and chickpeas (so versatile)... and sugar.

(2) Last dinner in 3 courses - Mexican food or Southern comfort foods - those don't come in courses, but I'll take 2 dessert courses. ;)

(3) Current favorite show is Big Bang Theory, except I kinda dislike Penny.

(4) Favorite comedian is Eddie Izzard, for sure. Saw him in Houston!

(5) Favorite junk food is anything with sugar - cookies, cupcakes, candy bars. I'm a sugar junkie, what can I say?

(6) I've been vegan for 5 years, with another almost-5 years as a vegetarian before that.

(7) Has your health improved since turning vegan? --> I've always been pretty healthy, but I guess I bloat a little less without cheese in my diet. I was mostly borderline underweight as a teen, so I've actually had more weight fluctuations as a veg than as an omni. I went veg at 18, but my senior year of college and last year of grad school made me chunky. Once the stress goes down, the weight slowly comes off (or faster if I work out). From my mom's genetic contributions, I don't usually have problems controlling my weight until I eat a 3000+ calorie/day diet (cheese in college, vegan cookies in grad school).

(8) I had never heard of nutritional yeast. I thought it was so nasty the first couple times I tried it. Now I love it!

(9) My favourite smell... Hmmmm... Today the answer is my dude's laundry detergent smell. We haven't seen each other in 5 weeks!

(10) A typical Sunday in Houston involved going to vegan brunch group, working around the house, and running errands. The dude and I would get together for Game of Thrones when it was on tv, even though we rarely hung out on Sunday evenings. Right now, I'm in Florida on vacation, so I sleep in and then help my mom with whatever she needs to do on her day off work.

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Monday, September 29, 2014

MoFo #29: Midnight Beauty Grapes

OK, so grapes probably shouldn't get an entire post, but I'm loving these Midnight Beauty grapes lately! I should enjoy grapes while I can because the dude said grapes and apples are super expensive in Japan. I saw a market with a sign that said Cotton Candy Grapes. I'll have to try those sometime in the next 2 weeks, as well as enjoying my mini gala apples!
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Sunday, September 28, 2014

MoFo #28: The Best Sandwich

The title might be an exaggeration, but this sandwich was an awesome lunch. I saw in a vegan food photos group on fb that Super Target now carries Sweet Earth seitan products. The posted photo was a breakfast burrito! Well, I zipped over to Super Target this morning in search of this burrito and some items for my Halloween costume. In the freezer section, I found so many awesome items! They were out of the breakfast burritos because they were on sale. There were a couple of another burrito type left, but two whole shelves were wiped out. I saw the Sweet Earth burgers and BACON. In the same area, there were other vegan meats - Target's store brand, Gardein, Hilary's Eat Well burgers, and some Quorn and Morningstar (not all vegan, so read those labels!). The new Target store brand Simply Balanced vegan meats looked SO GOOD, but I'm trying to limit the amount of stuff I buy before my trip. The mushroom miso vegan turkey was calling my name at only $4, but I might go back for those! The meatless chicken choices are Korean BBQ, chipotle, and teriyaki. OK, time to explain this awesome sandwich. I grabbed the vegan bacon and some Hilary's vegetable bites. The sandwich was toasted wheat bread, half an avocado sliced, a handful of spinach, two big pieces of jarred roasted red pepper, and four slices of vegan bacon. NOM NOM NOM. I served the sandwich with the veggie tots with sriracha ketchup and had a Tofutti drumstick for dessert. I spent the rest of the afternoon painting the front room. :)
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Saturday, September 27, 2014

MoFo #27: Pizza Casserole, Pizza Crescents

I love Randomofo.com for browsing MoFo goodness. I came across a pizza casserole at MoBettaVegan! I had a few Tofurky pepperonis left over from making the pizza crescents (simply crescent rolls with a little Daiya and Tofurky pepperoni rolled inside, then dipped in pizza sauce after cooking). For the casserole, I used marinated Italian mushrooms instead of fresh. My mom picked up the mushrooms and canned tomatoes on her way home from work, so she thought I meant jarred mushrooms when I asked for canned tomatoes and mushrooms. I skipped making the nutty parmesan and just sprinkled on nutritional yeast. I also did not use as much Daiya as listed in the recipe because I didn't have that much left in my bag. It was so good and it makes a huge pan, which is always a plus for me! My mom and I usually don't eat the same thing, so I like cooking for a few days at a time. Speaking of my mom, she told me that she told 4 or 5 people at her work about Cowspiracy. My idea of ordering her some vegan books for xmas suddenly seems less crazy! :)

EDIT 9-30-14: My mom had 2 BIG servings of this casserole and liked it. She's been eating my vegan meats, asking about nooch and chia seeds, and seems open to trying some vegan dressings to replace her calorie-dense oily/eggy dressings!

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Friday, September 26, 2014

MoFo #26: Out for Lunch - Genghis Grill, WF Sushi

My mom and I were running errands last week around lunchtime. She's always concerned about where I can find food. I tell her we can go anywhere and I'll be fine. As we driving down the road, we saw that Genghis Grill was open. I thought that location had closed, but I was happy to see it's still open. The idea is that you build your own bowl, it gets cooked on a big grill, and they add a starch of your choosing. The ingredients bar starts with animal protein, but I skipped down to the spices and veggies. I noticed they had a mixed bean selection in the veggie area, that's new! I chose tofu (of course), baby corn, bamboo shoots, peppers, onions, mushrooms, and one of the sauces that did not list shellfish or dairy in the allergens or contain honey in the name. I picked udon noodles for the starch, then topped the bowl with sesame seeds, crushed peanuts, and sriracha.
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As I said in an earlier post, I went out looking for Halloween costume stuff and stopped at Whole Foods in Tampa. I picked up sushi and veggie dumplings for lunch. I used the little packet of low salt soy sauce to add a little umami. I was able to sit outside and enjoy my little lunch before heading back home. I did find a dress and shoes for my costume! I still need two more things, but I have a little more time before I go to Japan. :)
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Thursday, September 25, 2014

MoFo #25: Cowspiracy & Burgers

Tonight I took my mom to see Cowspiracy at our local theater. The group Florida Voices for Animals arranged the screening. The theater was about two-thirds full, so that's upbeat! I told her that it was not going to be a graphic movie, so she did not freak out about going to an animal rights type movie. She really seemed to like Howard Lyman's comments and even picked up some literature. I've been trying to talk to her about being vegan and eating a plant-based diet while I'm home because she has borderline cholesterol and high blood pressure. She says it's genetic, but I have my doubts. She definitely has some lifestyle habits she could change. She doesn't eat much beef, but she does eat chicken, dairy, and pork in addition to smoking and consuming copious amounts of caffeine. (I can definitely tell where I got my caffeine addiction from, haha.) She is very active because our yard requires A LOT of upkeep, she works on 1.5 acres for the house and let the goats maintain the back 1.5 acres. The ironic part of the day is that we went to Red Robin (a fast casual burger joint) for lunch. It was that or Panera Bread. I wanted the unlimited french fries. I got a Boca vegan burger on a sesame bun. The website says the bun is free of dairy and eggs, they use soybean oil for frying, and they offer a vegetarian Gardenburger and a vegan Boca patty at no extra charge. I had my burger, fries, and extra serving of fries. Not bad, but they don't seem to grill the patty. I guess that prevents cross-contamination. It was a nice to try a new place, but I don't think there will be any Red Robins near me in the near future.
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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

MoFo #24: Beyond Meat Beefy Tacos

I tried the Beyond Meat chicken a while ago, but did not really like it. The texture freaked me out. But I wanted to give Beyond Meat a second chance with their beef-style crumbles. I figured the crumbles were less likely to have texture issues. I picked up a bag of the regular crumbles knowing tacos would be in my future! I sauteed some onion, garlic, bell pepper, and cherry tomatoes before adding the crumbles to the skillet. The package said to be careful to not overcook. I added the crumbles when I put the shells into the oven to crisp. I used a pre-made taco seasoning packet for convenience. When the shells were crispy, I added a scoop of the crumbles with veggies, then topped with sliced avocado, a sprinkle of nooch, and spinach (instead of lettuce). NOM NOM NOM.
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