Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 is Ending...

And I'm effin' thankful. Many unpleasant moments have occurred and I'm ready for a new year. First, I had to end some friendships at the beginning of the year, which was a tough but necessary decision. I also let some other friendships go by the wayside unintentionally. I basically decided to focus on the quality, not the quantity, of friendships this year. That said, I've grown closer to a select few of my friends and I love that. I am thankful for that opportunity. :) Then, family problems took over a good portion of my non-work life and I spent a significant amount of time by myself. That's unusual for me because I'm an extrovert, but I really needed time to sort through everything that was happening. The whole year wasn't total crap though. I don't want to sound that negative. I started working a lot more weekends, because I just needed to put my energy into something productive. I did manage to finish my last research project, so hopefully that manuscript can be submitted when I return to work next week. I think I'm going to stick to a 5 chapter format for my thesis - intro, 3 research chapters, conclusions & future directions. I need to run that by my boss, but I don't know if the 4th research chapter is worth the effort to finish since we've basically admitted that it's likely not going to be published. Why do more experiments to make a more complete story on something that will just languish in my dissertation? I'd rather spend the time getting the final manuscript accepted, writing, applying for jobs, and preparing for my defense. I really need to get a postdoc position. I've been drafting some emails over the last week that I can send out on Monday. I've got to expand my search beyond California just to be safe, but I really hope to end up on West Coast.

After being borderline underweight last year, I definitely packed on the pounds this year. I was trying to gain only muscle, but also gained some fat. Yuck. So I'll be returning to the gym (after a long 3 weeks off!) with the intention of eating less sweets (the reason for my fatness, since I basically quit drinking this year), running more, and lifting bigger weights. My goal is not necessarily weight loss, but fat loss. I don't mind a certain weight range if the body fat percentage is low. Time to shed that little bit of chunk! I guess that's my only real resolution for the year. I'd like to accomplish a few other things, but they're not really resolutions.

I'm also hoping to get some time off between finishing my PhD and starting a postdoc position, so I can spend some time with my family before relocating. I mean, how could you not want to spend time with these guys? My family wants me to move closer to home... I'm not really interested in moving back to the Tampa area right now, but there are small pharmaceutical companies that could be potential employers if I ever want to live in my hometown again.


Friday, December 30, 2011

Skinny Sisters

My sister and I are almost the same size for the first time in my life! She gained a lot of weight through her pregnancies, but has really improved her diet to lose the extra weight. She's even smaller than she was before her pregnancies. She has lost 115 lbs! Amazing! I'm really proud of her for focusing on eating healthier and being so active (chasing the kids around, you know). Disregard our very fake smiles in this photo, but my mom snapped it before we were really ready. She's on the right in the green sweater. :)


Thursday, December 29, 2011

Lunch Date with Mom

I adore my mom. She is my rock and I can't imagine my life without her. I love getting to spend time with her. Although I've been home for a bit, I did volunteer work before the funeral and felt crappy for a couple days after the funeral. We've only really been doing fun stuff this week. We went out for a lunch date on Tuesday at the Whole Foods in Tampa. She had a turkey sandwich and soup, whereas I had tofu tacos from the hot bar. The taco seasoning was similar to the seasoning from their seitan/tvp fajita casserole thing. I topped my tofu tacos with avocado spread (with lemon to prevent browning) and lettuce. I made a little side of wild rice with corn and black beans from the salad bar. No real veggies in this meal. Whoops. I also saw that there were donuts, but no new varieties, so I selected a chocolate raspberry cake slice and a giant carrot cake cupcake. The selection of vegan desserts was way better at this store than the one in Palm Beach Gardens.



We also bought some groceries - pizza crust, pizza sauce, sliced olives, Yves pepperoni, and Daiya cheese for pizza; Soy Whip for the fresh Plant City strawberries we bought at the produce stand; and some Field Roast sausages.



Wednesday, December 28, 2011


As usual, we started Christmas with a brunch for my grandpa's wife. She didn't cry, but she looked pretty darn close by the end of the meal. I felt bad for her, but we couldn't even cheer her up with gifts since we don't exchange gifts at brunch. My aunt who hosts these events is a vegetarian, so she tries to make the effort to include vegan items for me. She had the tofu and red potato with miso gravy dish for Thanksgiving. For Christmas, she had pumpkin waffles and roasted winter vegetables. Both recipes are from Vegan with a Vengeance. The waffles reminded me of the pumpkin donuts I made at Thanksgiving. Yum! For dinner, I had a Tofurky Roast, mashed potatoes, and sauteed zucchini and squash.


As a Christmas present, our goats had babies. Two were born last Wednesday (top photo) and one was born yesterday. The others were born a few months ago (bottom photo).



Friday, December 23, 2011

200th Post

This is my 200th post! I know I said that I'd be back after Christmas, but I finally have some time to post.

My grandfather (my dad's dad) died on the 10th from cancer. The doctors thought he had multiple types of cancer at the same time, not just one original tumor that had metastasized. His funeral was on the 15th. My dad had a really strained relationship with my grandpa, so the funeral was really upsetting to me. I don't want to go into this any further on this blog, but it was a really emotional day. While at the cemetery, my sister and I tried to find my great-grandma's grave (my dad's mom's mom). We couldn't find it, but it would have been nice to stop by her resting place.

I have some photos of Whole Foods goodies from one of my last trips before coming home. I have been doing some work from home, as well as recovering from a few days of flu. I feel pretty great today, so here are some photos!

Falafel, dolmas (stuffed grape leaves), and cream-filled donut.


Samosas - Indian potato and peas inside a fried dough pocket, just re-heat in the oven!


Pizza!! - pre-made Rustic Crust, Muir Glen pizza sauce, Sunergia soy feta, nutritional yeast, baby bella mushrooms (in brown paper bag), Kalamata olives, garlic, green bell pepper, onion, and cherry tomato halves


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Small Holiday Hiatus

I am going through a lot right now with my family, so I probably won't blog very much until after Christmas. My grandpa died last weekend and the funeral is on Thursday. I've got some other personal stuff to do and writing for work, so I'll be busy. Enjoy the holiday season, my few readers! :)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Go Max Go candies

On a recent trip to Whole Foods, I was walking down the bulk aisle, which has sweet snacks on the other side of the aisle. Well, I'm a sweet snack kind of gal, so I couldn't help but look. I know that I totally shouldn't be buying sweets, given that I've put on a few extra pounds of fat this year than I had planned. Yes, I planned to gain weight this year. Mostly muscle, but I did pack on a few fat pounds that I didn't want.

Anyways, on the sweets aisle, I saw some of the Go Max Go candy bars. I've never tried any of their products before, but I've read great reviews. I was able to purchase the Jokerz, Twilight, Mahalo, and Buccaneer bars. They didn't have the new Snap or Cleo treats (maybe one day!). The Jokerz bar is like a Snickers, the Twilight bar is like a Milky Way, the Mahalo bar is like an Almond Joy, and the Buccaneer bar is like Three Musketeers. The Snap bar is like a Krackle bar and the Cleo treats are like Reese's cups.

I can't wait to enjoy these over my holiday break. I'm saving them as my stocking stuffer.


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Two Pot Meal

I decided to keep it simple this weekend, because I was immersed in LSU football and The Host. Yes, nerd alert, I read the 619 page book in two days. I wanted to have some recipes to put on the stovetop and forget for a little bit. The prep work was pretty quick, so I threw everything in the pots for 40-60 mins and went back to my book. I chose the cranberry-cashew biyrani and eggplant-chickpea curry from Appetite for Reduction. I love Indian food, but these dishes could have used a pinch of cayenne pepper. I've also decided that I'm not a huge fan of eggplant. It just hasn't impressed me in the last several recipes I've tried it in. This made enough food for 3 dinners, so I will be happy to cook something new tomorrow.


Saturday, December 3, 2011

MacBook's back, alright!

Sorry, I couldn't resist the cheesy 90s boy-band reference. I couldn't help but chuckle. I was able to pick up my MacBook Pro on Friday morning! Sooo happy to have my computer back.

Anyways, I had my content meeting with my committee yesterday! I showed how I wanted to structure my PhD dissertation with my introduction, previous 2 papers, and current projects. I am aiming for 5 or 6 total chapters - an intro, my two circadian rhythm papers, and my current metabolic projects. I am currently studying 3 different metabolic genes, but only one gene is close to completion. That project should be submitted for publication by the end of the year hopefully. The other two genes are only about half way complete, so I would just like to tie up those projects for a nice chapter and maybe a paper. I don't really know what to do with those two genes... I survived the meeting and then celebrated by talking music and sports with hot dudes at Greg's birthday party. :)

Since I didn't want to do a ton of cooking this week leading up to the meeting, I made a pasta dish and a curry dish. This curry has lentils, red curry paste, coconut milk, zucchini, squash, green bell pepper, and onion over quinoa.


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

I'm Still Alive!

After being MIA for weeks on this blog, I'm finally uploading some photos. My MacBook had to be sent out for repairs, but it took forever to hear back from the Apple Store that this was needed. I'm updating from work since I don't have my computer back yet.

On the Sunday before Thanksgiving, I had dinner at a friend's house for Friends' Thanksgiving, a yearly tradition of the host. I brought the 5-cheese baked mac & cheese from Hearty Vegan Meals for Monster Appetites, which went over quite well. Another vegetarian girl brought a Tofurky, so I enjoyed a big plate full of veggie-rich sides, Tofurkey, and mac & cheese. I used Follow Your Heart brand vegan cheese, since the other vegetarian girl is allergic to coconuts and Daiya uses coconut oil. I didn't snap a photo, but someone else did of the entire group in our paper bonnets and hats (yes, pilgrim hats were mandatory at dinner). I drove home on Monday and spent the entire week at home, working a little and spending a lot of time with my family. I made dinner for my parents on Monday, making the celebration stew with pumpkin biscuits from FatFreeVegan. The stew wasn't as thick as I expected, plus the color was really gray. Tasty enough to eat, but not something I'd make again. Didn't snap a photo since it was the last thing on my mind as I tried to spend time with both of my parents.

I saw my best friend on Tuesday and spent Wednesday with my sister. I was shocked to see how thin my sister is. She's always been a little heavy, but gained a ton of weight through her pregnancies. She's lost 115 lbs total and is almost my size! It was awesome to hear her say that she is eating a lot more fresh produce, plus her husband has lost 40 lbs too! Will definitely try to get a photo at Christmas, we were so busy that I didn't even grab my camera!

On Thanksgiving day, we had brunch at my grandma's house. We normally have brunch with my grandpa, but he's dying so he got the big dinner in the afternoon. My grandma wasn't particularly happy that she was hosting the brunch, but my sister made sure to take my grandma to dinner with my sister's in-laws. Anyways, at the big dinner, my vegetarian aunt made a tofu, red potato, and onion dish with miso gravy (likely from Vegan with a Vengenance, I saw it lurking in her kitchen) for our main dish (while everyone else enjoyed turkey), then all vegan sides of cornbread stuffing, green beans with mushrooms, roasted cauliflower with Kalamata olives, and the vegan pumpkin cheesecake for dessert (also likely from VwaV).


Since I didn't get any leftovers to bring home, I made my Field Roast (stuffed with hazelnuts and cranberries and wrapped in puff pastry) on Friday. I served it with mashed potatoes (since they were loaded down with dairy at Thanksgiving, courtesy of my other aunt's "famous" recipe), peas, and creamed corn. The Field Roast didn't seem to cook through the stuffing very easily, but that could have been due to my attempts to defrost it in the microwave. Overall, I enjoyed the Field Roast, but find Tofurkey to be easier to cook. I also got to enjoy cooking in my mom's recently remodeled kitchen. It was gorgeous!


After playing with our new baby goats and enjoying the LSU-Arkansas game on Black Friday, I made pumpkin spice donuts instead of going out shopping. I didn't add the apple, so I followed the suggestion for more pumpkin and less flour. These were so good that I made them twice during the week I spent at home to use up all of the pumpkin. I used 1 Tbs oil instead of flax seed the second time, since I didn't bring 2 Tbs of flax seeds with me. They held up fine. This was the first time I've used my donut cutter.


So after avoiding shopping on Friday, I spent Saturday morning with one of my aunts, my grandma, and my mom. We spent a few hours at their house just talking. My mom and I headed over to Bed Bath & Beyond to use up some coupons. I bought dark purple sheets and a pillow for my new daybed. I think I'm going to repaint it over Christmas, since I don't like the antique off-white color of the bed frame. I also took down all the heavy metal posters that have been on my bedroom walls since 1999 with the hopes that my mom will buy some paint to repaint the walls. The gray is getting a little old, since it's been on the walls since I was 12 or 13. I put up the Christmas tree on Sunday afternoon and then made the boring drive back to Jupiter, so I could prepare for my data meeting on Friday. I think my committee will be impressed and let me schedule my defense, but you never know with them...

Thursday, November 17, 2011

MacBook is in the shop!

I spilled water on my MacBook, then frantically hit the power button, causing the screen to die. The technician said there doesn't appear to be major water damage, so they're ordering a logic board for the easy fix. My Apple Care covers this $526 repair thankfully. If the logic board replacement doesn't make my screen turn on, then the MacBook will shipped off for repairs. Let's hope the logic board replacement will be enough! It's weird not having a computer at home, plus I have to be stuck at work to make slides for my presentation on December 2nd. Almost done with the slides, but I should finish them by Saturday night, so I can send them to my boss for review. That leaves the holiday break for writing up my 3rd manuscript for publication and a script for my presentation.

To cheer myself up after leaving my MacBook at the Apple Store, I found this LOLCats picture.


Monday, November 14, 2011

String of Bad Luck

After having a series of tissue culture experiments completely fail, I finally got some great data on Friday using mouse liver extracts. (Totally gross, I know.) I was so happy! On Saturday, I took my car into the dealership to figure out why the check engine light came on. I was just there last weekend to replace a vacuum hose, so I couldn't understand why the light came on again. After sitting there for 4 HOURS, the rep said that the shop was short-staffed and had not yet diagnosed my car. They weren't even going to try, but they claimed a part that helps the timing belt move along was loose, which made the car unsuitable to drive. I left it there, frustrated as could be. My mom basically ripped me a new one about how I need to buy a new car. Yeah, with what money? I make grad student pay and I spend 50% of my income on my rent. Hmmm, yeah, let me squeeze a car payment in there too. Then, on Sunday, I spilled water on my MacBook. I was able to get it to start, but later on, the screen would stay black even though the start up chime sounded. Great. Let's hope something isn't shorted out, because water damage usually isn't covered under warranty/Apple Care. Once I get my car back, I'll take it in for an inspection if it doesn't start up in a few days. Perfect timing, right? I'm trying to read papers at home to email potential postdoc advisors and I need to start making slides for my thesis content approval meeting, where my committee and I will schedule my defense and discuss what is left to be completed before I can defend.


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thunder Thighs

I saw this Nike ad online and loved it. It says, "I have thunder thighs. And that's a compliment because they are strong and toned and muscular and though they are unwelcome in the petite section they are cheered on in marathons. Fifty years from now I'll bounce a grandchild on my thunder thighs and then I'll go out for a run. Just do it."


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Simple Curry

Because I've spent the last several days perfecting my application materials for potential postdoctoral positions, I just wanted an easy dinner last night. I popped some quinoa into the rice cooker (so quick and easy, if you've never tried it!), then diced a pepper and an onion. I steamed some cauliflower to bulk up this dish. I tossed the pepper and onion into the skillet, then added cubed tofu (bought the cubed kind for lazy days like this) and fire roasted tomatoes. I used a boxed mix for curry seasonings, just sprinkling it in until I liked the taste. It was filling, healthy, and flavorful. After sending out three emails today, I was happy to come home to the leftovers of this meal.


Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Last Couple Weeks

In my attempt to finish Mofo, I didn't post much about social events. Obviously, with Halloween weekend, I have a couple photos to post. On the Thursday before Halloween, I went to SunLife Stadium with two of my friends from work. We watched the Miami Hurricanes play football against the Virginia Cavaliers. Miami lost, so my friend was bummed. I graduated from FSU, so I can never root for Miami; they're our conference rival. I didn't get any photos of the three of us unfortunately.


Then on Friday, I went to a costume party with a bunch of my coworkers. I took some items from the theme section of my closet to pull together an 80s' rocker look. I finally got to wear my pleather-y leggings from Macy's. I can't believe I paid $35 for them, but I had to have them when I saw them months ago. Glad I finally wore them to justify the expense. (That's me on the far left, for any readers who may not know me in real life.)


On Saturday, I met up with some friends, thinking we'd head downtown to MoonFest. However, that didn't happen. I ended up being super annoyed with the MINORS that were with one of my friends, so I came home early. I thought about driving downtown and meeting up with another group of friends, but I figured by that time, I'd be stuck on the off ramp and never actually make it to Clematis Street. So there are no photos of my Army-themed costume. On Halloween day, I watched Paranormal Activity with a friend after work.

This weekend, Cristin hosted a farewell party for our friend, Jeff. It was nice to see everyone, because it's been forever. I've been working a lot, including weekends, and spending my weeknights reading papers for potential postdocs and being a hermit. So much work, so little time. I'm presenting the data for my thesis on December 2nd, so I can ask my committee to schedule my thesis defense. I didn't get any photos of the party itself, because the group headed to Duffy's to watch the LSU vs Bama game. I ended up going to another friend's for the game, because I have to head to work in a little bit. I knew that being the ONLY LSU fan at Duffy's would end in a shit-show, so I decided to be responsible. (Lame!) For the game, I made red velvet cupcakes with Tofutti cream cheese frosting and golden vanilla cupcakes with purple buttercream frosting. In the red velvet cupcakes, I did not use all of the oil, instead I used a 50/50 split of oil and apple sauce for the same total volume. I used the recipe from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World for the vanilla cupcakes and buttercream.


Cristin's sister was sweet enough to bring me a delicious piece of raw vegan coconut pie from Juice Therapy Cafe. Yum! I had that for breakfast today. Healthy, I know. It's my day off from the gym. ;)


OK, time to head to work!

Thursday, November 3, 2011


Taco casserole thingy and raspberry jam-filled donut from Whole Foods. Yum.



Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Mofo Recap & Flore in LA

Mofo was great! I discovered so many new blogs and spent many nights clicking through

Look at all this traffic:


I rarely receive comments, so I was surprised by the amount of visitors and comments I received. I went from having a couple regular readers, who are my friends in real life, to having several readers and regular commenters!

I was also nominated for a Liebster award by CraftyEarthMama. You can see the nomination here. She lives in California, so she nominated me because I went to so many of the local vegan eateries on my trip to LA. I managed to eat at Real Food Daily, The Vegan Joint, Native Bowl, and Flore. I just noticed that I never did a write-up for Flore! What a shame. I really loved the burrito named for the shop, it had some of the best tempeh bacon I've ever tried. My friend, Eric, ordered the potato tacos. We split a raw Neapolitan shake for dessert. I feel like a dummy for not posting this during Mofo! I uploaded it into Photobucket, but somehow skipped past it when writing posts, even though it was uploaded to fb.


I recently joined the pen pal project at Vegan Machine. I just checked my mail today for the first time in weeks and received my first letter! Woohoo!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Mofo #20 - Little Vegan Tips


These are a couple little things that I think could be helpful to other vegans.

I like Garden of Life because they use algae to produce their vitamins. I take their vitamin D and calcium supplement, as well as their women's multivitamin. The multivitamin is low in calcium and iron. I take a combination iron and B12 supplement from Solaray. EDIT 2013: Garden of Life uses wool to produce lanolin, which the algae then convert to vitamin D3. I have switched to MegaFood's Vegan Daily and a vitamin D2 supplement. If my iron or B12 gets too low, the Garden of Life iron/B12 combo is marked vegan or I'll get another brand.


Body products:
I use St. Ive's apricot scrub and body wash. I like Paul Mitchell hair products, but sometimes I buy Tresemme or the Costco brand. I've heard Aveda is also cruelty-free. You can use the Cruelty Free bunny app on your smart phone to check brands.

Lots of the Costco brand soaps are plant-derived and not tested on animals.

Menu Planning:
The secret to my menu planning success is a white board calendar! I like to see the meals assigned to the days, then write up a grocery list for two weeks' worth of groceries. I usually plan a month at a time, so I can grocery shop when I receive my stipend payments. I like to pick out a couple cookbooks and internet print-outs, then map them onto the calendar. (This looks blank because I haven't planned for November yet.) The lower white board is for various notes, as you can see it has a wish list and groceries on it right now.


I can check my little pantry for what I already have available as I make my selections. I bought a bunch of clear acrylic containers at Bath Bed & Beyond to be able to easily see what's running low. The containers on the bottom hold flour, sugar, and Basmati rice.


Sunday, October 30, 2011

Mofo #19 - Halloween Goodies


I love Halloween. I've seen some amazing vegan goodies online that I thought I'd share. When I buy sweets, I tend to pick Oreos, Skittles, Sour Patch Kids, or Back to Nature peanut butter cookies.

- Candy corn: homemade and store-bought
- Cookies: cute confetti toppings
- Candied apples: chocolate-dipped and peanut butter caramel
- Cake: cat cake pops and pumpkin cupcakes
- Marshmallows: pumpkin spice

I didn't buy any of those things, but I did make oatmeal, peanut butter, and chocolate chip cookies. I baked mine a couple minutes longer than the recipe called for, because they were undercooked after only 12 mins. I used two flax "eggs" and Earth Balance margarine to veganize the recipe (1 flax egg = 1 Tbs milled flax + 3 Tbs water, whisk until thick). I think the flax eggs are the reason the batter didn't completely cook in 12 mins.


On a Halloween-themed side note, I loved this PostSecret card from today.


Saturday, October 29, 2011

Mofo #18 - Haute Pockets


I've never eaten Hot Pockets or Ramen noodles. I know, you'd think I never went to college. I always thought the concept of Hot Pockets is a good one - a meal you can hold in your hands that doesn't require silverware. I love burritos and calzones, so a Hot Pocket should logically be loved too. When I saw the recipe for Haute Pockets (get it, haute/hot) in Hearty Vegan Meals for Monster Appetites, I wanted to make it right away. I kept putting it off because it required puff pastry dough. Although puff pastry dough isn't as scary as phyllo dough, I was still afraid I'd rip the dough sheet and ruin everything. However, today, I proved myself wrong! The dough sheets were sturdier than I expected, so I successfully made Haute Pockets. They contain homemade sausages (recipe in the book), sauce with a little kick, and broccoli. A few of them leaked, because I had a hard time closing the edges with a fork. I enjoyed munching on these tonight as I was watching tv (so cliche for an American, I know). I tried really hard to get a picture of the filling after I took a bite, but the photo looked terrible due to poor indoor light quality.


Here are the sausages, so you can see their cute mini-size.


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Mofo #17 - Isa's Alfreda


I finally broke the pizza curse tonight! I helped a friend decorate for a Halloween party this weekend and we had pizza for dinner. After coming home, I made the alfreda sauce and Italian tofu in Vegan with a Vengeance. I know that I'm going to be rushed after work tomorrow and Friday, so I decided to just make dinner tonight and pack it into two sets of Pyrex. I pressed the tofu overnight in my Tofu Xpress and marinated it during the day today. I used vegetable broth instead of white wine for the base of the marinade. I popped the tofu into the oven to bake as I prepared the sauce and cooked the last of my whole wheat pasta stash. The sauce is not white like alfredo sauce usually is, but it has a nice zing from the chili powder. I added in peas and chopped parsley. I'm really looking forward to having such a healthy, quick meal for dinner when I'm rushing in between work and social events.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Mofo #16 - Pizza Curse Continues


Today, I volunteered for an education outreach event. They always serve pizza and the coordinator always orders a cheese-free veggie pizza for me. I was excited to have some pizza after last Friday's bust. I love my monthly serving of pizza. I opened the box to discover a pizza with ONLY SAUCE. SERIOUSLY?! The coordinator said the admin called in the pizza, and given her general ineptitude, she likely miscommunicated the order to the pizza place. WHY ON EARTH WOULD THE PIZZA PLACE THINK ANYONE WOULD ORDER A TOPPING-LESS PIZZA?! Seriously thankful that I packed a delicious lunch of lentil curry, whole wheat pita bread, and a Gala apple. I knew my cheese-free pizza would not have any protein, so I planned to bring a protein-rich lunch to balance out the day. For the curry, I cut the recipe in half, except that I used a whole white onion, half a red onion, and a whole green bell pepper. It calls for tomato puree, but I used an 8 oz can of tomato sauce. [I should note here that I had pasta leftovers when I got home from work, but I did snack on the crusts of the sauce-only pizza.]


Monday, October 24, 2011

Mofo #15 - Pasta e Fagioli with Spinach


I made the pasta e fagioli with spinach from Appetite for Reduction. I soaked the white beans on Saturday night and cooked them yesterday. That meant all I had to do today was cook the pasta (more than the recipe calls for, of course) and make the tomato sauce. I ended up adding the spinach to the sauce to wilt it, instead of creating layers of pasta, sauce, and spinach. I liked the mild taste of the sauce and the beans added a touch of creaminess, since some of the beans broke apart as I was stirring. Overall, a simple meal for a Monday night.


Sunday, October 23, 2011

Mofo #14 - Falafel


Last night, I made falafel using the recipe in Vegan with a Vengeance. This book was my first vegan cookbook. I received it as a birthday gift when I was still vegetarian. Funny how life works out, it's as if my vegetarian aunt knew one day I'd convert to veganism. Anyways, having made Isa's baked falafel from Appetite for Reduction in the past, I decided to try her fatty version in VwaV. I served these in whole wheat pita with lettuce, diced red onion, diced cucumber, and plum tomato slices. The falafel are topped with the tahini dressing suggested in the book. These were very tasty and I think they'd bake just fine if you wanted to avoid the frying. I made the oatmeal raisin cookies from Vegan Diner for dessert, because I couldn't stop thinking about them for some reason.


If you love falafel as much as I do, here are links to previous falafel posts.
- Appetite for Reduction's Baked Falafel
- Vegan Fire & Spice's Falafel
- Hearty Vegan Meals for Monster Appetite's Falafel
- Chipotle Kidney Bean Falafel
- Internet Falafel
- Chow Vegan's Falafel (no photo)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Mofo #13 - When All Else Fails


Last night, the graduate students and the postdocs hosted a social event - pizza, beer tasting, and the PhD comics movie. I had RSVP-ed and requested a cheese-free vegetable pizza. Somehow, the postdoc in charge of ordering pizza thought that a veggie pizza should include ONLY tomatoes and olives. Yes, that's right, ONLY TOMATOES AND OLIVES! WTF?! Needless to say, I was not satisfied after dinner. After the movie, I came home to make a protein smoothie. I normally have this after working out in the morning, but it became my dinner last night.

Smoothie: 1 cup vanilla soymilk + 1 cup frozen blueberries + 1 cup frozen strawberries + 1 banana + 2 Tbs hemp protein + 2 Tbs milled flax seed + 1/4 tsp iodized sea salt


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Mofo #12 - Impossible Omelettes


I have been trying for two days to make these damn omelettes. The Western omlettes in American Vegan Kitchen look so delicious, but they are extremely difficult for me to make. The batter contains tofu, cooked chickpeas, and corn starch. I tried to get a thin of layer of batter in my skillet. Yesterday, the omelettes burned; today, the omelettes didn't cook through all the way before I tried to flip them. They made a mess. As you can see in the photo, the outside looks golden and cooked; but once I tried to flip it, you can see the lighter colored uncooked insides. Ugh. I didn't use vegan sausage links and added thinly sliced tomatoes instead of salsa. I have decided that I am just not cut out to cook vegan omelettes, because I had difficulty with the ones from Vegan Brunch as well. *sigh* If only a restaurant around here made vegan omelettes, I would finally get to try a properly cooked omelette.