Tag Archives: veganomicon

Lunch and unloading

17 Aug

I’m feeling really down — probably hormonal, you’re welcome — today, so I am struggling to muster the enthusiasm for a real post. Instead I’ll show you what end-of-the-week meals start to look like when you refuse to buy more groceries but only have random crap left in the fridge.

Yesterday’s lunch:

Yeah, basically it’s a couple of different vehicles for ketchup. At the top is roasted cauliflower. It started out as about a cup’s worth but shriveled down to what you see. The patties are the Chickpea Cutlets from Veganomicon. I made four total, not the double batch in the linked recipe. I’m really glad I had the foresight to cook the entire package of garbanzo beans this week instead of just the quantity I needed for that night. My lunch was boosted by a delightful coworker who brought strawberries to work, plus tortilla chips…

…which you now see well represented in today’s lunch. I had the remaining patty (one never left the apartment Wednesday night) with more ketchup, plus chips and some Wholly Guacamole.

As a bonus, here’s what I ate for breakfast in lieu of my planned smoothie (RIP blender) the last two days:

Vegan overnight oats. Yes, they’re in a jar. That is because I transported them to work. They are also really unphotogenic but actually pretty tasty. The mix contains oats, almond milk, vanilla, cinnamon, peanut butter, and banana. I add the last two ingredients in the morning, not during the soaking. Incidentally, this is what a banana that looked normal-ish before you packed it looks like after a ride using the Los Angeles public transportation system:


On the realsies, I’m currently fighting with myself to admit I’m depressed. ‘Cause I’m totally not. It’s normal to cry almost every day and have no desire to see the sun and get my feelings hurt when someone somewhere in the world has a conversation and does not go out of their way to include me in it, especially when I make it clear that I’m antisocial and don’t like to be bothered. Right? Some days are bigger struggles than others. Some are downright horrid, but plenty are happy and carefree. I’m still struggling to find the good, think of things that would cheer me up, but too often it leads to resentment. While I welcome suggestions, so many of them are not realistic. “Get a massage!” “Treat yourself to a pedicure!” “Take a weekend away!” “Go out for some retail therapy!” I would so love to do any or all of these things, but they all cost money, and I don’t have any extra. This week I finally forced myself to start budgeting again for real for real, and the spreadsheet is depressing enough on its own. Compound it with how lonely and unmotivated I am, and it’s making me feel worse, though it’s a necessary evil. They say money can’t buy happiness, but it sure can alleviate some of the stress.

Sorry for unloading, but I did promise to keep it real-er around here. Now you know why I keep it to myself most of the time.


Failures and successes

30 May

I don’t document many kitchen failures on this blog. Truthfully I don’t make a lot of terribly risky things, so that’s part of the reason. However, so as not to be disingenuous, today’s post will spotlight two not-so-successful endeavors of the past week. The first:

Um, yeah. Yummy? Blech. This was a certifiable vegan overnight oats failure. I mixed 1/2 cup of oats, 1 cup of water, and a few frozen blueberries into a tupperware container in the fridge overnight, assuming they would absorb all the liquid. Yeah, not so much. Instead, my bowl was filled with soggy, liquidy oats. Not appetizing. This was Monday morning, and I showed you in my last post the oatmeal I made my lazy way. That night, I made stab number two at overnight oats, which was far, far more successful:

I combined 1/2 cup of oats with 3/4 cup of homemade almond milk and half a mashed banana. Oh, and blueberries again. The result was still a little liquidy, but it was delicious. At work, I topped with Justin’s chocolate hazelnut butter and a splash of coconut milk creamer.

So tasty and soothing. I highly recommend.

Another failure was my lunches for the week. I thought a little snack plate featuring lettuce wraps would be fun:

Looks pretty enough, right? It was a fail, pure and simple. Clockwise from top left, you have lettuce from the farmers market, white bean spread, sugar snap peas from the farmers market, chopped pepitas, and Chipotle Brown Rice. The bean dip is based on the White Bean Aioli from Veganomicon, and it’s just not that tasty. I wanted to like it: navy beans, garlic, olive oil, and lemon juice — what’s not to like? There’s just something off about it. Maybe it was too thin? Here’s it wrapped up:

I think I failed at bringing enough food, too. That’s why I included some of the rice intended for book club. Speaking of the rice, book club was cancelled due to the threat of imminent death (i.e. scary tornado warnings following the Joplin disaster), so the rice is ours. Woo hoo! It came out crazy spicy, but I love it. Here’s how you make it. The chipotle sauce is borrowed heavily from Veganomicon, by the way.

Chipotle Brown Rice

  • 1 1/2 cups brown rice
  • Half a large onion, chopped
  • 4-6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 chipotle peppers, minced
  • 2 tablespoons adobo sauce from the peppers
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
Cook the rice the way you like. I’m lazy and use a rice cooker. When rice is done, heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sautee, stirring frequently, until both have softened, about 10 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir for about 30 seconds. It’ll smell incredible.
Remove from the heat and let it cool slightly. Then puree it in a blender, food processor, or in a bowl using an immersion blender (my method of choice). When fairly smooth — a few chunks are fine — mix into the brown rice, stirring well. Adjust for salt, pepper, and cumin to taste.
This was delicious on its own. My favorite, though, was topped with some of X’s Spicy Portobello Chili and nutritional yeast.
Spicy, savory heaven.

Veganomicon Winner

29 Nov

First, I’m a little sad to say that no one entered my final cooking contest, but I completely understand. Thanksgiving weekend is a busy time in my homeland, so I’m sure it is in yours, too. To be perfectly honest, I didn’t prepare anything either, so I certainly won’t hold it against any of you. I still think it’s a fun idea, though, so I will revisit it after the New Year.

Anyway, let’s talk about the Veganomicon giveaway. I received 20 entries by the deadline, so I plugged that lucky number into Random.org to choose a winner. Drum roll please.


Number 18. However, commenter 18 is actually labeled 19, thanks to my own comment at number 5, which I obviously excluded. So, who do we have?

Congrats, Nik!  There isn’t a website or email address attached to your name, so get in touch with me to claim your prize.

Thanks everyone for entering!



25 Nov

Due to a clerical error that is totally and completely my own inability to read a calendar, the Veganomicon giveaway is still on. Go to the post to enter for your chance to win!

Giveaway and contest entries end tonight!

21 Nov

Don’t forget, folks, you have until tonight at 11:59 p.m. Central time (that’s Greenwich -6) to qualify for:

  1. My giveaway of Veganomicon
  2. My week #3 raw un-cooking challenge

Show me what you got!

Chilly weather food

18 Nov

As if you needed another reason to enter my giveaway of Veganomicon, I present my lunch this week.

Stuffed bell pepper and dirty rice. Both recipes are bastardized versions of a couple found in – yes – Veganomicon. Below are the versions I used.

Spicy Stuffed Bell Peppers (based on the Creole Stuffed Peppers)

  • 2 large red bell peppers
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 jalapeno, cut in half and sliced finely (seeded if you don’t like the spicy)
  • 1/2 cup finely diced carrots
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 15-oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 15-oz can white beans (I used great northern but would recommend navy or black-eyed peas — the original recipe calls for the latter)

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Spray an 8×8″ baking dish. Boil a large pot of water. Meanwhile, cut a slit down the side of each bell pepper from the stem to the bottom. Remove the seeds and membranes. I find it easiest to remove the stem, too, but you can leave it if you like the look. Dunk the bell peppers into the boiling water for five minutes, then drain them and put them in a bowl of cold water.

Heat the oil in a saute pan over medium to medium-high heat. Cook the jalapenos and carrots for 8 to 10 minutes, until they begin to brown. Add the garlic halfway through. Then add the bay leaves, herbs and spices, sauteing for one more minute. Add the tomatoes and beans (or peas), stir, and cover for about 10 minutes. If it’s still liquidy, cook for a few more minutes uncovered.

Remove the bay leaf and scoop everything else inside the bell peppers. Bake the peppers in the prepared baking dish for about 25 minutes. Serves 2.

This recipe is supposed to contain onion, but I confess that I was just too lazy to chop one up. That happens more than I should admit. I served the peppers alongside Mostly Clean Rice (based on the Messy Rice from V.con.)

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/8 to 1/4 cup shallot, finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup long-grain brown rice
  • 2 cups water

Heat oil in a medium sauce (or saute) pan over medium heat. Saute the onions for five minutes until they begin to brown. Add the coriander and garlic for two minutes, then add the tomato paste and stir until well distributed. Add salt, pepper, rice, and water. Stir, then cover and bring to a boil. Once it boils, lower the heat, cover, and cook until done, about 35 minutes. If the liquid boils off but the rice isn’t tender, add more 1/4 to 1/2 cup at a time. Cook until rice is the consistency you want. Serves 2.

The instructions of the original recipe state clearly to use crushed coriander seed and NOT dried coriander. However, I did it any way, and the flavor is excellent. Maybe it’s better that way, but I like mine just fine.

As always, my recipes tend to double the spices, so if you’re sensitive to heat, tone them down. If you crave a kick, try my version.

And now get your entries in for your chance to own a copy of Veganomicon!

Cookbook of the Week #3: Veganomicon

17 Nov

When I say the name of the current Cookbook of the Week, I always sing it to the tune of the “Hallelujah” chorus of Handel’s Messiah: “Veganomicon, Veganomicon, Veganomicon…” You get the idea.

I’ve had this book for about a year, and I really don’t use it as much as I should. Part of the reason is that many of the recipes are more time-consuming than is realistic for my daily lifestyle. However, pretty much everything I’ve made from the book has been a success (with the exception of the floptastic pancakes that one time), so I decided to spotlight it this week. You undoubtedly noticed – because I know you all pore over my words and don’t miss a syllable – that last night’s scalloped potatoes were based on a Veganomicon recipe. I have also thoroughly enjoyed the Mexican Millet, Black Beans with Chipotle Adobo Sauce, the Chickpea Cutlets, and the Pasta e Fagioli.

I wouldn’t recommend Veganomicon for a brand-new cook. Many of the recipes require a large time and effort investment. However, if you know your way around the kitchen and want to expand your vegan-cooking horizons, you must pick up a copy.

And because I’m just all full of warm fuzzies toward Vegan MoFo this month, I’m giving away a copy of Veganomicon! That’s right, friends. This wonderful cookbook could be all yours.

Here’s how you can enter:

1. “Like” the Vegging out in T-Town Facebook page and leave me a comment here letting me know you did. That’ll give you one chance to win.
2. Tweet about the giveaway with a link to this post and leave me a comment with a link to your post. That’ll give you one chance to win.
3. Post about the giveaway on your blog with a link to this post and leave me a comment with a link to what you wrote. Doing so will give you two chances.
4. Leave a comment on this post either telling me what you most want to make from Veganomicon or what you most want to make from my recipes page. This will give you one chance to win.

That means each entrant can have up to five chances to win! Woo hoo! I like them odds. (Yes, “them.” I’m an Okie, remember?) I will use a random number generator to pick the winner. If you want to win, make sure to enter by Sunday, November 28 at 11:59 p.m. Central time. Good luck!