it’s no secret that we don’t really celebrate xmas. to me it’s just an annoying holiday when the bars and vegan restaurants are closed. however, that doesn’t stop me from taking the day off work and filling up on holiday-themed food. it also doesn’t stop my awesome parents from buying us tons of gifts.
this year on xmas day, my husband and i attended a slap-up vegan holiday party, meaning we couldn’t have dinner with my parents until the next day. we decided to invite them around to our place on boxing day for an informal vegan celebration. we provided the main course and desserts, they brought us some side dishes and some unexpected gifts. it was awesome.
we went a little over board with dessert, and ordered 12 twinkies from no whey vegan baking. needless to say, there were tons left over and we sent my parents home with a whole container full. everyone loved them, especially my dad who has been dying to try a vegan twinkie for like 6 months. while the normal yellow cake with white frosting filling variety was well received, my new favorite is definitely the red velvet twinkie. the cake is moist and insanely decadent, and the filling isn’t frosting, but instead vegan cream cheese. absolutely delicious.
for a main dish, we cooked up a standard tofurky. although i prefer the celebration roast, which we made on thanksgiving, the tofurky was only $7.99 at the santa monica co-op. you can’t beat that price.
in addition to food, my parents also brought with them some surprise presents. thanks mom and dad! knowing what fans we are of veganomicon, they brought us isa chandra moskowitz’s other two wildly successful cookbooks: vegan with a vengeance and vegan cupcakes take over the world. yay!
so overall, it was a great feast with some extraordinary vegan twinkies and some vegan gift surprises. a fine, fine holiday indeed.Tags: broccoli, holidays, no whey, salad, tofurky, twinkies
as you may or may not know, native foods in westwood changed their menu, and in doing so eliminated most of my favorite dishes. so after my most recent and somewhat disappointing lunch there, i decided to go home and dust off the old native foods cookbook that i’ve been meaning to put to use. it’s filled with old recipes so i figured surely it could help take me back to my happy native foods place and give me a taste of the dishes i remember.
since native foods put the kibosh on farrah’s fatoush, my regular order and favorite dish, i decided to whip up a greek-style feast with all the cookbook had to offer. i varied it a little depending on preference and available ingredients, but i pretty much wound up with some quinoa tabouli, harry’s hummus, and a gorgeous greek salad. (btw, the cute names of the recipes make me wanna smash something.)
lemme start off by saying the meal i actually wanted to make was the bali surf burger. it’s this crazy-good tempeh concoction and i couldn’t wait to get my grubby little hands on the secret. well here’s what the cookbook said:
ok, now normally i would never post a scanned picture of recipe from a cookbook. it’s unethical. but in this case, as you can see, i’m giving nothing away. there are so many things wrong with this freaking recipe, i don’t know where to start. first off, the recipe is for a burger, but at the top right, the serving size is 2, “because you can’t eat just one!” and then the book goes on to just double all the ingredients in a really simple way. man, if i wanted 2 burgers i could figure it out for myself, trust me.
next, this isn’t even really a recipe. it’s a list of ingredients and a dummy’s guide on how to assemble a hamburger: “spread each side with 1/2 teaspoon mayonnaise. on bottom bun, place sauteed tempeh…” whaaaaaa? seriously? i dropped 20 bucks + shipping on this cookbook and you are wasting a page telling me how to physically put a hamburger together? stop it.
they may as well just give a tempeh recipe and be like, “this is awesome. make a burger with it if you so choose.” i don’t need a whole rundown on how to put mayo on a bun. …and not just that, but the tempeh recipe on page 65 is no big shakes either. it just tells you to go out and buy some tempeh, then sautee it. i won’t give away the “secret” or anything, but it feels like kind of a jip. basically everything with fake meat in the cookbook just provides ingredients, and then sends you to a website where you can order the soy meat products. hmmmmm. not cool.
so i decided to make something with ingredients i could find, that actually required some preparation. bring on the greekness!
k, lemme tell you what you’re looking at here. there’s harry’s hummus, the book describes it as a lighter hummus which doesn’t include tahini…then there’s quinoa tabouli, a blend of quinoa and parsley on a bed of greens (i omitted the mint because i didn’t have any, and used spinach instead of lettuce)…then there’s the gorgeous greek, a mixture of vegetables and tofu feta (i made it without bell peppers).
overall, everything tasted great, but i gotta say…there was SO MUCH FREAKING OLIVE OIL. in everything! i couldn’t believe my eyes when i was reading the recipes. i decided to half the oil in everything, and even then, as i was pouring the olive oil into the measuring cup i was like, ok i gotta stop, this is gonna fucking kill me before i finish it. i calculated all the recipes together, and in total, all the dishes would have required 2 CUPS OF OIL! seriously. granted there would have been left-overs and such, so it wouldn’t have all been eaten in one sitting…but i used left than half that amount and my food was still swimmin’ in it. gross.
my last criticism about the cookbook is that every recipe requires you to prepare something from another page. like to make the salad, i will need x amount of tofu feta, then i have to go to the tofu feta recipe page and not make the entire recipe, but figure out the right proportions to just make x. sometimes 2 or 3 times for one recipe. seriously, i’m no idiot, and scrambling around, flipping through pages and doing calculations got both tiring and mathematically taxing.
all that aside, the recipe came out great! everything was extremely delicious, albeit pretty heavy on the oil side. the best part was for sure the tofu feta which was lemony and tart, and didn’t taste like feta at all.
although the food was tasty, i’m gonna wait a few months before using the native foods cookbook again. it was hard work, and i think i should give it quite some time before consuming that much fat again. i mean, that’s what eating out is for!Tags: cookbook, greek, hummus, native foods, quinoa, salad, tofu feta
colman’s english mustard is my absolute favorite condiment ever. it knocks me to the ground and leaves me crying when i eat too much of it, but at the same time, i can never really get enough. i’ve been known to sit in pubs and unload an entire bottle onto an order of chips, until i am streaming tears and red in the face. what can i say…i am addicted to the heat. so naturally when i came across a tasty-sounding recipe for a portobello salad with spicy mustard dressing in veganomicon, i had to give it a whirl with colman’s. the result was deadly & delicious.
the only adjustments that i made to the salad recipe were: 1.) of course, subbing hot english mustard for the prepared spicy mustard, and 2.) using normal wine instead of cooking wine (cooking wine tastes like crap, and if it ain’t good enough for me, it ain’t good enough for my salad!). other than that, i went by the book, and the dish came out great. if you aren’t into really hot food though, and you still want that kick that colman provides, you may want to use half english mustard and half spicy mustard. seriously, i had to stop every once in a while and get water while eating because it was so fucking brutal.
the best things about this salad though, were the juicy and succulent portobellos. after marinating and baking, they tasted soooo flavorful, kind of like the mushrooms from m café that come in the bi-bim bop. i will definitely be cooking these again and throwing them on a sandwich or burger.
there ya have it, just another great tried and tested recipe from veganomicon. i would give it to you, but that would be cheating. definitely worth buying the book. everything i’ve tried has been awesome, except for the seitan, which come out quite right. i guess i will give it another shot. if any of you have some veganomicon seitan success stories, please let me know.
until then, spice it up with this salad! it will hurt so good.Tags: colman's, salad
July 9th, 2008salads
Back in 1983 I was fortunate enough to play chess with Garry Kasparov, one of the greatest chess players of all time. Actually, about 60 school-age kids and I played him simultaneously in a large hall as he walked systematically from table to table making move after move. Each of us had a while to plot our next move before Kasparov arrived at our table, yet he still beat every one of us, including me when I was mated after only 11 moves.
What stands out most about that experience, though, is not the humiliating (but expected) defeat rather his intriguing lunch salad of curry-covered chicken on a bed of spinach that he seemed to very much enjoy, despite the fact it came out of a polystyrene container.
This food item haunted me for years, as I was almost a vegetarian by then, and as a vegan now I longed to create the same dish that the soon-to-be World Champion (he was crowned in 1985) so nonchalantly downed while taking me, and 59 of my friends, down some 25 years ago.
Tags: chicken, salad
Kasparov Salad – Curried Vegan Mayo with spicy “chicken”, tomatoes and mushrooms.
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June 18th, 2008asian food, pete's tofu 2 go, products, quick meals, recipes, salads, stores, veganomicon, whole foods
veganomicon’s corn & edamame sesame salad, atop spinach leaves with asian dressing
pete’s tofu 2 go ready made tofu, with mango wasabi sauce (and we added in some chili garlic sauce as well)
so simple to make and ready in minutes, this was the perfect meal for a scorching hot evening spent sitting on the couch with a bottle of wine. there was just enough to satisfy without leaving us full, bloated and feeling guilty.
more pix after the jump…Tags: edamame, salad, spinach, tofu
There’s a sushi restaurant in West Hollywood on Santa Monica Boulevard called Ari-Ya. It is descended from an identical restaurant in the same location called Murakami. I remember when Murakami became Ari-Ya: the only thing that changed was the name, even the menus were the same, with sticky labels gracefully replacing Murakami with Ari-Ya. It’s still that way, if you check it out!
They have a regular sushi menu (the veggie rolls are a perfect vegan treat), but the reason I go there is a totally unique salad that’s SO GOOD. While, technically, this should be an Ari-Ya salad, I’m calling it by its maiden name of Murakami salad. Why? Just because.
In keeping with the Quarrygirl modus-el-operandi, I decided to emulate said salad at home, and hopefully improve the recipe to my own taste. The secret to a good salad is proportion: too much of any one ingredient throws the taste off balance quickly.Tags: ari-ya, murakami, recipes, salad, seaweed, tofu
There comes a time when one has to make a choice about a superlative that will stay with one for the rest of one’s life. “Best” is right up there with “Worst” as an all-encompassing word that leaves the recipient in no doubt about your opinion.
It is with this post that I tackle the “Best Salad in the World?”. I put the question mark at the end as it’s the best salad for ME, but it might not be for you. But it probably will be if you make it.
There’s a nice northern Italian restaurant on the ground floor of a building in West LA that I used to work in, and one day I ended up eating at my desk, yet forgetting about a lunch meeting at the restaurant (called “Il Moro”, pidgin Italian for “Tomorrow”). So, upon ordering at the restaurant, I decided to eat light and ordered a salad called the “Garga del Moro”. I enjoyed it so much that I set about creating it at home. Here’s my version of the “Best Salad in the World”. NO ifs, ands or buts.Tags: Il Moro, italian, salad
i love food that causes me pain and makes my eyes water. so naturally, i find a typical potato salad rather dull. last night i came up with this recipe (adapted from many others) that’s extremely spicy, rich with flavor, and 100% vegan.
here’s what you’ll need to make it happen:Tags: appetizer, english, mustard, potato salad, side dish
2 pounds of red potatoes
4 stalks of celery
1 red onion
1 1/2 cups of vegenaise
5 tablespoons of colman’s english mustard
1 teaspoon of salt
black pepper to taste (i use lots!)