Thursday, November 30, 2006

A few good eats...

Blah. Blah blah blah. There has been sickness and laziness and fatigue at our house since the weekend. Saturday evening, Bob started feeling sick to his stomach. Then Sunday his stomach was okay (relatively), but he was just sick and sore and achy all over. And I didn't feel too hot either on Sunday. Monday we both stayed home from our classes/jobs; neither of us felt like eating much. I had a headache on Monday too, and it persisted through yesterday. I'm feeling tons better today, thank goodness. I think the weather we've been having--55 degrees and sunny one day, 75 and rainy the next--has been causing it, at least partly.

Hence, no cooking or posting. What we have eaten this week has been leftovers, and they're about gone now. And on Sunday I went to a friend's birthday party, which was a tea party. She made a whole platter of vegan tea sandwiches (Tofutti cream cheese, cucumbers, sprouts), and since I was the only vegan there, I ended up taking home all the leftover vegan sandwiches (and all the other leftover vegan goodies--scones, ginger cookies, coconut cookies... wow). Monday, those sandwiches were about the only thing I could stomach to eat, so it was a very wonderful thing that they were sitting in my refrigerator.

Yesterday I finally made Dreena's Banana Bliss Pancakes from Vive!, which I had been intending to make again for quite a while. I've posted about these before, but they are so good that they merit another look:

I asked Bob to make me some soup for dinner last night, but then he reminded me that he had thawed out some pizza dough. So pizza it was. It was definitely tasty, as our homemade pizza always is. I know pineapple on pizza is controversial, but Bob and I love it. I wasn't very hungry, but it was delicious just the same. Broccoli, mushrooms, and pineapple chunks, along with some tofu ricotta and the wonderful pizza sauce from VWaV.

After reading Leslie's recent post about it, I got it in my mind and have not been able to shake it. Easy Caramel Sauce from Vive! So last night after dinner, as Bob was kneading a loaf of bread, I finally got in the kitchen and made some of the caramel sauce. Wow... This stuff is incredibly tasty, and the consistency is just perfect. It was great on apple slices. I used demerara sugar, which gave it a very light color. I'm used to light colored and light flavored caramel sauces, so this tasted like what I expected. Maybe sometime I will try it with a darker sugar like Leslie did to see the difference.

And today for lunch, I made a quick hummus. I've been meaning to do that for a while now too. I used:

1 can chickpeas
3 tablespoons tahini
2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 cloves garlic
Fresh dill, fresh parsley
Sea salt & freshly ground pepper

That's more tahini than I have used in the past, and I think from now on I will keep to my 2 tablespoon standard. The tahini tastes just a little too strong in this hummus. I threw in the dill and parsley mostly because I had it and wanted to use it up, and I added the extra lemon juice (I usually only use half that much) to contrast with the strong dill flavor. Very tasty. I had it on an open-faced sandwich with cucumbers and mushrooms for lunch. Now the dishes are piled up by the sink, and I hate washing the food processor. Ugh. Oh well, it was worth it.

Time for me to run to class. I'm going to catch up with you all very soon, now that I'm feeling up to it. Take care and enjoy the day!

Friday, November 24, 2006

The right way to celebrate

I've been cooking so much in the past couple of days (not necessarily all for Thanksgiving) that I haven't even had a chance to blog about it! But it may be some days before I really cook anything again--we have got enough food in our fridge right now to last us nearly a week! But I am excited that I finally have a few minutes to share it with you.

I told you that I have been meaning to try the Rosemary Seasoned Tofu Balls from Vive! Bob and I finally cooked them on Wednesday afternoon for lunch. They turned out to be a very labor-intensive meal--partly because I made my own breadcrumbs so I had 2 food processors working. The only tweak I made to the recipe was to use a green pepper instead of red, as that was what I had that needed to be used up. This recipe was incredibly delicious! I loved the texture of the balls--crispy on the outside and soft and tender in the middle. They were packed full of flavor, and the balsamic marinara sauce that the recipe provides to serve them with added another dimension of sweetness and tanginess. This is a recipe I would use again if I was really trying to make someone say "Wow..."

After we had lunch on Wednesday, we went over to Common Ground Athens where Food Not Bombs was cooking. They always cook and serve on Wednesdays and Sundays, which are our two church days. But this Wednesday we didn't have a service so we wanted to check it out for the first time. We had the most amazing time cooking and serving the homeless people in front of the winter shelter downtown. It was so cold outside Wednesday night, and the people who were gathered at the front of the shelter waiting for us when we got there were largely wearing only light windbreakers or long flannel shirts. I was so glad that the food was piping hot and that there was plenty for everyone--what if this was the closest thing to a Thanksgiving meal that some of these people would get? I cannot think of many causes I believe in as much as taking produce that grocery stores would otherwise have thrown away, and making it into a delicious and healthy meal to feed to people who need it. It was a wonderful experience, and I hope that we can be involved more often--even if we come by to cook before church and then have to leave before it is time to serve.

And then, of course, was Thanksgiving. We went to celebrate with Bob's family, and it was a wonderful visit. Let me count... I think there were 17 people there overall, which I must say was kind of a shock to me, because Thanksgiving with my family has always been four, five, maybe six. This was my first year not being with them and in a way it made me sad, but in the end I was comfortable being with Bob's family.

Besides the food that Bob and I brought, the dishes that we were able to eat were flat Italian green beans cooked with almond slices; cranberry chutney (which was from a jar, but still excellent); baked sweet potatoes; and a gorgeous salad full of cucumbers and grape tomatoes and every color bell pepper I've ever seen, except purple. Here was the spread that Bob and I brought along:

And of course, for dessert:

We made mashed potatoes, using red potatoes, golden potatoes, and some beautiful purple potatoes that I remember seeing Leslie blog about and thinking, I should try those! The marbled look was so beautiful, particularly since we left the peels on. Anyone know anything about the nutritional value in different kinds of potatoes? Maybe I'll have to look it up... Anyway, we made a big batch of The Grit's Yeast Gravy to go along with the mashed potatoes, and the gravy seemed to be well-received at dinner.

I was so intrigued by these potatoes because, well, they were beautiful. See?

And we had to buy a potato masher because we've never had one before. But the cheapest one was this silly looking one with googly eyes. I thought this picture was too funny:

Anyway, moving on... We made garlicky kale again, which goes incredibly well with mashed potatoes and the nutritional yeast gravy from The Grit. We made two bunches of kale, and there is one serving left over. I have to credit VWaV for the idea of Garlicky Kale, though Bob and I have just taken to making it our own way and serving it our own way.

Our main dish was this stuffed acorn squash, and I just developed the recipe along and along. I've made something similar before, and I intended on following the recipe that I used the last time, but I did end up modifying it substantially with great results, so I'll share my new recipe.

Laura's Acorn Squash with Apple-Tempeh Stuffing

3 acorn squash, halved, seeds & pulp scooped out
1 cup uncooked rice (I used a brown & wild rice blend)
1 package tempeh, crumbled (I actually made the Tempeh Sausage Crumbles recipe from VWaV, which was a very nice touch)
3 large tart apples, diced
4 ribs celery, diced
4 teaspoons yellow onion, minced
1/2 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
1/3 - 1/2 cup apple cider
Dried sage
Salt & pepper to taste

Cook the rice in 2 1/4 cups water until all of the water is absorbed, about 45-60 minutes. Mix the apples, celery, onion, bread crumbs, and tempeh in a large bowl. Add the cooked rice. Add apple cider as needed to make the entire mixture moist but not too liquidy. Add sage and seasonings to taste. In an oiled casserole dish, line the squash halves and stuff the cavities with the stuffing. You can pack it in pretty tightly. Place the rest of the stuffing around the squash in the pan; you may need a separate pan for some of the stuffing, if there's too much. Cover with tin foil and bake at 400 degrees for at least an hour, but two hours or so if you have time.

This made an excellent main dish; it was so filling, though, that I only managed to eat half of one before I had to stop.

Finally, dessert was the pumpkin pie recipe from Bryanna that we made before, but this time we tried her streusel topping. We also put a couple spoonfuls of brandy in the pie, which I would highly recommend--but if you do, you may need to reduce some of the other liquid by a spoonful or two, as our pie didn't set quite as well this time as it did before. No worries--it was still absolutely worthy of being the finisher for a wonderful Thanksgiving meal, especially with a little dollop of Soyatoo! whipped topping.

I have always had excellent, excellent Thanksgiving meals, all my life. My mom is a wonderful cook, and she really goes all out on Thanksgiving. I really do think this year was the best, though--not because I cook better than my mom, but because I knew that no turkeys or cows or pigs had to withstand any sort of cruelty to bring a delicious meal to my plate. Not only that, but the food Bob and I contributed was about 95% organic, as was, I'm sure, the first Thanksgiving. It just felt like the right way to celebrate the holiday.

In the future, though, I really look forward to veganizing my mom's cornbread dressing recipe--it is really tasty and I know that I can make it delicious and animal-free! But not anytime soon--Bob and I have tons of food to finish up as it is.

Happy weekend to you all!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Taking cues, and vegan food on the run

In the aftermath of my pumpkin feast, Bob and I have been eating lots of pumpkin leftovers. The soup has made a great couple of meals, and there is still more. The spring rolls are gone--the phyllo dough didn't keep very well so we finished those up early. The pudding?

I took a cue from Candi and made myself a nice pumpkin-spice latte with a couple nice spoonfuls of pudding. Here we go, topped with Soyatoo! whipped topping, and a sprinkle of cinnamon:

Saturday we were not hungry again after all that food, until about 5:00 in the evening. One of Bob's friends wanted to go out for dinner, so we went to a restaurant downtown called Clocked! It's got the feel of a retro diner; there are records affixed to the ceiling, which form the bases for these funky colorful globe lights that hang down over your head as you eat. I'd been there before and had the hummus, so I knew there would at least be something we could eat. When we looked at the menu, though, we noticed that almost everything was marked as having a vegan option available. Including the reuben. I asked the waitress if I could really get a vegan reuben, and she assured me that the meat and cheese substitutes would be vegan. Bob got a hummus sandwich, and we split a cup of vegetarian chili.

My sandwich was quite tasty--filled with processed faux meat and cheese, I know, but tasty nonetheless. I had never tried a faux sandwich meat or faux cheese before, and while I don't plan to make a habit out of eating them, I don't mind using them occasionally. Our chili was excellent, and Bob's hummus sandwich was perfect. All in all, a great experience for everyone.

Sunday night we went to a vegetarian/vegan potluck Thanksgiving dinner hosted by UGA's Speak Out for Species. We took a dish of edamame salad, which I have made before. This time we made twice as much, and used one red pepper and one yellow pepper. It was delicious, and we got compliments on it at the potluck. Yay! I plan to see about getting involved in SOS next semester (my last in college... sigh.).

Yesterday Bob's same friend who wanted to go out Saturday wanted to go out again for lunch--and this time he insisted on buying. I would usually rather cook at home, but what the hey. There's this vegetarian place called Bluebird Cafe downtown, and they have some vegan options, though not as many as I would have expected. I got a "light" lunch--a salad and a bowl of split pea soup--but I helped Bob eat his veggies since he ordered too many, so it actually turned out to be quite a lot of food. He got saag--it's Indian, and I'm still not really sure what it was other than spinach and Indian spices, but we were assured that it was vegan--and red beans and rice, a salad, and a sliced avocado. I helped mostly with the saag.

I wanted to cook last night, but was not hungry enough. So we just settled for baked sweet potatoes and little green peas for dinner. Still quite delicious. Tonight I hope to cook what I missed last night--Dreena's Rosemary Tofu Balls from Vive! I haven't made them before, so I'm looking forward to trying them out. And tomorrow, I'll be cooking ahead for Thursday. So stay tuned.

Thank you all for your kind comments. I just want to echo what Johanna said about Thanksgiving, and let you all know that I, too, am very thankful to have you as friends and supporters. If you're traveling at all for the holiday, I do hope that you will be safe. Take care, and I will see you soon!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

So what have I been cooking?

It was a huge undertaking, but totally worth it. Pumpkin is one of my favorite foods in the whole world, and I get so excited each fall when they come in season. I love sharing pumpkin dishes with people... so one of my dreams has always been to have a pumpkin-themed party to showcase some of the different, wonderful things you can do with this amazing fruit.

Today, I made that dream a reality! Laura's pumpkin brunch was a huge success! I cooked all day yesterday for it, and I got up early this morning and finished everything up (with the help of one friend, who graciously showed up early and made it possible for me to get everything done right on time).

This was the spread: Pumpkin muffins from VWaV (p. 52), served with the Incredible Almond Cream Cheeze from Vegan Vittles (p. 70); pumpkin pudding from Kaji's Mom; pumpkin pancakes made from adapting the Banana-Pecan Pancakes from VWaV (p. 34), served with syrup and toasted walnuts; pumpkin-filled spring rolls from Veggie Way; pumpkin seeds roasted with sea salt and nutritional yeast; and, not pictured here (it's on the stove), Pumpkin-Apple Soup from Vegetarian Soups for All Seasons (p. 32).

Here is the soup, topped with fresh parsley and a few of the toasted walnuts. I doubled this recipe; I'm glad I did because there is plenty left over for Bob and me to enjoy! I think the soup was my favorite of all the dishes--it was sweet but not too sweet, with plenty of spice. I made this yesterday and then re-heated it this morning, to give all the flavors a chance to mingle together. The recipe suggested puréeing the whole soup, but I left about half of it chunky so that it felt heartier.

Here are the spring rolls. I followed Isil's recipe generally, except instead of grating the pumpkin, I cut it up and steamed it until it was just undercooked, and then diced it very small. I also added a bit of minced fresh ginger. I searched several stores here in Athens, but could not find eggless spring roll wrappers; so, instead, I used phyllo dough like Isil did. I had never worked with the stuff before, and it was so delicate and paper-thin that I was afraid I would mess something up. But it seemed to work fine. Into the oven they went. This was my second favorite--I really like pairing pumpkin with flavors other than the typical sweet spices.

Pancakes. These were the biggest hit at the party. I basically used the VWaV recipe, substituting pumpkin purée for the mashed banana, and adding a heaping tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice and a couple tablespoons of demerara sugar. I also used walnuts in lieu of pecans (pecans are one food I've never cared for), and left them on the side in case anyone didn't want them in their food. These were very incredible, if a little on the heavy side. I doubled this recipe too, and there was only a scant amount left over.

Toasted pumpkin seeds. Just a great snack all-around. They were really good tossed in the sea salt and nutritional yeast.

Pumpkin pudding--yum! One of my favorite treats. This recipe from Kaji's Mom is a really good recipe. I just sweetened it lightly with sugar--just a spoonful or two. I wanted the pumpkin and spices to really come out. They did!

Finally, me with some of my guests. See how happy everyone is? Pumpkins make everyone smile!

Have a great weekend!

Friday, November 17, 2006

Cookin' up excitement

I had a wicked exam last night, but now I feel like my semester may as well be over. Hooray! Thanks for all your kind words and thoughts. I guess I probably did alright...

Though I had to stay away from Blogger this week, that didn't stop me from cooking. So I do have some things to share with you. And I can't WAIT to get caught up on reading all your blogs this weekend--I've been peeking at them here and there, and I can see that everyone has been up to some great things.

Here is thing #1 that I made: Fudgy Brownies from Vive! (p. 128). Let me tell you, these things are very fudgy and rich! They didn't last long around here, I'm afraid. I've never had a better brownie in all my life. Honestly. I have a weakness for chocolate, and I swear... This was chocolate heaven.

Speaking of chocolate, have you ever tried this? We've tried several different flavors now, and so far I liked the cookie avalanche one the best. But when I tasted this... wow. I'm amazed. I didn't know something could taste so much like chocolate. This stuff is the best.

On Sunday we went to a friend's house to cook dinner together. She's a vegetarian (well, she still eats fish every now and then, but otherwise...) and very intrigued by vegan cooking and baking. It's nice when your friends are willing and even eager to take a leap like that for you. Anyway, we made a simple stir-fry with green beans and mushrooms and tofu, and it was served on top of soba noodles. It was 100% organic. She made a teriyaki sauce to go with it; I'll provide you the recipe (which she found on, though we all agreed that it was too salty and just not exactly right. Next time we will try a different recipe.

Teriyaki Sauce

2/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup sherry
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 clove garlic, minced

Combine all ingredients and heat until thickened.

I made another variation of my banana ice cream earlier this week (this was before we bought the chocolate obsession), and I liked it particularly so I thought I would share.

It's just one frozen banana, a small spoonful of cocoa powder (maybe 2 teaspoons), about four drops of agave nectar, and a sprinkle of cinnamon. I processed it all with just enough vanilla soy milk so that it would come together. Yummm...

Finally, we made our usual version of Leslie's sloppy lentils for dinner on Tuesday night. This recipe has become a staple of ours, so I tried to write down our approximate recipe so that we don't have to re-invent it every time. Though I have to give Leslie credit for inspiring me with this and getting me hooked.

Sloppy Lentils (Leslie-style)

1 1/2 cups red lentils, rinsed
1 bunch kale, chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 carrots, diced
2 ribs celery, diced
3 cloves garlic, crushed & minced
1 14-ounce can tomato sauce
Crushed basil
Crushed red pepper
Tamari, Worcestershire sauce (with no fishies, of course), & liquid smoke, as needed

And then, you know, just throw it all into the same pot and let it cook until the lentils are soft and the kale is tender and until it has enough flavor to make you happy.

We've been lax on making bread lately, but I found a loaf of rosemary focaccia bread in the freezer that I had made recently, so we had that with the lentils. Though it's better with a nice, crusty whole wheat bread. Sadly, after three servings apiece, the lentils were gone. Next time we'll really have to make a double batch; they never last as long as I think they will.

Apart from that, we've been unthawing chili and stuff like that from the freezer to eat this week. And I've been eating a lot of edamame. I really love that stuff.

Today, there's going to be a lot of cooking going on at my little apartment. But I can't tell you about it--not yet. It's a secret. I will show you tomorrow, after it's all over and been a great success, what it is that I'm cooking up around here today. All I can say is, I'm super excited.

And that's that. I hope you all have a great Friday and a marvelous weekend. I'll bee seeing you on your blogs soon, I promise! Peace!

Friday, November 10, 2006

An old favorite

We made a pizza on Wednesday night. It's a favorite, and now especially since we learned to make dough ahead of time and freeze it, whipping up a pizza is not that difficult. We had some leftover sauce from VWaV as well as some Basil-Tofu Ricotta. We tried the recipe in Vive! recently for the Basil-Walnut Pesto, and found it to be much more to our liking than the pesto recipe from VWaV. This pizza showcases the last of our basil for the year. The toppings are simply mushrooms and kale. Mmmm...

With that, I'm out again until next Friday. My biggest, ugliest exam of the whole semester and perhaps even of my whole college career is next Thursday night, so I'm going to be devoting much time to that. There will probably be minimal cooking, but no blogging. If I make anything interesting, I'll be sure to catch you up on it soon. This should be my last push until next semester.

Last night we met some friends for dinner at The Grit, our local vegetarian restaurant. Sometime I will have to remember to take my camera when I go! I got the Mid-E platter, which is a small bowl of hummus with veggies and pita points, two falafel fritters served with lemon-tahini dressing, and a nice tabouli salad. I packed up half my meal and brought it home. Bob got the special, which was a Thai coconut curry dumplings dish and it was served with veggie spring rolls and a Szechuan tempeh salad. The Szechuan tempeh was very tasty (you think I didn't eat off his plate?? Hah!) and the flavor of the curry was great. The dumplings were quite heavy, and the coconut milk base was extremely thick and rich. Another meal that came home with us. But it was such a nice time!

Have a great weekend, and send happy thoughts my way! I need them!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Sweet potato soup

Tonight I tried Nava Atlas's recipe, Mellow Sweet Potato Soup (p. 26). I have to say, this is really my kind of soup. It's sweet and flavorful, and a beautiful color, and half-puréed so that it's creamy and chunky at the same time. Mmm, perfect.

I followed the recipe exactly, except using soy milk in place of rice milk. This is a nice soup for fall, and especially if you like sweet potatoes, I would recommend trying this one out! Preparation was pretty simple too, and even more so since I had an extra set of hands helping me chop.

I'm afraid that's all for today... See you!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Product reviews and good news

I'll start with my good news. I visited my family over the weekend and broke the vegan news to them for the first time. I was very nervous about their reaction--veganism is so alien to them. But, to my surprise, they were actually quite receptive to the news. They didn't act as though they wanted to jump on the bandwagon anytime soon, but they did ask me questions about it in a non-threatening way and I got to share something with them that I really believe in--something I don't often feel able to do around them. They know that my baking is good because I recently sent them some of my sister's birthday cake that I made, as well as some of my gingerbread cookies. Maybe that helped. Anyway, I'm excited that it went so well.

I was going to cook dinner tonight, but instead Bob wanted to go to a red beans and rice social at Common Ground Athens. They are a progressive movement that is affiliated with Food Not Bombs as well as Speak Out for Species here in Athens. It was really neat to meet other vegans and social activists in the community, see what they're doing, and find things that I can maybe get involved in. I have been looking for ways to impact the community in areas that I am passionate about, and I plan to look into these programs.

Anyway, since I haven't cooked today, I thought I would share a couple of products I tried recently. This is Vitasoy Holly Nog, which I found on sale at Whole Foods. It's the only soy nog I've seen so far this year, and Bob and I decided to give it a try.

The taste is very nice, sweet and spicy like I hoped it would be. I find it to be a little on the thin side, but that doesn't bother me that much. I have heard Silk Nog is good and I plan to try that as soon as it pops up on the shelves, but this is tasty and well worth the $1.50 it cost.

This stuff... amazing. It's Peanut Butter & Co.'s Dark Chocolate Dreams peanut butter spread. Bob and I loved Nutella before going vegan, and I have been hoping to find a passable substitute for it.

This is more than passable. It has no refined sugar added to it, and it bears the Certified Vegan label--definitely a plus. The taste reminds me very much of Reese's peanut butter cups, which was at one time my favorite junk food. We had this with braeburn apples, and it was a nice treat. There are other peanut butter varieties available from Peanut Butter & Co., and I would like to try them out too.

There you have it. Tomorrow there will be homemade food--probably a soup. We'll see. Enjoy your week, and take care!

Friday, November 03, 2006

Cajun food and a question

I am a graduate assistant in the accounting school here at UGA, and the professor I worked for last year is a Louisiana man. I remember him telling me once that when Hurricane Katrina hit, and many students at Louisiana universities were relocated to UGA, that he and his wife had a group of those transfer over one night and cooked red beans and rice and talked about home with them. I thought that was awesome. I love the New Orleans area (though I've only been once, and that was on a disaster relief mission trip after the hurricane hit)--I'm not really sure why. Maybe the French influence, maybe the profound sense of belonging that people from there seem to have... maybe partly because A Streetcar Named Desire, which was an excellent play, was set there. Anyway, one thing is for sure--I love the food.

I tell this story because, one day after grading exams with my professor, it occurred to me that I had never really had "authentic" red beans and rice, and that if I wanted to know how to make them with a true Louisiana flair, he would be the perfect person to talk to about it. So I asked him how he makes his red beans and rice.

He gave me a dissertation! Whew! And though he usually uses meats to flavor his beans, he knew that I "like to keep a vegetarian palate" and shaped his recommendation around that. Anyway, here are my red beans and rice, inspired by my professor, Dr. Harvey.

1 pound small red beans
1 tablespoon boullion
2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning
Several dashes of hot sauce
2-3 bay leaves
2 small onions
1 green bell pepper
5-6 stalks celery
2-3 cloves garlic
About 6-7 cups of water

Dice the veggies very finely. Throw everything into a pot and let it simmer for several hours (or throw everything into a crockpot and let it cook all day long). Once the beans are very tender, remove several scoops of them and purée them to make a paste. (Or just put them in a bowl and mash the heck out of them, like I did.) Stir them back into the pot. Serve with brown rice and fresh parsley.

The first time I made them, I cooked them on the stove and pre-soaked the beans. This time, though, I decided to press my rarely used crockpot into service. I started them at about 9:00 this morning and let them cook until about 7:00 tonight. I forgot how easy crockpot cooking was--you don't have to pre-soak the beans, you don't have to worry about anything boiling over, or having a hot stove to work around. You don't even have to stay home with it while it cooks!

This was just excellent. Very much on the spicy side, I have to say, but excellent. Bob said it wasn't too spicy for him, so there's my seal of approval.

This time I made my own seasoning blend to use, which I found on the web. I combined:

3 T. black pepper
2 T. garlic powder
1 t. onion powder
1 t. nutmeg
2 T. dried parsley
4 T. cayenne pepper
2 T. chili powder

Well, now I've rambled enough about red beans and rice. I wanted to ask a question to all the vegans out there. How do you feel about honey consumption? I know that many vegans think, of course a vegan shouldn't eat honey--it's an animal product. But there are many vegans also who don't think twice about consuming honey. I have never felt extremely convicted about honey, I guess. I use honey substitutes when I cook and I feel good about that, but my general rule when buying cereal or granola bars or whatever it may be, has been that if honey is the only ingredient that keeps it from being vegan, and it doesn't contain large amounts of honey, then I'll probably still use it. I just feel like I would be hypocritical if I refused to eat honey when I don't feel that strongly about it, just on the principle that "it's not vegan."

The Vegan Outreach website linked to this article about honey. I guess it pretty much sums up the way I feel about honey... But I was wondering what other vegans think.

Bob and I are going to visit my family this weekend, for the first time since we went veg. Yikes! Any well-wishes would be greatly appreciated--I'm not sure about how it's going to go over. And tonight, there is a concert event here in Athens called "20/20 Vision: Changing the Power at the Pump." Its purpose is to raise awareness about global warming, and several environmentally minded politicians will be there to speak. I'm really excited about it. And... Bob's band is headlining at the event! In fact, I should probably leave for that now...

Happy November!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Back, and lazier than ever

I'm now in one of those periods where I just don't want to do anything--school work, house cleaning, even cooking. I got back from Orlando on Sunday evening, but just made it to the grocery store yesterday, so now cooking dinner is finally an option again. In fact, there's pizza dough on the rise right now. Maybe that will get me going. I hope I snap out of this soon.

We had a really nice trip--the weather was fantastic. We went to Epcot one day for the Food and Wine Festival, and it was neat. What did we eat?

Hummus, lentils, olives, couscous, and tabouli salad. I was quite hungry and forgot to take a picture untl halfway through my meal, but you still get the idea. We went to a tea tasting, which was really interesting as well. Here are the Twinings teas we sampled:

Jasmine green, Earl Grey decaffeinated, spiced chai, black currant, and an herbal citrus tea.

Bob and I also went to the Magic Kingdom. I had a great time because I grew up going there and enjoying it all, but I was really happy that Bob liked it too even though he had never been. The coolest thing, though, was meeting up with friends who had moved to Orlando, whom we had not seen in a while.

Anyway, here I am at home, trying to combat laziness and not being very successful at it. I'll get back into the swing of everyday life soon, I'm sure.

I know I'm a little late for Halloween, but...

I hope you are all having a fantastic week! It seems like a lot of people have been busy recently, and I completely identify with that. Take care, and peace to you all.