Tuesday, May 30, 2006


I just wanted to post rather quickly tonight and say thank you to everyone. It is amazing how this all happened.

A few months ago, I stumbled onto the vegan lunchbox blog. I saw these incredible vegan lunches that Jennifer was making for her son everyday. This made me think about my choices. I had been vegetarian for awhile, but always had excuses about why I couldn't be vegan. That is funny because I didn't really eat eggs or milk. Ice cream and cheese were the two biggest concerns for me and neither is an important food.

Through Jennifer's site, I found some of you like Jess of GetSconed, guinnah, and vivelevegan. I also found some vegan podcasts: VeganFreaks and Let's Get Baked With Matt and Dave. I've just been amazed by this community. Everyone is so supportive and the food is just spectacular.

All of you helped inspire me to share what I am cooking as well. My blog is still in the beginning stages and every day I see new people here. Some found me through comments I left at other blogs. What a great group of people!

Enough of my ramblings...

Tonight's dinner was rather generic with one exception. I attempted to recreate this cold broccoli dish I get at Whole Foods. First I steamed the broccoli, then blanched it in cold water. After that, I tossed it with tamari, toasted sesame oil, and cracked pepper. It wasn't exactly the same, but it was very good. I'll try to come up with a recipe and post a photo later in the week.

Tomorrow, I am off to Maine for work. Fortunately I am meeting a friend for lunch a Little Lad's, a vegan restaurant and bakery.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Spicy Seared Portabella Mushrooms

A long weekend afforded me more time to garden and cook. Though, I better get some cleaning time in soon before I go back to work tomorrow.

The other day I was flipping through another Dreena Burton cookbook and a recipe for Spicy Seared Portabella Mushrooms caught my eye. This was partly because I picked up a bottle of chipotle jabanero hot sauce at a great little Mexican restaurant in NH a month ago.

The mushrooms were quick and easy to cook and I loved them! Spicy chipolte paired with sweet hoisin sauce really made for a great mix of flavors. This was served over sweet potatoes as suggested in the book. I can see using this sauce on other vegetables or seitan when I am crunched for time. Sometimes trying a new recipe gets your mind going and you come up with all kinds of other ideas. That is definitely the case with this one.

My cranky parrot threw the sweet potatoes she normally likes on the floor, but she gobbled up a few pieces of the portabellas. Go figure!

Anyway, this recipe is from The Everyday Vegan, a cookbook that I highly recommend.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

A short little rant...

I've seen this "I am man" Burger King commercial one too many times. The stupid ad implies that the you need to eat a big bacon cheeseburger to be a man. Did anyone in Burger King's marketing department see Super Size Me? Have they noticed that most fast food restaurants are trying to sell healthier options? It is almost funny that Burger King has gotten to a point where they are selling their burgers the same way low end beer companies try to sell their beer.

Lemon-Herb Tofu

This weekend has been pretty crazy so far. Today was a busy yard work day for me. I mowed the lawn and weeded some of my gardens. I also planted bush beans, snap peas, beets, and a bunch of herbs. I'm hoping to get a few more things planted tomorrow.

Of course, I also tried a new recipe out this afternoon. It was Lemon-Herb Tofu from Vive le Vegan! : Simple, Delectable Recipes for the Everyday Vegan Family by Dreena Burton. The tofu was super quick to whip up, though it required about 30 minutes of bake time. I probably should have picked another day to fire up the stove, because the house still hasn't cooled off. LOL!

I tried a piece right out the oven and it was great. After all the yard work, I mashed some with vegan mayo and made a sandwich as Dreena suggests in her note on the the recipe. The Lemon-Herb tofu was really good hot or cold. I'll be making it again soon. Thx Dreena!

Friday, May 26, 2006

MadHouse Cafe - Yay Vegan Burgers

Usually I meet my dad and sister for dinner one night a week. When I was vegetarian, I was only a minor inconvenience. At most restaurants, anyone could easily find something vegetarian. Veganism presents some challenges though.

Fortunately, we do have a some great vegan restaurants in Boston and a couple in RI which is closer to my house. Yesterday, I accidentally stumbled across MadHouse Cafe when I was looking for some other options close to home. (If I hadn't found something, I'd push for Garden Grille in Pawtucket. Even though my dad/sister aren't too fond of it, I love GG.)

Madhouse is not an exclusively vegan restaurant, so be prepared. They do have many vegan options. The menu has 5 vegan burgers which even have vegan rolls. I tried out the "JUST PLAIN NUTS BURGER" which is made from: Toasted cashews and walnuts, lentils and zucchini topped with sun-dried tomato-artichoke pesto. It was delicious.

MH also has 3 veg entrees. Perhaps I will try one next time. For dessert, they serve a vegan carrot cake complete with soy cream cheese frosting. I hadn't planned on dessert, but when my family decided to get something I ordered up the carrot cake. It was great.

MadHouse Cafe is located in Pawtucket RI which is close to those in southern MA. If you are looking for good vegan fare in the area, give MHC a try!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Vegan Cookies and Meetings!

While traveling the past 2 days in CT and NY, I had to do a presentation in each office I visited. Normally when we do a presentation, we bring lunch or cookies or some prize for our fellow co-workers. Yes, sometimes a bribe does help get people in the door.

I had wrestled with what to do about this for a week. Obviously, I could go to the supermarket and buy cookies. My dilemma was: If I am trying to be vegan, then I don't feel all that comfortable bringing in cookies made with eggs and/or butter. I could also make my own vegan cookies and bring them. Sometimes time just doesn't allow it.

It occurred to me that I could likely get vegan cookies at Whole Foods. Would they be too expensive? While walking around I stumbled across my favorite vegan cookies. Fortunately, if you don't have Uncle Eddie's available in your area, they sell them on Amazon: Uncle Eddie's.

Yes, my non vegan or even vegetarian co-workers ate Uncle Eddie's cookies during my presentations. What did they think? In CT, we only had Trail Mix and Molasses varieties which were not my favorite. Everyone seemed to like them and at one point we did get into a short conversation about veganism. One woman appeared to be horrified when I mentioned that we don't eat honey. LOL.

In NY, we lucked out and had my two favorite varieties. These are oatmeal chocolate chip and my absolute favorite peanut butter chocolate chip. Everybody loved these. One guy asked if I baked them myself. One of the women actually said "These taste better than the real thing." That makes me chuckle, just thinking about it. Only one person was weirded out by it. He seemed to rather perturbed to find out they were vegan after he plowed through an oatmeal chocolate chip. Someone besides me pointed out that these cookies don't have anything strange in them. It is what they don't have that is important.

People are funny! At any rate vegan cookies made an appearance and everyone enjoyed them. Thanks Uncle Eddie!

Sunday, May 21, 2006


Today was a very busy day. This afternoon I participated in the Walk For Animals at Borderland State Park. My aunt was also there. As we passed by one of the ponds, I noticed fiddlehead ferns growing.

After the walk, I headed to Whole Foods. I needed to pick up some vegan cookies for a presentation I am hosting in the office on Tuesday. Today was a great Whole Foods run. I found vegan marshmallows which I had not previously seen before. The produce department also had fiddlehead ferns. These are a New England delicacy I am told.

When I was very young we picked fiddleheads and cooked them up. The results were rather disastrous. They were furry and tasted awful. I decided to be brave and buy a quarter pound of these non furry fiddleheads.

At home, I cooked according to the sign on the box in the store. First, I washed them 3 times and then I boiled them for 15 minutes. After that, I sauteed them with garlic and added some salt and pepper. They were tasty.

The rest of dinner was corn roasted with cajun spices on the bbq and some leftover sauteed Field Roast seitan sausage. All in all a good meal. While the corn was cooking, the weather went from sunny to torrential rain complete with thunder and lightening. As I write, it is sunny again and a rainbow just faded away.

That is the second rainbow in about 3 days. On Friday I snapped a quick photo while driving home of another rainbow.

White Bean Boursin

Since I'm experimenting with veganism at the moment, I purchased the The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook. My first recipe from it was the White Bean Boursin. I really liked it. I'm not sure that I've ever had boursin cheese before, but this was a little cheesy and overall very enjoyable. It was very quick to make. Just throw white beans, dried herbs, garlic, olive oil and umeboshi paste in the food processor.

I mistakenly grabbed Great Northern Beans from the shelf at the store. They are indeed white beans and they worked quite well. Also, I replaced about half of the olive oil in the recipe with soy milk. The author mentions that as a substitution option and I thought it would add a creamy texture as well as provide for less fat.

Umeboshi paste is a Japanese product made from pickled plums. I was able to find it in the International section at the supermarket. I'm hoping to try some other recipes from the book and will post when I do.

Stir Fry

Well, left over brown rice from Grasshopper inspired this meal. Just a quick stir fry with veggies from my fridge and some Field Roast (seitan) Italian sausage. Fast healthy and quick.

Last week was especially busy at work, so I snapped photos but didn't have time to post until now.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Soap Stuff

Just wanted to do a quick soap post for you all. The soap blocks have been cut up and the bars are curing on a shelf. The citrus trio looks great.

Unfortunately, I am a little concerned about the lavender cedarwood. It has some white splotches. I'm hoping the coloring is just a result of some poorly mixed mango butter. I'll have to test the lavender cedar in a few weeks to see if it is usable.

Looks like I won't have time to make soap this weekend. Next weekend will be busy as well. I'll be participating in the Walk For Animals at a local park. Hopefully, I will be able to fit in soap making time.


This morning I had a some left over tofu that needed to be used up. Since I wanted to try a tofu scramble, I paged through a new cookbook and gave it a try. The scrambled tofu from Cafe Max and Rosie's: Vegetarian Cooking With Health and Spirit was very good.

It took about 10 minutes to cook up. Saute onions and garlic and then add mashed tofu, tamari, turmeric, oregano, and sliced mushrooms.

Unfortunately the "bacon" strips are not vegan. They do have egg whites. I'm using up what I have in the house and can't bring myself to waste food by throwing it away. All in all, it was a good breakfast.

Tommy my omnivore parrot actually liked the tofu scramble!

On Thursday last week, my father met me in Boston for dinner at my favorite vegan restaurant called Grasshopper. I had a wonderful tofu and seitan hot pot with lemon grass and pineapple. My sister joined us and complained the entire time about the food. At one point she stated that she would be going home to eat real food.

Ironically, my dad the carnivore chimed in. He told her that the food was delicious. My sister really bothers me sometimes with her comments about my diet.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

"Philly Cheese Steak"

I travel around New England for work. On Monday when I was in Maine, I stopped at the Whole Grocer and picked up some items they don't have here at home. While I was walking around the store, I saw Tofurky "Philly Style" Steak. Though some of my favorite vegan web sites reference the product, I had not seen it at a local store. I dropped it in my basket and couldn't wait to try it.

Tonight was my first early night home from the office this week and I decided to make a "Cheese Steak" sandwhich. I sauteed some sliced baby bella mushrooms and strips of Tofurky. Then put everything in a whole wheat and oat wrap with vegan cheddar cheese. I also cooked up some left over asparagus with a bit of ground pepper and sea salt.

The wrap was great. I'm hoping this variety of Tofurky slices is available in my area soon. In the mean time I have a enough for two more sandwhiches!

Checking In...

Well, I've been swamped and haven't had much time to post. Last weekend I made soap. I had always wanted to learn how to make my own soap. When I became vegetarian and found out that many soaps are made with animal fats, soap making became a priority. Since I've been doing this for awhile now, I've developed my own style. All my soap is made with vegetable oils and scented with herbs or essential oils. I don't use chemical fragrances or colorants.

It is a small side business for me as well as a great hobby. Of course, I don't need to buy soap at the super market which is also a plus. I managed to make two batches that will be ready in about four more weeks. One is lavender cedar and the other is a citrus trio. It has 3 layers. They are: orange with orange specks (ground annatto seed), lime with green specks (ground sweet woodruff and nettles) and a plain yellow lemon layer.

One of my friends came over last weekend and I made us an awesome dinner. Chopped veggies (zucchini, summer squash, onions, asparagus, and red pepper) and sliced veggie burgers in foil packets with BBQ sauce on the grill. I also roasted corn with cajun spices, basil, and vegan margarine. Unfortunately, I didn't take pictures. Though he isn't an herbivore, he really enjoyed the food.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Tofu, Tomato, and Basil Salad

I used to love mozzarella, tomato, and basil salad. The past few weeks I'd been curious about whether I could substitute tofu for mozzarella. Tonight, I actually gave it a try.

It was quick to whip it up. Mix together: cubed extra firm tofu, organic grape tomatoes, chopped basil, a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.

I thought it was pretty good. The tofu was an almost perfect replacement for mozzarella. The only difference was the texture, but I'd definitely make this again.

Vegan Ribz

I found this recipe on Vegfamily for Vegan Ribz and decided to give it a try.

Unfortunately, I didn't take pictures. I will take photos of future cooking endeavors. These ribz were pretty good and filled with protein from the gluten, nutritional yeast, and peanut/soy butter.

My only complaint was that they were a bit more doughy than I expected. I ended up cooking them for at about 400 degrees for 10 extra minutes which firmed them up a bit.

For some weird reason, I prefer them cold rather than hot. My pet cockatoo loved the ribz which is a bit odd. She is strange one though. Her previous owners fed her chicken (how gross is that?) and various other meats. She seems to be rather carnivorous, though I have slowly introduced fruits. Her new favorite food is carrot sticks and hummus.

My final take on the ribz...I might make them again some day, but they aren't going on my regular recipe list.

About me...

I've been a vegetarian for almost 4 years. Originally the vegetarian thing happened because of a bet. My friend and I wagered on who could stay vegetarian the longest. The winner received a Sponge Bob DVD.

I won and then promptly had steak for dinner. The steak made me feel physically sick for the entire night. That got me thinking about how my body was rejecting a type of food based on 30 days without it. If you don't eat bananas for 30 days, you won't feel sick after eating one.

For a few months I went back and forth from veg to non-veg. Each time I ate meat I often felt sick. Finally I decided to stop and listen to my body. Besides this, I found that the biggest reason for me to be vegetarian was for environmental reasons. We waste so much food and water to produce beef when we could more efficiently grow grains and produce for human consumption.

The longer I am vegetarian, the more important animal rights and health benefits have become. Though I am not vegan yet, I tend to shy away from cheese and eggs. At home, I never bake with eggs or milk. Alternatives are easy to find. Honey is not really all that necessary for me and I use agave nectar as replacement. I've also stopped buying leather shoes and clothes and will make sure my next vehicle does not have leather seats.


I've been inspired by a few vegan and vegetarian blogs I've found lately. Today I finally, decided to start this blog. I'll be posting links to some of the other blogs I love and also want to share my adventures in cooking.

Why vegchic? Well, honestly I wanted vegchick as this is a handle I've used occasionally. It seems vegchick was not available and vegchic does sound good, so there we have it.

Look forward to my first real posts soon.