Thursday, November 30, 2006

Cous cous and stir fry

There is nothing that the lazy lunchmaker likes more than leftovers. Today I had leftover cous cous (a mixture of regular and whole wheat) with stir fry (carrots, tempeh, broccoli, asparagus). It was great at room temperature. I finished off the meal with an orange, peanuts, chocolate chips, and carrots (not pictured).

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Rice Krispie Treats

From start to finish my vegan Rice Krispie treats only took about 10-15 minutes. I've never actually had real Rice Krispie treats, but these are mightily delicious. I only made a third of the recipe since I didn't have 6 cups of cereal, but it turned out to be the perfect amount.

Friday, November 24, 2006

New Camera

Since today was Black Friday, I decided that it was time to replace my lost camera. I am now the proud owner of an HP Photosmart M525 digital camera. It is 6 megapixels and has a 3x optical zoom. It isn't the fanciest camera but since I'm not a hardcore photographer I think it will suit me well. It was only $100 and I got a 1 GB memory card to go with it for $7. My new acquisition means that lunch photos should be back in full force on Tuesday (I'm taking my driving test to get my license on Monday, so I'll be leaving school before lunch to get to the test in time).

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! Everything except the turkey was vegan (and everything was kosher) at my family's Thanksgiving for eight.

We had:
Green salad with homemade dressing
Indian Rice Salad
Pickles (Israeli, dill, and mushroom)
Vegetable soup
Grapefruit, oranges
Homemade bread (white and whole wheat)
Steamed asparagus
Ginger roasted winter vegetables
Cranberry sauce
Baked white potatoes
Sauteed vegetables
Apple pie (premade crust filled with apples and cranberries)
Raisins, Craisins, walnuts, cashews

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Happy birthday to me!

Tonight was my first ever birthday cake that didn't come from a boxed mix. I used this recipe which was almost as easy as a prepackaged mix. The filling inbetween the layers is Soy Delicious Mint Marble Fudge "ice cream". My mom marveled that a vegan cake with "weird soy ice cream" could be this good.

We cut open the side of the ice cream container and then sliced the ice cream and put it on top of the first layer. By the time that step was done, it was all a little melted so we spread it even with a knife and then slid on the second layer. The icing is cookies and cream.

Cookies and Cream Frosting
4 oz plain Tofutti cream cheese
2 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
1 TBS margarine
1 tsp vanilla
5 Oreo (or similar type) cookies*

Measure the Tofutti, margarine, and vanilla into a bowl. Gradually add in the sifted confectioners sugar while beating with an electric mixer. Beat until icing is fluffy. Place cookies in a bag and crush with your hands, a hammer, or another heavy object. Once the cookies are coarsely crushed, fold them into the frosting. Ice your cake. Makes enough frosting for one (tall) 9' round cake.

*Most Oreos are actually vegan. There are some rogue packages floating around with dried whey in the ingredients, so check before you buy them if you're a vegan. Alternately, Newman-O's taste almost exactly the same, are not hydrogenated, and are always vegan.

For dinner my mom and I made Morrocan Tangine with Spring Vegetables from VwaV. The recipe took a while and a bunch of ingredients, but it was worth the time. It's one of the top few recipes I've tried from VwaV so far (and that's saying something because I've made 35+ things from the book).

Here's to a fabulous year!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Home from China

Ten days later and with changed thoughts, a rumbling stomach, and an entirely new set of experiences, I arrive home from China.

As far as food goes, the experience was pretty bad. I special ordered vegan meals for the plane (Air China). Special meals were only available on the international flights, not the domestic ones. They said vegan meals would be available but the only vegetarian entree on the way there was rice doused in sauce and cheese. On the way home I got some overcooked vegetables in tomato sauce that actually weren't too bad. There was also a roll, which I think was vegan (my Chinese isn't the best, but I didn't recognize eggs, butter, or milk in the ingredients so I ate it), some iceberg lettuce, and unripe melon.

Breakfast was provided in my hotels and at the least they all had toast and jam. Most also had cereal, baozi (steamed buns) with bean paste filling, and one or two tofu or vegetable dishes. Since I was on a school trip, the rest of our meals were pre-ordered at restaurants. They all had rice, about half had some variety of cabbage, and a few had tofu or cooked greens. I wasn't a big fan of the food but it was bearable. I packed dried mango, crackers, ramen, raisins, and mixed nuts in my luggage for snacking.

We saw the typical sights (the Great Wall, Tianamen Square, Terracotta Soldiers, etc.) but also went to a few places a little more off the beaten path. I really enjoyed some of the Buddhist temples which were a beautiful haven from the crowded, noisy, and polluted cities. I brought home with me four new sets of chopsticks, some delicious green tea, and a really warm hat.

Seeing the poverty and pollution that's the norm of many of the cities in China was jarring. When I first left the airport in Beijing the smog was so thick that I couldn't see the tops of buildings that were right down the street. It seemed like there were people begging on every corner, many of whom were missing arms, legs, or who were otherwise disabled. I have never been so appreciative of where I live as I was when my plane landed at JFK Airport in New York this afternoon.

I managed to get through all of China without losing anything until the bus ride home from the airport when I lost my camera. Hopefully I'll be able to retrieve it from the bus company, but until then, no more pictures from me.