Monday, November 26, 2007

Birthday Cake

When I was little I loved cake mixes and premade icing. Every year on my birthday my mom would offer to bake me a cake from scratch but I would refuse. Every year I would get the confetti cake mix and vanilla icing with little chocolate pieces in it.

Unfortunately for me, that's not quite vegan. For my 18th birthday this past Wednesday (yes, this post is late, but not too late) I opted for something a little more upscale. My mom baked me the golden cupcakes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World as a cake and iced it with the vegan buttercream frosting, also from VCTOTW. I decorated the cake with sliced strawberries for the following masterpiece.

For the meal I made vegan pizza with all sorts of amazing toppings (fresh tomatoes, eggplant, onions, Morningstar Farms veggie crumbles, spinach were the main toppings). I'm a real legal adult!

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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Ode to the Pomegranate

Todays Vegan MoFo post brought to you by: pomegranates.

The first time I saw a pomegranate I was skeptical. From the outside it looked relatively tame but once cut open it was a fierce red and seemed to be composed entirely of seeds. I wasn't even sure how to eat it. I've since learned the best way to cut open a pomegranate (try the no-mess method detailed here) and the absolute joy of crunching on pomegranate seeds.

When I was little my favorite food changed a lot, I liked my mom's lasagna, dill pickles, matar paneer, but I'd never had pomegranate.

Pomegranate rocked my world. It's juicy and sweet and tart and crunchy and all those things that make you feel like you could just eat it for the rest of your life and never grow tired of it. Yes, it's a little annoying to prepare and yes, it leaves beastly stains on your clothes if you're messy, and yes, it's ridiculously expensive (usually $1-2 each around here) but yes, it's all worth it for a single spoonful of pomegranate and a big juicy smile.

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Monday, November 12, 2007

Vegan MoFo and Roasted Vegetables with Ginger

I'm joining in a little late, but I'm participating in VeganMoFo, the Vegan Month of Food because the name makes me laugh and I need a reason to get back on the blogging wagon.

I've always liked roasted vegetables, especially in the winter. They're the perfect food to eat when it's snowy outside and freezing cold inside (Save energy, lower your thermostat! You may want to stay a little warmer than my house, which is at a constant yet balmy 58°F in the winter, although on really cold days sometimes the heat gets cranked up to 62°) and you're wearing three sweaters and looking at birds outside the window. It's not snowing here yet, but it's never too early to practice.

This all started tonight when I was feeling lazy (notice a trend here?) and I decided I would microwave a sweet potato for dinner. As I was taking out the sweet potato I noticed that there was also a butternut squash in the cabinet. At that point I thought maybe it would be worth it to turn on the oven so that I could have some squash, too.

Then my mom walked in the kitchen and reminded me that we still have a ton of beets and turnips from the CSA left, so I felt obligated to use a few. The result of all of this: ginger roasted root vegetables

I originally made a recipe similar to this from Vegan with a Vengeance, but since it's just roasted vegetables, I've since decided that I don't need a recipe (I don't measure ingredients very often, even when I'm baking I usually don't bother with measuring cups/spoons). This pan of vegetables consisted of 1 sweet potato, 1/3 butternut squash, 3 small turnips, and 1 medium beet, all somewhat uniformly chopped into about 1/2 inch pieces. I diced about 1 inch of fresh ginger and one small garlic clove and added these along with some olive oil, maple syrup, brown sugar, cinnamon, ground pepper, and salt to the vegetables, mixed it all, and poured it into a 9x12 pan. After about 25 minutes at 450°F (I turned it all once in the middle) the vegetable were delicious and gooey, perfect.

Now that I'm ready for winter, I just need to finish up my weather machine.

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Monday, November 05, 2007

Salad, hummus, and Girl Scout cookies

Since I haven't posted a lunch in a while, here is tomorrow's, although it's fairly uninspiring. As the CSA season draws to a close (our last vegetable delivery is this weekend) the choice of vegetables in my house grows pretty slim. Right now we have about 6 or 7 different varieties of leafy salad greens and not much else. I made a quick salad with greens and raisins. Before I leave for school in the morning I'll squeeze a lemon over it for dressing. I also have some crackers and hummus.

Finally, Sour Patch kids left over from Halloween and some cinna-spin Girl Scout cookies. I'm not particularly watchful for mysterious trace ingredients and hard-to-pronounce chemicals, but these cookies appear to be vegan. The "100-calorie pack" packaging is one of my pet peeves in life but I used to love Girl Scout cookies and I couldn't not buy vegan ones. I vaguely remember the Girl Scouts selling vegan oatmeal cookies last year, but I couldn't find them again this year. While these cinnamon cookies are pretty good, they don't quite measure up to my all time favorites, peanut butter patties and thin mints.

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