Archive: November 2010

Friday Food: Sharing is Caring!

Friday, November 12th, 2010

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Miss Hash Brown – my parents’ beagle/terrier mix-breed dog-kid – tries to sweet-talk me into sharing a piece of my sun-dried tomato bagel with her. And by “talk” I mean “kiss.”
Needless to say, she had me at *sad eyes*.
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It took me a good six hours, but I finally finished working through this year’s veganmofo blogroll earlier this week. Everything looks so nice and neat and sorted now! Of course, this means that I have even more Friday Food to share with y’all! Enjoy the links, and try not to drool on your keyboard or, worse yet, lick your monitor (it’s not real, it’s just an illusion!).

Before we get started, though, I have got to direct you to the following blogs – or, more to the point, blog titles, which tickled me every shade of pink whilst browsing through them. Most are rooted in pop culture, which is totally my thing.

bite me, I’m vegan | http://bitemevegan.blogspot.com
Duchess Of Kircaldy | http://duchessofkircaldy.wordpress.com
It Ain’t Meat, Babe | http://www.itaintmeatbabe.com
It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Cooking…) | http://imonlycooking.blogspot.com
meansoybean | http://meansoybean.com
Meatless in Seattle | http://meatlessinseattle85.blogspot.com
No Murders in the Rue Morgue | http://nomurders.wordpress.com
Thyme Bombe | http://thymebombe.com
Vegan Dance if you want to. | http://vegandance.blogspot.com

Also be sure to visit Seitan Said Dance, who’s cooking up comic book themed dishes all week. Totally awesome. Bonus smiles: Mozilla recommends that I change “Seitan” to “Satan.”

 

Oat Pumpkin Pancakes

“Oat Pumpkin Pancakes” (recipe here). CC image via digiyesica on Flickr.
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Food, delicious food!

Tempeh Roulade en Croute from VegSpinz

Sweet Potato and Apple Bake from megatarian

Mint Chocolate Shots from Lustrous Musings

The (vegan) Soup Post! and Molasses Ginger Cookies! from Healthy. Happy. Life.

Cappuccino Muffins and Vegan Apple Hand Pies from Vegan Nom Noms

Rooibos Chai from Vegan Junk Food

Dad’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Bon Bons from In My Vegan Life

The Vegan Nacho from Unhealthy Vegan

Vegan Pizza Bites from Toast and Tofu

Braised Maple Tarragon Carrots from The Elizavegan Page

(More below the fold…)

Frugal vegans don’t waste food.

Thursday, November 11th, 2010

Rosie the Riveter

J. Howard Miller’s “We Can Do It!”, commonly mistaken to be Rosie the Riveter.
CC image via Wiki.
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A recent study in the Journal of Environmental Science & Technology estimated that Americans waste nearly 350 million barrels of oil per year in the form of food. These figures represent 2% of our annual energy consumption, and are based in part on an even more shocking 1995 estimate that 27% of our edible food is wasted – simply thrown away – at both the individual and institutional levels.

While much of this waste happens before food even reaches consumers – for example, produce that looks “irregular” or is marred by “blemishes” may be tossed by farmers or rejected by grocers – who among us can say that she’s never thrown out a half-finished bag of moldy rolls or composted the odd bruised apple? If just half of this waste occurs in our own kitchens and pantries, then the average American is tossing nearly 15% of the food she purchases straight into the garbage.* By cutting out this waste, then, we could potentially save 15% on our grocery bills.

Reporting on these findings over at Salon, Francis Lam offers seven tasty ways to stop wasting food – six of which are vegan or vegan-friendly. These include:

  1. Be creative about stale bread;
  2. Freeze in-danger-of-expiring (nondairy) milk;
  3. Save trim and scraps for stock;
  4. Sauté leftover pasta, rice, and cooked grains (or, you know, just reheat and it, if you’re not a food snob like Lam);
  5. Repurpose leftover sauces, soups, and (vegetable) meat juices to add flavor to other dishes; and
  6. Don’t toss an item just because it’s expired – many foodstuffs are edible past date. Trust your senses and use good judgment.

Building on Lam’s list, Jordan @ vegansaurus! recommends that you be a more awesome vegan by:

  1. Making impromptu soups, stews, and curries with neglected veggies;
  2. Baking fruit crisps and crumbles with overripe apples and such;
  3. Liquefying extra produce into smoothies;
  4. Investing in high quality food storage containers; and
  5. Buying a spiffy new lunch set that will hopefully inspire you to take leftovers to work.

Of course, because I am a totally awesome – and usually-frugal – vegan, I have a few additional suggestions to add to the mix!

(More below the fold…)

Pizza Soup! (Take 1)

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

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Close on the heels of my Loaded Canadian Pizza Style Baked Potatoes, I decided to try something similar with soup. In other words, Pizza Soup! (I’m all about pizza lately!) Initially I considered cannibalizing a few of the many tomato, minestrone and/or pizza-esque soup recipes available on the intewebs, but Google turned up so many results that my head near e’sploded. Instead, I used my favorite, tried and true soup recipe – “Spicy” Three Bean Soup – as a jumping-off point (mainly for the base), incorporating some elements from the baked ‘taters into the mix (i.e., the fried tomatoes, mushrooms and olives).

All in all, this is a rather decent dish that could – imho – use some refining. (Trial and error, baby!) This particular concoction is, believe it or not, a little too tomato-y for my tastes; next time around, I think I’ll omit the sundried tomatoes altogether. Also, because I made this while Shane was in the midst of a liquid diet (he’d had a root canal a few days prior), I decided to run the canned tomatoes, mushrooms and olives through a food processor and stay away from mixed veggies altogether. Yay on the former, nay on the latter. Take 2 will have a cup of carrots, methinks. Finally: more orzo. At least two cups, maybe three.

Oh, and come to think of it, maybe I’ll fry up the Smart Pepperoni with the tomato/mushroom/olive mixture. My thinking was that I’d prefer it be crispy, so I should add it last, as a garnish; but unless you eat it asap, it sogs up anyway. Probably it makes a better seasoning than a decoration. Thoughts?

Pizza Soup, Take 1

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Ingredients

4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons minced garlic
3 ounces canned black olives
4 ounces canned mushrooms
14 ounces canned tomatoes

46 fl. oz. vegetable juice
3 cups vegetable bouillon
3 cups water
6 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 cup sundried tomatoes, diced
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon parsley
2 teaspoons garlic powder
3.5 teaspoons basil
2 teaspoons oregano
1 cup small pasta (e.g., orzo)
3/4 cup mozzarella Follow Your Heart (or the vegan cheese of your choice; OPTIONAL: omit the cheese and use nutritional yeast instead!)

Lightlife Smart Pepperoni or Smart Bacon to garnish

(More below the fold…)

I Want (Ginger) Candy

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

Candied Ginger

Candied Ginger, shared under a CC license by Flickr user dani920.
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Back when I was a decidedly non-vegan little toehead, I possessed a stomach of steel. (I guess I had to, seeing as I downed a package of lunch meat a day. Yuck.) No shoddily constructed carnival amusement ride could best me. Back and forth through the turnstile, I’d ride the Sea Dragon and Jack Rabbit for hours on end, with little impact on my appetite.

I don’t know how or when it happened, but somewhere in young adulthood, my inner fortitude left me; my stomach bottomed out. Now, a car ride’s enough to make me sick. Scratch that; I’m a-ok in a car, just as long as I’m 1) driving or 2) sleeping. Which a) doesn’t leave me with many options and b) kind of blows, since I’m a multi-tasker and would rather be reading or doing paperwork while riding shotgun on trips of any length.

Anyhow, my younger sister – who also suffers the same, sad problem – tipped me off to ginger pills. These generally work well for preventing car sickness, but in those all-too common instances when I forget to take ‘em, they’re rather slow to help ease nausea, if not altogether ineffective.

Enter: ginger candy! (Or candied or crystallized ginger, if you prefer.) During my recent trip to New York, I was having a particularly rough day – I think my body was still acclimating to the change in routine and diet; yes, I am an oversensitive little baby, what of it? – my father dug out a bag of ginger candy for me to try. He works for a local grocery chain – maybe you’ve heard of it? – as the buyer for its natural foods section, so he has tons of natural/organic/vegan/vegetarian products laying around. Which means that I always return home bearing quite the haul, but I digress. The ginger, while a little spicy for my tastes, did the trick: after a few fistfuls and an hour-long nap, my stomach was settled down enough that I was able to eat and (oh joy!) even help the family put up some siding on the barn.

Since his pantry overfloweth, dad sent me home with a few bags of candied ginger as well as some soft chews, and I’ve been experimenting with its medicinal uses since. In my experience, whole ginger is fairly effective at both preventing and relieving nausea related to motion sickness (more so than ginger pills). Working at home as I do, occasionally I’ll be busy enough that I’ll “forget” to eat a meal (or even two). When this happens, I might get faint or lightheaded, and nauseous as well. Ginger candy to the rescue! While the ginger combats the sick feeling in my stomach, the sugar provides a little burst of energy, just enough to hold me over until I can make a more substantial meal.

(More below the fold…)

Baked Potatoes, Canadian Pizza Styley! (Now with bonus garden rotini nom.)

Monday, November 8th, 2010

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These taters are so loaded, you’ll have to keep them locked away from the kids. Safety first!

This recipe serves two, but you can easily halve the ingredients to make a single serving.

(More below the fold…)

I have but four words for you mofo’s: Vegan! Movie theater! Popcorn!

Sunday, November 7th, 2010

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Behold: the Nostalgia CCP-509 Old Fashioned Movie (Fun) Time Popcorn Cart, in all its glory.
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Though Shane and I only sporadically exchange gifts for our birthdays, a few years ago I decided to spring for something extra-nice and super-special. Namely, one of those old-fashioned movie theater popcorn cart replicas. And not the countertop model, either. Nope, I went all out, opting for the full-sized version, working wheels and all! We were getting set to move into our first home at the time, so this was also a bit of a housewarming gift that we gave ourselves. (Awwww!)

After some shopping around, I settled on the Nostalgia CCP-509. (Though this model doesn’t appear to be available on Amazon, they do sell the 510 for $205. Free shipping, yo! I’m pretty certain I bought mine from a certain evil box store. Free site-to-store shipping, yo!)

Let’s turn to Overstock.com’s specs for the 101, shall we? (The product manual I managed to dig up is all but useless. Unless you want to know the history of popcorn, in 250 words or less. As I said, useless.)

Dimensions: 27.0×20.0×59.0
Materials: steel, rubber, polycarbonite, glass
Model No: CCP-50

o Your very own 4-foot-11-inch tall theater-style popcorn cart will look great in your game room and will be the hit of every party

o Full-sized, 4-ounce popper will pop up to 1.5 gallons of movie-house-quality popcorn per batch

o Specialty appliance features a large, stainless-steel kettle with a built in stirring system and kernel catcher to keep out the unpopped kernels

o Supplies compartment in the base of the unit for storage of oil, kernels, bags and more

o Popcorn cart offers an easy-to-clean design and, though it’s perfectly sized for the home, is approved for commercial use

Construction and durability: Constructed primarily of steel and weighing in at 50 pounds +/-, the cart’s a pretty solid appliance. We purchased it just before a major household move, so it certainly made the rounds before we assembled it – manufacturer to box store warehouse to local box store to Kansas home to Missouri home – and yet everything was intact when we finally cracked the box open. We’ve had it set up in a spare room for about three years now, shuffling it here and there as home maintenance projects have necessitated, without any problems or even visible wear. We only use it to make popcorn sporadically – mostly for special occasions or trips to the drive-in – and it has yet to fail us.

(More below the fold…)

chili sin carne, para los perros

Saturday, November 6th, 2010

This is a much, much milder version of Shane’s (award-winning!) Sweet and Spicy Chili. For the dogs, that is. (Yes, I feed my dog-kids a vegan diet. No, I’m not sacrificing their health and well-being at the alter of my own selfish ethics. For new visitors: you can find additional details and a disclaimer of sorts here.)

This recipe makes about 20 cups of food, or enough to feed 5 hungry little doggies for a week or so. If you’re not a borderline animal hoarder like moi (joking!), probably you’ll want to cut this recipe in halfsies.

chili sin carne, para los perros

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Ingredients

olive oil
3 Boca Burgers (optional)
OR 1 16 oz brick of firm tofu (optional)

water
1 16 oz can of diced, unsalted tomatoes
1 6 oz can of low salt tomato paste
2 cups of sundried tomatoes

24 ounces dried beans OR 6 16 oz cans of cooked, low sodium beans (chef’s choice!)
(I used 8 ounces each of dried pinto, black and red beans.)

3 cups texturized vegetable protein (TVP)
3 cups fresh or frozen mixed vegetables
1 cup diced green peppers

brown sugar to taste (I used 4 tablespoons)
dried mustard to taste (me: 1/2 teaspoon)
paprika to taste (me: 1/4 teaspoon)
chili powder to taste (me: 1/4 teaspoon)
cumin to taste (me: 1 teaspoon)
black pepper to taste (me: 1/4 teaspoon)
lime juice to taste (me: 1 tablespoon)
flour to taste
water and/or low sodium tomato juice to taste

(More below the fold…)

Thank dog it’s Friday Food!

Friday, November 5th, 2010

As promised, today I bring you a monster link roundup of all the yummy recipes I bookmarked with delicious during the past week. Though the series title is shamelessly lifted (“borrowed”) from Stephanie, this Friday Food is different in that it includes recipes published at any time in the history of the intertubes. I do a lot of browsing and surfing – even more so given the massive Vegan MoFo blogroll and RSS feed bundle – and thus, not a little backtracking. Most of these recipes are newish – many posted just for Vegan MoFo – but don’t be surprised if you stumble upon one from 1999. In which case, par-tay like – well, you know the drill.

And also, I am a junk food junkie. Judging from the unhealthy bent of this list, even more so than I realized. Problems, I got ‘em. Sigh. So many sweets, so little time.

 

Chocolate-coconut truffles (recipe here). CC image via floridecires on Flickr.
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Food, delicious food!

Homemade Tofurkey with Brown Rice Stuffing Recipe from Chow, by way of vegansaurus!

White Trash Tater Tot Casserole with Daiya, Mac ‘n Teese® Cheese Casserole, and Cranberry Apple Crisp with Maple Syrup from SnarkyVegan

Blueberry and Earl Grey Scones from Cookin’ Vegan & Jessica @VeganFood

Vegan Black Bean Tostadas with Corn Relish from Veggie Terrain

Vegan Sweet Potato Naan from Cook’s Hideout

Kelly Beth’s Vegan Deviled Eggs (a.k.a. Potato Angels) from Vegan Etsy

Chocolate Coconut Truffles (above) from Veggie Wedgie

Super Fudgy Brownies (AKA Crusty Fudge) and Chocolate Viennese Whirls from Not a Rabbit

Chocolate Cake with White Chocolate Mousse, Berry Compote and Almond Milk Ice Cream and Fried Lemon Pie and Salted Caramel Ice Cream from vegansaurus! (and Project Just Desserts guest-chefs Melisser and Bianca)

Black Bean and Chipotle Dip from Wednesday Food Blogging

(More below the fold…)

The Return of "Frugal Vegans…" & delicious-ness, Hoarded

Thursday, November 4th, 2010

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During last year’s VeganMoFo, I launched a new series about how to live frugally as a vegan. The idea was to both offer helpful tips for those vegans looking to save money, while also providing a counterpoint to the idea that veganism is necessarily expensive. Loosely titled “Frugal Vegans…,” the series unfortunately fizzled and died with October, in part because I don’t do a whole lot of food blogging outside of VeganMoFo. But hey, look on the bright side! VeganMoFo is back, baby! And with it, “Frugal Vegans…”

As a sort of refresher course, here are the topics we covered last year:

(I also have an entire category dedicated to frugality, though it’s mostly comprised of the posts listed above.)

Today’s tip is short and sweet: hoard your deliciousness. By which I mean…well, go see for yourself: http://www.delicious.com/easyvegan/recipe

easyvegan's delicious tags (recipes)

Now look. I’m all in favor of supporting one’s favorite vegan cookbook authors and chefs (especially those who are also vocal advocates for oppressed animals, both human and non!). And you can and should support them by purchasing (and promoting) their cookbooks (and blogs, podcasts, appearances, etc.) when possible. But not everyone can afford to buy a new book every week, month or even year. Libraries rock – and, imho, borrowing cookbooks from the library, thus increasing demand for these titles, counts as support – but not everyone has ready access to a library or library services.

Luckily, there are plenty of recipes and ideas to be had for free online, as is amply evidenced by VeganMoFo. (Speaking of which, have you seen the tragically awesome RSS feed bundles yet? You will never leave the house again!) Just search for “vegan recipes” (over 4 million hits on Google!) – or hop on over to my blogroll of vegan foodies for a more whittled down version – to get started.

But how to keep track of all this vegan nom? delicious to the rescue! With delicious you can bookmark, tag, sort, share and comment on your favorite links.

(More below the fold…)

More mofo vegan ice cream – and an ice cream machine review!

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

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Yesterday, I reviewed Wheeler del Torro’s The Vegan Scoop, otherwise known as MY FAVORITE COOKBOOK OF ALL TIME. (It’s a must buy for all ice cream-loving vegans. In other words, all vegans.) Since most of the recipes contained within require an ice cream maker, I thought a review of my own machine might be fitting.

In Christmas 2008, my lovely mom gifted Shane and I an ice cream maker. Specifically, a Cuisinart Ice-45 Mix-It-In Soft-Serve 1-1/2-Quart Ice-Cream Maker. It retails for $185 on Amazon, but at the time of this writing, you can score your very own for just $87.95 (with free shipping!).

When it comes to purchasing an ice cream machine, you have several styles from which to choose:

Manual vs. Electric:

[Manual] machines usually comprise an outer bowl and a smaller inner bowl with a hand-cranked mechanism which turns a paddle, sometimes called a dasher, to stir the mixture. The outer bowl is filled with a freezing mixture of salt and ice: the addition of salt to the ice causes freezing-point depression; as the salt melts the ice, its heat of fusion allows it to absorb heat from the ice cream mixture, freezing the ice cream.

This type of ice cream maker is inexpensive, but inconvenient and messy as the ice and salt mixture produces a lot of salty water as it melts, which the user must dispose of, and the ice and salt mixture has to be replenished to make a new batch of ice cream. [...]

[Electric machines] have an electric motor which drives either the bowl or the paddle to stir the mixture.

Counter-top vs. Self-freezing:

Counter-top machines use a double-walled bowl which contains between the two walls a solution that freezes below the freezing point of water. This is frozen in a domestic freezer for up to 24 hours before the machine is needed. Once frozen, the bowl is put into the machine, the mixture is added and the machine is switched on. The paddles rotate, stirring the mixture as it gradually freezes through contact with the frozen bowl. Twenty to thirty minutes later, the solution between the double walls of the bowl has thawed, and the ice cream has frozen. The advantage of this type of electric machine is low cost, typically under $100. The disadvantage of the pre-frozen bowl approach is that only one batch can be made at a time. To make another batch, the bowl must be frozen again. For this reason, it is usually possible to buy extra bowls for the machine, but of course these take up a lot of freezer space. [...]

More expensive, and much larger, machines have a freezing mechanism built in and do not require a bowl to be pre-chilled. The cooling system is switched on, and in a few minutes the mixture can be poured in and the paddle switched on. As with coolant-bowl machines, ice cream is ready in twenty to thirty minutes, depending on the quantity made. These machines can be used immediately with no preparation, and any number of batches of ice cream can be made without a delay between batches.

As you’ve no doubt already surmised, the Ice-45 is an electric counter-top model. Keep this in mind while reading my ratings, since each is in comparison to other electric counter-top models – versus, say, a high-end $1,000 self-freezing machine.

(More below the fold…)

Vote, mofo’s, vote!

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

Rock The Vote - Empower Yourself - Take Part In Democracy

An important reminder for all the lovely American mofo’ers out there: please, if you can, remember to vote today! No matter your age, race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender identity, religious beliefs or party affiliation, it’s your responsibility as a citizen to participate in the democratic process. Globally, many people are denied this right; and, for many U.S. citizens, voting is an only recently-won right. Even if you write in Dennis Kucinich or your bestest dog friend in every race, vote! Abstention is interpreted as apathy, not protest; only by voting will your voice be heard.

FYI: according to Wiki, the following states offer some form of same-day voter registration: Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Wyoming and Washington DC. If you live in any of these states but are not registered, show up at the polls anyhow, and register to vote on-site. If you’re not registered and thus not eligible to vote in this election cycle, register to vote today so that you’re prepared for the next election, “large” (national) or “small” (local).

Also, know your rights! Hit up the ACLU for a handy-dandy state-by-state guide to voting rights: http://www.aclu.org/voting-rights.

And your polling place! MoveOn.org has a polling place lookup (along with links to voting ID laws and contact info for legal help), but if you’d prefer something less partisan, Google Maps to the rescue!

Finally, a few personal pleas:

Arizona residents, please vote NO on PROP 109;
Arkansas residents, please vote NO on ISSUE NO. 1;
South Carolina residents, please vote NO on AMENDMENT 1;
Tennessee residents, please vote NO on CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT 1.

All would establish fishing and hunting as constitutional “rights” in each state’s respective amendment. How fucked up is that?

Missouri residents, please vote YES on PROP B, which would improve conditions for some dogs enslaved in MO puppy mills. It’s far from perfect, but it’s an improvement.

North Dakota residents, please vote YES on MEASURE 2, which would make canned hunting illegal.

California residents, please vote YES on PROP 19, which would legalize marijuana in the state of CA.

For a full list of all 2010 ballot propositions, see Ballotpedia.

Is there something I’m forgetting? Tell us in the comments!

Please and thank you (and now back to our regularly scheduled VeganMoFo).

Updated to add: vegansaurus just published a pretty comprehensive, state-by-state ballot measure guide that you should totally check out! Also, if you happen to reside in CA, Marji’s Mina has a few suggestions for you, too.

(More below the fold…)

The mofo scoop on Wheeler del Torro’s The Vegan Scoop. (Cue: gratuitous ice cream not-porn.)

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

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The Vegan Scoop: 150 Recipes for Dairy-Free Ice Cream That Tastes Better Than the “Real” Thing by Wheeler del Torro (2009)
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WHEELER DEL TORRO’S THE VEGAN SCOOP IS MY FAVORITE COOKBOOK OF ALL TIME. The end. Shortest book review ever.

I kid, I kid – but just about the last part. In all seriousness, The Vegan Scoop really is a personal favorite. I love everything about this cookbook: the gorgeous, glossy pages. The luscious, lovingly-photographed balls of frozen deliciousness. The easy-to-follow – yet terribly creative – recipes. The sometimes-sneakily subversive “tasty tidbits” that grace each page’s margins. The way del Torro encourages readers to experiment with different fruits, spices, seasonings and – yes! – even vegetables on their own. The freaking color palette. Simply put, The Vegan Scoop is all kinds of awesomeness.

Besides, who doesn’t *heart* ice cream, hmmmm?

The book, which – have I not already mentioned? – itself looks yummy enough to eat – features 150 recipes for vegan, dairy-free ice cream and ice-cream related foodstuffs. (Disclaimer: all of the ice cream recipes require an ice cream maker. I’ll be reviewing my own model tomorrow, so stay tuned!)

del Torro arranges his frozen concoctions into nine categories:

  • Classic Flavors: Vanilla, Chocolate, Rocky Road, Caramel and Butterscotch;
  • Fruity Flavors: Blueberry, Nectarine, Honeydew, Green Apple and Pear;
  • Healthy Flavors: Lavender Mint, Vanilla Cardamom, Sweet Potato Basil and Oats and Fig;
  • Asian Flavors: Black Sesame, Wasabi, Cherry Blossom and Goji Berry Banana;
  • Caribbean and Island Flavors: Guava, Coconut, Star Fruit and Ginger Beer Sorbet;
  • Novelty Flavors: Chestnut, Chocolate Pretzel, Pecan Apple Danish and New York Irish Creme;
  • Aphrodisiacal Flavors: Jasmine, Rose Water, Licorice and Fresh Mint Lime;
  • Ice Cream Vessels and Sauces: Sugar Cones, Hot Fudge, Caramel Sauce and Very Berry Sauce; and
  • Ice Cream Sides and Desserts: Blondies, Chocolate Chip Biscotti, Boston Cream Pie and Italian White Cream Cake – to name but a few.
  • While many of del Torro’s ice cream flavors are incredibly imaginative (Seaweed! For reals?), all use the same base as a jumping-off point, namely: 1 cup of soymilk, 2 cups of soy creamer and 2 tablespoons of arrowroot powder, with 1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar, depending on the dish. (This is the same foundation on which many of the recipes at A Vegan Ice Cream Paradise are built. Frugal vegan alert!) The cool thing about this, of course, is that uniformity leads to familiarity, which – in this case – breeds confidence and self-esteem. After a little time spent practicing with the recipes in The Vegan Scoop, even this amateur felt comfortable enough to experiment with her own fantasy flavors.

    (More below the fold…)

    Hooo! Hooo! It’s the mofo Owl House review! (Spoiler: There will be vegan mozzarella sticks!)

    Monday, November 1st, 2010

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    The terribly charming exterior of The Owl House, a vegan-/vegetarian-friendly and sometimes-gluten-free eatery located in Rochester, New York.
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    Happy World Vegan Day! Happy VeganMoFo! Happy happy joy joy. Now if only the Missouri weather would read the shiny happy vegan memo. (Seriously, sun, my faux-you lamp is busted and I’ve no idea how much of this yuckiness I can tolerate. Come out, come out, wherever you are…)

    Ahem. Anyway. If the pre-veganmofo tweet/buzz is any indication, it seems that most every mofo’er has a theme this year. Being, shall we say, not culinarily inclined, my “theme” (if I must choose one) is reviews: books, mostly (I have almost a dozen titles in the queue, oy vey, and veganmofo seems the perfect excuse to knock a few of ‘em off the list), but also kitchen gadgets and restaurants!

    And so, to kick off the fourth annual VeganMoFo, I present to you: my first-ever restaurant review! During the recent trip I took to my hometown of Rochester, New York, my family and I visited The Owl House, a new-ish eatery with plenty of vegan and vegetarian options. (Cue: vacation photos! Don’t say I didn’t warn you!) Let the mofo’ing begin!

    The who: My family, including my sister, Michelle (a vegetarian/aspiring vegan; imho, “freegan” is the label that she wears best); my brother, Mike (a shameless omnivore/carnist); my father, Steve (a longtime vegetarian); my mother, Wendy (a guilty-but-stubborn omnivore); and my grandmother, Vita (an omnivore who’s not altogether ignorant re: all things vegetarian, since she raised my father and all) – and myself, of course.

    The what: The Owl House, a vegan-/vegetarian-friendly, slightly upscale-in-a-yuppie-hipster-kind-of-way restaurant located in downtown Rochester. [website; Facebook page]

    The when: mid-September 2010, on a Thursday night, just before the dinner rush.

    The where: 75 Marshall Street, Rochester, NY 14607.

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    The Owl House’s too-cute menu, which is also available on its website.
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    While my sister (who currently lives in Sacramento) and I were in Rochester, our mom was eager to try out all kinds of “vegan stuff” (here, loosely defined as “animal-friendly”) with us: meals, bakeries, restaurants – sanctuaries, even. Unfortunately, it proved tough to make plans, let alone keep them (so busy was she caring for some of our older relatives), but we were able to visit The Owl House. I guess it helps that Thursday night was Dinner with Grandma Vita Night, and since her schedule was rather tight as well, rescheduling was not an option. So anyhow, this was a family dinner in which the non-veg members were more than happy to accommodate their vegan and vegetarian counterparts.

    (More below the fold…)