i’ve never claimed to have a memorable face (unless you happen to see me first thing in the morning). however, i do believe that after exchanging a few words, you could quickly remember me, given that we’d met in the past… “oh yea. it’s the crazy vegan fitness freak !” i’ve been trying to cut back on Starbucks, but felt an irresistible craving this morning. i walked over and noticed the person in front of me was an older man who i had met a few months ago at that very Starbucks. i remember he asked “are you italian ? what do you do for work ? … ah, not many tech companies down here. there’s a bunch where i’m from in San Diego.” blah blah blah. so today, i smiled, not really hoping he’d remember me, but just to be polite. to my surprise, he turned around and suddenly we were in a conversation: “are you italian ? what do you do for work ? … ah, not many tech companies down here…”
it was like deja vu. i was having the same conversation again, word for word, with this man. i think next time i see him i’m just going to go up to him and say: “no, i am not italian. i’m a developer. you must be thinking that’s really strange, being from San Diego and all. so just how do you like that caramel macchiato ?” and walk away. maybe then he’ll remember me after that… as the Starbucks freak, of course.
Sundried tomato tortillas stuffed with chili, Mexican rice, guacamole and sour cream. Served with Mexican rice.
This Nacho Cheese Sauce makes a great dip. You can also use it in recipes that call for cheese sauce like casseroles or to top off nachos !
1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
3 tbsp whole wheat flour
4 tsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp onion granules
1 cup water
2 tsp ground mustard
papikra (to taste)
1. Mix together all dry ingredients until well combined. Add water and stir.
2. In a saucepan over medium heat, heat until sauce has started to thicken.
3. Add the mustard and stir until desired thickness has been reached. Serve hot.
To assemble the Nachos above, I topped organic blue corn tortilla chips with chili, Nacho Cheese Sauce, guacamole, sour cream and a few jalapenos. It was super tasty.
i joined the world of podcasting during this year’s tour de france. it was the only way to keep up with the tour since i don’t have cable. after a while, my super-hip boss recommended several podcasts he subscribes too and i found some myself that appealed to me. one of these was vegan freak, which is produced by two hard-core vegans. i wasn’t very impressed with the first show i downloaded and disagreed with a few of their viewpoints on veganism, but listened to the shows i had missed anyway. i became exceptionally enraged after they put down those who lead a vegan lifestyle for religious reasons. they claim it discourages others from becoming vegan. whatever.
their latest show might be the last show i ever listen to. they touched on something i’m very passionate about: sweat shops and the exploitation of workers in third world countries by large american companies. i feel that i should explain something about vegans before i delve further into this subject. vegans don’t eat meat (obviously) or animals products. however, veganism is not just a special diet. it is a way of life. vegans don’t wear animal products, be it leather or wool or fur… you see the trend. they will go as far as not purchasing products that use chemicals or pesticides used in farming, for example, because yes, it kills insects. also, it is harmful to the environment which is ultimately harmful to all living creatures. some vegans (the elites as i call them) will only purchase products from manufacturers who ONLY make and sell vegan products. as you can see there are many levels of veganism. i know a vegan who will not even associate with non-vegans, including vegetarians. actually, vegan animosity towards vegetarians is more common than i thought. i had a chance to experience this first hand when the organizer of our local vegan meetup and i tried to “merge” our groups and many of the vegans complained.
these are some of the reasons why most of the time, i introduce myself as vegetarian instead of vegan. i don’t consider myself a hard-core vegan. i am simply a good person who tries to cause as little harm, pain and suffering to the world i inhabit as i possibly can. not eating animals is part of that equation, of course, but in my scale of priorities, human beings weigh significantly more than any animal. anyone who knows me, knows that i try my best to be as kind to every person i encounter as i can possibly be given my circumstances at the moment. that is why i wanted to reach through my headphones and strangle these two vegan-nazis when i heard their latest show. i guess they chose a good name for their show after all because they truly are freaks.
the last bit of their show was devoted to a rant about the vegan way of life. they were specifically discussing the purchase of vegan shoes. both mentioned that you must also think about human working conditions when making a purchasing decision. the woman then clarified that “vegan” should still be FIRST on your checklist. i’m sorry, but when did a cow’s life become more important than a human’s ? although i agree that some human beings deserve to be “sold by the pound,” in general, their potential is far greater than any 4-legged animal i know of.
i am not saying that everyone should take a list of priorities to the mall, but if you are a hard-core vegan freak, chances are you are not buying $10 shoes at a local superstore and can definitely afford to have a bit of consideration for your fellow man, as well as your beloved 4-legged creatures. just don’t preach to me about providing a better quality of life for the animal population when you are supporting poor quality of life for mankind.
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup fresh basil
2-4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp salt
generous amount of fresh ground pepper
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place pine nuts on baking sheet and toast for 5 minutes or until golden, turning over once.
2. One pine nuts are cool, combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and puree until desired consistency.
For a quick meal, toss with some pasta. Pesto is so versatile that you can pretty much incorporate it into many of your favorite dishes. Experiment with it !
I sort of stumbled into a recipe for vegan spinach dip. I decided to blog it because it was really yummy and very easy to make !
1 pk soft tofu, drained
1 pk onion soup/dip mix
1/2 cup vegan mayonnaise
3 large cloves garlic, peeled
1 pk frozen, chopped spinach, thawed, drained and pressed into colander
8 oz can sliced water chestnuts, drained
1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions
1. Drain tofu and pat with paper towel.
2. Place tofu in food processor and blend until smooth.
3. Pour blended tofu in large mixing bowl. Add onion mix, vegan mayonnaise and spinach. Mix together.
4. Place garlic, water chestnuts and scallions in food processor, chop, and add to the spinach mixture.
5. Top with vegan sour cream. Garnish with pine nuts and cayenne pepper. Chill and serve.
I served the dip with organic blue corn chips. It was delicious !
1 9 inch unbaked vegan pie crust
1 pk Mori-Nu silken firm tofu
1 15 oz can pumpkin puree
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Process tofu in blender until smooth and transfer to a large bowl. Add remaining ingredients and mix well.
3. Pour mixture into pie crust and bake for 15 minutes.
4. Lower heat to 350 degrees and bake for another 40 minutes.
5. Chill and serve.
I wanted to make something like my favorite dish at a local cafe I frequent for lunch. It turned out completely different, but I liked it, so I’m blogging it anyway.
1/2 cup red cabbage
1/2 cup carrots
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp peanut oil
12 oz firm tofu, cut into cubes
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 cups brown rice, short grain, cooked
red pepper flakes (optional, to taste)
4 tbsp crunchy peanut butter
1 tbsp tamari sauce
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp ground coriander
1 cup hot water
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp ginger, minced
1 tsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp dry sherry
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper (or to taste)
1. Boil cabbage and carrots in separate saucepans (you don’t want your carrots to turn blue) until tender
2. To make the sauce, combine all ingredients. Stir to mix well and set aside.
3. Drain cabbage and carrots. Mix together. Stir in maple syrup and set aside.
4. heat oil in medium pan. add tofu and stir fry until golden brown.
5. Add soy sauce and sprinkle sesame seeds. Stir fry for another minute.
6. Mix rice with cabbage and carrots. Serve with tofu and top with peanut sauce.
7. Add crushed red pepper to taste and sprinkle more sesame seeds.
I really liked the way this turned out. I’ll definitely modify it over time, but it was a pretty good “first attempt.”
Katrina reminded me of those “0 to bitch in 2 seconds” bumper stickers. it was a tropical storm on wednesday and a hurricane by thursday. i drove home in the wind and lost power 10 minutes after walking through the door. the next time i heard of Katrina, she had become a category 5 hurricane and was headed towards one of my favorite cities in the US: New Orleans.
hurricanes are assigned categories (1 to 5) based on their intensity – 1 being the least intense, obviously, and 5 being monstrous. in my mind, all hurricanes fall under one category: BAD. granted, south florida was somewhat spared of the wrath that could have been. still, more than 1.5 million homes lost power – just one of the many inconveniences one has to deal with AFTER the storm. i say… bring those people who think hurricanes are fun because they haven’t lived through one and have them clean up the mess. it’s only fair.
to see who can be the rudest… yesterday was a gym night. i was also supposed to meet my friend for dinner so i decided to go to the location closer to her even though i hate cheating on my regular gym location. yes. i am a gym snob, but sometimes you have to make sacrifices for the sake of convenience.
i did arms, back and lower abdominals before finally moving to the abs machine. i normally do a few sets of many repetitions on this machine, so i tend to look out for anyone waiting to use it. i didn’t see anyone and the machine next to me was available so i started my first set. a few sets into my workout, i felt a rough shaking that nearly threw me off the machine. as i turned around to see what had caused it, a trainer (the culprit) scoffed “how many more sets do you have, or are you taking a nap ?”
thinking that was enough rudeness for one day, i checked my messages when i got home. the phone yelled insults into my ear. it was a message from a guy i met at the vegetarian club meet i organize once a month. he has repeatedly asked me out and i have repeatedly declined. somehow, according to his message, this makes me uncaring. i know i am a kind spirit, but i don’t remember ever signing up for charity dating. i responded in nasty-gram format and went to bed.