Friday, February 22, 2008

Good, Easy to Find Vegan Pastry

The company Barry's Bakery was founded by Barry Yellen, who suffered a heart attack at 42. After being put on a no-sweet diet, he created a French Pastry Twist that had no cholesterol, butter, eggs, yeast, or dairy. They also happen to be vegan. The ingredients in the Original variety are: High gluten wheat flour, soy oil, palm oil, beet sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Each twist only has 60 calories. These twists are really good! Vegan pastries are hard to find, and Barry's Twists are available nationwide in most supermarkets (the site has a store locator if you havent seen them before). They are decently priced, and come in Original (cinnamon), Chocolate, Chocolate Chip, Wild Raspberry, Maple French Toast, California Almond, Cafe Mocha, and Key Lime.
When I got my 2nd term report card with straight A's my mom bought me 4 bags! Surpringly, I haven't eaten them all!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

A Good Way to Eat Swiss Chard

My mum made the best swiss chard last night. It's too simple to really be a recipe but here's what you do:
- Let diced garlic sit in lots of extra virgin olive oil for at least 15 mins (a couple days is best)
- Saute cleaned swiss chard in oil and garlic until wilted and tender.
My grandmother cooks her spinach like this, which has been a tradition in our family, all the way from Italy. I like it with spinach more, since its milder and softer, but the swiss chard is definitely good.
This is the multicolored type of swiss chard, with red and yellow stems. Alongside it I had brown rice with sesame seeds on top (Halfway through dinenr I found a package of them in my pocket that I forgot to put on my Asian noodles from lunch.)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

More Cupcakes and Other Stuff

So I baked more cupcakes last night because they were so damn darn good. My fam wanted chocolate frosting and I wanted colors so I put chocolate underneath and rainbow on top of it. Anyways everyone thought they looked like Gay Pride cupcakes but they taste wicked good.


And then today for lunch I made a Gardenburger Veggetable Burger (the one with all the veggie bits in it) and I had it on a whole wheat burger roll with ketchup, mustard, pickles, and sauteed onions.


Oh yah, and with Cape Cod Potato Chips! The best chips in the whole wide world! So crisp! So crunchy! So pure (tater, oil, salt)!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Amazing Vegan Cupcakes!

I made these on Friday, and they're already gone! I made them with buttercream frosting. I baked mine in a silicone pan, and the bottoms were nice and moist, but metal will also work.
Cupcake Ingredients:
1 cup plain/vanilla soymilk
1 cup white flour
1 tsp vinegar
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil (canola)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/3 cup cocoa powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
Frosting Ingredients:
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1/2 cup vegan margarine
1/4 cup plain/vanilla soymilk
4 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
Food coloring, sprinkles, colored sugar, chocolate chips, etc (optional)
Cake Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 350, and grease a 12-cup muffin tin (or use liners).
2. Mix soymilk and vinegar in a large bowl, and let sit for a few minutes to curdle.
3. Beat in sugar, oil, and extracts until foamy. Then continuously add in flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Stir until all ingredients are combined and there are no lumps.
4. Pour batter into muffin tins and fill 3/4 of the way. Bake for about 18 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely, and start making frosting.

Frosting:
1. Beat (electric beater/mixer is a must unless you want your hand to fall off) shortening and margerine together until well combined (~ 5 to 7 minutes)
2. Add in sugar, and beat for 3 more minutes.
3. Add in vanilla and the soy milk, beat for another 5 to 7 minutes.
4. Add food coloring and chocolate chips if you are so inclined.

When cupcakes are cool, remove them from the tins and frost them (you can add sprinkles or sugar if you like)
< < The lone cupcake.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

USDA Recalls 143 Million Pounds of Dead Cow

Okay, the title of the article actually says beef, but I couln't resist.
Anyways, this is the LARGEST recall in U.S. history, by over 100,000,000 (100 million) pounds.
Apparently, it came from a Southern California slaughterhouse, and is sold under the name of Westland/Hallmark Meat Co. Currently it "is being investigated for mistreating cattle" (AP)


Secretary of Agriculture Ed Schafer says his department has evidence that the slaughterhouse didn't contact a veterinarian when cows became non-ambulatory [unable to walk] after inspection.
"Because the cattle did not receive complete and proper inspection, Food Safety and Inspection Service has determined them to be unfit for human food and the company is conducting a recall," said Schafer. (AP)
Under federal regulation, downed cows are not allowed in the food supply because they pose a higher risk of being contaminated with mad cow, E. Coli, and salmonella. This is because they usually wallow in their feces, and have weaker immune systems.
Operations at Westfield have been suspended, after an undercover video was released of sick animals being pushed by forklifts. On Friday, two former employees were charged with animal cruelty.
This meat is used in some major fast food chains, and more disturbingly, THE FEDERAL SCHOOL LUNCH PROGRAM.
It is estimated that 37 million pounds have already been sent to schools, and most has been eaten already. No reported cases of illnesses have surfaced.
See the AP article on MSNBC
here.

I'm glad I'm vegan so I don't have to worry about this! But I'm praying for the innocent children who may end up eating this, especially since many of them probably only eat federal lunch because they can't afford not to. Yet another reason why to go vegan or vegetarian!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Cool New Website - PetaStudents.Org!

There's a new website out there called PetaStudents.Org. Here's what they have to say:

The PETAstudents Project is an easy way for hopeful students young or old to contribute to the animal rights group PETA at no cost. We're working together with FastWeb (owned by popular job search engine Monster.com) to provide free information and scholarships for top-notch colleges in the United States, and for every person that provides non-invasive contact information to FastWeb's college and scholarship site, we'll be able to donate $1 to PETA.


You actually don't really do a whole lot with the original site, it's like a referral program. Once you click the "Sign Up" button on PetaStudents, you are directed to a sign up sheet for FastWeb. Since I was dubious at first (and since I get about 10 letters from colleges daily), I put in a fake address. The FastWeb site is very nice and has a lot of useful information and articles, even without the college/scholarship stuff. I presume that FastWeb pays the guys at PetaStudents for each referral, and in turn, they donate $1 to Peta. Which means for free, you and I can give money to Peta!

I think this site has a lot of potential to do well, so if you are high school or college age, please sign up!

Vegan Survey!

Wow, I've been blogging a lot today. But I'm at work for 5 hours so what else is there to do?
I got this from
http://foodsnobberyhobbery.blogspot.com/2007/11/veganmofo-survey.html
1. Favorite non-dairy milk?
Silk brand, chocolate is my favorite flavor but for cooking I use plain or unsweetened.
2. What are the top 3 dishes/recipes you are planning to cook?
1)
Lemon Butter Pasta
2) More cupcakes
3) Pasta Salad
3. Topping of choice for popcorn?
Organic Smart Balance (the org version is vegan). I make my own popcorn on the stovetop.
4. Most disastrous recipe/meal failure?
Oooh there's a couple. One is trying to use Ener-G in premade omni brownies, which doesn't work, they come out flat and liquidy after 3 hours in the oven at 450! And the others come from using the book Sinfully Vegan, which sucks for baking recipes (nothing cooks right), good for ideas.
5. Favorite pickled item?
Dill pickles, preferably Claussen brand.
6. How do you organize your recipes?
On this blog under my
recipe archive post. If its not my recipe I either get it online or in a book.
7. Compost, trash, or garbage disposal?
Trash, unfortunately. And my stepsister's guinea pig :) But when I have a garden in the summer I compost certain things.
8. If you were stranded on an island and could only bring 3 foods...what would they be (don't worry about how you'll cook them)?
1) Pasta Primavera
2) Tofutti Cuties in Berry
3) Penne Puttanesca (if you couldn't tell already, I LOVE PASTA!!)
9. Fondest food memory from your childhood?
Making holiday sugar cookies with my mom and (late) stepdad.
10. Favorite vegan ice cream?
TOFUTTI! In chocolate :)
11. Most loved kitchen appliance?
Electric mixer! Last night I used it for the first time for cupcakes and frosting. It was so easy! And it saved my hand because the frosting required mixing hard shortening and margarine.
12. Spice/herb you would die without?
3 way tie, garlic, rosemary, and oregano.
13. Cookbook you have owned for the longest time?
The 5 Ingredient Vegetarian Gourmet by Nava Atlas, I got it 5 days before going vegetarian from my (late) aunt.
14. Favorite flavor of jam/jelly?
Strawberry preserves
15. Favorite vegan recipe to serve to an omni friend?
Tofu Chocolate Pie or the cupcakes I made last night.
16. Seitan, tofu, or tempeh?
Honestly I dont like any of them unless its a premade product. But I'd have to say tofu because its good in miso soup.
17. Favorite meal to cook (or time of day to cook)?
Hehe, dessert! Okay, dinner.
18. What is sitting on top of your refrigerator?
Nothing really, there's a cabinet above it with an icecream maker and some chips.
19. Name 3 items in your freezer without looking.
1) Chocolate Tofutti (one bite left)
2) Vanilla Tofutti
3) Ice pops
There's also some chicken and beef, eww.
20. What's on your grocery list?
Simply Asia noodle bowls, lettuce, sprouts, garlic hummus, bread, juice boxes...
21. Favorite grocery store?
I love the Montpelier, VT co-op because they carry a lot of vegan stuff, but of chain stores it would be Shaws.
22. Name a recipe you'd love to veganize, but haven't yet.
Crepes
23. Food blog you read the most (besides Isa's because I know you check it everyday). Or maybe the top 3?
Yeah that Vegan Shit and Eat Air (and a bunch of others so dont feel left out, those two came to my mind first!)
24. Favorite vegan candy/chocolate?
SWEDISH FISH!!!!!
25. Most extravagant food item purchased lately?
Pom Wonderful and Broccoli sprouts.
26. Make up your own question to put here (and answer it).
Who was the first person to bring your attention to veganism?

>> The artist P!nk, when she wrote a letter to Petco with PETA. I saw it on her website and I liked it an clicked the PETA link because I was interested. And then I went OMG.

AR Wear

I love to shop, so I found myself bored at work and window shopping online. I found some pretty cool things on the PETA Catalog. Once I transfer my savings account to a checking account in March when I'm 16, I'll actually be able to use my credit/debit card to buy stuff from here online. Yay! (The [x]'s are the links to the catalog page)

[x] "Want Fries With That?" Designed by Ian Grushka of New Found Glory - $16

[
x] "No, I Don't Have Any Spare Ribs!". This is a long-time fave of mine - $16
[
x] This is much better alternative to those over-worn "Hollister" logo shirts - $20
[
x] This Peta2 hoodie looks so warm! And ethical! - $41.95
[
x] "Spay Today, Save A Life Tomorrow". This looks really cute! - $9.75
[
x] PETA Bunny Necklace. How cute! I want this for next V-Day! - $20
[
x] This reminds me of those ghetto name necklaces. Comes in gold and silver. - $20, gold is on sale for $10

[x] Your basic PETA shirt, in my favorite color of black - $16, White Youth Med $5

[x] 50 Awesome Ways Kids Can Help Animals by Ingrid E. Newkirkc - $12.99
[x] Frog Saving Lilypad! Helps frogs get out of swimming pools (over the ledge) so they don't drown! HOW INGENIOUS! Yay for PETA! - $15

[x] Humane Smart Mouse Trap - $11

[x] PRIMAL STRIPS!!!! Vegan Beef Jerky, these are sooo good! - $1.29 each, seitan teriyaki and soy bbq

They also have some pretty good sales, on this page.

Some (Crazy) Blog Stats

Here are some facts about my blog and some interesting stuff I found out using my StatCounter.

Basic Facts:


First Blog Post: January 28, 2006
My age then: 13 (almost 14)
My age now: 15 (almost 16!)
First profile picture: click here
First recipe : Grilled Chreese and Butternut Squash Soup; January 28, 2006
Most Commented Post: Vegan Fast Food Options; 50 comments
5 Most Popular Posts (of last 100 hits):
  • Vegan Fast Food Options
  • Vegan Shopping List!
  • 6 Vegan Myths
  • 20 Reasons to Go Vegan
  • Best Vegan Tacos Ever

Most Used Search Engine: Google (95-100%)
Monitor Resolution of Most Viewers: 1024 x 768 (A close 2nd place is 1280 x 1024)
Two Most used Browsers by Viewers: Internet Explorer 7 and Mozilla Firefox 2.0
Average Unique Visitors per Day: 131
Busiest Day for Visitors: Sunday
Busiest Months For Posts: February and March 2006, 33 posts each month


Every once in a while I like to check what keywords or search words people use on search engines to find my blog. Here are some good ones that have been in my last 100 hits:
  • Cakes that look like cow pies
  • Sexy vegan
  • Attractive vegans
  • Best tacos ever recipe
  • Breasts explode
  • XL Tv life

Goal for 2008: Get 30,000 unique visitors!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Cocoa!

Here are some pictures and videos of my step-grandparents new dog!
Feb 16 Edit:Added more pics and some vids!


Here's the new boy!

My stepsister playing with him.

video

video

video

Cocoa says, "Go Vegan!". Don't listen to what she says.

video

He's slipping on the ice!

Cupcakes, Maybe

I might make cupcakes sometime tonight. I have a four-day weekend and not a lot of homework. Yay for cupcakes!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Snow Day!

Today was a snow day! Which means I get to lounge around and do nothings. For breakfast I had a mix of POM Wonderful juice with seltzer and a Strawberries and Cream LUNA bar. Then for lunch I had guacamole and chips. I haven't been too hungry today, since I got up at 10:30 :)





Monday, February 11, 2008

Hot & Spicy Stir Fry for Dinner

Tonight I had spicy stir fry for dinner. My mum did the veggies for me (she added chicken to hers). I think there were red bell peppers, baby corn, mushrooms, onion, and garlic. She also put a vegan spicy schezuan sauce on them. Then I added Hot & Spicy Tofettes to them (my latest craze, premarinated tofu with a firm texture). They did the trick, and it tasted like good chinese food! The stir fry was over white rice, with soy sauce and a few chinese dried lo mein noodles.

I love the texture of Tofettes, they're similar to the way tofu is prepared in a lot of Asian foods, it's firm and isn't jiggly/squishy at all.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Food Shopping!


I went food shopping today. And I got some cool stuff. Among them were Hot & Spicy Tofettes, Pomegranate juice, hummus, and Brocco sprouts.

So for lunch today I made a delicious garlic hummus, onion, and brocco sprout sandwich on pita bread, along with all natural corn chips and guacamole.


Saturday, February 09, 2008

Lemon Butter Pasta Again!

For dinner tonight I made the Lemon Butter Pasta I posted about a little over a week ago, except I made it sans Tofettes since I was out. I'm buying more tomorrow!
It was really good, I used extra onion, mushrooms, and garlic. You should really try it, even without the Tofettes it's awesome!

New Dog!

Well, not for me. But my step-grandparents down the road just got a 3-yr old chocolate lab called Cocoa. He's a cutie pie and is a little hyper. Apparently, he was abandoned on a country road in Lousiana, and was with a foster family in Texas, and he came home to CT today. If I can, I'll post some pics soon.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Super Bowl!

So I never had time to write a new vegan SB guide (my mom's fiance had an operation this week and she hasn't been home a lot so I haven't been able to get online).
http://aveganlife.blogspot.com/2006/02/have-xl-super-bowl-party-or-just-have.html
That's the guide from 2006.
And did I mention:
GO PATRIOTS!!

Tonight's menu is:
UTZ hot chips
Raspberry Ginger Ale
Yellow Corn Chips
Guacamole
Raspberry Turnovers with Vanilla Tofutti

Friday, February 01, 2008

Lemon Butter Pasta With Mushrooms & Tofettes


This is one of my own original I-made-it-up recipes. Its kind of adapted from something my mom makes with meat and I'm sure other people have done the same thing or similar, but anyways I'm taking credit for it lol. The tofu in this is Creative Chef Tofettes, which are easy to use, have a good texture and are very tasty. I found them in the produce section of Big Y.

Crappy picture taken with crappy cellphone camera but it was actually a lot prettier and tasted great (and thats considering I'm not a huge tofu fan)


Ingredients:
1 package of Creative Chef Tofettes Lemon Garlic Flavor, sliced in half or quarters
1 box of pasta (rotini and penne work well, I used penne)
1/2 cup vegan margarine
1 to 2 cups sliced mushrooms (white or 'bella, or both!)
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 small onion, diced (or half a medium/large onion)
2 TBS lemon juice (or more to taste)
Salt, dash (to taste)

1. Cook pasta as instructions indicate (do the rest of the recipe while the pasta is cooking!)
2. Melt the margarine in a hot skillet (make sure its large enough for the mushrooms and tofettes!)
3. Add the onions and garlic, sautee for 3 mins until onions start to turn translucent.
4. Add the mushrooms and lemon juice and sautee for 7-10 mins, add salt if you want.
5. Add tofettes and sautee until they are hot.
6. In a large bowl, mix drained pasta with the sauteed mushroom mixture!

  • One thing I noticed is if you use a non-stick pan and let the mushrooms sit without stirring them often or flipping them, they get a little "burned" and taste as though they were grilled!
  • Also, if you run out of butter in the pan before its time to put it on the pasta, you can add more but dont forget to add more lemon juice too!

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