Sunday, March 30, 2008

Marinara Sauce

Food has been getting pretty pricey lately, probably from ever-increasing price of fuel. And the pasta sauce I like (I HATE sauce with sugar in it) is about $6 a jar when its not on sale. So unless I want to start paying for it I had to do something. So I decided to make my own sauce. Most traditional sauces take hours to cook, but this one is very quick and easy and takes 20 minutes. I wouldn't call it 5-star restaurant quality, but I think it is better than most 3-star restaurants and costs $1.25, excluding pantry staples.

1 can (28-35oz) canned tomatoes (cut, crushed, diced, your preference)
2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
1/2 to 1 onion, sliced thinly (use as much as you want)

1 clove garlic (use more if you prefer, but this will be pretty strong)
Basil (if the tomatoes don't have them in already, use fresh or dried)
Oregano (as much as you want)
Salt, pepper (to taste, some tomatoes are already are salted)

1. In a 2QT saucepan, heat oil and sautee onions until tranlucent (don't let them burn!)
2. Add garlic and sautee until lightly browned.
3. Add tomatoes (including all the juice in the can), and add spices.
4. Bring to a boil, and then simmer for about 20 minutes.
It turned out really good! If you want to improve it further, you could use 1 can crushed, 1 can cut, and 1 whole onion and simmer for longer (until saucy texture).
To give fair credit, I got the basic recipe from the back of the tomato can but I adapted it quite a bit.

Wednesday Track Meet :/

I'm a little nervous for Wednesday, I have my first track meet. I really hope I will do well, it's quite early in the season and I haven't really gotten into shape yet, but hopefully I'll do the 200m and a relay or two. I usually run 400's and 800's but I much rather do 200's because my body shape has totally changed from muscle-less and lanky to much stronger muscles and a lot of definition. No more 3200's for me :) When I get the results I'll post them (if they aren't horrible :P )

Saturday, March 22, 2008


My life just started to get even crazier because track started. So now I don't get home til around 4:30, which makes it hard to be able to cook anything anymore :( But I think in a few minutes I am going to make some chocolate cupcakes, so that will be good. Last night I slept over my friend Jessica's house, and we're pretty crazy. So since nothing totally vega-licious has happened in the last week, I'll just post some pics of my birthday party from last week!
Birthday 3-09-08

The awesome vegan birthday cake. Chocolate with vanilla frosting, in my favorite color.

My little half brother on the trampoline.

The FOOD!!! The yellow cake isn't vegan (that was for my mom) and everything else there was except for some turkey. There was salad, two kinds of pasta salad, stuffing, corn/bean salad and some other things. It was great!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

How to Celebrate a Vegan St. Patrick's Day!

You don't have to eat corned beef to celebrate St. Patricks Day. Here are some ways to celebrate veganly!
  • Be Irish. Not that you'll be able to do this if you aren't Irish to begin with, but St. Patty's Day is always better when you're Irish (I'm 50%, which is how I know what to write here)
  • Wear green. Duh. Or else it will be my personal mission to pinch you.
  • Eat an Irish Breakfast.
  • And then an Irish Supper.
  • Paint a shamrock on your face using eyeliner, and wear green makeup.
  • Make some kind of dessert with green frosting.
  • Talk with a brogue. But make sure you know what it's supposed to sound like because if you go around with an English accent you will get slapped.
  • Don't wear orange (like my Grandpa does every year), unless it is part of an Irish flag, or a hurling/footie uniform (I'm wearing my Carlow county jersey tomorrow, which has some orange on it.)
  • Play hurling or gaelic football. Hurling is pretty much lacrosse+baseball on crack, and gaelic football is soccer with your hands and some crazy dribbling rules. Mad fun.
  • Kiss an Irish person.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

I Got Tagged!

I've been tagged by the lovely Paulina at Veggie Delight to reveal 5 things about myself... (yippee!)
1. I dont follow a specific stereotype. Lets see, I play soccer and track, skateboard and play drums, wear all black one day and the next day bright pink. When I wear all black I wear hot pink eyeliner and when I wear all pink all my makeup is black. My iPod playlist has Joan Jett, Christina Aguilera and Disturbed next to each other. My 3 favorite places to shop are Forever 21 (eclectic), Aeropostale (girlyish), and Hot Topic (punk/goth). I have 7 piercings and I also happen to be Valedictorian. Maybe I should see the psych.

2. I have an extremely acute sense of smell. If someone is wearing a certain fruit or floral smell (ie Bath and Body works) I can name the scent very quickly. And if I walk by someone I can know exactly what perfume they are wearing, even if I've only smelled it once. And when I cook with herbs I usually choose them from olfactory memory, not by names or loooks. And I always remember what someone smells like. Always.

3. I want to have a career in foreign languages. Currently I'm taking French 3 and Spanish 2, and in college I want to additionally take Italian, Russian, Finnish, and German.

4. I'm an athiest. I'm fine with people believing in whatever they want to believe, but I've had too many people approach me as though I'm a free agent for whatever they believe in, so I've gotten turned off from religion. Plus, people argue over it waaaaay too much. And I just don't buy the whole getting-swallowed-by-a-whale-and-hey-I'm-alive deal, but that's just my opinion.

5. I had severe depression for 4 years (therapists and very close to antidepressents) but I kept my grades up and very few people noticed (I'm alot better now) . And I can't stand when people blame their problems/depression for bad grades.I don't think that there are smart people and stupid people, but that there are people who recognize that they have the power to do well, and there are people who are more concerned with other things and blame their stupidity instead of willpower for their grades. But that's just me, it's alot harder to manage your grades when you have other issues (I'd know!), but it is not impossible.
So there you have it, 5 unique things about me.
I tag... Vko (Lifestyles of the Chic and Vegan), Gnewvegan (Invitation to my Vegan Journey) , VegBitch, Yeah, That "Vegan" Shit, The Urban Vegan!
Rules:Link to your tagger and post these rules.
Share 5 facts about yourself.
Tag 5 people at the end of your post and list their names (linking to them).

Let them know they've been tagged by leaving a comment at their blogs.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Vegan/Vegetarian/VegeQuarian Playlist

Here's a playlist of veggie bans/singers. I can't guarantee the accuracy of all of them, and some bands have non-veg members in them. I also know than Alanis Morrisette is against eating meat but had to stop being vegetarian because she is severely allergic to soy, but I put here down anyway since she's sympathetic to the cause. So here's some good music, I tried to incorporate all different kinds into the playlist.

Vegan Survey Time!

I love surveys! So fun! They make me feel like I'm important...
Anyway, I found this one on Pleasantly Plump Vegan, and apparently it's been cross-referenced a million times and I didn't feel like tracing it back to the original source, so if you want to find the original creator be my guest :)
It's a bit random, but that's how I like it ♥
Heeeeere we go!
1. If you have to choose between locally grown or organic, which do you usually choose?
Here where I live, we don't exactly get to choose. But in my old town we had a farmer's market where most things were local and organic, and that was really nice. But I guess I would choose local since it supports community farmers.
2. Favourite way to prepare potatoes:
EVERY WAY. I'm 50% Irish, and taters are one of my all-time favorite foods. I guess the top three would be: red skins roasted with onions, garlic, rosemary, olive oil and fire roasted peppers; Home fries with hot sauce and BBQ sauce; and a fry-up of diced taters with onions, diced red/green peppers, paprika, and salt.
3. Do you press your tofu before preparing/cooking it (if you eat soy)?
I'm not a huge 'fu-fan, actually. I eat mostly prepackaged stuff like Tofettes, which I think I already pressed. If I use it in desserts, I usually don't press it.
4. Name your favorite recipe that is a tradition in your family:
Boiled green cabbage with margarine and roast potatoes.
5. Any food allergies?
More like intolerances. Milk and eggs (makes veganism pretty easy). I used to always get mild stomach aches when I drank milk, and cooked eggs outside of baking always made me queasy.
6. When you want to go to a fancy dinner, where do you go?
Mostly my boyfriend and I eat at Burger King, lol. For fancy food, there's some nice vegan/vegetarian restaurants in Montpelier, Vt.
7. When you have a cold, what do you crave?
Oriental ramen noodles.
8. What kind of water do you drink? (Filtered, spring, tap, etc.)
Filtered water through the fridge. But I love Fiji water :)
9. Name a flavor of soda you'd love to see:
In PEI they have red cream soda. AMAZING. But if I had to make a made-up one, I'd say peppermint.
10. If the recipes you ate as a child were compiled into a cookbook, what would the title be?
Most of them weren't vegan. So if I had to start from when I became vegan, I'd say The Transformation.
11. If you were allowed to grow one food that can't grow in your climate, what would it be?
Cocoa beans.
12. Favorite type of mushroom?
There's so many to choose from, but I love portabella and white mushrooms.
13. Most frustrating part of your kitchen?
Glass-stop stoves and a TINY oven. I have a huge cookie sheet that I can't use here and no copper-bottom or cast-iron pans on the glass-top.
14. Last food you burned?
Cherry Pepperidge Farm turnover in the toaster oven.
15. Usual response to a veg*n's favorite question, "But where do you get your protein?":
Lots of foods, like beans, soy products, mushrooms, pasta, and bread.
16. If you were baking your own birthday cake today, what flavor would it be?
Chocolate cake with butter cream frosting.
17. Favourite brand of chocolate chips?
Ghirardelli semi-sweet
18. You have $200 of your tax return reserved for Williams Sonoma - What do you buy?
I'm not really a kitchen freak, I'm 16 but I guess I get a good orange peeler, apple corer, and those carrot shaving flower makers. And a good knife for dicing herbs and a sharp knife for tomatoes.
19. Do you plan your menus in advance? Any tips to share?
Once or twice a week I'll make an actual meal like burritos, tacos, lemon-butter pasta, etc. I get recipes off the web and in a few cookbooks I have. Sometimes I ask my mom for recipes that I can veganize, or she'll give me some of what she's prepared for me to do what I want with. A lot of times I'll just eat the veggies she makes and a veggie burger or pasta and salad.
20. You have 3 minutes before you have to leave the house and you're starving- What do you eat?
Heat up a frozen homemade burrito or a slice of rye bread with SmartBalance and horseradish and tomato.
21. If Martha Stewart, Paula Deen, and Rachel Ray got into a fight, who would win and how?
Ummm. I'd say Martha 'cause she's probably learned a few tricks in the can.
22. If you eat oatmeal, what do you add to it before serving?
Maple syrup or brown sugar and margarine.
23. If you got to travel to one country and learn all the traditional dishes there, where would you go (ignore commitments in your current place of residence.)
I'd definitely say India or Oriental, with no fish sauce and ghee.
24. Favourite late night snack?
Chocolate chips with Ritz crackers.
25. Favourite springtime food?
Pasta salad with olives, broccoli, peppers, and other veggies.
26. Favorite food-related magazine?
I'm not a big magazine person but I like Vegetarian Times.
27. Which do you prefer: shoyu, tamari, conventional soy sauce, or Bragg's Aminos?
It's a tie between shoyu and conventional soy sauce.
28. What vegetable or fruit do you dislike the most?
I used to hate asparagus, now I love it. Hmm, I don't really hate anything, maybe raw red peppers and overcooked broccoli.
29. Name a holiday food you look forward to all year long:
Bread pudding/
30. If you could convert anyone to veganism with your magic wand, who would you convert?
Well, I believe it's everyone's choice to do what they want to do. But it's a tie between my boyfriend Kenny, and my friend Cassie. My boyfriend can't cook but loves his meat so if we ever moved in that might be difficult. And my friend Cassie loves animals and really wants to go vegan but her parents wont let her so she doesn't bother to try.

Monday, March 03, 2008

It's My Birthday!

Today is my birthday! Sweet Sixteen! Wow, it feels so weird to say I'm sixteen. I feel old! My family party is next Sunday, which is when I get my gifts from my family. But so far I've recieved some flowers from my mom and yesterday my boyfriend got me (well, we made it together) a Build-a-Bear. It's velvet and wears a brown "i love you" sash and rides a skateboard (because he skates). So we named it Kenny, after him, so I have him with me all the time.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Almost My Birthday!

I'm so excited! Monday will be my 16th birthday! It won't be a good birthday school wise though, I have double chemistry lab (so I'll spend the night typing a report) and the next 2 weeks are standardized testing. Oh well. This weekend I'm pretty much going to just hang out with my boyfriend at the mall/movie theater, so that will be fun.
For my birthday I asked for a roman ab chair, a ride cymbal for my drum kit, and a wooden bass pedal for my drum kit, and most importantly DRIVER'S ED. I really need the ed, because I'm terrible at driving (at least reversing, going straight I'm all set). So hopefully I'll get that because I'd love to have my license before soccer season. Some vegan chocolate wouldn't be a bad gift either.

Google Search!