Thursday, November 29, 2007

A crock?

My stove died last Saturday. I've got a new one coming in 6 days. It's definitely strange not to be able to make, say, pasta, or stir-fries. I've been eating salads and frozen meals, mostly. I still have a microwave, toaster oven, and crock pot.

Does anyone have good vegetarian/vegan crock pot recipes? The ones I've found online by searching for "vegetarian crock pot recipes" are either shudder-inducing (Applesauce Sauerkraut), unclear on the concept (Vegetable and Beef stew) or just plain weird (Carrot Pudding, Turnip Custard).

I'm not sure if any good veg crockpot recipes exist besides bean and vegetable stews, but if you know some, please pass them along!

Friday, November 23, 2007

No Tofurkeys were harmed

for my Thanksgiving dinner.

I must have a mental block against taking pictures of my food, because it seems like I always forget these days. Above is a picture of the last slice of our Thanksgiving entree, a tofu-leek-mushroom pie with a whole wheat/cashew crust. Yum! It was tasty and very filling. The recipe is from The Voluptuous Vegan if you want to try it.

I neglected to take a picture of the other pie, a dessert cranberry/blueberry pie, and the leftovers are at my parents' house.

We also brought garlic dip, I mean, sundried tomato/white bean dip that contains a load of raw garlic, as well as a bottle of wine that I've been saving for a special occasion.

I'm glad we avoided getting a Tofurkey because they're pretty nasty from what I hear. Has anyone else tried them?

Today HS and I observed Buy Nothing Day. We were going to do it last year but couldn't pass up a going-out-of-business sale at a music store. Since we didn't do much today, it wasn't hard to Buy Nothing. However, I thought about going to the corner to buy the paper this morning, then realized I couldn't.

Here are some Buy Nothing Day-related links. I really want to see the movie What Would Jesus Buy. The trailer is here. It's Shopocalypse Now!

--NYT article
--The ad MTV found too sensitive to air (whaaat?)
--What Would Jesus Buy?

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The RV recommends: A mall-free holiday

I abide by a personal rule not to go inside a shopping mall between Thanksgiving and Christmas. If I have to break it (not very often), I only go on a weekday. Mall culture gets to me at the best of times.

Here are 5 suggestions that don't require you to set foot inside a mall. (Oh, and don't forget about Buy Nothing Day, November 23/24, depending on your part of the world.)

1. A photograph from Equivoque's collection. I love her blue-tinted photos, which were taken with now-defunct Polaroid Time-Zero film. (The prints for sale are reprints from scans of those originals.) More Time-Zero photos can be found here.

2. Jewelry from Anne Holman's Etsy shop. Her many cool designs include custom antique map pendants, and you know how I feel about maps. The one pictured is the one she made for me, but you can ask for a custom pendant showing literally any location on earth. Vegans note that the cord is leather, but I'm sure she would have a vegan replacement.

3. Tea from Upton's. This store offers the highest-quality tea I've seen in North America. Their sample sizes are a great idea and allow you to try a bit of that special small-estate Darjeeling that's $30/bag. (Most of their teas are very reasonably priced, though!) They also have customer-submitted reviews of each tea and a detailed picture of each tea leaf.

4. A cosy knitted item from Heyday Fashion, such as this adorable toy

for the over-3-years kid in your life or this cute hat for a friend. (This hat is vegan but some of the other ones are made with wool.)

5. Don't forget charitable contributions. Seva will let you restore sight to one person in an underdeveloped country who is blind from cataracts. The cost of sight? $50.

(Oh, and if you want to send some of the best brownies in the world that are decidedly not vegan, go here. And I'm not saying this just because I've known the brownie-makers since I was 3!)

Monday, November 19, 2007


Sorry about the long absence. Holiday busy-ness and a cold put me out of the blogging mindset for a while.

Here's what's been going on with me lately:

1. We cooked a meal this weekend that was all vegan and consisted of
--Red lentil soup
--Roasted cauliflower and tomatoes
--Garlic bread on my homemade bread

This meal contained about an entire head of garlic so it should beat my cold into remission!

2. I'll do another entry about our Thanksgiving, but we plan to bring:
--White bean & sundried tomato dip
--A savory tart with leek filling and mushroom sauce
--Berry pie

3. This weekend, HS and I were talking about how both our workplaces forbid us from using the stairs. Elevators are the only option. I don't understand why this is--allegedly it's for security but that doesn't logically add up. Once you get through the front door, you have access to the whole building, it's not a floor-by-floor basis.

I don't think this policy was designed to thwart my fitness efforts, but it seems like employers are reluctant to do easy things which would promote better health and fitness among their employees. Maybe this is more prevalent in the US than abroad.

Have you noticed any fitness opportunities that could be available to you at work, but aren't? Or, does your employer offer fitness incentives and opportunities?

Friday, November 9, 2007

Sunflower: a love story

I was in Atlanta for business this week. At the end of the day on business trips, I generally just want to have a casual, simple dinner and watch cable TV from my bed, a treat for non-cabled me.

However, I'd been lured by the Cafe Sunflower website and promised myself that I'd try to make it out there. It took about an hour on a very chilly evening, but boy, was it ever worth it. The food is amazing and the atmosphere is warm and comfortable. I ate
--butternut squash soup
--peppercorn-crusted tempeh with grilled hearts of romaine and garlic-rosemary mashed potatoes.

I would have liked to try their vegan desserts but I was truly stuffed by that point. The flavors and presentation were exquisite. If I'd been able to go there twice, I would have tried the smoked seitan with BBQ sauce special entree.

You can try one of their recipes at home: this page includes a stuffed acorn squash entree recipe that I think would be great for Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Got chard?

My diet guru Dr. Fuhrman sings the praises of leafy greens of all types. Ideally, he says, you should have leafy greens at every meal. (For breakfast, he recommends a small amount of spinach in a fruit smoothie, in case you were wondering.)

Eating greens is a sizable hurdle for me. Most of the problem has to do with going grocery shopping once a week, cooking for one most of the time, and my utter revulsion for limp, floppy greens. In other words, when I make salads for a week's lunch, the lettuce/spinach/etc. is looking pretty limp by the end of the week, and (shudder) a salad of greens past their prime pretty much turns me off greens for a good while.

I can live with chard at the end of the week, though. I put chard in the veggie chili that I made this week. Because it is such a substantial green, it likes being cooked and retains a good tough chewiness when being microwaved several days later.

I've also had luck putting bok choy or napa cabbage in stir-fries.

Does anyone have green recipes or suggestions for me?