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Literary News and Reviews by a Latent English Scholar

Posts tagged vegan

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Mori-Nu, Me Love You

mori-nu tofu

I forgot about the joys of silken tofu. Usually I buy a bunch and leave it in the back of my fridge for months and months and months (which is heartless, but cool: the stuff has an incredibly long shelf-life.) Tonight I was grouchy with the munchkins and I felt the need to atone with brownies for the boys and brownie laced breastmilk for the girl. I think everyone went to bed lovin’ me again, because nummy brownies right all wrongs.

Silken tofu replaces eggs and fat and creates a loverly texture, so dense you will not miss the fat. And if you do, you are wrong. And I may fight you.

Healthy Low-Fat Suck-up Brownies

Ingredients

  • 1 1/3 cups brown rice flour (or sub. any wholegrain flour, just omit the guar gum)
  • 1/4 tsp guar gum
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 generous tsp cinnamon
  • 1 package Lite Silken Tofu (I use Mori-Nu)
  • 1 cup cocoa
  • 2 tbs flax seeds
  • 1/2 cup apple sauce
  • 1 cup (or more, to taste) natural dry sweetener
  • 1 tsp vanilla (or other extract such as almond, coconut, orange or mint)

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit and prep a 9”X13” baking pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together flour, guar gum, baking powder, and cinnamon. Set aside.
  3. In a food processor, blend tofu until smooth. Add cocoa and process until blended. Add flax, apple sauce, sweetener and extract, pulsing to blend with each addition.
  4. Slowly add dry ingredients to food processor (in 2 or 3 batches) and blend until thoroughly mixed.
  5. Spoon into prepared pan and spread evenly (batter will be very thick).
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Then give them to the people you were mean to. It’ll be ok, we all have our off days.

Filed under recipes vegan low-fat baking family brownies

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Never Mix, Never Worry.

I have been a barely present presence on the Interweb this past week and a half. Turns out being one with the living has its perks too, but I think I’m done now. My half broken computer calls me hence.

What have I been up to?

my new vegan venture

I feel bad that the focus of this blog has shifted from complaining about my family to concentrate on vegan and sustainable living, so I’m starting a new project for the productive junk which will really allow me to get back to the heart of the matter on this space: how terrible everyone I am related to is.

Case in point:

I guess it is Christmas soon or something because apparently the 7 year old is in dire need of a red scarf and top hat by next Tuesday’s Holiday Concert Extravaganza (which is at 1:45 in the afternoon because most parents are unemployed and need something to get them out of the house midday, right? Also, does anyone else find it somewhat unreasonable to ask every family of a male child to produce a felt top-hat in the year 2009? Where the freak does one find a top hat? I went downtown, but there was no one who even vaguely resembled this guy to steal one off of:

classic hobo

Perhaps I’ll hit the business district this afternoon. There’s got to be a tycoon somewhere who’s willing to share).

So we stop at the playground in the midst of our shoppery to let the 2 year old run off some steam and I notice he has to pee. So I ask him, “Hey buddy, do you have to pee?” but he assures me, in no uncertain terms, that he does not need to pee and I am a huge asshole for even implying such a preposterous suggestion. I spend the next 10 minutes watching him tug mercilessly at his crotch and run in increasingly tiny circles until he is kind of hop spinning in place and giving me the finger every time I gently remind him it is time to visit the potty. I finally convince him to push his own stroller to Starbucks for an apple juice, because what the kid clearly needs at this point is more liquid.

As soon as the juice hits the little bugger’s lips, it’s go time. Now he has to pee and I better produce a potty quick and how could I possibly leave it to the last minute, have I no compassion? So I leave the 7 year old to ensure my soy chai latte is indeed “easy foam” and venture into the handicap bathroom because I truly believe that balancing a squirmy, 30 pound, 2 year old boy over a filthy, heppatitus infected public toilet whilst wearing a squirmy, 21 pound, 10 month old girl in a sling across your belly, all the while trying not to get completely soaked in urine, is a HUGE handicap.

All would have been fine if it was summer and he was sporting his requisite uniform of elastic waist shorts and dirty tank top. But, no, it’s winter, so he’s wearing like 16 t-shirts and his jeans with the fastener that looks like a regular button, but is actually this weird hook thing, but looks so much like a regular button that I fight with it at every bathroom visit because I have the memory of a goldfish these days. And his brand new winter coat: his puffy, fluffy winter coat with the cowboy pockets and super handy detachable hood.

Needless to say it is hard to get a grip on his pants anyway because at this point he has to pee so bad that being still is no longer an option. I am squatting on the aids-in-a-petri-dish floor, wrestling wads of used toilet paper out of the baby girl’s mouth while trying to tug the boy’s pants down without undoing them, all the while wondering if my friendly and eager-to-please 7 year old is being recruited into some sort of Starbucks based prostitution ring (don’t look so smug, they have those in the States too, you know!), but it is all for naught anyway because as soon as his little trouser snake sees the light of day, it is all over.

I hop back on my heels to protect the baby from the backsplash while still holding on to the boy’s hands, leaning him forward like my husband taught me (cuz I don’t have a wang, so I don’t know these tricks) to save his pants and shoes as much as possible.

But it just keeps coming and coming and I have to let go of his hands and take another step back or risk drowning my daughter and I in his steamy wake. “I have ax-nit on floor,” he whimpers, still unleashing a vicious stream at maximum velocity. There is so much pee that I don’t have time to marvel at how cute it is that he says “ax-nit” instead of “accident” and aren’t 2 year olds just darling? It is time to build a dam or risk seepage into Starbucks proper and that will never do. I begin throwing handfuls of paper towel at the puddle and, conscientious little planet saver that he is, the 2 year old immediately bends down, still peeing, mind you, and picks up a soggy mass and offers it to me. “Here Mommy. You drop.”

I swallow a scream, because the last thing I need is a helpful barista in the mix. “No, no touch! Yuck!” I hiss, sounding more evil than I intended, which scares him and he begins lurching towards me with a quivering lip, pants around his ankles, arms out in search of a comforting hug. He’s finally emptied out, so I coax him out of the puddle, try to keep his piss soaked mitts off his sister and begin the daunting task of pulling up the jeans from hell.

But it’s wicked slippery on that there floor.

I feel I need to make a slight digression here. I HATE PUBLIC WASHROOMS. Before having children, I would avoid them at all costs, holding my water for inordinate periods of time, becoming Queen of the Hover. I have nightmares about public washrooms, in which I have to pee so, so, so bad, but every stall door I open reveals a scene more horrifying than the last: pubies, poopies, icky-lady business as far as the eye can see. And we all know that H1N1 actually originated on a McDonald’s bathroom floor in Iowa. So you can understand why what happened next will haunt me until my dying day.

I am yanking up the boy’s jeans with my arms out as far as they’ll extend because I don’t want to germify the girl, but the pants still aren’t undone so it’s a tight squeeze and I don’t have a fantastic grip and his shoes are slippery with his own waste and the next thing I know the boy goes pitching forward and belly flops smack dab in the middle of the yellow pool of his own creation.

I freeze but for a second before the adrenaline kicks in and I have him by the back of his coat, like a hideous parody of a lifeguard frantically pulling my kin to safety. But his shoes keep slipping and I lose my hold—he’s falling again! With lightening fast reflexes I grasp his hood and then the unthinkable happens: one by one I hear the snaps that hold the stupid thing in place releasing and then he is gone, falling to his doom, doing the syphallus front crawl on the bathroom floor and all I have left of my beautiful son is his eerily hollow, unoccupied hood.

Sufficed to say, we did make it out of that bathroom, sans coat, sans dignity. The 7 year old was still there and if he joined some sort of cult in our absence, he’s not telling. Ironically, the first thing the 2 year old did upon emerging from the devastated bathroom was drop his apple juice all over the Starbucks floor. As the friendly barista promptly mopped up the innocuous yellow puddle while ordering my boy another drink, on the house, of course, she assured me that she mops up similar puddles at least 2-3 times a day. And, as I guided my harried clan out of her establishment, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of calm, knowing I ensured her yellow puddle quota would most definitely be met that day.

I expect mywholedeal.com to launch in the coming weeks, so check back often. In the meantime, I will be creating some guest posts for the amazing Vegansaurus and probably cleaning up a lot more pee.

Filed under vegan family parenting Starbucks mywholedeal gross vegansaurus

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Gotta Read Fast, I Got a Fast Read—Here’s Dinner!

I'm just reading, I swear!!!!!

Okay Blog. I will write you a bit, but then back to my book.

I never get the bloody Fast Reads from the bibliotheque because the only time I can read uninterrupted is in the bathroom and you can only pretend to go to the bathroom so many times a day before the family starts getting worried and then suspicious and then you have a 2 year old and a 7 year old sitting at your feet even when it’s the real deal and that’s just mentally scarring for everybody.

I also have a steadfast and elitist rule to avoid books that are movies at all costs, but the internets assured me that the author of this puppy was thoroughly peeved about the casting choices and the plot seemed intriguing, so I bit the bullet and now here I am, a mere 167 pages into the 541 page beast and only 4 days to go! $1.50/day if I don’t finish in time, oh the humanity!

As an aside, is there anyone who doesn’t find it humiliating to be seen reading a book with movie stars plastered across the cover? Probably. But you’re wrong not to be embarrassed. I am so judging you.

So I don’t feel like writing, I don’t feel like answering emails (even REALLY good ones that I am VERY excited about that I WILL acknowledge first thing in the morning’a’saurus) and I didn’t much feel like feeding my hungry family. But their grumbly-tumblys were interfering with my silent reading time, so I made them this. It is very fast. Make it when you want people to leave you alone.

Very Fast Broccoli Stir Fry

Ingredients

  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 inch knob ginger, minced OR 1 tsp powdered ginger
  • 1 large head of broccoli, chopped (stalks peeled and diced too)
  • 1 tsp dried chilli flakes, or to taste
  • 3 tbs soy sauce
  • 1 tbs seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup + water for stir frying

Method

  1. In a wok over med-high heat, stir fry onions in water 2-3 minutes until they start to become translucent. Add garlic and ginger and cook for additional 2 minutes.
  2. Add all other ingredients (including the 1/4 cup water), cover and cook until broccoli is tender (about 3 minutes).
  3. Serve over brown rice or udon noodles.

And because I want my people to grow up big and strong, I also heated up some Yves Asian Ground Round and let the peeps make Asian-style tacos, which entails rolling said round up in lovely, crispy lettuce leaves.

Okay, this post for sure cost me like $3. I really must depart…NOW

Filed under vegan recipes broccoli fat free elitist

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I’m All Sick and Stuff

Hiding from H1N1 has weakened our tender little immune systems and now the smallest of the people and I are wallowing in our own muccii.

Cooking sucks when you are sick. No matter how hard I try to make like a 2nd grader and hack into my elbow pit, I just know my family is getting a little bit of DNA with every bite. Not to mention that my spice to other ingredient ratio is completely out of whack on account of my having no discernible nostrils at the moment. I made Happy Herbivore’s African Kale and Yam Soup, but I made it spicy, like triple the chilli flakes and a hefty dose of Louisiana hot sauce spicy. Burn out your ear drums spicy. I thought it was perfect, ecstasy in a bowl, but I’m the only one who had seconds, so either the rest of my household is a bunch of pansies or I grossly miscalculated the difference between happy spice and scary spice.

scary scary scary

Happy Spice does not wear leopard print wrestling boots, that’s how you can tell the difference.

At any rate, I’m staying out of the kitchen today, camping on the couch with the middle child and becoming one with Yo Gabba Gabba, the show that was made for the mushroom addict lurking deep inside all of us.

Now, somebody order me some Green Cuisine take-out…NOW!

Filed under vegan sick day yo gabba gabba Green Cuisine yam kale recipes

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Baba Ganoush is a Funny Name

Ridiculous, really, but I forgive it because it is such a dang tasty spread, yummy on crackers, pitas, veggies, toast, in sam-iches, you name it. Not cereal though, that would be disgusting.

I wanted fat free Baba Ganoush, because that’s how I roll, so I made some. And then I learned something, which is all we can really hope for, right?

I learned that, Baba Ganoush, unlike most things, improves with age. It does not become crotchety and scared of technology, telling the same stories thrice times an hour; instead it becomes more flavourful and delicious on sour dough rye toast.

eggplant-o-lanterns

(photo courteousy of http://www.me3dia.com)
Maybe Tomorrow, Babe, I’m Just Not That Into It Tonight Baba Ganoush

Ingredients

  • 1 bulb garlic
  • 1 medium-large eggplant
  • olive oil cooking spray
  • 1/4 light silken tofu or low fat vegan mayonnaise
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • juice of one lemon

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut eggplant in half length wise and make three, deep, diagonal slits in the fleshy bits, down the length of each half. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and spritz with cooking spray.
  2. Remove the papery outer layer from garlic and slice off at least the top 1/2 centimeter of the bulb to expose cloves. Spray lightly with cooking spray and wrap entire bulb loosely in aluminum foil.
  3. Lay eggplant halves sliced side up on a parchment lined cookie sheet along with garlic package. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the fleshy bits of each vegetable are super soft. Allow veggies to stand until they are cool enough to handle.
  4. Removes seeds from eggplant (they get scared from the heat and bunch right up, making them easy to scoop out).
  5. Scrape the flesh from both halves of the eggplant into the bowl of a food processor or blender, along with 2-4 cloves of roasted garlic*, tofu, salt and lemon juice. Puree until smooth.
  6. Refrigerate overnight for a rollicking good eat or, for those of you with no self control (pick me!) eat it right away for instant gratification, but mediocre performance. Serve with fresh cut veggies, pitas, not cereal.

*Use the rest of the head of garlic for tasty toasts: mash it up with some rosemary and rock salt to taste and spread it on your favourite crusty bread for a fat free take on traditionally fatty garlic bread.

Filed under vegan recipes eggplant

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I Dream of Curry

Single-Mom-ing-it-up for the next couple days. Kids have a lot to say, whether they can “talk” or not. Once those whipper-snappers are in bed, though, that’s when I hit productivity overdrive: I watch Days of Our Lives online and write helpful, evergreen articles about pertinent topics for numerous publications under various pseudonyms. And I wash sheets, because Pull-ups are for suckers.

I also think about food. Alot.

But if if I’m not cooking for manfriend, I’m a lazy toad. I fed the munchkins good stuff, no worries there. But as for me, today I ate an entire loaf of Bubby Rose’s Farmhouse Sourdough and not much else. Now I feel nutrient depleted and I dream of this:

I put batteries in my camera and this is the the spicier than usual curry I yummed about last week. And I want it now. So brightly flavoured, multi-textured and full of healthful goodness. And yet I’m too weak from bread to cook. For shame!

I also want CNN to go back to normal. Ever since that redesign their reporting has become infused with a melodramatic flare that would be more appropriate on Days of Our Lives. Did I mention I’m watching Days right now. It’s really bad. But my curry is good and I don’t feel like writing about allergy-free lunches right now. Will you do it for me?

Tomorrow: high-protein vegan breakfasts. I promise I’ll be less scattered. And if you’re reading this, please leave me a comment with your favourite high-protein vegan breakfast. I want it so bad. I may even give you something for it….

Filed under vegan recipes kids

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Thanks, Mofos

Super Cool Vegan MoFo Dishcloth

Look at this knitted masterpiece! Walking the Vegan Line is talented on a number of levels.

Well, technically I suppose this is the last day of Vegan MoFo 2009. It’s been real!

I super enjoyed reading all the other luscious vegan blogs out there and gathered many a new recipe to add to the arsenal. But, by far, the best thing I got out of this exercise was focus.

I have been passionate about food for more than half my life now, and, since having kids, that passion has evolved into a vehement belief that our bodies need, nay, deserve only the very best nourishment that our beautiful Earth has to offer. (Holy crap, am I ever a hippie—somebody douse me in Patch and bury my razor). Since eliminating almost all artificial substances from my diet, I feel so dang good, so much lighter and unburdened by crud. My manfriend joined me on the “dark side” almost a year and a half ago, after spending the majority of his formative years gorging on fast-food and double (triple? quadruple?) helpings of meat. The result? Two weeks in, he tried an A&W Veggie Swiss Delux and it all came out again. And again and again and again. There have been at least three similar incidences involving deep fried “treats” and yet my sensitive bear cannot fully let go of all vestiges of his past. And that’s cool—just wipe the rim when you’re done.

But doesn’t that tell you that our bodies weren’t meant to process heavily processed junk? My poor sheltered babes, how beautiful and unsullied their organs must be, only ever (and by “ever”, I mean in this house—I’m not a total a-hole all the time) having to deal with naturally occurring substances.

But, I digress. VeganMofo 2009 gave me the focus I needed to decide what I want my whole deal to be about: sustainable health on an individual and global level. Please stay tuned. This Mofo’s got somethin’ great a brewin’ (and there will be “ing”s in it. I promise.)

Filed under vegan veganmofo 2009

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Borscht is Weird and That’s OK

borscht is funny on a t-shirt

Today was borscht day. Borscht is, well, weird. I mean, I don’t think so now, but I can see why everyone else in my house does.

Beets remind me of my Grandpa Mac and I love how they taste of earth and freshness and are more vibrant than any artificial crap-food I’ve ever seen. It is that vibrant colour that I hoped would draw in the 2 year-old, but while he enjoyed using the various vegetables as pretty pink stamps to decorate the table, I don’t think much made it into his eatin’ hole.

Manfriend choked down half a bowl. That’ll earn him a little something extra later on…like maybe I’ll nurse the baby in the spare room tonight so as to not wake him up. Oh yeah, that’s hot.

And then there’s the picky one. He switched it up on me and loved it. He is now anxiously awaiting his first curiously coloured pee. And, really, aren’t we all? Good man.

Eat This Borscht—Num

Ingredients

  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 medium carrots, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 medium potato, diced
  • 1/2 small-medium cabbage, chopped fine
  • 2-4 beets, peeled and diced
  • 4 1/2 cups water or vegetable stock
  • 2-4 tbs fresh dill, minced OR 2 tsp dried dill
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tbs apple cider vinegar or seasoned rice wine vinegar
  • 1-2 tsp coarse ground black pepper
  • plain soy yogurt or sour cream and more fresh dill to garnish

Method

  1. My baby is screaming right now, so just throw everything but the garnish in your dang slow cooker and let’er go for 6-8 hours on low or 4-5 hours on high. Adjust seasonings and serve with fresh, warm bread or these bitchin’ perogies

Now leave me be!

Filed under veganmofo 2009 vegan recipes