Tuesday, December 28, 2010

My Crush on Cooking Channel

Recently The Cooking Channel began running the special The Veg Edge. It's all about the amazingness of vegetarian and vegan fare across America. What I loved so much is that they show a wide variety of eaters from meat lovers to flexitarians to vegetarians to vegans celebrating how freakin' amazing plant based meals can be. Vegetables are beautiful and delicious and give us everything we need. I even got to catch a glimpse of one of my vegan heroes, Isa from The Post Punk Kitchen, in action! Personally my spirit has changed since eliminating animal products from my diet. I feel a lightness I have never felt before! I also don't fear carbs or holidays anymore. I am overwhelmed and delighted that The Cooking Channel would devote a whole special to veggie cooking! I am crossing my fingers that they will receive enough postive feedback to bring in a vegetarian/vegan cooking show.

Please check it out. I dare your belly not grumble. You can still catch it January 1st at 9amEST and January 2nd at 7pmEST.

Eat your veggies in 2011 folks! It's easier than you think. At my Christmas dinner this year my in-laws had THREE vegan friendly dishes at the table without even trying!!! YES!!

Sunday, December 19, 2010


So I am officially drowned. I feel neither holly nor jolly. I try to remember the reason for the season and play holiday music, but alas...stress has taken over! It blows my mind how I can be so inceredibly busy and not be working on a show. I have so many projects and tasks at my day job that are colliding. In order to have quiet uninterrupted time to get work done, I worked until almost 8pm on Friday. Saturday I had an audition then headed to the suburbs for a family Christmas event, returning home at 11pm. Today I wanted nothing more than to have a sweet sweet day of being a hermit and hiding under my favorite comforter watching Love Actually, but alas, I had errands to run, a personal project I must get finished, and basically had no choice but to go up to my day job office to get some work pounded out in the 2.5 days left before I am on Christmas vacation. I can't sleep because my mind won't turn off with all that I have to get done. I realized last week that what makes me so crazy is the fact that I used to be able to finish all of my daily tasks and come in the next day and start over again. Now there is so much to be done that  have an ongoing list that never seems to end. I like putting things to bed. I don't like not being able to wrap things up with a pretty bow and have it be done.

So, I crave things like salty baked Ruffles. Luckily I made the bag I bought last several days (which would have never happened before) so that is a win. However,with my new cleaner system, I have come to learn that my body can no longer handle Olean oil. I will spare you the details, but my body revolted. Yep. Even in my stress (and PMS) I am still keeping myself relatively in check. I need to watch reaching for the wine bottle to often, but really my vegan lifestyle helps at times like this. I simply can't have many off the treats overflowing at events and parties and instead stick with veggies and hummus. And no, I don't really deprived because I know all of those treats and eats would make me feel bloaty and weighed down and gross. 

I haven't been to yoga in three weeks and feel guilty and failurey about it. I've been working late most nights and even though I could rush and make an 8:30pm class, I am so drained I just can't do it. I am hoping to get back on the wagon the week after Christmas when I have some free time, but for now I am disappointed in the myself and the situation.

Off to work a project.

How do you beat holiday stress?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Curb Your Cravings: A Self Mag Article

Hmmm......visualizing yourself feasting on treats to keep from eating too many? I love all things Self Magazine so I am very intrigued. I wonder if this works for foods I no longer eat. Mmmm......cruelty free mind salmon .....nommmmm. Pass the mind queso....mmm.....

A surprising new way to curb cravings: SELF.com

Have you tried this? Does it work for you? I am giving it a whirl!

Sunday, December 12, 2010


I am not a baker. Too many rules. If you don't follow instructions exactly you get a lopsided mess. Nevertheless, last week I happily baked.

Dec 6th 2007 is one of my least favorite days ever. My handsome Gramps left us too soon that day, and I don't like it one bit. Every Christmas my mom would make Gramps a pound cake, so I associate them with him. In 08 and 09 we drank a cup of coffee in Gramps' honor from his Fire King Anchor Hocking mugs. This year I wanted to add pound cake to the tradition. To the net! I found a simple vegan pound cake recipe on ehow.com:

Simple Ingredients:
2 c cake flour
3/4 c maple syrup
1 tsp salt
1 package (16oz) soft tofu
1 tbsp baking powder
1tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract

1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees if you are using a metal pan, or 325 degrees if you are using a glass pan.
2. Lightly grease a cake or loaf pan.
3. Mix together two cups of cake flour, one tablespoon of baking powder and one teaspoon of salt, and set aside.
4. Blend together 3/4 cup maple syrup, 16 ounces of soft tofu (about two cups) and one teaspoon each of vanilla extract and almond extract, using an electric blender.
5. Stir the flour mixture into the tofu mixture by hand until well blended. Add any additional flavoring, fruit or citrus zest, if desired.
6. Pour the batter into the cake pan.
7. Bake for approximately 30 minutes. When done, the cake will be golden brown and springy to the touch.

Not too shabby folks. It sort of tasted like the cake version of a sugar cookie. I would definitely make it again and perhaps ice it. I love that you can change up extracts and add different zest to change up the flavor! It comes out perfectly moist too! No oil. No butter. Huzzah! Mr. BB30 and I ate some for breakfast with a special mug of coffee.

Here's to you Gramps!

Friday, December 3, 2010

My First Vegan Thanksgiving

Ok Blogger, I think I have your picture posting issues defeated. You've kept  me from my Thanksgiving post long enough!

I knew I'd nailed down one of my dishes for Thanksgiving (the oh so delicious glazed acorn squash), but I was still uncertain about the rest. While I was on vacation I caught an episode of Ellen (adore her) and she had her personal chef on making a faux turkey roast. As I am not the biggest fan of processed Tofurky I was intrigued. I made it the day after we got home and it was a winner. I made it again the night before Thanksgiving:

4 Cups vital wheat gluten
1 Cup bread crumbs
1 Cup nutritional yeast
3 Tablespoon dried thyme
1 large onion small dice and caramelized
1 Tablespoon kosher salt
½ Cup extra virgin olive oil
4 Cups strong No Chicken, chicken stock (veggie stock)
1 full sheet of cheesecloth
Butcher's twine
Paul Prudhomme's Blackened Steak Magic spices (couldn't find it-I made my own by Googling)
Earth Balance butter

Caramelize the onions over medium heat until they are golden brown. Add the onions to the dry ingredients and mix.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon (I used my KitchenAid mixer as you can see) until a loose batter forms. Shape the batter into a loaf.

Unroll about 24" of cheesecloth on to a clean dry surface. Unfold the cloth completely and then fold it in half to form a two-ply piece of cloth.

Place the loaf in the middle of cloth and roll it up, leaving enough space to tie off at both ends.

Now tie two more pieces of twine over the center of the roast.

Place the roast into a large pot of boiling water and simmer for at least two hours.

Carefully remove the cheesecloth and place the roast on a small sheet tray and rub the roast with Earth Balance butter and sprinkle with blackening spices. Bake roast at 350 for 20+ minutes or until golden brown. Allow roast to rest a few minutes before slicing.

It comes out juicy and delightful! Trust me! Trust Ellen!

I also made fresh cranberry sauce. I used my pretend friend Alicia Silverstone's recipe from The Kind Life as a guide.

Bag of raw cranberries (4 cups)
1/2 cup maple syrup (I used Trader Joe's Maple/Agave blend)
Juice from 1 orange (I didn't have OJ so I used 1/4c Pom Wonderful dilluted in 1/4c water)

Rinse berries
Transfer to large sauce pan and add syrup, juice and an additional 1/4c of water
Bring to a boil over medium high heat, stir often
When mixture comes to a boil reduce heat, cover, and boil gently until berries pop (10 mins or so)
Chill for an hour before serving

DELISH! This is a thick mixture, so it also makes for a yummy spread for toast! No need for processed canned cranberry sauce-EVER!

Glazed acorn squash, a refreshing fennel and spinach salad w/peach vinagerette (courtesy of my in-laws), and faux turkey roast w/fresh cranberry sauce. My mouth was happy and I didn't feel bloated, weighed down, or remorseful. Yay!