Thursday, January 29, 2009

Cast Iron seitan in my belly makes me happy

Move over White Wave, there's a new seitan in town! Cast Iron seitan has made it's debut here in Portland at local co-ops and Food Fight. It's made locally by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and her husband, and it is delicious.
I must admit, I have very little experience with seitan. I love Field Roast, but I've never done anything to it other than cut it up and eat it. So, I had no idea what the hell to do with this tub of seitan. I had brown rice and some leftover asian noodles that I needed to use up, so I decided to do a stirfry. Whoa, was it tasty!

Bok choy, onion, red pepper, and seitan

close up of the seitan

Cookin' up with teriyaki sauce and some peanut butter

And because you can never have enough kitty photos...

Cookie cat can't help but pose

Zoey cat with the pinkest nose ever!

Happy Friday, everyone!!! xoxo Chelsea

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The ultimate comfort food - shepherd's pie!

Lentil Shepherd's Pie, to be exact. I stumbled upon this recipe years ago on vegweb, and make my own version of it often. I like to add garbanzo beans, corn, extra garlic and onions, and some chili powder to the other spices. I also like to use the tiny orange lentils because they cook so quickly that you don't need to precook 'em! Woot! Add extra tomato sauce if you do this, though, because it sucks it right up! Mmmmmmmm!
the filling cookin' up

Just out of the oven... and check out my awesome new casserole dish! Steph got it for me for Solstice, and it has a pretty glass lid!

Why did I put it on it's side? I'm a weirdo. And salad!

Winter is definitely the season for comfort food. Walk to work in the dark, spend the day working inside (though I do get to go outside with the kids for at least half an hour a day), and then when I leave work it's dark again! No wonder Portland is full of a bunch of drunks! Anyway, food! My other major comfort foods are enchiladas and nachos. Mmmmmm. What are your ultimate comfort foods?

P.S. Do you guys like my new layout and colors? I can't believe I stuck with a basic template for so long! Does the text hurt your eyes like white text on black background does to me? I hope not!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Zippin' around in my Zipcar

Have you heard of Zipcar? It's a pay by the hour car sharing service, and I'm kinda in love with it. I haven't had a car in years (I had a car for a year when I was 18), and while I can walk, bike, or take public transportation pretty much anywhere I need to go, there are some places I just don't make it out to. Like Bagby Hot Springs, one of my favorite places in the world. Or my friend's Asian grocery store in Hillsboro. Or New Seasons. I've been putting it off for a long time (I was worried it would cost too much), but I finally got around to getting a Zipcar membership last month! My plan is to only let myself use it twice a month, so it won't really affect my monthly budget, and so far I've used the pickup parked .19 miles from me to pick up a cat tree, and used the hybrid .17 miles from me to pick up Jesse from work and get some takeout way out on 82nd (more on that later). I rarely get to drive, so I always get a little excited when I get the chance. Driving the pickup wasn't too exciting other than being up high off the ground and having a sweet sound system, but driving the hybrid was AWESOME! It makes no noise when you start it, and everything lights up in this badass neon blue, and I just totally felt like I was driving a race car even though I wasn't speeding at all!
Yeah, I'm all that.
So, I saw a post on the PPK about the outer SE vegan Vietnamese restaurant Nhut Quang, and that the business had really slowed and they need some love from the Portland vegan community. It's located on 82nd (one of those far-away places I never make it out to), so I decided to get a Zipcar and go get some takeout. After driving around the block only one time, we found it! We were all excited until we noticed the closed sign in the window. It was 6:30 on Sunday, and they're supposed to be open until 8:00. Of course Jesse started laughing at my lack of planning skills (I did only look up hours on the internet and didn't call), until I told him to take the bus home if he was gonna be mean! haha Then I remembered that there's another veg Vietnamese place up 82nd and Division I've been wanting to try, so we headed over there. After driving around in circles for like 15 minutes and almost giving up, I finally spied it on 84th and Division. Woohoo!

Van Hahn is a tiny little restaurant operated by Buddhist nuns. As such, the service is slow (it took 10 minutes for someone to come out of the back and give us menus), but the food is cheap and tasty! We ordered steam buns, dumplings, spare ribs, yellow noodles with tofu, and the broccoli combo (comes with an assortment of fake meats). Honestly, we both agreed that next time we'll just order a ton of dumplings and steam buns because they were the tastiest by far! Everything else was good, just not great. Jesse really liked the fake beef, though.

the tasties before plates

close up of the entrees

In other news, there is now a Radical Cheerleaders for Animal Rights blog! We just started it so there isn't much there, but check it out and subscribe to it! We'll post events coming up, and photos of old events, and keep you in the loop on all things radical and AR in Ptown. Woot!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Gettin' crunk in the kitchen

So I'm doing a little testing for Vegan Crunk's upcoming cookbook (yeah, yeah, I know you're jealous!) and oh man, do I love that Bianca! I tried two recipes out today and all I can say is YUM!!!

Vegan Crunk's Corn Casserole - I could eat this everyday

Vegan Crunk's Chili of Awesomeness (my name, not hers!) :)

This weekend has flown by! I went in to work yesterday (trying to make up some of those pesky snow days) and after that I was at the Red and Black's one year anniversary at their current location party! The Red and Black is an anarchist, worker owned cafe that has always been veg, and just went vegan a few months ago! Woohoo! I think every vegan in Portland might have been jammed in there, and it was fun to see everyone out supporting our community. Yay Portland! There were lots of bands and the Radical Cheerleaders for AR performed (sorry, no pics this time!), and free vegan cake!

Adelit@s - guerrilla armada con melodias

Have a great week everybody! xoxox

Monday, January 5, 2009

Sweet potato fries, and my nemesis - The Sauerkraut Jar!

First of all, why have I never made sweet potato fries before? They are delicious, full of beta carotene, so pretty, AND they are easy to make! Just don't buy your sweet potatoes at Whole Foods... I spent $6-something on 2! Yikes! For the fries, I used this recipe, which I thought was great except that the fries needed a longer cooking time. After surfing around for different dips, I decided to make a curry mayo. It was awesome! I used 3/4 cups Vegenaise, 1 tsp. curry powder, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, and 3 cloves of crushed garlic. Delicioso!

On to my evil nemesis, The Sauerkraut Jar. Dun dun duuuuuuunnnnn! I also made some Tofurkey brats, and was planning to have one with some sauerkraut. Jesse wasn't home from work yet, so it was just me and the jar. I've never had too much of a problem before, just use a little hot water, or bang the edge with a butter knife, but this one hated me. I yelled and screamed at it, but it still wouldn't budge! After a few minutes of walking away and coming back to try again, I thought I almost had it! I twisted it really hard and *pop* went my wrist. Being the stubborn bastard that I am, I twisted some more, and then *!POP!* went my wrist. Owwwwwwwwwwwww! I don't know what the heck I did, but I couldn't hold the camera or my plate up after that. My wrist still hurts today! The Sauerkraut Jar kicked my ass. But, we'll meet again! And next time, my wrists will be much stronger! Bwahahahahahaha!!!
Sweet potato fries, curry mayo, pathetic Tofurkey brat with no sauerkraut, mandarin

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

Today is my 4 year veganniversary. Though the transition from vegetarian to vegan took me (literally!) years, going vegan is the best decision I have ever made. It is better for the animals, better for the environment, and better for my own body and soul. Thank you all for your commitment to veganism, and to changing the world through delicious food. Cheers!

Salud! Strawberry chocolate chip pancakes and a mimosa