Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Science of a Vegan Lunchbox

But back to lunches.
Whatever you do, don’t think the only thing vegans eat for lunch is PB and Jelly on white bread.
First, acquire the proper lunch packing materials
  • IMG_1228  A lunchbox, no brown bags.
  • Reusable bags (I ordered mine online)
  • Small and portable Tupperware containers for salads/dressings/fruit etc
  • A Thermos (occasionally used)
  • A water bottle
Next, fine tune what you can fit in your lunchbox
I usually take a sandwich/wrap (more on that in a minute)
A piece of fruit or a container of chopped fruit
Some veggies (I’m working on having on hummus on hand all the time too..)
And what else goes in there varies by day
If soup was the night before, then I usually take a thermos full and pack some bread and fruit in the lunchbox.
Also, some of my favorites are dried fruit, nuts, rice yogurt, some seitan/tempeh…and…stuff.

Vegan Lunchbox is a good book, especially if your in a rut of packing the same thing every day for lunch. What do you guys pack for your lunch; or your kids lunch?

Friday, August 27, 2010

Back to High School?

Yep, its that time of year again, as I’m sure all the parents out there know. So this means another year of packing lunches with  1000000000000 times more nutritional content and flavor then those bland USDA school pizzas. Yum!

But first, I recently celebrated a birthday, and here is some pictures of a deliciously vegan dinner.


      “Your Basic Chocolate Cupcake’ with Butter cream frosting from “vegan cupcakes take    over the world” (I’ve had these for two years strait, they are amazing!")







Eggplant Moussakka with Pine nut Cream from Veganomicon

Cucumber Sandwiches ( Cucumber Slices, and Tofutti Cream Cheese)


and a Pink Drink Umbrella…whoop!



IMG_1212 IMG_1213 IMG_1214

It was all really good, and leftovers have made great lunches this week!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Diaya and Pizza!

So I finally purchased some Diaya… and it was pretty good!
Here’s the Broccoli/Tomato pizza
IMG_1180  and the artichoke/mushroom/seitan pizza!
I have to say the cheese tasted like high fat Parmesan cheese.
It was pretty good, but I definitely wouldn’t eat it all the time. And I definitely couldn't eat to much of it at a time. It did melt the best though, out of all the vegan cheeses I've tried. Next I’m going to have to try the cheddar flavor. I hope its not quite as rich. My (non-vegan) brother wasn't to big of a fan of it, but thats to be expected. He really dosen't really like anything I do. However, it was good pizza!

Next up, Question of the week…
What is it like for you when you cook something vegan and whoever you made it for doesn't like it very much?

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Veganism and Environmentalism

Do you think veganism and Environmentalism go hand in hand? Do you know any vegans that aren't concerned about the environment?

A big part of my reasons for being vegan is the effect meat has on the environment. To name just a few..

In Agricide by Dr. Michael W. Fox he states “An estimated eighty-five percent of all US agricultural land is used in production of animal foods, which in turn is linked with deforestation, destruction of wildlife species,extinction of species, loss of soil productivity though mineral depletion and erosion, water pollution and depletion, overgrazing, and desertification.”

The problem I see here is that we are so focused on global warming, that we don’t stop to notice the tool we are taking on our land and oceans. There is not only air pollution, but “water pollution, land contamination, soil erosion, wildlife loss, desertification, rain forest destruction” {Lyman, Howard. Mad Cowboy. New York, NY: Touchstone, 1998. 124-125. Print.}

You wouldn’t think cows cause all those horrible things right? But actually, a lot of land is burned and cleared just to make room for ranchers

It is a 16:1 ratio for pounds of grain to pounds of meat. There would be a lot more food in the world if no one ate meat. Also, think of all the extra energy (not clean energy either) and is needed to grow all that grain. There is the tractors, the planes and spray the pesticides, and all the harvesting and processing energy. The pesticides from the grain (because who grows grains for cattle organic? not many people) create pollution in our waterways and air. It causes algae blooms and red tides.

Check this out

If you can, check out Howard Lymans book Mad Cowboy. Its one of the most well written books ive ever written. If you think vegans are just animal lovers, he will point out the other impacts meat has on our planet and you can see for yourself. Again, I highly recommend this.

but anyway, back to my original question. Should vegans also be environmentalists? Are they environmentalists by nature?

Monday, August 9, 2010

Vegan Cheese and Tofutti

Right now, me and my almost vegan mom are out ona quest to find a good vegan cheese. Colorado Springs isn’t the most vegan friendly town…(like there is basically nothing, i’ve never even met a vegan here)  But our local Whole Foods and Sunflower Market has a few things

Our first cheese we bought was


This. It wasn’t all that good. It is ok toasted over veggies or stirred in Chili Mac, but besides that? Nope.


Next was


and this is way better than the other stuff. It dosent melt all that well, but it kind of tastes like goat cheese slices…thats how i would describe it. I’m planning to try all the other flavors and the cream cheese as well. Do you guys have any suggestions about your favorite vegan cheese?


Also: From now on I’m going to do (drumroll) Monster Question Mondays! (I don’t know..trying to get my alliteration in here)

for this week..

What is the usual reply to when someone says to your being vegan, “I could never be a vegan!”?


Here’s the food highlights from my trip to Seattle.


A eggplant/hummus/pepper sandwich on Italian bread with beet salad.

The sandwich was really good but the guy told me the beet salad was vegan but it had honey in it…lame. It was so good to eat that after a long morning of traveling.


        Giant snicker doodle (who ever came up with that name?). It was AMAZING. It was massive.

         I noticed that it had tofu in it. Time for a experiment! I’m guessing that was what made it so moist.







Banana Chip Muffin. Fo sho. That thing was muffin heaven. My new goal is to recreate this thing. (except mabye in a smaller size)





IMG_0923 IMG_0927

BEFORE                                                      AFTER

We bought this yummy papya in Pike Place Market along with some peaches and baked goods and ate that for breakfast. Best breakfast ever.

I’m going to post our night at a vegan restaurant in another post. So read that one too!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Vegan food from Seattle up soon!

Check back tomorrow for vegan cookies/muffins/burgers and all around deliciousness!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Notes about dehydrating and Granola Bars

Dehydrating is tricky. A dehydrator makes it easy, but its easy to burn your carrots in a oven. For small things likes peas or corn, spread it out on a baking sheet so that you only have one layer of food. If they are overlapping or touching to much they will dry unevenly. For most foods the range in which you dry it in is between 125 F and 145 F.  Thankfully, meats, eggs, and dairy products are the hardest to dry, so if your new to drying, that's a plus.

After you pack it, make sure it is sealed very tightly so that moisture does not cause it to rehydrate and spoil.

Avoid mixing foods with non-complementing flavors, like peaches and garlic together, because they might aquire the others flavor during the drying.

To save fuel at camp, cook things at home and then dry them so all you have to do is rehydrate.

If you have fresh vegetables, blanch them before hand. (To blanch, steam the vegetables by putting in a basket above a pot of boiling water and cook until just tender, or you can also add the vegetables to boiling water very quickly and then remove, and plunge in ice water. Both work) You do this because otherwise the enzymes in the veggies will cause them to spoil. Dry at 130 F.

fresh, canned, and frozen vegetables and fruits are all good for canning

Dry fruits at 135 F. To slow the browning of fruits soak for 5 minutes in a mixture of 1/4c. lemon juice and 1 quart water.


Also, we made granola bars to eat at breakfast.

Anderson Lake Granola Bars

2 c. of you favorite granola

2 c. quick oats

1/3 c. brown sugar

1/4 cup flour

1/2 cup soy butter (these things are not low calorie)

1/2 c maple syrup

1/2 c chunky peanut butter

1/4 c. ground flax seeds

1/2 cup milk free chocolate chips

At Home:

Heat Oven to 350 F

Mix dry ingredients in large bowl, breaking up any clumps. In saucepan, melt soy butter, then stir in peanut butter and maple syrup and heat until melted, stirring often. Stir wet into dry and mix well. Oil a 9x13in baking pan and spread the mix evenly in the pan. Bake for 20 minutes. Right after you remove from the oven, sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top and then spread evenly over the bars as they melt. After you let the chocolate cool for about 10 minutes cut the bars but don’t remove from the pan. This will help keep the bars together later. After the bars are cooled, then remove from pan and store.

Vegan Backpacking Food 2

Day 2:


2 packets instant oatmeal each with dates, walnuts, and a sprinkle of sugar.

(All of these were packed in one gallon bag, with the dates, walnuts, and sugar in snack size bags)


Backpackers Snack Attack Bars from Lipsmackin’ Backpackin’  by Tim and Christine Conners. + GORP

However, if we hadn’t made those, Peanut butter-trail mix wraps are always a good option.


Vegetable Soup

1 16 oz package frozen mixed vegetables (the kind with corn and peas and such)

2 4oz cans of whole or sliced mushrooms (don't get button mushrooms, they will shrink down to nothing when you dehydrate them)

1 16 oz bag of frozen peas

1 package Ramen noodles (oriental style is vegan, but you don't have to add the seasoning)

2 packages Knorr vegetable mix

1/2 cup instant mashed potatoes

2 tablespoons dried onion flakes

1 teaspoon pepper

1 tablespoon garlic powder

2 1/2 cups water per serving


At home:

If you have a dehydrator, use it to dry your vegetables, but otherwise… Dry the vegetables at 130 degrees for several hours (check them every hour or so, but it will take a while, just be patient). Break up Ramen noodles and add to a large bowl. ADd Knorr packets. When vegetables are finished, add to bowl and mix thoroughly. Add 1 1/2 per person to a bag and make sure to note how many servings you have.

On the trail:

Boil 2 1/2 cups water x # of people/servings and then add soup mix and cook until vegetables are tender (10-20 minutes?)

(to be continued)

Vegan Backpacking Food!

Backpacking food is a troublesome thing. This time however, I did it right. Hers the menu we took (this is for 2 people)

How I'm going to lay this out is a 'at home' step and 'on the trail' step for anyone who actually wants to use it backpacking

Also, here is our cooking gear

1 small pot

1 kettle? I'm not really sure how to describe that one... 

Plus a small stove

Day 1: This was our hike up, all we needed for this night was dinner. 

We ate vegan 'Mac and cheese'. It was surprisingly good. I would definitely eat that at home. 

Here is the recipe.

'Cheese Sauce'

   1/3 cup nutritional yeast
   1/8 teaspoon salt
   1/4 cup unbleached flour
   a dash  garlic powder ( i might even leave it out altogether)
   1/8 teaspoon dried yellow mustard powder
   2/3  cup water
   1 1/2 tablespoon soy margarine

1/2 box macaroni or Penne pasta (that's what we used)

1/4 c dried TVP ( i got mine from the bulk section)

1/4 c. boiling water

At Home:

Mix nutritional yeast, salt, flour, garlic powder, mustard powder, and soy margarine together in a bowl. Mix thoroughly with a fork until the margarine in blended in well. Add to sandwich size plastic bag and store for later.

Add TVP and pasta to separate bags and store for later.

On The Trail:

Boil Water. Add TVP to larger pot. Add 2 fl.oz (1/4 c) of water to the TVP and let sit to rehydrate (about 5-10 minutes)

Add about 5 1/3  fl.oz. (2/3 c.)  boiling water to the cheese powder and close bag. Mix by squishing the mixture around in the bag. 

Cook pasta according to package directions in  kettle and then drain water (the reason i use this one is so that you can easily drain the water off without spilling any pasta. I used the hot water to fill up a Nalgene and put it, very tightly closed, in the bottom of my sleeping bag. To make it warm. It was amazing. but anyway...)

Add the pasta to the pot with  the now rehydrated TVP. Cut the corner off the cheese sauce bag and squeeze into the pot. Mix well and eat!

(to be continued)