November 19, 2008

The Thanksgiving Menu

I have agonized over this menu. This is the first time I am hosting Thanksgiving on my own (usually I cook everything but the turkey at my parents' house), and the first time I am replacing the turkey for anyone but myself.

I am usually not the least bit apologetic about denying meat to people I cook for, but some reason omitting The Thanksgiving Turkey is intimidating to me. I keep googling pictures of live turkeys to remind myself how ridiculous it is worry about it.

Bubbles, a turkeylet rescued by Farm Sanctuary. Go to their website to adopt a turkey.

Anyway, here's the menu:

Aged Cashew Cheese with Crackers (Dr. Cow)
Maple Cinnamon Caramel Corn (Hooray Vegan Zine)

Seitan Chops Smothered in Apples and Ginger (Post Punk Kitchen Blog)

Seriously Decadent Mashed Potatoes (Hooray Vegan Zine)
Rosemary Mushroom Gravy (Hooray Vegan Zine)
Green Bean Casserole (FatFree Vegan Kitchen)
Cranberry Walnut and Sage Stuffing (Hooray Vegan Zine)
Cranberry Orange Relish (FatFree Vegan Kitchen)
Garlic Roasted Acorn Squash (See instructions below)
Roasted Fennel and Hazelnut Salad with Shallot Dressing (Veganomicon)
Potato Rolls (From a bakery cuz my oven will be stuffed already)

Pumpkin Pie with Vanilla Ice Cream (Bryanna's recipe)
Chocolate Chip Cookies (Post Punk Kitchen Blog)

Hot Spiced Cider (There's a guy that makes it local)
Pumpkin Beer

Garlic Roasted Acorn Squash, courtesy of freeganvegan on the ppk:
Cut acorn squash in half, scoop out seeds, place 2-3 garlic cloves in each half, drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and bake. The squash and garlic get roasty toasty together, then you mash the roasted garlic in with the squash.

Pictures in a week! Happy Thanksgiving Ya'll!

November 14, 2008

This just in: Everything is squishy and wonderful.

I have been reading some news and working on some things that are making me a bit depressed about the state of the world. It's good to stay informed, and even better to act on the issues you feel strongly about, but sometimes we need a break. So today I am giving you news that is all delicious and happy and warm and fuzzy. Enjoy!

1. Isa made chocolate chip cookies, and you can too.

2. Adam from the ppk is getting a new tattoo. Well, maybe not, but this picture from DIY SLO is awesome enough to be a tattoo.

3. California's Prop 2 passed!

4. bjorkedoff invented Peanut Butter Pudge Bars.

5. Natalie Dee is great.

6. G Dub will be out of office in no time.

7. Baby animals are still really, really cute.

Today's squishy news brought to you by Hooray Vegan.

November 8, 2008

Vegan Shoes: Now More Than Ever

When I was a wee vegan, way back in the 1990s, shoe options were slim. Or at least they were in Tavares, Florida. In junior high I waited for weeks for a pair of vegan Doc Martens that had to be shipped all the way from the UK. I loved my Vegetan boots, but I was so bummed at how much of a pain it was to find cruelty free shoes. There were online resources, but for the most part they weren't my style (think hemp mary janes and Chuck Taylor copycats that were just a little too clunky).

Yesterday we went shoe shopping, and I was impressed by how far we've come. Ahimsa in Denver is an all-vegan shoes and accessories store that has bags, wallets, and men's and women's shoes that fit a nice variety of tastes. The service and location are great, and the selection is lovely. And you can shop online!

Peep* my new boots. Take that, rain and snow.

Danny got some excellent velcro sneakers. Senior citizenship, here we come!

Be sure to visit Ahimsa if you are ever in Denver (or on the internet, for that matter). I need them to stick around. Below is a list of other shops and websites where you can find vegan shoes and other faux-leather accessories. Let me know if I am missing one that you love!

MooShoes in New York
Herbivore in Portland
Vegetarian Shoes and Bags (online)
Alternative Outfitters (online)
Vans has a vegan section!
The Vegan Collection: Men's business shoes online

*Slang courtesy of Patrick Kiernan.

November 3, 2008

White Lasagna with Spinach, Mushrooms, and Sundried Tomatoes

I thought about naming this post Barack Losagna, but I don't want to jinx anything. Anyway, this lasagna is way good, and an excellent dish to serve to skeptical omnivores.

9 cooked lasagna noodles, rinsed and ready (tonight I used whole wheat to make up for the cake I had for lunch)

Alfredo Sauce adapted from Lachesis on the PPK
1/3 C Earth Balance
2 C soymilk (unsweetened is best)
12 oz silken tofu
1 T white wine or lemon juice
2 t onion powder
2-3 t garlic powder
1 t salt
Fresh black pepper to taste
pinch of nutmeg
1 T arrowroot powder

1 batch tofu ricotta (I use this one)

2 T extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1/2 lb cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 lb fresh spinach
Handful chopped sundried tomatoes
1/2 t oregano
1/2 t thyme
Pinch of crushed red pepper
Salt and fresh black pepper to taste

Fresh basil, chopped (optional)

Lightly grease a 9x13 pan with olive oil and preheat the oven to 375. Combine all ingredients for the sauce puree with a hand mixer, blender, or food processor. Heat sauce in a pan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until ready to use.

Heat the olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute for about a minute. Add the mushrooms and sundried tomatoes and saute for one minute more, and then add the spinach (you may have to add the spinach in 3 or 4 batches) and spices. Move the spinach around with tongs until it is just wilted, about 3 minutes.

Ladle about 1/3 cup of sauce into the lasagna pan and spread it evenly. Layer 3 lasagna noodles, half the ricotta, half the vegetables, and 1/3 of the remaining sauce. Layer another three noodles, the remaining half of the ricotta, the remaining half of the vegetables, and another 1/3 of the sauce. Place on the last three noodles, ladle on the remaining sauce, and bake for 25 minutes. Remove, allow to cool for 5 minutes, garnish with basil (if using) and serve, maybe with a simple salad and garlic bread.

I forgot to take a lasagna picture, but I will leave you with Danny's gorgeously minced garlic. I have no patience for mincing so I am always impressed.

Damn garlic, you are looking fine.