Saturday, August 30, 2008

Bamboo Steamers

Bamboo Steamers rock my world. I have three sets; all various sizes and I use them constantly. 

Here's how they work....

You put water in the bottom of a wok or pan, then the steamer goes on top. The steamers are stackable, so you can cook a variety of things all at once. Plus, no oil is needed, so your food is lower in fat.

I have an extra large one I picked up in San Francisco's Chinatown that I use for asparagus. I love using them for steaming asian dumplings (I line the racks with parchment paper for easy clean up). When making homemade seitan, I use it to steam the dough into cutlets. You can steam all kinds of veggies; such as Swiss Chard, Eggplant, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Corn Cobs, etc.  

Pic credit: Amazon. 

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Compassionate Thanksgiving

I've been thinking a lot about Thanksgiving; not just the yummy food I'm looking forward to (Tofurky, stuffing, mash potatoes, cranberry sauce, etc) but all the turkeys that have lived a life of misery only to be slaughtered for human consumption. As a kid, Thanksgiving was one of my favorite holidays. I loved how nearly every dish you could smother in gravy. Also, it was a holiday where everyone got together to eat and hang out. I'd starve myself all day until the big meal and then afterwards go into a food coma as the bloated-comatose dudes watched football. 

Last year I didn't even want to deal with Thanksgiving, so my husband and I went down to San Francisco for the holiday weekend. We had an amazing 5 course vegan feast at Millennium.  However, this year I've been thinking more and more about the turkeys and how I want to help them. I think my efforts are going to be three-fold; I want to raise awareness of the atrocities towards turkeys, raise funds to donate to a poultry sanctuary and lastly put on an entirely vegan Thanksgiving party for my vegan and non-vegan family and friends. I'm sure I will get a lot of resistance from the non-vegans; after all they wait an entire year to eat their tryptophan laced meal. I am going to start my campaign now, so that these non-vegans have time to contemplate their actions this holiday. 

Learn more about Turkeys (picture from UPC website)

In regards to the menu, here's what I've come up with so far (these are basic descriptions): 

- Pumpkin Curry Soup
- Whole Wheat Stuffing with sweet onions, mushrooms, apples, dried cranberries, pineapple and (maybe) walnuts
- Mushroom Gravy
- Corn pudding
- Sweet potato casserole (includes organic maple syrup and pecans)
- Chunky Cranberry Sauce 
- Mash Potatoes with dill and parsley 
- Tofurky Roast (purchased from store - FYI: Trader Joes has the BEST deal on these!!)
- Field Roast (purchased from the store)
- Cobbler (not sure of the fruit yet) with Rolled Oat topping
- Pumpkin Pie (this I think will be purchased at New Seasons since they make such an awesome vegan version)
- Salad 
- Green veggies (not sure as of yet)
- Corn Bread
and more....

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Cult Movie Night At My House With Bloody Mary's

Back in May I had another Cult Movie Night at my house. The theme this time was Body Parts; due to the three films that were shown (Blood FeastRe-Animator and Motel Hell). There were no animal body parts (this was purely a vegan event) - just human (fake, of course). I made a giant spread which included Bloody Mary's, scones, various dips, stuffed potato skins, polenta fries, seitan ribz, peanut butter cookies, cold seasoned buckwheat noodles (shaped in a brain jello mold), etc. I also made Kamikaze shots served in test tubes. 

I detest REAL violence, but I LOVE horror movies. Here is the flyer I made and some pics of the table (the lighting is a little weird due to the black lights) but most of the food was gone by the time these pics were taken. 


I served my Bloody Mary's in a creepy punch bowl with skulls on the sides and a ladle shaped like a hand (bones only). I had eye balls (non-edible, similar to ping-pong balls) floating on top. You could use this idea for a Halloween Party. 

I wanted the Bloody Mary's to be spicy. I would advise you add the spicy elements a little at a time and sample as you go so that you get the perfect balance for your palate. 

Here's what I put in it: 

Tomato Juice
Fresh ground Pepper
Wasabi Powder
Cayenne Pepper
Various hot sauces
Sea Salt
Lemon Juice
Sliced lemons to float on top 

Garnish (optional and served on the side)

Sliced Lemons
Sliced Limes
Oversized Stuffed Green Olives
Celery Sticks
Sea Salt
Coarse Black Pepper
Hot Sauce
More vodka

Animal Rights 2008 National Conference

I had the most amazing time at the conference. It was life changing! If you love animals, are thinking about being vegan, you are vegan, and/or you consider yourself a compassionate person - I highly recommend that you go. I met the coolest people there. I was extremely impressed with the lectures and workshops. 

Here are some great organizations I learned (more) about at the conference: 

FARM (who put on the event)