Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Just call me Chef Jiscilla

It's been a few weeks in and I'm still cooking...what are the odds?!?

This little dish ^, we made up. Some whole wheat penne, sautéed vegetables, and vegetable broth (we used vegetarian bouillon cubes). It tastes pretty good, but I think it may need a little bit more flavoring. Maybe more garlic? We did chop up 2 garlic cloves...so maybe something else? Any suggestions?

I'm trying to stay away from too many carbohydrates, though. Many of those just turning vegan often make the mistake of overeating pasta, rice, bread, and potatoes...starches with those "empty calories." They tend to slow you down more than give you energy, and have little nutritious value. That's something vegans can't afford to lose since they cut out foods from their diet that contain all those vitamins, proteins, and minerals . This is why I'm carefully watching my intake, and switching it up as much as I can with fun grains and different kinds of vegetables.

After whipping up that quick dish the other night, I wanted to try something a little more involved, but to my surprise, it was a lot easier than I had planned. I marinated some tofu overnight, and it came out absolutely delicious. I made the marinade, myself, from Alicia's Kind Diet book (Fresh ginger, shoyu, brown rice vinegar, umeboshi vinegar, toasted seasame oil, rice syrup, chopped garlic, and some water). It took me all of 5 minutes to do (okay probably less), and the next day, I baked it for approximately 30 minutes (15 on each side) and voila! It was seriously awesome. I just added asparagus and some plain millet (a high-protein grain) to my plate and dinner was served.

I'm kinda liking this cooking thing. Who woulda thought? I guess as long as meat is not involved, I'm good.

This'll only take a minute

Go and vote for Jessica & Jesse on their wedding photographer's website for Best of 2009. If they win, they'll get a $200 gift certificate to Salts in Cambridge, MA (or a $200 Amex gift card). Afterall, their wedding WAS the Best of 2009...and of all time. Seriously, we still can't stop talking about it.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

This Is Where I Leave You

I gave This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper 5 stars, but it's not to say it's because I "loved" the story. It was definitely interesting and entertaining, but more or less disturbing. The messed up life of Judd Foxman made me a bit sad, but even more scared than anything. I understand that his world is a reality for many, and that is what scares the friggin' bejeebers outta me. I. DO NOT WANT. To end up. Like Judd Foxman. I felt such sympathy for him in this novel when his life crumbles beneath him (it can happen to anyone) even though he's not exactly benevolent. His life, so twisted...his family, so perverse. It makes you wonder what you can do to prevent such things. What's the perfect recipe to not fuck life up? And why does it have to be so damn interesting?

Whatever, it got me hooked, and I couldn't put this book down. It's probably the fastest book I've ever read. I am definitely seeking out more from Jonathan Tropper in the near future...because corrupt is the new illustrious.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Whole Food Heaven

I swear, I'm never shopping in a Stop & Stop, Gristedes, or a Price Chopper again! Whole Foods in my jam! Not only can I always find what I need there, the experience is so much more pleasant (except if you're waiting in line at the Union Square location). Seriously, the dude that helped me out today said that if I don't like the product that I ate, I can always bring back any of the remnants or carton it came in and get a refund? Really??? Now, I wouldn't ever actually do that because if I'm buying something I'm committing myself to the trial and error process, but hey...it's a nice thought that they offer that option. Oh, and everyone that works there seems so happy. It really makes a trip to the market not such an awful task...unlike those that work at your local grocery store, where all they do is seem to hate life.

Anyway, here is my vegan dinner attempt #2. Black Bean and Tomato Quinoa.

Not gonna lie, it was actually really good. For those that see the word, Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-WAH), and freak...if you don't know what it is, just think of it as a replacement for your grains or pastas. Now, you may be wondering why I'd need a replacement for either of those, well I guess I don't, but the nutritional value is awesome. It is considered one of the best sources of protein in the vegetable kingdom, and if I'm not getting my proteins from either meat or dairy anymore, I need to get it from somewhere. And, if your wondering what it tastes like, to me, it reminds me of couscous. For the recipe of this dish, go to MeatOutMondays. I promise, it's not that hard. Let me know if you try it.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Things that make you go...um?

For my boyf.

Everytime I see Hader, now, I think of him. So, now, I think "him" and breakfast. Yum.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Kind Life I'm living

I've been inspired. For those that don't recognize from title, I've chose to begin experimenting with a vegan lifestyle. It's been a thought of mine for many, many years now, and I can honestly say it all started with an influence from Alicia Silverstone.

Back in the days of Clueless, I loved her as an actress. As the years progressed, I became familiar of her passion for animals. As an animal lover, myself...I always thought of her as quite an inspiration. You can only imagine my excitement when I found out she was coming out with a book.

After my move to New York City, I began falling in love with all sorts of different cuisines I've never been previously exposed to...things like sushi, thai food, and more amazingly, vegan foods! I have always been a huge fan of veggies (HUGE...like, I have odd cravings for snap peas, asparagus, broccoli, and even brussel sprouts!), so I've always thought, "Hey, I can be a vegetarian." But, at the time, I didn't see it being a logical fit for me.

Well, now, I dare take that statement one step further. I want to try being vegan. For any of those who know me well, I'm a lact-y (what I like to call someone who is lactose intolerant), so staying away from anything dairy has been a constant in my life for at least 10 years now. Phew, this makes my attempt a little bit easier. But what about all those other things? There is SO MUCH to becoming vegan, so this is definitely me just testing the waters.

I've started reading Alicia's book, The Kind Diet, and so far everything is making complete sense to me. It just clicks. There's no feeling of pressure...just honesty (if that makes sense). As she likes to say, she doesn't expect a "superhero" overnight...it can take months or even years, so, yeah, I'm taking my baby steps. Let's be honest, have I even really cooked before? Not really. There's a lot involved, but I'm attempting it.

Tonight was my first night doing that. I made Gingered Green Beans with Garlic & Onions, Falafels, and mashed sweet potatoes. It was actually really good, but it's just a start.

Now, my question is...how do I give up sushi? How do I give up my scrambled eggs? These are things I cannot think of right now. I shall take it slowly...wean myself off, and give up one thing at a time. Any words of encouragement?

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

This could be dangerous

I signed up for a formspring.me account. I'm really not sure who would want to ask me any questions, but if you do, I guess here's your chance. You can ask them openly or anonymously, too...so it's all up to you. I'll obviously post my answers here and possibly on my tumblr (http://unicornisland.tumblr.com).