Friday, November 30, 2012

Vegan pizza

Okay, I made gluten-free veggie pizza for the kids and my son inhaled it (5 slices!). I made 2 pizzas--one with traditional Italian cheese as well as organic green bell peppers and organic red onions on a vegan gluten-free crust. The second had everything the same, except Daiya shredded "mozzarella cheese." And while it's good, I just am not thrilled with any of the vegan cheeses I've had.

I'm thinking next time of simply using my homemade sauce (oh yeah, made that too) and a whole ton of veggies with no vegan cheese on my pizza.

I need opinions and suggestions. Help!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Read and eat -- books for cooking and eating and living vegan

So other than the mutant case of strep throat I seem to have picked up from my youngest daughter (neither she nor the other two kids got sick but mom has been miserable), I've been feeling much better not eating meat, fish, or dairy. And I've had time to read a lot more and when I've felt like it, I've been cooking some great stuff.

My latest finds? Main Street Vegan by Victoria Moran, with Adair Moran. More of a good read than a cookbook, although there are recipes following each chapter, plus a wonderful index at the end of companies that are vegan. The problem is that some of those companies are actually not vegan. For that information, I would see For cosmetics, body products, and household cleaning products, I think this is a really good reference site.

The book I'm cooking my way through now is Viva Vegan by Terry Romero, co-author with Isa Chandra Moskowitz of Veganomicon, probably the one book I want for Hannukah/Christmas this year. Although I'd take Viva Vegan as well (hint, hint, if my kids are reading this!). The latino recipes are fantastic; I've made Venezuelan black beans and yellow rice with garlic and I couldn't stop eating! And I made a batch of aceite de achiote (annato oil) to cook with. I'm actually thinking about making homemade vegan tamales for the holidays as well. Thankfully, the Scottsdale Public Library has a great selection of vegan cookbooks; I'm enjoying myself.

Anyone have any suggestions for other books to look at or other website for vegan products? Oh, and by the way, for cheap and wonderful fresh food, if you live in Arizona go to Food City. I bought achiote seed for $.79, a big bunch of fresh spinach for $.77, two avocados for $.98. They had tons of dried beans, in bags and in bulk, all really cheap. Next trip: peruano beans ($.99/lb.).

Happy reading and eating.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Food, glorious vegan food

Okay, I'm waxing ridiculous now but I am having so much fun dreaming up dishes to eat that are vegan. Tonight, I had some leftover brown rice with some soybeans and some soy sauce and on the side a healthy helping of roasted brussels sprouts. Okay, I know, for some people that sounds like hell on a plate. But it made me happy. 

Now last night, I made an amazing lasagna--gluten free, with "tofu ricotta cheese" and "Teese mozzarella cheese" on top. The kids all had second helpings and they finished what was left (not much) for dinner tonight. And for dessert: gluten free, vegan oatmeal raisin cookies. Fantastic, chewy, sweet, raisin-y, oat-y. Okay, I'm getting hungry and I'm really just making cookies for the kids. I'm still trying to stay away from sugar, even if it's raw, organic, brown, whatever. 

Just read a really great book, especially if you're interested in or worried about good nutrition if you are a vegan. It's Vegan for Life by Jack Norris and Virginia Messina. They have lots of good sample menus for people at all stages of life--pregnant women, kids, teens, adults, older people--and extra nutrition requirements (we should all be taking B12 for example). 

Also, at the back of the book are good sites to visit for information about animals, animal rights, ethics, and other issues. Probably the best site to visit is Vegan Outreach. Of course, there's always PETA, but other good sites are Mercy for Animals and Compassion Over Killing

Two of my favorite blogs, which I've mentioned here before, are Gluten Free Goddess and Oh She Glows although the latter doesn't have as many gluten free recipes. 

I guess for me this was a natural move. I didn't like meat when I was a kid, I was vegetarian when I first went to college, and I was mostly vegetarian in graduate school. I'm not saying this is the only way to go. As my friend Colleen commented here, a couple of posts ago, she and her family practice humane animal raising and slaughtering. They are not factory farmers and they do not abuse animals. I think that's fine. I just can't think about eating animals anymore.

Okay, I've rambled on enough now. I think I will go have a cup of tea and one of those cookies I've been resisting!

I will post some of my growing favorite gluten-free vegan recipes as I make them. If anyone wants the lasagna recipe, let me know. It's my own and I'd be happy to share. Gluten-free, dairy-free (unfortunately for those of you who can't eat soy, not soy free). Next time I make it, I'll take a picture. I've got to remember to do that. Things look so much better in photos than just me blathering on about them.

In the meantime, till later, be healthy and have peace: of mind, body, and spirit.