Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Vegan Oktoberfest review!

This past weekend, Saturday to be exact, I partook in my first Vegan Oktoberfest and it was fun.

The even spanned two days, and was located in downtown LA, so I was able to take the train. While on my way, I sean into a friend's boyfriend. She was already there working the event (helping set up) so we traveled together and go there with time to spare. 

I waited in line and was chatting it up with a bodybuilder and his sites who were also vegans. A LOT of vegan body builders come to these events as their "cheat days". They liked my outfit, which I made :)

The event was set up like a little city and there was a space for food trucks, vendors, and all the beer in the world. It also had plenty of tables and seating for people right in front of the stage.

The whole area was spacious and full, but no real long lines and lost of thirsty vegans.

As far as what I was looking for, I remember from Vegan Beer Fest at the Rose Bowl, there was an amazing Ginger Beer and when I saw them at this fest, they were my first top. You were given tickets for a full pour on your 14oz steins, so I used them for two of the three tickets!

The food was good and upon arrival I had an agenda, the ginger beer (don't) a toona sandwich, and a funnel cake. Well, the toona was not there. That vendor didn't bring it. If there is one thing I miss from being vegan, it's tuna. I really miss the texture, but hey, we all miss things.

Dounut Friend had a bevy of treats and I partook in my all time favorite pastry, an apple fritter. And it was gooood. They had no business card, which I thought was odd if not pretentious, but wharves.

Hungry Broke Vegan and a delicious sausage and cabbage plate. It was some of the only German food there. Soooo good!

The music was supplied by one band, and it was okay, but many thought they spent too much time on contests. A swing dance friend of mine who is also vegan showed up and we did some dancing. It was a blast! We got quite a few stares.

All in all the ticket was $50 for VIP, which got you in an hour early. I'd do VIP again, as its just nice to take a breather and look and pace yourself. Though this even was not crowded, I'd still pay the extra $10.

The beer was great and they were stocked well until near an hour to the end. Some places ran out faster than others, but the lines didn't show up until the beer really started to go thin. I'm a stout and porter gal myself, and I had some nice ones to select, but it was mainly an IPA (yuck) and lager collection.

The meal food was about $10+ an item. I learned my lesson form Vegan Beer Fest, and split most of what I bought with other people. I didn't fill up on food too much this event, which left more room for beer! I say if you take about $40 you'll have plenty of cash to eat on.

So for about $100 I got all the beer I could drink, tons of vegan food choices and a grand afternoon. That's a good deal, I think.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Black Bean Burger recipe…kinda.

Hello one and all.
I'm blogging again, this time with tons of content and a furor to do at least one vegan related post a week, if not more.

This post I'd like to mention a few things before we get to the food.
I have a Facebook page now.
There is a manifesto stuck to the top of the page which pretty much explains all that I want to do with this blog/FB page.

I'm about vegan foods on the cheap. As wholesome and 'natural' as I can get them. I'm not militant about organic, though I'm not against it either. I'm just for good affordable low processed foods. So not too many box foods, I guess.

Speaking of which, I'd had a craving for black bean burgers for a while now, so after I soaked a pound of black beans overnight, cooked them, and had them at the ready in the fridge for two days, I finally got up and decided to make my patty mix and it was worth it.

After I took the beans out of the fridge, I got my ingredients together.

The base for the burgers is pretty much anything you wish it to be. Nearly any veggies will work but make sure they don't hold a lot of water. You want the end result to be tacky, but firm.

I used the entire pound of cooked beans mixed with carrots, three cloves of garlic, onion, and my go to tried and true, the Better than Bullion veggie bullion. I use this magical seasoning in nearly everything. It's so flavorful and delicious (and cheap). They make many vegan varieties, but the all vegetable version has the best dynamic flavor.

I also add a cup of uncooked oats.

Blend it good.

Here is the mix, with some unprocessed beans and nutritional yeast (about a cup). I then mix it all together.

This wet base I generally half and freeze. I do this because it makes a lot of burgers and if I were with other people I'd make the batch larger, but I save it for a later date.

Next I add the filler which is gluten free baking mix. You can use wheat flour as well, but I try to keep the wheat down, especially when I eat this on a grain bun. I add about 2 cups (perhaps a little less) of the flour to make the mix stiff.

I like it stiff enough to hold a spoon in.

Mission accomplished.
Then I start the burger magic. I toast the burger bun first, then I sautéed some spinach. Next I chopped the cap off the cap of a mushroom and grilled up that baby, then I cooked the patty.

After the patty is nice and toasty, I add it to my fixings and presto, I have a great vegan burger I just devoured.

It was so good. I added some Just Mayo and some cocoanut bacon, but next time I may leave a lot of that out. I'm a ketchup and mustard gal.

The mushroom was super juicy and could have been the burger alone, but I craved a black bean patty. I love these. They are quick, easy and only get better after the batch has marinated for a day or so.

Great, now I'm hungry.
I'll talk to you all later.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

It's been too long: Persimmon and pear cobbler.

Hi everyone!
I'm sorry it's been over a year since I've written on this blog. This past year has been utter shit and I dropped out of a lot of things.

My favorite vegan Lager for $12.99!!

I have a lot of cooking experiments I've been doing and plan on listing them, at least one weekly, as I progress back into regular food blogging.

I also have a lot of food reviews and snacks I want to list and tell you all about. So stay tuned for those, prices will always be included.

As for what I've been doing recently, I've taken up a love of persimmons.
I think they are just delicious. Not too sweet, but rich enough to be satisfying. I like to wait until they are over ripe then I can cut them and scoop them with a spoon. Yumm.

There is a farmer's market a block from e and on Sunday's I go there for produce.
I was getting a CSA for a while but had to stop it because of finances. I want to start it back up so let's hope that will happen sooner than later.

The persimmons at the market are super cheap compared to the $2 each at the grocery.
I buy them and just wait, sometimes over two months, for them to get good and over ripe. I'm patient.

These persimmons were almost too ripe, but they scooped out nice.

The ingredients for this cobbler were sparse: some persimmons, some cinnamon, a Korean pear. Let's talk about those. I'm not a big fruit person, and I thought the crunch of a firmer pear would be a nice texture enhancement. turns out I'm not a big fan of them compared to other pears. They are mostly water, almost flavorless, and too expensive (3 for $5) to justify getting again. But I used them, but this was a good experiment.

I made my 1 cup flour, 1/2 cut earth balance, and 1/4 cup water pie crust for the base of the cobbler. Added sugar, candied ginger pieces, some corn starch and flour for thickener and poured the mixture into a braking pan. I cooked it for about 50 minutes and it firmed up nicely. The taste was nice, but needs adjustment. I want to add more cinnamon and powdered ginger next time. I also plan on puréed the ingredients and making it more like a pumpkin pie texture. I think that would translate well.

Look it that texture. It would total benefit being puréed. 

In any account, I am so going to make this again when I get more persimmons. Which I hope will be soon :) Okay, that's it for now. I promise I am going to post at  lead once a week. I've missed it.

Until next time!!!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Lunch Time: BBQ tofu on toast

Hi everyone! I hope your year and time and vegan eating are going well.
Me? I'm on a journey I guess. I'm trying to understand my relationship with food and understand how my body is reacting to what I eat.

One way I'm doing this is hiking everyday. I've always loved walking, but now I take advantage of the park above me and the many hiking trails and bike paths that are there. I go with my dog every day and so far it's been 6 weeks, and I'm loving it.

I'm feeling so much more in tune with my body, and I feel much stronger. Also, I am listening to my body. I've regained my body clock and can sleep and wake up with no alarm, and I'm also understanding how my body reacts to food. I don't snack anymore, and I make sure I have three square meals a day.

Breakfast generally involves a bowl or oatmeal (a favorite) or I juice. I tend to juice 2-3 times a week.

Lunch can vary, but I tend to have a hearty salad with some tofu for protein and a glass of water.

Dinner, I tend to eat around 8pm, involves whatever I want. Mostly it's on a bed of lettuce, though, and it tends to not make the meal so heavy. But now that the weather is getting colder, I'll do soups, or roasted veggies or whatever else my CSA will provide.

Continuing my CSA is one of the best decisions I've ever made. I love it, and though it can at times be a strain on my fixed budget, it's well worth it because the better eating makes me feel better.

I'm going to share a lunch I have a couple times a week that's fast and kinda like junk food for me. 

BBQ Tofu on Toast

You need tofu (I love this Trader Joe's kind its actually delicious and the texture fries great), onion, BBQ sauce, avocado (half at most) and two pieces of bread. If I'm not making my bread and I buy it, lately I've only been going with Eureka! brand bread. It's delicious, organic, and vegan. Plus, you can buy it at some Targets, which is convenient.

I start by grilling the onion to the point where they are just about to caramelize. Then I add the bread and flip it over so it gets toasted on both sides.

I remove those and add the tofu. Here is where I add the avocado. 

The tofu I cook it until its browned on both sides.

Then I turn off the heat.

I then add a few dollops of BBQ sauce and allow the remaining heat to do it's thing (you may need to cover with a lid to avoid splattering. 

I slather the sauce over and flip the todo and presto, lunch is served!

Friday, August 16, 2013

The Vegan Beer Fest

Hey everyone.

I'm sorry I've been lax on this site for a while. I'm just trying to get life going, you know. It's hard.

But I have some posts coming because I'm eating more at home (pretty much exclusively) and I'm trying to get creative with my foodstuffs.

But a few months ago I did manage to go to a great event, the Vegan Beer Fest. It. WAS. Amazing. So much beer, so many vegans, and so much really good, not overly processed food and great prices. I most likely spent about $30 (not including the ticket which was $35) for a day of nothing but beer and food. That's not too bad.

The whole thing was organized so well. Upon entering, you get a 4os glass which you take to the booths for your beer. Less waste and an instant souvenir, so incentive to keep it. You also get a car that highlights the breweries that are there. Some booths had more than one beer, and you have to bee quick because some of the more popular beers will run out about mid day. I was into the stouts and ports and found a fantastic one they poured over the 'ice cream' they had there. Delicious.

There is a funny story to that beer. I went to a booth (the name escapes me now but I have it on a coster) and I asked them what their darkest beer was. The guy said they didn't have it at the booth here, it was being used in a dessert booth around the corner. He said to tell them that I wasn't to try that beer and they would fill my glass. I did, and found it was used to be poured over ice cream. The lady filled my glass and as I turned away, I took a sip. I turned back and said, "This is poured over ice cream?" She nodded, then I bought some ice cream and beer. It was fantastic!

If you are in the LA area and you like vegan music (yes, there was vegan bands preforming rock, rap and reggae) then you'll love the vegan beer fest.

Here are some of my photos but I've also put up some links for you to see the real action. I was too busy drinking.

More links:

I'll be updating this site more, I mean it. I'm baking and cooking so much on the cheap, I have to share. I'll talk to you later.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

How I'm eating now.

I gotta say, these 6 weeks of no job have made me revert back to a lot of old food saving habits. I'm baking a lot more, even experimenting which I will say, is not one of those reversions.

One thing I find myself making time and money for is my CSA. I still juice a lot of my greens so I'm not giving that up, and at $40 bi-weekly, I don't think I'll have to. $20 a week for organic fresh veggies is a great deal, so it will stay.

The odd thing about this is that right before I lost my job, I was in a mindset of conservation. I was thinking, 'Okay, now it's time for me to save. I'm not in the mood to buy anything, so all my excess monies will go to saving.' Then boom, fired/laid off, whatever you want to call it.

I'm in a much better place than I was last time I had no job. That's not to say it's not a struggle, but I'm trying to be careful, and ponder what it is I did to get into this situation when when I work as hard as I work. It's exhausting trying and trying and getting nowhere while others who have not had to work nearly as hard as you are flowering. Even playing field my ass.

But I digress...

Behold, the best loaves of bread I've ever made. The trick for these was to leave the dough a bit more tack than I'm comfortable and not to let them rise so much. The bread was light but rich and moist. And perfect for toasting.

I'm using it for a lot of meal leftovers. 

From my CSA I took cherry tomatoes and cooked them with olive oil, 
some onion and chopped up garlic.

I had this as a main dish over rice.

Then with the leftover I toasted some bread and over some 'cheese spread', heated the tomatoes and presto, a lovely lunch.

Cheesy spread you say?

Here it is.
I took 1 1/2 cup of raw cashews and soaked them in warm water for at least an hour.

In a food processor, I took 4 cloves of raw garlic, olive oil, salt/pepper to taste, and one half cup of nutritional yeast flakes. Processed the shit out of it and presto, cheesy spread. 

Add some soy milk if you want to cut the thickness. You might want to add some tofu to knock back the garlic or to make the spread a little less rich. I planned on doing that but my tofu went bad.

It's really good and should last for a good week, if not more refrigerated.

I made this originally to eat over roasted broccoli. 

Monday, February 4, 2013

Squash: Now I know what the fuss is about.

It's funny, a year ago I was in this boat. No real money, thinking about every penny, measuring my money more so than my time as an asset that was more valuable to me. I hated it. I really did, still do, but it was amazing how quickly those mind triggers came back to me when I lost my job.

Right now I'm okay as I look for other work, but I watch every penny. Recently had a no spend episode for 48 hours, then bought some soy milk and a couple other things. That brings me to this:

Super low sugar.
Don't buy Silk soy milk. Yeah, they got bought by Kellogg some time ago, and made the slimy move of taking all their brands off organic soy and making it one 'premium' line (douche move, Silk), which I bought because it had no added sugar and none of their non organic lines came unsweetened. I paid the extra money because I didn't want the extra sugar in my coffee (the main reason I get soy milk besides baking).

Well, they 'changed their formula' and it sucks. Obscenely grainy, leaves sediment at the bottom of my coffee cup, and it's 'thicker' if that makes since, meaning it's trying to mimic real milk more so in texture so real milk drinkers will like it? Fail.

Look, I know that we vegans are not going the be the main market of this type of stuff, especially now that so many meat eaters are looking for ways to cut their cholesterol and high blood pressures, but making something that isn't something taste like something else when it tasted alight to begin with? Such a bad move, and my last time purchasing their overpriced soy milk.

Okay, rant over. Let's get to squash.

To tell you all the truth, I never gave squash much thought. I just saw them as this decorative gourd that sat on tables at Thanksgiving. Then a co-worker at my last job came in with a container of pasta sauce and spaghetti squash for lunch. It looked good enough, though I didn't have any. That image never left my mind. It wasn't yuckie or anything, just unfamiliar.

So I decided to collect all the squash that my CSA had given me over the past few weeks and do something with it.

First off, I didn't know squash was so...dense. Geeze It took me nearly 45 minutes to cut up al the squash. I know some people (from looking online because I didn't know a thing about squash) prefer to roast it in it's skin, but I was mixing a lot of squash together, and wanted them cut in cubes.

After I did that, I decided to use up some of those beets that I get in abundance in my CSA as well. I do like beets, a lot, but other than juicing I rarely take the time to cook them. I chopped them up, along with an onion, tossed it all in olive oil salt and pepper and cooked them on 360 for over an hour.

Oh. My. Goodness! Now I get it! Now I understand! I added a bit of 'butter' and it was the most rich extravagant food I'd had in quite some time! Delicious! That settles it. I'm going to get squad from now on. I do like the texture of spaghetti squash a bit more than the green skinned squad (not a squash expert), so I might just indulge in that for a while. Still, it's made me realize I need to branch out more, be adventurous (budget allowing) and see what I can get on the cheap. You should try it too.