Category Archives: Veganomicon

Another soul crushing "Biggest Loser" and cupcakes galore

Okay, first order of business. Is anyone out there a Biggest Loser fan? I don’t know how you couldn’t be. It is by far the most fascinating and emotionally charged social experiment of our time. Kirby Von Scrumptious and I like the show so much that last year I made some phone calls (in which I may or may not have acted like my own personal assistant so as to seem like an important Hollywood player) to get us tickets to the live taping of the Season 5 season finale. I continue to watch the show even though I often suffer from post-show depression from tearing up and/or sob an average of five times per episode (although at least one of those times is because I am so disgusted by the absurd abundance of product placement.)

The episode that aired tonight was particularly killer. I cannot believe those knuckleheads voted off Jerry!!! I know there has only been two episodes this season but I’ve already fallen in love with that white-haired teddy bear and to see him go so soon was like taking a swift kick to the head. Which is what I will give to those contestants who voted for Jerry to leave should I ever encounter them out there in the real world!

On to some food…

This winter I finally got in on the cupcake craze with the rest of the vegan blogosphere. It all started when I made a batch for a coworker to bring to the set of the new show he works on. They turned out great and then I had all the ingredients in the cupboard so I just kept making more. The most popular turned out to be the Cookies ‘N’ Cream cupcake from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. Maaaaan oh man are they good. If you want to woo a cute boy or girl, I highly recommend making a batch of these babies.

I also made VCTOTW’s Mucho Margarita Cupcakes. With real tequila in the mix, what’s not to love?

Here is The Food Monster getting ready to cram a Jelly Donut cupcake from Veganomicon into his face. These were also delish although they were almost more breakfast-y than dessert like. Also, the book says that the jelly is supposed to submerge itself while baking, which did not happen with mine. I’ve seen other bloggers had their jelly sink successfully (like Vegan Dad’s) so I don’t know what’s up with mine.

My favorite cupcake flavor turned out to be a concoction I whipped up myself after being inspired by a lunch at Hugo’s: horchata. I am going to save the recipe for a little creative venture I’m working on (no, no, not a cookbook), but I will post the recipe at a later date because everyone should be able to experience the exquisite joy that is an horchata cupcake.

You may notice that the frosting in all of these pictures looks rather thin and flat. These photos were taken in my earliest cupcakes before I figured out that lessening, or in some cases, completely omitting milk from the frosting recipe creates a more normal, thick frosting. Also, I want to point out that I have learned to cut the frosting recipes from VCTOTW by a third because they recipes make an INSANE amount. I was sick of having an entire mixing bowl of frosting left over.

Ok, I need to stop looking at this cupcake porn now–a detoxing lady can only take so much temptation!


Odds and Ends

Hello friends! Long time no blog. I have been M.I.A. for a while due to general holiday insanity. Before I skipped town to visit various family members in various cities, I was super busy running around like a maniac making Christmas presents, doing things that I had put off all fall because I couldn’t bring myself to leave the hammock, and taking my dog to visit Santa.

Here are some odds and ends from the vegan life of late.

Vegan Potluck
Vegyogini and Your Vegan Mom hosted a wonderful vegan potluck for the local vegan blogging community. Everyone brought an hors d’oeuvres which meant that we had one mean spread to feast on. All the food was amazing. Personally, I think I ate about 300 of the little testicular Saku that Foodeater brought along with 99 fried raviolis (I can’t remember who brought those ravioli but damn they were good!) in addition to all the other awesome goodies that were there. I had planned on making homemade summer rolls but with the aforementioned insanity that was December, I needed something less labor intensive. So I ended up whipping up a batch of Veganomicon’s walnut-mushroom paté. It was pretty tasty and was fairly simple to make so I would definitely recommend it. The group of omni boys who happened to be shooting a web video in my apartment while I was making it (seriously, December was truly bananas) gobbled up the paté that didn’t fit into my serving dish.

It was so awesome finally being able to put faces to bloggers! Hopefully there will be more meet ups in the future. Unfortunately I had to peace out a little early because I had to run and catch The Food Monster on his last night in town before he moved out of L.A. I can pretty much guarantee the vegan blogging community will not miss you one bit my offensive friend, but I, for one, have cried myself to sleep every night since you left. At least we didn’t have to have a teary goodbye on The Food Monster’s last night in town as we met up mere days later at my favorite karaoke spot in North Carolina. Good times, good times.

A Mighty-O Surprise!
Ever since I heard about Mighty-O Donuts in Seattle about a year ago, I have been gushing about wanting to try to them to my friend Leif, a Seattle native. When I got back to L.A. for my one day between trips right before New Year’s, Leif dropped by my house with a surprise: TWO DOZEN MIGHTY-O DONUTS and an ADORABLE Mighty-O t-shirt!!! Happy New Year to me! I could barely manage to snap this photo of the donuts before I tore into them. There was a vast assortment of flavors including lemon poppy seed (my personal favorite), chocolate coconut, plain, chocolate glazed, chocolate peanut, cinnamon sugar (my second favorite), and sprinkle.

Holy cannoli these were so friggin’ good. Many regular donuts (i.e. not cake-style) are actually inherently vegan but cake donuts are not, so it has been a long while since I’ve had the joy of stuffing a scrumptious cake donut into my head. This was the perfect treat at the perfect time– I stuffed these into my car for the second leg of my holiday vacation to Las Vegas and Mammoth and they managed to continue feeding me and my passengers for the next 5 days! I was shocked how long the shelf life of these babies were, especially since they don’t have preservatives. I mean they didn’t taste 100% fresh after a week (Leif got them to me two days after he bought them) but they still tasted great and not at all stale. Everyone who tried the donuts could not believe they were vegan, which is the ultimate test of how good your vegan product is. It’s probably a pretty good thing we don’t have a Mighty-O in L.A., elst I might pack on a few hundred more pounds. Thanks Leify!!!!

An Awesome Vegan Cheesecake

My boyfriend and I had our own post-Christmas Christmas dinner since we weren’t in the same state for the actual day. He volunteered to make dessert and found a recipe for a vegan cheesecake. I must admit, I was a little skeptical about whether or not he could pull it off. He literally had never baked anything before in his life. He had to call me a couple times for some clarification (what’s a water bath? how do you zest a lemon?) but that damn cheesecake came out perfectly! He smashed up some blackberries and picked up a can of Soy Whip whipped cream for toppings. He even made the crust from scratch! I was very, very impressed. If you are looking for a good vegan cheesecake recipe, I totally recommend this one.

Veg food in Mammoth Lakes
The last leg of my holiday tour took me and the bf to Mammoth for a few days of snowboarding. I was fully prepared to be able to eat pretty much nothing both on the slopes and in the town, and had packed an arsenal of Lara Bars and other goodies to keep me fed, but was pleasantly surprised to find that Mammoth is very vegan friendly! I was shocked when we stopped to rest at Mill Cafe on the mountain in between runs and found vegetarian chili. Usually ski lodges are about as veg-friendly as ballparks (although Dodger stadium actually is veg-friendly, you know what I mean–like most other baseball stadiums). We asked if they could pour our chili over an order of fries and that was basically the best idea of all time. I couldn’t think of a more perfect snack to warm me up and give me an energy boost than those delicious chili fries. I don’t know if they have that chili at all of Mammoth’s food spots, so be sure to check before you ski down there.
We also had a super excellent meal at a Mexican joint in town called Gomez’s. We both ordered the Grande Veggie Burrito which was filled with super fresh veggies and was surprisingly light for being a pretty ginormous burrito. Their complimentary chips and salsa were pretty much the best I’ve ever had. The chips were so light and non-greasy somehow. It was one of the best Mexican meals I’ve had.

Everyone can now Comment 🙂
It was brought to my attention (thank you, Foodeater!) that my blog was set so that only people with gmail accounts could post comments. I had no idea! Oooooops. I have changed the setting so now everyone should be able to comment away!

It’s detox time!
In February of last year, Kirby Von Scrumptious and I did a 28 day detox that was pretty difficult but was really great as it makes you feel really fantabulous. As I am already vegan, the detox just requires that I don’t have any white flour, wheat, refined sugar, salt, caffeine, or alcohol. It may not sound too difficult but trust me, after a week with no flour, you start having dreams about eating 45 bags of plain tortillas. I had started the detox but then got derailed two days in to it (woops!) so I am starting again tomorrow. And now I have to. Because it is published. on the web. its official. see? Anyway, look out for a lot of healthy posts from me in the near future!


Obama Berry Coconut Crisp

I spent election day being a jittery mess. I was so anxious all day long–I couldn’t sit still and I just wanted to roll around in the streets screaming praise for Barack Obama, in case I might inspire some otherwise Republicans to switch their votes at the last second. Instead I sat at my computer, constantly refreshing in the hopes that maybe some state decided to start counting their votes early. But of course, that didn’t happen so I just kept seeing the two candidates with zero electoral votes. It became clear that I needed a project to keep me busy. So naturally, I started making a Barack Obama outfit for my lovely daughter/dog.

Hayley was the life of the party as we walked to the nearby fire station to cast my vote. (Sadly. pups are not allowed to vote yet in the state of California, so the pup came just to keep me company. Let’s hope there is a prop on the next election granting pups the right to vote!!!) The strong support for Obama was clear on our short walk, but we are in Los Angeles after all. I was still really worried about how the rest of the country would be voting.

When we got home, my nervous energy had only increased. So it was time to get elbow deep in baking. I wanted to do a red-white-and-blue themed dish for our election night festivities to be hosted by Kirby Von Scrumptious. I found some blueberries and strawberries still frozen from the summer and decided to make Veganomicon‘s Berry Coconut Crisp.

This dish was incredibly easy to make–just throw a few ingredients in a pan and cover with this delicious mix of unsweetened coconut, sugar, and flour and bake for about 40 minutes. In the end, the colors ended up being purple and off-white, buttttttt whatever. My only disappointment was that the flavor of the blueberries was so strong, it really covered how amazing the coconut crisp was. The raw dough was so good I’m planning on experimenting to make a coconut sugar cookie based off of this recipe. In the meantime, this is a great dessert that will get gobbled up quickly.

In the end my anxiety subsided as we watched Barack Obama elected the new president. What a happy, proud moment. Viva Los Estados Unidos!!!!!

Portobello Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette

Before seeing The Pineapple Express on Saturday, I threw together this lunch, inspired by Veganomicon‘s Portabello Salad with Spicy Mustard Dressing. I had to adjust the portions in the dressing quite a bit–those PPK gals can be so heavy-handed with oil! The salad was great. Wish I could say the same for the movie, but despite James Franco being a very sexy stoner, The Pineapple Express was exquisitely bad. Can’t win ’em all I s’pose.

Roasted Portabello and Artichoke Hearts over Wilted Arugula with Mustard Vinaigrette

For the vinaigrette (modified from Veganomicon):
1/8 cup sweet hot smooth mustard
1 tbsp grapeseed oil
1/8 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp maple syrup

Stir ingredients. Done!

For the salad:

2 Portabello caps
3-4 artichoke hearts (I use canned)
2 handfuls arugula
3/4 cup teriyaki sauce (I used Trader Joe’s Island Soyaki which has pineapple juice in it. It’s so good I could drink it like a cocktail.)

Marinate the portabellos in the teriyaki sauce for at least 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Using tongs, turn caps over and bake ten more minutes. Meanwhile, push the arugula around a pan on medium-high heat for 3-5 minutes until wilted to your liking. Slice the cooled portobellos and assemble the salad with the artichoke hearts, arugula, and dressing.

Olympimania Chewy Chocolate Raspberry Cookies

I love the Olympics! Especially the summer olympics. Especially diving, gymnastics, and swimming. Especially swimming. Especially Michael Phelps. For the past week I have been showing this picture to anyone who enters my office. Its Hottie McSixPack himself wearing the awesomely revealing Lzr Speedo. You should print it out and display it on your desk like I have. It really helps brighten up a room.

On Friday I headed over to Kirby Von Scrumptious‘ pad to watch the Opening Ceremonies and I whipped up some of Veganomicon‘s Chewy Chocolate Raspberry Cookies to bring along. They were easy and delicious, although next time I might add more of the raspberry preserves to make the flavor come out a little more. These were pretty damn tasty–I might even put them on my Seduce-Michael-Phelps menu that I am mentally concocting in case I am ever presented with the opportunity to woo the fastest swimmer in the world with an amazing meal. Until that night comes, I’ll just have to settle for devouring these on Kirby’s couch. Le sigh.