Wednesday, October 22, 2008

VeganMoFo: Roommate bonding Wednesdays

I am not sure how this started, but it has become a thing for the roommates in my apartment to all have dinner together on Wednesday nights. What makes it even more special, is how it will be one of us cooking for the other three. Last week, the volunteered cook wasn't even vegan, but she cooked a vegan meal since two of us in the apartment are vegan. I hadn't cooked a Wednesday dinner yet, so I volunteered for this week.

Last time my other vegan roommate cooked, she make pasta, so I knew that I wanted to make something different.  I didn't want to make something overly vegan (just yet).  Thus, I wanted to avoid tofu or tempeh.  Luckily, my parents went to the Farmers' Market for me at home while I was taking the GRE Chemistry subject test last weekend, so I had some fresh produce like butternut squash, cherry tomatoes, and green bell pepper. I was initially thinking of a lasagna of some sort, but after seeing the Pumpkin and Black Bean Casserole on Fat Free Vegan Kitchen, I knew that I had found the perfect dinner.

Do yourself a favor and make this soon while squash is in season! I used butternut squash instead of pumpkin, and it turned out amazing. It is very flavorful even if I went a little heavy on the cumin and paprika.  The nutritional yeast gives it a little something without tasting overly vegan-y.  Everyone loved it and ate it so quickly that I forgot to get a picture! Like Susan says, it does look a lot prettier in the pan than it does on the plate, but the taste certainly makes up for that.

Monday, October 20, 2008

VeganMoFo: Care packages are the best

Over at the ppk we had a care package swap for the month of October.  I had never participated in such a thing before, but I can officially say that I am hooked!  I got some really awesome stuff, and it wasn't all food.

In the box are some green tea walnut biscotti from Isa and Terry's upcoming cookie book. (I've already had two pieces, and the flavor is interesting and hard to describe.) There is also some ginger pear jam, which I will try for breakfast tomorrow. I had heard of the mythical vegan peanut chews, and I now have a bag of my own. Oh my. So addicting. I also got some white chocolate chips. Now I just need to decide what wonderful baked goods I will use them in. That scarf is so long and amazingly soft. I wore it this evening and already got complimented on it. What fun. The mug is adorable with a sun on it and is filled with (mostly vegan slogan) pins. Oh, and I can't forget the cute card!

I knew it would be coming any day now, but it definitely made my evening.  I can only hope that mine was well received too.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

VeganMoFo: Blowing the Socks off of Omnis with Cookies

Last night I went to the party, where one of the hosts had a birthday a few days ago. Naturally, I decided to bake him some cookies as a present.  After double checking to make sure he had no food allergies, I decided on Isa's Peanut butter oatmeal cookies from Vegan with a Vengeance.

These cookies are seriously addicting.  He hid the cookies after I arrived and didn't reveal them until late in the night. Everyone was raving about them and couldn't believe that they were vegan after that little fact was revealed.  One girl asked me what made the cookies stick together if I didn't use eggs, milk, or butter.  I find it interesting that people don't realize how vegan baking is so similar to non-vegan baking.  (Admittedly, I felt the same way before I was vegan.) Yes, some recipes might call for tofu, but they really don't call for obscure ingredients.

What lovely peanut butter goodness resides in these cookies. I saved three for myself (hey, they couldn't fit on the plate!) and managed to eat them for breakfast this morning. Well, I ate two, had a hot chocolate, and then ate the last one right after taking that picture. They are definitely my favorite, and my go-to recipe whenever I want to impress omnivores. In all seriousness, I have never met an omni who didn't like these cookies. Score for veganism!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

VeganMoFo: Pseudo-Thai for Omnis

Sadly, my trip home has coincided with the seeming demise of my camera.  I will see what I can do to revive it, or maybe temporarily borrow my mum's.  In the meantime, tonight's dinner will have to go without a photo yet again. (Hopefully I can figure something out by lunchtime tomorrow when I reheat leftovers.)

Even though I wasn't able to get to the Farmers' Market last weekend, I still had an eggplant and a few small bell peppers which needed to get used.  As in as soon as possible. I had been thinking about this dish for the past few days and it is a hybrid of sorts of this dish from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen and this in the PPK recipes section.  I was inspired by a late night (not entirely sober) snack of the original quinoa dish that I had doused in store-bought peanut sauce and extra hot sauce. It was so good and addicting.  Having my eggplant made me think of making it again.

I simplified the recipe a bit since I am at home.  The only seasoning that I used for the 1 1/2 cups of quinoa was 3 cloves of minced garlic. I used coconut oil when I sautéed an eggplant, a yellow summer squash, 3 small zucchinis, and 3 small bell peppers.  When those were done, I combined it with the cooked quinoa.  The peanut sauce was run through a blender before being poured over the dish and consisted of the following:

spicy peanut sauce 
 1 cup peanut butter
 1 cup hot water
1 tsp ground ginger (had none fresh)
1 bunch of scallions with a few of the green stems added in for good measure
zest of 1 lime
juice of said lime
a few squirts of sriracha hot sauce (I couldn't be too liberal with it since my mum can't handle hot stuff.)

I was really pleased with the dinner, and my younger brother even got seconds, which is always a good thing since he can be such a picky little omni.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

VeganMoFo: Green smoothies, the sequal

I know that I talked about green smoothies a week or so ago, but I mixed up my recipe again with interesting results.  This time I halved the amount of water and ice that I used previously, froze the banana first, and used two kiwis instead of a kiwi and raspberries.  I will say that I missed the tartness that the raspberries added.  Plus, I had no idea how hard it was to peel a frozen banana. What a pain. It did add a thicker consistency to the smoothie that I liked though.

(See that book underneath my smoothie? I'll be taking the Chemistry GRE subject test in 3 days.  So, even though I am going home for my Uni's fall 'reading' break, I will be doing lots of studying. Yikes. Hopefully I'll be able to fit in a few good vegan meals for my omnivore family.)

I don't have any excited meal updates because, even though I planned on making a fun dinner tonight, one of my roommates ended up cooking for our entire apartment (which includes another vegan in addition to me).  Here is the quick picture that I took before my camera died.  She didn't do too bad, and I didn't find her Moroccan stew as spicy as she seemed to think it was.  I think it is my turn next Wed. to cook for the entire apartment. Any suggestions would be welcome...

Monday, October 13, 2008

VeganMoFo: The sweet versus savory breakfast conundrum

Sorry about the lack of picture again, but let's face it; toast is not very photogenic.  You might have guessed it from my previous statement, but I did in fact have toast this morning for breakfast.  Not that it was totally boring, mind you. One slice had a generous helping of crunchy peanut butter, and the other had roasted garlic hummus with tomato slices.  Hopefully such a simple meal gets bonus points because the bread is homemade.

But what is this breakfast conundrum? I often wonder whether or not I will be appealing to my sweet or savory side in the morning, and sometimes I have to appease both.  Usually, toast is my fall-back, but I can easily vary it with different toppings.  The two mentioned above are regulars, but I also have been known to just eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, have toast with chocoreale (at least, until it runs out), or spread with tofutti cream cheese and toasted a second time with raspberries on top.

My other usual breakfast is much more filling and consists of steel cut oats.  Early this year, I read this post over at the Fat Free Vegan Kitchen blog, and I figured that I should give steel cut oats a try. Up until then, I had only had steel cut oats after soaking them overnight in soymilk and then just heating up the bowl in the microwave in the morning.  As low key as this method was, it made for some chewy oatmeal.  After reading the post, I decided to try steel cut oats in a more authentic manner.  I had several unsuccessful stovetop attempts, but I finally found out that the slow cooker method works best for me.  It is great because I can just set it up while I do homework and just randomly stir it every hour or so.  The method that I used came from here. Note: my slow cooker takes longer than the time listed because it is rather old (aka it was a wedding present of my parents, which I got to claim after they got a new one last year).

But what do I do with all those oats after I cook them? I simply let them cool and stick them in a tupperware container.  When I cook 2 cups of oats, I get enough cooked to last me for a week.  Morning preparation is easy. I just scoop some out into a bowl and pour a little soymilk on it because it will have congealed a lot.  Zap it in the microwave for 1 minute or so then take it out and mash it up with the spoon so that the oatmeal clumps break apart.  I add in my other flavorings (lately, I have been favoring ground flax, maple syrup, and raspberries) and heat it up for another minute or so. Stir vigorously and enjoy!

So as you can see, my breakfast choices lean on either the sweet or savory side. I have been known to make pancakes, but only when I have a lot of time to spare.  Cinnamon rolls would also hit the spot, but the infamous pumpkin ones of Don't Eat of the Sidewalk fame have yet to be made. (Perhaps I'll finally do it this weekend when I am at home for Fall Break aka get all the loads of homework done that you have fallen behind on.)  As for other savory items, I do love my scrambled tofu, but I usually fix it for dinner and rarely for my morning meal. I prefer to get a huge helping of fiber/grains as opposed to protein.

And, to make up for the lack of photos, I will leave you with the (mostly) whole grain bread that I have fallen in love with.  It is a hybridization of several have cake, will travel recipes, though the identities of them have become unclear over time.

(Mostly) Whole Grain Bread

2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup bread flour
~1/2 cup rolled oats
~1/2 cup 7 grain mixture (I found it in the bulk bins at my local (very hippie) health foods store.)
2 tsp vital wheat gluten
2 tsp soy milk powder
1 1/4 cup water
2 Tbsp molasses
2 Tbsp canola oil
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp yeast

I use a bread machine (stolen from my parents as well due to a lack of use), so I just toss in the wet ingredients, then the dry (make sure to put the oats and grains in first so that they are mixed in better), and finally the yeast on top.  Don't for get to set it to a whole wheat setting so that it kneads it properly. Sit back, relax, and become hungry as your place fills with the amazing scent of baking bread.

 I am too lazy (and have too much homework aka Physical chemistry and German exams this week) to write out what to do sans bread machine. Go to the above mentioned have cake, will travel blog, and you will find some wonderful directions there.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

VeganMoFo: Experiencing an underwhelming vegan option

No, I have not disappeared from VeganMoFo, in case you were wondering. I just haven't really done much cooking since Wed, and I have been super stressed and dealing with a lot of school work.  I did bake Veganomicon's Chewy  Oatmeal Raison Cookies (with added chocolate chips).  It is going to take all of my will power not eat yet another one right before I go to bed.

But what I really wanted to talk about is an interesting experience that I had today.  I am the President of my University's Environmental Concerns Organization this year, and even though I went vegan partially because I wanted to reduce my environmental impact and be less wasteful in terms of how and what I eat, I really do not try to be a total push-over about this aspect. People can become easily offended when their diet is on the line, but I am glad to talk to people about my veganism in depth if they are curious after discovering this facet to me.

But I don't want to get off topic about what I wanted to discuss.  Today I went to an Indiana Climate Change Summit (which happened to be taking place at my Uni) sponsored by Earth Charter Indiana.  This is a very interesting organization, and I actually would like to take more time (eventually) to explore the international website because they have many interesting facets involving sustainability and social justice/cooperation.

I was so excited when I signed up for this Summit because the two lunch options online were Vegan and Non-vegan. Sounds promising, doesn't it? I was a little apprehensive when I heard that the catering would be done by my Uni's dining services. I had a hard enough time eating there when I was vegetarian (let alone as a vegan).  It turned out that I was right to be apprehensive. They did not make much of a special effort for the vegan lunch at all. It was a sandwich bar with plenty of meat and tuna salad (not to mention a very dairy-filled pasta salad). Good thing that they had hummus and veggies, but that seems like they didn't feel like making much of an effort. Sure, there was a fruit salad, but no vegan baked good options. Thanks for tempting with brownies and cookies that I could not eat.

I should have known better than to get too excited.  You would think if they acknowledged the existence of vegans and it was one of two lunch options that the spread would be more easily balanced. Such was not the case, and it saddened me. I went in with so much hope only to be disappointed. So, lesson learned today.  Just because there may be a published vegan option, it does not mean that a lot of care and thought was put into it.

And don't get me started about how diet was never mentioned today in regards to global warming.  They had so many other facets covered but not that one.  At least CAFOs (Confined Animal Feed Operations) were mentioned, albeit in passing.

And now I am done with my little vegan rant as I run off to get a cookie and go to bed.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

VeganMoFo: A taste of fall

Tonight's post will be brief because I have a ton of homework for Inorganic and Physical Chemistry classes that is calling my name, but I wanted to share tonight's dinner.

What you are looking at is the Beet, Barley, and Black Soybean soup from Vegan with a Vengeance, albeit with a few alterations.  I don't usually plan out all of my meals for the week because sometimes I just do not know how much time that I will have to cook.  However, I try to have a particular dish in mind during the weekend for when I go shopping and visit the Farmers' Market in case there is a special ingredient or two that I would need.  This soup was what I had in mind for this week.

I have only made this once before, and it was probably about the same time as now last year.  I had noticed that beets were appearing at the market, and I figured that I should give it another try.  Oddly enough, I did not have the main herb ingredients of fresh dill and dried tarragon for which the recipe called.  Good thing that my roots are strictly German and Hungarian or else any Russian ancestors would be rolling in their graves.  (Yes, somehow the combination of beets and barley makes me think of Russia.) I substituted an Italian spice mix as well as marjoram not to mention doubling the garlic from 3 to 6 cloves.  I also tossed in a vegetable bullion cube for extra good measure.  When I was adding the beans, I felt as if I should add a little more color, not to mention healthiness, to the soup. So, I quickly chopped up some swiss chard to add to the pot.  (Yes, I hadn't used up my batch from Saturday's market yet, and I need to get my weekly fix on almost a daily basis while the cheap market chard lasts.  Store-bought just doesn't even compare.)

But how did it taste?  Amazing.  The chard adds a little something, and the barley still has a bit of bite to it and isn't mushy at all (which is a problem I can have with barley sometimes).  The wholesome feeling almost makes up for the overly large amount of chocolate that I consumed this afternoon for no good reason. Almost, but not quite.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

VeganMoFo: What to do with a plethora of apples

Back home at my parents' house, we have an apple tree in the backyard.  It is a cute little thing, which grows rather crooked since my dad didn't stake it up properly when it was little. Regardless, we have been getting a lot of fruit this year after smaller harvests for the past two years. (With apples failing to grow due to buds falling off or early freezes.)  So much fruit, in fact, that my parents gave me a bucket full of apples three weeks ago. Yes, it was literally a bucket.  I had so many, that I was worried about them going bad in case I could not eat them fast enough (even though they are residing in the pantry closet, which is both cool and dark).

My solution: bake the gingerbread apple pie from Vegan with a Vengeance.  I had had my eye on that recipe for a while, and using up apples and going to a potluck was the perfect excuse to use it.  As you can see by the picture, I was a bit lazy and didn't bother to peel my apples. I don't really think that it made much difference in the final product. I would recommend reading the directions though, because I definately was all ready to roll out the dough for the crust, and then I realized that you crumble it on instead. Whoops.

I also ended up having more filling than would fit into my pie pan.  As you can see, I improvised and put it in a few cupcake liners in a muffin pan. I even saved up some of the crust so that I could sprinkle it on top of these so-called mini pies as well.

I took this pie to a potluck as soon as it came out of the oven, and it was an amazing success.  Everyone loved it, and I didn't bring a single piece back with me. (I guess it was a good thing that I had extra filling for the min pies then.) Everyone was complimenting me on it and asking for the recipe.  The taste was even better after I let it sit since I felt as if the spices weren't as strong right when it was still really warm.  It definitely feels like a quintessentially fall recipe, and I would strongly encourage using it when you need to impress people.  I can't even begin to imagine the amazingness if I were to have it with a scoop of soy ice cream.

Coming Soon: I will be making another very fall-esque dish tomorrow- VwaV's Black Soybean, beet and barley soup with beets fresh from Saturday's Farmers' market!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

VeganMoFo: In which I proclaim my love for zucchini bread

There, I said it. I love zucchini bread.  I have some very fond memories of eating it as a child because my grandmum was always making it.  Even when we weren't visiting, she would always give some for use to take back and stick in the freezer.  I used to think that zucchini bread would be healthy, but having a veg in the name is a little misleading. My grandmum's original recipe is practically more of a cake than a sweet bread.  Here it is in all of its non-vegan glory:

2 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 cup oil
1 cup milk
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups shredded zucchini

When I finally got my own kitchen at school last year, my dad let me take a lot of grandmum's old recipes that he had sitting around.  I have really played around with the zucchini bread recipe and have finally found something that is actually reasonably healthy without tasting too healthy.  

Tip: If you have a food processor, use it to shred the zucchini.  It is amazing.  I used to do it the hard way, and it would take a half hour (or so) to shred a large zucchini.  Now, it just takes me five minutes. Also, I like to leave the skin on the zucchini.  For some reason, I get a little kick out of seeing those green flecks in my bread.

Tastier and Healthier Zucchini Bread than Grandmum used to Make

-Preheat oven to 350 F

1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup all purp. flour
3-6 tsp cinnamon (yes, I get a little liberal with it sometimes)
pinch nutmeg
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda

-Take those dry ingredients and sift them together into a large bowl.
-Take 3 Tbsp ground flax seeds and combine with 8-9 Tbsp water in a small cup or bowl. Whip/stir vigorously with a fork. Let sit while you prepare the wet ingredients.

1/3 cup applesauce
1/2 cup canola (or veg) oil
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup sugar
1 cup soymilk (or whichever non-dairy you prefer)
2 cups (or slightly overflowing 2 cup) shredded zucchini

-Combine the wet ingredients, mixing in the flax and the zucchini last.
-Pour the wet into the dry.  Mix until everything is combined. 
-Pour batter into two good-size loaf pans.
(Also fits into 2 small loaf pans with extra for 6-8 muffins)
-Bake for 45 minutes. Check if done with a toothpick or knife. It may need another 5 minutes.
-Leave in the pan for 5-10 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool.
-Keeps at room temperature for 3 days or up to 2 weeks in the fridge.

How good is it? Well, it passed the taste test with my dad. (Who is still trying to come to terms with my veganism. Seriously, it has been 17 months already!)  Also, I have a few friends who purposely invite themselves over when they know that I am making it.

Zucchini are in season right now, but whenever I bake a batch I make sure to shred extra zucchini. Measure out in 2 cup portions and freeze in plastic  bags. Then you can have zucchini bread in the winter as long as you remember to let the zucchini thaw out during the day first.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Veganmofo: Can one really buy too many vegetables?

This answer to this would be yes; yes you can.  (Trust me because I have done it.)  I know that I have discussed it before, but I am a big fan of Farmers' Markets. The one that I frequented in Berlin this summer was amazingly huge AND only a five minute walk from my house.  I also went to Berlin's (in)famous Turkish market once as well. That one was not quite as close to home for me. I had to take a street tram, subway, and walk quite a bit in order to get there. Luckily the unique atmosphere and cheap fruits made up for the trip length.

One problem that I have is that I like to buy too much produce at the market. I don't know what it is about local produce, but it gets me insanely excited.  Pictured here is my load from two weeks ago.  Yes, I really did buy a large  amount of red bell peppers like you see better in the second picture.  One booth was having a sale where they sold them by the pound, and, if you bought more than 3 pounds, they were only $2.50 per pound. Not a bad deal at all.  Even though I love peppers, I couldn't eat all of those in a week, so I froze them.  Peppers freeze surprisingly well, so I stock up in the fall when they are cheap at the market so that I can enjoy them all winter.  It is so easy to grab a bag from the freezer and toss a handful or two into a recipe.

With this particular catch, I was also able to get some fresh basil.  That huge stalk next to the Mangold, erm chard, was $3.  I was worth it because I made a batch of pesto using the recipe in Vegan with a Vengeance.  Sooo good. I hadn't enjoyed homemade pesto in a long while.

What did I do with my pesto? Make pizza of course.  I love the crust in VwaV so much.  I've been making it even healthier recently by substituting 2 of the 3 cups of flour with whole wheat flour.  It gives the dough a nice little crunch and makes me feel less guilty when I eat practically half a pizza in one sitting.  (This really did happen later in the week when I made the second pizza with the remaining dough. Just in case you were wondering.) 

My parents visited me the day after the market, so I put my dad to work making Veganomicon's Cashew Ricotta Tofu.  Putting some fresh tomatoes and bell peppers an top, and you have one very satisfying meal.  So good that my omnivore parents don't care that their pizza is devoid of cheese, which I consider to be a very good thing.

Coming soon: Gingerbread apple pie because I am going to a dinner/potluck tonight (where sadly, I won't be able to eat most things that others bring), so I decided to make up for it by baking a kick-ass dessert.  We'll see how that goes...

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Veganmofo: Do you know what mangold is?

I don't expect you to because that is the German name for what we Americans know as Swiss chard. Honestly, I think the German name is so much better. But back on topic... I am constantly thanking my turn to veganism since it has helped me discover so many new foods. Yes, this sounds silly but is entirely true.  One example of this is, in fact, Swiss chard.

My favorite is the rainbow verity. It just looks so pretty and irresistible. I discovered it at the farmers' market a little over a year ago, and I have not ever been able to get enough of it since then.  I have used it in so many dishes.  Examples would be making an Indian-spiced side dish along with chickpeas or as an addition to Veganomicon's chickpea noodle soup. (Why, yes, it does go well with chickpeas in case you were wondering.)  Despite those amazing dishes, 
I had been wanting to branch out...

As usual, the ppk was a great source for ideas. I don't even recall why I clicked on it, but after reading a thread about green smoothies, I knew that I just had to try one with Swiss chard.  I love to eat it cooked, but, just like any green, it shrinks so much as it cooks, and what once looked like a lot of chard turns into not so much.  Plus, I figured that eating it raw was a little bit healthier as well.  After stumbling upon this site, I came up with this recipe.

-1 banana
-6 or so stalks of chard (more/less depending on how green you feel)
-1 kiwi (I just cut off the ends and don't bother with taking the skin off. More fiber never hurt anyone...)
-handful of frozen raspberries
-1 glass water
-1 glass ice

Do not forget to put in the water. I did this the other day, and my roommate's blender was not very happy with me at first.  And to think that I started to wonder why it wasn't blending correctly...
Here I am trying my very first homemade green smoothie. I may not look it, but I was a little nervous about the taste.  Luckyily, I really do love chard, and my taste buds have changed so much since my conversion 16 months ago.  I didn't think that it tasted overly healthy at all. And to think that I was all set to make myself drink it or add some agave if it tasted off.

The only downside to this recipe is that it makes a ton of smoothie. About 2- 2 1/2 glasses worth, well of the size glass that you see me holding there anyway.  Plus, the first time or two that I made it I had to use the loo a bit more frequently than usual.

Since my discovery, I have been trying to have a smoothie about twice a week or so. It really has made me feel quite a bit healthier.  Because it makes so much, sometimes I use the smoothie as an entire meal.  Well, at least as  a lunch.  If I make it as a dinner, I usually need to have a piece of toast with hummus or peanut butter later.

I don't want anyone to get tired of seeing all of this Swiss chard, so I have only one more photo/meal idea.  Even though I love to cook and try new things, I am still a university student, so I do not always have a lot of time for meals. (My parents pay for my food, yes lucky me, but I am a total cheapskate, so I like to try to eat cheaply a lot as well.)

Here you see my dinner from tonight. Homemade bread from the bread machine that I stole from my parents. (Hey, they weren't using it!)  One slice has hummus and the other, which was already in my stomach, had Veganaise.  I just lightly sautéed some yellow summer squash, zucchini, yellow pear tomatoes, and (surprise, surprise) chard.  Oh and don't forget the Thai chile hot sauce. I just bought a bottle two weeks ago, and I absolutely love it. I try to sneak it into so many dishes, it is crazy. But this meal was very filling and satisfying. Sometimes, I just feel like I need a veggie overdose, and this hit the spot.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Let the VeganMoFo-ing begin!

Because I do not have any photos from tonight's dinner (and it was really easy anyway), I will start off the month with a review. 

Soy Creamy Mini Chocolate Sandwiches from Trader Joe's

I would like to say straight up that I love shopping at TJ's, and I am lucky enough to have one 20 minutes away from where I live. I cannot believe that it has only been a year and a half since I learned about this place. They have a lot of packaging on their produce, but I go there consistently for their cheap (not to mention tasty) soy milk, tofu, chocolate chips, and wine. (Hey, what a combination!)

I manage to stock up every trip that I make, so I only need to go about every two weeks or so. I am not a huge fan of driving a ton, even if I only do it on the
 weekends, and I don't really eat so much that I need to make a weekly trip to go there. About a month ago, I ran across that box you see there. TJ's is pretty good with vegan options, and I just had to check out this dessert. (Notice how it has a convenient little V for vegan in the lower left corner! Things like that make my job of checking ingredients so much easier.)

This next picture is a really burry, but
 it gives you an idea of the size of one sandwich. 
The size ends up being not too big to make you feel guilty and not too small that you feel unsatisfied. (Though, I will admit to sneaking a second after my first initial tasting.)  

These little novelties are pretty good.  I feel as if the chocolate taste could have been more pronounced considering how the coloring is so dark.  It had a slightly rich taste and was neither too bitter nor too sweet.  A lot of people complain that non-dairy ice cream can taste too beany, but I did not have that problem.  The soy flavor was not too pronounced (but what do I know since I don't eat that other junk anymore?).

I am actually considering buying another box when I make my biweekly trip this Friday.  It will help me with my chocolate cravings since last time I bought the Pounder dark chocolate with almonds and managed to inhale it in 9 days. (That may seem like a long time, but that chocolate bar is HUGE.)  I am also curious as to how this sandwich would taste if I spread a little bit of peanut butter on it, which is something else I cannot seem to get enough of...

In case you are wondering...
Coming attractions:
talk of green smoothies
farmers' market loot
zucchini bread
and possibly, an apple pie (because my parents brought me literally a bucket of apples from the tree in our backyard at home)

Oh, and Happy World Vegetarian Day (for at least 9 more minutes anyway)!