Food Blog None Vegan MoFo

The usual Saturday morning pancakes with a hint of nutmeg, served with apples and walnuts cooked in brown sugar and lemon juice

Food Blog None Vegan MoFo

Red beans and rice with steamed greens and salsa

You may have observed that all my food ends up as a “bowl.” It’s not that I never do anything more elaborate; weeknights just don’t lend themselves to it, in my experience. It’s enough to throw things in a pot/pan/oven and give it a little sauce to pull it together. That’s more than a lot of people bother with, I think. It’s just not terribly photogenic.

The red beans and rice started with minced onion, red bell pepper, and yellow bell pepper, then a little red pepper flakes and oregano. Added three cups of water and one and a half cups of germinated brown rice, cooked it down a while. Added some hot sauce, coriander, and a can of kidney beans. Cooked until the water was absorbed; seasoned with a pinch of salt.

Steamed greens…self explanatory. Collard greens and a little purple cabbage, chopped and thrown in a steamer basket. Because I gotta.

Salsa is also fairly basic. The following ingredients entered a small plastic container with a screw-top lid, suitable for shake-mixing:

  • One big fat heirloom tomato, diced small
  • One dark green jalapeno, minced
  • One clove of garlic, microplaned
  • A few cilantro sprigs, roughly chopped
  • One long green onion, green and white parts chopped
  • Juice of half a lime

I just wish I had an avocado. This cries out for avocado.

Food Blog None Vegan MoFo

Orange-cashew tofu with cabbage and kale

Making dinner for myself again tonight and I didn’t want to wait on rice to cook, so I made this tofu stir-fry to go with some wilted greens.


Tofu: pan-fried in my trusty cast-iron skillet with a little olive oil and a pinch of salt, then set aside.

Greens: shredded green cabbage and half a bunch of kale, just wilted in another skillet with a little oil or water.

The rest: minced shallot, red bell pepper, and a handful of whole cashews sauteed/toasted in the cast iron. Juice of one orange, two microplaned garlic cloves, and a splash each of soy sauce, rice vinegar, toasted sesame oil, and hot sauce make up the sauce, which gets a quick simmer in the other skillet before adding in the sauteed shallots and bell pepper, cashew, and tofu cubes. Finished with two green onions and a few sprigs of roughly chopped cilantro.

Pretty pleased.

Food Blog None Vegan MoFo

I’m not sure if this will taste any good. The onions burned. The basil-mint coulis looks like green water. The lemon risotto is gunky. Sometimes I try and I fail.

EDIT: OK, but actually, the flavor is not bad. I managed to avoid the burnt bits when I mixed the onions/greens with the beans, the herbs are bright, and the risotto is a good absorbent base for all of the above.

Food Blog None Vegan MoFo

My boyfriend had dinner at work, so I was cooking just for me. So … It’s just some stuff. Roasted slices of delicata squash, sauteed spinach and garlic, pan-fried tempeh (i kinda burned it) , and some tomato and avocado. Also: black pepper. Boyfriend dislikes black pepper. It’s only for me. Mmmm, black pepper.

Food Blog None Vegan MoFo

Vegan Chopped! Channa masala with plums, radish salad, and oolong basmati rice

I LOVE watching Chopped! even though it involves a lot of reverence for dead animal “proteins.” The creativity in throwing together random ingredients in a short period of time isn’t too far off from how I often cook dinner, albeit with less totally obscure ingredients (by vegan standards).

So when they announced the ingredients for the Vegan MoFo Chopped! basket, I knew I had to give it a shot. They are: radish, oolong tea, fresh prune plums, and jalapeno. It took me a little time to mull it over (look, I won’t do well on the real “Chopped”), but I decided to look to Indian cooking for inspiration and make channa masala with some plums in the spicy tomato sauce base, radish salad, and basmati rice cooked with oolong tea.

First I cooked the tea that I later added the rice to:

Then chopped the plums (I couldn’t find prune plums, but fresh purple ones from the market are close enough), jalapenos, and tomatoes for the masala sauce:

The sauce started with cumin seeds toasted in coconut oil, then a minced shallot, some ginger, ground coriander, and the jalapeno went in:

Followed by the plums and tomatoes:

Then cooked it down for quite some time, adding a splash of water when it looked to be drying out, before hitting it with a little immersion blender action to really get it saucy before adding the chickpeas to cook for a while:

Later I added a handful or two of fresh spinach to bump up the color and nutritional value, plus a sprinkle of garam masala and a squeeze of lime juice before serving.

The last thing is the salad. I shredded several french breakfast radishes with the julienne peeler:

And tossed with fresh ginger, a couple beautiful stripey tomatoes, cilantro, and lime juice. It’s supposed to have more jalapeno, but I forgot–at least I have the peppers in the curry sauce already!

End result is rather pretty, and, I think, tasty.

What did YOU come up with?

Food Blog None Vegan MoFo

Because I didn’t cook at all on Friday, this is my Saturday breakfast. Pan-roasted fingerling potatoes, scrambled tempeh and kale, heirloom tomatoes and avocado. Yum.

Food Blog None Vegan MoFo

It started with a stalk of sprouts

I don’t usually like to get the stalks of brussels sprouts because the damn things already so much work to prep, but it called to me. I cradled it like a baby–a silent, green, nodule-covered, leafy baby. Mmm. And now you know too much about how my brain works.

So I prepared the brussels, starting with plucking all the sprouts off the stalk:

Then washed, trimmed, and sliced them all in half. This took a little over half an hour, as observed by watching an episode of The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail. And…what next? Brussels are best roasted…need more veggies…how about the other half of the kari squash from the other day? And for color, those three purple potatoes that are probably still hiding in the fridge somewhere?

These colors don’t run. They get tender.

OK, sure. Good. But then? That isn’t a whole meal yet. Tempeh? Yeah, sure. Cast iron cooking. How about shallots? Definitely, throw those in there too. Needs a sauce (*points to blog name*) to tie it all together + make it not totally fricking bland. Tahini + hot sauce + apple cider vinegar + nutritional yeast, add water, shake it up.

Oh yeah. Pretty good.

Food Blog None Vegan MoFo

Tempeh sausage pizza with fresh heirloom tomato sauce and onions and peppers with a simple side salad

Food Blog None Vegan MoFo

Not entirely successful, but still pretty good

Not every meal is a winner. Sometimes things don’t quite gel. It happens. It’s still good. We all gotta eat.

Goddamn this is blurry. Like I said, nothing’s perfect.

This was a roasted tofu, kari squash, and red onion dish from Big Vegan by Robin Asbell. This is pretty tasty, though my squash took longer to cook in spots for reasons I can’t figure out. My oven usually does a good job.

To go with it, I attempted to combine a kale salad with soba noodles (by request). It didn’t work out as well. I didn’t dress it enough–should’ve made a sesame dressing instead of the simple rice vinegar and sesame oil drizzle–and the noodled clumped up when I tried to mix them in with the kale. Ah well. It does balance things out pretty well.

Food Blog None Vegan MoFo

Tofu chimichurri (baked) with rice pilaf and garlicky sauteed spinach

Food Blog None Vegan MoFo

Falafel salad and beet hummus

Occasionally we like to go to my boyfriend’s mom’s house and cook a meal together, taking advantage of her lovely garden and bountiful lemon tree. Today I suggested we take on a kinda-Greek theme–hummus, falafel, all that. I like having an excuse to plan a menu outside the usual weeknight dinner.

To keep it simple, we went with the falafel salad from Salad Samurai, hummus with beets, chopped fresh veggies to fill in the gaps, and some store-bought whole wheat pita.



It was pretty good.

The hummus was of my own devising. What we threw in the food processor:

  • Can of chickpeas
  • Dollop of tahini
  • Splash of olive oil
  • Juice of one meyer lemon
  • Half of a small beet, precooked a little so it’s tender
  • A few sprigs of dill, chopped
  • Several cloves of garlic


All in all, a successful meal.


Later, we went to the beach and made a sand castle, just for the hell of it. And we saw dolphins (maybe).

Food Blog None Vegan MoFo

Veggie pasta with chickpeas

It’s the weekend, and I’m at the end of my weekly stash of vegetables. So what’s for lunch?

What’s in there:

  • A bunch of broccolini, roughly chopped
  • The last chunk of a small head of green cabbage, roughly chopped
  • Some spinach
  • Shallots, thinly sliced
  • Four cloves garlic, grated
  • Splash soy sauce
  • Pinch red pepper flakes and dried thyme
  • A can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • White wine to cover and simmer
  • Rotini pasta
Food Blog None Vegan MoFo

Fridays, I rest

At least when it comes to cooking. After a long and busy work week (and how is it that short weeks always feel just as long?), I don’t want to stare at my fridge and dirty kitchen. The weekend is for picking up the pieces, but Friday night is for respite, however brief.

Did we want to take our chances with the food trucks at the San Jose art walk downtown? I haven’t got the energy. How about a shorter walk, to that convenient palace of all things vegan and Supreme, the Vegetarian House? I’ve got a headache (on a Friday night, always) and that place is always loud. Then let’s hit on the thing that always feels just right: the homey, wonderful lentil stylings of our favorite Ethiopian restaurant, Mudai.

We’ve been going for years and the offerings have seldom varied, but the prices are right, the favors are always great, the atmosphere is unassuming and comfortable (OK, maybe a little less than pristine, but that only adds to the charm in my book), and the waitress greets us with a kind smile and usually knows what we’re going to order but leaves us a few minutes with the menu anyway. (She also typically remembers we are vegan and makes sure we get the non-clarified butter seasoning.)

If we order right, we clean the plate. The base is a veggie combo: a thick chickpea purée, spicy red lentils, stewed greens, and gently spiced potato, carrot, and cabbage. If we’re feeling hungry, we get an extra side of spicy ater kik, a garlicky stew of split chickpeas. Eaten with plenty of fresh injera, the best part is the bottom, where all the sauces and oils and spices have soaked through. It’s like home cooking from a home unlike the one you (probably) grew up in, but every bit as comforting.

Food Blog None Vegan MoFo

Fabulous roasted purple cauliflower seasoned with oregano, red pepper, and nooch. Dino kale salad with shredded carrots, cabbage, and cherry tomatoes in an almond butter-garlic-lemon dressing. Pan-fried tempeh triangles with soy sauce. Yum.