Thursday, March 31, 2011

Chocolate Galore!

So, due to digging through various vegan/raw cheesecake and dessert recipes, I decided I really wanted something sweet. At the suggestion of a recipe, I went and made vegan/raw friendly hot chocolate. Simple, and as follows.

1 mug of hot water
1-2 tablespoons of cocoa powder (I used 2, but I like my stuff ridiculously chocolately)
2-4 tablespoons of agave nectar (I probably used 4, but I also like ridiculously sweet)

Fill your mug with hot water, add your desired amount of cocoa powder. Keep in mind, it won't mix in cold water, so don't fret. Pop it in the microwave for about 1 minute, remove, stir well, and add your nectar. Stir well again, then nuke for another minute or so to heat up to your desired temperature. Then enjoy!

You can use any type of milk, if you want... but with cocoa powder, straight up milk will likely be very rich... so go with water or soy/nut milk.

As I was sitting there enjoying my very tasty hot chocolate, I decided I really wanted cake. Obviously, I wasn't going to go out and buy some, and I didn't have the oomph at 9 PM to be baking a cake from scratch. My solution? Chocolate Mug Cake! (Though, calling it cake is a little misleading. It's actually somewhere between a cake and a brownie in texture.)

WARNING: This is not gluten-free or vegan friendly, although with a little creativity, I bet substitutions could be made to make it work. Gluten-free flour and egg substitute, maybe? As for the milk, I used lactose-free in mine, which worked just fine - play with it a little, you might be able to use the rice or soy milks as well.

1/4 cup flour
5 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
1 egg
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons oil
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract (or less)
1 large coffee mug (Microwavable)

3 tablespoons chocolate chips (optional)

1.) Add the flour, sugar, and cocoa to your mug, and mix well. Add the egg and mix thoroughly.
2.) Pour in the milk and oil and mix well.
3.) Add the chocolate chips (if using) and vanilla extract, and mix again.
4.) Put your mug in the microwave and cook for 2 minutes.
5.) The cake will rise over the top of the mug, but don't be alarmed!
6.) Allow to cool a little, and tip out onto a plate if desired.


*It will look a little spongy when it's done, don't be alarmed - it's done. Though, you can check it with a fork if you're paranoid like I am.

*Two minutes is an estimate, anything more than 2 1/2 minutes will overcook it.

*When it says 'mix well' it really means mix well. Otherwise, you'll find nuked pieces of flour at the bottom of your cup.. which is not tasty upon taking your last bite.

*For a little variety, add a dash of cinnamon like I did. It tastes great!

So that's it! My solution to, "Oh my gawd I want dessert."

Now if only I had some coconut ice cream to go with it....

Sunday, March 27, 2011

I Love My Life

So, it's days like this I love the way I eat. I just found this site thanks to Sheree at Cornbread Cafe:

Why does this excite me? Because everything on here is generally vegetarian/vegan which meeeeans - no dairy and no meat!

If you don't believe me, look at the recipe for Strawberry Cheesecake on this site.

The minute I can get the stuff, I am so making it.

You Learn Something New

So, I'll be damned. There actually is a proper term for someone who eats like I do. It's not vegetarian. I'm what's known as a pescetarian... it means I still eat fish, but nothing else. See: My first entry on the stuff I still eat.

This is good to know, as I've been mistakenly referring to my diet as vegetarian.

Although I'm technically a pescetarian, my diet is typically vegetarian, as fish is not an every day thing. I'm not trying to defend myself, I'm more intrigued by the sudden revelation. It's good to know that there is a specific term for it, rather than trying to explain 'vegetarian with occasional fish.'

The downfall? It doesn't make eating around other people any easier. Whenever someone wants to make ground beef tacos, I still have to use the fake stuff or go for some sort of seafood. If I want chicken, same thing. I'm getting the hang of it at least, and I'm finding I really don't miss the stuff I gave up (except, on occasion, when I smell fried chicken).

Friday, March 18, 2011

Naughty, Naughty

So, yesterday was St. Patrick's Day. We bought corned beef for dinner and I hadn't intended on eating any, due to the whole 'beef is horrible for me' thing... but it smelled so good I couldn't resist. So, I had a tiny piece.

Yeah, I regret -that- decision. My stomach was pissed at me the rest of the night and it felt like I'd eaten a piece of cement. It wasn't that I felt guilty for breaking my 'veggie' ness, but because I felt like someone punched me in the stomach afterward.

So, lesson learned. It doesn't matter what kind of cow it is - I can't eat it. I guess we'll see what happens when Thanksgiving comes around. After months of not eating meat, I can't help but be a little terrified at what will happen if I break down and eat turkey. Although, really, I always preferred the 'sides'... so maybe I won't need to.

However, restaurant review!

So, here in Eugene, Oregon is a little itty bitty bakery that's out of the way out off E. 13th on the UofO campus called, "Barry's." Now, I have never heard of this place and had never been in there, but my fiancee' and I decided to give it a whirl and go in. He got a salami panini and I got a veggie burger on challah bread.

Now, I expected it to be your run-of-the-mill garden burger... but I was horribly wrong.

They used Don Lee platties! I was so excited, I think I ate the whole burger in about three minutes. Mixed in with all the fixings and the challah bread, it was quite possibly the best veggie burger I've -ever- had. Even against the ones I've made myself. Now, I'm pretty sure this is a Jewish bakery, so I'm not surprised now at the use of Don Lee patties, but that doesn't mean I was any less excited.

I also tried the bread on my fiancee's panini and nearly ate the entire hunk that was left.

So, vegetarian or not, if you want good coffee, good baked goods (I bought a 'magic bar' which is coconut, chocolate, and some other stuff), then go to Barry's Espresso & Bakery in Eugene, Oregon.
 They also make veggie sammiches among other things, so you can find something to eat.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Is it Truly Worth It?

I'm having a harder and harder time with not feeling guilty because I don't eat any meat but fish and everyone else has to accommodate my eating habits.

This mostly came around with trying to locate a restaurant for my birthday lunch/dinner (early, since my birthday isn't actually for another week). My now-fiance' (who proposed on March 7th) eats about as many vegetables as I do meat. My mother is diabetic and can't eat spicy food, so mexican is out. My brother in law hates sushi (so does my mother), so that's out. My sister is a little easier to work around, but it's making finding something increasingly difficult. I finally settled between two places here in Eugene that offer vegetarian options for me and meat laden ones for everyone else. And the fact my fiance's family are all eat meaters when we head there this summer also doesn't help.

I can't help but wonder if I'm not just making my life a bit more complicated. I feel great, and I am pretty sure I've lost more weight (my pants suddenly don't fit! which is great), but this is becoming a real pain to keep making separate meals and such.

I think it's just guilt over the fact I'm such a pain to accommodate food-wise now.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Mmm. Squishy.

I've eaten quite a few of these in the last few days, but I figured today I would talk about the "Don Lee Farms" veggie burgers.

So, we got these things from Costco in bulk. I wanted something other than Morning Star or Boca (or Garden) burgers, which (if you're not careful) are somewhat like cardboard discs. (Boca usually have the best tasting, but I dislike the texture.)

Every ingredient is pretty easy to understand; carrots, celery, wheat flour, sunflower seeds, oil, etc. They're completely different than the other brands, as they're not frozen and they have a 'squishy' texture, compared to the somewhat dryer Boca or Morning Star burgers. Personally, I prefer this personally, but not everyone will.

I've thrown some fake bacon on them with some honey mustard, eaten them plain. They're just generally good burgers.

Pros: Good flavor, filled with ingredients you can actually pronounce and understand, crisps easily in the frying pan
Cons: Texture takes a little getting used to, not very gluten friendly (made with wheat flour)
Final Review: These are quite possibly the best veggie burgers I've had. Although the texture is a little unique, they have the best flavor and you can taste every ingredient (like the carrots and celery). If you want to try a veggie burger, this would be the one I suggest (if you can handle the softer texture).

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Sticking to the Plan

The great thing about being a vegetarian for health reasons is that, for any reason, I could decide to partake in some meat. In my case, I'll break down and have small amounts at holidays most likely. Probably a substantial smaller amount than I would in previous days.

St. Patrick's Day is coming up, and between having an Irish significant other and a mother who lives for corn beef, I've realized something - it's not me that'll cause me to give up. It's other people.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that people are going to just go out and shove a burger down my throat. What I mean is - when you're surrounded by people who don't eat the same way you do, you're more tempted to make that concession for the ease of everyone. Like the St. Patrick's Day thing - I love Corned Beef. But my body doesn't process anything that comes from the mooing milk factories (unless it's lactose free milk or yogurt) at all. But, I keep thinking I'll end up having some anyway.

Also, my fiance' and I are headed to his home town this summer for a month, and I'll be the only 'vegetarian' there. I think I'm going to starve, save for 'meatless fridays,' which sadly, I'll look forward to (his parents are catholic).

I'm just remember what we ate like while we were there last time and it worries me. I keep thinking I'll just give up on everything I've accomplished by that point just so I don't have to have other people adjust things for my sake. I know I'm doing it for my health, but I'd still feel kinda bad having people go out of their way just for me.

That's four months away, so I guess there's time to deal with it until then.

I guess I'll just have to deal day by day and exercise some will power.

Next up: Product Review on "Don Lee Farm's Vegan Veggie Patties."