Wednesday, February 11, 2009

February roundup


Okay I have to admit I've been a bad blogger this month. I have been distracted by a number of things and have not devoted the time to this blog that I would like. In an attempt to find some redemption, I have a few things to report on.

Firstly, I inherited some ultra cute pastry dishes and despite the fact that I initially wanted to make them alternate cat food bowls, I resisted and actually put them to use feeding humans. To break them in, I made the asparagus tarragon quiche from Veganomicon, except smaller. They had a subtle flavor which I really enjoyed. I'm pretty sure you can't go too wrong with a ton of asparagus, sauteed, seasoned and blended. The thing I liked about this recipe, was that even though it is emulating an egg-based dish, it did not rely on tofu to give it the right texture. Instead, the main ingredients were blended asparagus and walnuts.

The most important recommendation I could give for this recipe would be to make the crust as thin as possible. This really lets the filling of the quiche shine. Also, especially with my miniature versions, it was difficult to cut through, even though my crust wasn't overly crunchy. Because of the difference in consistency between filling and the crust, I ended up eating mine a little bit like a pizza, which was perfectly fine with me. Overall, delicious recipe. It took awhile to prepare as there is a lot of refrigeration time for both the crust and the quiche filling but was fairly simple. Obviously, it would be easy to prepare the beginnings ahead of time, but would still take over an hour for baking and resting.


Another thing I wanted to address was a interview I heard on the radio regarding the economy and comfort foods. Public radio is pretty much where I get all my news from. I find it much more informative and interesting than a lot of what gets reported on television and elsewhere. Of course, there are exceptions. I was genuinely disturbed by a recent interview with Irene Rosenfeld, the CEO of Kraft foods. This interview was really oriented towards the business aspects of the company, but I couldn't help but find the content deeply disturbing.

One of the first points made is that in a troubled economy, many people turn to comfort foods. This fact on it's own, isn't what irked me. What got under my skin was the equation of Kraft brand foods with comfort foods. Who doesn't love a grilled cheese sandwich and bowl of tomato soup when they're having a bad day? That's why it's called comfort food. It certainly does not mean it needs to be junk. "Pasteurized prepared cheese product" is not food. The tomato soup and grilled soy cheese you see above has all the appetizing qualities and simplicity of any good comfort food and it's vegan.

Without going on a diatribe about how bad certain processed foods are, I just want to point out that if you want something simple and inexpensive there are vegan alternatives that cover these bases as well. Not every meal you make has to be gourmet. If you want a box of mac and chreese that is better than that blue box you had when you were a kid Roads End Organics makes some amazing vegan versions that are not only insanely delicious but under $2 a box. I recommend the Shells and Chreese especially.

I suppose I'm just upset by the fact that something like this interview even made it onto the air. I can't believe that someone can go on and say that Velveeta mixed with salsa is a healthier direction. How about just salsa? How about delicious fresh tomatoes, chopped and seasoned with herbs and spices? Doesn't that sound more appetizing? I realize I'm ranting a little, but I'm just a bit shocked still that on the same station I hear reviews of local farmers markets that I also heard this garbage about processed junk and how to market it to people when they economy is down.

And moving on...


One of the reasons I've been a bad blogger this month, is that Shawn and I have been out of town a number of times. On one occasion, we went camping in the Salton Sea. We got to be zombies with a bunch of cyclists and other such craziness. It's been a long time since I've been camping, luckily Shawn is an expert. He also had a really awesome stove from the 1900's to make us some great meals. We even managed some flavorful toast, which is pretty much a staple in my diet.


For Valentine's day breakfast he cooked up some tofu scramble, camp style of course. Tofu and mushrooms mixed with nutritional yeast, ketchup, mustard and cooked over flame in vegetable broth. It was seriously delicious. We also enjoyed the typical camping fare: veggie dogs, veggie burgers and oatmeal. You can check out some more of our misadventures and Shawn's beautiful photos of the trip over at studiodrome's blog We even made it in the local paper!

4 comments:

Vegyogini said...

What a disgraceful interview. Your healthful tomato soup and grilled sandwich look so much better (and more comforting!) than anything that could ever come out of a box.

ashley said...

that interview would piss me off as well. you are spot on with your rant!

you pix are absolutely gorgeous. all that food looks amazing. i checked out the pix on shawn's blog too---looks like you had so much fun. i love the shot of you in zombie make up at the top of his page. :)

trina said...

Doesn't everything taste better when you're camping? And I know I'm missing the moral of this story, but now I want a (vegan) grilled cheese and tomato soup and mac and cheese out of a box.

miss alix said...

trina - you're totally not missing the moral. the moral is enjoy these delicious foods, even if they're not the best thing for you all the time. the moral is that you can still indulge, be frugal and be vegan!